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Fun fact about Yamato's 18.1 inch main gun turrets!

TheRealCelene

Goddess of Foot Rubs and Confectionery
Banned
Taken from a lovely youtube video.
A very well done animation, the loading mechanism to me is absolutely ingenious. It is all mechanized, there is human action needed to load the powder bags into the Powder hoist however thats pretty standard.

I always wondered how the Japanese were able to get 2 rounds a minute with these guns, now I know. Compared to the Americans Iowa Class, the guys have to manually get the 2,700lbs shell into the hoist, with Yamato they have a completely mechanized system.

Same goes for putting powder bags into the breach, with 16" Mk. 7 the powder bag hoist has two shelves facilitating the need for the bags from the first selve to be placed in the correct order of one towards the front and two to the back and space in the middle for the other three bags once they have drop from the hoist onto the loading tray.

The bags are hundred pounds apiece, this would cause the men to get tired out. To speed things, the first three bags of powder would be ramed into the breach, then it would retract the ram drop the other three bags and ram them home. However with an unexperienced ram operator doing this practice could cause over ramming, in which the bags are pushed to far into the breach causing one of two things. Either a misfire because the bags are too far away from the back of the breech-block for the primer to ignite them, in the case of both Missouri and Iowa premature smoldering of the powder from the friction and pressure of being ram so hard. Iowa's was unfortunate they couldn't close the breach in time cause the death of 47 men, Missouri got lucky, they were barely able to close the breach in time during the Vietnam war.

During the rest of the tour of Missouri during the Vietnam war the captain band this practice. With Yamato they just simply unload all the bags on the tray and ram them home automatically by the seams of it. I must say the Japanese did know what they were doing when engineering these turrets and guns.
In a nutshell, the Yamato's guns were very automated and relied on minimal human physical work!

The only mounts on a battleship to reach this level of mechanisation was the Vanguard, with heavily modified 15 inch guns dating from WW1.

Not only did this speed up reloading, it meant that the load time was consistent, as the crew would not tire out unlike American crews which had to physically lift many large objects to load the gun.

This also improved safety, less mistakes could occur with the fragile powder bags, and the breech would not be open for as long!
 
C

Celene

Guest
yes, I was quite suprised to find this video XD it has so much info within!
 

Lerticus

Senile Old Coot
That automation only begins to make up for the wastefulness in other areas.
"No discussion of the terran battlecruiser is complete without mention of the legendary Yamato cannon, a devastating plasma weapon with enough firepower to decimate cities. Mounted on the ship's prow, the big gun draws its intense power from the ship's power core, and then uses an intense magnetic field to focus a controlled nuclear explosion into a cohesive beam of energy. The cannon is so massive that it requires its own conversion generator and a dedicated fire-control station manned by nearly 100 gunnery specialists."
- Dominion Marine Corps Combat Handbook: Infantry Edition
 

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Author
Actually, the US would outdo the Japanese in this regard with automatic 3", 6", and 8" naval rifles, which also had very minimal human intervention. The partial reason that the Iowas didn't have such manpower saving measures is because the guns (16" 50cal) had to go through a rework because NavOrdBoard (the department whose job was to develop weapons for the USN) was a fucking mess between the wars and was semi-regularly not talking the department of the USN that was tasked to designing and building the ships. The Iowas were originally made with a heavier 16" 50cal naval rifle in mind... but NavOrdBoard sort of screwed that up...

Then came the development of Super Heavy AP rounds, which basically forced the navy to create a whole new rifle (which would evolve into the Mk 7 for battleships) for practically every incapable gun. 😲 Oh, and these new rounds solidly ended the entire 'armor vs gun' race in it's entirety as at practically every conceivable combat range these rounds would make a mockery of USN armor (which was some of the best on the planet because the type of steel used was extortionately expensive everywhere else).
 

TheRealCelene

Goddess of Foot Rubs and Confectionery
Banned
Actually, the US would outdo the Japanese in this regard with automatic 3", 6", and 8" naval rifles, which also had very minimal human intervention. The partial reason that the Iowas didn't have such manpower saving measures is because the guns (16" 50cal) had to go through a rework because NavOrdBoard (the department whose job was to develop weapons for the USN) was a fucking mess between the wars and was semi-regularly not talking the department of the USN that was tasked to designing and building the ships. The Iowas were originally made with a heavier 16" 50cal naval rifle in mind... but NavOrdBoard sort of screwed that up...
I'll take AUTOMATIC 18.1 inch guns over 3inch guns when it comes to impressiveness.

Literally only the 15 inch guns on the Vanguard, the last battleship ever made, was comparable.

Iowa never had any plans for such automation, neither did the montana, sodak, or the contemporary of the Yamato, the North Carolina.

Then came the development of Super Heavy AP rounds, which basically forced the navy to create a whole new rifle (which would evolve into the Mk 7 for battleships) for practically every incapable gun. 😲 Oh, and these new rounds solidly ended the entire 'armor vs gun' race in it's entirety as at practically every conceivable combat range these rounds would make a mockery of USN armor (which was some of the best on the planet because the type of steel used was extortionately expensive everywhere else).
Superheavy shells did not make armor useless, Yamato still had an immune zone, and were still weaker than Yamato's guns.
 
C

Celene

Guest
Actually, the US would outdo the Japanese in this regard with automatic 3", 6", and 8" naval rifles, which also had very minimal human intervention. The partial reason that the Iowas didn't have such manpower saving measures is because the guns (16" 50cal) had to go through a rework because NavOrdBoard (the department whose job was to develop weapons for the USN) was a fucking mess between the wars and was semi-regularly not talking the department of the USN that was tasked to designing and building the ships. The Iowas were originally made with a heavier 16" 50cal naval rifle in mind... but NavOrdBoard sort of screwed that up...

Then came the development of Super Heavy AP rounds, which basically forced the navy to create a whole new rifle (which would evolve into the Mk 7 for battleships) for practically every incapable gun. 😲 Oh, and these new rounds solidly ended the entire 'armor vs gun' race in it's entirety as at practically every conceivable combat range these rounds would make a mockery of USN armor (which was some of the best on the planet because the type of steel used was extortionately expensive everywhere else).
America built sub 8 inch main battleship turrets :unsure:
 

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Author
Superheavy shells did not make armor useless, Yamato still had an immune zone, and were still weaker than Yamato's guns.
This has to be dismissed, the 16" SHAP shell had better penetration characteristics than a 18.1" shell at all ranges outside of basically point blank (in naval terms) and extreme (as in 'over the horizon') range. Add to the fact that US naval armor was actually pretty amazing for the time period...
America built sub 8 inch main battleship turrets :unsure:
8" guns were for heavy cruisers, 6" for light cruisers, and 3" for 'fuck that aircraft' when the USN decided that 40mm wasn't enough. The 3"/55cal gun would be commonplace in most late/post-war warships and would be developed into the (somewhat problematic) 3"/70cal gun. The 6" automatics were eventually retired for the automatic OTO 5" guns... and the 8" automatics were once proposed to replace the 5" automatics but failed when ramjet rounds were developed... The Yamatos were basically two-offs, and the USN managed to basically make mass produced automatics for pretty much everything under the sun.
 

TheRealCelene

Goddess of Foot Rubs and Confectionery
Banned
This has to be dismissed, the 16" SHAP shell had better penetration characteristics than a 18.1" shell at all ranges outside of basically point blank (in naval terms) and extreme (as in 'over the horizon') range. Add to the fact that US naval armor was actually pretty amazing for the time period...
Prove it.


Against US plates

At 10km...

18.1 inch= 27.4
16 inch superheavy= 25.5

20km.

18.1 inch= 20.5
16 inch superheavy= 19.1

30km,

18.1 inch= 15.1
16 inch superheavy= 14.8

Etc.
 

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Author
Prove it.


Against US plates

At 10km...

18.1 inch= 27.4
16 inch superheavy= 25.5

20km.

18.1 inch= 20.5
16 inch superheavy= 19.1

30km,

18.1 inch= 15.1
16 inch superheavy= 14.8

Etc.
I'll have to check, but last I've checked, the 16" SH had more penetration than what has been stated.
 

TheRealCelene

Goddess of Foot Rubs and Confectionery
Banned
I'll have to check, but last I've checked, the 16" SH had more penetration than what has been stated.
The 18.1 inch gun had 40% more muzzle energy than the 16 inch guns of the US. The Japanese shells were inefficient for their size due to the diving shells (which had advantages over normal shells), and the US shells were very well made, but size matters.
 
C

Celene

Guest
8" guns were for heavy cruisers, 6" for light cruisers, and 3" for 'fuck that aircraft' when the USN decided that 40mm wasn't enough. The 3"/55cal gun would be commonplace in most late/post-war warships and would be developed into the (somewhat problematic) 3"/70cal gun. The 6" automatics were eventually retired for the automatic OTO 5" guns... and the 8" automatics were once proposed to replace the 5" automatics but failed when ramjet rounds were developed... The Yamatos were basically two-offs, and the USN managed to basically make mass produced automatics for pretty much everything under the sun.
Well, that's certainly interesting but doesn't mean there isn't room for appreciation of the unique.
 

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Author
The 18.1 inch gun had 40% more muzzle energy than the 16 inch guns of the US. The Japanese shells were inefficient for their size due to the diving shells (which had advantages over normal shells), and the US shells were very well made, but size matters.
The thing is that USN naval rifles had (compared to the rest of the world) incredibly long barrel lives, due to this USN shells gained a reputation as the best because the USN had no other alternative.

I'm still looking for the sources though (damn SB search function not working if you're not a member) [mumbles about how much stuff to go through to find what he wants].
 

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