the main armament of the General Belgrano

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marcelo_malara
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Re: the main armament of the General Belgrano

Post by marcelo_malara » Mon Feb 01, 2021 6:27 pm

I have in pdf the Report of Proceedings HMS Conqueror Operation Corporate, went thru the relevant parts many times. The weapon mentioned is the Mk VIII. The firing distance was 1400 yards, the three were launched with a spread set in their gyros, all this is compatible with an attack done with straight-runners. I have no reason to think that Tigerfigh was used, as mentioned above there seems to have been some distrust in its capabilities.

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Re: the main armament of the General Belgrano

Post by paul.mercer » Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:42 am

Hi Marcelo,
Reading up a bit more about the escort destroyers, I understand that both were of WW2 vintage so I do wonder that even if they had been in fairly close contact with the Belgrano whether they would have been capable of detecting let alone attacking HMS Conqueror and bearing in mind what was probably sophisticated torpedo firing and tracking capabilities on her, whether it would have resulted in both being sunk as well?
I also understand that Conqueror had a maximum speed of 28 knots (submerged), and the destroyers 34 knots (in their prime) but whether they could still achieve that speed might be doubtful, so they might have had a bit of a chase to even catch Conqueror.
Looking at it from a neutral point of view, I think my money would be on the sub.
What do you think?

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Re: the main armament of the General Belgrano

Post by marcelo_malara » Tue Feb 02, 2021 3:53 pm

With the sub 100%, unless her CO made some mistake. The destroyers were in poor condition too, max speed about 20 kt, they were in close contact with the cruiser but sailing on her disengaged side, what assured that their sonars would not get the sub. I do not remember exactly her ASW weapons outfit, the only one that would have been useful would be a light ASW torpedo.

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Re: the main armament of the General Belgrano

Post by Francis Marliere » Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:28 am

Gents,

IMHO, Task Group 79.3 had absolutely no chance against HMS Conqueror.

The two destroyers, Hipolito Bouchard and Piedrabuena were ex-US Allen M. Sumner FRAM II class DD.They had, as far as I know, a SQS-4 bow sonar, two triple torpedo tubes with Mk 44 torpedoes, and 2 Hedgehog ASW mortars.
The hedgehog was a fine ASW weapon in WWII, but in 1982 was useless. The DD were limited to about 22 knots due to worn-out propulsion plants (the DD Segui had to return to port in late April) and would not get into firing position against a 28 knots submarine. The Mk 44 torpedo, already obsolete at this time, could steam at 30 knots, which means that a ship launched torpedo had no chance to catch a SSN evdaing at full speed.

The CO of Conqueror, Lt-Cdr Wreford-Brown, decided to use Mk VIII torpedoes because the Mk 24 Tigerfish were unrelaible at the time.

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Re: the main armament of the General Belgrano

Post by marcelo_malara » Wed Feb 03, 2021 4:33 pm

Hi Francis. I think your info is pretty accurate, I only will add that may be the destroyers were equipped with depth charges of the old style too. I have a long text in Spanish, part of an official doc about the sinking, For lack of time I can not translate it, do you want it posted anyway so you can pass it thru google translator'

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Re: the main armament of the General Belgrano

Post by Francis Marliere » Wed Feb 03, 2021 4:37 pm

Yes please, post it. Thanks.

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Re: the main armament of the General Belgrano

Post by marcelo_malara » Wed Feb 03, 2021 4:50 pm

OK, I will create a new post.

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Re: the main armament of the General Belgrano

Post by HMSVF » Thu Feb 04, 2021 3:43 pm

paul.mercer wrote:
Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:42 am
Hi Marcelo,
Reading up a bit more about the escort destroyers, I understand that both were of WW2 vintage so I do wonder that even if they had been in fairly close contact with the Belgrano whether they would have been capable of detecting let alone attacking HMS Conqueror and bearing in mind what was probably sophisticated torpedo firing and tracking capabilities on her, whether it would have resulted in both being sunk as well?
I also understand that Conqueror had a maximum speed of 28 knots (submerged), and the destroyers 34 knots (in their prime) but whether they could still achieve that speed might be doubtful, so they might have had a bit of a chase to even catch Conqueror.
Looking at it from a neutral point of view, I think my money would be on the sub.
What do you think?
I reckon that Conqueror was 'conservatively' rated for 28 knots. I'd also say that the SSN's were designed to go against the best the Russian ASW they possessed so I'm not 100% convinced that they would have got anything more than a fleeting chance to attack her. Thats not a criticism of the Argentine sailors,just the equipment they were using. British SSN's were supposedly some of the quietest built.

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Re: the main armament of the General Belgrano

Post by BobDonnald » Mon May 03, 2021 10:08 pm

Is the main armament of the Belgrano in 1982 not the surface to surface version of the French Exocet? Seems a gunship that distance from the landing sites is a minimal threat. However it is a war zone.

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Re: the main armament of the General Belgrano

Post by marcelo_malara » Tue May 04, 2021 2:46 am

No, it was armed with 6" and 5" guns, plus Bofors 40mm, may be Oerlikons, and two Sea Cat missile launchers. No way that at that distance even the Exocet would be useful for a target located close to the islands. Anyway, she was on a war cruise and as such was a legitimate target, even her CO Capt Bonzo accepted this after the sinking.

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Re: the main armament of the General Belgrano

Post by Francis Marliere » Wed May 05, 2021 7:47 am

BobDonnald wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 10:08 pm
Is the main armament of the Belgrano in 1982 not the surface to surface version of the French Exocet? Seems a gunship that distance from the landing sites is a minimal threat. However it is a war zone.
No, the cruiser did not have Exocets. However, her two escorting destroyers had 4 MM38 each.

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