I agree that the 28 cm weapon was big enough for just about every application short of taking on a full sized modern battleship. In that case, however, it didn't have the required belt penetration at medium range nor the required deck penetration short of extreme ranges. Once either armor piercing projectile gets through the opponent's armor the 38 cm was far more destructive. A hit from a 38 cm will be more effective. Against unarmored or lightly protected targets the 38 cm using semi armor piercing or high explosive rounds will be far more destructive per hit. It was more likely to disable or possibly destroy the target quicker. In the case of using HE or SAP rounds, splinters from near misses against small targets would certainly cause more damage.dale3242 wrote: ↑Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:58 pm
During Scharnhorst's last mission, the battle of North Cape, she hit the Norfolk twice, but failed to hit the Duke of York even once. 38 cm guns would have decreased her chances of hitting the Duke of York. Not getting hits with bigger guns doesn't help. Better radar and radar use was needed instead.
As far as I know the 38 cm was a more accurate gun than the 28 cm. It had low dispersion and it had better over all ballistics at medium and long ranges.
The Scharnhorst had excellent radars for fire control applications. Its radars had recently been upgraded and both the forward and the aft sets had a bearing accuracy within 1/10 of a degree and a range accuracy tolerance of only 25 meters. These accuracies compare favorably with any WWII gun laying radar. What the Scharnhorst and Bey really needed was a surface search set equipped with PPI display. Such became available to German surface ships a few months later.Better radar and radar use was needed instead.
The fact that Scharnhorst only scored a handful of hits against the Duke of York*, all to the upper works, and that the Duke of York also scored only handful of hits during the 90 minute chase phase of the battle probably had to do with it being a stern chase at night in appalling weather and heavy seas. The Duke of York straddled the Scharnhorst dozens of times. Moreover, British accounts report that the Scharnhorst consistently straddled the Duke of York after the Duke of York's radar jammer was knocked out. In both cases these facts do not indicate that the fire control technology was inadequate for Duke of York or Scharnhorst.
* One hit passed through a mast knocking out one of the radars. Another passed though and through below the radar office for the Type 273 radar, temporarily knocking it out. Another possible hit to a mast may have been responsible for knocking out the radar jammer.