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BaryOnyxx

Possible Kill shots From Ansaldo 1934 to Bismarck (was: Poor Roma)

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Hello again,

    I appreciate correspondence with those who are both knowledgeable in their field, and respectful to those who differ with their opinions.  Since I did not agree with dseehafer's  opinions on Bismarck's survivability vs. the Roma's guns, I promised to provide evidence of why I believed such to be the case.  To flap one's gums, tell a man he's wrong and not give proof, is to deny respect to the person one is speaking with, and dseehafer is certainly worthy of that respect.

First, the parameters of the theory;  Dulin and Garzke give the Roma's guns the following data at 15,311 yards; vertical plate penetration: 22.58" (574mm); striking velocity; 634 m/s; striking angle; 8 degrees.  I have modeled the possible kill shots on this data, and on architectural frame drawings found in the mentioned text. This by no means excludes the possibility of a kill shot at a shorter distance. 

 

The first possibility for a kill shot at 15k yards occurs at frame 46.15, and looks like this:

 

59f25d1a3bf0c_Frame46_15.thumb.jpg.7be221ea30dba5a1d7e24290e8fbca0c.jpgHere, we see a shell penetrating the main armor at approximately turret Dora's location, at the 8-degree fall angle.  The shell penetrates 540mm of armor.                                                    

Next, a similar situation exists near turret Cesar, at frame 64.35:

59f25e0905166_Frame64_35.thumb.jpg.08fdb7d64a440e084770b34cde6d9486.jpgAgain, the flat trajectory of the Ansaldo 1934 allows for penetration of both layers of armor.  In fact, this kill shot could have been achieved at much shorter ranges.          However, the most severe condition exists at frame 174.35, at turret Bruno's location:

59f25eeab2a5f_Frame174_35.thumb.png.0572e66442ed48cfbe380cd1b33d45de.png

The combined vertical and horizontal armors are nowhere near sufficient to defeat the Roma's guns at the mentioned ranges.  Even considering a 40% increase in the horizontal armor's thickness due to the slope, the thickness value is still insufficient to defeat the AP shell.  In truth, this is an unfair assessment of the Bismarck's architecture.  A shot of the nature of any of the above three, would have been the wildest stroke of luck, and more akin to Bismarck's own "Golden Bullet" against the Hood, than typical naval gunnery.  This is why I have tried to present my thoughts as purely theoretical, rather than irrefutable fact.

 

Peace

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Did ships aim for certain parts of the ship like turret magazines in an attempt to cause catastrophic failure via detonation?  

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Are those shots just penetrating into turret barbettes though?

Doesn't look like they're deep enough to be into shell room/powder rooms to me.

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Educated :Smile_popcorn:

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8 minutes ago, mofton said:

Are those shots just penetrating into turret barbettes though?

Doesn't look like they're deep enough to be into shell room/powder rooms to me.

Barbette armor tapers off below the main deck all the way down to the bottom. This is true not only for Bismarck but for many BBs. You can pen it with just about any AP round from 13.5 inches on up in the right conditions. The use of nickel steel of 1 inch or greater thicknesses for standard deck plating and compartment walls adds a layer of protection inside the citadel, which renders deep penetration less like due to contact angularity and fusing. Protection systems tended to be layered in that fashion on later BBs. The Littorio class armor protection scheme was the first seaborne use of spaced armor and layered systems in a modern BB. Roma's horizontal protection against shellfire was fine, perhaps the best extant in any BB, including Yamato, but it could not withstand heavy AP guided bombs arriving at a 70-degree angle. No modern BB could have withstood the impact of a guided Fritz-X on horizontal citadel armor and not be seriously damaged or sunk, including the Iowa's and the KGVs, which were well armored. Bismarck is no exception.

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31 minutes ago, BlailBlerg said:

Did ships aim for certain parts of the ship like turret magazines in an attempt to cause catastrophic failure via detonation?  

No not really. Most ship to ship engagements were so far away they would be lucky for a hit. Most naval battles could take days with one group being chased and the other running neither side would ever truly square off and go at it. Better live to fight another day. Ships were costly and took time to build I don't think  any captain wanted to explain to their superiors why they had a huge hole in it when/if they got back to port, probably why captains went down with their ship in some circumstances. Often times an engagement would only result in a couple hits. In reality Battleships best use was for land bombardment.

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It should be noted that a penetration to a Bismarck's barbette could have knocked out the turret itself, but it would not have been a "kill-shot" for the ship itself. This is because the Germans, unlike every other navy, NEVER  stored shells in the barbettes. This is largely why Bismarck never detonated during her final battle despite several turret and barbette penetrations.

 

As for the turtleback penetration, again, Nathan Okun (the keeper of the modern formula for shell penetration) is on record stating that there is not a naval gun and shell that could penetrate both the belt and the turtleback with the cap still intact. Until I see the data that proves otherwise, I'm more inclined to believe Mr. Okun.

 

It should be clarified that a shell with 574mm of penetration at 15,311yd means that it can penetrate a solid 574mm armor plate. It does not mean that it can penetrate 574mm worth of separate layered armor plates. After passing through the first layer the shell's trajectory would have likely changed as would its penetration power and other factors. Armor penetration is not as simple as adding up the numbers and seeing which is greater, there's an entire mathematical formula dedicated to it.

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I always thought it was the propellant for the main battery that resulted in the massive, ship tearing explosions...

Then again, I'm thinking something like the demise the Hood or Arizona. The explosion that sometimes occurs when a warship sinks in combat (like what happened to the Yamato when she sank) could be caused by something completely different.

Edited by zucchinibob

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3 hours ago, mofton said:

Are those shots just penetrating into turret barbettes though?

Doesn't look like they're deep enough to be into shell room/powder rooms to me.

I really set the impact/angle/pen generally- I didn't mean to make a specific assessment.  After the shell burst, there would be roughly one ton of red-hot splinters flying in all directions.  These splinters would easily penetrate light metal armor, etc, and one could easily set off a magazine,  Remember, when Tirpitz blew her aft magazine, it wasn't due to a direct hit; the mag blew after some time, due to a stray splinter that eventually did its evil deed.

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42 minutes ago, Rotten_Fish said:

I really set the impact/angle/pen generally- I didn't mean to make a specific assessment.  After the shell burst, there would be roughly one ton of red-hot splinters flying in all directions.  These splinters would easily penetrate light metal armor, etc, and one could easily set off a magazine,  Remember, when Tirpitz blew her aft magazine, it wasn't due to a direct hit; the mag blew after some time, due to a stray splinter that eventually did its evil deed.

There would be splinters and blast, but I believe the RN calculated that heavy shell splinters would be stopped by about 38mm of armor, which is pretty easy to imagine being in the deck locks of a capital ships' barbette.

That was the logic for some citadel placements in-game, i.e. explosions in what used to be the upper part of Montana's/Iowa's citadels would not be stopped from getting into the lower machinery spaces because the deck separation was only 19mm, thus a hit to that area would send shrapnel into the engine rooms - a citadel.

If Tirpitz' secondary explosion was due to a splinter then it would have been near instantaneous, the time for a splinter to travel through the ship would be miliseconds. More likely in my view having the magazine tipped over, crushed, and a possible slow ignition of some cartridges leading to a bigger explosion, German cartridges didn't burn that well, but they would eventually and once enough of them did and it got hot enough it would go bang. At least that's my recollection from a USN report on the sinking.

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2 hours ago, dseehafer said:

It should be noted that a penetration to a Bismarck's barbette could have knocked out the turret itself, but it would not have been a "kill-shot" for the ship itself. This is because the Germans, unlike every other navy, NEVER  stored shells in the barbettes. This is largely why Bismarck never detonated during her final battle despite several turret and barbette penetrations.

 

As for the turtleback penetration, again, Nathan Okun (the keeper of the modern formula for shell penetration) is on record stating that there is not a naval gun and shell that could penetrate both the belt and the turtleback with the cap still intact. Until I see the data that proves otherwise, I'm more inclined to believe Mr. Okun.

 

It should be clarified that a shell with 574mm of penetration at 15,311yd means that it can penetrate a solid 574mm armor plate. It does not mean that it can penetrate 574mm worth of separate layered armor plates. After passing through the first layer the shell's trajectory would have likely changed as would its penetration power and other factors. Armor penetration is not as simple as adding up the numbers and seeing which is greater, there's an entire mathematical formula dedicated to it.

I'm going to try to be as neutral as I can with both our points.

Your points:

>> It should be noted that a penetration to a Bismarck's barbette could have knocked out the turret itself, but it would not have been a "kill-shot" for the ship itself. This is because the Germans, unlike every other navy, NEVER  stored shells in the barbettes. This is largely why Bismarck never detonated during her final battle despite several turret and barbette penetrations.<<

  True - sort of.  If the shell burst inside the Bismarck's shell handling room, it becomes a roll of the die to determine what happens next; the ship now has about a ton of red-hot metal splinters flying about inside a room (which does not have heavily armored partitions) filled with shells, and the portion of the cartridges being handled at that moment.  A rifle might be able to shoot through such walls..  This will probably NOT end well, as the accepted theory for the death of the Tirpitz was a stray splinter that found its mark.  Could this happen to Bismarck if a shell from the Littorio struck in one of the three mentioned ways?  Again, there is no way of knowing.  it depends on the roll of the dice - more on that later.

 

>>  As for the turtleback penetration, again, Nathan Okun (the keeper of the modern formula for shell penetration) is on record stating that there is not a naval gun and shell that could penetrate both the belt and the turtleback with the cap still intact. Until I see the data that proves otherwise, I'm more inclined to believe Mr. Okun.<< 

Ok, I'll take your word on that, but the mentioned penetrations did not involve the "turtleback" (if you're referring to the sloped armor over the machinery spaces), except for the 110mm armor in frame 174.  The angle it forms with the incoming shell is almost 45-degrees, so if we use basic trig to calculate the effective angle, it would be the square-root of two times the actual thickness, or roughly 156 mm.

 

>>  It should be clarified that a shell with 574mm of penetration at 15,311yd means that it can penetrate a solid 574mm armor plate. It does not mean that it can penetrate 574mm worth of separate layered armor plates. After passing through the first layer the shell's trajectory would have likely changed as would its penetration power and other factors. Armor penetration is not as simple as adding up the numbers and seeing which is greater, there's an entire mathematical formula dedicated to it. <<

   This is also true, but let's keep in mind that I was trying to be conservative with my original estimate and theory.  The morning of the Bismarck's scuttling, Captain Darylrimple-Hamilton of the Rodney had closed range to 2,500 yards, in an attempt to penetrate Bismarck's belt and magazine armor.   One possible reason why they failed will be addressed in a bit.... However, if we move the Ansaldo Model 1934 in from 15,000 yards, to 5,000 yards (still twice the distance the British were shooting at), penetration would have been an amazing 30.17" (766mm) of face-hardened armor, at an impact angle of right about 2 degrees, striking at 744 meters per second.  This would simply have been an overwhelming amount of kinetic energy, which the Bismarck's armor, excellent as it was, could simply not defend against.  

   The Bismarck was my favorite warship since I was a young man, in middle school, and it still ranks #2, behind the Littorio, in my book.  The somewhat diluted point I was trying to make with my original post, was that the Roma's guns were INSANE for a 15" caliber, and if WG follows its usual ways, there will be no justice done to their superb accuracy, and devastating hitting power, and the end result will be that the Roma will be such in name only.

 

   Btw, and I don't address this at anyone in particular, ROF was not constant through a battle.  Some folks state this value, or that value. probably not aware that crew fatigue, gun design, director design, and even wind direction, all impacted ROF.  The Ansaldo 1934 was rated at one shot every 45 seconds, but what is less commonly known, is that it kept that value for extended periods of time, because the 45-second value was mechanically limited, not human limited.  if the crew fatigued somewhat during a battle,. ROF did not show an immediate drop in output.  The best example of this phenomenon were the many skirmishes fought between the British and Italian cruisers in the Mediterranean.  Despite radar (on some ships), and generally better C&C structure, the British tended to come out in 2nd place vs. Italian cruisers, partly due to the fact that their ROF tended to drop off more quickly than that of RM cruisers.

 

    Next, why would my scenario have been unlikely?  Because in order for the shell from the Ansaldo 1934 to penetrate the mentioned amount of armor, it would have had to strike the ship very close to radially, with respect to the barbette structure's centerline.  If my calculations are correct, the shell would have had to hit a "window" approximately +/- 3.44 meters from that radial centerline, and to say that it would be a tough shot, would be an understatement.

   In closing, I stand by my statement that WG will probably not do the Roma's firepower justice, and while that saddens me, it is what it is.       

    Last but not least, I also stand  by my statement that on the Bismarck's final battle, due to its combination of flat trajectory, enormous KE, and exceptional shell architecture, the Ansaldo 1934 would have been able to do what no other capital ship gun could; it could have dispatched the Bismarck by gunfire - though I concede that a successful shot so described, would have been literally one in a million, relegating it to, in a realistic construct, something that was essentially not doable.

 

Peace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Just for grins, here are the energy values for the major Capital ship guns of WWII:

 

Gun:

KE, MegaJoules, shell Mass in Red

Penetration @ 0

Pen @ 20k Yards

Pen @ 30k Yards

Mitsubishi 18.1”/45 (Yamato)

444.1 (1,460 kg)

34”

19.9”

14.28”

U.S. 16”/50 (Iowa, planned Montana classes)

355.3 (1,225 kg)

32.6”

20.04”

15.06”

Ansaldo 1934 15”/50 (Littorio)

335.0 (885 kg)

32.1”

20.04”

15.06”

U.S. 16”/45 (North Carolina, South Dakota classes)

269.0 (1,225 kg)

29.75”

17.62”

12.77”

Krupps 380mm SKC/34 (14.96")/52 (Bismarck)

249.6 (800 kg)

29.25”

16.65”

11.98”

If anyone would like a more complete list, (more guns, impact angle, etc.), please let me know, and I will fill it in for you.

 

Peace.

 

 

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16 hours ago, Rotten_Fish said:

I'm going to try to be as neutral as I can with both our points.

Your points:

>> It should be noted that a penetration to a Bismarck's barbette could have knocked out the turret itself, but it would not have been a "kill-shot" for the ship itself. This is because the Germans, unlike every other navy, NEVER  stored shells in the barbettes. This is largely why Bismarck never detonated during her final battle despite several turret and barbette penetrations.<<

  True - sort of.  If the shell burst inside the Bismarck's shell handling room, it becomes a roll of the die to determine what happens next; the ship now has about a ton of red-hot metal splinters flying about inside a room (which does not have heavily armored partitions) filled with shells, and the portion of the cartridges being handled at that moment.  A rifle might be able to shoot through such walls..  This will probably NOT end well, as the accepted theory for the death of the Tirpitz was a stray splinter that found its mark.  Could this happen to Bismarck if a shell from the Littorio struck in one of the three mentioned ways?  Again, there is no way of knowing.  it depends on the roll of the dice - more on that later.

 

>>  As for the turtleback penetration, again, Nathan Okun (the keeper of the modern formula for shell penetration) is on record stating that there is not a naval gun and shell that could penetrate both the belt and the turtleback with the cap still intact. Until I see the data that proves otherwise, I'm more inclined to believe Mr. Okun.<< 

Ok, I'll take your word on that, but the mentioned penetrations did not involve the "turtleback" (if you're referring to the sloped armor over the machinery spaces), except for the 110mm armor in frame 174.  The angle it forms with the incoming shell is almost 45-degrees, so if we use basic trig to calculate the effective angle, it would be the square-root of two times the actual thickness, or roughly 156 mm.

 

>>  It should be clarified that a shell with 574mm of penetration at 15,311yd means that it can penetrate a solid 574mm armor plate. It does not mean that it can penetrate 574mm worth of separate layered armor plates. After passing through the first layer the shell's trajectory would have likely changed as would its penetration power and other factors. Armor penetration is not as simple as adding up the numbers and seeing which is greater, there's an entire mathematical formula dedicated to it. <<

   This is also true, but let's keep in mind that I was trying to be conservative with my original estimate and theory.  The morning of the Bismarck's scuttling, Captain Darylrimple-Hamilton of the Rodney had closed range to 2,500 yards, in an attempt to penetrate Bismarck's belt and magazine armor.   One possible reason why they failed will be addressed in a bit.... However, if we move the Ansaldo Model 1934 in from 15,000 yards, to 5,000 yards (still twice the distance the British were shooting at), penetration would have been an amazing 30.17" (766mm) of face-hardened armor, at an impact angle of right about 2 degrees, striking at 744 meters per second.  This would simply have been an overwhelming amount of kinetic energy, which the Bismarck's armor, excellent as it was, could simply not defend against.  

   The Bismarck was my favorite warship since I was a young man, in middle school, and it still ranks #2, behind the Littorio, in my book.  The somewhat diluted point I was trying to make with my original post, was that the Roma's guns were INSANE for a 15" caliber, and if WG follows its usual ways, there will be no justice done to their superb accuracy, and devastating hitting power, and the end result will be that the Roma will be such in name only.

 

   Btw, and I don't address this at anyone in particular, ROF was not constant through a battle.  Some folks state this value, or that value. probably not aware that crew fatigue, gun design, director design, and even wind direction, all impacted ROF.  The Ansaldo 1934 was rated at one shot every 45 seconds, but what is less commonly known, is that it kept that value for extended periods of time, because the 45-second value was mechanically limited, not human limited.  if the crew fatigued somewhat during a battle,. ROF did not show an immediate drop in output.  The best example of this phenomenon were the many skirmishes fought between the British and Italian cruisers in the Mediterranean.  Despite radar (on some ships), and generally better C&C structure, the British tended to come out in 2nd place vs. Italian cruisers, partly due to the fact that their ROF tended to drop off more quickly than that of RM cruisers.

 

    Next, why would my scenario have been unlikely?  Because in order for the shell from the Ansaldo 1934 to penetrate the mentioned amount of armor, it would have had to strike the ship very close to radially, with respect to the barbette structure's centerline.  If my calculations are correct, the shell would have had to hit a "window" approximately +/- 3.44 meters from that radial centerline, and to say that it would be a tough shot, would be an understatement.

   In closing, I stand by my statement that WG will probably not do the Roma's firepower justice, and while that saddens me, it is what it is.       

    Last but not least, I also stand  by my statement that on the Bismarck's final battle, due to its combination of flat trajectory, enormous KE, and exceptional shell architecture, the Ansaldo 1934 would have been able to do what no other capital ship gun could; it could have dispatched the Bismarck by gunfire - though I concede that a successful shot so described, would have been literally one in a million, relegating it to, in a realistic construct, something that was essentially not doable.

 

Peace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is this "shell handling room" you speak of? Are you referring to the shell and powder magazines? If so there are located at the base of each barbette, under the main armor deck and behind the turtleback and longitudinal bulkheads. This is specifically the area I am talking about that is impenetrable to any naval shell used during WWII at normal combat ranges, that is anything that is behind the belt, the turtleback, the longitudinal bulkhead and that is also below the main armor deck.

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17 hours ago, Rotten_Fish said:

I really set the impact/angle/pen generally- I didn't mean to make a specific assessment.  After the shell burst, there would be roughly one ton of red-hot splinters flying in all directions.  These splinters would easily penetrate light metal armor, etc, and one could easily set off a magazine,  Remember, when Tirpitz blew her aft magazine, it wasn't due to a direct hit; the mag blew after some time, due to a stray splinter that eventually did its evil deed.

 

Tirpitz's rear magazine blew because an uncontrolled fire in the stern area which eventually found its way into the magazines. It did not detonate because of bomb splinters penetrating the area.

 

"" Tirpitz " received two direct hits and at least four close breaks. The first bomb hit the left catapult, broke through the armored deck and burst into the boiler room. Almost immediately the ship received a roll of 20 ° on the port side, which they attempted to equalize with a counter-flood, but did not have time. Battleship shook the second powerful blow. Hit was in the stern superstructure. The roll reached 70 °, internal communication failed, at 09:45 the artillery was silent. A fierce fire arose in the stern area, which soon spread to the charging cellars. At 09:58 there was a very strong explosion; the tower "Caesar" was raised from the shoulder strap and thrown back by 12 m, the column of smoke rose to a height of 150 m. Two minutes later, " Tirpitz "overturned through the port side and sank 200 meters from the shore at coordinates 69 ° 36'N, 18 ° 59 'O. -seawarpeace

 

Tirpitz

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1 hour ago, dseehafer said:

 

What is this "shell handling room" you speak of? Are you referring to the shell and powder magazines? If so there are located at the base of each barbette, under the main armor deck and behind the turtleback and longitudinal bulkheads. This is specifically the area I am talking about that is impenetrable to any naval shell used during WWII at normal combat ranges, that is anything that is behind the belt, the turtleback, the longitudinal bulkhead and that is also below the main armor deck.

The term "shell handling room" was taken from Dulin and Garzke; it is one of the areas where the endpoints for the hits I showed, are marked.

Please forgive my limitations regarding the term "turtleback"; I had not heard it before, and am not exactly sure of what you're referring to.

 

I appreciate, and thank you for the respectful exchange of ideas on this topic.  I did not delve into several other possibilities, such as damage caused by shells with underwater trajectories, etc..  I am sure you have your reasons for reaching the conclusion that you have, as do I, and I think that we will have to agree to disagree on this topic.  I wish I had more time to post on these forums, as I enjoy a healthy exchange of ideas, but alas, as a physics professor who still has many youthful tendencies in his character, my work commands most of my time.  I enjoy the game, despite its many flaws, and wish that WG would offer an optional "Hard Core" mode, where the mechanics, and other physical parameters of naval combat were more faithfully reproduced.  True, battles would take hours, but with such pleasing graphics already in place, those of us who would have interest in a "battleship simulator" would find this VERY interesting indeed!

 

Thanks again for the chat, and the interesting information!

 

Peace, oh, and

ROMA INVICTOR!!!

:Smile_Default:           :Smile_Default:             :Smile_Default:

 

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Going from some of Campbell's 'Jutland, an Analysis of the Fighting' http://webpages.charter.net/abacus/news/jutland/CHAPTER 11.htm I would like to revisit the idea of a shell exploding in the lower gun chambers being fatal.

Derfflinger was struck by several 15in shells at Jutland, and is of relatively similar construction standards to Bismarck - at an absolute minimum I know of no suggestion that German powder in WWII was less stable, and I cannot imagine Bismarck's designers would have skimped on some armor on a larger ship.

Hit One:

Spoiler

The Derfflinger was hit by fourteen shells in this phase. The first hit at 1914 was one of five by 15in APC shells from the Revenge. This struck the roof of the aftermost turret 3ft to the right of the right gun axis, and close below the join between the 4.3in sloping and 3.15in horizontal roof plates. The sloping plate inclined at c15° to the horizontal, was heavily depressed and scooped where struck for a length of 55in with two long cracks, and most of the calibre size hole was in this plate, though the edge of the flat roof was also broken away, for 18in X 261/2in. The turret, trained about 3 7° abaft the port beam, was jerked round to the limit of its port bow training by the impact. The shell burst on the right cartridge hoist about 4ft from impact, and ignited one main and one fore charge on the right cartridge loading tray, and also one main and one fore charge in the cage of the right upper cartridge hoist which was down in the working chamber. The flash spread to the magazine handing room immediately below the working chamber, and ignited one main and one fore charge in the loading tray of each of the two lower cartridge hoists, as well as three main charges being transported to the hoists, and nine fore charges which were still in opened magazine cases. A total of seven main and thirteen fore charges were thus ignited, but in the gun-house which had a splinter bulkhead as in the Lutzow, two main and two fore charges at the left gun were not burnt, though the outer coat of the double silk bags of the fore charges was singed. In the magazine handing room two fore charges in an opened case were also unburnt though similarly singed. No charges in unopened magazine cases were burnt.

 

The explosive effect of the shell was considered to be relatively small. In the gun-house, the right cartridge hoist shaft was destroyed, as was the range-finder, while all fittings belonging to the right gun were badly damaged by splinters, but the right gun itself received only trifling damage, as did the left gun, and the 1 in splinter bulkhead was not pierced nor was the armouring of the rear of the turret damaged.

I've italicized several points for reference:

1) Twenty powder charges were ignited by the hit, burning out the gun but not sinking the ship or spreading into any magazines. Therefore a similar explosion in Bismarck could be considered unlikely to be fatal.

2) The splinters thrown by the shell did not penetrate 1in thick (25mm) splinter bulkheads, and the British 15in had a 60lb rather than the Italian 22lb bursting charge as well as being heavier.

3) Not italicized but noteworthy - no shells are recorded as being detonated. It looks at some detail at powder charges, but my belief is that shells were pretty unlikely to detonate, being solid slugs of metal with fuses designed to go off only in particular circumstances. If there were 20 powder charges around, there were plenty of shells around too.

4) The lower shell hoists were impacted, and the magazine handling room - that's the possible location of your hit. Not fatal however.

Then there's another pertinent one:

Spoiler

The next hit from the Revenge was at 1916 or 1917. This shell coming from 41° abaft the port beam, struck the after superfiring barbette 18in below the upper edge of the fixed armour, and on a line between the two guns, but nearer to the right gun, the position of impact, measured radially from the barbette centre, being 33° aft of the transverse diameter. It pierced the 10'/4in armour and burst in the upper part of the turn-table between the two guns and below the Captain of turret's platform. One main and one fore charge on the right cartridge loading tray were ignited, and also one main and one fore charge in the cages of both upper cartridge hoists, which were down in the working chamber, as well as one main and one fore charge on both the right and left transfer conveyors in the working chamber. The flash spread to the magazine handing room, which in this turret was below the switch room and the shell handing room, and ignited one main and one fore charge in the cages of both lower hoists which were down. In all, seven main and seven fore charges were ignited, but in the gun-house which had a longitudinal splinter bulkhead, one main and one fore charge at the left gun remained unburnt, as did two main charges which were out of their magazine cases in the handing room, and two fore charges in an opened case.

This mostly repeats the same, more powder charges ignited, ship not lost, flash not spread.

Although those hits aren't perfect facsimiles of the possible Litorrio shot I think they are enlightening as to the effects of powder going up, splinter damage and that shells are practically inert.

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OH, one last thing about the Bismarck; much to my prof's chagrin, back at university, I wrote an extensive thesis wherein I showed that the survival of the Bismarck in her first mission might have changed the outcome of the war..  I don't have the time and 137 pages to re-state that, at this moment, but one day, if you're interested, I can show you my data/rationale.

 

Peace.

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6 minutes ago, mofton said:

Going from some of Campbell's 'Jutland, an Analysis of the Fighting' http://webpages.charter.net/abacus/news/jutland/CHAPTER 11.htm I would like to revisit the idea of a shell exploding in the lower gun chambers being fatal.

Derfflinger was struck by several 15in shells at Jutland, and is of relatively similar construction standards to Bismarck - at an absolute minimum I know of no suggestion that German powder in WWII was less stable, and I cannot imagine Bismarck's designers would have skimped on some armor on a larger ship.

Hit One:

  Reveal hidden contents

The Derfflinger was hit by fourteen shells in this phase. The first hit at 1914 was one of five by 15in APC shells from the Revenge. This struck the roof of the aftermost turret 3ft to the right of the right gun axis, and close below the join between the 4.3in sloping and 3.15in horizontal roof plates. The sloping plate inclined at c15° to the horizontal, was heavily depressed and scooped where struck for a length of 55in with two long cracks, and most of the calibre size hole was in this plate, though the edge of the flat roof was also broken away, for 18in X 261/2in. The turret, trained about 3 7° abaft the port beam, was jerked round to the limit of its port bow training by the impact. The shell burst on the right cartridge hoist about 4ft from impact, and ignited one main and one fore charge on the right cartridge loading tray, and also one main and one fore charge in the cage of the right upper cartridge hoist which was down in the working chamber. The flash spread to the magazine handing room immediately below the working chamber, and ignited one main and one fore charge in the loading tray of each of the two lower cartridge hoists, as well as three main charges being transported to the hoists, and nine fore charges which were still in opened magazine cases. A total of seven main and thirteen fore charges were thus ignited, but in the gun-house which had a splinter bulkhead as in the Lutzow, two main and two fore charges at the left gun were not burnt, though the outer coat of the double silk bags of the fore charges was singed. In the magazine handing room two fore charges in an opened case were also unburnt though similarly singed. No charges in unopened magazine cases were burnt.

 

The explosive effect of the shell was considered to be relatively small. In the gun-house, the right cartridge hoist shaft was destroyed, as was the range-finder, while all fittings belonging to the right gun were badly damaged by splinters, but the right gun itself received only trifling damage, as did the left gun, and the 1 in splinter bulkhead was not pierced nor was the armouring of the rear of the turret damaged.

I've italicized several points for reference:

1) Twenty powder charges were ignited by the hit, burning out the gun but not sinking the ship or spreading into any magazines. Therefore a similar explosion in Bismarck could be considered unlikely to be fatal.

2) The splinters thrown by the shell did not penetrate 1in thick (25mm) splinter bulkheads, and the British 15in had a 60lb rather than the Italian 22lb bursting charge as well as being heavier.

3) Not italicized but noteworthy - no shells are recorded as being detonated. It looks at some detail at powder charges, but my belief is that shells were pretty unlikely to detonate, being solid slugs of metal with fuses designed to go off only in particular circumstances. If there were 20 powder charges around, there were plenty of shells around too.

4) The lower shell hoists were impacted, and the magazine handling room - that's the possible location of your hit. Not fatal however.

Then there's another pertinent one:

  Reveal hidden contents

The next hit from the Revenge was at 1916 or 1917. This shell coming from 41° abaft the port beam, struck the after superfiring barbette 18in below the upper edge of the fixed armour, and on a line between the two guns, but nearer to the right gun, the position of impact, measured radially from the barbette centre, being 33° aft of the transverse diameter. It pierced the 10'/4in armour and burst in the upper part of the turn-table between the two guns and below the Captain of turret's platform. One main and one fore charge on the right cartridge loading tray were ignited, and also one main and one fore charge in the cages of both upper cartridge hoists, which were down in the working chamber, as well as one main and one fore charge on both the right and left transfer conveyors in the working chamber. The flash spread to the magazine handing room, which in this turret was below the switch room and the shell handing room, and ignited one main and one fore charge in the cages of both lower hoists which were down. In all, seven main and seven fore charges were ignited, but in the gun-house which had a longitudinal splinter bulkhead, one main and one fore charge at the left gun remained unburnt, as did two main charges which were out of their magazine cases in the handing room, and two fore charges in an opened case.

This mostly repeats the same, more powder charges ignited, ship not lost, flash not spread.

Although those hits aren't perfect facsimiles of the possible Litorrio shot I think they are enlightening as to the effects of powder going up, splinter damage and that shells are practically inert.

Hi,

 

   As I've said all along, my scenarios are far from definite causalities, and as I mentioned in my last post, we are literally looking at a roll of the dice.  In my final post, I also mentioned that I made no provision for shells that had underwater trajectories, etc.  I took a very generic shot, at a typical range, and modelled it as I could.    Your point is well made, and consistent with my "roll of the dice" comment.  In a nutshell, such a shot would be difficult BY any ship ON ANY OTHER ship; all the angles would have had to line up within a narrow window, etc.  Would it have been harder to do on the Bismarck, than any other WWII BB?  I don't know, as I haven't considered the structure of other ships, but it would have been, at the very least, an extremely difficult shot. Considering hits that fall under the bell curve, ignoring the outliers in either direction, the mathematical evidence is irrefutable that the gun that had the greatest probability of destroying another battleship in such a fashion, would have to be the Ansaldo Model 1934, between its extreme penetrating power, flat trajectory, and architectural parameters (of the shell) that made it extremely resistant to disintegration upon striking heavy armor.

 

Peace  (and good research!)

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Rotten_Fish said:

The term "shell handling room" was taken from Dulin and Garzke; it is one of the areas where the endpoints for the hits I showed, are marked.

Please forgive my limitations regarding the term "turtleback"; I had not heard it before, and am not exactly sure of what you're referring to.

 

I appreciate, and thank you for the respectful exchange of ideas on this topic.  I did not delve into several other possibilities, such as damage caused by shells with underwater trajectories, etc..  I am sure you have your reasons for reaching the conclusion that you have, as do I, and I think that we will have to agree to disagree on this topic.  I wish I had more time to post on these forums, as I enjoy a healthy exchange of ideas, but alas, as a physics professor who still has many youthful tendencies in his character, my work commands most of my time.  I enjoy the game, despite its many flaws, and wish that WG would offer an optional "Hard Core" mode, where the mechanics, and other physical parameters of naval combat were more faithfully reproduced.  True, battles would take hours, but with such pleasing graphics already in place, those of us who would have interest in a "battleship simulator" would find this VERY interesting indeed!

 

Thanks again for the chat, and the interesting information!

 

Peace, oh, and

ROMA INVICTOR!!!

:Smile_Default:           :Smile_Default:             :Smile_Default:

 

 

Sure, I'm enjoying our chat as well.

 

A Turtleback is a sloped armor deck that usually connects the bottom edge of the main belt with the main armor deck. In the case of Bismarck, this was 120mm over the magazines and 110 over the machinery spaces, on Tirpitz it was a uniform 120mm over both the magazine and machinery spaces.

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A couple of significant points.  The penetration numbers can be very misleading.  They assume a single face hardened (technically "cemented") nickel steel plate.  A very effective technique for defeating AP shells is to have a first plate, which "decaps" the shell.  The hardened "cap" on the shell served to lessen the tendency to deflect on impact.  In the process of "decapping" the shell's trajectory is changed, the exact amount is affected by the thickness and angle of the armor which causes the decapping.  The penetration power of a shell is very seriously compromised by this decapping, and the Bismarck's belt is thick enough to decap any shell ever produced.  The analysis of what a shell from Littorio would have done at exactly that location is immensely complex.  Note that the Barbette wall that you show is not flat, it is rounded.  This affects the angle of the hit also and reduces penetration.  I am inclined to believe the experts opinions that the Bismarck's magazines were not penetrable by any contemporary naval shell at combat ranges.

 

In addition, as others have noted, the German propellant was both less sensitive than British cordite, and encased in metal containers, which made it very unlikely to explode from a hit.  The durability of German ships both during WW I and WW II was exemplary.  That didn't result from a single factor, but from the sum of many factors.  That having been said, those ships were notably easier to take out of action than they were to sink.  They had serious vulnerabilities, which were exploited (single lightly armored rudder/steering mechanisms, weak overhead protection, and some significant torpedo vulnerabilities come to mind).   This is a very interesting discussion.:Smile_medal:

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18 hours ago, mofton said:

Going from some of Campbell's 'Jutland, an Analysis of the Fighting' http://webpages.charter.net/abacus/news/jutland/CHAPTER 11.htm I would like to revisit the idea of a shell exploding in the lower gun chambers being fatal.

Derfflinger was struck by several 15in shells at Jutland, and is of relatively similar construction standards to Bismarck - at an absolute minimum I know of no suggestion that German powder in WWII was less stable, and I cannot imagine Bismarck's designers would have skimped on some armor on a larger ship.

Hit One:

  Reveal hidden contents

The Derfflinger was hit by fourteen shells in this phase. The first hit at 1914 was one of five by 15in APC shells from the Revenge. This struck the roof of the aftermost turret 3ft to the right of the right gun axis, and close below the join between the 4.3in sloping and 3.15in horizontal roof plates. The sloping plate inclined at c15° to the horizontal, was heavily depressed and scooped where struck for a length of 55in with two long cracks, and most of the calibre size hole was in this plate, though the edge of the flat roof was also broken away, for 18in X 261/2in. The turret, trained about 3 7° abaft the port beam, was jerked round to the limit of its port bow training by the impact. The shell burst on the right cartridge hoist about 4ft from impact, and ignited one main and one fore charge on the right cartridge loading tray, and also one main and one fore charge in the cage of the right upper cartridge hoist which was down in the working chamber. The flash spread to the magazine handing room immediately below the working chamber, and ignited one main and one fore charge in the loading tray of each of the two lower cartridge hoists, as well as three main charges being transported to the hoists, and nine fore charges which were still in opened magazine cases. A total of seven main and thirteen fore charges were thus ignited, but in the gun-house which had a splinter bulkhead as in the Lutzow, two main and two fore charges at the left gun were not burnt, though the outer coat of the double silk bags of the fore charges was singed. In the magazine handing room two fore charges in an opened case were also unburnt though similarly singed. No charges in unopened magazine cases were burnt.

 

The explosive effect of the shell was considered to be relatively small. In the gun-house, the right cartridge hoist shaft was destroyed, as was the range-finder, while all fittings belonging to the right gun were badly damaged by splinters, but the right gun itself received only trifling damage, as did the left gun, and the 1 in splinter bulkhead was not pierced nor was the armouring of the rear of the turret damaged.

I've italicized several points for reference:

1) Twenty powder charges were ignited by the hit, burning out the gun but not sinking the ship or spreading into any magazines. Therefore a similar explosion in Bismarck could be considered unlikely to be fatal.

2) The splinters thrown by the shell did not penetrate 1in thick (25mm) splinter bulkheads, and the British 15in had a 60lb rather than the Italian 22lb bursting charge as well as being heavier.

3) Not italicized but noteworthy - no shells are recorded as being detonated. It looks at some detail at powder charges, but my belief is that shells were pretty unlikely to detonate, being solid slugs of metal with fuses designed to go off only in particular circumstances. If there were 20 powder charges around, there were plenty of shells around too.

4) The lower shell hoists were impacted, and the magazine handling room - that's the possible location of your hit. Not fatal however.

Then there's another pertinent one:

  Reveal hidden contents

The next hit from the Revenge was at 1916 or 1917. This shell coming from 41° abaft the port beam, struck the after superfiring barbette 18in below the upper edge of the fixed armour, and on a line between the two guns, but nearer to the right gun, the position of impact, measured radially from the barbette centre, being 33° aft of the transverse diameter. It pierced the 10'/4in armour and burst in the upper part of the turn-table between the two guns and below the Captain of turret's platform. One main and one fore charge on the right cartridge loading tray were ignited, and also one main and one fore charge in the cages of both upper cartridge hoists, which were down in the working chamber, as well as one main and one fore charge on both the right and left transfer conveyors in the working chamber. The flash spread to the magazine handing room, which in this turret was below the switch room and the shell handing room, and ignited one main and one fore charge in the cages of both lower hoists which were down. In all, seven main and seven fore charges were ignited, but in the gun-house which had a longitudinal splinter bulkhead, one main and one fore charge at the left gun remained unburnt, as did two main charges which were out of their magazine cases in the handing room, and two fore charges in an opened case.

This mostly repeats the same, more powder charges ignited, ship not lost, flash not spread.

Although those hits aren't perfect facsimiles of the possible Litorrio shot I think they are enlightening as to the effects of powder going up, splinter damage and that shells are practically inert.

After looking at visuals of the impacts on Derfflinger, I had a few final thoughts on the damage;

1)  None of the shells penetrated as deeply as the impacts I indicated on Bismarck (especially as deep as the hit at F 174), and the second scenario occurred at a very oblique angle with respect to the radial centerline.

2)  If we consider one of the most lethal scenarios, the strike at frame 174, the refrigerators are definitely struck by that shell, with the accompanying disastrous effects.  

3) Last but not least, I was not aware of the fact that the refrigerated spaces could be hit without piercing the barbettes; take a look at this architectural drawing by Dulin and Garzke, to see what I mean.  Again, I apologize for the low quality of my images, as I get them from books, while some on this board get really good imagery from the net.   Note the location of the refrigerated spaces, and the fact that the shell fired from the 1934 passes right through one of them; this is an almost certain kill shot.  The British were not able to do this for two reasons; 1) their guns did not shoot anywhere nearly as flat as the 1934 did, and 2), as dseehafer pointed out, penetrating multiple layers of armor is a far more difficult task than penetrating a single plate, and neither their 14" gun, nor their 16" unit (which wasn't even as powerful as the Bismarck's 15" gun) had the energy to defeat all the necessary armor to reach the Bismarck's innards.  The 1934 would have had the energy to defeat the armor at the ranges mentioned, but, to be fair, it is entirely possible that this gun's combination of velocity, flat trajectory, aerodynamics, and shell structural integrity, may have made it the only naval weapon ever floated, that could have delivered a mortal blow to the Bismarck's excellent armor arrangement.  

I will contact Mr. Okun and ask his opinion on this matter.  Again, I do not present anything here as irrefutable fact, just as possibilities, some of them being VERY slim possibilities.  NB: frame numbers at base of drawing.

 

 

59f4b1fa4a49c_bismarckmajorcompartments2.thumb.jpg.16084151d70b4b823e841531dc9fc14a.jpg            59f4b3a6e0403_Frame174.35-2.thumb.png.e835a30f1f011d1cdc03d894fc5ef6d1.png

   

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On 10/26/2017 at 6:43 PM, BlailBlerg said:

Did ships aim for certain parts of the ship like turret magazines in an attempt to cause catastrophic failure via detonation?  

No they aimed for a spot in the ocean and prayed that the target and shells arrived at the same time.

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1 hour ago, crzyhawk said:

No they aimed for a spot in the ocean and prayed that the target and shells arrived at the same time.

That's a damn brilliant way of stating the matter, to be honest.....

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20 hours ago, Nhi_Vanye said:

A couple of significant points.  The penetration numbers can be very misleading.  They assume a single face hardened (technically "cemented") nickel steel plate.  A very effective technique for defeating AP shells is to have a first plate, which "decaps" the shell.  The hardened "cap" on the shell served to lessen the tendency to deflect on impact.  In the process of "decapping" the shell's trajectory is changed, the exact amount is affected by the thickness and angle of the armor which causes the decapping.  The penetration power of a shell is very seriously compromised by this decapping, and the Bismarck's belt is thick enough to decap any shell ever produced.  The analysis of what a shell from Littorio would have done at exactly that location is immensely complex.  Note that the Barbette wall that you show is not flat, it is rounded.  This affects the angle of the hit also and reduces penetration.  I am inclined to believe the experts opinions that the Bismarck's magazines were not penetrable by any contemporary naval shell at combat ranges.

 

In addition, as others have noted, the German propellant was both less sensitive than British cordite, and encased in metal containers, which made it very unlikely to explode from a hit.  The durability of German ships both during WW I and WW II was exemplary.  That didn't result from a single factor, but from the sum of many factors.  That having been said, those ships were notably easier to take out of action than they were to sink.  They had serious vulnerabilities, which were exploited (single lightly armored rudder/steering mechanisms, weak overhead protection, and some significant torpedo vulnerabilities come to mind).   This is a very interesting discussion.:Smile_medal:

Yes, agreed on all points.  The circular structure of the barbettes reduced the penetrable impact area to a 3.44 x 3.44 meter window (if my math is right), outside of which the 1934's high velocity would have worked AGAINST it, and increased the probability of a deflection.  However, as I discovered after looking at a more detailed drawing of Bismarck's innards that I found in Dulin and Garzke, the refrigerated spaces were actually outside of the barbettes.  This is an unusual decision on the part of German engineers, as every other BB design I have seen, has placed the refrigeration within the protection of the barbettes, deck armor, and belt armor.  However, as we know, the Bismarck's designers built another critical flaw into her; one 16" shell fired from about 20,000 yards which FAILED to penetrate the Bismarck's heavy armor, knocked out the hydraulic proportioning valve for Anton and Bruno, which was situated outside of her heavy armor.  The result was that Anton's barrels went to full elevation, and Bruno's went to full depression; the pride of the German navy lost two turrets from one non-penetrating hit.  This one fact frustrated me greatly over the years, as I wish I could shake those engineers by the throat, and ask them what they were thinking when they designed the bloody thing that way.

Edited by Rotten_Fish

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