Page 1 of 4

Longest Gunfire Hit

Posted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 5:20 pm
by dgrubb64
I have heard but could not confirm that the longest range that a battleship ever hit another ship in battle was by HMS Warspite in the Med against possibly the Vittorio Veneto. Does anyone have more info on this and what was the range?

Posted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:13 pm
by José M. Rico
It was Warspite against the Giulio Cesare. The engagement took place in the morning of 9 July 1940 near Punta Stilo, and the recorded distance of the hit was 26,000 yards (23,800 meters). Almost exactly a month earlier, on 8 June, the Scharnhorst had scored her first hit on the British carrier Glorious from about the same distance in the Norwegian Sea.

Another long range gunfire hit worth to be mentioned occurred during the Spanish Civil War. On 29 September 1936, the heavy cruiser Canarias scored a hit with her second salvo on the destroyer Almirante Ferrrándiz (that sank later) at about 19,000 meters (20,800 yards) near the Straits of Gibraltar.

Logest Gunfire Hit

Posted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 9:20 am
by Antonio Bonomi
Ciao All,

Jose is right !

here some more :

Ciao Antonio :D

longest gunnery hit

Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2005 5:06 am
by turlock
Hi folks,
A couple other engagements to look into are the Battle of the Kormandorski Islands, Java Sea, Sunda Strait, and Samar. Oldendorff's battle line opened at 26,000 at Suragao Strait as I recall. Kongo shot very well at Samar. Aerial spotted gunnery practice in the early '30's, I believe by Pennsylvania, resulted in hits at 33,000 yards...although I don't know what the target was.
At Samar the Japanese opened up at 20 miles. The exact ranges at which hits were scored would make for interesting research.

Re: longest gunnery hit

Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2005 8:00 am
by Tiornu
The longest-ranged hit from one warship against another was probably at Casablanca where Massachusetts apparently hit Jean Bart from ranges beyond 30,000 yards. This is no measure of FC quality, and Jean Bart was sitting motionless in a harbor that was all but invisible to ships offshore. In fact Massachusetts scored hits on several other vessels while trying to hit Jean Bart.
West Virginia opened fire at a range of 22,400 yards during the Surigao battle. She scored with her first salvo, making this the longest-ranged first-salvo hit, and it was the longest range for a hit during the battle, I believe.
The firing at Samar did begin at extreme range, and Yamato claimed a hit very early on, but the claim was wrong--she wasn't even close.
Other extreme-range engagements include the sweep around Truk, in which Iowa fired from as far off as 39,000 yards at a destroyer, the withdrawal from Denmark Strait, when PoW and Bismarck tossed a couple shells at each other from 30,000 yards away, and Second (?) Sirte where a Littorio caused splinter damage to a British cruiser from somewhere around 30,000 yards.
Some Italian researchers claim a hit or splinter damage on Warspite at the time she was engaging Cesare.

Posted: Sat Jan 22, 2005 12:16 am
by George Elder
Need comfirmation for your USS Mass. range claim...

This disagrees with most sources, but perhaps you can share where the 30,000+ yard data came from.


Re: Need comfirmation for your USS Mass. range claim...

Posted: Sat Jan 22, 2005 6:57 am
by Tiornu
What sources does it disagree with? The last one I looked at was Dumas.

Posted: Sat Jan 22, 2005 2:21 pm
by George Elder
Morris, D&G, etc.,... do not confirm the 30K figure, but maybe I'm just reading them wrong. Perhaps you could give me the Dumas quote and citation, and then I could do a bit of digging.


Re: Morris, D&G, etc.,...

Posted: Sat Jan 22, 2005 9:08 pm
by Tiornu
I don't see anything in G&D saying that no hits took place at 30,000 yards. I don't know who Morris is. I don't have the Dumas handy, but he gives details on all the hits. I remember he lists angles from 31-35 degrees which would range from just inside 30,000 to just outside. That's from memory, so you can check that out (the Jean Bart volume, obviously) to see if I'm mistaken.

Posted: Sat Jan 22, 2005 10:05 pm
by George Elder
Ah, the angles as in a discussion we had long ago. There is a time-line & range diagram in Morison on pp 94-97. The firing commenced at 24,000 yards, closed a bit, and then went out to as far as 29,000 yards. If one plots the hits according to the time-table in D&G, the first hit was at about 24,500 yards. At 7:37 there was another hit at about 28,000 yards. At 7:47 she began closing the range a bit, but it wasn't untill 8:06-8:10 that the last three hits were recorded -- all of which appear to have been scored at under 28,000 yards. One might also want to consider some of the Japanese long range shooting during various battles, which was not very good. Indeed, I don't believe any BB or BC scored at hit on another moving BB, BC, CA, etc., at anything over 27,000 yards. Of course, one has to add up all the shots fired over 27K at another enemy ship to get a real feel for what this zero hit stat means. I am far to lazy for that project, but I would guess the numbers will be in the few hundred range -- and perhaps as high as 300 or so. This would make a great project for those war game designers who have tables wherein 5-10% hits are being made at 30K. Heck, we don't even see that against fixed targets. Gene Slover has some good ideas on this subject.


Re: Ah, the angles...

Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2005 2:22 am
by Tiornu
I've seen a Mamie track chart that has range arcs drawn on it out to 28,000 yards, and this could give a false impression that the ranges are those from Jean Bart. I believe Mamie's Action Report specifies that she fired at JB from ranges between 23,200 yards and 32,400 yards.
What does Morris say?

Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2005 6:38 am
by George Elder
Morris says the range never exceeded 29,000 yards and he goes on the rip the Mass. C.O. a new one about making exaggerated statements. I'm not sure what is up with all that, but Morris can be nasty at times -- which I kind of like.


Re: Morris says the range never exceeded 29,000 yards...

Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2005 8:40 am
by Tiornu
Who is Morris? What book is this?

Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2005 2:35 pm
by George Elder
Samuel Eliot Morison. As usual, I got the letters wrong in the name. You probably have the series in your library, as in "History of USN Operations in WWII." Sorry about the name confusion. Anyway, he writes on pg 96 a note concerning a cliam made by Adm. Hooper that the Mass had got home a salvo at 26 miles as being a tad off, with the range not exceeding 31,600 yards at any target during the few-day course of the battle, and that the "utmost" firing range of the JB was 29,000 yards. The series is worth having, and one can often get the whole thing for under $200 -- and the author does cite his work fairly well.


Re: Samuel Eliot Morison...

Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2005 7:21 pm
by Tiornu
26 miles? Mamie's guns can't even reach that far. The action report does not contain any such nonsense, but the range band it includes is in keeping with the info in Dumas. Maybe he meant 26,000 yards.