Bismarck, Gneisenau, Yamato ... Pearl Harbor! But is it fair to judge the combat stability of an entire class of ships based on a few episodes? Indeed, more than 150 cases of hitting bombs and torpedoes in LCR and LK are known!
"150" - unrealistic a lot? Of course, after all, most of the hits were not remembered by anything. Data about them has been preserved on the pages of monographs, interesting only to historians-modelers.
Analyze the situation will help statistics.
If every second hit causes consequences similar to Bismarck and Gneisenau, then this is a fiasco for everyone who made the decision to build large ships.
If most of the hits could not cause significant damage, the conclusion will sound different.
The fleet included a class of military equipment with very impressive capabilities.
Large highly protected ships, unlike “disposable” destroyers and submarines, could be kept under the pressure of entire fleets and air armies! Then healed the wounds received and again threw themselves into the “hell”.
Personally, I am admired by the lines of the military chronicle. “After three months of repair, I became fully operational.” Or: “A hit by an air bomb damaged the air duct and interrupted the operation of starboard boilers, after 24 minutes Nagato was in full swing again.”
Absolute “terminators”, unstoppable and practically indestructible machines. These qualities explained their strategic “weight” and importance on the theater. And the attention and resources of the enemy, which they riveted to themselves.
As for such stories as the failure of the Gneisenau (27.02.42), no one denies that a heavily defended ship may one day die from a bomb of not the largest caliber. But what is the probability?
The Golden Bullet. So poetic call a successful hit, which unexpectedly had serious results
During the war years there were five “golden” hits in LKR and LK, which every lover of the sea knows about stories. These are bombs and torpedoes. The results of artillery duels will be considered another time.
1. Torpedo jammed Bismarck steering wheel at 12 ° to the left.
The result was a helpless Bismarck circulation in the middle of the Atlantic. The slow-moving battleships of the British got the opportunity to overtake the "fugitive" and put an end to the impressive ocean pursuit (in which about 200 ships took part).
2. A torpedo that fell into the area of the left propeller shaft of the Prince of Wales.
The deformed rotating shaft “pivoted” the board even more, and the water coming through its shaft soon flooded the engine room of the forehead, de-energizing the entire stern.
Given the perplexity aboard the battleship, the absence of an air defense order and the fury with which the Japanese pilots attacked the Z connection, the ship was doomed for sure. But the first hit made the Prince of Wells situation so difficult that it made him hopeless.
3. "The Night of Taranto."
Two of the three torpedoes that hit the Littorio hit in the area of the 163rd and 192nd frames (according to Italian tradition, the numbering was from the stern). In the nose itself, there was no PTZ, and due to the proximity of two explosions, the tightness of the waterproof bulkheads in the entire nose of the hull was broken. By morning, the Littorio sank to the bottom.
Can two torpedoes with a difference of 45 minutes be considered a “golden hit”? The Italians allowed the "whatnots" to shoot their ships with impunity!
However, a shameful fact. The battleship, created by the latest standards of the era, was drowned from just two torpedoes. The third hit in the feed did not have significant consequences.
But ... this is Taranto, gentlemen. If someone seriously believes that in war always and everywhere luck will breathe in the face, and the enemy - ugly to blunt, then this hope will evaporate in a day.
4. Hit 450 kg of the bomb in the "Gneisenau."
On an icy February night, 30 bombers achieved the only hit on the ship. The bomb could not penetrate the main armored deck, but after 25 minutes the fire flame spread inside the barbet of the tower "A" through an open hatch. Ammunition detonation!
5. The death of "Arizona."
There is no doubt that the 800-kg “armor”, machined from the billet of a 410-mm projectile and dropped from a height of 3 km, was required to break through the horizontal defense of “Arizona”. On the other hand, none of the six similar 800-kg bombs that hit other American battleships could cause significant damage.
The bomb that hit the Arizona was undoubtedly the "gold".
Examples of other successful attacks
The hits that led to the death of Barkham or LKR Congo are not “golden hits” in the sense that such ships were designed before the start of World War I. When torpedo bombers and submarines were considered science fiction.
The danger of the consequences of torpedoing these ships was thought back in the 20s. Measures were taken, but the outdated design did not allow to implement the necessary level of protection against threats of modern times. This is the harsh law of war: sometimes you have to go into battle, knowing that your possibilities are limited.
The gloomy situation for the ships of the past era was facilitated by the rarity of the torpedo attacks carried out on them. Despite all the activity of the German submariners, out of five Quins, only one Barham could be sunk.
Hit in the "Marat". First question: which one is a highly secure ship by the standards of the 40s? The second point: the Germans were so close that their dive-bombers had the opportunity to fly to the main KBF base with a 1000-kg bomb load!
The practical complete destruction of the battleship "V. Virginia "as a combat unit - that's right. What was the ship supposed to turn into after 7 or 9 torpedo hits? Nobody could repeat the pogrom, similar to Pearl Harbor, having the same outfit of strength.
Hit in the "Roma": first in history (and last) the use of guided bombs, resulting in the death of a large ship.
Which of the sailors suspected the dangers of flying at high altitude aircraft? Aim bombardment from a height of 6000 m on a moving target was considered impossible. No one made evasion maneuvers, did not try to thwart the attack.
The second Fritz hit caused a fire in the engine room, twenty minutes later the fire crept up to the ammunition cellars. The question remained: did anyone fight the fire, given the coven that was happening on board? If it would be a discovery for someone, the Italian squadron would surrender to Malta, the officers of the Roma took on board the family, the personnel was demoralized. If war for all ended yesterday, who wanted to die in the fire and smoke of the engine room, saving the ship?
V. M. Pokutny, artilleryman of the cruiser "Red Caucasus". Remaining the only survivor of the entire calculation, put out the fire in the tower, preventing the spread of fire in the ammunition cellar
Your attention - a military chronicle of 10 (ten) large ships of the WWII period
Figures and short excerpts of the most impressive moments.
10 ships. 30 combat episodes with damage. 70 hits of air bombs, torpedoes and bombings on sea mines. Of which not one has become a "golden bullet".
The list is formed from the ships of the Axis countries, because they were subjected to continuous attacks and attacks by superior allied forces. They were “beaten up” stronger. Among the allies, through such vicissitudes, probably only Worspite passed.
He withstood 6 hits of air bombs and hit 1 torpedo - from a sunk destroyer, which until the last defended the dying AB Glories. Also, German LCR twice blew up on mines when breaking through the English Channel.
After four years of unsuccessful attempts to block and destroy it, the Scharnhorst was still overtaken and sunk by a British squadron in a battle at Cape Nordkapp (December 1943).
During active participation in hostilities he was twice torpedoed, twice blown up by magnetic mines. Withstood hit 4 bombs.
“The explosion caused significant damage to the hull and flooded several compartments, causing a 0,5 ° roll to the left side. From the concussion, the right low-pressure turbine and the equipment of the aft rangefinder post failed. Repairs carried out in a floating dock in Kiel with 6 on 21 yeast. After a short test run 27 number he returned to Kiel in full combat readiness. "
(The consequences of a meeting with a magnetic mine. The detonation of a couple of hundred kg of explosives under the bottom of the Gneisenau!)
The 5th, last aerial bomb became fatal for a German monster. Usually, citing the Gneisenau as an example, they mention only this, the last hit.
Tirpitz really stood. Instead, and around him, the entire British fleet ran.
For four years of raids, the British managed to achieve 17 bombs in the strongest ship of the Atlantic. Even 726 kg of “armor-piercing” were dropped on him, but the second “Arizona” from “Tirpitz” did not work. And when they finally guessed what means were needed against him, the war was already drawing to a close.
What can an analysis of the results of using 5-ton Tollboys give? One or two of these bombs will sink the ship. Any ship. But the Lancaster of a special modification with a bomb that did not fit entirely in the bomb bay only appeared in the sky above the Tirpitz in the autumn of 1944. For some reason, it wasn’t there before. It’s strange. What do you think?
The familiar name, the "drowned" from Taranto!
After that night attack, the Littorio was picked up and rebuilt in less than five months. And more he did not disgrace. Over the following years, the Littorio withstood the hit of 3 air bombs and 1 torpedo. And each time the damage caused did not lead to loss of stroke or to the failure of the battleship.
The last wound was caused to him by the German Fritz-X guided bomb, but the damage from it turned out to be so small that home-grown lovers of the “wunderwaffe” prefer not to recall this incident.
The ship, of the same type "Littorio", was twice torpedoed - in 1941 and 1942. Each time, he independently reached the base, underwent repairs and returned to the combat personnel.
In August 1943, while at the berth in La Spezia, Vittorio was hit by the Flying Fortresses. The battleship received two 907-kg armor-piercing bombs, not counting the close gap that opened up another hole. The wounds were serious: the board was damaged on an area of tens of square meters. m, the ship took 1500 tons of water. However, this story had a logical ending:
“On June 16, Vittorio Veneto was docked, and already July 1 was taken out of it. We must pay tribute to the Italian engineers and workers: the hull work took only two weeks - a very short time for this amount of damage. "
(Battleship Vittorio Veneto (1937). History of the creation and service of the battleship of Italy.)
Flagship United fleet was greeted three times by a fierce greeting from the US Navy: 2 air bombs and 1 torpedo (not counting the close explosions).
In December 1943, the torpedo launched by the Skate boat overtook the Yamato and flooded the stern tower cellars. He calmly crossed the ocean and got up for repairs. Three months later - in full combat!
Damage from bombs during the Philippine campaign (autumn 1944) caused extensive flooding (3300 tons of water), but the next day the Yamato didn’t act exactly as a heavily damaged ship should.
A breakthrough to Leyte Gulf, a battle of many hours, and three close air bomb explosions followed. Despite all the efforts of the Americans, Yamato got out of the infernal brazier, from the air strikes of a group of 500 aircraft. He went to Brunei. Before his death, less than six months remained.
In the last battle, the Americans had the opportunity to concentrate on one Yamato air army of 300+ aircraft. However, it would be interesting to simulate the situation: in place of the Yamato, a more advanced ship of the Iowa or British Wangard type. Would the pilots manage to cope before nightfall? If they don’t have time, the next morning he will run aground near Okinawa and continue to wind the nerves of the Tuffy-58, the largest of the squadrons that have ever plowed the oceans.
But this is lyrics. Facts - Yamato easily endured single hits.
In March 1944, he was “treated” by a torpedo launched by the Tanni submarine. The only consequence was a repair that lasted a whole month.
Of interest is the last battle of Musashi, more precisely, the moment at about two in the afternoon on October 24, 1944. According to the reports of American pilots, according to which the chronology of the battle was constantly restored, by then the Musashi at least 7 air bombs and 8 torpedoes. Despite this, he continued to shoot back, maneuver, and maintained 20 knots!
"Golden hits" that day did not happen, "Musashi" was drowning a long and tedious. Throughout the day, he had to "hollow" the wings of eight aircraft carriers. Numerous American aircraft carriers no longer had forces on other ships of the Japanese compound (among which were such “goodies” as “Yamato” and “Nagato”).
After the sinking of the Musashi, it was concluded that it was necessary to carry out torpedo attacks from only one side. Otherwise, hits mutually “level” each other, causing counter-flooding. Such a powerful ship too long remains on an even keel, maintaining the course and combat efficiency. Which jeopardizes the entire plan to counter the enemy squadron.
The third Japanese superlinkor rebuilt into an aircraft carrier. Nevertheless, retaining the identity of his brothers in size and design of the lower part of the body.
The story of Sinano once again emphasizes how difficult it was to sink a ship of this type with torpedoes. Having received four hits in the central part of the starboard side, for several hours he continued to move the same course and without slowing down!
The black humor of the situation is that “Sinano” was not completed. He walked with unsealed bulkheads, and there was no regular amount of funds for pumping water on it.
As a result, even under such conditions, it took as long as six (SIX!) Hours until the spread of water caused a dangerous roll.
The battle chronicle of the Japanese battleships contradicts any conclusions based on the story of the Bismarck, which lost control from hitting one (or two) torpedoes.
A happy ship that has been in hell itself. However, without noticeable consequences. During the battle of the Philippines in two days he suffered 4 bombing hits. The consequences of one of them were described at the beginning of the article. The rest were even less important.
In the summer of the 45th, during the next raid on the Yokosuki harbor, the Nagato got hit by two air bombs that caused him cosmetic damage. Then the real farce began. The enemy during the entire war could not inflict serious damage to the Nagato, so the Japanese had to try their best to mislead American air reconnaissance. The Nagato ballast tanks were filled with sea water so that the battleship was as deep as possible "donkey" in the water. All this time, the crew was refueling and preparing to go on a combat campaign with the goal of finally breaking the pattern to the enemy (the exit was canceled at the last moment - August 45).
"Nagato" met the end of the war under the gun of the "Iowa", for this reason it was absent from the ceremony in Tokyo Bay. The Yankees suspected that the old samurai had remained fully operational and was still a threat to them.
The Nagato withstood two nuclear explosions. Experts who climbed aboard were able to experimentally launch the GEM mechanisms, which worked for 36 hours without stopping. Great ship, an outstanding work of Japanese engineering
Another sea monster, which the Americans were so "happy" with.
He was met by an armada of 85 dive bombers and 11 torpedo bombers. Thanks to active maneuvering, Ise avoided almost all hits, except for 1 bomb, which hit the ledge of the stern catapult. On the same day, when he met with another wave of attacking aircraft, he received another bomb (the effect of which was similar to the effect of moonlight on rails).
However, a meeting with a hundred combat aircraft could not go without consequences.
The sea boiled from 34 close gaps. The results were horrific - all the paint was torn off, the seams of the skin parted from hydrodynamic shocks, causing several small leaks in the underwater part of the hull. Worse, due to the ingress of sea water into tanks with fuel oil, the efficiency of the starboard boilers decreased. And fragments of the close explosions injured more than 100 sailors (5% of those on board) ...
What is the interest of the situation?
In previous discussions, my opponents repeatedly mentioned that close gaps were almost more dangerous than direct hits on a ship. As the Ise example demonstrates, this is completely unobvious. Only the proposal for top-mast bombing (three times “ha”) was “more effective”. Against ships with a side thickness many times greater than the thickness of the armored deck.
As for the damaged Ise, he got to Kamrani, and from there moved to Singapore (incidentally jumping into a sea mine). He took on board a strategic cargo of non-ferrous metals, evacuated a thousand Japanese specialists and departed for Japan with the same type of Hyuuga LC. The screening of 25 American submarines on the way did not produce results.
Toward the close, while in Kura as a floating battery, Ise was successfully attacked three times aviation US Navy. The first two attacks (2 and 5 hits, respectively) were not enough, "revenge" for Pearl Harbor did not work. Despite the damage received, the veteran ship (1915) did not roll over, did not burn out, and the ammunition detonated on it. On the contrary, after three days, the efforts of the remaining crew members were put on an even keel. Onboard repairs were carried out, "Ise" was preparing for docking.
The third raid on Ise, committed at the very end of the war, on July 28, 1945, has no sensational connotation. If a ship allows dozens of aircraft to bomb itself with impunity, nothing will help it.
5 “golden bullets” against dozens of other attacks with the opposite result
To avoid allegations of bias, you can mention examples of allied battleships: North Caroline and Maryland torpedoes, kamikaze attacks on American battleships (7 cases), bombs hit Tennessee ... Consequences of attacks on ships built to the same security standards had the same results. No different from the battleships of the Axis countries.
Damage to Maryland
There is no reason for doubt, the "floating fortresses" were significantly superior in combat stability to ships of all other classes. Could it be otherwise? They were created with the expectation of fierce enemy fire.
The discussion about large ships cannot be driven into any framework. To cite the example of another "wunderwaffe", which put an end to the whole class of military equipment.
Have you seen examples?
Each method brought luck only a limited number of times. In other cases, for some reason he stopped working.
There is a known episode when Roma nearly drowned from nearby explosions of 907-kg bombs (the Italian "losers" really got it).
Another time, dozens of nearby explosions did not affect the combat effectiveness of Ise. Just as the consequences of the explosion on the side of the invincible Worspite did not reflect. I quote: “the damage did not prevent it from going to sea” (air strike in Alexandria, 1941)
For each successful hit, there will always be plenty of examples when a ship came out “dry” from enemy attacks, with only scratches.
The advent of the Fritz-X guided bombs in the arsenal of the Luftwaffe made large ships light targets? In the course of the discussion, it suddenly turns out that "just one penny bomb aircraft" is not enough. Effective use of the wonderful ammunition was possible only if there was perfect weather and air supremacy over the theater of operations.
Of course, ships do not fight alone. They are an element of the system. In this case, it is a significant element that is capable of destabilizing the situation in the theater of operations with its mere presence.
At the end of the story, you can ask a simple question. If 70 years ago they were able to build such tenacious units, is it possible to adopt anything from past experience in the interests of the modern Navy?
No one speaks of complete immortality. But to do one shot more than the enemy can do can be priceless.
The Clyde submarine successfully fired a torpedo at Gneisenau. The degree of damage perception depends on the angle; in the following illustration, the same place
Of course, such damage was not fatal to Gneisenau. One, two, three, even five thousand tons of water received do not solve anything on the scale of such a ship. A deadly threat to him is the roll. If you managed to straighten it, the ship will sink forever