Author Topic: Schweres Panzerschiff Roon, July 1942  (Read 683 times)

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Offline nönöbär

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Schweres Panzerschiff Roon, July 1942
« on: April 05, 2020, 04:01:12 am »
Schweres Panzerschiff Roon, July 1942


The ship:

After the completion of the three Panzerschiffe Deutschland, Admiral Scheer and Admiral Graf Spee, different options for the next ships were discussed. One option lead to the design of Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, the first real battleships build in post-WW1 Germany.

Another option was the construction of an enlarged version of the Panzerschiff with several improvements compared to the original design: Higher top speed. Improved armor. Increased armament. The result was a ship with the following characteristics:

Displacement:
   33.435 t light; 35.047 t standard; 39.916 t normal; 43.812 t full load

Dimensions: Length (overall / waterline) x beam x draught (normal/deep)
   (727,51 ft / 720,47 ft) x 103,35 ft x (28,22 / 30,57 ft)
   (221,74 m / 219,60 m) x 31,50 m  x (8,60 / 9,32 m)
 

Armament:
    12 - 11,02" / 280 mm 52,0 cal guns - 715,22lbs / 324,42kg shells, 150 per gun
     Breech loading guns in turret on barbette mounts, 1934 Model
    8 - 5,91" / 150 mm 55,0 cal guns - 111,15lbs / 50,42kg shells, 150 per gun
     Breech loading guns in deck mounts, 1934 Model
     4 x Single mounts on sides amidships
     4 x Single mounts on sides amidships
    6 - 4,13" / 105 mm 65,0 cal guns - 39,16lbs / 17,76kg shells, 150 per gun
     Breech loading guns in deck mounts, 1934 Model
     2 x Twin mounts on sides, evenly spread
      2 raised mounts
     1 x Twin mount on centreline ends, evenly spread
      1 raised mount
    12 - 1,46" / 37,0 mm 83,0 cal guns - 1,77lbs / 0,80kg shells, 400 per gun
     Breech loading guns in deck mounts, 1934 Model
     6 x Twin mounts on sides amidships
      6 raised mounts
      Weight of broadside 9.728 lbs / 4.413 kg
     
Armour:
   - Belts:      Width (max)   Length (avg)      Height (avg)
   Main:   4,72" / 120 mm   328,08 ft / 100,00 m   19,69 ft / 6,00 m
   Ends:   1,57" / 40 mm   229,66 ft / 70,00 m   19,69 ft / 6,00 m
     162,73 ft / 49,60 m Unarmoured ends
     Main Belt covers 70% of normal length
     Main belt does not fully cover magazines and engineering spaces

   - Torpedo Bulkhead:
      1,18" / 30 mm   492,13 ft / 150,00 m   9,84 ft / 3,00 m

   - Hull Bulges:
      1,18" / 30 mm   492,13 ft / 150,00 m   9,84 ft / 3,00 m

   - Gun armour:   Face (max)   Other gunhouse (avg)   Barbette/hoist (max)
   Main:   5,60" / 142 mm   5,60" / 142 mm      5,60" / 142 mm
   2nd:   2,00" / 51 mm   1,00" / 25 mm            -

   - Armoured deck - multiple decks: 1,18" / 30 mm For and Aft decks
   Forecastle: 1,18" / 30 mm  Quarter deck: 1,97" / 50 mm

   - Conning towers: Forward 5,91" / 150 mm,  Aft 0,00" / 0 mm       
 
Machinery:
   Diesel Internal combustion motors,
   Geared drive, 4 shafts, 140.496 shp / 104.810 Kw = 29,00 kts
   Range 17.000nm at 15,00 kts
   Bunker at max displacement = 8.765 tons

Complement:
   1.411 - 1.835

Cost:
   £13,416 million / $53,662 million
 
  (data created with SpringSharp)

The first (and only) ship of this class was laid down in Hamburgs Blohm&Voss shipyard in February of 1934 and launched on May 4th, 1936 where it was named "Roon". During the construction time, several incidents took place at the shipyard causing severe damages and delay to the ship. Most damage occurred when one of the cranes used during the construction collapsed and fell on top of the nearly completed ships.
Investigations about those incidents could never find the reason for all the accidents, however rumors said that it might have been sabotage attempts.

Because of the delays, the Roon was commissioned in October 1939, just after the start of World War II. Training and trials were executed on the Baltic Sea and by June of 1940 the ship was ready for operations.

On June 20th 1940, the Roon raised anchor for its first Atlantic operation. Unusual bad weather provides enough protection to enter the Atlantic via the Denmark Strait without being detected by the Royal Navy.
On July 2nd, the Roon encountered the HX55 convoy on its way to Liverpool. Protected by the CA HMS Kent and two destroyers, the Roon attacked the British ship from a distance of 21km. Being able to disable the British cruiser after three hits in the boiler room within five minutes, the HMS Kent was sunk after 30 minutes.
The two remaining destroyers laid smoke screens and run several torpedo runs against the Panzerschiff, however the by far superior armament of it was able to sink both destroyers shortly after. The smoke screen and scattering of the convoy allowed 7 ships to escape, the remaining 18 ships were sunk within the following 8 hours.

Escaping into the North Atlantic after the attack, the Roon was able to capture 3 single transports ships within the next 5 weeks.   

When being back on its way to Germany in mid August 1940, the Roon was encountered by the British Battlecruiser HMS Tiger and the CL HMS Emerald south-west of Iceland. In a short battle, the Roon was able to score a deadly hit in the afterwards ammunition storage of the Tiger, ten minute after the battle had started. Beeng hit by three shells of the Tiger itself, the speed of the Roon was reduced to 21 knots, however the ship was able to drive away the shadowing Emerald and sail into Norwegian waters two days later.
Hiding near Trondheim, the Roon was escorted back to Kiel two weeks later by 6 destroyers and torpedo boats. Repairs lasted until mid December of 1940.
 
In March of 1941 the Roon sailed to Norway in preparation of another North Atlantic Operation. However, during arrival in Bergen, the ship run aground, damaging two of its four shafts. After an emergency repair in Bergen, the ship had to return to Germany where it was repaired until the end of May 1941.
After the loss of the Bismarck in May 1941, naval operation were re-evaluated, and further operations in the North Atlantic were stopped. Instead, the Roon was attached to the Baltic Fleet in preperation of blocking Soviet Ships during Operation Barbarossa. In late 1941, some sources say November, others December, the Roon was sent to Norway, in order to prepare operations against expected allied convoys to Russia.

Until September of 1942, the ship participated in multiple missions targeting allied convoys, but most of them failed. Only the attack on PQ13 in March 1942 was noticeable. In bad weather, Roon and two destroyers run into PQ13 after searching for it for several days. At close range, the Panzerschiff surprised the HMS Trinidad (less then 2000 meters) as the cruisers radar equipment was damaged.
With its twelve 28cm guns, the Roon was able to knock out the British cruiser immediately after the second salvo, leaving the disabled ship behind in the bad weather. In the following 45 minutes, the three German ships were able to sink 4 allied transports and damaging 5 more. But continuous attacks by the escorting British destroyers in the very unclear weather conditions forced the German ships to disengage and return to Trondheim.
There, the light battle damage could repaired and in late summer of 1942, the ship was prepared for a longer operation based on the experience of Admiral Scheers long overseas mission in 1940/41.

On August 25th 1942, the Roon left Bergen to break into the North Atlantic. It took three unsuccessful attempts to pass the Denmark Strait which could successfully done on September 12th. On the previous attempts, signals of patrolling British cruisers were detected and the passage was aborted.
After reaching the North Atlantic, Roon headed towards the Indian Ocean. There, the ship operated for six weeks, disturbing allies shipping. However, by early November it got clear that changes for a successful return of the ship to Germany were not the best. Therefore it was decided to support Japanese operations in South East Asia. First send to Suyabaya and later to Rabaul, the Roon did support the Japanese retreat from Guadalcanal, which was very welcomed after the Japanese losses there.
However, it got very obvious that the anti-air armament of the ship was not sufficient for operations with a high danger of air attacks. Until March of 1943, the ship was attacked 4 times by US aircraft which were able to score at least two bomb hits causing moderate damage.
Sent to Japan for repairs, the ship got fully operational again in late August of 1943.

Several requests to take over the ship by the Japanese Navy were rejected by the German government, so the ship still operated under the Kriegsmarine flag, but together with other IJN ships for several smaller operations.

As the odds against the allied air thread got worse, it was decided to try to return to Germany or German occupied territory in March of 1944. It took until late early June of 1944 until the Roon arrived in the mid-atlantic without being detected by allied forces.
But with the news of the allied invasion in the Normandy, all chances of a return to Germany or Norway vanished. Any attempts to try this would have been suicidal, therefore Kapitänleutnant Heinsberg sailed his ship into the harbor of Cadiz, Spain and interned the ship to save his crew.
Kriegsmarine command was furious about this act, but Spain refused to return the ship to Germany. Talks about that could be started after the end of the war, Spain insisted.

After Germanys capitulation in May 1945, Spain refused to any other talks about the further fate of the Roon and took over the ship for its own navy. Renamed to España, the ship was slightly refitted with more AA guns and was used as the flagship of the Spanish Navy since 1947.
The ship was kept into service until 1968 when it was finally retired. Being mainly used in the Mediterranean, the España was planned to be scrapped, but could be saved by an organization formed by former crew members. Thanks to them, the ship could be saved as a museum ship located in Ibiza today.


The model shows the Roon in July of 1942.









The model:

The 1/700 scale model of the Roon is made of things I found in the spare part box. Hull is from a 1/800 scale Bismarck model (don't know which brand). The first deck is printed with a FDM printer, many parts of the superstructure are from a Matchbox 1/700 scale Graf Spee kit.
The main guns and funnel/hangar are printed with a SLA printer, the 3d models for it were taken from various World of Warships 3D models. Many smaller parts were taken from the spare par box, railing and crew are PE parts from Eduard. The ship is painted with Revel Aqua Color.

Daily updates from my engineer: https://twitter.com/Scratchbr1

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Bärenreisen                             : www.barenurlaub.de

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Schweres Panzerschiff Roon, July 1942
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2020, 04:08:52 am »
Very, very good model & story! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Offline zenrat

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Re: Schweres Panzerschiff Roon, July 1942
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2020, 04:38:31 am »
Noice.

 :thumbsup:
Fred

Another ill conceived, lazily thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of half arsed what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.

zenrat industries:  We're everywhere for your convenience..

Online Dizzyfugu

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Re: Schweres Panzerschiff Roon, July 1942
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2020, 05:33:30 am »
Cool!  :thumbsup:

Offline NARSES2

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Re: Schweres Panzerschiff Roon, July 1942
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2020, 06:27:06 am »
Good backstory and a good model to go with it  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Decals my @r$e!

Offline JoeP

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Re: Schweres Panzerschiff Roon, July 1942
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2020, 11:45:49 am »
All the way from the Pacific to the mid-Atlantic without refueling nor being detected?  Weeeeelllllll...  She would have had Brazil was already an ally, and notably patrolled the south Atlantic, sinking 6 German submarines in the second half of 1943.  But whiff always wins!

And it is a nice build!   :thumbsup:
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Offline nönöbär

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Re: Schweres Panzerschiff Roon, July 1942
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2020, 11:04:45 pm »
All the way from the Pacific to the mid-Atlantic without refueling nor being detected?  Weeeeelllllll...  She would have had Brazil was already an ally, and notably patrolled the south Atlantic, sinking 6 German submarines in the second half of 1943.  But whiff always wins!

And it is a nice build!   :thumbsup:

Hmm, I have not mentioned the secret refuling in the waters of Antarctica..... And of course they simply had some luck ;)
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Offline JoeP

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Re: Schweres Panzerschiff Roon, July 1942
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2020, 07:18:53 am »
Or perhaps the secret German resupply base on the French territorial island of St. Paul in the Indian Ocean.
(That'll send some people down the rabbit hole of world maps.)
In between jobs and homes.  New job starts soon, then search for new home, space for hobby room and display cases is non-negotiable.

Offline nönöbär

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Re: Schweres Panzerschiff Roon, July 1942
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2020, 01:23:51 am »
Or perhaps the secret German resupply base on the French territorial island of St. Paul in the Indian Ocean.
(That'll send some people down the rabbit hole of world maps.)

Nice idea. A resupply in the old crater there. I will have to modify the story of the Roon with this little detail :)
Daily updates from my engineer: https://twitter.com/Scratchbr1

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German Naval History               : www.german-navy.de
Bärenreisen                             : www.barenurlaub.de