Cruisers

Warship design and construction, terminology, navigation, hydrodynamics, stability, armor schemes, damage control, etc.
paul.mercer
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Cruisers

Post by paul.mercer »

Gentlemen,
I'm not sure this post is in the right place, but here it stays!
We have often discussed the merits of armour and armament of Battleships and Battlecruisers on this Forum, but rarely on Cruisers, so here is the question. if you were going to go into battle on a cruiser, what type would you chose? Would it be a RN or US one with 12 or 15 6" guns or settle for heavier shells on ships armed with 8 or 9 x 8" guns, in other words, would you settle for the possibility of more multiple hits from 6" or the heavier, possibly more damaging hits from the 8" guns? i'm assuming (probably wrongly!)that what would be described as 'Heavy Cruisers' would have roughly the same amount of armour
Kev D
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Re: Cruisers

Post by Kev D »

Just to clairify Paul, I am assuming you are 'assuming' all 8" heavy cruisers have more or less the same armour; not that 8" have same as 6" (or light crisers), correct?

Be that as it may, I'd go for 8" because of range primarily, and of course hitting power. As for RN / USN I'll have to think a bit more on that one.
We are off to look for trouble. I expect we shall find it.” Capt. Tennant. HMS Repulse. Dec. 8 1941
A review of the situation at about 1100 was not encouraging.” Capt. Gordon, HMS Exeter. 1 March 1942
paul.mercer
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Re: Cruisers

Post by paul.mercer »

Hi Kev,
Yes, the only reason I base this on is that a 12 or 15 x 6" gunned cruiser would be roughly the same sort of size as a 8 or 9 x 8" gunned ship.
As for RN or US, again, the only reason for choosing these as I'm not sure what sort of cruiser the French or Italians had. I was also assuming that if it came to a battle, it would be fought at a range within both types of ships capabilities - basically a rain of 6" shells against fewer but heavier hitting 8" shells. I realise of course that as in any battle its usually who gets hit in a vital spots like range finders is going to be in trouble first, but it could be an interesting scenario - I suppose it ought to be in the 'Hypothetical' section really.
Kev D
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Re: Cruisers

Post by Kev D »

paul.mercer wrote: Wed Mar 17, 2021 9:50 amI was also assuming that if it came to a battle, it would be fought at a range within both types of ships capabilities - basically a rain of 6" shells against fewer but heavier hitting 8" shells.
Thanks for the reply Paul.

However, one instance of the above now underlined 'not being the case' is at Java Sea on 27th Feb, 1942. When the Allied battle line initially engaged the Jap heavy cruisers (Nachi and Haguro) it was only the 8" cruisers that could engage (i.e. Exeter and Houston) while De Ruyter, Java and Perth (all 6") had to wait for some time for the range to close before engaging.
We are off to look for trouble. I expect we shall find it.” Capt. Tennant. HMS Repulse. Dec. 8 1941
A review of the situation at about 1100 was not encouraging.” Capt. Gordon, HMS Exeter. 1 March 1942
Steve Crandell
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Re: Cruisers

Post by Steve Crandell »

Depends on the opponent and situation. For a close range night action with lots of enemy DDs, definitely 6". Particularly USN 6" guns, since they used semi fixed ammunition and achieved very high rates of fire.

For a daylight engagement at longer ranges, probably 8".

US Baltimore class CA's were also significantly larger than the peer Cleveland class CL's.

If the 8" cruiser is USS Des Moines, no contest. Whole different level, but not really WWII.
BuckBradley
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Re: Cruisers

Post by BuckBradley »

paul.mercer wrote: Tue Mar 16, 2021 12:06 pm Gentlemen,
I'm not sure this post is in the right place, but here it stays!
We have often discussed the merits of armour and armament of Battleships and Battlecruisers on this Forum, but rarely on Cruisers, so here is the question. if you were going to go into battle on a cruiser, what type would you chose? Would it be a RN or US one with 12 or 15 6" guns or settle for heavier shells on ships armed with 8 or 9 x 8" guns, in other words, would you settle for the possibility of more multiple hits from 6" or the heavier, possibly more damaging hits from the 8" guns? i'm assuming (probably wrongly!)that what would be described as 'Heavy Cruisers' would have roughly the same amount of armour
If we're talking night battle I'm going with the 6" option. Daytime 8". For reasons that probably require no elaboration.
Thorsten Wahl
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Re: Cruisers

Post by Thorsten Wahl »

in 1934 the german naval leadership discussed the problem
12 x 15 cm <----->8 x 20,3 cm

0)main armament weight
4 x 2 x 20,3cm ~550 t
4 x 3 x 15 cm ~540 t (less protected then 20,3 cm)
--> the armament requires a ship of about the same displacement

a) AP-pentration vs 100 mm armour
20,3 cm ~23 km
15 cm ~10 km

b)explosive charge(AP-/HE-shell)
20,3 cm ~2,3 kg/8,9kg
15 cm ~~0,9kg/3,9kg

c)ROF
for long range engagement max ROF for both types ~6 shells per gun per minute (observation of impacts and correction)
short range (anti DD) engagement
20,3 cm ~6 RPM
15 cm ~8 RPM

d) weight of broadside
20,3 cm ~4800 kg
15 cm ~3276 kg

Conclusion: the higher ROF and higher number of guns of 15 cm didnt outweight weapons effect of the 20,3 cm
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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marcelo_malara
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Re: Cruisers

Post by marcelo_malara »

Cruisers are the type of warships that have the greatest differences in passive protection. In battleships protection to own caliber and machinery below the waterline are the norm. On the other side of the scale destroyers have no protection at all and the machinery reaches above the water line. In cruisers you can find a class with almost no protection at all (County for instance) to one with almost the same thickness in the belt that gun caliber (Baltimore), one with all machinery below water line (County again) to one with exposed machinery (Exeter). That makes comparision between classes quiet complex.
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