RZS Vinyamar (BB-1907)


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The Zealandian Navy designers tried to go at the semi-dreadnought from a different direction. The norm was currently a 12-14,000 ton ship with 4x12" a selection of 8" to 10" secondary guns. The problem being the secondary guns shell splashes at long range were hard to distinguish from the main armament shell splashes. Their were two ways to advance the battleship to cure that problem. 1. Do away with the secondary guns an go with an all big gun armament (Dreadnought). 2. Keep the secondary guns up to 8" guns (ditch the 9.2"-10") and increase the main gun size from 12" to 14"-16" (Vinyamar). The UK 12"/45 fired an 860lb shell 20,000 yards at 20 degrees elevation. The 14"/40 fired a 1500lb shell 25,000 yards at 20 degrees elevation. A much superior weapon. Four guns of the 14" would fire a broadside of 6,000lb. Eight 12" fired a broadside of 6880lb. The big difference is that you are more likely to hit your enemy firing eight gun broadsides than four gun broadsides. None of that takes into account the six 7.5" guns on each beam of the Vinyamar's.

The rest of the ship was fairly standard for its time. Though they were the first major ships in the Zealandian Navy to be turbine powered. New coal chute arrangements were trialed on these ships and while they were ok in service, like anything new it took quite some time for them to be accepted. The mixed reviews did not matter much as the next class reverted to the old scheme and the classes after that were fully oil fired. The single 4" guns were replaced in 1916 and 1917 with AA weapons.

Displacement 19,750 tons standard, 23,500 tons full load
Length 494 ft
Breadth 82 ft
Draught 27 ft
Machinery 4 shaft, turbines, 25,000shp
Speed 21 knots
Range 6000 miles at 12 knots
Armour 12" side, 2" deck, 12"/8"/5.5" turrets
Armament 4 x 14" (3x3)
12 x 7.5" (6x2)
6 x 4" (6x1)
Aircraft nil
Torpedoes 2 x 18" (2x1 submerged)
Complement 790 (830 as Flagship)
Notes RZS Vinyamar (04/1907)

RZS Mirkwood (05/1907)

The world of course went the way of the Dreadnought, as did the Zealandian Navy with its next class of battleships. This did not lessen the impact of the Vinyamar class as the 14" gun was retained as the main armament for all of the ships of the Zealandian Navy. 14"/40 were upgraded to 14"/45 with 25-30 degrees elevation, then to the 14"/50 caliber for the Mk IV guns on the Isengard class. The 7.5" gun that made its appearance with twin mounts were used for a number of 'medium' cruisers that were better suited to protect Zealandias long coastline.

4" single AA mountings being built at Zealandian Navy Armoury. Pair of 4", beside bridge, ready to fire during training evolutions.


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