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  • Heavy cruisers versus a battleship

    From the Yamato thread:

    Originally posted by At ease View Post
    I'm well aware of what class of ship Graf Spee was.

    My point of my 2 previous posts in this thread, in rebuttal to TAG's earlier post, is that 8" shells are more than capable of inflicting grave damage to much heavier opponents.

    These shells might not sink a much better protected opponent, but armour cannot be everywhere and therefore much damage can be inflicted to the extent that, as was seen at the River Plate action and in Bismark's last, they can be fundamental in rendering an opponent helpless.
    This poses an interesting question: What if you had 3 or 4 heavy 8" cruisers versus a single battleship. Could those cruisers effectively defeat the battleship in an engagement?

    My personal view right off is that they couldn't. While the cruisers could inflict some damage, and they might get lucky hits on critical systems like the fire control towers on the whole they couldn't take down the battleship. At the same time, a single well placed salvo from a battleship scoring 2 or more hits would be near crippling to most cruisers. Again, it comes down in part to who hits where and who hits first but on the whole I don't see the cruisers winning.

  • #2
    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
    From the Yamato thread:



    This poses an interesting question: What if you had 3 or 4 heavy 8" cruisers versus a single battleship. Could those cruisers effectively defeat the battleship in an engagement?

    My personal view right off is that they couldn't. While the cruisers could inflict some damage, and they might get lucky hits on critical systems like the fire control towers on the whole they couldn't take down the battleship. At the same time, a single well placed salvo from a battleship scoring 2 or more hits would be near crippling to most cruisers. Again, it comes down in part to who hits where and who hits first but on the whole I don't see the cruisers winning.
    Would their torpedos help the cruisers out? By that I mean, are they a legit threat to the battleship? (Not a navy guy, obviously)

    Comment


    • #3
      In a night battle, yes, they could.
      However, US cruisers are handicapped in that they don't have torpedoes.
      Even so, look what happened to the Hiei.

      Most cruisers were faster than most BBs, but just a few hits from a BB would knock most any CA out of the fight. And CAs are not fast enough to dodge fire from the big guns.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
        In a night battle, yes, they could.
        However, US cruisers are handicapped in that they don't have torpedoes.
        Even so, look what happened to the Hiei.

        Most cruisers were faster than most BBs, but just a few hits from a BB would knock most any CA out of the fight. And CAs are not fast enough to dodge fire from the big guns.
        Wrong.

        USN some heavy cruisers had torpedo tubes. Pensacola Class and the Northampton Class had torpedo tubes. Later classes did not. All RN cruisers had tubes except for a couple in the London Class. All the heavy's of the Free French navy had tubes. All CA's of the IJN had tubes.
        "Ask not what your country can do for you"

        Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

        you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

        Comment


        • #5
          Allied cruisers with Radar vs an axis BB without? at night? (something their superior speed would enable them to set up)

          they can get a mission kill at the very least.

          and if they're British cruisers they'll probably just scuttle themselves
          Task Force Regenbogen- Support and Paras

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
            Wrong.

            USN some heavy cruisers had torpedo tubes. Pensacola Class and the Northampton Class had torpedo tubes. Later classes did not. All RN cruisers had tubes except for a couple in the London Class. All the heavy's of the Free French navy had tubes. All CA's of the IJN had tubes.
            Wrong
            Pensacola class had theirs removed.
            Looking in Wiki; Northampton class cruisers, USA" does not exist.
            Janes
            agrees.

            Comment


            • #7
              Admiral Mikawa with 4 Heavy cruisers would probably wreck an unescorted battleship. Though losing one or two ships.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
                Wrong
                Pensacola class had theirs removed.
                Looking in Wiki; Northampton class cruisers, USA" does not exist.
                Janes
                agrees.
                Navweaps notes the weapon for the Northampton Class. They note that it started with CA-26. Checked Wiki, and the USS Northampton is noted as the lead ship of the Northampton Class....and is CA-26.
                Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
                  Wrong
                  Pensacola class had theirs removed.
                  Looking in Wiki; Northampton class cruisers, USA" does not exist.
                  Janes
                  agrees.
                  From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Vol. V, p. 111-12.

                  Northampton

                  (CL-26: dp. 9,050; l. 600' 3"; b. 66' 1" dr. 16' 4"; s. 32.5 k.; cpl. 621; a. 9 8", 4 5", 8 .50 cal. mg., 6 21" tt.; cl. Northampton)

                  Northampton (CL-26) was laid down 12 April 1928 by Bethlehem Steel Corp., Quincy, Mass., launched 5 September 1929, sponsored by Mrs. Calvin Coolidge; and commissioned 17 May 1930, Captain Walter N. Vernou in command.


                  As to cruisers vs battleships the night action on November 12-13, 1942 the Japanese fleet consisted of the battleships Hiei and Kirishima , cruiser Nagara and 11 destroyers. The ships were going to bombard Henderson field. They were intercepted by 2 heavy cruisers, 1 light cruiser, 2 anti-aircraft cruisers and 8 destroyers. The IMS Hiei suffered severe damage and was also hit by torpedo planes the next day and later scuttled.

                  The one that wasn't was at Leyte Gulf where 4 cruisers and 9 destroyers were sent to finish off the remnants of Ozawa's northern force. Ozawa when he learned of the size of the American force ordered the battleships Ise and Hyuga to engage the Americans but no contacct was made.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ok, so doing some armor and shell analysis on three common BB types of the the WWII era (one is outdated, but included), and noting the penetration at various ranges for USN, RN, and IJN 8" cruiser guns. Armor sourcing from Wiki (for speed), Weapon sourcing from Navweaps.com.

                    IJN Kongo:
                    Deck - 58mm/76mm(engines)/101mm(ammo storage)
                    Belt - 200-280mm
                    Turret Face - 230mm
                    Barbette - 254mm
                    Superstructure - ??

                    USS South Dakota:
                    Deck - 140mm-155mm
                    Belt - 310mm
                    Turret Face - 457mm
                    Barbette - 287mm-439mm
                    Conning Tower - 406mm

                    HMS King George V (1941):
                    Deck - 136mm Max
                    Belt - M374mm, L137mm
                    Turret Face - 324mm
                    Barbette - 324mm
                    Superstructure - ??

                    ----------------------

                    Guns:

                    Japanese 20cm/50 3rd year no 2 (most advanced 8" gun of WWII for Japan):
                    10,940yds - 190mm Side
                    19,690yds - 120mm Side
                    32,150yds - 74mm Side
                    Note that once range exceeds 16,000yds, the angle of fall will exceed 15deg, making deck hits likely.

                    British 8"/50 Mark VIII:
                    No Data on Penetration. I would place this gun somewhere between the Japanese and American guns for penetration.

                    USA 8"/55 Mark 12 & 15:
                    10,800yds: 254mm
                    15,400yds: 203mm
                    18,400yds: 51mm Deck
                    24,400yds: 127mm
                    27,600yds: 102mm Deck
                    Last edited by TacCovert4; 02 Jan 13, 19:19.
                    Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
                      Wrong.

                      USN some heavy cruisers had torpedo tubes. Pensacola Class and the Northampton Class had torpedo tubes. Later classes did not. All RN cruisers had tubes except for a couple in the London Class. All the heavy's of the Free French navy had tubes. All CA's of the IJN had tubes.
                      The only US cruiser class to have torpedo tubes by the beginning of WW 2 is the Atlanta AA cruisers. These were initially retained because of the small caliber of the main battery.

                      In any case, cruiser torpedoes (with the exception of the Japanese) are available in very small numbers. A cruiser, again the Japanese being the exception here) would also have to close to near point blank range to deliver an effective spread. That would pretty much doom it if the BB's main battery was even partially intact.

                      The biggest problem is that the battleship can out range the cruisers and that it has a greater hit probability out to cruiser range gunfire than the cruiser(s) do in return fire at that range. That is, at say 20,000 yards the BB has a greater hit probability than the cruisers do.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I was told many years ago by a retired naval gunnery officer that the volume or weight of metal a cruisers guns could put out was as important as penetration. He said the object of the gun system designers of the interwar years was to squeeze the maximum sustained volume of fire out of a cruisers batter. He had a bunch of technical data that of course I cant rmember after 36+ years.

                        Hornsfischer refers to this vis USN cruisers in 'Neptunes Inferno'

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The only US cruiser class to have torpedo tubes by the beginning of WW 2 is the Atlanta AA cruisers.
                          When were tubes removed?

                          I found this while looking.

                          With the termination of hostilities, PORTLAND played a significant role in the Japanese surrender ending World War II Though overshadowed by the ceremonies aboard battleship MISSOURI in Tokyo Bay, documents were signed at the same hour on the decks of the PORTLAND in Truk Lagoon, Caroline Islands. There, Vice Admiral George D. Murray received Lt. General Shinzaburo Magikura, commander of the 31st Japanese Army; Vice Admiral Chuichi Hara, Commander of the Japanese 4th Fleet and Mr. Alhara, Japanese civilian south-seas government representative, aboard Murray's flagship the USS PORTLAND. There they signed documents surrendering all territories under their control.
                          "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                          Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                          you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Please note, before the thread goes too far, that I said this:

                            My point of my 2 previous posts in this thread, in rebuttal to TAG's earlier post, is that 8" shells are more than capable of inflicting grave damage to much heavier opponents.

                            These shells might not sink a much better protected opponent, but armour cannot be everywhere and therefore much damage can be inflicted to the extent that, as was seen at the River Plate action and in Bismark's last, they can be fundamental in rendering an opponent helpless.
                            "It's like shooting rats in a barrel."
                            "You'll be in a barrel if you don't watch out for the fighters!"

                            "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease."
                            — Sergei(son of Igor) Sikorsky, 'AOPA Pilot' magazine February 2003.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              We could cheat by having the Des Moines class as the cruisers or including Alaska class cruisers (dives for cover) amongst the cruiser force. I think that I had a pocket battleship failing in an attempted Sealion post at http://counter-factual.net/upload/showthread.php?t=9046 (dives for cover again).

                              More seriously, Japanese strategy envisaged the 2nd Fleet cruisers and destroyers fighting their way through the USN screen and launching torpedoes in a night attack before the decisive battle. In a pre-radar world, it is not obvious that this would completely fail although one would need good dice to predict the result.

                              Comment

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