The truth is obvious. If we had high-speed aircraft capable of carrying bombs that could cause deadly damage to a highly protected target, there would be a chance to sink the Tirpitz. In the meantime, this is unattainable.
/ opinion of the Royal Navy pilots /
I bring to your attention a small investigation on naval issues. The question is: Are ordinary aviation bombs cause significant damage to a highly protected ship class "battleship"?
What is there that may be obscure - many will be surprised - aviation has long proved its effectiveness: in the twentieth century, thousands of ships of various classes were sinking aircraft, among which were such invulnerable monsters as Roma, Yamato, Musashi, Ripals, The Prince of Wales ", as well as the 5 battleships during the pogrom at Pearl Harbor (although the California, Nevada and West Virginia were subsequently returned to service, there is every reason to believe that their damage was fatal, the ships sank near the shore).
And here comes a curious nuance - almost all these battleships were destroyed by torpedo hits (Oklahoma - 5 hits, West Virginia - 7, Yamato - 13 torpedoes). The only exception is the Italian battleship "Roma", who died in exceptional circumstances - he was hit by two heavy guided bombs "Fritz-X", dropped from a great height, they broke through the battleship through.
However, this is a fairly logical result - armadillos and dreadnoughts always sank only with extensive damage to the underwater part of the hull below the main armor belt. The penetration of shells and air bombs into the surface part of the battleships led to various consequences, but almost never ended with the death of ships.
Of course, all the above facts are true only for highly protected super-dreadnoughts - light and heavy cruisers, and especially destroyers, were destroyed by missiles and bombs, like cans. Aviation attacked its victims with a fiery whirlwind and in a matter of minutes let them go to the bottom. The list of people killed in this way is huge: the Königsberg, Dorsetshire and Cornwell cruisers, hundreds of aircraft carriers, destroyers, transport ships, six British ships during the Falklands conflict, Libyan small rocket ships and Iranian frigates ... But the fact remains: One of the large, well-protected battleships could not be sunk by conventional bombs.
This is especially interesting, given that the last 50 years the only means of aviation in the fight against ships are bombs and anti-ship missiles (whose combat units are no different from bombs). Really, the designers made a deep mistake by refusing to book? Indeed, according to dry statistics, thick armor of battleships can reliably protect against any modern means of attack. Well, try to figure it out.
"Marat". Volleys in immortality.
The battleship "Marat" on the right
In fact, there is a case of the loss of a battleship from a conventional aerial bomb. You do not need to go far to the Pacific Ocean for this, the precedent occurred much closer - right at the wall of the Middle Harbor in Kronstadt.
September 23, 1941 the battleship of the Red Banner Baltic was severely damaged there. fleet "Marat" - Yu-87 dive bombers dropped two 500 kg bombs on it (according to other sources - 1000 kg). One of them pierced through 3 armored decks and exploded in the cellar of the main-caliber tower, causing the detonation of the entire ammunition. The explosion interrupted the body of the battleship, almost completely tearing off the bow. The nasal superstructure, along with all the fighting posts, instruments, anti-aircraft artillery, the conning tower and the people there, collapsed into the water on the starboard side. The nasal chimney fell down along with the casings of the armored grates. The explosion killed 326 people, including the commander, commissar and part of the officers. By the morning of the next day, the battleship received 10 tons of water, most of its premises below the middle deck were flooded. "Marat" sat down on the ground near the mooring wall; About 000 meters of board remained above the water.
Then there was the heroic salvation of the ship - the Marat turned into a non-self-propelled artillery battery and soon again opened fire on the enemy from the stern towers. But, the essence is quite obvious: as was the case with the battleships at Pearl Harbor, the Marat would inevitably die if it received such damage in the open sea.
The damaged skeleton of the "Marat", the entire nose of the cut off to the second tower GK
Of course, the case of the "Marat" can not serve as a real example of the death of a battleship from an aerial bomb. By the time of its launch in 1911, Marat was probably the weakest battleship in the world, and, despite the complex modernization in 20, by the beginning of World War II, it was a warship with limited capabilities.
The upper armored hull 37,5 mm thick didn’t meet the security requirements of those years at all. On the lower decks, the situation was no better: the thickness of the middle armored decks - 19-25 mm, the lower armored decks - 12 mm (above the cellars 50 mm). It is not surprising that the German bombs sewed such "armor" as a sheet of foil. For comparison: the armored hull of the “Roma” battleship - 112 mm (!), Which, by the way, did not save him from more powerful aircraft ammunition.
And nevertheless, three 37 mm + 25 mm + 50 mm armor plates could not withstand the impact of an ordinary aerial bombs, dropped from a height of several hundred meters, and this is a reason to think ...
Have filled up Lyalya
An alarming howl of sirens in Altenfjord, thick smoke spreads over the bitter, cool water - the British once again got Tirpitz. Hardly recovered from the attack of the mini-submarine, the German super-battleship was struck again, this time from the air.
On an early frosty morning, 3, April, 1944, 30, Wildcat fighters swept over the German base, firing on the battleship and coastal anti-aircraft batteries from heavy machine guns; »Hail of bombs.
The second wave of cars appeared over the target an hour later - again the 19 Barracudas were covered by three dozen Corsair and Wilquat fighters. During the raid, German anti-aircraft gunners shot out of the ordinary badly - the British lost only two Barracudas and one Corsair. It should be noted that the Barracuda deck bomber obsolete by that time had simply disgusting flight characteristics: the horizontal speed barely exceeded 350 km / h, the climb rate of the entire 4 m / s, the ceiling - 5 kilometers.
Twilight German Warrior
The result of the operation "Wolfram" was 15 hits in the "Tirpitz". British naval pilots used several types of ammunition - mainly 227 kg armor-piercing, fragmentation and even depth charges. But the main element of the whole operation was special 726 kg armor-piercing bombs (the poor characteristics of the Barracuda bomber no longer allowed) - a total of 10 pieces, three of them hit the target. According to the plan, the armor-piercing bombs should have been dropped from a height of 1000 meters, but the pilots overdid it, and in order to get there, they probably dropped to 400 meters - as a result, the bombs could not reach the required speed, and yet ...
The Tirpitz was simply disfigured, 122 German sailors died, more than 300 were injured. Most bombs struck like cardboard 50 mm upper deck armor plates, destroying all the rooms under it. The main armored form, 80 mm thick, withstood the blows, but this did not help the battleship much. "Tirpitz" lost all command-range posts in the bow, the searchlight sites and anti-aircraft guns were destroyed, bulkheads were crushed and deformed, pipelines were broken, and the superstructures of the battleship turned into burning ruins. One of the 726-kg bombs struck the boules under the armor belt, turning the inside out in area IX and X of the waterproof compartments. The seawater intake began as indirect damage: cemented cracks in the underwater hull surfaced from the explosions - the result of a previous mine attack.
Damage to the "Tirpitz". Photos 15 April 1944
In August, the British aviation again attacked the fascist reptile, this time one of the 1944 kg of bombs broke through the upper and main armored decks (726 mm in total steel!), And with a crushing ram went down through all the Tirpitz compartments, turned into a bank with meat to the radio room, just below destroyed the distribution board of the main caliber towers, but, unfortunately, did not explode.
In the end, what was left of the once formidable battleship, finally finished off the four-engine bomber "Lancaster" with the monstrous bombs "Tollboy" (English bruiser). A sleek sleek ammunition with a mass of 5454 kg, filled with 1724 kg of explosives, pierced through the ship along with the water column below it, and exploded when it hit the bottom. A terrible hydraulic blow "Tirpitz" spoiled the bottom. A few more close hits - and Kriegsmarine’s pride tipped up by the keel, like a burnt rusty bucket. Of course, the destruction of the battleship “Tollboy” is a very strange combat reception, but long before the use of these giants, the superlinker 53 displacement thousands of tons completely lost combat capability from a dozen conventional aerial bombs.
The assessment of the Tirpitz combat career is controversial - on the one hand, the battleship alone with its presence in the North terrified the British Admiralty, on the other hand, huge funds were spent on its maintenance and security, and the body of the formidable battleship during the war served as a rusty target for zeroing British machine guns - the feeling is created that the British simply sneered at him, constantly sending exotic killers to Goliath who regularly disabled him.
What conclusions can be drawn from all these stories? To say that a powerful booking does not protect the ship at all would be frank bigotry. Most often protects. But only what is directly under the armor.
All armament, radio electronics, equipment and systems located on the upper deck, in the event of an attack by conventional bombs or widespread RCC "Harpoon", "Exochet", the Chinese C-802 turn into burning debris - the battleship will almost lose its combat capability.
For example, the Iowa-type battleship. At all times on his upper, unprotected deck was something to burn and even explode. In former times, these were dozens of small-caliber artillery installations and 12 light-armored universal caliber towers.
After upgrading the 80s, the assortment of combustible materials on the upper deck of the Iowa expanded significantly - as many as the Tomahawk 32 ABL installations (the armored casing protected them only from small-caliber bullets), 8 of all winds of the Harpoon, 16 missiles unprotected anti-aircraft guns "Falanx", and, of course, vulnerable radars, navigation and communication systems - without them the modern ship will lose the lion's share of its capabilities.
The speed of 726 kg of the British armor-piercing bomb hardly exceeded 500 km / h, modern “Harpoon” or “Exochet” missiles fly twice as fast, while it is naive to believe that the same “Harpoon” is made of Chinese plastic, it still has penetrating semi-submersible warhead. The anti-ship rocket, like the needle of a sea urchin, will go deep into the weakly protected structures of the superstructure and turn everything there. I didn’t even mention the Russian “Mosquitoes” or the promising PKR “Caliber”, which attack the target at three speeds of sound.
On the Internet, various opus periodically appear on the topic: what if the ancient “Iowa” goes to the modern “Ticonderogu” - who is who? Dear authors forget that the battleship was created directly for a sea battle with a surface enemy, and a small missile cruiser - exclusively for escort tasks.
Already by the 60-th years of the twentieth century, booking was almost completely disappeared on ships. 130 tons of Kevlar protection on the destroyer of the Arley Burk URO, will protect the ship unless from small fragments and machine-gun bullets. On the other hand, the Aegis-destroyer was not created for sea battles with surface ships (on the last subseries, even the Garpun missile missile is missing), since the main threat hides under water and hangs with the Damocles sword in the air - and it is against these threats that the Arly Burke’s weapons are oriented. Despite its modest displacement (from 6 to 10 ths. Tons), Ajis-destroyer copes with its tasks. And for strikes on surface targets, there is an aircraft carrier whose aircraft are capable of inspecting 100 thousand square kilometers of ocean surface in an hour.
Sometimes, as evidence of the failure of modern ships, the results of the Falkland War are cited. The British then lost a civilian container ship, two small frigates (full displacement of 3200 tons), two equally tiny destroyers (4500 tons) and an old amphibious assault vessel "Sir Gellahed" (5700 tons) with two 40 mm guns from the period of the Second World War.
War losses are inevitable. But the creation of a ship with heavy armoring will dramatically increase its cost, and the construction of the battleship with a full displacement of 50 000 tons was in those years a completely unreal project for Great Britain. It was easier for the British to lose these 6 "pelvis" than to mount armor on every ship of the Royal Navy. In addition, the losses could be reduced by installing at least the elementary Phalanx self-defense complexes. Alas, the British sailors had to shoot with rifles and pistols in the slow and awkward Skyhawk attack aircraft of the Argentine Air Force. And on the requisitioned container ship there were not even jamming systems. Here is such a self-defense.
The aircraft carrier HMS Furious, 3 April 1944 g. The inscription on the bomb: Tirpitz! That is yours.