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HMS Vanguard?

Discussion in 'Surface and Air Forces' started by KaiserWilhelm, Apr 11, 2008.

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  1. Kevin Kenneally

    Kevin Kenneally Member

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    I believe the Vanguard would have been equal to the German BBs, but the British experience of firing large caliber weapons from moving vessels would give them the advantage over the French.
     
  2. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    US naval vessels of the period were better equipped jammer wise. Cruisers and larger all carried a range of various radar and electronics jamming equipment along with an extensive ESM suite. In the British case this was hit and miss depending on the ship and its location.
    While the Vanguard was an improvement on the KGV she still had some of that class' weaknesses, particularly the torpedo defense system.
    Aganist the Bismarck or Tirpitz Vanguard would have faired pretty well even with the outdated main battery she carried. Against the French Richelieu class this would have been a tougher call, particularly after being refitted in the US as they were.
     
  3. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    Are you certain about that?
     
  4. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Yes. Most US ships, including destroyers, destroyer escorts, and submarines had both ESM and in some cases ECM suites aboard by late 1944. These include:

    ESM:
    AS-56/SPR-1
    AS-57/SPR-1
    SPR-2
    SPR-3
    SPR-4
    DAQ
    DBM
    DBU
    AS-45/APR-6
    BLR-1

    ECM
    SPT-1
    SPT-2
    SPT-3
    SPT-4
    SPT-5
    SPT-6
    SPT-7
    TDY
    SLT-1
    SPQ-1

    Typically, a larger US ship would have several of the ECM sets aboard to cover a range of frequencies expected to be encountered. The antennas are typically on one or both masts and relatively small.
    In addition, one or more jammers (TDY was prefered) would be installed. These were usually deck edge or on small outriggers near the deck clear of the side of the ship to allow better performance. Some might be mast mounted with dual antennas pointing one to each side.
    The exact suite would vary depending on where the ship was deployed and the expected opposition. For instance, the jammers in Europe would be chosen to jam German radar and also to jam guided weapons transmissions. In the Pacific the jammers were chosen to cover Japanese radar frequencies.
    ESM sets were more common and widespread than jammers. Usually only larger ships or those specifically in high risk areas for things like German guided bomb attacks got jammers.
    Most submarines also had an ESM suite to extend their detection range and allow them adequite time to submerge or, analyze signals to determine if they had been detected and if not, avoid detection.
     
  5. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    What about the British equipment?
     
  6. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

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    There was always something I loved about the Iowa's being in service when Reagan was president. One of their greatest advantages in modern warfare, is that there wasn't much short of a nuke to take one out, considering what they were designed to take originally.

    The beauty of a 16" shell, is that you can't shoot it down, spoof it, jam it, or hold it as a POW. You can only hope you are entirely somewhere else when it lands.
     
  7. yellowtail3

    yellowtail3 Member

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    Others have said it well enough, but I'll pile in: Vanguard was comparable to the wartime ships. Not substantially better, except that she benefited from things developed/perfected during the war - better radars & FC. Between Vanguard & Bismarck? Leaving aside one was sunk as the other was a gleam in someone's eye, not a great deal of diff. Her guns were good enough, and comparable to Bismarck's. To see substantially better guns, you've gotta go the USN's 16"/45 and 16"/50s.
     
  8. Desb3rd

    Desb3rd Member

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    ???
    Guns are fine - 17B shells give performance not a long way shy of the 380/52 & while the theoretical performance of the French 380/45 & Italian 380/50 may be a theoretical step up I wouldn't count on either to make the first hit...

    TDS is also fine. It's a deeper version of KGV, but with the (heavier) bulkhead extended way above LWL. POW took 7 torpedoes to sink & it would appear that the bulk of (& critical) flooding was caused by the flailing prop shaft, no breaching of the bulkhead is apparent. Even if such a breach occurs the inboard compartments are small, sacrificial & can be isolated. Vanguard's system is robust, conventional & tested; probably a match for Bis. & NC, not quite as good as Richelieu but better than the internally belted US BBs.
     
  9. francophi

    francophi recruit

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    Too bad the Brits didn't keep the Warspite as a memorial...I saw her wreck in 1953....unfortunately I was 2 at the time.
     
  10. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

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    Agreed. Or at least one of the KGV's and an Illustrious class carrier.
     
  11. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    At least the WW2 incarnation of HMS Vanguard had a better service life and end to it's career than it's Great War compatriot.

    On the night of 9 July, 1917, watchkeepers on other ships in Scapa Flow saw a great tongue of flame leap up from "Vanguard's" upper deck. Moments later, a thunderclap of an explosion awoke the sleeping fleet. It was followed instantly by another. A dense cloud of fiery smoke welled up, obscuring "Vangaurd" from all eyes. When the smoke had drifted away, HMS 'Vanguard' of 19,250 tons was gone....

    A terrible tragedy that was hushed up by wartime censorship. 'Vanguard' had 800 crew members aboard....only two of them survived. No cause was ever established, and the only question asked in Parliment went un-answered. Rumours flew of sabotage, links were established and found to be dead ends with other explosions of the Grand Fleet during the Great War, (HMS 'Bulwark' and HMS 'Princess Irene').
     
  12. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    A bit off topic, but I live near Houston TX, and had the pleasure of seeing the USS Texas. At 6'2" and somewhat portly, all I can say is she was NOT designed for comfort.
     
  13. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    I think a follow up is in order, as my original post may have seemed flippant. I first visited the Texas in the summer of 1980. Sorry to say that she was in bad shape then after years of inadequate tlc. So bad in fact that corrosion below the water line had lead to some compartments being flooded. There were some fears that during a hurricane she might sink at her moorings.

    I can recall the debate about what to do. Some wanted to drain the mooring, then fill with dirt, and plant the Texas like a flower! Fortunatly wiser minds prevailed, and she was towed to a dry dock for extensive repairs.

    Texas was in drydock for about 2 years, if my memory is correct, and when she was returned to her mooring she looked great. I had a chance to go back about 6 years ago, and much had changed.

    You approach Texas from the starboard bow with a earthen berm all around the ship which at first looks like she is planted in the ground. Once you climb up the berm (via stairway ) you now see she is moored with a gangway to the berm. The berm allows you to walk up and down the length of the ship.

    Of the 8 Battleships on display in the US, Texas is the smallest and oldest. Still you feel rather small standing next to her. She is displayed much as she looked on June 6th, 1944 at Normandy, with the WWII moderizations, still you see the lines of WWI "Dreadnought" class battleship.

    On Deck every thing seems massive especially the 14'' gun turrets. Once in side the ship you begin to feel cramped. The enclosed 5' gun deck feels like a cave with a low ceiling. and apperntly some of the crew bunked there sleeping in hammocks between the gun mounts. No doubt in fine militay tradition thier battle station was either near the keel or the bow and stern!

    You hear in the popular media ( TV, Movies, Books ) about "knee nockers". What they rarely mention is the "skull nockers". Pipes and conduit seem to run everywhere. That plus the watertight doors means that someone like me ( 6'2'' ) move around in a semi crouch most of the time.

    The layout internally is dominated by the armored cylinders leading from the turrets above and the magazine below. I can recall one between deck stairway ( more like a ladder really ) ending rather awkwardly next to one of the aft turret cylinders. In fact if you came down too quickly you would likely run face first into the cylinder!

    Every available space was used for crew birthing. I can recall an area near the evaporators ( for making desalinized water ) where a dozen or so bunks were set up. As the evaporaters generated a lot of noise and heat ( or so a sign post stated ) I imagine that these were not ideal places to sleep.

    Finally a word about the "head" or enlisted bathrooms. At the aft end of the ship they had one on display. The hull of the ship curve inward to the very end of the ship. Along the sides was a trough with two wooden boards above it. about every 2 feet a halfmoon cut was made in each board giving you a semi-round hole. That was for solid waste. Sea water would be pumped down the trough ( hopefully ) to "flush" the toilet. Inboard of the toilet were urinal troughs like you used to see in older buildings. I suspect the 1st spot near the hatch would be prefered as otherwise everyone else's "business" would have to pass beneath you!
     
  14. freebird

    freebird Member

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    Criminal in fact. :mad:
    And they (we) have lost the chance with Vengance, Venerable & Majestic, the only one left is the ex- "Hercules", perhaps India might sell her back? :confused:
     
  15. JiminRnow

    JiminRnow recruit

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    I was lucky enough to have gone on Navy Day Harbor Cruises on the Original Enterprise in the early 50's. I've seen the Missouri memorial, and both seen and heard either the Iowa or New Jersey (?) in combat and actually felt their 16" projectiles hurtling somewhere overhead.

    As to the last two I could be wrong. I'm not really sure which of the four class ships were on station Ca 1968-69. I'm no expert just a semi retired "buff".
     
  16. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    That would be the USS New Jersey.

    The USS Missouri was in "mothballs" in Bremerton, Washington, and the USS Iowa and USS Wisconsin were mothballed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
     
  17. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    A follow up on U.S.S. Texas. Time and tide have left there mark again. She is taking on water again, so it looks like they will drain the berth and then fill with dirt. Sad to see, but likely the only cost effective way to preserve the ship.
     
  18. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Too bad. I've always wanted to see this ship, but I guess I'll have to settle for seeing it in a "sandbox". Do you have a link to where you read this? I wouldn't mind reading it. Thanks.
     
  19. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    I saw this on a local TV news segment, so I don't have a link.
     
  20. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

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    of the battleships actually combat worthy the USN Iowa class came closest to the Vanguard. I'll leave the nuances for others to debate.

    But, there very nearly was a fifth of that class that would have qualified as a 'post war' BB. The hull number BB66 was never formally christened "Kentucky" tho it is commonly refered to by that name. It was also twice floated off the construction site, & in the late 1940s was considered 71% complete. Post war it was ordered for the hull to be reconfigured for guided missile installation in place of the uninstalled rear turret. much of the work for this was done before the ship was finally scrapped for parts. Once the hull was cannabalized for the bow to repair the Wisconson in 1956. In 1958 the hull was stricken from the USN list, sold for scrap & the engines set aside for two of the Sacramento-class fast combat support ships.

    The Kentucky featured many evolutionary changes from its predecessors of the Iowa class. That & its late scheduled launch would have made it a much closer contemporary of the Vanguard.
     

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