What are the little wings on the rear of a battleship turret?

If you liked that, you might also enjoy this one (41 mins) about how the fire control computers worked in 1953, maybe a bit more sophisticated than 10 years earlier during the war but probably not too much.

“Much thinner deck armor” is only accurate if Hood is compared to Bismarck and other WW2 battleships. In 1920, her armor was superior to that of the best battleships in the RN. She had thicker deck and turret armor, and her 12” inclined belt armor was superior to the QE class 13” vertical belt. Her armor was too thin vs. battleship shells of WW2, but that is true of all WW1 battleships.


There were plans to eventually up-gun them by replacing the triple 11in mounts with twin 15in turrets,
but that never came to pass.

Interestingly, the Germans considered them to be battleships, and they would be two of the ten battleships envisioned in Plan Z along with the two Bismarcks and six H-classes. Scharnhorst classification:

They were the first class of German ships to be officially classified by the Kriegsmarine as Schlachtschiff (battleship).[3] Previous German battleships were classified as Linienschiffe (ships of the line),[a] and Panzerschiffe (armored ship).[b]

Their adversary, the Royal Navy, rated them as battlecruisers[4][5] but after the war reclassified them as battleships.[6] Jane’s Fighting Ships 1940 lists both the Scharnhorst and Bismarck classes as “Battleships ( Schlachtschiffe )”[7] Another adversary, the United States Navy, rated them as battleships.[8] In English language reference works they are sometimes referred to as battleships and sometimes as battlecruisers.[c]

I was looking into scale modeling myself a couple of years back, even subscribing to Fine Scale Modeler for a while and was a bit shocked by the prices of some kits nowadays, a lot of them seemingly running in the $60-$120+ range. Nothing particularly fancy about them, same scales I used to make as a kid (1/700 ships, 1/48 aircraft and 1/35 vehicles), sometimes the same brands I used to build.

If Hood had sisters, would they be the Hood class? Or was Hood always a one-off and a new class would basically be called something else and have slightly different specs?

The Tamiya 1/350 sets run about $100. Honestly, it’s more than worth it. They are high quality, and it’s just so fun and relaxing. A hundred bucks (plus paint, glue, tools etc. but the tools last forever and it doesn’t take much paint and glue to make a model) is a low price for the hours I spend happily building my little ships.

Well they’re not THAT little. Yamato is over two feet long. I need more shelves.

There were supposed to be four of them; the class is called, for some odd reason, “Admiral class,” though normally of course you always call a class by its first example, so had they built more I’d guess we’d call them Hood class. The others were to be called Anson, Howe and Rodney, names that ended up being given to three different kinds of battleships. Anson and Howe were the last two King George V class battleships, and Rodney was a Nelson class, the really weird ones with all three main turrets in front of the superstructure.

Drachinifel has a 42 minute video, The Loss of HMS Hood - But why did it blow up??, where he conjectures it was a golden BB.

Looking at photos of her traveling at speed, along with plans of her interior, plus her recently found wreck with the bow some distance from the rest, he believes a shell struck just where the bow wave was at its lowest undulation, under the armor belt, and penetrated into the 40mm magazine. That, in turn detonated the 15-inch magazine next to it.

This fits with witness accounts of a gout of flame erupting forward followed a moment later by a titanic explosion.

I haven’t seen the video. There have been multiple studies of Hood’s loss over the years. Part of the reason for this is that the most well armored ships WW1 were not well armored vs 1940s battleship guns, so there are multiple trajectories that could account for Hood. All of the studies I’ve read, or read of, involve an explosion of the aft magazine, or the torpedoes, also aft. A shell from Bismarck could have penetrated forward, but that doesn’t explain several items:

-Eyewitnesses report the initial explosion as being near the mainmast, which was aft.
-the area of the wreck around the rear turrets is completely destroyed, indicating an explosion of the rear magazines.
-the area of the wreck around the forward turrets is largely intact, contra-indicating an explosion of the forward magazines. The bow is damaged, but forward of the 15” magazines. This damage could have occurred during or after the sinking.
-a shell could hit under the belt where the bow wave was low, but there’s no need for the low waterline. At that range, Bismarck’s shells could land short of Hood, travel underwater, and still have enough velocity to penetrate the hull.
-the ship sank stern first.

Well, Drachinefel says that the Scharnhost had a lesser range from its radar, when it was working fully. It seems it was not strong enough to work to avoid standing into firing range of a battleship. Or not the cruisers at worst. Its the Royal Navy who can get their position right when they detect the Scharnnhorst at 40,000 yards, and are therefore free to form up and angle for approach outside of range, with knowledge of Scharnhosts position and movement … The Battle of the North Cape - Ice and Fire at Sea - YouTube

So the blundering into the battleship, well maybe it had a bit better range when detecting a battleship, but I think the 3 original cruisers on her tail and the Duke of York and her 4 destroyer friends cutting off her escape, Scharnnhorst was trapped… if takes a stand, there’s RAN all around , if it flees its only got its stern turret useful and its main radar isn’t going to work, its got a weaker rear radar for that.

It’s conjecture, but as I see it, it comes down to whether Scharnhorst’s search radar can detect Duke of York before she’s in DoY’s effective firing range. DoY Opened fire at 11k yards and ceased fire at around 18k, so her max effective range was 18k or less. If Scharnhorst has working radar that can detect DoY at ~15k or more, she can turn NW and probably escape crippling damage from the BB. Norfolk and Sheffield had dropped back due to machinery issues, so only Belfast is in her way, and none of the RN ships can keep up.

Here’s the thing, though: the German navy often shut their radars off, because radar could be detected by the enemy. This may be why she was surprised by Burnette’s cruisers. Once detected, Bey would probably keep his radar on (again, assuming it’s not damaged) to prevent further surprises.