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Legio_X_

Why were the british cruiser bridges open top?

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Does anybody know why? I keep looking at all the designs in port and im asking myself...why? What was the purpose of having open top bridges.

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Visibility?

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several reasons 

a) naval tradition, the rain can't hurt you! Builds character..:Smile_teethhappy:

b) saves on weight, which is a very important consideration on naval vessels. It is easy to doubt this, if your only source of info is WOWS, but it is worth remembering, many in game ships would have been incapable of operating outside sheltered waters, or at least, would have had very poor seaworthiness (tremendous roll for example). Warships were designed for specific theatres of operation, which also explains some of the design decisions that differentiate various RN warships, whether they were intended for home waters, or expeditionary long reach, the Med or the Atlantic.

c) visibility

d) the "bridge" as a command station did not contain all of the stations and equipent we associate with them today. Steerage was often below, communication via a pipe and loud yell. The radio room was also placed elsewhere. A separate "operations" room where all the major gunnery and tactical decisions during battle would be taken was also a common feature. (still is today)

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Even the Germans used open bridges, for an in game example look at Hipper's A hull. Scharnhorst also had an open bridge, my best guess is that this would aid visibility. I'd say @LoveBote is correct on this one, weight was very important.

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The Brits conned the ship from the compass platform, not from the wheelhouse. Visibility in fair weather or foul for pilotage and navigation, and open lookout positions, were seen as critical to ship control, navigational safety, tactical visibility, situational awareness, and air defence. This was always the case with RN ships dating to before WW I. They were never conned from the wheelhouse. Pre-radar, this made eminent good sense in wartime. Captains fought their ships from the bridge until the AIO centers (CIC to you Yanks) became the rule post radar.

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1 hour ago, LoveBote said:

a) naval tradition, the rain can't hurt you! Builds character

The tradition likely stems from expecting the officers to endure the same conditions as the men. On that line, many newer warships started incorporating an armored conning station for the captain to make sure he survived in battle and kept command of the ship. Many captains refused to use it, keeping certain staff within but stayed on the "bridge". 

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4 minutes ago, Sabot_100 said:

The tradition likely stems from expecting the officers to endure the same conditions as the men. On that line, many newer warships started incorporating an armored conning station for the captain to make sure he survived in battle and kept command of the ship. Many captains refused to use it, keeping certain staff within but stayed on the "bridge". 

I always thought the conning tower, as an armoured cylinder, was not a captain's station. but a navigation station for the coxswain during battles. (at least for the RN, the captain had no business being there)/

On lightly armoured warships, an enclosed bridge could prove more hindrance, than help. Survivability (of the ship), meant dispersing and multiplying command and control functions, through the ship.

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If you look at the Perth then n game you can see how they set up a cover system to hide from the sun if it was warm. 

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