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Thread: Ask An Expert- Battleships

  1. #991
    Contributor 85 gt kid's Avatar
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    Just think though Rusty if the BB-55 class had been designed for use of a new Super Heavy 14" shell (like how they were made with the new 2700 lb projectile in mind vs the Colorados) they would have had just about as close to shell weights as the 15"ers of other Navys. Salvo weight would be more then even most 16"ers .
    RIP Charles "Bob" Spence. 1936-2014.

  2. #992
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    Stitch wrote:

    I'm a little concerned about the seventh photo down, where they show all of the journalists & photographers topside on the ship when it's firing a full broadside; I was under the impression that the blast pressure from a 16" shell (not to mention a full broadside!) could rupture eardrums and cause nausea in some cases? Rusty? Dread? Were sailors, let alone civilians, allowed topside when the big guns were being fired? I had heard somewhere that all personnel had to be below decks with hatches dogged when the 16's were fired?
    I was also thinking along similar lines after seeing that particular photo. When NEW JERSEY was reactivated for Vietnam Service, we generally only had one half of the ship "at war" during gunline firing - i.e., if Turrets 1 or 2 were firing, personnel could be out on the main deck Aft - and vice versa for Turret 3. But, no one was allowed out on the main deck when we fired 9 gun salvos (except for the photographer!). I don't know how the "anything goes" generations of the 80's-90's crews were regulated, so I can't speak for that time period.

    Hank

  3. #993
    Defense Professional RustyBattleship's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stitch View Post
    I'm a little concerned about the seventh photo down, where they show all of the journalists & photographers topside on the ship when it's firing a full broadside; I was under the impression that the blast pressure from a 16" shell (not to mention a full broadside!) could rupture eardrums and cause nausea in some cases? Rusty? Dread? Were sailors, let alone civilians, allowed topside when the big guns were being fired? I had heard somewhere that all personnel had to be below decks with hatches dogged when the 16's were fired?

    Attachment 37240
    Oh my. Has anybody here ever taken pictures with a LENS & FILM camera with a TELEPHOTO lens before? Or just these electronic communicators that serve as telephones, cameras and game boards?

    The cameraman stood up at the forepeak and used a telephoto lens to frame in everything. Objects further away are then fore-shortened and appear closer than they really are.

    A fast shutter speed was also necessary. But it wasn't fast enough to catch all guns firing. That's because all guns do NOT fire at once. There is a 1/2 second delay between each gun of each turret. Center gun first, then left gun, then right gun. A full second (at least) at 1:25th of a second shutter speed.

    The gun delay is to allow the turret to recover from recoil. Before modernization, timing between the guns was much shorter. However during the 1980's modernization, Dahlgren and NAVWEPS now had the time, funding and equipment to measure the stresses on the turrets. They had pressure sensors and stress chips all over the ship. We did not have that pleasure of time (or even the hardware) in the 1940's when the ships were first built.

    Allowing the turret to recover from recoil reduced stresses on the roller path and the turret foundation (which is a structure inside -- and not touching -- the barbette and is an intregal part of the ship's hull structure).

    Also, only 8 guns were fired. The center gun of turret II was "off limits" due to an erosion pit in the barrel. The gun captain was a neighbor of mine and was very disappointed that he could not fire his gun at Lebanon. But when the Big "J" returned from the Med, we swapped out with a new gun barrel shipped down from Hawthorne, Nevada. Then she could fire 9 gun salvos, but not for photo ops. That was left up to her other 3 sisters coming back into service.

    Dang! Center Barrel, Turret II. Why is that? USS Mississippi (BB-41) had two incidents with that same gun in 1924 & 1943. USS Newport News (CA-148) had an 8-inch round explode inside the barrel off of Viet Nam. Then the Iowa in the 1980's.

    Ummm, do I hear the theme music from "The Twilight Zone" playing softly in the background?
    Last edited by RustyBattleship; 25 Jun 14, at 05:53.
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  4. #994
    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stitch View Post
    I'm a little concerned about the seventh photo down, where they show all of the journalists & photographers topside on the ship when it's firing a full broadside; I was under the impression that the blast pressure from a 16" shell (not to mention a full broadside!) could rupture eardrums and cause nausea in some cases? Rusty? Dread? Were sailors, let alone civilians, allowed topside when the big guns were being fired? I had heard somewhere that all personnel had to be below decks with hatches dogged when the 16's were fired?

    Attachment 37240
    If you have a grandfather, or older neighbor that served WWII or the Korea War they would impart to you what a 5"/38 could do to your hearing or ever the 3"/50. A pitch so loud that under full charge would ring almost anyones eardums in no more then the third crack. This is also why so many men that served the military during the war years are hard of hearing. They also in some places complained of nausea and pressure on their chests.

    Note in the picture that the photographers are beyond anchor windlass's wildcats and the capstan line handling gear foreward. The rifles themselves stick out some 18+ feet over the side of the ship. The concussion is greatly reduced (then say firing overhead) they are about 50+ feet away from the closest gun that is firing. What you would hear would be a very loud "pacheeeew", instead of the "boom" you would hear if you were in the distance. For the 5" it would be very loud "bang" and constant even if you were in the distance.

    In many close-up's the camera's were "static" or unmanned due to safety concerns.

    Rusty is correct in stating C,L,R firing order. Not just for recoil purposes and not just to prevent the projectiles clashing mid flight, but also the Center gun of turret 2 was also used as the "ranging" gun. In other words first to fire for precision line up on a taget. It adds a degree of accuracy since it must account for the distance between the range finder , the firing turrets centerline and the gun itself. Hence the center gun and since turret 2 is superelevated it also presents a flatter trajectory for closer targets then turrets 1 or 3.This is not deflection as gunny's would know it to be at normal.

    If perchance, you were at the muzzle end of the 16"/50 when it fired, you would be looking at somewhere close to 100+ (perhaps much more) lbs per sq inch on the human body or min 2425+ lbs of force frontally.

    If a USN Admiral while aboard an Iowa was taken out of his chair and his eyesight permanetly damaged from just one shot of a 5" gun nearby, then you can imagine what being at the muzzle end of a 16"/50 can do. The Helo shack on the stern of the new jersey had its upper right side (1/2"-5/8" thick military grade plate) caved in and the bulkhead interior snapped from a 15^ from centerline shot from turret #3's left gun on gunnery testing.

    When they did testing during WWII, many navies tested with animals to study the effects, from some accounts "red rags" were all that was left.

    This is what warrants the red "Danger Line" found painted on the Iowas decks (not the bow "out of bounds" lines) in all gunnery arc spaces.

    Not danger of being shot at or hit with machinery,

    Danger to you as an upright walking, living, breathing human being that wants to continue on living that way.
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 27 Jun 14, at 00:36.
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  5. #995
    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 85 gt kid View Post
    Quad 14"s would have been something to see. Make a new Super Heavy shell and they'd have meant business . But 16"/45s work too .
    The 14"-3 gun turrets of the Pennsylvania class produced a very good firing rate, in some cases claimed 3 rounds per gun per minute. Accuracy being what it was for the time.
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 27 Jun 14, at 00:18.
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  6. #996
    Senior Contributor DonBelt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    If you have a grandfather, or older neighbor that served WWII or the Korea War they would impart to you what a 5"/38 could do to your hearing or ever the 3"/50. A pitch so loud that under full charge would ring almost anyones eardums in no more then the third crack. This is also why so many men that served the military during the war years are hard of hearing. They also in some places complained of nausea and pressure on their chests.

    Note in the picture that the photographers are beyond anchor windlass's wildcats and the capstan line handling gear foreward. The rifles themselves stick out some 18+ feet over the side of the ship. The concussion is greatly reduced (then say firing overhead) they are about 50+ feet away from the closest gun that is firing. What you would hear would be a very loud "pacheeeew", instead of the "boom" you would hear if you were in the distance. For the 5" it would be very loud "bang" and constant even if you were in the distance.

    In many close-up's the camera's were "static" or unmanned due to safety concerns.

    Rusty is correct in stating C,L,R firing order. Not just for recoil purposes and not just to prevent the projectiles clashing mid flight, but also the Center gun of turret 2 was also used as the "ranging" gun. In other words first to fire for precision line up on a taget. It adds a degree of accuracy since it must account for the distance between the range finder , the firing turrets centerline and the gun itself. Hence the center gun and since turret 2 is superelevated it also presents a flatter trajectory for closer targets then turrets 1 or 3.This is not deflection as gunny's would know it to be at normal.

    If perchance, you were at the muzzle end of the 16"/50 when it fired, you would be looking at somewhere close to 100+ (perhaps much more) lbs per sq inch on the human body or min 2425+ lbs of force frontally.

    If a USN Admiral while aboard an Iowa was taken out of his chair and his eyesight permanetly damaged from just one shot of a 5" gun nearby, then you can imagine what being at the muzzle end of a 16"/50 can do. The Helo shack on the stern of the new jersey had its upper right side (1/2"-5/8" thick military grade plate) caved in and the bulkhead interior snapped from a 15^ from centerline shot from turret #3's left gun on gunnery testing.

    When they did testing during WWII, many navies tested with animals to study the effects, from some accounts "red rags" were all that was left.

    This is what warrants the red "Danger Line" found painted on the Iowas decks (not the bow "out of bounds" lines) in all gunnery arc spaces.

    Not danger of being shot at or hit with machinery,

    Danger to you as an upright walking, living, breathing human being that wants to continue on living that way.
    CIWS techs on the Iowa used to claim that the access panels on the CIWS radomes would pop off or open and interlocks on the drawers in the ELX would be opened when the ship fired a broadside. They claimed they had to reinforce the main door of the radome with bungee cords, but I never saw any on them when we were alongside.

  7. #997
    Contributor 85 gt kid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    The 14"-3 gun turrets of the Pennsylvania class produced a very good firing rate, in some cases claimed 3 rounds per gun per minute. Accuracy being what it was for the time.
    Problem I see with a 4 gun turrett though is the ROF might have gone down due to the turret being more cramped (I believe the Richeliu class had this problem). If only there was better automation before the war. Imagine a Rapid Fire 16" BB .
    RIP Charles "Bob" Spence. 1936-2014.

  8. #998
    Defense Professional RustyBattleship's Avatar
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    Dreadnaught is right on the money when he relates to the sharp crack of a 5"/38. The muzzle may, or may not be, just beyond the line of the shell plating. Traversed more than 15 degrees aft or forward of athwartships, it is an ear splitter.

    While inspecting muzzle blast (technically called "overpressure") damage from any of the guns was one of my jobs as the structural engineer aboard for gunnery trials. The 5-inchers opened up a lot of locker doors. The 16-inchers exploded some exterior vent ducts. The CIWS was almost a non-event. I stood directly under CIWS 21 on BB-62 checking for vibration through the surrounding structures and I barely felt any air movement over my head.

    Well, my initiation to muzzle blast was up at Camp Roberts when I was trying to take an 8mm movie film of the firing of a 76mm gun from an M-41A1 tank. Forgot that the cast gizmo on the end of the barrel was a blast DEFLECTOR and not a muzzle brake. Got the movie shot but it was short because I wound up on my back. It takes some goof ups like that to recon where you should be when the big guns do their stuff. You learn from your mistakes.
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  9. #999
    Defense Professional RustyBattleship's Avatar
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    Dreadnaught is right on the money when he relates to the sharp crack of a 5"/38. The muzzle may, or may not be, just beyond the line of the shell plating. Traversed more than 15 degrees aft or forward of athwartships, it is an ear splitter.

    While inspecting muzzle blast (technically called "overpressure") damage from any of the guns was one of my jobs as the structural engineer aboard for gunnery trials. The 5-inchers opened up a lot of locker doors. The 16-inchers exploded some exterior vent ducts. The CIWS was almost a non-event. I stood directly under CIWS 21 on BB-62 checking for vibration through the surrounding structures and I barely felt any air movement over my head.

    Well, my initiation to muzzle blast was up at Camp Roberts when I was trying to take an 8mm movie film of the firing of a 76mm gun from an M-41A1 tank. Forgot that the cast gizmo on the end of the barrel was a blast DEFLECTOR and not a muzzle brake. Got the movie shot but it was short because I wound up on my back. It takes some goof ups like that to recon where you should be when the big guns do their stuff. You learn from your mistakes.
    Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.

  10. #1000
    Contributor bbvet's Avatar
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    I can attest to Dreadnaught & Rusty's accounts of the various gun blast and effect on the human ears, etc. The 5"/38 are the worst - loud, high pitched and piercing. My first week on board STODDARD (DD-566) in July 66 was a week training exercise off San Clemente Island and the single 5" were headache rendering . I was assigned to an amidships gang during firing, stationed in the open amidships area of the quarterdeck (no place to really get away from the noise) and even covering your ears didn't really help. I would much rather be back as 1st loader on one of the 3"/50 mounts back aft. Comparing these guns to the 16" - give me the low, loud boom of the 16"/50 any day!!!

    During Vietnam, we didn't have any lines in the deck - you just followed the rules and stayed at the other end of the ship or inside, or...above main deck level.

    Hank

  11. #1001
    Senior Contributor Stitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    If you have a grandfather, or older neighbor that served WWII or the Korea War they would impart to you what a 5"/38 could do to your hearing or ever the 3"/50. A pitch so loud that under full charge would ring almost anyones eardums in no more then the third crack. This is also why so many men that served the military during the war years are hard of hearing. They also in some places complained of nausea and pressure on their chests.
    I recall reading Muir's book on the Iowa-class, and a crewman was quoted as saying that the 3"/50 saved him money since he didn't have to buy a stereo because he wouldn't be able to hear it very well, anyway.
    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

  12. #1002
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stitch View Post
    I recall reading Muir's book on the Iowa-class, and a crewman was quoted as saying that the 3"/50 saved him money since he didn't have to buy a stereo because he wouldn't be able to hear it very well, anyway.
    None of the Iowa class were ever fitted with 3"/50's.

  13. #1003
    Senior Contributor Stitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom24 View Post
    None of the Iowa class were ever fitted with 3"/50's.
    Sorry, I meant 5"/38's; got my secondary armament mixed-up.
    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

  14. #1004
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    One other tidbit of trivia involving the smaller eschellon of naval guns -

    STODDARD had (3) 3"/50 dual mounts - 31,32, and 33 (centerline, aft - the mount I was assigned to for G.Q. station) - I started as 2nd loader, went to 1st loader, and upon occasion was temp. mt. captain. One day while pursuing VC junks in the distance (and sinking almost a dozen w/3"/50 fire) I got curious about the after stack and its proximity to the mount. I often wondered what stack gas smelled like (dumb, DUMB, DUMB thing to wonder about ) - so, like a true dumb-ass I caught a whiff of the gas and DAMN NEAR DIED!!! It took a long time to get rid of that out of my lungs - I thought (as did the rest of the gun crew who weren't laughing ) that I was a goner. It was as if someone had knocked me with a log on the back.

    Stack gas is not, I repeat NOT to be breathed. End of lesson. Doesn't have much to do with guns, but I thought it was interesting, just the same.


    Hank

  15. #1005
    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbvet View Post
    I can attest to Dreadnaught & Rusty's accounts of the various gun blast and effect on the human ears, etc. The 5"/38 are the worst - loud, high pitched and piercing. My first week on board STODDARD (DD-566) in July 66 was a week training exercise off San Clemente Island and the single 5" were headache rendering . I was assigned to an amidships gang during firing, stationed in the open amidships area of the quarterdeck (no place to really get away from the noise) and even covering your ears didn't really help. I would much rather be back as 1st loader on one of the 3"/50 mounts back aft. Comparing these guns to the 16" - give me the low, loud boom of the 16"/50 any day!!!

    During Vietnam, we didn't have any lines in the deck - you just followed the rules and stayed at the other end of the ship or inside, or...above main deck level.

    Hank
    Your orders and practices were much differnet then the 80's. Thats what made those men and their orders so different. Bullshit politics had not quite effected you and the crew. Its was business, not politics in what they did , and they did it vey welll. Snyder was very smart, for the 10/ 5" guns he burned up on one side, he had 10 more to give them, outside the mmain battery. She didnt get to that point as politics intervened and she was taken out of service due to politics. Its not like she wasnt in shape nor ready for her second tour.
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 28 Jun 14, at 04:28.
    Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

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