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Jan 7 17 1:22 PM
Jan 7 17 4:24 PM
Jan 8 17 7:54 AM
Jan 8 17 8:26 AM
Jan 8 17 12:49 PM
Jan 8 17 5:33 PM
Mark - Are you familiar with the book "The Enemy Fought Splendidly" by F B Dixon? He was the Surgeon aboard HMS Kent at the Falklands and the book is essentially his campaign diary. Certainly not directly related to Cradock and Coronel, but perhaps offers some useful insights on the conduct of an elderly armored cruiser in action.
Thank you indeed for the advice on the Cradock memorial volume. I have sent off an email inquiry this morning to Dr Michell @ BNRA.
Jan 8 17 8:31 PM
Jan 9 17 11:47 AM
Jan 9 17 4:06 PM
MarkLBailey wrote:Blutarski, thanks for the reference. I have not read that book. We have been looking at diaries from Carnarvon and others of the Monmouth class for precisely this reason, to see what they did in stripping their ships, gunery exercise and suchlike.Kent did exactly what she was designed to do and you and F106 are right. Ok, Nurnberg had the worst machinery state of any of the German small cruisers, but that essentially mimics the effect of heavy sea states. Small ships lose speed faster in heavy seas than larger, and obviously this was a mahjor reason for the tonnage of the Diadems and Monmouths.Steve - yes, the blurb is written by someone else. That said, there was a 'Battle of the Atlantic' in WWI (see Fayle, Seaborne Trade Vols 1 to 3) but it's rarely called that these days. As to 'the answers getting disturbing', I am starting to get the sense of some very serious problems in Admiralty planning and force assessment. Example: how in the hell did Sturdee, Louis and Churchill seriously believe that the series of weak formations they had cast around von Spee were each individually capable of defeating him? The evidence is that they serious believed this - yet we have Richmond screaming at them in print that these forces were not only inferior but desperately inferior. Something was very wrong there.Cheers: mark
Jan 9 17 8:38 PM
Jan 9 17 10:02 PM
MarkLBailey wrote: Thank God Canopus was NOT there. She would have been sunk with all hands.1. Canopus had the same armour scheme as Good Hope (6" KC belt etc)2. Canopus could do no more than 15 knots.3. Assuming both 12" turrets could fire, in 50 minutes she could fire about 200 shells. Gneisnau was disabled (not sunk - she was scuttled) by a BC which had to fire 642 12" rounds to do the job. But those 642 shells were all fired at a very long range (deliberately so, Sturdee was keeping the range open and exploiting his 12 inch guns range superiority over Von Spee's 8 inch - at the cost of poorer gunnery). In an action against Canopus (whose older 12 inch actually had the same range as his 8 inch) Von Spee would have closed the range - the essential analysys being that if Von Spee was in range to dish out hits, then he'd be taking some as well from Canopus's 12 inchers. Plus being unable to concentrate on Good Hope he might be taking 8.2s as wellAs for using his LC as Destroyers, given Torpedo ranges at the time, to do that would have required them to close the range, moving into the effective range bracket of Monmouth's 6 inchers, not to mention Canopus's own secondaries.Von Spee may very well have won, but there's a good chance that at least some of his squadron would have been mission killed in the process. I think that this has the makings of a very interesting wargame. 4. On her run to the north with the gale behind her her navigator (LEUT Bennett) said that her bow turret could not be fought and her casemate 6" guns could not be fought. A Midshipman in the starboard pinnace (he was the director for the starboard 12pdr battery) said that her quarterdeck was awash and he doubted that teh aft turret was very useful. At absolute best, heading into that gale, her battery was 2 x 12" (aft) and the 2 upperdeck 6". The German 8.2" outranged her 12" by 3000 yards. What's your source on that? I read that the ranges were similar. However even if the ranges are as you say, you're forgetting visability - once night fall theoretical gun ranges take a back seat to visability - there's no benefit to firing further if you can't see the target.
Jan 9 17 11:11 PM
Jan 9 17 11:32 PM
Jan 10 17 12:17 AM
Jan 10 17 3:08 AM
Jan 10 17 5:49 AM
Jan 10 17 6:33 AM
At 1 am we got
“Glasgows” position and course and speed she was coming down S.W. at 20 knots
evidently being chased. She again repeated the W/T about the “Good Hope”, we
altered our course to cut off the “Glasgow” steering at our 15 knots into the
sea which we were taking over green & which completely washed out the fore
turret crew also the working chambers below. We could not have possibly fought
our fore turret guns nor the main deck 6” guns. The same would apply most
probably to the “Good Hope” and “Monmouth” but not to the German ships.
At 3.30 [AM] we managed to pick up the colliers “Benbrook” and “Langoe” and
order them to endeavour to return to Falklands. We then turned South and steamed full speed into the head
sea. (NMM JOD 106/1, Diary
of Lieutenant Harry T, Bennett, Navigating Officer HMS Canopus, pp.77-78)
It is also noteworthy
that the gale was so heavy that even running with the wind and wave the ship had
her aft turret washed out to the point where it may not have been capable of
being fought. Young, stationed on the boat deck in a pinnace where (festooned
with portable voice-pipes) he was expected to direct the starboard waist 12pdr
guns, noted that '.... the lower deck 6” guns could not be fought and it is
doubtful if much could be done with the after 12” turret as the quarter deck
was mostly awash.’ (IWM Document 11487, Commander
R.T. Young, p.32.)
"We fired a second salvo of 3 twelve inch at extreme elevation. The delay of 4 minutes between the salvoes was due to the unfortunate mis-chance of both the telescopes of the theodolites being in line with the wooden struts holding up the roof of the observation station, however this salvo fell short about 100 yards..."(NMM JOD 106/1, Diary of Lieutenant Harry T, Bennett, Navigating Officer HMS Canopus, p.87)
Jan 10 17 10:27 AM
MarkLBailey wrote: Example: how in the hell did Sturdee, Louis and Churchill seriously believe that the series of weak formations they had cast around von Spee were each individually capable of defeating him? The evidence is that they serious believed this - yet we have Richmond screaming at them in print that these forces were not only inferior but desperately inferior. Something was very wrong there.
Jan 10 17 11:22 AM
Jan 10 17 12:56 PM
S & Gs' turret guns (30deg elevation) outranged Canopus by around 3k yards but the casemate 21cm (16deg) ranged about the same give or take. vS would need to close well within Canopus's range to get a decisive result on logistics grounds alone (i.e. not enough ammunition in the turret magazines to get a decisive result, and not enough in total to get a decisive result outside point blank range): although the headline numbers for Canopus's armour are little better than Good Hope's the coverage is considerably better and she would take orders of magnitude more punishment to put down. I suspect ultimately we'd be looking at a scenario rather similar to the post-Tsushima mopping up of the old Russian ships with a battered but unbeaten Canopus being hunted through the night and either surrendering (horror!) or being finished off by torpedo, at dawn if not before.
Offensively I agree Canopus doesn't add much. Although it's misleading to suggest that she'd be handicapped in some way by being at extreme range: that's only because of elevation limitations, the 12in trajectory would be much flatter than for the 21cm and 9.2 so all other things being equal her gunnery would be better (it outranged the 21cm by 5k yards at 30deg). However, the slow rate of fire would negate that advantage and I wouldn't expect her to hit much. Her 6in, like those of GH and Monmouth, would not be very effective against an armoured target; the range would have to be desperately close to do anything to S & G.
I second the thought that there's some interesting wargaming to be had from this with the right rules.
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