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BunnyDragon

Historical Turret Design

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I'm curious about the turret designs on the various ships used in real life.

 

I find that the triple gun turret design to be better than a twin gun turret design and that it provides ships with it, a significant advantage over other ships of a similar class, at least in the game, and since nations and navies followed with more and more triple gun design turrets as the age of the big gun ships came to an end. 

 

But I have noticed that some nations begin to put the triple gun turrets rather late into their designs or not at all even when they have the ability to.

I am wondering in particular about the Japanese and German ships.  To my knowledge, both navies had the ability and the technology to put in the triple gun turrets, but didn't until either just before WWII or during the war. 

For the Germans, I can understand about still having to keep in line with restrictions imposed on navies and that they didn't want to kick a war off early with a naval warship violation.  

But for the Japanese I am wondering why, in particular their cruisers (the Battleships were designed and built during the Great War or shortly after and then a holiday) they had 5 twin gun turrets, when it seems to me, that 4 triple gun turrets would make more sense and provide more guns.  Was there a gun limit on heavy cruisers (10?) that the Japanese were taking advantage of with this design or was it something else?

 

Just wondering. 

 

Oh, and you know anything about any other navy and turret choices, please include them too. 

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For the Japanese, its probably due to broadside weight. They DID expect their cruisers to slug it out with their contemporaries and win, a known example of that would be when all four Myokos ganged up on Exeter and the British heavy cruiser was hard pressed to fight back while running away. If any, the dual mount turret proved to be the most working turret design for large guns since it was a fairly reliable thing to maintain and fix, all the while still baring a solid offense.

 

Also to boot that a triple mount turret would be heavy as balls if it carries heavier guns and heavier stuff and all the while having each gun and its breech elevate independently (Pensacola's early triple mount turret haunts me greatly).

 

the French were pragmatic bastards because within each turret basically is two dual mount turrets fused together and all that separated each compartment was a metal wall which was intended that if turret B's starboard guns were knocked out, the port side guns weren't affected and could still lay and fire.

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6 hours ago, BunnyDragon said:

But for the Japanese I am wondering why, in particular their cruisers (the Battleships were designed and built during the Great War or shortly after and then a holiday) they had 5 twin gun turrets, when it seems to me, that 4 triple gun turrets would make more sense and provide more guns.  Was there a gun limit on heavy cruisers (10?) that the Japanese were taking advantage of with this design or was it something else?

Nippon style and dont underestimate twin canon,high damage, high accurate ....

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11 hours ago, EvyL said:

Also to boot that a triple mount turret would be heavy as balls if it carries heavier guns and heavier stuff and all the while having each gun and its breech elevate independently (Pensacola's early triple mount turret haunts me greatly).

 

3 two gun turrets weigh more than 2 three gun turrets - of the same gun.

 

To the OP and generally - it's written in a few sources where the Japanese high command and warship designers thought that having more turrets was better on the offense. I've never been 100% clear as the the rationale behind this though it could be due to

  • more turrets means if one is taken out, your offensive firepower is reduced less if you have more twin gunned turrets then less triple gunned turrets.
  • engaging more targets simultaneously.

 

Tee

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Thank you everyone for the replies, they really help clear up some things.

 

On 7/25/2017 at 8:43 PM, EvyL said:

For the Japanese, its probably due to broadside weight. They DID expect their cruisers to slug it out with their contemporaries and win, a known example of that would be when all four Myokos ganged up on Exeter and the British heavy cruiser was hard pressed to fight back while running away. If any, the dual mount turret proved to be the most working turret design for large guns since it was a fairly reliable thing to maintain and fix, all the while still baring a solid offense.

Ease of maintenance makes a lot of sense considering at the time there were not many places that would be able to do major repairs or maintenance on large ships.  Keeping them as easy as possible to keep in repair makes a lot of sense here. 

 

On 7/26/2017 at 8:02 AM, admiral_tee said:

3 two gun turrets weigh more than 2 three gun turrets - of the same gun.

 

To the OP and generally - it's written in a few sources where the Japanese high command and warship designers thought that having more turrets was better on the offense. I've never been 100% clear as the the rationale behind this though it could be due to

  • more turrets means if one is taken out, your offensive firepower is reduced less if you have more twin gunned turrets then less triple gunned turrets.
  • engaging more targets simultaneously.

 

Tee

Different design philosophies is also very helpful in understanding this regard.  They were expecting to have them on the front lines for a while and may not be able to bring them back for repairs and refit as soon as one turret stops working.  

 

Thank you again everyone!

Dragon

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One thing to take note were, Warship is first and foremost were an artilery platform.

and to make an accurate shot a stable floating artilery platform were needed.

 

what best shape for such a platform were fully rectangular platform.

but with rectangular platform, the ship have so much water resistence that drag the ship, that it will have speed of a snail

 

so, there is an aspect of lenght and beam of the ships involved in the design,

so to compromise betwen stability and speed the ship need to have sufficient beam, to be stable firing platform

When you add 1 Gun into the Turret, the width of Turret were ofc increased, and so the beam of the ship itself need to be enlarged proportionaly

this end up compromising the speed. (slimer ship with narrow beam have less water resistance and therefore way faster)

And ever since Japan Victory on Tsuhima by Admiral togo, Japan Navy in particular have strong emphasize on Speed of Flotila. (same sentiment were shared by french)

and since Japan need to outgun US Navy( since US have numerical supperiority over Japan they need to have more firepower per ship compared to US as equalizer ). and also Doctrinal need of speeeeeeed

it lead up to tad bit long a-b-c x-y-z configuration

 

Aside from technical difficulties of cramping  more gun into 1 turret. There also, factor of crew effectiveness on the turret with 2,3 or even 4 guns

FYI, each turret of fletcher Destroyer that only have 1 gun, were manned by 18 people.

so do note, that Crew manned the gun also need adaquate amount of space.

British wrote report after German Navy surrender in WW1. comparing their turret with German (Kaiser Class) and  American (Wyoming class)

They found American crew condition were cramped, leading to in-efficient performance of entire shooting process.

This crew condition also weight in on design of Fiji class cruiser, they dropped the idea of the ship have 4 gun each turret. because the turret will be to cramped. and leading to decrease on crew performance which affect fire rate and sutainability 

 

The germans turret on other hand were too spacius, with each gun widely spaced betwen each other, this according to German Naval designer, were they favor less gun on single turret. because when the turret got hit by enemy fire and disabled (or destroyed). the ship will lose less overall firepower. with widely spaced space betwen guns, there is possibility that damaged turret would still have their gun survived (as opposed to entire gun on turret end up being inopperable). leading to the ship more resilient to battle damage

 

 

 

Edited by humusz

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To simplify Humusz's answer:

Given the same number of guns and caliber:

Tripple Turrets= Short fat ship

Pros: Less area to armour, allowing more armour for the same weight

Cons: Short fat ships are slower given the same power output

 

USN WWI era New Mex. (triple)  = well protected, short, fat, slow

IJN Fuso = long, awkward armour & turret layout, fast(er)

 

Most would probably say the triple turret layout was 'better' due to the cleaner design and more modern appearance but I think history shows that the 21knot battleship was already obsolete by 1914. Faster ships, however compromised ended up being useful for longer.

 

Towards WWII, BB became large enough to fit triple turrets without becoming short and fat (they were just longer - see Iowa vs. North Carolina)

 

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^

Well you could say that.

due to hydrodynamic, longer hull would have less resistence and therefore faster speed.

US battlegroup at WW2 have cruising speed of 18 knots. Japan Doctrine required it to outmanuver american using faster speed, which set at 22-24 knot (*must go fast)

However, as time progressed the fast battleship design is the clear winner. since it enable the fleet to flex their influence and reposition faster.

 

so, compromising design were meet. 3 gun per turret allow the ship to have sufficient firepower while still maintaining high speed. and a-b-x configuration offer shorter belt compared to a-b-x-y. which cut weight a lot and increase speed

however why tripple turret is most common popular choice along with A-B-X configuration also can be attributed to another non-technical factor.

 

10 Guns !.

were considered Ideal on 3rd and subsuquent generation dreadnought (refered also as post jutland class). with 9 were closed enough to ideal of many navy and 8 guns is OK, but with larger caliber than its peer.

(british old super dreadnought (1st and 2nd generation) have ideal of 12)

 

also there a lot of risk putting more than 10 guns on a single ships. 

Because When you lost the ships, you would lost significant proportion of firepower. as no nation dare to claim their battleship invincible, the ship with most firepower would be grave threat that would be focused and eleminated first

a supership with 24 guns, compared to a 2 ships with 12 guns. while both offer equal number of firepower the latter would be more flexible - tactical and strategical wise

 

as a footnote, Some historian divide the Dreadnought evolution into term generations

1st generation were somewhat trial phase, with design like wing turret like on Myogi

2nd Generation reffered as SuperDreadnought. this super prefix were given because the ship adopted superfiring method, which put main armanent into centerline of the ships. Ships like warspite, bayern were one of the famous one

3rd generation is post jutland class. which new ship design incorporated lesson learned in that battle. including powerfull spotlingt and rangefinder, makeshift aviation facility, Dual purpose guns and so on. in this game T6-7 ships is generaly post jutland design (there exception ofc like amagi)

4rd generation, is modern fast battleship design. this mark the departure of Casemate secondary gun in favor of dual purpose secondaries, Increased AAA, introduction of Radar and aviation facility. this was the Yamato, North carolina, Iowa, scharnhorst, Bismarck, montana and so on

Edited by humusz

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Also, as a side note most turrets were essentially dropped into their housings, which consisted basically of a large ring gear so to speak. This is why in many wreck dive situations the turrets are found totally separate to the ship itself. I'd imagine the weight of a large diameter bore weapon with triple barrels would put far more stress on these components, especially if it was a heavily armoured turret. This essentially equals slower traverse speeds or more powerful equipment used to rotate the turret.

 

My 2 cents

 

Felix

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There are also technical issues with the firing order, sequencing when increasing the barrel count in a turret.

Firing of triples (and quads) v doubles raises even more concerns around shell fratricide, firing orders and delays which in turn lead to accuracy issues (delays mean that firing solution only applies to first shell, mostly the 2nd and not the 3rd/4th).  Many options were trialled to work around the concerns (set back on middle barrel, timing delays etc) however it was generally considered that a twin barrel turret was more efficient for space, firing and weight than triples and quads.

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1 hour ago, dead_man_walking said:

it was generally considered that a twin barrel turret was more efficient for space, firing and weight than triples and quads.

Can you link to a source for this conclusion?

This may have been the case early on, during and just post the dreadnought era but not the case once teething issues were worked out and triple gunned turrets became the norm'.

A triple turret is much better for space and weight than a double.

 

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Not technical data but a comparison of ship dimensions vs speed. (Double vs. triple turrets)

    length p.p beam l/b ratio shp Stdd disp./k tons speed/knots
Fuso 6x double 14' 190 28.65 6.63 40,000 29 23
kongo 4 x double 14' 211 28 7.54 64,000 27.5 27.5
Queen Liz 4x double 15' 193 28 6.89 75,000 27.5 25
Hood 4x double 15' 259 29 8.93 144,000 41 32
Bismark 4 x double 15' 241 30 8.03 148,000 41 30
Nagato 4x double 16' 201 29 6.93 80,000 39 26
New Mexico 4x Triple 14' 180 30 6.00 32,000 32 21
Littoro 3x Triple 15' 238 33 7.21 128,000 41 30
South Dakota 3x triple 16' 210 33 6.36 130,000 35 27.5
Iowa 3x triple 16' 262 33 7.94 212,000 46 35

 

Notice that Bismark and Hood have almost exactly the same power and displacement but the Hood runs 2 knots faster being a massive 20m longer.

Another good comparison is Fuso (double 14s) vs New Mex (Triple 14s), Fuso is a meter narrower and 10 meters longer contributing to her her 2 knots of additional speed.

Iowa vs. South Dakota (same armament and armour) - Iowa needs to be a whopping 52 meters longer and sport almost double the power to make (an admittedly v fast) 35 knots.  

* The Littoro numbers are a bit dodge and don't fit the otherwise relatively consistent data. Perhaps the beam measurement is not at waterline? (could't find better data) Or 30 knots was optimistic?

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On 9/5/2017 at 7:11 AM, dead_man_walking said:

There are also technical issues with the firing order, sequencing when increasing the barrel count in a turret.

Firing of triples (and quads) v doubles raises even more concerns around shell fratricide, firing orders and delays which in turn lead to accuracy issues (delays mean that firing solution only applies to first shell, mostly the 2nd and not the 3rd/4th).  Many options were trialled to work around the concerns (set back on middle barrel, timing delays etc) however it was generally considered that a twin barrel turret was more efficient for space, firing and weight than triples and quads.

 

Its called Mutual Interference 

most Navies solve the problem early, for example during the trial run. Myoko class cruiser suffer from Excesive dispersion from the said mutual Interference.

they solve it by making 2nd barrel fire 0.2s after the first one is fired. and its achive satisfying shoot grouping during varius battle on pasific. and its considered accurate guns by IJN

 

The french however, plagued by this problem.

Dunkerque, Jean bart and all "modern" french battleship suffer from excesive dispersion. which have radius of 1100 meters 

French Navy were determined to solve this issue, but due too defeat by Germany. its not until 1950 they solve it on Jean bart (the same slight delay betwen barrels)

 

What you said is not exactly happen.

Some ship dont have capability of staggered firing (mean they cant shoot 1 barrel at a time). This due to Cradle and hoist mechanism of the ships.

Ships that have the capability need to have heavier gun cradle, and seperate elevation mechanism for each barrel require considerable more space

Its generaly not found on pre Jutland Dreadnought, and Due to treaty and varius technical, weight and other limitation during the pre-war era it also plagued some of the post Jutland design.

However, last generation of battleship dont have such problem.

 

due to US favoring full broadside when salvo - as opposed to British which favor Staggering shoot

made US a bit late when adopting, independent gun cradle elevation. this somewhat made British identify the Mutual Interference problem before US did. even Japan solve it faster than US

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