Line Cruiser Rivalry: Rinaun and Mackensen
In fact, the Hindenburg remained the same Derflinger, with some minimal innovations. The length has increased slightly (by about 2,5 m), the edges of the stern have become sharper. The maximum oil supply was increased to 1180 t instead of 985 t. The boiler position in the stokers changed (the number of the latter remained the same), the upper edge of the armor belt was reduced from 230 to 220 mm, and in addition, the protection of the nasal tip was changed. If the “Derflinger” had 120-mm armor plates for the length of 19,2 m, then, for about 30,7 meters, the 100 mm armor defended the armory, then for the Hindenburg the 120-mm section stretched much further, leaving only the last 16 m to the stem unprotected. However, here the side of the German cruiser defended only 30 mm armor. The reservation of the towers was somewhat enhanced - the thickness of the side plates increased from 225 to 270 mm, and the sloping part of the roof - from 110 to 150 mm.
Perhaps the most significant innovation of the Hindenburg was the more modern tower installations - the tools remained the same, but the elevation angle was increased from 13,5 to 16 degrees (Derflinger later also brought to 16 degrees, but later, during the modernization). Importantly, in the new towers of the Hindenburg, rangefinders with a base of 7,8 m were installed, while in the tower installations of Derflinger and Lutzowa there were only 3,05 m.
The normal displacement of all three ships of the series differed slightly: it was 26 600 tons for Derflinger, 26 741 tons for Lyuttsov, and 26 947 tons for Hindenburg.
Thus, despite some differences, it does not make much sense to distinguish the Hindenburg as a separate type of ship. As we said earlier, construction began in 1913, and in 1914, Germany did not mortgage the battle cruisers. Even the “Hindenburg”, which entered service in the middle of 1917, in general, took part in World War I only formally, the Saxe superdreadnought put in 1914 was not completed, and the large ships, for which started after 1914, and there was no chance at all to make it to the war. Well, after its end, the rivalry of battlecruisers in England and Germany, for obvious reasons, ended.
At the same time, in England, after laying the Tiger, it was decided to abandon the further construction of battlecruisers. In accordance with the new views of the Royal fleet fleet battleships were supposed to perform the “vanguard” functions in the squadron, the first of which (such as Queen Elizabeth) were launched in 1912. At the same time, battle cruisers, already built in England, new armored cruisers in Germany, were obviously enough for communications they didn’t build, and the Kaiserlichmarine battlecruisers were not intended for raider operations. Thus, a new class of warships created in England was recognized as a dead end branch of naval evolution, and on this its short (though rapid) development should have ended if ... If (for the umpteenth time!) For shipbuilding programs The Royal Navy did not fall in a hurricane named John "Jackie" Fisher: with his submission, the construction of battlecruisers in England was resumed after the outbreak of World War I. It must be said that the creation of the first ships of this class of military construction, the Ripals and Rinauna, was to some extent influenced by the series of German battlecruisers (such as the Mackensen) laid down by the Germans in 1. Therefore, we can assume that they are participated in the rivalry of the English and German ships of this class, although they themselves were not completed, and were not introduced to the Hochzeflotte. Consequently, we have reason to include the description of battlecruisers of the Mackensen type in our cycle.
Thoughts to arm their battlecruisers with 350-mm guns, the Germans were still in the process of creating the “Luttsov” and “Hindenburg”, but then they did not take shape for anything significant. At the same time, the development of the new battlecruiser began precisely with the fact that in a letter of August 13 a draft ship was proposed for consideration by von Tirpitz, which in its basic technical solutions would correspond to the “Derflinger” but would carry the 350-mm gun instead of 305 mm
However, Tirpitz did not agree with such a formulation of the question. He pointed out that the displacement of such a ship will exceed 30 000 t and will be at least 31 000 t. This was, according to the Secretary of State, too much in terms of the “Fleet Law” in which the German naval ministry should was to carry out their activities. At that time, von Tirpitz seemed an absurd creation of a cruiser over 30 thousand tons with a displacement - both in size and cost.
Then the design bureau, together with the armaments department, presented nine variants of the battle cruiser for consideration by the State Secretary. All of them had eight main-caliber guns in four two-gun turrets, while their caliber ranged from 340 to 355 mm. To compensate for the increased weight of the artillery, various methods were used: reducing the thickness of the armor belt from 300 to 270 mm (which, in general, is extremely unusual for the Germans), reducing the speed by half a node, refusing the bevels to the armored deck (as the author understood) length, but only in some part), the reduction of ammunition artillery main and medium caliber, and so on. In general, it was noted that the use of 350-mm artillery will have to be paid dearly by reducing other characteristics, and that the 340-mm caliber looks optimal.
As a result of considering all the options, we stopped at the following: the newest battle cruiser (“A3 design”) was to receive eight 340-mm guns, the ammunition load of which was reduced to 85 shots per barrel.
At the same time, the speed, booking and average artillery were to remain the same as on the Hindenburg, except that the thickness of the barbet had to be increased to 300 mm. The height of the freeboard in the stern was recognized as insufficient (at Moltka and Derflinger it was flooded with water even in the most calm weather), so it should be increased. Anti-torpedo protection should have been reinforced. In addition, it was recognized as obligatory the presence on the ship of a high three-legged mast with the placement on it of a command-range station. All these innovations were both rational and reasonable, but all the more strange is the unexpected desire of designers to strengthen torpedo weapons, both in quantity and in quality. Instead of four 500-mm “Derflinger” torpedo tubes, it was supposed to install six more powerful, 600-mm TAs with ammunition from 19 torpedoes. In conditions when designers were required to save displacement in every possible way, and for this they even had to go to lowering the ship’s main caliber from 350 to 340-mm, such an innovation looks at least strange. Even more strange is the fact that some officials and this seemed so little, they suggested using twin pipes, bringing the total number of torpedo tubes to twelve! True, this initiative was answered that there was no military need for such an increase (as if it existed for six torpedo tubes of 600 caliber!). In any case, all of the above innovations (including 6 new TAs) led to an increase in displacement of about 4 300 t relative to the “Derflinger”, so that the normal displacement of the new battlecruiser nevertheless approached 31 000 t.
Further ... well shows the amazing inconsistency of German naval thought. It is strange how testing such throwing, Germany was able to build a lot of first-class warships?
The fact is that the designers have prepared several versions of the project described above in order, if possible, to reduce its displacement. In one of them (option No. 9), the displacement really managed to be reduced to more than acceptable 29 000 t by reducing the number of boilers by two and a corresponding loss of speed by one third of the node, but most importantly ... due to the abandonment of 340-mm guns and returning to 305- mm! In other words, the "Option number 9" was the same type of "305-mm" German battleship, a little less speed, but slightly better protected, and with a higher side in the stern, with the main difference from the previous ship "Hindenburg "It would be to strengthen the torpedo weapons! Such a “development” of the German battlecruisers today can not cause anything but sincere bewilderment, but nevertheless it is precisely the “Option №9” that the Kaiser seemed the most preferable to!
Of course, the return to 305-mm artillery had many opponents. A request was made to Krupp whether the increase in caliber to 350-mm would cause any delays in the production of guns, and the company’s representatives answered that if the decision was made before April 1913, no delays would occur. But the most important thing is that information has appeared that the newest Japanese and Russian battlecruisers are going to arm 356-mm artillery, and the newest British battleships like "Queen Elizabeth" received 381-mm guns at all (here the Germans slightly missed, because the British designed their superdreadnoughts for 24 nodes, and on testing they showed 25-24,5 nodes). Of course, to oppose so heavily armed ships, the caliber of 25-mm did not look sufficient.
All this gave sufficient grounds for the Marine Ministry to criticize “Option No. XXUMX” - it was stated that in the current conditions to spend the displacement to increase the height of the freeboard and install six heavy torpedo tubes there is unthinkable waste, but eight 9-mm guns in project must be returned. It was perfectly sound judgment, but it brought back admirals and designers to where it all began — yes, 350-mm guns were needed, but where can we find displacement reserves for their deployment?
Admiral Rollman (Rollmann) in his memorandum of March 8 1913 indicated that further speed reduction is impossible, otherwise the battle cruiser will cease to be, and the Kaiser will not agree to reduce the level of protection (strictly speaking, neither the admirals nor the designers did not support such a step, completely unthinkable in the logic of the development of the German fleet). Therefore, he proposed to look for a way out in the transition to three- or even four-turrets, which would save the weight of weapons. However, such a proposal was rejected by the weapons department as technically inefficient (it was probably a matter of loading difficulties, but this is only a guess of the author of this article). At the same time, it was recognized that a cruiser with 350-mm guns that meets all the requirements of interested parties would no longer be a battle cruiser, but a high-speed battleship, or, as they called it in Germany, the merged type was presented to The moment is not that too innovative, but it is absolutely not in line with the “Law on the Navy”, which clearly divided heavy artillery ships into battle ships and battle cruisers.
I must say that in this matter the Germans in 1913, at least theoretically, overtook the views of the British admirals. Without a doubt, it was in Great Britain that they came up with the idea and implemented the concept of a high-speed battleship (Queen Elizabeth). But the British found the high-speed battleship only a “high-speed wing”, an avant-garde detachment, acting in the interests of the main forces made up of more low-speed battleships. The Germans in 1913 g thought in a different way - they saw in the high-speed battleship a new class of ships, which should replace both the battlecruisers and the classic battleships. In other words, the Germans considered it necessary to proceed with the construction of a whole fleet of high-speed battleships, but did not have such an opportunity, being “bound” by their own fleet legislation, and therefore put it off until later, which, for obvious reasons, never came.
But back to the future Mackensen. The next important event in his appearance was a meeting held on 3 on April 1913. The fact is that the study of the possibility of using larger gauges than 305-mm on battleships of Hohzeflott had been going on for quite some time, and 350-mm “competed” with each other 400 mm guns. As a result, preference was given to the intermediate 380-mm caliber - moreover, before the Queen Elizabeth's 381-mm guns became aware of the armament.
As you know, the German battlecruisers were created for use in the general battle, including against enemy battleships. And so, on April 3, 1913 g was finally asked - if we are going to arm 380-mm battleships with artillery, then why do we have to agree with lowering the caliber for the battlecruisers? In addition to the unification, which allows to simplify the supply and maintenance of the fleet, this decision was also given to a hitherto purely British argument - the 380-mm caliber for a battle cruiser is so large that it can hardly be surpassed by any country in the foreseeable future.
However, the battle cruiser with eight 380-mm guns had to reach, or even exceed, the 33 000 t, which was unacceptable. In response, representatives of the design bureau of the maritime ministry said that they had considered the possibility of installing three X-gun turrets with 380-mm cannons, in which case the displacement of the battlecruiser could be 28 000 - 30 000 t. But the proposal was also rejected at the meeting. Then they again recalled the 340-mm guns, but during the debate they could not make any decision, dwelling on the need to once again consider how “Option # XXUMX” responds to the tasks of the future battle cruiser and whether it is possible to increase its firepower.
After 9 days, von Tirpitz formulated the future direction of ship design. His brief order indicated the impossibility of reducing speed or armor, but the design of the ship of the "combined type" (high-speed battleship) should be postponed, returning to it in the future. In this case, according to the Secretary of State, 305-mm guns were quite sufficient, while the main enemy of the German battle cruisers were British ships of the same class. However (apparently with the advent of the British high-speed battleships), now everything has changed and the German battle cruisers will have to fight the British battleships much more than was previously thought. Therefore, in connection with the high power of 380-mm guns, von Tirpitz considered the installation of six 380-mm guns preferable, preferring such an option to eight 350-mm guns. It must be said that this decision, for all its logic, is completely unusual for von Tirpitz - as we saw in previous articles, the Secretary of State was always inclined towards some retrograde, preferring proven solutions to the new: for a long time, he resisted the transition of linear cruisers with 280 -mm on 305-mm caliber Nevertheless, without any regret, von Tirpitz now abandoned the previously discussed 340-350-mm guns in favor of a much more powerful 380-mm artillery system. A little later, at the 3 meeting in May of 1913 g, von Tirpitz expressed another absolutely sensible idea: he pointed out that even if today the fleet is limited to 350-mm guns, it will be literally several years and progress of the navies of other countries will be equals the Germans to go on the 380-mm gun, so would not it be better to start with this? In other words, von Tirpitz quite unambiguously expressed his preference for armament from six 380-mm guns for the future ship, and the Kaiser fully supported it.
The first three variants of the battlecruiser with six 380-mm guns were presented in June, 1913 g. One of them (having one tower in the extremities and another one in the middle of the hull) was rejected immediately because of the unsuccessful firing angles, the other two studied more intently.
These ships differed only in the location of the towers - two in front and one at the stern (D47), or vice versa (D48). Their armor protection and speed were maintained at the level of the Hindenburg, the height of the freeboard was increased. Interestingly, the idea of six 600-mm torpedo tubes was revived again - they were present in both versions. Subsequently, other options were also presented - one three-gun turret in the bow and two two-guns in the stern, two four-gun turrets ... however, these projects fell away immediately due to the placement of artillery unusual for the German fleet. At the June 17 meeting, the choice was made in favor of the D48 project (two two-tower towers in the stern). The explanation for this was the following - although this placement of artillery did not give a strong fire on the nose of the ship, as in the D47 variant, it provided the best shelling angles to all three towers. In addition, since the engine room was located between the second and the third tower, the possibility of disabling the two towers with one hit was excluded, which was possible for the D47 nose towers.
In accordance with the decision taken at the June meeting, the revised D48 project was presented to 28 Kaiser June 1913. The ship’s displacement was 29600 tons, and the cost was 55.3 million marks. Kaiser immediately gave his approval. It seemed that now nothing could prevent the start of construction of the battle cruiser with 380-mm guns, but it did not take place for two reasons. The first is the Kaiser’s known fickleness: he seemed to have just approved the project of a six-gun battle cruiser, but already at the July 15 meeting of that same year, 1913, he asked von Tirpitz whether Germany should not return to the idea of building high-speed battleships ( for which Wilhelm II somehow experienced the hottest inclination). “Should we violate the Law on the Navy?” Von Tirpitz was the only one who could respond to the Kaiser. The liner cruiser project was in a “hanging” state until October 30 1913, when the German naval attache in London announced that England was not going to build more battleships like the Queen Elizabeth, but would lay smaller ships, but with a large number of 340-mm or 356-mm artillery barrels. It is not at all clear why the German attache took it, whether it was some kind of mistake or intentional disinformation of the British, but the fact is that in Germany this news was believed unconditionally. Kaiser celebrated, believing that his Khokhzeflotte won "victory without a single shot," and von Tirpitz returned to the idea of a battle cruiser with 340-mm cannons. The debate on the main caliber of the battlecruiser resumed, but in the end a version of eight 350-mm guns was adopted.
On the one hand, it would be very easy to ascribe this result to the English disinformation (or still the mistake of the German attache?), But the problem probably still has deeper roots, since the sailors didn’t really want to have a ship with only six main caliber guns. In the German fleet they shot half-shots, when they fired at one of the guns of each tower - it was possible to adjust the fire on three shells in the half-salp (four is better), but in the event of the destruction of at least one tower their number was reduced to two. Most likely, the situation could be described as follows - the naval ministry specialists did not like the six-armed ship at all, but they were ready to go for it, because the power of the 380-mm guns compensated for the inconvenience. Nevertheless, when the assumption arose that the installation of these guns was not necessary, everyone gladly returned to the eight-gun variant of the ship, even with smaller-caliber guns. They were supported by the sailors: admiral von Ingenol stated that the 350-mm artillery systems for the battle cruiser were more optimal than the 305 and 380-mm artillery.
Revision of the project did not take much time, but included a very interesting point. The fact is that the design office notified von Tirpitz that the approved dimensions of the ship were too large for the installed displacement and, accordingly, it is possible to replace the turrets with 350-mm guns with 380-mm. Von Tirpitz refused - in his words the construction of such a ship was politically impossible.
In fact, this is how the Mackensen project appeared. The new battlecruiser had a normal displacement of 31 000 t. (Von Tirpitz disagreed strongly for more)
The new 350-mm / 45 artillery system of the Germans, oddly enough, did not stand out for any ultra-high performance among similar guns of the world - she fired 600 kg with a projectile with an initial speed of 840 m / s, which provided her with some intermediate position between the British 343- mm and Japanese / American 356-mm guns. On the lead ship of the series, Mackensen, the maximum angle of elevation was 20 degrees, which ensured the firing range of 23 600 m (127,5 cables), but during the construction process and under the influence of combat experience it was brought to 28 degrees, which increased the range of the projectile up to 28 100 m (151,7 kb). Starting from the second ship of the series, the artillery installations immediately received the maximum angle of elevation 28 hail. Ammunition was 85 shots on the barrel. It must be said that the armor-piercing shells of the 350-mm / 45 cannon were distinguished by a high content of explosives - 20 kg. The British had full-fledged 381-mm Greenboy armor-piercing shells, which had almost the same - 20,5 kg, and 343-mm - only 15 kg. The armor-piercing shells of England, with which she entered the war, had a higher explosive content, which was for 381-mm and 343-mm 27,4 and 20,2 kg, respectively, but let's not forget that by their qualities they were, rather, semi-slaughter, while as the Germans initially created magnificent armor-piercing shells for their guns.
According to the initial design, the mid-caliber artillery was supposed to be represented by 14 150-mm guns, the same as on the ships of previous projects, but then their number was reduced to 12. So here the Mackensen was no different from the Derflinger-type battlecruisers. The ship also received eight 88-mm anti-aircraft guns. As for the torpedo armament, the Mackensen nevertheless received 600-mm torpedo tubes, though not six, but only five — they refused from the aft “tube”, which made it possible to more rationally place the steering gear mechanisms.
The command-range point, located on a tripod mast, was located at a height of 35 m above the waterline. The only reason why it was not placed higher was the height of the bridges over the Kiel Canal, whose “arches” reached the height of 40 m.
It is usually stated that the Mackensen’s armor protection remained at the level of the previous type of cruisers, but this is not entirely true. Something in which the Mackensen's booking became stronger - for example, the artillery of the main caliber was better protected. The forehead of the 350 mm turrets had a 320 mm thickness (there is evidence that on the lead ship of the series it was reduced to 300 mm) against the Hindenburg mm 270 mm, the barbety had a 290 mm thickness (260 mm for the Hindenburg), the oblique part roofs - 180 mm (150 mm), the horizontal part of the roof - 110 mm (80 mm). But even here attempts of some kind of savings on armor begin to be seen - for example, the side walls of the Mackensen towers had protection for all 200 mm (Derflinger - 225 mm, Hindenburg - 270 mm). However, perhaps this is a banal typo of G. Staffa, where did these numbers come from? Protection logging remained at the same level: fore - 350 mm, aft - 200 mm. The vertical booking of the board has undergone minor changes - as was the case with the Hindenburg, it was based on armor plates with a thickness of 300 mm, the thickness of which decreased to the lower edge to 150 mm, and to the top had first 270 mm and then decreased, but not to 230 mm, as in "Hindenburg", and to 220 mm, that is, it was at least slightly, but still weaker. 120 mm armor plates of the same thickness went from the main armor belt to the nose, but did not reach the 21 stem m (Hindenburg only has 16 m, but we should not forget that Mackensen was 10,5 m longer than Hindenburg). But horizontal booking has undergone significant changes.
As we know, on the Hindenburg, within the citadel, the armored deck had 30 mm thickness (up to 50 mm in the cellars of the main caliber towers), and its horizontal part was on 20 cm below the upper edge of the 300 mm section of the armored belt, and 50 mm bevels adjoined to the lower edge (150 mm) of the armor plates protecting the sides. But when creating the Mackensen, in order to save displacement, the Germans had to abandon the 50 mm bevels - in fact, only the 30 mm horizontal deck remained from side to side, although its thickening in the areas of the GK towers was preserved (this time even to 60 mm) .
Realizing that such a decision seriously weakens the ship’s vertical defense, the Germans increased the thickness and height of the anti-torpedo bulkhead. On the Derflinger (and, probably, on the Hindenburg), it had 45 mm of thickness and in height reached approximately the middle of the bevel, resting on it with the upper edge. At the same time, at Mackensen, it was already 50 mm in the areas of engine rooms and 60 mm - in all the others and rose to the height of the horizontal armored deck.
In other words, depending on the trajectory of the projectile, he had to punch from the Hindenburg:
1. 300 mm armored belt + 50 mm bevel + 45 mm bulkheads PTZ;
2. 300 mm armored belt + 50 mm bevel;
3. 270-300 mm armor and 30-50 mm horizontal armor.
1. 300 mm bronepoyas + 50-60 mm bulkheads PTZ;
2. 270-300 mm armor and 30-50 mm horizontal armor
It seems that the difference is not too great, but if you forget that the 50 mm bevel was at a big angle, which means it had a noticeably better armor resistance than an armor sheet of the same thickness, located vertically.
Thus, despite the formal equality of armor thicknesses, the Mackensen citadel provided somewhat worse vertical protection than the Gidenburg citadel. On the other hand, Mackensen's horizontal defense was better. In addition to the 30-60 mm, the Mackensen armor deck received a solid armor protection for the upper deck, which had a thickness of 25-40 mm (in the Hindenburg, the upper deck consisted of 20-25 mm structural steel). In addition, some protection was provided to the Derflinger-type battlecruisers with a casemate roof 30-50 mm thick, and there is a reasonable suspicion that 50 mm was only directly above the guns, that is, it was a very small value relative to the deck area above the citadel. At the same time, between the armored and the main deck of the Mackensen there was another deck made of structural steel 20-25 mm thick.
Unfortunately, there is no reliable data on what speed Mackensen, 27 or 28 nodes should have developed. It is only known that the nominal power of his cars should have increased greatly - from 63 000 hp "Derflinger" to 90 000 hp The location of the engine and boiler rooms was to remain unchanged compared to the cruisers of previous projects, but the number of boilers increased from 18 to 32, while the number of boilers operating on oil increased from 4 to 8. It must be said that Mackensen, for the first time in the practice of heavy German ships, received a bulbous education in the bow, which noticeably improved its propulsive qualities. It is possible that this was the reason for the differences in the speed cruise data of this battlecruiser).
The total fuel supply was significantly increased - from 3 500 tons of coal and 1 000 tons of oil from Derflinger to 4 000 tons of coal and 2 000 tons of oil. Accordingly, a range turn mouth was expected - from 5 600 miles on 14 nodes to 8 000 miles. Of course, these data remain calculated and have not been tested in practice.
What can you say about the Mackensen battlecruisers? Usually they are given a very high score, but if you think about it, they are unlikely to deserve it. During the design period of the Mackensen, the Germans came close to the concept of a fast and well-protected battleship. Technically, nothing prevented the design and construction of a large (about 33 000) and well-protected (at the Hindenburg) ship that would have 8 * 380-mm guns and 27-28 speed. - Strictly speaking, the Germans very quickly, at the very beginning of the design of the Mackensen, came to understand that it was precisely such a ship that they needed. If they had built it, such a battleship in the totality of combat qualities would ideally fit into the Hochzeeflot concept and would substantially surpass the British "Queen Elizabeth." However, the Germans, bound by the "Law on the Navy", were forced to "step on the throat of their own song" and diligently "tamped" the new ships into a generally slightly smaller displacement. And this is expected led to a significant reduction in the combat capability of the newest battlecruisers.
Having been armed with 350-mm guns, the German battlecruisers were able to confidently enough to hit the British Quinas everywhere, with the exception of 330 mm armor belts and frontal plates of the towers that had the same thickness. But at the same time, they themselves remained quite vulnerable to 381-mm projectiles, which, at a distance of 75 KB, could easily pierce the 300 mm Mackensen armor-belt. And if in the case of the “Derflingers”, who had the same thickness of armor plates, the Germans were rescued by the bad quality of the English shells, they had never pierced their armor over 260 mm during the whole war, then we cannot say the same about the “Mackenzens” at the time of their (possible) the commissioning of the British would have already received their "Grinboi." Thus, the Germans built four ships, which, according to their capabilities, were inferior to the British high-speed battleships with which they would have to come together in battle - however, the Germans started building the Mackensen when the first Queen Elizabeth battleships were already operational.
Продолжение следует ...
- Andrei from Chelyabinsk
- Battle Cruiser: Fon der Tann vs Indefatigeble
Battle Cruiser: Fon der Tann vs Indefatigeble. H.2
Line Cruiser Rivalry: Moltke vs. Lion
Line Cruiser Rivalry: Moltke vs. Lion. H. 2
Line Cruiser Rivalry: Moltke vs. Lion. H. 3
Rifle battle cruisers. "Seidlits" vs "Queen Mary"
Line Cruiser Rivalry: Derflinger vs. Tiger
Rifle battle cruisers. "Derflinger" against "Tager". H. 2
Rifle battle cruisers. "Derflinger" against "Tiger"? H. 3
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