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zcr19

German Capital ship and Cruiser turrets after WWI

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Looking at the German ships that were constructed after WWI, all the armament of the ships turrets apart from the Emden, all had 3 gun turrets Königsberg class 1927 , Leipzig class1929 , Deutschland class  1931, and Scharnhorst class 1936. Then the Germans seemed to take a step backwards, instead of continuing onward with the 3 gun turrets, the next batch of ships the Germans constructed were armed with 2 gun turrets Admiral Hipper class 1937, and Bismarck class 1939, and this was to continue into Plan Z with the H39 class and so forth.

So my question is why did they revert back to the 2 gun turrets?

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47 minutes ago, zcr19 said:

Looking at the German ships that were constructed after WWI, all the armament of the ships turrets apart from the Emden, all had 3 gun turrets Königsberg class 1927 , Leipzig class1929 , Deutschland class  1931, and Scharnhorst class 1936. Then the Germans seemed to take a step backwards, instead of continuing onward with the 3 gun turrets, the next batch of ships the Germans constructed were armed with 2 gun turrets Admiral Hipper class 1937, and Bismarck class 1939, and this was to continue into Plan Z with the H39 class and so forth.

So my question is why did they revert back to the 2 gun turrets?

I would imagine the answer has to do with gun caliber (Hipper had 203mm guns compared to earlier cruisers 150mm guns, Bismarck had 380mm guns compared to Scharn's 283mm guns, etc.) and with Germany having to rebuild their naval tech base and shipbuilding industry and expertise after their demilitarization post-WWI. They didn't have the capability of building a 3-gun turret (which is more complex mechanically and in terms of handling ammunition, propellant, etc.) and increasing gun caliber at the same time. 

This is only an educated guess, I don't know for sure. Hopefully someone with more knowledge has a more solid answer. Yeah, I miss dseehafer too, he would have probably known exactly how to answer this. :(

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32 minutes ago, Captain_Dorja said:

This used to be the perfect time to summon @dseehafer 

Miss you man. :Smile_honoring:

o7

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I think it might have to do with the design.  German designers of the Bismark looked at previous BBS, like the Bayern (which as the 4 turret, 2 gun layout) for inspiration.  They also didn't appear to be to concerned with weight saving, otherwise they would have put DP secondary guns on them.

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Dual gun turrets are cheaper and easier to manufacture and maintain, especially at a time when the kriegsmarine was struggling to secure a budget necessary to keep a surface fleet. Pretty much every project proposed by the admiralty was cancelled or suffered severe reductions due to steel being shifted to small arms, munitions, armor and aircraft. It's a major proponent to why the German navy produced so many comparatively cheap submarines. Dual turrets required less steel, personnel and ammunition which saved on weight which in turn saved on fuel cost.

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1 hour ago, Captain_Dorja said:

This used to be the perfect time to summon @dseehafer 

?

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1 hour ago, Captain_Dorja said:

This used to be the perfect time to summon @dseehafer 

Miss you man. :Smile_honoring:

I am not dseehafer, but I know what he probably would‘ve answered since he talked about the turrets of German ships a few times.

The German navy was actually not that happy with triple turrets, and were trying to avoid them whenever possible. This was probably due to what they observed from Austria-Hungary and their Tegetthof-class. So the first designs for what resulted in the Deutschland-class actually used twin turrets. However, as the limitations were strict due to Versailles and the expectations into these ships were high especially in terms of speed, it was not possible to create a three turret design that would‘ve offered a sufficient speed. So, a triple turret was made as it was the only solution. Note at this point that the O-class battlecruisers which were designed later were to be equiped with three twin 30.5cm guns.

The Scharnhorst-class was intended to be armed with the 38cm guns, the turret rings were designed to be able to hold both turrets. The reason for the 28.3cm guns was to not unnecessarily anger the British. The guns and turrets on the Scharnhorst were basically a modified version of those mounted on the Deutschland-class.

At this point the question may arise what was the deal about the Königsberg-class, and I admit that I don‘t know. Though the guns from the Leipzig were identical to those on the Königsberg, and Nürnberg had a slightly modified version.

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I remember reading something that said dual turrets reload faster, because triple and quad guns required longer loading times for the middle barrels because of the hoists.

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The Germans preferred the twin for a number of reasons:

Triple turrets proved problematic for them to get loading and ammunition hoists to work well.

A triple turret weighs more meaning there are issues with rotation and ship's stability.

Because German ships are draft limited (they have to be able to pass through the shallow Kiel Canal), they have the beam and length to take the four twin turret arrangement more easily.  (US ships were beam limited by the Panama Canal in the same way.  British ships were limited in size by available, often ancient, dry docks available).

The twin turret meant that fewer guns were lost if the turret were knocked out of action.  A German 4 turret twin gun loses a turret it still has equal tubes to a three turret triple that loses a turret.

The twin gun arrangement was theoretically a bit faster on reload cycles so its rate of fire was slightly higher.

 

 

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17 hours ago, Murotsu said:

The twin turret meant that fewer guns were lost if the turret were knocked out of action.  A German 4 turret twin gun loses a turret it still has equal tubes to a three turret triple that loses a turret.

In theory anyway.  In practice, one shell  ripped through 2 turrets on the Bismarck, taking out 4 guns with a single shot.

In fairness to the designers, the age of Battleship Primacy was over.  These ships needed to be faster more then they needed to be proof against Battleship shells.  The Bismarck’s Adventure was a bizarre sortie from the get go.

 

 

 

Edited by Sventex

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Well when they made the scharnhorst and konigsberg, they had 11in or 6in guns. When they made the Bismarck and Admiral Hipper, they had 15in or 8in guns, which were much bigger then 11in or 6in guns and you could put more 11in or 6in guns in a smaller turret then you could 15in or 8in guns.

Edited by Icecommander_1

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23 hours ago, Sventex said:

In theory anyway.  In practice, one shell  ripped through 2 turrets on the Bismarck, taking out 4 guns with a single shot.

In fairness to the designers, the age of Battleship Primacy was over.  These ships needed to be faster more then they needed to be proof against Battleship shells.  The Bismarck’s Adventure was a bizarre sortie from the get go.

 

 

 

True, but that could've been six guns out of action had they been triple turrets. Not that it mattered in that situation...

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Just now, Phoenix_jz said:

True, but that could've been six guns out of action had they been triple turrets. Not that it mattered in that situation...

If it was a 3 x 3 layout, the turrets might have more armor, though given it was a close range 16", who knows what could have resisted that.

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3 minutes ago, Sventex said:

If it was a 3 x 3 layout, the turrets might have more armor, though given it was a close range 16", who knows what could have resisted that.

Given it was one of Rodney's 16" shells at 16000 yards, not much, even if it was one of the weaker 16" guns.

That being said, the turret armor for the 38cm SK C/34 was rather poor, a flat 360mm face being relatively thin as far as modern BBs go. Littorio had 380mm/30° faces, which is not much thicker, but the disparity in armor quality far makes up for the gap (380mm of Terni being roughly equal to 417mm of Krupp Cemented), while Richelieu had 430mm turret faces - almost 3" thicker. KGV was the only modern European BB with weaker turret faces, at 324mm.

However, it didn't just end there, as the turret roofs were thin at 130mm, (compared to 170 to over 200mm on other BBs), and the slopes connecting the face and sides of the turret to the roofs were a major, major weak point, 150mm/45°, vulnerable to penetration by BB guns at almost any range.

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2 minutes ago, Phoenix_jz said:

Given it was one of Rodney's 16" shells at 16000 yards, not much, even if it was one of the weaker 16" guns.

That being said, the turret armor for the 38cm SK C/34 was rather poor, a flat 360mm face being relatively thin as far as modern BBs go. Littorio had 380mm/30° faces, which is not much thicker, but the disparity in armor quality far makes up for the gap (380mm of Terni being roughly equal to 417mm of Krupp Cemented), while Richelieu had 430mm turret faces - almost 3" thicker. KGV was the only modern European BB with weaker turret faces, at 324mm.

However, it didn't just end there, as the turret roofs were thin at 130mm, (compared to 170 to over 200mm on other BBs), and the slopes connecting the face and sides of the turret to the roofs were a major, major weak point, 150mm/45°, vulnerable to penetration by BB guns at almost any range.

I forgot that the fatal shell wasn't fired when Rodney's was firing point blank into Bismarck.

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On 4/21/2018 at 10:17 AM, zcr19 said:

Looking at the German ships that were constructed after WWI, all the armament of the ships turrets apart from the Emden, all had 3 gun turrets Königsberg class 1927 , Leipzig class1929 , Deutschland class  1931, and Scharnhorst class 1936. Then the Germans seemed to take a step backwards, instead of continuing onward with the 3 gun turrets, the next batch of ships the Germans constructed were armed with 2 gun turrets Admiral Hipper class 1937, and Bismarck class 1939, and this was to continue into Plan Z with the H39 class and so forth.

So my question is why did they revert back to the 2 gun turrets?

If I recall my history correctly, I think one major reason was because, in WWI, dual gun turrets were basically just more accurate than a triple or quad turret, so the Germans thought that that trend would continue. Unfortunately for the Germans, Allied turret targeting systems got good enough to be able to send more ordnance at there opponents and still be relatively accurate. The British, Americans, and Soviets began designing warships with three and four four turrets, 3 guns each, and the French continued with their quad turret BB designs. I think that all of the things that have been said before are the other major reasons for the dual gun layout the Germans used in WW2

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Seems to me that German capital ship designers were very traditionalist in their views. All of their large caliber naval guns used twin turrets with the exception of the triple 11" guns on the Deutschland and Scharnhorst classes. The Deutschlands included a lot of interesting features in order to fit as much as they did on their tonnage so clearly some innovation was allowed in that scenario. The Scharnhorst design started out as an improved Deutschland but requirement-creep turned it into a small battleship, the use of triple 11" gun turrets (though an improved type) was probably just carried over. If the designers had known what the Scharnhorst would become from the start I wonder if they would have designed the ship around four twin 12" turrets instead.

I'm not familiar with the design histories of the German scout cruisers (Konigsberg and Leipzig classes) but it's possible the use of triple turrets was also driven by the need to design around tonnage limitations.

Apparently the Germans drew up designs for a triple 16" gun turret for the Soviets but they showed no interest in using it themselves. It also seems they later drew up designs for a triple 8" gun turret and I'm left guessing the only reason for it was so those designers had an excuse to not be shipped off to fight on the Ostfront.

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21 hours ago, Lampshade_M1A2 said:

Seems to me that German capital ship designers were very traditionalist in their views. All of their large caliber naval guns used twin turrets with the exception of the triple 11" guns on the Deutschland and Scharnhorst classes. The Deutschlands included a lot of interesting features in order to fit as much as they did on their tonnage so clearly some innovation was allowed in that scenario. The Scharnhorst design started out as an improved Deutschland but requirement-creep turned it into a small battleship, the use of triple 11" gun turrets (though an improved type) was probably just carried over. If the designers had known what the Scharnhorst would become from the start I wonder if they would have designed the ship around four twin 12" turrets instead.

As Sirene touched upon above, the use of triple turrets on the Deutschland-class was essentially because they had no other choice. They preferred a 3xII armament, but they just couldn't do it with the tonnage they were working with - not if they wanted to maintain the same mobility and range. Thus, they settled for a 2xIII layout.

The triples on the Scharnhorst-class were meant to be a 'temporary' solution from what I understand, instead of using the planned 3xII 380mm guns, they would use the 283mm triples, and convert them later. However, work was only ever started on Gneisenau. They were essentially 'nerfed' in gun caliber from the original plans, but compensated by increasing the number of guns by 50%.

22 hours ago, Lampshade_M1A2 said:

I'm not familiar with the design histories of the German scout cruisers (Konigsberg and Leipzig classes) but it's possible the use of triple turrets was also driven by the need to design around tonnage limitations.

From what I recall (from stuff dseehafer had mentioned in conversation, not stuff I've read myself), the K & N-berg's were designed to counter the French Duguay-Trouin-class, and outmatch them wherever possible - so, they mounted an extra gun, they had armor (unlike the Trouin-class), and were of similar speed.

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On 4/29/2018 at 8:18 PM, Lampshade_M1A2 said:

Apparently the Germans drew up designs for a triple 16" gun turret for the Soviets but they showed no interest in using it themselves. It also seems they later drew up designs for a triple 8" gun turret and I'm left guessing the only reason for it was so those designers had an excuse to not be shipped off to fight on the Ostfront.

As I loosely recall, the Germans were working with limitations to the draft on their ships, which is why they didn't indulge Hitler's propaganda request for having bigger guns then the Royal Navy.  Though I'm not sure of triple or quad turrets would increase or decrease a ships draft.

"Admiral Werner Fuchs, responsible for the staff section in the OKM that determined the operating requirements for the ship, discussed the vessel's design with Adolf Hitler, the leader of Germany. Hitler demanded guns larger than any possible adversary, but guns of the caliber demanded by Hitler would have required displacements of over 80,000 long tons (81,000 t) and drafts so deep as to prevent the use of Germany's ports without significant dredging. Fuchs eventually convinced Hitler that the 40.6 cm gun was the optimal choice for the H-39 design" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H-class_battleship_proposals

Edited by Sventex

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It never ceases to amaze me the knowledge among the community here is outstanding.

Thanks

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