Practical ranges

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alecsandros
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Re: Practical ranges

Postby alecsandros » Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:44 am

Neoconshooter wrote:

[Maybe once when WWarspite hit Giulio Cesare at 24km]
Talking about facts, probabilities and ideas, which are all seperate things. Facts, few actions/hits at long range. Probabilities, hits are few and far between at long range. ( More so for some than others.) The idea is that it is advantagious for the ship with the best FCS to open fire as soon as possible is based on the idea that eliminating major enemy units that can not be replaced is such that the expenditure of ammo cost is insignificant compaired to the potential gains.

The facts, as far as I know, are that there were only 3 occasions when battleships fired > 30km during WW2:

- Prince of Wales and Bismarck slugging it out in the evening of May 24th, at ranges ~ 30km. They fired at least 80 heavy shells in total, scoring exactly ZERO hits.

- Yamato firing against CVE Gambier Bay during battle of Samar, at ~ 32km, scoring ZERO hits.

- New Jersey and Iowa firing ~ 40shells against IJN DD Nowaki, at ~ 32-34km, in Fev 1944, scoring ZERO hits.

===

An agressive captain with perfect intel and on perfect weather would probably open fire close to maximum possible range (as was the case of Iowa shooting Nowaki). However, such events occur very rarely (the weather can be a major problem), and actualy hitting anything at such ranges is ... very unlikely...

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Re: Practical ranges

Postby alecsandros » Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:57 am

Neoconshooter wrote:
Dave Saxton wrote:
Maybe once when Warspite hit Giulio Cesare at 24km]
Even considering Cesare's weak deck protection it didn't cripple Cesare. The assumption that a handful of extreme range hits would destroy more modern battleships is unlikely as well.

This is a failure of the thought processes. That hit did cripple Giulio Cesare! It caused the ship to slow to 18 knots, a speed where, if the commander had wanted, let the slower Royal Navy BBs close the range and prevented it's escape to pummel it further and possibly sink her.
Secondly, nine hits at close range sank a IJN BB off Guadalcanal. Close range hit are much less likely to damage a heavily armored ship than plunging fire. Three hits sank HMS Glorious. Hood? No it is eminently possible for a few hits to sink any ship. Particularly if they are falling at a steep angle.


Giulio Cesare was a reconstructed dreadnought, under fire from 890kg 15" / L42 AP shells, against which it had no immunity zone.
Kirishima was also a reconstructed dreadnought, with 203mm thick main belt (equivalent to 150mm WW2 era armor), under fire from 1220 kg 16"/L45 shells.
Hood was a 1918 battlecruiser with 305mm thick belt (equivalent to 270mm WW2 era armor), under fire from 800kg 15"/L52 shells.

Those were all old ships, under fire from very powerfull guns.

What is interesting is to observe how much damage the new battleships suffered, without sinking:
- Bismarck, SOuth Dakota, Scharnhorst, all showed how hard it was to sink a modern BB by gunfire alone...

===

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Re: Practical ranges

Postby alecsandros » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:12 am

Neoconshooter wrote:In 60 seconds, a target moving at 30kts would have travelled ~ 1000meters, in any direction.Not true at all! To change direction, all capital ships take time, 15-30 seconds, to move the rudder hard over. After the rudder is hard over, it takes up to one minute longer to even beguin to change direction. During this time the very high drag of the hard over rudder causes the ship to slow. Then the ship beguins to turn and with a turn diamiter of 600-1200 M, it takes 90 seconds for a BEST CASE world's most maneuverable ship to make a U-Turn! So at two salvos per minute. the target is under effective fire for four salvos at a MINIMUM! Thus, a salvo had very slim chances of landing a single hit, let alone multiple strikes.See the post babove where IJN Kirashima was hit with the very first salvo!

Most modern battleships had turning radius of <1000m with rudders hard over, with speed reduction up to 50%. Considering turning at 15kts (7.5m/s), a ship would still travel 450 meters in 60 seconds, and that's stretching it.
And, of course, they would not need to turn the rudder hard over. A mere 30* course change, with negligeable speed loss, would put the ship 400 meters away from the plotted point (the point at which it would have arrived in 60 seconds at 30kts with no course change).

In truth, there would be an entire array of points in which the ship might arive in 60 seconds, considering course changes of 10-45*. A firing ship would need to be able to saturate most of those points in order to score, and I find that highly unlikely.



I counter with the simple fact that NO BB EVER BUILT can withstand major caliber AP Shell at very long range! Just because they were old has nothing at all to do with the simple fact that their decks were perforated and shells detonated in their magazines! How does that help any other ship where the enemies shell detonates in your magazine? ( or boiler room, thus slowing the ship to make it an easy target?)
Even Yamato could not stand up to long range plunging fire from any contemperary! What is worse is that American 14" Super Heavy AP Shell fired at +40 degrees elevation would make all BBs world wide vulnerable to plunging fire!
[/quote]

That's true - and I woudl add to that that IJN Musashi received a 227kg bomb directly in the no3 boiler room. So that bomb passed through 200mm of deck armor...

USN and German post 1930s designs might have had a chance against such attack, as their armor schemes were actualy armor arrays, which had the potential of damaging the shell/bomb before reaching the main armor plate/vital section.

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Re: Practical ranges

Postby Thorsten Wahl » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:42 am

What is worse is that American 14" Super Heavy AP Shell ....

the american 14 inch AP is no superheavy projectile.
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Re: Practical ranges

Postby Thorsten Wahl » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:47 am

What is worse is that American 14" Super Heavy AP Shell ....

the american 14 inch AP is no superheavy projectile.[/quote]
...SOuth Dakota..., all showed how hard it was to sink a modern BB by gunfire"


South Dakota was hit by one AP shell or even one more - not realy a threat.
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Francis Marliere
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Re: Practical ranges

Postby Francis Marliere » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:15 pm

alecsandros wrote:Look for Bill Jurens's posts in this matter - he agrees that practical hiting probabilities for > 25km shootings, even late war, were < 1%.


Alecsandros,

As far as I understand and remember what Bill Jurens and Brad Fischer have written in "Fast Battleship Gunnery during World War II: A Gunnery Revolution" (Warship International Vol. 42, No. 2, and Part 2 in Vol. 43, No.1), long range hits were in theory possible with advanced fire control systems and radars. I suggest you have a look at these wonderful articles in you are interested on the subject.

Best,

Francis

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Re: Practical ranges

Postby alecsandros » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:29 pm

Francis Marliere wrote:
alecsandros wrote:Look for Bill Jurens's posts in this matter - he agrees that practical hiting probabilities for > 25km shootings, even late war, were < 1%.


Alecsandros,

As far as I understand and remember what Bill Jurens and Brad Fischer have written in "Fast Battleship Gunnery during World War II: A Gunnery Revolution" (Warship International Vol. 42, No. 2, and Part 2 in Vol. 43, No.1), long range hits were in theory possible with advanced fire control systems and radars. I suggest you have a look at these wonderful articles in you are interested on the subject.

Best,

Francis

Francis
I had a discussion with Bill Jurens on this very forum.
In the end, we both agreed that realistic hit ratios beyond 30km, with the best FC available late war, against battleship-sized targets, were somewhere ~ 0.5%.
In perfect conditions, a better hit ratio might be expected, but when and where is the sea perfectly calm and the visibility perfect? And when and were can the enemy target be expected NOT to make evasive manouvres ?

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Re: Practical ranges

Postby Francis Marliere » Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:50 am

Alecsandros,

I don't contest that ; I don't expect hit ratio to be very high at such long range under combat conditions. I just recommand you the Jurens & Fischer articles that are really worth reading. As far as I know there is no other comparable publication or book on the subject.

Best,

Francis

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Re: Practical ranges

Postby paul.mercer » Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:50 pm

Gentlemen,
I believe that after WW2 the Iowa class gunnery radars were much updated and that the New Jersey had many millions spent on her systems for bombarding off Vietnam, also one of the Iowa's (Wisconsin?) was used ofr bombarding in the first gulf war, my question is this, if this technology had been available in WW2 would this have enabled them to achieve multiple hits at their maximum range on another ship?

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Re: Practical ranges

Postby sandym » Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:35 pm

Hmm, remember that New Jersey was sent to bombard Lebanon in 1984 and missed its targets by as much as 10,000 yards. In fact, it didn't hit anything it aimed at.

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Re: Practical ranges

Postby Byron Angel » Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:38 am

sandym wrote:Hmm, remember that New Jersey was sent to bombard Lebanon in 1984 and missed its targets by as much as 10,000 yards. In fact, it didn't hit anything it aimed at.



..... OTOH, consider the performance of the same ship off Vietnam (see "Operational Experience of Fastt Battleships").

B

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Re: Practical ranges

Postby tommy303 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:49 pm

Part of the problem with New Jersey's shooting was the old powder charges being used which had a wide shot to shot variation in velocities. The charges, which dated to lots produced during or shortly after WW2 had suffered some deterioration in storage as volatiles within the powder grains evaporated off. This led to excessive variations in the MV, thus making it difficult to correct for fall of shot. Once the problem was realized (after her deployment was over) different lots of propellant were remixed and test fired until the variation was reduced to > plus or minus 10f/s.

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Re: Practical ranges

Postby Neoconshooter » Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:17 am

alecsandros wrote:
Neoconshooter wrote:

[Maybe once when WWarspite hit Giulio Cesare at 24km]
Talking about facts, probabilities and ideas, which are all seperate things. Facts, few actions/hits at long range. Probabilities, hits are few and far between at long range. ( More so for some than others.) The idea is that it is advantagious for the ship with the best FCS to open fire as soon as possible is based on the idea that eliminating major enemy units that can not be replaced is such that the expenditure of ammo cost is insignificant compaired to the potential gains.

The facts, as far as I know, are that there were only 3 occasions when battleships fired > 30km during WW2:

- Prince of Wales and Bismarck slugging it out in the evening of May 24th, at ranges ~ 30km. They fired at least 80 heavy shells in total, scoring exactly ZERO hits.

- Yamato firing against CVE Gambier Bay during battle of Samar, at ~ 32km, scoring ZERO hits.

- New Jersey and Iowa firing ~ 40shells against IJN DD Nowaki, at ~ 32-34km, in Fev 1944, scoring ZERO hits.

===

An agressive captain with perfect intel and on perfect weather would probably open fire close to maximum possible range (as was the case of Iowa shooting Nowaki). However, such events occur very rarely (the weather can be a major problem), and actualy hitting anything at such ranges is ... very unlikely...

My point is entirely different than your post. Just because none of those situations you mentioned had any success, does not mean that such success is impossible!

If you were the Captain/Admiral in charge of an engagement where your BB 61 has the chance to sink Yamato before she meets Gambier Bay, would you take it if it entailed shooting off all 1,225 rounds of your 16" ammo to guarantee success? ( 208 X 416 M patterns at 38,720M Range on a target with a danger space >42 M wide by 270 M long and 9,660 M^2 in area?)

For the moment forgetting about the implications of superior American hydrodynamic and FCS and the complete lack of reciprocal ability of return fire at such range because of said range being beyond IJN Optical and Radar ranging abilities. Possibly beyond IJN Radar detection ranges?

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Re: Practical ranges

Postby Neoconshooter » Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:44 am

Thorsten Wahl wrote:
What is worse is that American 14" Super Heavy AP Shell ....

the american 14 inch AP is no superheavy projectile.

...SOuth Dakota..., all showed how hard it was to sink a modern BB by gunfire"


South Dakota was hit by one AP shell or even one more - not realy a threat.[/quote]
Again, gun fights at short range are nor similar to those at long range. At ranges where the side armore must per perforated to inflict significant damage, it takes many hits to sink a BB, even an old one. But at long range, all hits will perforate the deck armor. In addition, the target area is much larger than at short range. Of the ~9 16" hits on Kirishima, none caused her to sink quickly. From Wiki;
Kirishima was hit by nine primary and forty secondary battery salvos, jamming her rear 14-inch turrets and steering, and causing the battleship to list 18 degrees to starboard. Initially, the light cruiser Nagara attempted to tow her out of Ironbottom Sound. When it became clear she could not be salvaged, the surviving Japanese destroyers evacuated CO Captain Iwabuchi Sanji and 1,098 survivors.[3] Kirishima capsized at 03:25 on the morning of 15 November 1942, with 212 crewmen lost.[29][35]
Also from Wiki;
South Dakota's effectiveness was drastically reduced by power failures caused by damage from a 5-inch shell. Having no radar and virtually blind, South Dakota sailed to within 5,000 yards (2.8 mi; 4.6 km) of the Japanese force and was illuminated by searchlights. She suffered heavy damage, receiving some 27 hits from 5-, 6-, 8- and 14-inch shells. However, with attention focused on South Dakota the Washington was able to maneuver completely undetected. She moved to about 8400 yd from 12650 yd away from Kirishima and opened fire. In the span of seven minutes, the Japanese ship was struck by nine 16-inch and around forty 5-inch shells, destroying her ability to steer and setting her on fire.
Lastly Bismarck? Scuttled after getting pounded for hours. How many ships besides Hood have been sunk by plunging fire?

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Re: Practical ranges

Postby Neoconshooter » Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:45 am

sandym wrote:Hmm, remember that New Jersey was sent to bombard Lebanon in 1984 and missed its targets by as much as 10,000 yards. In fact, it didn't hit anything it aimed at.

Really? I was there and dispute this idea!


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