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Very good assessment
Yes, it often comes down to mistakes in running equipment or subtle design failure details that determines battles. For example, one of the Graf Spee's gunnery officers consistently fed incorrect RF solutions to the ship's secondary battery. This greatly hindered the battery's performance but was an anomaly that would be very difficult to model in most wargames due to its low probability of occurrence. On the other hand, some flaws are inherent in a design, such as the US primary analog FC computer that was used aboard the newer BBs, CAs, etc. It used an incorrect powder temperature assessment value that was machined into the cams and gears of the FC computer. The end result was an over-shooting problem, one with was well known by 1944, but not corrected until 1945. And even then, adjustments had to made via range table corrections vs. remanufacturing the gears and cams of the computers (see BOI 1, 1945). Here again, this is hard to model into a wargame, as are defects in German and US shell fuses. Yes, our MK 21 base fuse was subject to corrosion and this design flaw produced a very serious dud problem--depending on the age of the shells. Again, this is hard to model, but was considered a major problem (e.g., see O.C.L. A12-46). Most of these variables are unknown to many researchers, despite the existence of documents that detail their occurrence and extent. It is a matter of getting the documents. What is not commonly known would fill more books than popular opinion would like to grant...but it isn't like the information is not accessible.
There are so many variables in any gun contest I would hesitate to declare either a sure winner. If Scheer managed to get the first hit, the B might lose. If B managed to get into effective range of Scheer, she might hammer her to pieces. The odds would favor B if she were not hit several times at long range by Scheer.
What undid the Spee’s effort was that Langsdorff ignored doctrine and used split fire—one turret against Exeter and one against the light cruisers. If Scheer cocentrates her 11-in on B, she could make the approach hell. I believe Scharnhorst scored at extreme range on the Glorious. German optical sights might compensate for lack of a superior fire control radar.
Training would be a primary factor. Equipment is only as effective as the operators who use it.
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