The supposed hit to Scharnhorst's boiler room

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alecsandros
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Re: The supposed hit to Scharnhorst's boiler room

Post by alecsandros » Wed Sep 09, 2015 11:42 am

pgollin wrote:Dave,

What Boiler hit ?

This is the problem, there are lots of theories (with few facts). We know that there was an observed hit. We know that there was a "thump" (whether it was associated with that hit, another hit or no hit we DON'T know). And we know there was a slow-down.

Almost anything else is supposition.
Could it be a damage caused by a direct hit to the funnel uptakes ? They were not armored against 14" fire, and could lead to rapid speed drop, followed by a return to speed.

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Re: The supposed hit to Scharnhorst's boiler room

Post by Dave Saxton » Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:18 pm

pgollin wrote:Dave,

What Boiler hit ?

This is the problem, there are lots of theories (with few facts). We know that there was an observed hit. We know that there was a "thump" (whether it was associated with that hit, another hit or no hit we DON'T know). And we know there was a slow-down.

Almost anything else is supposition.
This is what I have been trying to point out. The boiler room penetration theory, with variation, is so popular in the secondary literature that it has become a matter of fact, with out a fact to back it up.
alecsandros wrote: Could it be a damage caused by a direct hit to the funnel uptakes ? They were not armored against 14" fire, and could lead to rapid speed drop, followed by a return to speed.
We do have some information from Wilhelm Goedde. Goedde's battle station was the night optics near the admiral's bridge and he was privy to many of the communications, both on the guns circuit, and also between the ship's command and engineering:
The third turbine ceased to function because of a failure in the steam supply. (my underlining)The engine room staff worked desperately to repair the damage. The Chief Engineer reported that he hoped the break would be repaired within twenty to thirty minutes. I heard Hintze say: "Well done engine room. Officers and men thank you what you are doing!"
A failure of the steam supply to one turbine (number 3 of three) was the reason for the initial speed loss. Did a non-penetrating hit break the steam lines to turbine 3 by the force of impact? Did the steam supply just break down as it had so many times in the past? I don't know, but in my opinion the observed hit is just coincidental to this failure.

The mortal damage was delivered by torpedoes. And it was the Scharnhorst's inexplicable turn to the south that allowed the destroyers to cut the corner and deliver these torpedoes.

Helmut Backhaus on the first torpedo hit:
..then came the explosions. A tremor ran through the ship and she gave a great heave-it was like an earth quake. A short time earlier Chief Engineer Koenig had reported that he could still make 22 knots. After the explosions our speed fell dramatically, right down to 7 or 8 knots. We no longer had a chance.
And Goedde on the first torpedo hit, aft of C turret:
After about twenty minutes, getting on to seven o'clock, a torpedo struck, bringing the ship to a momentary stand still...
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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Dave Saxton
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Re: The supposed hit to Scharnhorst's boiler room

Post by Dave Saxton » Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:35 pm

Originally posted by Thorsten:
Thorsten Wahl wrote:As evidenced by the maps of Battlesummary 5 Scharnhorsts loss of velocity seemingly did not happen at around 1824 but at 1835.
as Scharnhorst was making a generous Zig-Zag in betwen 1820-1830 it loses approximately 20-30 percent speed in the main direction of movement during this time. This may be interpreted as loss of speed, but if one stretches the track of Scharnhorst the distance appears remarkably constant until approx 1830.
But in particular Scorpion and Stord could gain the most advantage from this Zig Zag Movement.

positions
blue 17:00
green 18:00
yellow 18:24
pink 18:30
orange 18:40
blue 18:50

the relative positions show that all destroyer groups could obviously profit from occasional course changes of Scharnhorst for open A-arc for the use of weapons.

Image

for map with zoom klick here
https://plus.google.com/photos/11362860 ... 4337291328
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: The supposed hit to Scharnhorst's boiler room

Post by dunmunro » Wed Sep 09, 2015 6:15 pm

alecsandros wrote:
pgollin wrote:Dave,

What Boiler hit ?

This is the problem, there are lots of theories (with few facts). We know that there was an observed hit. We know that there was a "thump" (whether it was associated with that hit, another hit or no hit we DON'T know). And we know there was a slow-down.

Almost anything else is supposition.
Could it be a damage caused by a direct hit to the funnel uptakes ? They were not armored against 14" fire, and could lead to rapid speed drop, followed by a return to speed.
Most of the survivors were from the upper positions on Scharnhorst, and a funnel hit would probably have been witnessed by at least some of the survivors.

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Re: The supposed hit to Scharnhorst's boiler room

Post by delcyros » Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:14 pm

Most of the survivors were from the upper positions on Scharnhorst, and a funnel hit would probably have been witnessed by at least some of the survivors.
Only four out of 37 survicors were from upper positions.
However, among the many inconsistencies noted by british interrogators, the following hits were reported by multiple survivors and detailed in ADM1-16833 , altough their sequence could not be reconciled (emphasized by myselfe):

[1] on the fwd. port 150mm twin mount
[2] on the aircraft hangar
[3] on the fwd starboard 150mm mounting
[4] on the starboard side near the funnel
[5] in the tween deck port comp. X
[6] battery deck port comp. IX
[7] on the fwd starboard 150mm mounting immediately before the final attack
[8] on starboard single 150mm gun
[9] on a FLAK Vierling

In addition to them, a number of hits whiches sequence was known have been recorded:
[1] hit on Crows nest around 09:25-09:30
[2] dud landing on portside between after twin 105mm DP at 12:15
[3] hit on starboard tween deck making a .5m hole in upper(?) side belt shortly after 16:50
[4] hit on A-turret causing a magzine fire shortly after 17:00

Notice a boiler hit or boiler hump hit was not among the hits confirmed by the survivors but a funnel base hit was, even though it´s particular chronological position remains to be unknown. Interesting.

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Re: The supposed hit to Scharnhorst's boiler room

Post by Dave Saxton » Sat Jan 09, 2016 11:42 pm

The angle of fall is only about a max 17* of any hit. It would explode after travelling at the least 13 meters. A funnel based hit is going to pass over the vitals including the hump, and maybe out the port side. I can't see that shutting down steam supply to a starboard turbine room. I can't see it cutting off fresh air supply to any boiler or the exhausting of spent gasses. We don't have indication that such things happened.
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: The supposed hit to Scharnhorst's boiler room

Post by alecsandros » Sun Jan 10, 2016 4:54 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:The angle of fall is only about a max 17* of any hit. It would explode after travelling at the least 13 meters. A funnel based hit is going to pass over the vitals including the hump, and maybe out the port side. I can't see that shutting down steam supply to a starboard turbine room. I can't see it cutting off fresh air supply to any boiler or the exhausting of spent gasses. We don't have indication that such things happened.
... In the cases of RM Giulio Caesare and IJN Musashi, explosions at the funnel base caused exhaust fumes to fill inside spaces and force the crew out of machinery spaces. Giulio Caesare took a British 15" projectile with similar fuze settings as the 14" projectile used by Duke of York. Musashi received 1 x 227kg SAP bomb in the same general area.

In both cases, but especialy visible in Caesare, the speed reduction following the funnel hit was substantial...

Sure, we don't have reports about such damage being suffered by Scharnhorst.
But then again we have very few reports from Scharnhorst...

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Re: The supposed hit to Scharnhorst's boiler room

Post by dunmunro » Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:58 pm

delcyros wrote:
Most of the survivors were from the upper positions on Scharnhorst, and a funnel hit would probably have been witnessed by at least some of the survivors.
Only four out of 37 survicors were from upper positions.
However, among the many inconsistencies noted by british interrogators, the following hits were reported by multiple survivors and detailed in ADM1-16833 , altough their sequence could not be reconciled (emphasized by myselfe):

[1] on the fwd. port 150mm twin mount
[2] on the aircraft hangar
[3] on the fwd starboard 150mm mounting
[4] on the starboard side near the funnel
[5] in the tween deck port comp. X
[6] battery deck port comp. IX
[7] on the fwd starboard 150mm mounting immediately before the final attack
[8] on starboard single 150mm gun
[9] on a FLAK Vierling

In addition to them, a number of hits whiches sequence was known have been recorded:
[1] hit on Crows nest around 09:25-09:30
[2] dud landing on portside between after twin 105mm DP at 12:15
[3] hit on starboard tween deck making a .5m hole in upper(?) side belt shortly after 16:50
[4] hit on A-turret causing a magzine fire shortly after 17:00

Notice a boiler hit or boiler hump hit was not among the hits confirmed by the survivors but a funnel base hit was, even though it´s particular chronological position remains to be unknown. Interesting.
Of the 36 survivors, 8 were from engineering or repair parties. 2 were from magazine hoists and the rest were stationed above the weather deck. 6 of those stationed above the weather deck were in main or secondary turrets.

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Re: The supposed hit to Scharnhorst's boiler room

Post by delcyros » Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:59 pm

At the strong target inclination, hits wouldn´t traverse the ship from beam to beam but from aftwardships to further forward.
A funnel base hit, exploding in the interdeck space between main and upper armour deck thus is plausible.
A boiler hump hit is not -the target angle would be too high, plus the shell would have to traverse a lot of upper structure fuzing the shell before it glances off the hump.

I found it interesting that the little evidence of the survivors indeed included a funnel base hit. The interrogators considered this hit as certain, given confirming statements from survivors. We don´t know whether or not this event fits with the slowing down of SCHARNHORST, the survivors connected the event with torpedo hits instead. And the exact chronological sequence of the funnel base hit was not determined.

edit.: a server error prevents uploading of the source.

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Re: The supposed hit to Scharnhorst's boiler room

Post by dunmunro » Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:01 pm

It's an interesting hypothesis that deserves further study.

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Re: The supposed hit to Scharnhorst's boiler room

Post by lynn1212 » Thu Feb 04, 2016 6:13 pm

how about the shock of a hit jar something in the drive system that would slow the ship but could be restored fairly easily. electrical feed pumps or a safety shut off valve for example

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Re: The supposed hit to Scharnhorst's boiler room

Post by Ex-Nuke » Thu Mar 24, 2016 5:29 am

Greetings, I used to work with steam plants in the Navy. From what I am reading here it's seems that the Scharnhorse was having issues while answering flank bells. Here are some possibilities:

Turbine over-speed trip: As simple as sending too much power to the turbines. Could be excacerbated by heavy seas, cavitation, etc.

Bearing over-temp: Doubtful as only that driveline would be slowed. However due to the inferior screw and rudder layout they may have been required to stop or slow all shafts to maintain steerage and hence guns on target.

Steamline rupture: Again, only one engineroom would be shut-down but procedures may necessitate slowing all shafts to maintain heading.

Condenser fouling leading to low vacuum and or positive pressure in a condenser and potentially triggering a safety feature or even an actual rupture of a condenser.

Lube oil ruptures

Loss of electrical power: Doubtful with so many systems on board, but a major fire could take down entire switchboards leaving only half the pumps running.

Fuel oil fire: Had to shut down the pumps to repair the leak.

With one shaft out of service she was likely only capable of a certain speed and still maintain directional control.

That's just a few ideas. However the common theme is likely having to reduce output on the remaining shafts to maintain steerage.

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Re: The supposed hit to Scharnhorst's boiler room

Post by Steve Crandell » Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:52 pm

Interesting ideas and a number of reasons for reduced propulsion power.

However, I don't understand why it would be necessary to reduce speed to retain steerage. Ever. The faster you go, the more effective a given rudder is at maintaining course, right?

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Re: The supposed hit to Scharnhorst's boiler room

Post by frontkampfer » Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:18 pm

Ex-Nuke,

Some of the best explanations I've seen. Thanks!
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Re: The supposed hit to Scharnhorst's boiler room

Post by Dave Saxton » Sun Mar 27, 2016 1:26 am

frontkampfer wrote:Ex-Nuke,

Some of the best explanations I've seen. Thanks!
Yes, and they are fairly consistent with the reports of some survivors that it was broken steam pipes. These reports are not mere supposition or opinions that can be easily dismissed.
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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