8-inch Heavy cruiser Longest Gunfire Hit

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José M. Rico
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8-inch Heavy cruiser Longest Gunfire Hit

Post by José M. Rico » Sat Oct 31, 2009 8:49 pm

We know that Warspite and Scharnhorst both share the honor to have obtained the longest hits in the battleship category, but does anybody know what was the longest gunfire hit achieved by 8-inch heavy cruisers? Right now I can only think of Canarias hitting Ferrándiz from about 19,000 meters (20,800 yards) during the Spanish Civil War. Could this be the longest?

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Re: 8-inch Heavy cruiser Longest Gunfire Hit

Post by winterfell » Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:28 pm

Without detailed research HMS Exeter is coming to my mind. Maybe those hits weren’t the longest 8-inch hits in history but they may have some chances for the second place. Anyway it is interesting because Exeter itself was both the ship that was hitting and being hit.

Battle of River Plate.
Exeter hit Graf Spee in battle in which (according to Wikipedia) fire was commenced at distance of 19 000 yards (17 300 meters). However I don’t know the exact distance at the moment.

Battle of Java Sea
HMS Exeter had received the only one 8-inch hit secured by any of four heavy cruisers taking part in the battle. Again I’m not able to provide the distance but I vaguely remember that distance during the bigger part of the battle was quite big as Allied 6-inch cruisers were unable to take an effective participation in the fight.

Finally Prinz Eugen is another contender for the second place as she was able to hit Hood form distance of about 15 kilometers.
Last edited by winterfell on Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 8-inch Heavy cruiser Longest Gunfire Hit

Post by winterfell » Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:48 pm

I have just checked some facts and it seems that Prinz Eugen may be a winner. According to Antonio Bonomi ("The Denmark Strait Battle") Prinz Eugen might have achived his the first hit on Hood from distance of about 19 000 meters (20 800 yards). It isn't directly stated in the analysis but there is information that later during the battle (when distance was still closing) Prinz Eugen was 18 000 meters (19 800 yards) from Hood.

Maybe Antonio, who seems to be visiting this forum, will be able to clarify it.

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Re: 8-inch Heavy cruiser Longest Gunfire Hit

Post by Bgile » Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:53 pm

I believe Maya hit Salt Lake City at a range of 22,000 yds during the Komandorski Islands battle.

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Re: 8-inch Heavy cruiser Longest Gunfire Hit

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:48 pm

Curious about the BBs and HC longest hits: which of these were in debt to radar directed fire control?
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Re: 8-inch Heavy cruiser Longest Gunfire Hit

Post by RF » Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:02 pm

winterfell wrote:Without detailed research HMS Exeter is coming to my mind. Maybe those hits weren’t the longest 8-inch hits in history but they may have some chances for the second place. Anyway it is interesting because Exeter itself was both the ship that was hitting and being hit.

Battle of River Plate.
Exeter hit Graf Spee in battle in which (according to Wikipedia) fire was commenced at distance of 19 000 yards (17 300 meters). However I don’t know the exact distance at the moment.
Exeter had to wait some three minutes after AGS opened fire on her before firing herself, and then did not hit immediately. I would suspect that the two hits by Exeter would be more like say 17,000 yards than 19,000.

Restricting the discussion for a moment to British heavy cruisers, I believe that Devonshire hit Atlantis at a range of 16,000 yards on 22 November 1941, possibly taking second place to Exeter.
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Re: 8-inch Heavy cruiser Longest Gunfire Hit

Post by Dave Saxton » Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:27 pm

Hipper hit the destroyer Achates with it's first salvo upon re-engaging it at 11:17 hours from a range of over 18,000 meters. These salvos were radar directed. Secondary sources differ, but a carefully reconstructed battlemap done by the West German Bundesmarine in 1983 based on available primary documents indicates a range of just over 18km.
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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Re: 8-inch Heavy cruiser Longest Gunfire Hit

Post by Bgile » Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:48 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:Hipper hit the destroyer Achates with it's first salvo upon re-engaging it at 11:17 hours from a range of over 18,000 meters. These salvos were radar directed. Secondary sources differ, but a carefully reconstructed battlemap done by the West German Bundesmarine in 1983 based on available primary documents indicates a range of just over 18km.
That's pretty amazing. Straddling wouldn't surprise me, but I'd think a hit would be pretty lucky against a destroyer at that range, at least with only one salvo. Did she get hits on subsequent salvoes?

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Re: 8-inch Heavy cruiser Longest Gunfire Hit

Post by RF » Mon Nov 02, 2009 6:09 pm

Jose,

Are you also considering land targets in this?

My question is prompted by the Lutzow (11 inch guns but then classed as a heavy cruiser) destroying hundreds of Soviet tanks at up to ranges of 15 miles inland.
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Re: 8-inch Heavy cruiser Longest Gunfire Hit

Post by tommy303 » Mon Nov 02, 2009 6:11 pm

I believe Achates was hit by several other shells from Hipper and subsequently sank at about 1330

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Re: 8-inch Heavy cruiser Longest Gunfire Hit

Post by RF » Mon Nov 02, 2009 6:11 pm

Bgile wrote: That's pretty amazing. Straddling wouldn't surprise me, but I'd think a hit would be pretty lucky against a destroyer at that range, at least with only one salvo. Did she get hits on subsequent salvoes?
I presume so as the Achates was battered into a wreck.
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Re: 8-inch Heavy cruiser Longest Gunfire Hit

Post by RF » Mon Nov 02, 2009 6:12 pm

Beaten to the gun by tommy!!!!!!!
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Re: 8-inch Heavy cruiser Longest Gunfire Hit

Post by dunmunro » Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:22 pm

I'm fairly certain that the longest 8" hit was made by the IJN at Java Sea, at a range well over 20k yds. This sounds impressive, but IIRC, both side fired close to 1000 rds and only scored a few hits. The RM also made some 8" hits at fairly long range as well.

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Re: 8-inch Heavy cruiser Longest Gunfire Hit

Post by Dave Saxton » Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:56 pm

tommy303 wrote:I believe Achates was hit by several other shells from Hipper and subsequently sank at about 1330
Yes, Hipper scored several times in the next few minutes. It then shifted fire to the Obdient and was preoccupied with that task at the time that they were surprized by Burnette's cruisers intervening from the north.

The Hippers shooting wasn't a fluke. This was the second time that the Achates had been nailed by an opening salvo from Hipper. After, the German and British destroyers began exchanging salvoes just before 0930, Kummetz re-called his destroyers so that the Hippers gunners could better discriminate between friend and foe. At about 0940 the Hipper opened a accurate set of salvoes on Achates scoring with the 1st from about 14,800 meters. Then Hipper began a period of very sporatic fire with only a few salvoes being fired at intervals. It may have developed problems with the foretop radar, or Kummetz may have been simply trying to draw the British dd's away from the convoy rather than forcing them to turn away toward the convoy, or both. After 10:00 the Hipper opened up a deadly fire on the Onslow scoring several times from about 13,000 meters.
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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Re: 8-inch Heavy cruiser Longest Gunfire Hit

Post by VeenenbergR » Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:15 pm

The Admiral Hipper was also a very succesful shooter of the big-10 of the KM.

What were the ranges against the CA Berwick? This time Hipper was also succesful!

And those against another destroyer victim, the unlucky Glowworm?

Were all ships of the Hipper class particular accurate shooters at long ranges??

In the Java Sea the IJN monsters were the deadly Nachi and Haguro?

And the US 8 inch cruisers in the Surigao Strait against Fuso and Yamashiro?

R.

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