Bismarck vs Iowa class Battlership

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Carl Schwamberger
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Re:

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 01 Mar 2019 13:55

Sieger wrote:
20 Jan 2003 02:31
I am under the impression that Bismarck's design flaws are due to the lack of experience by the Germans on Naval matters (with the exception of U-boats).
The naval experts say the Bismarck & Tirpitz were updates of the Bayern class designs made for the Kaisers navy circa 1914-1918. Can anyone here confirm or clarify that?

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Re: Bismarck vs Iowa class Battlership

Post by Hanny » 01 Mar 2019 14:18

Its easy to think of them evolving from that design, but its actually a step change in evolution, so much had advanced to make them second cousins rather than father and son.
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Re: Re:

Post by Terry Duncan » 01 Mar 2019 15:04

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
01 Mar 2019 13:55
Sieger wrote:
20 Jan 2003 02:31
I am under the impression that Bismarck's design flaws are due to the lack of experience by the Germans on Naval matters (with the exception of U-boats).
The naval experts say the Bismarck & Tirpitz were updates of the Bayern class designs made for the Kaisers navy circa 1914-1918. Can anyone here confirm or clarify that?

This is one of the 'sort of correct' commonly held beliefs about the Bismarck class. They are indirectly updates of the Bayern class, through the L20e α design and the Scharnhorst class, as the German school of design did evolve its creations between 1918 and 1935 as all navies did. They do reflect many of the same concepts such as the armour layout as the Germans had not really had such extensive post-war tests as had other nations, but they are closer to the Scharnhorst than the Bayern overall.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L_20e_%CE ... battleship

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Re: Bismarck vs Iowa class Battlership

Post by Don71 » 10 Mar 2019 18:40

This are common secondary source myths, especially fom the anglo and amrican side, which are first wrong and second far away from any reality!
Weather the Scharnhorst class nor the Bismarck class have anything in common with the WWI designs of Bayer or the L20, NOTHING!

After primary german sources and especially here the Lilienthal report fom 1943 with a large comparison between the Bismarck class and the Richelieu class, german naval enginees described the design ideas and goals of the Bismarck class.
The reason for the deep german main armour deck, were the technical improvements of the BB guns and shells, between WWI and WWII, durimg the development of the new german naval gun family (1934) from Krupp.
The german engineers didn't believe that a belt with nothing behind was strong enough to withstand modern guns and shells, at common battle ranges 15-30km, this was the reason that the main armor deck was part of the vertical protection and not designes from WWI.
Also after primary ADM papers (Admiral papers from GB), SH/BS whole spaced array armor deck protection was rated as an equivalent to a 5-6 inch single plate.
Which other BB protected 171m of a citadel? The Barbettes, were 360mm thick as the turret roofs with KC n.A steel.
The torpedo protection is quite equal to most other BB's of this time and BS, GN and SH proved, that they could manage hits.
The long/large citadel of the SH class and BS class is directly connected to the deep main armor deck, because to create enough reserve buoyancy through battle damages and have enough protected room and was also gladly accepted, as the German naval artilleriy doctrin preferred a 4 x 2 turret layout for salvo shooting
This is exactly described at the german primary sources of the comparison of the Richilieu and BS Class from 1943 and the Lilienthal Papers

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Re: Bismarck vs Iowa class Battlership

Post by Nautilus » 10 Mar 2019 20:32

1. Bismarck was not superior to Iowa.

2. Bismarck could have never been superior to Iowa, for two very simple reasons: first, between 1933 and 1936, when design work took place, there was not even a rumor of a ship like a Iowa. Not even her predecessor, North Carolina. Second, and most important, neither the Americans planned the Iowas or North Carolinas to fight in the North Sea, nor the German admirals imagined the Bismarcks were to fight in the Pacific, literally on the opposite side of the planet.

So as of 1935, possible opponents were the British or French fast battleships.

Nobody plans seriously for a scenario which is close to impossibility. In theory, the H39- H41 designs may be put in a wargame to assess how were they supposed to perform against Iowa, as they were the same generation and roughly equals on paper. In practice, naval brass never imagined they were to meet each other on the high seas. Leave alone the strategically absurd way Bismarck steamed off in practice - it had been known for centuries a battleship alone, not as part of the fleet, draws all available enemy ships like honey draws flies.

If something happened in Alternate History to send Iowa in the Atlantic, she was to steam as part of a flotilla including cruisers and destroyers and maybe a fleet carrier. Which was no match for any vessel caught alone, not even another Iowa.

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Re: Bismarck vs Iowa class Battlership

Post by Baldir » 11 Mar 2019 09:47

''...never imagined they were to meet each other on the high seas...'

I think we all agree that is not probable they would meet 1:1. But it is not impossible. Either Iowa is transfered to GB and accidentially meets Tirpitz (like Hood vs Bismarck e.g.) or they have a duel amidst other ships. Or on the D day, Tirpitz sails south and Iowa, which is the closest to Tirpitz intercept it before other ships. Not very likely, but not impossible.

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Re: Bismarck vs Iowa class Battlership

Post by Kingfish » 11 Mar 2019 10:42

1:1 does not necessarily mean only the two are present.
It could also mean the ranges or sea conditions prevent their respective escorts from contributing.
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Re: Bismarck vs Iowa class Battlership

Post by Baldir » 11 Mar 2019 12:58

Exactly. Usually the battle plan is the first casualty of the battle.

As I said, this scenario in not probable, however it is possible. I got the impression that people very quickly forget, that this is what if...

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Re: Bismarck vs Iowa class Battlership

Post by maltesefalcon » 11 Mar 2019 12:58

Baldir wrote:
11 Mar 2019 09:47
''...never imagined they were to meet each other on the high seas...'

I think we all agree that is not probable they would meet 1:1. But it is not impossible. Either Iowa is transfered to GB and accidentially meets Tirpitz (like Hood vs Bismarck e.g.) or they have a duel amidst other ships. Or on the D day, Tirpitz sails south and Iowa, which is the closest to Tirpitz intercept it before other ships. Not very likely, but not impossible.
Only Iowa and New Jersey were in fleet service by D-Day. An encounter with either vs Tirpitz on D-Day would have required incredible gunnery, as both Iowa class vessels were on assignment as invasion support/shore bombardment in the Pacific at the time.

And a redeployment if the opportunity presented itself would take weeks.

In any case, the Allies could make use of the thousands of aircraft on Great Britain at the time to end Tirpitz' brief excursion.

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Re: Bismarck vs Iowa class Battlership

Post by Terry Duncan » 11 Mar 2019 13:25

Don71 wrote:
10 Mar 2019 18:40
This are common secondary source myths, especially fom the anglo and amrican side, which are first wrong and second far away from any reality! Weather the Scharnhorst class nor the Bismarck class have anything in common with the WWI designs of Bayer or the L20, NOTHING!
:roll: :lol:

Yes, Anglo-American myths that the German design teams worked with the knowledge of what had previously been designed and then adapted this to meet further developments abroad. How stupid of us to imagine the Germans had cohesive teams that worked on improving what they already had like all other nations.
Don71 wrote:
10 Mar 2019 18:40
After primary german sources and especially here the Lilienthal report fom 1943 with a large comparison between the Bismarck class and the Richelieu class, german naval enginees described the design ideas and goals of the Bismarck class.
Here you are closer, there is a direct comparison between Richelieu and Bismarck as the latter is the response to the former. However, the Germans did not have the in-depth design details for Richelieu, they just used the parameters they did know and adapted their own existing designs to come up with something they believed would be better.
Don71 wrote:
10 Mar 2019 18:40
This is exactly described at the german primary sources of the comparison of the Richilieu and BS Class from 1943 and the Lilienthal Papers
:lol:

German primary sources for a comparison made long after the ship was designed really has little to do with how the actual design team of architects went about designing their reply to the Richelieu. Do you imagine they began from a total blank, with no ideas of existing designs and components that would be included, or that they expanded and adapted what they already had and then inserted new design details that were necessary to make the design fill the parameters they had been ordered to fill - outclassing the Richelieu?

Naval design teams evolve designs, there is a basic starting point based on what they already know from existing designs and philosophies, they do not make it all up as they go along! Even the Soviet's used existing experience when planning their 1930's and 1940's designs for battleships, despite having little to nothing left of pre-revolutionary design teams, they just bought in designs from abroad and adapted them.

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Don71
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Re: Bismarck vs Iowa class Battlership

Post by Don71 » 11 Mar 2019 14:47

@ Terry Duncan

Yeah the next arrogant anglo american post and claiming to know more about german naval designs then german primary sources.
Parts of the SH/BS design Team have written the Lilienthal report from 1943 and the comparison between Richelieu and Bismarck.
They have expalined at detail in this report, the consideration of the SH/BS design and why they came to the conclusion to built not an AoN design but a deep armored main deck, which was part of the vertical protection.
Perhaps you can answer the question, why the Panzerschiffe design was totaly AoN and not some WWI design and had also not anything in common with any WWI design?

You should laugh less and read perhaps more german sources, because germans have built this ships, not any other people.

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Re: Bismarck vs Iowa class Battlership

Post by Baldir » 11 Mar 2019 15:13

''... Iowa class vessels were on assignment as invasion support/shore bombardment in the Pacific at the time...In any case, the Allies could make use of the thousands of aircraft on Great Britain at the time to end Tirpitz' brief excursion.''

Yes, they were in the Pacific. And they didn't meet with Tirpitz. Apparently there's no place for what if...
I agree, airplanes would most likely have sunk Tirpitz. Unless... But that's apparently not possible.

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Re: Bismarck vs Iowa class Battlership

Post by Nautilus » 11 Mar 2019 16:55

Logical scenarios:

1. The USN assigns, no matter the reason, as in Real Life there was none, a flotilla of BBs to escort a convoy to Britain as of 1941. Which means on one side a North Carolina class BB, 1 or 2 heavy cruisers plus a destroyer escort of 3-4 vessels. On the other side, Bismarck, Prinz Eugen, 3-4 destroyers. (But North Carolinas were not in full commission in May 1941, due to propeller problems.

2. At least one Iowa gets commissioned in late 1943 and gets assigned to convoy duty in the Arctic. This means on one side Iowa, a KGV- class BB, 3-4 British cruisers and a destroyer escort, on the other side Tirpitz, Scharnhorst, 1 heavy cruiser and a destroyer escort.

Of course, if H39 gets built, if a H41 meets a Montana, the possibilities are endless :D

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Re: Bismarck vs Iowa class Battlership

Post by Terry Duncan » 11 Mar 2019 16:59

Don71 wrote:
11 Mar 2019 14:47
@ Terry Duncan

Yeah the next arrogant anglo american post and claiming to know more about german naval designs then german primary sources.
:lol: :roll: :lol:

In 1945 it was very much a case of "All your base are belong to us" and the allied powers had full access to German designs, hence how we knew to what extent the Germans cheated on tonnage limitations from the start. All your paperwork are belong to us! :lol:
Don71 wrote:
11 Mar 2019 14:47
Parts of the SH/BS design Team have written the Lilienthal report from 1943 and the comparison between Richelieu and Bismarck.
They have expalined at detail in this report, the consideration of the SH/BS design and why they came to the conclusion to built not an AoN design but a deep armored main deck, which was part of the vertical protection.
Perhaps you can answer the question, why the Panzerschiffe design was totaly AoN and not some WWI design and had also not anything in common with any WWI design?

You should laugh less and read perhaps more german sources, because germans have built this ships, not any other people.
:o :roll:

What makes you think that I have not read any German sources, even via secondary sources they are not exactly unknown when such things get to be almost 80 years old! Why would the Panzerschiff design move to AoN protection? Maybe because the concept was well known long before WWI (many early pre-Dreadnoughts/Ironclads worked on this principle), and in this case worked for protection against the designed cruiser opponent within the weight restrictions. They were not a proper capital ship design and had rather more in common with cruisers really.

The armour layout is something that will be fitted in with the designers existing philosophy, such as the bow shape, how to lay out the torpedo protection, what the best fire control is and so on. You are talking about things included within a design, such as being comparable to other ships, but for some reason, you are ignoring that the design bureaus incorporate all manner of things into a complete design and do so by using many pre-existing ideas drawn from previous designs where they had proven to work. Using a German example, this is how the designs were evolved after Jutland where the forward torpedo flats and bulkheads had proven to be a liability to watertight integrity on Lutzow and Seydlitz, so were changed during building for Hindenburg and even more so for the Mackensen and Erzatz Yorck designs and so on. This involved many features being redesigned, doors, piping vents, electric cable vents and so on. They do not scrub out all existing knowledge and start from scratch every time a new ship class is to be built, they adapt what they have already designed.

There is an evolution of German capital ship design from the Deutschland class into the Dreadnought era through the Nassau class and from the Bayern/L20e α period to the Bismarck class. The Panzerschiff type is the exception within this evolution, a dead end really, but even there the turret design clearly borrows from previous designs for turrets for capital units and other features such as hull lines from previous German cruiser designs (even the unusual late WWI Courageous and Renown 'copies' were similar evolutions based on a mix of German design applied to British concept).
Last edited by Terry Duncan on 11 Mar 2019 18:37, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bismarck vs Iowa class Battlership

Post by maltesefalcon » 11 Mar 2019 17:34

Nautilus wrote:
11 Mar 2019 16:55
Logical scenarios:

1. The USN assigns, no matter the reason, as in Real Life there was none, a flotilla of BBs to escort a convoy to Britain as of 1941. Which means on one side a North Carolina class BB, 1 or 2 heavy cruisers plus a destroyer escort of 3-4 vessels. On the other side, Bismarck, Prinz Eugen, 3-4 destroyers. (But North Carolinas were not in full commission in May 1941, due to propeller problems.

2. At least one Iowa gets commissioned in late 1943 and gets assigned to convoy duty in the Arctic. This means on one side Iowa, a KGV- class BB, 3-4 British cruisers and a destroyer escort, on the other side Tirpitz, Scharnhorst, 1 heavy cruiser and a destroyer escort.

Of course, if H39 gets built, if a H41 meets a Montana, the possibilities are endless :D
There was one opportunity for a gun battle vs Tirpitz. USS Alabama was despatched as part of a USN/RN task force in June 1943 as part of an attempt to lure Tirpitz into open waters. But Tirpitz did not fall for the bait, likely remembering the outcome of an unequal duel between Rodney, KGV et al and her sister ship.

On paper at least, Iowa was also despatched to Argentia in August the same year for a similar mission. Nothing came of it either.

One of the difficulties was the narrow waters that Tirpitz would need to negotiate. Depending on the course set, one of the fleets would need to risk coming dangerously close to land based air attack.

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