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Pre-dreadnought armor


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#1 DAVID THORNLEY

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 09:17 PM

In the data sheets, all the pre-dreadnoughts are given armor of B*, which is equivalent to BD. The armor of pre-dreadnoughts varied widely. Of the ships listed for the British, I'd figure Lord Nelson as having BB armor, the Wobbly Eight as having BC, and Canopus as having CA armor. All of them, of course, should be in the B*/CA damage column, based on size and design.Was the B* armor assignment meant for simplicity (in which case differentiating it as above would be a reasonable house rule), or was there a specific design reason?

#2 Stuart Machin

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 09:13 PM

What makes things more complicated is that a) Certain pre-dreadnoughts (and I know that this list includes the Lord Nelson class), actually had dreadnought/battlecruiser quality subdivision (including reduced bulkhead penetrations) which assuming one of these ships was hit by an undex would have a lot less effect.b) The armour thickness grading rules for both WW1 and WW2 presume Krupp style armour. First of all you have the debate between the relative effectiveness of cemented and non-cemented Krupp armour (unles you assume that anything CA or less is NC as this was for example the cut off point in RN ship design) (and of course the evidence from testing that 1930s+ RN and KM armour was more effective than the old technology stuff used by the IJN, USN, MN and RM), then you are into Harvey Nickel and compound armour.Solution? Agree (with evidence to back up your claim!) with your group to use ship specific armour grades for your pre-dreads, or submit them as a proposed rule change! For my two pennyworth, I would usually be happy to quote DK Brown's books on this. "Warrior to Dreadnought" page 202 suggest that Harvey Nickel and Copmpound armour are 0.61 and 0.55 the effectiveness of WW1 era Krupp Cemented and "Nelson to Vanguard" page 29 states that post WW2 testing shows that RN & KM Krupp cemented armour is 25% more effective than old technology armour and page 30 suggests new tech non-cemented was 14% better.

#3 DAVID THORNLEY

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 05:43 AM

I was using some Jane's Fighting Ships for armor ratings. These relied on contemporary information, which was not always correct, but Jane's at the time was obsessed with armor and gun penetration, and is probably better than what I'm going to do nowadays with some measurements and conversion factors.I could go through some of these, and provide a table of alternative armor values for older ships.The other question is when to count these as B* for damage purposes. It wasn't as if compartmentalization etc. improved with a quantum leap with Dreadnought, South Carolina, or Settsu. However, I don't have anything resembling good data on that.

#4 DAVID THORNLEY

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 06:29 AM

I was using some Jane's Fighting Ships for armor ratings. These relied on contemporary information, which was not always correct, but Jane's at the time was obsessed with armor and gun penetration, and is probably better than what I'm going to do nowadays with some measurements and conversion factors.I could go through some of these, and provide a table of alternative armor values for older ships.The other question is when to count these as B* for damage purposes. It wasn't as if compartmentalization etc. improved with a quantum leap with Dreadnought, South Carolina, or Settsu. However, I don't have anything resembling good data on that.

#5 Cpt M

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 07:33 AM

In the data sheets, all the pre-dreadnoughts are given armor of B*, which is equivalent to BD. The armor of pre-dreadnoughts varied widely. Of the ships listed for the British, I'd figure Lord Nelson as having BB armor, the Wobbly Eight as having BC, and Canopus as having CA armor. All of them, of course, should be in the B*/CA damage column, _base_d on size and design.Was the B* armor assignment meant for simplicity (in which case differentiating it as above would be a reasonable house rule), or was there a specific design reason?

The decision to classifiy the pre-dreads as B* was based on making a definitive break between the older pre-dread designs and the later dreadnought designs, especially in regards to sub division and overall resistance to damage. That being said, in the gray area of the late pre-dread designs (such as Lord Nelson), there may be some grounds for using a 'dual' armor class as you mention (BB for penetration, B* for damage).

The other question is when to count these as B* for damage purposes. It wasn't as if compartmentalization etc. improved with a quantum leap with Dreadnought, South Carolina, or Settsu. However, I don't have anything resembling good data on that.

Unfortunately, as you pointed out, where and how to draw the line is the real problem. Good design data for these early ships is almost impossible to find. Given the lack of good data to the contrary, I would tend to the conservative in making that judgement.

#6 Lonnie Gill

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 06:36 AM

Coastal is quite right; the use of "B*" armor classification for the profuse variety of protection for the armored cruisres and pre-dreadnoughts still active by WWI is my attempt to both simplify a very complex area and distinguish them from the more modern dreadnought designs. Armor thickness, effectiveness and placement along with compartmentalism and more survivable designs make the modern designs significantly different from the earlier generation of warships. While there were endless variations of armor, etc. among the pre-dreadnoughts, most would have only been of limited effectiveness against the modern 11"+ and 12"+ naval guns carried by the dreadnought designs. Accordingly, they were considered marginal combat systems from the context of WWI naval employment ,which is the focus of Fleet Action Imminent.That said, there's an opportunity to add further distinctions for those who want to focus on the earlier pre-dreadnought era. It would indeed be interesting to see someone do a breakdown of the pre-dreadnought armor levels for those who want more detail on these older ships. In addition to D. K. Brown's fine books, I would recommend that anyone tackling this should spend some time reading Nathan Okun's landmark analyses on naval armor. These are available via several websites. Try the www.navweaps.com and www.combinedfleet.com websites. Both have great material on many topics as well as links to Nathan's work. But, fashion your seatbelt; these are not simple overviews. Nathan provides multi-page, technical analysis on such subjects as the evolving metalurgy of 19th and 20th Century naval armor, formulae developed for comparison and his conclusions on effectiveness. Quite a voyage, but Nathan's many years of detailed research will provide you the tools needed to prepare pre-dreadnought armor classifications.LONNIE




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