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  1. #11  
    eeeevil Sith Admin SarasotaRepub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zathras View Post
    Actually it was the way the crews handled the powder charges for the main guns that was determined to be the cause of the destruction of the three British battlecruisers at the Battle of Jutland. To increase the rate of fire, crews would stack the cordite charges in the turret. To make matters worse, it is thought that the crews also disabled the anti-flash doors from the turret to the magazines to make it easier to pass powder and shells from the magazine to the guns. With nothing to stop any fire from a hit on the turret flashing into the magazine, the British battlecruisers were floating bombs.

    Correct, I've read a lot on that battle.
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  2. #12  
    Senior Member SVPete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zathras View Post
    Actually it was the way the crews handled the powder charges for the main guns that was determined to be the cause of the destruction of the three British battlecruisers at the Battle of Jutland. To increase the rate of fire, crews would stack the cordite charges in the turret. To make matters worse, it is thought that the crews also disabled the anti-flash doors from the turret to the magazines to make it easier to pass powder and shells from the magazine to the guns. With nothing to stop any fire from a hit on the turret flashing into the magazine, the British battlecruisers were floating bombs.
    All true, but the conflagrations each started with the deck or turret armor being penetrated. Battlecruisers (BCs) were designed to defeat older generation armored cruisers (ACs), which, IIRC, had 8" or 9" guns. BCs were armored to protect against those guns, but themselves had 12" (and later 13.5" guns), and were also faster than ACs. An example of what they were designed to do would be the Battle of the Falkland Islands, in which a pair of RN BCs chased down and sank a pair of German ACs. At Jutland RN BCs were hit by German 11" guns, with Princess Royal, Queen Mary, and Indefatigable suffering magazine explosions and Tiger narrowly escaping the same fate (I looked some of that up. I thnk RN BC Lion also narrowly missed a magazine explosion at the earlier Battle of Dogger Bank, and as a result some improvements were made in the hoist trains from the magazines to the turrets.

    On the German side, several of their BCs were very chewed up - one barely made port before sinking, IIRC - but they had sacrificed a little speed and size of guns to have heavier armor. That (plus weather) may have saved a couple of German BCs.

    As a result of the experiences at Jutland, most nations improved the deck armor of their battleships, and the BC HMS Hood. One possibility in the sinking of the Hood in WW2 was that the deck armor wasn't adequate for the Bismarck's 15"/47 guns at long range and the armor over a magazine was penetrated.

    The practice of the USN - with one class exception - was to armor its battleships against the the shell size of its own guns. So, for example, the USS Arizona was armored against 14" guns and shells. The "bomb" that penetrated to her magazine was an adapted 16" shell. The exception class was the North Carolina class, originally designed to have nine 14"/50 guns in triple turrets but changed to nine 16"/45 guns. The armor could not be uprated without a loss of speed the USN was unwilling to accept. The North Carolina and Washington both survived WW2.
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