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Big Gun submarines

Antonio

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I have several volumes of US warships from Friedman and I would like to order US Submarines.
I have heard that there are some projects of Big Gun designs (similar to the french Surcouf). Anybody can give confirmation?. Are this designs illustrated?.
Are there any other little known designs on the book?.

That books are very expensive and I want to be sure before ordering ;)


Thanks a lot
 

JC Carbonel

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I don't know about the book you mentionned but as far as I know there were only the following big gun subs :
- german project (Prototype) U-Kreuzer with one-gun battleship turrets where the normal deck gun would be
- british M-series
- french Surcouf (and associated concepts)
- I am not sure but maybe the japanese I-15 / 17 begun as cruiser-subs ?

JCC
 

eltf177

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I have both volumes. Vol. 1 mentions a gigantic submarine battleship (illustrated) with four 12-inch guns (twin turrets) and a secondary battery of 4-inch guns (also in twin turrets)! It was supposed to have steam turbines for high surface speed.

Another large submarine cruiser is the US Argonaut-class (two 6-inch guns), also in Vol. 1.

During WWI the Germans designed a U-Cruiser with four 5.9-inch guns and two 3.46-inch guns (single mounts). During WWII there was the U-117 U-Cruiser with four 5-inch guns (twin turrets) and one seaplane. Again, never built.
 

Antonio

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Thanks a lot eltf177, that's what I wanted to know ;). I think I'll buy volume one because I have US post-war subs info in Cold War submarines


The description you give here it's incredible ::) ::)

Regards
Antonio
 

eltf177

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red admiral said:
There is this US project from 1920 as well.
This is the drawing you'll find in the Friedman book.

Also forgot to mention a design in Bryer's Soviet Navy book Vol. 1 which mentions a Russian submarine cruiser to have been built around 1917. It was to have carried two 5.1-inch guns in a twin retractible turret (very little other info about it).
 

Antonio

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Thanks a lot Red Admiral for this beast...the Typhoon of the 20's!! :eek:
 

Avimimus

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JC Carbonel said:
- french Surcouf (and associated concepts)
'Associated concepts' sounds interesting.

Does anyone know where I should begin looking?
 

covert_shores

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HMS X-1 (not an X-Craft!!!) built in 1920s. The guns were only 5.2" but mounted in twin enclosed turrets. For a time she was the largest submarine in the world. Very cool boat.

The British K-Class is also worth a look in, definitely cruiser submarines although the guns are less big.
 

Ifor

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The K Boats is fabulous book, together with X1 by Branfill-Cook. Both recommended
 

Avimimus

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Thanks for the recommendations - it is generally a quite interesting topic.

Does anyone know where I could find out more about French projects (e.g. related to Surcouf)?
 

ouroboros

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For a more modern take, there were serious proposals for placing a fixed vertical gun in a trident missile tube with guided projectiles. Another take was a traversalable gun (recoilless?) that rose to the surface of the missile tube.

NEMO work also proposed a traversable railgun in a missile tube, but then again NEMO also proposed a laser beam director in a tube as well.
 

fightingirish

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On a smaller scale, the TRIPLE-M/MURAENA system, proposed for the German-built U212/U214/U216 submarine family, has a recoilless gun (RMK 30), that is expanded from the submarine’s tower.

Link: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,1672.msg134718.html#msg134718
 

Grey Havoc

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ouroboros said:
For a more modern take, there were serious proposals for placing a fixed vertical gun in a trident missile tube with guided projectiles. Another take was a traversalable gun (recoilless?) that rose to the surface of the missile tube. [snip]
A bit more on VGAS and SETS in this thread.
 

Archibald

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submarines with battleship guns ? :eek: wouldn't the submarine recoil in the water when firing ?
or capsize when firing laterally ?
or better, I can imagine turning 360 degree, above water, spinning on its long axis :eek: A bit like Marcel Pagnol Le Pitalugue, a boat than spun around a propeller that was too big for it. :p
 

Abraham Gubler

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Archibald said:
submarines with battleship guns ? :eek: wouldn't the submarine recoil in the water when firing ?
or capsize when firing laterally ?
or better, I can imagine turning 360 degree, above water, spinning on its long axis :eek: A bit like Marcel Pagnol Le Pitalugue, a boat than spun around a propeller that was too big for it. :p

On the M1 class the gun was only to be fired directly ahead and was to be used to sink ships in place of a torpedo. The idea was the submarine could approach the target from periscope depth and then breach so the muzzle was above the water and whack the target with a 12 inch shell. From memory I think they could even fire the gun submerged and the shell would still hit the target (above or below water?). But the gun had to be reloaded while the submarine was surfaced.


Since the gun could only train 15 degrees to either side there was no issue with capsizing. And since the 12 inch gun was a low velocity weapon (<800 mps) and the firing platform was 2,000 tons moving forward at 15 kph in a viscous fluid (sea water) the issue of recoil would not challenge ship stability or forward movement (recoil force would be about 3-4% of the force of the submarine's movement alone).
 

eltf177

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covert_shores said:
The impressive I-400 class also had a large gun for a sub.
Actually no, just one standard 5.5-inch gun. One sub that went to Germany was fitted with a second 5.5-inch gun however...
 

Abraham Gubler

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covert_shores said:

Model at Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Gosport, UK

Thanks for posting this image. Attached to the forum here in case the hot link does down.
 

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shaba

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there was a pre m class proposal to mount a quarter to ten howitzer in the bow of a submarine with a limited traverse bail mount at the muzzle ,it would be aimed by trimming the submarine to get the proper elevation. the problem was that area they planed to use it was shallow and would not allow the elevation to give a useable range.i saw a sketch of the installation in a old octopus book presumably drawn by john batchlor but i haven't seen anything on the net.
 

Avimimus

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shaba said:
there was a pre m class proposal to mount a quarter to ten howitzer in the bow of a submarine with a limited traverse bail mount at the muzzle ,it would be aimed by trimming the submarine to get the proper elevation. the problem was that area they planed to use it was shallow and would not allow the elevation to give a useable range.i saw a sketch of the installation in a old octopus book presumably drawn by john batchlor but i haven't seen anything on the net.
Quarter to ten?
 

Wurger

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How is your mastery of the beatiful italian language? Please read:

http://www.marina.difesa.it/conosciamoci/editoria/marivista/Documents/2011/12_dicembre/breve_storia_del_sommergibile_cannoniere.pdf

Any appreciation of artillery submarines would be extremely incomplete if the german examples (and there are plenty) weren`t mentioned. Mind especially pages 53 to 58, with a proposed U-Kreuzer (more than 7000 tons) with two single turrets, each with a 210mm cannon. It stemmed from Professor Oswald Flamm who, besides submarines, designed torpedos. It was to have a trilobed hull, a simplification of it (lazy 8) being present in the japanese I-400.
 

iverson

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covert_shores said:
so basically instead of a torpedo tube? Fire with the bow sticking out of the water?

Interesting ;D
As I understand it, the M-class started as a concept for a monitor submarine to take on the shore bombardment role that surface monitors performed off the coast of Flanders in WWI. By 1918, the conventional monitors were becoming too vulnerable to coast defense guns, aircraft, and small surface craft. Their main defense was a low silhouette. So the submarine was meant to take this to an extreme: the M-class submarine would fire with only the muzzle exposed above the water. But this proved impractical. Fire control would have been poor, and it was difficult to keep the muzzle clear of the water in a swell. In the worst case, it was feared that the boat might flood and sink if a wave went over the muzzle with the breach open.

So the role was changed to commerce raider. It was argued that the shell of an obsolete, surplus 12-in gun would be much cheaper than a torpedo and just as effective against merchant vessels.

Wikipedia has a summary and illustrations.
 

Hano

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On a related note I've just been reading Antony Wells's book 'A Tale Of Two Navies: Geopolitics, Technology, and Strategy in the United States Navy and the Royal Navy, 1960-2015.' For something written by a long serving former RN officer it has a lot of significant flaws. Not least this assertion regarding RN SSNs during the Falklands War. For him the weaknesses of the RN's SSNs lay
"in the lack of two alternative weapons... [Tomahawk and moreover] the lack of a fifty plus nautical mile range precision gun system."
I take his point on Tomahawk, but as far as I'm aware, no one gave serious thought to fitting long range gun systems on RN SSNs so they could act as NGS vessels. Unless I'm missing something here, I'm assuming this is the talk of an armchair admiral?
( the book can be found here for those of you interested: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tale-Two-Navies-Geopolitics-Technology-ebook/dp/B01N1RW96O/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1498240558&sr=1-1 )
 

TomS

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Hano said:
On a related note I've just been reading Antony Wells's book 'A Tale Of Two Navies: Geopolitics, Technology, and Strategy in the United States Navy and the Royal Navy, 1960-2015.' For something written by a long serving former RN officer it has a lot of significant flaws. Not least this assertion regarding RN SSNs during the Falklands War. For him the weaknesses of the RN's SSNs lay
"in the lack of two alternative weapons... [Tomahawk and moreover] the lack of a fifty plus nautical mile range precision gun system."
I take his point on Tomahawk, but as far as I'm aware, no one gave serious thought to fitting long range gun systems on RN SSNs so they could act as NGS vessels. Unless I'm missing something here, I'm assuming this is the talk of an armchair admiral?
No one has given serious thought to equipping anyone's SSNs with long-range gun systems for NGFS. And certainly not in the 1980s.

In 1982, not even the USN had deployed submarines with Tomahawk (first SSN with Tomahawk Anti-Ship Missile was 1983, first SSN with Tomahawk Land-Attack Missile wasn't until at least 1984).
 

covert_shores

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I haven't read the book but I would caution against dismissing such opinions. Clearly the RN would have been privy to the inside view on USN plans for cruise missiles on subs, and also he is writing with the benefit of hindsight.

One RN boat did go south with sub-harpoon I think but arrived too late. Aside from that the SSNs were toothless beyond torpedo range. They made great use of them, in ways not anticipated, but I think that we can agree with him that an absence of land attack capability was a major limitation.

Btw, lots of similar observations re RN surface fleet.
 

TomS

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It seems unfair to complain about the RN not having Tomahawk in the Falklands, though, since no one else did either.
 

H_K

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Guns on submarines for NFS made no sense back then. We're talking about an area suppression weapon with large ammo storage requirements on a very space-constrained platform... two things that don't mix well.

The concept of "precision fires" is a 21st century concept now that we have GPS guided munitions. Maybe worth revisiting guns or more likely VLS launched rockets aboard submarines with today's technology, but not something that would have been on anyone's wishlist back in the 70s/80s. And not even feasible even with 20/20 hindsight.
 

ouroboros

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Uh, what about all that vertical gun launch system work done for fitting a gun to Trident tubes for SSGN's, using effectively excalibur rounds? Sure, it went to hell after the mostly same vertical launch gun system which was slated for the Zumwalts got canned because somebody wanted a turret capable of firing dumb rounds (theoretically cheaper training, which never materialized), so no common supply base to stretch the dev costs. One of the NSSN/Forward-Pass design had vertical tube inserts for a gun (with some barrel azimuth) and a laser beam director as well.
 

carvalho2008

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The ideal would be to build submarines that could simulate the old lsmr ships


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqAWzqsXirk



 

carvalho2008

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4 x 533mm torpedos
1 Exocet
1 cartridge Idas

112 GLSDB bombs





 

TomS

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Seems a bit muddled. If you can't control the battlespace enough to defend surface ships for bombardment, you can't put troops ashore for the bombardment to support.
 

carvalho2008

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First, you need destroy enemy defenses

In this case, you can implement stealth atack

The submarine is the best form to aproach for surprise
 
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