Jump to content
You need to play a total of 5 battles to post in this section.
Harkaran532

A quick talk about cruisers of WW2

26 comments in this topic

Recommended Posts

6
[BB22]
Members
8 posts
1,827 battles

Well I'm just here to categorize second world war cruiser (correct me if I'm wrong) just a reminder, this is all up to debate and I hope everyone respects everyone's opinion. Also, I'm not a historian or extremely knowledgeable about everything that happened during WW2, but I try my best. 

The most powerful heavy cruisers (In no particular order) 

1. Admiral Hipper class cruisers 

2. Alaska class cruisers 

3. Takao Class cruisers 

4. Baltimore class cruiser 

5. Zara Class

6. Deutschland-class cruiser

Honourable mentions 

1. Des Moines class cruiser (In my mind it's more of a post-war cruiser) 

 

The most powerful Light Cruisers (again no particular order) 

1. Cleveland class cruiser 

2. Mogami class cruisers 

3. Brooklyn class cruiser 

4. Nurnberg class cruisers 

5. La Galissonniere

6. Abruzzi Class cruisers 

Honourable mentions 

1 Atlanta class cruisers 

2. Swiftsure class cruisers 

 

The most battle-hardened cruisers (In no order, 1 ship per nation)

1. USS San Diego

2. KMS Nurnberg

3. IJN Mogami 

4.  Alberico da Barbiano

5.  HMS Belfast

6.  Émile Bertin

 

Best looking cruiser (again no particular order, in my own opinion)

1. Baltimore class cruiser

2. KMS Graf Spee

3. IJN Atago

4.  Duca D'Aosta

 

Worst cruisers of WW2 

1. Trento-class cruiser

2. County class cruisers 

3. Kirov class cruisers (and most other Soviet heavy cruisers)

4. Katori class cruisers (they might have been originally training ships, but they fought so it counts) 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Cool 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2,185
[SYN]
[SYN]
Members
6,798 posts
10,299 battles
1 hour ago, Harkaran532 said:

Well I'm just here to categorize second world war cruiser (correct me if I'm wrong) just a reminder, this is all up to debate and I hope everyone respects everyone's opinion.

For the most powerful heavy cruisers of WWII, if you're including the Zara and Hipper classes then the French Algerie might make it in. The Myoko's likewise were pretty potent and comparable to the Takao's in many ways.

When you've got powerful light cruisers such as the Mogami's, Brooklyn's, Cleveland's (and Fargo's) I would be tempted to include the British equivalent in the form of the Edinburgh sub-class of Town-class cruisers. That's a main armament of 12x 6in guns too on a big hull. They were all-around better ships than the later Crown Colony and Swiftsure classes, so should definitely be considered ahead of them.

The La Galissoniere was a very good ship, but she was a 7,600t light cruiser and not a 10,500t one. I'd also tend to not included the Nurnburg, lightly constructed, lightly armed, not particularly seaworthy. The Abruzzi was a good ship, but was hampered by low ROF and a 10-gun main battery in my view if we're going for pure 'power'.

 

For 'fightingest' I think the US ship is hard to quantify, though I'd put San Francisco ahead of San Diego - crippling the steering gear of a battleship is a feat few cruisers achieved and with 17 battle honors, Guadalcanal and Cape Esperance I think she's worth considering ahead of the San Diego, which might have achieved more battle stars, but had no surface actions to her credit and certainly no major wins.

The Belfast participated in the Battle of the North Cape, but HMS Sheffield was at North Cape, Cape Spartivento, the Barents Sea (where she damaged Hipper and sank a German Destroyer) and participated in Force H, including shadowing and being engaged by the Bismarck. I'd consider Sheffield the more fighting ship, Belfast spent a lot of the war under repair.

Other good candidates for the RN would be Ajax, which has the battle of the River Plate, Cape Passero (where she took on 7 small Italian ships and accounted for 3 of them), Matapan, Crete, lots of Mediterranean action too. You could consider another Leander class, the Orion. Orion had a similar record to Ajax in the Med, more total battle honors but lacks an engagement like River Plate. The Arethusa class Aurora was also very busy and is often overlooked.

The Nurnburg I wouldn't say was particularly battle hardened, she didn't see a huge amount of action outside of shore bombardments and being torpedoed by a submarine. Comparatively speaking the Admiral Hipper fought at least 3 surface actions with the RN (Glowworm, Berwick, Barrents) and showed some fine shooting on all occasions.

Da Barbiano is an odd choice as most battle hardened for the Italians, she was present at Calabria but was then effectively assassinated at Cape Bon. My choice would be one of the heavy cruisers, either the Gorizia which survived four major surface actions - Calabria, First and Second Sirte, Spartivento - and the war. Bolzano also saw significant action and survived.

 

Worst cruisers? Well, depends on which age you want to look at. Is built before but saw service in WWII acceptable? The British Hawkins class were old and bad, the French Treaty cruisers such as Duquesne were pretty weak and comparable to the County class, the Italian very-light early Condottieri class suffered quite badly, but were light ships. Some of the earlier American heavy cruisers were also less than inspiring. The Kirov's were probably pretty underwhelming until their guns were sorted out.

Some of the older ships it would seem a little unfair to pick on - such as the older Omaha, Kuma, C-class etc.

  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6
[BB22]
Members
8 posts
1,827 battles

For the worst ship, I wanted to stay out of the older ships like the Omaha and the tenyru, since they were older and the technology and shipbuilding knowledge was not as great. And as for the Nurnberg, I chose her as she continued her service post-war (as a trainer) but the Admiral Hipper is also a very good contender as well 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8
[NOH8]
Members
57 posts
5,183 battles

Salt Lake City belongs in there somewhere along with San Francisco 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6
[BB22]
Members
8 posts
1,827 battles
19 hours ago, goril1a said:

Salt Lake City belongs in there somewhere along with San Francisco 

Okay, but for which category? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2,407
[HINON]
Beta Testers, In AlfaTesters
7,255 posts
2,029 battles

Hmm - I'm going to have to disagree on many of these. 

Imo the unquestionably most powerful light and heavy cruisers of the war were the American Cleveland and Baltimore-class - but they were laid down in 1940 and 1941 respectively, making them far and away in a different generation on ships than the other cruisers of the late 1920s and early 1930s, with far less in the way of treaty restrictions.

 

That being said, this would be my take for the generation of cruisers that were built before the war and fought in its critical stages. the following list is limited to one submission per country, as otherwise it could get a little odd (superior ships next to blatantly inferior ones on the list).

 

Most Powerful Heavy Cruiser classes (No particular order, date laid down is listed date):

  • Algérie (One-off, 1931, Marine Nationale)
  • Zara (1929, Regia Marina)
  • Wichita (One-off, 1935, United States Navy)
  • Admiral Hipper (1935, Kriegsmarine)
  • Mogami (1931, Nippon Kaigun)

Note- Takao and Myoko are close seconds and thirds behind Mogami.

 

Most Powerful Light Cruiser classes (No particular order, date laid down is listed date):

  • La Galissoniére (1931, Marine Nationale)
  • Abruzzi (1933, Regia Marina)
  • Brooklyn (1935, Untied States Navy)
  • Edinburgh (1936, Royal Navy)

 

Most Battle Hardened Cruiser Per Navy:

  • Marine NationalePrimauguet (Duguay-Trouin-class) - Most French Cruisers saw little action during the war, but she saw the most. She conducted Atlantic Patrols during the first phase of the war, later involved in operations involving the evacuation of gold from France. She fell under Vichy Control after the armistice, recapturing a French freighter than had bene taken by the British, and being the largest French ship in action in the Naval Battle of Casablanca, fighting a valiant action before succumbing to previous wounds inflicted by 16", 8", and 6" shells from American cruisers and the battleship Massachusetts. She may not have been the most powerful cruiser in the French Navy, but she was their 'fightingest' ship.
  • Regia Marina: Gorizia (Zara-class) - The only Italian heavy cruiser to survive the war, she saw more action than almost any other cruiser in the Italian navy during the war, and indeed of any cruiser in the war. She fought in all but one of the major naval battles fought by the Italian Navy during the war, and was involved in numerous minor actions on convoy escort and interception missions, over the course of the war dodging incredible amounts of torpedoes, and scoring perhaps the longest range 8" hit of the war on a British destroyer at 22.4 km during the First Battle of Sirte. She was disabled after a large USAAF raid on the Italian naval base of La Maddalena, hit by three large bombs (1000lb or greater iirc), but although one devastated her #3 8" turret, her main armor deck resisted the bombs and her damage control parties acted quickly, allowing the ship to escape to the main Italian naval base of La Spezia for repairs, escaping the follow-up attack meant to destroy her and Bolzano, and although Bolzano was sunk, Gorizia stubbornly remained afloat. It was not until the Germans tried to scuttle her as they were retreating from the port that, unmanned, she nearly succumbed to the waters - but not quite. Allied troops found her half sunk but still afloat when they finally liberated the port. Post-war the Italian navy considered refitting her, but decided that it would be to expensive for their now meager budget, and thus the Gorizia was struck from the naval register in February of 1947, and scrapped later that year.
  • To be filled in - have to go out, will fill in these later.

 

  • Cool 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2,185
[SYN]
[SYN]
Members
6,798 posts
10,299 battles
46 minutes ago, Phoenix_jz said:

Marine NationalePrimauguet (Duguay-Trouin-class) - Most French Cruisers saw little action during the war, but she saw the most.

The Lamotte-Piquet might be a contender, she was another ship of the same class, similarly with one engagement to her credit, the little known Battle of Ko Chang. In it however she did knock out a coastal defense ship and two very small torpedo boats. As you tend to get more battle-hardened when you win and survive then there's an argument to be made for her, though she never did very much else...

58 minutes ago, Harkaran532 said:

Okay, but for which category? 

I considered her for most battle hardened and I think goril1a was possibly as well. The SLC had the Kommandorski Islands to her credit were her crew fought like champions.

On 3/7/2018 at 4:23 PM, Harkaran532 said:

For the worst ship, I wanted to stay out of the older ships like the Omaha and the tenyru, since they were older and the technology and shipbuilding knowledge was not as great. And as for the Nurnberg, I chose her as she continued her service post-war (as a trainer) but the Admiral Hipper is also a very good contender as well 

That's fair, though if you want semi-training cruisers then the French Jeanne d'Arc and German Emden were probably poor warships by WWII standards.

The Dutch De Ruyter was also pretty handicapped in a lot of ways despite being built in 1936 and being comparatively modern. I would be pretty critical of her politically constrained design.

 

My general observation on 'battle hardened' is that it's not so much ships, but crews which get experienced, and even then over years crews and captains come and go. There should always be a 'nucleus' of old hands who can at least pass on knowledge and experience, one or two calm people saying 'this is nothing, you shoulda' seen the time we were fighting the Bismarck!' can be pretty stabilizing. Nurnberg maye have lived on as a Russian ship, but not with the same crew.

  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,717
[HINON]
Beta Testers, In AlfaTesters
8,856 posts
3,680 battles

I wouldn't say Nurnberg was the most battle-hardened among German cruisers. Admiral Scheer sank more vessels than any other German warship. Though one could also make a case for Admiral Hipper as she sank almost as many ships as Scheer did and she fought more enemy warships than Scheer. Still, Scheer has some combat experience in the Spanish Civil war too, before Hipper's career even started.

  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,717
[HINON]
Beta Testers, In AlfaTesters
8,856 posts
3,680 battles

It should also be noted that the Kriegsmarine never used prefixes (like USN, IJN, RN, etc...) Sometimes you see prefixes like KMS (Kriegsmarine Schiff) or DKM (Deutsche Kriegsmarine) but neither of these was actually used by the Germans.

 

And I certainly wouldn't pick Graf Spee as best looking (though we're all entitled to our own opinions) with that giant, overweight, triangular superstructure, square funnel cap, and straight bow! Her sisters Lutzow and Scheer were much easier on the eyes with gracefull Atlantic bows, minimalistic tube-masts, and triangular funnel caps helping to make them look more streamlined.

  • Boring 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,717
[HINON]
Beta Testers, In AlfaTesters
8,856 posts
3,680 battles

The most powerful German light cruiser was Karlsruhe after her rebuild. She boasted the same main battery as Nurnberg, had more hull armor, and could actually operate outside of coastal waters!

 

Karlsruhe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Members
238 posts

Can't really add much to what mofton and Phoenix_jz already said, except perhaps questioning the statement about De Ruyter. Making claims about the worst cruiser is a pretty big can of worms though, exactly what's so bad about the County, Trento and Kirov class cruisers? Sure, say, the Trento doesn't have such a thick belt but it does cover more of the waterline compared to e.g. Pensacola. Is there an objective view of which is better in practical terms? You can of course discuss the trade off between speed and armor and what the right balance is as well however in my mind it's not that straightforward on how you should value it. For example some Swedish documents about their thoughts (assuming I remember correctly) on this was that a comparative speed deficit of more than 2 knots would mean that a ship (in a purely defensive role) wouldn't be able to effectively respond to enemy incursions.

If I had to name a worst cruiser I might look at Bolzano though as at least on paper you might question why the Italians would build it after having the Zara class. Some of our Italian experts might weight in on that issue though, I seem to recall there being some political reasons behind it in terms of what shipyards builds what ships.

On 09/03/2018 at 9:09 PM, mofton said:

The Dutch De Ruyter was also pretty handicapped in a lot of ways despite being built in 1936 and being comparatively modern. I would be pretty critical of her politically constrained design.

I don't know, I don't see what's so bad about De Ruyter considering the low full load displacement. Or is it the fact that she is so light that you consider to be the issue?

 

On 10/03/2018 at 4:17 AM, dseehafer said:

I wouldn't say Nurnberg was the most battle-hardened among German cruisers. Admiral Scheer sank more vessels than any other German warship. Though one could also make a case for Admiral Hipper as she sank almost as many ships as Scheer did and she fought more enemy warships than Scheer. Still, Scheer has some combat experience in the Spanish Civil war too, before Hipper's career even started.

In my mind the combat against enemy warships gives Hipper the edge. Scheer might have been the more successful raider but not the more battle-hardened.

On 10/03/2018 at 4:25 AM, dseehafer said:

And I certainly wouldn't pick Graf Spee as best looking (though we're all entitled to our own opinions) with that giant, overweight, triangular superstructure, square funnel cap, and straight bow!

I like the covered superstructure a whole lot more than the later exposed tubular mast that Scheer got. The tubular construction is a bit too busy and tree like looking for my taste.

Edited by Snowyskies

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2,185
[SYN]
[SYN]
Members
6,798 posts
10,299 battles
2 hours ago, Snowyskies said:

I don't know, I don't see what's so bad about De Ruyter considering the low full load displacement. Or is it the fact that she is so light that you consider to be the issue?

I don't have a problem with a light cruiser per se,  the De Ruyter just seems to have two failings to me:

  1. Even though she's light (ish) you don't 'get' much for your tonnage
  2. A light-light cruiser is not a valuable deterrent in the role for which she was envisaged, and for the same tonnage additional destroyers, submarines etc. may well have been a better investment

Regarding point one the major comparison points I'd observe are the British Arethusa and Leander class. The Arethusa is even lighter at 5,250t standard load to DR's 6,442t - about 18% heavier, while the Leander is only slightly heavier at about 7,100t - or about 10% heavier.

For that what do you get? The Arethusa's managed an 8-gun dual-purpose battery, superior forward firepower, triple torpedo tubes, 57mm vs 50mm belt (for what that's worth) and sacrificed only a single barrel for it. The Leander gets the same DP battery as the Arethusa, quad torpedo tubes, superior forward firepower and total firepower, a 76mm belt with 25mm backing plate instead of that 50mm. In particular I'd criticize the weak main battery for no real reason, especially the bow on firepower - which was an actual, not just a theoretical disadvantage at Java Sea. Even some of the positives have drawbacks - the heavy Bofors battery is nicely clustered together to be taken out in a single hit for instance.

The De Ruyter also died hard and fast following a torpedo hit - which is always bad news in any cruiser, but seems to have been particularly lethal. The Leander's in combat showed some pretty reasonable survivability with the Perth (well, an Amphion subclass) taking several torpedoes before succumbing, the Leander herself taking one at Tassafaronga and surviving, the others in the class took fairly significant damage including bomb damage. The Arethusa's were vulnerable to torpedoes, but Aurora did survive mine damage, and nothing could do as badly in the face of a torpedo hit as DR.

 

The second problem as I see it is intended deterrent role. Some 'weaker' - by which I mean combat capability  - cruisers were pretty useful for trade protection, for instance Sydney accounted for two raiders Ramb III and Kormoran as well as an Italian light cruiser. Devonshire might be another example accounting for Atlantis, Cornwall for Pinguin.  They would also sweep up a lot of German supply ships mid-ocean. In the Dutch East Indies vs. Japan situation that's far less likely to be productive, leading me to think the design is fairly confused. A light cruiser is a poor deterrent and a lighter one a worse deterrent still.

  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Members
238 posts

Criticizing it for being lighter than what they really needed as a deterrent force I can understand. Considering that the Netherlands wasn't directly restricted by the naval treaties (unless they had some separate treaty signed which for example I know Sweden had) you'd think they would have gone for something bigger and with perhaps at least individual superiority to the Japanese heavy cruisers. Either that or, as you said, putting more into submarines, mine warfare and the like. Is it fair to criticize the design as such for that though?

4 hours ago, mofton said:

Regarding point one the major comparison points I'd observe are the British Arethusa and Leander class. The Arethusa is even lighter at 5,250t standard load to DR's 6,442t - about 18% heavier, while the Leander is only slightly heavier at about 7,100t - or about 10% heavier.

Indeed, but both of them lacked the light AA suite that De Ruyter had. During the war they did get 2 pounders and 20 mm Oerlikons added however at the same time they were forced to land their catapult and seaplanes to do so. Going by navypedia both the Leander and the Arethusa class ended up growing by a good 500 ton eventually to fit everything, although that would include radar as well.

Now regardless as for what you get with the tonnage I do think the lack of any heavy anti-air is a bit peculiar on De Ruyter, especially as they were giving the Admiralen destroyers one or two heavy AA guns. It's perhaps the one area that I do think criticism is warranted (outside being light to begin with). That said as already mentioned your comparison classes were without an equivalent light AA suite in turn during the time they had your quoted displacement values.

When it comes to armor protection you should rather look at for example Italian light cruisers instead of British ones, mainly because the Italians cruiser protected a larger amount of the waterline. The armor that De Ruyter had extended from infront of the forward turret to aft of the aft turret, around 75% of the waterline. (Navypedia claims that in addition there was a 30 mm belt at the ends, but I'm a bit sceptical to that claim. Probably the aft steering compartment was armored but not the waterline). The British designs such as Leander doesn't distribute it in the same way at all with the armor belt you are referring to being around the machinery only. There was also an internal bulkhead on De Ruyter in a similar way as to what's found on many of the Italian light cruisers. Here's a quick attempt at the De Ruyter armor profile which I made compared with a pic I found depicting the armor of the 7405t (standard), 8850t (full) Italian Montecuccoli.

jrc0XcI.pngeuC2e6p.jpg

I don't think Montecuccoli protects as large a percentage of the waterline either, although I haven't checked exactly. Of course you can always question as to whether it is worth trying to protect a large amount of the waterline lengthwise or if you'd be better of concentrating it as on Leander.

Furthermore the British designs went with splinter armor only on their cruiser turrets while De Ruyter allocates more protection to the turrets. That would without a doubt eat into the tonnage available for torpedoes or heavy AA. Is making your main firepower more vulnerable worth the trade-off in exchange for better AA or heavy hitting torpedoes? Perhaps, perhaps not.

Now one thing I've noted about De Ruyter is that it always have seemed quite "tall" so I wonder if some of the possible top side weight was eaten up by having rangefinders and superstructure further up than usual for a ship of this size. To be fair I haven't actually checked if this is actually true or not, it's just my impression, maybe I should actually try do a proper comparison sometime.

4 hours ago, mofton said:

The De Ruyter also died hard and fast following a torpedo hit - which is always bad news in any cruiser, but seems to have been particularly lethal.

I can't say I put much value in what happened to different ships from taking hits. That may sound a bit odd but I do extend this to pretty much all ships good or bad though. As far as I'm concerned the sample size is simply way too small in my mind to make any judgement about how survivable the different designs are.

Anyway ultimately I think De Ruyter has a somewhat unfairly bad reputation.

 

Edit: Redid a bit of my argument and fixed some spelling/grammar errors.

Edited by Snowyskies

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2,185
[SYN]
[SYN]
Members
6,798 posts
10,299 battles
14 hours ago, Snowyskies said:

Criticizing it for being lighter than what they really needed as a deterrent force I can understand. Considering that the Netherlands wasn't directly restricted by the naval treaties (unless they had some separate treaty signed which for example I know Sweden had) you'd think they would have gone for something bigger and with perhaps at least individual superiority to the Japanese heavy cruisers. Either that or, as you said, putting more into submarines, mine warfare and the like. Is it fair to criticize the design as such for that though?

I think it's a fair criticism. Can the design meet it's intended purpose? If not can it serve some other useful purpose? The DR looks short on both counts, the original ploy of 'let's try and deter the Japanese a bit, but not so much that we annoy them' is inherently contradictory. While some ships couldn't fulfill the designed purpose they were useful otherwise - Arethusa's on interdiction missions in the Med, or who would have foreseen the USN circa 1918 Standard battleships going from line of battle to bombarding small islands in the Pacific?

DR could have at least had the 8th gun, giving up that bit of firepower is just peculiar, especially as it doesn't let you fire split-salvoes. For all their weaknesses as seaboats in the DEI environment something like a 6000t Konigsberg with 9 guns looks more useful in that environment. Even heck something like the early Italian Condottieri where at least you're super fast to try some kind of hit/run or withdraw if you run into a Myoko seems a bit more sensible even if those are super light, super poorly armored designs on 5250t or so.

14 hours ago, Snowyskies said:

Indeed, but both of them lacked the light AA suite that De Ruyter had. During the war they did get 2 pounders and 20 mm Oerlikons added however at the same time they were forced to land their catapult and seaplanes to do so. Going by navypedia both the Leander and the Arethusa class ended up growing by a good 500 ton eventually to fit everything, although that would include radar as well.

The lack of a mid-caliber DP armament is very odd and pretty unique to DR. There's probably a reason for everyone else to take it. Among other things it allows for breaking up attacks that the Bofors can't - barraging dive bombers at a far higher altitude, fighting back against level-bombers, providing additional ASuW firepower and I have no idea what the DR would have done for a starshell/illumination round gun, unless giving up 1/7 the main battery was the plan, given the Dutch thought they were hot-stuff at night and that fighting at night is a good way to get an advantage as the underdog that's all the stranger.

The Arethusa's and Leander's did grow through the war for sure, but so would De Ruyter if she'd not been cut-off from home in 1940-1941 and then sunk early in 1942. Landing the seaplanes was pretty common and she sailed out to Java Sea without hers, as did the whole fleet. The base-hull comparison is pretty reasonable IMO, though I don't know why the full-load is so different, fuel isn't that different, ammunition either. 

For armor protection, the value of a larger area 50mm belt vs. smaller area thicker belt vs. magazine boxes I don't know how to quantify. If 50mm doesn't stop something it's pretty low value, if 76+25 does it is. No protection over a larger area vs. solid protection over a smaller area? My general view on cruiser turret armor is that it's pretty low value.

You are correct on the small sample sizes, DR was always going to be a sample of one, though internal design and subdivision may be something else to criticize, not that the original 1-funnel arrangement of the Leander's is good, though they were moderately survivable and the Arethusa's were better.

 

For me it really is a combination of the two factors - the design is fundamentally silly for the purpose, and then makes some odd choices, it terminates with a very questionable combat performance albeit under very bad circumstances. I also single her out because she's pretty late in the game at 1936 to be building a 7-gun CL when you don't have treaty restrictions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Members
36 posts
9,592 battles

Well certainly we can all debate these points but on the list for battle hardened has got to be USS HOUTON the galloping ghost of the java coast, along with her resolute battle partner HMAS PERTH as in the battle of Sunda Strait.

https://news.usni.org/2014/08/22/nightmare-night-uss-houston-went

Here is a very good first person account of USS Houston's exploits..

Edited by John_Paul_Nelson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Members
238 posts
17 hours ago, mofton said:

I think it's a fair criticism. Can the design meet it's intended purpose? If not can it serve some other useful purpose? The DR looks short on both counts, the original ploy of 'let's try and deter the Japanese a bit, but not so much that we annoy them' is inherently contradictory. While some ships couldn't fulfill the designed purpose they were useful otherwise - Arethusa's on interdiction missions in the Med, or who would have foreseen the USN circa 1918 Standard battleships going from line of battle to bombarding small islands in the Pacific?

Fair enough. I waffle around a bit myself concerning that subject myself so I'm not entirely dismissive of it. You bring it up yourself but obviously nations weren't clairvoyant. When for example Houston was laid down it wasn't a custom design and laser focused to maximize its performance in a battle at Java Sea. There are of course the political considerations of what the government gives the navy in terms of budget, personnel and running costs. There's other potential enemies (say.... Siam/Thailand?) and whatever conflict evolves doesn't have to be a full-out war. There's also the consideration of how the ship fits in with the rest of the fleet with the example of De Ruyter in a sense replacing the third Java class cruiser that wasn't built, something that would allow them to more easily accommodate rotating one ship at a time out of service for refit. Still as I said I also think the Netherlands would probably have been better of with either lighter or heavier vessels.

17 hours ago, mofton said:

DR could have at least had the 8th gun, giving up that bit of firepower is just peculiar, especially as it doesn't let you fire split-salvoes. For all their weaknesses as seaboats in the DEI environment something like a 6000t Konigsberg with 9 guns looks more useful in that environment. Even heck something like the early Italian Condottieri where at least you're super fast to try some kind of hit/run or withdraw if you run into a Myoko seems a bit more sensible even if those are super light, super poorly armored designs on 5250t or so.

Why wouldn't you be able to fire split salvos? You could as an example easily fire the the forward turrets for a 3-gun salvo and the the aft turrets for 4-gun salvo. Anyway on pure paper terms I don't think any of the (light) light cruisers compare well to Königsberg. As for the early Italian light cruiser my impression, and correct me if I'm wrong, is that the boilers and engines is one of the big expenses on a ship. I wouldn't be surprised if a design akin to the Italian cruisers despite being lighter would have been quite a bit more expensive than De Ruyter. This then goes back to politics and budgets.

17 hours ago, mofton said:

The lack of a mid-caliber DP armament is very odd and pretty unique to DR.

The older Java class that previously carried 75 mm AA guns also had them entirely replaced with 40 mm Bofors mounts. The new Eendracht/Kijkduin/Whatever also lacked anything heavier than 40 mm Bofors guns, with a small caveat about the 150 mm guns perhaps. Now it has been said that the Hazemeyer mounts used were very advanced and clearly the Dutch thought having any heavier AA guns wasn't needed. From an outsiders perspective it still is, as you say, odd.

17 hours ago, mofton said:

The Arethusa's and Leander's did grow through the war for sure, but so would De Ruyter if she'd not been cut-off from home in 1940-1941 and then sunk early in 1942. Landing the seaplanes was pretty common and she sailed out to Java Sea without hers, as did the whole fleet.

Not saying that De Ruyter wouldn't have grown or that landing seaplanes (and catapult) was out of the norm, just that this deck space and tonnage could have been used to address the perceived shortcomings just like Arethusa and Leander added light AA.

17 hours ago, mofton said:

For armor protection

I won't make any claims about what's the right way to do it, just that giving the max values doesn't give the entire picture.

 

17 hours ago, mofton said:

For me it really is a combination of the two factors - the design is fundamentally silly for the purpose, and then makes some odd choices, it terminates with a very questionable combat performance albeit under very bad circumstances. I also single her out because she's pretty late in the game at 1936 to be building a 7-gun CL when you don't have treaty restrictions.

For the first point okay, granted. For the second though budget realities is a thing, in the same way the Finnish land forces in the Winter War didn't start the war already having ammunition shortages for their artillery because they thought artillery was silly, it was because that's what they had been able to scrape together. And if you want to single her out due to the firepower then why not the later and larger 6-gun (though admittedly torpedo armed) Agano?

 

Edit:

17 hours ago, mofton said:

unless giving up 1/7 the main battery was the plan

I think that actually was the plan. The forward single gun has a separate storage area dedicated to illumination rounds.

Edited by Snowyskies

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2,407
[HINON]
Beta Testers, In AlfaTesters
7,255 posts
2,029 battles
On 3/11/2018 at 4:13 PM, Snowyskies said:

If I had to name a worst cruiser I might look at Bolzano though as at least on paper you might question why the Italians would build it after having the Zara class. Some of our Italian experts might weight in on that issue though, I seem to recall there being some political reasons behind it in terms of what shipyards builds what ships.

 

When it comes to Italian ships, the Trento was bad by WWII, but that has a lot to do with their age as well just being, well, first.

 Roughly speaking Italian cruiser construction went; 

Year Laid Down Heavy Cruisers Light Cruisers
1925 TrentoTrieste  
1926    
1927    
1928   Giussano-class (4)
1929 ZaraFiume  
1930 GoriziaBolzano Cadorna-class (2)
1931 Pola Montecuccoli-class (2)
1932   d'Aosta-class (2)
1933   Abruzzi-class (2)

 

My Semi-Rant on the Trento-class 

These being Italy's first heavy cruisers, the Trento-class came with a host of issues. They were built to beat the French Duquesne-class cruisers, which they did quite well. They had an equal armament (4x2 203/50), and whereas the French cruisers had next to no armor, whereas the Trento actually had armor (70mm belt which was very much inadequate against 203mm gunfire, reasonably good against 152mm fire, and good against smaller-calibers. The 50mm deck armor was actually quite good against cruiser-caliber weapons, for the era). And they were fast, ignoring trial speeds they were 35-knot ships on commissioning, which gave them an almost 2-knot edge over the French CA's they were designed to face. However, they had a narrow beam to get these high speeds, which gave stability issues (something that was shared with many of the earlier destroyer classes and the first condottieri-classes), and substantial vibration issues. Thus, this lowered their practical stop speed.

Their main armament was also an issue. The 203/50 by itself was not a fantastic weapon, but in installation became much worse, the use of a common cradle to save weight resulting in dispersion issues, and complicated loading - made worse by the fact that the turrets were fairly cramped. Thus the most rapid firing cycle achievable by practical means was 18 seconds at the loading angle of +15º, like the American guns of the era, but the ability to maintain this fell as range and thus angle of elevation increased - at the maximum elevation of 45º the firing cycle was almost 40 seconds - not a huge issue due to the favored method of deliberate fire by the Italian navy and the general low RoF encounter by most navies at medium to long range, but still hardly optimal.

Thus their combat ability was not highly regarded to begin with... but fast forward to WWII, and they were well behind the curve. In order to combat the dispersion, both the muzzle velocity for and weight of the AP shells was lowered (840mps and 118 kg), which vastly decreased the armor-piercing potential of the GP shells, and cut their maximum range by over 4000m. The reduced dispersion does not seem to have been great - from 1939 firing data it seems to be fairly in-line with the far-superior 203/53 - hardly surprising as the dispersion issues in the cruiser guns had far more to do with the use of a common cradle than the ballistics ever did. Their hitting power was hampered by their poor fire control, easily the worst among Italian cruisers (as demonstrated by the Encounter off Gavdos). Speed was another issue - between the vibrations & stability issues and efforts to counter it, as well as just sheer old age, the practical stop speed of these ships in any kind of seas less than calm was 31 knots at best.

 

Semi-rant Pt.II - The Condottieri-class (1st & partially 2nd Group)

The same kind of issues were around in the first condottieri - the Giussano-class. Side note, the first group, the Giussano-class, are the only one actually named after Condottieri. Always... 

Stability, low RoF in too-cramped common cradle turrets, the same issues were present. Granted, these first two classes weren't 'real' light cruisers per say, they were more or less enlarged esploratori, the hull literally up-scaled from the Navigatori-class (hence the nigh comical length/beam ratio). The 'real' top speed of 36.5 to 37 knots was high enough, but once again due to stability issues this dropped considerably in terms of what was practical (if you wanted to engage anything with your guns), and their hulls were somewhat weak - even though there were efforts to strengthen them in the late '30s, the issue remained, and indeed the most successful member of the class (Giovani Delle Bande Nere) was traveling to La Spezia for repairs when sunk by HMS Urge because of the damage she had sustained fighting in what was essentially a hurricane, not from the guns and torpedoes of British cruisers and destroyers, but by the wind and seas which she ended up having a beam roll of up to 27º on!

Another good example is the battle of Cape Spada - where the rough swells limited the pair of Giussano's (Bande Nere & Colleoni) to 32 knots.

Like the Trento-class, their main guns were somewhat first-generation for the new armament of Italian cruiser  - the 153/53 Model 1926, which was only capable of 4 rpm, and the turrets of light construction, and of course, they had the same common cradle issue. Again, this lead to a reduction in shell weight and muzzle velocity for the AP, and again, it did not remove the problem - but it did, again, reduce the penetrative ability of the guns, and cut the maximum range by almost 6 km! The mounts also had a not insignificant issue with failing to fire for various reasons.

The succeeding mount used on the other light cruisers, the Model 1929, got rid of many of these issues, and had twice the rate of fire, although it was still common-cradle and with the reduced ballistic performance. Turrets were more spacious overall. The Cadorna-class was a repeat, slightly heavier, but improved greatly on stabilization and hull strength. The maximum speed was lower at only 36.5 knots and the operation range shrunk, but the practical speed was greater. As mentioned before, the Cadorna-class used the improved Model 1929 guns & turrets, but the turrets were still of a similar, light construction, and had similar dispersion issues to the Giussano-class. The following two classes did not have this issue with their turrets, and although dispersion still suffered from being in a common cradle, it was not as bad as on the first two Condottieri classes. The following classes were much larger, and were designed as proper light cruisers, having actual armor but steadily increasing the propulsion power, thus their top speed was just as high, and their practical speeds much higher. 

 

Getting back to the heavy cruisers, the Zara's were a response to the fact Italy didn't really have any battleships. They were meant to stand in a battle line. Obviously they weren't meant to duel battleships, but they were intended to be essentially 'proof' against 152mm fire, and have a heavy resistance over 203mm guns. They also ended up showing off some of the first attempts of decapping shells and prematurely detonating fuses for Italian cruisers, with the 30mm-20mm upper belt/deck box that enhanced deck protection significantly. Ultimately, though, they ended up being an improvement on the Trento's in almost every area. The armor was obviously vastly superior, but also the fire control was magnitudes better, as evidenced by their performance during the war - numerous first-salvo straddles even at long ranges, and first to second salvo hits - with optics only.

The main battery was much improved, using the new 203/53 Model 1927, which had far stronger performance than the earlier 203/50, firing the heavy AP again, but at a higher velocity of 960mps, being more accurate, and with a higher RoF - the firing cycle being only 16 seconds, and loading possible at any angle. The guns also had a shorter recoil, and the turrets were far less cramped. However, they still used a common cradle, which meant that they still interfered with their dispersion, and that of course meant the ballistics were reduced - although fortunately only the velocity, not the shell (only costing 2.6 km of range). Naturally, this did not do much to reduce dispersion as it was not tackling the real issue.

In terms of speed, the Zara-class ultimately proved superior to the Trento, having none of the stabilization issues, in fact being very seaworthy and better able to maintain speed in rough weather on much less power despite the worse L/B ratio. The 'standard' power was 95000 shp, but this was somewhat misleading as they very often exceeding that, to the point where just over 101,000 shp is considered their 'real' power. 30-32 knots could be maintained in service, while the top speed appears to have been even higher - evidenced by 1ª Divisone's 34-knot dash at Spartivento (excluding Fiume, who was having engine issues).

 

Bolzano's reason for existence is mixed. There was a wish to keep the divisions homogenized, and for that the Italian navy wished to have six cruisers in two 3-ship divisions. However, the combat ability of the Zara-class was far different than that of the Trento-class, so there was a will to have a ship more similar. Likewise, the fourth Zara was going to have a modified superstructure to serve as flagship of the fleet, as none of the battleships were actually active until Cavour and Cesare were finally rebuilt (1933-37). Since they had the tonnage left over from treaties, they built another cruiser that could perform well with the Trento-class, which was not insignificantly influenced by lobbying from Ansaldo, who'd been left out of the heavy cruiser programs up to this point (although they had built all but one of the Giussano's, so.... :cap_hmm:). 

Thus she was ordered alongside the third ZaraGorizia, and they both were laid down in 1930 with the Pola laid down in 1931.

In terms of being a bad ship... well, she was certainly of questionable combat ability in regards to how the armor of the Trento's were so inadequate, which was and has remained their primary source of criticism. She could have been a better ship than she was. 

Then again, she was also quite a strong ship, far, far more powerful than the Trento sisters, although perhaps not quite as powerful as the Zara's. She had the Trento's poor armor (hers was actually *slightly* better iirc), but none of their stability or vibration issues - and her speed was real. Her power output was higher, and she could hit up to 36 knots (ex, Spartivento). Her main battery was the same as that of the Zara's, but she had even better Fire Control, adding to the lethality of the main armament.

 

So, while she was certainly an ill-advised design, I wouldn't consider her a bad ship in that regard. I'd be much more inclined to refer to the Trento or Giussano-class in that regard, as they were certainly of significantly lower combat potential and overall service reliability than any other classes operated by the Regia Marina in that category, even without considering their age by the start of WWII.

 

 

  • Cool 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2,185
[SYN]
[SYN]
Members
6,798 posts
10,299 battles
14 hours ago, Snowyskies said:

Fair enough. I waffle around a bit myself concerning that subject myself so I'm not entirely dismissive of it. You bring it up yourself but obviously nations weren't clairvoyant. When for example Houston was laid down it wasn't a custom design and laser focused to maximize its performance in a battle at Java Sea.

Not clairvoyant, but somewhat nonsensical perhaps. There's a general appreciation I think that 'if in doubt a more powerful and seaworthy vessel is more useful' and if it won't be, go asymmetric. There is just very little in the way of a foreseeable scenario where De Ruyter is very useful.

There seems to have been a general appreciation in the early 1930's that heavy cruisers were more capable than light cruisers, hence the treaty restrictions on them being in essence tighter and the later move to powerful light cruisers (Mogami, Brooklyn, Town etc.) being a way to cheat. In that environment a CL is difficult, though if we take your good point that ships cost roughly per ton with the exception that machinery, guns and sensors cost more than stell and the Dutch were on a budget then maybe a significantly more combat capable warship wouldn't be possible.

The lightest 8in cruisers were 8,000+tons which is a significant margin. On the other hand I think you said that a Konigsberg (9x 5.9in, 12 TT, 6x 88mm on 6,000t) was a high bar (and so would Nurnburg be) in terms of capability for combat (though at the cost of seaworthiness) but there's still plenty of water between those and DR.

You bought up Agano which kinda segways into a nice side point. Agano isn't a very good light cruiser in many ways, 6 old guns - though it makes sense to reuse the Kongo guns rather than run up production of new 6in guns for a handful of ships -  light armor. However Agano is a force-multiplier and in the context of the Japanese practice of leading destroyer flotilla's with light cruisers - you see it frequently with the Sendai, Kuma classes all taking the role at Java, Guadalcanal etc - Agano makes sense.

She has the 35kt speed to keep up with a destroyer flotilla. She is tactically compatible with an 8-torpedo broadside with reloads. She provides firepower in an anti-destroyer role. During daylight actions she provides scouting with her aircraft. Agano is a bad ship in a one-on-one fight in some respects, but one that makes other ships better. The Dutch took somewhat of a similar line with their later Tromp class of 'Destroyer Leaders/Light-Light Cruisers'. De Ruyter doesn't really have that going for her, and on the same tonnage you could do two Tromp's.

15 hours ago, Snowyskies said:

Why wouldn't you be able to fire split salvos?

I should have specified that you can't fire split salvoes over the bow, as with 3 guns you can't spot fall of shot with only a 1-gun volley. It does make sense to use the single turret as a starshell gun, it's just that you're then giving up 1/7 of your firepower, some ships did mount starshell guns specifically so that they'd not have to use a main gun.

 

If you consider budgets/treaties and the constraints then you do have to go out of your way to criticize some ships, very few ships were utterly miserable if you factor the constraints, the only object failures might be the German CL which were so limited by their seaworthiness. I just think the DR was a bit nonsensical and not fit for purpose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Members
238 posts
19 hours ago, mofton said:

Not clairvoyant, but somewhat nonsensical perhaps. There's a general appreciation I think that 'if in doubt a more powerful and seaworthy vessel is more useful' and if it won't be, go asymmetric. There is just very little in the way of a foreseeable scenario where De Ruyter is very useful.

Well as I said, slot it in with the Java class to allow rotating refits. The Java class themselves, along with De Ruyter then, would force Japan to at least commit heavy cruisers in order to ensure superiority. The Japanese light cruisers, on paper (as always), should lose out to the Dutch cruisers. Anyway I've conceded that the Dutch ought to have built something that's either heavier or lighter and if we accept that the design should be dinged for that then yes, De Ruyter was questionable.

In theory the Dutch had planned to use mines extensively to protect the DEI, so perhaps they shouldn't even have spent the money on ships. Instead the money might been better spent on mine research along with more extensive training of the rest of the naval forces. Keep in mind that this was during Great Depression, an even which of course hit all industrialized nations but which seem to have been especially severe in the Netherlands. Seen figures of 40+% unemployment in 1935 where by comparison, per Wikipedia, USA peaked at 25% in 1933. Going bigger and more expensive probably wasn't an option. Well, not unless we want to start going into economic theory about stimulus and austerity policies.

19 hours ago, mofton said:

The lightest 8in cruisers were 8,000+tons which is a significant margin. On the other hand I think you said that a Konigsberg (9x 5.9in, 12 TT, 6x 88mm on 6,000t) was a high bar (and so would Nurnburg be) in terms of capability for combat (though at the cost of seaworthiness) but there's still plenty of water between those and DR.

I do think Königsberg was tremendously powerful and none of the other light cruisers compare favourably if you take into account the low tonnage. This was a ship commissioned in 1929, before most other interwar light cruisers were even laid down. Yet 1000+ ton heavier light cruisers built after Königsberg such as the previously mentioned Leander or Montecuccoli were barely on par. Now how survivable it actually was in practice and the seaworthiness, well, let's just not think about that :p

19 hours ago, mofton said:

It does make sense to use the single turret as a starshell gun

Is this a good place to point out that the forward gun probably was not a fully enclosed turret with integral hoists and instead a shielded mount? I can't say for sure as I haven't seen any good photo from behind the gun. It might still have been a powered mount but it would be more vulnerable than the turrets.

 

23 hours ago, Phoenix_jz said:

So, while she was certainly an ill-advised design, I wouldn't consider her a bad ship in that regard. I'd be much more inclined to refer to the Trento or Giussano-class in that regard, as they were certainly of significantly lower combat potential and overall service reliability than any other classes operated by the Regia Marina in that category, even without considering their age by the start of WWII.

Thanks for the post! I wouldn't have said anything about Bolazano if it wasn't for  Zara design while I hesitated to say much about the Italian light cruisers because the speed of Italian ships are often talked down even when it's not necessarily warranted. A plus that Bolzano had over Zara is of course also that it's supposedly more treaty compliant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2,185
[SYN]
[SYN]
Members
6,798 posts
10,299 battles
3 hours ago, Snowyskies said:

Well as I said, slot it in with the Java class to allow rotating refits. The Java class themselves, along with De Ruyter then, would force Japan to at least commit heavy cruisers in order to ensure superiority.

You did, though from my perspective the Java's are disastrous themselves. I didn't include them in the 'worst' discussion because they're old, but they're desperately poor, obsolete practically from commissioning - a protracted build to get a Karlsruhe derivative in service in 1925, when the French Duguay-Trouin is coming in about the same time, Omaha's at least some of the way to enclosed twin turrets etc. The British 'C's were superior ships but by 1940 were being refitted as AA cruisers. 

The Java's and DR's might be a handful for the Kuma's etc. but I'm not sure what force they would require the IJN to commit. The Kuma class and similar would be a bit outgunned, but their role is as destroyer leaders, not as stand-up light on light cruiser fighters. What DR would do when a Sendai turned up with 8 Fubuki's in tow I'm not quite sure about.

The Dutch were definitely in a bad place either way, they had this large liability to defend in the DEI but clearly it wasn't producing the resources to really pay for it's own defense, or at least not enough in the face of the Depression and the rather aggressive Japanese, I think in the 1930's the Japanese were spending up to 60% of GDP on the armed forces, which would be incredibly hard for a western democracy to match.

Konigsberg is situationally fantastic, the problem is as I see summarized by the Royal Navy's command priorities, a ship's captain must ensure the ship can Float, Move and Fight and provide the resources to ensure that in roughly that order. Konigsberg is great at the 3rd point, but if the weather means you can't Float (in extremis) or move, well you're no good to man nor beast.

The Navweaps page seems to show an image with the back of the turret closed, though it's not that clear. At least no one is standing behind it.  http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNNeth_59-50_mk9.php

I am not really sure either way, I believe the original design was for 2x2 and 2x1 turrets so perhaps it should be happy with 7 guns!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Members
238 posts
22 minutes ago, mofton said:

You did, though from my perspective the Java's are disastrous themselves. I didn't include them in the 'worst' discussion because they're old, but they're desperately poor, obsolete practically from commissioning - a protracted build to get a Karlsruhe derivative in service in 1925, when the French Duguay-Trouin is coming in about the same time, Omaha's at least some of the way to enclosed twin turrets etc. The British 'C's were superior ships but by 1940 were being refitted as AA cruisers. 

Damnit, now you've done it! The Java's weren't disastrous :) Compared to its rough contemporaries (in date finished) and, well, all other had torpedoes, but apart from that:

Omaha may have had two turrets but that didn't translate to a stronger broadside. Forward and aft firepower is a bit difficult to judge due to how the casemates are laid out but still better than Java. Did I mentioned the Omaha's had casemate guns? Because they did. They were overall less well protected and supposedly tended to both leak through the hull and ship water through the casemates. That also makes me question how well those lower casemates could be utilized during somewhat worse weather. All this on a heavier displacement.

Emerald was faster but had worse protection and a weaker broadside using more tonnage.

Duguay Trouin had a modern layout and therefor good firepower to all sides while also being faster. It was also heavier and went all in on the all-or-nothing scheme with emphasis on nothing.

Sendai was faster. Also had a weaker broadside, no super-firing guns so weaker forward and aft firepower, not as well protected and ended up about as heavy as Java due to having to add ballast.

Méndez Núñes had weaker firepower, was less protected and slower. Admittedly also much lighter being pretty much a British C-class originally.

I hardly think the Java's were somehow especially worthy of being called out as bad in this group.

 

1 hour ago, mofton said:

What DR would do when a Sendai turned up with 8 Fubuki's in tow I'm not quite sure about.

On the other hand Japan could technically overwhelm pretty much any force the Netherlands could build simply with destroyers. Torpedoes not withstanding I actually think the more distributed armor scheme should work in the favour of the Dutch light cruisers in this particular case. The superstructure could of course be devastated but the destroyers would probably have a hard time getting penetrations on the belt which, as mentioned, covered a big part of the waterline.

Now it's the heavy cruisers they'd have to really worry about and from what I've read what they actually thought was going to be sent against them.

1 hour ago, mofton said:

a ship's captain must ensure the ship can Float, Move and Figh

Yep. There is of course the problem that there weren't exactly any 3rd party comparative field studies done between ships of different nations so it's an area where comparisons are difficult. Not that I doubt that Königsberg wasn't a great sea boat, the fact that Karlsruhe was rebuilt kind of proves that point after all.

1 hour ago, mofton said:

I am not really sure either way, I believe the original design was for 2x2 and 2x1 turrets so perhaps it should be happy with 7 guns!

Yeah, I saw that navypedia has that claim. I've also read that the navy originally wanted a heavy cruiser but eventually only got what ended up as De Ruyter. As far as the forward gun is concerned I have seen the NavWeaps image but it's quality isn't good enough to say one way or another. The deck plans have "Munitie kokers" going from the 15 cm ammunition stores and up and behind the gun mount. Without speaking the language I have to rely on Google to help me out which leads to the translation "ammunition tube". So presumably, although not a given, the ammunition hoists up to the forward single gun. As it's behind the gun that would mean the gun mount itself doesn't have a hoist which in turn means it ought to be a shielded mount.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8
[NOH8]
Members
57 posts
5,183 battles
On 3/9/2018 at 10:03 AM, Harkaran532 said:

Okay, but for which category? 

Whoops... battle-hardened. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Members
238 posts
On 15/03/2018 at 12:12 AM, mofton said:

The Navweaps page seems to show an image with the back of the turret closed, though it's not that clear.

Okay, found a slightly better photo:

bdabaed9-560c-a990-dda2-7ac0f0987253.jpg

https://nimh-beeldbank.defensie.nl/memorix/98b1fb6b-a2d3-8b12-02b2-25cb0965a5b0

If you can't see it on the thumbnail then go to the link and zoom in on the back of the mount. The back of the mount seems to be open with some kind of fabric (partly rolled up on the image) covering it.

  • Cool 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2,185
[SYN]
[SYN]
Members
6,798 posts
10,299 battles
On 3/14/2018 at 5:05 PM, Snowyskies said:

Damnit, now you've done it! The Java's weren't disastrous :) Compared to its rough contemporaries (in date finished) and, well, all other had torpedoes, but apart from that:

Well, that's fair - though perhaps it's more because I think most of the ships at that time were pretty poor, and that completing ships lain down during WWI based on older still designs and then completing them in the mid-20's was rather a waste of time, though given financial pressures etc. rather understandable.

Java to me has all the original drawbacks of DR regarding 'function'. That is to say, being a big deterrent stick. In 1925 she might even be better at that than DR come the late '30's - up against lighter ships, though the Myoko's were lain down before she was finished. The downsides are in torpedo firepower, which does make a 'stick' bigger and still being slow precluding hit-and-run or similar attacks that the underdog usually wants to go for.

The Omaha's, Emerald's and Sendai's are all variably 'bad' though they could be considered at least partially innovative (Omaha) for a purpose (go 33kt to counter Bremse' and have 16 TT for Emerald or DL role for the 35kt Sendai). How exactly the Java's fit into a scheme to defend the DEI when it's the two of them (even with 3 built one in refit) at 30kts and the 8x 36kt Admiralen class destroyers coming into service shortly after I'm not quite sure?

 

My other criticism of Java would be her utilization. I didn't mean to compare her to a C-class in firepower, but to draw a parallel that by 1936 the RN thought the C's were too light to be 'line of battle' style cruisers and was re-arming most of them with AA guns. The D-class were scheduled for the same but aside from Delhi didn't have the time and despite being based around Singapore were withdrawn rather than thrown in to battle. The Dutch were understandably more desperate but by 1942 and without a rearmament or rebuild the Java looks like a huge liability, as she ultimately was. Strong enough ASuW to be worth trying to use, but of no real utility in the fight.

4 hours ago, Snowyskies said:

If you can't see it on the thumbnail then go to the link and zoom in on the back of the mount. The back of the mount seems to be open with some kind of fabric (partly rolled up on the image) covering it.

Great find, thanks.

I definitely think using that gun as your starshell thrower is pretty efficient.

The downside is that being an open mount with inferior ammunition supply you're looking more like a '6.5 gun' cruiser on 6,400t which is even worse than a 7-gun one! That's 1 gun per 984 tons. The Leander brings 1 per 900 tons plus the TT and DP guns still on a hull with long range and good seaworthiness, the other end of the spectrum is the insane 666 tons/gun Konigsberg, so long as it doesn't capsize.

Maybe that's not the best metric for comparison but I don't quite know how to do a comparison that doesn't just favor the bigger ships.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×