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dseehafer

The differences in the armor schemes of the Deutschland class

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Greetings all,

 

As some of you may know, the armor scheme's of each of the 3 Deutschland class ships differed slightly. Here are some images detailing the differences.

 

 

Deutschland - Admiral Scheer - Admiral Graf Spee

 

constr02.png

 

 

In detail...

 

"The main elements of the reservation system on the "pocket battleships" were the inclined belt, the armored deck, the upper and lower armored bulkheads. The armored belt had, according to different data, a slope of 12 ° - 13.5 ° with the lower edge into the interior of the hull. On " Deutschland" it consisted of two layers of plates of almost the same width, completely covering the space between the upper platform and the armored deck, as well as about half the inter-deck distance between the armor and the middle deck (the lower section of the portholes).The upper layer consisted of nickel steel plates with a nickel content of about 4% 80 mm thick, its lower edge is cut in such a way that a smooth transition to a 50 mm thick layer is formed. The armor material was not of a very high quality, it was created according to the technology adopted in Achal the First World War. Its use is dictated by the financial situation of the German fleet, and Germany as a whole at the end of the 20s.The belt had a specified thickness on the space between the frames 42 and 136, covering the entire power plant and part of the cellars. Further in the nose and in the stern the thickness of the upper row of plates decreased to 60 mm throughout the rest of the ammunition stores. In the stern of the 31st frame, the belt was thinned first to 40 mm, and then to 30 mm. In the nose, booking the side was purely symbolic: the thickness of the sheets was only 18 mm. As already mentioned in the description of the hull design, an armored bulkhead from the same 45 mm thick nickel steel was running down from the armored deck to the inner skin of the double bottom parallel to the belt. Above the armored deck at a distance of about a third of the width of the ship from the side was the upper armored bulkhead 40 mm thick, which was strictly vertical and reached the upper deck.The main armored deck, unlike the generally accepted practice, did not rely on the upper edge of the belt and had no bevels connecting its edges to the lower edge. Instead, it was attached to the middle of the upper row of plates with the help of angles, and the main support for it was the lower longitudinal armored partition. The thickness of the deck varied greatly depending on the zone: it took the greatest value in a narrow gap between the vertical upper and inclined lower armored bulkheads (45 mm); Inside the upper bulkhead, the thickness was reduced to 30 mm, and outward from the lower bulkhead the deck was made of ordinary shipbuilding steel of small thickness, that is, it was not reserved at all. Within the barbets, the horizontal protection was reduced to 15 mm. The upper deck had a thickness of 18 mm throughout the citadel (from the 33rd to 154th frame) and 7-10 mm in the stern. In the stern part of the hull, the 30 mm armored deck passed about 1 m lower than in the midship, covering the shafts and steering. "Deutschland had 4 cross armor traverses of nickel steel: 30 mm on the 6th and 173rd frames and 60 mm on the 31st and 149th.

The protection of the " Admiral Scheer " was noticeably different from that of the main ship, both in terms of location and material. The inclined waist armor also consisted of two layers, but this time the 80 mm slabs took their proper place in the bottom row, while the 50 mm row was higher, with its upper edge rising to the level of the middle deck - about 1 m higher than on " Deutschland ". In the area of the front part of the cellar, the belt was thinned to 65 mm, and aft from the rear tower - to 50 mm, ending with a 50 mm traverse bulkhead at the level of the fracture of the half-tank. The nasal extremity was still not booked, and the thickness of the skin was reduced to 17 mm, taking into account the best quality of the new shipbuilding steel.

Anti-torpedo bulkhead had a somewhat smaller thickness - 40 mm instead of 45, but was made of steel "Wotan". Its disadvantage was that it ended at the inner shell of the double bottom. Changed and the distribution of deck armor. In the central zone, between the upper longitudinal bulkheads, the main armored deck was quite thin (20 mm); outside of them the thickness slightly decreased and became equal to 40 mm. It should be noted that thinning was compensated for by improving the quality of the material. Significantly strengthened the horizontal protection of the rudders: the deck in the stern became 45-mm, the same thickness had a belt in the stern and closed the steering branch of the traverses.

More powerful was the protection of barbets. Now it consisted of 10 ring plate segments made of 125 mm armor "Wotan Hart". The height of each plate reached 5.6 m, the length of the arc - 3.2 m, weight 17.5 t. The total weight of both barbets was 328.4 t - a significant proportion of the weight of the other reservation, which exceeded the same indicator for " Deutschland " by 20 % and reached 900 tons. (This value still does not include the weight of armor towers (192 tons) and most of the longitudinal bulkheads.) The local reservation also changed: on the side walls of the main cabin was added 10 mm of Krupp armor, and the thickness of the walls of artillery posts doubled. Finally, the horizontal section of the roof of the towers of the main caliber reached a thickness of 85 mm (instead of 50).

In general, the " Admiral Scheer " booking scheme looks powerful and more thoughtful than on the main ship. Attention is drawn to the large area of the protected side in the middle of the hull, where only one upper deck remained bare. The only real weakness was the central strip of the armored deck, which, however, was additionally protected by a 50 mm upper belt and a 40 mm armored longitudinal bulkhead.

But, apparently, the modified scheme did not quite satisfy the designers, because on the third ship of the series, " Admiral Graf Spee ", it underwent another revision.

The most significant was the return to the narrower belt, which now towered above the level of the armored deck by less than 1 m, that is already narrower than on " Deutschland ", not to mention the " Admiral Scheer ". Differences in the height of the belt on "pocket battleships" are clearly visible in the photographs. In the already mentioned Breuer book, the midline sections " Admiral Scheer " and " Admiral Graf Spee", the latter allegedly has the widest armor belt, which is not true, but if the issue with the height of the waist armor is sufficiently clarified, then the values of its thickness in various sources are in clear contradiction with each other.Most monographs and reference books of German authors give a value of 80 mm, and The most complete and up-to-date book of G. Koop and the Cth- tomb. Schmolke contains a direct indication that the last "battleship" returned to the same version as on " Deutschland ": the 80 mm upper row of plates (which, moreover became already) and a 50-mm lower row at the level of cotton wool and below it, on the contrary, the British historian M. Whitley argues that the side armor " Admiral Graf Spee" had a thickness of 100 mm along the entire height and length of the belt extending from the 30th to the 148th frame, ending with transverse traverses of the same thickness (as a proof of this, a copy of the cross-sectional drawing near the aft traverse is given.) According to him, the complete scheme the ship has not been preserved reservation. These M. Wheatley data seem much more convincing than a dubious return to a very strange circuit " Deutschland ", the more that they have a serious motivation. the total weight of the armor on the " Admiral Graf Spee " has increased significantly in comparison NIJ its predecessors, reaching 3,000 tonnes - 25% of the standard displacement that corresponds to the best examples of the heavy cruisers of the latest generation - such as the Italian " Pola "Algérie . "The growth of the weight of the belt, while decreasing the width, logically leads to a conclusion about its greater thickness, the indirect evidence of this point of view is the memoirs of the artillery officer " Rasenak's " Admiral Graf Spee " about the Battle of La Plata, he writes that the shell with the " Exeter " struck 140 mm of armor and exploded on the armored deck, which exactly corresponds to the 100 mm belt and 40 mm top bulkhead. Another change in vertical protection was the extension of the 40 mm lower (counter-torpedo) longitudinal bulkhead to the outer skin of the double bottom.

Significantly increased and horizontal protection, the total weight of it is close to 700 tons. Again, there is no complete data on the distribution of armor. According to the most common German data, migrated to most modern directories, the differences between " Admiral Scheer " and " Admiral Graf Spee " are minimal. In accordance with them, the central part of the deck between the upper longitudinal bulkheads remained 20-millimeter-the same as the gap between the upper and lower bulkheads, and the only improvement was the expansion of the armored deck to the side itself, the zone between the lower longitudinal bulkhead and the side covered by a 30- mm sheets. Such insignificant changes cannot in any way explain the more than one and a half weight growth of the armored deck, which on the "Admiral Scheer " weighed 475 tons." The original cross-sectional drawing on the stern armored traverse (29th frame at the break of the half-tank) indicates a 70-mm armored deck, moreover, the areas between the side and the anti-torpedo bulkhead are also designated 100 mm. the increase in the weight of the horizontal reservation is clearly not enough to compensate for the increase in its thickness from 40 to 70 mm throughout, especially taking into account the additional reservation of the areas at the side (30 mm) .With an average width of the hull in the midside area of 20 m, buet about 5 m to 1 m length of the ship. It is most likely that the 70-mm plate was used to cover only from side to side of the cellar zone where the upper longitudinal bulkheads ended."

 

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There is also the Teutonic penchant to make things perfect which was why it too so long for the Panther to enter service and also why it was far more complicated than it needed to be.

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21 minutes ago, Big_Spud said:

I was under the impression that Spee had a 10cm belt, not 8cm.

 

Read the detailed description. In the official plans, it was only 80mm, but most evidence suggests that it was increased to 100mm by the time she was built.

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