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Lampshade_M1A2

How feasible are the high tier Italian BBs?

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This forum used to have a handful of armchair experts (no offense intended by that label) on the Regia Marina and their priorities when it came to warship design, I'm hoping a few of them might chime in here.

Do the T9 and T10 Italian BBs make any sense? Did the Regia Marina ever work on designs for quadruple turrets for large caliber naval artillery like the quad 15" guns both the T9 and T10 have in game? I've heard the claim that that starting in the 1930s the Italians didn't consider it efficient to have more than 10 main battery guns on a warships due to the challenges in spotting for that many guns. That would explain why their light cruisers never went beyond 10 6" guns but is there any truth to that claim?

The Italian T10 cruiser doesn't seem to make any sense to me either. Maybe the T9 is excusable if that "10 or less" rule is not true, but 15 8" guns? That just seems crazy to me. I don't know if any navy considered putting that many 8" guns on a cruiser, at that point a larger caliber is easily the better choice.

Most of the ship lines are somewhat feasible besides for some details but that seems to have really gone out of the window with the Italians.

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On 6/19/2018 at 10:10 PM, Phoenix_jz said:

 

Tier X – (BB1936) Piave

GMqad5z.jpg

 

The ultimate evolution of the Italian battleship, ‘BB1936’, often known as UP.41 (Ufficiale Progetto 41 by Ansaldo’s nomenclature), this wasn’t so much an evolution past Littorio so much as it was the original idea. The Littorio’s design work was largely done under the jurisdiction of the WNT, which limited battleship design to 35000 tons standard displacement with an armament not exceeding 406mm. Naturally, just as every country had rushed to design a ship fitting the most 203mm (maximal caliber) guns as possible on a 10000 ton hull with their heavy cruisers, they did the same as with the battleships. This evolution was part of the same process that lead to Littorio, but the designers struggled as they felt it was too difficult to for nine 406mm guns on a sufficiently protected hull and get it to go 30 knots under an operational load.

The weight reduction in terms of armament from choosing lower caliber weapons, in combination with the relative ease of developing new 381mm guns versus 406mm guns, lead them to shrink the armament down to ‘only’ nine 381mm guns as the project developed into what eventually became Littorio. However, development did not stop there, as Ansaldo continued to play with the design, and it grew, BB1936 being the ultimate product of these efforts, a 45000 ton vessel. However, the design did not take advantage of the more advanced protection methods used in Littorio’s armoring (such as the composite belt). Ultimately, as war came ever closer, despite the effort made to upgrade the Navy’s facilities to build and operate these large ships, it was decided to go with a repeat of the Littorio-class for the next battleship order (and thus Impero and Roma were ordered). However, Ansaldo had also sold the design to Russia, as UP.41 – with heavy modification to Russian preferences, and without the Pugliese TDS. This is the project we have data for, but needless to say it varies significantly from any design that would’ve succeeded Littorio. So, stat-wise, that is why I will try to recreate (including a composite belt, to explain the increased thickness). 

Her name is an interesting leap of logic for me – while personally speaking I’d love to name her Giuseppe Garibaldi, the fact of the matter is that A) by tradition only cruisers bared his name and B) By this period battleships were no longer named after people – that went out with the rise to power of the Fascists.

Thus, the names of Italian battleships afterwards usually had to do with the glory of fascism (Littorio), a new Roman Empire (Impero), while Roma had a somewhat less neutral name, being named after the eternal city of Rome itself, although that still had ancient connotations to bit, as Rome always will. However, one of these ships had a name that that did not call back to a long-ago past, or a new fascist age. One ship had a name that simply spoke to Italy, the relatively young nation that existed here and now – the one that actually mattered. This was the Vittorio Veneto, named after the major victory achieved by Italy over Austria in 1918 that brought down the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Such a name was a powerful symbol that spoke more about a modern Italy – the one that mattered – than any name harking to some militaristic past or future that involved the subjugation of foreign nations. The Battle of Vittorio Veneto marked an important moment in Italian history – the final defeat, after hundreds of years of struggle, of the Hapsburg Empire, who had dominated Italy for about half a millennium. The victory not only avenged the defeat at Caporetto a year earlier, but also the centuries of foreign rule suffered by the Italian states.

Thus the name I decided to go with was named after an earlier battle, but equally important, fought not long after Caporetto. Fought a little over 100 years ago, the Battle of the Piave River was where Italian troops halted and broke the Austrian offensive after the route at Caporetto. This was done in spite of the fact the Entente powers insist they fall further back, as they did not believe the Piave could be held... But hold it did. The Austrians were beaten back again on the Piave when they attempted their last offensive with a counter-attack launched 100 years ago today, and the utter defeat of this effort marked the first point where the Central Power’s command staff realized the war was beginning to end, despite the triumphs of 1917. Piave, although typically unanimously ignored by histories outside of Italy, stood as an important moment, a 20thcentury Legnano, and because of that I think that such a name is appropriate for Italy’s tier X battleship.

 

Survivability:

49506 tons – 69300 HP

Belt: 450mm between end barbettes inclined at 11º with an internal 36mm bulkhead, with a 24mm bulkhead ~4 meters further inside the hull. Main deck is 162mm with a 55mm upper deck. Upper belt is 150mm.  Turret Faces are 400mm sloped at 30º

 

Main Armament:

3x3 406mm/56 Ansaldo Modello 1936 (Broadside: 9 guns)

RoF: 2.0 rpm (30 sec)

Dispersion/Sigma: German, 2.0

Traverse: 6º/sec (30 sec)

AP:

MV: 850mps

Mass/Dmg: 1350 kg (MaxDmg: 14800)

SAP:

MV: 870mps

Mass/Dmg: 1100 kg (MaxDmg: 13500)

 

Secondary Battery:

4x3 152mm/55 OTO Modello 1936 (Broadside: 6)

RoF: 5 rpm (12 sec)

AP:

MV: 910mps

Mass/Dmg: 50 kg (MaxDmg: 3100)

12x2 90mm/50 OTO Modello 1939 (Broadside: 6)

RoF: 15 rpm (4.0 sec)

HE:

MV: 860mps

Mass/Dmg: 10.1 kg (MaxDmg: 1300, 5% FC)

 

Anti-Aircraft Battery:

12x2 90mm/50 OTO Modello 1939

 - 160.8 dps @ 4.50 km

24x2 37mm/54 Breda 1932

- 378.4 dps @ 3.51 km

4x1 37mm/54 RM 1939

- 35.6 dps @ 3.51 km

24x2 20mm/65 Breda 1935

- 81.6 dps @ 2.01 km

 

Maneuverability:

Engine Power: 180000 shp

Top Speed: 32.0 knots

 

Alright, so I lied. This is not quite true to BB1936. That design intended to use a 406/50, with characteristics similar to the Russian 406mm/50 B-37, which the Italians helped develop. The planed 406/50 was to extend the given range of penetration compared to the 381/50 gun by 2000 meters – meaning it far exceeded any other gun that actually saw service in raw power.

This ship doesn’t use that gun.

Instead, this ship uses the monstrous 406mm/56 that was considered for the 4-16/16-40, a monstrous design that was intended to mount sixteen of these guns on a hull with 406mm of steeply inclined hull armor, and a top speed of 29 knots. The gun is your Vittorio Veneto, with the ability to rip through just short of 700mm of armor at 20 km, even the most heavily armored battleships will struggle to protect themselves from these guns, the raw penetrative power of a 1350-kilogram projectile fired at an initial muzzle velocity of 850 meters per second more than making up for the smaller caliber and the low gun count for that caliber. The raw kinetic force behind its armor-piecing gives it as high a damage potential as Yamato’s monstrous 460mm guns, and the SAP as much as American SHS! With the ridiculous velocity retention of such heavy shells, you’ll likely have issues over-penetrating cruisers just with your SAP shells – these might just be a more viable weapon than your AP at closer ranges against battleships!

If your offensive armament is your Vittorio Veneto, then your armor is your Piave, because it’s a tough nut to crack. With 450mm of armor inclined at 11º, your belt is essentially 18” before angle of fall is even considered. Such a belt is seriously thick, and you retain the series of internal bulkheads to keep your citadel safe from stray rounds and the like. Angled at 45º, even Yamato’s 460mm APC won’t penetrate the belt by itself beyond 11 km. Your thick main armor deck is highly resistant to AP bombers, while your overall HE protection is improved. With a 55mm upper deck, even German 203mm HE will shatter on it, as will regular HE up to 330mm. IFHE will need to be greater than 254mm to penetrate it, and higher-penetration HE with IFHE will need to be 170mm or greater. Your 150mm upper belt provides significant protection against destroyers and light cruiser AP, and is immune to HE and IFHE of any penetration type.

Even your AA protection isn’t terrible, although nor is it fantastic. Adequate is the best way to describe it. 

And if your armor is your Piave, then your mobility is your Carica della Savoia Cavalleria, because it’s going to get you out of (and into) trouble. Able to make 32 knots, you’re in the fastest tier X battleship, and because of your relatively small size, you’re probably able to turn much better than any other tier X battleship, too, handling more like a tier VIII than anything else. This will combine well with your good stealth. Exploit this brutally.

However, that brings us on to the final point, which is your endurance. Watch how far you extend yourself, or it will be your Caporetto. You pack a huge wallop offensively, you’re fast, and you’re well armored, a tough nut to crack. However if that nut is cracked? Well, you’re light, and that means you’ve got a fairly small healthpool. You’re sitting on less than 70000 health at a tier where the lightest competitor has 82900 health, over 10000 more than you. That’s the price you pay for this unusual combination of characteristics. 

 

 For example, Deamon93’ s version sees BB1936/UP.41 , with the 406/50, at tier IX, with tier X being an unknown – the 4-16/16-40 somewhat being a placeholder due to the fact it would be absurdly overpowered in-game.  

The Italian variant will of course have Italian armament: the 152/55 mm instead of the 180 mm, the 90/50 instead of the 100 mm the 37/54 mm instead of the 45 mm and the 20/65 instead of the 13.2 mm. Since it's a project which was discontinued it will require some what-if upgrades, just like in case of Caracciolo(although UP.41 doesn't require that much what-if compared to the older BB).

 

Tier X: 4-16/16-40

NJ1UFbJ.png

 

Technical data

Standard displacement: 61200 tons

Full load displacement: 66336 tons

Lenght: 256 m between perpendiculars

Beam: 40 m

Draught: //(currently missing the data)

Installed power: 195000 hp

Maximum speed: 29 knots

Protection: 50+(406 - 203) mm(belt), currently missing the data on the rest

Armament: 4x4 406/56, currently missing the data on the rest

Taking this post at face value, it does appear BB1936 UP.41 had a variant intended to have 16 guns, but both were dismissed due to the lack of infrastructure to build these ships.

 

 

Edited by Sventex
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Well, your suspicion is absolutely on point. The high-tier Italian designs in-game are, to be blunt, absurd, and that's because they're mostly entirely WG creations intended to work with the flavor designed for the lines. They diverge sharply from Italian designs and intentions.


Some historical background;

Italian fire control at the time considered batteries with more than 10 guns inefficient, and from a design perspective this was somewhat seen as a waste - once you can manage more than 10 guns on a design, you must seriously ask yourself why you're using a caliber low enough that you can fit, say, 12 of them on a ship. Thus, Italian designs as a rule of thumb tended to favor 6-10 guns, aka, the effective minimum, and the logical maximum.

A good example of this is the design process of the Littorio-class itself. The origins of the class lie within the 1928 studies into new battleship designs (although they likely built on past studies, these are the 'real' serious start dates of the designs) that would fit in the WNT restrictions, and moreover, the limits of the 70,000 long tons Italy had of early construction alongside France. Two variants came out. The first was a 35,000-ton battleships, which was to be armed with 3x2 406mm guns, have a top speed of 29-30 knots, and a 350mm belt. With treaty restrictions, it would have been possible to build two ships like this. The other alternative was a 23,000-ton ship armed with 3x2 381mm guns, a top speed of 28-29 knots, and armored with a 330mm belt. It would have been possible to build three of these ships with the early tonnage available to Italy. Given the economic and political situation, these projects were kept on the back-burner, but the larger project (35,000 tons) was favored by the Naval Staff due to its superior qualities, and the general skepticism given towards smaller designs (much as everyone took the 10,000-ton cruiser limit as an objective, the RM likewise realized that the 35,000-ton limit would be seen in a similar light). 

The design was not picked up again until 1932, when preliminary studies for what became the Littorio-class began, and they picked of starting with the 35,000-ton design. At the time, the 381mm gun became favored, as it would be less of a leap to produce industrially (Italian industry had already built 381mm guns), and nine of them could be mounted on the 35,000-ton design versus six 406mm guns. The greater penetrative power of the 406mm (+ 2,000 meters to penetrate a given thickness of armor relative to the 381mm) and greater damaging effect was seen as less satisfactory at the time if it was a question of 6 guns versus 9, and these factors resulted in the 381mm being chosen. That being said, as the preliminary design was worked on it became clear that they were not quite so limited in terms of armament, and at the Admirals Committee meetings from 21-23 March 1934 there was discussions as to whether it was worth increasing the armament to ten guns utilizing quadruple turrets, with two variants proposed - one mirrored what would ultimately be adopted by the British with their King George V-class, while the other version involved installing a quadruple turret aft rather than the intended triple turret. Also proposed was to arm the ship with eight 406mm guns, a triple fore and aft with a twin superfiring forward. Ultimately, however, it was decided to retain the 3x3 381/50 of the preliminary design, as this was the most balanced configuration and would allow design and production to be focused on a single turret type, rather than the potential combination of twins and and quads, triples and quads, or twins and triples. Thus the design of what became the Littorio-class forged ahead with the 3x3 381/50 arrangement. 

Insofar as future battleships design went - work on what came next started in 1935, initially as part of the 135/36 'breakout fleet' program. This called for a larger design (41,000 tons standard displacement), and was armed with 3x3 406mm guns. This rapidly increased to 42,000 tons standard. Although the 'Breakout Fleet' program failed to manifest, the design was far from thrown out, and in fact was continuously tinkered with. In the meantime, however, Ansaldo developed an export design for the USSR based on, but still quite different to (most obviously in terms of secondary armament, but also in protective scheme), the initial design of this battleship, which became UP.41. 

The battleship design continued to grow, ultimately to a 45,000-ton battleship capable of 32 knots with a five-layer TDS, heavier armor than the prior Littorio-class, and an armament of 3x3 406/50, 4x3 152/55, and 12x2 90mm. The design was proposed for construction in the 1938 naval program, but ultimately Cavagnari, CSMM at the time, decided to go for a pair of repeat Littorio's (which became Impero and Roma), due to the faster construction time possible for a proven design. A second opportunity appeared in the large 1939 naval program, which initially called for two 45,000-ton battleships (along with a host of other vessels for construction in the 1939-1945 time frame), though this rapidly fell apart with the slide towards war, with the initial program put together in January replaced by a smaller one who's largest vessels were to be three light cruisers of the Costanzo Ciano-class - and even these ships failed to manifest once Europe went to war. The design was still worked on as late as the summer of 1941, though it was definitively dropped by that point. Had the original 1939 naval program gone ahead undisturbed, it is likely that the ships would have been laid down in 1940. 


Relative to the ships in-game:

Now, versus what we have in the game - the key takeaway here, aside from the fact that, yeah, no 3x4 or 4x4 battleship designs existed, is that the RM was very much not on board with the idea of 'cram loads of guns on a big hull'. In Littorio's preliminaries (where the ship was still 35,000 tons standard), debated changes to the armament were either 10x 381/50, or an upgunning to 8x 406mm, which was considered a viable armament on a hull of such displacement. Once the RM had the opportunity to design a larger, 41,000-ton battleship from scratch, they immediately moved to a 406mm armament, and did not consider mounting a larger number of 381mm guns than they had on the Littorio-class. Ironically, this wasn't much more than what the Littorio-class ultimately displaced at standard load when completed (40-40,500 tons), but, hey, the 41,000-ton battleship design almost immediately went to 42,000 tons standard and ended up at 45,000 tons by the end of the 1930s.

In any case - it should be abundantly clear that the RM would not have the slightest inclination towards installing multiple quadruple turrets on battleships as large as the in-game 'Lepanto'. A battleship of that size would have certainly been armed with 3x3 406mm guns at the very least. The simple reality is that there is not much of a rationale, as far as the RM is concerned, to mount an excessive number of low-caliber guns on a battleship when it can already take a more than sufficient number of 406mm guns. 

This reality does create difficulty when we look at battleships that would quality as tier X in WoWs, since as far as we know there were no modern studies by the RM in regards to battleships of such displacement, and neither was their any work on guns larger than 406mm. The only adequately sized design we know of from the era is 4-16/16-40, but that is notably not a navy design, but rather one done by CRDA, and there is simply not enough know about the background of the design beyond that. As it was, the Regia Marina did not want to build battleships larger than 45,000 tons standard, as this was simply pushing for ships that were beyond Italy's means to build on a practical basis (i.e. in sufficient numbers to form a division and without screwing over all other naval construction plans). France was in a similar position - such ships were simply beyond the means of either country on a practical basis. 

Realistically, if Italy was to build a tier X worthy battleship, you'd probably end up with something with guns larger than 406mm - maybe a 3x3 431mm? It's hard to tell. It would have had to have been fast enough to keep up with cruiser forces, adequately protected against guns as powerful as its own, and still retain sufficient offensive power. It's simply not a caliber of warship the Regia Marina was thinking about in the 1930s and 1940s. 


In regards to cruisers - this is quite difficult as we simply don't have a lot of information available on in-house cruiser designs by the RM in the 1930s, at least as far as heavy cruisers go.

As far as in-house stuff goes; 

We do know that the RM was considering new 'large' cruisers in the mid-1930s, armed with 203mm/55 guns (it was intended to convert old 10" barrels), though this was not acted on in favor of consideration towards new 152/55 guns with greater automation. It is important to note that in 1930 Italy had reached an informal understanding with France that neither would build any more heavy cruisers for the sake of arms and cost control, and realistically once battleship construction began in earnest in both countries neither had the resources to expend on cruiser construction - after their FY1932 naval programs neither navy will order a new cruiser until the French place the order for De Grasse in 1937, and she wasn't laid down until 1939 anyways.

Italian naval construction in the latter half of the 1930s became largely a victim of Italian foreign policy, as thanks to Mussolini's invasion of Abyssinia and the resulting sanctions, and then the participation in the Spanish Civil War, importing certain materials necessary for the production of high-strength steel became difficult, and likewise funds that might have otherwise gone towards procurement went towards operational costs associated with sustaining these war efforts. The twelve Capitani Romani-class scout cruisers, as an example, had their origins in the 1935/36 'Breakout Fleet' program, and were supposed to be ordered in the FY1937/38 program (and ended up being ordered in 1938) with the intent to lay them down in 1938, but their construction was delayed to the first ship was not laid down until April 1939, with the rest following in September and October of 1939.

The next set of cruisers formally considered by the RM were a class of six 8,000-ton light cruisers, which were intended to be part of the aforementioned initial 1939 naval program. These were meant to act as long-range raiders, capable of 32 knots but with a massive cruising range of 15,000 nm at 15 knots, armor similar to the Abruzzi-class, and an armament of 2x4 152/55 (A-Y layout) and 8x1 90/50. This reflected the RM's intent to operate an offensive force in the Indian Ocean (and these cruisers as a result were supposed to have a massive ammo capacity as a result - 50% more than existing light cruisers, which typically had 210-225 rpg). In any case, with the initial collapse of the long-term 1939 program and a shift to a more normal yearly program, the 8,000-ton cruiser was dropped in favor of an adaptation of the existing Abruzzi-class, which became the 9,800-ton Costanzo Ciano-class. They likewise had a huge cruising radius, with slightly improved armor relative to Abruzzi (ex, main armor deck was increased to 45mm thick, turret faceplates also became 5mm thicker), and an armament of 3x3 152/55 (A-X-Y). Two of these cruisers were ordered in the FY1939/40 program (with a third planned to follow), though, as mentioned in the battleship section), the program was scrapped before either could be laid down (first was supposed to be laid down in late 1939). 


That said, the RM's own design office was far from the only active in Italy;

Expanding to work by Italian companies, it is worth noting that many were working on export designs at the time. Ansaldo most famously, but likewise OTO and CRDA were also marketing designs to various foreign yards. It is interesting to note that one of these - Ansaldo's UP.90 - was adapted for the RM. UP.90 was an 8,000-ton 'Pocket Battleship' design, marketed to smaller naval powers such as Romania, and had a 100mm belt, 2x3 254/55, 6x2 100/47, and was to go 30 knots. An alternative variant was jointly marketed with the Americans to Chile that replaced the secondary battery with 5"/51's. The design, from 1936, was adapted in 1937 into a light cruiser (known as UP.90bis or UP.90 mod. depending on who you ask), which had broadly similar hull characteristics, though a much modified armament. Basic characteristics were an 8,000-ton displacement, an overall length of 176 meters, a top speed of 30 knots (60,000 shp), a 100mm belt, 65mm armor deck, main battery of 3x3 152/55, secondary battery of 6x2 100/47, 2x3 533mm TT, and a catapult for 2-3 aircraft. Nothing came of it that I know of, though some claim it served as the basis for the later 8,000-ton cruiser or for the Ciano-class. 

 

This is an interesting point to consider because there are a load of larger export designs being offered at the time by various Italian companies, and quite a fair number were adapted by earlier work by the RM in the early 1930s - ex, Ansaldo's UP.102 is likely taken from the Pocket Battleship study by the RM from ~1928/32, both being 10,500-ton cruisers capable of 31 knots with an armament of 2x3 280/50 - so it does raise the question of how many of these export designs were actually adopted from designs that originated within the RM.

Many larger cruiser designs than the 8-10k ton light cruisers previously mentioned exist, though many are distinctly edging into pocket-battleship or large cruiser territory. Good examples of this are the 16,000-tonne (trial displacement) cruisers for Spain of 1940, which feature a 4x2 203/53, 4x3 152/55, and 3x3 203/55 variant (the latter being the basis for the game's 'Amalfi'). There is also a pair of larger 19,000-ton and 22,000-ton cruisers for the USSR from 1936, which are just as fast (37 knots), but more heavily armed and armored (3x3 254/55).


 

To speculate as to what might one might expect from Italy in regards to large cruisers - the French naval program of April 1940 called for three heavy cruisers, which were supposed to replace the Duguay Trouin-class as they neared 20 years in service, and were planned regardless of the war. Without the war (as so often has to be assumed for WG's high-tier ships), then something like 'Amalfi' is quite likely to be ordered as a response, though to be honest I seriously doubt the Italians would invest in anything much larger unless the French try - which is also unlikely. Go any larger and you're competing for capital ships in terms of slip space material investments. Something to the scale of the tier X, 'Venezia', with 5x3 203mm guns is beyond moronic, and it still somewhat surprises me that WG added a design so vapid of any rationality or logic to the game, regardless of how low my expectations have sunk. That's what you get for boxing yourself in with an attempt at a unique line flavor and sticking SAP on the wrong type of ship, I suppose? In any case, for reference, 'Venezia' is right around the size, displacement, and machinery power of the 22,000-ton cruiser sold to the USSR in 1936 (wow, I wonder what might have inspired those characteristics...), just armed with the hilariously stupid armament of fifteen 203mm guns. Without a doubt, if the RM was willing to invest the tonnage into such a cruiser, it would have been armed with the 254mm/55's they'd been kicking around as a concept since the early 1930s. 

The tier IX cruiser, 'Brindisi', isn't really that egregious, if still unlikely. I could see a 10-gun cruiser, but someone's going to be raising questions when a 12-gun 203mm cruiser gets built - namely 'why do we need this many 203mm guns, and wouldn't it be smarter to fit larger guns more suited to tackling cruisers of about this displacement'. That said, it still easily could have been the tier X, if not for the flavor WG forced on the cruisers that de facto makes them weaker than they'd be if balanced normally. 

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Thank you for the excellent assessment Phoenix. It's a shame that WG seemed to decide that the "gimmick" of the Italian T10s would be an absurd number of guns when that didn't fit their design practices by that time. If you ignore the same logistical problems that the Italians faced, (needing dockyards large enough for ships that big), maybe the French would have been unusual enough to put sixteen 15" guns on some sort of super-Alsace but even that seems unlikely.

Did the Italians do any work on guns larger than 16" beyond "back of napkin" sort of calculations?

The Italian 16"/56 sounds interesting and very powerful. I'm a bit skeptical about the practicality of a 16" AP shell significantly heavier than the US Mark 8. Around that weight range I'd expect engineers to meet the threshold where a shell becomes too long to stabilize properly throughout it's flight.

The only comparable guns I know of are the Soviet 16"/55 on the Slava (of which I can't find any historical information about), and the USN 16"/56 Mark 4 which was an experimental piece. Although new-build guns of that same caliber were briefly considered in post-Iowa class battleship development.

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1 hour ago, Lampshade_M1A2 said:

Thank you for the excellent assessment Phoenix. It's a shame that WG seemed to decide that the "gimmick" of the Italian T10s would be an absurd number of guns when that didn't fit their design practices by that time. If you ignore the same logistical problems that the Italians faced, (needing dockyards large enough for ships that big), maybe the French would have been unusual enough to put sixteen 15" guns on some sort of super-Alsace but even that seems unlikely.

Did the Italians do any work on guns larger than 16" beyond "back of napkin" sort of calculations?

The Italian 16"/56 sounds interesting and very powerful. I'm a bit skeptical about the practicality of a 16" AP shell significantly heavier than the US Mark 8. Around that weight range I'd expect engineers to meet the threshold where a shell becomes too long to stabilize properly throughout it's flight.

The only comparable guns I know of are the Soviet 16"/55 on the Slava (of which I can't find any historical information about), and the USN 16"/56 Mark 4 which was an experimental piece. Although new-build guns of that same caliber were briefly considered in post-Iowa class battleship development.

The longer this game is out, the weirder things will be to find niches, gimmicks for ships, ship lines to fill.  Why play some new ship line / ship if it's exactly the same as the one you already have right now?  It's going to get weirder.

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28 minutes ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

The longer this game is out, the weirder things will be to find niches, gimmicks for ships, ship lines to fill.  Why play some new ship line / ship if it's exactly the same as the one you already have right now?  It's going to get weirder.

For some players, they're happy enough to play Italian Battleships because they were real and beautiful ships.  That and you already have the SAP gimmick.

700350Roma.gif

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On 3/11/2021 at 3:40 PM, Lampshade_M1A2 said:

Thank you for the excellent assessment Phoenix. It's a shame that WG seemed to decide that the "gimmick" of the Italian T10s would be an absurd number of guns when that didn't fit their design practices by that time. If you ignore the same logistical problems that the Italians faced, (needing dockyards large enough for ships that big), maybe the French would have been unusual enough to put sixteen 15" guns on some sort of super-Alsace but even that seems unlikely.

Did the Italians do any work on guns larger than 16" beyond "back of napkin" sort of calculations?

No problem, always happy to weigh in, even if at this point I'm more dreading their efforts to incorporate Italian destroyers than I am looking forward to it...

The French, I don't think, were ever likely to go sticking that many of the 380mm on any upcoming battleships. They didn't even go for twelve in reality, when they chose between the three 'Alsace' varaints. Darlan was fairly set on acquiring a larger gun for the MN, requesting studies from the DAN for 400mm, 406mm, and 420mm on 20 July 1930, and likewise the entry for the 431mm naval gun in the French artillery archives comes from 1939, but due to the time it would take to develop a new gun and the need to lay down new battleships as soon as the slips were available, they weren't really an option. 

For the class we commonly call the 'Alsace'-class (though they actually didn't have a name beyond the informal 'classe Province' - Alsace was merely one of the names available for the two-ship class, along with Normandie, Flandre, and Bourgogne), the French ultimately ordered two the 'Type 1' 40,000-ton versions (3x3 380mm), in their last naval program (1 April 1940), though as far as anyone knows at this point in time they still thought the new German H-class battleships were 40,000 tons standard (which they were considerably more than), though they did correctly peg their armament at 406mm guns. It's possible the under-estimated the armor protection these ships might have and thus felt the 380mm was still adequate. 

If WWII had not happened when it did, but some years down the line, allowing for European battleship construction to run its course, it is hard to imagine the French would have stuck with the 380mm past the first pair of 40,000-ton battleships, as the true displacement of the H-class would have become apparent eventually, and likewise they would be faced with the Italians likely starting their 406mm battleships to their south. The British were also making their move on 406mm battleships before this, with the Lion-class. If the French had the ability to build a battleship large enough take four quads, they'd have certainly either built something slightly smaller with the 'classic' 4x3 406mm arrangement, or perhaps something different with the 431mm guns. Keeping in mind general size limitations, and the fact the French preferred the A-Y quad arrangement to the A-B arrangement, as much as I dislike République's appearance, it might make the most sense as far as main battery arrangements go if the French did go to a 431mm gun - though you'd still need a ship greater than 45,000 tons standard to do it for sure. That said, République's design is not the most rational (mixing 152mm and 127mm guns...), so you probably wouldn't need quite something of her displacement to get that armament either.

I've not seen any mention of any work done for guns past 406mm by Italy. Even the only 'back of napkin' design, which called for a 456mm gun (the Cassone battlecruiser), is barely that as the the battleship/battlecruiser sketched is merely a hypothetical for an article in the October 1921 edition of Rivista Marittima, and the admiral who authored it only 'created' the example as a means of illustrating some points on technical developments or potential future ships. 

On 3/11/2021 at 3:40 PM, Lampshade_M1A2 said:

The Italian 16"/56 sounds interesting and very powerful. I'm a bit skeptical about the practicality of a 16" AP shell significantly heavier than the US Mark 8. Around that weight range I'd expect engineers to meet the threshold where a shell becomes too long to stabilize properly throughout it's flight.

The only comparable guns I know of are the Soviet 16"/55 on the Slava (of which I can't find any historical information about), and the USN 16"/56 Mark 4 which was an experimental piece. Although new-build guns of that same caliber were briefly considered in post-Iowa class battleship development.

It's definitely worth being skeptical about. Unfortunately the thread most of the discussion about what was found on it has since been 'archived' by WG when the NA team reshuffled their forums, so that's kind of gone as a reference, but long story short we don't know a lot about it and how it was intended to work beyond the basic ballistics. Unfortunately, while I know the ship design was from CRDA, I don't know who was supposed to be working on the gun.

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1 hour ago, Phoenix_jz said:

The French, I don't think, were ever likely to go sticking that many of the 380mm on any upcoming battleships. They didn't even go for twelve in reality, when they chose between the three 'Alsace' varaints. Darlan was fairly set on acquiring a larger gun for the MN, requesting studies from the DAN for 400mm, 406mm, and 420mm on 20 July 1930, and likewise the entry for the 431mm naval gun in the French artillery archives comes from 1939, but due to the time it would take to develop a new gun and the need to lay down new battleships as soon as the slips were available, they weren't really an option. 

So no chance France would have gone the other direction and build a 24 gun ship with 330mm?

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11 hours ago, Sventex said:

So no chance France would have gone the other direction and build a 24 gun ship with 330mm?

Heh, yeah, no. They had been planning for three Dunkerque's but the 330mm basically went out the window in favor of the 380mm as soon as they heard the Italians were moving to build 381mm battleships.

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On 3/11/2021 at 2:57 PM, HazeGrayUnderway said:

The longer this game is out, the weirder things will be to find niches, gimmicks for ships, ship lines to fill.  Why play some new ship line / ship if it's exactly the same as the one you already have right now?  It's going to get weirder.

That's why I keep suggesting they go back in history, not forward or look for gimmick or fantasy ships to expand the game.  Expanding things to about 1850 to 1905 could be really fun to do.  There are all sorts of wild designs in that period.  Imagine trying to even hit something like a Monitor.  There's a turret and like a thin line of hull exposed with a deck.  With no plunging fire there's next to nothing to hit.

Change the map size to fit the lower speeds and shorter ranges of the guns.  Add smoke from the black powder guns to the mix where ships are creating their own smokescreens simply by firing.

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6 hours ago, Murotsu said:

That's why I keep suggesting they go back in history, not forward or look for gimmick or fantasy ships to expand the game.  Expanding things to about 1850 to 1905 could be really fun to do.  There are all sorts of wild designs in that period.  Imagine trying to even hit something like a Monitor.  There's a turret and like a thin line of hull exposed with a deck.  With no plunging fire there's next to nothing to hit.

Change the map size to fit the lower speeds and shorter ranges of the guns.  Add smoke from the black powder guns to the mix where ships are creating their own smokescreens simply by firing.

I've long talked about capping adding ships that weren't completed before the end of WWII.  There's a lot of weird sh*t now.  We got 1950s era ships, a few that were commissioned 1959, IIRC.

We got Ship Lines that are all fake (German CVs) or mostly fake.

 

I don't see much of 18th century ships added to the game, not unless WG magically announced new tiers and ships getting reshuffled to allow older ship eras.  Mikasa in Tier II was commissioned in 1902.  Cruiser Chester in Tier II in 1908.  Tier I Hashidate in 1894.  Another thing with the current system is that you don't see much in the way of Low Tier Premium Ships because they're cheap.  Ship costs are according to tier.

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1 hour ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

I've long talked about capping adding ships that weren't completed before the end of WWII.  There's a lot of weird sh*t now.  We got 1950s era ships, a few that were commissioned 1959, IIRC.

We got Ship Lines that are all fake (German CVs) or mostly fake.

 

I don't see much of 18th century ships added to the game, not unless WG magically announced new tiers and ships getting reshuffled to allow older ship eras.  Mikasa in Tier II was commissioned in 1902.  Cruiser Chester in Tier II in 1908.  Tier I Hashidate in 1894.  Another thing with the current system is that you don't see much in the way of Low Tier Premium Ships because they're cheap.  Ship costs are according to tier.

I think their heads are stuck in World of Tank's format.  There were no tanks before 1917 and there are a bunch of Cold War nonsense in that game.  I don't really think the idea really connects to them that have perfectly viable game with first-gen Dreadnoughts at tier 10.

Edited by Sventex

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57 minutes ago, Sventex said:

I think their heads are stuck in World of Tank's format.  There were no tanks before 1917 and there are a bunch of Cold War nonsense in that game.  I don't really think idea really connects to them that have perfectly viable game with first-gen Dreadnoughts at tier 10.

They certainly do with ships.  There are lots and lots of ships that would be winners for them in terms of salability.  How many players would want those circular Russian battleships for instance just for the weird-cool value?

You could have the whole smoothbore versus rifle debate going (more hitting power, faster loading, but poorer accuracy vs more accuracy and penetration but less hitting power and slower loading). Quick fire, breechloading, muzzle loading, and everything in between.  There are battleships with monster 18" + guns.  Towards the end of this period you get torpedo boats.

There's also the nationality / pride angle.  There are all sorts of viable ships from countries that'll never get a ship in the game as it is.  Make them like an "Other" category where you work up a tech tree for different nations but can cross from one to another as you go.  Something like the Pan Asian line, say a South American line or a Scandinavian  line.  Having viable Danish, Swedish, Dutch, Norwegian, even Finnish ships would give a great mix.

Then there's the whole large cruiser thing of this period.  Towards the end there's a bunch of great large armored cruisers that would make for fun play.

Since we know they're not going to start adding missiles and modern ships, going back to these earlier ones would be great fun and open a whole new aspect to the game.

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I'm writing and article abouth the Marco Polo and I couldn't find a direct text explaining the origin of these design.

Yet is obviusly more logical than the tier x. Curiously enought there is an Ansaldo design with 15 guns...but it was a proposal for Argentina around 1909. Probably the ugliest battleship I had ever seen. Far in style and time from the tier 10.

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