The lettering of WW1 RN Capital ship turrets?

Discussion in 'History' started by TeeCeeCee, Nov 22, 2013.

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  1. The turrets of the Renown class were known as A, B & Y,
    The courageous class had A & Y,
    The Lion class and Tiger had A, B, Q & X,
    The 12in battlecruisers had A, P, Q & X.

    All the above ships had a single turret aft on a deck known as the poop deck or quarterdeck, I believe the different names for the same area of deck depended on how the ship was designed/arranged. Why were the single aft-most turrets given different letters?

    Is it because the turrets were possibly on different deck levels, or does the name of the deck [poop or quarterdeck] affect the letter applied? E.g. turrets on a poop deck are termed X while a turret on a quarterdeck is termed Y?
  2. I think it was just named A then B looking aft and the aft most turrets being X and Y respectively, Wiki says "A" and "B" were for the turrets from the front of the ship backwards in front of the bridge, and letters near the end of the alphabet (i.e., "X," "Y," etc.) for turrets behind the bridge ship—"Y" being the rearmost. Mountings in the middle of the ship would be "P," "Q," "R,"
  3. Apart from HMS Agincourt, whose seven(!) turrets (two 12" guns each) were named for days of the week... the one time she saw action at Jutland, her Gunnery Officer insisted on firing full broadsides to dispel the rumour that she'd roll over from the recoil. (And when she did, the ship behind her in line thought she'd been hit and blown up...)
  4. You miss my point: some ships with a single turret aft had an 'X' turret yet others with seemingly the same single turret aft had a 'Y' turret. It looks the same deck, arranged the same way, i.e 1 deck down from the forecastle deck, so why apply different letters.

    It's about the different letter applied to the single turret aft on the above ship classes.

    There is a set of rules or traditions handed down from sailing ships that govern the naming of decks and where a forecastle, quarterdeck, poop or whatever start and end. I suspect the answer lies here.

    [later edit] p.s. I appreciate the responses. Yes, Wrecker ... some ships did have a poop. Cheers
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
  5. No idea why one class was called X and another Y, design change maybe. Although they all had quarterdecks, I don't think the term poop deck has been used since the 19th century.

    I'm probably wrong though!
  6. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    A midship turret was named Q, even if there was only one after turret. In those of our 6" cruisers built with only one after turret with X turret suppressed that was called Y. the 1960s Tiger class cruisers had A & Y as their Y turret, although because of ammunition handling arrangements sited above the quarterdeck, was actually sited where the original Y would have been. Their forward 3" mounting on what would have been B gundeck was called Q.
  7. I looked in Roberts 'Battlecruisers' last night and I suspect this has something to do with it:

    The Renown & Courageous classes had a Forecastle, Upper and Main decks (these had a Y turret) The armoured Protective Deck was the Main Deck

    The Lions, Tiger and 12" battlecruisers had the same 3 decks plus an additional Lower Deck (the protective deck was the Lower Deck) These had an X turret.

    The Lions and 12" BCs had a Poop deck instead of what is commonly known as the Quarterdeck, their X turret sat on it. The Lions Quarterdecks was in the Q turret area. [I know it is the area aft of Q but don't know where it started? The Foremast maybe? Would the Forecastle end and the Quarterdeck start at the Foremast?]

    I don't know how Tiger fared in this matter. ?

    I suspect the answers to all this would be lore, tradition and customs of ship design ... maybe found in dusty books in the Admiralty dungeons in Bath where they chain the ship designers up.
  8. What letter designation was given to the aft 3"?
  9. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    As the after 3" were sided they were P & S as was the earlier cruiser practice with the pairs of twin 4" mountings (P1, P2, S1, S2). However the directors in both cases were known as Red and Green.
  10. Ah, right. I was under the mistaken impression that the aft turret configuration was the same as fwd.
    I've since looked at some pre-conversion pics . Thanks Seaweed.
  11. That's interesting! SW give me that again as the reason isn't clear (this is probably down to me) Why was 'B' mount known as 'Q'?

  12. In the days of yore, the phonetic alphabet was introduced gradually, so as not to be too confusing. Only a few letters were allocated to each draughtsman's course and unfortunately, not all the same letters to each course.

    So the different draughtsmen who produced the drawings for each different ship, designated accordingly.
  13. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    Q 3" on the Tigers got that name (I think) because it was not a 6" and therefore not part of the main armament.

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