Model Boat Mayhem

Mess Deck: General Section => Full Scale Ships => Topic started by: Colin Bishop on February 26, 2020, 12:41:19 PM

Title: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: Colin Bishop on February 26, 2020, 12:41:19 PM
Seen on aother Forum. You can only shudder at the effect those splinters would have had on the ship's crew.

A few RN ships were built of teak in India and the crews apparently hated them because a teak splinter wound almost always turned septic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xxh6nxM2wkI&feature=youtu.be

Colin
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: TheLongBuild on February 26, 2020, 01:13:31 PM
Watched Hornblower the other day, showed a similar scene after a hit lots of injured or dead gunners.
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: Geoff on February 26, 2020, 01:27:30 PM
Interesting but we should also note that a lot of cannon balls would not penetrate. Ships beams and planking were often several feet thick so the lighter balls would not get through. A problem was of course if they went through a gun port and hit a cannon and iron splinters were created and the balls bounced around.


If I recall (from my reading - I'm not that old!) at Trafalgar one of Victory's cannonades went through the stern windows of a French ship and killed and injured 200 individuals when it detonated!!


Nasty stuff !!


Geoff
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: Geoff on February 26, 2020, 01:36:13 PM
As another aside, anybody read about the "black ship"? This was an English frigate that mutinied during the days of Napoleon and sailed into a Spanish port.


Many enterprising sea captains looked to try to cut her out but gave up as she was against a harbor wall and under the guns of a fortress. One English frigate captain had a go at night with 80% of his crew in boats. They were spotted and engaged by grapeshot and musket fire. They boarded at the bow and were beaten off, boarded at the stern and were beaten off but eventually gained a foothold and fought the Spanish below decks in hand to hand fighting and succeeded in taking the ship out of the port under fire from the fort.


The shock was next day as what they didn't know was the day before the ship had embarked 300 Spanish troops. As the fight was protracted over several hours they estimated that no more than 50 English seamen and marines were on board at any one time. There were 200 Spanish dead and only wounded English sailors!!


If I remember rightly the English captain in his report said he had only been lightly knocked about (Hit with a cudgel, a cutlass wound to his leg and arm) and other minor contusions!


This was all actually true as well


Makes Hornblower pain in comparison!


Geoff
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: Klunk on February 26, 2020, 03:45:59 PM
i would have been interested to see a comparison of this against the yorker shot that nelson used.

Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: Colin Bishop on February 26, 2020, 04:23:24 PM
Yorker shot? Not heard of that. What was it?

Colin
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: terry horton on February 26, 2020, 04:53:15 PM
There was also a phenomenon known as  "Wind of Ball" ,whereby death and serious injury could be caused by the pressure surrounding the cannon ball as it passed through the air.
This phenomenon often left no external signs of damage to the human body.


Regards


Terry H
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: warspite on February 26, 2020, 05:17:16 PM
No - I'm not going to recreate this on my Victory  <*< .


The 'Wind of Ball effect' was described if I remember correctly on that ship series on channel 4 or 5 with Dan Snow, about famous ships when it was on about Victory, others were Belfast, cutty sark etc.
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: JimG on February 26, 2020, 09:11:18 PM

If I recall (from my reading - I'm not that old!) at Trafalgar one of Victory's cannonades went through the stern windows of a French ship and killed and injured 200 individuals when it detonated!!


Nasty stuff !!


Geoff
Cannon balls were solid shot and did not explode, the carnage was caused by 32 pounds of iron travellingat speed through the gun deck and probably bouncing off of a few cannon on the way breaking and removing limbs as it passed.
Jim
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: Klunk on February 27, 2020, 04:09:42 AM
There was also a phenomenon known as  "Wind of Ball" ,whereby death and serious injury could be caused by the pressure surrounding the cannon ball as it passed through the air.
This phenomenon often left no external signs of damage to the human body.


Regards


Terry H
its alleged that Nelson got his captains to aim about 2/3 rds of the way to any enemy ship to back the ball skip on the waves. this was supposed give it extra spin an keep the trajectory flatter making the ball hit on the waterline. there is some evidence to support the theory.
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: warspite on February 27, 2020, 07:52:27 AM
Barnes Wallace springs to mind {-)
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: TheLongBuild on February 27, 2020, 01:44:18 PM
its alledged that Nelson hot his captains to aim about 2/3 rds of the way to any enemy ship to back the ball skip on the waves. this was supposed give it extra spin an keep the trajectory flatter making the ball hit on the waterline. there is some evidence to support the theory.


A good one for Myth Busters to test out, shame they are still not on tv.
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: redpmg on February 27, 2020, 04:55:07 PM
"As another aside, anybody read about the "black ship"? This was an English frigate that mutinied during the days of Napoleon and sailed into a Spanish port."
Geoff - that sounds like one of Admiral Lord Cochrane's exploits - seem to remember he took a large 74 or 100 gun Man o War with a 40gun Frigate - much the same problem - how do you keep 300 odd people under control with only 50 odd of your own .
He also took down a cavalry charge by careening his frigate on the beach and using a broadside to cut them down.........
If you read of his exploits one wonders why he was not as famous as Nelson
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: RST on February 27, 2020, 08:29:32 PM
Isn't a "cannonade" a barrage of multiple fire at same time rather than one gun?
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: Colin Bishop on February 27, 2020, 08:35:31 PM
I think he meant carronade.A short gun with short range but with a very heavy projectile.

Colin
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: JimG on February 27, 2020, 08:50:29 PM
As another aside, anybody read about the "black ship"? This was an English frigate that mutinied during the days of Napoleon and sailed into a Spanish port.


Many enterprising sea captains looked to try to cut her out but gave up as she was against a harbor wall and under the guns of a fortress. One English frigate captain had a go at night with 80% of his crew in boats. They were spotted and engaged by grapeshot and musket fire. They boarded at the bow and were beaten off, boarded at the stern and were beaten off but eventually gained a foothold and fought the Spanish below decks in hand to hand fighting and succeeded in taking the ship out of the port under fire from the fort.


The shock was next day as what they didn't know was the day before the ship had embarked 300 Spanish troops. As the fight was protracted over several hours they estimated that no more than 50 English seamen and marines were on board at any one time. There were 200 Spanish dead and only wounded English sailors!!


If I remember rightly the English captain in his report said he had only been lightly knocked about (Hit with a cudgel, a cutlass wound to his leg and arm) and other minor contusions!


This was all actually true as well


Makes Hornblower pain in comparison!


Geoff
The actual ship was HMS Hermione  whose crew mutinied in 1797 due to the brutal and arbitrary punishment dealt by the captain Hugh Pigot. Most of the officers were murdered and the few surviving  had to sail it to a Venezuelan port where it was handed over to the Spanish.
It was recovered two years later in a cutting out operation in a second Venezuelan port by the crew of HMS Surprise. Spanish casualties were 119 dead, 231 prisoners. British casualties 11 injured 4 seriously. HMS Surprise's captain Edward Hamilton was seriously injured. The Hermione rejoined the Royal Navy as HMS Retaliation then became HMS Retribution.
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: JimG on February 27, 2020, 09:01:49 PM
I think he meant carronade.A short gun with short range but with a very heavy projectile.

Colin
may well have been cannonade, if the Victory was crossing  the enemy's stern then it would have received a complete broadside with each cannon firing as it lined up with the stern. This would give a very large weight of shot passing down the length of the hull interior causing carnage on the gun decks.
Jim
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: RST on February 27, 2020, 09:43:34 PM
That's what I thought before to be honest. I think it was the "detonation" bit which might be semantics.  I heard about certain woods causing infection and bouncing cannon balls also.


I think this thread might have started from a post on modelboats website with a preserved sail after battle, peppered with dmaage? Probably easy to forget now how back in those days just how bloody warfare was back then.
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: Colin Bishop on February 27, 2020, 10:03:39 PM
Quote
Probably easy to forget now how back in those days just how bloody warfare was back then.

It's not very nice now - think barrel bombs in Iraq!

Colin
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: warspite on February 28, 2020, 11:48:31 AM
Checked the book 'it's Carronade' for the main deck two forward howitzers (at twice the weight of the main cannons), at 68 pounds that's a sizable chunk of metal running up them Mr Mainwaring,  %)
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: Niall on February 28, 2020, 02:58:29 PM
The shot fired by Victory at Trafalgar from the bow 69pdr carronade was a double load of shot and a cannister of grapeshot. It entered the enemy ship through the stern windows.
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: warspite on February 28, 2020, 05:38:35 PM
The double shot to create the initial punch through and a wrath of splitters with the grape shot to 'shot gun' spread out as it passed through the remaining spaces created by the shot, very devastating.
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: Colin Bishop on March 04, 2020, 10:50:02 AM
Move on 130 years and this is what you get.

Strongpoint at St Malo, France.

Colin
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: warspite on March 04, 2020, 12:18:40 PM
Or the plunging fire of both the RN and kreigsmarine at Jutland, when shells hit the cordite etc
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: Geoff on March 04, 2020, 01:26:07 PM
Plunging fire at Jutland is something of a myth as the ranges were not that long and the angle of decent only in the region of 15 degrees. The problem was improper cordite handling as the  Battlecruisers stockpiled the charges all the way to the turrets and even, in some cases, removed the magazine doors to speed up the rate of fire. British charges also had a black powder igniter at the rear to ensure ready combustion and from what I've read it was a "crime" for a charge to arrive at the gun turret with the black powder paper envelope not torn open - nice train of black powder too.


It was covered up for political reasons and the myth of plunging fire introduced. Interestingly as the German guns tended to fire at a higher velocity their trajectory was flatter than the British which actually exposed German ships to a higher angle of hit.


Still very nasty to be on any such ship as it would typically take about 20 hits to put a ship out of action unless a magazine went up.


Cheers


Geoff
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: Allnightin on March 04, 2020, 01:40:08 PM
Strongpoint at St Malo, France.

That would be an anti tank gun making those holes rather than a naval gun
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: Colin Bishop on March 04, 2020, 02:31:46 PM
Possibly. There is another strongpoint nearby. In one of them the shell is still embedded in the structure so presumably a solid round. From memory I think it was around 75mm.

Colin
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: warspite on March 05, 2020, 10:35:05 AM
I stand corrected - though I did watch the Jutland doc's and knew about the cordite problem and magazine doors being open or removed, I used the 'Plunging' term meaning to indicate that a ¼ to ½ ton shell hitting a ship did penetrate the side or deck Armour  {:-{
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: Colin Bishop on March 05, 2020, 10:52:10 AM
There are a huge number of variables affecting what happens when a shells hits a ship including the type of shell, angle of impact, inclination, thickness and quality of the armour and nature of the supporting structure (e.g. armour nor penetrated but driven in.)

Campbell's book attempts to analyse all the major hits on both British and Gernam ships at Jutland and makes fascinating if slightly morbid reading.

https://www.waterstones.com/book/jutland/john-campbell/9780851777504

If you set aside the cordite induced explosions, the relatively lightly armoured British Battlecruisers stood up very well to the German shelling.

Colin
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: Geoff on March 05, 2020, 01:32:45 PM
I would agree with Colin about the Battlecrusiers standing up ok - I think Tiger was hit 222 times or something like that and was still steaming and fighting at the end of the day.


One thing often not considered is that whilst the German ships had heavier armor they were being attacked by heavier shells. Conversely the more lightly armored British ships were being attacked by lighter shells.


Without getting into shell quality question armor penetration is a function of kinetic energy, basically speed x weight of shell at the point of impact vs the ability of armor to resist penetration. You then throw into the equation the angle the shell hits and even light armor can resist large shells if the angle is oblique enough.


Lighter shells fires at higher velocity loose out at longer ranges to heavier shells fired at lower velocity as the heavier shell retains more energy at the point of impact. Its almost impossible for ship designers to work out other than to use an empirical methodology of distance at right angles because ships are themselves moving and turning and rolling and yawing all of which affects the angle of impact.


There is an excellent book on the subject from Amazon "Dreadnought Gunnery and the Battle of Jutland" (£34 new) which goes into it all in exhaustive detail with some new conclusions which overturn certain myths.


Enjoy


Geoff







Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: Geoff on March 05, 2020, 01:33:16 PM
Tiger should be 22 times and not 222! fat finger syndrome!


Geoff
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: tonyH on March 05, 2020, 07:44:38 PM
There's a decent, fairly contemporary, summary and other stuff of Jutland from The Engineer of 20/2/1920 with pics of the damage to the Seydlitz. I've got a pdf from Graces Guide but I don't know how or if I can post it on here. Perhaps, if anyone know a way they'd let me know?
Tony
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: dodes on March 11, 2020, 03:09:37 PM
One major point not made about the two fleets is that the German fleet was designed to fight in the North sea and round into the Baltic, so there crews lived ashore in Barracks consequently there hulls were a honeycomb of small compartments making hard to do substantial damage per shell, compared to British ships that are designed to go world wide and had to permanently accommodate a full crew 24/7 meaning large habitual messes, meaning a shell will have more effect on the vessels construction.
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: raflaunches on March 11, 2020, 03:57:46 PM
Adding to Dodes’ comments:
Regarding the German warships this was also perhaps the reason why they took so long to repair, consider a pipe line which passes through a section of the ship but is routed through 10 bulkheads- imagine how bad it would be to replace it!
I also think that the German dockyards were not as numerous as the Royal Navy’s so there was limited space to repair them. Adding up these problems could possibly lead to massive delays in getting a battle fleet ready- if you compare to the Grand Fleet which was up and running to full numbers,if not greater numbers, in less than a month.
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: Colin Bishop on March 11, 2020, 04:57:21 PM
Re Nick's comments about pipes: Watertight bulkheads are only watertight if there are no holes in them but the German ships had all sorts of connections passing between compartments and many of the connections failed when the ships were hit which made it very difficult to control flooding.

British contstructors became more aware of the dangers and of the need to shut off connections either side of a bulkhead. In fact the Lord Nelson and early Dreadnought classes featured virtually unpierced main bulkheads which meant that to get between compartments on either side it was necessary to climb up and over the top of the bulkhead. Some ships had lifts for the engineers! Eventually this was found to be too inconvenient in terms of moving around the ship and the policy was changed.

Colin
Title: Re: Effect of Cannon Fire
Post by: dodes on March 12, 2020, 11:40:16 AM
Am pretty sure by WW1 ships had all kind of services piercing the watertight bulkheads, such as electric cables, etc, as they do today. Just that they had valves either side and cables went through watertight junction box's etc. But there is a report of a German light cruiser which was abandoned and left on fire, during the night she was seen glowing red while adrift. Plus a German capital ship was torpedoed at night and completely erupted and took virtually her entire crew. But as my father said and he served in the last war, " Son, you would sailing along with all your mates in a nice clean mess and the action stations alarm goes off. My station was damage control(he was a C.P.O. ERA1) , you take a hit, you open the door and what was a nice clean mess, is now black and hanging from the twisted metal overhead is filth which is all that is left of your mates. I had asked him what is it like to be at war, needless to say, he never usually say much except for humorous events. He had three ships in that war, Norfolk from 1939, Woodcock from new1943, then Redpole about 1945/6 far east. So we who live now, only have books to read about it but those who really know did not speak of it and are now all gone. So I say God Bless Them All. {:-{