mentioned that the heat from the gear's tubes, coupled with the heat from the nearby smoke stack made it next to impossible to have a full crew inside the "tub" during combat. So standard practice was for the senior mount captains - normally a Lieutenant - to climb down the ladders of their mounts to the center tunnel and relay "what they saw" to the gunnery officer (in this case, Von R). He would then confer with both of them and had an ad-hoc repeater, compass, and map set up similar to the bridge of a submarine.
The two officers would then mount the ladders back to their mounts and control fire, thus. This is the key reasoning - in my book - why Bismarck, COULDN'T have sunk Hood. Because the mount officers were in the tunnel waiting for orders to fire and Von R was waiting by the phone for Lindemann and Luetjens to stop fighting long enough to come to a plan. By the time L and L gave Von R the green light and by the time the mount captains relayed the firing info, Prince Eugen was already on her third salvo and had already hit Hood's boat deck.
Lud Kennedy's "Pursuit" also accounts the shrapnel damage PoW *AND* Hood suffered to their open mounts and fire control. In Ted Brigg's final book, he mentions how Eugen's boat deck hit on Hood went off like a claymore mine. The two 8 inch rounds hit the ready-use ammo mags for the three aft pom-poms and four twin 4 inch mounts. This was frag AA rounds and when they went off they practically mowed down everyone topside. Briggs reckons Hood lost 400 men outright on that hit.
If I'm not mistaken, the armoured hoods that Warspite had "rush installed" prior to Cape Matapan were a result of Cunningham's reading of POW's battle report and also Ted Brigg's. Briggs recounts speaking to both Sommerville and Cunningham so I'm pretty sure his horrible story played on their guts.
So what am I working on? Hmmm...commission builds are over and done with for now, so it's back to 700th scale-ville and also thinking about the future. With the 100th anniversary of World War One coming up I am going to make a concerted effort to finish my 700th scale Agincourt and my 600th scale Iron Duke. I'm also going to backdate my 600th scale Warspite to Jutland config. And last - BUT NOT LEAST - I'm going to attempt a scratchbuilt 72nd scale US Navy MK-1 fourteen inch railway gun.
Apparently there were five such guns and they were the most accurate and sought after by the allies. The French especially went to great lengths to provide the sailors with target coordinates. They were longer ranged than the German Paris gun and gun number 3 actually "killed" German railway gun "Big Bertha." They also had a higher rate of fire than smaller caliber axis and allied guns.