Gun range for 8' British cruiser guns?

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marcelo_malara
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Re: Gun range for 8' British cruiser guns?

Post by marcelo_malara »

Ohhhh looking at your posts I realize that you have been to the wreck, my congratulations Kevin. How deep is she? Could you determine the entrance hole of the fatidic shell?

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Re: Gun range for 8' British cruiser guns?

Post by marcelo_malara »

Anyone interested in those first months of the war should read rhis book.

https://www.amazon.com/Allied-Defense-M ... 1476662932
Bill Jurens
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Re: Gun range for 8' British cruiser guns?

Post by Bill Jurens »

It is honestly hard (for me) to conceive of any situation where guns would be elevated to 50-70 degrees for surface targets c. 18000 yards away. The same range can be reached quite easily at much lower angles of departure, much more efficiently.

Bill Jurens.
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Re: Gun range for 8' British cruiser guns?

Post by marcelo_malara »

Anyway no source gives that elevation to Exeter´s guns. Angles may be tricky to estimate, if the plane that contains the angle being measured visually is not exactly perpendicular to the line of sight, the angle would apparently have a higher than real value.

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Re: Gun range for 8' British cruiser guns?

Post by Kev D »

marcelo_malara wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 10:18 pm Anyone interested in those first months of the war should read rhis book.
Https://www.amazon.com/Allied-Defense-M ... 1476662932
With all due resoect to Mr Womak, I would recommend the below book long before that one. A lot of detial yes, but also a fair share of errors.

IMO the defintive account, or the next best thing, is the more recent "In The Highest degree Tragic" by Don Kehn Jnr.
https://www.amazon.com/Highest-Degree-T ... 315&sr=8-1
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
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Re: Gun range for 8' British cruiser guns?

Post by Kev D »

marcelo_malara wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 10:04 pm Ohhhh looking at your posts I realize that you have been to the wreck, my congratulations Kevin. How deep is she? Could you determine the entrance hole of the fatidic shell?Regards
Yes, we discovered the wreck in 2007 and I did a stem to stern video survey of Port side, and then surveyed her again in more detail in 2008. And no re the 'knock out' entry hole, as as I said above the Stbd side, which is the seabed side, besides seabed having built up over the years, a lot of detrius has collapsed down off wreck so not much readily visible / identifiable along that sStbd side. Other shell hits to Port visible though, but not in that area.
marcelo_malara wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:21 amAnyway no source gives that elevation to Exeter´s guns. Angles may be tricky to estimate, if the plane that contains the angle being measured visually is not exactly perpendicular to the line of sight, the angle would apparently have a higher than real value.Regards
Yes, but.............if the guns are elevated as far as they can be, that is almost hard against the curved top of the turret barrel openings, then that is as good an indication as I need to say they are at maximum elevation..

And to touch on Steves point again, given they were themselves trying to sink the ship (to avoid her being captured) then one would expect - if they had any power - the guns to be pointing to Port, as thats the way she was sinking until the torps hit to Stbd, righted her, and sunk her to Stbd. (But by then she had been completely abandoned, save for the dead of course.)
Last edited by Kev D on Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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
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Re: Gun range for 8' British cruiser guns?

Post by Kev D »

Bill Jurens wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:06 pm It is honestly hard (for me) to conceive of any situation where guns would be elevated to 50-70 degrees for surface targets c. 18000 yards away. The same range can be reached quite easily at much lower angles of departure, much more efficiently.
Bill Jurens.
Well then, maybe they were engaging the destroyers then, which had closed in further, not the cruisers as I had thought?

Às for main guns engaging planes as another poster speculated, although I know it was done with those guns at the Gasper Strait air / sea battle, there were only a few (two?) spotters in the air on March 1st, so not enough and moving to fast IMO, for main guns to track and engage (and even before the end her fire control system had been knocked out, so they were even doing all the ship tracking / ranging visually and a Dumaresque table). Besides, she really had her hands full with two cruisers off either side, and the DD's to the south, all engaging her.
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
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Re: Gun range for 8' British cruiser guns?

Post by Kev D »

marcelo_malara wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 10:04 pm Ohhhh looking at your posts I realize that you have been to the wreck, my congratulations Kevin. How deep is she? Could you determine the entrance hole of the fatidic shell?Regards
Yes, we discovered the wreck in 2007 and I did a stem to stern video survey of Port side, and then surveyed her again in more detail in 2008. And no re the 'knock out' shell entry hole, as as I said above the Stbd side, which is the seabed side, besides seabed having built up over the years, a lot of detrius has collapsed down off wreck so not much readily visible / identifiable along that Stbd side. Other shell hits to Port visible though, but not in that area. (Interestingly, one of the torps that hit her - the one amidships - blew out part of her bottom also, so even though it hit Stbd side hull, part of it can be seen very near seabed on bottom of wreck.)
marcelo_malara wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:21 amAnyway no source gives that elevation to Exeter´s guns. Angles may be tricky to estimate, if the plane that contains the angle being measured visually is not exactly perpendicular to the line of sight, the angle would apparently have a higher than real value.Regards
Yes, but.............if the aft 8" guns are elevated as far as they can be, that is almost hard against the curved top of the turret barrel openings, then that is as good an indication as I need to say they are at maximum elevation (and both fore guns traversed aft Stbd as far as they could go, or just a touch less for second 2 turret).

And to touch on Steve's point again, given they were themselves trying to sink the ship (to avoid her being captured) then one would expect - if they had any power - the guns to be pointing to Port to aid in sinking / capsizing, as thats the way she was sinking until the torps hit to Stbd, righted her, and sunk her to Stbd. (But by then she had been completely abandoned, save for the dead of course.)
Last edited by Kev D on Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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
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Re: Gun range for 8' British cruiser guns?

Post by Kev D »

marcelo_malara wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 10:04 pm Ohhhh looking at your posts I realize that you have been to the wreck, my congratulations Kevin. How deep is she? Could you determine the entrance hole of the fatidic shell?Regards
Yes, we discovered the wreck in 2007 and I did a stem to stern video survey of Port side, and then surveyed her again in more detail in 2008. And no re the 'knock out' shell entry hole, as as I said above the Stbd side, which is the seabed side, besides seabed having built up over the years, a lot of detrius has collapsed down off wreck so not much readily visible / identifiable along that Stbd side. Other shell hits to Port visible though, but not in that area. (Interestingly, one of the torps that hit her - the one amidships - blew out part of her bottom also, so even though it hit Stbd side hull, part of it can be seen very near seabed on bottom of wreck.)
marcelo_malara wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:21 amAnyway no source gives that elevation to Exeter´s guns. Angles may be tricky to estimate, if the plane that contains the angle being measured visually is not exactly perpendicular to the line of sight, the angle would apparently have a higher than real value.Regards
Yes, but.............if the aft 8" guns are elevated as far as they can be, that is almost hard against the curved top of the turret barrel openings, then that is as good an indication as I need to say they are at maximum elevation (and both fore guns traversed aft Stbd as far as they could go, or just a touch less for second 2 turret).

And to touch on Steve's point again, given they were themselves trying to sink the ship (to avoid her being captured) then one would expect - if they had any power - the guns to be pointing to Port to aid in sinking / capsizing, as thats the way she was sinking until the torps hit to Stbd, righted her, and sunk her to Stbd. (But by then she had been completely abandoned, save for the dead of course.)
Last edited by Kev D on Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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
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Re: Gun range for 8' British cruiser guns?

Post by Kev D »

DOUBLE POST AGAIN WHILE TRYING TO EDIT!!!! REMOVED. Whats going on here, each time I try to edit a post, it posts anew??? Never happened before this thread. Odd. :negative:

So I give up, but there is now three post the same, or almost the same, above. :stubborn:
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
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Re: Gun range for 8' British cruiser guns?

Post by Bill Jurens »

Earlier in this thread, I wrote:

"It is honestly hard (for me) to conceive of any situation where guns would be elevated to 50-70 degrees for surface targets c. 18000 yards away. The same range can be reached quite easily at much lower angles of departure, much more efficiently.
Bill Jurens."

To which Kevin D replied:
"Well then, maybe they were engaging the destroyers then, which had closed in further, not the cruisers as I had thought?"

At 70 degrees elevation, one cannot engage a target at LESS than about 22,500 yards. The same applies to the other range/elevation patterns as well.

Although the precise cause of the observed gun elevations of 70 degrees (or so) remains, at least at this stage, speculative, there is no way that one might rationally employ this sort of high-angle mortar-type fire -- useful and probably only intended for anti-aircraft or illumination purposes -- in a surface engagement. Engaging a close-in target would be done under low elevations where time of flight was much lower and striking velocities much higher.

As an example the official range tables for this gun for 10,000 yards range give angle of departure of about 5 degrees, a time of flight 14 seconds or so, and a striking velocity of around 1685 f/s. (incidentally, although there were quite a few variants published and I have only a selection here, my official range tables end at an elevation of about 43.4 degrees and a range of 29200 yards.) Compare that with the results for the higher angle trajectories and the advantages of low-angle fire are manifest.

Due to variations in the assumed atmospherics, the figures shown in this memo are, strictly speaking, not fully compatible with the other high-elevation figures I presented earlier, which were computed 'from scratch', but should be pretty close.

So, if the guns were indeed observed at 70 degrees elevation (or so) this almost certainly had nothing to do with the aspects of any related surface engagement.

Bill Jurens
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Re: Gun range for 8' British cruiser guns?

Post by dunmunro »

Kev D wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:08 am DOUBLE POST AGAIN WHILE TRYING TO EDIT!!!! REMOVED. Whats going on here, each time I try to edit a post, it posts anew??? Never happened before this thread. Odd. :negative:

So I give up, but there is now three post the same, or almost the same, above. :stubborn:
You have to click on the 'Edit' button, rather than the 'Quote' button. I've been having a similar issue.
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Re: Gun range for 8' British cruiser guns?

Post by marcelo_malara »

Thanks for the book recommendation, some years ago I posted here asking for a book about this phase of the war and few were mentioned, then came the one by Womack, and now this one. Womack gives a more general view of the history, while Kehn´s seems to focus on the naval side.

I have to agree with Bill about the guns elevation. The range table gives 30.000 yards for a 45° elevation, for sure the crew knew that at that distance is impossible to hit for an 8" gun.

For sure all know the poswar description made by Cap Gordon (http://ahoy.tk-jk.net/macslog/Battleoft ... which.html).

38. The ensuing action is difficult to describe in detail with no records available. The general trend of the action was Easterly with course varying between about 070 -degrees and no degrees as alterations were made to avoid straddling or to open " A " arcs. The enemy cruisers were disposed -in pairs, one pair approximately abeam to starboard and the other on the port quarter. They closed gradually to a range of about 18,000 yards and then appeared to maintain this distance. Later live destroyers (Asashio class), which had not been in sight when action was joined, appeared from the Southwest and drew ahead, passing on the starboard beam at a range of about 14,000 yards shortly before EXETER was hit in A boiler room.


I think that the direction in which the guns are pointing in the wreck nor their elevation can be trusted to reconstruct the engagement, as both conflict with Cap Gordon words. There seems to be no need to fire at 30.000 yards. The direction of the guns may be explained if at the time power went off the ship was heading at 70°, that would put the Southern Japanese cruisers a little aft of abeam and the turrets may need to be pointed 20° aft of beam to keep them on sight.
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Re: Gun range for 8' British cruiser guns?

Post by Kev D »

OK Gents,

First again Bil and Marcelo, thanks very much for your input.

Just breifly, as big moving day today and tomorrow; what if the guns are not the 70 degree model, and are the 50° she launched with. So, if those guns were at almost max elevation say 45-50°, does that change the equation, that is still being used to engage ships(?), as there were no, repeat no air attacks on Exeter that day.

And I havent forgotten posting some photos of gun angles from wreck, please bear with me and I will do that, but just too busy to correalate at moment. :(
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
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Re: Gun range for 8' British cruiser guns?

Post by Kev D »

OK then, our extra packing boxes delivery guy is running late this morning so first, the forward guns, as have below already made up previously (for a 3D rendition of wreck).

As you can see guns pointed to maxim aft traverse. The pic is of A Turret Stbd barrel, and B Turret is almsot same angle, just a touch less.
marcelo_malara wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 7:40 pmI think that the direction in which the guns are pointing in the wreck nor their elevation can be trusted to reconstruct the engagement, as both conflict with Cap Gordon words. There seems to be no need to fire at 30.000 yards. The direction of the guns may be explained if at the time power went off the ship was heading at 70°, that would put the Southern Japanese cruisers a little aft of abeam and the turrets may need to be pointed 20° aft of beam to keep them on sight.
With all due respect I disagree with your first sentence. More on that later when I have time. And as for your last, I did a drawing last night of Exeter heading 70 degrees, and with gun angle as seen here, which would still put the cruisers - if thats what she was firing at - well aft, not abeam. Besides, from my experience with wrecks sinking in 'shallow' water soon after being hit, given the wreck was orientated with bow due east, or 90 degrees, I believe that was the way she was heading +/- a few degrees when hit and then sunk, not @ 70 degrees.
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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
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