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HMS Rodney Preliminary Gunnery Report of Action, 27 May 1941.

(Enclosure "E" to JHW's Report, serial F-1; x-27 dated July 1941.)

NOTE: The RODNEY has three 16" triple gun turrets. All 16" turrets are located in the forward part of the ship and are named "A", "B" and "X" turrets in order from forward to aft. "B" turret is the high turret. The secondary battery consists of three 6" twin turrets on each side. The twin turrets are numbered from forward to aft on each side as follows: Port side—P1, P2, P3; Starboard side—S1, S2, S3. The long range A.A. guns consist of three 4.7" single mount guns on each side. These guns were not fired during the action with the BISMARCK.

1. Total number of rounds of 16" fired—378.
Total number of rounds of 6" fired—706.

    (a) "A" turret fired a total of 104 rounds.
    Left gun fired 36,
    Centre gun fired 46,
    Right gun fired 22.

    (b) "B" turret fired a total of 144 rounds.
    Left gun fired 45,
    Centre gun fired 44,
    Right gun fired 52.
    [45 + 44 + 52 = 141 rounds]

    (c) "X" turret fired a total of 130 rounds.
    Left gun fired 44,
    Centre gun fired 42,
    Right gun fired 44.

    (d) Each 6" twin turret fired the following rounds:
    S1 - 128, P1 - 93
    S2 - 154, P2 - 97
    S3 - 160, P3 - 74

2. In salvo fire the RODNEY fires double salvos. The first salvo consisting of 5 guns—wing guns of "A" and "X" turrets plus the center gun of "B" turret, the second salvo consisting of 4 guns—the center guns of "A" and "X" turrets plus the wing guns of "B" turret. In broadside fire all guns of all turrets that are loaded and can bear on the target fire simultaneously.

(a) A summary of the 16" rounds fired by the salvo method and by the broadside method is as follows:

    Salvo firing:—

    Number of single gun salvos - 6
    Number of two gun salvos - 22
    Number of three gun salvos - 41
    Number of four gun salvos - 28
    Number of five gun salvos - 6
    Number of six gun salvos - 1
    Total - 104

    Broadside firing:—

    Number of eight gun salvos - 1
    Number of seven gun salvos - 3
    Number of six gun salvos - 1
    Number of five gun salvos - 2
    Number of three gun salvos - 1
    Number of two gun salvos - 1
    Total - 9

NOTE: Since double salvos are used in broadside firing 5 and 4 gun salvoes should be fired alternately provided all turrets can bear on the target and all guns in each turret are ready to fire. Under the same conditions in broadside firing each salvo should consist of 9 guns. In the action with the BISMARCK "X" turret could only bear on the target on 6 out of the first 25 salvoes. After the 25th salvo "X" could not bear on 9 occasions, making a total of 28 salvoes or broadside that "X" turret could not bear on the target.

3. At the end of the action the following guns were out of action: Right gun of "A" turret completely, caused by a jammed tilting tray. Left gun of "B" turret very temporarily, caused by the lower cordite hoist being "double loaded" when loaded cage was lowered. Center gun of "B" turret temporarily, due to two shells and no cordite.

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