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Inconsistent Belt Armor on N3-class Design

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Before they were cancelled in accordance with the Washington Treaty, the N3-class battleships were to be the first Royal Navy battleships to adopt an "all-or-nothing" armor scheme. "All-or-nothing" schemes, by definition, involve putting very heavy armor over the ship's vital sections and light or no armor anywhere else, with no armor of intermediate thickness. On the N3-class design, though, there is a stretch of belt armor over the engine spaces where the belt armor thickness is 343 mm, as opposed to 381 mm everywhere else. If the design's 381 mm belt was supposed to block shells up to a certain caliber, then having weaker armor over the engines would mean that they would be vulnerable to those shells and the ship would be at risk of being crippled. If the design was supposed to engage ships carrying guns that could be stopped by 343 mm of armor, though, then there is no reason to give the rest of the citadel heavier armor than that. These factors would have been apparent to the designers, so can anyone explain why the choice was made to have inconsistent belt armor thickness?

 

Here's a diagram showing the inconsistency, stolen from one of mr3awesome's posts:

 

i8u1S4p.jpg

 

Edited by Terran_Crusader

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343mm over machinery because it does not go boom?

 

Honestly it could have been a number of things that made them come up with this...either weight savings or priority of importance. Magazine spaces are more vital to british engineers  maybe because of the results of jutland?  That's my opinion anyway.

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Its to save weight. 

 

 

That seems like the most reasonable explanation. Leaving a critical section vulnerable to shells that other critical sections could resist seems like it makes the entire ship vulnerable, though, and it would probably be worth the extra weight to have 381 mm over the entire citadel. But then, I'm not a team of 20th century naval officers and engineers, so what do I know?

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You can take a few hits to the boilers and survive.

 

​True: a ship that's dead in the water is still in better shape than one that's been destroyed by a magazine explosion. However, working engines are still vital to survival: a battleship that lost its engines would become an easy target and likely be destroyed by concentrated fire. The N3 design, by putting 343 mm or armor over a vital system, is making itself at least somewhat vulnerable to any shells capable of penetrating 343 mm, no matter how heavy the armor on the rest of the citadel is. It just seems very odd that the Royal Navy, which generally prioritized protection above all in its post-Jutland designs, would accept weakened armor on a critical system over an increase in tonnage or sacrifice in some other area.

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The N3 design, by putting 343 mm or armor over a vital system, is making itself at least somewhat vulnerable to any shells capable of penetrating 343 mm, no matter how heavy the armor on the rest of the citadel is. It just seems very odd that the Royal Navy, which generally prioritized protection above all in its post-Jutland designs, would accept weakened armor on a critical system over an increase in tonnage or sacrifice in some other area.

 

You might want to consider the weapons of the era. A 16 inch gun of the time could have barely penetrated vertical 343 mm at 15,000 yards, the range that most of the fighting would have occurred.

 

Basically, think of this in terms of personal protection. Would you be slapping on lots of marginally useful armor on your joints, or would you rather take a bit out for better mobility?

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343mm over machinery because it does not go boom?

 

Honestly it could have been a number of things that made them come up with this...either weight savings or priority of importance. Magazine spaces are more vital to british engineers  maybe because of the results of jutland?  That's my opinion anyway.

I would agree on Jutland having created a mentality which placed a bonus on magazine's protection, something that doesn't have any real equivalent outside the Royal Navy. For the record, belt armour of different thickness was retained in Nelson (14in magazines, 13in machinery), King George V and Vanguard (15in magazines, 14in machinery). This logic was applied to an extreme in the "box protection" of the 8in treaty cruisers, which except for York and Exeter were practically unprotected over the machinery area.

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I would agree on Jutland having created a mentality which placed a bonus on magazine's protection, something that doesn't have any real equivalent outside the Royal Navy. 

Japanese heavy cruisers+partially Rechilleu(deck thickness).

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You might want to consider the weapons of the era. A 16 inch gun of the time could have barely penetrated vertical 343 mm at 15,000 yards, the range that most of the fighting would have occurred.

 

Basically, think of this in terms of personal protection. Would you be slapping on lots of marginally useful armor on your joints, or would you rather take a bit out for better mobility?

 

​I wouldn't call it "marginally" useful. That extra 38 mm of armor over a critical system is the difference between being able to engage with relative impunity any enemies that can't pen 381 mm and "only" being able to engage with relative impunity any enemies that can't pen 343 mm, and would probably be worth a higher tonnage or sacrifice in another area. Ships that could pen even 343 mm would have been rare at the time, but surely the RN designers must have anticipated and planned against increases in the power of rival nations' weaponry. That's just my personal, no-naval-architectural-expertise assessment of its benefit, though, and the RN design panel obviously had a different philosophy.

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That's just my personal, no-naval-architectural-expertise assessment of its benefit, though, and the RN design panel obviously had a different philosophy.

 

That would be called hindsight, never mind ignoring that the side armor in question was sloped.

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​I wouldn't call it "marginally" useful. That extra 38 mm of armor over a critical system is the difference between being able to engage with relative impunity any enemies that can't pen 381 mm and "only" being able to engage with relative impunity any enemies that can't pen 343 mm, and would probably be worth a higher tonnage or sacrifice in another area. Ships that could pen even 343 mm would have been rare at the time, but surely the RN designers must have anticipated and planned against increases in the power of rival nations' weaponry. That's just my personal, no-naval-architectural-expertise assessment of its benefit, though, and the RN design panel obviously had a different philosophy.

Size limitations. Primarily dockyards, and the Suez & Panama canals. 

 

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It looks like the armor is thinner over the boilers only, not the reduction gears or turbines. You can lose pretty much all but one of your boilers and keep moving (if verrrrry slowly),  depending on how your machinery is set up. So it makes sense to save some weight there. 

 

Edit... Nevermind. Reduction gears and half the turbine rooms are protected by the thinner armor. Boilers you have a few of... Turbines and especially reduction gears? Not so much... 

Edited by Show_Me_Your_Cits

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That would be called hindsight, never mind ignoring that the side armor in question was sloped.

 

​It's not hindsight: these factors would have been apparent during the design process as well. The fact that the armor was sloped is irrelevant: 343 mm of armor at 18 degrees is still thinner than 381 mm of armor at 18 degrees, and so the relative weakness would still exist. Try to pay attention, D.

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​It's not hindsight: these factors would have been apparent during the design process as well. The fact that the armor was sloped is irrelevant: 343 mm of armor at 18 degrees is still thinner than 381 mm of armor at 18 degrees, and so the relative weakness would still exist. Try to pay attention, D.

 

I know you';re just trying to wiggle your way out of the hole you're in, but let's be frank here: You're looking at this as a sort of game. Any additional armor is offset by something, be it finances, speed, extra displacement, ability to go through the Suez Canal, etc etc. It isn't the simple method of "INCREASE ARMOR" when you always have trade-offs.

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I know you';re just trying to wiggle your way out of the hole you're in, but let's be frank here: You're looking at this as a sort of game. Any additional armor is offset by something, be it finances, speed, extra displacement, ability to go through the Suez Canal, etc etc. It isn't the simple method of "INCREASE ARMOR" when you always have trade-offs.

 

:hmm:​...You didn't read any of my previous posts, did you? My argument is that having a homogenously strong belt is worth​ the trade-offs. Again: pay attention, D.

 

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My argument is that having a homogenously strong belt is worth​ the trade-offs. Again: pay attention, D.

 

You know, the fact you haven't figured out your "argument" does not deserve the dignity of being called as such truly astonishes me.

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You know, the fact you haven't figured out your "argument" does not deserve the dignity of being called as such truly astonishes me.

 

And now we've reached the endpoint of any attempt at debate with Daigensui: the part where she runs out of ways to willfully misconstrue her opponent's arguement and just starts insulting them.

 

You seem to say that the belief that homogenous belt armor is worth increased tonnage is one too absurd to respond to. Given your history of not supporting your own arguements, though, I'm certain you simply don't have a way to objectively prove that non-homogenous armor is superior to homogenous armor, just as I can't objectively prove the reverse. The ideal battleship armor scheme is one that was never objectively decided upon by naval architects and theorists, and is something you and I lack the expertise to conclusively determine.

 

That said, I look forwards to your next post, in which you claim that owning old books means that you totally can prove that objectively and that you are the greatest naval thinker since Mahan. Given your dedication to ego-stroking, nothing would surprise me.

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homogenous belt armor

 

1. "Homogenuous" is used to note that the armor inside and outside are the same, as an opposite to face-hardened armor. The word is never used to mean a single piece of armor. 

2. The side belt is made up of slabs of armor, not one continuous single piece. These pieces were bolted/welded to the ship after being held together with keys of various shapes. Therefore, there is no difference whether you use the same thickness throughout or use different thicknesses, since integrity-wise the side belt would be the same either way.

 

The fact you don't even know these basic elements of naval side belt armor shows you have no idea of what you're talking about, and not worth the trouble of educating. 

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1. "Homogenuous" is used to note that the armor inside and outside are the same, as an opposite to face-hardened armor. The word is never used to mean a single piece of armor. 

2. The side belt is made up of slabs of armor, not one continuous single piece. These pieces were bolted/welded to the ship after being held together with keys of various shapes. Therefore, there is no difference whether you use the same thickness throughout or use different thicknesses, since integrity-wise the side belt would be the same either way.

 

The fact you don't even know these basic elements of naval side belt armor shows you have no idea of what you're talking about, and not worth the trouble of educating.

 

My mistake, you were able to find ​two more ways to misconstrue the discussion. Color me impressed.

1. "Homogenous" has more than one meaning, and I have spent this entire thread talking about the thickness of belt armor. I know the English language must be difficult for you, but you should still be able to piece together the concept of "homogenous" being applied to the armor's thickness, not its material consistency.

2. I've only spent the entire thread talking about the protective value of homogenous armor thickness (yup! still using "homogenous!"), so it should be apparent, even to you, that I am talking about the relative ability of 343 mm vs 381 mm to stop shells.

 

The fact that you refer to "naval side belt armor" indicates that you don't understand that all belt armor is on or in the ship's side, unless you plan on telling me about little known "naval roof belt armor." Perhaps you are not as well educated on naval terminology as you think you are.

 

By the way, I'm still looking forwards to hearing about how owning old books makes you a better naval architect and theorist than Jackie Fisher and Alfred Mahan combined. Or maybe you'll just make an empty insult. Or type "lulz" over and over. Only time will tell.

Edited by Terran_Crusader
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1. "Homogenous" has more than one meaning, and I have spent this entire thread talking about the thickness of belt armor. I know the English language must be difficult for you, but you should still be able to piece together the concept of "homogenous" being applied to the armor's thickness, not its material consistency.

 

Nice try, but no. You either use the correct jargon, or show yourself to be a fool. I see you've chosen the latter.

 

 

2. I've only spent the entire thread talking about the protective value of homogenous armor thickness (yup! still using "homogenous!"), so it should be apparent, even to you, that I am talking about the relative ability of 343 mm vs 381 mm to stop shells.

 

There is no virtue to having useless marginal armor. It's just deadweight protecting a relatively lese essential art of the ship at the cost of finance, displacement, industrial capacity, mobility, speed, etc etc etc. Get that into your head.

 

Try learning.

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Nice try, but no. You either use the correct jargon, or show yourself to be a fool. I see you've chosen the latter.

 

 

 

There is no virtue to having useless marginal armor. It's just deadweight protecting a relatively lese essential art of the ship at the cost of finance, displacement, industrial capacity, mobility, speed, etc etc etc. Get that into your head.

 

Try learning.

 

​There's no shame in admitting that you're confused by the usage of words outside the narrow context within which you are familiar with them. By learning how a word can and often is used, your vocabulary can become much more versatile. After all, jargon is born of common usage of a term within a particular group; it doesn't trump the Oxford English Dictionary.

 

And yup, Daigensui thinks that she knows exactly what armor thickness should be where. It's too bad you weren't around when battleships were being designed, so you could have told all the actual experts exactly how they should armor their ships and they could have had a good laugh at your expense. I imagine that the USN design boards would get a particular kick out of your opinions, seeing as how they pioneered the "all-or-nothing" armor scheme and tended to put equal thickness armor over the machinery and magazine spaces.

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​There's no shame in admitting that you're confused by the usage of words outside the narrow context within which you are familiar with them. By learning how a word can and often is used, your vocabulary can become much more versatile. After all, jargon is born of common usage of a term within a particular group; it doesn't trump the Oxford English Dictionary.\

 

Sorry that we here do not accept pathetic excuses for simple utter ignorance. 

 

 

And yup, Daigensui thinks that she knows exactly what armor thickness should be where. It's too bad you weren't around when battleships were being designed, so you could have told all the actual experts exactly how they should armor their ships and they could have had a good laugh at your expense.

 

Actually, you're the one doing that throughout this thread, not I. Nice try, but no dice.

 

 

I imagine that the USN design boards would get a particular kick out of your opinions, seeing as how they pioneered the "all-or-nothing" armor scheme and tended to put equal thickness armor over the machinery and magazine spaces.

 

USN could afford that because they designed the other specs to accommodate such a layout. This is where your lack of comprehension is hindering you: RN put more focus on speed than USN, thus they were more willing to shave off side belt over the boilers for faster speed. 

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Sorry that we here do not accept pathetic excuses for simple utter ignorance. 

 

Actually, you're the one doing that throughout this thread, not I. Nice try, but no dice.

 

USN could afford that because they designed the other specs to accommodate such a layout. This is where your lack of comprehension is hindering you: RN put more focus on speed than USN, thus they were more willing to shave off side belt over the boilers for faster speed. 

 

See, now we just disagree on which definition should have priority. I trust the most respected institution in the English language. You trust the narrow usage you've heard most often.

 

No, just you. I'm giving my opinion on what the ideal armor layout is, and acknowledging that it is opinion. You're giving you're opinion on what the ideal armor layout is, and then getting frustrated when I don't treat it as objective fact.

 

Terran_Crusader: "My argument is that having a homogenously strong belt is worth the trade-offs." i.e. speed, cost, size, etc.

USN Design Philosophy: Ditto.

RN Design Philosophy: We prefer to put heavier armor over our magazines. Jutland was a very traumatic experience for us, okay?

Dai (can I call you Dai?): "There is no virtue to having useless marginal armor. It's just deadweight etc."

 

The design experts of major naval powers of the dreadnought era couldn't agree on the best armor arrangement, but you seem convinced that you have figured it out objectively and are offended that the USN and I don't acknowledge your supposed brilliance. 

 

Looking forwards to your next post/series of empty insults,

Terran

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