Ship defenses.

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by starling, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. starling

    starling Member

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    Hey guys,Does anyone know which ship of any navy,shot down the most aircraft with its guns,Starling.
     
  2. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    SOuth Dakota claimed 26 during the battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. It probably only actually got about half that number but its still pretty high. Enterprise has got to be in the running, I would think.
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I doubt it was an aircraft carrier, battleship or heavy cruiser as they spent so little time in contact with the enemy. Something like this is more likely.

    Schwimmende Flakbatterie Undine
    Ariadne History
    undine.gif
     
  4. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Dictionary Of American naval Fighting Ships (DANFS) gives details on AA claims for the major warships. I think the South Dakota holds the record, but will stand corrected.

    Tirpitz I believe shot down 13 a/c over a two year period, but would like to hear what others have to say.

    British AA suffered from a poor choice of Direction but was still quite lethal. The importance of flak at sea, like everywhere, however, is not so much the numbers of a/c shot down, as the ability to throw attackers off aim, or force attackers to abort their attack or drop ordinance early. A rough rule of thumb is that for every aircraft shot down, there are at least two that have had their attacks spoiled by the flak being fired at them.
     
  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Leaving aside purpose built AA vessels....

    KM Scharnhorst and KM Gneisenau spent most of their service life providing British aircraft with target practise. I wouldn't be surprised if total British aircraft sorties vs these two ships numbered over 1,000.

    Target practise cuts both ways. Their AA gunners had to be among the best in the world and these German dreadnoughts had plenty of radar directed Flak. The 10.5cm/65 twin mount was especially effective and each Scharnhorst class dreadnought had seven. They must have shot down quite a few aircraft over the course of the war.
     
  6. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    probably an unknown German Flak Ship in north sea
     
  7. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    There were a number of flak barges in the thames I womder what results they achieved .
     
  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Currently reading 'Condor - Scourge of the Atlantic'. Although small in comparison to the actions by other ships, the Merchant vessels attacked by the FW200 put up a good showing, shooting down or damaging a fair few, some to crash on return to Bordeaux. Some of these 'kills' were even achieved with ancient Hotchkiss machine guns, or stripped Lewis machine guns.
     
  9. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    I doubt that
    VVS KBF did a short work on Niobe losing only one A-20G at Kotka harbour.

    Juha
     
  10. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    The best RN AA cruiser, the old coverted HMS Carliste was credited 11, the best modern Dido class ship got only 5, of the normal RN cruisers the best was HMS Penelope - 7, the best of aux. AA ships was Alynbank - 6.

    Juha
     
  11. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Probably effective when the Luftwaffe appeared over London. However that didn't happen often. Luftwaffe sorties over London were probably less then 10% of RAF sorties over Berlin.

    The key to getting lots of kills are skill, plenty of targets and luck to survive. Look at the scores racked up by German fighter pilots such as Gunther Rall when faced with hordes of enemy aircraft. Some German flak gunners (both naval and on land) must have racked up equally impressive scores as they were bombed almost continually from September 1939 to May 1945.
     
  12. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    I would agree that the numbers of sorties flown by the luftwaffe were much less than those flown by the RAF over Germany. However its a question of efficiency. German flak efficiency fell away markedly in the later stages of the war. According to Westermann, the most efficient year for the German flak arm was 1942. Against BC targets the average flak expenditure was 4000 shells per kill. By 1944, this figure had blown out to 16000 shells per kill, due to a number of issues, morst notably the falling crew proficiency (many of the experienced giunners were drafted into the frontlines and replaced by part timers).

    By comparison, Allied AA started off really poorly, but improved over time. In 1940, British AA is estimated to have shot down about 400 German a/c for the entire year. More than 1000 Axis A?C were shot down in 1941, and more still in 1942 (I forget the number). By wars end a USN study concluded that with VT fuses the average ammunition expentiure per kill was about 5-600 rounds per kill. By then Allied AA was positively deadly. So, even thouggh there were less opportunities, you are wrong to suppose that proficiency improved continuously throughout the war for the Germans , and fail to take into account the enormous advantages the allies gained as the war progressed
     
  13. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe that.

    Germany had radar directed flak and searchlights during 1940 but that wasn't the end of development. Improved radar and flak fire control systems were introduced over the course of the war.
     
  14. starling

    starling Member

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    Hey guys,I was reading an article on wiki a while back,it concerned the British operational analysis team,they were part of the army I believe.Part of it was about their part in A-A in Britain,something about 'how many shells were req'd etc.,I can't remember what their conclusions were,can you guys enlighten me about this group of people please.im sorry its a bit off thread.Did other nations use their teqnique's too.? Starling.
     
  15. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    #15 ccheese, Jul 7, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2012
    The U.S.S. HUGH W. HADLEY (DD774) is officially credited with shooting down twenty-three Japanese planes in a single engagement, while on Radar Picket Duty. While on Radar Picket Station Number Fifteen, off Okinawa, Nansei Shoto, 11 May 1945. Her after action report can be found here:

    http://www.usshadley.com/CombatReportA.htm

    BTW... it all happened in one hour and thirty-five minutes of continuous combat !!!

    Charles
     
  16. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Wow...:shock: 95 minutes of hell....
     
  17. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Westermann has a 15 page bibligraphy that inlcudes primary german records

    in his concluding chapter westermann does make some intersting observations as to why performance had degraded so badly....."an often quoted statistic is that in 1944 there was an average expenditure of 16000 heavy shells (75mm or higher) per kill. at a cost of approximately 80RM per shell, thats 1.3 mlion RM per kill. But this fails to take into account attritional cost (such as barrle explosioons whichaverged 380 per month) and labour downtime. whilst technically accurate this figure fails to take into account the much higher levels of efficiency of earlier years. In 1942 the average expenditure was 4000 heavy rounds per kill, and the average barrel failures 46 per month.

    The total of 16000 rounds per kill in 1944 is biased by a number of factors. first, the overwhelming majority of flak guns were 88mm model 36/37. the guns had an effctive ceiling of 26K, in excess of the avergae B-24 ceiling, but well below the maximum efective ceiling of the b-17. the overwhelming use of the b-17 over germany in 1944 meant that most of the LW flak batteries were stretched or beyondthe limits of their effective ceilings. second, many batteries were forced to continue using guns well past their barrel replacement stage, which reduced effective ceilings greatly, and greatly increased the rate of barrel failures (earlier in the book Westermann cites a LW report that details the effective ceiling of many 88mm batteries by 1944 was less than 21K). It also decreased firing accuracy to a significant extent. further the proficiency of the crews had decrease, rather than increased. in 1942, the flak arm was a fully professional force, manned by full time, fully trained professional soldiers. by 1944 262 batterieswere manned by erstaz 9home guard) crews. this represented well over 505 of the force structure. these crews were not adequately trained and lacked the experience of the fully professional crews. These batteries also lacked the sophisiticated fire control and radar direction of the professionally manned batteries 9my note; Westermnn earlier details the orders given in 1944 to use battery fire against the bombers by the ersatz crews). As a matter of necessity, these batteries were ordered to use battery fire rather than attempt to use directed fire, with consequent losses in accuracy.

    Another factor was the effective use of various allied countermeasures, that greatly reduced the accuracy and effectiveness of many german flak batteries....."


    Where good crews, modern equipment and proper fire control and directors were available, german flak efficiency remained high. 128mm guns (all fully manned by professional crews), averaged less than 3000 rpk....the performance of the 128mm gun crews demonstrates the results that could have been obtained with well trained crews and modern equipment that was not worn out. unfortunately for the LW, there were only 31 two barrelled 128mm guns and a further 525 single barrelled guns, approximately 5% of the toal flak park...."
     
  18. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Aircraft losses in Europe.
    Army Air Forces in World War II
    1943.
    .....877 Enemy aircraft.
    .....252 AA fire.
    .....132 Other causes.
    1,261 total.

    1944.
    .....2,902 Enemy aircaft.
    .....3,501 AA fire.
    .....1,346 Other causes.
    7,749 total.

    1945 (Jan to May).
    .....446 Enemy aircraft.
    .....1,627 AA fire.
    .....549 Other causes.
    2,622 total.

    It's readily apparent that German fighter aircraft became less effective but German flak was good and getting better right up to May 1945.
     
  19. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    Hey Dave.... those are interesting statistics, but what does it have to do with "Ship Defenses", which was the subject of this thread ?

    Charles
     
  20. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    The German Navy used similiar AA technology but they were normally a year or two behind the Luftwaffe in adopting new equipment.

    The LM44U (twin 30mm) flak mount developed for the Type XXI submarine is the exception to the rule. It was very advanced for WWII. The Heer made plans for a modified version which would fit on a light tank chassis.

    220px-U3008-Flak.jpg
     
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