World War II Battleship on Battleship Engagements

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Jeff Head, Sep 10, 2015.

  1. Higgle
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    Higgle New Member
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    A traditional line-of-battle engagement was the only role that battleships were built for, unless you count in shore bombardment. The role of a battleship never evolved, hence Yamato was objectively the strongest battleship in history. By 1941, no battleship was truly "satisfactory" considering how aircraft carriers completely dominated them for power projection. The Iowa's remained in service only because they had the speed to keep up with aircraft carriers, and not because they were much more "satisfactory" than other contemporary battleship designs.

    As I mentioned above, Musashi managed to last as long as she did in part because of unintentional counterflooding due to attacks from both sides, whereas Yamato was attacked mainly from the port side. The type of explosive filler in the torpedoes, like you said, was also a factor, but not the only one. It was 600 lbs of TNT in the earlier variants of the Mark 13 torpedo, compared to the 600 lbs of TPX (900 lbs TNT equivalent) in the later variants, the former being under what the battleship's TDS was rated to handle (designed to withstand 880 lbs TNT), and the latter just above. Musashi's damage control was also reasonably good, while Yamato's was reported to be "mediocre."

    Perhaps the most interesting point here is how Yamato managed to take 12 torpedoes before sinking, because by all accounts, she should have not been able to withstand so much. Contrary to what you claim, her internal structuralization was of little consequence, due to the fact that her weak armor joint ruptured every time her belt was struck by a torpedo, causing excessive flooding as the implosion of the lower belt would displace entire internal subsections. This was especially true for Yamato, as she was struck by torpedoes 50% more powerful than what hit her sister.

    [​IMG]

    However, American air attacks concentrated mainly on Yamato's port side, as opposed to striking quite evenly on both sides for Musashi. This meant that counterflooding was entirely up to the damage control crew. Following the first attack, Yamato corrected a 5 degree list to 1 degree. Following the second, an 18 degree list corrected to 10 degrees. The third attack, hits by four torpedoes in rapid succession was what finally sunk her, and this could not be counterflooded because of the sheer amount of damage and flooding that she had already accumulated in the course of the battle.

    All things considered, Musashi was able to withstand 19 hits due to three major reasons. The first was as you mentioned, that the torpedoes of the time had 600 lbs of TNT as filler and not TPX. The second was because she received attacks fairly evenly on both sides, which had the unintentional effect of counterflooding. The third was because her damage control wasn't incompetent, and they were able to keep most of the flooding contained, though they could not do much for the flooding in the bow.

    Yamato took only 12 hits for the different sides of the same reasons: she was struck by torpedoes with 600 lbs TPX filler (900 lbs TNT equivalent), she was attacked mainly from one side (I think this is the more significant factor, because she capsized whereas Musashi did not) and her damage control was not as good as Musashi's. Finally, regarding the joint; both battleships could have survived even more hits if there wasn't such a design flaw in their belt armor, and this flaw brings into question if Musashi's TDS really withstood those 600 lbs TNT warheads as effectively as it was designed to.

    This leads me to wonder if it was simply their massive displacement that allowed them to absorb as much damage as they did, because while decent, their torpedo defense system was still flawed.
     
    #11 Higgle, Apr 19, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
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  2. FORBIN
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    FORBIN Senior Member

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    #12 FORBIN, Apr 20, 2017
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  3. Richard Santos
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    Richard Santos New Member
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    The joint between Yamato' supper and lower belt and the deck was inefficient, but it is not clear whether that was actually the weakest link which diminished the overall resistance of Yamato's TDS. There are numerous inefficient aspects to yamato's TDS, both in overall design concept and detailed implementation. Overall, Yamato's TDS was one of the least efficient found on any WWII battleship in terms weight and space it consumed relative to the resistance offered. Only the tubular TDS used by the Italian navy was arguable more flawed.

    The designed resistance of yamato's TDS, in terms of kgs of TNT it can absorb, was actually similar to most other WWII battleships, and in fact significantly less than some contemporaries 35,000 ton battleships.

    The main thing that made Yamato seem to stand out is the fact that the only non-Japanese modern battleship to be sunk mainly by air dropped torpedos was the Prince Of Walse, which was sunk by massive progressively flooding from unusual damage that mostly bypassed the TDS. Hence few other modern battleship really had a chance to demonstrate their TDS had comparable resistance to torpedos.

    One instance where such potential can be glimpsed is in the fact that the schornhorst, half the weight of Yamato, absorbed 10-12 torpedoes before sinking.
     
  4. FORBIN
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    FORBIN Senior Member

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    Interesting guys

    What is it TDS ?

    Yes but still many torpedoes for sunk her ! coz mass doing 70000 t and even with 3000 t of water it is low % and a more big counter floading possible.
    A little less long than Iowa but clearly more large.

    For armor US have a quality superior of 20 % but Yamato more thick by ex belt 410 mm, Iowa 100 mm in less so for me Yamaton had better protection remained a gap.

    For gun/shells even if Iowa with a 406 mm/50 cal new AP Mark 8 vs 45 cal for South Dalota with new shell i have see here perforation capacity the 457 mm of Yamato is a lillte better for range 42 vs 38 km also during some kms i think Yamato able hit Iowa do damages but not Iowa.
    http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNUS_16-50_mk7.php
    http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNJAP_18-45_t94.php

    But remains the heavy mass of the 457 mm shell and very possible with the energy produced caused a big shock , cracks or other even without perforating. 1460 vs 1200 kg a difference
    Same case for Tiger with 88 mm excellent for perforation better than JS-2's 122 mm but with heavy shell during combats JS-2 could shock the crew causing cracks not destroy ennemy but put out of action.

    Ofc better fire control, radars for Iowa better systems they have with S Dakota/N Carolina more old BB with 7th Fleet modernised have good but less sophisticated.
    Can find a fire solutions even during hharp turns.
    Yamato have better optics but less good fire control, radars so have better chance during the day, US ships advantaged during night.

    Anyway especialy Yamato giants ships enormous armor, guns, amazing !!!
     
  5. FORBIN
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    FORBIN Senior Member

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    Ok well, can you please locate this weaker part on a graph like this to see the whole ship

    Yamato.png
     
  6. Richard Santos
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    Richard Santos New Member
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    TDS is torpedo defense system, which was used by battleships to protect against contact detonated torpedo striking against the ship's side.

    In the front view of the Yamato, you will notice the underwater portion of hull bulges outwards slightlt, starting right at the waterline. Those bulges are the torpedo defense system. The poorly designed joint is located just below the top of the torpedo bulge, slightly inboard from the outer skin.

    The joint was not specifically poorly "designed". The Japanese realized the design, which involve riveting three plies of steel plate together, was weak and susceptible to sheer, allowing the upper and lower armor belts to displace relative to each other. But the machine tool to fabricate a better single piece design was unavailable, so they accepted the weakness in order to avoid serious delay in construction.
     
    #16 Richard Santos, Apr 21, 2017
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  7. Richard Santos
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    Richard Santos New Member
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    When you compare Yamato and other battleships, keep in mind that while yamato's guns were the most powerful ever mounted on any battleship, the margin is much smaller than one would expect given their caliber and vintage. Furthermore their construction methods were antiquated, being based partially on very conservative British practice of the 1910s. So they are also heavier than one might expect given their caliber and vintage.

    Furthermore, Japanese AP shell design were poor, so their effectiveness in penetration at ranges the Japanese expected to fight were only very slightly better than US 16" heavy APC shells fired from 16"/50 guns.

    Regarding armor, it is true Japanese thick cemented armor from 1930s offer somewhat less resistance than comparable American armor, however, an often overlooked fact is construction of thick cemented armor plates was a chancy business, and reject rates are high and variation in quality from plate to plate was normally quite high. The Japanese were the most successful in adjusting the metallurgy of their plates and the fabrication technique to achieve consistency in quality. So while Japanese thick cemented plates were individually not the best, very few of them were seriously defective. While American thick cemented plates are often better, but some of them were seriously below par.
     
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  8. Lezt
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    Lezt Junior Member

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    I won't jump to that conclusion that Yamato's TDS was inefficient, as you mentioned, they were limited by the technology of the time. And we must remember that Mushashi is still a Yamato class BB.

    Shanchost did not take 10-12 torpedo before sinking, it took 4-6 on 26th Dec 1943 and was sunk by shelling.

    POW took 7 torpedo to sink.

    Bismark was crippled with 5 torpedo

    Maryland was crippled with 1 torp.

    Pennsylvania was crippled with 1 torp.

    For a BB, the Yamato series did exceedingly well vs torpedo.

    Here is a more complete list.
    http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-047.htm


    Not all torpedos are equal either. Japanese Type 91 carried 235 kg most of the time, while the american Mark 13 carried 270 kg of torpex (30-40% more effective than TNT). while on the other end, a long lance type 93 490 kg warhead.

    Why do you think that the Yamato's system is inefficient? The other designs in WW2 can absorb a lot less as they are much smaller systems.
     
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  9. Richard Santos
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    Richard Santos New Member
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    Yamato's TDS was the only WWII era TDS design that failed to take advantage of elastic deformation theory and membrane deformation theory. Yamato's TDS was also the only one which failed to take advantage of the role of liquid loaded compartment in increasing the effrctivess of TDS and decreasing the listing moment generated when TDS is hit.

    Prince of Walse and Pennsylvania were crippled by torpedo hits on propeller shafts, and Bismarck by a hit on the rudder. so neither speak to the effectiveness of the TDS. Wreck examination shows neither bismarck's nor POW's Torpedo bulkheads were ruptured. This shows their TDS were successful.
     
    #19 Richard Santos, Apr 21, 2017
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  10. FORBIN
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    FORBIN Senior Member

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    I don' t argue i understand fine gents :) but seems yes Yamato design etc... is less modern than Iowas and even eventualy precedent classes but this enomous War machine still amazing ! and as passionate we love these terribles machines !

    A little comparison Kongo was a honnest BB in fact Battle Cruiser fast but not very well protected used especialy for escort the Kidō Butai/ 1st Air Fleet the first dedicated Air Naval Force never created,
    Kongo do 32000 t It looks almost like a dwarf ! and Suzyua one of the superb Japanese heavy cruiser still 15000 t

    Yamato is especialy impressive for its width and main turrets size a monster ! in addition a look enough unusual small island elegant, Iowa very long and very" slender".

    Why Yamato also width there are a lot of room around turrets a reason ?
    How many rounds for main turrets for Yamato and Iowa please ? i think at less 1000.

    Yamato, Kongo.jpg
     
    #20 FORBIN, Apr 21, 2017
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