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Beatty_10

Bismarck Turret Question

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What are those 'ears', for lack of a better term, on 3 of the 4 Bismarck turrets? 

 

While enjoying the look of my Biz parked beneath the Brooklyn Bridge, I noticed for the first time the pods sticking out of the sides of the turrets. But they're only on 3 of the 4 turrets - the foremost bow turret does NOT have them. However, it does have plating in that spot that is the same shape of the pods on the other 3 turrets! What's the deal? 

 

The pods look like they could be part of a targetting system or something. If so, why are they only on 3 of the 4 turrets? 

 

Does anybody know just what they are? 

 

 

 

 

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Looked this up before- they're "local rangefinders", removed from the first turret (something to do with malfunctions while at sea)

I have no idea what the difference is between a "local" rangefinder and a rangefinder, so..

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They are Rangefinders. They are grouped by turret groupings, so  not every turret has to have one that, say, superfires over another turret that already has a rangefinder, far as I am aware. Bismarck, like Yamato and many other advanced designs features Radar-Gun Directors, but South Dakota's case just goes to show why you need to be able to switch over to localized control(i.e., rangefinders) in the event your radar or gun directors are knocked out, either by malfunctions or enemy fire.

Edited by legoboy0401
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They're local rangefinders, for when the main rangefinder is unavailable for some reason (damage or what have you, navies around the world love redundancy). They're not on Anton because during heavy seas the water would damage them on Anton.

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FYI - To those who don't know, German warships named their turrets. The forward most turret was known as Anton. 

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Yep, based on the German spelling alphabet. Anton, Bruno, Caesar and Dora. Were there more turrets they would likely have been called Emil, followed by Friedrich.

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FYI - To those who don't know, German warships named their turrets. The forward most turret was known as Anton.

 

identification without confusion

(I don't know WHAT would be confusing, but that was the reason stated by someone who sailed with the KMS)

Edited by Umikami

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I don't know WHAT would be confusing

 

Not naming them.

 

The German system of naming them was not inherently better or worse than the British one (A, B, X, Y) or the US one (#1, #2, #3, #4), it was just an alternative system.

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Not naming them.

 

The German system of naming them was not inherently better or worse than the British one (A, B, X, Y) or the US one (#1, #2, #3, #4), it was just an alternative system.

 

Funny, I usually try to use the British one. I didn't know ours was that simple.
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Excellent info y'all - thank you! Redundant range finders for when the main system goes down - cool!

 

And +1 for the German alphabet knowledge  - Lert you threw me off for a second with "Anton." lol 

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Funny, I usually try to use the British one. I didn't know ours was that simple.

 

Me neither-  I default to A,B, X & Y too.

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To be honest, I DID actually know that(I've read a thousand and one books about WWII ships) but silly me derped and forgot.

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Funny, I usually try to use the British one. I didn't know ours was that simple.

 

To be fair, an argument could be made that the British system is superior because it doesn't just tell you the number of the turret, but also where it is on the ship:

 

A, B, C etc are in front of the superstructure.

P, Q, R etc are either wing turrets or in between the front and the aft superstructure

X, Y etc are behind the aft superstructure.

 

Me, I try to use the system that's appropriate to the ship I'm talking about. Though to be fair I only 'know' the British, USN and German systems. The Us ssytem is my fall-back.

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Not naming them.

 

The German system of naming them was not inherently better or worse than the British one (A, B, X, Y) or the US one (#1, #2, #3, #4), it was just an alternative system.

 

There was the HMS Agincourt which had the Sunday-Saturday names for her turrets.

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There was the HMS Agincourt which had the Sunday-Saturday names for her turrets.

 

As unofficial nicknames.

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They are Rangefinders. They are grouped by turret groupings, so  not every turret has to have one that, say, superfires over another turret that already has a rangefinder, far as I am aware. Bismarck, like Yamato and many other advanced designs features Radar-Gun Directors, but South Dakota's case just goes to show why you need to be able to switch over to localized control(i.e., rangefinders) in the event your radar or gun directors are knocked out, either by malfunctions or enemy fire.

 

They're local rangefinders, for when the main rangefinder is unavailable for some reason (damage or what have you, navies around the world love redundancy). They're not on Anton because during heavy seas the water would damage them on Anton.

 

As Legoboy and Lert have stated, they are range finders. I believe them to be Stereoscopic rangefinders. In case of damage to the main director, the turrets could operate and target under local control. This is also how most of the BBs operated during WW1.

 

Check out the rangefinder hoods on Nagato, those things are on a whole different level (literally!)

 

Look at the early Nagato pictures up to the 30s. Those range finders on Turrets 2 and 3 are not present. I believe they originally were along the lines of turret 1 and 4, and were modified later.

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The biggest difference between local and main range-finding and director control is that because the local rangefinders mounted on the turret are farther apart than the main rangefinder at the top of the superstructure, they're far more accurate in their targeting; they big drawback of using local is because they're so much lower on the ship, they have considerably less range. They're both stereoscopic systems in that they take two images of the target and you have to match them to get the target range. 

So, all in all, for short-range engagements, local control is better, but for long range shooting, the high mounted main rangefinder is used. Also, using the local control, your turrets can target multiple ships at once, instead of focusing all of your firepower where you main director is aiming. Turrets that don't have rangefinders are generally slaved to the main director, or to the superfiring turret above it.

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