Italian main armament

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paul.mercer
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Italian main armament

Postby paul.mercer » Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:25 pm

Gentlemen,
Have just finished reading about the war in the Med and the capabilities of the Italian battleships, it said that there was considerable amount of dispersion of their main guns when firing at long range. Would they have been able to correct this without taking the whole turret to pieces in dock?
Also, later in the war we sent a convoy escorted by Nelson, Rodney, PoW and Ark Royal which the Italians hoped to counter by sending no less than 5 battleships against them. It never happened, but if they had met in battle, any bets on the result?

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Dave Saxton
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Re: Italian main armament

Postby Dave Saxton » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:04 pm

The dispersion problem was mainly poor quality control in the production of the ammunition-both the shells and the charges- rather than the construction of the mountings. The higher the muzzle velocity the more exact to spec the ammunition needs to be.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

Byron Angel
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Re: Italian main armament

Postby Byron Angel » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:22 pm

..... See Bagnasco and de Toro's book "The Littorio Class". It covers the gunnery and ballistics issues in some good detail.

B

paul.mercer
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Re: Italian main armament

Postby paul.mercer » Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:34 pm

paul.mercer wrote:Gentlemen,
Have just finished reading about the war in the Med and the capabilities of the Italian battleships, it said that there was considerable amount of dispersion of their main guns when firing at long range. Would they have been able to correct this without taking the whole turret to pieces in dock?
Also, later in the war we sent a convoy escorted by Nelson, Rodney, PoW and Ark Royal which the Italians hoped to counter by sending no less than 5 battleships against them. It never happened, but if they had met in battle, any bets on the result?


Thanks for your replies, I'll see if I can read the book mentioned.
Any ideas on my second question re RN and Italian battle fleets meeting up?

Byron Angel
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Re: Italian main armament

Postby Byron Angel » Sun Jun 21, 2015 6:49 pm

Paul -

> When a/c get involved, it's a total toss-up for me; no idea how to make an intelligent assessment of likely outcome.

> If a daytime surface action, I don't see any dramatic difference in efficiency displayed at the end of the day. Neither side really displayed any "go for the throat" aggression. The British were often fighting from a position of numerical inferiority and were careful as to how hard they got stuck into a fight. The Italians OTOH seemed equally conservative from a (politically driven?) fleet preservation point of view. Bagnasco and de Toro, once again, are good in presenting the Italian side of the various Med operations.

> If a night surface action should occur, DEFINITE British superiority.

Strictly my opinion, of course.

B

Bill Jurens
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Re: Italian main armament

Postby Bill Jurens » Thu Nov 05, 2015 6:37 am

Even fairly large changes in projectile weight would not affect accuracy that much. A heavier shell decreases initial velocity somewhat, but this factor is usually nearly cancelled out due to the fact that the heavier shell 'carries' better, i.e. has a higher ballistic coefficient.

I've studied these sorts of problems a lot, and my general opinion is that that errors in accuracy are almost certainly due to differences in initial velocity from gun to gun. In no particular order, the most likely causes of this are:

1) Erratic tube to tube wear patterns.

3) Poor control of propellant formulation, and/or mixing of propellant lots.

3) Excessively high initial velocities.

Bill Jurens


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