Talk:HMS Thunderer (1872)

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Good article HMS Thunderer (1872) has been listed as one of the Warfare good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
April 21, 2016 Good article nominee Listed
August 18, 2016 Good article reassessment Kept
Current status: Good article


GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:HMS Thunderer (1872)/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Jaguar (talk · contribs) 11:16, 21 April 2016 (UTC)


I'll do this shortly. JAGUAR  11:16, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Initial comments[edit]

  • "and gained a reputation as a unlucky ship for several years afterward" - an unlucky ship
  • "The ship was assigned to the Portsmouth Reserve in January 1888 before beginning a major modernization" - modernisation
  • "The Devastation-class ships had a complete wrought iron waterline armour belt that was 12 inches thick" - convert to mertic
    • Done in the armament section.
  • No dead links
  • " of wrought iron armour at the muzzle" - muzzle is a dab link
  • "The muzzle-loading gun had been double-loaded following a misfire" - misfire is a dab link
    • True, but the last entry is the actual definition that I'm referring to.

Too bad this isn't HMS Thunder Child!! On hold. Good article on hold JAGUAR  14:35, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Isn't it though! Thanks for reviewing this.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 19:52, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
Sadly it's the closest thing we can get to Thunder Child. I actually listened to it whilst reviewing this! Anyway, with all of the issues out of the way, this can be promoted Good article JAGUAR  21:08, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Exploded gun on HMS Thunderer[edit]

Moved from my user talk:

"...the left 12.5-inch gun in the forward turret exploded during gunnery practice". Histories state that this was in fact a 12.5 inch gun bored to 12 inches, designated "12-inch 38-ton gun". Your thoughts ? It wouldn't make sense to have different calibre main guns. Rod. Rcbutcher (talk) 04:41, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

Winfield & Lyon, p. 255, state that the source of Thunderer's guns being 12 inch vice 12.5 inch is from King's report on European navies, but they say 12.5, as does Parkes. Conway's, OTOH, says 12 inches. Sadly, Campbell doesn't start his series on British guns until the 1880 models. Do any manuals say that there was a 12-inch 38-ton gun?--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 05:36, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
1879 Treatise on the Construction and Manufacture of Ordnance in the British Service (i.e. before the explosion), states under 12-inch 35-ton gun : "Two 38-ton guns, Nos. 2 and 3 [sic] on board HMS "Thunderer", retain the calibre of 12" temporarily". I read elsewhere (still trying to find it again) that the problem was one of supply : over-supply of 12.5 inch, underesupply of 12-inch, hence the expedient of lining down (or completing as 12-inch) two 12.5 inch guns. Rcbutcher (talk) 09:53, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
1921 Robertson, Evolution of Naval Armament, refers to Thunderer's two forward 12-inch 38-ton guns with new hydraulic action, one of which exploded in 1879... Rcbutcher (talk) 10:12, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
Brassey 1882 "The British Navy" vol II, page 82, goes into great detail about the 12-inch 38-ton gun explosion... "the bores having been specially kept to this size, instead of the usual twelve and a half inches of ordnance of that weight, in order that the same projectiles might be used for the guns in the fore-turret, and for those weighing 35 tuns in the aft turret". Rcbutcher (talk) 10:37, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
I just noticed that Winfield & Lyon state that the ship had four 12.5-inch guns, not just in the forward turret like everybody else. Hmmm....--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 05:38, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
This belong on the article talk: page, not here. I'll move it over. Andy Dingley (talk) 09:28, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
  • I've no sourcing on what Thunderer had herself. Some general points though:
  • 'calibre' is more than diameter. The weight of shell can vary a lot within the same bore diameter and this affects range and effectiveness against armour more. 12 to 12.5 could be a large or a small difference. Some "12 in" guns could also vary a lot, depending on the model.
  • Pre-dreadnoughts deliberately used a range of calibres. This could even include "light" and "heavy" guns within the same calibre, on the same ship. I think this was a US approach more than UK. Many wing turrets though had a reduced maximum charge compared to a centreline turret, because of the risk of blast damage to the superstructure.
  • AIUI, Thunderer did only have one main gun calibre: the guns were built on differing 35-ton and 38-ton barrels owing to their availability (they are massive forgings and slow to produce), but the 38-tonners were then bored undersize to match the 35-tonners so that the ship had a consistent calibre from the service and ballistics point of view.
  • Yes, see Brassey 1882 above. Rcbutcher (talk) 05:01, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Is there a source for Thunderer's guns definitely having been built for her, rather than being Palliser conversions of earlier MLs?
  • What ramming machinery was fitted? The Engineer article suggests that the problem was a fault in the depth indicator for hydraulic ramming gear, thus not indicating that the rammer had hit a second charge.
  • What's the purpose of the millboard disc above a Palliser shell? A fireable weather tompion? Andy Dingley (talk) 10:05, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
A simple point on the start of the above; "Histories state that this was in fact a 12.5 inch gun bored to 12 inches". That seems unlikely unless bored and sleeved down. SovalValtos (talk) 10:18, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
No, I think it was simply a brand new forging for a 12.5" 38 ton, but only ever bored out to 12". Andy Dingley (talk) 10:24, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

Power operated turrets[edit]

This is a mess. Nearly ever source seems contradictory.

Can we get good (i.e. primary archive sources) to clear up any of the following:

  • Were both turrets initially power traversed? Was this done by steam, or by hydraulics?
  • Was the fore turret built with power, never powered, or converted after building (1874)?
  • What was powered, and what was powered in the fore turret that wasn't powered in the aft? Traverse, elevation, ramming, recuperation, shell lifts?
  • Were there hydraulic shell lifts fitted? To one or both?
  • How many elevation trunnions were there? I suspect that all guns had a manual elevation gear which worked the trunnion on the recoilling carriage. There may also have been a second trunnion (similar to that used for Inflexible), where the slideway frame of the carriage could also be raised and lowered by hydraulics, just for loading.
  • What were the tasks of the turret crew and how did this change in the 48-28 demanning after the power operation of the fore turret?

Andy Dingley (talk) 10:51, 28 April 2016 (UTC)

    • I'm pretty sure that both of the turrets were traversed with steam and initially worked by hand. The hydraulic gear fitted to the fore turret while fitting out or shortly afterwards elevated, rammed and lifted the shells and gun, AFAIK. I'm a bit dubious that the recuperation was hydraulic that early, but that's not anything I've studied specifically. I think that the rest of your questions can only be answered from the manuals for the gun and turret, if any survive.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 14:32, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
By "recuperation" here I mean a hydraulic ram to run the guns back out again after they had recoiled and stopped moving (rather than pulley blocks or a geared rack), not the hydro-pneumatic recuperators that would take another few decades. Andy Dingley (talk) 15:22, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
Ah, thanks for clarifying what you meant; that I don't know.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 15:31, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
  • "steam traverse" has been used as a contemporary shorthand for "power traverse" (i.e. as opposed to hand-working it). The mechanism was actually a hydraulic motor, with hydraulic pressure generated from a steam engine and pump, outside the turret. I see no evidence or sourcing for the turrets being worked directly with a steam engine. In particular, I have never seen any ship fitted with steam pipes to a turret or gunhouse, and any fixed steam engine would thus have to be mounted to the non-rotating barbette, making the working of a large turret (captained from within the turret) awkward, or at least involving obvious equipment outside the turret. Andy Dingley (talk) 18:09, 9 May 2016 (UTC)


GA Reassessment[edit]

This discussion is transcluded from Talk:HMS Thunderer (1872)/GA2. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the reassessment.

This is a new article (recent substantial expansion) and new GA. Yet it has never adequately sourced significant aspects of the ship's history. Even now, after expansion post-GA, there is a list of significant problems listed on the Talk: page. These are technical issues with obscure histories, but they are key to the record of this ship, and why this ship is of note (it has no service record of note, but demonstrated an important technical innovation and suffered two major accidents which led to technical developments on other ships). The factors that are key to this are unsourced, contradicted across sources in a way that is acceptable in an article generally but is not adequate for a GA, until resolved. Some of the article is also simply wrong - the "12.5 inch" calibre issue has been addressed at talk: and could be considered resolved, but the article as is still states the incorrect version.

I have attempted to expand the article and address these problems as far as I can, but have now been reverted as "excessive detail". I see an underlying problem here too with OWN and GA as hat-collecting, more than article quality. This is certainly not an article as robustly sourced and unambiguous as GA needs. Andy Dingley (talk) 17:49, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

WP:CITEVAR prohibits adding sfn format cites so I converted them to match the existing formats. I also deleted all of the shell data that I'd added earlier as I believe, on further consideration, that properly belongs in the class article. As does the detailed explanation of the hydraulic loading gear, IMO. I had invited interested parties to add a detailed note about the contradictory sources about the caliber of the ship's new guns as I knew that I wouldn't be able to revise it to reflect the additional sources anytime soon, but all Andy did was add some dubious tags rather than a full-blown note with a discussion of the sources, so that somebody (anybody) else would have to clean up the mess. And to take this to GAR rather than follow BRD for a long-term Wikipedian like Andy, who can be expected to know better, just baffles me as to his motivations. And I have no explanation for his failure to follow WP:SOFIXIT.
To reiterate, I have no objection to anyone adding sourced information to the article, although there might be a discussion about whether it's better placed in the class article or here. So I object to his characterization of ownership and hat collecting as I wrote it based on the best information available to me. He found better information and I'd expect him to add it to the article rather than mark it up with various tags. Or take things to GAR rather than to the discussion page.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 18:19, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
SOFIXIT was here. You blanked it all, including the added source. Now your good friend Parsecboy, of many mutual GA reviews passim, is edit-warring to bulk revert this over and over.
"I'd expect him to add it to the article rather than mark it up with various tags." I did add to your article, weeks ago, but clearly you don't like that. Have you even read the talk: page, where I've gone further into this? Yet when I add tags to the article on some small pieces that are now clear errors of fact you then, and only then, get pissed off and bulk-revert me. Andy Dingley (talk) 19:27, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
I strongly suggest you familiarize yourself with what constitutes edit-warring before you start slinging accusations around.
And no, Sturmvogel did not "bulk revert" you - the fact that you had to include 4 different edits in your diff above should make that clear. As should a simple comparison of the article before you touched it and now. While we're on the subject of bulk reverts, you actually introduced errors (see for instance the "obvious" you changed to "obvioous", because you could not be bothered to not hit "undo". Parsecboy (talk) 19:40, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
Andy, you added useful info from the Engineer on the hydraulic loading system as well as info from Hodges, most of which I left in place. I deleted one paragraph that I thought was too detailed and thus better suited for the class article as well as all the info on shell weights and penetration that I had originally added. That included your note about no change in shell weight if the gun caliber remained 12 inches. So go ahead and add a detailed footnote on the various sources that discuss the guns and their caliber. Adding text to tags is clearly insufficient to explain the issue and that's why I discount your claim to have fixed the issues that you've raised. The account in Brassey's, I think it was, that Rcbutcher found seems to be the most definitive one to me, but you may think differently.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 20:41, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

Closing comment[edit]

Nothing has been posted here for over three months, so I am closing this and leaving the article at GA for the present. I think, given the clear disagreement between Andy Dingley and Sturmvogel 66, that an individual GA reassessment was not the right choice: the WP:GAR page cautions against using an individual reassessment when said individual is a major contributor (debatable) or a decision by him or her is likely to be controversial (almost certainly true); in such cases opt for community reassessment instead. So if any issues remain, Andy Dingley, a community reassessment is still open to you. BlueMoonset (talk) 00:47, 18 August 2016 (UTC)