barbettes and turrets

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synthesim
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barbettes and turrets

Post by synthesim » Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:23 am

In the book 'Russian Battleship vs. Japanese Battleship' by Robert Forczyk, subtitled 'Yellow Sea 1904-05', he speaks of turrets on some ships vs. barbettes on other ships.
What does he mean? He seems to imply they are not the same thing, but doesn't explain?

alecsandros
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Re: barbettes and turrets

Post by alecsandros » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:30 am

The barbettes are the pedestals on which turrets are placed.

Pandora
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Re: barbettes and turrets

Post by Pandora » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:33 am

turret is the armored box that has the gun barrels.
barbette is the cylindrical tube that supports the turret.

synthesim
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Re: barbettes and turrets

Post by synthesim » Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:41 pm

Thank you but I'm still a little confused.
For example on page 4 of this magnificent book it says, "The battleship Fuji was ordered in 1893 and was built... ...with four 12-in guns in turrets instead of four 13.5-in guns in barbettes.

I have an idea that 'guns in turrets' means guns in gunhouses on top of round barbettes.

What does 'guns in barbettes' mean?

synthesim
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Re: barbettes and turrets

Post by synthesim » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:57 am

Thank you very much for your information. Based on what you told me, I also found these links;

The Barbette: A Lightweight Gun Mounting (1870s - 1890s)
http://www.cityofart.net/bship/barbette.html

Barbette
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Barbette

mike1880
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Re: barbettes and turrets

Post by mike1880 » Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:50 pm

To add to your confusion, Russian ships had genuine turrets derived from French designs while Japanese ships had barbettes with an armoured shield over the guns, invariably (but not strictly correctly) called a turret.

In the original barbette mountings, the guns were mounted on a turntable protected by an armoured tube. The guns fired over the top of the tube. To reload, the gun was elevated so that charge and shell could be rammed from within the shelter of the tube. Various forms of shield were gradually added to protect guns and crew, eventually taking the form of a complete gunhouse at which point they started being called turrets. The tube was also gradually extended deeper into the ship to protect the ammunition supply.

In the original turret mountings the guns were mounted in an armoured cylindrical box which rotated on some kind of bearing on deck. The guns fired through ports. In the French style turret, the structure extended as an armoured cone right to the ship's bottom where the point sat on what was called a "hydraulic pivot". The difference between the two systems became a bit blurry as they evolved but was very obvious at the start. (It's often said that the Russians abandoned the system and adopted the barbette/turret mounting but in fact if you look at plans they stuck with the French turret system right through to the quadruple 16-inch mountings they were contemplating in WW1.)

You've already found a pretty good description of the barbette, it's worth looking at the turret page as well:

http://www.cityofart.net/bship/gun.html

Mike

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