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T4, R1, Prng 161: Helgoland Class (Germany) vs Andrei Pervozvanny Class (Russia)

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  • T4, R1, Prng 161: Helgoland Class (Germany) vs Andrei Pervozvanny Class (Russia)

    In your opinion, which of these two warship types was most significant, influential and/or effective?
    Feel free to apply those criteria as you please, along with any others you think appropriate.
    Note: Suggestions for some additional criteria are at the foot of this post.

    According to the criteria as you see and apply them, please vote for your preferred candidate in the attached poll.
    If your chosen criteria are significantly different from those suggested, telling us what they are and why you used them would be helpful.





    182: Helgoland Class


    The Helgoland class was the second class of German dreadnoughts, their first being the 4-ship Nassau class (not featured in this tournament), which had been commissioned in 1909. The Helgolands likewise comprised 4 ships, these being Helgoland, Ostfriesland, Thuringen and Oldenburg. They were laid down between October 1908 and March 1909, coming into commission from July 1911 to May 1912. They represented a significant improvement over the Nassaus, with a larger main battery of 30.5cm (12in) guns, instead of the earlier 28cm (11in) weapons. They also had an improved propulsion system.

    Based entirely on cost, the Helgoland class employed triple-expansion steam engines rather than steam turbines. (At this particular time, Parsons had a monopoly on the latter and demanded exorbitant royalties.) The engines were three-shaft, four-cylinder units arranged in three engine rooms. Each shaft drove a 4-blade screw 5.1m (16ft 9in) in diameter. Steam was provided by 15 boilers with 2 fireboxes each. Performance was very reasonable, producing a top speed of 21.3 knots on trials, with 20.5 knots being achievable in operational conditions. With a full load of coal and oil, the ships could steam for 5,500 nmi at 10 knots.

    In common with the preceding Nassau class, the Helgolands positioned their 12-gun main armament in a distinctive "hexagonal" layout. The six turrets were positioned with one each toward the bow and stern and two amidships on either side. These guns initially had a maximum range of 18,700m; later extended to 20,500m with a 2.5 degree increase in elevation.
    Secondary armament consisted of 14 x 150mm (5.9in) SK L/45 guns mounted in casemates. There were an additional 14 x 88mm (3.46in) guns, also in casemates; although later, two of these were replaced by Flak guns of the same caliber and the remainder were removed.
    The ships were equipped with six 500mm (19.7in) submerged torpedo tubes.

    Protection consisted of Krupp cemented armor, with some improvements compared to the preceding class. The increase for the main and secondary batteries was modest but the forward conning tower was provided with a much thicker roof, at 20cm (7.9in). The main waterline belt was 30cm (12in) thick over the critical areas, thinning down to 8cm (3.1in) near the bow and stern. A 3cm (1.2in) longitudinal torpedo bulkhead was positioned behind the belt. Deck armor varied from 5.5 - 8cm (2.2 - 3.1in). The main battery turrets were given 30cm of armor to the front and sides, with 10cm (3.9in) of roof protection,


    Drawing showing main armament layout of Helgoland class (bow to right)

    Helgoland class main battery layout.jpg


    The Helgoland sisters were employed in the High Seas Fleet as an operational unit, serving as the 1st Division in the 1st Battle Squadron. They saw a fair amount of active service operating mainly in the North Sea region, with some limited operations in the Baltic.

    Their first significant taste of action was in support of the raids against the British east coast, 15-16 December 1914. The main attack was carried out by German battle-cruisers, with the Helgolands - along with other German battleships - providing longer-distance support. They avoided a confrontation with British battleships on this occasion. The following year, on 3 August, Helgoland and her sisters were transferred to the Baltic along with other heavy units to operate against the Russians. This became known as the Battle of the Gulf of Riga. However, the four Helgolands were in a support role; their main task being to act as a blocking force to prevent Russian ships from disrupting the laying of minefields.

    The Helgolands took part in the Battle of Jutland (31 May - 1 June 1916). As part of I Battle Squadron, they were in the center of the line for most of the battle. Ostfriesland served as the division flagship under command of Vice Admiral E. Schmidt. By 19:20 on the first day, they started to become involved in some intermittent but quite intense action. Helgoland herself was hit by a single 15in shell, which tore a 6.1m (20ft) hole in the hull. However, the damage wasn't in a critical location and she had only shipped about 80 tons of water; so it could have been much worse. Taken overall, none of the class had suffered really serious damage.
    These ships saw no further significant action during WW1. After the war, they were ceded to the Allies under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. They had varying fates; the Americans, British, French and Japanese receiving one each.


    Oldenburg under way, 1910

    Oldenburg 1910.jpg


    Kaiser Wilhelm II (just about to descend steps) visiting Oldenburg, c 1913

    Oldenburg w Kaiser Wilhelm II c 1913.jpg


    However we assess the layout of their main armament, the Helgoland class nevertheless seems to have been fundamentally well designed and robust. Their opportunity to face enemy battleships in action was relatively brief but some of the other ships in this tournament had less and a few had none. The Helgolands appear to have acquitted themselves quite well.


    General characteristics* (*Representative. Some variation between ships)

    Displacement – Design: 22,808t (22,448lt); Full load 24,700t (24,300lt)
    Length – 167.2m (548ft 7in)
    Beam – 28.5m (93ft 6in)
    Draft – 8.94m (29ft 4in)
    Propulsion – 3 shaft 4cyl vertical triple expansion
    Maximum speed:
    20.5 knots
    Range at 10 knots:
    5,500 nmi at 10 knots
    Armament:
    Primary – 12 x 30.5cm (12in)
    Secondary – 14 x 15cm (5.9in)
    Supplementary – 14 x 8.8cm (3.5in)
    Torpedo tubes - 6 x 50cm (19.7in)
    Armor:
    Belt – 300mm (11.8in)
    Deck – 5.5 - 8cm (2.2 - 3.1in)
    Turrets - 300mm
    Barbettes – 300mm
    Complement – 42 officers & 1027 enlisted

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helgol...ass_battleship
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nassau-class_battleship
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_Helgoland
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_Ostfriesland
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_Th%C3%BCringen
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_Oldenburg
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krupp_armour
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Seas_Fleet
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle...e_Gulf_of_Riga
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Jutland
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Versailles




    207: Andrei Pervozvanny Class


    The Andrei Pervozvanny class were not dreadnoughts or even "semi-dreadnoughts". However, out of the nine nations we are covering in this tournament, Russia was last to get dreadnoughts into service; beginning with the Gangut class in late 1914/early 1915. (The Ganguts will of course be featured in another pairing.) The Andrei Pervozvanny class comprised two ships, the other being Imperator Pavel I. They were the last Russian pre-dreadnoughts and were designed to operate mainly in the Baltic region as part of the Baltic Fleet. They entered service in February/March 1911.

    These ships were powered by 2 x 4-cylinder vertical triple expansion steam engines, each driving a 5.6m (18ft 5in) propeller. Steam was provided by 25 Belleville boilers. During trials, they achieved a top speed of 18.5 knots. With 1,500 long tons of coal, they could cruise for 2,400nmi at 12 knots.

    Main armament was 4 x 12in (305mm) Model 1895 40-cal guns, mounted in two twin-gun turrets; one fore and one aft. They fired a 1,038lb (470.9Kg) armor piercing shell at 2,702 ft/s (823.5 m/s) and had a range of 22,000 yds (20,000m). Secondary armament consisted of 14 x 8in (203mm) guns; 8 of these in 4 twin-gun turrets at the corners of the superstructure, the remaining six in casemates. In addition, for defence against torpedo boats 12 x 120mm (4.7in) guns were mounted in casemates above the 8in guns. There were two underwater torpedo tubes; one on each side of the ship.

    The hull sides were protected using Krupp cemented armor. This included a waterline belt of 8.5in (216mm), tapering to 6in (152mm) at the lower edge. There was 6.5in (165mm) abreast of the main gun magazines and 5in (127mm) plate extended to the bow. Going aft, there was 4.5in (114mm) of plate,reducing to 4in (102mm) near the stern. Overall, the belt was 10ft (3m) high, of which 4ft (1.2m) was underwater at standard displacement.
    The main gun turrets had 8in (203mm) of armor to the front and sides, with roofs 2.5in (64mm). Secondary turrets were given 6 and 5in (152 & 127mm) front & sides respectively. Deck armor was 1.5in (38mm) at maximum.


    Andrei Pervozvanny - drawings showing layout and some details

    Andrei Pervozvanny drawings 1914.jpg


    These ships entered service in the early months of 1911. When WW1 broke out, they already comprised the core of the Baltic Fleet. Subsequently, their careers were destined to be disrupted by a series of national crises and sweeping political events.

    For most of the war they were moored and inactive. Idle and demoralized naval ratings began to lean towards Bolshevik ideology and in March 1917, they mutinied violently, killing many of their officers. By early 1918, order had already been restored under Lenin, who directed the fleet to be moved to Kronstadt. This was known as the Ice Cruise of 1918.

    By October 1918, Imperator Pavel I - by now re-named Respublika (Republic) - was laid up for lack of manpower and remained essentially inactive. However, Andrei Pervozvanny continued for a while longer. From 13-15 June 1919, she and the dreadnought Petropavlovsk bombarded Fort Krasnaya Gorka, whose garrison had mutinied against the Bolsheviks. The garrison surrendered on 17 June when Leon Trotsky promised them their lives, only to have them machine-gunned afterwards. In August of that year, while anchored in Kronstadt, Pervozvanny was torpedoed by the British Royal Navy during its Baltic campaign. She settled down by the bow and was successfully raised, but never fully repaired.
    After the anti-Bolshevik Kronstadt rebellion of 1921, the government lost interest in maintaining the battleships and they were consigned to scrap in late 1923.


    Andrei Pervozvanny at Reval, 1912.
    (Cage masts not unique to American designs, it seems!)

    Andrei Pervozvannyy at Reval 1912.jpg


    Crewmen and divers aboard Imperator Pavel I

    Imperator Pavel I divers early years.jpg


    Progress with building, completion and service entry of the Andrei Pervozvanny class had been somewhat slow; due to a combination of factors. Following service entry, their employment would be dogged by tremendous upheavals and political instability. To some extent at least, this clouds the ability to make a fair assessment. Nevertheless, I think it's reasonable to suggest two things here:
    (1) That these ships would have been reasonably comparable in fighting capability to the late pre-dreadnoughts of most other nations; but
    (2) By the time they actually made it into service, they were quite obsolete.


    General characteristics* (*Representative. Some variation between ships)

    Displacement – 17,320 long tons (standard); 18,580 long tons (deep load)
    Length – 460ft (140.2m) overall
    Beam – 80ft (24.4m)
    Draft – 29ft 6in (9m) (deep load)
    Propulsion – 2 x triple expansion steam engines, 2 shafts, 25 boilers
    Maximum speed:
    18.5 knots
    Range at 12 knots:
    2,400 nmi with 1,500 long tons of coal
    Armament:
    Primary – 2 x twin 12in (305mm) guns
    Secondary – 4 x twin & 6 x single 8in (203mm) guns
    Supplementary – 12 x single 120mm (4.7in) guns
    Torpedo tubes - 2 x 17.7in (450mm)
    Armor:
    Belt – 4 - 8.5in (102 - 216mm)
    Deck – 1.5in (38mm)
    Large turrets (305mm guns) – 203mm (8in)
    Smaller turrets (203mm guns) – 127 - 152mm (5 - 6in)
    Casemates – 3.1 – 5in (79 – 127mm)
    Conning tower – 4 – 8 in (102 – 203 mm)
    Complement – 955


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrei...ass_battleship
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gangut-class_battleship
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia...ei_Pervozvanny
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia...erator_Pavel_I
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltic_Fleet
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia...iber_naval_gun
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_Cr...e_Baltic_Fleet
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krasnaya_Gorka_fort
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britis...18%E2%80%9319)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kronstadt_rebellion




    So, what of THIS match? Do you lean towards the German or the Russian candidate?
    Your vote will help decide which class makes it to Round 2!



    Suggested additional criteria you might wish to consider, along with any others you deem appropriate.
    (Note: Some of these could be considered already covered by Significant, Influential and Effective)

    Which warship type ...
    • was the best?
    • was the greatest?
    • was the most widely used?
    • had the greatest longevity in service?
    • was the most versatile?
    • represented the best value for the cost/effort invested ("bang for the buck" in today's language)?
    • was the easiest to operate?
    Any other criteria you have applied (please tell us what they were).
    13
    182: Helgoland class (Germany)
    69.23%
    9
    207: Andrei Pervozvanny class (Russia)
    30.77%
    4
    Last edited by panther3485; 07 Jul 20, 12:47.
    "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
    Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

  • #2
    For its time, the Andrei Pervozvanny (often called the Imperator Pavel class though) class were well ahead of their time in many ways. Both were designed very carefully to take in all the lessons learned from the Sino-Russian war and Tsushima. These features include:

    No portholes in the hull. Mechanical ventilation was used. This is a feature that became the norm only in the late 30's and into the 40's in warship design. It was done to prevent progressive flooding due to damage and the usual inability to ensure every porthole didn't leak. Portholes were also seen as a weakness in the hull and armor system.

    The secondary armament was mounted on the main deck and above. There were no gun ports in the hull. This too was a major advance. It raised the guns to give better observation of targets, eliminated penetrations of the hull, and made the guns more useful and workable in a seaway.

    There was extensive fire suppression systems on board and this class was one of the earliest to adopt magazine sprinklers. The ammunition handling systems were provided with flash tight doors and other safety features to prevent a magazine fire and explosion.

    The aft turret was placed as far aft as possible to put it out of the way of most shell fire the ship might receive. This would allow it to stay in action even after extensive damage occurred

    The cage mast was adopted for the same reason the US adopted it. It was considered difficult to knock down.

    The main and secondary batteries were given 35 degree elevation to allow for plunging deck fire at a time when 15 to 20 degrees... or less was the norm.

    The hull was completely armored to minimize splinter damage more than prevent major shell penetrations.

    There was a torpedo defense system of compartments and a thin torpedo bulkhead provided, again a feature ahead of its time.

    The deck armor was far thicker (about double to triple) that of contemporary late pre-dreadnoughts.

    While the Heligoland class definitely has more firepower, it had issues with stability and really didn't represent the state-of-the-art at the time they were built. They were average dreadnoughts, little more. The overlooked Imperator Pavel class was really very innovative and ahead of its time in many aspects. So, even though they were obsolescent at best by the time they were completed, they still incorporated some excellent lessons learned from combat that their contemporaries didn't possess.

    Comment


    • #3
      While the Helgoland Class are nothing special they completely outclassed the Andrei Pervozvanny class on guns, armour and speed. They were contemporaries so the Russian can't even use the excuse that they were older. The Russians didn't do anything spectacular while in service to counteract their technical inferiority. So my vote has to go to the German.
      "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Surrey View Post
        While the Helgoland Class are nothing special they completely outclassed the Andrei Pervozvanny class on guns, armour and speed. They were contemporaries so the Russian can't even use the excuse that they were older. The Russians didn't do anything spectacular while in service to counteract their technical inferiority. So my vote has to go to the German.
        The Russian ships were laid down about two years before the German ones. At the time, that's a very significant difference as battleships were evolving rapidly.

        That aside, given a fighting range of say 10,000 yards, the Russian ship isn't a much of a disadvantage, if any. The reason for that is the 8" secondary battery of 14 guns (7 per side) has the same elevation (35 degrees) as the main battery and fires 3 to 4 times as fast as the German 11". At 10,000 yards that translates into a relative deluge of plunging 8" rounds that potentially could cripple the German ship before the heavier guns make a difference.

        A decade later, when fire controls start to catch up with gun development this would change. But pre 1914 or so... The intermediate gun with a much higher ROF is still a winner.

        Comment


        • #5
          I like the German designs better.

          Pruitt
          Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

          Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

          by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

          Comment


          • #6
            You know why both the Germans and Russians used wing turrets in these designs instead of centerline turrets don't you?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
              You know why both the Germans and Russians used wing turrets in these designs instead of centerline turrets don't you?
              Dreadnought had wing turrets, all the first batch of dreadnoughts did.. They were gradually replaced by centre line ones as ship designs progressed. Presumably it was a design hangover from pre dreadnoughts? Also as guns got heavier they would have to be on the centre line for stability.
              "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Surrey View Post

                Dreadnought had wing turrets, all the first batch of dreadnoughts did.. They were gradually replaced by centre line ones as ship designs progressed. Presumably it was a design hangover from pre dreadnoughts? Also as guns got heavier they would have to be on the centre line for stability.
                In Dreadnought's case the design was made easier by not using superfiring turrets like the US did on their first dreadnought-style class of battleship the S. Dakota's.
                By avoiding that, the weights were kept lower to the waterline simplifying the design of a stable ship.

                In the German and Russian case, they used them because they retained Vertical Triple Expansion (VTE) engines that took up more space, particularly vertically leaving no room for centerline turrets amidships. Where these continued to be used, the ships had to be lengthened to fit those turrets in between the engine rooms and boilers. Turbine engines took up less vertical space and are more compact so it made it easier to fit amidships turrets when they were used.

                Comment

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