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Karstodes

Best turret arrangement

Layout  

32 members have voted

  1. 1. Gun layout

    • Nelson style (3x3 forward, all facing forward)
    • Izumo style (3x3 forward, 2 facing forward and 1 at the stern)
    • G3 (2x3 forward, 1x3 between the fore and aft superstructure
    • ''Classic triple'' (2x3 forward, 1x3 aft)
    • Old fashion (2x2 forward, 2x2 aft)
    • Richelieu style (2x4 forward)
    • Gascogne style (1x4 forward, 1x4 aft)
      0
    • Bacon

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Naval development saw a lot of idea about turret placement on battleships. If some were dead end (wing turret and cross deck firing for instance), some design were still relevant until the end, even if the classic 2 triple  forward, 1 triple aft seems to have taken the edge in the end. For that reason, we will be looking exclusively at the later 8 or 9 gun design, which were the majority of late 30's design. So let's review some of the choice:

Nelson style: use one, surprise surprise, Nelson and Rodney, thy all forward arrangement was design to shorten the citadel to maximize protection and save weight. This give a good firing angle forward, and a poor one aft. Also, having no main guns aft leave a lot of area to farm AA mounts.

Izumo style: never introduce on a real ships, other than some cruisers that kinda used it, it follow the same idea as the Nelson, but with the C turret looking aft. This give slightly better aft firing angle, albeit nobody want's to shoot a 16'' close to the bridge.

G3 style: almost produce, but cancelled with the Washington treaty. This design have the majority of the advantage of the Nelson's, with more secondaries in the front and a C turret having poor firing angle.

Classic Style (North Carolina for example): what we saw the most in late design, with good firing arc all round the ships.

Old style (Bismarck style): the design extending the belt the most, and heaviest one. The main redeeming quality is that twin mount tend to have better accuracy (thanks to the smaller shockwave interference) and more reliability.

Richelieu: a design that maximize the protection and saving weight of the Nelson style and give the option to bow tank properly. It also have large free space in that aft to place AA mounts. It lacks in aft firing angle and the reliability of the turrets are lackluster. Even with the armored bulkhead, a hit on a turret can easily cripple the ships from half its guns.

Gascogne: a design trying to save even more weight (no super firing turret saves a lot of weight) but lacks the aft area to place AA in exchange of a main gun aft.

 

So which design was the best?

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Personally I'm a fan of the Richelieu turret placement, with one important difference. 

Each of the original turrets was split into two halves separated by a bulkhead, meaning one half could be knocked out while the other would remain operational. 

No idea if this doesn't happen on Richelieu and the other quadruple gun turrets due to balance reasons, but it's a nice opportunity for a nice historical nod that can also affect gameplay.

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I just got Fuso. It is a BEAST! Like one of the first boats in this game I have a twinge of fear in thinking about. 6 heavy turrets. pretty much 2 battleships in 1, i cannot believe it sailed, and someone had to fight it. I think about all six of those going off, and it's humbling.

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5 minutes ago, warheart1992 said:

Each of the original turrets was split into two halves separated by a bulkhead, meaning one half could be knocked out while the other would remain operational. 

It have such potential, but chances are that a penetration on one half of the turret would messed up many mechanism rendering the turret  unable to rotate.

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One important consideration for the various "all turret forward" designs is not having to accommodate the weight of a turret on top of steering gear, machinery and shaft alleys.  Not quite as bad as midships turrets complicating the steam lines going from the forward boilers to the turbines, but still a consideration. The supporting structure for the barbettes runs all the way to the ships keel, and poking large holes in it makes the structure more complicated and therefor heavier.

Packing some secondary turrets back after that don't penetrate as deeply into the hull is structurally easier to deal with.

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The problem with the two turret design the French used is that one good shell hit on a turret and you lose half your firepower.  That happened in the Jean Bart v. Massachusetts battle where a shell from the later jammed the turret in train leaving the ship unable to fire (the second turret was never finished).  It also happened to Dunkerque where a 15" shell opened the roof and splinters entered wiping out half the turret crew (there was an armored partition in the middle of the turret) but rendering the whole turret inoperable.

The twin gun turret is undesirable when a triple is available as the twin gun design requires more turrets to match a triple gun turret  ship.  This leads to increased length of the hull and attendant problems with more area to protect.

Bacon only works well on Canadian ships...

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23 hours ago, iamSamoth said:

I just got Fuso. It is a BEAST! Like one of the first boats in this game I have a twinge of fear in thinking about. 6 heavy turrets. pretty much 2 battleships in 1, i cannot believe it sailed, and someone had to fight it. I think about all six of those going off, and it's humbling.

Only problem with that IRL would be the accuracy of so many separate turrets compared to fewer turrets with more guns that are grouped together. And you also either have ammo magazines filling a lot more areas in the hull that can either be a greater vulnerability or an asset depending on how the ship is designed and the damage received if hit. But other than these potential drawbacks in the design, the idea of having extra guns at the time is not without merits if it can manage fire control accurately.

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you are missing the classic 2x3 forward and 2x3 aft.  (ie Pennsylvania class, New Mexico Class, California Class).

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2 hours ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

Only problem with that IRL would be the accuracy of so many separate turrets compared to fewer turrets with more guns that are grouped together. And you also either have ammo magazines filling a lot more areas in the hull that can either be a greater vulnerability or an asset depending on how the ship is designed and the damage received if hit. But other than these potential drawbacks in the design, the idea of having extra guns at the time is not without merits if it can manage fire control accurately.

Having 6 turrets might help accuracy with the follow the pointer system the Japanese used, more chances to get lucky and have a turret aimed at the target correctly. Of course, having 6 people matching deflection, and 12 people matching elevation is going to be manpower intensive.

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i think each country had their own sort of style if you will for turret placement with BBs, like the US loved the 3x3 setup on the modern BBs, Italy liked the 3x3 for the Littorios and the 2x3 2x2 for the, correct me if i get the class name wrong, Andrea Doria class, Japan mostly had the 4x2 until Yamato, and France rocked the 4x2 with most their modern BBs, and the RN was just a grab bag of turret layouts

Edited by tcbaker777

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18 minutes ago, tcbaker777 said:

i think each country had their own sort of style if you will for turret placement with BBs, like the US loved the 3x3 setup on the modern BBs, Italy liked the 3x3 for the Littorios and the 2x3 2x2 for the, correct me if i get the class name wrong, Andrea Doria class, Japan mostly had the 4x2 until Yamato, and France rocked the 4x2 with most their modern BBs, and the RN was just a grab bag of turret layouts

Not as much as you might think.

It's more a function of era.

You start out with turret farms on a single deck.

Then superimposed turrets show up, and the turret farms move to centerline turrets.

Then the gun caliber wars start, fit the largest number possible of the biggest gun you can produce to the biggest ship you can afford. When you build a bigger gun, you lose some barrels to build a ship on similar displacement to the last one, then you build a bigger ship with more guns.

The US Navy is forced kicking and screaming to build the Standards.

Then the WNT happens.

Britain is forced to build the Nelsons, and everyone involved got a preview of the hazards to come.

After the battleship holiday, 

With the refitting of WWI battleships and the treaty environment, a new set of requirements form.

On a limited displacement, navies have to build a ship with high speed, good firepower, and AA armament., capable of operating within and away from the battleline.

Everyone except Germany and France selected the two forward and one aft turret arrangement, with AA and secondary guns amidships. They're all similar to the standards, with a finer hull, more horsepower, and lacking the number 3 turret.

France goes more extreme and goes all turret forward with quad turrets.

Germany having no clue what it actually needs, and lacking a proper naval design program, runs off the rails. This is what happens when Navy Line Officers design ships.

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I'd vote for 3x3 AB-Y, but 4x2 AB-XY does have some advantages.

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reading on the topic of the Nelson-Class, I got a smile. At this excerpt,

image.thumb.png.cde4a63f9eb0cf002f34a42772ea15b4.png

It made me think of one of my issues with Fuso.

The people in the conning towers must hate having countering shots fired across them. The poopy must get a bit liquidy when those cannons are screaming.

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1 hour ago, iamSamoth said:

reading on the topic of the Nelson-Class, I got a smile. At this excerpt,

image.thumb.png.cde4a63f9eb0cf002f34a42772ea15b4.png

It made me think of one of my issues with Fuso.

The people in the conning towers must hate having countering shots fired across them. The poopy must get a bit liquidy when those cannons are screaming.

That's actually a big reason why Fuso's and Ise's pagodas were so tall.

It gets the optics further away from the line of fire of the guns when they are traversed as far forward as they can fire. Less concussion hitting the back of the range finders. It also better protects the equipment and crew as they will be better hidden by the platforms and bulwarks.

The IJN stressed very aggressive firing arcs.

Edited by SgtBeltfed

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One might note how ineffective the 4 twin turret layout is both in the game and historically.  The USN for example upgraded both Tennessee class 14" BB but only rebuilt the wrecked W. Virginia of the follow-on Colorado class.  The other two ships received very austere refits.  It is apparent the USN felt the 12 14" guns were a much better buy than 8  16"

In the game the same holds true.  Try using half salvos with any of the German line with such an arrangement, or the the similar US ships.  Dispersion and small salvos of just 4 rounds means most of the time you do little damage compared to a 6 gun salvo from a four triple turret ship. 

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On 2/10/2021 at 2:08 PM, Karstodes said:

Classic Style (North Carolina for example): what we saw the most in late design, with good firing arc all round the ships.

The only right answer. There's a reason why this was what the last BBs to ever see service used, and that's because it's good at just about everything it needs to be.

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9 hours ago, Murotsu said:

The USN for example upgraded both Tennessee class 14" BB but only rebuilt the wrecked W. Virginia of the follow-on Colorado class.  The other two ships received very austere refits.  It is apparent the USN felt the 12 14" guns were a much better buy than 8  16"

The main reason for that is not the number of guns, but the nature of the damage. Colorado was not damaged, thus was not send to heavy refit. Maryland was only slightly damage, and was in dry dock for less than 2 months. The one receiving the most extensive refit where the one having suffered the heaviest damage, thus requiring to stay in dry dock for longer.

 

3 hours ago, 1Sherman said:

The only right answer. There's a reason why this was what the last BBs to ever see service used, and that's because it's good at just about everything it needs to be.

Main guns were not central anymore in term of battle engagement for the lat career of the Iowa, and the las BB to be build had a 4x2 design.

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2 minutes ago, Karstodes said:

The main reason for that is not the number of guns, but the nature of the damage. Colorado was not damaged, thus was not send to heavy refit. Maryland was only slightly damage, and was in dry dock for less than 2 months. The one receiving the most extensive refit where the one having suffered the heaviest damage, thus requiring to stay in dry dock for longer.

 

Main guns were not central anymore in term of battle engagement for the lat career of the Iowa, and the las BB to be build had a 4x2 design.

Not true.  Tennessee received almost no damage at Pearl Harbor yet underwent a very long refit to be modernized.  California, likewise was quickly raised and had a similar refit.  Maryland's damage at Pearl was no less than Tennessee's and she received a minimal one.

The USN had correctly realized that more tubes is better than a couple of extra inches of shell size.

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3 minutes ago, Murotsu said:

Not true.  Tennessee received almost no damage at Pearl Harbor yet underwent a very long refit to be modernized.  California, likewise was quickly raised and had a similar refit.  Maryland's damage at Pearl was no less than Tennessee's and she received a minimal one.

The USN had correctly realized that more tubes is better than a couple of extra inches of shell size.

Tenessee did not got her full modernization after Pearl Harbor, but after Midway. And at that time, her sister ship was in repair (California), and having Colorado active it must have seen better to keep a ''battle squadron'' of 2 Colorado's for efficiency.

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On 2/10/2021 at 11:08 AM, Karstodes said:

Naval development saw a lot of idea about turret placement on battleships. If some were dead end (wing turret and cross deck firing for instance), some design were still relevant until the end, even if the classic 2 triple  forward, 1 triple aft seems to have taken the edge in the end. For that reason, we will be looking exclusively at the later 8 or 9 gun design, which were the majority of late 30's design. So let's review some of the choice:

Nelson style: use one, surprise surprise, Nelson and Rodney, thy all forward arrangement was design to shorten the citadel to maximize protection and save weight. This give a good firing angle forward, and a poor one aft. Also, having no main guns aft leave a lot of area to farm AA mounts.

Izumo style: never introduce on a real ships, other than some cruisers that kinda used it, it follow the same idea as the Nelson, but with the C turret looking aft. This give slightly better aft firing angle, albeit nobody want's to shoot a 16'' close to the bridge.

G3 style: almost produce, but cancelled with the Washington treaty. This design have the majority of the advantage of the Nelson's, with more secondaries in the front and a C turret having poor firing angle.

Classic Style (North Carolina for example): what we saw the most in late design, with good firing arc all round the ships.

Old style (Bismarck style): the design extending the belt the most, and heaviest one. The main redeeming quality is that twin mount tend to have better accuracy (thanks to the smaller shockwave interference) and more reliability.

Richelieu: a design that maximize the protection and saving weight of the Nelson style and give the option to bow tank properly. It also have large free space in that aft to place AA mounts. It lacks in aft firing angle and the reliability of the turrets are lackluster. Even with the armored bulkhead, a hit on a turret can easily cripple the ships from half its guns.

Gascogne: a design trying to save even more weight (no super firing turret saves a lot of weight) but lacks the aft area to place AA in exchange of a main gun aft.

 

So which design was the best?

I would have to say the Richelieu style.  If you ever played a age of sails game, you quickly realize just how weak these ships are chasing another ship with they always have to go broadside.  So many enemy ships can just escape a battle because you have to turn away from them to get your full firepower off, resulting in the distance between you increasing greatly.  Putting the main battery forward with generous arcs and being fully super firing result in the most efficient arrangement that also saves weight and reducing dispersion because the guns aren't firing hundreds of feet apart.

The French would eventually chicken out and redesign the 3rd Richelieu with a rear turret and people cite the lack of a rear turret as a weakness, but I cannot think of a single battle where a rear turret specifically decided a naval engagement.  Maybe someone will point to Mers-el-Kébir but I don't think rear turrets would have saved that situation.

53qFCIF.jpg

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On 2/10/2021 at 4:19 PM, Murotsu said:

The problem with the two turret design the French used is that one good shell hit on a turret and you lose half your firepower.  That happened in the Jean Bart v. Massachusetts battle where a shell from the later jammed the turret in train leaving the ship unable to fire (the second turret was never finished).  It also happened to Dunkerque where a 15" shell opened the roof and splinters entered wiping out half the turret crew (there was an armored partition in the middle of the turret) but rendering the whole turret inoperable.

The twin gun turret is undesirable when a triple is available as the twin gun design requires more turrets to match a triple gun turret  ship.  This leads to increased length of the hull and attendant problems with more area to protect.

I'm not sure that's a problem with the layout.  Bismarck lost half her firepower to a single shell with a 2x2 forward, 2x2 aft but I don't think this is a problem with the turret layout.  Jean Bart wasn't built to fight the Americans and the Dunkerque wasn't built to fight the British.

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4 hours ago, Karstodes said:

Main guns were not central anymore in term of battle engagement for the lat career of the Iowa, and the las BB to be build had a 4x2 design.

Vanguard really doesn't count, as she was built using existing turrets (left over from Glorious and Courageous after they were converted.)

 

4 hours ago, Karstodes said:

Tenessee did not got her full modernization after Pearl Harbor, but after Midway. And at that time, her sister ship was in repair (California), and having Colorado active it must have seen better to keep a ''battle squadron'' of 2 Colorado's for efficiency.

Tennessee was available for the full modernization as a result of there not being enough tankers to support the old battleships at Midway.

Colorado and Maryland were kept mostly active in case they were needed to counter Nagato and Mutsu. By the time there was enough new battleships available to counter Nagato and Mutsu, there was no longer a reason to heavily modernize them either. The USN had no idea that Mutsu had blow up mid 43.and probably didn't know exactly what condition the IJN was in for fuel.

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2 hours ago, Sventex said:

I would have to say the Richelieu style.  If you ever played a age of sails game, you quickly realize just how weak these ships are chasing another ship with they always have to go broadside.  So many enemy ships can just escape a battle because you have to turn away from them to get your full firepower off, resulting in the distance between you increasing greatly.  Putting the main battery forward with generous arcs and being fully super firing result in the most efficient arrangement that also saves weight and reducing dispersion because the guns aren't firing hundreds of feet apart.

The French would eventually chicken out and redesign the 3rd Richelieu with a rear turret and people cite the lack of a rear turret as a weakness, but I cannot think of a single battle where a rear turret specifically decided a naval engagement.  Maybe someone will point to Mers-el-Kébir but I don't think rear turrets would have saved that situation.

53qFCIF.jpg

It might be in a game, but in RL, it was a definite weakness.  One reason for having a rear turret is to spread the firepower out some.  For whatever reason, historically battleships tend to take most of their hits forward or in the superstructure.  The stern is actually the safest place to be  in a naval gunfight.  

Even in WoW I'd say most players aim off the bow of the other ship for speed and angle, I know I do...

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