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Just read this Hood vs Bismarck and got wondering about British HE

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In 1941 the hood pride of the british navy goes up against the bismarck as described by a surviver “the hood was like a old lady going up against a professional boxer she never stood a chance”. It got me thinking I wonder if WG gave British Battleships such good and damaging HE and a high fire chance, because in the only engagement we fought that everyone in the world knows about we couldn’t sink the most advanced battleship in the world at the time,  but we did leave it an unusable obliterated fiery hulk which had to be scuttled. Just a thought that that’s where WG got the national trait from.

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Now I`m wondering where they got that retarded heal from.

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18 hours ago, Infiriel said:

Now I`m wondering where they got that retarded heal from.

That I can’t understand 

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Bismarck was sunk by torpedos from Dorsetshire, NOT scuttled.

 

 

At the time of the Battle of the Denmark Strait, HMS Hood was still one of the most powerful ships afloat, her armor scheme was as good as and in some parts better than that of the Queen Elizabeth class battleships. She was in reality the first true fast battleship

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35 minutes ago, Marx_V1 said:

Bismarck was sunk by torpedos from Dorsetshire, NOT scuttled.

The diving expeditions found more arguments for the scuttling theory.

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Scuttled it might be after swordfish landed a torp in the rudder rendering it unusable. Entire fleet pounded it for hours even after bismarck ceised shooting back. Was it sunk as a result of a damage it received after losing steering ability or the crew sunk it themselves is not of too much importance. Result is the same. But bismarck escaped hood engagement still able to fight. Thats why the brits committed so much resources to hunt it down. The question still remains what would be the aftermath if that torp went a few yards off.

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8 hours ago, Marx_V1 said:

At the time of the Battle of the Denmark Strait, HMS Hood was still one of the most powerful ships afloat, her armor scheme was as good as and in some parts better than that of the Queen Elizabeth class battleships. She was in reality the first true fast battleship

 

Hood's armor wasn't as good as the (modernized) QEs. That's pretty much the point, some of the QEs (those the brits could spare the time and money to modernize) received an upgraded armor layout to keep them reasonably protected given the new trends of battleship design and emphasis on long range engagements. Even with those upgrades, however, those ships were used with tremendous caution, because even with the modernization they weren't up to par with modern designs. They were enough to deal with the italian rebuilds (Cavours and Dorias), but against anything modern (say, a Littorio), they were in serious jeopardy.

 

Yet some of the QE class weren't updated (top of my head, neither Valiant, Malaya nor Barham were given that armor update), and those which weren't were used as the "R" class battleships were: second line BBs not to be used in surface engagements if it could be avoided.

And that was simply because the original QE's armor layout (and the "R" class, and by extension, Hood's) was woefully inadequate for long range engagements. Anything over 12km most guns would simply go through her decks and give her crew a significant emotional event. In case of HMS Hood Adm. Holland knew only too well about that weakness - the reason he ordered a course almost directly head into the german ships was because he knew, like all the Royal Navy high command, that at anything but close range Hood's armor was not up to the task of stopping incoming fire. Accordingly, he desperately needed to close the range as fast as he could, to minimize the window of time he was in the range of distances Hood was the most vulnerable. It wasn't enough.

The bottom point is that HMS Hood was a completely obsolete battleship for 1941. In 1920, after commissioned she was without a doubt the most powerful battleship afloat. But by 1941 she was only "one of the most powerful ships afloat" on paper - in reality her machinery was jaded and worn, her armor layout was outdated, and she was in desperate need of a proper rebuild that she should've received in the mid-30s already, yet had been delayed time after time. 


I also tend to disagree with the "first fast battleship" title. For me that belongs to the german Derrflinger class, even while by the time they were commissioned the concept didn't even exist in theory. But I guess that's a matter of perception and opinion.

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5 hours ago, CPL_Sivi said:

 The question still remains what would be the aftermath if that torp went a few yards off.

 


All things considered, she'd been perfectly able to reach Brest safely. But then...not much. She'd been repaired at St. Nazaire (and heavily bombed on her drydock in the meantime, as the twins constantly were) and, if able to sail at that date, she'd been part of Cerberus, redeployed to Norway, acted as a fjord queen, constantly targetted by british special missions and air attacks, and end up blown up by tallboys. Pretty much like Tirpitz was.

By late 1941 the germans knew that using french atlantic ports for the Kriegsmarine surface heavy units was soon to be a thing of the past. There were ever-growing raids over wherever Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were moored, and those they aknowledged would only get worse with time. There was a reason the Twins and Prinz Eugen were redeployed from the French coast through the channel back to Germany: they were too exposed and couldn't be properly protected against air raids. Sooner or later a bomber would get a lucky hit and wreck one of those ships.

Ironically enough...Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and PE crossed safely the channel (which caused a significant uproar amongst the british who thought that was their personal lake) with relatively minor damage, and, when repairing, Gneisenau was subjected to an air attack that blew the whole fore of the ship from A Turret forwards. Yet that was kind of the point - had Gneisenau taken that hit in France, that'd been it for her. As it was she could be rebuilt. of course she never was, but in France there'd been no question of rebuilding her.

And even in the case that the germans would've not tried the Channel Dash, the wrecking of the drydock's locks at St Nazaire would've ended any involvement of Bismarck in the Atlantic anyways, had she survived Rheinubung. That drydock was the only french atlantic one big enough to take her (or Tirpitz). With it out of the picture, that was it. So Norway it was, and we all know how Norway was for Tirpitz. I see no reason why for Bismarck it'd been any different.

 

 

 

/Edit: Re. the scuttling debate.
It's moot. It seriously is. By the time the order to scuttle the ship was issued the ship was a wreck, a constructive total loss, and sinking on her own. Scuttle charges might have hastened the sinking - but didn't cause it. The ship was going down anyway.

I get there's some kind of pride involved here in "hah! you didn't sink us, WE did sink us" but that wasn't a scuttling. Scuttling was what Langsdorff did with Graf Spee- take a perfectly battleworthy unit (even if battered and not in ideal shape) and sink it rather than let it be sunk by the enemy. What happened on Bismarck wasn't a scuttling , was the complete anihilation of a surface unit until it was completely crushed, and the crushing would've not stopped until the ship was sunk.

 

By the time the scuttle order was issued according to the german crew survivors, the only remaining active weapon in the ship was a 20mm mount. There was nothing to fend off the mauling the wreck (she was hardly qualifiable as a ship by that time) was being subjected to. And that mauling would NOT stop until it was over, and it didn't stop until it was over: the british didn't stop firing until the ship dissapeared below the waves (there were torpedo impacts on the deck of the warship, Dorsetshire fired her torpedoes by a time the ship was clearly going down already - that's how things were going to be...until the ship was sunk, the maul would've not stopped). 

So, the british sank that ship. Scuttling order or not, that ship was going down already anyway. At it's best it hastened the sinking and made the anihilation some minutes shorter. Any debate that tries to make it seem that "the own germans sank their ship" ignores the essential basic fact that she was already going down - and if she wasn't, she'd been obliterated until it would've gone down anyway.

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I never disputted british navy credit for the destruction of bismarck. Actualy i feel that is quite irrelevant was it the charges or british shells. There were 2 critical points in that engagement, a torp from swordfish and prior to that a Lutjens mistake of making radio transmission when he broke contact with pursuing fleet. I guess that was the RL version of RPF perk. 

Brits triangulated position on that transmission and sent air raid which resulted in a busted steering gear and practicaly that was the end of a bismarck. In the end i do agree, even if the bis survived it would be reduced to a fjord queen. Hitler had no clear vision of surface fleet employment, he was all in favor of wolfpack strategy and going for sea control with  uboats. Fear of loosing capital ships actualy got them sunk. Atleast bismarck went down with a bang, in a blaze of glory. Tirpitz never came close to that. But they rattled royal navy cage for a moment there. 

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Bismarck still was receiving radar signals when Lutjens transmitted his message. She was undertected and beyond british radar range but the radar signals were still reaching the battleship. The germans didn't know it; they thought Bismarck still was very much detected and trailed by Norfolk the same way she had been since first detected.

Of course if the enemy knows where you are, giving away your position is irrelevant. Hence the breaching of radio silence. It just happened, that the british didn't know at that moment. 

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if I can figure out how to post a PDF here, I'm gonna share the little PDF document concerning Hood, which basically is a demonstration of just how lucky Bisko got and just how Hood wasn't a battlecruiser in terms of shipbuilding but a battleship (32% of total displacement being armour, compared to 18% on Renown and 31% on a KGV)

 

Here. Not a virus, promise. Download, unpack, read. The guy basically went full mythbusters on this.

Regarding HMS Hood-FINAL.rar

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On 10/16/2018 at 10:19 PM, RAMJB said:

The bottom point is that HMS Hood was a completely obsolete battleship for 1941. In 1920, after commissioned she was without a doubt the most powerful battleship afloat. But by 1941 she was only "one of the most powerful ships afloat" on paper - in reality her machinery was jaded and worn, her armor layout was outdated, and she was in desperate need of a proper rebuild that she should've received in the mid-30s already, yet had been delayed time after time. 

British pride and propaganda is a powerful (and dangerous) thing. Over and over the same misjudgements are made: Fighting the Ottomans at Gallipoli and in Mesopotamia, then the "unsinkable" Hood spring to mind. It is a real shame that Hood never got a comprehensive rebuild, as I think she could have been properly competitive, or at least a good escort for the new armoured carriers (kinda how the Iowas were escorts for the fast carrier divisions). Also, couldn't Hood only load the old 4crh 15" rounds, not the improved 6crh (5/10crh, whatever) that the QE class could use? That has to have limited her effectiveness somewhat.

But then, what did the Royal Navy have besides her at that specific time? They had to split their ships to cover as much of the North Sea and straights into the Atlantic. Not to mention that they couldn't just pull BB's from the Med, just in case the Italians got brave all of a sudden. I suppose it's Sod's Law that a modern and effective German Battleship runs into an outdated Battlecruiser and an undergunned Battleship of the Royal Navy. Part of me says that it was 2v1 (the Prinz Eugen can't do much) to the RN, so the ships could have put up a stronger fight. But that would be going into the land of what-ifs, and I suppose all of us could play Gen. Hindsight and win every conflict in history that way.

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39 minutes ago, Centurion_1711 said:

British pride and propaganda is a powerful (and dangerous) thing. Over and over the same misjudgements are made: Fighting the Ottomans at Gallipoli and in Mesopotamia, then the "unsinkable" Hood spring to mind. It is a real shame that Hood never got a comprehensive rebuild, as I think she could have been properly competitive, or at least a good escort for the new armoured carriers (kinda how the Iowas were escorts for the fast carrier divisions). Also, couldn't Hood only load the old 4crh 15" rounds, not the improved 6crh (5/10crh, whatever) that the QE class could use? That has to have limited her effectiveness somewhat.

But then, what did the Royal Navy have besides her at that specific time? They had to split their ships to cover as much of the North Sea and straights into the Atlantic. Not to mention that they couldn't just pull BB's from the Med, just in case the Italians got brave all of a sudden. I suppose it's Sod's Law that a modern and effective German Battleship runs into an outdated Battlecruiser and an undergunned Battleship of the Royal Navy. Part of me says that it was 2v1 (the Prinz Eugen can't do much) to the RN, so the ships could have put up a stronger fight. But that would be going into the land of what-ifs, and I suppose all of us could play Gen. Hindsight and win every conflict in history that way.

 

The overall length of the 6crh shells was longer than the 4crh ones, and they couldn't physically fit into pre-rebuild shellrooms. That's why pre-rebuild ships carried the 4crh shells.

 

Also, suggest you read the pdf I attached to my last post.

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5 hours ago, Centurion_1711 said:

I suppose it's Sod's Law that a modern and effective German Battleship runs into an outdated Battlecruiser and an undergunned Battleship of the Royal Navy. 

1

 

Wasn't sod's law. Was an Admiralty's gamble. They perfectly knew the issues with Hood, and PoW was just out of the shipyard, her crew wasn't really up to date with the ship, and had not even done a shakedown cruise (there were technicians from the shipyard on board to deal with the usual problems ships on their first cruise find). Particularily problematic was the lack of hands on experience the turret crews had: the british quadruple was known to be exceedingly finicky to any mishandling, jamming easily. Needless to mention during the engagement in the Denmark Straits both A and Y turrets promptly jammed leaving only the twin turret operational. Not thet best scenario.

Still, the Admiralty just couldn't risk Bismarck roaming free in the middle of the atlantic convoy lanes. Scharnhorst and Gneisenau had wrecked havoc in the north atlantic a few months before, and a whole convoy was saved only because the Twins withdrew rather than facing one of the old RN battlewagons that was escorting it. What Bismarck could do with a heavy cruiser attached was very dangerous, because she wouldn't withdraw in such a scenario and obviously the old "R" battleships escorting those convoys obsolete as they were would've been no match for Bismarck; hence the high risk roll the admiralty took.

BTW Hood was outdated, but she was no battlecruiser. In name she maybe was, by design she was not.  

And KGV had issues (the guns' caliber probably were the smallest of her concerns. The turrets, however...) but, when well enlisted, one of those battleships still was a force to reckon. Specially given that Bismarck, big as she was, was far from perfect aswell.

At any rate it wasn't bad luck: it was a british gamble and the gamble went sour.

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4 hours ago, piritskenyer said:

Also, suggest you read the pdf I attached to my last post.

I will once I find something that can open a .rar file, but I'm a bit crap at that sort of computer stuff, so it may take a while.

1 hour ago, RAMJB said:

Specially given that Bismarck, big as she was, was far from perfect aswell.

Shhh, don't say that too loudly, you'll upset the Wehraboos who reckon that Tiger II's are the best tanks in the world, better than a Leopard :Smile-_tongue:. But yeah, I heard that the AA aiming systems weren't all that great on Bismarck, not to mention that her mid- and short-range consisted of those rubbish 37mm semi-auto guns and the 20mm flak, which only had 20 rounds in a magazine. Also a mixed secondary battery of 150mm and 105mm will cause problems when it comes to spotting the fall of shot. That was noticed with pre-dreadnaughts that mounted various calibres: the gunners couldn't adjust their shots accurately because they could't tell where their shells went. Of course, mixed secondary batteries weren't just a German problem: teh Japanese (even Yamato and Musashi), some old US battleships, older RN battleships, thinking about it just about everyone used them. Must have been a pain to use effectively, or they would have to not use the smaller of the two calibres, cutting down their firepower.

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-Mixed secondaries weren't bad per se. It was bad for size/Weight economy and for AAA power. Bismarck could've fielded 28x128mm guns in 14 dual purpose double turrets instead of the mixed 16x105mm+12x+150mm she carried (of which the 150mm weren't usable for AA purposes).  It'd probably been more effective against surface targets, and FOR SURE it'd been far more practical against air ones. But the twin 128mm DP mount was discarded by the kriegsmarine - it was 2D stabilized and they didn't want to bother with DP mounts if they weren't 3D stabilized. BTW, the 105mm mount was 2D stabilized IIRC: German engineering mindset, always reaching new goals of anal ;)

-The AAA director in Bismarck wasn't the only problem. Single shot 37mms aren't very  good AA weapons, yet that was what Bismarck carried. Not to mention that four of the eight 105mm mounts were of an older design that was slower in traverse and elevation than the newer model. resulting in the half the 105mm battery shooting pretty much blanks against anything that required traversing fast (like...aeroplanes). The only really effective AAA Bismarck had as comissioned,thus, were eight 105mm guns and her 20mm battery (which wasn't exactly stellar either) guided by an overcomplex unreliable AAA director. No crap they couldn't even shoot stringbags down.

-Bismarck was grossly oversized for her throw weight. 8x15'' main guns are a mean punch, but not on a battleship displacing 50.000 tons at full load. On top of that she suffered from a notable bow-heavy balance (not unique to Bismarck, the Twins had the same issue even after receinving their "Atlantic Bows") that was problematic on heavy seas.

 

-Triple screw configuration was suspect. Had benefits in allowing for slimmer hull profiles and more hydrodinamic fantails but was more prone to battle damage and resulted in weaker structural rear ends. It also worsened steering by propellers (something that ended up being fatal for her). And the still rather new welding procedures used in her construction didn't help:The fatal torpedo hit that disabled her rudders pretty much severed Bismarck's rear aft of the "overhang" in the canoe stern.Lost sterns were commonplace in german ships, tho. Lutzow lost her stern, so did Hipper, after torpedo hits, and Bismarck's didn't collapse just because it was still attached by the outter plating - structurally that stern broke off from the main hull girder (and accordingly as she sank, was the only structural piece of Bismarck that broke off).

-Her armor layout was completely obsolete. Even if at short distances it was pretty much impervious, beyond 15km most battleship guns of the times could simply go through the decks of the warship no problem. Battleship engagements by the 1930s were predicted to happen at 20km or more. And one has to note that the complex internal armor layout NOMINALLY prevented citadels at close range, but in practice it could happen: Bismarck suffered at least two penetrating 16'' hits at 4000m or so, in her last battle, that detonated into her boilers (Bismarck had a list by then, possibly rounds that penetrated her upper belt were ricochetted against the upper deck and were bounced down directly into the boilers).

 

-Turtledeck configurations forced the main armor deck to be very low in the hull, thus it left anything over the waterline pretty much open to penetrating hits - soft killing a warship with that configuration was much easier than with the more modern layouts. On top of that the angled parts of the deck ended up meeting the low end of the armored belt-  thus meant that part of the hull that was designed to be underwater was out of the main armored area - this not only made flooding a serious issue, it allowed for whole areas of the citadel to be isolated from upper areas (that could be flooded)

 

-Turret armor was simply insufficient considering the practices of the time.

 

-Her guns were accurate and allowed for rapid firing (for the caliber) but were lightweight for the caliber and had poor long range plunging performance.

 

-the torpedo defence system wasn't very good. The Scharnhorsts had a similar TDS and their performance when hit by torpedoes was shown to be exceedingly poor. Bismarck's TDS had more depth, but other than that was the same - if it didn't work well for the Twins, there's no reason why it would magically be much better in the Bismarcks.

Etc etc etc.

Bismarck was big. Bismarck was powerful. But no, Bismarck wasn't a well designed warship. Not by a long shot.

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Le 19 octobre 2018 à 09:04, RAMJB a dit :
Spoiler

 

-Mixed secondaries weren't bad per se. It was bad for size/Weight economy and for AAA power. Bismarck could've fielded 28x128mm guns in 14 dual purpose double turrets instead of the mixed 16x105mm+12x+150mm she carried (of which the 150mm weren't usable for AA purposes).  It'd probably been more effective against surface targets, and FOR SURE it'd been far more practical against air ones. But the twin 128mm DP mount was discarded by the kriegsmarine - it was 2D stabilized and they didn't want to bother with DP mounts if they weren't 3D stabilized. BTW, the 105mm mount was 2D stabilized IIRC: German engineering mindset, always reaching new goals of anal ;)

-The AAA director in Bismarck wasn't the only problem. Single shot 37mms aren't very  good AA weapons, yet that was what Bismarck carried. Not to mention that four of the eight 105mm mounts were of an older design that was slower in traverse and elevation than the newer model. resulting in the half the 105mm battery shooting pretty much blanks against anything that required traversing fast (like...aeroplanes). The only really effective AAA Bismarck had as comissioned,thus, were eight 105mm guns and her 20mm battery (which wasn't exactly stellar either) guided by an overcomplex unreliable AAA director. No crap they couldn't even shoot stringbags down.

-Bismarck was grossly oversized for her throw weight. 8x15'' main guns are a mean punch, but not on a battleship displacing 50.000 tons at full load. On top of that she suffered from a notable bow-heavy balance (not unique to Bismarck, the Twins had the same issue even after receinving their "Atlantic Bows") that was problematic on heavy seas.

 

-Triple screw configuration was suspect. Had benefits in allowing for slimmer hull profiles and more hydrodinamic fantails but was more prone to battle damage and resulted in weaker structural rear ends. It also worsened steering by propellers (something that ended up being fatal for her). And the still rather new welding procedures used in her construction didn't help:The fatal torpedo hit that disabled her rudders pretty much severed Bismarck's rear aft of the "overhang" in the canoe stern.Lost sterns were commonplace in german ships, tho. Lutzow lost her stern, so did Hipper, after torpedo hits, and Bismarck's didn't collapse just because it was still attached by the outter plating - structurally that stern broke off from the main hull girder (and accordingly as she sank, was the only structural piece of Bismarck that broke off).

-Her armor layout was completely obsolete. Even if at short distances it was pretty much impervious, beyond 15km most battleship guns of the times could simply go through the decks of the warship no problem. Battleship engagements by the 1930s were predicted to happen at 20km or more. And one has to note that the complex internal armor layout NOMINALLY prevented citadels at close range, but in practice it could happen: Bismarck suffered at least two penetrating 16'' hits at 4000m or so, in her last battle, that detonated into her boilers (Bismarck had a list by then, possibly rounds that penetrated her upper belt were ricochetted against the upper deck and were bounced down directly into the boilers).

 

-Turtledeck configurations forced the main armor deck to be very low in the hull, thus it left anything over the waterline pretty much open to penetrating hits - soft killing a warship with that configuration was much easier than with the more modern layouts. On top of that the angled parts of the deck ended up meeting the low end of the armored belt-  thus meant that part of the hull that was designed to be underwater was out of the main armored area - this not only made flooding a serious issue, it allowed for whole areas of the citadel to be isolated from upper areas (that could be flooded)

 

-Turret armor was simply insufficient considering the practices of the time.

 

-Her guns were accurate and allowed for rapid firing (for the caliber) but were lightweight for the caliber and had poor long range plunging performance.

 

-the torpedo defence system wasn't very good. The Scharnhorsts had a similar TDS and their performance when hit by torpedoes was shown to be exceedingly poor. Bismarck's TDS had more depth, but other than that was the same - if it didn't work well for the Twins, there's no reason why it would magically be much better in the Bismarcks.

Etc etc etc.

Bismarck was big. Bismarck was powerful. But no, Bismarck wasn't a well designed warship. Not by a long shot.

 

 

All of this. People most often forget that Bismarck wasn't the most powerful battleship in 1941... THERE IS A LOT of battleship that could get this title... Namely USS North Carolina, launched in 1941.

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North Carolina wasn't the most powerful BB in 1941. Her main battery was nuts for her displacement but paid for that with drawbacks. Her speed wasn't the best at 27.5 knots and, let's face it, was a ship designed to be armed with 14'' guns and protected against 14'' guns. Her protection scheme was smart, well laid out and designed but didn't have the capability to reliably keep her safe against 15'' guns and upwards. And she had some weird and annoying flaws, like the skeg placement on her propeller layout, which caused serious vibrations at high speed.

Now if you mentioned  the South Dakota.... ;). But that wasn't a 1941 ship. 

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Well USS Massachusetts was launched at the end of 1941 (September) but not armed until 1942 :( . But TBF I think that the 16" of North Carolina would destroy Bismarck just like those of the Nelson class did. Except that the shell of NC are way heavier than those of the Nelson class. Also the radar of the NC was way more performant than the one of the Bismarck (Not even saying that NC don't knock off her own radar).

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Nelson was, in absolute terms (not without some flaws, but still), far better protected than NC was.

What most people fail to understand is that the North Carolina was supposed to be armed with 14'' guns and with enough armor to protect herself against 14'' guns. Once she was armed with 16'' rifles she had a brutal punch, but remained a ship with limited protection, the escalator clause allowed to increase weapons caliber to 406mm, something that had been accounted for in the design process, but the design was only upgunned, not uparmored.

 

US 16'' guns would've performed as most big guns against Bismarck's armor layout. At long ranges it'd made gruyere cheese out of the german ship's decks, but at close range it'd been unable to reach her vitals. Bismarck's armor layout was strong enough to keep japanese 460mm shells out of her vitals at virtually any range under 12km let alone US 16'' shells, superheavy or not.

another whole thing would've been if that would've meant any difference: that same armor layout made the bismarck class terribly vulnerable to soft killing. And as Bismarck's final encounter proves, an armor layout that keeps shells out of your vitals but does nothing to prevent soft killing makes you hard to sink but easy to neuter. And once neutered nothing prevents the enemy from parking next to you and gun you down until you sink; at that stage it doesn't matter if you need 200 shells to go down or 400, what matters is that you're going down and you can't fight back.

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