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Old 22nd August 2019, 05:54 PM   #241
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
On the other hand, you can still go look at Vasa nearly 400 years later. That's pretty good longevity! HMS Dreadnought only lasted around 15 years.
True, but its battle record is a little bit scanty.
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Old 22nd August 2019, 06:17 PM   #242
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
True, but its battle record is a little bit scanty.
Hey, who knows how many deep-sea attacks it fought off in 350 years on the bottom!
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Old 25th August 2019, 12:18 AM   #243
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
True, but its battle record is a little bit scanty.
HMS Dreadnought's battle record isn't that impressive either. She did sink a submarine by ramming - the only battleship ever confirmed as having achieved such a feat, but apart from that, says wiki:
Dreadnought did not participate in the Battle of Jutland in 1916 as she was being refitted. Nor did Dreadnought participate in any of the other First World War naval battles. In May 1916 she was relegated to coastal defence duties in the English Channel, not rejoining the Grand Fleet until 1918. The ship was reduced to reserve in 1919 and sold for scrap two years later.
So her all big guns broadside never seems to have been fired in anger.
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Old 25th August 2019, 07:02 AM   #244
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
HMS Dreadnought's battle record isn't that impressive either. She did sink a submarine by ramming - the only battleship ever confirmed as having achieved such a feat, but apart from that, says wiki:
Dreadnought did not participate in the Battle of Jutland in 1916 as she was being refitted. Nor did Dreadnought participate in any of the other First World War naval battles. In May 1916 she was relegated to coastal defence duties in the English Channel, not rejoining the Grand Fleet until 1918. The ship was reduced to reserve in 1919 and sold for scrap two years later.
So her all big guns broadside never seems to have been fired in anger.
I would say that's a pretty poor record, for sure, but if they made it out of the harbor they automatically drop to number 2, I think.
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Old 25th August 2019, 07:03 AM   #245
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Why is it a poor record?

Most warships never see any action, most never even see a war.
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Old 25th August 2019, 07:10 AM   #246
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Why is it a poor record?

Most warships never see any action, most never even see a war.
But if the said ships are part of the fleet in service during a naval war they see it then all right. She was afloat during the only historical occasion when two battle lines of ships of a class of which Dreadnought was the eponym slugged it out in action - but she was being refitted at the time!

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Old 25th August 2019, 07:10 AM   #247
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
I would say that's a pretty poor record, for sure, but if they made it out of the harbor they automatically drop to number 2, I think.
Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Why is it a poor record?

Most warships never see any action, most never even see a war.
And of those, presumably half have lost the action they took place in.

Rendering all other vesselsnavies obsolete and being the only battleship to sink an enemy submarine seems like a pretty good strategic record as well as tactical.
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Old 25th August 2019, 01:00 PM   #248
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
And of those, presumably half have lost the action they took place in.

Rendering all other vesselsnavies obsolete and being the only battleship to sink an enemy submarine seems like a pretty good strategic record as well as tactical.
I think you're right, and it's not too bad a record. I was merely struck by these ironies.
The Dreadnought inaugurated a new kind of navy but the one and only time ships of its class formed a major line of battle, the poor old Dreadnought wasn't there to participate. And historians are still arguing about who won that battle. Also Dreadnought's one success was to sink a submarine but by ramming, not the use of her much-vaunted guns. And you don't need a battleship to ram a submarine. A destroyer could do the job as well or better.

Moreover, one of the causes of that pointless Great War was the arms race inaugurated by the launch of the Dreadnought, which makes her a costly vessel indeed.
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Old 25th August 2019, 01:06 PM   #249
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I suppose in retrospect the Dreadnought wasn't so bad, though I suspect that its original hopes were for more front-line sorts of action.
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Old 25th August 2019, 01:24 PM   #250
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HMS Thunderchild. A torpedo ram fighting Martians. It lost its first and only battle with extra terrestrials.
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Old 25th August 2019, 01:55 PM   #251
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Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
HMS Thunderchild. A torpedo ram fighting Martians. It lost its first and only battle with extra terrestrials.
I had to look that up. At first I thought that HMS Thunderchild was itself a spscecraft, and that future cosmic wars were envisaged as being fought with fleets of interstellar torpedo rams, Armoured interplanetary turret ships, and casemate spaceships, protected by belts of steel plate.
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Old 25th August 2019, 02:51 PM   #252
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Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
HMS Thunderchild. A torpedo ram fighting Martians. It lost its first and only battle with extra terrestrials.
Poopycock! She took out three of the Martian fighting machines before going down!
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Old 25th August 2019, 03:19 PM   #253
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
I had to look that up. At first I thought that HMS Thunderchild was itself a spscecraft, and that future cosmic wars were envisaged as being fought with fleets of interstellar torpedo rams, Armoured interplanetary turret ships, and casemate spaceships, protected by belts of steel plate.
Originally Posted by kookbreaker View Post
Poopycock! She took out three of the Martian fighting machines before going down!
And "Thunderchild" is the best possible name for a battleship.
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Old 25th August 2019, 03:38 PM   #254
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
I suppose in retrospect the Dreadnought wasn't so bad, though I suspect that its original hopes were for more front-line sorts of action.
Dreadnought was the "bleeding edge" of a period of both extreme technical advancement and a massive arms race that fueled it. No way she was still going to be competitive after 8-10 years at a time like that. For comparison, the USN commissioned these truly awful ships well over a year after Dreadnought.
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Old 25th August 2019, 05:24 PM   #255
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Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
HMS Thunderchild. A torpedo ram fighting Martians. It lost its first and only battle with extra terrestrials.
Ulla!

Meanwhile, let me chime in with those who don't consider Dreadnought's record to be shameful. True, she was no Warspite, but she didn't embarrass herself, either. Take Hood, for example: Still a widely (if not universally) respected ship, but it was involved in only 2 actions that I can find. In the first, she fired on ships that were still docked; in the second, she was sunk without (AFAIK) scoring a hit. Surely Dreadnought's battle record is no worse than Hood's.
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Old 25th August 2019, 11:09 PM   #256
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
And "Thunderchild" is the best possible name for a battleship.
I think ThunderboxWP would be even better, if that were possible.
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Old 26th August 2019, 02:04 AM   #257
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Dreadnought was the "bleeding edge" of a period of both extreme technical advancement and a massive arms race that fueled it. No way she was still going to be competitive after 8-10 years at a time like that. For comparison, the USN commissioned these truly awful ships well over a year after Dreadnought.
Although both went on to have useful service lives with the Greek navy.
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Old 26th August 2019, 10:27 AM   #258
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Although both went on to have useful service lives with the Greek navy.
I was actually going to bring that up. They were far more suited to the needs of Greece than of the USN.
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Old 26th August 2019, 10:34 AM   #259
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I wonder what the average number of surface actions is for a capital ship, during the lifetime of its original commission.

I'd also argue that successfully serving as a "fleet in being" is just as much a win as actually fighting and winning a naval engagement. Most USN supercarriers will never see a serious naval engagement. Mostly because their very existence makes such engagements unlikely. Mission accomplished.
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Old 26th August 2019, 10:57 AM   #260
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I wonder what the average number of surface actions is for a capital ship, during the lifetime of its original commission.

I'd also argue that successfully serving as a "fleet in being" is just as much a win as actually fighting and winning a naval engagement. Most USN supercarriers will never see a serious naval engagement. Mostly because their very existence makes such engagements unlikely. Mission accomplished.
That's correct. The USN commissioned something like 56 battleships over a period of around 50 years, and had them in commission for nearly 100 years, 1895 to 1993. The total number of engagements they ever had with other battleships was three.
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Old 26th August 2019, 11:01 AM   #261
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
I suppose in retrospect the Dreadnought wasn't so bad, though I suspect that its original hopes were for more front-line sorts of action.

I never understood the arrangement of the forward turrets en echelon; maybe I'm just using hindsight but it seems like it should have been obvious that that was a silly and wasteful idea.
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Old 26th August 2019, 11:02 AM   #262
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
That's correct. The USN commissioned something like 56 battleships over a period of around 50 years, and had them in commission for nearly 100 years, 1895 to 1993. The total number of engagements they ever had with other battleships was three.
Surigao Strait of course plus one of the many battles around Guadalcanal. The third being? A certain French BB that couldn't even get underway in port I think?
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Old 26th August 2019, 11:12 AM   #263
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Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
I never understood the arrangement of the forward turrets en echelon; maybe I'm just using hindsight but it seems like it should have been obvious that that was a silly and wasteful idea.
Not exactly en echelon, one on the foredeck and one on each side. The USN pioneered the use of superfiring turrets after tests on an old monitor showed it was practical to fire a heavy gun over another turret without killing or incapacitating the crew.

Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Surigao Strait of course plus one of the many battles around Guadalcanal. The third being? A certain French BB that couldn't even get underway in port I think?
Jean Bart, at Casablanca. Only one of her two quad turrets had even been installed.
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Old 26th August 2019, 11:23 AM   #264
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
That's correct. The USN commissioned something like 56 battleships over a period of around 50 years, and had them in commission for nearly 100 years, 1895 to 1993. The total number of engagements they ever had with other battleships was three.
I'd count engagements with cruisers and carriers as well.
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Old 26th August 2019, 11:39 AM   #265
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I'd count engagements with cruisers and carriers as well.
I don't believe any USN battleship ever engaged an aircraft carrier*. I think a BB engaging a carrier actually only happened twice in history, Kurita's "Center Force" at the Battle Off Samar which included IJN Yamato hit the CVE's of USN 7th Fleet. And, HMS Glorious which was sunk by the Scharnhorst.

*If, only Halsey hadn't "acted stupidly" as Captain Ramius remarked, then likely they would have. Jack Ryan's conclusions were all wrong.

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Old 26th August 2019, 11:53 AM   #266
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
I don't believe any USN battleship ever engaged an aircraft carrier*.
Well, Pearl Harbor ; )

Quote:
I think a BB engaging a carrier actually only happened twice in history, Kurita's "Center Force" at the Battle Off Samar which included IJN Yamato hit the CVE's of USN 7th Fleet. And, HMS Glorious which was sunk by the Scharnhorst.
We were talking about USN ships, but my wonder is more general: What are the average capital ship to capital ship engagements (cruisers, battleships, carriers) during a battleship's original commission?
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Old 26th August 2019, 12:00 PM   #267
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Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
I never understood the arrangement of the forward turrets en echelon; maybe I'm just using hindsight but it seems like it should have been obvious that that was a silly and wasteful idea.
It was the first attempt. What seems obvious now was not so obvious then.
It is always the way with pioneering technology.
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Old 26th August 2019, 12:02 PM   #268
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Well, Pearl Harbor ; )
That would be against aircraft carrier aircraft. Counting that, then several other engagements ; )
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Old 27th August 2019, 06:04 AM   #269
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Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
I never understood the arrangement of the forward turrets en echelon; maybe I'm just using hindsight but it seems like it should have been obvious that that was a silly and wasteful idea.
Superfiring turrets are rarely totally superfiring anyway as the blast from the upper turret would inevitably cause damage to the lower turret if fired directly overhead.

The arrangement on Dreadnought allowed for six guns to be brought to bear directly forward and aft, with an 8 gun broadside, which is actually pretty good.
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Old 27th August 2019, 07:04 AM   #270
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I wonder what the average number of surface actions is for a capital ship, during the lifetime of its original commission.

I'd also argue that successfully serving as a "fleet in being" is just as much a win as actually fighting and winning a naval engagement. Most USN supercarriers will never see a serious naval engagement. Mostly because their very existence makes such engagements unlikely. Mission accomplished.
That's not a valuable "mission". If these vessels merely by being, but remaining unused, had averted the Great War altogether, that would have been a magnificent result, but the war did take place; millions died, but the battleships saw little action. The effect of the fleet in being was not to avert or mitigate the war, but to minimise its own participation in that war. The Dreadnought arms race one of the conflict's causes, the war killed millions, but the "fleets in being" only once came significantly to blows, and the action was inconclusive. I can't believe that was their mission, but if it was, it wasn't worth fulfilling.
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Old 27th August 2019, 07:22 AM   #271
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Originally Posted by Hubert Cumberdale View Post
Superfiring turrets are rarely totally superfiring anyway as the blast from the upper turret would inevitably cause damage to the lower turret if fired directly overhead.
That, in fact, is what the USN disproved when conducting their monitor tests. They mounted a heavy gun, fixed straight ahead in the superstructure of an old monitor -- may have been USS Wyoming although the wiki article doesn't say so. Trials proved the muzzle blast did NOT damage the lower turret or harm the crews.

British battleships couldn't do true superfiring for quite a while because their turrets had open sighting hoods, which would have been a problem. They were also useless shell traps.
Quote:
The arrangement on Dreadnought allowed for six guns to be brought to bear directly forward and aft, with an 8 gun broadside, which is actually pretty good.
Here is a plan view of Dreadnought. Firing those wing turrets directly fore or aft may have been theoretically possible but would have caused inordinate damage.

ETA: Actually USS Florida, BM-9, not Wyoming. Several of these monitors were subsequently used as submarine tenders, giving the USN submarine tenders with 12" guns!
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Old 27th August 2019, 09:02 AM   #272
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Trials proved the muzzle blast did NOT damage the lower turret or harm the crews.



Here is a plan view of Dreadnought. Firing those wing turrets directly fore or aft may have been theoretically possible but would have caused inordinate damage.
What, I wonder was the effect on the hull of the Chilean ironclad Almirante Cochrane, illustrated here fighting off torpedo boats https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chil...uechocrane.png (with her secondary armament) when (if ever) she used her main guns to fire directly forward from their position in the armoured casemate amidships.

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Old 27th August 2019, 09:34 AM   #273
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
That, in fact, is what the USN disproved when conducting their monitor tests. They mounted a heavy gun, fixed straight ahead in the superstructure of an old monitor -- may have been USS Wyoming although the wiki article doesn't say so. Trials proved the muzzle blast did NOT damage the lower turret or harm the crews.

British battleships couldn't do true superfiring for quite a while because their turrets had open sighting hoods, which would have been a problem. They were also useless shell traps.

Here is a plan view of Dreadnought. Firing those wing turrets directly fore or aft may have been theoretically possible but would have caused inordinate damage.

ETA: Actually USS Florida, BM-9, not Wyoming. Several of these monitors were subsequently used as submarine tenders, giving the USN submarine tenders with 12" guns!
I imagine that firing forward was considered a extra, only when absolutely necessary feature, whereas the ability to fire a heavy broadside was seen as the far more important strategy at the time.
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Old 27th August 2019, 11:33 AM   #274
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
What, I wonder was the effect on the hull of the Chilean ironclad Almirante Cochrane, illustrated here fighting off torpedo boats https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chil...uechocrane.png (with her secondary armament) when (if ever) she used her main guns to fire directly forward from their position in the armoured casemate amidships.
Probably not great. But it's an older ship with far more primitive guns.

Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
I imagine that firing forward was considered a extra, only when absolutely necessary feature, whereas the ability to fire a heavy broadside was seen as the far more important strategy at the time.
True. I think even on the most modern battleships, firing directly forward or aft would cause significant damage to the deck and fittings. During the naval battle of Guadalcanal, USS South Dakota destroyed her own float planes by firing aft. The biggest advantage of the superfiring system pioneered by USS South Carolina was getting the same broadside as Dreadnought with one less turret.

ETA: Interestingly, Huascar, the Peruvian turret ship defeated by Almirante Cochrane, still exists!
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Old 27th August 2019, 11:58 AM   #275
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
I imagine that firing forward was considered a extra, only when absolutely necessary feature, whereas the ability to fire a heavy broadside was seen as the far more important strategy at the time.
Not necessary. The last naval war that had been fought involved a lot of maneuvering, and more importantly, a lot of stern chases. And that was only a few years before.

At least at the time of the design of Dreadnought there were some serious cases to be made for as heavy as possible an broadside all around.
Now. The Americans did see the writing on the wall a bit sooner than the British did, but that doesn't mean there wasn't a serious rationale concerning the lay-out of Dreadnoughts main armament.
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Old 27th August 2019, 12:37 PM   #276
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Scharnhorst and Gneisenau didn't have particularly stellar careers.
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Old 27th August 2019, 12:50 PM   #277
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Scharnhorst and Gneisenau didn't have particularly stellar careers.
Up until the Channel Dash, they had a relatively active and successful career. Afterwards? Not so much.

But I think they performed above what you could expect from them in the face of the might of the Royal Navy.
Up till the Channel Dash, that is.

Edit:
And the Great War versions had a very glorious, albeit equally brief, career.
Also about as much as what you could expect from them.
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Old 29th August 2019, 03:11 PM   #278
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May I extend the discussion to warship weapons? How about the Japanese 25mm AA machine gun? They obviously liked it, and produced them by the thousands, but the true rate of fire was abysmal due to the 15 round magazines and it lacked both hitting power and range for modern aircraft.
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Old 29th August 2019, 03:43 PM   #279
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Well, the RN 'Unrotated Projectile' was pretty crap

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unrotated_projectile
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Old 29th August 2019, 05:15 PM   #280
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Yes, indeed. But at least the RN recognized that and discontinued it pretty quickly.
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