June 07, 2024

Open Thread 158

It's time once again for our regular Open Thread. Talk about whatever you want, so long as it isn't culture war.

First, apologies for not having a Jutland post this year. I didn't really have anything to cover, so I left that slot empty.

Second, I recently watched the Prime documentary on the Blue Angels, and very much enjoyed it. Would recommend.

Overhauls are Coastal Defenses Part 3 and for 2023, The East Asia Squadron Part 2, my review of Rules of the Game and RTW3 and Information.


  1. June 12, 2024Kitplane said...

    Every time I read a history (either WWI or WWII) of battleships, I read only rarely of "The shell was defeated by armor". Sometimes, but not too often. More often is a hit to a less-armored part of the ship, or much more likely a clean miss.

    I wonder if the ever-increasing size of guns was a mistake. If a triple turret of 13.5" guns wouldn't have more effective killing power than a double turret of 16" guns.

    This is not just an argument to "riddle the ends" but also an argument to "smash the superstructure". You cannot fight if your director is gone, and you cannot communicate when your radios/radiomen/antennas are smashed.

  2. June 12, 2024bean said...

    It's basically the 6" QF argument, modernized and with guns capable of long-range fire. And I'm not going to say there's no merit to it. But I do think that you underestimate how well armor worked, most notably at Jutland. Some of that was British shells not being great, but even the Germans were often stopped by armor. There was also at least one 14" on SoDak that the barbette (IIRC) stopped, and maybe one or two from the Massachusetts-Jean Bart duel. But to some extent we're victims of limited data.

  3. June 12, 2024muddywaters said...

    Previous discussion of whether not trying to penetrate the armor and instead maximizing damage outside it is a reasonable choice.

    Note that while not caring about armor penetration does favour smaller guns to some extent, it may not favour them as much as a simple (rate of fire * weight of shell / weight of gun+mount) calculation suggests. As part of deciding to adopt dreadnoughts (so c.1905), the British did a similar calculation for 6", 9.2" and 12" guns, but that also took into account that the 6" had worse long-range accuracy (and with the fire control methods then used, could not do maximum rate of fire and maximum long-range accuracy at the same time), and that a large ship with many small guns might not have enough space to give them all good arcs of fire, reducing the fraction of guns that were usable against any one target. They found that the 6" was better at short range but they were near-equal at long range (which then meant ~9000 yards) even without considering armor penetration.

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