Post by Ian Warren on Jan 10, 2017 18:17:22 GMT 12
Thanks kiwithrottlejockey, always had the interest with these warships, after the Christchurch earthquakes, the first telephone call I get is from my brother Richard, and good on him, "Is your Battleship ok" .. phewy YIP!, tho a WWII KGV completely scratch built and is a lake runner and radio controlled .. boggest thing is reading and listening to the ins and outs well over a 100 years ago, to many it was still very technical.
The entire action is intriguing, I'll have to source this book out, even follow the history of the Battleship HMS Warspite from WWI to the complete rebuild then its actions in WWII, that was one ship one simply could not kill, after the glider bomb of Salerno one workman mentioned the hole in the bottom was big enough you could drive a London double-deck bus through it, so Jutland would a small scrape compared, another great book is "Battleships of the World 1905-1970" by Siegfried Breyer, it really describes the battle but also has many photo's showing the damage done to the German warships, just one of those books you can spend hours steering into it.
Post by exkiwiforces on Jan 11, 2017 13:24:37 GMT 12
Yes some of those WW1 Battleships were built like a Australian brick outhouse. My next trip UK i'm hoping to visit some of the old shipyards/ old dockyards and a friend of ours did a dive at Scape Flow on the old wrecks. She said the dive was unreal.
Post by Ian Warren on Jan 11, 2017 14:08:40 GMT 12
I don't have anything by Norman Freidman, quick swiz at my library here, I only have 65 books related to Navy and Warships of the twentieth century, I specifically targeted volumes regard to my model builds, but then grew the extra interest so added a little extra, as you said "Australian brick outhouse" I like that , one thing when looking at these types, a good example of how they changed was the US Navy's Battlewagons , the old totally modified and really come out looking like they really mean business, the Tennessee Class BB-43 and her sister California BB-44, totally transformed.
Yep, Ian, the German navy was well equipped and its ships well designed, but quite different from the British ships owing to the larger British empire that had to be policed by its ships. The Royal Navy also had years of experience at sea, which the Germans didn't have. The incorporation of an escape manoeuvre, the about-face turns Scheer's ships made more than once during the battle indicates a desire not to mix it directly with the full force of the Grand Fleet, however, and it was practised in manoeuvres; this was also evident in Tirpitz' risk doctrine of whittling the numerical superiority of the RN down before engaging The Grand Fleet in an all-out gunnery fest.
In terms of accuracy though, that's not quite true, shelling at sea was, even during the Great War a precise art and good gunnery crews could rack up very close successions of hits with practice, altogether difficult because it all was done by eye, although basic computing devices had been invented by then, however. One of the foremost experts on naval gunnery was a fellow called Percy Scott; the issue was, initially, greater distances that naval battles were being fought at in the ironclad age and exacerbated further with the advent of the Dreadnought and Scott came up with training and devices to cope - the bigger the guns that were being fitted to battleships; for a hundred or so years around the 8 to 12 inch calibre were very quickly being replaced by guns with greater throwing power and greater calibres, 14 and 15 inches during the war (with the exception of Furious and its 18 inch gun!), the further the shot had to travel and with faster ships, all this compounded previous gunnery training.
During the Dardanelles campaign, the Abercrombie Class monitors were hurling 14 inch shells over 10 nautical miles; this was, in 1915, the greatest distance naval salvoes had been fired. Mind you, the monitor was stationary and its target was on land- much harder to gauge accuracy owing to a lack of splashes to mark the fall of shot, hence the fact that the Abercrombies were the first conventional naval vessels designed from the drawing board with facilities for operating aircraft, for gunnery spotting. During the campaign, the four ships were lent aeroplanes from the Ark Royal and Ben-My-Chree seaplane tenders, they weren't assigned their own aeroplanes, but that's another story.
The Germans themselves demonstrated very good accuracy - their shooting was precise, particularly Hipper's battlecruisers, whereas Beattie's ships were not. This was a problem endemic among the ships based at Rosyth - the home to Beattie's 'elite'; his battlecruiser squadrons, whom other units, especially Jellicoe's Grand Fleet stuck up in the wastes of Scapa whilst Rosyth was a short train journey away from Edinburgh, accused of show boating. Beattie rarely took his ships out for gunnery practise and it showed.
As for the pompous class system in the UK, it's very difficult for us to grasp how British society in those days behaved and why, simply because our society has been designed to (hopefully, but not always successfully) avoid such things as superior and inferior status among the population. The reality was the Germans were the same, as were the French. Even in the Good Ole US of A, the Land of the Free, there was a class elite, so it's hard to criticise such a thing as society at the time was so vastly different to today. Although today there are elements of British society that are still very pompous; a throwback from generations of empire and hereditary peers. Any 'Antipodean' or 'Colonial' who has spent time in the UK will have experienced this!
Post by Ian Warren on Jan 11, 2017 17:23:50 GMT 12
Funny how far we have come to learn that many of the WWI folly's were a 'Whoops' wish we really saved them and had kept them on our side rather to the slaughter, regard to the Dardanelles campaign, that is still the longest battleship engagement or use of Battleships, there is a great story there regard to the shelling of the forts, as the 'pompous class' lets pull the armored cruiser out of range for the night, here should be far enough, right you swab's over the side and give her a good coat, lacking of paint, Turk's had a different idea's .. stationary warship range perfect 'FIRE' .. the entire 'Dardanelles campaign' is very typical of the era.
As for the Furious and its one 18" gun was a complete waist of time, did a better job as an aircraft carrier, of all the gun's mounted on the British capital ships it was the ole tried and trusted 15" of the QE and R Class along with Hood and other battle-cruisers, in writings they do say the the 5 KGV class 14" guns were ideal, only early ship with 14" was the HMS Canada originally built for Chile, two on the stocks the other was completed as the HNS Eagle the aircraft carrier, the KGV were far more effective regard to range and striking power, but by then Battleship verse Battleship had basically disappeared for the RN.
Post by exkiwiforces on Jan 11, 2017 20:25:11 GMT 12
In the book,The Rules of the Game "Jutland and British Naval Command" by Andrew Gordon.
Andrew Gordon writes about the two different types of leadership and command between the Autocrat's (Jellicoe and Evan-Thomas) and Technocrat's ( Jackie Fisher and Betty) which had been ragging since the end of Napoleonic war. But Autocrat's always came out in top during long period of peace because them Technocrat's were seen as maverick's who want to trained for war and try new ideas and the Autocrat's didn't like it as you can't regulate war, it spoileds the paint work on the ships, G&T's and high tea were more attractive than the study for war.
In the end it was Betty's handing of his Battle Cruiser Fleet (BCF) and the rather inept handing of the 5th Battle SQN commanded by Evan-Thomas attached to Betty BCF (To be fair on Evan-Thomas, Betty never briefed ET on his battleplan ie his CONOPS/TTP's etc. Where as Betty expected ET to use his head and not wait for orders)that saved Jellicoe's Grand Fleet (GF) from defeat. But it was only in the nick of time as Jellicoe was still cruising at preacetime stations and only just signalled to the Battle feet to adopt battle stations when Betty unexpectedly turned up at Jellicoe's door step with the German 1st Scouting group commanded by Hipper and the High sea's fleet under Scheer in full battle stations screaming down Betty's neck.
What the German Cdrs didn't know is the Brits almost cross their T, in layman's terms the German could've fired a full broadside at Jellicoe when he still had 90% of his fleet ahead on and Betty was trying to conduct a reorg of his BCF. Imagine if the Germans held their neve for a few more minutes the Germans would've had RN where they want them and the myth of Nelson would've been destroy forever. In the end it was the Germans who blinked first, as the German battle plan was only to attack the Betty's BCF piecemeal and depending on how things went then to go after the Jellicoe's BF.
The Battle of Jutland was a close run thing. Anyway read Andrew Gordons book, its ripping read and last couple of chapters of his book will sound very familiar to current and ex serving members.
Post by errolmartyn on Jan 11, 2017 21:17:51 GMT 12
"In the end it was Betty's handing of his Battle Cruiser Fleet(BCF) and the rather inept handing of the 5th Battle SQN . . ."
Serves the RN right for appointing a transgender admiral in the first place!
Author: Swift to the Sky – New Zealand’s Military Aviation History Author/publisher: For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 & A Passion For Flight - New Zealand aviation before the Great War. Publisher of Gp Capt C M Hanson’s By Such Deeds - Honours and Awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999
Post by Ian Warren on Jan 11, 2017 21:22:59 GMT 12
Even on the history side, even the ships from both side were amazing pieces on engineering, good example is the old 1960's movie 'Sink the Bismark' gives some sort of insight with operations in the turrets, the techno for the time and even by today's standard, yeah the tactics, to follow thru, the worst thing was the coal fired ships and the lack of visibility added the share luck, simply depends on who is in command, when you study the maps of the fleets and different units some appear to be simply lost in the middle and just wallowing around, it would have been a site to see from the air.
Post by exkiwiforces on Jan 11, 2017 23:25:53 GMT 12
The thing is the RN had access to Morse code, early radios etc, but the autocrats stuck too their outdated signal book for command and control (C2) and hell the RN could've had fire control computer that was so it advance at time, but chose something so in inferior its not funny. That time autocrats believe that Nelson had centralize command back in 1800's, but in fact it was the opposite and Nelson C2 was very lose indeed. Nelson knew like so many of us here and the great Clausewitz know once the shooting starts no plan survives first contact with enemy. Nelson always believed as long as his captains knew his intent and his rough battle plan he will win. The technocrat's knew this as naval warfare had to flexible C2 not tried to this rigid C2 that came from the RN Signal book, which in turn dictated RN doctrine at the time.
I would've like to have been a fly on wall in the 5th Battle SQN Flagship or in either 1st Scouting Group or High Seas Fleet Flagship.
There are two ships I would like to visit one day: the HMS Caroline a Light Cruiser that survived the Battle Jutland in Belfast and the Japanese battleship Mikasa this ship was built by Vickers in Barrow in Furness in Japan.
the entire 'Dardanelles campaign' is very typical of the era.
Yes Ian, very much so; it was very much biting off a chunk you couldn't possibly chew. In saying that, it was rather far sighted and the kind of thing that had it been proposed in World War Two or after, wouldn't have raised an eyebrow. The incidental combination of air, land and sea components on such a scale was a first and examining individual actions and stages of the campaign as a whole, it does add up to a highly ambitious and prescient venture, but technology and gross ineptitude by senior figures involved let the whole thing down. There are many times throughout the campaign that the term, 'what if...' can be applied and a whole different outcome might have come about. In reality however, Turkey really needed to win, not just because its territory was being invaded, but Mustafa Kemal became the man his nation needed at that moment in time and his successful defence of the Gallipoli Peninsula led to the foundation of the Turkey of today and the end of the old and tired Ottoman Empire. Anyhoo, off topic a little.
As for the Furious and its one 18" gun was a complete waist of time, did a better job as an aircraft carrier
Yes indeed, you have to look at why it was built in the first instance; it and its two half sisters Courageous and Glorious (Outrageous and Uprorious) and fitted with four 15 in guns in two turrets were designed as heavy monitors and classified as Large Light Cruisers, taking the battlecruiser ethos to the extreme. They were designed as part of Jackie Fisher's Baltic Project; an alternative to the Dardanelles fiasco as a means of diverting German resources from the Western front. An invasion force was to land on Germany's Pomeranean coast and troops would march on Berlin. In support was to be a flotilla of around 600 ships, including the big gunned battlecruisers for bombardment purposes. They were the only capital ships to be built to the scheme and early in its construction Furious was modified with a flying off deck, as the navy realised the value of aircraft at sea, again helped by their use in the Dardanelles. There was an intent to modify Courageous and Glorious as aircraft carriers during the war, but naval resources were diverted to combat the U-boat menace from early 1917, so it didn't happen until afterwards. This was in aid of a proposal to launch a torpedo strike against the German High Seas Fleet at anchor in Wilhelmshafen since Jutland using Sopwith Cuckoo torpedo bombers.
When Edwin Dunning (who also flew seaplanes during the Dardanelles campaign) became commander of 'F' Squadron, RNAS, the unit especially formed for flying landplanes off the carrier's foredeck, Furious was still fitted with its gun, also when he made his take-offs and landings aboard before his untimely death doing so in August 1917.
On the subject of books about Jutland, like the Gallipoli campaign, there are heaps of books about it; aside from the aforementioned Rules of the Game - good stuff, there's Marder's mammoth From the Dreadought to Scapa Flow series, Volume III is titled Jutland and after: May 1916-December 1916, there's Robert K Massie's Dreadnought, which goes into the politics of the era, V.E. Tarrant's Jutland, the German Perspective is also insightful. Paul G. Halpern's A Naval History of World War One is a great overall look at the Great War at sea, as is Richard Hough's book The Great War at Sea 1914-1918. And for those who want a good examination of the naval air war, R.D.Layman's Naval Aviation in the First World War - a comprehensive look at air ops, including during the Dardanells campaign.
There are two ships I would like to visit one day: HMS Caroline a Light Cruiser that survived the Battle Jutland in Belfast and the Japanese battleship Mikasa this ship was built by Vickers in Barrow in Furness in Japan.
Mikasa was Togo's flagship at the battle of Tsushima and is a significant historic monument in Japanese history. You have to add the USS Texas; the last surviving big gun battleship from the dreadnought era, too.
Post by Ian Warren on Jan 20, 2017 22:36:35 GMT 12
I myself really keep my eyeballs out for books on these sorts of ships, strangely have this fascination myself but if you throw me in a pool I panic, at 18 years old almost drowned, that experience sticks in your brain case, twice again makes me weary of the water, I look at it this way, I'm a bird and not a fish, it when you try to explain to the general laymen, for example the weight of a barrel let say 100 tons, then add to the fact they bend and sag after prolong use many simply don't believe it, even how the barrel is made, leave people in doubt, yeah the fascination.