WW1 HMS Inflexible vs WW2 KMS Prinz Eugen

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RF
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WW1 HMS Inflexible vs WW2 KMS Prinz Eugen

Post by RF » Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:36 am

This section of the forum has been quiet for a while so how about considering a confrontation between a WW1 battlecruiser and a WW2 heavy cruiser?

Shades of the Falklands 1914 battle here?

Would the result be the same - or would the more modern ship win through?
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Re: WW1 HMS Inflexible vs WW2 KMS Prinz Eugen

Post by Iranon » Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:36 am

The Admiral Hipper class exhibited good long-range gunnery for a cruiser, and scored hits at somewhat longer range than Inflexible's updated mounts (with 16° elevation) were physically capable of. She also has enough of a speed advantage to control the range.

Not that the Germans were encouraged to try this. Facing British 15" battleships in the Scharnhorst class, Lütjens turned away from Malaya at about 24km, Hoffmann earned himself a rebuke for getting slightly closer to Ramilies.
And the Scharnhorst class should stand up reasonably well to 15" shells, which can't be said for Prinz Eugen and 12".

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Re: WW1 HMS Inflexible vs WW2 KMS Prinz Eugen

Post by RF » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:10 am

There is however a difference between a WW1 battleship and battlecruiser - namely the amount of armoured protection and the heavier 15 inch guns compared with 12 inch.
Lutjens was sticking strictly to fleet orders, this scenario was intended to be free from such impediment.
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Re: WW1 HMS Inflexible vs WW2 KMS Prinz Eugen

Post by paulcadogan » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:59 am

RF, I think Inflexible will end up "toast" in this scenario.

This is not just about gun size. This is about range, gunnery control, rate of fire, accuracy at long range.

The Prinz was very capable of accurate long range fire, with a fire control system that can handle a high rate of change of range, with radar input, and multiple rounds per minute per gun.

Inflexible on the other hand, with a WW1 FC system (Dreyer table?), historically relatively poor accuracy, a low RoF compared to PG, plus, she might have been outranged, would have a hard time scoring a deadly hit on the Prinz. Also if the quality of British shell was the same as it was at Jutland, the Prinz might have withstood any hits better than might be otherwise expected.

I'd see Inflexible getting peppered with shell hits, disabled, silenced and sunk by torpedoes. Essentially Prinz Eugen was Dogger Bank Blucher on steroids!
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Re: WW1 HMS Inflexible vs WW2 KMS Prinz Eugen

Post by dunmunro » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:12 pm

It's doubtful that PE's 20cm AP rounds are going to be able to penetrate Inflexible's armour, given moderate target inclination, unless PE gets to within 12in gun range and then bad things happen to PE as her armour will not stop even a WW1 12in RN AP or Common shell.

The other thing is that Inflexible's FC was improved dramatically by 1918 as was her ammo handling drill.

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Re: WW1 HMS Inflexible vs WW2 KMS Prinz Eugen

Post by RF » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:19 am

paulcadogan wrote: I'd see Inflexible getting peppered with shell hits, disabled, silenced and sunk by torpedoes. Essentially Prinz Eugen was Dogger Bank Blucher on steroids!
Quite possibly. Given the events at Jutland could the Prinz have the weight of shell impact to cause a major detonation within the shell handling system of Inflexible?

I have often wondered how the Falklands battle would have panned out if Hipper and Prinz Eugen had taken the place of the 'twins' or even the Scheer in place of Hipper. I devised this scenario as a watered down version of this.
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Re: WW1 HMS Inflexible vs WW2 KMS Prinz Eugen

Post by RF » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:26 am

dunmunro wrote: , unless PE gets to within 12in gun range and then bad things happen to PE as her armour will not stop even a WW1 12in RN AP or Common shell.
In 1914 it did take quite a lot of time and hits to sink the 'twins' though I suspect, from their name 'armoured cruiser' they were better armoured than the Prinz. But the Prinz would be faster and harder to hit. The River Plate battle - where a single heavy hit from the AGS 11 inch would have disabled either Ajax or Achilles - the AGS was unable to land a telling blow largely due to the superior handling of the two smaller ships.
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Re: WW1 HMS Inflexible vs WW2 KMS Prinz Eugen

Post by Dave Saxton » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:16 pm

The cruiser in such a scenario will likely use HE -at least at first. The German 8" AP had an extra large and extra heavy cap, though. De-capping or not may play a role.

On the other side of the coin, can or is the Inflexible using post Jutland munitions?
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Re: WW1 HMS Inflexible vs WW2 KMS Prinz Eugen

Post by RF » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:12 pm

I was thinking of the 1914 Inflexible (ie. Falklands battle) versus Prinz Eugen 1941 (ie. Denmark Strait battle).

Thinking about it as this is entirely hypothetical you could look at it from two distinct scenario's - firstly as above and secondly with later versions of both ships, say 1918 and 1944 respectively. How far would the two outcomes be different?
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Re: WW1 HMS Inflexible vs WW2 KMS Prinz Eugen

Post by Dave Saxton » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:07 pm

The 1914 Inflexible guns probably cannot penetrate PG's vitals at any range, because the shells will breakup when striking any armour at all at 20* or greater obliquity. The 1918 AP shells are better and could be a threat should PG's command be foolish enough to close within 20,000 yards.

Both the 1941 and the 1944 PG should be able to score hits from beyond 20,000 meters. The 44 radar had a range accuracy of 25 meters, while the 41 range accuracy was 40 meters.

The PG's 8-inch can defeat the belt of inflexible out to 25,000 yards, and I estimate it can defeat the decks from 18,000 yards.

The turrets and barbettes of Inflexible were known to be very vulnerable to flash.
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: WW1 HMS Inflexible vs WW2 KMS Prinz Eugen

Post by RF » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:46 am

Dave Saxton wrote: The turrets and barbettes of Inflexible were known to be very vulnerable to flash.
This is a key point.

Knowing the opposition has only cruiser size guns instead of battlecruiser guns the Inflexible is likely to try to maximise its rate of fire by keeping the flash doors open. This will be particulary so when the Prinz starts to straddle at long range....
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Re: WW1 HMS Inflexible vs WW2 KMS Prinz Eugen

Post by paul.mercer » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:37 am

Iranon wrote:The Admiral Hipper class exhibited good long-range gunnery for a cruiser, and scored hits at somewhat longer range than Inflexible's updated mounts (with 16° elevation) were physically capable of. She also has enough of a speed advantage to control the range.

Not that the Germans were encouraged to try this. Facing British 15" battleships in the Scharnhorst class, Lütjens turned away from Malaya at about 24km, Hoffmann earned himself a rebuke for getting slightly closer to Ramilies.
And the Scharnhorst class should stand up reasonably well to 15" shells, which can't be said for Prinz Eugen and 12".
Very true, but neither of the twins could afford to take what might be crippling hits from a15" (I believe they also turned away from Rodney)as they had no friendly port to run to. This does raise the question of what might have happened to either Norfolk, Suffolk or Sheffield if Bismarck had landed a couple of 15" on them - also if Hood had hit PE before ranging on Bismarck.
As for the survivability of WW1 capital ships, the battlecruisers were undoubtedly suspect, but we should not forget the hammering that Warspite took when her rudder jammed and she circled right under the German guns.

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Re: WW1 HMS Inflexible vs WW2 KMS Prinz Eugen

Post by Byron Angel » Tue May 01, 2018 9:39 pm

If we are discussing Inflexible in her Jutland incarnation, her director gear had so recently been installed, and was so strange and alien to the FC party that would have been tasked to employ it, that her gunnery officer opted to dispense with it and continue with the existing method of fire control. And under those methods, any hit scored beyond 12,000 yards or so was cause for celebration.

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Re: WW1 HMS Inflexible vs WW2 KMS Prinz Eugen

Post by RF » Wed May 02, 2018 6:13 pm

paul.mercer wrote: [, but we should not forget the hammering that Warspite took when her rudder jammed and she circled right under the German guns.
Warspite of course was a battleship and not a battlecruiser.
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