HMS Dreadnought....

Discussion in '1800-1914' started by Lucky13, May 25, 2014.

  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    How much of a shocker was she, to the rest of the naval powers? I can imagine that she sparked a building frenzy....

    [​IMG]
     
  2. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I don't think she was a complete shocker as the USS South Carolina was already being built when the Dreadnaught was laid down but the Dreadnaught was launched first. Now from what I have read it does seem to have surprised the Germans, the French I know nothing about.
     
  3. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    It did set off an arms race. So much so that by the time war came she was considered a third class ship.
     
  4. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Based on the views of a number of naval historians, as I alluded to in the revolutionary thread, Anthony preston, Siegfried Breyer, Richard Hough etc, she was an evolutionary step in design and the application of an all-big-gun armament from the last British pre-dreadnoughts the Lord Nelsons, largely because their designers were the same:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Nelson_class_battleship

    But, my last sentence also ecapsulates why the Dreadnought itself had such a big impact; capital ships were thereafter renamed in her honour. That it had enormous influence is indisputable. In that however, we often point to the all-big-gun armament as the influence, but as Dave pointed out the South Carolinas were the first capital warships to be built, if not finished with that innovation - it was going to happen. What made the Dreadnought and her successors of a different ilk to their predecessors was a combination of factors. She was the first large hulled vessel of any sort to have been fitted with steam turbines, which gave her astonishing top speed (21 kts compared to 18 kts) for her size over her contemporaries, she also had what was at the time sophisticated and advanced fire control. Also, the speed at which she was completed was a record for such a large ship that, I believe might still stand to this day.

    There is something of the propaganda aspect behind this last feature however; Fisher was renown for blowing his own trumpet and believed heavily in intentional exaggeration as a means of promoting British naval prowess!
     
  5. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    And yet the HMS Argus was about change all that...
     
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  6. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    The experiences of the Russian Japanese war showed the trend of fighting at longer ranges with larger bore guns rather than close exchanges with mixed caliber weapons. I think the Dreadnought only caused a shock to those that didnt have something similar under construction or in planning.

    from wiki

    By the early 20th century, British and American admirals expected future battleships would engage at longer distances. Newer models of torpedo had longer ranges[10]—for instance, in 1903, the U.S. Navy ordered a design of torpedo effective to 4,000 yards (3,700 m).[11] Both British and American admirals concluded that they needed to engage the enemy at longer ranges.[11][12] In 1900, Admiral Sir John "Jackie" Fisher, commanding the Royal Navy Mediterranean Fleet, ordered gunnery practice with 6-inch guns at 6,000-yard (5,500 m).[12] By 1904, the U.S. Naval War College was considering the effects on battleship tactics of torpedoes with a range of 7,000 yards (6,400 m) to 8,000 yards (7,300 m).[11]
    The range of light and medium-caliber guns was limited, and accuracy declined badly at longer range.[c] At longer ranges the advantage of a high rate of fire also decreased; accurate shooting depended on spotting the shell-splashes of the previous salvo, which limited the optimum rate of fire.[2]
    On 10 August 1904, the Imperial Russian Navy engaged the Imperial Japanese Navy in one of the longest-range gunnery duels to date, over 8-mile (13,000 m) during the Battle of the Yellow Sea.[13] While the Russian battleships were equipped with Liuzhol range finders with an effective range of 4,000 metres (4,400 yd) and the Japanese ships had Barr Stroud range finders that reached out to 6,000 metres (6,600 yd), both sides still managed to hit each other with 12-inch (305 mm) main battery fire at the remarkably long range of 8 miles (13 km).[14] Naval architects and strategists around the world took notice.
     
  7. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Dave, I've removed the 'the', as in the His Majesty's Ship Argus makes no sense... Furious before Argus, though. Yet, interestingly the aircraft carrier was not regarded as having anything like the impact that Dreadnought had on naval warfare at the time. There were certainly advocates for carrier warfare, mainly within the RNAS/RAF, such as Murray Sueter, Rutland of Jutland etc, but also within the RN too, such as Percy Scott, but the carrier's real influence would not be seen, as opposed to being percieved, until much later, of course. The public jumped in with Fisher's propagandistic approach to the dreadnought [small 'd' intended] and the battlecruiser concept almost immediately, but the aircraft carrier was a much quieter revolution.

    Nope, the impact of the Dreadnought was far reaching for the reasons I posted earlier:

    "What made the Dreadnought and her successors of a different ilk to their predecessors was a combination of factors. She was the first large hulled vessel of any sort to have been fitted with steam turbines, which gave her astonishing top speed (21 kts compared to 18 kts) for her size over her contemporaries, she also had what was at the time sophisticated and advanced fire control. Also, the speed at which she was completed was a record for such a large ship that, I believe might still stand to this day."
     
  8. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    HMS Argus was the first carrier to launch and recover aircraft as designed.

    While HMS Furious was converted from a Cruiser (1920's), Argus had her start as an ocean liner who's construction was stopped due to the war, redesignated as a carrier, finished and put in service just after WWI concluded (1918).

    Many other ships were used to launch aircraft and there were several recovery experiments conducted by various navies, but HMS Argus was the first dedicated "flat top" to see service in the conventional role of aircraft carrier and would serve long enough to see the torch passed from the age of Battleship to the age of the Carrier.
     
  9. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    There was more to the turbine powerplant than just a 3 kt increase in speed. While ships powered by reciprocating engines could make 18 kts ( or higher for ocean liners who didn't have to limit the height of the engines to fit below armored deck) they could not keep up that speed for any period of time without suffering from mechanical breakdowns. This meant the Dreadnought, while not able to cruise across oceans at high speed, had a much greater flexibility of short term cruise speeds ( 4-24 hours) available than the 3 knt difference would suggest. The Turbines were also lighter in weight than the equivalent reciprocating engines.

    The increase in hull size forced any navy that wanted to keep up to spend money on larger slipways, larger docks, and dredging of some harbors/anchorages which obviously increase the 'price' of going to the dreadnought type ship well above the actual cost of the ships themselves.

    A number of Naval architects had proposed such ships but the cost of the infrastructure and the fact that in 1904-1906 the turbine was actually a gamble (largest British naval ship fitted with turbines before the Dreadnought was the 3000 ton 3rd class cruiser HMS Amethyst) meant most people thought they were still a number of years away.
     
  10. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    SR6 I dont disagree with anything you say, but a fire control system is only impressive when it is in action. The Turbine power plant was revolutionary (groan) for battleships but how did it compare to other ships already laid down or under design in USA Japan Italy France etc?. The dreadnought caught the world imagination but it was clear what the direction was going in . I dont think the naval world was "shocked" but depressed at having to enter into a very expensive arms race which was largely pointless. The British and German fleets had one inconclusive engagement, I suppose that could say the RN did its job but what a huge expense to stay where you were.

    from wiki other navies had non turbine heavy gun only battleships
    Both the Japanese Navy and the US Navy ordered "all-big-gun" ships in 1904–05, with the Satsuma and South Carolina ships, respectively. Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II had advocated a fast warship armed only with heavy guns since the 1890s. By securing a head start in dreadnought construction, the United Kingdom ensured that its dominance of the seas continued.

    also from wiki Turbines were not without problems either also from wiki
    Turbines offered more power than reciprocating engines for the same volume of machinery.[73][74] This, along with a guarantee on the new machinery from the inventor, Charles Parsons, persuaded the Royal Navy to use turbines in Dreadnought.[74] It is often said that turbines had the additional benefits of being cleaner and more reliable than reciprocating engines.[75] However, by 1905, new designs of reciprocating engine were available which were cleaner and more reliable than previous models.[73]

    Turbines were not without disadvantages. At cruising speeds much slower than maximum speed, turbines were markedly less fuel-efficient than reciprocating engines. This was particularly important for navies which required a long range at cruising speeds—and hence for the U.S. Navy, which was planning in the event of war to cruise across the Pacific and engage the Japanese in the Philippines.[76]
     
  11. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The 8 German "Dreadnoughts" which completed 1909 to May of 1912 used reciprocating engines. The Germans completed 4 of the 5 ships of the Deutschland class battleships after the Dreadnought commissioned. The Germans did commission 3 battlecruisers using turbines before their first dreadnought using turbines.

    The French did not lay down any Dreadnought type ships until 1910 and did not complete one until June of 1913. They had, however, built 6 semi-dreadnoughts from 1907-1911 which used turbines (although only 19 kts speed) but the armament was 4-12in guns and 12-9.4in guns.

    The Italians built one ship, the Dante Alighieri starting in 1909 with turbines. The preceding Italian battleships had all been laid down several years before the dreadnought although the Italian Naval architect Vittorio Cuniberti was a big advocate of the all big guns ship.

    The Japanese were trying but lack of money (the Russo-Japanese war left the treasury a bit thin) meant that ambition outran production capability and resulted in several ships completing with mixed batteries of guns rather than the intended all big gun battery. Even a pair of ships completed in 1912 used 12in guns of different lengths and ballistics which compromised their long rang fire ability.

    A big change in reciprocating engines came with oil being fed to the bearings under pressure instead of using gravity and oil cups filled from oil cans. But even better lubrication could do nothing for the vibration of the reciprocating engines. The entire ship would be shaken from the vibration at full speed.

    At less than full speed (sometimes a lot less) the reciprocating engines often exhibited quite good reliability, and low vibration making 8-12 kt cruising speed quite practical for long distance.

    US ordered one class of two ships with split propulsion (one ship turbine and the other recip) to force the turbine makers hand in regards to price and certain features.

    The Americans placed more emphasis on economy than the British did in part because although they had some far flung areas of responsibility (Philippines) they had no where near the world wide network of coaling stations the British had.
     
  12. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info SR6 but in the one serious engagement at Jutland the Germans could say they were outnumbered but not out faught certainly you cant say the RN was techically far superior. This is not to ignore the great points youve put
     
  13. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    It depends :)

    The German fleet was "called" the High Seas Fleet but in actual fact is anything but. Most if not all of the large ships berthed some of the crew ashore whenever in port ( which was 99% of the time). While a formidable foe in the North Sea for operations of a few days it was not really a fleet that could fight in the North Atlantic or even transit thousands of miles (given coaling stations) and arrive in fighting trim at the end. The British had to put a bit more tonnage into both habitability (which was still cruel and unusually punishment to modern eyes) and reliability.

    The British did bumble a number of things but they are seldom given credit for building ships that were capable of world wide deployment ( or at least was world wide as anybody else) and engagement.
    British guns may not have the velocity and gee whiz numbers of some of the German guns but but if you are deployed half way round the world in an emergency after firing 75-100 rounds per tube do you want British guns or German guns? (some WW I battlshipp guns had service lives of around 150 full charge shots).

    British kept large tube boilers a few years too long and could have save a lot of tons of engineering and hull weight by going to small tube boilers ( or gained speed) but again, being one of the first to go to small tube boilers and having boilers out of service once on station in India or Chinese waters would not be a good thing.
     
  14. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    Something to do with fusing lead a British commander to exclaaim theres something wrong with our bloody ships
     
  15. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Actually that was in regards to the Battlecruisers blowing up.

    This had several contributing factors among which were.

    a, 2 of the ships that blew up were the first two classes of British battlecruisers which were rather deficient in armor but had not been intended to lie in the battleline in the first place but run down German Armored cruisers like they did at the Falkland Islands.
    b, The British deficient flash protection that allowed the flame/blast of a turret hit to travel down the ammunition hoists into the magazines.
    c, The British cordite in bulk storage (like a battleship magazine) tended to reach a point were the remaining stock exploded rather than burn (violently) when fire did reach the magazines. Seydlitz was almost lost twice from similar hits but better flash protection and different propellant saved the ship but not the turret, hoist and magazine crews.
     
  16. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    #16 nuuumannn, May 26, 2014
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
    True, but Furious laid the ground work in terms of flying operations. Other than just Dunning's pioneering landings in August 1917, the first deck landing trials were carried out in mid/late 1918 on her using poor Sopwith Pups fitted with bizarre undercarriage configurations, which were sent careening into her barrier aft of the funnel in order to come up with the most efficient means of restraining an aircraft on landing. When Argus entered service, aircraft were instructed to take off from her deck, but not land. Although the Cuckoo squadron, 185 Sqn formed at East Fortune in October 1918, often erroneously claimed to have been formed aboard the carrier, was declared operational from Argus, the first recorded landing of a Cuckoo on her deck was in June 1919. This wasn't the first aircraft to land on her, but 185 Sqn was her first air unit.

    Also, let's not forget Furious' role in pioneering carrier air operations too soon. On 18 July 1918 she carried out the very first successful aircraft carrier launched air strike on an enemy target, the German airship sheds at Tondern. The Camels all either ditched at sea or landed in neutral territory and during discussions behind the proposed raid against the High Seas Fleet, this issue had not been resolved, so although it was not stated, the Cuckoos would have had to return to their carriers and ditch alongside the task force vessels had further experimentation not been carried out and a solution been found in time.

    Just an addition about her origins. Furious was designed as a Large Light Cruiser with two 18.1" guns, but was built as a seaplane carrier with only one gun and a flying off deck forward. Her first air complement comprised Sopwith Pups and a couple of Short 184s commanded by South African born Sqn Cdr Edwin Dunning. After his death, Frederick Rutland - Rutland of Jutland took over and in October 1917 'F' Sqn was formed at RNAS East Fortune. This was specifically a fighter/scout unit equipped with Pups and Ship's Camels. At East Fortune a deck was marked out on the ground to the same dimensions as Furious' and Rutland and his men made practise take-offs and landings from it. Training for the Tondern raid took place at Turnhouse (now Edinburgh Airport) amid great secrecy. It was always intended that she operate landplanes, as opposed to just seaplanes, once the decision to convert her whilst under construction was made. Furious' place in history was vitally important and that's why she's regarded as the first true aircraft carrier.
     
  17. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Another benefit turbines added was decreased weight for a given power output. Yes, they had their problems, but they imporved efficiencies and when oil became the fuel of choice over coal, the rather messy and time consuming business of coaling disappeared, much to the delight of sailors the world over. Another fact about the difference between british and German ships worth considering regarding their protection was that, like SR states, British vessels were expected to have a global reach and therefore their living facilities were larger and more spacious to cope with the fact they were expected to be at sea for longer. German ships enjoyed better internal protection, but British ships were more versatile in their use. British dreadnoughts were also somewhat restricted in their size of dockyards that could be utilised to maintain them since British facilities had been built for previous generations of vessels.

    Another issue regarding the impact of Dreadnought was cost, big capital ships and their fittings were expensive and the British and major powers could afford to introduce many innovations at once, but Dreadnought combined these innovations that defined the future of naval warfare in one ship, although she was not without her faults. Her next successors, the Bellerophons and St Vincents improved on some of these, but were basically the same designs with similar faults, particularly the positioning of the wing guns, although armour distribution had improved. it was found that Dreadnought's waterline armour belt would submerge below the waterline when her displacement was increased to maximum; this was imporved in subsequent ship classes. Also her fighting top was directly aft of her forward funnel, making accurate spotting impossible, not just from the smoke, but also the heat at steam. This was altered in the Belerophons.

    The reason why Dreadnought was built so quickly was because materieals required in her construction were stockpiled and to a degree robbed from other ships under construction, including the Lord Nelsons, who gave their main armament to Dreadnought; their constrcution took inordinately long and they were completed after the Dreadnought was launched, even though the Dreadnought rendered them relatively obsolescent.
     
  18. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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  19. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Dreadnought also began a move toward concentrating the armouring around the vitals of the ship, though she was obsolete because of the lack of defence from bombs and plunging fire pretty quickly. She relied on escort ships for protection against smaller warships and torpedo craft, and had armament designed for one purpose, to bring the maximum firepower to bear against her own kind. With a certain speed advantage, she was designed to be able to run down any weaker opponent, with her heavy main broadside to rapidly subdue or destroy that opponent.

    Dreadnought is said to have been a paradigm shift in capability compared to the classdes that preceded her. Unfortunately, she herself was rapidly overtaken as well, as the technology that made her was not fundamentally different or revolutionary, just a new emphasis really.
     
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