53 cm/52 Experimental item 36 (Gerat 36)

Further studies into range charts and experimental canon designs.

As part of this study l , in the past, went to some related forums to ask for help from any helpful likeminded soul with information on the proposed 42cm and 50 cm canons for the follow on h class series. l was put onto a copy of a Krupp memo to the German design command ( l think). Unfortunately it was in German and no one volunteered a translation until one helpful chap gave me a basic run down on the memo.

Well with improvements in translation technology l have just begun translation of the doclument. To wit l will upload with anutations on what background info l already have in my reference libuary.

Initially l can tell you that the orginating author was from Luxembourg as he throws in terms/ expressions etc that only translate from that setting ( Luxembourgism would you believe it ?)

l already found that the author was VERY familiar with Hitler's mannerisms and offers guidance on 'Handling' him to achieve a posiive outcome.

As you know l am focussing whether or not the experimental 53 cm cannon was ever considered for the H-44 design.

Early signs show concern over excessive blast effects, rotating weights of the main turrets and handling problems related to Very heavy shells between the magazines and the rotating turret tower being beyond current turret designs. They were VERY worried about ballistic effects of higher muzzle velocites ( In the order 880 fps up from 820fps max on current weapons.)

The author repeatedly mentions similar issues with the 40.6 cm cannon which probably explains the lower MV of that weapon when deployed firing the standard shell designs.


A Word on Theoretical computer based charts.

Nearly every professional expert ( which I am not one; professional I mean, this is strictly a result of my private study exercise. )suggests that any range chart developed by computer programs need to be treated with some caution. Without emperical testing (ie actual firing), this data can not be "proofed". Of course in this day and age, there is no way to actually fire the real thing.

Rather a circlular argument really.

Taken this into mind; In THEORY this cannon would have been a game changer.

German 53cm L52/C38 range charts.

This weapon if it was ever considered as a serious ship mounted weapon would have resulted in another economically ruinous arms race like that threaten the world prior to the Washington Arms treaties. Calculated range graph for 53cm cannon
Latest Range & Penetration Chart for the 53cm gerat 38.

Range chart for 40.6cm/52 sk C34 1030kg ap shell

updated chart to be posted [13/09/13]
shell weight 2,271lb / 1030kg
M.V. =810 m/s
Strike velocities awaiting corrected result investigation currently been conducted. As of 14/09/2013 using available software preliminary results are available where listed above. Currently still working on my own program. Results indicated are probably still understated from actual figures so giving minimum penetration figures.
Although generated from data from a now defunct online ballistic program ( from borderbarrels.com ) in which their web master stated bluntly that it was not suitable. It generated quite accurate charts. The real thing is available online if you look. make your own mind up. Range graph for 40.6cm /52 sk C/34

Range Charts.

It should be noted that with any reproduction chart that just because a particular cannon can fire a shell at great distances in theory, it does not translate that firing at a target at that range will result in a hit.

The record stands with the HMS Warspite at about 27,000 yards approx. That is a EFFECTIVE confirmed hit on a Italian battleship.

I do not consider simply been able to engage a target as setting any record, as if no hit are recorded, there is no success therefore any record been set is moot.

One measure of ballistic accuracy is the percentage measure on the probablity of skriking the target. This is also called 'shell dispersion rate".

If you have ever wondered why there are multiple cannons this is the answer for it. If one cannon has a 12% ( for exampe only ) probabilty of striking at say 25,000 yards,  excluding ALL other factors that could effect accuracy, 2 cannon=24%, 3=36%, 4=48%, 5=60%, (note that 50% or greater probabilty is considered at as "in effective range"), and so on.

This doesn't mean at 5 cannon there is a 60% probabilty that all five shells will hit; It means that there is a 60% probabilty of ONE shell striking. 

So at 8 cannons you would have 96% probablity of one shell striking the target.

Variable factors ignored here are: barrel wear (life span of the rifled linner), barrel droop (more times repeatlly fired, the hotter the barrel, the greater the droop), sea conditions (gun platform stabilty) and atmospheric conditions( air temperature, humidity and air pressure).

note. Air temperature has some effect in 'barrel droop'.

Other factors not ignored are more to do with design. Firing interferance due to the blast effect of one cannon shifting the shell of another cannon as it passes through the blast zone at, and ahead of the muzzle.

Excessive muzzle velocity where the shell is 'overdriven' and starts to 'orbit' around the flight path initailly and evntually the shell can become completely unstable and actually start to wobble or tumble causing it to "SWAP" into the target (ineffective strike) instead of striking 'nose first' (effective strike).

Both of theses groups of factors directly effect shell dispersion rates.

So in all reality "Effective battle ranges" is a function of local weather conditions. The Pacific Oceans this allowed Aircaft carriers to Rule, while in Northern Atlantic Ocean Aircaft operations were far more problematical the further north you got and the more dangerous it was to operate Aircraft Carriers when the opposition fleet was out.

Latest comments

19.05 | 15:01

Good point! I was thinking Helo pads but never got around to it. The design thought been why not have full port or base resources including dry dock and repair

19.05 | 11:44

Why is there no airport on top of the base?

03.04 | 13:07

Just found your site-very cool. Also agree with your views regarding government decision processes, all about looking after their arse after they're booted out

19.01 | 08:39

Detailed answers on blog page.