December again,

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Guest, Mar 3, 2003.

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    obelix2
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 336
    (12/17/01 6:10:54 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del All December again,
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    only 1939. The German armored ship Graf Spee engaged three British cruisers: Exeter, Ajax and Achllles -- two of which have interesting histories of their own -- in the South Atlantic and ended up being scuttled, her captain a suicide.

    Question: Was this a fair match? If not, who had the advantage, the German Panzerschiffe with two turrets full of 11-inch rifles or the three cruisers -- with nothing bigger than Exeter's 8-inch guns, but which outdisplaced her two to one?

    warpig883
    Moderator
    Posts: 1604
    (12/17/01 7:22:39 pm)
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    From what I remember about this it was the Germans own fault for being tricked after they docked for repairs they believed a rumor of the enemy coming. The German Capt. was only supposed to be sinking merchant ships and was supposed to stay away from warship altogether.
    To silence the mocker is to proclaim his litany true

    Xracer
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 1306
    (12/18/01 10:50:31 am)
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    Lansdorff allowed himself to be trapped in Montivedeo....he knew that he was outnumbered at least 3 to 1 (and the battleship King George V was on the way from the Falklands). He would have to do battle in the restricted (and fairly shallow waters) of the mouth of the River Platte.

    He was screwed, and he knew it!

    BTW, a highschool buddy of mine was in the movie. The part of the Graf Spee was played by the U.S.S. Salem (CA-139), and many of the crewmen were "extras" in the movie.....he was one of the "German" sailors lined up on the deck in the deck scene.

    The "Graf Spee" shots were done aboard the Salem in late '56 & early '57, much of it alongside Pier 55 in Naples, and out to sea about 20 miles. Our ship the, U.S.S. Mississinewa (AO-144), was photographed refueling her, but we ended up on the cutting room floor.

    Oh well.......sic transit gloria....

    17th FA Bn
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 56
    (12/19/01 9:06:18 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Weight of fire.
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    I would give the edge to the three Brits over the German pocket battleship.

    The German 11" guns theoretically out range the British 8" and 6" guns, but at the range where the 11" guns could actually hit a moving target the 6" and 8" guns were also effective.

    The 6" and 8" guns could pump out a lot of steel, which would have a devastating effect on a lightly armored battle cruiser.

    I think the Brits would come out on top, but would take a heck of a pounding themselves, and probably lose at least one ship in the process, with the other two heavily damaged.

    Xracer
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 1309
    (12/19/01 8:21:00 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Weight of fire.
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    Actually it was 4 to 1. The KG V arrived before the Spee sallied forth from Montevideo....and it was a case of sail then or be interned under the Neutrality Act.

    However, even positing your scenario of 3 to 1, the Brits should have been able to split the Spee's fire effectively enough to make the outcome certain.

    The Germans knew this, and rather than have the ship sunk by the British in full view of the rest of the world, they ordered Lansdorff to scuttle her.

    obelix2
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 337
    (12/20/01 11:32:12 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del With the KGV in the picture,
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    of course there's no doubt at all. Sail gloriously out like the Spanish squadron in Santiago in 1898 (with the same result), do what he did, or be interned in a country that would come under heavy pressure if the US entered the war.

    For all the blather at the beginning about "Pocket Battleships" that could beat anything they couldn't outrun -- not true of the KGV class -- the Germans would never have built them if it hadn't been for the Versailles Treaty.

    Xracer
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 1312
    (12/20/01 5:19:20 pm)
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    Neat subject, Obelix.......let's have another one.

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 2559
    (12/30/01 9:00:36 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: With the KGV in the picture,
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    Darn, I don't believe I missed this one...

    The 'Pocket Battleships" were never more than "Extra Heavy Cruisers.." and I don't believe ANY cruiser with bigger than 8" guns EVER wond a fight at sea...

    If you are going to have guns with a slower rate of fire, you'd BETTER have at least 8 of them so you can get the advantage of the "weight of shot" at the extra range that matters...

    It did NOT have much more armor than the Brit CAs, so at best they could get one salvo in before the Brits were in 8" range...thus the Brits had the advantage...

    Now SUPPOSEDLY the Germans had superior fire control, similar to what was on the Bismarck and Tirpitz...but it wasn't THAT much better...

    I still think there were more to it, many of the crew settled in Argentina and made out a HELLUVA lot better from the war han other German sailors and naval officers....



    We must make war as we must; not as we would like. - Field Marshal Kitchener, 1915

    17th FA Bn
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 61
    (12/30/01 9:39:53 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Real range
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    Polish, I know that the 11" guns of the Germans out ranged the 8", and 6" guns of the Brits. But does any one know at what range a cruiser or battleship could actually hit another ship when both are moving and trying to avoid being hit?

    Their are tables that give the max range of various guns, but this says nothing about actually hitting anything that is moving. These tables are based on a non-moving ship firing at a fixed point. I think realistically a a 6", 8", 11" or even a 16" gun all have the same effective combat range. The difference between these guns is the amount of damage they can do at any given range.

    the real fredneck
    Moderator
    Posts: 664
    (12/30/01 10:14:08 pm)
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    a little off topic but progress is wonderful nowadays someone with a rich uncle Osama can buy a bass boat and equip it with a Chinese copy of an Exocet and be able to inflict fatal damage to a ship of the line for only a few thousand dollars, used to be both sides had to spend big bucks for such capability, just goes to show all wars/conflicts are economic

    obelix2
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 351
    (1/7/02 4:21:40 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del quibbling for Polish
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    Do you mean to exclude battle cruisers, and do 8.2" guns count as greater than 8"? If so, there are counter-examples. Of course, all this has to do with the Great War, since after it nothing with larger than 8" guns qualified as a cruiser.

    For 17th: Fire control with the main battery concentrated in two turrets had to be a problem. Admittedly, this was the standard pre-dreadnaught design, but those ships were meant to fight at much shorter ranges -- as they did, in fact, at Tsushima.

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 2590
    (1/9/02 12:34:17 am)
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    What about the Alaska, OB? 12" guns, classified as a CA...in 1944...or was it 45?

    Yeah, 8.2", 8", same darn thing!

    In Coggins "Campaign for Quadalcanal," he has a heckuva illustration and charts for naval gunfire, between moving ships, fire control techniques, etc that explains alot...about range, lead,"overs" "shorts" and "straddles" etc.

    I just read not long ago about the longest ever recorded hit on a moving ship by gunnery, but can't remember the details except it was a Brit BB, at ungodly range, I think if I remember right it was in the Mediteranean against the Italians (Dulio?), that will NEVER be beat...have to look it up again....


    We must make war as we must; not as we would like. - Field Marshal Kitchener, 1915

    obelix2
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 353
    (1/9/02 9:53:05 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Alaska (no pun)
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    Nobody ever knew what to do with the Alaskas, which were designed as a reply to a Japanese class that turned out not to exist. They were classified as "large cruisers," though: not CA but CB.

    I was thinking more about those actions off South America -- Von Spee certainly got around that continent a lot -- which which Gneisenau and Scharnhorst won and then lost (in that order), and the battle cruisers that sank them.
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