May I ask you how the blast from the superflying turrets (Bruno and Caesar) is avoided (at least in axial fire)? Do you plan to put to your battleship any form of telemeter? thanks.
1. The RTL blast experiments to solve that problem indicated that crew under armor and ventilation solved the problem. Directly over the alpha and delta turrets would be most severe, but this was so unlikely to occur in a line action that was expected.
2. The Fiske Bushnell fire control optics are in the "observatories". The plotter is inside the hull and under the observatories.
Well, like I said: it's your design, and that's all well. I have doubts about the survivability of such massive steel pillars; even more prominent than the French and German fighting masts, but, it's your design.
The "towers" are lattice structures plated over with sheet steel for weather protection and stiffening. Cage masts RTL were tested against gunfire and these worked, as shell pass throughs did not topple them as pole masts and tripod towers did.
USS Oregon for example was one of several trials ships that tested such concepts at sea. The USN went lattice as they worried about topweight. I chose sheet steel housing over it, because the lattice masts had two drawbacks. They flexed, which threw off gunnery and that crew inside the lattice got COLD.
As for your points, yes, your right, the CTs of the Russian ships DID have flaws; so did, I can say with certainty all nations dittos! - REmember, the Cesarevich was built in France! And, interestingly enough you're, at least indirectly, agreeing with me: merely retreating into the CT did NOT assure your inviolability; in fact you could still be maimed being enclosed in that armored space.
Do you remember the Monitor/Merrimac battle of the US Civil War? The Monitor took a direct hit on the pilot house late in the battle that kiboshed the helmsman and blinded the captain. The armor was there to protect steering command and communications, not the men, which it did (although prior to battle someone had broken the voice pipe to the engine room and Worden had to shout to a middle man to relay the engine orders to Green aft.). The helmsman came to and the exec took over that station and the Monitor remained actionable, though she had orders to hold out of action if in the judgment of her "acting commander" circumstances merited such a decision (a mistake I think as Catesby Jones was overaggressive and an inept ship-handler, who kept grounding the Merrimac making himself a sitting goose of a target.). The Merrimac suffered an engineering casualty that forced her engineer to rig secondary steering. The fact that Catesby Jones had to send a runner back and forth himself to tell the steerage crew which way to turn, as well as leave his post to find out why the gun crews had stopped firing; plus the fact that first Congress, then Cumberland, and finally the Monitor had shattered her casemate plate and she was leaking in the bow forced that ship to withdraw. Mister Greene (a timid man) aboard the Monitor had finally decided to re-engage, when Merrimac ran for it.
The point was that the armor scheme protected the ship as a functioning weapon system. Something the Russians seemed to not understand at Tsushima.
As for Nebogatov actually having witnessed the distress of the Kniyaz Suvorov, I disagree. He couldn't, since very early on the waters between the two converging fleets were quickly enveloped in dense smoke, not least from fires breaking out on both sides, but mostly on Russian ships due to the Shimose. In fact, Nebogatov was at the beginning of the battle not even aware that he was the, the facto second-in-command!
Russian signaling was confused, but even so, smoke drifted with the wind, flag signaling worked when understood, and battleships on fire and sinking are HUGE noticeable objects and kind of hard to miss (especially with binoculars) through the patchy clouds of smoke. Russian post action reports note these facts with Suvorov.
As for your statement that Retvizan "should have blown up like Borodini" I, again must disagree. How do you draw such a generalized conclusion? You're aware that Borodino blew up due to (probably) failure to flood the main magazines and powder rooms? If I recall it correctly Retvizan on Feb. 8, 1904 was torpedoed in her machinery space floding one boiler room and engine room with some additional flooding in void spaces. No magazine was affected, so no "should have" blown up!
The Retvizan was sunk by Japanese army 11 cm siege howitzers at Port Arthur. Some of those shells pierced her magazines. It appears the Americans learned something about building battleships between the USS Maine and the Retvizan. Counterflooding and a well trained crew also probably saved her that February. Too bad the same could not be said for the Oslyabya at Tsushima. Her crew plowed her under when they opened the wrong valves to correct a bow list.
The thing you seem to be doing is to take into account ALL the lessons, even way, way after your ship had been designed. A most prescient way of reasoning, I believe, but hardly realistic. You're basically designing in hindsight. Therefore you're in a way cheating; cheating history, that is. That's why your design is not very realistic. THe USN was never this forward thinking as you like to think, and that's perfectly ok.
Never forward thinking?
a. first deployed screw driven warship, (John Ericson under the auspices of Captain Robert Stockton, USN) USS Princeton.
b. Though not first, the USS South Carolina was among the first dreadnoughts and the first with super-firing turrets.
c. Though not first, the USS Holland was among the first and definitely the best of the early submarines at the turn of the century.
d. Peacemaker should have worked (refer to the USS Princeton.).
e. Naval aviation is an American; not a British invention.
f. The Russians invented modern naval mine warfare ten years earlier, but the Confederates perfected it.
g. CSS Hunley?
h. How about Intelligent Whale?
i. Or Nautilus?
j. or Turtle?
k. the USS George Washington Parke Custis
is officially the first "aircraft carrier" in US history (1862 Peninsula Campaign, the Union operated a balloon from her )
l. or Samuel Langley
m. or Eugene Eli
As for foresight, I think an American navy that put heat sensors in coal bunkers on ships built in 1885 in the RTL with a better master shipwright at C and R would have done the little tweaks I suggest in my AU realistically.
And in that vein I could mention modern aircraft carrier integration and tactics (the Japanese had their own system at about the same time, but it is the American system that is emulated today. Same for submarines. Germans invented submarine campaign tactics, but it is the American system that the Russians and Chinese follow. (Second in the queue has its advantages.).
Lastly, wood, yes, it's ok. The USN fireproofed the wooden railings etc that they used. And, again, take a look at my Pennsylvania-class. It's pilot house was made of wood, on a steel frame!
Aware of that, but look at Jutland. Horrible fires aboard some of the British ships, hard to put out due to non-fireproofed wood fittings. Germans used more steel in those places and it was easier on them to damage control. Again, the US Civil War. Every Union ironclad sunk was lost first due to fires and not to penetration of the float bubble. The USN crews, even in the American Civil War, given half a chance would plug the leaks, and limp the ship home. Other navies (some of them) noticed that fire was the chief threat about the same time (HMS Warrior), so its not an exclusive Yankee thing all the time.
As an aside, when the USN sent people over to Europe to learn how to do things right postwar, like damage control and shipbuilding, it was not the English to whom the Americans turned. It was the Kriegsmarine and the Germans. The USN actually noticed who knew their technical stuff.
I should emphasize... SPAIN was not one of those navies who drew correct lessons.