Battle reports

From the Washington Naval Treaty to the end of the Second World War.
paul.mercer
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Battle reports

Post by paul.mercer » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:04 pm

Gentlemen,
We are all aware of the various theories and statements put out by eye witnesses from various ranks to the Hood/PoW and Rodney/KGV battles against Bismarck and of course the other famous battle DoY v Scharnhorst regarding the failure or part failure of some of the 14" guns during those battles. The question is this, are any of these statements taken from the official reports of the battles (presumably by the Captains) or are they still suppressed by our secretive Ministry of Defence?

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paulcadogan
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Re: Battle reports

Post by paulcadogan » Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:29 am

Hello Paul,

I don't know if reports from KGV and DoY are available online, but the "official" details of PoW's gunnery certainly are:

PoW's Gunnery Aspects report: http://www.hmshood.org.uk/reference/off ... 09guns.htm

Paul
Qui invidet minor est - He who envies is the lesser man

pg55555
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Re: Battle reports

Post by pg55555 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:21 am

.

The main problems in 1941 were weaknesses of the linkage for the fail-safe mechanisms (roughly related to the mechanical interlocks of railway signal-boxes).

The problem has been grossly exaggerated because no battleship would expect a 100% output when firing at speed (this was PARTLY exaggerated in the RN by firing at set intervals rather than when guns were ready which would mean that a firing opportunity might be lost for the sake of a second or two).

DOY at North Cape actually did very well considering the sea state - the worst problem was a shell jumping out of the mechanism in Y-turret which considering the RN systems were fully powered and mechanism is quite amazing, other countries which employed manual handling via capstans might possibly have had a much worse time.

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paul.mercer
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Re: Battle reports

Post by paul.mercer » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:04 pm

Hi Paul,
Many thanks for the info, I went into the site you suggested and read it all, it seems to me - as a non expert, that PoW had an awful lot of problems and not only with her guns, some of which I think occurred on KGV (it was lucky that old Rodney was there!) I also find it difficult to believe that the RN could design and build brand new battleships that had vital areas flooding in rough seas as well as badly designed guns. I wonder if DoY had the same problems at North Cape, as I am sure that I read somewhere that the class were regarded as 'wet ships'?

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paulcadogan
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Re: Battle reports

Post by paulcadogan » Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:10 pm

paul.mercer wrote: I also find it difficult to believe that the RN could design and build brand new battleships that had vital areas flooding in rough seas as well as badly designed guns. I wonder if DoY had the same problems at North Cape, as I am sure that I read somewhere that the class were regarded as 'wet ships'?
Interestingly, the sea state in the DS was not that rough, at least not anywhere near the conditions in the Biscay area 3 days later, but the high speed of the ships kicked up a lot of spray which fogged the optical range finders on the turrets ( and Hood's main RF on the conning tower). The fact that water was pouring into PoW's shell-handling areas is a testament to how much. There could also have been collapsing spray from the splashes of the hail of shells that fell around her from both German ships after Hood was sunk.

It is likely KGV would have had similar problems, but I'd certainly hope that DoY had the necessary drainage installed as a result of the experience!
Qui invidet minor est - He who envies is the lesser man

Thorsten Wahl
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Re: Battle reports

Post by Thorsten Wahl » Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:02 pm

paul.mercer wrote:Gentlemen,
We are all aware of the various theories and statements put out by eye witnesses from various ranks to the Hood/PoW and Rodney/KGV battles against Bismarck and of course the other famous battle DoY v Scharnhorst regarding the failure or part failure of some of the 14" guns during those battles. The question is this, are any of these statements taken from the official reports of the battles (presumably by the Captains) or are they still suppressed by our secretive Ministry of Defence?
Bismarck reports
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/cata ... mage1.y=12
Main
(Battle Summary) No.5: chase and sinking of German battleship Bismarck 23-27 May 1941


Scharnhorst reports
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/cata ... mage1.y=11
Main
Battle Summary No 24: Sinking of the SCHARNHORST 1944
Meine Herren, es kann ein siebenjähriger, es kann ein dreißigjähriger Krieg werden – und wehe dem, der zuerst die Lunte in das Pulverfaß schleudert!

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