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A detailed look at Surrey (Design Y)

Design Y Surrey Cruiser 1928 County class Armour

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Trainspite #1 Posted 09 July 2016 - 07:49 PM

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A detailed look at Surrey (Design Y)

Did someone say the County class cruisers had poor armour?


First of all apologies for being very dishonourabru and leaving it over 3 weeks since the last review of mine. I have been busy recently, although I did donate what would have been my second review to Lert (What can I say, I’m so kind :P

So, what is Surrey? Well, it is a county in the south of England. Otherwise known as a place of sad commuters and picturesque countryside. Those of you familiar with your British cruisers should then have the alarm bells ringing at what this ship is. But in case you don’t, incoming historical context paragraph!

 

A nice view of the place one of the these two ships would have been named for. You probably came here for the ship though, not English Countryside.... I'll get back on track then.

 

Designed to be the next class of British heavy cruisers after the Norfolk sub class, the Admiralty looked at what the next ships should be, playing around with a 5 turreted design, but ultimately deciding that the new ships would be repeats of the previous county sub-class, Norfolk, but with increased protection. Two designs ended up being considered, Design X and Design Y, X being faster at 32 knots, but Y having about 400t more armour and was slightly smaller. Design Y was chosen, though there was considerable support for Design X.

Surrey and her sister Northumberland were assigned to built at Portsmouth and Devonport dockyards respectively, under the 1928 programme, however the new labour government in Britain cancelled those ships of the 1928/9 programme were suspended while a new naval conference took shape. The 2 cruisers following on from Surrey in the 1929/30 programme, with a modified design including a bridge structure similar to that of HMS Exeter also were cut.

 

WEIGHT – 9’900t

The standard displacement for Surrey came out at 100 tons under the 10’000t limit for 8” armed cruisers, so this weight, and its hit point equivalent using Fro5sty’s formulas is roughly 30’250. This would only apply to an A hull for Surrey, her full load displacement, which is used for top hit points, would be roughly around 13’800t, based on her predecessors. This gives Surrey a respectable slab of around 36’450 HP to work with, which is good enough at tier 8. This is quite comparable to New Orleans.

 

ARMOUR

Main belt: 146mm (5.75”) thick. 2.7m high.

Bulkheads: Machinery; 140mm (5.5”) Magazine; 76mm (3”)

Deck: 76mm (3”) 

Turrets: 25mm (1”) All over the turret. Including Barbettes.

 

Surrey’s magazines and engines are encased in box armour, quite thick for a cruiser of tier 8 or below. Both have side armour of 5.7”, and were perceived as resistant to 6” and 8” gunfire at most ranges.

However, her turrets let her down. Carried over from the previous county classes, they are poorly protected, and so losing a turret could be a problem for Surrey as well as the other county’s despite the other redeeming features of the turret, including a decent traverse speed. (5-8 degrees a second depending on preferences)

 

 

Nabbed from Shipbucket, this side profile is an interpretation of how Surrey could have been completed. This could represent the A hull in game. I'm not so sure about the two straight funnels though. I like the 3 raked funnels of the earlier counties better.

 

MAIN BATTERY – 4x2 203mm

A fairly typical heavy cruiser armament, 8 8”/50 Mk.VII in 4 twin turrets. These guns are fairly nice. They can have a RoF between 3 to 5 RPM (Planned to be 6RPM – If WG feels so inclined to include that stat), and I would suggest the higher figure there, to keep Surrey in line with the other similarly armed tier 8 cruiser in game at the moment, the significantly fatter Admiral Hipster. The shell ballistics should also be about the same as what we see with the Japanese and American 8” guns that arm their respective heavy cruisers (New Orleans, Mogami).

 

SECONDARY BATTERY – 4x1 102mm, *

As originally planned, this is not very impressive. At all. 2 guns per side. However, Surrey can probably receive what Norfolk did in 1937, which is double 4” mounts (Mk.XVI in Mk.XIX mounts) replacing the single 4” (Mk.V on Mk.III mounts). The double mounts and guns are the same as fitted to Warspite, and if their performance on the Warspite is anything to go by, they will be decent enough, though a cruisers secondary armament is never a big factor.

 

AA BATTERY – 2x 8 40mm Pom Pom Mounts, (4x2 102mm)

Take this with a grain of salt, the counties had their AA armament increased as they lived their lives through WW2, so there is good reason to assume Surrey will also receive additional 20mm Oerlikons. However, these additions are unlikely to give Surrey the AA capabilities of the other tier 8 cruisers.

 

TORPEDOES & AIRCRAFT

A single quadruple launcher per side. Likely to receive the Mk.IX** torpedo. Which travels 10.1km at 62 knots, or alternatively 13.7km at 56 knots. Unfortunately Surrey has the torpedo launchers a deck lower than most other British cruisers, hence Surrey will have quite Japanese style torpedo arcs.

Surrey also has 2 catapults, so should be capable of using them for a fighter or spotter aircraft.

 

SPEED – 30.25 knots

The price for having the extra armour on the cruiser, is that Surrey is very slow for a high tier cruiser. This could break the ship for many people, not being able to chase down Destroyers, or run away from some Battleships.

 

MANEUVERABILITY & CONCEALMENT

Surrey is short and stout compared to her other heavy cruiser counterparts. At 173m long, approximately the size of Pensacola, we can expect Surrey to be similar.

Surrey is fairly small as well, but her 2 funnels are quite high, and her rangefinder is not all that high either, so this could result in a lacklustre firing range.

 

Two further cruisers were planned after Surrey & Northumberland, and would have had some differences to the Surrey design. Some of those differences, like the bridge structure can theoretically be applied to Surrey.

 

CONCLUSION

At the end, I feel that Surrey is the most likely candidate for a first tier 8 RN Heavy cruiser. Her extra armour give her a step up over the preceding county classes, which are likely to be at tier 7. However, the ship is not without its drawbacks, including the poor speed. Furthermore Zara is definitely better protected than Surrey, so Surrey is not the best armoured on the block. However, her firepower should be more than adequate. I would imagine Surrey does best at closer ranges to utilise her good maneuverability and torpedoes, and to bully other cruisers into submission.

However, if Surrey doesn’t feel competitive enough, then a rebuild based on that of HMS London is also an option, to increase AA and possibly the speed, as well as aspects from the following 2 planned cruisers of the 1929/30 programme, which turns Surrey into a well-rounded tier 8.

New ideas for future reviews are appreciated, and I hope you have enjoyed this review, or at least found it mildly interesting. Feedback is appreciated, and do you think Surrey will be good enough to compete at tier 8?

(Also, I have this horrible feeling I have made some glaring historical errors – either that or I just don’t have high expectations of myself)

 

PROS

- Well protected compared to others

- Good Maneuverability (Prepare for incoming Torpedobeats!)

- Torpedoes! Remotely usable ones as well.

- Small, Squat and Stealthy.

- Good RoF and potential damage output.

 

CONS

- Slow for a cruiser.

- Fairly Poor Torpedo arcs.

- Turrets vulnerable to incapacitation.

- Could have poor range.

- Possibly lacklustre AA

 

The creator of these images also gave a nice review of the careers of the ships if Surrey, Northumberland and the two following cruisers were built. A possible premium camouflage pattern perhaps, and how a final Surrey hull could look in game? 



Historynerd #2 Posted 09 July 2016 - 07:58 PM

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Amazing work, and very interesting; I was definitely looking forward to more information about these ships! :honoring:

 

I'd like to ask, am I interpreting the images wrong, or does the main belt cover only a fraction of her side?

 

About these turrets... :sceptic:

They probably had their reasons to put such tin can turrets around these guns, but it still leaves me rather baffled.

Sure, the Italians never bothered that much to keep inside the Treaty limits (if ever), but at least I expect both the Trento and the Zara (whenever they'll come) to have rather sturdy turrets.


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VC381 #3 Posted 09 July 2016 - 08:07 PM

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It looks like the belt only covers the machinery spaces. I think the logic is it doesn't need to cover the magazines, because these are smaller and deeper in the ship and hence protected by an armored deck at (or slightly below) the waterline and water around. Or as described here, separate armored boxes for the magazines (same as County class), which are fully internal and don't show as a visible belt on the hull. It was a common way to increase protection on weight-tight cruisers, the US did something similar on some classes. The machinery needs more headroom so the armored deck above it is higher, but that then needs a belt to "complete" the protection. The downside is there is very little protected buoyancy, so a waterline hit outside the armored belt might not be fatal to e.g. magazines but would cause serious flooding.

Edited by VC381, 09 July 2016 - 08:09 PM.


Trainspite #4 Posted 09 July 2016 - 08:24 PM

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View PostHistorynerd, on 09 July 2016 - 07:58 PM, said:

Amazing work, and very interesting; I was definitely looking forward to more information about these ships! :honoring:

 

I'd like to ask, am I interpreting the images wrong, or does the main belt cover only a fraction of her side?

 

About these turrets... :sceptic:

They probably had their reasons to put such tin can turrets around these guns, but it still leaves me rather baffled.

Sure, the Italians never bothered that much to keep inside the Treaty limits (if ever), but at least I expect both the Trento and the Zara (whenever they'll come) to have rather sturdy turrets.

 

The Main belt only covers the Machinery spaces, while the magazines are protected by an armoured box of similar strength as VC said.

 

Weight saving and comparability are two main reasons for the turrets I think, and some thought was given to adding extra armour to them, although it seems that did not get into the design eventually. 

 

I think I could cover the other preliminaries and designs around Surrey at some point, those 5 turreted ships could be interesting.



Historynerd #5 Posted 09 July 2016 - 08:30 PM

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Well, can't argue with the logic, if one keeps in mind the implied disadvantage mentioned before.

 

Still, a ship I'd definitely like to sail someday! :child:


"We'll go and get ourselves killed for the King and for the country; but that does not give us victory, and win we must." - Carlo Pellion di Persano

FAN MADE ITALIAN TECH TREE!


piritskenyer #6 Posted 11 July 2016 - 08:14 AM

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Will read it when I get home today, but so far looks good!:great:

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damo74 #7 Posted 13 July 2016 - 03:31 PM

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Nice.

 

I wonder what WG will do with tier 9 and 10 RN cruisers. As the RN stopped discontinued building heavy cruisers early on.


 


Trainspite #8 Posted 13 July 2016 - 03:49 PM

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View Postdamo74, on 13 July 2016 - 03:31 PM, said:

Nice.

 

I wonder what WG will do with tier 9 and 10 RN cruisers. As the RN stopped discontinued building heavy cruisers early on.

 

There are plenty of designs and specifications from the early war 1939-1941 to build at least 2 or 3 branches up from tier 8 to 10. I would only suggest two though, otherwise, many many paper ships, and not enough difference. The two tier 10s would be the 12x 8" design, and the 9x 9.2" design.

piritskenyer #9 Posted 13 July 2016 - 04:06 PM

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View PostTrainspite, on 13 July 2016 - 03:49 PM, said:

 

There are plenty of designs and specifications from the early war 1939-1941 to build at least 2 or 3 branches up from tier 8 to 10. I would only suggest two though, otherwise, many many paper ships, and not enough difference. The two tier 10s would be the 12x 8" design, and the 9x 9.2" design.

 

Do you mean differences like Fargo to Cleveland and Oregon City to Baltimore?

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Trainspite #10 Posted 13 July 2016 - 04:46 PM

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View Postpiritskenyer, on 13 July 2016 - 04:06 PM, said:

 

Do you mean differences like Fargo to Cleveland and Oregon City to Baltimore?

 

Not especially like that, but a lot of them have similar characteristics, and a difference is usually a little less pronounced, like number of secondary guns etc.

Combat_Hamster #11 Posted 13 July 2016 - 04:46 PM

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View Postpiritskenyer, on 13 July 2016 - 04:06 PM, said:

 

Do you mean differences like Fargo to Cleveland and Oregon City to Baltimore?

 

Very nice post...I did  something  on RN cruisers a  while ago...the  box  citadel system  did actually work  very well..Berwick's deflected  Hipper's 8"  and  if  you look at  HMAS Canberra, when she had to be scuttled  and her  previous damage,  she took a  hell of a  bashing....and in the 'scuttling phase' there was nobody trying to keep her afloat.

Historynerd #12 Posted 13 July 2016 - 05:51 PM

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View PostCombat_Hamster, on 13 July 2016 - 05:46 PM, said:

Very nice post...I did  something  on RN cruisers a  while ago...the  box  citadel system  did actually work  very well..Berwick's deflected  Hipper's 8"  and  if  you look at  HMAS Canberra, when she had to be scuttled  and her  previous damage,  she took a  hell of a  bashing....and in the 'scuttling phase' there was nobody trying to keep her afloat.

 

About the engagement of the Berwick vs the Admiral Hipper, I found this:

 

Block Quote

 Berwick, was hit four times. X turret was hit and knocked out by an 8" HE and the other three hits were 8" AP. One AP hit below the waterline abreast B turret flooding the magazine. It also flooded the lower steering control room forcing the coxswain to order it evacuated. Berwick had to go over to manual steering control which required greatly reduced speed. Another hit the forward starboard 4" turret, knocking it out, and it detonated 18 meters further taking out the air intake for several of the boilers. A third AP was deflected by the belt downward into the bulge space were it detonated, flooding 13 meters of wing tanks. 

 

So, it took quite a beating, and substantial damage that impaired its fighting ability quite a bit.

Also, given that the 203 mm shell was deflected towards the bulges, I'd say that the hit was not normal.

 

Curious that the Y turret was again knocked out. The Italian heavy cruisers at Cape Spartivento had done the same, and taken out the power to the whole aft section of the ship.

A pity, Berwick wasn't a lucky ship, when it came to duking it out against ships of her own class...


"We'll go and get ourselves killed for the King and for the country; but that does not give us victory, and win we must." - Carlo Pellion di Persano

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Trainspite #13 Posted 13 July 2016 - 08:42 PM

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View PostHistorynerd, on 13 July 2016 - 05:51 PM, said:

 

 

A pity, Berwick wasn't a lucky ship, when it came to duking it out against ships of her own class...

 

None of the counties were particularly lucky ships to be honest. Shropshire might be one of the more fortunate of the class, while Berwick was definitely one the more unlucky. 






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