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MS406france1940

What are the advantages of the Cleveland/Fargo classes over previous classes.

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This is a rather self explanatory thing. Aside from the obvious aesthetic differences and the lack of one gun turret, what makes the late designis of light cruisers fron the USN better  when compair to their treaty era  partners?

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Clevelands were designed from the preceding Brooklyn class ships. They were designed with the goal of increasing general capabilities compared to preceding USN cruisers like:

  • anti-air
  • cruising range
  • torpedo protection

Obviously, the destruction of the Washington Naval Treaty meant that tonnage and armament limits were lifted, meaning the USN could pile a lot more stuff onto a single ship.

The removal of the fifth 6-inch turret meant that other things could be installed, namely allowing every anti-air gun above 20 mm to not only be remotely powered, but also gaining radar fire control and other such necessities related to AA. The bridge was also enlarged to include a new Combat Information Center (CIC) and various radars. The removed turret also allowed more duel-purpose guns to be implemented.

A design flaw of the original Brooklyn-class cruisers was that a single torpedo could potentially knock out all of the ship's engines, so the Clevelands had split boiler/engine rooms on each end of the ship to remedy this issue.

In addition, the 1.1 in. machine guns were removed in favor of dual and then quad Bofors which, when eventually linked to the CIC and the various radar fire control mechanisms, proved very effective at AA. Some ships still carried the dual Bofors, however.

The end result was a cruiser that not only had much better AA than preceding ships, but also very competent gunnery, durability, and general versatility.

As for the Fargo classes, their main advantages over the Clevelands (although they were really just modified versions of said Clevelands) were:

  • lowered 6-in turrets to install more 5' 38 mounts (a lot of other stuff was also lowered, like the secondary battery directors and the 40 mm battery)
  • reduced superstructure to improve AA firing angles
  • openings in the traverse bulkheads were eliminated
  • halved hanger size = more crew accommodations and space
  • increased gun elevation of main turrets

Generally speaking, most of their improvements were in the stability and underwater damage susceptibility department. The Clevelands were usually top-heavy during most of the war, so stability was a constant issue (but not, I'd imagine, their Kancolle/Azur Lane implementation :Smile_teethhappy:) and many modifications were made to try and balance all that equipment out.

Edited by Avenge_December_7
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Side note regarding the naval treaties.  I found it amusing that the USN strictly abided by the treaties to a fault.  It severely limited what the USN could build, despite the United States being far more capable of building ships.  You had the nation with the biggest, best, most numerous shipyards in the world, with lots of money, willingly tie its hands behind its back to abide by the treaties.  And it did so in good faith and didn't try to cheat it (*cough* Japan *cough*).  And some other powers disregarded the treaty, so no sense for the United States to no longer restrict itself.  The end result was a super modern navy in WWII fielding new technology, newer ship designs, and MORE OF EVERYTHING.

 

I remember specifically the Japanese wanting to do away with the treaty because it was deemed a slap to their face and it hindered what Japan could build.  But some of IJN higher leadership knew that the treaty was artificially holding back US ship building, and Japan should have kept abiding by it because the US would "nerf itself" :Smile_teethhappy:

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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3 hours ago, JohnPJones said:

Simple.

newer is always better

-Barney Stinson 

And because of that we got Robocop remake...ugh...

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1 hour ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

Side note regarding the naval treaties.  I found it amusing that the USN strictly abided by the treaties to a fault.  It severely limited what the USN could build, despite the United States being far more capable of building ships.  You had the nation with the biggest, best, most numerous shipyards in the world, with lots of money, willingly tie its hands behind its back to abide by the treaties.  And it did so in good faith and didn't try to cheat it (*cough* Japan *cough*).  And some other powers disregarded the treaty, so no sense for the United States to no longer restrict itself.  The end result was a super modern navy in WWII fielding new technology, newer ship designs, and MORE OF EVERYTHING.

 

I remember specifically the Japanese wanting to do away with the treaty because it was deemed a slap to their face and it hindered what Japan could build.  But some of IJN higher leadership knew that the treaty was artificially holding back US ship building, and Japan should have kept abiding by it because the US would "nerf itself" :Smile_teethhappy:

I suspect FDR, being secretary of the Navy and later President, was genuinely trying to avoid a war.  The USN didn't really see much action in WWI so paradoxically, if the ships were built with such restrictions, lives/ships could be saved.  But history went a different way.

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It should also be noted the Cleveland's had a smaller overall citadel due to eleminating one of the fore turrets.

Firepower actually increased despite this. Whereas the Brooklyn's could only manage 8 rpm due to their turret hoists, the Cleveland's could manage a full 10 rpm, giving them an identical broadside shell output, but an edge in the fore and aft arcs for Cleveland.

This was also aided by the 'diamond' layout of the secondary battery. The 5"/38 was much better than the 5"/25 as a gun, and whereas before 8 single mounts were carried, the Cleveland's had a 6x2 battery of 5" guns - eight of which could be brought to bear to a broadside (whereas Brooklyn's could only manage four).

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Generally I would say the Clevelands weren't much better than the preceding St. Louis class which incorporated a lot of improvements over the Brooklyns. However for the cost of one triple 6"/48 turret they gained two twin 5"/38 turrets in excellent locations, more 20mm and 40mm mounts, better armor protection in some areas if I recall correctly, and various detail improvements. They reflected the increasing focus on just how important air-power and air-defense was to naval warfare. All warships were much more likely to be firing their guns in anger against enemy aircraft than against enemy surface ships.

The Fargo class was just a minor update to the Cleveland which reduced top-weight and increased stability as well as provided better firing arcs for anti-aircraft weaponry.

The next big development in USN light cruisers was to be the Worcester class which had a truly dual-purpose main battery. Yet they were too late to see service in WW2 and only two were completed. Had light (gun) cruiser development continued a Worcester follow-on or subclass would likely replace the main battery of six twin DP turrets with four triple automatic DP turrets. These would be similar in design to the triple 8"/55 RF on the Des Moines class and would have a rate of fire of up to 20 rounds per minute per gun similar to what the British achieved with the twin 6"/50 Mark XXVI turrets which eventually saw use on the Tiger class. The battery of 3"/50 RF guns may have also been replaced by the 3"/70 Mark 37 if it could get out of development hell and get the bugs worked out.

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The biggest improvements on the Cleveland over the preceding Brooklyn class were:

The replacement of the 5"/25 or 5"/38 single open mounts with twin 5"/38 turrets arranged in a diamond pattern.  This gives the Cleveland far more ahead and astern heavy AA fire to deal with dive bombers than an Brooklyn has.  The late Brooklyn class (like Helena) has 4 x 5"/38 twin turrets, two per side, but these still limit the fore and aft firepower.  Dumping the fifth 6" turret (that has limited firing arcs) for two more 5"/38 twin turrets was a major increase in heavy AA firepower.

The Cleveland had "unit" machinery layout, alternating engine and boiler rooms, while the Brooklyn's had the boilers forward and engine rooms grouped aft.  This makes a Cleveland less vulnerable to damage.

Cleveland has much better fire controls aboard.  The Brooklyns got Mk 33 for their 5", the Cleveland's Mk 38.  The main battery controls are the same way.  The Brooklyn's had Mk 3 radar for the main battery, the Cleveland's Mk 8.  The same applies to the secondary guns, with the Cleveland's getting newer and better radar.  The order of the directors was also reversed, with the 5" directors above the 6" for better sky arcs.

The bridge arrangement on the Cleveland is much better.

The Cleveland class was designed without much provision for any ship's boats aboard.  That is, no specific deck space was allotted for more than a small whaleboat for man overboard operations.

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On ‎7‎/‎5‎/‎2018 at 9:01 PM, HazeGrayUnderway said:

Side note regarding the naval treaties.  I found it amusing that the USN strictly abided by the treaties to a fault.  It severely limited what the USN could build, despite the United States being far more capable of building ships.  You had the nation with the biggest, best, most numerous shipyards in the world, with lots of money, willingly tie its hands behind its back to abide by the treaties.  And it did so in good faith and didn't try to cheat it (*cough* Japan *cough*).  And some other powers disregarded the treaty, so no sense for the United States to no longer restrict itself.  The end result was a super modern navy in WWII fielding new technology, newer ship designs, and MORE OF EVERYTHING.

 

I remember specifically the Japanese wanting to do away with the treaty because it was deemed a slap to their face and it hindered what Japan could build.  But some of IJN higher leadership knew that the treaty was artificially holding back US ship building, and Japan should have kept abiding by it because the US would "nerf itself" :Smile_teethhappy:

Why shouldn't they?  The US was getting a decent cruiser on 10,000 tons.  The Japanese, due to their poorer state of naval architecture, and construction techniques needed almost 15,000 tons to match the US.  The British gave up trying to run in that race and went to smaller, more austere, cruisers simply to get the numbers they needed in service.

The US in building a cruiser did lots of stuff Japan simply couldn't match.

The US cruiser propulsion plants operated at 400 to 600 psi versus Japanese ones at 275 to 350.  That meant for the same horsepower output the US ship could have much lighter and more compact machinery.

The US shifted to welding.  This reduced the hull weight by as much as 15% due to the elimination of plate overlap and the need for backing stringers and plates on a riveted hull.  Japanese welding capacity was very limited and their techniques were poor.

The US made extensive use of aluminum in fittings throughout the ship to save weight, like making all the ladders on the ship out of this material.

The US didn't fit many items that would get fitted in wartime like splinter protection, they left gun mounts open and unshielded, etc.  All that saved weight that could be quickly added in wartime when necessary.  Japan fitted their ships with this stuff right from the start.

By eliminating port holes and their covers, the US saved weight as mechanical ventilation was going to have to be installed in any case.

The Japanese, by choice, used considerable weight and space on aircraft installations and torpedo mounts.  The US didn't install the later and made the former as compact as they could.  US cruisers didn't need a large aircraft complement as they weren't intended for use as scouts like Japanese ones were.  The US also decided torpedoes were not a weapon of decision for cruisers preferring long range gunfire instead.

So, Japan was left with little recourse but to "cheat" to get ships that were competitive to US ones.

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On 7/8/2018 at 3:22 PM, Murotsu said:

The biggest improvements on the Cleveland over the preceding Brooklyn class were:

The replacement of the 5"/25 or 5"/38 single open mounts with twin 5"/38 turrets arranged in a diamond pattern.  This gives the Cleveland far more ahead and astern heavy AA fire to deal with dive bombers than an Brooklyn has.  The late Brooklyn class (like Helena) has 4 x 5"/38 twin turrets, two per side, but these still limit the fore and aft firepower.  Dumping the fifth 6" turret (that has limited firing arcs) for two more 5"/38 twin turrets was a major increase in heavy AA firepower.

The Cleveland had "unit" machinery layout, alternating engine and boiler rooms, while the Brooklyn's had the boilers forward and engine rooms grouped aft.  This makes a Cleveland less vulnerable to damage.

Cleveland has much better fire controls aboard.  The Brooklyns got Mk 33 for their 5", the Cleveland's Mk 38.  The main battery controls are the same way.  The Brooklyn's had Mk 3 radar for the main battery, the Cleveland's Mk 8.  The same applies to the secondary guns, with the Cleveland's getting newer and better radar.  The order of the directors was also reversed, with the 5" directors above the 6" for better sky arcs.

The bridge arrangement on the Cleveland is much better.

The Cleveland class was designed without much provision for any ship's boats aboard.  That is, no specific deck space was allotted for more than a small whaleboat for man overboard operations.

You're correct about the improvements you listed however many of them like the machinery arrangements were incorporated in the St. Louis class which immediately preceded the Clevelands.

 

 

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I can also see why the US preferred the 6" cruiser to the 8".  For the USN, their 6" cruisers could fire 8 to 10 rounds a minute and were using much safer brass casings for the powder.  The 8" could fire about 4 or 5 rounds a minute and while a more lethal shell, it wasn't sufficiently more lethal to make up for that halved rate of fire.  Also, the 8" guns used bagged powder which was less safe in terms of handling and loading.

Interestingly, the Japanese came to a different conclusion during WW 2, because the rates of fire of their 6" and 8" guns were both about 4 or 5 rounds per minute and both used bagged powder charges.  Thus, going to the 8" gun and a twin turret simplified turret operations and delivered about the same firepower as the triple 6" turret did.

The British came to the same conclusion the US did and focused on 6" cruisers for the same reason the US did.

 

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8 hours ago, Murotsu said:

I can also see why the US preferred the 6" cruiser to the 8".  For the USN, their 6" cruisers could fire 8 to 10 rounds a minute and were using much safer brass casings for the powder.  The 8" could fire about 4 or 5 rounds a minute and while a more lethal shell, it wasn't sufficiently more lethal to make up for that halved rate of fire.  Also, the 8" guns used bagged powder which was less safe in terms of handling and loading.

Interestingly, the Japanese came to a different conclusion during WW 2, because the rates of fire of their 6" and 8" guns were both about 4 or 5 rounds per minute and both used bagged powder charges.  Thus, going to the 8" gun and a twin turret simplified turret operations and delivered about the same firepower as the triple 6" turret did.

The British came to the same conclusion the US did and focused on 6" cruisers for the same reason the US did.

 

Sort of.

 

The USN had a poor experience with the 8" gun to start with because the 8"/55 in it's early marks (9-11, 13 & 14) just did not perform well. With an 18 second firing cycle it was slow firing, and this figure only fell as range increased due to the fixed loading angle of +5º. 

As if that wasn't enough, the mounts had the significant drawbacks; they traversed very slowly (3.5º/sec, of 51.43 sec to turn 180º), and were mounted very closely, which gave the terrible dispersion characteristics. Even after extensive work done, the dispersion issues for these guns never went away, and their spreads were still wider than other 8" mountings during WWII.

Because of this they proved to be less well suited to close-in night engagements that were found at Guadalcanal, and for long-range fire, while their hitting power made them far superior to the 6" gun as a weapon choice, the low rate of fire and excessive dispersion made it hard to effectively engage the enemy, especially before radar fire control.

The 6" gun by comparison was a totally different weapon. Although lighter, less powerful shells, to my knowledge their dispersion was quite satisfactory, and their rate of fire and traverse was excellent - 10º/sec (18 sec), and a minimum firing cycle (allowed by ammo hoists at least) of 7.5 seconds on the Brooklyn-class and a mere 6 seconds on the Cleveland-class. The 6" guns were just far more reliable, had an excellent output, and were much better suited to closer range work.

The USN 8"/55 Mk.12 & 15 was a vastly better weapon than the earlier 8" guns, with a 15 second firing cycle, a higher loading angle of +9º, coupled with faster traverse and elevation times, not to mention not having such large dispersion issues... they were much more reliable in performance, able to fire faster and better maintain that rate of fire at greater ranges, with much greater precision. The guns of the Baltimore-class and beyond also were able to use the Mk.21 SHS shells, which had better penetration characteristics (although the older, light Mk.19 AP actually had greater belt penetration within 14000 yards). Their far greater hitting power compared to the 6" guns, and ability to be accurately guided to greater effect range (not only the better dispersion, but also the advent of RFC), made the 8" gun come back into favor with the USN - but the war was basically won by the time the Baltimores showed up in numbers.

 

The different Japanese experience had less to do with weapon performance than it did doctrine. In terms of combat cruisers, Japan put everything into their 203mm cruisers, the biggest, baddest beasts the WNT would let them build (well, on a legal basis, as Japan overbuilt like crazy on tonnage restraints). They didn't have the same concept of a light cruiser as the USN or European navies. To Japan, CLs were training/support ships, or flotilla leaders. Not front-line combat vessels to fight other cruisers. That was the job of the heavy cruisers.Their 155mm guns did have a visible RoF advantage over their 203mm guns, but it didn't matter to their doctrine. Their 203mm guns were far from stellar as well, however. They had a 15 second firing cycle, but this quickly fell off with range in a similar manner to the earlier USN 8" gun. The ships also had significant dispersion issues, but for different issues - their mounts were badly effected by the lack of structural strength in man of their ships, although this was decreased as issues with the mounts were solved.

The lower-caliber guns that were used for their 'light cruiser but not actually' Mogami had not much in terms of gain over the 203mm guns. Obviously they dropped the hitting power of the guns, but the rate of fire, although theoretically almost twice as high (8.57 sec firing cycle), was not much greater. Firing cycle was limited to 12 seconds, and at range this also would fall off. Thus, you only really got one effective round per minute extra out of the gun compared to the 203mm gun.

 

In Europe, the main reason for the discontinuation of the 203mm gun was that the nations 'filled up' their allotment of 203mm cruisers, and had no choice but to switch to 152mm guns if they wanted more cruisers because of treaty restrictions.

 

 

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On 10/7/2018 at 1:10 PM, Phoenix_jz said:

Sort of.

 

The USN had a poor experience with the 8" gun to start with because the 8"/55 in it's early marks (9-11, 13 & 14) just did not perform well. With an 18 second firing cycle it was slow firing, and this figure only fell as range increased due to the fixed loading angle of +5º. 

As if that wasn't enough, the mounts had the significant drawbacks; they traversed very slowly (3.5º/sec, of 51.43 sec to turn 180º), and were mounted very closely, which gave the terrible dispersion characteristics. Even after extensive work done, the dispersion issues for these guns never went away, and their spreads were still wider than other 8" mountings during WWII.

Because of this they proved to be less well suited to close-in night engagements that were found at Guadalcanal, and for long-range fire, while their hitting power made them far superior to the 6" gun as a weapon choice, the low rate of fire and excessive dispersion made it hard to effectively engage the enemy, especially before radar fire control.

The 6" gun by comparison was a totally different weapon. Although lighter, less powerful shells, to my knowledge their dispersion was quite satisfactory, and their rate of fire and traverse was excellent - 10º/sec (18 sec), and a minimum firing cycle (allowed by ammo hoists at least) of 7.5 seconds on the Brooklyn-class and a mere 6 seconds on the Cleveland-class. The 6" guns were just far more reliable, had an excellent output, and were much better suited to closer range work.

The USN 8"/55 Mk.12 & 15 was a vastly better weapon than the earlier 8" guns, with a 15 second firing cycle, a higher loading angle of +9º, coupled with faster traverse and elevation times, not to mention not having such large dispersion issues... they were much more reliable in performance, able to fire faster and better maintain that rate of fire at greater ranges, with much greater precision. The guns of the Baltimore-class and beyond also were able to use the Mk.21 SHS shells, which had better penetration characteristics (although the older, light Mk.19 AP actually had greater belt penetration within 14000 yards). Their far greater hitting power compared to the 6" guns, and ability to be accurately guided to greater effect range (not only the better dispersion, but also the advent of RFC), made the 8" gun come back into favor with the USN - but the war was basically won by the time the Baltimores showed up in numbers.

 

The different Japanese experience had less to do with weapon performance than it did doctrine. In terms of combat cruisers, Japan put everything into their 203mm cruisers, the biggest, baddest beasts the WNT would let them build (well, on a legal basis, as Japan overbuilt like crazy on tonnage restraints). They didn't have the same concept of a light cruiser as the USN or European navies. To Japan, CLs were training/support ships, or flotilla leaders. Not front-line combat vessels to fight other cruisers. That was the job of the heavy cruisers.Their 155mm guns did have a visible RoF advantage over their 203mm guns, but it didn't matter to their doctrine. Their 203mm guns were far from stellar as well, however. They had a 15 second firing cycle, but this quickly fell off with range in a similar manner to the earlier USN 8" gun. The ships also had significant dispersion issues, but for different issues - their mounts were badly effected by the lack of structural strength in man of their ships, although this was decreased as issues with the mounts were solved.

The lower-caliber guns that were used for their 'light cruiser but not actually' Mogami had not much in terms of gain over the 203mm guns. Obviously they dropped the hitting power of the guns, but the rate of fire, although theoretically almost twice as high (8.57 sec firing cycle), was not much greater. Firing cycle was limited to 12 seconds, and at range this also would fall off. Thus, you only really got one effective round per minute extra out of the gun compared to the 203mm gun.

 

In Europe, the main reason for the discontinuation of the 203mm gun was that the nations 'filled up' their allotment of 203mm cruisers, and had no choice but to switch to 152mm guns if they wanted more cruisers because of treaty restrictions.

 

 

If the US had so many problems whit earlier 203 mm guns then why did they made so many heavy cruisers before they made the Brooklyn-class?

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On 7/11/2018 at 7:38 PM, MS406france1940 said:

If the US had so many problems whit earlier 203 mm guns then why did they made so many heavy cruisers before they made the Brooklyn-class?

Because having some issues with early models =/= being completely useless. If you want "sweet jesus this thing is literally broken", go look at the Kirovs turrets or the French fast battleship dispersion patterns. There were plenty of naval rifles that suffered from less than satisfactory dispersion patterns that were still considered adequate.

The seven ships of the New Orleans class also had a redesigned turret that solved pretty much all of the earlier dispersion problems by spacing the barrels further apart, and helped bolster the rate of fire to a rather consistent 4 RPM. Rate of train isn't really that important for a heavy cruiser's main turrets to be honest, I can't think of a single instance where it would have actually made a difference if they rotated at 6 degrees per second instead of 3.5.

That only really begins to matter when distances have closed to nearly point blank, which is generally not a position you want to be in with a large and slow firing heavy cruiser. Almost every time that happened, regardless of the Navy they were a part of, they were either sunk or crippled.

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On 7/11/2018 at 7:38 PM, MS406france1940 said:

If the US had so many problems whit earlier 203 mm guns then why did they made so many heavy cruisers before they made the Brooklyn-class?

As Spud said, just because they had issues, didn't mean they were useless. Countless guns had issues when first implemented, namely many high-velocity heavy guns of BBs, and anyone who tried to use quad turrets.

In the weight-saving frenzy of the WNT 8" cruisers, problems were rife. The Japanese also had dispersion issues, as did the Italians, and the British had some too if I'm not mistaken. Only the French and Germans seem to have had relatively problem-free mounts, at least to my knowledge.

In the case of the USN, keep in mind that these cruisers were being built at a furious pace. The Northampton-class was all laid down before the Pensacola's had even been launched, and at about the same time they were being completed the New Orleans were all being laid down.

Plus, problems are solvable. While newer guns were being introduced, a lot of work was done with the older Marks to fix this - with considerable success, dropping dispersion to only about 45% of what it was in 1933. It was still greater than most other 8" mounts, but it was much better than it had been.

The New Orleans-class was a bit of an in-between class as the first three adopted true turrets, although they still used the old guns, while the Tuscaloosa sub-class used the new guns, which allowed them to be same 40 tons lighter.

10 hours ago, Big_Spud said:

Because having some issues with early models =/= being completely useless. If you want "sweet jesus this thing is literally broken", go look at the Kirovs turrets. There were plenty of naval rifles that suffered from less than satisfactory dispersion patterns that were still considered adequate.

The seven ships of the New Orleans class also had a redesigned turret that solved pretty much all of the earlier dispersion problems by spacing the barrels further apart, and helped bolster the rate of fire to a rather consistent 4 RPM. Rate of train isn't really that important for a heavy cruiser's main turrets to be honest, I can't think of a single instance where it would have actually made a difference if they rotated at 6 degrees per second instead of 3.5.

I think you might be mistaken on the New Orleans-class. I'm pretty sure they shared the 117cm spacing of the earlier classes, and the use of a single sleeve.

As for the train, I think the most relevant use was to compensate for the ship's own movement while engaging enemy ships and manuevering? I'm not sure how much of a premium the USN & IJN put on such an ability, but from what I've read the European navies considered it very important, which perhaps would explain the greater train rates on many of their cruisers? I also suspect it would be of greater advantage in closer-range night engagements where quickly getting ones guns on target would be important. In any case, it was apparently seen as important enough to increase it to 5°/sec in later turret types.

I'll agree it was not something of critical importance and certainly not some kind of achillies heel, but at the same time it did lag behind most of its contemporaries in this respect.

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1 hour ago, Phoenix_jz said:

hink you might be mistaken on the New Orleans-class. I'm pretty sure they shared the 117cm spacing of the earlier classes, and the use of a single sleeve.

As for the train, I think the most relevant use was to compensate for the ship's own movement while engaging enemy ships and manuevering? I'm not sure how much of a premium the USN & IJN put on such an ability, but from what I've read the European navies considered it very important, which perhaps would explain the greater train rates on many of their cruisers? I also suspect it would be of greater advantage in closer-range night engagements where quickly getting ones guns on target would be important. In any case, it was apparently seen as important enough to increase it to 5°/sec in later turret types.

I'll agree it was not something of critical importance and certainly not some kind of achillies heel, but at the same time it did lag behind most of its contemporaries in this respect.

 

I recall reading that the spacing between the guns was increased to ~50 inches from 46, although the usage of a single sleeve was retained. This may be incorrect. Whatever the internal changes afforded to the mountings were, the Navy considered them to be more accurate and good for a higher rate of fire than those used on the previous Portland's, Northampton's and Pensacola's. As you said though, dispersion on all mountings had been tightened considerably throughout the 1930's (I believe Friedman's fire control book mentions some value close to the one you listed).

 

The increase in train rate I feel had more to do with just general technological progression over the years. There's no reason to not increase train rates if you can do so reasonably, same with rate of fire. Especially since by the late 1930's the USN was beginning to realize that during night actions, rate of fire and the ability to quickly acquire targets had trumped individual shell mass. There's also the predicted types of combat that these ships would ideally be participating in. The long open sight lines of the Pacific during daytime are a very different place to fight than in the North Atlantic during a winter storm, where visibility can essentially drop to zero even in the middle of the day. If you're tracking a target at 10,000+ yards, 3.5-4 degrees per second is going to be exactly as useful as 6 degrees per second in practice.

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On 7/15/2018 at 3:09 PM, Big_Spud said:

I recall reading that the spacing between the guns was increased to ~50 inches from 46, although the usage of a single sleeve was retained. This may be incorrect. Whatever the internal changes afforded to the mountings were, the Navy considered them to be more accurate and good for a higher rate of fire than those used on the previous Portland's, Northampton's and Pensacola's. As you said though, dispersion on all mountings had been tightened considerably throughout the 1930's (I believe Friedman's fire control book mentions some value close to the one you listed).

I'd have to check Friedman's book and see if he discusses the American 8" gun behavior - I managed to get it fairly cheaply in an e-book form not long ago, still working my way through it though however. 

As far as gun spacing, I checked my copy of Campbell's, and it didn't mention any additional spacing for the guns - in fact it actually specifically cited 46" for the New Orleans turrets, however it also includes a ? before the figure, so I'm not 100% confident in that number.

I wonder, perhaps the greater accuracy had to do with greater strength of the mountings? The New Orleans all used real turrets, after all, compared to the earlier CA's, and they were much better armored and overall heavier (290t vs 254t, or 14-15% heavier). That may have done a significant amount to help dispersion. I base this off the early Italian 6" mounts - the original mount, the M1926, had poor dispersion stemming from being in a common cradle, excessive velocity, and the light construction of the turret itself. The succeeding M1929 first used on the Cadorna-class was much improved, with a higher rate of fire and being much more reliable, but also used reduced ballistics. It shared the common cradle and light construction, however, and suffered as a result. The next class (Montecuccoli) used the same gun and ballistics, but used a considerably heavier turret (mainly due to the thicker armor), and this cut down on the poor dispersion experienced by the Cadorna-class.

Since the increased weight helped fight dispersion in the Italian CLs, perhaps the same would be true for the switch from mounts to true turrets in the American CA's?

On 7/15/2018 at 3:09 PM, Big_Spud said:

The increase in train rate I feel had more to do with just general technological progression over the years. There's no reason to not increase train rates if you can do so reasonably, same with rate of fire. Especially since by the late 1930's the USN was beginning to realize that during night actions, rate of fire and the ability to quickly acquire targets had trumped individual shell mass. There's also the predicted types of combat that these ships would ideally be participating in. The long open sight lines of the Pacific during daytime are a very different place to fight than in the North Atlantic during a winter storm, where visibility can essentially drop to zero even in the middle of the day. If you're tracking a target at 10,000+ yards, 3.5-4 degrees per second is going to be exactly as useful as 6 degrees per second in practice.

That's a good point, and would certainly explain why the 'Pacific' cruisers had lesser traverse rates than their European counterparts. No need to waste weight on having more traverse speed than you need, especially given that the envisioned role of these ships in fleet combat seems to have been supplementing both nation's (US and Japan's) battleships in the battle line.

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53 minutes ago, Phoenix_jz said:

That's a good point, and would certainly explain why the 'Pacific' cruisers had lesser traverse rates than their European counterparts. No need to waste weight on having more traverse speed than you need, especially given that the envisioned role of these ships in fleet combat seems to have been supplementing both nation's (US and Japan's) battleships in the battle line.

I did wonder if potentially projected (laughable) AA use was a factor.

The British 8in turret had 70' elevation and 5-6'/s traverse (designed 8'/s). The French only 30/45' elevation at 6'/s and the Italians 45' and 6'/s again. The German weapon was 37' elevation at 8'/s.

So of the European weapons, only one was designed for AA use and it was no faster to traverse than the others. Then there's the Japanese, also some attempt at HA AA elevation, but at 4'/s - 70' elevation on the Takao mounts and 55' on some others.

No apparent connection there, if anything the 2 types that thought about AA average worse traverse.

Dates and turret face armor

IJN 203/50 3rd Year No.1 - design 1920 - 4'/s - 25mm

IJN 203/50 3rd Year No.2 - design 1930 - 4'/s - 25mm

 

RN 203/50 Mk. VIII - design 1923 - 5-6'/s (intended 8'/s) - 25mm

MN 203/50 Mle. 1924 - design 1924 - 6'/s - 30mm/100mm

RM 203/53 Mle. 1929 - design 1927 - 6'/s - 150mm

KM 203/60 SK C/34 - design 1934 - 8'/s - 160mm

 

USN 203/55 Mk 9-14 - design 1922 - 3.5'/s - 64mm

USN 203/55 Mk. 15 - design 1933 - 5.3'/s - 203mm

USN 203/55 RF Mk. 15 - design 1943 - 5'/s - 203mm

In general -

  • AA capability doesn't much correlate
  • Slightly faster over time, but interestingly still plateaus and US still behind - possible for long range radar-directed DM gunfire there's no need
  • Not much of a correlation with armor given the IJN's guns are slow and still lightly armored while KM are heavy/fast
  • IJN might have 'inherited' traverse/motors from the earlier 1920 gun and not upgraded for the 1930

 

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16 hours ago, mofton said:

I did wonder if potentially projected (laughable) AA use was a factor.

The British 8in turret had 70' elevation and 5-6'/s traverse (designed 8'/s). The French only 30/45' elevation at 6'/s and the Italians 45' and 6'/s again. The German weapon was 37' elevation at 8'/s.

So of the European weapons, only one was designed for AA use and it was no faster to traverse than the others. Then there's the Japanese, also some attempt at HA AA elevation, but at 4'/s - 70' elevation on the Takao mounts and 55' on some others.

No apparent connection there, if anything the 2 types that thought about AA average worse traverse.

Dates and turret face armor

IJN 203/50 3rd Year No.1 - design 1920 - 4'/s - 25mm

IJN 203/50 3rd Year No.2 - design 1930 - 4'/s - 25mm

 

RN 203/50 Mk. VIII - design 1923 - 5-6'/s (intended 8'/s) - 25mm

MN 203/50 Mle. 1924 - design 1924 - 6'/s - 30mm/100mm

RM 203/53 Mle. 1929 - design 1927 - 6'/s - 150mm

KM 203/60 SK C/34 - design 1934 - 8'/s - 160mm

 

USN 203/55 Mk 9-14 - design 1922 - 3.5'/s - 64mm

USN 203/55 Mk. 15 - design 1933 - 5.3'/s - 203mm

USN 203/55 RF Mk. 15 - design 1943 - 5'/s - 203mm

In general -

  • AA capability doesn't much correlate
  • Slightly faster over time, but interestingly still plateaus and US still behind - possible for long range radar-directed DM gunfire there's no need
  • Not much of a correlation with armor given the IJN's guns are slow and still lightly armored while KM are heavy/fast
  • IJN might have 'inherited' traverse/motors from the earlier 1920 gun and not upgraded for the 1930

 

Perhaps?

I've been reading through Friedman's gunnery book, skipping around a bit, and it seems that some nations, like the French, were very focused on the ability to fire on maneuvering enemy ships while maneuvering heavily themselves, and it would seem based on comments elsewhere (Friedman's chapter on the Italian navy isn't the most useful, being pretty short, lacking detail, and wrong in several assumptions) the Italians were focusing on the same thing. The British, I'm not sure about.

So it would seem likely that they more than anyone else would put a premium on being able to turn your turrets faster, not only to track the enemy ships, but also the counter the turning of yours. That being said, I don't think the turning rates of many cruisers would be much over 2º/sec, if at all? Unfortunately, few authors seems interested in talking about the handling data of ships, especially when it comes to ships smaller than BBs. 

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Some information regarding training rates. Baltimore/Oregon City had turrets weighing 303 tons and used a 75 HP training motor. Des Moines turrets weighed 451 tons, considerably more, and used a 125 HP training motor. By contrast, the Pensacola, Northampton, Portland, and New Orleans mounts/turrets weighed 250-294 tons but only had a 30 HP training motor. Even Iowa's 1,700 ton turrets had 300 HP training motor, giving it a favorable power/weight ratio over the early treaty cruisers.

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Superior secondary battery and layout while retaining all their antisurface firepower. The deletion of the 5th turret was permitted only because of the demonstrated fact that improved hoists would allow the remaining guns to fire faster, giving the Clevelands the same weight of 6" shell over time as the Brooklyns and Saint Louises. The fore and aft turrets gave them much better arcs of fire for their heavy flak, plus they were getting another four broadside barrels of 5"/38; the superstructure was also redesigned amidships especially to make room for additional midweight AA and give it better firing arcs. The Fargo-class was a further development along the same lines, intended to improve the sky arcs of the fore-and-aft 5"/38s and amidships 40mm battery.

On 7/5/2018 at 10:10 PM, Sventex said:

I suspect FDR, being secretary of the Navy and later President, was genuinely trying to avoid a war.  The USN didn't really see much action in WWI so paradoxically, if the ships were built with such restrictions, lives/ships could be saved.  But history went a different way.

This is pretty doubtful. FDR was probably indifferent to a war with Japan, but he actively wanted to fight Germany.

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1 minute ago, NGTM_1R said:

This is pretty doubtful. FDR was probably indifferent to a war with Japan, but he actively wanted to fight Germany.

Where are you basing this information on might I ask?

 

"At this moment, much hangs in the balance.  I feel Hitler might quite easily now gain vast advantages, very cheaply.  And we are so fully engaged, that we can do little or nothing to stop his spreading himself" - Churchill to FDR 1941

"Personally, I am not downcast by more spread of Germany for additional large territories. There is little of raw materials in all of them put together—not enough to maintain or compensate for huge occupation forces." FDR's reply to Churchill 1941

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