Destroyers vs. battleships - Comprehensive list from WW2 (al

From the Washington Naval Treaty to the end of the Second World War.
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Re: Destroyers vs. battleships - Comprehensive list from WW2

Post by Paul L » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:12 pm

Based on the approximate hit rate AGS achieved she had enough ammo remaining to do to the Cumberland what she had already done to the Exeter. I have read that enaging all opponents is part of German doctrine so the 5.9" at least filled that role. How much better shooting could the main battery have gotten without having to constantly shift targets ?
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Re: Destroyers vs. battleships - Comprehensive list from WW2

Post by tommy303 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:22 pm

How much better shooting could the main battery have gotten without having to constantly shift targets ?
Quite a bit better actuallly. When you shift target to a whole new bearing you have to range on and acquire the target. Once acquired and straddled, one fires for effect. The longer you can remain on target the better for you chances of hitting. If you suddenly are ordered to shift target back to another vessel, you have to go through the whole ranging process again, making corrections based on fall of shot, refining enemy course and speed estimates. There is little doubt that Langsdorff's interference with the fire control direction caused a degrading in AGS's gunnery effectiveness.

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Re: Destroyers vs. battleships - Comprehensive list from WW2

Post by RF » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:50 pm

All down to the wrong tactics Langsdorf employed in the first place - in rushing in and closing the range. Exeter could and should have been sunk had he not rushed in but instead concentrated his fire on her.
On the other hand it could be argued that Krancke in the Scheer made the opposite mistake in the convoy attack when he was held up by the Jervis Bay. Had he rushed in and made full use of all his firepower against multiple targets then far more than five merchantman should have been sunk, as the convoy would have had far less time to scatter.
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Re: Destroyers vs. battleships - Comprehensive list from WW2

Post by tommy303 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:26 pm

If I understand correctly, Langsdorff was a torpedo tactics expert, and that may be why he preferred to fight closer in than might have been wise--trying to get the cruisers into effective range of his torpedoes.

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Re: Destroyers vs. battleships - Comprehensive list from WW2

Post by t-geronimo » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:51 am

In an analysis by the German supreme naval command (SKL - Seekriegsleitung) the way Langsdorff fought the second part of the battle (the battle against the Light Cruisers) was criticized in the way that the own choice of courses was not the optimum.
It was said that as a support for the own artillery the ship must go on a steady course as long as possible and that only the interference by a real and obvious danger of torpedoes justifies the change of courses.
Here it is indirectly said that Langsdorff ordered too much changes of courses and by that hampered his own batteries.

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Re: Destroyers vs. battleships - Comprehensive list from WW2

Post by Paul L » Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:21 am

I thought to get a good Torpedo shot you maneuver to gain a lead on the target. The Two CLs trailed AGS the whole battle even though they could exceed his top speed [24knots?] by at least 5 knots. Where was the threat?
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Re: Destroyers vs. battleships - Comprehensive list from WW2

Post by wadinga » Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:30 pm

All,

Langsdorff would have to be an expert to get a hit with only three shots per side: Scheer had difficulty sinking a helpless merchantman with hers and both ships were standing still! :?

The whole destroyers vs battleships business comes down to how effective surface launched torpedoes are against surface vessels, and the general answer is not very. In most cases cases the attacker has to get within 5,000 yds and preferably much less. Faced with reasonable gunnery this is extremely unlikely and very unlikely if the capital ship has a screen.
Against a high speed warship target the beam attack deflection might need to be 45 degrees and whereas the mass destroyer attacks of the Jutland era had a 10-14 knot speed advantage to get ahead of the battleline (Paul L is spot on here) to help with this, by WWII the speed differential was much less. There were fewer targets, and fewer attackers. Thhere was still only one torpedo hit at Jutland.

The Solomons campaign slewed things somewhat as night allowed some sneak attacks, and the "Long Lance" was not really a torpedo based on other combatants' standards, more like Underwater Exocet. :shock: The best chance was to get in close at night against an unwitting foe and as radar improved this became increasingly unlikely.

Against a slowed Bismarck, Vian got no hits and it took many attackers and torpedoes in an anvil style attack at North Cape against a screenless target with an ineffectual secondary armament to get success.

Acasta got her torpedo hit at short range according to the man who fired the torpedo, since she had got in close under a smoke screen.

Dave, I thought we established the claims for radar controlled first salvo hits by Hipper against Achates were thoroughly discredited a year ago, by evidence from Achates' survivors amongst others. I guess it looked good in Hipper's after action report, from a ship crippled in action as part of a powerful force driven off by a much a weaker one. (Small crumb of comfort?).

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Re: Destroyers vs. battleships - Comprehensive list from WW2

Post by ede144 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:22 pm

Langsdorff would have to be an expert to get a hit with only three shots per side: Scheer had difficulty sinking a helpless merchantman with hers and both ships were standing still!
I'm sure, that it is a difference to fire at a merchant man with unknown load and a man of war.
In general however you are right. It was difficult to get a torpedo attack through. On the other hand we should not take to much effort that BS did not sink any of Vians destroyers, I suppose if they really tried they would.

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ede

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Re: Destroyers vs. battleships - Comprehensive list from WW2

Post by Serg » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:18 pm

wadinga wrote:Acasta got her torpedo hit at short range according to the man who fired the torpedo, since she had got in close under a smoke screen.
In 1973 Austin wrote the book in cooperation with Nick Carter, "the man who hit Scharnhorst". Actually according to p54 after firing torpedo salvo under local control (!!!, so range was really short) "Nick could see German ships now. One loomed big, the other appeared smaller. He guessed they must be something over THREE MILES away. Too bloody close by far." But it was the first torpedo salvo which missed target. And on p62 we can read "later, in his report, admiral Marshall wrote that the destroyer fired a salvo from about 15,400 yards which was observed from the Scharnhorst. But the battle-cruiser's avoiding action was too short, he said, "as regards the time factor", and he put this down to "lack of practise, and consequently experience...". BTW, according to "Glorious" by Winton Acasta fired her first salvo at 8,000 yds and the second at 13,000 yds.

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Re: Destroyers vs. battleships - Comprehensive list from WW2

Post by wadinga » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:40 pm

Hi Serg and all,

According to Korvettenkapitan Schubert First Officer Scharnhorst: "The destroyer with the carrier closed to attack the battleship force, and at a very close range (insert your own guess here :D ) fired torpedoes at the battleships which took evasive action. At this stage of the battle, at about the time of the carrier capsizing, Scharnhorst received a torpedo hit....." quoted in Geir Haarr The Battle for Norway

Admiral Marschall might have believed he saw some torpedoes fired at 15,400 yds but since Campbell Naval Weapons of WWII gives the absolute maximum range of the Mk IX with which Acasta was equipped as either 13,000yds for the early version (most likely in A class) and 15,000 for the later ** version the Admiral was quite possibly wrong.

I have the same quote for Nick Carter but without the 3 mile guess (6,000yds) included. Incidentally, if Marschall were correct, since a 30 knot torpedo (long range setting) travels c.1012 yds in a minute, Carter would have to have guessed where his target would be in a quarter of an hour or Scharnhorst would have to helpfully cut the distance to run herself by heading straight towards the oncoming weapon after seeing it launched, instead of taking immediate evasive action, which is surely more likely.

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Re: Destroyers vs. battleships - Comprehensive list from WW2

Post by RF » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:26 pm

tommy303 wrote:If I understand correctly, Langsdorff was a torpedo tactics expert, and that may be why he preferred to fight closer in than might have been wise--trying to get the cruisers into effective range of his torpedoes.
The German accounts, such as that of Rasenack, make no mention of AGS preparing for torpedo attack; however Rasenack does mention that AGS had to dodge 10 alleged torpedoes that in fact the British/NZ ships never fired at her.
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Re: Destroyers vs. battleships - Comprehensive list from WW2

Post by RF » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:33 pm

ede144 wrote: . It was difficult to get a torpedo attack through. On the other hand we should not take to much effort that BS did not sink any of Vians destroyers, I suppose if they really tried they would.
I'm not clear as to what this is intended to mean.... would you elaborate please?
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Re: Destroyers vs. battleships - Comprehensive list from WW2

Post by Serg » Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:51 pm

wadinga wrote:Hi Serg and all,

According to Korvettenkapitan Schubert First Officer Scharnhorst: "The destroyer with the carrier closed to attack the battleship force, and at a very close range (insert your own guess here :D ) fired torpedoes at the battleships which took evasive action. At this stage of the battle, at about the time of the carrier capsizing, Scharnhorst received a torpedo hit....." quoted in Geir Haarr The Battle for Norway

Admiral Marschall might have believed he saw some torpedoes fired at 15,400 yds but since Campbell Naval Weapons of WWII gives the absolute maximum range of the Mk IX with which Acasta was equipped as either 13,000yds for the early version (most likely in A class) and 15,000 for the later ** version the Admiral was quite possibly wrong.

I have the same quote for Nick Carter but without the 3 mile guess (6,000yds) included. Incidentally, if Marschall were correct, since a 30 knot torpedo (long range setting) travels c.1012 yds in a minute, Carter would have to have guessed where his target would be in a quarter of an hour or Scharnhorst would have to helpfully cut the distance to run herself by heading straight towards the oncoming weapon after seeing it launched, instead of taking immediate evasive action, which is surely more likely.

All the best

wadinga
Good evening Wadinga!
So you found another quote from Nick Carter in vol2 by Haar? "The order came over the phone that we going into 8,000 yards to get effective firing range and that we were going to have a torpedo attack and set Nos. 2,3,6 and 7 torpedos to "W" and these were the four torpedos we fired..." But I slightly confused as to what target he aiming. According to map (Warship International) nearest battleship was Gneisenau not Scharnhorst. Also according to log of Scharnhorst before torpedo hit she signaled "Unable to maintain speed owing to defect in engine room. Able to proceed at 28.5 knots." Seems Mr.Haar wrong about aiming for the Scharnhorst. And 6-8,000 yds actually range to flagship, not Scharnhorst.
Image
It's not impossible, the map showing that the Scharnhorst heading almost towards the torpedo.

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Re: Destroyers vs. battleships - Comprehensive list from WW2

Post by ede144 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:12 pm

RF wrote:
ede144 wrote: . It was difficult to get a torpedo attack through. On the other hand we should not take to much effort that BS did not sink any of Vians destroyers, I suppose if they really tried they would.
I'm not clear as to what this is intended to mean.... would you elaborate please?
I tried to explain that it could be very difficult to sink a merchant ship with unknown cargo. I remember a story where the cargo of a ship was plain wood, which made it nearly impossible to sink it. On the other hand warships, are relatively predictable, because you mostly know their cargo.

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ede

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Re: Destroyers vs. battleships - Comprehensive list from WW2

Post by Paul L » Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:27 am

Serg wrote:
wadinga wrote:Hi Serg and all,


Good evening Wadinga!
So you found another quote from Nick Carter in vol2 by Haar? "The order came over the phone that we going into 8,000 yards to get effective firing range and that we were going to have a torpedo attack and set Nos. 2,3,6 and 7 torpedos to "W" and these were the four torpedos we fired..." But I slightly confused as to what target he aiming. According to map (Warship International) nearest battleship was Gneisenau not Scharnhorst. Also according to log of Scharnhorst before torpedo hit she signaled "Unable to maintain speed owing to defect in engine room. Able to proceed at 28.5 knots." Seems Mr.Haar wrong about aiming for the Scharnhorst. And 6-8,000 yds actually range to flagship, not Scharnhorst.
Image
It's not impossible, the map showing that the Scharnhorst heading almost towards the torpedo.

Looking at the map of this clash it looks like the Glorious speed increases from 24 to 30 knots takes the warship 1 hour! Is that right?
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