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Sabot_100

Turret armor and openings

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People often talk about how thick the face armor was on main-battery turrets, especially BBs. Just wondered if there was anything helping to seal up the ports where the gun barrels go. Turrets I've seen without the blast bags don't seem to have anything. Is 30% of the turret face just open to incoming shells? Was the barrel considered sufficient "armor" to keep most shells out?

Tanks often have a moving plate that covers the gap. In my mind I assumed naval guns had the equivalent, but internally.

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The trunnions and breeches for such huge barrels are such massive constructions that they'd be stronger than any turret face plate armor. If a shell could slip past the barrel itself in the first place.

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4 minutes ago, Lert said:

The trunnions and breeches for such huge barrels are such massive constructions that they'd be stronger than any turret face plate armor. If a shell could slip past the barrel itself in the first place.

Yes and no. When the barrel is level, it would have a fair gap above (enough to allow the barrel to elevate to 40+ degrees).  Any shell detonating against the breeches would be sending the blast thru the turret. Some turrets did have internal walls to hopefully contain any blast to a single gun

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I don't think a Destroyer captain isn't going to expect much from his small guns to blow out the main battery turrets out of a Battleship.

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On 7/10/2020 at 5:12 PM, Sabot_100 said:

Yes and no. When the barrel is level, it would have a fair gap above (enough to allow the barrel to elevate to 40+ degrees).  Any shell detonating against the breeches would be sending the blast thru the turret. Some turrets did have internal walls to hopefully contain any blast to a single gun

Depends a lot of the turret in question, many turrets have a shield on the inside of the turret face, to plug the hole and keep the worst effects from traveling back into the turret. Also, in most cases, the trunions are up against the face of the turret, to minimize the size of the opening.

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Given historical results, if a turret gets hit by a major caliber AP shell it's going to be bad.  It doesn't matter where it got hit if the hit is "solid" versus glancing.  Glancing hits can be shrugged off by a ship most of the time.  Anything else and the turret is anything from disrupted to disabled to destroyed internally.  So, it really doesn't matter how the slots for the guns are protected.  The armor is more about surviving splinters and such than surviving a direct hit.

Of course, back in the day, designers were working from limited information on gun duels versus ships so they designed to what they thought was the best result.  Since then we know that heavy armor post about 1915-ish is largely a waste of time.

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