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Convoy PQ17 - Wichita & Tuscaloosa versus Tirpitz & Admiral Hipper

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  • #46
    OK, you asked for it ...

    Originally posted by johns624 View Post
    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...
    ...

    In short, Adm. Tovey sent out two squadrons to actively search and confront Bismarck. The pairings were intentional, with the exception of Renown, which unfortunately was with Ark Royal and Force H, they were the only ones with sufficient speed to realistically intercept Bismarck. PoW was paired with Hood under Home Fleet 2IC Holland, and KGV was paired with Repulse, released from a troop convoy escort by the Admiralty, under Tovey – Rodney was actually on convoy escort. It could be argued that when it came to a big gun duel, the stronger pairing of the two actually found Bismarck, and this pairing could have theoretically enjoyed the same result as Tovey did when he finally caught up to Bis., it just didn’t work out that way.

    PoW and KGV:

    14"/45 (35.6 cm) Caliber Gun Mark VII X 10

    2,400 fps (732 mps) with 1,590 lb. (721 kg)
    AP Shell

    Rate of Fire 2.5 rounds per minute.

    Note also, while much is made of PoW’s “newness”, and gun/turret machinery breakdowns, KGV also suffered from the same problems, and did so in the confrontation with Bis. days later, she was at an estimated 60% effectiveness for much of the battle – KGV arguably has no advantage over PoW.

    Hood:

    15"/42 (38.1 cm) Caliber Gun Mark I X 8

    2,458 fps (749 mps) with 1,938 lb. (879 kg) 6 crh AP Shell
    2,467 fps (752 mps) with 1,920 lb. (871 kg) 4 crh AP Shell


    Rate of Fire – every 25 seconds or over 2 rounds per minute

    Repulse was pretty much the same, except for having only 6 guns, and the unmodernized Mark I mount could only elevate to 20’, compared to Hood’s Mark II’s 30’.


    With improvements in terms of armour penetration these guns were actually better than the Nelson's 16" (40.6 cm) guns at long ranges and were superior to the King George V 14" (35.6 cm) guns at all ranges.


    Rodney:

    16"/45 cal Mk 1 X9
    2,048lb projectile at a muzzle velocity of 2,614fps to a range of 39,800 yards. Broadside weight was 18,432 pounds.

    Rate of Fire, 1.5 rounds per minute

    The 16-inch Mk I high velocity gun was never as successful as the previous 15-inch Mk I. The 15-inch Mk I used a heavy low velocity shell to achieve its hitting power, the 16-inch Mk 1 used a relatively lighter shell at a higher velocity. This however gave the barrels a short life of only 180 charges and a loss of accuracy as the barrel wore.
    Modifications were made to improve the 16-inch Mk I but it never was as reliable or as accurate as the 15-inch Mk I.
    If the guns gave problems so did the the triple mounting; modifications being needed to the rollers due to excessive wear, and overly complex shell handling arrangements.
    The mounting compared unfavourably to the 15-inch MK I mounting. The 15-inch mount allowed the guns to be fired every 25 seconds, the 16-inch MK I every 45 seconds.

    In comparison:

    Bismarck fired a 15” 1,764 lbs shell 2.4 shots/minute/gun X8
    Prinz Eugen fired an 8” 276 lb shell at a rate of 4.5 shots/minute/gun X8




    What does this mean? Theoretically PoW and Hood together fired a much heavier weight of salvo than could Bismarck and Prinz Eugen, and KGV and Repulse. Also theoretically PoW and Hood together could fire at a higher more effective rate than KGV and Rodney did, which actually sank Bismarck, and take note, Bismarck did not hit either of them. In Bis.'s case it was Rodney that scored the lucky hit early in the engagement, a hit limiting Bis.’s fire control, Bis. had straddled Rodney previously, after which Rodney had her own fire control problems, but by that time range wasn’t an issue. Theoretically, Hood had a greater probability of achieving that telling hit on Bis., than Rodney did, and of not even taking a hit from Bis. in the process.

    Such is fate - Hood’s luck ran out, days later, so did Bismarck’s.
    Last edited by Marmat; 04 Aug 16, 17:05.
    "I am Groot"
    - Groot

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    • #47
      Originally posted by johns624 View Post
      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.
      I comprehend just fine, and what you are saying is that the German Navy fought like the Italian navy.
      Fine, however-
      After the Battle of the Barents Sea as mentioned above, Hilter wanted to scrap the surface fleet. But it wasn't because they got scratched, it is because they failed to miserably to achieve anything with the odds so much in their favor.

      Originally posted by johns624 View Post
      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...
      Correct on that one. P,O,W, should never have even entered that battle, and when it comes to a slug-fest between Battlewagons then Bulldog Rodney was clearly better suited than a Geryhound like Hood. That is how they were built.
      "Why is the Rum gone?"

      -Captain Jack

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      • #48
        If PoW had been hit by a plunging 15" shell on the deck above one of the magazines what would have happened?
        "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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        • #49
          Originally posted by Surrey View Post
          If PoW had been hit by a plunging 15" shell on the deck above one of the magazines what would have happened?
          The Japanese wouldn't have sunk her?

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          • #50
            Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
            I comprehend just fine, and what you are saying is that the German Navy fought like the Italian navy.
            Fine, however-
            After the Battle of the Barents Sea as mentioned above, Hilter wanted to scrap the surface fleet. But it wasn't because they got scratched, it is because they failed to miserably to achieve anything with the odds so much in their favor.
            Hitler was weird like that. He wanted a massive victory, but he also didn't want any losses. The German fleet was at its best as a fleet in being. As long as it just threatened, it could tie up RN heavy units. Any loss of a major unit though, shrunk the threat by a considerable amount. It started out with seven "heavy" units. The Bismarck and Graf Spee were sunk early, leaving only five. They could threaten, but the minute they attacked, if there was any viable opposition, it was down to four or three. That lessens the threat considerably. Only the Tirpitz could stand up to a modern Allied battleship. The Scharnhorst and Gniesnau had armour, but not the gun size to do it. The Scheer and Lutzow were little better than heavy cruisers and shouldn't have messed with them. The pockets and Hippers needed to go out with at least one of their "big brothers" to be effective.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by johns624 View Post
              The Japanese wouldn't have sunk her?
              And PoW was supposed to have fairly good armour. If no ship was well enough protected to take such a hit then you can't really blame Hood's poor armour.
              Last edited by Surrey; 05 Aug 16, 10:04.
              "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Surrey View Post
                And PoW was supposed to have fairly good armour. If no ship was well enough protected to take such a hit then you can't really blame Hood's poor armour.
                I really don't know. I was just making a poor joke...I guess I should have used the Sarcasm emoticon.

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                • #53
                  Probably nothing ...

                  Originally posted by Surrey View Post
                  If PoW had been hit by a plunging 15" shell on the deck above one of the magazines what would have happened?
                  PoW was struck by 7 shells in her battle with Bis. & PE:

                  1) a 15" shell passed through the Compass Platform without detonating, shrapnel killing or wounding everyone except Capt. Leach and a Yeoman.

                  2) an 8" or 15" shell struck the area of the forward HACS directors, without detonating.

                  3) a 15" shell hit the base of the after funnel, partial detonation, splinter damage.

                  4) an 8" shell penetrated the after superstructure without detonating, was tossed over the side.

                  5) a 15" shell penetrated the ship's side below the armour belt amidships, failed to detonate, located in a starboard wing compartment and removed.

                  6) an 8" shell struck the armour deck aft, mild detonation, no damage.

                  7) an 8" shell struck the ship's starboard side aft, mild detonation above the armour deck.

                  We're talking duds and or near-duds; given the performance of German shells, one could conclude that Hood actually suffering catastrophic damage and being sunk by one of these shells is certainly well against the odds. Apart from taking in some water aft, PoW's fighting efficiency wasn't impaired in the least.
                  Last edited by Marmat; 05 Aug 16, 11:07.
                  "I am Groot"
                  - Groot

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                  • #54
                    Personally, I think Hood was taken out by something the designers didn't really look at, and that flaw caused her destruction.

                    That is, Hood got hit aft by a 15" shell at an oblique angle. The shell struck the armored deck in the area of the rear turrets above the magazines.
                    As designed, the armored deck deflected the round. As not accounted for, the thin armor was also shattered by overmatch. The hot steel fragments sprayed into the powder magazines directly below the armored deck. Having these above the shell magazines was British practice, the reverse of US or German practice.
                    The hull design of Hood aft precluded a deep magazine design in any case.
                    But, because of the magazine arrangements and the relatively thin deck armor the overmatch by the 15" shell shattered it, the fragments ignited the magazine, and minutes later... Boom!
                    The Prinz Eugen gets involved because of the delay between the offending it by Bismarck and the actual detonation.

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                    • #55
                      Call me thick, unimaginative or stupid but I just don't get these kinds of threads.

                      You aren't comparing like with like.

                      It's like apples and pears.

                      I get the whole 'what if' thing .. but the recent battleship comparisons I've seen on here leave me shaking my head in bemusement.

                      Is it just a ship nerdy thing that I don't get?

                      If anyone can shed any light, it would be much appreciated.
                      "COOMMAAAAAAANNNNDOOOO!!!!!"
                      - Mad Jack Churchill.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Tuck's Luck View Post
                        Is it just a ship nerdy thing that I don't get?

                        If anyone can shed any light, it would be much appreciated.
                        Yes, it's a "nerdy thing" and if you're not careful he'll start replying to you...



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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Tuck's Luck View Post
                          Call me thick, unimaginative or stupid but I just don't get these kinds of threads.

                          You aren't comparing like with like.

                          It's like apples and pears.

                          I get the whole 'what if' thing .. but the recent battleship comparisons I've seen on here leave me shaking my head in bemusement.

                          Is it just a ship nerdy thing that I don't get?

                          If anyone can shed any light, it would be much appreciated.
                          That's why it's called Alternate Timelines. It's things that never did, or never could have, happened. Go do a search for Zulus in this forum...

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                          • #58
                            Apparently the designers ...

                            Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                            Personally, I think Hood was taken out by something the designers didn't really look at, and that flaw caused her destruction.

                            That is, Hood got hit aft by a 15" shell at an oblique angle. The shell struck the armored deck in the area of the rear turrets above the magazines.
                            As designed, the armored deck deflected the round. As not accounted for, the thin armor was also shattered by overmatch. The hot steel fragments sprayed into the powder magazines directly below the armored deck. Having these above the shell magazines was British practice, the reverse of US or German practice.
                            The hull design of Hood aft precluded a deep magazine design in any case.
                            But, because of the magazine arrangements and the relatively thin deck armor the overmatch by the 15" shell shattered it, the fragments ignited the magazine, and minutes later... Boom!
                            The Prinz Eugen gets involved because of the delay between the offending it by Bismarck and the actual detonation.
                            ... had that in mind when they considered Hood's armour arrangement. "Unlike many warships, Hood had extensive internal ('splinter') armour intended to contain the effect of armour-piercing shells penetrating her armour ... and thus protect vitals such as magazines", - Friedman, although most historians put this arrangement down as being somewhere between previous practice, and "all-or-nothing".

                            Considering the above, Hood also fell in between the previous RN practice of main armament cordite magazine above shell room, and the coming, shell room above cordite magazine build, which is usually attributed to the Nelsons. The RN considered the latter for Hood, but she was too far along at the time, instead the 3 later sister BCs, Anson, Howe and Rodney would be built, shell room over cordite magazine; they were cancelled. But Hood wasn't too far along to so adapt the secondary armament shell room, cordite magazine arrangement; the cordite magazine for the 5.5" guns was below the 5.5" shell room. When the switch was made and the 5.5's were replaced, by 4" guns, handling was changed to accommodate the change in gun location, but the shell handling arrangement remained the same, with a ready ammo locker on deck. The second Board of Enquiry concluded " (1) That the sinking of Hood was due to a hit from Bismarck's 15" shell in or adjacent to Hood's 4" or 15" magazines, causing them all to explode and wreck the after part of the ship. The probability is that the 4" magazines exploded first..." There's little to refute this conclusion from the state of the wreck.

                            The result of this, and practical experience, caused the RN to revisit the practice of shell/cordite storage, with a view to returning to cordite magazine over shell room for the next generation of RN battleships. So serious was their intent that there were plans to rebuild a battleship with both arrangements, one fore, the other aft, and subject the ship to test firings; the ship chosen was HMS Warspite. As we now know, the day of the battleship was past, Vanguard was the rearguard and there would be no further classes of RN battleship.

                            I'm not going to say that your theory has no merit, but clearly history and the experts of the day aren't likely to agree with it.
                            Last edited by Marmat; 06 Aug 16, 14:28. Reason: Account for fixed 4" ammo.
                            "I am Groot"
                            - Groot

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                            • #59
                              An excellent four part article on the sinking of Hood.

                              http://www.navweaps.com/index_inro/INRO_Hood_p1.htm

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                              • #60
                                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.

                                actually

                                Blucher was sunk by 'Command Hubris'. Plus horrible intelligence on what the Norwegians actually had in the Oslo forts...

                                The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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