Best Armoured Cruiser Design

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VoidSamukai
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Best Armoured Cruiser Design

Post by VoidSamukai »

Okay guys, so what do you think is the best armoured cruiser design and why.

Definition: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armored_cruiser

For the sakes of fairness, the Invincible and Duetschland class (1930) don't count as armoured cruisers even if their navies initially consider them as such, as neither had much relationships with the original armoured cruiser concepts.
Thorsten Wahl
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Re: Best Armoured Cruiser Design

Post by Thorsten Wahl »

CA means - cruiser armored
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VoidSamukai
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Re: Best Armoured Cruiser Design

Post by VoidSamukai »

I always thought it meant Cruiser-Type A. Guess I learnt something.

Anyways Lets just try and stick with typical armoured cruisers, eg Blucher, Scharnhorst (the one that was sunk at the Falklands, not the battleship/battlecruiser or ocean liner ones). Otherwise all the world's heavy cruisers: Mogami, Baltimore, Zara, County etc, would be classified s armoured cruisers.

And the latter mentioned cruiser is by no means in my books that well armoured :D
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RF
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Re: Best Armoured Cruiser Design

Post by RF »

''Armoured cruiser'' is a term generally used for WW1 and pre-WW1 heavy cruisers and fell out of use post-WW1 when ''heavy cruiser'' became the common description. This was when speed rather than armoured protection was the main criteria.

In strict fairness I think that either WW1 or pre-WW1 cruisers only should be considered. In terms of ship combat achievement I would nominate Scharnhorst classe, in terms of achieving victory at Coronel and then taking a considerable battering from two battlecruisers at the Falkland Islands before sinking.
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Ross
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Re: Best Armoured Cruiser Design

Post by Ross »

The definition of Armoured Cruiser comes from the three general forms of cruiser extant in the Nineteenth Century:

Unprotected Cruisers - Unarmoured cruising ships such as Frigates & Corvettes

Protected Cruisers - Cruisers with a protective deck - i.e. curved horizontal armour which (put very simply) provides some side protection via the armour's slopes - but no belt armour.

Armoured Cruisers - Cruisers with an armoured belt.

The definition was entirely (in vast majority of countries anyway - the Germans for instance rated their cruisers differently) based on the armour scheme. Thus the small 4.7in gunned Japanese cruiser Chiyoda was an AC due to being belted. However, the weight of belt armour at the time quickly elevated AC's into ships as expensive as and almost as battle capable as battleships.

By the time that WW1 began these definitions had begun to disappear with new construction of Armoured Cruisers morphing into Battlecruisers and Protected Cruisers being lumped into the new categories of Scout & Light Cruisers, which could have a belt thanks to improved armour & construction techniques.

The advent of the Heavy Cruiser stems from the two categories of cruisers eventually defined by the post-war Washington & London Treaties & was entirely based upon gun size. From 1930 anything with a gun larger than 6.1" became a Heavy Cruiser (although this term wasn't used by all nations - the Brits for instance just called their CA's '8in cruisers' ). The 19th Century forebear of the Heavy Cruiser was the Protected Cruiser rather than the AC despite some misleading similarities.

I'd nominate Blucher as the best AC.
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VoidSamukai
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Re: Best Armoured Cruiser Design

Post by VoidSamukai »

Agreed

For the best design, I would say for the typical role of scouting and support, the German Blucher would be good. She was fast and had very good firepower. And like the Scharnhorst class, she took a lot of damage before sinking.

For battleline duties (fighting along side BBs and BCs) the Russian Rurik or Japanese Ibuki class. Both had very powerful main guns, the latter having the same 12inch guns found on battleships at the time, and both had good armour while still being faster than most pre dreadnoughts.
BuckBradley
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Re: Best Armoured Cruiser Design

Post by BuckBradley »

Well Blucher obviously, right? I mean, all "biggest gun" main armament, fast as any, weebled wobbled but didn't explode, etc.....
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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Best Armoured Cruiser Design

Post by Alberto Virtuani »

Hello everybody,

thinking of successful older Armored Cruisers design pre-WWI, I would not forget the Italian built "Garibaldi Class" cruisers build in late 1800 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giuseppe_ ... ss_cruiser).

The two ships (out of a 10 ships class) sold to Japan (Kasuga and Nisshin) participated to the Russian-Japanese war and fought both at Yellow Sea in 1904 and Tsushima in 1905.

Due to the sinking of two battleships (Yashima and Hatsuse) after hitting mines, Adm.Togo took the tough decision to employ Kasuga and Nisshin directly in the main battle line together with his 4 battleships and they played such a heavy role in a very good way in both the main engagement against the Russian Fleet and in almost all operations where the battleships were present (including the sinking of Makarov's Petropavlovsk and isolated actions against Russian battleships).

At Tsushima, Nisshin and Kasuga hit several times the enemy battleships (including Oslyabia and Oryol), Nisshin received the largest number of Russian shells after the flagship Mikasa (13 in total, including 6 shells of 305mm, that were clearly out of its class), but, despite lossing 3 out her 4 main guns, survided demonstrating the very good design of the class. Kasuga too received one 12" shell on board, that did not damage her significantly.


Bye, Alberto
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Barondog
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Re: Best Armoured Cruiser Design

Post by Barondog »

In terms of design the Japanese Ibuki class. They were predreadnought battlecruisers. That is they had battleship armament on a long lean lightly amoured hull. 4x12", 8x8" plus 6" guns. Her Belt and turrents had amour 6" thick. But she could only make 20.5 knots.

In terms of effectiveness the Russian Ruriks. Like the Ibuki she carried armament similar to but lighter than the predreadnoughts of the period. 4x10", 8x8" plus 14x4.7". Her amour was a little stronger than the Ibuki's with 7" turrents a thick deck as well as a 5.9 inch bridge. She could make 22 to 23 knots on a good day. She led squadrons of cruisers in the Baltic on raids that gave the Germans endless problems. For this reason she is the most effective armoured cruiser.

Really they are the same basic design with only minor changes. Their combat records show how significantly minor changes can make significant differences.
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Re: Best Armoured Cruiser Design

Post by Barondog »

Though the Amoured Cruiser type only existed for a short period the design changed significantly. In addition unlike other warships that settle into a standard design Amoured Cruisers were unique to each country. The reason for this is different countries had different missions for their ACs. The British saw their primary duty as protecting trade. The French and Germans saw their ACs jobs as raiding trade routes. While the US and Japan considered their role as scouting and standing in the line of battle.

As they reached their apex the Amoured Cruisers began to resemble large expensive large, fast and lightly protected battleships in both form and function. Their spiraling cost and materials consumption was making the AC an unsustainable class of warship. They would had to have either directly competed with the Predreadnought as king of the fleet or settled into a more uniform smaller type of warship. Instead the Dreadnought and Battlecruiser prematurely and bluntly ended their usefulness.

To reach the apex ships I felt are the best ships of their final iteration I have been forced to omit some formidable designs. In addition the amour and speed ratings are approximations for each AC type that I examine. I did this to limit length I realize they are not exact. I consider the Ibukis, Rurik and Blutcher designs as the most advanced.

1. The Ibuki class with 7 inches of amour, 4×12" and 8×8" guns as well as 21 knots of speed are without question the most powerful examples ever built. They were superior to any cruiser of the time and more than a match for older battleships. But to move their 19,000 ton bulk at 21 knots they needed a lot of coal. This met they had range between recoaling. They still did not have quite the turn of speed necessary to catch many raiders. But they would have been ideal fleet scouts and were certainly fit to stand in the battle line. As impressive as they were they were ill suited for majority of tasks expected of cruisers.

2. The Rurik type. On paper they resemble the Ibukis. 6 inches of amour, 4×10" and 8×8" guns and 20.5 knots of speed. In reality the two looked completely different. Ibuki was long and lean with a flared bow while Rurik was a blocky design with a ram bow and the high free board needed for rough northern seas. She lacked just enough weight and speed to be practical. During WW1 she successfully made herself almost a one ship counter to the German fleet arrayed against Russia. She had the firepower to send cruisers running and the speed to slip away from the predreadnoughts. While more successful than Ibuki and rightly admired by a number of members she would not have survived long against Battlecruisers and Dreadnoughts as she still
lacked the speed needed.

3. Blutcher is my pick as the finest AC. She had an average 7 inches of amour and a uniform 12×8.2" main guns with a heavy caliber uniform 12×5.9" secondary. Most importantly she could make 25-26 knots allowing her to keep up with the battlecruisers and run down any cruiser. Her uniform main armament (both main and secondary) had unusually long range for their caliber. They could be sighted and fired using modern long range fire control. However she had no business serving in the battlecruiser squadron but did so remarkably well for some time. I would even venture to say her design was more successful and useful than the traditional predreadnought or semidreadnought battleship.

I am interested to know what others think of my analysis. It is only an opinion so I welcome constructive criticism. What I would like to see is if any of of the ships in WW2 would be considered an extension of the Amoured Cruiser type.
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RF
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Re: Best Armoured Cruiser Design

Post by RF »

Barondog wrote: Wed Apr 06, 2022 1:00 pm What I would like to see is if any of of the ships in WW2 would be considered an extension of the Amoured Cruiser type.
Scharnhorst and Gniesenau?

Tone and Mikuma?
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HMSVF
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Re: Best Armoured Cruiser Design

Post by HMSVF »

I'd go with SMS Blucher. Last of the breed.
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