PDA

View Full Version : Why 8 15 inch guns?



Deaf Smith
04-03-2009, 09:51 PM
The Bismarck, which was Laid down in 1 July 1936 and commissioned in 24/8/1940, was designed with 4 turrets. Each with two 15 inch guns. This was a rather uninspiring design that went back to World War I.

But before it was built other, more modern designs were produced.

The Scharnhorst, which used 3 triple turrets each with three 11 inch guns, was laid down in June 1935 and commissioned in 7/1/1939.

And the Italian battleship, Littorio , with 3 triple turrets with each having three 15 inch guns, was laid down in 1934 and commissioned in 5/6/1940.

So I cannot understand why Germany used a older design that was not as efficient as the more modern ones. I would think the weight saved by going to three turrets would just about allow then a 9th 15 inch rifle.

It's not like they didn't know how to make tripple turrents or three turret designs.

So what was their rational?

Deaf

flamethrowerguy
04-04-2009, 06:19 AM
The Bismarck, which was Laid down in 1 July 1936 and commissioned in 24/8/1940, was designed with 4 turrets. Each with two 15 inch guns. This was a rather uninspiring design that went back to World War I.

But before it was built other, more modern designs were produced.

The Scharnhorst, which used 3 triple turrets each with three 11 inch guns, was laid down in June 1935 and commissioned in 7/1/1939.

And the Italian battleship, Littorio , with 3 triple turrets with each having three 15 inch guns, was laid down in 1934 and commissioned in 5/6/1940.

So I cannot understand why Germany used a older design that was not as efficient as the more modern ones. I would think the weight saved by going to three turrets would just about allow then a 9th 15 inch rifle.

It's not like they didn't know how to make tripple turrents or three turret designs.

So what was their rational?

Deaf


The Germans indeed preferred twin turrets in contrary to the French, US, or British Navy's triplet or quadruplet turrets. That's how they argued for the twin turret:
- the smaller diameter of the twin turret's rotating assembly allowed smaller cutouts in the deck.
- the ship's fire power could be distributed on several turrets.
- the ship's fire power wasn't profoundly decreased in case of a turret received a hit or suffered from technical problems.
- the bow's second turret -which was installed elevated- could still be used in heavy swell.

As I mentioned - former argumentation but they actually ranked these arguments higher than the triplet/quadruplet turret's central supply with ammo or the central control of fire.

Rising Sun*
04-04-2009, 06:28 AM
The Germans indeed preferred twin turrets in contrary to the French, US, or British Navy's triplet or quadruplet turrets. That's how they argued for the twin turret:
- the smaller diameter of the twin turret's rotating assembly allowed smaller cutouts in the deck.
- the ship's fire power could be distributed on several turrets.
- the ship's fire power wasn't profoundly decreased in case of a turret received a hit or suffered from technical problems.
- the bow's second turret -which was installed elevated- could still be used in heavy swell.

As I mentioned - former argumentation but they actually ranked these arguments higher than the triplet/quadruplet turret's central supply with ammo or the central control of fire.

They seem like very sound arguments to a non-navy person like me. They seem to maximise the ship's ability to fight in all conditions and with damage, and rather more than if they had triple turrets. Also the reduced deck strain should extend firing life without repairs.

Deaf Smith
04-04-2009, 07:09 AM
Then why the Scharnhorst class ships or Deutschland class cruiser (granted only two tripple turrets?)

Add to that, considering it's a 50,000 ton ship 12 15 inch guns, in four tripples, could have been mounted (as U.S. 14 inch gun ships had.)

Also, a direct hit on one of the twin mounts I would think might take out both turrets anyway.

And about the heavy seas, the second mount on either design would have been elevated anyway (except aft).

Well whatever their reason, it didn't work out so well in the end. I've always felt they should have ditched the 5.9 inch guns for more AAA. Lots more AAA!

Deaf

Rising Sun*
04-04-2009, 07:14 AM
Then why the Scharnhorst class ships or Deutschland class cruiser (granted only two tripple turrets?)

Add to that, considering it's a 50,000 ton ship 12 15 inch guns, in four tripples, could have been mounted (as U.S. 14 inch gun ships had.)

Also, a direct hit on one of the twin mounts I would think might take out both turrets anyway.

And about the heavy seas, the second mount on either design would have been elevated anyway (except aft).

Well whatever their reason, it didn't work out so well in the end. I've always felt they should have ditched the 5.9 inch guns for more AAA. Lots more AAA!

Deaf

Due to the introduction of detailed technical considerations, this seems like the appropriate point for a non-navy person like me to bug out.

flamethrowerguy
04-04-2009, 07:44 AM
Then why the Scharnhorst class ships or Deutschland class cruiser (granted only two tripple turrets?)

Add to that, considering it's a 50,000 ton ship 12 15 inch guns, in four tripples, could have been mounted (as U.S. 14 inch gun ships had.)

Also, a direct hit on one of the twin mounts I would think might take out both turrets anyway.

And about the heavy seas, the second mount on either design would have been elevated anyway (except aft).

Well whatever their reason, it didn't work out so well in the end.

After all I guess they trusted on their positive experiences from WW1 with the Baden Class vessels (which was a mistake).


I've always felt they should have ditched the 5.9 inch guns for more AAA. Lots more AAA!

They considered the Bismarck's AA armament - including the so-called Mittelartillerie (medium artillery of 12 x 15cm in twin turrets) as sufficient (which was another mistake obviously).

Nickdfresh
04-04-2009, 05:20 PM
A fatal error...

It wasn't until the US Navy finally got significant mounts of 20mm and new 40mm (replacing the obsolete 1.1" guns) on their capital ships that they realized how inadequate large caliber (5-inch/125mm) guns were in AAA duties in the Pacific...

Deaf Smith
04-04-2009, 06:29 PM
They considered the Bismarck's AA armament - including the so-called Mittelartillerie (medium artillery of 12 x 15cm in twin turrets) as sufficient (which was another mistake obviously).

Yes it was a mistake. They failed to realize the Swordfish flew so slow their AAA was not set up to deal with it. Sort of like a slow ball in baseball gets the batter to swing early. Quad 20mm would have been the ticket for such as the Swordfish.

The 5 inch DP guns used by the US were not bad, keep in mind it could do for ships, shore bombardment, as well as aircraft. And after the proximity fuse was developed they actually exceeded the capability of the quad 40mm. The proximity even gave new live to the 3 inch 50, which later morphed into the twin 3 inch radar controlled guns that replaced the quad 40s.

My only complaint with U.S. ship building was the AAA cruisers like the Juno. A much better choice would have been the Cleveland class light cruisers. Their 6 inch turrets could have been quad 5 inch. Now THAT would have been an AAA cruiser!

Deaf