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Old 28th December 2017, 11:55 AM   #41
theprestige
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Actually, if you look at my previous post, you'll notice that I was specifically saying that it wasn't. In fact, what I was saying is that the guys with the bombers overestimated how good their bombers are going to be, and the guys with the AA guns overestimated how good their AA is going to be, and apparently nobody stopped to think that both can't be right at the same time.
Of course both can be right at the same time.
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Old 28th December 2017, 12:03 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Providing big stable AA platforms to protect carriers was one of two ways in which US battleships were very useful in WWII. The other was pre-invasion bombardment.

That said, USS Washington pretty much sealed the fate of the Japanese attempts to retake Guadalcanal by performing in her originally intended role.
Considering one 16" HE shell was about the same as the entire bombload of carrier based aircraft back then, that can't be understated (ETA: or do I mean can't be overstated??).

Also, convoy escort duty was an important role for the old BB's. Including in the Atlantic until the surface Kriegsmarine was completely bottled up.

Its long been my opinion that the existing USN battleship fleet and even those being built, were worth the resources. Its not as if we had a steel or petroleum shortage at the time. The Iowa's drydocks were probably better spent on carrier production though. And the (not?) battlecruiser Alaska class were just silly wastes.

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Old 28th December 2017, 12:43 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Considering one 16" HE shell was about the same as the entire bombload of carrier based aircraft back then, that can't be understated (ETA: or do I mean can't be overstated??).

Also, convoy escort duty was an important role for the old BB's. Including in the Atlantic until the surface Kriegsmarine was completely bottled up.

Its long been my opinion that the existing USN battleship fleet and even those being built, were worth the resources. Its not as if we had a steel or petroleum shortage at the time. The Iowa's drydocks were probably better spent on carrier production though. And the (not?) battlecruiser Alaska class were just silly wastes.
One 2,700 lb. 16" HC shell has about 40 lb of explosive D in it as I recall. Kinetic energy did most of the work.

Most of the newer old battleships (the 14 and 16" gunned ones) got mauled at Pearl Harbor so by the time they got back in the fight it was a carrier war and these ships were relegated to being really expensive gunboats. The really old dreadnoughts (the 12" gun ships) spent much of the war in the Atlantic on escort or gunboat duty. These were all decidedly 2nd line support roles, not pride of the fleet roles. The fast battleships after the early battles around Guadalcanal became overpriced anti-aircraft escorts for carrier task forces. Again, a secondary support role in which they offered not much more capability than a heavy cruiser.

The Alaska's represented a perceived next evolutionary step in heavy cruiser development that never actually came - the Japanese never built rumored equivalents. Even with Japanese counterparts they were still a waste of time and effort.
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Old 28th December 2017, 12:50 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I'm pretty sure it's just because they were all rilly rilly stupid.
That wouldn't have been my first guess, but I guess yours is as good as any
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Old 28th December 2017, 04:54 PM   #45
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The RN built their cruisers as specialist AA ships in the war the 'Dido' class armed with five high angle 5.25 or 4.5 inch turrets and light AA.
It shows how thinking had changed.
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Old 28th December 2017, 05:31 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
The RN built their cruisers as specialist AA ships in the war the 'Dido' class armed with five high angle 5.25 or 4.5 inch turrets and light AA.
It shows how thinking had changed.
USN did the same with the Atlanta & Juneau classes. 12 and 16 5"/38 DP's. Although we still also built CL's with 6" guns and CA's with 8" guns.

The RN also continued to build traditional 6" armed CL's during the war as well. The Crown Colony and Minotaur classes. They did however stop building "treaty" heavy cruisers long before the war started.
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Old 28th December 2017, 07:15 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
The RN built their cruisers as specialist AA ships in the war the 'Dido' class armed with five high angle 5.25 or 4.5 inch turrets and light AA.
It shows how thinking had changed.
The Dido's were not built as specialist anti-aircraft ships. Neither were the American Atlanta's.

The Southampton's were considered too large for many cruiser duties so the Dido's were built to a requirement for a smaller, lighter (and cheaper) cruiser which could be built in greater numbers to replace the C and D classes for tasks such as supporting fleet destroyers, screening, reconnaissance and detached operations. The American Atlanta's were spawned from a similar requirement, to replace the Omaha's and intended to support destroyers.

Early concepts for what became the Dido's had single, open, low-angle 6-inch guns to keep tonnage down to around 4,500-5,000. Another possible variant with twin 4.7-inch guns was spun off as the Tribal class - valuable as it did not impinge on allowed cruiser tonnage.

The 5.25-inch DP gun was finally settled upon because of surface fire, not anti-aircraft fire requirements. The 5.25 offered greater shell weight (against destroyers) than the 4.7" inch (Tribal twin mount) option also in consideration, while the shells were still within the absolute upper limit for what one man could handle. That sufficient high-angle fire was possible so the separate 4-inch AA guns of a 6-inch gunned ship could be omitted was just a bonus, not a goal. The new 4.5-inch gun was considered a much better anti-aircraft weapon than the 5.25 and would have been chose IF the Dido's had been considered primarily anti-aircraft ships. Fire control arrangements reflected the LA focus.

Only the Dido class cruisers Charybdis and Scylla could truly be called anti-aircraft cruisers. These mounted the carrier type twin 4.5-inch AA guns originally intended for D class reconstruction instead of the 5.25-inch, and had high-angle HACS directors. These were fitted though for pragmatic reasons, due to a shortage of 5.25 mounts and a surplus of 4.5 mounts.
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Old 28th December 2017, 07:42 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Mark F View Post
One 2,700 lb. 16" HC shell has about 40 lb of explosive D in it as I recall. Kinetic energy did most of the work.
153.6 pounds in a 1900 lb shell, according to NavWeps. The 2700 pound "superheavy" shell appears to have been A/P only. The Iowa's, of course, never had occasion to use their A/P.

Originally Posted by Mark F View Post
The Dido's were not built as specialist anti-aircraft ships. Neither were the American Atlanta's.
The Atlanta's were intended as destroyer squadron flagships, IIRC, but never used as such. They were then inappropriately placed in cruiser squadrons where two were sunk in surface actions against superior Japanese cruisers. They finally found an appropriate niche in the AA role, carrying nearly as much 5/38 as an Iowa and able to fire more if it on a side.
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Old 28th December 2017, 08:07 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
The Atlanta's were intended as destroyer squadron flagships, IIRC, but never used as such. They were then inappropriately placed in cruiser squadrons where two were sunk in surface actions against superior Japanese cruisers. They finally found an appropriate niche in the AA role, carrying nearly as much 5/38 as an Iowa and able to fire more if it on a.
The Juneau class seems to have always been an AA cruiser however. Too late to see service though.

I stumbled on this:
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A rapid fire 3" AA gun developed just a bit too late for the war. Air attacks with unguided munitions were about to become totally ineffective.
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Old 28th December 2017, 08:50 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Fight the Italians? If we could catch them.
German air power was the main enemy in the Med, not the Italian surface fleet.

As for freeing up Destroyers. No it wouldn't as the RN Battleships would still need to be screened against subs and surface torpedo attack from E-Boats and Destroyers.

Battleships made no real contribution to the war at sea.
rhj's point is without German capital ships, destroyers would have been adequate to defend convoys from the remaining surface raiders (converted merchantmen). With no need to screen convoys with battleships, they could have been redeployed in the Med and Far East.
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Old 28th December 2017, 09:02 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
The RN also continued to build traditional 6" armed CL's during the war as well. The Crown Colony and Minotaur classes. They did however stop building "treaty" heavy cruisers long before the war started.
Well that was because the 1930 London Treaty impose limits on the number of 8" Cruisers. The UK had to cancel a half dozen 8" already ordered.The US who hadn't yet reached the treaty limit continued to build 8"s. The Japanese who had, decided to build really big 6" ships (subsequently to be rearmed with 8" guns).

This resulted in the US and UK building really big 6" ships too (Brooklyn and Town classes)
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Old 29th December 2017, 02:13 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Those biplanes were obsolete. There were 14 of them and one hit was made. The ship was already damaged before the engagement and was sank by battleships afterwards.

Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German...eship_Bismarck

I have often wondered what would have happened if the British had decent seaplanes and dive bombers? Plus a few extra aircraft carriers and a few fewer battleships. Would have made WW2 a completely different war. Like the Bismarck sank easily, then carriers going to Singapore and messing up the Japanese invasion of Malaysia.
I was being facetious wrt the <large number of shermans> to kill 1 Panther meme.

In anycase, Swordfish scored 3 hits in total.
  1. Hit 1: Severely reduced Bismark's speed
  2. Hit 2: No major damage
  3. Hit 3: Destroyed the Bismark's steering system.

The first hit meant that Bismark would be unable to evade its pursuers and the the last hit was a mission kill.

Not bad for "obsolete" aircraft.
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Old 29th December 2017, 02:24 AM   #53
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Not sure what's your deal with Panthers, though. I haven't seen anyone here who has a particular love for them, but there seem to be a couple of people who hate them for some obscure reason. Did a panther kill someone's granddad or something?
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Old 29th December 2017, 02:25 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Noztradamus View Post
rhj's point is without German capital ships, destroyers would have been adequate to defend convoys from the remaining surface raiders (converted merchantmen). With no need to screen convoys with battleships, they could have been redeployed in the Med and Far East.
Te Battleships would still have taken their destroyer and cruisers escorts and scouts with them though.
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Old 29th December 2017, 05:20 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
The Juneau class seems to have always been an AA cruiser however. Too late to see service though.

A rapid fire 3" AA gun developed just a bit too late for the war. Air attacks with unguided munitions were about to become totally ineffective.
The Juneau's were repeat Atlanta's with design changes to mitigate the excessive topweight and instability problems which plagued U.S. cruisers in WWII. This program was directly analogous to the Fargo class light cruisers spun off from the Cleveland class. All were completed post war.

The 3"/50 automatic guns were part of the anti-Kamikaze program of 1944-45. The idea was a gun which could fire proximity fused ammunition as a direct replacement for the decreasingly effective 40mm Bofors. They basically took the existing semi-automatic and hand worked 3"/50, stuck it on a Bofors power mounting, then hung a powered revolver magazine off the back. Paired with a blindfire radar fire control system like Mk 63 or Mk 56 it was substantially more effective than the wartime Bofors with Mk 51 control against Kamikaze type targets. It came out overweight though and instead of replacing the Bofors 1 for 2 it was more like 1 for 3.
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Old 29th December 2017, 08:13 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Noztradamus View Post
Well that was because the 1930 London Treaty impose limits on the number of 8" Cruisers. The UK had to cancel a half dozen 8" already ordered.The US who hadn't yet reached the treaty limit continued to build 8"s. The Japanese who had, decided to build really big 6" ships (subsequently to be rearmed with 8" guns).

This resulted in the US and UK building really big 6" ships too (Brooklyn and Town classes)
Japan was openly flaunting the naval treaties by '36. I suppose the UK was sticking to it to keep the Italian Navy from expanding? Of course once they entered the war that all went out the window. My point was the US kept building what were ostensibly (we cheated on tonnage) treaty limited cruisers even during the war. It was a bit silly.
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Old 29th December 2017, 08:14 AM   #57
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May I put in a word for my favorite battleship, USS Washington? Named for the state I live in, for a start. Only US battleship to single-handedly* destroy an enemy battleship**. Favorite flagship of my favorite admiral, Willis A. Lee. And sadly scrapped after the war. Wouldn't it be lovely to have her as a museum ship in Bremerton?

*South Dakota fans may beg to differ.
**Ok, an upgraded British-designed pre-WWI battlecruiser.
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Old 29th December 2017, 08:31 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
May I put in a word for my favorite battleship, USS Washington? Named for the state I live in, for a start. Only US battleship to single-handedly* destroy an enemy battleship**. Favorite flagship of my favorite admiral, Willis A. Lee. And sadly scrapped after the war. Wouldn't it be lovely to have her as a museum ship in Bremerton?

*South Dakota fans may beg to differ.
**Ok, an upgraded British-designed pre-WWI battlecruiser.
Good choice, 13 battle stars! Not too short of my all time favorite ship the Big E (CV-6), which for a short time was our only operational carrier in theater. BB's like the Washington played a crucial role in late '42 and into '43 when our carrier force was being rebuilt. Her combat history on Wiki makes good reading.

While she was scrapped her sister ship the N Carolina is a museum. Whats really sad is not a single standard-type survived the scrapyard. Although Texas is sorta kinda an early standard-type.
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Old 29th December 2017, 11:34 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Good choice, 13 battle stars! Not too short of my all time favorite ship the Big E (CV-6), which for a short time was our only operational carrier in theater. BB's like the Washington played a crucial role in late '42 and into '43 when our carrier force was being rebuilt. Her combat history on Wiki makes good reading.

<snip>

Is that a lot?

The light cruiser my grandfather skippered in the South Pacific for the last two years of the war got eleven.
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Old 29th December 2017, 11:58 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Is that a lot?

The light cruiser my grandfather skippered in the South Pacific for the last two years of the war got eleven.
The most decorated ship in the USN (in WW2 anyways) was the Enterprise with 20. So I'd say yes, 13 or indeed 11, is a lot.

A cousin of mine (of what degree exactly I'm unsure) served on USS Houston (CL-81). Its only received 3 battle stars.
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Old 29th December 2017, 12:39 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
The most decorated ship in the USN (in WW2 anyways) was the Enterprise with 20. So I'd say yes, 13 or indeed 11, is a lot.

A cousin of mine (of what degree exactly I'm unsure) served on USS Houston (CL-81). Its only received 3 battle stars.

My grandfather skippered the Mobile (CL-63) from the time she was commissioned in '43 until shortly before she was decommissioned in '47. She spent four times as long in the Reserve Fleet as she did on active duty, and went to the breakers in '59.

The active lifespan of most of even those Cleveland class cruisers which survived the war was brief. Although a few were converted into guided-missile cruisers and hung on until the '70s.
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Old 29th December 2017, 02:09 PM   #62
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I like the Nelson and Rodney and the KGV Class were good looking ships.
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Old 29th December 2017, 03:35 PM   #63
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If I had to choose an RN battleship class if go with the Queen Elizabeths. The 15 inch gun was better than either the NelRod 16 or KGV 14 inch.
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Old 30th December 2017, 05:14 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
If I had to choose an RN battleship class if go with the Queen Elizabeths. The 15 inch gun was better than either the NelRod 16 or KGV 14 inch.
So what's wrong with Vanguard then?
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Old 30th December 2017, 05:32 AM   #65
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Vanguard was a good looking ship but should never have been finished. It was a waste of money.
My uncle Martin served on her as his last ship before he went ashore to HMS Dryad to train new radar Tiffies.
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Old 30th December 2017, 07:45 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Vanguard was a good looking ship but should never have been finished. It was a waste of money.
My uncle Martin served on her as his last ship before he went ashore to HMS Dryad to train new radar Tiffies.
You've taken the words right out of my mouth. Nothing really wrong with her except the time.
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Old 30th December 2017, 06:51 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Mark F View Post
So what's wrong with Vanguard then?
Inappropriate name for the last battleship
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Old 30th December 2017, 07:02 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Noztradamus View Post
Inappropriate name for the last battleship

They should have called her the Egress?
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Old 30th December 2017, 08:17 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
They should have called her the Egress?
The RearGuard?

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Old 31st December 2017, 02:39 AM   #70
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More appropriate would be HMS Troutbridge as found in The Navy Lark

A long running radio comedy set aboard HMS Troutbridge

It ran from 1959 to 1977

Over the years various well known stars were part of the crew including Leslie Phillips, Ronnie Barker, Dennis Price and John Pertwee (Who was by coincidence in the crew of Hood but was transferred out before she was sunk)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6vm-N_w73A

Repeats of the radio show are still popular on the Radio 4 Extra digital radio channel

'Left hand down a bit!'
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Old 31st December 2017, 03:42 AM   #71
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The battleship HMS Belfast is moored as a museum piece in London. One of my brothers held his wedding reception on it for some reason. I remember it had some big guns. I don't know the Second World War history of HMS Belfast but it seems to have come out of it unscathed, unlike several other British battleships which lost about 1000 sailors drowned every time they were sunk including I think the Prince of Wales in then Japanese waters.
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Old 31st December 2017, 06:14 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
The battleship HMS Belfast is moored as a museum piece in London. One of my brothers held his wedding reception on it for some reason. I remember it had some big guns. I don't know the Second World War history of HMS Belfast but it seems to have come out of it unscathed, unlike several other British battleships which lost about 1000 sailors drowned every time they were sunk including I think the Prince of Wales in then Japanese waters.
HMS Belfast is a Town class light cruiser, not a battleship - the last of the WW2 generation gun cruisers in RN service. She survived a number of key naval engagements but was heavily damaged by a mine in 1940 requiring substantial rebuilding due to shock damage.

During the Japanese advance through SE Asia right after Pearl Harbor culminating in their successful attack against Singapore, the new battleship HMS Prince of Wales, the old Battlecruiser HMS Repulse and just 3 destroyers were sortied to stop the Japanese advance. Caught in open water by Japanese bombers and without sufficient air support as the carrier Indomitable had run aground and could not join them and no RAF aircraft were allocated, both were sunk. POW at one point IIRC lost ships power and her anti-aircraft defense was limited pretty much to a single army style 40mm Bofors on her stern which had just been added.
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Old 31st December 2017, 11:15 AM   #73
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Plus Hood blew up and sank with only three survivors and Barham was sunk in the Med by U-331.
There were 862 officers and ratings killed and there were 487 survivors.
U-331 didn't realise they had sunk the Barham as they took evasive action and were nearly destroyed themselves. The loss wasn't announced until into 1942 as the Germans and Italians thought the Battleship was till operational in the Med.

A Pathe News cameraman aboard the Valiant filmed the sinking and magazine explosion that finished her off.

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Old 31st December 2017, 11:31 AM   #74
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As for Belfast, what you see now is not her WW2 appearance, she was rebuilt several times.
Her forward superstructure has wider enclosed bridge decks and four twin Bofors mounts., the midships catapult for a seaplane and it's associated cranes have gone and the after superstructure was remodelled.
A big visual difference are the heavy lattice masts for heavier post war radar and radio fit and the
She did keep all four of her turrets though.
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Old 31st December 2017, 12:57 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Plus Hood blew up and sank with only three survivors and Barham was sunk in the Med by U-331.
There were 862 officers and ratings killed and there were 487 survivors.
U-331 didn't realise they had sunk the Barham as they took evasive action and were nearly destroyed themselves. The loss wasn't announced until into 1942 as the Germans and Italians thought the Battleship was till operational in the Med.

A Pathe News cameraman aboard the Valiant filmed the sinking and magazine explosion that finished her off.

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One of several battleships to suffer massive explosions on capsizing. Others include HMS Audacious, IJN Yamato, and probably IJN Kongo.
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Old 31st December 2017, 03:17 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
One of several battleships to suffer massive explosions on capsizing. Others include HMS Audacious, IJN Yamato, and probably IJN Kongo.
Is there a theory as to why?? Elevator doors failing and gravity moving powder to fires on upper (now lower) decks maybe?
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Old 31st December 2017, 03:26 PM   #77
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Powder and projectiles falling from their racks, I suppose. I'd expect nose fuses to have protective caps but base fuses might get sufficient shock. It only takes one.
A counterexample would be USS Oklahoma, which did not blow up when capsizing at Pearl Harbor.
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Old 31st December 2017, 04:40 PM   #78
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With Barham it was speculated that a fire and explosion in a 4" magazine just outside a main magazine caused the the final explosion.

By the time a Battleship is capsizing like that the abandon ship will long have been piped so there wouldn't be anyone to fight any fires.

Last edited by Captain_Swoop; 31st December 2017 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 31st December 2017, 04:46 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Powder and projectiles falling from their racks, I suppose. I'd expect nose fuses to have protective caps but base fuses might get sufficient shock. It only takes one.
A counterexample would be USS Oklahoma, which did not blow up when capsizing at Pearl Harbor.
Neither did the SMS Szent Istvan or the Roma (Regia Marina).
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Old 31st December 2017, 04:48 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Is there a theory as to why?? Elevator doors failing and gravity moving powder to fires on upper (now lower) decks maybe?
Or maybe a fire? Gets into where the explosives are.
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