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HeathenForay

Alabama belt/hull question

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Just wondering what the section that I highlighted is for/why it was designed that way. A lot of ship hulls are all flush with the deck, something I've always wondered about the sodaks.

 

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From what I know about the hulls of most military ships (large USN types) the exterior skin of the ship is composed of a series of storage tanks. They store fuel, firefighting foam agent, fresh water, and saltwater ballast in tanks outboard of everything else. This serves as default "armor" in a way. In a collision, you've only ripped a hole in a tank, not the people spaces where flooding is quite concerning. Also torpedo protection can be had by this arrangement, partially full tanks offer some shock absorption capacity. Normally we kept all our tanks (on a CVN) as full as possible for stability, however, the tank level gauges all had a mark at ~75% full(or was it 90%?) (for "wartime" conditions) to give that explosive "shock absorbent"  capacity.  What you have circled are the tops of those tanks, and looking real close you can see the common oval shaped tank/ void manhole access you can see on any USN ship.  I remember seeing these in person this summer when I walked the decks of Alabama, also saw similar on Texas, though not as pronounced. In game Colorado has something similar but different.

I could be wrong, but I don't think so in this case. Without blueprints or lacking any engineering types who served on the So.Dak. class, I can't be 100% sure.

PS. Like the Thor's hammer pendant:fish_viking:

Edited by DakotaViking
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Thanks for that tidbit.

If you think my avatar is cool you should see the necklace my wife got me for "christmas" two years ago. Love Norse things.

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Nice. I've found a few places that sell them in different styles. Just haven't bought one yet because basically I just don't wear necklaces.

Back to the hull question. Now I'm with you, why didn't the SoDaks just plate over the space above those tanks for the smooth hull look of the Iowas or NoCarolinas.

There could be dozens of reasons. Could they really have been trying to save that weight to fit the Naval treaty guidelines?

Dammit, I came here, "Haw haw, I know this answer!" Now I'm asking the same question.:Smile_facepalm:

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The bottom of the groove in the hull is the tank tops, which forms part of her TDS and contain either water ballast or fuel oil. South Dakota's armor belt is internal, behind those tanks, sloping outward from the bottom, the top edge of the armor belt probably lines up with the vertical shell plating in the groove. The groove was probably left there so that if a torpedo hits the tanks, it will blow out the top of the tank (path of lease resistance), and won't put water ballast or worse, fuel oil into compartments above the armored deck. The blast would probably bend the top of the groove and the deck above upwards, but fortunately that would be cosmetic damage. 

It would have been lighter to plate over the openings than build a trench in the side of the ship, and it would have helped with the South Dakota classes biggest problem, lack of space, the ships were horribly over crowded.

That's the best I can come up with picking though war damage reports from South Dakota and Washington v/s Kirishima. Apparently cross sections of the SoDaks are hard to find.

Edited by SgtBeltfed
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