Best naval designs of ww1, Your ideas?

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Tech Sergeant
Mar 2, 2005
Berlin (Kreuzberg)
Trying to start a minor thread.
Which design is in your opinion the best in it´s class of ww1 (and why)?
I would like to hear your thoughts about the best classes of:

1.) Battleships

2.) battlecruisers

3.) armored cruisers

4.) small cruisers

5.) torpedo boats / destroyers

6.) submarines

I am also not that familar to ww1 naval technologies but I think everybody has an idea at least for the first three.
First in my mind are
1.) Queen Elizabeth class
2.) Derfflinger class (with a very close Kongo beeing second)
3.) Blucher (hands down)

Please do not forget the US-, japanese, italian and Austro-hungarian Navies!


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Correct. Blucher was lost at the Doggerbank. However, this doesn´t exclude the design here. All german BC can be traced back to the Blucher design. It was classified as "große Kreuzer" (large cruiser) by the High Sea Fleet as were all german BC.
Originally the design was an improved version of the Scharnhorst class CA. They were intended to aid reconnaisance forces. For their time, Blucher was very innovative: all big gun layout (altough its 8.2 "ers were inferior to the guns of the RN new BC-class), heavy secondary artillery (5.9"ers), longitudinal torpedo bulkhead, excellent subdivision and sufficiant armor protection against cruiser guns. It missed the turbine powerplants but it´s triple expansion steam engines drove Blucher to 25.8 kts. It had a decent range (3.520 nm at 18 kts) as well. The armour protection of Blucher was better than those of it´s contemporary british counterparts (wether Battlecruiser or armoured cruiser): the belt was 6.3"(ends) - 7.1" (amidships), the deck was 1.96"-2.75" thick. The turrets had a 7.1" thick face plate, the command tower even had 9.9" plates.
The only known achilles heel of this cruiser were the ammotransfer corridors for the heavy artillery. Some of them were located above the main armor deck and therefore unprotected. One 12" hit destroyed some ammonition storaged there during the battle of the Doggerbank causing extensive damages and the loss of two turrets. Nethertheless, the ship withstand a lot of punishment: it took around 70 shell hits (32 heavy calibre hits) and finally 7 torpedo hits to sink her. I don´t know any other cruiser design in ww1 which could match Blucher. Battlecruisers yes but armoured cruisers no.


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Queen Elizabeth. It had the largest guns, the best rangfinders, fastest speed and best armour of any WW1 battleship. Also being oil fuelled she had the fastest turnaround time as well as this assisting with protection (Coal Dust is very explosive).

Derfflinger Class. They could take on any British BC with confidence as their guns could penetrate the British Armour whereas the British BC's would have difficulty penetrating the German Armour. The British Queen Mary class with 13.5in guns would be a tougher proposition and likely to be equal at effective ranges but the Derfflinger had better secondary weapons, which would still give her the edge.

Armoured Cruiser
I would call the Bluecher an Armoured Cruiser. Her 8.2 in guns would put her in that category as she couldn't stand up to any Battlecruiser. She was also to slow to be a Battlecruiser which gave her the worst of both evils. Too slow to run, too poorly armed to fight.
As an armoured cruiser she was well ahead of the rest. Had the Germans used her to attack convoys she would have been deadly.

Small Cruisers
The British C Class were considered to be the best. 5 x 6in guns on the centreline, good torpedo armament and a speed close to that of destroyers would take some beating.

Tempted to go for the US Sampson class with 4 x 4in and 12 x TT but will go with the RN VW Class. with 4 x 4in and 6 x TT. Reason being the Sampson Class was slow being little faster than the British C Class Light Cruisers. Also her broadside was only 3 x 4in and in a heavy sea the torpedos had difficulty being used as they were exposed to the conditions.
I absolutely agree, Glider.
The Q´s were great, possibly the best BB design ever (due to their extensive use in both wars). I just don´t think it matched the armour and protection of either Kaiser-, König- or Baden class BB but nethertheless they were excellent designs, the beginning of the fast battleship idea.
Can you provide more informations for the CL and DD please? I am quite unfamilar with these designs but they sound promising...
The Badens came close but their gun wasn't as good. The UK 15in was in a class of its own. As you know it was close to the Italian and German 15in almost a generation later.

The Standard German DD normally had 3 x 3.4 later upgunned to 4.1in and 6 x tt. 4 on the centre line and two single mounts one each side just behind the bridge. These could fire ahead or swung onto the broadside so 5 torps could fire one way.
The standard British Destroyer had 3 x 4 in and 4tt on the centreline although the S class also had two extra torps similar to the Germans, but on the S Class these were only 14in.
As you can see, these were a good match for each other, both having a top speed of 34 knots.

The RN went for bigger destroyers (V W Class) carrying 4 x 4 in and 6 x tt (2 x 3) with a max speed of 34 knots. Germany tried carrying 5.9 on their destroyers but manhandling 100lb shells on a bucking destroyer was just not practical.
Obviously the RN found out about the 5.9 armed destroyers and were more than a little concerned. We had fitted a couple of destroyers with a 6in in the bow (replacing 2 x 4in which had been mounted side by side) and realised that a better bet was to go for an intermediate sized gun, the 4.7in which was included in the design of the Modified W class. These came on stream just after the war.

The US destroyers had 4 x 4in fore, aft, and one on each beam which meant that their broadside was 3 guns no better than the standard RN or German destroyers.
The US destroyers carried 12 x TT in four triple mounts two on each side. This gave a broadside of 6 torpedos, again similar to the standard european destroyers and the same as the VW class. The problem was that when the tubes were trained on the broadside to fire almost half the torpedo tube was hanging over the side of the destroyer and if there was any heavy weather then they could be damaged. Indeed in some conditions they couldn't be trained. The other tactical problem was the US destroyers had a max speed of 29/30 knots.

Light Cruisers
After a period of development the RN realised that what mattered was the number of guns on the broadside, not the number of guns you carried. This could save you weight and this could be converted to speed and armour. Sounds obvious to us, but before then it was common for a light Cruiser to carry 10 guns and have 5 on the broadside. This often meant the ship was larger, often around 5,500tons with a max speed of about 24 knots. The C Class had 5 x 6in on the centre line, weighed 4,200 tons had a maximum speed of 29 knots and carried 8 x TT (4 x 2) as well as 2 x 3in AA guns. She also had a Main Belt of 2.5 in Fore and Aft and 3 in over critical areas. At the time this was quite thick and more than sufficient to protect the ship from 4 in guns which were often fitted to German Light Cruisers.

I find it interesting how slow other countries were to adapt to this design principle.
The IJN still went for the traditional approach, the Germans built the Emden in 1925, 5,600 tons, 8 single guns 6 on the broadside and only 2in of armour. The USA built the Omaha class, 7,000 tons, 12 x 6in, 8 on the boradside.
Going back to the other navies the best ships will have to be the US Battleships. They were very well protected and well armed but were a little on the slow side. To all intents and purposes the US Navy in WW1 had good battleships, good destroyers and nothing else. A few Pre Dreadnoughts and no cruisers in the European sense.

I like the WW1 period as there was a wide variety of ships some of which were a little different. One favourite of mine was the Agincourt. 14 x 12in guns in 7 turrets on the centreline. When she fired a full broadside at Jutland, the ships around her thought that she had blown up.
Thanks for all the info, Glider.
Yes, the Agincourt looks quite impressive.
The problem with the US battleships is their worse degree of training in ww1. During maneuvres with the RN the US big battleships failed repeatedly to even hit non moving targets. But just in design they put forward a lot of advanced designs, including the introduction of two superfiring turrets in the centerline for and aft in the South Carolina class.
Sadly they were not adequatly protected up to and including the Texas-class. The later US BB were good protected, excellent layout designs, agreed. However, they would still loose in one on one against either Q or Baden ships, sure.

The RN still had the edge in centralized fire controll and the plotting table to extrapolate the enemys speed (it´s a myth that the german firecontroll was that good in ww1, they had better optics but lacked the former two. Only excellent training ensured the performances of the High Sea Fleet)

One thing which improves the performance of the CL Cöln II, Dresden II and some torpedo boats is the best torpedo of ww 1, the 23.8" H8. Also fitted in Badens and Hindenburg this "Long Lance" of ww1 is an impressive thing:
Date in service: 1915
explosive charge: 463 lbs
range/speed: 6.550 yrds @ 36 kts or 15.310 yrds at 30 kts.
It is not known if one of these super torpedos ever was succesfully used...
I reread my Database concerning Baden, Revenge and Queen Elizabeth class BB and my conclusion is that the "Q"´s have a solitary advantage in speed (2 knots) while they suffer in armement, armor, protection and everything else compared to Baden.
Why do you think that the RN fast BB were better, Glider?
The main reasons are the Guns. The UK 15in had a larger shell 1920lb compared to 1650lb and both had similar penetration. In addition they both had a similar maximum range.
The British had the better fire control arrangements which would have been a significant advantage.
As for Armour this was I believe similar in both ships (I think there was just under an inch in it, which against 15in Guns makes little difference). but the main belt on the British ships covered the length of the ship from the A to Y turrets. This I believe was more extensive than on the Baden but I could be wrong on that.
Also the Baden retained more underwater torpedo tubes which generally proved to be a weak spot.
The Baden continued to be coal fired vessel which is a tactical disadvantage in availability but also a risk in protection as coal dust is very explosive. This wasn't known at the time and warships often had the bunkers placed to try to add to the protection but in fact only made it weaker.
These are valid points. However I haven´t found datas to confirm the equally performance of both guns (using standart ww1 ammo).
Here is what i have:
--------------------15"/L42 MK I--------------38cm SK C 13/ L45-------
actual bore: ---------15"---------------------------14.96"----------------
base:-----------------42 rollers--------------------144 ball bearings----
theoretical RoF:-----2.0---------------------------2.5---------------------
elevation:---------- -5/+20 degrees------------ -5/+20 degrees-------
rate of elevation:---5 degrees /sec.-------------5 degrees /sec.------
rate of train:--------2 degrees /sec.-------------3 degrees /sec.------
loading angle:-------5 degrees*----------------- 5 degrees-------------
projectile:-----------4 crh AP (1.920 lbs) MK I a-Pz.Spr.Gr. 38 (1.653.5 lbs)
bursting charge:----60 lbs-----------------------55.5 lbs----------------
muzzle velocity:----2.543 ft/sec.-----------------2.625 ft. /sec.**----
max. range:--------23.734 yrds------------------25.370 yrds----------

"in the original Mark I, Mark I* and Mark II mountings, the chain rammer was carried on an extension to the slide which theoretically allowed loading to be performed over the whole range of elevation, -5 to +20 degrees. However, it was found during World War I that the hydraulic system lacked enough capacity to both run the guns out at high elevations and handle all of the other hydraulic loads. This situation resulted in the mounts "stalling" during gun run-out, greatly slowing the loading cycle. A further problem was that the driving band on the projectiles would not always "bite" into the rifling during ramming. At the higher elevations this failure allowed the projectiles to slide back out of the breech when the rammer was withdrawn, which must have been a fairly "exciting" occurrence. For these reasons, loading was generally performed at +5 degrees or less."
-naval technical board-

** other sources (S. Bayer, N. Bergmann) rate the muzzle velocity of a brand new 38 cm SK C13 up to 890 m/sec. (2.955 ft./sec.) with higher charges. The datas from are postwar evidence from individual guns with more than 700 rounds gunwear. A higher muzzle velocity must be estimated for brand new guns (actually I have to underline that the british guns don´t suffer that much from gunwear compared to the high velocity german ones...), altough I doubt that it could be higher than around 840 m/sec. (2.788 ft./sec.)

I can perfom a vis a vis comparison but there is evidence acording to that the german gun penetrated 13.23" of vertical ww1 armor at 21.872 yrds. This means a far better armor penetration.
Not to speak of the worse quality of british shells in ww1 (except for the late war Greenboy projectiles)
All other points except bursting charge goes for the german gun (RoF, range, smoothness of move due to ball bearing mounts).
The point of firecontroll is valid only for pre jutland times. Baden and Bayern received full firecontroll suites in 1916. Both ships also had 8 m rangefinders on turrets and at least one 8m rangefinder for the fire directors. In addition to this they also featured Abfeuerungs- and Mittlungsgerät, fully gyroscopic mounted tracking devices to track a target while the own ship is turning and find correct fire solutions (the first ship to bear one was BC Lutzow at Jutland as well as probably BC Seydlitz, but unconfirmed). This turned them into a deadly gunnery platform compared to pre Jutland times. Indeed the firecontroll tech of 1918 was superior to contemporary RN practics for the first time.
The armor at least is difficult in "Q" and "B" ships. "Q" got 8.600 t. (26% of max. displacement) of armor while "B" got 11.428 t. of armor (35% of max. displacement). I will dig out....


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Since armor weight is an indicator but not that valid I will split up the distribution and thcicknesses.

To understand: Face hardened armor means Krupp cementated for Baden and average KC-type british armor. for "Q"s The former has a harder Brinell hardness face and the later is more ductile. The german armor contributes with its ultra hard layer to defeating uncapped and soft capped british standart AProunds but in a comparison with hardened AP-capped shells (such as late ww1 Greenboys) the more ductile british face hardened armor is slightly better.
Face hardened armor is used on all verticle surfaces such as belts, turret faces while homogenious armor is used on decks and for medium - small thicknesses ("Q" upper side belt).
The quality of british homogenous armor of ww1 is slightly inferior to Krupp non cementated used on Baden.
-------------------------------------Queen Elizabeth---------------Baden------
main belt (FH):------------from A to Y magazines---------from A to Y----
thickness:------------------------------13 "---------------------------13.75"---
height for max. thickness-------------4 ft.---------------------------6.3 ft-----
tapered down underwater to:---------6"-----------------------------6.7"----
upper side belt:------------------------6"*----------------------------9.84"-----
side belt at bow:-----------------------0 (torpedo bulkhead only)--7.88"----
side belt at stern:----------------------0 (tprpedo bulkhead only)--3.94"---
bow:------------------------------------0 (deck armor only)----------1.2"---
stern:-----------------------------------0 (deck armor only)-----------0-----
* using homogenious instead of face hardened armor
superstructures (homogenious):
lower deck niveau outer:-------------2"-----------------------------1.2"------
lower deck niveau inner:-------------1.2"----------------------------0---------
deck niveau:---------------------------1"-----------------------------1.6"-----
main armor deck:---------------------1"-----------------------------1.5"-----
sloped outboard deck:----------------1."@45 degrees------------1.2"@60-
hull (homogenious):
transverse bulkheads inner----------2"------------------------------7.9"----
transverse bulkheads outer:---------4"------------------------------5.9"----
torpedo bulkheads:-------------------2"------------------------------1.96"--
splinter bulkhead at main armor lvl:-0-----------------------------3.15"--
splinter bulkheads at lower deck lvl:-0------------------------------1.2"---
splinter bulkhead at upper deck lvl:-0-------------------------------0.8"---
steering room deck:------------------4"-------------------------------4.72"-
main turrets (face hardened and homogenious):
turret faces(FH):----------------------13"----------------------------13.75"---
turret sides (FH):---------------------11"----------------------------9.84"---
turret roof (homogenious):----------5"------------------------------4.9"---
barbettes (above hull):--------------7"-----------------------------13.75"-----
barbettes (casamattes lvl):---------5"------------------------------9.84"--
barbettes (armor deck lvl):---------5"-----------------------------3.15"--
battle stations:
command station front (FH):--------11"----------------------------13.75"----
command station sides(FH):--------5"------------------------------9.84"--
command station roof (hmg.):-----4"------------------------------7.1"----
aft station front (FH):---------------5"-------------------------------7.9"---
aft station sides (hmg.):------------4"-------------------------------6.7"(FH)-
aft station roof (hmg.):-------------4"-------------------------------3.15"----
cable tunnels fore:------------------4"--------------------------------7.9"(FH)-
cable tunnels aft:--------------------4"-------------------------------6.7" (FH)-

I think these figures speak for themselve. The Badens were fare batter protected than the Queen Elizabeths. Unlike the "Q"s they were also quite immune to secondary gunfire.
The problem for the Q" were that the much elonged hull (suited for the 2 kts speed advantage) had more area to cover than the Badens. The Badens also encorpered more tonnage to armor distribution. The german construction steels used for non armor garde parts of the ship were also of higher quality (both Brinell hardness and ductility) than the british. This made them the best protected ships of ww1.
Coal dustis kind of a danger but I never heard of HSF ships to suffer a coal dust explosion altough some were hit in the bunkers at Jutland and Doggerbank. Indeed shells penetrating the belt were stopped in the coal bunkers before they could reach the inner bulkhead several times.
It should also be noted that "Q"´s had oil bunkers located directly between the longitudinal torpedo bulkhead and the unprotected hull, leaving no expansion room for gaz pressure bubbles in case of torpedo hit! The 51mm torpedo bulkhead could not work properly in case of a torpedohit anywhere of the hull if the oil bunker was still filled by more than 1/3! That´s really scary. This makes torpedo blister refit necessary (which furtherly reduce the ships speed) in postwartimes.
The problem with the torpedo tubes of Baden is valid but also are the underwater torpedo tubes of the "Q"´s. They suffer the same disadvantages. The Badens, unlike the "Q"´s, got their weak spot fixed after operation Albion in 1917 by removal of the torpedo tubes.
The compartimentation of Baden was also way superior to the executed on any ww1 british warship. The Badens had full powerplant seperation by watertight, armored compartimentations. The Queen Elizabeths had large and open compartements under the main armor deck level.
They also suffer from a lower metacentric height (altough not as bad as those of the Revenge-class), which made them significantely unstable if once flooded (Baden: 2.3 m GM; Queen Elizabeth: 1.4 m).
I have slightly different armour details for the QE class. The Main belt covers the main and middle decks which would make it a lot higher than 4 ft. I also have it covering the upper deck but with a 6in thickness. The main Belt extended to the bow and stern with a thickness of 4-6inches enclosed by 4 in bulkheads.
As for the Barbette it is described as 10in thinning to 9in and then 7in on the centreline, reducing to 6in when it decended below the main belt.

Secondary Armament was placed behind 6in of armour with 1.5in inboard screen and each gun was seperated by a 2in centre line bulkhead.

Deck armour (sort this lot out, it did my head in)
Lower deck 1in forwd, 3in aft,
middle deck 1in with 1.5in aft
Main Deck 1.5in outside citadel
Upper Deck 1.5 amidships, 2in edges/abreast barbetts/over boiler rooms/engine rooms.

As for compartmentation I don't have any details and cannot comment but Large Open compartments sounds a little extream.

To sum up I think they were similar in their protection. Both were immune from secondary weapons and when facing a 15in it doesn't matter, as only the thickest armour will save you.

Going back to the main guns I have a reference that the Germans were dissapointed with the accuracy of their 15in it was described as being significantly worse that the German 12in. Unfortunately there are no figures to back it up.

Your other comments are valid as ever but I would be suprised if the guns were tested in 1938 with 700 rounds of wear. These weapons would wear a barrel out quite quickly and I wouldn't want to think about the state of the barrel if they left it for 700 rounds. As a test it would be utterly useless. Knowing how through Germans are in these matters I would be very suprised if they didn't refurbish the guns before the test. They must also have had access to the details of tests carried out in WW1 when the ships were built.

Apart from the ships guns and armour there are other factors that come into play. The Baden was a very wet ship which sufferred in a heavy sea. Looking at the Navweaps website I can believe that report, no doubt she is going max speed but in a flat calm she is almost shipping water.
The other is the training of the crews, an area where the RN was ahead.
If there are different publications of armor schemes, let´s discuss it, Glider!
Feel free to critizise the drawings below.
The thickness of the main belt for Queen Elizabeths wasn´t a single one for two decks. It was "keilförmig" (don´t know the correct translation, but I expect something similar to "tapered down"), so that only a very small part of the belt covered 13" of armor vertically. Above and below it was tapered down (You will notice it in the transverse cuts: below to around 7.8"). This had to be made because of weight concerns. The actual height of this "max belt depth" was 4 ft. (1.3 m) for a belt 13" thick. Above and below it was thinner. Usually these thicknesses covered the waterline. In case of Baden it covered the whole deck plus a little under the waterline (also Badens belt was tapered down underwater to less than 13.75" as You can see in the drawing).
Queen Elizabeths belt covered also the middle decks but it was substantially thinner there (5") as was Badens belt (9.8") compared to the max. thickness. The thickness of 9.8" may save the ship from penetrating of 15" (standart ww1 projectile) at all but very close ranges. Nethertheless, the shell will put a hole in the belt. The 5" Q´s armor is unable to prevent penetration of the german 15" projectile even at longest possible ranges.
So, Badens belt provides more protection than the belt of the "Q"s, thanks to more thickness and more area to be covered with these.
I have no datas for a forward belt of the "Q"s yet found. But I have seen that the Iron Dukes (5" then 4") and Agincourt indeed had. So I might be wrong here. Maybe You can help out with a drawing?
It should be noted that the 6" figure for the upper belt is correct if you include the backing layers and construction steels. However, such a 6" armor is substantially less protective than a 6" armor grade plate, so I used only true armor thicknesses according to my sources.
The figures of Barbettes are more interesting. You are right here, 10" would seem plausible to me as well. I checked my drawings and could confirm 254 mm (10") above the hull. But 10" are only at the sides of the barbettes as You may see in the drawings below. The fronts and backs are reduced to 178mm except for A and Y turret where the thickness is reduced to 229mm (Y), resp. 330 mm (A) thickness for the sides covering the extrerior part of the barbettes (eg the most forward and most rearward turret sides of the ships). This is sufficiant, since hits in the softer parts of the barbettes are unlikely (the shell would need to pass the turret or superstructures first) except for the weak rear of Y-turret barbette. These measures safe weight, no doubt, and should be considered as efficient reduction.
You are absolutely correct about deck thicknesses, I simply missed them in the table (compare drawings).
Concernings of the compartimentations are relative. If You read the british Baden analysis, You will find concernings about the avaiability of ammo for secondarys and the worse connection of vital parts. This was dinged badly but it all was part of the high degree of compartimentation.
The worst thing for Queen Elizabeth was that the designers sticked to steam pipes with large diameter, while the germans since König-class moved to steam pipes with small diameter (high pressure). This allowed a complete powerplant seperation. The probelm for Q there is no real seperation. A shell hitting the boiler always is very worse but fragmentation is stopped in case of Baden while it isn´t in case of "Q"´s. This is what I meant with "open", "large" belongs to the spacial dimensions of machinery rooms with steam pipes of large diameter (they are considerably larger as in Baden).


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I understand my mistake. The drawing of QE shows the middle deck longitudinally (note 152 mm=6" side belt), while the lower, main armor deck would figure 13" side belt and 4-6" forward belt. It isnt displayed at this drawing :oops:
I can confirm that the spread factor of the german 15" gun was higher than the spread factor of the german 12" gun (and probably equal to or slightly higher than the british 15"/42 gun as well). According to the powerload during shots in correspondence to the barrel lentgh anything else would wonder me.
The tested guns belong to the individual guns of the uncompleted BB Würzburg. It´s naval 15"ers were used as land based heavy artillery from late 1916 on (Langer Max) to wars end. They fired a reduced weight projectile. The individual gun tested in 1919 had 700 rounds fired during ww1 (including one major overhaul in mid 1918). The test results of 1938 belong to armor penetration only (note that the armor used in these tests was KCnew and not any ww1 armor), I haven´t seen any muzzle velocity datas for them. With all respects, the actual muzzle velocity for a brand new 15" must therefore have been higher than 2.625 ft/sec. I suspect something closer to 2.750-2.800 ft./ sec. according to the powerload and barrel length. The approximate barrel live for standart naval projectiles was around 300 rounds. I don´t have figures for barrel live of reduced weight ammo only.
Hands down, the Queen Elizabths are more advanced thanks to oil firing but they aren´t either better protected or better armed than the Baden´s.
Lets check it with Nathan Okun´s facehead program. At first the distances at which the thickest belt can be penetrated:
Queen Elizabeths 13" lower main belt / turret face (against SK38 C13):
@ 0 degrees angle of fall: 1.484 ft./sec. striking velocity needed for EEF
@ 5 degrees angle of fall: 1.583 ft./sec. striking velocity needed for EEF
@ 10 degrees angle of fall: 1.602 ft./sec. striking velocity needed for EEF
@ 15 degrees angle of fall: 1.692 ft./sec. striking velocity needed for EEF
@ 20 degrees angle of fall: 1.810 ft./sec. striking velocity needed for EEF
@ 25 degrees angle of fall: 1.980 ft./sec. striking velocity needed for EEF
@ 30 degrees angle of fall: 2.236 ft./sec. striking velocity needed for EEF
And now 13.75" barbette, turret face, command tower face, main belt of Baden vs. british 15"/42 left=original ww1 AP-ammo; right= late 1918"Greenboy"):
@ 0 degrees: never (shatters); 1.458 ft./sec. w/o shatter for HBL=EEF
@ 5 degrees: 1.320 ft./sec. for EEF; 1.255 ft./sec. for EEF
@ 10 degrees: 1.496 ft./sec. for EEF; 1.421 ft./sec. for EEF
@ 15 degrees: 1.748 ft./sec. for EEF; 1.661 ft./sec. for EEF
@ 20 degrees: 2.124 ft./sec. (if soft AP-cap works, otherwise shatter); 2.019 ft./sec. for EEF
@ 25 degrees: never (shatters or deflected); 2.671 ft./sec. for EEF
@ 30 degrees: never (shatters or deflected); 3.812 ft./sec. for EEF
With these datas I feel justified to say that Baden is better protected against the "Q"´s 15"ers using ww1 or post ww1 Greenboys. I don´t have all the figures for range, angle of fall and corresponding striking velocity for the shells to extrapolate immune zones but it is obvious that the german gun has a wider window for penetration than the british against Baden. The british shells, despite beeing heavier, only have the advantage at an angle of fall up to 15-16 degrees (this implies around 11 degrees elevation and around 16.000 yrds range. At this distance the 15" shell will not penetrate 13.75" armor since it has only 1.480 ft./sec. remaining striking velocity), while any higher angle of fall= any higher range benefits the german gun/shell combination. Queen Elizabeths belt is vulnarable from 0-22.000 yrds to Badens 15"ers! That´s almost the whole range of the guns and includes all probable fighting distances. Using standart soft capped ammo, the british gun failes to penetrate Badens armor at point blanc range due to shatter gap and it fails to penetrate at any range over ~13.000 yrds. Even in the window in between, the standart instantious fuze delay will not allow the shell to penetrate behind the armor and detonate. Only duds will be able to penetrate Badens belt.
The later Greenboy shells are more advantageous and allow penetration due to proper fuze delay but even they penetrate Baden only at distances between 0 and ~14.000 yrds.
(Facehead v. 5.8 from Nathan Okun)
There is no doubt that the achilles heal of the British Battleships was the shell design but once fixed then the two ships largly cancel each other out. 14,000 yards was quite a good range in WW1 with all the smoke generated by the vesels involved in the battle.
I will certainly conceed that the Germans had better compartmantisation, its something that they were rightly fameous for. There is equally no doubt that the QE were well protected. As you know the Warspite was hit 15 times at Jutland 2 x 11in and 13 x 12in and although badly damaged made her own way home and the crew casualties were light with 14 killed and 32 wounded. I wouldn't give odds on any other ship in the Grand Fleet taking such a pounding and getting away with such losses. German Vessels sufferred in some cases 24 hits but their losses were often a hundred or more dead.

The German ability to take damage was of course remarkable but if we had been equipped with shells of similar design to the Germans then who knows what the result would have been.

I recommend the following for a good description of what it was like to fight in a battle of this type. No doubt a similar story could have been written from both sides of the conflict. The damage control training of the german crews is particually worthy of mention.
Very true, Glider. If we discard the worse british shell design (a feature for which we cannot blame the ship designers) the odds will turn to about equal in firepower/protection of both designs and furtherly to favour of the "Q"´s because of their 10% speed advantage.
The protection of the Queen Elizabeths is sufficiant against german 12"ers, which faced them at Jutland. Warspite is for my view the most important BB of both wars and it took -as you said- considerable damage (repeatedly in both wars) and always made it back home. This is a quality of it´s own.
The Badens, however, never faced real opposition.
I wished they had turned one of the "Q"´s into a museums ship!
What, the Baden were a great Battleship and the Baden changed the way Battleships are designed. I would say the Baden the only problem is that the baden never saw action. I would say the Germans came up tops when it came to designs. Yes there were poor designs on all the sides.

You guys just gave a lot of stats and I think you should look at the bigger picture. The Germans were famous for their accurate shooting when it came to Naval action and if you look at the battle of Jutland you would see that the Germans actually won the Battle. Who lost the most men and equipment?

But I must say you guys gave great info and do know what you are talking about.


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