BBs at knife fighting range

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Kingfish
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BBs at knife fighting range

Post by Kingfish » 03 Apr 2021 18:45

Warspite and Scharnhost hold the record with the longest range gunnery shots, but what about the other extreme?

Rodney vs Bismark, or Washington vs Kirishima?
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Re: BBs at knife fighting range

Post by OpanaPointer » 03 Apr 2021 19:33

I think Washington was firing at 8400 yards. (From memory.)
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Takao
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Re: BBs at knife fighting range

Post by Takao » 03 Apr 2021 19:47

I thought Rodney & KGV only closed the range once Biz ceased firing her main batteries.

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Re: BBs at knife fighting range

Post by Pips » 04 Apr 2021 05:53

Anyone know what the range was between HMS Warspite and the leading battleships of the German High Seas Fleet when Warspite made circles due to damage at Jutland?

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Re: BBs at knife fighting range

Post by Sid Guttridge » 04 Apr 2021 07:17

Hi Guys,

Doesn't closing below a certain distance reduce effectiveness? I thought rounds were ideally meant to follow a high trajectory to fall on the opposing ship's less protected deck. The closer one gets, the lower the trajectory and the more the better protecting side armour comes into play.

I presume that each type of gun has its own ideal trajectory and range?

In ignorance,

Sid

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Re: BBs at knife fighting range

Post by pugsville » 04 Apr 2021 08:17

Battle of Cape Matapan I would have thought. Warspite again!

"The battleships Barham, Valiant, and Warspite were able to close to 3,800 yards (3,500 m) – point blank range for battleship guns"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Cape_Matapan

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Re: BBs at knife fighting range

Post by Sid Guttridge » 04 Apr 2021 08:20

Hi pugsville,

Wasn't that against the Italian heavy cruisers?

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: BBs at knife fighting range

Post by pugsville » 04 Apr 2021 08:54

Sid Guttridge wrote:
04 Apr 2021 08:20
Hi pugsville,

Wasn't that against the Italian heavy cruisers?

Cheers,

Sid.
Ok My bad, Not against other BBs.

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Re: BBs at knife fighting range

Post by Kingfish » 04 Apr 2021 12:02

Sid Guttridge wrote:
04 Apr 2021 07:17
Hi Guys,

Doesn't closing below a certain distance reduce effectiveness?
It does, but that knife cuts both ways. Standing off to achieve high trajectory plunging fire also gives your opponent the same advantage. I recall reading somewhere that Hood sought to close the distance with Bismark for that very reason.

I would think both sides would maneuver to gain that "sweet spot" where the trajectory is lowered yet the main belt armor still has a reasonable chance of shrugging off the opponent's main rounds.
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Re: BBs at knife fighting range

Post by Delta Tank » 07 Apr 2021 15:01

CA vs BB?

USS San Francisco vs IJN Hiei, 2,500 yards to 5,000 yard range! That is a knife fight!

Mike

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Re: BBs at knife fighting range

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 08 Apr 2021 03:55

Sid Guttridge wrote:
04 Apr 2021 07:17
Hi Guys,

Doesn't closing below a certain distance reduce effectiveness? I thought rounds were ideally meant to follow a high trajectory to fall on the opposing ship's less protected deck. The closer one gets, the lower the trajectory and the more the better protecting side armour comes into play.
Up to a point. At these ultra close ranges other factors change the equation. The velocity the projectiles is relatively high and more prone to effects outside the shell vs armor calculations. A second consideration is the number hits rises dramatically. That has effects on the armor outside the calculations.
Sid Guttridge wrote:
04 Apr 2021 07:17
I presume that each type of gun has its own ideal trajectory and range?
Yes

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Re: BBs at knife fighting range

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 08 Apr 2021 03:59

Delta Tank wrote:
07 Apr 2021 15:01
CA vs BB?

USS San Francisco vs IJN Hiei, 2,500 yards to 5,000 yard range! That is a knife fight!

Mike
This ultra close range had something to do with 8" penetrations of the main armor belt. At optimal ranges the armor of the Hiei should have repelled the projectiles.

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Re: BBs at knife fighting range

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 08 Apr 2021 04:00

Kingfish wrote:
04 Apr 2021 12:02
I would think both sides would maneuver to gain that "sweet spot" where the trajectory is lowered yet the main belt armor still has a reasonable chance of shrugging off the opponent's main rounds.
Tactics and doctrine revolved around this.

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Re: BBs at knife fighting range

Post by Delta Tank » 08 Apr 2021 14:58

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
08 Apr 2021 03:59
Delta Tank wrote:
07 Apr 2021 15:01
CA vs BB?

USS San Francisco vs IJN Hiei, 2,500 yards to 5,000 yard range! That is a knife fight!

Mike
This ultra close range had something to do with 8" penetrations of the main armor belt. At optimal ranges the armor of the Hiei should have repelled the projectiles.
The US Navy had developed a “Heavy AP” round for the 8 inch gun, it weighed 335 pounds, was it in use in 1942? I read where the 5 inch guns really did a lot of damage on the super structures of the heavier Japanese ships. At that range and their rate of fire, those 5 inch guns must of swept the un armored portions of the ship.

Mike

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Re: BBs at knife fighting range

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 08 Apr 2021 16:08

Delta Tank wrote:
08 Apr 2021 14:58
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
08 Apr 2021 03:59
Delta Tank wrote:
07 Apr 2021 15:01
CA vs BB?

USS San Francisco vs IJN Hiei, 2,500 yards to 5,000 yard range! That is a knife fight!

Mike
This ultra close range had something to do with 8" penetrations of the main armor belt. At optimal ranges the armor of the Hiei should have repelled the projectiles.
The US Navy had developed a “Heavy AP” round for the 8 inch gun, it weighed 335 pounds, was it in use in 1942?
I don't know. I do know the surviving crew of the Krishima described multiple penetrations by 8" rounds.
Delta Tank wrote:
08 Apr 2021 14:58
I read where the 5 inch guns really did a lot of damage on the super structures of the heavier Japanese ships. At that range and their rate of fire, those 5 inch guns must of swept the un armored portions of the ship.

Mike
The destroyer damage you describe was also vs the Hiei. Two destroyers got to under 2000 meters range when the firing started. They hardly missed and a few minutes of firing shredded the central superstructure and started multiple fires. The range finders, bridge, communications, AA cannon, search lights were all destroyed on that side of the central superstructure. Otter 5" hits were described forward & aft by the survivors. The 8" & some 6" came from the opposite beam from a slightly longer range.

This was the night battle led by US Adm Callaghan (killed during the battle) & Japanese Adm Abe suffered concussion & splinter cuts. Both admirals became confused at the start and held fire, for not understanding where their ships were.

Here is a 20 minute video on the battle which saw the Hiei sunk and two US admirals killed in action. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjGdeRUcEi8

...a better 30 minute description https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Em_PuLURII4
Last edited by Carl Schwamberger on 08 Apr 2021 22:03, edited 1 time in total.

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