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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Military/History Related Hobbies > Alternate Timelines

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Alternate Timelines The plausible "what if's" of military history.

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  #16  
Old 13 Jun 17, 23:48
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Well, I think the Portlnd would be great at finding the Deustchland, but once it did things get problematic.

How about another sort of test; versatility.

If the roles were reversed, how would things go?

Would Portland have made a good raider?
Would it have been able to get past a Pocket Battleship and strike at the convoy it was escorting?
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  #17  
Old 14 Jun 17, 12:57
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Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
Didn't some of the older gun turrets in 8" Cruisers have to all be raised and lowered together?

Pruitt
I believe it was everything before the Wichitas.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8%22/55_caliber_gun
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  #18  
Old 18 Jun 17, 08:31
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IMO the Battle of the River Platte shows us what would happen. 3 cruisers against the Graff Spee and the Spee got the better of the battle. Yes the Portland was better than the British cruisers in this battle, but I would still go with the "pocket battleship."
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  #19  
Old 18 Jun 17, 08:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
...
This is a big reason the US dropped larger guns post WW 2. A 6" could deluge a target with HE rounds and pretty much render it combat ineffective tactically as easily as a few 14" shell hits could....
This point is made by Hornfischer in 'Neptunes Inferno'. The high RoF 15cm guns smothered the exterior of the Japanese ships, disabling guns and control & setting multiple fires.
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  #20  
Old 18 Jun 17, 18:10
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Originally Posted by dave123 View Post
IMO the Battle of the River Platte shows us what would happen. 3 cruisers against the Graff Spee and the Spee got the better of the battle. Yes the Portland was better than the British cruisers in this battle, but I would still go with the "pocket battleship."
And yet, the Graf Spee is the one that sank.
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  #21  
Old 18 Jun 17, 19:04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johns624 View Post
And yet, the Graf Spee is the one that sank.
Scuttled, actually.
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  #22  
Old 18 Jun 17, 19:47
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The Graf Spee was chased into a neutral port by three British Cruisers. When Graf Spee could not make repairs in a short period, they chose to scuttle instead of being seized by the Uruguayans. The British were able to keep at least two of he three cruisers in the fight until the Graf Spee entered neutral waters.

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  #23  
Old 19 Jun 17, 11:38
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The Spee was scuttled, yes, but she got the better of the battle and was only slightly damaged.

She was scuttled because her commander was led to believe that other forces (CV and BC) were waiting to destroy her. She was also quite low on
ammo for her main battery.

Last edited by dave123; 19 Jun 17 at 11:44..
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  #24  
Old 19 Jun 17, 11:53
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The Graf Spee entered Montivideo on December 16. The HMS Cumberland joined the Ajax and Achilles on December 17. The Cumberland was a full size Heavy Cruiser and the Exeter was a cut down Heavy Cruiser. The Ark Royal and Renown were in Rio de Janiero.

I vaguely remember the Graf Spee did take some damage, but the British did not notice any when they sailed around her in the port. According to the laws of neutrality, undamaged warships had to leave harbor after 24 hours.

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  #25  
Old 19 Jun 17, 12:33
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Cumberland had less guns than Spee, smaller guns than Spee, and her guns had a shorter range. She was no match for the Germans.

Spee's damage was something to do with the oil purification for her diesel engines, which would have hampered any attempt to reach home.

The Spee's fear was the Renown and Ark Royal, thinking they were much closer - not the Cumberland.
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  #26  
Old 19 Jun 17, 16:01
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The Cumberland had eight 8" main guns and weighed in over 1000 tons more than Exeter. The Exeter had only six 8" main guns and less armor. Once either could close on Graf Spee they could fire more quickly than GS and the GS had to use their 5.9" secondary guns on the Light Cruisers. All they have to do is hit the GS. The GS could not outrun any of the RN Cruisers. Also, the RN could afford to lose a ship or two and the German Navy could not. Hitler never got over losing GS.

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  #27  
Old 19 Jun 17, 17:47
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You're right, ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
The Cumberland had eight 8" main guns and weighed in over 1000 tons more than Exeter. The Exeter had only six 8" main guns and less armor. Once either could close on Graf Spee they could fire more quickly than GS and the GS had to use their 5.9" secondary guns on the Light Cruisers. All they have to do is hit the GS. The GS could not outrun any of the RN Cruisers. Also, the RN could afford to lose a ship or two and the German Navy could not. Hitler never got over losing GS.

Pruitt
... and this doesn't have much to do with the OP, but historically shortly after war was declared, the Admiralty set up 8 anti-Raider "Forces", concentrating primarily in the Atlantic, composed of British and French warships to hunt Deutschland & Graf Spee once they made themselves known.

Three of these Force's were placed under the direct command of RN Commander-in-Chief, South Atlantic; Cumberland was the most powerful ship of Harwood's Force G (Exeter, Cumberland, Ajax and Achilles), the other two were, Force H (Sussex and Shropshire) and Force K (Ark Royal, Renown). Two more were in the West Indies, another at Dakar and another at Brest. The point here is that Cumberland, Achilles, and Ajax should she remain, don't even have to "hit" Graf Spee should she attempt to sortie, they only have to follow and maintain contact; despite having a comparable SAPC shell throw weight/minute as Graf Spee, Cumberland's greatest asset was her speed advantage, that and she had been retro-fitted with a large hangar, capable of carrying 3 TSR aircraft i.e. Torpedo/Spotter/Reconnaissance in other words, Swordfish on pontoons. Ark Royal and Renown wouldn't be far behind, and then there were the remaining Forces. Even when fully operational with no damage, Graf Spee's greatest protection was to remain undetected, hunting while hidden in the vast ocean wastes; contact maintained meant Graf Spee, even undamaged, had little to no chance of returning to the North Sea, and Germany, through the Forces aligned in between.
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  #28  
Old 21 Jun 17, 22:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
...

I vaguely remember the Graf Spee did take some damage, but the British did not notice any when they sailed around her in the port. According to the laws of neutrality, undamaged warships had to leave harbor after 24 hours.

Pruitt
If the Brits didn't notice any damage, they must not have wanted to.

I have a book with USN Intel pics that show big scorch marks, punctures in the superstructure made by "probably 6-inch" shells, and then there was the charred remains of the seaplane up there for everyone to see.

Selective blindness, it ain't just for politics, eh?
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  #29  
Old Yesterday, 08:48
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Whether the Spee sank or was scuttled, it's all semantics. At the end of the day, the British cruisers controlled the sea and the Spee was sitting on the bottom of Montevideo harbor. Damage didn't matter, results did. The Germans may have won the tactical fight, but lost the strategic one.
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