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Torpedoes are supper underpowered


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I was playing "mission imposable" when this hit me. I hit the BB with a total of 33 24in torpedoes . Not only did this not sink the ship it did not even push it below 50% float. The idea of any real ship could take 33 long lance hit's and not sink is frankly ridiculous. Also in the same mission one of my DD took 4 hit's from 21in torpedoes and did not sink. This is honestly even more unbelievable as the DD had standard bulkheads 0 torpedo defense and a single layer hull.

 

The long lance aka a 24in torpedo was a menace. A single hit could and did Heavy cruisers even when that hit was on the strongest part of the torpedo defense system. torpedoes ability to flood needs a missive boost both for realism and if they are to be relevant weapons in game.

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you don't have a choice for that mission DD's aren't taking down a BB with 5in guns.

That said I have noticed it in other missions. In the H class mission I realized I don't have to try and doge torpedoes so long as I went with many bulkheads and torpedo defense 4 or 5 I could just tank them and keep going. I don't know how many I got hit with but I would guess 8-12, but it was not a big issue.

Edited by cipher315
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Well, do remember, Musashi took an INSANE amount of torpedoes - at least ten and possibly as many as nineteen, and this does not include the fact that she was also hit by many bombs as well, which well could have caused internal damage that could exacerbate the torpedo flooding - before she went down. A battleship focused on underwater protection taking a dozen torpedo hits and remaining afloat as a fighting unit isn't outside the realms of possibility... as long as those hits are 1.) in areas that the torpedo defense system covered and 2.) distributed more-or-less equally on both sides of the ship which allows for effective counterflooding and lowers the risk of capsizing. That was the difference between the two sisters; in light of the extreme suitability of Musashi strikes on Yamato were more-or-less intentionally concentrated on one side of the ship to make counterflooding exceptionally difficult.

Also, as an aside, Yahagi  (which was escorting Yamato) - a light crusier not particularly built with underwater protection in mind - soaked up an impressive seven torpedoes herself before she sank. Multiple destroyers and escort vessels survived being hit by a torpedo as well, though location of the hit played a major part in this.

So, depending on how/where/when you hit the ship (a ship traveling at high speed floods more and takes more damage), it isn't impossible for them to survive like that.
 

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On 9/24/2021 at 11:23 PM, theCarthaginian said:

Well, do remember, Musashi took an INSANE amount of torpedoes - at least ten and possibly as many as nineteen, and this does not include the fact that she was also hit by many bombs as well, which well could have caused internal damage that could exacerbate the torpedo flooding - before she went down. A battleship focused on underwater protection taking a dozen torpedo hits and remaining afloat as a fighting unit isn't outside the realms of possibility... as long as those hits are 1.) in areas that the torpedo defense system covered and 2.) distributed more-or-less equally on both sides of the ship which allows for effective counterflooding and lowers the risk of capsizing. That was the difference between the two sisters; in light of the extreme suitability of Musashi strikes on Yamato were more-or-less intentionally concentrated on one side of the ship to make counterflooding exceptionally difficult.

Also, as an aside, Yahagi  (which was escorting Yamato) - a light crusier not particularly built with underwater protection in mind - soaked up an impressive seven torpedoes herself before she sank. Multiple destroyers and escort vessels survived being hit by a torpedo as well, though location of the hit played a major part in this.

So, depending on how/where/when you hit the ship (a ship traveling at high speed floods more and takes more damage), it isn't impossible for them to survive like that.
 

Yeah but weren't they all air-dropped torps which had a significantly smaller payload.

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13 hours ago, Drenzul said:

Yeah but weren't they all air-dropped torps which had a significantly smaller payload.

Uhm... no sir, they weren't.
The Mk 14 (21" torp) warhead used by subs came in two flavors... 500-ish pounds in early marks and 650-ish pounds in later ones.
The Mk 13 (22.4" torp) warhead used by planes came in two as well... 400-ish pounds in earlier ones and 600-ish pounds in later ones.
While the air-dropped torpedo was 'smaller' (13.3' vs 20.5') in length, the greater diameter gave the option to cram in a pretty acceptable warhead in comparison. So, we're talking about a <10% difference in the strength of the torpedoes that a sub would fire and an aircraft would drop by the time that the Yamato and Musashi faced their ends. While that's nothing to sneeze at, it's not really THAT big a difference, and basically amounts to how much overkill that you want to inflict - that's ESPECIALLY true in the marks where they switched to Torpex, because you're talking a 50% increase in potential energy over TNT on a pound-for-pound basis and something of a different profile for the explosion itself and resultant pressure wave.
 

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AFAIK there is no historic example for any warship taking more than three heavyweight (i.e. full size, for the time, surface ship or submarine torpedoes) torpedo hits and not sink...

Musashi was likely sinking well before the number of torpedo hits went double digits, even with the smaller warheads of aerial toroedoes and contact fusing. The sinking of a hardened warship however can take a dozen hours or more (and be sped up by pile-on attacks).

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28 minutes ago, TBRSIM said:

AFAIK there is no historic example for any warship taking more than three heavyweight (i.e. full size, for the time, surface ship or submarine torpedoes) torpedo hits and not sink...

Musashi was likely sinking well before the number of torpedo hits went double digits, even with the smaller warheads of aerial toroedoes and contact fusing. The sinking of a hardened warship however can take a dozen hours or more (and be sped up by pile-on attacks).

She was certainly sinking...
she was also still intact as a fighting unit.
A ship can, paradoxically, be both at the same time.

Musashi was settling in the water rather evenly.This presents a situation where the mechanisms of the ship are still working more-or-less as intended. Turrets can traverse, shell hoists can still feed, water inlets are still in the water and drawing flow, etc.
A ship that is settling slowly can take an amazing amount of punishment before it sinks, reference SMS Seydlitz after Jutland. She pulled into port hit more than 20 times by battleship-caliber shells, once by a torpedo, and several times by smaller caliber guns. The substantial damage, however, was mitigated by the manner in which the flooding occurred and the ability of the ship to successfully counterflood while taking it. Even though she was actively sinking able to make it far enough to be rescued by ships with pumps sent out specifically to help stabilize her.

And, again, the Mk13 torpedo was a full-size torpedo.
I don't understand where the myth that they were not came from.

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Still. I think this (Musashi) is en extreme example. She was at least a state-of-art-super-battleship.

Since the last patch, I had situation like this:

1x 18 inch torp vs Heavy Cruiser, 1930. 25 Dmg.

+-10x 24 inch torp vs (normal) Battleship, 1930. 800 Dmg.

 

I dont say, every torp have to do 5000 dmg. But at least 100+ would be fair...

 

 

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On 9/24/2021 at 3:58 PM, Lucas_Slavik said:

yes, this issue is with the last patch. before, the torpedos where devastating as they should be.

 

Not sure why they changed that... Guess it is maybe a bug?

Nothing has changed, the problem has been in the game for as long as I can remember. The issue is TDS is a flat reduction. This means each torpedo has it's damage reduced by X%. Being hit by 1 or 50 doesn't degrade the performance of the TDS. It's a huge problem as IRL even the best TDS systems would eventually become useless after multiple strikes on the same side. 

Torpedo damage is fine, just watch what happens when you hit a ship without TDS. It seems level 4 and 5 are the worse. I made a thread some time ago where I put 150+ torpedoes into one of the AI's 100K+ ton monsters before it sank. 

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3 hours ago, madham82 said:

Nothing has changed, the problem has been in the game for as long as I can remember. The issue is TDS is a flat reduction. This means each torpedo has it's damage reduced by X%. Being hit by 1 or 50 doesn't degrade the performance of the TDS. It's a huge problem as IRL even the best TDS systems would eventually become useless after multiple strikes on the same side. 

Torpedo damage is fine, just watch what happens when you hit a ship without TDS. It seems level 4 and 5 are the worse. I made a thread some time ago where I put 150+ torpedoes into one of the AI's 100K+ ton monsters before it sank. 

This is right. Torpedo damage is fine and can be devastating. I have a torpedo destroyer than can win vs BBs with ease, but it wont do much vs a lvl 5 torpedo defense, on some particularly resistant ship the damage reduction is +80% vs torpedo. Couple that with good pump and torpedo are not a big deal. I would say that the real problem is the absurd emphasis on ridiculously large BB past 1930 (December of that year every nation got drunk and ordered mega ship). Biggest BB ever was the Yamato, but if that trend upward would have continued to 100kt then we would have seen 30inch torpedo.

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1 hour ago, HailCOBRALA said:

The problem is FLOODING is far too ineffective. 

It is very effective when the ship in question has low bulkhead, no auxiliary engine and anti flooding. Late game there is AI ship that have all that maxed out. You can see it because there is allot of damage but the flooding instantly go away. Couple that with anti torpedo and a ship can effectively be almost immune to torpedo. On the other hand it will be a pretty weak ship on other aspect... 

There is two exception to that trough, one of the late ship has 112 resistance... That one can reduce shell damage by 97% and torpedo damage by 87%. A 20" shell will do 62 damage lol.

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On 9/27/2021 at 5:19 AM, Lucas_Slavik said:

Still. I think this (Musashi) is en extreme example. She was at least a state-of-art-super-battleship.

Since the last patch, I had situation like this:

1x 18 inch torp vs Heavy Cruiser, 1930. 25 Dmg.

+-10x 24 inch torp vs (normal) Battleship, 1930. 800 Dmg.

 

I dont say, every torp have to do 5000 dmg. But at least 100+ would be fair...

 

 

And, yet, even older or less protected battleships and cruisers have taken some pretty astounding torpedo damage and either sank slowly or even not sank.
North Carolina, for instance, continued to blaze along at what was roughly her maximum sustainable speed (remember her peculiar issues with her top speed) of 25 knots and maintain formation with Saratoga. Even Wasp not only took the single Type 95, but three more much weaker Mk 15 torps... and even then took hours to sink in the face of the combined damage (without anyone trying to stop her from sinking, BTW). Heck, in that battle, a close-aboard detonation damaged O'Brien - which then took over a month for the cumulative explosion + stresses to cause her to cease to be watertight on such a scale that she eventually couldn't float.

Edited by theCarthaginian
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I agree that the problem is still that damage, flooding and stability are not modelled well. It’s about time we got rid of Hitpoints. Please, for the love of God!

 

The vulnerability of older Armoured Cruisers and Pre Dreadnoughts to torpedos was in large part due to poor compartmentalization schemes that lead to capsize. That is wholly absent right now, and giving torpedos massive warheads or effortlessly slapping keels isn’t going to change that. Where ships take on water matters so much more than how much, or the explosive force of the torpedo, and Hit Points miss the point (lol) entirely.

 

Modelling Longitudinal bulkheads and subdivided machinery spaces seems like the best way to model this weakness. 

Edited by DougToss
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1 hour ago, DougToss said:

Modelling Longitudinal bulkheads and subdivided machinery spaces seems like the best way to model this weakness. 

And would, coincidentally, assist massively with the whole "clown car" situation... with more accurate modeling of INTERNAL components and bulkhead placement comes the unavoidable, but highly pleasant, side effect of getting better placement of EXTERNAL components that connect to those. No more will we see insane turret placement where half-a-dozen different gun calibers are packed into every available square inch of deckspace. The computer will have more accurately modeled the magazines, and will resultantly have better gun mount arrangement.

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4 hours ago, DougToss said:

Modelling Longitudinal bulkheads and subdivided machinery spaces seems like the best way to model this weakness. 

We already model subdivisions... a ship can be sunk with 100% structural health due to flooding alone. Strong torpedoes damage compartments more and cause more flooding that spreads to nearby sections. Engines become disabled due to flooding in the sections they work. 

 

4 hours ago, DougToss said:

and Hit Points miss the point (lol) entirely.

Arguably, more detail can be added, but we must be accurate when we speak on the internet. We have a very detailed damage model already, that can be improved but not laughed upon.

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@Nick Thomadis I didn’t mean for that to come across as harsh or blunt. It’s specifically that longitudinal bulkheads were thought to be a good idea initially but caused a tremendous amount of capsizes in that generation of warship. I don’t have my copy handy to pull quotes at the moment, but in Warrior to Dreadnought Brown goes over both the issue of longitudinal bulkheads and machinery spaces, as well as a list of warships built before Dreadnought that hit mines or torpedoes and the result. 
 

There have been great strides in flooding and compartmentalization, I don’t want to overlook that, it’s just that without machinery transverse and longitudinal bulkheads aren’t really a problem, if you know what I mean. 

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10 hours ago, DougToss said:

@Nick Thomadis I didn’t mean for that to come across as harsh or blunt. It’s specifically that longitudinal bulkheads were thought to be a good idea initially but caused a tremendous amount of capsizes in that generation of warship. I don’t have my copy handy to pull quotes at the moment, but in Warrior to Dreadnought Brown goes over both the issue of longitudinal bulkheads and machinery spaces, as well as a list of warships built before Dreadnought that hit mines or torpedoes and the result. 
 

There have been great strides in flooding and compartmentalization, I don’t want to overlook that, it’s just that without machinery transverse and longitudinal bulkheads aren’t really a problem, if you know what I mean. 

image.png

@DougToss I am sorry but still I do not understand exactly what you mean. The image shows in a very brief manner how damage is dealt on warships. Can you elaborate what you think it is exactly missing in relation to bulkheads? You said we do not have longitudinal bulkheads in your first post. Where exactly are they missing? If they work 100% as in full reality simulation, it is a different matter, there is always room for improvements and new features. But where are they missing? Ships are not destroyed by hitpoints (as you also said) unless their structural integrity is reduced so much that they cannot function anymore as a floating vessel. So please explain what you think we need as a feature desperately in order to prioritize, if possible.

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13 minutes ago, Nick Thomadis said:

image.png

@DougToss I am sorry but still I do not understand exactly what you mean. The image shows in a very brief manner how damage is dealt on warships. Can you elaborate what you think it is exactly missing in relation to bulkheads? You said we do not have longitudinal bulkheads in your first post. Where exactly are they missing? If they work 100% as in full reality simulation, it is a different matter, there is always room for improvements and new features. But where are they missing? Ships are not destroyed by hitpoints (as you also said) unless their structural integrity is reduced so much that they cannot function anymore as a floating vessel. So please explain what you think we need as a feature desperately in order to prioritize, if possible.

Pre-Dreadnoughts also had a bulkhead here. While in theory it made the ships safer, preventing half the machinery from flooding, in practice it meant that the ship rapidly took on water on one side that could not be pumped out or counterflooded quickly enough, causing capsize.

E727FF4E-6C36-4AD7-932A-AE67C7AD293E.jpeg

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9 minutes ago, DougToss said:

Pre-Dreadnoughts also had a bulkhead here. While in theory it made the ships safer, preventing half the machinery from flooding, in practice it meant that the ship rapidly took on water on one side that could not be pumped out or counterflooded quickly enough, causing capsize.

E727FF4E-6C36-4AD7-932A-AE67C7AD293E.jpeg

You mean bulkheads that separate the ship from side to side (via longitudinal frames). This was considered as an extra detail, but if you think about it, counterflooding was done always automatically in the era we examine, in order to not have a ship to capsize, so it is not something major missing, but still it is a level of detail that can have a tactical effect during battle, so that if damage is too serious on one side, it can affect the counterflooding measurements. Thank you for the clarification.

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Thank you for helping me find a better way to explain it. You have it exact - after all of the capsize sinkings from torpedos and mines in WW1, later designs were better able to balance flooding, and therefore weight and stability from side to side. 

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@Nick Thomadis You'll probably understand what this means mechanically better than I do, but I pulled the relevant passages:

Stability and Capsize

For much of the second half of the nineteenth century, the design of warships was dominated by problems of stability, which must be explained if the reader is to follow the great and angry debates of the time. The principles of ship stability are simple but the calculations needed to quantify the values for a real ship are so long and difficult that complicated mathematical methods were soon introduced to reduce the amount of arithmetic involved. Though these methods eased the work of calculation, they also obscured the basic simplicity of the subject. The subject of stability advanced very rapidly during the 1860s, due to Reed and his brilliant assistants, though many, including some well-qualified naval architects, failed to understand the implications of this new work.
Even the word ‘Stability’ is used with at least three meanings which differ one from the other. Stability is used to describe the force needed to heel a ship through a small angle; the ship being described as stable if a fairly large force is needed to heel it. A ship is also said to be stable if it can be heeled to a large angle without capsizing and, although this is a proper meaning of the word, it is not the same as the first case. A ship can require a large force to heel to a small angle and yet capsize at an angle little greater. Finally, the word stability is often used to describe a ship which does not roll violently. As shown in Appendix 5, this usage is incorrect as it is almost the opposite of the first two meanings of stability.

Forces in Balance

When a ship is floating stationary in still water, there are just two forces acting on it, weight and buoyancy. The weight is constant – equal to the displacement – and will act vertically downwards through the centre of gravity which, with some exceptions discussed later, is a fixed point. Buoyancy must equal weight for a floating object by Archimedes’ principle and will act vertically upwards through the centre of buoyancy which is not fixed. The centre of buoyancy is the centre of the underwater volume of the ship and, since this volume changes shape radically as the ship heels, the centre will move. With the ship upright these two forces will be equal and opposite and work in the same line, balancing completely (the first, uppermost small sketch).

As the ship heels, the underwater volume will increase on the immersed side and reduce on the emerged side so that the centre of buoyancy moves to the immersed side (the next three small sketches). One may envisage a ‘wedge’ of volume being transferred from the emerged to the immersed side. The forces of weight and buoyancy, though still equal, no longer act in the same line but are separated by the distance GZ. This length is referred to as the righting lever and the product Weight or Displacement (W) times GZ is the righting moment. For small angles of heel the buoyancy force is outboard of the weight and the righting moment will try to bring the ship upright.

For normal ships the righting moment and lever (GZ) will increase quite rapidly at first as the ship heels more and more but as the bilge comes out on one side and the deck edge goes under on the other, the GZ will increase more slowly and finally begin to reduce. The angle at which the maximum GZ occurs is critical; if there is a steady force heeling the ship and the heel passes the maximum, the righting moment will decrease and capsize will follow very quickly. Eventually, the righting moment falls to zero (the angle of vanishing stability, 82° in the fourth and lower sketch) and will become negative, the buoyancy force increasing the heel (the fifth small sketch).”

The Curve of Righting Levers (GZ Curve)

The features described in the previous section can be shown on a graph where the value of the righting lever is shown on the vertical axis for each angle of heel (the curve below the sketches). As well as the angle and value of maximum GZ and the angle of vanishing stability (the angle at which it occurs is sometimes called the ‘range of stability’), the so-called down-flooding angle is important. This is the heel at which water will begin to pour down gun ports, hatches, funnels, ventilators etc, and is the practical limit beyond which survival is unlikely. In the early years undue importance was attached to the range of stability instead of the down-flooding angle. The key factors are the maximum value of GZ and the angle at which it occurs and tables in the text for individual ships will usually be limited to these figures (when available).

The adequacy of a GZ curve can only be judged in relation to the heeling moment to which the ship may be exposed. The heeling moment will include some or all of the following; the effect of wind pressure on superstructure, masts and rigging, wave forces, shifting cargo or other loads, crowding of people to one side and flooding. An all too common build-up to disaster sees a ship broadside on to wind and sea. The ship heels over to leeward to a considerable angle due to wind pressure and on this is superimposed large roll angles due to the waves. There will then be slow flooding through intakes, leaking hatches and doors etc. Such flooding can lead to loss of electric power (in modern ships) and hence to steering; followed by more flooding and capsize. Between 1935 and 1945 the USN lost four destroyers in much this way, the Italian lost two, Japan one, Russia one – and the RN none.

The resistance to short-duration forces, such as a gust of wind, is measured by the area under the curve so the naval architect will refer to a GZ curve as ‘good’ if it rises quickly at first, reaches a satisfactory maximum at a fair angle and has plenty of area beneath it. These subjective values have now been quantified.

Approximations and justification


It was realised from its introduction that the GZ curve was only an approximation to the behaviour of a ship in a severe storm. The GZ curve implies the ship at rest in a flat sea, very different from moving through giant waves. The justification is that it works, at least in a comparative sense. In the century or so after the introduction of the GZ curve it was clear that ships with a ‘good’ curve, as described above, would survive a storm which would cause less well-endowed ships to founder. The loss of three USN destroyers in the great typhoon of December 1944 showed first that the GZ curve was correct in identifying the ships most at risk and also led to an investigation which suggested a way of arriving at numerical values for the good GZ curve. The values derived by Sarchin and Goldberg form the basis for the safety standards of most navies today.

Stability at small angles – the metacentric theory


It was long believed that the direct calculation of the movement of the centre of buoyancy was so difficult as to be practically impossible and from the seventeenth century onwards an approximation, known as the metacentric theory was developed. This was based on the assumption that the line of action of the force of buoyancy crossed the centre line of the ship (the upright vertical) at a fixed point known as the metacentre (M). The separation of the centre of gravity (G) and the metacentre is called the metacentric height, GM.

The righting lever GZ at an angle of heel 0 is then given by the simple expression GM x Sin 0 . This expression is valid up to heels of about 10° for normal ships with a decent freeboard and is useful for estimating heel from shift of weights and moderate winds but is little guide to safety at large angles when capsize is likely. In the early design phase it is often assumed that if the GM of the new ship is the same as that of an existing ship of the same general configuration, then the GZ curves will be similar. Provided that the ships really are similar and the designer is experienced, this assumption is a reasonable starting point.

It is not too difficult to calculate the position of the metacentre but the calculation of the position of the centre of gravity (G), though simple, is very lengthy and needs some experience. The height of the metacentre above the centre of buoyancy is given by I/V where I is the second moment of area of the waterplane and V the immersed volume. The height of the metacentre is dominated by the broader part of the hull and hence flooding of the fine ends was not important, often not appreciated by contemporary critics of warship design. The first direct calculation of the position of the centre of gravity (G) was probably by William Bell for the Great Eastern in 1859 but in 1865 Barnaby was to tell the INA that it was so difficult as to be practically impossible. However, more assistant constructors were appointed and very quickly the position of G was calculated for all ships. This position will, of course, vary with loading, G normally being highest in the light condition.

The Inclining Experiment

The metacentric theory can be used to measure the separation of G and M directly by experiment. A known weight (w) is moved a measured distance (d) across the deck giving a known heeling moment, w x d. The angle of heel (0) produced is measured using long pendulums and then
w x d = W x GM x SinØ
Since W, w, d and 0 are all known, GM can be found.

Damage - Likely the TL;DR

All the tedious and difficult calculations discussed above become very much more difficult once the ship is holed and flooded. The ship will sink deeper in the water and will both heel and trim – and even to calculate the position of the new waterline is a lengthy task-whilst the hydrostatic parameters which govern the height of the metacentre and the characteristics of the GZ curve will change. A full treatment of damaged stability was not possible until the introduction of the computer, well after the Second World War.


In the early days the effect of flooding a single large compartment was considered by taking the flood water as an added weight, at the virtual centre of gravity. The GM was modified by this and the effect of heel and trim16 considered. It was implicit that the effect of flooding two compartments could be obtained by adding the effects of each compartment taken in isolation. A position for the metacentre in the intact state was obtained, by varying the beam, which, it was hoped, would allow for the losses following serious flooding.

There was a reasonable subjective understanding of the effects of damage but the magnitude of the effects of flooding was under estimated, particularly the effect of off centre loading when stability was reduced at the same time. Until at least the Victoria-Camperdown collision the hazards were not appreciated of flooding spreading through doors and ventilation valves which though nominally watertight had either been left open or leaked due to distortion.

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Proved in Battle - Abridged by Dougtoss

 

During the period covered by this book (1860-1905) there were few naval wars and none of these involved the Royal Navy. The Admiralty of the day studied foreign wars very carefully and both tested the lessons and supplemented them by a considerable number of full-scale trials of weapon effectiveness. To these one may add the results of some later trials which throw light on the ‘battleworthiness’ of these ships together with relevant lessons from the actions of the First World War.

Mines


There were heavy casualties on both sides from mines; the Japanese lost a third of their six battleships in one day, whilst the sinking of Petropavlovsk off Port Arthur on 13 April 1904 killing Admiral Makarov deprived the Russians of their only competent leader. Pobeida was damaged on the same occasion.
In all, the Japanese lost to mines the Hatsuse and Yashima (battleships), Hei-Yen, Takasago, Miyako and Sai-Yen (cruisers) and five smaller ships. The Russians lost Petropavlovsk while the Sevastopol was mined twice without being sunk. British reports suggested that a single mine explosion would only be lethal if a magazine was detonated.
 

Torpedoes


During the war the Japanese fired some 350 torpedoes scoring very few hits, whilst the Russians scored no hits. The war opened with a surprise attack on the Russian fleet at anchor off Port Arthur. Nineteen torpedoes were launched against the almost unprepared Russian ships (although the watertight doors were shut and the nets out), scoring three hits on the stationary targets. The 18in torpedoes had a warhead of 198lbs of gun cotton which caused severe damage. There were no docks capable of accepting the damaged ships and the Russian constructors devised ingenious cofferdams which permitted repairs to be made afloat. This took time and Retvizan completed on 28 May, Tsessarevitch on 8 June and Pallada on 16 June. The RN was impressed by the damage resistance of Tsessarevitch which they attributed to her thick inner bulkhead, though it is almost certain that the hit was abaft the protection. As a result, tests of a similar scheme were carried out and incorporated into Dreadnought at a late stage of the design (Chapter 11). The RN may have misread this lesson but action was quick and effective.

In December 1904 the Sevastopol moored out of sight of the Japanese howitzers and was the object of numerous torpedo attacks. She was protected by nets and had the support of a gunboat. In all 104 torpedoes were launched for one hit and two which exploded in the nets sufficiently close to cause damage.

Tsushima was the only occasion when big ships used their submerged tubes -Mikasa fired four, Shikishima two and Iwate four (believed to be the only gyro-fitted torpedoes used in the war), scoring no hits. Destroyers and torpedo boats fired a considerable number during the day for one hit on the disabled and helpless Suvorov which finally sank her.


The weather was bad at Tsushima and many of the smaller torpedo boats had sheltered during the day. They came out at night and joined with the destroyers in a series of brave but uncoordinated attacks on the demoralised Russian survivors. The total number of torpedoes fired is uncertain; the Staff History says eighty-seven were fired during the night but it is likely that this included those fired during daylight. There was a hit on the cruiser Monomakh which was scuttled the next day to avoid surrender. This was probably the only hit of the war on an undamaged, moving ship. Nakhimoff already damaged, was hit forward and scuttled the next day and Sissoi was hit in the stern disabling the rudder and one propeller and she sank the next day. Navarin was sunk by mines dropped ahead of her by destroyers.

The 350 Japanese torpedoes had scored few hits and had little effect on the war. To a considerable extent, one may see the same pattern at Jutland. The speed of a torpedo was only about 1 ½ to 2 times the speed of the target ship and hence the lengthy running time made it likely that the target’s movements would not be predicted correctly. It seems likely that night torpedo attacks by surface ships could only be effective when good voice radio was available and, possibly, radar. By the time of the war, RN torpedoes had mostly been fitted with gyros and the first trials of heater torpedoes had taken place. Fear of the torpedo was a major factor in the drive for increased gun range; this fear was almost certainly exaggerated but it had a real influence on tactical thinking.

Flooding


From Russian accounts one can see a number of common factors; a gradual breakdown of command due to injuries to senior officers – inadequately protected by the conning towers – and the difficulty in passing orders as voice pipes were cut, and access obstructed by debris, structural damage and fires, together with a hail of splinters on the upper deck.
Splinters also affected the stopping of holes above the waterline; not difficult if unhindered but virtually impossible under fire. This led to a bùild-up of water above the protective deck as the ship rolled in heavy seas, reducing stability and possibly giving a heeling moment. Firefighting water added considerably to the problem. Suvorov had quite severe flooding through a lower-deck gun port.

 

Sinking


The centre of gravity was high in the Russian ships of French style, with towering sides, and a satisfactory intact metacentric height was obtained by increasing the beam. Much of the benefit of beam is lost when extensive flooding occurs and it is virtually certain that the stability of these ships after damage was very poor. The centreline bulkhead in the machinery spaces would lead to large heeling moments if one side was flooded, whilst the righting moment would be seriously reduced if hits had made the upper works non-watertight and the tumblehome would further reduce the righting moment. It was a combination of a high centre of gravity, asymmetric flooding and reduced righting moment which led to capsize, although in the case of Alexander III and Osliabia flooding of the lightly-protected ends was a contributory factor.

Pakenham drew attention to the dangers of centreline bulkheads in several of his reports. No attention seems to have been paid to this point which was probably the prime cause of capsize. At the time, capsize was blamed on the extreme tumblehome, a feature which was incorporated only to a small extent in British ships prior to the First World War. He also pointed out the need for unpierced bulkheads and, quite reasonably, it was felt that efforts already in hand following the loss of Victoria, eg Lord Nelson and Dreadnought, were adequate. There was always a problem with doors to coal bunkers which could be jammed by bits of coal. The Japanese tried to reduce the risk by stacking two hours’ supply in the stokehold and keeping the doors firmly shut.

The Admiralty were satisfied with their fire precautions and the First World War largely justified their confidence. They also were satisfied with subdivision, but this was not entirely justified. Pakenham had warned of the dangers of longitudinal bulkheads but these were to topple many ships in the coming war. Spread of flooding through vent trunks etc, remained a problem even though unpierced bulkheads had already been introduced in Lord Nelson. Mines took a terrible toll of ships in 1904-05 and the British actions were prompt and sensible though not entirely adequate.
 

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