Hood vs. Scharnhorst

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by tomo pauk, Nov 21, 2009.

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Hood or Scharnhorst?

  1. Hood

    66.7%
  2. Scharnhorst

    33.3%
  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    What ship would you pick against another, and what would be a better choice over all. The modernized Hood should be considered.
     
  2. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    The Scharnhorst could stand away in the engagement and fire long range shots into the Hood due to her speed and 11" guns. The problem is that the 11" guns trajectory was very flat making most the hits have to defeat the armor belts. The Scharnhorst would be much more difficult to destroy but the 15"guns of the Hood would do great damage to the Scharnhorst. I think it would be a great battle but the Hood would have the slight advantage.
     
  3. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    If the battle is at great ranges, then the incoming angle is rather steep.
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Dreadnought fights were rare during WWII. Cruiser fights were common. Although not used in that role historically the Scharnhorst class would make superb cruiser killers.

    Therefore I would opt for the Scharnhorst as being more useful to the war effort. Perfect for gunning down German Panzerschiff in the Atlantic or IJN/USN CAs around Guadalcanal.
     
  5. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Dave

    Scharnhorst proved incapable of dealing with cruisers effectively in her last fight, and when I get back from my trip in a few days I will check for other instances of her failure in this regard.....the basic problems for heavy ships when firing at small manouverable targets is the slow rate of fire. This wasnt a problem unique to the Scharnhorst or indeed the Germans

    The second problem for the Scharnhorst was the technological and operational flaws in her radar suite. Despite the early lead in ship borne radars the Germans did not keep pace with the Allies, such that by her last fight, she was unable to fire accurately in a heavy sea, or in poor conditions. I know that the Seetakt radar was destroyed in the last fight off North Cape, but its operational limits compared to the Allies was marked by that time. Even more damning for the Germans was that the set was switched off at the beginning of her last battle, in accordance with standard KM operational policy. They believed their radar signals was the same as radio silence. It was a major tactical flaw in KM operatioons

    The Scharnhorst could not engage outside Hoods effective gunnery range......the longest ranged shot in the whole of WWII was 27000 yards and this happened just once, moreover, for the 11 in guns to be effective against the hoods armouring scheme they would have needed to actually close the range to below 24000 yards. As someone pointed out, they could try to achieve a plunging shot through the deck of Hood, but this was an exponentially more difficult firing solution.....essentially plunging fire is aiming for a point on the ocean, whereas flat trajectory is trying to hit something on a line from point to point

    I also am very doubtful about the speed advantage of the german ship. Because of the wet bow the german ship suffered, any kind of seaway and her speed had to be reduced. This was never as marked in the Hood, which was always known as a fast boat in a seaway

    The final irony is that Hood was due for a major refit for just after her loss. My opinion is that a modernized Hood would have virtually nothing to fear from Scharnhorst
     
  6. Kurfürst

    Kurfürst Banned

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    Pardon me but this is nonsense, she beated down one of them very badly (IIRC when she popped up the second time)... Sure it reminds me of King Arthur and the Black Knight.. Arthur was certainly incapable of properly dealing with him, only cut off the limbs.. :lol:

    Any specifics or sources? According the Garzke and Dullin, the captain of Gneisenau (? - too lazy to look up) spoke very highly of the radar sets and their usefullness.

    Any specifics?

    Disagree... radar IS using radio waves, its easy to detect (the Bismarck fairly easy picked up the HMS PoW's radar signals, even though itself was actually not detected). Scharnhorst was disengaging, switching radar on was equivalent to trying to flee in the dark with a torch in your hand... I would be very surprised if Allied ships would lack such passive sensors.

    But in general, I agree about Scharnhorst vs Hood. Scharnhorst was simply not built to match the Hood, the latter having most of the cards in such an engagement. Of course its possible for Scharnhorst to deal a killing blow, but the chances are not good.
     
  7. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello Kurfürst
    Do you really think that Scharnhorst did well during the battle of North Cape? One CA and 2 CLs, using radar, kept it away from her target, the convoy, twice surprised it and forced it to retreat and when the German commander decided to run for home those cruisers followed it, incl the HMS Norfolk, which had taken two 11in hits which disabled one of her turret and all but one of its radars, but still was able do its job and had knocked out Scharnhorst’s main radar and that was her only radar which could “see” the forward sector. Without being able to see what was front of her Scharnhorst run onto approaching RN battlegroup, could turn around because those cruisers, in this stage Norfolk and Belfast, blocked that route with 4 DDs, so the only route open to her was to run to east.

    Same to use of radar, Germans sailing blindly in Arctic darkness, not finding their target and lost each other, surprised repeatedly by RN ships, which by using radar could position themselves at right places for surprise fire attacks.

    Juha
     
  8. Kurfürst

    Kurfürst Banned

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    I do, as do C-in-C of the British task force... basically every author understands clearly the actual causes leading to the Scharnhorst's loss : it was hopelessly outnumbered by a much larger naval force (a fact seemingly never bothered the Axis bashing crowds), and the British had good intel of the whole operation.

    Compared to these circumstances, the Scharnhorst and her crew performed extremely well, and gave the gave the usual high battle performance German Navy.

    Kept it away... how? :lol:

    Seriously there is so much wishful wishful thinking involved that it reminds me of Montgomery's memoirs.. whatever happened did not ever bother him, he always explained that it was actually his masterful plan all along. ;)

    Still the historical fact remains that Scharnhorst was manouvering for a better a position after it first approached the convoy. Perfectly legit naval tactic.. You try to describe that as some sort of vice, making that into how heavy cruisers 'drove off' a battleship - laughable...

    Forced it to retreat... again how wishful thinking is applied here..? When Scharnhorst turned away the second time, the German commander was luring away the British CAs from the convoy - in which he succeeded btw - , so his DDs receiving his attack signal could attack the defenceless convoy - which in they failed, having only outdated coordinates, but that was to tactical goal of the manouvre, regardless how you oversimplify it.

    Again typical and expected from this poster who's extremely biased. You simply do not respect the historical facts of this Battle.

    I am not sure what are you try tell with that...? Besides your description of the events is inaccurate again.

    The Battle of North Cape was quite typical - a single KM capital vessel against some 14 British ships, which had good intel, still managing to wreck one badly, and almost succeeding in outmaneuvering them.. the odds were against Scharnhorst from the beginning, despite that she fought well and effectively, and as was skillfully handled by her commander, which even the adversaries admitted... the outcome was the result of the tactical/operational circumstances, way beyond the responsibility of the ship's commander, crew, or designers.

    But OF COURSE, poor stupid Germans were sailing blindly in the Artic, perhaps even bumping into each other... typical Juha stuff I am afraid. Poor, stupid Germans, always the same story from you, while you fail to answer ANY of the questions I made.

    1, Use of radar is already discussed. It gives away the ship's presence, therefore it was tactically not recommendable. If you do not understand this simply concept, widely accepted by everybody else, its your problem...
    2, The bashing of Scharnhorst for not being able to use the forward radar due to battle damage is most bizarre, but again, typical.
    3, The 'surprise fire attacks' story limps - it had nothing to do with radar alone (if it does, it would speak very poorly of the capabilities of Allied radar, given the short ranges at which firing was commenced), rather the fact that the RN had several ships in the area, some of which already made battle contact with the single German ship, and could report that to other British ships already in area.

    What technological flaws did German naval radar had? No answer...

    What alleged 'operational limits' the Seetakt series gunnery radar sets had ompared to the Allies was marked by that time? No answer either...

    Facts, specifications, serious sources please, IF we are to have a SERIOUS discussion on the subject, not the usual fruitless, dumb and predictable skewing of the facts by the usual Axis-bashing trio...
     
  9. red admiral

    red admiral Member

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    - Inability to spot large calibre shell splashes making blindfire impossible (tying into the poorer resolution)

    - Limited bearing accuracy, requiring the need for optical bearing measurements *

    - Limited range

    - Limited resolution

    - Lack of search function (the radar being tied to the director)

    German Naval Radar to 1945 by Erwin F. Sieche in Warship Vol 21 and Vol 22 provides a background and technical specs.

    It's easier to hit at short range. In the main action, Duke of York acquired Scharnhorst with search radar at 45,500yards, formed a solution with gunnery radar at 26000yds but allowed the range to close to 10,000yds before opening fire (and scoring two hits in the opening salvo).


    * Should be noted that optical measurements with the long baselength rangefinders in use were still better than those of centimetric sets
     
  10. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    #10 Juha, Nov 22, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
    I disagree, with better tactics Scharnhorst could have inflict much more damage, and even at least temporary disappear into Artic darkness.

    Quote:” Kept it away... how?”

    Simply using radar and positoned themselves between convoy and Scharnhorst and then surprisingly opening fire and hitting Sch’s foretop and knocking out its main radar. Why Sch. Retreat, a bit strange but probably tried to outflank the cruisers and then got to convoy, when in the second attempt it again ran onto the cruisers which, by using radar could again position themselves between Sch. and convoy, it is more difficult to explain why Scharnhorst didn’t fight it out but chose to withdraw. One reasonable explanation is that being much weaker force KM tried to minimize risks and Bey thought that maybe next time it would be easier to get to a convoy. especially if it is true that Germans thought that 8in splashes from Norfolk's shells were heavier stuff.

    Quote:” how heavy cruisers 'drove off' a battleship – laughable…”

    One CA and 2 CLs did that twice. Hard, isn’t it?

    Quote:” so his DDs receiving his attack signal could attack the defenceless convoy –“

    On the German DDs, the convoy has 10 DDs as close escort, 2 of which IIRC were old Ws but 3 were big Canadian Tribals which were match to big German Zs in gunnery duel,so nthe convoy wasn't defenceless and if one can draw conclusions on what had happened a year earlier, it seems that RN DDs were more aggressive than KM DDs.

    Quote:” Again typical and expected from this poster who's extremely biased. You simply do not respect the historical facts of this Battle.”

    Funny that you wrote that, remember the 100 Oct thread.

    Quote:” The Battle of North Cape was quite typical - a single KM capital vessel against some 14 British ships, which had good intel, still managing to wreck one badly, and almost succeeding in outmaneuvering them.. the odds were against Scharnhorst from the beginning, despite that she fought well and effectively…”

    You completely ignored the fact that RN units were widely dispersed, if Germans had bothered to use their radars and kept contact between Scharhorst and KM DDs Germans would probably have been able to do clearly more damage, remember that Belfast open fire at 09:14, DOY at 16:47 even if Sch had sailed since 1250 at high speed towards Norway, so Germans would have had some 8 hours to do something effective before DOY and its escort would have arrived. And as hard it seems to be for you Norfolk wasn’t wrecked badly it was perfectly capable follow Scharnhorst during its 30 kts retreat. But if you mean DD HMS Saumarez, yes it was badly hit, but if one had exchange rate one capital ship to one badly damaged DD and one moderately damaged CA I would say that things didn’t go very well.

    Quote:” But OF COURSE, poor stupid Germans were sailing blindly in the Artic, perhaps even bumping into each other... typical Juha stuff I am afraid. Poor, stupid Germans, always the same story from you, while you fail to answer ANY of the questions I made.”

    I would say that typical for you, I have gave to you numerous answers over the time, but not in this thread before now simply because you don’t have earlier ask anything from me in this thread.

    Quote:” 1, Use of radar is already discussed. It gives away the ship's presence, therefore it was tactically not recommendable. If you do not understand this simply concept, widely accepted by everybody else, its your problem...
    2, The bashing of Scharnhorst for not being able to use the forward radar due to battle damage is most bizarre, but again, typical.
    3, The 'surprise fire attacks' story limps - it had nothing to do with radar alone (if it does, it would speak very poorly of the capabilities of Allied radar, given the short ranges at which firing was commenced), rather the fact that the RN had several ships in the area, some of which already made battle contact with the single German ship, and could report that to other British ships already in area.”

    But without using radar Scharnhorst could even find the target but was seen by enemy, which was using radar, far away without Germans having a slightest idea what was happening. You seem to think that was bright tactic, I definitely don’t see it that way.
    2. I didn’t bash Sch I only stated a fact.
    3. simply, read more, please, a bit ridiculous.


    Some facts to you:
    Duke of York radar spotted Scharnhorst at 41.500 meters
    At 08:30, Norfolk radar got the Scharnhorst on bearing 280° at 30.500 meters, immediately after at 08:40 Belfast got Scharnhorst on radar too on 295° at 32.500 meters.
    At 12:10, H.M.S. Sheffield's radar spotted Scharnhorst coming back toward the convoy on bearing 079° at 24.500 meters on course 240°.

    Juha
     
  11. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    imho is not a large trouble that the 280/54 was not good versus de Hood decks at common battle range the 280/54 has a relative flat trajectory and belt carmour of Hodd can be defeated from 280/54 (can be is not same of are defeated, the 12' inch belt area need hit under 18 km, the other area can hit at all actually range)
     
  12. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello Vincenzo
    It is a bit more complicated because when range increases the horizontal area becomes more and more important, of course that happens slower in case of 28cm/54 because of its flatter trajectory. Also the strike angle onto deck is more or less given but by manoeuvring one could decrease the hit angle onto belt and so increase the effectiveness of the belt, why show the full broadside when one can use one’s full main armament also at 60deg target angle if one had thin belt.

    Juha
     
  13. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    For those who don’t know the armoured schemes of Scharnhorst and Hood, which armour layout wasn’t so different from that of Sch. in principle, see DonL’s message #617 in http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/ww2-general/best-world-war-two-warships-3592-42.html . As you see, to do really bad damage, shell must first penetrate the belt and then the armoured deck or its slope. Hood's belt was slightly inclined/sloped which increased its effectiveness a bit.

    Juha
     
  14. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    If memory serves, Lion took 17 hits from heavy( 11inch and 12 inch) guns at Jutland and was still operational. Hood' s armor was substantially heavier than Lion's. IMO Scharnhorst would have had to have been really lucky to survive an encounter with Hood. Graf Spee's 11 inchers did not even sink Exeter at the Plate.
     
  15. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    #15 DonL, Nov 24, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
    I have voted for Hood, because she has the best overall performance with her very good 15in Guns.

    The only chance for SH to win this battle is to engage the enemy more closely (I'm not Admiral Beatty but in this match it is deadly importent) as fast as possible.
    SH is in the same position as Hood at her fight against Bismarck because of the poor horizontal protection of SH and the 15"/42 Mark I are very good deck penetrators. So SH must close the range to between 15000m and 18000m to have optimal protection from her main Belt 350mm and the lower main deck 105mm and on the other hand could bring her guns in action with their best performance to punch main belts (15000m-335mm and 18000m.291mm). SH had a speed advantage of 2,5 -3 knots because Hood is only fit for 29-29,5 kn and SH could go 32-32,5 kn. So if SH could close the range under 18000m without serious damage it could be very interesting. Who hits first, fast and hard will be the winner.
    Under these circumstances the weak points of SH are her turrents and the weak points of hood is her main belt at specific points.

    At a long range fight SH will be dead after the first 3 serious hits from Hood because of her poor horizontal protection and the 11inch/54,5 are very very poor deck penetrators so Hood is passably save.

    Edit:
    Because the armour of Exeter was as thin as coke tins and the APC shells couldn't blow up only HE Shells and a mixed APC/HE shell could blow up.
     
  16. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    #16 Vincenzo, Nov 24, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
    Saw the Scharnhorst armour scheme: the main belt (350mm) is penetrated from Hood only under 15 km, but for real damage the projectile need pass almost also a 30 mm deck so need more near battle. the lower belt (170 mm) is penetrated to all range but need pass almost a 45 mm paratie and a 30 mm deck so need i think almost under 18 km hit. the 50 mm deck is penetrated over 16.5 km but under there is a 95 mm deck (or a 20 mm paratie and a 80 mm deck) so this not give possibility to hit internal.
    the 130 mm deck need hit over max actual hit in WW II. the high belt (45mm) and after this the 95 mm deck also need too long range hit for WW II. So i think the Scharnhorst has good protection versus Hood, this need to go almost a 18 km or less for has good chance of damage the Scharnhorst.
    If some has scheme for Hood i'm curious to see the other side

    rewriting for missinterpretation, i left the original comment THAT it's WRONG for real Scharnhorst
    he main belt (350mm) is penetrated from Hood only under 15 km, but for real damage the projectile need pass almost a 95 mm deck but this is impossible for the 15' of Hood. the lower belt (170 mm) is penetrated to all range but need pass almost a 45 mm paratie i think this is penetrated at WWII max range. the high belt (45mm) and after this the 95 mm deck also need too long range hit for WW II. the 50 mm deck is penetrated over 16.5 km but under there is a 95 mm deck (or a 20 mm paratie and a 80 mm deck) so this not give possibility to hit internal part.
    So for 15' of Hood the best it's hit the lower belt, in this case the range is not very important but need lucky hit. the other area show good protection vs 15' (this is reasonable saw that 15' was the more common gun in enemy BB), good is not for invincible
     
  17. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    Here the original armour sheme of Scharnhorst
     

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  18. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    You should also consider the Scharnhorst IF it had been upgraded as planned, with 3 x twin 15" turrets, compared to 3 x triple 11" as built. Otherwise the Hood will probably win hands down

    Huh? Rare in the Pacific, but lots in the ETO/MTO.

    1.) Bismarck ( P Eugen) vs Hood PoW
    2.) Bismarck vs Rodney KGV
    3.) Renown VS Scharnhorst Gneisnow (Norway 1940)
    4.) Duke of York vs Scharnhorst (Norway)
    5.) Battle of Calabria
    6.) Battle of Cape Matapan
    7.) Battle of Cape Spartivento
    8.) Richelieu ( coastal batteries) vs Resolution Barham (Dakar 1940)
    9.) British attack on Mers-el-Kebir

    And why would Sharnhorst be better at this than Hood? :confused:
     
  19. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello Vincenzo
    The Battle off North Cape showed that even 14in shells, which had a bit less penetration power against decks than 15in, could from long range damage Sch. so badly that loss of speed was result, saying nothing on knocking out main artillery turrets.

    Juha
     
  20. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    i've used the two schemes posted from you in other thread
     
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