Bismark vs. Yamato - Page 4




 
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January 11th, 2009  
perseus
 
 
The most probable range at impact was in the vicinity of 18,100 meters (as indicated by the extensive assessment of the conflicting accounts by Juren's) at this distance the angle of shot would be at 14 degrees. I think it impossible that a deck penetration could happen at this angle as indicated by the armour charts. Even if the range was greater it is very unlikely due to the still shallow angle.

The reason why I persue this is because there seems the be a persistent myth about the vulnerability of battle-cruisers, particularly due to the lack of deck armour. Yet I'm not aware of any battle-cruiser being sunk for this reason alone. True the deck would be more vulnerable than a true Battleship from very long range, but what are the chances of it being hit? To strengthen the deck further would have been counterproductive since it would only reduce speed or range and is probably adds very little additional protection in practice. You cannot make a ship invulnerable to everything, you can only minimise the chance by making the armour consistent in relation to the chances of a strike and this is what seems to be the case according to Juren's article.
January 11th, 2009  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by perseus
The reason why I persue this is because there seems the be a persistent myth about the vulnerability of battle-cruisers, particularly due to the lack of deck armour. Yet I'm not aware of any battle-cruiser being sunk for this reason alone.

I reckon Hood would fall into that category, call it a lucky or unlucky shot, depending on what side your were on. From all the evidence I have read, it was a plunging shot that sank her. I have also heard/read that if another 3 inches of armour plate had been added to her deck, Bismarks shell would not have gone through the deck into the magazine.
January 11th, 2009  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
I reckon Hood would fall into that category, call it a lucky or unlucky shot, depending on what side your were on. From all the evidence I have read, it was a plunging shot that sank her. I have also heard/read that if another 3 inches of armour plate had been added to her deck, Bismarks shell would not have gone through the deck into the magazine.
I am still not convinced as the Hood had already been hit and had fires burning in the area due to a shell hitting 4' Ready Use magazine in the same location.

To be honest everything I read seems indecisive they cant determine whether the initial fires on the Hood were cause by the Bismarck or the Prinz Eugen as they fired at the same time and I have not seen anything conclusive that says that the collateral damage from the initial hits did not cause the explosion.

I think that the story we have is a "best guess" one based on the principle that the Royal Navy would sooner have its flagship sunk by the "Mighty Bismarck" than a Heavy Cruiser.
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January 12th, 2009  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
I am still not convinced as the Hood had already been hit and had fires burning in the area due to a shell hitting 4' Ready Use magazine in the same location.

To be honest everything I read seems indecisive they cant determine whether the initial fires on the Hood were cause by the Bismarck or the Prinz Eugen as they fired at the same time and I have not seen anything conclusive that says that the collateral damage from the initial hits did not cause the explosion.

I think that the story we have is a "best guess" one based on the principle that the Royal Navy would sooner have its flagship sunk by the "Mighty Bismarck" than a Heavy Cruiser.
Somehow I dint think the Royal Navy would have wanted Hood to be sunk by anyone. However, at the risk of repeating myself, everything I have read so far indicates that Bismark fired the shot that sank Hood.

Who ever fired the fatal shot, the loss of lives and Hood herself was tragic at a time when everything seemed to be going wrong for Blighty, moral must have been at an all time low when news of the Hood hit the streets. I remember when HMS Sheffield was destroyed during the Falklands, I felt sick.
January 13th, 2009  
Damien435
 
 
I'm going to respectfully depart from the question and add my own contestant, the USS Iowa and her sister ships. Everyone's been saying that at maximum range a hit on a moving enemy ship was mostly luck but one such hit could be enough to win the battle. The Iowa had a range almost identical to the Yamato but her radar assisted targeting systems were far more accurate than the Yamato's and would have made a first hit far more likely. Iowa class ships had greater speed (31 knots to 27) and her armor compared much more favorably to the Yamato than the Bismark's did. I will freely admit to being biased here, but I'd take the Iowa over the Bismark or Yamato in a head to head duel (almost) every time.

And the USS Iowa is the only ship in the history of the US Navy to have been outfitted with a bath tub. Bath tub FTW!
January 13th, 2009  
perseus
 
 
No doubt all the ships discussed so far would have been outclassed by the Iowa class barring any operational blunders and bad luck.
January 13th, 2009  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by perseus
No doubt all the ships discussed so far would have been outclassed by the Iowa class barring any operational blunders and bad luck.

I really have trouble with these ship on ship comparisons because there is no real way to compare the ships and then it just breaks down to a bunch of "ifs and what ifs", we are having enough trouble getting consensus about a super heavy battleship (Yamato) and a battleship damn near half its weight (Bismarck) and we have very few ship on ship actions of the period to gather information from so in the end it just comes down to picking your favourite horse.

Now I am happy to pick the Bismarck in any single ship on ship action out there simply because its actions against the Hood and the Prince of Wales and its final fight against the overwhelming numbers because that tells me that both the ship and crew were combat capable.

I have no doubt others have their favourites and their arguments will also be justified but to me the Bismarck justified itself in action where the for example the Tirpitz didn't.

(For the record my favourite ship of WW2 is not the Bismarck but the Prinz Eugen because it survived both WW2 and 2 Atomic Bomb tests and can still be seen.
January 13th, 2009  
perseus
 
 
My favourite is the Warspite because she survived two world wars, including most of the major European/Med operations. I doubt if a ship has ever, or will ever, see a more diversified range of actions.
January 14th, 2009  
Chukpike
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by perseus
My favourite is the Warspite because she survived two world wars, including most of the major European/Med operations. I doubt if a ship has ever, or will ever, see a more diversified range of actions.
You should look at the USS Constitution it has survived more than any war ship in history. (It is still commisioned.)
January 14th, 2009  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chukpike
You should look at the USS Constitution it has survived more than any war ship in history. (It is still commisioned.)
HMS Victory, the oldest navy ship still in commission as from 1778
 


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