Flooding magazines

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paul.mercer
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Flooding magazines

Postby paul.mercer » Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:04 pm

Gentlemen,
There has been mentions of ships 'flooding their magazines' due to a fire but then pumping them out, would this not make all the shells and cordite to damp to fire?

Garyt
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Re: Flooding magazines

Postby Garyt » Sat Aug 29, 2015 1:03 am

Yes indeed it would make them unusable. But the ship would have a separate magazine usually for every turret of the main armament. Not to mention flooded magazines are preferred to exploding magazines! :D

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Dave Saxton
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Re: Flooding magazines

Postby Dave Saxton » Sat Aug 29, 2015 2:05 pm

Kriegsmarine/Krupp used main charges in a brass or metal "cartridge". There was a small bagged "fore charge". The fore charge allowed for small deviation in the space of the gun chamber. The sliding breech was sealed by expansion of the metal cartridge when it was fired. The cartridge was then ejected out the back of the turret. The fore charges (and possibly the main charge cartridges but I don't recall) were kept inside metal containers until ready for use.

Even with fully bagged charges and interrupted screw breech design, in many cases the bags were kept inside of metal containers until ready for use down in the magazines.
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tommy303
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Re: Flooding magazines

Postby tommy303 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:58 am

Cloth bagged charges were normally kept, as Dave suggested, in flashtight cannisters within the magazines. These would have provided protection from flooding. The same with German fore charges. German main charges were metal cased with the end sealed by a brass cap, although how waterproof that was is debatable.

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frontkampfer
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Re: Flooding magazines

Postby frontkampfer » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:46 am

I saw powder canisters on both USS Missouri & New Jersey. Did not the US keep them in the canisters till passed into the scuttle for hoisting up to the turrets?
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Dave Saxton
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Re: Flooding magazines

Postby Dave Saxton » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:59 pm

frontkampfer wrote:I saw powder canisters on both USS Missouri & New Jersey. Did not the US keep them in the canisters till passed into the scuttle for hoisting up to the turrets?


That is correct. From a photo caption from Muir:

..Each canister holds three bagged charges...it is essential to keep charges in air tight containers; otherwise the ether and alcohol mixture will evaporate, and the performance of the powder will be adversely affected. Worse, the loss of these volatile elements leaves a powder with high, rather than low, explosive characteristic; that is a powder that will explode rather than burn. The result would be a ballistically dangerous substance that might explode the gun.
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.

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tommy303
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Re: Flooding magazines

Postby tommy303 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:17 pm

In addition, bagged charges normally had a cloth envelope or pad sewn onto the end of the charge . This contained an igniter charge of several hundred grams of black powder which enhanced the action of the primer when the gun was fired, insuring that the fairly weak flash from the primer ignite the charge. While the main propellant, cordite, USN NC, German RP, etc. was fairly insensitive to all but the most sustained and intense flash, the igniter pads were not and keeping the charges in flashtight cannisters whilst in the magazines helped minimize accidental ignition from flash reaching the magazines. In German charges, the igniter pads were protected by the brass case of the main cartridge. In fore charges, the body of the charge was made of a sheet of rolled propellant with a rolled propellant central igniter tube running down the long axis (this tube, being internal, was not as vulnerable to flash as the end pads of USN and RN bagged charges). The propellant charge itself was stacked around the central tube and the ends of the charge sealed with a disks made of sheet propellant glued on. The whole was covered in cloth and the ends equipped with removable brass 'bumpers' to protect the charge during handling.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood and Earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned these defended;
And saved the sum of things for pay.

paul.mercer
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Re: Flooding magazines

Postby paul.mercer » Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:52 pm

Gentlemen,
Many thanks for all your info, I presume the actual shells would probably still be OK?


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