Talk:King George V-class battleship (1939)

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Former good article nominee King George V-class battleship (1939) was a Warfare good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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Recent edits[edit]

With regards to this: Damwiki, why is it wrong? I realize that the information in twenty years old, but were there more recent surveys done or something? —Ed (talkmajestic titan) 00:18, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

I referenced the new survey in my edit and here, in November 2009, but here it is again: [Death of a Battleship] see pages 9 to 11, page 18, and the timeline on pages 47-49.Damwiki1 (talk) 01:25, 29 January 2010 (UTC) Gents, just to clarify, Death of a Battleship is NOT a survey report but, primarily, an analysis of the Expedition Job 74 survey report and other sources.(KevinDen (talk) 03:16, 15 March 2010 (UTC)) Also, only the torpedo that hit the shaft strut, The torpedo DID NOT hit the shaft strut. That old assumption is/was completely erroneous. It hit forward of the shaft strut. See both the Expedition Job 74 survey report and the subsequent paper entitled Death of a Battleship to show EXACTLY where it hit. (KevinDen (talk) 03:16, 15 March 2010 (UTC)) which was outside the SPS had a 330lb warhead. The other 3 including the hit on the SPS abreast B turret, had 450lb warheads.The SPS inner and outer voids had been counterflooded yet diver inspection of the SPS shows that the holding (inner) bulkhead appears intact, see page 44.Damwiki1 (talk) 03:19, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

The two sources do not contradict each other - both say the same.
Garzke: The loss of the Prince of Wales revealed that propeller shaft glands were susceptible to leakage because of shaft strut damage.[1] When the shaft was bent, it kept turning and ultimately wrecked the shaft glands on all bulkheads of the shaft alley, greatly increasing the flooded area.[1]
The conclusion is the same in [Death of a Battleship], see page 48, at time 1149, comments.
There's no contradiction in the sources, with both sources clearly saying the fatal flooding was started when the shaft took torpedo damage, it wrecked the shaft glands on all bulkheads, causing extensive flooding. Damwiki simply didn't like what the Garzke source said about the flaws in the KGV class resilence against torpedoes, so he removed Garzke completely under the pretext of 'corrected info' (about the 20th time he does that it this article).
Then he replaced it with his own claims, a weird strawmen arguement about previous fears that the shaft failed and flooded instantaneously are unfounded. (note that neither Garzke claims such about instantious flood ("ultimately wrecked"...), neither the PDF source refutes such never-made claim), and then attributed this whole statement of his not supported by either sources to both sources (quite something to remove an author's, Garzke analysis, claiming them to be false, replacing them with his own, and then still reference these as being Garzke's..!!), while carefully removing any criticism as told by Garzke's book... Damwiki has been repeatadly removing all information critical to this ship class for a long time. See also Wikipedia:Tendentious editing and Wikipedia:No_original_research#Synthesis_of_published_material_that_advances_a_position.
IMHO the last sentence from the entry - " and previous fears that the shaft failed and flooded instantaneously are unfounded." should be removed because its full of weaseling, and not supported by either source.

Kurfürst (talk) 09:21, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

See my comments in the TDS section.Damwiki1 (talk) 10:52, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

TDS section? —Ed (talkmajestic titan) 20:01, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

See the table of contents section of this discussion page. TDS is one of the entries. And heg (talk) 20:48, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

I think the phrase about raising questions about the TDS should either be deleted, or the section should be reformatted to make it clear that the questions raised are all answered. One way of doing this would be to put the raising questions bit in a note, and then explaining in the note that the TDS worked perfectly well - but unfortunately the fatal hits were elsewhere... with any well-sourced comments about why PoW could not cope with stern gland damage.--Toddy1 (talk) 06:47, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

I made my edits to this section on Nov 20 2009 after discussing them in the SPS section of this talk page. This article should not become a clearing house for unfounded rumours regarding this class of battleship. It should focus on factual data with a clear expository style without undue weight on any source. In the SPS section of the article I have explained what an SPS is, provided internal links to the explanation, and then explained clearly that the SPS did not fail during the attack on PoW. The fact that the propeller shaft glands suffered damage after the propeller shaft strut was destroyed is not unusual; any propeller shaft will suffer damage if the shaft strut is destroyed, and the propeller is kept turning and this is why all ships have propeller shaft struts; they are there to support the weight of the propeller! The only note worthy occurrence would be if the shaft and shaft glands failed instantly after the hit on B propeller shaft, and the new report based upon inspection of the wreck proves that this is not the case. A detailed explanation of the loss of PoW is better done in the article about PoW and not here, in the KGV class article. I have no objections to an explanatory note as per Toddy1's suggestion, but this article needs to be cleaned up, and my wording from Nov 20 2009, provided a clear explanation of the function of the SPS, it's performance in combat, and a sentence explaining that the shaft did not fail instantaneously, which would be a design fault and was thought to have possibly occurred, prior to the most recent wreck survey.Damwiki1 (talk) 18:50, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

I tagged the section with two points that needed in my mind clarification/qualification. Since all warship designs (like those of tanks) are compromises I felt that statement that the were issues with the torpedo protection needed to be placed in a time context. Did the Admiralty have concerns after the sinking that they had made an error with the design? or was the loss partly due to error of judgement as with the Ark Royal? Or is the crticism a post-war thing. Since the prop shafts were not armoured, can the loss of the A frame etc be a failure of the protection system?GraemeLeggett (talk) 19:44, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
The Admiralty had a number of concerns arising from the loss of PoW, but unfortunately they could not come to definite conclusions as to what happened because a number of key personnel were lost during the sinking, and the wreck was unavailable for examination. The best analysis of the loss of PoW and the RN's assumptions are provided in Battleship by Middlebrook, pages 311-32. The RN assumed that the ship had been struck several times on the SPS including the SPS near 'B' Engine room, and that the propeller shaft had failed, prior to it being shut down. They did not know that the entire external propeller shaft strut had been blown away and so they could not form a correct opinion as to what happened: Middlebrook states: "It is small wonder that the committee was baffled..."(p311). The RN discounted testimony from crew members who witnessed the restarted shaft tearing itself apart because they felt that was impossible, but they did not know that shaft was no longer supported by the external strut, and therefore any attempt to keep it running would cause it to fail. Subsequently, Anson and Howe were fitted with strengthened shaft glands and propeller locking gear, but this was based upon an erroneous assumption that the shaft bearings and glands had failed with the strut intact, and that the failure was almost instantaneous. The assumption was made that the SPS must have failed, in the vicinity of B Engine Room, when the wreck survey shows no torpedo hit in that area, and the inner SPS bulkhead is intact in the area of the only hit on the SPS, abreast B turret. This is a very complex topic but I boiled it down to the essential facts in my edit of November 20.Damwiki1 (talk) 20:57, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
A while back, Minorhistorian queried my expertise. Quite right too: I have none, neither do I know which author, website or book is wholly reliable. I rely on experts to point me in the right direction. As do the mass of Wiki readers. I also rely on accessible precis of "complex arguments", so Damwiki's summary is great in terms of clarity. It then becomes a matter of how to present the detailed technical argument and counter-argument for those who can weigh them against each other. In summary, remember who you're writing for. BTW, I note that, despite all the effort expended here, the article is still rated as "start". Folks at 137 (talk) 22:07, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
"This is a very complex topic but I boiled it down to the essential facts in my edit of November 20." The statement by Damwiki is rather questionable, "boiled it down to the essential facts" as already shown was nothing more than removing the text criticism by Garzke and Dullin's universally respected secondary source work on the subject, and replacing it with his own analysis, that was not supported by the primary source he was using. The argument on the "SPS section" is bizarre, as there's no such section in the article. Equally ironic is the desire save the article from "undue weight", as in his editing practice until now it meant removing reliable secondary source if it was critical - he removed, tendentiously Garzke comments on the main armament, calling them "nonsense"; he removed Garzke comments on the endurance issues, calling them "nonsense"; he now removed Garzke comments on the torpedo resilence, calling them "nonsense" again. So how exactly is repeatedly attempt to remove all parts from one author, and then rely extensively another is supposed to be solving the alleged problems of "undue weight"? It seems that Damwiki's problem is that Garzke and Dullin's analysis is present at all, and that they are critical of some aspects of the ship. Garzke is an internationally acknowledged expertise in system, offering valid summary and analysis on the design. This is, in every sense, a reliable secondary source, published in book form, the type on which Wikipedia articles rely. Calling them "unfounded rumours" and such shows disrespect to the author, and is a poor attempt to mislead others who entered this discussion about the validity of the source. Tendentiously removing it and replacing it with what is merely the personal opinion of a fan of this class of ships is against about a dozen wikipedia principles.
Thus the basic question is: should analysis quoted from renowned, acknowleged naval experts who published in reliable secondary sources be removed, on grounds that an editor, with no expertise on the field and who has obviously very strong bias when it comes to this class of vessels calls the "unfounded rumours", and disagrees with them, seeking to push his own opinion on the subject into the article, and systematically remove to opinion of actual experts? I think the answer is obvious. Kurfürst (talk) 10:23, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
On page 15, the wreck survey (Death of a Battleship) (If I may reiterate, the paper Death of a Battleship is not a survey! (KevinDen (talk) 08:47, 15 March 2010 (UTC))) shows how all the theories proposed by G&D have been disproven. They espoused a theory that a torpedo that exploded near the hull had caused extensive damage in the vicinity of frame 206 and the wreck survey shows this to be utter nonsense, and again on page 15 of Death of a Battleship the authors of the new survey state quite clearly: "When LT Wildish restarted the turbine in the ahead position the shaft came loose from its remaining pedestals and bearings, which then lead to the failure of the bolts connecting the 17.5-inch line shaft flanges. This situation then caused the line shaft to come apart and resulted in the complete destruction of the previously damaged shaft tunnel bulkheads..." Page 48 gives us the timeline of events and we can see that the shaft was stopped, and at that point Y Action Machinery Room and the Port Diesel Dynamo Room are intact. The shaft is restarted and both rooms and B engine Room then successively flood. This is very clear and it is also very clear that the design and performance of the SPS had absolutely nothing to do with the flooding through the propellor shaft, through which the vast majority of the flooding that doomed PoW occurred. Yet, in Allied Battleships, on page 196, G&D state: "...The shaft was distorted and the propeller kept turning...in a short time the distortion in the shafting opened all the watertight bulkhead stuffing glands, including that on the after bulkhead of B Engine Room." G&D, in Allied Battleships, omit to state that the shaft was stopped, prior to tearing open all the watertight bulkhead, and then restarted, which is a crucial piece of information, since it implies that the shaft glands failed prior to the shaft being shut down, which would imply a serious design fault. The key points are that the flooding that doomed PoW came through the propeller shaft after it was stopped and then restarted, and that the SPS was not involved in this process. The only area where the SPS was struck by a torpedo the SPS holding (inner) bulkhead appears intact. These are the key facts and I touched upon all of them in my Nov 20 2009 edit. On page 242-243 of Allied Battleships, G&D question the results of Job 74, where the SPS defeated a 1000lb charge, but again these questions were raised upon the assumption that the SPS failed, when the new survey shows that it did not. In fact part of Kurfurst's edit is a direct quote from G&D without the use of quotation marks... On pages 244-245 G&D make many statements, most of which are predicated on the idea that the SPS failed, when the survey shows that it did not fail. On pages 244-245 G&D advance three theories as to what occurred to cause the loss of PoW: 1) "The ship was hit by a torpedo near frame 206..." This is completely false as the ship is intact in the region of frame 206. 2) "The ship was hit by a torpedo near frame 206, which triggered the detonation of a 2nd..." torpedo. This is completely false as the hull is intact in this region. 3) The ship was weakened by a near miss in Aug 1940 in the region of frame 206 and that the torpedo that hit at frame 206 would cause severe damage. Again this is completely false. On page 245 G&D state that their review of the evidence and the results of Job 74 lead them to believe that 3) above was the most likely scenario, and again this was complete fantasy, as the ship was not struck by a torpedo in the region of frame 206, and the only torpedo to hit the ship, on that side, struck much further aft, outside the SPS. In short G&D were completely wrong in all their theories, in Allied Battleships, as to the loss of the PoW and that book has zero credibility on this issue. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Damwiki1 (talkcontribs) 18:59, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Damnwiki, I find the tack you take with your criticism of the above info in G & D’s Allied BB book very odd. Why so? Because when it was first published in 1980 the material they had to work with stated that there was a hit at or about frame 206. Given that fact (the fact being the info they had to work with, not the hit itself) then what they wrote and their speculation as to the transpiring events, given that supposed hit, is/was entirely plausible. They simply did the best with what info they had to work with at the time. It would be a different matter if it was written after our survey - which is the position you are now working from - but it was not. So the way you go about your criticism I believe is completely unwarranted and invalid. All that needs to be done/said/noted is that certain info (i.e. what you have pointed out) from G and D book is now superseded, not that it is ‘nonsense, fantasy, etc’. (KevinDen (talk) 23:41, 15 March 2010 (UTC))

I am sorry that I was so sarcastic, but this is is a talk page, to be used to discuss proposed edits, and I let my feelings go a bit, especially as there is one editor who has attempted to present G&D as though they are infallible, and I fell prey to over emphasizing that this is not so.Damwiki1 (talk) 03:52, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
proposed edit:

The hull below the waterline, along the main armour belt, formed the Side Protection System or SPS, and was subdivided into series of longitudinal compartments in a void-liquid-void layout; the outer and inner were filled with air, and the middle compartment with liquid (fuel or water). The outer hull plating in the region of the SPS was deliberately made as thin as possible to minimize splinter damage, in the event of a torpedo hit. The outer compartment of the SPS was air filled and was normally an empty or void space and allowed the initial explosion from a torpedo to expand while minimizing damage to the ship; the centre compartment was filled with oil or seawater and this spread the pressure pulse over a larger area while the liquid contained any metal splinters that were created from the torpedo explosion; the inboard compartment was another void space and served to contain the liquid from the liquid layer and remaining pressure pulse from the torpedo explosion. Inboard of the final void space was an armoured bulkhead that ranged from 37mm, over the machinery spaces to 44mm thick abreast the magazines. This bulkhead formed the holding bulkhead, and it was designed to resist the residual blast effects from the torpedo hit. In case the final inner bulkhead (1.5-1.75 in thick) was torn, a further set of subdivided compartments would contain any leaks so inboard of the holding bulkhead, the ship was highly subdivided into small compartments containing auxiliary machinery spaces. The SPS void-liquid-void layer was generally about 13 feet deep, and the auxiliary machinery spaces added approximately another 8 feet of space from the outer hull plating to the major machinery spaces. The only exception to this was abreast A and B Engine Rooms, where the auxiliary machinery spaces were omitted, but another void space, about 3 feet deep was substituted in it's place.[2] Above the SPS, and directly behind the armour belt, was a series of compartments, typically washrooms or storage spaces, and these compartments were designed to allow for upward venting of overpressure from a torpedo hit. This scheme was designed to protect against a 1000 lb warhead, and had been tested and found effective in full-scale trials.[3] The SPS was also a key component of the ship's damage control system, as lists resulting from flooding could be corrected by counterflooding empty void spaces, and/or draining normally liquid filled compartments. A recent survey of the wreck of Prince of Wales revealed that 3 of the four torpedoes that struck the ship, hit her outside the area protected by the SPS, and the SPS holding bulkhead appears intact abreast the area where it was hit.[4] The new survey also reveals that "B" propeller shaft was stopped and then restarted, several minutes after being struck by a torpedo, before causing extensive flooding and previous fears that the shaft failed and flooded instantaneously are unfounded.[5]

On examination of the Prince of Wales after her encounter with the Bismarck and the Prinz Eugen, three damaging hits were discovered, one of which, fired from Bismarck, had penetrated the torpedo protection outer bulkheads in a region very close to an auxiliary machinery space. The inner, armoured, bulkhead, however, remained intact. The German shell would have actually exploded in the water if its fuse had worked properly[6], due to the depth which the shell had to dive before striking the Prince of Wales under her armoured belt, showing the sound design of this class of battleship's armour.Damwiki1 (talk) 22:24, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

I was hoping you will make a serious proposal for a balanced edit, but this is essentially the same contested 'editorial work' of yours as before - a simple removal of properly referenced statements by Garzke and Dullin because you don't like them criticizing some aspects of the ship. I see no other difference than that you removed that sentence yet again. It adds nothing to the article, it simply wants to exclude an expert opinion different and of far heavier weight than yours, so I am not sure how exactly are you expecting that this sort of proposal would get support, when it got none so far, for the obvious reason it directly violates a series of wiki guidelines, especially Wikipedia:The Truth and Wikipedia:I just don't like it. The last sentence is particular is completely redundant, and is a strawmen arguement to boot: no author claims the internal compartment was 'flooded instantaneously', in fact G&D state the exact opposite. It also ommits to obvious weakness of the design - namely, the SPS protecting only a small partition of the ship compared to US or German practice, making such fatal hits far more likely. The wording is also laughably biased. STRONG OPPOSE If you think G and D as a source is unreliable and 'wrong' (but curiously, only when they put valid critic to some design aspects :D ), we will need more than just your declaration, and you should attempt a dispute resolution on Reliable Sources board. Or propose a reasonable edit that a, shows conflicting views b, trutfully for the source and is not c, orignal research. So far your edit proposals fail to satisfy these wiki requirements. Kurfürst (talk) 12:30, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
I have a hard time believing how you can simply ignore the overwhelming evidence that G&D made serious errors in Allied Battleships, and how they spent several pages (243-247)discussing the failings of PoW's SPS on the basis of a torpedo hit that never occurred!Yet you still want to claim G&D as expert opinion!!! "It also ommits to obvious weakness of the design - namely, the SPS protecting only a small partition of the ship compared to US or German practice, making such fatal hits far more likely. I am not sure what you mean here. The KGV SPS protected the ship along the entire length of the main armour belt, just as in USN and German designs. The KGV SPS was also trialed and found effective when using charges much larger than in the USN or German designs and no doubt you will dispute the findings of the Job 74 trials where the KGV SPS defeated a 1000lb charge, on the basis of G&D's "expert opinion" and their fictitious torpedo hit. (this paragraph by Damwiki)
Having read the analysis of the loss of the PoW, I don't see any major problems with the above edit - except that I would remove from "showing the sound design of the ..." to the end of that sentence unless there is a reference to say that that is exactly the case I would also drop "previous fears that the shaft failed and flooded instantaneously are unfounded" as these "previous fears" have not beeen specified. What does need to be added is Dulin, Garske and Delaney's notes that the ventilation (which was corrected on the sisterships) and poor communications were shown to be at fault in the loss of the PoW.82.70.225.100 (talk) 14:14, 8 February 2010 (UTC) GraemeLeggett (talk) 14:45, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
G&D, on page 247, state: "When the shaft was bent it kept turning and ultimately wrecked the shaft glands..." On page 196, they state: "This, with almost immediate flooding of the port shaft alley..." So, I can use G&D as a reference for "previous fears". You are correct that detail changes were made to the ships, but these changes should be explained in the sections for the individual ships, perhaps with a sentence such as: "In response to the loss of PoW, the surviving ships of this class, KGV, DoY, Howe and Anson, were modified to varying degrees to increase resistance to battle damage" with an internal link to each ships page where the modifications can be expanded upon, since they varied from ship to ship.Damwiki1 (talk) 19:47, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Regarding " your statemet: "I don't see any major problems with the above edit - except that I would remove from "showing the sound design of the ..." " I propose to edit it to: due to the depth which the shell had to dive before striking the Prince of Wales under her armoured belt, showing the sound design of this class of battleship's armour.[7] Damwiki1 (talk) 20:12, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
"I have a hard time believing how you can simply ignore the overwhelming evidence that G&D made serious errors in Allied Battleships... Yet you still want to claim G&D as expert opinion!!! ," - Damwiki, so far you only provided rather untrue accounts of what these sources say, and declared the renowned and widely acknowledged book Allied Battleships by G&D to false, dubious, wrong etc. That is underwhelming, not overhwhelming, and you still ignore wikipedia guidelines, which basically say that if two accounts are contradictory, then they should be presented with equal weight, and let the reader decide, otherwise it falls under UNDUE WEIGHT, and appears to be TENDENTIOUS EDITING; just watch the history of this talk page, its practically only about you bickering to remove ANY and ALL criticism of the design, be it the issues with the main armament, be it the short range and endurance or the deficient torpedo defense that failed in practice. You seem to be a partisan for this ship, as I have seen you have also created a comparison article, which was supposed to show the superiority of this class of ship over a similiar class of US ship, but was massively rejected by about 20 editors and was deleted for the very same reason your edits are unacceptable. You want to decide which is the "true one" and delete even the trace of all other accounts. This is not how wiki articles work, I have already pointed out the relevant guideles for you in bold, please take time and look them up.
There is a great deal of IRONY in that you declare G and D wrong and dubious authors when they criticize the ship, and then engage cite another work by the same G and D which is supposed to refute themselves :D :D. It has been already made clear that the said work does not say anything like that, it merely you, selling your own claims as if they were told by experts, who are of course suddenly no longer experts when they say something about the ship that you dont like...
"and how they spent several pages (243-247)discussing the failings of PoW's SPS on the basis of a torpedo hit that never occurred! - sorry, but they just dont....
The current version of the article should stay, as gives an objective view to the reader, and presents both sources, according to and following wiki guidelines. Its fine as it is, except for the weasel wording that GraemeLegett also critcized. Damwiki's proposed edit is unacceptable, as it would only "add" the removal of a well referenced sentence : "The extent and magnitude of flooding on HMS Prince of Wales raised a serious question] about the effectiveness of the torpedo defence system in practice, since the Japanese aerial torpedo warhead at 330 pounds of TNT/Hexyl were less than half as powerful as the design resistance of 1,000 pounds.[11] The loss of the Prince of Wales revealed that propeller shaft glands were susceptible to leakage because of shaft strut damage.[4] When the shaft was bent, it kept turning and ultimately wrecked the shaft glands on all bulkheads of the shaft alley, greatly increasing the flooded area.[4]" This is a well referenced, respected and accurate secondary source that Damwiki is trying to remove tendentiously for six months now, along with any and all other criticism of the ships design, and replace it with his own idea of how these thing were. Kurfürst (talk) 11:39, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Kurfurst, while the above 'well referenced sentence' from G and D may have seemed correct at the time of their writing (or later referencing), it is no longer so, having been ‘superseded’ by the info gained from the detailed 2007 inspection/survey of the wreck and subsequently by G and D themselves in the paper Death of a Battelship. Given that fact it would then be misleading to now use the above 'out of date' statement as a reference here, unless it was accompanied by an explanation as to why it is no longer a valid assumption; which then negates the inclusion of the ‘well referenced sentence’. So best to leave it out altogether, no? (KevinDen (talk) 23:41, 15 March 2010 (UTC))


The current wreck survey is based upon a photographic and physical examination of the hull by a team of divers. The survey only shows one torpedo hit on the port side of the ship. G&D wrote their analysis of PoW's SPS based upon the assumption that two torpedoes hit the PoW, on the port side, including one hit at frame 206, which is approximately the area of bulkhead between the Port Diesel Generator room and B Engine room. The current wreck survey shows that only one torpedo struck the hull on the port side, and that was the hit that destroyed the prop shaft strut. The current survey shows that no torpedo struck the hull at frame 206. Are you stating that a torpedo did strike the hull at frame 206? On pages 244-245 G&D advance three theories as to what occurred to cause the loss of PoW: 1) "The ship was hit by a torpedo near frame 206..." 2) "The ship was hit by a torpedo near frame 206, which triggered the detonation of a 2nd..." 3) "The ship was damaged by a near miss in Aug 1940 in an area where a Japanese torpedo subsequently struck (namely frame 206 on the port side)..." "Careful review of the evidence, Job-74 results (see appendix A) and the design of these ships leads the authors to conclude that the events in the 3rd narrative seem most plausible." Are you (Kurfurst) stating that G&D didn't write the above statements on pages 244-245 of Allied Battleships?Damwiki1 (talk) 18:41, 9 February 2010 (UTC)Damwiki1 (talk) 18:46, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
(outdent) - I've used the text above to rewrite the description of the SPS since it is more comprehensive than that currently in place. But I have avoiding any comment on performance of the SPS, other than as to what it was designed to do. GraemeLeggett (talk) 13:14, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Interesting how Kurfürst lobbies to have criticism of KGV in the article while at the same time every time somebody wants to add some info about the many weaknesses of the Nazi battleship Bismarck he gets a bit hysterical. Once he even said something like that we should not make any criticizm of the Bismarck's protected scheme but just describe what it was designed to do.  Dr. Loosmark  02:22, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

Proposed Edit:

Replace this:

The extent and magnitude of flooding on HMS Prince of Wales raised a serious question[clarification needed] about the effectiveness of the torpedo defence system in practice, since the Japanese aerial torpedo warhead at 330 pounds of TNT/Hexyl were less than half as powerful as the design resistance of 1,000 pounds.[8] The loss of the Prince of Wales revealed that propeller shaft glands were susceptible to leakage because of shaft strut damage.[1] When[clarification needed] the shaft was bent, it kept turning and ultimately wrecked the shaft glands on all bulkheads of the shaft alley, greatly increasing the flooded area.[1] A recent survey of the wreck of Prince of Wales revealed that three of the four torpedoes that struck the ship, hit her outside the area protected by the SPS, and the SPS holding bulkhead appears intact abreast the area where it was hit.[9] The new survey also reveals that "B" propeller shaft was stopped and then restarted, several minutes after being struck by a torpedo, before causing extensive flooding and previous fears that the shaft failed and flooded instantaneously are unfounded.[10]

On examination of the Prince of Wales after her encounter with the Bismarck and the Prinz Eugen, three damaging hits were discovered, one of which, fired from Bismarck, had penetrated the torpedo protection outer bulkhead in a region very close to an auxiliary machinery space. The inner, armoured, bulkhead, however, remained intact. The German shell would have actually exploded in the water if its fuse had worked properly[11], due to the depth which the shell had to dive before striking the Prince of Wales under her armoured belt, showing the sound design of this class of battleship's armour.


with this:

On Dec 10 1941, HMS Prince of Wales was sunk after being hit by 4 torpedoes and a 500kg bomb. [12] A recent survey of the wreck of Prince of Wales revealed that three of the four torpedoes that struck the ship, hit her outside the area protected by the SPS, and the SPS holding bulkhead appears intact abreast the area where it was hit.[13] The new survey also reveals that "B" propeller shaft was stopped and then restarted, several minutes after being struck by a torpedo, before causing extensive flooding[14] and previous fears that the shaft failed and flooded instantaneously are unfounded.[15] The new survey and analysis by its authours demonstrates that the primary cause of the sinking was flooding along B propeller shaft which occurred because the propellor shaft external shaft bracket failed, and the unsupported shaft then tore up the bulkheads all the way from the external propellor shaft gland through to B Engine Room itself. This allowed flooding into the primary machinery spaces, while by-passing the SPS. The damage and flooding was exacerbated by poor damage control and the premature abandonment of the after magazines and a telephone communications switchboard.[16] Subsequent inquiries[17] identified the need for a number of design improvements, which were implemented to a lessor or greater degree on surviving ships of the this class.[18] Ventilation and watertightness of the ventilation system was improved, while internal passageways within the machinery spaces were redesigned and the communications system made more robust.[19] Improved propeller shaft glands and shaft locking gear was introduced[20]. However, many of the supposed failures of the ship were predicated on the assumption that a torpedo may have hit and defeated the SPS[21] at frame 206 on the port side due to a column of water seen in that area at the time of the initial hit[22] that damaged B propeller shaft. However the most recent survey indicates that the hull is intact in this area.[23] Inability to survey the wreck frustrated efforts[24] to arrive at a definitive cause for PoW's loss and has led to a number of imaginative theories, regarding the reasons for the sinking. [25]


***Gents, new here but, having been involved in both the 2007 PoW wreck survey, authored the survey report and co-authored the subsequent paper on the results of same I would like to correct a few errors in the above paragraph - as currently seen on the KGV Wiki page circa 14/2/10 - so it is more factual/up to date, no offence meant. (And should anyone want to contact me direct re same you can do so at altdive@ozemail.com.au)

It should be noted that the paper entitled Death of a Battleship is NOT the or a survey; it is an analysis of the survey. Expedition 'Job 74’ is/was the survey, so you need/should be clear on this when writing/referencing/debating same.

So all told there a few items that need to be changed in you paragraph.

1) Middlebrook and Mahoney state six torpedo hits, not four. See page 288 (and previous descriptions/diagrams of the attacks in the same book). It was our survey in 2007 that definitively proved there were only four.

2) The 2007 survey made no conclusions; it was the subsequent paper that made some conclusions.

3) At the time of the Bucknill Inquiry in 1942 it was not an ‘assumption’ that a torpedo hit at frame 206, it was thought to be a ‘fact'. So the phrase ‘the assumption that a torpedo may have hit and defeated’ should be changed to ‘the assumption that a torpedo hit and defeated’

4) There are a couple of phrases in last few sentences that need altering/clarifying also.

So to make the paragraph more factual I suggest then the following, which I would edit/insert myself but……………………seems a bit daunting to me and I don’t want to screw up someone’s hard work. I have highlighted the corrections, etc in bold so can someone please insert for the sake of historical accuracy. TIA.


EDIT. No need now for my above requst (now in italics), as I learnt how to do it myself, as it seems no one else has the time or is in any hurry to correct the mistakes I pointed out in said paragraph.(KevinDen (talk) 04:47, 17 March 2010 (UTC))

I was actually just working on your proposed changes :).Damwiki1 (talk) 06:49, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

EDIT Not sure who is 'responsible' for reference #51 (on main Wiki KGV page), but the quote you ascribe to Middlebrook there is not on page 202 (in 1977 Battleship copy anyway)as you state in the reference. (KevinDen (talk) 09:21, 18 March 2010 (UTC))


HMS Prince of Wales was sunk on 10 December 1941, from what was believed to have been hits by 6 aerial launched torpedoes and a 500 kg bomb.[34] However, a detailed 2007 survey of the wreck of Prince of Wales by divers definitively proved that actually there were only 4 torpedo hits.[35] Three of the four torpedoes that had struck the hull had hit outside the area protected by the SPS, and for the fourth the SPS holding bulkhead appeared intact abreast the area where the hull was hit.[36] The conclusion of the subsequent 2009 paper and analysis [37] was that the primary cause of the sinking was uncontained flooding along "B" propeller shaft.[38] The propeller shaft external shaft bracket failed, and the movement of the unsupported shaft then tore up the bulkheads all the way from the external propeller shaft gland through to B Engine Room itself. This allowed flooding into the primary machinery spaces. The damage and flooding was exacerbated by poor damage control and the premature abandonment of the after magazines and a telephone communications switchboard.[39] "B" propeller shaft had been stopped, and then restarted several minutes after being struck by a torpedo.[40] Subsequent inquiries into her loss at the time[41] identified the need for a number of design improvements, which were implemented to a lessor or greater degree on surviving ships of the this class.[42] Ventilation and watertightness of the ventilation system was improved, while internal passageways within the machinery spaces were redesigned and the communications system made more robust.[42] Improved propeller shaft glands and shaft locking gear was introduced[43]. Some of the supposed failures of the ship were however predicated on the assumption that a torpedo had hit and defeated the SPS[44] at or about frame 206 on the port side due to a column of water seen in that area at the time of the initial torpedo attack[45] that damaged B propeller shaft. However, video footage from the 2007 survey [46] clearly shows that the hull is intact in this area.[47] The inability to survey the wreck during the war no doubt frustrated efforts [48] to arrive at a definitive cause for PoW's loss and, subsequently, that somewhat flawed analysis[49] has led to a number of incorrect theories regarding the reasons for the sinking being inadvertently disseminated over the years.[50] (KevinDen (talk) 02:07, 15 March 2010 (UTC))


To whom it may concern. Regards reference 44 in above paragraph on main KGV page. Not sure what copy of Battleship the person who inserted that reference owns but........my copy, published 1977, does NOT state or infer on page 202 that “Middlebrook postulated a hit at frame 206 but discounted it's ability to defeat the SPS because of the small warhead of the IJN aerial torpedoes and the lack of definitive evidence from an early wreck survey and survivor accounts of the sinking."

He actually talks about the flooding from that hit (frame 206) on page 202 and shows same in his diagram on the opposite page, nor is there any mention there of the small warhead (being unable to defeat the SPS) or any mention there of the previous RN survey. So not sure where you got that from, but not on page 202, so you may want to recheck/reword that reference.(KevinDen (talk) 05:17, 17 March 2010 (UTC))

yes, it should read page 198-203.Page 198, describes the SPS system and states: "Research has shown that a torpedo or mine explosion should dissipate its force in these three belts, that the resulting flooding should be very limited and the inner hull should remain intact..." Page 200: "The column of water seen 140 ft forward is not so easy to explain. No jagged hole has been found here, but it is known that four (the outer SPS voids, shown on page 203-Damwiki1) nearby compartments became flooded". Diagram 2 on page 203, shows the flooding from the hit, and the diagram clearly shows that the SPS defeated the warhead, and the caption reads: "limited flooding caused by 2nd torpedo". The diagram clearly shows the flooding to be advancing down B prop shaft, and not through the SPS, at frame 206. Damwiki1 (talk) 18:09, 17 March 2010 (UTC)


Hi! It is nice to discuss this with someone who's actually seen the wreck!. I don't have a problem with your proposed edits and will be happy to incorporate them, pending further input from other editors. Regarding the shaft strut, I think it is fair to say that it did fail from the effects of the hit, even if the strut was not hit directly? Also, your comments about Death of a Battleship, being an analysis of the Job 74 survey are also appreciated. Damwiki1 (talk) 04:48, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Hi Damwiki. Re you statement “I think it is fair to say that it did fail from the effects of the hit, even if the strut was not hit directly?” From the effects yes, but when did it fail? If the torp had directly hit the strut the strut would have failed/disintegrated immediately, with possibly a very different outcome than was the case. So saying a torp hit the strut is therefore simply misleading and erroneous.(KevinDen (talk) 09:00, 15 March 2010 (UTC))


On examination of the Prince of Wales after her encounter with the Bismarck and the Prinz Eugen, three damaging hits were discovered, one of which, fired from Bismarck, had penetrated the torpedo protection outer bulkhead in a region very close to an auxiliary machinery space. The inner, armoured, bulkhead, however, remained intact. The German shell would have actually exploded in the water if its fuse had worked properly[26], due to the depth which the shell had to dive before striking the Prince of Wales under her armoured belt. An armour belt that extended deep under the waterline[27] was a key feature of this class of battleship. Post-WW1 studies[28] had indicated that delayed action AP shells could dive under a shallow belt and strike into vital areas of the ship. Indeed, one of PoW's 14" AP shells did dive under Bismarck's shallower armour belt and exploded in Bismarck's SPS causing considerable damage.[29] Damwiki1 (talk) 23:24, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

Please see above.Damwiki1 (talk) 15:27, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Armour[edit]

I propose to replace this:

Armour protection for the King George V-class battleships varied between excellent to poor.[1] Deck protection performed as expected, but conning tower protection was very poor.[1]

The main armour belt was unusually high, stretching 23.5 feet (7.2 m) down the side of the ship from the main deck to finish 8.5 feet (2.6 m) below the designed waterline. Along the ship, the belt started just forward of the forward turret and finished just aft of the aft turret. The belt was at its thickest above, and at, the waterline. Over the magazines, the belt was 15 inches thick (381 mm); between the magazines, the belt was 14 inches (356 mm). The lower section of belt tapered to a thickness of between 4.5 in and 5.5 in.[30][31] Side protection was adequate against 15- or 16-inch shellfire at normal battle ranges.[1] The armoured belt, together with armoured bulkheads fore and aft and the armoured main deck, formed an 'armoured citadel' protecting magazines and machinery. The bulkhead, like the main belt, was 15 in (381 mm) thick.

Horizontal protection was equal to that of contemporary battleships built in World War II.[1] The armoured deck was 6 in (152 mm) over the magazines and 5 in (127 mm) elsewhere.[32] Against the British 15 inch Mark I naval gun, firing an 1,938 lb shell, this protection scheme provided an immunity zone from 17,200 to 32,000 yards over the magazines, 19,500 to 28,000 yards over the machinery.[33]

The main gun turrets were relatively lightly protected in comparison to contemporary battleships by 12.75 in (324 mm) of armour at the front and 8.84 inches (at gun chamber) 6.86 inches (284-174 mm) on the sides and rear; the roof plate was 5.88 in (149 mm) thick. The barbettes they stood on were of varying thickness: 12.75 in (324 mm) thick on the sides, 11.76 in (298 mm) forward and 10.82 in (275 mm) aft of the turret. The secondary gun mounts and magazines received only light plating of 0.98 in (25 mm) to protect against strafing and smaller fragments.

The conning tower was unusually lightly armoured for a battleship at 3.94 in (100 mm) forward and aft, 2.94 inches (75 mm) on the beam sides and with a 1.47 in (38 mm) roof plate.[34] The Royal Navy held the belief that superstructure protection was not necessary and should be severely limited, but the battle experiences of World War II by British, American and German battleships indicated that ship-control positions required some protection.[1] Stability and weight considerations clearly played an important part in the British decision to limit superstructure armour.[1]

With this:


The armour protection of the King George V-class battleships was designed after careful consideration of the Royal navy's fighting experience in WW1 and upon extensive full scale testing between the wars.[35] Magazine protection was given priority[36] through the provision of very thick belt and deck armour and by placing the magazines onto the lowest levels of the ship. [37]

The deck armour over the magazines totaled just under 9.25 inches of armour in 3 layers; the weather deck was 1.25 inches thick, the main armoured deck was 5.88 inches thick over a .5 inch steel deck, and above the shell rooms there was another 1.5 inch splinter deck.[38] [39] The powder magazines were located below the shell rooms for added protection, a practise that was begun with the Nelson class battleships.[40] The weatherdeck thickness remained the same over the machinery spaces, but the main armoured deck was reduced to 4.88 inches over a .5" steel deck. The main armoured deck was continued forward of the forward armoured bulkhead and gradually reduced from full thickness to 2.5 inches, while aft of the after magazines an armoured turtle deck covered the steering gear with 4.5 to 5 inches of armour whilst also providing protection along the waterline.[41]

The main armour belt was unusually high, stretching 23.5 feet (7.2 m) down the side of the ship from the main deck to finish 15 feet (4.6 m)[42] below the deep waterline. Along the ship, the belt started just forward of the forward turret and finished just aft of the aft turret. The belt was at its thickest above, and at, the waterline. Over the magazines, the belt was 15 inches thick (381 mm); over the machinery spaces, the belt was 14 inches (356 mm). The lower section of belt tapered to a thickness of between 4.5 in and 5.5 in.[43][44] Armour protection was even better than the thickness of armour would indicate due to the excellent qualities of the armour which provided superior resistance over German and USN armour.[45] [46] The armoured belt, together with armoured bulkheads fore and aft and the armoured main deck, formed an 'armoured citadel' protecting magazines and machinery. The bulkhead, like the main belt, was 15 in (381 mm) thick (R&R, p294, state 12 and 10 inches respectively-damwiki) The main armoured belt extended forward and aft of the main armoured bulkheads with reduced height to protect the waterline and gradually reduced in thickness from 13 to 5.5 inches.[47]

Turret armour and barbette armour was reduced to 12.75 inches in this class from the 16 inches of the Nelson class. To some extent the higher quality of the armour minimized the loss of protection and the turret's flat face improved ballistic resistance at long ranges, while the low profile of the turret minimized target area at closer ranges. However the reduction in turret and barbette armour was a design trade off in favour of the thickest possible protection for the magazines. [48] The extensive anti-flash protection in the turrets and barbettes was designed to ensure that the magazines would remain safe even if the turrets and/or barbettes were penetrated. [49]

Unlike contemporary foriegn battleships, the KGV class had comparatively light conning tower protection with 4.5 inches sides, 3 inch front and rear, and 2 inch roof and deck. The RN's analysis of WW1 combat revealed that command personnel were unlikely to utilize an armoured conning tower, preferring the superior visibility of unarmoured bridge positions.[50]. There is no evidence that RN Captains and Admirals utilized the armoured conning towers on those ships that did have them during WW2 and Captain Kerr and Admiral Holland fought the Hood, for example, from her unarmoured bridge.[51]. Even in the USN, Battleship captains and admirals preferred to use the unarmoured bridge positions during combat [52] and the USN Bureau of Ships advocated removing the heavy armoured conning towers of all USN battleships during WW2[53], but opinions varied on this topic within the USN, with some line officers preferring to keep the armoured conning positions. [54][55] However, a number of older USN battleships had their heavy conning towers removed during WW2 and replaced with lighter structures similar to the KGV class conning tower.[56] Damwiki1 (talk) 10:20, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

On the whole it reads well, though some of the last part about conning towers smacks of synthesis. I'd stop it after the reference to Admiral Holland and the Hood unless either of the US references specifically refers to the George Vs.GraemeLeggett (talk) 20:33, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
yes, that's OK by me. I wanted to show that there was a considerable debate within the USN over the value of heavily armoured Conning Towers and that the RN was not alone in questioning the need for them, which is certainly not the impression given by G&D. R&R are quite emphatic that heavily armoured conning towers were of little use and on page 415 state: "Another feature of interest is the retention of the heavily armoured conning towers in the American, French and German navies. These structures were of little use and added considerably to the top weight and weight of armour. That of the Bismarck certainly seems to have done little to protect her officers, communications and fire control arrangements, all of which suffered heavily in the early stages of her action with KGV and Rodney." I just want it on the record that Friedman and R&R provide info disputing the value of heavily armoured CTs. In fact, a bit of research shows that Lutjens and Lindeman were probably not in Bismarck's CT during the DS battle either.Damwiki1 (talk) 21:43, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Damwiki1 - Please could you put some of the discussion of conning towers into the article on Conning towers. The article on conning towers isn't very good and needs expanding. Don't worry if it makes the article a little lop-sided - if you fill in bits from your research, other people can always fill in bits about conning towers at other dates later.--Toddy1 (talk) 06:36, 16 February 2010 (UTC)--Toddy1 (talk)
No problem, but it might take me a few days before I can get to it.Damwiki1 (talk) 08:41, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Well, since the latest 'proposal' by Damwiki again concentrates on nothing but removing one source (Garzke and Dullin), obviously because its critical in some aspects, and replacing it with another against Wikipedia guidelines and fits into the series of tendentious edits from Damwiki in this page when it came to armament, range and now, it seems the the armor protection section is supposed to be the next victim. Needless to say, removal of properly referenced sources is not supported. Still, a part of the edit based on Roberts is actually useful, and worthy of incorporating into the article.

In short there are the following problems with the proposed edit:
  • its tendentious, aiming for nothing else but to remove one author being critical of some aspect of the ship, and re-paint it to a rosy pink picture, relying solely on an other author.. the wiki principle is again clear, if there are different views from respected sources, each of them must be represented equally, in an objective manner, not implying who was the 'right one' and who is the 'wrong one'. Even less completely remove one and replace with another.
  • it strongly biased in its wording and its concept, evidenced by the removal of any and all criticism, and generally making a propaganda entry that
  • as usual, the bias manifests that the text is full of weasel words like 'careful consideration', 'extensive full scale testing'
  • self-baked theories, clearly being OR, such as conning towers were 'widely ignored and seldom utilized', and 'there is no evidece' - this is actually a conclusion by the editor himself, based on two cases, one where the admiral was on HMS Hood, and one example at Guadalcanal, and as such, Original Research, and has no place in article. Its a miniscule detail, that actually just advances an arguement for the justification of the weak conning tower on the KGV class. Wiki is not a place for this, nor this article. As other noted, it should be better placed in the conning tower article. It should be sufficient here to note that unlike other Navies, the RN choose a different path with regards of conning tower on the KGV, for this and that reason. BTW the current article, stable for quite some time, already mentions this...
  • from the technical point of view, the referencing is poor. Use the same reference format as already in the article.
  • the boasting again about British Cemented armor 'Armour protection was even better than the thickness of armour would indicate' is again reeks of bias and weasel wording, moreover its intentionally vague and confusing, not giving a clue about what the extent of difference was.

Basically this proposal needs serious rework in order to be acceptable. First and foremost, Damwiki should learn to respect referenced sources and stop the habit of removing them when he does not like what they say. Kurfürst (talk) 11:21, 16 February 2010 (UTC)


Using the sources Damwiki proposed, and integrating them into the following merged proposal of the existing edit and the proposed edit, I came up with the following.

Essentially the main differences are:

  • respecting both sources and representing both, not neccessarily conflicting, views, as per wiki principles, which was ignored in the proposed text
  • ommitting the lenghty argument and OR examples about conning towers, as discussed already its better placed in the conning tower article, and the text already referred and summerized British reasoning behind such design, no need to place undue weight on the issue
  • consolidating some references
  • small re-write of some sentences to fit into existing text, and de-weasel them if neccessary in order that the text would simply inform of views, rather than advocate some views as the one and only truth.

Armour protection for the King George V-class battleships varied between excellent to poor.[1] The armour protection scheme was based on the Royal navy's fighting experience in WW1 and full scale testing between the wars.[57] Magazine protection was given priority[58] through the provision of very thick belt and deck armour and by placing the magazines onto the lowest levels of the ship. [59]

The main armour belt was unusually high, stretching 23.5 feet (7.2 m) down the side of the ship from the main deck to finish 8.5 feet (2.6 m) below the designed waterline. Along the ship, the belt started just forward of the forward turret and finished just aft of the aft turret. The belt was at its thickest above, and at, the waterline. Over the magazines, the belt was 15 inches thick (381 mm); between the magazines, the belt was 14 inches (356 mm). The lower section of belt tapered to a thickness of between 4.5 in and 5.5 in.[60][61] Side protection was adequate against 15- or 16-inch shellfire at normal battle ranges.[1] The armoured belt, together with armoured bulkheads fore and aft and the armoured main deck, formed an 'armoured citadel' protecting magazines and machinery. The bulkhead, like the main belt, was 15 in (381 mm) thick.

Horizontal protection was equal to that of contemporary battleships built in World War II.[1] The armoured deck was 6 in (152 mm) over the magazines and 5 in (127 mm) elsewhere.[62] The weather deck was 1.25 inches thick, the main armoured deck was 5.88 inches thick over a .5 inch steel deck; above the shell rooms there was another 1.5 inch splinter deck.[63] [64] The powder magazines were located below the shell rooms for added protection, a practise that was begun with the Nelson class battleships.[65] The weatherdeck thickness remained the same over the machinery spaces, but the main armoured deck was reduced to 4.88 inches over a .5" steel deck. The main armoured deck was continued forward of the forward armoured bulkhead and gradually reduced from full thickness to 2.5 inches, while aft of the after magazines an armoured turtle deck covered the steering gear with 4.5 to 5 inches of armour whilst also providing protection along the waterline.[66]

Against the British 15 inch Mark I naval gun, firing an 1,938 lb shell, this protection scheme provided an immunity zone from 17,200 to 32,000 yards over the magazines, 19,500 to 28,000 yards over the machinery.[67] Against the German 38cm (15 inch) C/34 naval gun mounted on the contemporary Bismarck class battleships, the immunity zone was from 21,500 to 36,600 yards yards over the magazines, 23,800 to 33,200 yards yards over the machinery.[68]

The main gun turrets were relatively lightly protected in comparison to contemporary battleships by 12.75 in (324 mm) of armour at the front and 8.84 inches (at gun chamber) 6.86 inches (284-174 mm) on the sides and rear; the roof plate was 5.88 in (149 mm) thick. The barbettes they stood on were of varying thickness: 12.75 in (324 mm) thick on the sides, 11.76 in (298 mm) forward and 10.82 in (275 mm) aft of the turret. The secondary gun mounts and magazines received only light plating of 0.98 in (25 mm) to protect against strafing and smaller fragments.[64] Compared to the previous Nelson class battleships, the reduction of armor thickness for turret protection was balanced to some extent by the higher quality of the armour. The turret's flat face improved ballistic resistance at long ranges, while the low profile of the turret reduced target area at closer ranges. However the reduction in turret and barbette armour was a design trade off in favour of the thickest possible protection for the magazines.[69] The extensive anti-flash protection in the turrets and barbettes was designed to ensure that the magazines would remain safe even if the turrets and/or barbettes were penetrated. [70]

The conning tower was unusually lightly armoured for a battleship at 3.94 in (100 mm) forward and aft, 2.94 inches (75 mm) on the beam sides and with a 1.47 in (38 mm) roof plate.[71] The Royal Navy held the belief that superstructure protection was not necessary and should be severely limited.[1] The Royal Navy's combat experience of World War I showed that command personnel were unlikely to utilize an armoured conning tower, preferring the superior visibility of unarmoured bridge positions,[72] but the battle experiences of World War II by British, American and German battleships indicated that ship-control positions required some protection.[1]

Kurfürst (talk) 12:00, 16 February 2010 (UTC)


"but the battle experiences of World War II by British, American and German battleships indicated that ship-control positions required some protection" this is a bit of a non-sequitur here as at the ships are designed before any experience. The phrase "severely limited" begs for more explantion as to why eg move weight distribution down, save armour for reuse elsewhere GraemeLeggett (talk) 14:00, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Indeed you are right on both accounts - its an unfortunate attempt on my part to consolidate two sources, one dealing with the reasoning based on the WW1 experience and the actual WW2 experience. Its probably better if we split the two sentence, see below. As for the explanation part, I will look again for the source wheter it gives an explanation, though I am sure it will have to do with the limited tonnage of treaty BBs. When I originally added this, I though it would be sufficient, not to get too deep into nitty details over one aspect.

The conning tower was unusually lightly armoured for a battleship at 3.94 in (100 mm) forward and aft, 2.94 inches (75 mm) on the beam sides and with a 1.47 in (38 mm) roof plate.[73] The Royal Navy held the belief that superstructure protection was not necessary and should be severely limited.[1] Their experience of World War I showed that command personnel were unlikely to utilize an armoured conning tower, preferring the superior visibility of unarmoured bridge positions.[74] However, battle experience of World War II by British, American and German battleships indicated that ship-control positions required some protection.[1]

Kurfürst (talk) 14:53, 16 February 2010


The conning tower was not unusually lightly armoured since the RN had rebuilt 4 WW1 Battleships and removed their heavy CTs by the time KGV was completed. The light armour on the CT is not poor or good or any other subjective evaluative term, it was a design trade-off based upon war experience. I should have referenced it but the armour thicknesses that I quoted are from R&R, p284. The fact that they vary from G&D by ~.5 inches indicated that the actual armour thickness was probably as per G&D but it sits on a .5" steel plate.
"Against the British 15 inch Mark I naval gun, firing an 1,938 lb shell, this protection scheme provided an immunity zone from 17,200 to 32,000 yards over the magazines, 19,500 to 28,000 yards over the machinery.[67] Against the German 38cm (15 inch) C/34 naval gun mounted on the contemporary Bismarck class battleships, the immunity zone was from 21,500 to 36,600 yards yards over the magazines, 23,800 to 33,200 yards yards over the machinery.[75]" Unfortunately these immune zone calculations are flawed. G&D do not state their sources so that the accuracy of the calculation cannot be checked, and the figures given by Okun are based upon inaccurate armour thicknesses. For example Okun omits the 1.5" splinter deck above the KGV magazines and fails to take into account the fact that the powder magazines are located in the lowest level of the ship, Okun also uses an incorrect figure for the SPS armoured bulkhead. Using Okun's methodolgy KGV's magazines are actually immune from the C/34 naval gun, if the correct information is used. It is best to simply omit the incorrect immune zone calculation, or add it as a footnote while explaining that the data is flawed. Okun made several other errors in that article, the most serious being his decapping calculations which he refers to in a follow-on article "Decapping Revisited".
Just to add to this, regarding the KGV armour R&R on p293 state:"...it was estimated that the belt armour would withstand 15 inch shells at a range of about 13,500 yards (15 inch armour) and 15600 yards (14 inch armour at normal inclination..." However, we do not know the type of 15 inch shell and these figures seem more likely to based upon a 30deg target angle. Like G&D's figures we cannot evaluate these statements for accuracy unless we know how they were performed and the particulars of the shell. They also state that the magazines could withstand 15 inch plunging fire at up to "33500 yds". But again I would hesitate to use these figures.Damwiki1 (talk) 22:31, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
Here G&D are caught out making a demonstrably false statement: Horizontal protection was equal to that of contemporary battleships built in World War II.[1] The deck armour thicknesses on the KGV, both in total deck armour and in maximum thickness of a single plate are superior to any other WW2 Battleship, with the exception of Yamato. Kurfurst know this well, I'm sure, but prefers to insert obviously false information into the article. For example the total deck thickness for Bismarck's magazines are a 50mm weatherdeck and a 95mm armoured deck and Bismarck's magazines are directly under the 95mm armoured deck which is very high in the ship, so it is pretty obvious that Bismarck's horizontal magazine protection and armoured decks are much thinner than KGV's. The same is true for South Dakota and Iowa, and the Littorio class deck armour is also demonstrably inferior to KGV's, but I prefer to simply state the thickness and the design details and leave off the evaluative statements.
"The main gun turrets were relatively lightly protected in comparison to contemporary battleships" Again this statement is not necessarily true. KGV's turrets had equal or better thickness than all previous RN Battleships except, Hood, Nelson and Rodney. Many Foreign Battleships had thinner armour as well, for example the IJN Kongo class, and the rebuilt Italian BBs. KGV's turret armour, once it's improved resistance is taken into account, may or may not be superior to foriegn battle ships, since this depends on range, as at long ranges the vertical turret face is superior to an inclined turret face. Trying to determine the actual degree of protection is a complex problem that cannot be reduced to a single sentence. I have demonstrated, time and time again, that G&D have made numerous errors in their chapter on the KGV class, and their work must be used with great caution.Damwiki1 (talk) 19:38, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
This is an excellent resource for obtaining battleship gun penetration data: Lundgren & Worth, World War II Naval Gun Armor Penetration Tables They show that there is little difference between the Royal Navy 14" and the Bismarck 38cm, once the armour nationality differences are taken into account. I see that Kurfurst is being his usual "tendentious" self.And heg (talk) 23:54, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
I am afraid neither Garzke, Dullin or Okun, all widely acknowledged experts in the field, require the approval of Damwiki, or that of And Heg (who only seems contribute to articles where Damwiki expresses a POV, and always in support of Damwiki. Curiously this editor was investigated as a possible sockpuppet of Damwiki1, and was found being located in the same city and using the same ISP, though of different IP address). Wikipedia is built on referenced, verifiable statements by respected, reliable secondary sources, which Garzke, Dullin or Okun are. Wikipedia on the other hand is not built on the personal opinion of editors such as Damwiki/And heg. While I am sure your personal opinion is just as valuable as mine, such has no place in Wikipedia articles, especially when it is against verifiable content from reliable secondary sources. It seems a simple case of Wikipedia:I just don't like it. Moreover I must note that your behavior here, the whole discussion page being 'dedicated' to your bickering about how just about every secondary source on the subject is wrong, "demonstrably false", and "must be used with great caution" and if negative, should be removed, is fast becoming disruptive to the development of this article. Kurfürst (talk) 00:29, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
A "widely acknowledged expert" Nathan Okun's work was used to build the table in the article above, and it is presented on his resource page at [1]. I am sorry that you find it inconvenient, although I don't know why it prompted such strong allegation against me. I live in a city of about 200,000 people, 99% of whom use one of only two ISPs, but this is the last time I will ever defend myself for an accident of geography. Hopefully a moderator will address your behaviour.And heg (talk) 01:15, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Raven and Roberts are also respected authors and have been published widely and are cited by G&D, but Kurfurst prefers to ignore that inconvenient fact. That Okun omitted the splinter deck over the KGV magazine is readily apparent to anyone who takes the time to read his paper, ARMOR PROTECTION OF THE BATTLESHIP KM BISMARCK, which is listed in the references : Okun states: "There were no protective decks below the main armor deck,... which is contradicted by both G&D and R&R. I hope kurfurst will stop making further personal accusations which having nothing to do with the topic at hand.I do not understand how And Heg's contribution has prompted such an attack against me. I am trying to create an article that is written from a neutral POV, free from pejorative statements, which kurfurst keeps wanting to insert into it: "...Armour protection for the King George V-class battleships varied between excellent to poor...Side protection was adequate against 15- or 16-inch shellfire...The main gun turrets were relatively lightly protected in comparison to contemporary battleships...The conning tower was unusually lightly armoured for a battleship...but the battle experiences of World War II by British, American and German battleships indicated that ship-control positions required some protection..." These kinds of statements have no place in this article as they try to reduce complex information into misleading sentences.Damwiki1 (talk) 01:33, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── FWIW, I believe that G&D used U.S. Navy armor penetration tables for their data (unless I'm confusing them with someone else). They can also be mistaken or wrong; no one, even experts, are infallible. Whether they are or not I will leave to you guys... Kurfurst, please don't accuse others of being sockpuppets; it doesn't help anything and only serves to introduce a red herring. —Ed (talkmajestic titan) 04:31, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

I think this is starting to get slightly out of hand. It looks like both users are in a dispute over what sources to use, and we can't delete content because we think our source is better. Rin tin tin 1996 (talk) 01:56, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Is there anyone who could try finding other sources besides the ones mentioned here? This is ridiculous, and I'd really appreciate it if Damwiki1 and Kurfürst could settle their differences and try to improve this article. I also notified the Ships WikiProject. Rin tin tin 1996 (talk) 02:59, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

If you have an idea for an edit, why not share it? We propose edits, ask for input and then make the edit. I have added multiple sources to this article. I am trying to re-write this article to make it a first class article but frankly, it has been a very wearying process and sometimes I run out of energy. Yet, I think we are making progress, and the sections on Armour and Underwater protection, are now coherent, readable, and provide the reader with much valuable information. I have asked for input from a moderator and from the Wikipedia:WikiProject_Military_history and the other editors here, and generally we seem to be able to reach consensus, with one notable exception.Damwiki1 (talk) 10:29, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

I propose to add the following image to the Underwater Protection section:

Armour and underwater protection of King George V

It provides an accurate layout of the underwater and armour protection of the KGV class.Damwiki1 (talk) 22:23, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Looks like a useful diagram, but we need to lose the Tirpitz part of it, a) to simplify matters and b) because we are not doing a comparison. In lieu of anything better, perhaps the diagram could be used for the Bismarck class article. GraemeLeggett (talk) 23:16, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
Ok I edited the image and replaced the link above with the new image.Damwiki1 (talk) 00:08, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
It looks like a good image. Add it if you think it works. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rin tin tin 1996 (talkcontribs) 14:25, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Garzke and Dullin, 1980. pp. 247.
  2. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships of World War Two, p294-297. This reference is used for the statements regarding the SPS from the beginning of this paragraph.
  3. ^ Brown, Nelson to Vanguard, pp30-1
  4. ^ Death of a Battleship, Garzke, Dulin and Denlay
  5. ^ Death of a Battleship, Garzke, Dulin and Denlay
  6. ^ Nathan Okun. "Underwater Projectile Hits". 
  7. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships of World war two, p154-155. The RN conducted a series of post World war one experiments demonstrating the need for a very deep belt to provide protection from delayed action armour piercing shells, since these could strike the water, which would initiate fuze action, close to the ship and dive under a shallow belt, striking the ship before the shell burst.
  8. ^ Garzke and Dullin, 1980. pp. 243-244.
  9. ^ Death of a Battleship, Garzke, Dulin and Denlay
  10. ^ Death of a Battleship, Garzke, Dulin and Denlay
  11. ^ Nathan Okun. "Underwater Projectile Hits". 
  12. ^ Middlebrook, Battleship
  13. ^ Death of a Battleship, Garzke, Dulin and Denlay, p35
  14. ^ Garzke, Dulin and Denlay, Death of a Battleship
  15. ^ Garzke and Dulin, Allied Battleships, p196
  16. ^ Death of a Battleship, Garzke, Dulin and Denlay, p15-20
  17. ^ Middlebrook, Battleship, p310: "...the Second Bucknill Committee started its sittings...on 16 March 1942."
  18. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships of WW2, p388
  19. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships of WW2, p388
  20. ^ Garzke and Dulin, Allied Battleships, p247.
  21. ^ Middlebrook, Battleship, p202, Middlebrook postulated a hit at frame 206 but discounted it's ability to defeat the SPS because of the small warhead of the IJN aerial torpedoes and the lack of definitive evidence from wreck surveys and survivor accounts of the sinking.
  22. ^ Middlebrook, Battleship, p198-200
  23. ^ Death of a Battleship, Garzke, Dulin and Denlay
  24. ^ Middlebrook, Battleship, p202: "The committee could not have known two things: first, that the Japanese torpedoes contained only 330 or 450 lb of explosive charge (which knowledge would have only increased their dilemma) and secondly, that the extensive damage and flooding had been caused not by the explosion seen on PoW's port side but by the unseen torpedo hit underneath the stern. This was the torpedo that tore the bracket of the port-outer shaft away from the hull, distorted the shaft itself, and permitted the vast inrush of water. It is small wonder that the committee was baffled..."
  25. ^ Garzke and Dulin, Allied Battleships, p241. This volume, for example, proposed three alternative theories based upon a torpedo hit or hits at frame 206 that defeated the SPS.
  26. ^ Nathan Okun. "Underwater Projectile Hits". 
  27. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships of WW2, p414: The depth of the belt below the design waterline is given as; 15 feet for KGV, 8 feet for Bismarck and 7 feet for Littorio.
  28. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships of WW2, p154
  29. ^ Garzke and Dulin, Bismarck's Final Battle:"The first shell caused negligible structural damage. The second shell struck the port side of Bismarck somewhere below the 320-mm main side belt in compartment XIV (in way of the fore bridge tower). This shell defeated the side protective system and exploded against the 45mm torpedo bulkhead. Fragments from the explosion penetrated the bounding bulkhead of the portside cable ways and the main transverse bulkhead between the forward port turbo-generator compartment and the port boiler room. The turbo-generator room quickly filled with water. The boiler room flooded at a much slower rate through tears in welded seams in the main subdivision bulkhead."
  30. ^ Brown, Nelson to Vanguard, pp29-30
  31. ^ Breyer, Battleships and Battlecruisers of the World, p.182-4.
  32. ^ Brown, Vanguard to Nelson, p.29-30; Breyer, Battleships and Battlecruisers of the World, p.182-4.
  33. ^ Garzke&Dullin, 1980. p.251
  34. ^ Garzke & Dullin, 1980. p.252
  35. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships, p263
  36. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships, p415
  37. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships, p285
  38. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships,284
  39. ^ Garzke and Dulin, Allied Battleships,p252-255
  40. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships, p285
  41. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships,284
  42. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships, p415. Minor variations of the belt depth exist between several sources.
  43. ^ Brown, Nelson to Vanguard, pp29-30
  44. ^ Breyer, Battleships and Battlecruisers of the World, p.182-4.
  45. ^ Garzke and Dullin, 1980. pp. 247: "Side armour protection of these ships was better than indicated in mere thickness tabulations, as the excellent quality of British Cemented armour provided the resistance of about 25% greater thickness of US Class "A" armour."
  46. ^ Bismarck Armour: "Post WWII proving ground test indicated that KC was only slightly less resistant than British cemented armour (CA), and markedly superior to US Class A plates."
  47. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships, p284. These values differ slightly from source to source.
  48. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships, p415
  49. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships,p285
  50. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships, p415
  51. ^ Testimony of Ted Briggs
  52. ^ Musicant, Battleship at war, p118. Captain Gatch of the South Dakota, Captain Davis of the Washington and Admiral Lee fought 2nd Guadalcanal from the unarmoured bridges of their battleships.
  53. ^ Friedman, US Battleships, p327
  54. ^ Friedman, US Battleships, p305
  55. ^ Garzke and Dullin, 1980. pp. 247
  56. ^ Friedman, US Battleships, p345-387.
  57. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships, p263
  58. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships, p415
  59. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships, p285
  60. ^ Brown, Nelson to Vanguard, pp29-30
  61. ^ Breyer, Battleships and Battlecruisers of the World, p.182-4.
  62. ^ Brown, Vanguard to Nelson, p.29-30; Breyer, Battleships and Battlecruisers of the World, p.182-4.
  63. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships,284
  64. ^ Cite error: The named reference Garzke_and_Dullin.2C_1980._pp._252-255 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  65. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships, p285
  66. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships,284
  67. ^ Cite error: The named reference Garzke_and_Dullin.2C_1980._pp._251 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  68. ^ Okun, Nathan. Armor protection of the battleship KM Bismarck.
  69. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships, p415
  70. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships,p285
  71. ^ Garzke & Dullin, 1980. p.252
  72. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships, p415
  73. ^ Garzke & Dullin, 1980. p.252
  74. ^ Raven and Roberts, British Battleships, p415
  75. ^ Okun, Nathan. Armor protection of the battleship KM Bismarck.

Outdated material[edit]

I think that that the discovery of the wrecks of Hood, Bismarck and PoW have rendered sections of many standard reference books outdated. Doesn't meant that they're unreliable, they just have to be used carefully and with reference to later works that do incorporate the wreck data. I find the frequent slinging around of terms like tendentious, etc. to be very unproductive and wish it would cease as all it does is get people riled up. And making extreme interpretations of Wiki policy to suit one side or another is also unproductive as credibility is lost with such accusations used in pursuance of an agenda can readily be ascertained by neutral parties.

I would suggest that notes be added describing the differing analyses. Something along the lines of G&D say X, but video from the wreck shows Y and this has been discussed by source Z. You can do it in the text, but that can be a little awkward. I ran into a little bit of this when writing the Szent Istvan article where my primary source said she was torpedoed twice, but current wreck descriptions mention four holes, three of which were similar in size and shape, but the fourth is much smaller and may have happened when the bow hit the seabed. Tentative conclusion is that one torpedo that was claimed to hit Tegetthof by the Italians, although the Austrians reported no damage, actually hit Szent Istvan and that the crew of the other MAS boat didn't confuse their torpedo with the other boat's.

No one single source can be treated like the revealed word of Ghod, including Okun, Friedman, Roberts, G&D, etc. Part of our job is to synthesize all of the available material and that necessarily involves assessing the evidence presented by various authors and choosing the most likely explanation or account. And when that's controversial then a little more time needs to be spent discussing the various theories and making judgements when later data contradicts the original theory. Forex Hood was lost to a rear 15" magazine explosion, that's pretty indisputable now that the wreck's been found, but we'll never know exactly how that happened. Which makes it easy to rule out some previous theories about the cause of her loss, but time must still be spent discussing exactly how that might have happened.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 06:39, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the comments.Damwiki1 (talk) 02:30, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

G&D[edit]

I am afraid that G&D do state "Empress of India" on page 230. Yet another mistake on their part. Damwiki1 (talk) 17:19, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Which edition is it you are working from, there was a revised one I believe. GraemeLeggett (talk) 19:00, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

I have the 1980 edition.Damwiki1 (talk) 19:09, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

I thought that the only one updated was the United States edition? —Ed (talkmajestic titan) 23:16, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Refits[edit]

There is a fair amount written about intended improvements, via refits, in the KGV class, but not much on the specifics for each ship. I will try and track down more info on this topicDamwiki1 (talk) 23:10, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

refuelling at sea from USN[edit]

I've been pondering this one. this gives a refuel between Alexandria and Sydney. this gives general info that the Anglo-US fleet had to work hard at refuelling to keep up activities. I wonder if these give pointers for sources to check. It strikesme that the refuelling might have been to done to maintain pace rather than wait for a rendezvous with an oiler. GraemeLeggett (talk) 13:17, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

  • [this] on Napier mentions problems with British fuel supply lines in August 1945. GraemeLeggett (talk) 13:20, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Refueling destroyers and other escort ships from Battleships was a common occurrence and the RN had been doing this from the beginning of the war. A battleship refueling from a frigate is simply unheard of. For the Battleship to take on any useful amount of fuel it would have to drain the frigate almost dry, leaving it in a perilous state should bad weather develop. About 1/2 of USN frigates used diesel engines so their fuel would be unlikely to be useful to a battleship. Le Bailley, in Man around the Engine gives an account of KGV's time with the BPF and he also wrote an article in the Journal of Naval Engineering, where he mentions that they refueled destroyers numerous times, including one USN destroyer:
The work of the double bottom party increased owing to the large number
of destroyers fuelled in addition to fuelling ship. At one period the double
bottom party worked almost continuously for 48 hours. It became p0ssible
to split this party into two by the substitution of seamen for stokers on two
damage control sections, Figures for fueling ship and fueling destroyers
are as follows :-
Fuelled ship ... ... ... 19 times (28th June 1945 to 27th Aug 1945).
Total ... ... ... . .. 24,448 tons.
Fastest fuelling ... ... .. . 1,210 tons pumping rate 1,050 tonslhr.
Ships fuelled .;. ... . . . 30 destroyers, l cruiser, l U.S. destroyer.
Fastest fuelling destroyer ... Napier at 185 tons/hr. 
H.M.S. "KING GEORGE V"
Steaming of ship, Trincomalee to Tokyo Bay
January 16th to September 4th, 1945
REPORT FROM THE ENGINEER OFFICER

There is no mention of refueling from USN frigates, so clearly it was not KGV that might have refueled from a frigate. It is possible that HMS Howe might have, but again this is extremely improbable. A KGV class battleship had an endurance of 10 to 20 days at typical cruising speeds and it just doesn't make sense that they would refuel from a frigate when they are frequently refueling destroyers themselves. All the KGV class had their fuel capacity increased to over 4000 tons by 1945, which is something for the refit section.Damwiki1 (talk) 19:49, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

POW/Bismarck[edit]

In the action against Bismarck it's perhaps only fair to point out that the brand-new POW had put to sea before being able to do any working-up and actually had shipyard personnel aboard, as it had not proved possible to put them ashore before she sailed. The gun crews were therefore practically raw when it came to operating the turrets, so it's hardly surprising they had problems.

Recent edits[edit]

I reverted the recent edits because they removed a lot of well sourced material that provided invaluable information on this class of battleship, and their design history. I think that some discussion is in order before removing such extensive amounts of material. The engineering data on the individual ships, for example, is actually wrong in most cases, and I had to correct it via a footnote; it is hardly appropriate to removed the detailed, and carefully sourced engineering data here with the incorrect data on the individual pages.Damwiki1 (talk) 22:59, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

Ok, however, I have reinserted the service histories. Thurgate (talk) 23:30, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, the service histories look good.Damwiki1 (talk) 19:07, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
What were you attempting to do, Thurgate, with the massive remove of text?--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 19:46, 21 May 2012 (UTC)
I suppose I was trying to streamline the article, put looking at my changes I was too heavy handed in removing text. However, I still believe that the main armament section can be reduced slightly. Also Sturm do you think the lead should be enlarged to include the sections on the armour as they take up a fair chunk of text? Furthermore, how far do you think the article is from being GA standard? Thurgate (talk) 23:59, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Comparison with contemporary battleship designs - protection[edit]

The design of any battleship was a balancing act between speed, armament and protection. Earlier British battleship designs, before Nelson and Rodney, had tended to emphasise armament (and speed in the case of battlecruisers) to the detriment of protection. This was entirely changed due to experiences in WWI and subsequent testing (as is mentioned in the text). However, though there is plenty of comparison of the main battery to those of contemporary foreign battleship designs, there is no comparison at all for armour. The KGV battleships had a thicker main belt, and arguably overall better-designed protection, than any other contemporary battleship class, with the exception of the giant Japanese Yamato class battleships. This should be mentioned, as otherwise the reader will get a rather incomplete idea of these ships relative to their peers. Urselius (talk) 10:50, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

When I originally began editing this article, I tried to give comparisons showing the excellent protection of this class, and even created a separate article comparing Washington and KGV, based upon the data in Friedman's book on USN Battleships. That article ended up being deleted. Apparently comparisons are OK as long as they don't show off the KGV class in a good light...:) However, the climate for these things seems better now, but I would suggest that you proceed with caution and discuss any proposed changes here first.Damwiki1 (talk) 20:12, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Ideally, comparisons should follow from what the sources say. But the sources don't don't always answer the questions we want to ask them. GraemeLeggett (talk) 20:52, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Sources for all contemporary battleship classes will give data for maximum thickness of the main armour belt - you do not need a specific source to put these statistics into a table, for example. That would give the reader some idea of how the KGVs measured up against other battleships.Urselius (talk) 12:06, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
True but that is only the thickest part, depth and length of belt and what it covers and how much overall weight is given to armour all make the picture more complex. Now if a source has included a table together with a useful statement describing how the KGV compared with their contemporaries that would be a help. GraemeLeggett (talk) 12:16, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
I have a distinct impression that double standards are often at work in comparisons of British fighting machines to those of other countries. This is partly because Britain was a democracy and the failings of equipment were commented on and often minutely recorded, while dictatorships did not often allow such information to become public. This is why the Bismarck class is still held up as being a superior design, when the only real advantage it had was its astonishingly wide beam. Urselius (talk) 17:04, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Exemplar of a comparison table for belt armour in combatant classes of battleships in WWII built after 1930, showing KGV class second only to the Yamato class:

Battleship class Main armour belt
(maximum thickness)
King George V (Britain) 14.7in
North Carolina (USA) 12.0in
South Dakota (USA) 12.2in
Iowa (USA) 12.1in
Scharnhorst (Germany) 13.78in
Bismarck (Germany) 13.0in
Dunkerque (France) 11.1in (Strasbourg)
Richelieu (France) 13.0in
Littorio (Italy) 11.0in
Yamato (Japan) 16.0in

All the information was gleaned from the relevant Wikipedia articles so de facto cannot be OR. Incidentally, the infobox for KGV-class gives a maximum armour belt thickness of 14.7in but the text gives 15in. I am aware that the above table needs conversions to metric measurements and links, but it is here as a point for discussion. Additionally, if the table were to be extended to give comparisons of displacement, speed and main armament it would be an invaluable resource for many WWII battleship-related articles.

To forestall pointless nitpicking the comparison is indeed crude, but this is an unavoidable consequence of producing a comparison table, such tables do not work for more complex nuances. It does, however, give a very useful shorthand way of comparing battleships. One battleship with a thicker main armour belt than another does accurately show that it has had more design and material investment in protection. Urselius (talk) 16:05, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Many of the above battleships had inclined belt armour, and the inclination plus the height of the belt would have to be shown to provide a fair comparison. The KGV class had 14.7in of belt armour over the magazines with a .8in (IIRC) backing plate of D steel for an effective thickness of ~15in. The RN usually rounded armour thickness to the nearest inch.
No, that is exactly what you can't have in a simple table. It is a shorthand way of comparing things, not an in depth analysis. The only real way to compare protection in a totally accurate way is to have a ship of each class and fire the same gun, with the type of same shell, at them at a fixed series of elevations and ranges, then inspect the damage - obviously not a practical option. Showing that one battleship has armour 2 inches thicker than another makes a valid statement about the balance of armour against other considerations for those ships. Urselius (talk) 12:24, 21 May 2013 (UTC)