Dread Nought but the Fury of the Seas

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by sts-200, Aug 10, 2019.

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  1. SsgtC Ready to Call it a Day

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    That was a problem across triple and three gun turrets across all navies though. And it was fairly quickly solved by putting a fraction of a second delay in firing the center gun. And the problem was the muzzle blast affecting the shells as they exited the barrel, nothing with the guns themselves.
     
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  2. Jellico Well-Known Member

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    The problem with Fisher was that he rarely left evidence of what he was really, really, I mean it this time really, up to. Classic five steps ahead type who was really good at public relations and misdirection. Were R&R and the follies built to invade the Baltic? Who the heck knows. The RN had an issue at the time chasing raider battle cruisers and ocean liners and the Baltic expedition becomes a very convenient excuse to get some big fast hulls built. Fisher seemed to not be afraid of disposable ships. Use once, build the next model. R&R and follies seem to match that concept. Damn the WNT again.

    As for speed is armor? Maybe that was Fisher's real belief. OTOH fast ships get into action and produce decisive results. That is what his Mediterranean experience showed, and every battle cruiser lived a far more exciting and productive lives than their battleship equivalents.
     
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  3. Cryhavoc101 Well-Known Member

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    Everything he did does seem to have been a boon for the Navy - thats for sure. So there is much in what you say!

    A very interesting man.

    And he was lucky enough to have met the great Victorian hero Sir Harry Paget Flashman VC, KCB, KCIE as a young midshipman in China!
     
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  4. sts-200 Well-Known Member

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    They were too small, overgunned, too slow, built hastily and on the sly - in other words a typical 1st Gen dreadnought built by/for a second-rate naval power. Most (or all) of those criticisms can be hurled at the South Carolinas, the Nassaus, Minas Gerais, Aligheiri...
    I believe Svent Istvan was particularly badly built and handled very poorly, partly due to her being a slightly different design, but I've not come across anything grossly out of the ordinary for the other 3 (all ships had issues like sprung rivets on firing trials to some degree).

    It wasn't a detonation, but having read your comment, I see there's a piece of wording that might be misleading (I do proofread, but it's one of those things that only gets noticed when other people read it).
    I wrote about an explosion blowing the roof off a turret - I meant the explosion of the shell - but I've come back and talked about it after mentioning the fire in the hoist, suggesting a magazine-type explosion, which as you say would almost certainly sink the ship.
    I've edited the chapter to be clearer. Many thanks - it's great to get this feedback.
    With all this; fire protection/magazine flooding and the ranges, it's not impossible to think that the Germans might have given their allies some pointers based on their experiences so far - particularly with the fire on Goeben at the story's Dogger Bank, and the need to shoot at long range.
    The Austrians have also just seen a Queen Elizabeth come over the horizon; they know they've got a fight on their hands, and they don't want to engage, they want to run for the coast - no more than 30 miles away.
    As to fire improving, well again it often did in the early stages of an engagement, and so far we are only about 15 minutes into the main action...

    Finally - Yes, despite what I've said above, there is a bit of storytelling going on here. This battle was 'gamed', and was then made into a story. There will be others, and one in particular, that have been purely 'gamed' (i.e. no 'creative nudges'), with interesting results.
     
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  5. SsgtC Ready to Call it a Day

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    Keep in mind, an armor piercing shell only has a bursting charge of between 40-60 pounds. That's not nearly enough to blow the roof off a turret. That takes a magazine explosion or the detonation of ready charges in the turret.
     
  6. sts-200 Well-Known Member

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    Fisher is being a little sneakier in the story, and he's already used up more turrets on the Renowns, so there is less of a choice.
    Perhaps the Follies are not seen as the magnificently high-quality product they were in real life :). All will become clear in due course...

    I think British dislike of the guns was more along the lines of "not invented here" than anything else. I have no doubt they were 'export grade' - i.e. not quite as good as one might build for oneself. On average, US guns seem to have been less accurate than the British ones (right up to the 2nd WW), however it is possible to argue that a slightly spread pattern gave a better chance of scoring a hit in pre-radar days, so that isn't necessarily a flaw in any American designs.
    Roberts, Raglan etc.. gave reasonably good service once the bugs were worked out (and don't you wish they'd stuck with the original names, however politically inappropriate they were - even by 1915 standards).
     
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  7. sts-200 Well-Known Member

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    Seconded; He was a visionary, who was right about almost everything he said - just not always at the time he said it!
    The ill-defined Baltic plan, and the associated 'need' to develop fast ships and 18 or 20" guns to go with them is certainly very convenient for someone with an eye on 'a fleet for 1920'.
    However, he'd been at the top for too long, and by 1915, he'd lost the ability to see any point of view other than his own.
    In the story, he might survive to innovate a little longer (for good or ill), as he can't fall out with Churchill over Gallipoli.

    As for speed is armour - his opinions seemed rather variable on that issue, as he was a proponent of fast battleships long before anyone built one, but there's no denying that his later BC concepts all gave up a lot of protection.
     
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  8. sts-200 Well-Known Member

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    Anyone who wanted a gas-turbine driven submersible battlecruiser - in 1912 - is certainly interesting!

    It took over forty years and the other great naval innovator of the 20th C. - Admiral Rickover - to make it happen.
     
  9. Cryhavoc101 Well-Known Member

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    While keeping your powder dry and not giving anything away would you mind sharing which system you used to war game these scenarios?
     
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  10. sts-200 Well-Known Member

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    Not at all, but it's one I came up with from first principles. Unfortunately therefore, I can't point you at anything you can look at.

    The root of it is a plot of the action (as per any naval history book), to scale, gamed over 5 minute intervals.
    Very important to keep one's thoughts separate, and record what's going on for each side, so I try to ensure that both sides act on what THEY see and want to do, not what the enemy (or yours truly) might want them to do. Obviously, there's scope for 'fiddle factor' there, but I try to assume that commanders act rationally based on their orders and what they know.
    Even at a battle as vast and confused as Jutland, I can only think of two violations of that rule (and even then both are debatable) - Arbuthnot's cruiser charge and Evan-Thomas' not turning around.

    When firing occurs, except in exceptional circumstances it's 1 RPGPM. Most navies fired faster than that, but they didn't often fire continuously at a high rate for more than a few minutes, so it roughly averages out, as I don't make minute-by-minute allowances for the effects of smoke, or for that idiot A/B Johnson jamming a gun etc...
    Hits are random, but the probability is based on range, sea state, visibility, number of guns operational, rangefinder accuracy, general state of damage and factors to do with the movements of the ships (i.e. a ship that's just completed a major turn isn't going to be shooting very well for a few minutes). I manually (but still using a random number) try to include 'odd factors' such as the occasional mechanical failure/systematically poor training etc...
    I never increase the number of hits manually, only reduce it.

    The location of any hit is also random, plotted on a profile view of the ship in question, hence I can be quite specific.
    What happens as a consequence is based on what the shell hits. If it's armour (and the result isn't obvious - e.g. a 15" shell hitting 4" armour), then the ballistics of the gun and the resulting velocity of impact comes into play, using the US Navy empirical formula, and a modifier to allow for different qualities of armour and shell (e.g. British shells in 1915 show worse results for off-normal hits than German ones).
    There's a bit of 'fuzziness' around the question 'Does it penetrate?' as there are such things as partial penetrations (e.g. if the formula says the shell would penetrate 9.7" and it hit a 9" plate, I might say 'the plate broke, but kept the body of the shell out')
    Even if it gets through, there's another random factor - does the shell explode? (and if it only just makes it through, the fuse/shell might be broken, so probably not).
    However, even if it doesn't explode, it might still do some damage.

    The effects of direct magazine hits or turret hits are fairly easy to model, but general flooding, equipment failures and damage to other areas is also noted, and fed back into the next round.
    Obviously, a good deal of this is taken care of by a computer program, which also means there's less scope for me 'improving' on the randomness along the way.

    Is it perfect - certainly not.
    Does it produce an interesting and broadly believable result - well, you'll have to see what happens...
     
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  11. sts-200 Well-Known Member

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    In a funny way, I'm also glad you find something just a little 'off' about this particular battle. I originally gamed it using similar, but slightly different (and fictional) ships, for a story I half-wrote a while ago.
    I recycled and rewrote it for this story, without re-gaming it (it's a time-consuming process, and there is a limit to my enthusiasm!), so there's more 'fiddle factor' than there might otherwise be. Anyway, it's better than the Austrian Navy sitting in Pola throughout the war, and who knows, someone might learn something from it ... or not, as the case may be.
     
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  12. Cryhavoc101 Well-Known Member

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    The best lessons are learned by the survivors
     
  13. CV12Hornet Well-Known Member

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    Alighieri, the South Carolinas, and the Nassaus were not nearly this bad. None of the issues listed except speed for the Nassaus and South Carolinas popped up for those ships. They weren't as unstable, they didn't have the problems with the propeller layout that caused the listing, and they certainly weren't suffocating their turret crews. I know less about Minas Geraes, but considering they were British-built I doubt the problems were anywhere near as bad as the Tegetthoffs.

    I'm Ssgtc here: a single armor-piercing shell isn't going to be able to cause the kind of effects you've described. That said, that's a quibble at this point; I can withdraw my idea that the ship goes under because of this.

    But if this is gamed out... fine. I still think they shouldn't have done this well, but that's me thinking their shooting is too good now rather than ships not going under that should. That said, if the Austrian ships are still shooting in the next update I'm going to be rather cross.
     
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  14. Stenz Don't judge the past by the standards of today... Monthly Donor

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    And he’s credited with the first use of the term “OMG”...
     
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  15. Spencersj345.346 Well-Known Member

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    Truely a revolutionary thinker
     
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  16. FriendlyGhost Haunting history for 45+ yrs

    Order More Guns?
     
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  17. Spencersj345.346 Well-Known Member

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    No silly order massive guns
     
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  18. FriendlyGhost Haunting history for 45+ yrs

    I actually wrote that first then changed it! I knew I should have left it alone - always go with your first answer... :biggrin:
     
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  19. Cryhavoc101 Well-Known Member

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    Actually he ordered smaller guns but ones that could fire faster!
     
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  20. Stenz Don't judge the past by the standards of today... Monthly Donor

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    [​IMG]
     
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