This article is a tribute to disputes about the need to book the ends of cruisers and battleships of the first half of the twentieth century.
How dangerous was the damage to the nasal tip of the ships? What consequences would numerous fragmentation holes in the area of the stem lead to? Extensive flooding and dangerous trim on the nose, a drop in speed? How critical were the consequences for the ship?
Why were the corps of some warships (German Hipper and Scharnhorst TKRs) protected by armor (20 ... 70 mm) to the very bow, while their mighty rivals on the other side of the ocean (American Baltimore-type TKRs or LC type "Iowa") actually had no protection outside the armor stronghold?
Whose approach was correct? Was it worth “smearing” the armor around the ship, covering the chain-box and storage rooms in the bow? Whose experience could be useful in creating promising ships in the twenty-first century?
As a small study, we will look at a couple of extreme cases where the leaks that have opened have led to FULL flooding of all the compartments in the nose, or when the ship completely lost its nasal tip due to catastrophic hull damage. Nevertheless, the results of these terrible incidents were directly opposed to the tragic expectations of the public.
Hurry to see!
The return of "Seidlitz"
... The fight flared up with a new force. Queen Mary fired from his gigantic guns against the German Seidlitz battle cruiser, inflicting terrible damage on the enemy over and over again. Getting into the side in front of the foremast caused severe destruction of light structures in the forward part of the hull. Water poured down the main deck, flowing down a waterfall into the cellars and posts on the lower decks of the ship.
New hit - ignited the charges in the left side turret GK. The Germans have time to flood the cellar, avoiding disaster.
Heavy splash from falling 343-mm projectile on the left side. An underwater explosion ripped the outer hull shell, leaving a wound length of 11 meters.
The fourth hit of the projectile with "Queen Mary" - 150 mm tool # 6 of the left side is broken.
The Germans also did not remain "in debt", responding with powerful volleys of their magnificent 280 mm guns. The Marshes "Seidlitz" and "Derflinger" saw German shells fired at the armor and went deep into the body of Queen Mary. The next second, nothing happened, Queen Mary answered with another salvo. And then suddenly exploded and disappeared in the flames of a flame and a cloud of thick smoke. A hail of various sorts of debris and parts of a dead ship rained down on the Tiger, walking in the wake of the LKR.
The sailors of Kriegsmarine stared in shock at the results of their own actions, still not believing that the huge ship with a crew of 1200 people. could just disappear in one second ...
But for a long time to rejoice in victory, they were not destined. Just a couple of minutes, "Seidlits" shuddered from a new explosion. The British destroyer Petard (according to the other version - “Turbulent”) broke through and struck the starboard of the battlecruiser, in the 123 area of the track. under the armor belt. The torpedo warhead weighing 232 kg reversed a hole in the underwater part with an area of 15 square. The nasal power station and 150-mm gun №1 on the starboard side have failed. As a result of extensive flooding, "Seidlits" received 2000 tons of water, which increased its draft by the nose by 1,8 m (at the same time lifting the water from the water by 0,5 m).
On this luck finally left the Germans. An 5 squadron of British battleships appeared on the horizon — four of the most modern super dreadnoughts of the Queen Elizabeth type. Over the next hour, the “Seydlitz” received seven direct hits with 381-mm shells, its decks turned into rubble of bent steel. The greatest problems were caused by the projectile, which pierced the board in 20 meters from the stem and in this place formed a huge hole 3 x 4 m. It is this hole that will later become one of the main reasons for the extensive flooding in the Seidlitz nose.
By six o'clock in the evening, the British "Quinas" were out of battle, and the beaten-up "Seidlits" entered into a new battle with the battlecruisers of the Grand Fleet. Before nightfall, he managed to get another eleven "plumes", incl. eight - 305 mm caliber shells, two - 343 mm, and one 381-mm projectile fired by the Royal Oak battleship.
One of the 305-mm shells exploded on the anti-torpedo network laying, forming a gap of 12 m length between the outer skin sheets, and water began to flow in the middle part of the hull.
The 343-mm projectile from the Princess Royal destroyed the bridge: both gyrocompasses were damaged by shaking, and the maps in the navigation room were splashed with the blood of the people there to such an extent that nothing could be disassembled on them.
But the 305-mm projectile with the St. Vincent LKR had a particularly serious impact, causing a huge fire in the stern tower of the Civil Code, as a result of which its entire calculation was lost, and the tower itself was completely out of order until the end of the battle.
Damaged barrel of the Zeidlitz gun
Total: 22 large-caliber rounds and one torpedo hit the German battle cruiser Seidlitz per day, not counting a pair of shells of 102 and 152 mm caliber. Losses among the crew amounted to 98 killed and 55 wounded. The battlecruiser continued to follow his fleet, gradually plunging its nose into the water and reducing speed - to 19, then to 15, 10, 7 knots ... By the morning of the next day the battlecruiser had barely crawled aft at 3-5 knots, with an 8 ° roll to the port side. An unstoppable stream of water rushed through the decks, penetrating through numerous large holes in the sides of the ship. The shattered bulkheads could not stand it, the tightness of the waterproof compartments was broken ... By 17:00 on June 1, 1916, the estimated amount of water entering the Seidlitz’s hull amounted to an incredible 5329 tons or 21,2% of the standard displacement of a linear cruiser! Record.
Blue highlighted compartments that took the water to align roll and trim
How did Zeidlits manage to make a miracle and, in such a state, to return to the base with their own moves? In spite of all the vicissitudes, damage, 8-point wind and two shoals, which had to sit, due to anomalous precipitation nose (14 meters) and the absence of good navigation aids! ..
Thanks to the professionalism of the cruiser commander - captain 1-th rank von Egidi and competent actions of the survivability battalion under the command of corvette-captain Alwelsleben. Thanks to the courage and resilience of sailors who did not sleep for four days after a hard battle, continuously keeping their ship afloat. Thanks to the selfless actions of the members of the machine team that worked and died, standing waist-high in boiling water.
SMS Seydliz turned into a legend, and his incredible return forever entered the history as a model of the struggle for vitality.
Stub of the cruiser "New Orleans"
The night battle at Tassapharong was the third in the number of losses among the sailors of the US Navy after Pearl Harbor and the defeat at about. Savo. The Yankees, as usual, honestly "blew out" the battle, having on their side quantitative and technical superiority over the enemy.
The plot was this: in view of the appearance of the Henderson Field airfield and the transition of air supremacy into the hands of the Americans, the Japanese had no choice but to switch to the tactics of the Tokyo Express. Formations of high-speed destroyers that could deliver cargo to the fighting units on Fr. Guadalcanal and even before dawn to leave the American coverage aviation.
30 November 1942 of the "Tokyo Expression" of eight destroyers under the command of Rear Admiral R. Tanaka in the dark "ran" on the American squadron (TKR "Minneapolis", "New Orleans", "Pensacola" and "Notrehampton" under the cover of a light cruiser " Honolulu "and four destroyers).
Despite the absence of radars, the Japanese were the first to understand the situation and deal a powerful blow to the US Navy, using tactical mistakes and outright stupidity of the commanders of American ships.
While the Yankees were desperately trying to hit the enemy’s only detected destroyer, the Minneapolis and New Orleans cruisers, one after another, got hit by “long spears” - Japanese oxygen torpedoes of the 610 caliber. The Pensacola cruiser moving behind them found nothing better than to pass between the damaged ships and the enemy. The Japanese did not miss the chance and immediately released into the dark silhouette “long spear” that appeared in front of them, which left the propeller off the Pensacola and turned the engine room of the cruiser into fiery hell. In the burning fuel oil burned 125 sailors.
Surprisingly, after all this, the fourth cruiser, the Notreampton, continued to move as in a parade, without changing course, and not even trying to evade torpedoes blown out by the Japanese. The end result is obvious - having received a couple of “long copies” in the engine room area, the cruiser was completely out of order, lost its power, communication, and helplessly whirled in place on the only working propeller. By morning his roll had reached 35 °, and he sank 4 miles off the coast of Guadalcanal.
The Japanese lost the 1 destroyer ("Takans") and 197 people in the night battle.
The Americans lost a heavy cruiser, and the three surviving wounded warriors forever went down in history as outstanding examples of the struggle for the survivability of ships. Irrecoverable losses among the personnel amounted to 395 people.
The cruiser "New Orleans" looked the most terrible after the battle.
The Japanese "spear" struck the cellar area of the bow towers of the Civil Code. The explosion of the 490-kg of the warhead, coupled with the detonation of ammunition, completely tore off the nose of the “New Orleans” - right up to the tower of the GC No. XXUMX. Cruiser troubles did not end there. The torn-off piece of the hull led to the side and with a force hit the side of a moving cruiser, forming a series of holes throughout its hull. Leaving under water, the 2-ton "chip" touched the screws, and the blades of the internal screw on the port side turned out to be bent.
I had to see it. I was moving very tightly along the silent second tower and was stopped by a rescue rope, stretched between the port rail and the turret. Thank God that he was here, one more step of mine, and I would fly my head down into the dark water from a thirty-foot height. Nose "gone." One hundred twenty-five feet of the ship and the first bow artillery tower with three eight-inch guns "left." Eighteen hundred tons of the ship "left." My God, all those guys with whom I passed the training camp, all died.
Herbert Brown, sailor from the cruiser "New Orleans"
Despite the extensive destruction, the loss of a quarter of the hull length and the death of 183 sailors, the cruiser's stub cautiously moved the 2 hub to Tulagi, where the advanced base of the Americans was located. The 35 miles transition was completed by the next morning. After carrying out operational repair and construction of a temporary "nose" of coconut logs, "New Orleans", after 12 days, again went to sea and headed to Australia, where 24 arrived in December 1942 of the year safely.
The renovation of New Orleans was completed by the summer of 1943, at the shipyard in Puget Sound (Washington). The cruiser returned to service and later took part in many major campaigns and naval battles of the Pacific theater of war - Wake, Marshall Islands, Kwajalein, Madzuro, raid on Truk, Iwo Jima, the Philippines, Saipan and Tinian ... 17 fighting stars! One of the most honored cruisers of the US Navy.
USS Minneapolis (CA-36)
As for his "colleague" - a heavy cruiser "Minneapolis", which was torpedoed in the same battle at Tassafarong, survived the detonation of the BC and also lost its nose. Curiously, unlike the New Orleans, the severed nose of the Minneapolis did not sink, but, having cracked, was wound up at an angle of 70 ° under the bottom of the ship. Despite the troubles (including a torn off nose and a ruined engine room), this ship also managed to reach the shore, and after repair it was back in service.
The main causes of the death of ships in battle are strong fires, instability and detonation of ammunition.
As can be seen from the above examples, damage in the nose part is not included in this list. Even after extensive flooding and destruction in the nose, ships, as a rule, retain the lion's share of their combat capability and do not even try to go to the bottom.
What to say about small fragmentation holes and explosions of land mines of medium / universal caliber! The damage caused by them is categorically incapable of delivering significant troubles and causing a loss of travel and the combat capability of a large warship.
The "German scheme" with "smearing" splinter armor over a large area of the board was a mistake. This reserve was worth spending on strengthening the protection of armor stronghold, the truly important compartments and mechanisms of the ship.
Finally, regardless of the severity of the damage, a well-tailored ship with a professional and dedicated crew is capable of demonstrating survivability wonders.
PS In the title of the article - the battleship "Wisconsin" after a collision with the destroyer "Eaton".
Heavy cruiser "Pittsburgh" returns to base after meeting a tropical storm