Andy01 wrote:
jlyons97 wrote:

Comparing the near-contemporaries NC and KGV.. 



2. Internal communications. 

RN capital ships depended on the most part on an electrically-powered telephone system. The USN had early gone to a complex Sound Powered phone system (there was an 'administrative system like the RN system, but it was not depended upon in battle) with multiple circuits for different purposes. The 1JV circuit (for example) connected the major ship control stations (Bridge, Secondary Conn, Main Engine Control, all steering positions with control of the rudders). There were many other circuits (even on the lowly LST on which I served that was launched the day I was born). 


1) It was only on carriers that the RN didn't fit diesels, and that was clearly a mistake. Cruisers and battleships had them from the start. Washington had SSTGs and SSDGs - the SSDGs were used for normal loads.

2) that's too simplistic. Internal comm failures happened on USN ships as well.


USS Canberra:

1. CANBERRA, was damaged by a single aircraft torpedo which struck in way of No. 4 fireroom at about frame 99, flooding Nos. 3 and 4 firerooms and Nos. 1 and 2 enginerooms. As a result of the flooding all propulsive power was lost and the ship lost way within a few minutes. The damage takes its place with that incurred by HOUSTON later in the same operation as one of the two instances in which U.S. cruisers have been immobilized as a result of a single torpedo hit.

2. The immobilization of CANBERRA led to considerable speculation as to the vulnerability of U.S. cruisers and the potency of Japanese torpedoes. A thorough analysis of the case, however, leads to the conclusion that the large extent of flooding was caused by the distortion of one propeller shaft which damaged two bulkheads otherwise untouched by blast or fragments from the detonation. The distortion was attributable to the location of the point of impact of the torpedo. This was almost directly beneath the shaft.

3. Damage control efforts were notable for the thoroughness of preparations made by the damage control organization of CANBERRA before damage was incurred and for the vigor and ingenuity with which machinery salvage operations were carried out while the ship was being towed from the combat area.

4. This report is based on the excellent and complete data contained in the references and reports of inspections of representatives of the Bureau both at advance bases and at Navy Yard, Boston. The photographs of damage to CANBERRA were furnished by the Commanding Officer and USS ABSD-2. The plate was prepared from plans submitted by ABSD-2...

29. All primary sound powered telephone circuits aft of amidships failed immediately after the hit. JV and JZ circuits were inoperative throughout the ship. Ultimately all sound powered circuits which ran through damaged and flooded machinery spaces shorted out. Shift was made to auxiliary circuits but some of these were also inoperative, and others experienced a general fading in volume. XJV circuits were not restored for some time, and, in order to reestablish communication between the bridge and steering aft, a long emergency lead was strung between these stations.

30. Ship service telephones in the after superstructure and aft of flooded areas were inoperative due to cutting or grounding of cables which ran through the firerooms. All ship service telephones forward of the flooded areas remained in good working order.

It sounds all too familiar. SP phones were good but they were not a panacea. On PoW the phones failed because of premature evacuation of the after switchboard.