Ajatcho

Battlecruisers: A Flawed Naval Experiment of WWI

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On 10/5/2017 at 7:40 AM, crzyhawk said:

The problem with that is the major problem with battlecruisers was British propellant.  The concept was fine.

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.955.2090&rep=rep1&type=pdf

The concept was fine and eventually evolved into the fast battleships of WW2. It actually completely replaced the dreadnought and super dread idea of "We really don't care about going fast, we're going to hold the rest of the fleet up with our lumbering speed, just pile more armor on everywhere!" 


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35 minutes ago, Show_Me_Your_Cits said:

The concept was fine and eventually evolved into the fast battleships of WW2. It actually completely replaced the dreadnought and super dread idea of "We really don't care about going fast, we're going to hold the rest of the fleet up with our lumbering speed, just pile more armor on everywhere!" 

too bad that by the time the concept matured and could finally be effectively and fully realized due to advances in propulsion technology, it was simultaneously made obsolete by the concurrent development of aircraft and ships designed to carry and launch them.


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1 hour ago, xX_Critical_ClopOut69_Xx said:

 

When that single variable is so important, yes, it's perfectly valid to conclude such a thing. 

 

lol if you put it that way it's just like saying "Sherman tanks were easy to burn since they used petrol vs diesel"

 

the fact that Sherman tanks were easy to burn it's not because of the use of petrol but by the ammo that were stored and only mitigated the problem by adding wet stowage

 

now in the the British BC case the British emphasis on RoF meant that they have to open up every hatch in order to pump out more shot, in which is a recipe bound for disaster to happen. It's how they used the ship that put them in harms way


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36 minutes ago, Shadeylark said:

too bad that by the time the concept matured and could finally be effectively and fully realized due to advances in propulsion technology, it was simultaneously made obsolete by the concurrent development of aircraft and ships designed to carry and launch them.

I know, it's a shame. I would have loved to see some 50s/60s BB designs with improved artillery and nuclear propulsion. Khabarovsk speed on a 100k ton ship? Yes please. 

 

Honestly I think we'll see a resurgence with naval rail gun tech. You're gonna need a large hull with lots of power generation capability to get the most out of them, and since the weapons will be more kinetic instead of explosive, we might even see the resurgence of actual armor plate. It'll most likely be some composite, but it'll be armor. Slap a VLS on the bow, stern, and amidships, and you'll have one hell of a weapons platform. 


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8 minutes ago, why_u_heff_to_be_mad said:

100 years later the Battlecruiser mafia still comes out to defend their shipfus

 

The British have a bad habit of ruining everything for everyone. Battlecruisers happen to be included in this list.


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43 minutes ago, Ajatcho said:

 

lol if you put it that way it's just like saying "Sherman tanks were easy to burn since they used petrol vs diesel"

 

the fact that Sherman tanks were easy to burn it's not because of the use of petrol but by the ammo that were stored and only mitigated the problem by adding wet stowage

 

now in the the British BC case the British emphasis on RoF meant that they have to open up every hatch in order to pump out more shot, in which is a recipe bound for disaster to happen. It's how they used the ship that put them in harms way

 

Nice try there buddy. That was one of the largest issues, ammunition handling and the powder itself. 

 

British powder was very volatile compared to other nations, that alone is quite a cause for concern.


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12 minutes ago, xX_Critical_ClopOut69_Xx said:

 

Nice try there buddy. That was one of the largest issues, ammunition handling and the powder itself. 

 

British powder was very volatile compared to other nations, that alone is quite a cause for concern.

 

Funnily enough, the "Shermans burn every time" meme was also caused by the British, whose tankers stowed ammunition in unsafe quantities and locations all over the tank in order fit more shells and increase the rate of fire. Shermans in American use, even prior to the wet ammunition racks, had a much better safety record because the American tankers only stowed the shells where they belonged, thus decreasing the chance of an errant charge being set off by shrapnel or fire when the tank was penetrated.


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14 hours ago, mofton said:

 

I was going for a list of German turret pens with fire/explosion in the turret/magazine system rather than just knocked out. VdT lost one of her turrets to malfunction IIRC.

The comparison is then (and I'll take your QM explanation - I do want that book) about 4 total explosive turret penetrations on the British side resulting in 3 losses, vs. 8 turret explosions for 0 losses on the German side.

 

 

I'm not sure if any German BC got all it's turrets knocked out by shell hits at one time, though it would have probably been Derfflinger if any of them. I usually distinctly remember VdT having no operational turrets for most of the battle, though you are correct in that at least one was a malfunction.

 

I'm not sure what angle the bow of the ship was at when hit, it must have been a few (2-3 or so) seconds inbetween, given some crew managed to escape their turrets (X) and record that the bows were sticking out of the air before exploding. If that was the case, it may not have been a turret hit.

 

14 hours ago, crzyhawk said:

What I've seen was that QM was hit in the 4 inch mag, next to the bridge. IIRC it was JOhn Robert's "Battlecrusiers" where I saw it, but I'll have to look it up again.

 

Possible, I doubt anyone can really say definitively how the forward magazines went up. The torpedo officer on Tiger noted 2 hits from a salvo before the initial explosion, so those could have hit Q or in the vicinity of the 4". 

Edited by Trainspite

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"In May 1916, the Battle of Jutland laid the truth bare for all to see. Single salvos of shells proved enough to sink three British battlecruisers, the Indefatigable, the Invincible, ..."

 

With names like "Indefatigable" and "Invincible," is it really any surprise they were sunk so swiftly? 

 

You can add them to a list including Formidable, Irresistible, Triumph, Audacious, Courageous, Glorious, Good Hope, Arrogant, and Vindictive (among near-countless others) in the "British ship names that probably shouldn't have happened" category.


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1 hour ago, Trainspite said:

I'm not sure if any German BC got all it's turrets knocked out by shell hits at one time, though it would have probably been Derfflinger if any of them. I usually distinctly remember VdT having no operational turrets for most of the battle, though you are correct in that at least one was a malfunction.

Derrflinger (wiki source is bad but...): In the ensuing melee, Derfflinger was hit several times; at 21:34, a heavy shell struck her last operational gun turret and put it out of action.[45]

However, Close to the end of the battle, at 03:55, Hipper transmitted a report to Admiral Scheer informing him of the tremendous damage his ships had suffered. By that time, Derfflinger and Von der Tann had only two operational guns each, - so 4 hours later Derfflinger had at least restored some of her armament.

Trawling 'Jutland, An Analysis of the Fighting' can be a bit of a pain. I'd rather it be organized more by ship.

3 hours ago, Shadeylark said:

too bad that by the time the concept matured and could finally be effectively and fully realized due to advances in propulsion technology, it was simultaneously made obsolete by the concurrent development of aircraft and ships designed to carry and launch them.

The concept was fine in WWI. The earliest ships obsoleted Armored Cruisers overnight.

The Invincible's however, were almost immediately obsoleted by the larger, less experimental German ships. Later ships were pretty solid. Lion, Tiger, Derfflinger, Seydlitz all took varying numbers of heavy shell hits and survived.

3 hours ago, Ajatcho said:

now in the the British BC case the British emphasis on RoF meant that they have to open up every hatch in order to pump out more shot, in which is a recipe bound for disaster to happen. It's how they used the ship that put them in harms way

That's user error and implementation, not concept or doctrine.

9 hours ago, _cthulhu_ said:

Your example isn't even relevant... So, um yeah, War bad... I guess

Battlecruisers sink battlecruisers = battlecruisers bad!

Cruisers sink cruisers = fine.

Why?

 


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1 hour ago, DDGPhalanx said:

"In May 1916, the Battle of Jutland laid the truth bare for all to see. Single salvos of shells proved enough to sink three British battlecruisers, the Indefatigable, the Invincible, ..."

 

With names like "Indefatigable" and "Invincible," is it really any surprise they were sunk so swiftly? 

 

You can add them to a list including Formidable, Irresistible, Triumph, Audacious, Courageous, Glorious, Good Hope, Arrogant, and Vindictive (among near-countless others) in the "British ship names that probably shouldn't have happened" category.

 

Sod that

 

Go BOLD or go home.


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I once heard an interesting story of a British tank commander in WWII. For some reason, his tank was much faster than the other tanks and got extraordinary gas mileage to boot. He used the tank's speed and range to good advantage and was instrumental in taking out several German tanks and tank destroyers. His tank was never hit because, being so much faster, the German shells would always land behind it. One day, he came face to face with a light armored vehicle, which he took out but not until after it had peppered the front of his tank with heavy machinegun fire. After the battle, the crew noticed that all of the bullets had stuck in the tank's front armor. Curious as to why this was so and wondering if this might not be a new type of ammunition, they asked headquarters. The officer asked them for their tank's serial number, which they gave. His reply was essentially "OMG, you have a training tank, it has no armor!" No wonder their tank was so fast and got such good mileage -- it weighed thousands of pounds less than a real tank. Headquarters told them to come back as fast as possible to exchange their training tank for a real one immediately. However, the crew kept their vehicle because they liked its speed and long range capabilities.

 

The moral of this story is that sometimes speed and range capability outweighs armor. As previously mentioned, there was nothing wrong with the idea of the battlecruiser, the problem arose when commanders decided that, since they had battleship guns, battlecruisers could be used like battleships. 

Edited by Snargfargle

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48 minutes ago, Snargfargle said:

 

 

The moral of this story is that sometimes speed and range capability outweighs armor. As previously mentioned, there was nothing wrong with the idea of the battlecruiser, the problem arose when commanders decided that, since they had battleship guns, battlecruisers could be used like battleships. 

 

The main issue here is opporunity costs. BCs didn't just look and were armed like their brethren,  they costs like them too.

 

For instance,   the battleship HMS Iron Duke cost £1,945,824.  The battlecruiser HMS Queen Mary, built the same year, cost £2,078,491. 

 

Effectively this meant that every BC in the budget was one less BB - given their offensive potential (and the stakes)  there was never any question these ships would see action with the main battle line.  And if this wasn't  forseen, shame on them.

Edited by why_u_heff_to_be_mad

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People keep referencing HMS Hood as though she were underarmored.  She wasn't.  She had a 12" belt, 7" upper belt.  Her armor is fully in line with battleships of her generation.  HMS Hood, regardless of what the British called it, was really the first Fast Battleship.  She had the armor and guns of a Dreadnought and the speed and guns of a Battlecruiser, hence she was a Fast Battleship.

 

Further, Bismarck most likely did not penetrate her deck.  The round that killed her almost certainly penetrated her upper belt, though it might have gone through her main belt.


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5 minutes ago, why_u_heff_to_be_mad said:

The main issue here is opporunity costs. BCs didn't just look and were armed like their brethren,  they costs like them too.

For instance,   the battleship HMS Iron Duke cost £1,945,824.  The battlecruiser HMS Queen Mary, built the same year, cost £2,078,491. 

Effectively this meant that every BC in the budget was one less BB - given their offensive potential (and the stakes)  there was never any question these ships would see main battle line action. And if this wasn't  forseen, shame on them.

If you force your opponent to spend similarly that's not necessarily the end of the world.

At Jutland the British had 28 BB to 9 BC or 3.1 : 1. The Germans had 16:5 or 3.2 : 1. Proportionally they were pretty similar.

When you can float 28 BB, some battlecruisers aren't the end of the world.

 

Those 9 British battlecruisers did sink 1 German BC, 3 German Armored Cruisers and 2 German Cruisers for the price of 3 British battlecruisers.

British battleships as far as I'm aware sank a grand total of (as far as I recall) one U-boat, U-29. As Vanguard blew up at her moorings and Audacious was mined, you could argue that the battleships were worse value for money. The whole argument's a bit funny either way.

 

By WWII the surviving Renown was far more useful than the surviving QE's and R's - she was fast enough to keep up with carrier groups. Full circle.


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7 hours ago, Show_Me_Your_Cits said:

I know, it's a shame. I would have loved to see some 50s/60s BB designs with improved artillery and nuclear propulsion. Khabarovsk speed on a 100k ton ship? Yes please. 

 

Honestly I think we'll see a resurgence with naval rail gun tech. You're gonna need a large hull with lots of power generation capability to get the most out of them, and since the weapons will be more kinetic instead of explosive, we might even see the resurgence of actual armor plate. It'll most likely be some composite, but it'll be armor. Slap a VLS on the bow, stern, and amidships, and you'll have one hell of a weapons platform. 

It'll depend greatly on drone development.  If they can develop escort carrier size hulls able to deploy enough drones to match a super carriers air wing, you'll see the naval air wing remain on top because of its versatility.

 

If effective drone swarm countermeasures are developed and/or its not possible to build small economical drone carriers with sufficient size drone air wings, then you might see a resurgence of gun based platforms.


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2 hours ago, Snargfargle said:

I once heard an interesting story of a British tank commander in WWII. For some reason, his tank was much faster than the other tanks and got extraordinary gas mileage to boot. He used the tank's speed and range to good advantage and was instrumental in taking out several German tanks and tank destroyers. His tank was never hit because, being so much faster, the German shells would always land behind it. One day, he came face to face with a light armored vehicle, which he took out but not until after it had peppered the front of his tank with heavy machinegun fire. After the battle, the crew noticed that all of the bullets had stuck in the tank's front armor. Curious as to why this was so and wondering if this might not be a new type of ammunition, they asked headquarters. The officer asked them for their tank's serial number, which they gave. His reply was essentially "OMG, you have a training tank, it has no armor!" No wonder their tank was so fast and got such good mileage -- it weighed thousands of pounds less than a real tank. Headquarters told them to come back as fast as possible to exchange their training tank for a real one immediately. However, the crew kept their vehicle because they liked its speed and long range capabilities.

 

The moral of this story is that sometimes speed and range capability outweighs armor. As previously mentioned, there was nothing wrong with the idea of the battlecruiser, the problem arose when commanders decided that, since they had battleship guns, battlecruisers could be used like battleships. 

Outliers don't define the general rule.  One only has to look at the panzers Germany had in 39 to see that sometimes the stars align to permit what should be a forgone conclusion to be overturned.


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2 hours ago, Snargfargle said:

I once heard an interesting story of a British tank commander in WWII. For some reason, his tank was much faster than the other tanks and got extraordinary gas mileage to boot. He used the tank's speed and range to good advantage and was instrumental in taking out several German tanks and tank destroyers. His tank was never hit because, being so much faster, the German shells would always land behind it. One day, he came face to face with a light armored vehicle, which he took out but not until after it had peppered the front of his tank with heavy machinegun fire. After the battle, the crew noticed that all of the bullets had stuck in the tank's front armor. Curious as to why this was so and wondering if this might not be a new type of ammunition, they asked headquarters. The officer asked them for their tank's serial number, which they gave. His reply was essentially "OMG, you have a training tank, it has no armor!" No wonder their tank was so fast and got such good mileage -- it weighed thousands of pounds less than a real tank. Headquarters told them to come back as fast as possible to exchange their training tank for a real one immediately. However, the crew kept their vehicle because they liked its speed and long range capabilities.

 

The moral of this story is that sometimes speed and range capability outweighs armor. As previously mentioned, there was nothing wrong with the idea of the battlecruiser, the problem arose when commanders decided that, since they had battleship guns, battlecruisers could be used like battleships. 

 

This sounds like it would make a good jingles war story.

 

9 minutes ago, Shadeylark said:

It'll depend greatly on drone development.  If they can develop escort carrier size hulls able to deploy enough drones to match a super carriers air wing, you'll see the naval air wing remain on top because of its versatility.

 

If effective drone swarm countermeasures are developed and/or its not possible to build small economical drone carriers with sufficient size drone air wings, then you might see a resurgence of gun based platforms.

 

There are allready effective countermeasures. It's called all the missiles in those VLS cells. The Carrier as a naval strike platform against other major nations has been dead for decades, the thing is the list of other major nations mostly includes the allies of those nations operating serious CV's, so it hasn't mattered, and they provide such nice utility to friendlies on nearby land without a land based airbase nearby that they can justify themselves on other grounds quite well.


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40 minutes ago, Carl said:

There are allready effective countermeasures. It's called all the missiles in those VLS cells. The Carrier as a naval strike platform against other major nations has been dead for decades, the thing is the list of other major nations mostly includes the allies of those nations operating serious CV's, so it hasn't mattered, and they provide such nice utility to friendlies on nearby land without a land based airbase nearby that they can justify themselves on other grounds quite well.

Lel. Unfortunately missile ships cannot effectively scout for themselves, and even if they can get an intermittent targeting information it is hard to turn that into getting missiles to hostile ships. There's a reason that the Soviet Navy invested so heavily in maritime aircraft, and every time it dreamed about becoming a fully blue-water force those plans included additional carrier capability.


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30 minutes ago, Aetreus said:

Lel. Unfortunately missile ships cannot effectively scout for themselves, and even if they can get an intermittent targeting information it is hard to turn that into getting missiles to hostile ships. There's a reason that the Soviet Navy invested so heavily in maritime aircraft, and every time it dreamed about becoming a fully blue-water force those plans included additional carrier capability.

Someone doesn't know what a remote drone is.

 

Missouri used these for long range targeting in Desert Storm, both for guns and missiles.


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6 minutes ago, AraAragami said:

Someone doesn't know what a remote drone is.

 

Missouri used these for long range targeting in Desert Storm, both for guns and missiles.

By the time your drone has the range, speed, sensor capability, and defensive capabilities to be effective against a peer adversary, it is an aircraft, and the capability to bring it into the combat zone and effectively support it makes you an aircraft carrier(if with a low capacity). Something like an RQ-2 would be skeet against a modern AAW ship(I don't think that the RQ-2 or RQ-7 even have a meaningful search radar capability), and would also be direly vulnerable to any sort of hostile air power. The same goes for the sort of ASW/ASuW helicopters that most warships carry. They can provide targeting support, but their slow speed and near-zero capability against missile attack makes them incapable of providing effective targeting support, especially if they're tasked to operate away from the AAW cover of their parent ship.


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21 minutes ago, Aetreus said:

By the time your drone has the range, speed, sensor capability, and defensive capabilities to be effective against a peer adversary, it is an aircraft, and the capability to bring it into the combat zone and effectively support it makes you an aircraft carrier(if with a low capacity). Something like an RQ-2 would be skeet against a modern AAW ship(I don't think that the RQ-2 or RQ-7 even have a meaningful search radar capability), and would also be direly vulnerable to any sort of hostile air power. The same goes for the sort of ASW/ASuW helicopters that most warships carry. They can provide targeting support, but their slow speed and near-zero capability against missile attack makes them incapable of providing effective targeting support, especially if they're tasked to operate away from the AAW cover of their parent ship.

Doesn't need to fight it.

 

Or even get close to it.

Edited by AraAragami

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On 10/5/2017 at 1:58 AM, Ajatcho said:

 

still the armor is an issue with regards of getting detonated i.g Hood vs Bismarck

 

they're just like a stop-gap between a cruiser and a battleship

Disagree. The armor is fine for their intended role. As the article stated, their was a tendency to employ them against true battleships. 


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