American militarism pre-WW2 and the Ultimate Battleship

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
User avatar
Takao
Member
Posts: 2932
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 19:27
Location: Reading, Pa

Re: American militarism pre-WW2 and the Ultimate Battleship

Post by Takao » 26 Oct 2019 16:17

OpanaPointer wrote:
26 Oct 2019 15:38
For a good read on the US mobilization (and the pissing contests that went with it) I recommend Maury Klein's A Call to Arms: Mobilizing the US for World War II. Eight hundred and ninety-seven pages. So pack a lunch.

EDIT: If you read Klein I suggest you keep a table of acronyms and their associated agencies. Klein mentions the full name once, includes the acronym and then doesn't repeat the full name again. As the book is just shy of nine hundred pages I suspect there was a full index of agencies in the original material but cost made it go away. :(
A book is only as good as its index.

Maybe I should make that my Sig.

OpanaPointer
Member
Posts: 4137
Joined: 16 May 2010 14:12
Location: United States of America

Re: American militarism pre-WW2 and the Ultimate Battleship

Post by OpanaPointer » 26 Oct 2019 16:28

Takao wrote:
26 Oct 2019 16:17
OpanaPointer wrote:
26 Oct 2019 15:38
For a good read on the US mobilization (and the pissing contests that went with it) I recommend Maury Klein's A Call to Arms: Mobilizing the US for World War II. Eight hundred and ninety-seven pages. So pack a lunch.

EDIT: If you read Klein I suggest you keep a table of acronyms and their associated agencies. Klein mentions the full name once, includes the acronym and then doesn't repeat the full name again. As the book is just shy of nine hundred pages I suspect there was a full index of agencies in the original material but cost made it go away. :(
A book is only as good as its index.

Maybe I should make that my Sig.
A book may be no better than its index.
Come visit our sites:
hyperwarHyperwar
World War II Resources

Bellum se ipsum alet, mostly Doritos.

User avatar
T. A. Gardner
Member
Posts: 1954
Joined: 02 Feb 2006 00:23
Location: Arizona

Re: American militarism pre-WW2 and the Ultimate Battleship

Post by T. A. Gardner » 26 Oct 2019 21:47

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
26 Oct 2019 03:50
T. A. Gardner wrote:
26 Oct 2019 02:33
The superimposed gun thing was tried before by the USN. It was found to be a complex mess that really didn't work.

Image

The idea isn't new, but it also didn't work.
Yeah for the 15th time it isn't one gun on top of another. It's one gun behind another. Completely different concept from this picture. I really don't get how hard it is for folks to understand that. I mean I do get it - the most common reason for participation in this forum isn't to discuss interesting ideas but to try to pour cold water on ideas. I've been around the internet and alive for long enough to expect this kind of behavior. Even by those standards, however, the refusal to understand "one gun behind another" is exceptional.
It doesn't matter. What I was getting at wasn't the mounting positions of the gun, but the complexity of the turret.

The problem isn't mounting the weapons, its supplying them shells and powder, operating the turret, elevation system, train and aim systems, etc.

This is the three gun turret on an Iowa...



That's 79 crew loading and operating just three guns on three powder hoists and three shell hoists. You are calling for 8 to 12 or more of these in your turret. It would be likely that it took 200 to 300 men in the turret trying to load shells and powder up to those guns. Then there's the space needed for the various hoists as well as passing powder, and moving (likely) one-and-a-half ton shells onto the shell hoists.

My view is that such details need be thought through before making a claim for an alternative history. All-too-often, the ideas presented were superficially thought through and no thought given to the details of how something would actually work.

Here, you have a turret weighing several times what a single battleship turret on any actual battleship weighed. You have a far larger rolling diameter and would see more stress put on this when the guns fire simply because there are far more guns in the turret. You are putting far more guns in the turret requiring far more machinery. Every powder and shell hoist requires electric motors and machinery to operate it. Each shell deck would require more equipment and machinery to move the shells.
In turn, the magazines would have to be much larger complicating moving powder and shells to more hoists from further away in some cases.
The whole requires a much larger crew who has to have room to work smoothly and efficiently. Another downside is more guns, more powder, more crew, increases the chances of an accident in handling with far greater consequences if it does.
One powder accident like Mississippi or Iowa suffered now kills hundreds of men, not 70 or 80. The much larger magazines represent a greater hazard if such an accident leads to an explosion.

What it boils down to is more isn't always better. There's a practical limit to ship size that isn't tied simply to what engineers can design and build in sheer tonnage one.

User avatar
Takao
Member
Posts: 2932
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 19:27
Location: Reading, Pa

Re: American militarism pre-WW2 and the Ultimate Battleship

Post by Takao » 26 Oct 2019 22:02

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
26 Oct 2019 03:50
T. A. Gardner wrote:
26 Oct 2019 02:33
The superimposed gun thing was tried before by the USN. It was found to be a complex mess that really didn't work.

Image

The idea isn't new, but it also didn't work.
Yeah for the 15th time it isn't one gun on top of another. It's one gun behind another. Completely different concept from this picture. I really don't get how hard it is for folks to understand that. I mean I do get it - the most common reason for participation in this forum isn't to discuss interesting ideas but to try to pour cold water on ideas. I've been around the internet and alive for long enough to expect this kind of behavior. Even by those standards, however, the refusal to understand "one gun behind another" is exceptional.
Actually, the concept is one turret atop another. The location of the guns is immaterial to the concept. The reason for the concept is different - allowing more guns & giving them high angle fire as opposed to weight savings. But, the concept is the same - on turret atop another.

I don't get how hard it is for one person to understand this.


We are discussing an idea and its merits. While you may prefer a one-sided discussion/monologue, as opposed to one with differing viewpoints, well, you get what you get when you present an idea to People who are not you.

I understand your reasoning for one gun behind another - More guns and high-angle fire. I also understand that the concept is a turret on a turret.
I further understand that this turret is overly complex. I also understand the difficulty involved in getting large caliber guns to reliably elevate to AA angles. I understand the difficulty involved, not only in designing this turret, but also in it's production. I understand the difficulty involved in getting large caliber guns to load at any angle. Finally, I understand that the length of time that it will take to design, construct, and get this turret to reliably operate will be very long indeed.

Now...Do you understand?

User avatar
Takao
Member
Posts: 2932
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 19:27
Location: Reading, Pa

Re: American militarism pre-WW2 and the Ultimate Battleship

Post by Takao » 26 Oct 2019 22:16

T. A. Gardner wrote:
26 Oct 2019 21:47
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
26 Oct 2019 03:50
T. A. Gardner wrote:
26 Oct 2019 02:33
The superimposed gun thing was tried before by the USN. It was found to be a complex mess that really didn't work.

Image

The idea isn't new, but it also didn't work.
Yeah for the 15th time it isn't one gun on top of another. It's one gun behind another. Completely different concept from this picture. I really don't get how hard it is for folks to understand that. I mean I do get it - the most common reason for participation in this forum isn't to discuss interesting ideas but to try to pour cold water on ideas. I've been around the internet and alive for long enough to expect this kind of behavior. Even by those standards, however, the refusal to understand "one gun behind another" is exceptional.
It doesn't matter. What I was getting at wasn't the mounting positions of the gun, but the complexity of the turret.

The problem isn't mounting the weapons, its supplying them shells and powder, operating the turret, elevation system, train and aim systems, etc.

This is the three gun turret on an Iowa...



That's 79 crew loading and operating just three guns on three powder hoists and three shell hoists. You are calling for 8 to 12 or more of these in your turret. It would be likely that it took 200 to 300 men in the turret trying to load shells and powder up to those guns. Then there's the space needed for the various hoists as well as passing powder, and moving (likely) one-and-a-half ton shells onto the shell hoists.

My view is that such details need be thought through before making a claim for an alternative history. All-too-often, the ideas presented were superficially thought through and no thought given to the details of how something would actually work.

Here, you have a turret weighing several times what a single battleship turret on any actual battleship weighed. You have a far larger rolling diameter and would see more stress put on this when the guns fire simply because there are far more guns in the turret. You are putting far more guns in the turret requiring far more machinery. Every powder and shell hoist requires electric motors and machinery to operate it. Each shell deck would require more equipment and machinery to move the shells.
In turn, the magazines would have to be much larger complicating moving powder and shells to more hoists from further away in some cases.
The whole requires a much larger crew who has to have room to work smoothly and efficiently. Another downside is more guns, more powder, more crew, increases the chances of an accident in handling with far greater consequences if it does.
One powder accident like Mississippi or Iowa suffered now kills hundreds of men, not 70 or 80. The much larger magazines represent a greater hazard if such an accident leads to an explosion.

What it boils down to is more isn't always better. There's a practical limit to ship size that isn't tied simply to what engineers can design and build in sheer tonnage one.
Your crew numbers are way way too low.

He wants 400+ 18-inchers in turrets mounting 20-40+ guns. That would be about 500-1000+ per turret.

Further complicating matters, is that his idea appears to be that of a gunhouse - with no rotating structure below. Something akin the the 5-inch gunhouses of WW2.

OpanaPointer
Member
Posts: 4137
Joined: 16 May 2010 14:12
Location: United States of America

Re: American militarism pre-WW2 and the Ultimate Battleship

Post by OpanaPointer » 26 Oct 2019 22:35

A 18" gun turret with no barbette?
Come visit our sites:
hyperwarHyperwar
World War II Resources

Bellum se ipsum alet, mostly Doritos.

User avatar
T. A. Gardner
Member
Posts: 1954
Joined: 02 Feb 2006 00:23
Location: Arizona

Re: American militarism pre-WW2 and the Ultimate Battleship

Post by T. A. Gardner » 26 Oct 2019 23:11

Takao wrote:
26 Oct 2019 22:16
Your crew numbers are way way too low.

He wants 400+ 18-inchers in turrets mounting 20-40+ guns. That would be about 500-1000+ per turret.

Further complicating matters, is that his idea appears to be that of a gunhouse - with no rotating structure below. Something akin the the 5-inch gunhouses of WW2.
Riiiiggghhhttt…. :roll:

You'd need some rotating structure just for the turret machinery. Such a turret probably isn't possible in terms of driving it in traverse. How many horsepower of motor would this monstrosity require to turn it? An Iowa turret had a 300 hp motor driving a hydraulic pump to turn it. Would this turret need like a 1500 hp motor? Maybe a 2000 hp motor?
Could you imagine the complexity of the loading system in this thing? Let's just say 20 18" guns. That's 20 power rammers that can load a 1.5 ton + shell. That's 20 shell hoists and 20 shell loading positions in the magazines that are required. Then you have 20 powder hoists with 20 loading positions from the powder magazines. It'd probably look like a bowl of ramen noodles trying to get everything from one place to another.
The complexity and sheer mass of equipment needed to run such a turret would be near mind boggling. And, you're correct. It would take 500 to 750 men to run the turret. The rotating part of such a gun system would likely weight somewhere between 12,000 and 15,000 tons. I'm not sure there's a way to even make something that heavy able to rotate. Is there even a bearing system that could take that weight?

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 2825
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: American militarism pre-WW2 and the Ultimate Battleship

Post by Richard Anderson » 27 Oct 2019 00:41

Takao wrote:
26 Oct 2019 22:16
He wants 400+ 18-inchers in turrets mounting 20-40+ guns. That would be about 500-1000+ per turret.

Further complicating matters, is that his idea appears to be that of a gunhouse - with no rotating structure below. Something akin the the 5-inch gunhouses of WW2.
And 1,500 "9.5"" guns...why 9.5" BTW? Anyway, if we take the ordnance estimate for CL/CA 25-28 in 1926, $16,950,000, and just for shits and giggles say it covers 27 "9.5"" guns, then call it just a shade under one billion dollars for the secondary armament for just one of the USS Behemoth's.

Then let's look at the number of 8" naval rifles produced, in wartime, by the U.S. 186. 16"? 114. So, somehow, in peacetime, during a period of fiscal austerity, for some reason, the US is gonna spend about $4-billon on just the secondary armament of these beasties, and is gonna increase the gun forging facilities by about ten times what they were during World War II.

Yeah, economies of scale. :roll: :lol:
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

TheMarcksPlan
Member
Posts: 918
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: American militarism pre-WW2 and the Ultimate Battleship

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 27 Oct 2019 00:48

Takao wrote:8-10 feet extra depth, the guns would protrude into the electrical deck of the turret. Rearrange that, and you would not need to expand the turret in any way shape or form.
Wow, if only the USN engineers had thought of rearranging their equipment. Too bad they weren't that smart.

As usual you haven't even done the basic arithmetic for this problem.
Take a 65 degree angle. With 22ft needed from the trunion for recoil, the following would need to be cleared:
  • ~12ft aft of the gun axis (cosine of 65deg * 22; plus 2 feet for the thickness of the barrel) to a vertical distance of ~20 ft below the trunion (sine of 65deg plus barrel thickness)
  • Given that the floor pan is 16ft below the trunions, and the electric deck 6-7 feet below that, you have 1-3 foot clearance over half the deck now. Basically you've lost half the electric deck already.
  • Repeat that process for 60 and 55 degrees and you'll see you're losing all but the back of the electric deck.
For reference re the above calculations:

Image



Explain to us and to those stupid USN engineers how to move all this stuff around into half the space:


Image

I don't think you know what you're talking about.
A little more arithmetic, rigorous analysis, and a lot less self-satisfaction would do you well.

TheMarcksPlan
Member
Posts: 918
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: American militarism pre-WW2 and the Ultimate Battleship

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 27 Oct 2019 01:08

Terry Duncan wrote:He means a ship is the sum of its parts to a total of 1. If you have mobility at 0.5 then you only have the remaining 0.5 to allow for armament and protection between them.
Ok so there's tradeoffs? Of course there are.

Those tradeoffs are quite a bit different at this scale, however. Because of the square-cube principle, viscous drag per ton is about a quarter of Iowa's. Because of the lower Froude number, wave drag per ton is probably around one-fifth. Whereas the Iowa's hull was ~1/3rd propulsion, a MegaBB's hull would be not even 10%. So trading mobility against armor/firepower is a much different equation.

Mobility might be set at .5 for the Iowa to achieve 33kn; for the MegaBB it's far, far smaller.

And there's plenty of unused space in the hull - as stated above the whole crew and all ops would fit within the citadel.
Terry Duncan wrote:This is sort of why I and Takao have suggested you try a ship design program like Springsharp as it makes it clear that making a huge ship is often still beset with problems
I prefer to look at the fundamentals of the engineering problem: bending stress, drag, thrust, SFC, etc.
If springsharp uses the kinds of "rules of thumb" I encounter here then it wouldn't be useful to a project of my scale. That requires looking at the physical fundamentals as I have tried to do.

I took your advice though and downloaded the program. It told me I needed some other program to run it and, after a couple tries with that other program, I grew tired. If someone wants to present Springsharp's view of the MegaBB, please do so.
Terry Duncan wrote:Also, this type of ship will be extremely vulnerable to Highball type weapons that can be dropped well out of range of most of the AA weapons, and in tials managed to go through HMS Malaya entirely.
Per Wikipedia (article seems well-cited) Highball needed to be dropped at 1,200 yards. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bouncing_bomb#Highball
Its 600lb warhead was smaller than that of a USN ship-launched torpedo.

TheMarcksPlan
Member
Posts: 918
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: American militarism pre-WW2 and the Ultimate Battleship

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 27 Oct 2019 01:15

Richard Anderson wrote:why 9.5" BTW?
Thanks for the question, Richard.

I want secondary armament that can reach ~35,000 yards without excessive muzzle velocity (and therefore too-short barrel life). That range allows the secondary armament to figure at ranges that would be ideal for this ship to stand off against its opponents (and with its speed it would be able to dictate tactical terms).

In addition, there's a square-cube problem with fitting firepower on the deck of this ship. The topside grows quadratically, the weight available for guns and ammo grows more-than-cubically. Firing an equivalent weight in, say, 5in shells would require many thousands of guns and even on MegaBB there's no space for that. Plus using more deck space for turrets lengthens the citadel.

For now, 9.5in is a placeholder - maybe it'd be more or less. Maybe it'd be a mix of 11in and 6in rapid-fire guns. Maybe something else.

User avatar
Takao
Member
Posts: 2932
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 19:27
Location: Reading, Pa

Re: American militarism pre-WW2 and the Ultimate Battleship

Post by Takao » 27 Oct 2019 01:30

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
27 Oct 2019 00:48
Takao wrote:8-10 feet extra depth, the guns would protrude into the electrical deck of the turret. Rearrange that, and you would not need to expand the turret in any way shape or form.
Wow, if only the USN engineers had thought of rearranging their equipment. Too bad they weren't that smart.

As usual you haven't even done the basic arithmetic for this problem.
Take a 65 degree angle. With 22ft needed from the trunion for recoil, the following would need to be cleared:
  • ~12ft aft of the gun axis (cosine of 65deg * 22; plus 2 feet for the thickness of the barrel) to a vertical distance of ~20 ft below the trunion (sine of 65deg plus barrel thickness)
  • Given that the floor pan is 16ft below the trunions, and the electric deck 6-7 feet below that, you have 1-3 foot clearance over half the deck now. Basically you've lost half the electric deck already.
  • Repeat that process for 60 and 55 degrees and you'll see you're losing all but the back of the electric deck.
For reference re the above calculations:

Image



Explain to us and to those stupid USN engineers how to move all this stuff around into half the space:


Image

I don't think you know what you're talking about.
A little more arithmetic, rigorous analysis, and a lot less self-satisfaction would do you well.
All of this from the guy who said that the #1 and #3 guns couldn't elevate that far because of the barbette... :roll:

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
27 Oct 2019 00:48
Wow, if only the USN engineers had thought of rearranging their equipment. Too bad they weren't that smart.
Well, the USN engineers were smart...They realized that using large caliber guns with a slow elevation rate and slow turret rotation rate are all but useless against attacking aircraft...Thus, they never bothered to consider raising the elevation of the 16-inch guns.

Conversely, if the guns are as effective as anti-aircraft artillery as you presume, then would not these US engineers be dumb-as-bricks not to have made the 16-inchers AA capable?

Now we do have a conundrum...Are the US engineers smart or dumb-as-bricks?

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
27 Oct 2019 00:48
As usual you haven't even done the basic arithmetic for this problem.
Take a 65 degree angle. With 22ft needed from the trunion for recoil, the following would need to be cleared:
  • ~12ft aft of the gun axis (cosine of 65deg * 22; plus 2 feet for the thickness of the barrel) to a vertical distance of ~20 ft below the trunion (sine of 65deg plus barrel thickness)
  • Given that the floor pan is 16ft below the trunions, and the electric deck 6-7 feet below that, you have 1-3 foot clearance over half the deck now. Basically you've lost half the electric deck already.
  • Repeat that process for 60 and 55 degrees and you'll see you're losing all but the back of the electric deck.
Well, let's see...This discussion on the Iowa turrets is not pertinent to, nor does it pertain to the discussion at hand. But, is nothing other than a meaningless tangent from said discussion, not worthy of even basic arithmetic.

I just used the old Mark I Eyeball, and was rather correct about it, as you have so proven with your many mathematical calculations and hours of time.

Thank you for confirming my opinion.

TheMarcksPlan
Member
Posts: 918
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: American militarism pre-WW2 and the Ultimate Battleship

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 27 Oct 2019 01:38

T.A. Gardiner wrote:It would take 500 to 750 men to run the turret.
Iowa's had 93 men per turret or 31 per gun. Of the 93: 3 gun layers, 1 turret trainer, 6 men setting/training/pointing the sights on each side, 3 gun captains, 3 men operating the range finder, a turret captain and his talker, a turret officer and his talker, a computer operator (21 men if I counted right).

So 72 men supplying/loading/firing the guns or 24 per gun.
For 20 guns, that's 480 men to supply/load/fire.
Re the other 21, range-finding and sighting wouldn't be in every (or any) turrets and we don't need all 20 guns to elevate separately. But still, 500 men seems a reasonable estimate or ~25/gun.

That's before figuring in greater automation, however. But let's stick with it for now.

For 400 guns that's 10,000 men. If the secondary guns need as many men that's 20,000 men.
Most of the crew would be working on the guns, unlike Iowa where the main battery employed ~1/10 of the crew.

Even if it takes another 20,000 men to run the engines, fire-control, light AAA, etc., that's a crew of 40,000 men total.

These men are firing ~300x the shell-weight/min of an Iowa BB, which has a crew of ~2,700.

Each MegaBB crew member would produce ~20x the weight in shells of an Iowa crew member.

Very economical use of manpower.

TheMarcksPlan
Member
Posts: 918
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: American militarism pre-WW2 and the Ultimate Battleship

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 27 Oct 2019 01:41

Takao wrote:Thank you for confirming my opinion.
Let's not pretend that your opinion being confirmed was ever in doubt.
I appreciate you as a foil for others reading along who might want to learn something.

User avatar
Takao
Member
Posts: 2932
Joined: 10 Mar 2002 19:27
Location: Reading, Pa

Re: American militarism pre-WW2 and the Ultimate Battleship

Post by Takao » 27 Oct 2019 01:43

Richard Anderson wrote:
27 Oct 2019 00:41
Takao wrote:
26 Oct 2019 22:16
He wants 400+ 18-inchers in turrets mounting 20-40+ guns. That would be about 500-1000+ per turret.

Further complicating matters, is that his idea appears to be that of a gunhouse - with no rotating structure below. Something akin the the 5-inch gunhouses of WW2.
And 1,500 "9.5"" guns...why 9.5" BTW? Anyway, if we take the ordnance estimate for CL/CA 25-28 in 1926, $16,950,000, and just for shits and giggles say it covers 27 "9.5"" guns, then call it just a shade under one billion dollars for the secondary armament for just one of the USS Behemoth's.

Then let's look at the number of 8" naval rifles produced, in wartime, by the U.S. 186. 16"? 114. So, somehow, in peacetime, during a period of fiscal austerity, for some reason, the US is gonna spend about $4-billon on just the secondary armament of these beasties, and is gonna increase the gun forging facilities by about ten times what they were during World War II.

Yeah, economies of scale. :roll: :lol:
Shush, Rich,

We are not supposed to question such things...After all, TMP says it will only cost $1 billion dollars

EDIT: Although I do wonder if he realizes that the cost of the ship did not include weapons and armor.
Last edited by Takao on 27 Oct 2019 02:00, edited 1 time in total.

Return to “What if”