Jump to content
Server Restart - 30 October, 05:00 UTC Read more... ×
You need to play a total of 1 battles to post in this section.
IOUnothing

Vanguard armament description

17 comments in this topic

Recommended Posts

Players
12 posts
9,025 battles

I take some exception to the in-game description of the 15-inch main armament of HMS Vanguard as being "absolutely obsolete", on the grounds of accuracy (pun intended). Of course by 1946 all battleship main armaments were obsolete, as the whole class of ship had been rendered obsolete by improvements in naval aviation; however, the Vanguard's guns were no more obsolete than any other. British naval gunnery had always emphasised accuracy at medium ranges over sheer maximum range. This differed from American and Japanese practise, as they had the open spaces and good visibility of the Pacific in mind when designing naval guns, while the British envisaged the murky waters of the North Sea and North Atlantic as the probable battleground. In fact, ironically, the longest range shot fired by one battleship at another in combat ever to achieve a hit was by the "absolutely obsolete" British 15-inch gun, when HMS Warspite scored a hit on an Italian battleship (in her first salvo) at about 26,400 yards. Raven and Roberts mention an American report which named the British 15-inch gun as the most reliable and accurate battleship main armament of WWII. If "absolutely obsolete" means 'accurate and reliable', I would take that every time.

  • Cool 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Players
684 posts
73 battles

It wasn't the first salvo and the hit was on the funnel. A shell from any other nation would have passed through. Considering Campioni was sailing in a relatively straight line to Warspite's "circles to let others catch up"  :cap_haloween:

 

The British rifle is a good rifle it is just meh meta wise.

  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[COMFY]
Players
538 posts
6,017 battles

I think it is a case of that fact being lost in translation. By "absolutely obsolete", I would assume they meant "very old", as in the 15" guns were a WWI era design as opposed to the much more modern guns in use on the new battleships built at the outbreak of WWII. It is an interesting point though. The 15" guns could not penetrate as much armour as larger calibre guns, but their reliability and accuracy would have lent themselves nicely to shore bombardment. Which, perhaps ironically, is how the Iowa class ended up using their guns post war. 

 

The 15"/42 was never as good as the Iowa's 16"/50 guns, of course, but like you say "absolutely obsolete" is rather wide of the mark. The kind of missions that Vanguard would have carried out had she not been scrapped would have been similar to what the Iowa class did, so in this respect I'm sure she would have performed well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Players
12 posts
9,025 battles
On 4/19/2019 at 1:02 PM, SparvieroVV said:

It wasn't the first salvo and the hit was on the funnel. A shell from any other nation would have passed through. Considering Campioni was sailing in a relatively straight line to Warspite's "circles to let others catch up"  :cap_haloween:

 

The British rifle is a good rifle it is just meh meta wise.

 

Raven and Roberts (p. 357) say it was a shell from Warspite's first salvo, as do other relevant publications. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Players
12 posts
9,025 battles

As with most technical constructs there are trade-offs. High velocity - usually achieved through a longer gun - 50 calibre rather than 45 calibre - gives greater penetration, but also greater dispersion. The greater the shell velocity the more interference between shells in flight. The French eight gun 13- and 15- inch guns had pairs of guns close together and on the same axis making shell interference an even greater problem. Though it is not evident in the game, the Russian guns on the Kirov class cruisers, long, high velocity and mounted very close together, must have had very poor dispersion.  The British triple 6-inch mounts on the Town classes and beyond (Sheffield, Belfast, Fiji etc.) had the centre gun mounted to the rear of the outer guns precisely to minimise in flight interference. Low velocity with a heavy shell gives better accuracy and mounting guns as far apart as is feasible in the turret also helps accuracy. It is moot whether hitting the target reliably is of more importance than the amount of damage done by an individual shell. On the whole I would prefer accuracy.

  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[-TPF-]
Players
3,929 posts
16,182 battles
On 4/19/2019 at 12:49 PM, IOUnothing said:

I take some exception to the in-game description of the 15-inch main armament of HMS Vanguard as being "absolutely obsolete", on the grounds of accuracy (pun intended)

I wouldn't worry about it. The British 15 inch gun proved itself, being the most heavily used of the entire battleship era and undoubtedly scoring more ship-to-ship hits than any other capital ship weapon (based on Jutland, Narvik, Calabria, Mers-El-Kebir, Cape Matapan, etc). I'm sure WG is referring to the obsolescence of the Battleship itself rather than the weapon.

  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[SCRUB]
Supertester, Players, Sailing Hamster
3,405 posts
4,189 battles
On 5/5/2019 at 12:24 PM, invicta2012 said:

I wouldn't worry about it. The British 15 inch gun proved itself, being the most heavily used of the entire battleship era and undoubtedly scoring more ship-to-ship hits than any other capital ship weapon (based on Jutland, Narvik, Calabria, Mers-El-Kebir, Cape Matapan, etc). I'm sure WG is referring to the obsolescence of the Battleship itself rather than the weapon.

Afraid not. They do mean the gun is obsolete, even though several ST's (myself included) have raised the issue. Unfortunately the general perception is that a weapon from 1915 can't possibly be adequate for the last battleship to ever launch, even though I have demonstrated with different sources that the 15" Mk I (praised be its name) when supercharged pretty much overpowers the 38cm SK C/34  carried by "muh Bismurk"

  • Cool 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[BABBY]
Beta Tester
1,591 posts

Apart from being wrong, a lot of descriptions are just bizzarely written. Many use the word 'sufficient' and phrase 'an artillery/armour' idiosyncratically.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[COMFY]
Players
538 posts
6,017 battles
11 hours ago, StringWitch said:

Apart from being wrong, a lot of descriptions are just bizzarely written. Many use the word 'sufficient' and phrase 'an artillery/armour' idiosyncratically.

I do feel like they sounds like what a child might write in an English class, you know, all the flowery language that frankly isn't always needed. I would guess it is a translation error, after all the descriptions would be written in Russian first and then translated across I would imagine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Beta Tester
4,249 posts
848 battles
On 5/2/2019 at 1:19 PM, IOUnothing said:

 

Raven and Roberts (p. 357) say it was a shell from Warspite's first salvo, as do other relevant publications. 

Warspite fired its first salvo against the Giulio Cesare at 1553, and stopped firing at 1603 and thirty seconds; she had fired a total of seventeen salvoes. The one in which she hit the Cesare wasn't the first.

 

On 5/9/2019 at 12:01 AM, piritskenyer said:

Afraid not. They do mean the gun is obsolete, even though several ST's (myself included) have raised the issue. Unfortunately the general perception is that a weapon from 1915 can't possibly be adequate for the last battleship to ever launch, even though I have demonstrated with different sources that the 15" Mk I (praised be its name) when supercharged pretty much overpowers the 38cm SK C/34  carried by "muh Bismurk"

Sometimes I feel there's too much emphasis on the date of a weapon system, rather than its performance.

If the performance of said system remains competitive, with appropriate measures, is it really necessary to replace it? Considering that any new system will take time and resources to be worked out to full effectiveness (no exceptions, pretty much), and requires the personnel to be retrained?

I admit I never looked deeply in the history of the 15-inch Mark I, but if you tell me it was as competitive as you say even in those years, I'm quite sure it was.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[SCRUB]
Supertester, Players, Sailing Hamster
3,405 posts
4,189 battles
17 hours ago, Historynerd said:

Warspite fired its first salvo against the Giulio Cesare at 1553, and stopped firing at 1603 and thirty seconds; she had fired a total of seventeen salvoes. The one in which she hit the Cesare wasn't the first.

 

Sometimes I feel there's too much emphasis on the date of a weapon system, rather than its performance.

If the performance of said system remains competitive, with appropriate measures, is it really necessary to replace it? Considering that any new system will take time and resources to be worked out to full effectiveness (no exceptions, pretty much), and requires the personnel to be retrained?

I admit I never looked deeply in the history of the 15-inch Mark I, but if you tell me it was as competitive as you say even in those years, I'm quite sure it was.

 

Well, if we talk weapon system instead of elements of it, Vanguard is even better off. Vanguard at the time of completion had one of, if not the best firecontrol system of any capital ship ever put to sea. The one shortcoming of the firecontrol system was not having RPC for elevation.

Still, a lot of people forget that just because a gun barrel was built earlier it doesn't mean it is obsolete. Basic gun technology hasn't changed significantly since the end of the 1890's. Bits and bobs changed of course, but the basic setup of cradle, barrel, breech (either screw breech or wedge breech - BL or QF) and recoil mechanism are largely unchanged. Once you build your main components and define its pressure limits, you are left with very little to play with unless you have overbuilt your gun, and what you can play with is your shell. There are guns from different times that have almost the exact same muzzle enrgy, but have significantly different ballistics all on account of ammunition technology. (A good example for that would be the british-built japanese 15cm(6")/50 41st YT firing a 100lb (45.36kg) shell at 855 m/s and the british 6"/50 Mk XXIII firing a 112 lb (50.8kg) shell at 840m/s - the japanese gun has actually better muzzle enrgy at 731kJ vs the later gun's 705.6 kJ, yet the british gun has way better ballistics.)

The 15" Mk I was one such weapon in both regards. It was massively overbuilt due to it being ordered off the drawing board and could take massive overloads (IIRC one pilot gun was prooftested with a triple charge and after relining remained serviceable), and with ammunition and propellant development basically obliviated the need for development of a new 15" gun for ballistic reasons. Now if the "Monarch" *thing* in game had happened in real life, a new gun would have been developed regardless because of advancements in manufacturing technology (the 15" Mk I was wirewound and thus quite heay weapon, and in the meantime several manufacturing techniques have appeared that made it possible to build lighter but just as strong barrels in a monoblock construction - the 14" Mk VII is one such light but strong weapon). That would have mattered for a treaty battleship trying to keep to a set displacement limit, but for a ship that had no limits imposed on it (Vanguard), the 15" Mk I was every bit as serviceable.

One more note: Vanguard was a ship fitted for-but-not-with supercharges. Supercharges were originally a measure to increase range on ships that hadn't had higher elevations enabled, however as you might imagine that also increased their penetration power. Vanguard was made ready to take them on (cradles, recoil buffers and mounting brackets strengthened), but they were to be issued only in wartime. So it's "semi-accurate" that she'd have them in game, and I'm pretty certain that she wouldn't have used supercharges to fire HE shells (unless trying to reach as far inland as possible).

  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[COMFY]
Players
538 posts
6,017 battles

Nicely put. So maybe the construction technique of the 15"/42 Mk.I was obsolescent (but still usable) when compared to, say, Yamato's 460mm/45 or the 16" guns the USN had in service. But as you said, they still achieved the task that was required, and had a decent barrel life, though I don't know how badly the barrel life was degraded with supercharges. But I guess they would have solved those issues like the USN did with the Iowa class, with things like Swedish additive, had Vanguard been kept in commission for longer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[SCRUB]
Supertester, Players, Sailing Hamster
3,405 posts
4,189 battles
5 hours ago, Centurion_1711 said:

Nicely put. So maybe the construction technique of the 15"/42 Mk.I was obsolescent (but still usable) when compared to, say, Yamato's 460mm/45 or the 16" guns the USN had in service. But as you said, they still achieved the task that was required, and had a decent barrel life, though I don't know how badly the barrel life was degraded with supercharges. But I guess they would have solved those issues like the USN did with the Iowa class, with things like Swedish additive, had Vanguard been kept in commission for longer.

 

The construction technique can easily be regarded as obsolete full stop. However, it was a technique that could be used to bypass some industrial limitations, such as the maximum size of castings and forgings able to be produced by an industry. Pure wire winding gave guns really good radial strength, but lower axial strength (greater droop along the length of the gun) and successful guns were usually a combination built-up/wirewound design. Wire winding also limited the length of the barrel somewhat, as it was really difficult to build a wire-wound gun longer than 45 calibre (42 in case of the 15" Mk I and 47 in case of the 9.2" Mk X) while keeping the barrel profile light enough. Both of these guns were rather successful, as they were a combination gun rather than pure wire wound, but still had some halmarks of wirewinding. The good thing about British weapons in general however is thatthey were almost all designed to be relinable, so they needed to be built once and then they could be relined as part of a refit or repair (either to the individual weapon system or the entire ship).

You mentioned the 460mm/45 of the IJN, well, surprise! It was also a partially wire-wound gun, because of the dificulty of manufacturing such a large calibre gun. Noone would call that gun obsolete though, right?

The 16"/50 Mk 7 was a purely built up gun with many autofretted components, in terms of manufacturing technology very largely surpassing the 460 and the 15". The 14" Mk VII also contained a large number of autofretted components. Funnily enough the French 380mm/45 and 330mm/50 guns were built of purely autofretted components making them technically the most advanced construction weapons in the Allied arsenal.

 

Barrel wear was obviously significantly worse when firing supercharges out of the gun. To give you an idea, I lifted the definition from navweaps directly:

Spoiler
Quote

EFC or ESR - A means of estimating the remaining accuracy life of a weapon. Accuracy life for a gun or liner is usually expressed as "EFC" meaning Equivalent Full Charges or as "ESR" for Equivalent Service Rounds. On my webpages, this is the number specified. A gun or liner has reached the end of its accuracy life when the projectiles and propellant charges assigned for its use give range patterns that exceed an arbitrarily adopted size, generally something like 10 percent larger than those with a new barrel. For large caliber guns, life is roughly the same as the number of AP shells that can be fired with full charges before the barrel needs to be replaced or relined. Compared to rounds fired with full charges, Practice Rounds and shells fired with reduced charges generally cause less wear, while proof charges and super charges cause more wear. The amount of wear immediately forward of the origin of the rifling is the most important value used in determining the remaining life. The three main causes of bore erosion are thermal stress, mechanical wear and chemical erosion. The greatest source of wear is from the propellant gases, which corrode the rifling via heat and chemical action.

 

 

So if a regular charge is 1 EFC then a gun rated for 240 EFC can fire a full load 240 times before needing relining. If a reduced charge or half charge is 0.5 EFC, the same gun can fire 480 rounds at reduced charge. Supercharge is somewhere between 1.5 and 2 EFC. One thing that is important however is the current state of the gun when firing. In case of the 15" Mk I (as with most naval guns actually) there was a very noticable difference between a freshly lined, an average and a worn-out gun's muzzle velocity both with standard and supercharges. What we have in game with Vanguard is a freshly lined gun velocity (804 m/s).

The british solution to barrel wear was basicaly to reduce usage, reduce charges during practice and the aformentioned relinability. I'm sure they would have tried coming up with cooler propellants had Vanguard kept in commission, but the entire point is moot as the large naval gun infrastructure of the UK went away after the second world war.

  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[SCRUB]
Supertester, Players, Sailing Hamster
3,405 posts
4,189 battles

One more post to illustrate a thing I mentioned in my previous post: Here are a picture of the 15" Mk I (wire), the 14" Mk VII (built-up autofretted), the 460mm (partial wire), the 16"/50 (built-up) and the french 330 and 380mm weapons (built up from fully autofreted components). Notice how much thicker the walls are proportionally speaking on the wire guns compared to the autofretted ones. The 460 and the 16" are sort of copouts as one is a reproduction, the other has its tampion in, but the others are quite well distinguishable.

 

15" Mk I

Spoiler

WNBR_15-42_mk1_Queen_Elizabeth_pic.jpg

 

14" Mk VII

Spoiler

Winnie_14_inch_gun_St_Margaret_March_194

 

460mm/45 Type 94

Spoiler

Yamato-onomichi.jpg

 

16"/50 Mk 7

Spoiler

1280px-US_Navy_020504-N-5376G-005_CINCPA

 

330mm/50 Mle 1931

Spoiler

WNFR_13-50_m1931_Strasbourg_pic.jpg

 

380mm/45 Mle 1935

Spoiler

WNFR_15-45_m1935_Jean_Bart_Turret_pic.jp

 

 

  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Beta Tester
4,249 posts
848 battles
14 hours ago, piritskenyer said:

 

...Could I throw in some exquisite Italian design to compelte the picture and give a full nations comparison, mayhaps? :Smile_hiding:

Spoiler

roma01.jpg

 

  • Cool 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Beta Tester
5,379 posts
2,939 battles
On 5/19/2019 at 8:33 PM, piritskenyer said:

I'm sure they would have tried coming up with cooler propellants had Vanguard kept in commission

 

Or just, ya know. Swedish additive. That is, if vanguard had made it to the 80s.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[SCRUB]
Supertester, Players, Sailing Hamster
3,405 posts
4,189 battles
14 hours ago, LastButterfly said:

 

Or just, ya know. Swedish additive. That is, if vanguard had made it to the 80s.

Also, yes, probably. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×