From: St. Louis
At Jutland, the Brits did not close the doors in their elevator shaft thingies (sorry about that) so the blast in the turret could reach the magazine. The Germans didn't make that mistake. You could operate rearming the turrets without a large vulnerability that the Brits ignored.
Furthermore, it's not the shells that are to be most worried about, it's the cordite which was packed in bags all the way up from the magazines to the turret and then to the guns.
That cordite was in big bags that could make a young man groan trying to feed it to a gun and they might use up to three of those bags to fire one shell. It's amazing that any ships survived such.
What you seem to want to say is right, but you appear to be struggling with the explanation so let me help you .
The cause of the catastrophic losses of three battlecruisers (compared to one such German ship) was because of the poor cordite handling procedures in the former. From Nelson’s day the British believed that rate of fire was the all-important factor in naval battle – put more shells into the enemy ships and they will sink quicker; brutal but undeniably effective in the days of cannonballs and sails. While still important in 1914-18, rate of fire was far from the only important aspect in modern surface engagements. British rate of fire at the Battle of the Falkland Islands had been too slow. In 1915 Beatty sanctioned a relaxing of procedures to speed things up.
Because rate of fire was still seen as the ‘match-winner’, anything that impeded this – like closing magazine doors - was a candidate to be ignored. It was all about speed. In order to save time and keep the guns firing, the British were guilty of ignoring the flash-proof scuttles they had fitted to their dreadnoughts, and thus exposed their battlecruisers (and other ship types) to the danger from a shell exploding inside a turret, igniting the cordite, and the resulting fireball travelling, unchecked, down the sixty foot hoists into the powder magazines.
And so the British ships sailed to meet the Germans at Jutland....
At Jutland nine German turrets were penetrated by British shells. Immolation and death of the crews however did not result in the ships blowing up. Why? Well the German battlecruiser Seydlitz had had a lucky escape previously at Dogger Bank. Seydlitz was hit in the turret by a shell and only the quick flooding of the magazines saved her from destruction. Learning from this episode the Germans fitted anti-flash protection between the handling rooms and the magazines – and the effectiveness of this protection would become all too apparent at Jutland.
I wonder if, as he made that famous remark, "There's something wrong with our bloody ships today", Admiral Beatty knew deep down that he had been instrumental in their loss?.....
So my elevator shaft thingies are your "flash-proof scuttles", well la-di-dah!
< Message edited by geofflambert -- 11/11/2015 1:36:05 PM >
Currently fighting for the Emperor against AW1Steve. As of 8/21 it is 8/45.