KGV + PoW

Discussions about the history of the ship, technical details, etc.
paul.mercer
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KGV + PoW

Post by paul.mercer » Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:46 pm

Gentlemen,
Forgive me if this question has been answered before, but as I understand it Hood, PoW and KGV were all a Scapa Flow when news of Bismarck's sortie,
had they sent KGV and PoW instead of Hood, would they have 'taken care' of Bismarck and PE?

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: KGV + PoW

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:52 pm

Hi Paul,
a most interesting question. But it should be possibly moved to the hypothetical naval scenarios session....


Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: KGV + PoW

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:23 am

Hello everybody,

@ Paul Mercer,

this is a very interesting question and historically we do have already the answer to it provided by the real history.

Probably you do know that I am writing with Robert Gehringer the story of the Tirpitz on 5 books, out of which 4 have been already published.

http://bismarck-tirpitz.com/

Well, on the book number 3, from photo 139 to photo 142, on the photo caption you have the answer to your question Paul.

Here following the story in summary for you.

We are talking Operation Sportpalast and the Tirpitz trial to attack the Convoy PQ12, with the Home Fleet ( Adm Tovey ) trying to intercept her on the way back from North Cape down to Trondheim on March 1942.

The Home Fleet ( including the convoy's escort with Adm Curteis ) was composed by the King George V, Duke of York, Renown, Victorious, the cruisers Kenya and Berwick and 12 destroyers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Sportpalast

When the Home Fleet intercepted the Tirpitz, Adm Tovey sent the Victorious torpedo bombers Farey Albacores to try to damage the Tirpitz before engaging the enemy battleship ( the usual tactic to try to damage the enemy ).

In the meantime he sent a message to the HMS Renown Captain telling him that he was going to remain with the aircraft carrier HMS Victorious and stay out of the possible enegagement ( just like happened to HMS Renown on May 27th, 1941 against the Bismarck ).

Only the King George V and the Duke of York were going to engage and get close to the Tirpitz guns, ... as the Hood lesson has been already immediately well learned by the Royal Navy Admiralty as we can realize from May 27th, 1941 promptly taken decision for the Renown.

The Victorious Farey Albacores did not damage the Tirpitz and she entered for precaution Narvik fjord, the engagement never occurred.

This occurrence confirms what you are asking, in fact after the Bismarck operation the Royal Navy issued a document with the list of the battleships that never were going to engage the Tirpitz, … basically all of them ( R class, QE's , Nelson/Rodney, Repulse and Renown ), ... leaving only to the KGV class that possibility, ... and recommanding 2 of them in case, ... never one on alone against the Tirpitz ( PoW docet ).
Churchill immediately asked Roosvelt to provide a couple of 16 inch armed fast US Navy battleships to the UK to manage the Tirptz in case on the Artic convoys route and those has been immediately provided to UK ( Ref. South Dakota, Alabama, Washington for example )
The new US battleship Iowa's were kept ready to intercept the Tirpitz if she was going to enter the Atlantic Ocean.

Does this answer your question ?

To me it does, ... after the Hood tragedy they clearly realized that it has been an error what they have decided with the Hood, ... and it should have been the other way around with KGV and PoW sent at first against the Bismarck, ... and never Hood and Repulse to be utilized against her.

In fact, they immediately provided orders and dispositions in that direction as the history do demonstrate.


Bye Antonio
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

paul.mercer
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Re: KGV + PoW

Post by paul.mercer » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:44 pm

Antonio Bonomi wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:23 am
Hello everybody,

@ Paul Mercer,

this is a very interesting question and historically we do have already the answer to it provided by the real history.

Probably you do know that I am writing with Robert Gehringer the story of the Tirpitz on 5 books, out of which 4 have been already published.

http://bismarck-tirpitz.com/

Well, on the book number 3, from photo 139 to photo 142, on the photo caption you have the answer to your question Paul.

Here following the story in summary for you.

We are talking Operation Sportpalast and the Tirpitz trial to attack the Convoy PQ12, with the Home Fleet ( Adm Tovey ) trying to intercept her on the way back from North Cape down to Trondheim on March 1942.

The Home Fleet ( including the convoy's escort with Adm Curteis ) was composed by the King George V, Duke of York, Renown, Victorious, the cruisers Kenya and Berwick and 12 destroyers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Sportpalast

When the Home Fleet intercepted the Tirpitz, Adm Tovey sent the Victorious torpedo bombers Farey Albacores to try to damage the Tirpitz before engaging the enemy battleship ( the usual tactic to try to damage the enemy ).

In the meantime he sent a message to the HMS Renown Captain telling him that he was going to remain with the aircraft carrier HMS Victorious and stay out of the possible enegagement ( just like happened to HMS Renown on May 27th, 1941 against the Bismarck ).

Only the King George V and the Duke of York were going to engage and get close to the Tirpitz guns, ... as the Hood lesson has been already immediately well learned by the Royal Navy Admiralty as we can realize from May 27th, 1941 promptly taken decision for the Renown.

The Victorious Farey Albacores did not damage the Tirpitz and she entered for precaution Narvik fjord, the engagement never occurred.

This occurrence confirms what you are asking, in fact after the Bismarck operation the Royal Navy issued a document with the list of the battleships that never were going to engage the Tirpitz, … basically all of them ( R class, QE's , Nelson/Rodney, Repulse and Renown ), ... leaving only to the KGV class that possibility, ... and recommanding 2 of them in case, ... never one on alone against the Tirpitz ( PoW docet ).
Churchill immediately asked Roosvelt to provide a couple of 16 inch armed fast US Navy battleships to the UK to manage the Tirptz in case on the Artic convoys route and those has been immediately provided to UK ( Ref. South Dakota, Alabama, Washington for example )
The new US battleship Iowa's were kept ready to intercept the Tirpitz if she was going to enter the Atlantic Ocean.

Does this answer your question ?

To me it does, ... after the Hood tragedy they clearly realized that it has been an error what they have decided with the Hood, ... and it should have been the other way around with KGV and PoW sent at first against the Bismarck, ... and never Hood and Repulse to be utilized against her.

In fact, they immediately provided orders and dispositions in that direction as the history do demonstrate.


Bye Antonio
Hi Antonio,
Many thanks indeed for your detailed reply, I'm surprised that they included the two Nelsons in that list, although of course they were very slow, but I seem to remember reading somewhere that Rodney did do a few convoys in which she might have encountered Tirpitz if she had come out to attack them. Obviously we all know about Bismarck's capabilities and could not rely on an opportune torpedo to do the same to Tirpitz, but was she in fact in any way more powerful and better armoured than Bismarck, after all she still only mounted 15" guns and it seems that she was never in the same stage of workup as Bismarck was? I can understand why the RN wanted either two KGv's or a 16" fast US battleship to make sure of the job, but it also seems that the Bismarck episode really rattled the hierarchy in the Admiralty, and it appears to show that they did not have a lot of faith in the KGV's! Looking forward to your book.

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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: KGV + PoW

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:31 am

Hello everybody,


@ Paul Mercer,

my pleasure and fun to respond to you.

Tirpitz has always been a mystery for the many.

Bismarck by far more famous while Tirpitz was more complete, powerful and perfect than Bismarck, with base same protection and main parameters anyway.

Tirpitz was better worked up than Bismarck in my opinion and by far more complete ( radar and A/A guns ) and this is the reason why Churchill wanted a daily morning report about her on his desk and called her " The beast ! ".
Every morning he was writing to Adm Pound : " What are we doing to damage or sink the Tirpitz ? ".
Sinking the Tirpitz for Churchill meant to change the European naval warfare scenario.

In my personal opinion the Royal Navy in the middle of the 30's decided to switch from battleships to aircraft carriers the technology efforts and the building priorities. To me it has been the right strategical decision with insights.

Naval political agreement needs ( Washington agreement ) generated the KGV class with the limitiations and the 14 inch quadruple turret guns.

Those battleships full of design structural problems ( quadruple turrets loading mechanism ) has never been in condition to challenge the new generation of more than 50.000 tons with 15 or 16 inch new warships other navy had built on the meantime.
With two of them you could try against the Tirpitz, ... one was not enough, ... one with a 16 inch US Navy fast one and the aircraft carrier for air superiority at sea ( task force ) was the right mix, ... and that is what they did.

Interesting discussion ... :wink:

Bye Antonio
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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Re: KGV + PoW

Post by pgollin » Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:35 am

Antonio Bonomi wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:23 am
.

...... in fact after the Bismarck operation the Royal Navy issued a document with the list of the battleships that never were going to engage the Tirpitz, … basically all of them ( R class, QE's , Nelson/Rodney, Repulse and Renown ), ...



Oh dear - again you show your inability to read simple English (and your instinct to mislead people).

Nelson and Rodney were perfectly acceptable to fight Tirpitz (if Tirpitz would accept battle). The modified QEs were at a disadvantage but would need to fight at angles, and Renown the same but more so.

Just TRY to be honest, it might mean people just don't laugh at your posts.

.

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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: KGV + PoW

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Mon Sep 03, 2018 1:04 pm

Hello everybody,

in fact, ... just as I wrote we had Rodney and Nelson, ... or a refitted QE's class one ... or the Renown after March 1942 ( when Tovey took her out of the game ) ... several times being used to escort the Artic convoys ... and not only the KGV class with a 16 inch US Navy fast battleship, ... plus the aircraft carrier and the escorting cruisers and destroyers.

Here below we can see the real facts, ... the truth :

HMS Duke of York_ USS Washington_Artic_convoy_escort-duty.jpeg
HMS Duke of York_ USS Washington_Artic_convoy_escort-duty.jpeg (52.8 KiB) Viewed 1987 times
https://www.google.it/search?q=duke+of+ ... 4UKe6cJgzM:

When one does not know the history and the facts ... should be better never to speak or write, ... showing is ignorance and incompetence ... associated to his pre-conceived " hooligan " offensive approach.

But that is the only reason why some persons are here in, ... just for that job, ... as we do know, ... :wink:

Bye Antonio
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

paul.mercer
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Re: KGV + PoW

Post by paul.mercer » Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:12 pm

Hi pgolin,
(quote) Nelson and Rodney were perfectly acceptable to fight Tirpitz (if Tirpitz would accept battle). The modified QEs were at a disadvantage but would need to fight at angles, and Renown the same but more so.

Could you explain to a non naval warfare expert chap like me what you mean by fight at angles, I have the greatest respect for the rebuilt QE's and have no doubt that Warspite or Valiant who apparently had an excellent gunnery record would put up a good fight and cause some damage to Tirpitz, but I think that the end would be inevitable, after all, we are pitting an elderly but modernized WW1 ship against the latest design of a 50,000 + ton battleship -almost twice their size. As for Renown, wonderful ship that she was, the same applies, only she has only 6x15" and is the same vintage as the QE's and I fear the result would be another Hood disaster. Again, either of the two Nelsons would prove a much sterner challenge to Tirpitz, providing she accepted a 'full on' battle and a lot would depend on who landed the most heavy blows early on, if Tirpitz's turrets were damaged or taken out like on Bismarck then the odds would favour the RN, otherwise it would be a very bloody battle indeed with a 'Nelson' either sunk or heavily damaged but with Tirpitz limping back to a Norwegian fiord to effect repairs,

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Re: KGV + PoW

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:11 am

Hello everybody,

@ Paul Mercer,

congratulation for your competence about naval strategy warfare, … your post here above clearly shows it.

On top of the protection and the gunnery, one does not have to under estimate another crucial factor during an engagement on that period among those battleships, .. and it is the speed.

It is the speed in fact that enables you to maintain or reach a very favorauble and advantageous position in relation to the enemy, .. and for example choose the angles and the distance of an engagement., … and to force or reject an engagement.

That is the reason why those Royal Navy battleships were out of the game against the Tirpitz, … and the Royal Navy knew it very well, ... and why Churchill asked Roosevelt a " fast " ( close to 30 knots, which was impossible for the Nelson and QE's well below 25 knots ) well armed ( 16 inch ) and well protected US Navy battleship availability, … and he got them for the Artic convoys obviously.


Bye Antonio
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: KGV + PoW

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:44 am

....I would just add that, despite having been modernized (adding some horizontal thickness protection), the QE's had around the same armored belt protection as Hood (it was thicker but vertical and not inclined), the same scheme as in WWI, and they were therefore extremely vulnerable to modern guns at average-short distance, exactly as it happened to Hood.


Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

paul.mercer
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Re: KGV + PoW

Post by paul.mercer » Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:59 am

Many thanks for the additional info to you both Alberto and Antonio. Poor old RN, why could they not have stuck with a proven design with heavier armour and with the usual but up-rated 8x15" or even 8x16" and increased power for 30 knots instead of messing about with quad 14" ships?
The UK must have known that almost all the other countries were not sticking to the Washington Agreement and building larger and more heavily armed battleships which would outclass anything that they had. I often wonder if it was a case of arrogance and feeling of superiority that the RN had because it had rarely been challenged (except perhaps Jutland) for over a hundred years that made them ignore what was going on with other nations?

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Re: KGV + PoW

Post by pgollin » Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:30 pm

.

Paul - PLEASE ignore Alberto and Antonio, they are letting their prejudice show.

The Armour immunity diagrams showed that the "immune zones" (THAT is an American term, and was NOT used by the RN) for modified QE;s and Renown were practically too small at normal angles (ships fighting parallel) - they existed, but Tirpitz's speed made trying to fight at 90-degrees "close in) almost impossible. Hence for the modified QE's and Renown it was recommended that they fight with the main armour at an angle (e.g. the ship approaching or leaving at as high an angle as possible (with A-Arcs open)). Renown was slightly different as she had lighter armour than the QE's, but was (at least nominally) faster than Tirpitz and the Admiralty wanted her only to fight Tirpitz if absolutely necessary.

.

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: KGV + PoW

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:19 pm

:lol:
...QE's could fight only with their main belt at an angle :shock: ..... The same did Hood, with Holland very direct approach, but when distance was down and A-arcs were to be kept open.... her belt became insufficient (as it would have been the case for any modernized QE, whatever the exact cause of Hood explosion was. Possibly this guy still believe the fairy-tale that the Hood decks were perforated instead.... :kaput: ).

The idea that you can decide to always fight "at angle" is simply comical in real life.:lol:


Paul Mercer wrote: "I often wonder if it was a case of arrogance and feeling of superiority that the RN had because it had rarely been challenged"
I would say that financial and political reasons were behind the British choices, but still the RN had 15 battleships at the beginning of the war vs 2 for Germany (the twins): any technical inferiority could have been (largely) compensated by sheer number superiority.
"Arrogance" was possibly only to consider that tradition, discipline, strategy and training would have compensated even further, but I don't think the Admiralty would have ever sent the Hood alone against the Bismarck, if not strictly necessary.



Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

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Re: KGV + PoW

Post by dunmunro » Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:46 pm

paul.mercer wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:59 am
Many thanks for the additional info to you both Alberto and Antonio. Poor old RN, why could they not have stuck with a proven design with heavier armour and with the usual but up-rated 8x15" or even 8x16" and increased power for 30 knots instead of messing about with quad 14" ships?
The UK must have known that almost all the other countries were not sticking to the Washington Agreement and building larger and more heavily armed battleships which would outclass anything that they had. I often wonder if it was a case of arrogance and feeling of superiority that the RN had because it had rarely been challenged (except perhaps Jutland) for over a hundred years that made them ignore what was going on with other nations?
The RN had the 35K ton limit imposed upon them, but the Lion class which would have succeeded the KGV class had 9 x 16in guns, thicker armour and could do 30 knots.

In any event, A/A argue that a KGV class was inferior to a Bismarck class ship, then they state how few fast, heavily armoured, battleships that the RN possessed and at the same time argue that Leach was a coward for opening the range when facing Bismarck and PE at close range alone! :oops:

Fully worked up a KGV class was roughly equal to Tirpitz, but 50/50 odds are not typically contemplated in naval battles - the goal is to have a assured win via the use of overwhelming power.

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Re: KGV + PoW

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:44 pm

Dunmunro wrote: "Fully worked up a KGV class was roughly equal to Tirpitz"
:lol:
Bismarck was just unsinkable by 14" (and even 16") guns at almost any range....
PoW was out of her immunity zone already when at 15.000 meters....
:lol:

I would have carefully avoided to come back to this point, but Mr.Dunmunro started the polemic: of course the above technical facts have NOTHING to do with the duty of a commanding officer that has a mission to accomplish. Crippling damages can well be inflicted by a clearly inferior ship when commanded by a brave commander (see Harwood, see Glasfurd, etc.). IMO Leach was simply not of this kind.


Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

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