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Artech52

Battleship gun noise

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5,765 battles

Ok, bit of a stupid question to those better versed in history and naval combat than me but I've been wondering;

 

How the HELL didn't the crews of battleships, in particular the gunnery ones, not go deaf? They'd be standing in constant close proximity to guns all the way up to 16inch etc. which must be insanely loud. Was ear protection really sophisticated enough back then that it mitigated it?

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Weekend Tester, In AlfaTesters
1,994 posts
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Iirc, roughly saying the thing is that most of the noise at firing "escapes via muzzle", and as the turret is enclosed, most noise goes outside, thus the noise level inside the turret is relatively low.

 

 

 

Correct me if I remember wrong, actually interested to know how it is for sure too.

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Weekend Tester
769 posts
3,524 battles

Indeed, the noise levels inside the turret would be nowhere near the noise levels outside of the turret. Turrets were very heavily armoured which would muffle the sound significantly. I remember reading an anecdote of someone who served onboard an Iowa and he said that he at times found it difficult to hear the gun at all! Not to say that it was quiet in the turret, just that the gun firing wasn't that much louder than the ambient noise level.

 

As for men on the deck, as far as I'm aware there simply would not be men out on the deck while the guns were firing. Exposed men manning bofors or just standing around on deck in the vicinity of a large calibre gun would be at very real risk of being killed by the overpressure wave when it fired.

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