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Why didn't the KGVs get 3x Triple Turret?
 
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Flakstruk

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Post subject: Why didn't the KGVs get 3x Triple Turret?  Reply with quote   (Liked by:0)  Like this post
Why didn't the RN equip the Kings with triple turrets that provide the option to upgun to 15 or 16 at a later date?
PostWed May 13, 2015 5:07 am
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because the availability of the Ships at an earlier date made all the difference.

It was the might of the British Navy that compelled hitler to sign on to the Munich agreement and secure "peace in our time". A might that would not have been in place if the KGV's were not in service.  Wink  going with the 14" prevents WW2 ! Rolling Eyes


the designs are a result of a compromise:
from 3x4x14" down to only 10 guns due to the size of the ship overall as well as the issues with a 4x super-firing B turret. (never mind what the Dunquerques look like...)

But also adherence to the treaty which would have created/required delays in up gunning. The KGV's were indeed available before the North Carolina (which from my read was all about the formal requirements to up-gun only AFTER a certain condition had been met). Pathetic reasoning when you think of it, given the amount of treaty cheating.
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PostWed May 13, 2015 6:09 am
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Flakstruk

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That's what I'm getting at, why not fit triple turrets of 14s that you can up gun of the requirement arises. The 2x4 + 1x2 arrangement locked them into the 14" no matter what.
Surely it would have been easier to copy the Nelson turret plan and equip with the new 14" gun.
PostWed May 13, 2015 6:23 am
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Well, why would they want to lose three guns rather than two? Afterall they didn't know that the quad turrets would prove troublesome at that point.
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PostWed May 13, 2015 6:15 pm
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'Warspite'

 

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I seem to recall reading somewhere that there were top weight considerations. Triple turrets would have meant extra armour and extra gun/s carried higher in the ship.

Two quad turrets kept the weight lower and the super-firing forward turret has only two barrels, a smaller turret/gunhouse and fewer hoists supplying shells.

A secondary consideration is that the 5.25-inch turrets get an improved forward sky-arc with a two-gun (narrower) turret in the B turret position.
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PostWed May 13, 2015 9:09 pm
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Flakstruk wrote:
That's what I'm getting at, why not fit triple turrets of 14s that you can up gun of the requirement arises.


They made a plan that committed them to never up gunning those ships. The war planning and politics were in sync - and totally wrong - but co-ordinated none the less. There was to be no war. BB's in the water with big guns was going to help prevent that.

Leaving room to do anything else is called 'hedging' or 'contingency planning' which are both quite close to admitting you could be wrong. I'm not even sure the message 'sunk' in (pardon the pun) until 10 Dec 41.
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PostWed May 13, 2015 10:18 pm
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Flakstruk

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I guess it's a case of 20/20 retrospect
PostWed May 13, 2015 10:44 pm
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Flakstruk wrote:
I guess it's a case of 20/20 retrospect


I totally agree. Britain had the world's mightiest Navy, which meant 2 other things, both expensive. They had the greatest maintenance cost and the greatest replacement cost.

They wanted to reduce both, and one way to do that was to talk everyone else downward, and they (naively) thought that if they led the way, all others would follow.

However, other countries were more worried about other countries (only a fool would fight England!) so they looked at what each other was doing and ignored the fact that England kept to the 14" guns.

In some ways, it was a noble gesture. In some ways, it was very naïve. Yes, a "contingency plan" would have been "wise". However, it's "hard to be humble, when you perfect in every way ..."
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PostWed May 13, 2015 11:11 pm
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I believe trying to get the $$$ from the government was also an issue. I mean, the KGV class was 5 ships (all laid down before 39), which is a pretty huge investment when there isn't an active war happening.


Also at 5 ships they are, in WaS terms, the only "unlimited" class of battleships as I think WotC only counted to 4
PostThu May 14, 2015 12:43 am
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Note that these ships were sucessful in all of the surface battles they fought in.  They did well in WW2. Usually Axis BBs tried to aviod them.
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PostThu May 14, 2015 1:03 am
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'Warspite'

 

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For those of you unaware of it, the classic volumes for Royal Navy warship design are the books written by D.K. Brown… "Warrior to Dreadnought", "The Grand Fleet" and "Nelson to Vanguard". While having battleships in their titles these books cover all aspects of Royal Navy design including dreadnoughts, carriers, cruisers, destroyers, submarines and some auxiliaries.

Referring to my copy of his third volume, "Nelson to Vanguard" we learn the the RN favoured a reduction in battleship gun calibres to meet possible treaty restrictions and had followed a somewhat similar policy with cruisers, reducing from 8-inch to 6-inch guns.

Eleven studies were produced in 1935 for a new battleship class - three with 16-in guns, two with 15-inch and six with 14-inch. All had 20 x 4.5-inch guns as dual-purpose secondaries but speeds varied from 27/30 knots down to as low as 23 knots. It should be noted that 1934 designs had actually looked at a return to the 12-inch gun.

In September 1935 their Lordships (the Admiralty) learned that the US would agree to a 14-inch gun treaty limitation if the Japanese would. It appeared fitting that Britain should lead the way as the Japanese still looked to British designs and British practice. (e.g. Japanese liquid oxygen torpedoes had followed British experimentation with the same additive **see below).

In October 1935, 12 x 14-inch guns and 28 knots were agreed upon but discussions centred on armour and design with issues like should one funnel or two be used. One funnel was favoured as it might interfere with the enemy's visual range-finding (i.e. the gap between two funnels could be used to estimate inclination and 'rate of change' in the target's course). Other factors considered were the number of propellor shafts and height of the armour deck.

It came down to the old trade-off between guns and armour… more of one means less of the other. At this point the views of Admiral Chatfield were sought and the answer came back: "… the effect on Chatfield is such that he feels under no circumstances will he be responsible for a ship which has the faintest chance of blowing up…"  It should be pointed out that Chatfield was Beatty's flag captain at Jutland, he had witnessed HMS Queen Mary blow up and was the target of Beatty's famous comment of 'there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today Chatfield'.

The short version was that two guns came off the 12-gun design in favour of more armour. Then came the discussion as to where the twin turret would be placed. Believe it or not, the twin was suggested in all three turret positions, A, B and Y.

Y was suggested as it would reduce weight aft, ease docking stresses and reduce muzzle blast on the catapult aircraft.

A was suggested as the central citadel of the ship could move forward (creating more space for magazines under the quad turret at Y position) as well as produce design improvements forward - finer hull lines due to reduced magazine space under A.

B was suggested as it also allowed the citadel to move forward (see A), created less muzzle blast around the bridge area and allowed greatest weight saving. At that height (super-firing above A) this weight saving would also mean less top weight and might allow armour on lower decks to be brought higher in the ship.

As we know the two-gun B turret was the final choice but the book reveals that all turret and gun designs were delivered late due to design and production bottlenecks.

Another change was a shift from 20 x 4.5-inch to 16 x 5.25-inch which the author acknowledges - in hindsight - was not a good idea. Brown suggests the 4.5s would have been more effective.

** Torpedoes footnote - the Japanese knew that Britain was experimenting with boosting oxygen content of the compressed air normally used. Increased oxygen content allowed the internal combustion engines in the torpedoes to burn more efficiently or for longer. Britain eventually discontinued 'enriched air' due to the risks of having oxygen in the vicinity of any ship-board fire. The Japanese supposed that we had continued with our experiments and they eventually mastered the all-oxygen boosted engine.

Those of us who tinker with car engines will be aware of the advantages of nitrous-oxide boost, liquid oxygen torpedoes were the naval version. Of course the Japanese were less concerned about the ship-board fire risk and thus the Long Lance torpedo was born.
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Last edited by 'Warspite' on Fri May 15, 2015 10:24 am; edited 3 times in total
PostThu May 14, 2015 6:34 pm
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Toronado3800

 

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Interesting read Warspite.

Thanks for taking the time to type all that.
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PostFri May 15, 2015 1:56 am
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'Warspite'

 

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Toronado3800 wrote:
Interesting read Warspite.

Thanks for taking the time to type all that.



You are most welcome. I do tend to revel in the detail. My syntax was awful so I have made some minor edits since you read it.
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PostFri May 15, 2015 10:15 am
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Flakstruk

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We should probably be thankful that the KM didn't get thier hands on the Japanese torpedo designs, that could have made things interesting for the RN
PostFri May 15, 2015 10:42 am
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'Warspite'

 

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Flakstruk wrote:
We should probably be thankful that the KM didn't get thier hands on the Japanese torpedo designs, that could have made things interesting for the RN


Fortunately (for the RN) the Germans did not think highly of Japanese technology due to their political views on non-Aryans, etc. The technology trade was one-way, German technology going to Japan (DB engines, pulse-jets, the MGFF cannon) in return for Japanese-sourced raw materials such as rubber, copper and tungsten. Japan even bought a Tiger and a Panther tank although - by that time - there was no means to deliver either of them to Japan.

Whether the Japanese would have given the Germans the Long Lance technology is a moot point. While the Axis alliance of Germany and Italy was always a geographical/political thing, the alliance with Japan was rather more: "My enemy's enemy is my friend". At least in private I am sure that Nazi Germany looked down on Japan in the same way that they despised the 'eastern hordes' of the Soviets.
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PostFri May 15, 2015 1:50 pm
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With all the initial problems the French had with their own quad turrets, you would think the UK would have gone to triple turrets instead.  9x 14" guns honestly would have been enough to deal with all German capital ships not named Tirpitz I would think...


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PostWed May 20, 2015 7:42 pm
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