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Convoy PQ17 - Wichita & Tuscaloosa versus Tirpitz & Admiral Hipper

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  • #31
    The Hippers ...

    Originally posted by flash View Post
    The Hipper was one of a three off, they were neither fish nor fowl, they were designed to be great at commerce raiding and nothing more!

    But yes, you could class Hipper as a heavy cruiser in the line of battle, just a heavy cruiser with teeth far in excess of any allied Heavy cruiser.

    The Germans HAD to run for home if threatened with anything more than a popgun, this was made clear in Admiral Beys orders and when on that cold dark and windswept night he came to meet his match he was on a course that would have taken him home
    ... were pretty much standard 8" cruisers, a class of 5; Admiral Hipper, Blücher which was sunk during the invasion of Norway, Prinz Eugen which was Bismarck's consort, Seydlitz whose final completion was put on hold, then she developed as an aircraft carrier but never finished, and Lützow which was sold to the Soviets before completion, the Pocket Battleship i.e. Panzerschiffe Duetchland being renamed Lützow. They were post-treaty and a good size but there was nothing remarkable about these ships, no line of battle for them, they weren't especially good seaboats and were prone to steam plant breakdowns, a USN Baltimore would've cleaned their clocks, I'd even put my money on a well drilled Cleveland. You may be thinking of the Panzerschiffe Admiral Scheer, there were only 3 built?
    "I am Groot"
    - Groot

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    • #32
      There were three "Pocket Battleships" built. They were the Graf Spee (sunk), the Deutschland (renamed Lutzow) and the Admiral Scheer. The Graf Spee had problems fighting the three Royal Navy Cruisers. The 11 inch main guns were slow to reload and hard to adjust as typically only one turret could fire at a time. The 5.9 inch secondary guns engaged the two Light Cruisers. I doubt the 4.1 inch AA were even used. These ships did sterling service in the Baltic as fire support artillery for the German Army as it retreated from the Soviets.

      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"

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      • #33
        One turret fired at a time to split salvos. That way you got one off in half the reload time so you had shorter intervals between them. That gives more accuracy with spotting. Problem is, a 3 gun salvo is relatively small.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by johns624 View Post
          Heavy cruisers, none the less. I'll take a Baltimore any day of the week. Besides, in the first post of flash's that I referenced, he mentioned 11 inch guns. He's just a little confused...
          PS- Yeah, Blucher was so bad-azzed that it was sunk by Norwegian shore batteries.
          Yes, my bad, I retrieved that false information from somewhere in the murky recesses of my mind, in a file marked "Deutschland changed names to Lutzow".
          I've no idea why it was stored there!

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Marmat View Post
            ... were pretty much standard 8" cruisers, a class of 5; Admiral Hipper, Blücher which was sunk during the invasion of Norway, Prinz Eugen which was Bismarck's consort, Seydlitz whose final completion was put on hold, then she developed as an aircraft carrier but never finished, and Lützow which was sold to the Soviets before completion, the Pocket Battleship i.e. Panzerschiffe Duetchland being renamed Lützow. They were post-treaty and a good size but there was nothing remarkable about these ships, no line of battle for them, they weren't especially good seaboats and were prone to steam plant breakdowns, a USN Baltimore would've cleaned their clocks, I'd even put my money on a well drilled Cleveland. You may be thinking of the Panzerschiffe Admiral Scheer, there were only 3 built?
            You're absolutely right Marmat,thanks.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Marmat View Post
              ... were pretty much standard 8" cruisers, a class of 5; Admiral Hipper, Blücher which was sunk during the invasion of Norway, Prinz Eugen which was Bismarck's consort, Seydlitz whose final completion was put on hold, then she developed as an aircraft carrier but never finished, and Lützow which was sold to the Soviets before completion, the Pocket Battleship i.e. Panzerschiffe Duetchland being renamed Lützow. They were post-treaty and a good size but there was nothing remarkable about these ships, no line of battle for them, they weren't especially good seaboats and were prone to steam plant breakdowns, a USN Baltimore would've cleaned their clocks, I'd even put my money on a well drilled Cleveland. You may be thinking of the Panzerschiffe Admiral Scheer, there were only 3 built?
              The class really is pretty marginal as 8" cruisers go given their tonnage. At full load they come close to 20,000 tons. They have 1 to 2" of deck and 3" of belt armor.
              The older RN County class has 4.5" of belt and 1 to 1.5" of deck armor and equal armament on 14,000 tons FL.
              The equivalent USN New Orleans class has 5" of belt and 1.5 to 2.5" of deck armor, one more 8" gun on about 13,000 tons FL.

              Either class of heavy cruiser would have been able to deal handily with a Prinz Eugen.
              The Wichita class CA is even better: 6.5" belt, 2.5 to 3" deck, and 8" turret faces with the same 9 versus 8 8" guns, and roughly equal secondary armament (although the US 5"/38 is far more reliable than the German 10.5cm SK 33 mounts) all on 14,000 tons FL. This is a cruiser with deck armor approaching the 2" and 3 -4" deck system of the Tirpitz...

              Given USN and RN fire control systems by 1942, the Prinz Eugen is just hit. The ship is literally becoming obsolescent.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                The class really is pretty marginal as 8" cruisers go given their tonnage. At full load they come close to 20,000 tons. They have 1 to 2" of deck and 3" of belt armor.
                The older RN County class has 4.5" of belt and 1 to 1.5" of deck armor and equal armament on 14,000 tons FL.
                The equivalent USN New Orleans class has 5" of belt and 1.5 to 2.5" of deck armor, one more 8" gun on about 13,000 tons FL.

                Either class of heavy cruiser would have been able to deal handily with a Prinz Eugen.
                The Wichita class CA is even better: 6.5" belt, 2.5 to 3" deck, and 8" turret faces with the same 9 versus 8 8" guns, and roughly equal secondary armament (although the US 5"/38 is far more reliable than the German 10.5cm SK 33 mounts) all on 14,000 tons FL. This is a cruiser with deck armor approaching the 2" and 3 -4" deck system of the Tirpitz...

                Given USN and RN fire control systems by 1942, the Prinz Eugen is just hit. The ship is literally becoming obsolescent.
                Actually the Hipper class were more than a match for the Counties. Hipper badly damaged Berwick in a one on one action in 1940. Berwick didn't even mana got hit Hipper.
                "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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                • #38
                  I'd agree that the Hippers can beat the Counties.....a case of having more tonnage to absorb hits, which can count with the middling calibers.

                  OTOH, with 4 cruisers going up against the 2 ships noted (Tirpitz and Hipper), I think that the big boys are going to be in some trouble. If the concentrate their fire on one ship at a time the others are going to maul them mercilessly, and if they split their fire they're going to need an obscene amount of luck to mission kill 4 cruisers. Neither of which they can do while running, so they'll have to turn to bring their full broadsides to bear or simply flee while eating whatever is dished out....in which case the destroyers have time to make torpedo runs which will wreck firing solutions from evasive maneuvers even if they're unsuccessful.

                  In short, the 4 cruisers noted can pound Tirpitz and Hipper and only worry about some return fire, while Tirpitz and Hipper have to evade multiple angles of attack AND develop firing solutions on double the number of targets.

                  If there's one thing that I learned from the Epic WWI Wargame of years past, it's that having double the number of hulls is an advantage far beyond the sum of parts......unless your one ship can simply ignore the fire of its opposition, it's in deep crap trying to take on 2 to one odds.
                  Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Surrey View Post
                    Actually the Hipper class were more than a match for the Counties. Hipper badly damaged Berwick in a one on one action in 1940. Berwick didn't even mana got hit Hipper.
                    I think the point Mr. Gardner is making is that, by the time of the PQ17 action, allied cruisers generally had superior fire control/radar systems. The two RN cruisers, London & Norfolk, both carried Type 273, and Norfolk carried Type 284 as well.

                    In the engagement between Hipper and Berwick, I believe that Hipper was equipped with FuMO22, whereas Berwick had no radar at all, only receiving Type 281 (air warning) and Type 284 at the end of her refit, by June 1941.

                    Incidentally, in the latter action, Hipper chose to disengage, having failed to inflict any significant damage on the convoy Berwick (and others) were escorting.

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                    • #40
                      In the one engagement with Hipper on 25/12/40, Berwick was not fitted with radar. Hipper had a Seetakt fitted but this radar is of limited value as an FC set being 54 cm wavelength.

                      Berwick took 4 8" hits from Hipper during the action. One struck A turret putting it out of action and killing 5 of the turret crew.
                      The other three hits were aft on the superstructure and hull. These caused superficial damage and some flooding aft.

                      Berwick was fitted with Type 281 and 284 between April and June 1941 during a refit.

                      As for the Hipper having more tonnage, that might make a big difference in WoW, but in reality it really makes little difference. Division of machinery, size of the main spaces, what deck the bulkheads run up to and whether there are penetrations below that deck in them are more important to damage control and flooding.
                      For example, US cruisers proved far more resilient to damage than their much heavier Japanese counterparts. So, you can't go by tonnage.
                      Pumping arrangements and firemain configuration are also more important. These sorts of details are hard to find on German ships.

                      On the whole, I'd say the County class has a big advantage in stability and buoyancy over the Hipper class. They have about the same armor and have the same armament. The British 8" (theoretically) has a higher rate of fire. They certainly have an advantage in elevation giving them plunging fire options the Hipper doesn't have.
                      Last edited by T. A. Gardner; 01 Aug 16, 18:16.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Doveton Sturdee View Post
                        I think the point Mr. Gardner is making is that, by the time of the PQ17 action, allied cruisers generally had superior fire control/radar systems. The two RN cruisers, London & Norfolk, both carried Type 273, and Norfolk carried Type 284 as well.

                        In the engagement between Hipper and Berwick, I believe that Hipper was equipped with FuMO22, whereas Berwick had no radar at all, only receiving Type 281 (air warning) and Type 284 at the end of her refit, by June 1941.

                        Incidentally, in the latter action, Hipper chose to disengage, having failed to inflict any significant damage on the convoy Berwick (and others) were escorting.
                        I agree. The latter part of WW2 is when electronics and sensors started to become more important than armament. Finding the enemy first was most important, whether with radar for surface ships or sonar for U-boats. Even up until the 80's, Soviet ships had more armament but US ships were more powerful weapons.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by johns624 View Post

                          How quickly we forget the Battle off Samar. The DD's, DE's and CVE's didn't have a chance against the Japanese Main Force either, did they? I think the Germans would have run for home at the first hint of major (larger than DD) Allied surface units. They were afraid to get their ships scratched and endure Hitler's wrath.
                          Yeah, whatever.
                          I was responding to the original premise, not some long-shot BS.

                          But hey, if you think that 2 cruisers are better than 1 cruiser and 1 BB... I'd ask you to sober up.

                          These 8-ball tangents are why I don't bother with this Alt Hist ctuff much anymore.
                          "Why is the Rum gone?"

                          -Captain Jack

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                          • #43
                            You have a point, ...

                            Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
                            Yeah, whatever.
                            I was responding to the original premise, not some long-shot BS.

                            But hey, if you think that 2 cruisers are better than 1 cruiser and 1 BB... I'd ask you to sober up.

                            These 8-ball tangents are why I don't bother with this Alt Hist ctuff much anymore.
                            ... TAG referred you to the Battle of the North Cape, I'm gonna send you to the Battle of the Barents Sea:

                            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Barents_Sea

                            The KM attacked Arctic Convoy JW 51B of 14 merchant ships with 1 8" cruiser, 1 Panzerschiffe i.e. "Pocket Battleship", and 6 BIG destroyers. The well led RN escort of 2 6" Cruisers, and 6 Destroyers, 5 of them Emergency Flotilla boats, beat them off the convoy, all 14 merchantmen survived. Who'd a thunk it?

                            As johns624 states
                            "They were afraid to get their ships scratched and endure Hitler's wrath."
                            Hitler freaked at the results of this engagement, he wanted the surface fleet scrapped, Raeder resigned in protest.

                            Remember, the odds favoured Hood & PoW over Rodney & KGV in defeating Bis. & PE, but it didn't turn out that way, Bis didn't even scratch the latter pair, and we know what happened to the former, Hood was lost. Sometimes odds don't matter, in sports it's well known that it comes down to "you still have to play the game".
                            "I am Groot"
                            - Groot

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
                              Yeah, whatever.
                              I was responding to the original premise, not some long-shot BS.

                              But hey, if you think that 2 cruisers are better than 1 cruiser and 1 BB... I'd ask you to sober up.

                              These 8-ball tangents are why I don't bother with this Alt Hist ctuff much anymore.
                              If you read my entire post, you would have comprehended it. Hitler made the German gun shy of going into action under anything other than overwhelming odds. They were afraid of even getting a ship damaged, due to the lack of any repair facilities in northern Norway.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Marmat View Post

                                Remember, the odds favoured Hood & PoW over Rodney & KGV in defeating Bis. & PE, but it didn't turn out that way.
                                Would you care to elaborate on this for me? I would have favored the other duo. Although the KGV and PoW were of the same class, the KGV had been in service longer and had its kinks worked out and crew worked up as a team. The Rodney may have been slower and smaller than the Hood but it was better armed and armoured. Besides, I always liked her looks...

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