AerospaceFan
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Most Powerful "Battleship"? (Excludes Carriers)

Wed Feb 08, 2006 4:46 pm

It is my humble opinion that a battleship of either the New Jersey class, or the Bismarck, is the most powerful battleship ever built. (This excludes modern supercarriers.)

What is your opinion?
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ANCFlyer
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Wed Feb 08, 2006 4:52 pm

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AerospaceFan
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Most Powerful "Battleship"? (Excludes Carriers)

Wed Feb 08, 2006 4:57 pm

Ah, the Yamato!  Smile That's a good choice.
What's fair is fair.
 
wukka
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Wed Feb 08, 2006 5:02 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 1):
http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-fornv/japan/japsh-xz/yamato.htm

I'd always heard that the Yamato was quite the badass, but never really got around to looking it up. Thanks for the link, ANC!
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pacificjourney
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Wed Feb 08, 2006 5:16 pm

http://www.combinedfleet.com/baddest.htm

This is a detailed comparison of late model battleships. The winner he comes up with is the Iowa class, followed by South Dakota, then Yamato 3rd.

Personally I feel the Vanguard class should be in their as well.
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AerospaceFan
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Wed Feb 08, 2006 5:23 pm

Quoting Pacificjourney (Reply 4):
The winner he comes up with is the Iowa class, followed by South Dakota, then Yamato 3rd.

My apologies for misidentifying the Iowa class as the New Jersey class.
What's fair is fair.
 
wukka
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Wed Feb 08, 2006 5:45 pm

Quoting Pacificjourney (Reply 4):

Although quite comprehensive, if you flip around that site a bit, there's way to many asterisks and disclaimers and whatnot to really consider it an authoritative source of info. There's some good reading there, though.
We can agree to disagree.
 
cfalk
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Wed Feb 08, 2006 5:59 pm

Dreadnaught battleships have always been my hobby, so thanks for bringing it up. Big grin

The Yamato and her sistership the Musashi was, of course the baddest class of battleship in the world.

The Iowa was actually nowhere near the Yamato in terms of head-to-head fighting ability, and in fact, I say it was not even a battleship at all. The Iowa class was more like a battle-cruiser.

The guiding rule of battleships was that their armor had to be able to protect the vitals of the ship from the same armement that it carried. Thus, if the ship carried 16 inch guns, it had to be armored against hits from 16 inch shells. Battle-cruisers were ships which had the same armement of battleships, but whose armor did not meet that standard, trading weight for speed.

The Iowa was armed with 16 inch guns, but its armor was only good for around 14 inch shells. The tradeoff was done so that the ship could achieve 33 knots of speed. The North Carolina Class had the same problem.

In fact, the last PROPER battleships built by the US were the South Dakota class. It had 16 inch guns and the armor matched to its armement. But it could only do 28 knots.

So of the last three classes of American battleships, only one was a true battleship. The others were essentially battle-cruisers, albeit with armor somewhere between that of a battle-cruiser and a battleship. Hybrids, really.

The US did start building the Montana class battleships during WWII, but they were cancelled prior to completion. They would have been proper battleships again, with a dozen 16 inch guns, and matched armor, and a displacement of 65,000 tons, some 50% more than the Iowas, and much of that weight increase was for armor.

By the way, in the 1920s, the British, US and Japanese navies were working on designs for battleships with 18 inch and even 20 inch guns! That was stopped by the Washington treaty, which put strict limits on battleship size and displacement, and thus its armement. The treaty was abandoned in the late thirties, and all the countries had to start again from where they left off 15 years earlier. If it had not been for the Washington Treaty, God knows what kind of monsters would have been built by WWII.
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ANCFlyer
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Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:21 pm

Quoting Pacificjourney (Reply 4):
http://www.combinedfleet.com/baddest.htm

Very cool web site . . . . .  thumbsup 
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cfalk
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Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:39 pm

Quoting Pacificjourney (Reply 4):
http://www.combinedfleet.com/baddest.htm

This is a detailed comparison of late model battleships. The winner he comes up with is the Iowa class, followed by South Dakota, then Yamato 3rd.

I'm afraid that that site has some inaccuracies. I have (on paper only, unfortunately), copies of the schematics and specifications of the armor on the South Dakota and Iowa classes. The South Dakota class was definately better armored than the Iowa.

Edit: I was just looking through some of the secondary pages, and I see that both the Iowas and the South Dakotas had anti-aircraft batteries that could throw out some 25 tons of ammunition into the air PER MINUTE! Good God, I would not like to be in an airplane attacking one of those!

[Edited 2006-02-08 10:49:47]
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pacificjourney
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Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:44 pm

Did you surf around to the main site ?

http://www.combinedfleet.com/kaigun.htm

'kaigun', navy in Japanese.

Something about those Japanese ships which grabs your eye like others just don't.

Quoting Wukka (Reply 6):
there's way to many asterisks and disclaimers and whatnot to really consider it an authoritative source of info.

Quite impossible (if not pointless) to actually compare them anyway but I think his is a comprehensive effort nonetheless.

The Italain designs compare poorly for example but then they would in several areas e.g. sea worthiness(they will only operate in the Med.), range and endurance (ditto), AA defence (always planned to operate within the homelands air umbrella so no point), and so on.
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pacificjourney
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Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:48 pm

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 9):
The South Dakota class was definately better armored than the Iowa.

The older SD's may have had more armour in weight but wether it was 'better' than the newer Iowa's I think it's a bit simplistic to claim.
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ANCFlyer
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Wed Feb 08, 2006 6:54 pm

Quoting Pacificjourney (Reply 10):
'kaigun', navy in Japanese.

Something about those Japanese ships which grabs your eye like others just don't.

I'm still reading through it. . . . particularly interested in the new book on Midway - my 'favorite' WW2 Pacific Battle. Interesting they claim Fuchida was - essentially - a liar. I'm going to buy the book.

Excellent site - thanks for posting the link!
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cfalk
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Wed Feb 08, 2006 7:00 pm

Quoting Pacificjourney (Reply 11):
The older SD's may have had more armour in weight but wether it was 'better' than the newer Iowa's I think it's a bit simplistic to claim.

The Iowa's armor was lightened for speed, but they tried to compensate by being creative in its layout. The main armor belt is actually inside the hull - the outer hull is much thinner, and angled to deflect incoming shells downwards. This would have been good at short ranges, but would have been a dangerous situation in case of long-range plunging fire, as the belt would have been completely parallel to the trajectory of the incoming shell, and thus useless. My guess is that they assumed that Japanese radar sucked, and would be unable to achieve hits at long range.

The Montana class would have reverted to good old-fashioned hull plating, and lots of it.
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pacificjourney
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Wed Feb 08, 2006 7:30 pm

If you like ships try these as well.

http://www.regiamarina.it/eng_index.htm

http://www.german-navy.de/index.html

http://www.uboat.net/

and if you areREALLY interested in WW2 I think there's only one place to go.

http://forum.axishistory.com/
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TSV
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Wed Feb 08, 2006 9:28 pm

Quoting Pacificjourney (Reply 4):
Personally I feel the Vanguard class should be in their as well.

Vanguard by all acounts was as excellent sea boat. During joint manoeuvres Iowa rolled up to 26 degrees whereas Vanguard rolled only 15 degrees according to Breyer. Vanguard was probably let down by having rather dated 15 inch guns (left over from from Glorious and Courageous after their conversions into Aircraft Carriers) which even though they were excellent guns they were not in the same ball park as some of the guns designed later.

The one(s) I would have liked to have been built was the second version of the design for the Lion (and Temeraire). Bigger and better designed versions of the KGV with 9 x (new as in more modern than Nelson's and Rodney's) 16 inch guns. They were actually laid down but were dismantled on the slip (218t and 121t respectively) after being much delayed.

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 7):
The US did start building the Montana class battleships during WWII, but they were cancelled prior to completion.

There are no dates for any of them being laid down. Orders were placed on September 9 1940 but none was commenced again according to Breyer.

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 7):
If it had not been for the Washington Treaty, God knows what kind of monsters would have been built by WWII.

It's not hard to imagine what would have been produced. The RN had already settled on the design of the "G3" Battlecruiser and the "N3" Battleship. The "G3" was more like a "fast battleship" than a Battlecruiser with 9 x 16 inch guns while the "N3" was similar but slower and with 9 x 18 inch guns.

Nelson and Rodney (or Nelsol and Rodnol depending on your state of humour) could simplistically be called a cut-down (very much) and mixed around version of the G3/N3.

Also the USN had the "South Dakota" Battleships and "Lexington" Battlecruisers all laid down but were all cancelled except of course Lexington and Saratoga which became Aircraft Carriers.

Quoting Pacificjourney (Reply 11):
The older SD's may have had more armour in weight but wether it was 'better' than the newer Iowa's I think it's a bit simplistic to claim.

True. Sturton states that they (the SD's) had a "novel" system that was being built before it had been tested and subsequent tests showed it wasn't entirely satisfactory.
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TSV
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Wed Feb 08, 2006 9:57 pm

Does anyone know which Battleship scored the longest range hit on an opposing warship in battle?

Answer : (might surprise some)
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b757300
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Wed Feb 08, 2006 10:39 pm

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 7):
The US did start building the Montana class battleships during WWII, but they were cancelled prior to completion.

Actually the Montana class was canceled before any were laid down.

The irony is that during the days of battleship building, Montana was the only state to never have an active duty battleship named for it.

Quoting TSV (Reply 16):
Does anyone know which Battleship scored the longest range hit on an opposing warship in battle?

The longest confirmed hit was by HMS Warspite on the Italian battleship Giulio Cesare at a range of roughly 26,000 yards.

There is debate though as to whether the honor actually goes to the German battlecruiser Scharnhorst for hitting the British carrier HMS Glorious at around 26,450 yards.

And yes, I knew this without hitting Google. Military history, especially WWII, is my area of study in grad school. I did have to look up Giulio Cesare since I couldn't remember how to spell it.  

[Edited 2006-02-08 14:40:51]
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slider
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Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:41 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
It is my humble opinion that a battleship of either the New Jersey class, or the Bismarck, is the most powerful battleship ever built.

My favorite has always been the Bismarck. Just a massive hulk of a ship.

My sentimental favorite, however, is the USS Wisconsin, the second one (BB-64).

Served from WWII all through the first Gulf War.
 
pbottenb
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Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:57 pm

While you may not consider the Iowa class the "Most powerful" battleship, they certainly win on length of service and action seen.

I believe that the last Iowa fired shots in anger during the first Gulf War in 1991. I believe she was the Missouri.

And for that matter she fired both shells and cruise missiles.....

So, wouldn't the addition of Tomahawk's and those unmanned aerial vehicles for spotting make the Missouri the baddest of all? I'll take the Missouri at the end of her service against ANY battleship in history. Her cruise missiles had a range of at least 500 miles, if not more...

My 2 Cents...
 
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N328KF
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Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:03 am

It's silly to say that the Yamatos were the most powerful. They were the biggest, and had the largest guns, but by no means would they have dominated Iowas. It's likely that they would have been very good matches for each other. The other thing is that the Iowas were faster and had better gun range and accuracy, and so could have done quite a bit of distant harassing of any opponent.

Now, if the Montanas had been built, they would have been the best, no asterisks attached.
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cfalk
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Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:37 am

Quoting B757300 (Reply 17):
Actually the Montana class was canceled before any were laid down.

You're right. I guess I was thinking about the 2 uncompleted Iowa class ships, Kentucky and Illinois.
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Dougloid
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Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:41 am

Interesting subject. I have an article about the Iowa on my blog for January. I was privileged to tour the Big J and the Mighty Mo when they were brought down to Long Beach back in the 1980s. The tours were deck tours only, of course. I toured the Big J after it was refitted, before the first Gulf War. Quite impressive, particularly when you consider that much of it was under water.

There's a pic under the Jan 6 entry and I have a number of others.

http://cornponepapers.blogspot.com/
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Lumberton
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Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:56 am

Quoting N328KF (Reply 20):
It's silly to say that the Yamatos were the most powerful. They were the biggest, and had the largest guns, but by no means would they have dominated Iowas. It's likely that they would have been very good matches for each other.

IMO, your point is valid. The Iowas had superior fire control technology, speed, and (I believe) a superior fire rate...and the 16 inch projectile, while not equal in destructive power to the Yamato's 18 inch, could still have made quite a mess on the target platform!

We would have found out, if Halsey had not been out-foxed at Leyte Gulf!
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desertjets
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Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:17 am

I generally agree with most of what has been said, but in the end most analyses that I have seen done put the Iowa class at the top for the following reasons.

1. Radar based FCS. The North Carolina, SouDak, and Iowa class battleships all had the most advanced radar systems and effective non-digital fire control computers on board. So despite the fact that many of her contemparies could easily range her, the Iowas would stand a better chance of landing a shell on target at range vs. ships with conventional optical systems.

2. Both the 16/45 and 16/50 guns on the post-treaty ships carried the super heavy 16" AP shell, which was the most powerful 16" shell and the most reliable. So now the Iowa could get a shell on target and have a better chance of having the damn thing do something.

3. All or nothing armor. All American battleships employed this armor scheme to some degree. In essence there were parts of the ship that would be unarmored. but vitals like the control tower, turrets, ammo stores, fuel bunkers, etc would be protected and would remain watertight.


If you do a search the December 2005 issue of Naval History (I believe that is the title of the journal) has an analysis of a hypothetical battle between a SouDak and Tirpitz as well as an Iowa and a Yamato class. Very interesting reading and gives you a good idea of what would happen should a 1-on-1 BB slugfest actually occur.

Unfortunately there isn't a ton of capital ship on capital ship action during WWII to draw extensive conclusions. You have USS Washington sinking Kirashima at Guadalcanal. Bismarck and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen sinking the Hood and damaging the POW. You have Rodney and KGV (with heavy cruisers Norfolk and Dorsetshire) sinking Bismarck. And the Duke of York with 3-4 cruisers sinking Scharnhorst.

All of those battles suggest that sinking an enemy BB either involves sheer luck (in the case of the Hood) or ends up being an extended slugfest, as in the case of the Bismarck. Even the sinking of the Yamato took a huge number of carrier based aircraft to take down. But the sinking of Repulse and POW at Singapore was largely due to lucky hits.
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Arrow
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Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:52 am

Great thread.

For those battleship afficionados who want to get into the history and evolution of these monsters, two books written by Robert K. Massie: Castles of Steel and Dreadnought.

Castles of Steel tracks the Royal Navy/German Navy WW 1 battles from start to finish and is a fascinating description of the ships, the people who manned them, the tactical blunders and successes on both sides. Highly recommended

Dreadnought gets more into the political history of Europe prior to WW 1, but focuses on the naval arms race and the technical gains made through the development of the dreadnought class (first real modern battleship was the HMS Dreadnought -- hence the term).

These are huge books (1000 plus pages each) but they are hard to put down. Massie is an American, by the way, and a brilliant historian and writer.
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cfalk
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Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:01 am

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 24):
All of those battles suggest that sinking an enemy BB either involves sheer luck (in the case of the Hood) or ends up being an extended slugfest, as in the case of the Bismarck. Even the sinking of the Yamato took a huge number of carrier based aircraft to take down. But the sinking of Repulse and POW at Singapore was largely due to lucky hits.

The Hood was a beefed-up battlecruiser, and as such was insufficiently armored. It suffered the same fate as several other battlecruisers during the Battle of Jutland - plunging fire plunging into a magazine and exploding her. Hood was simply no match for the Bismark one-on-one.

Bismark was already damaged by the time Rodney & Co. caught up with her.

It's a pity (in a sick kinda way  Smile) that WWII did not see any slugfests in the Jutland or Trafalgar tradition. And we will of course never see it again in our age of push-button warfare. Battleships was sheer brawn, and gamesmanship between the traditional elements of warfare - speed, armement and armor.
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desertjets
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Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:34 am

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 26):
Bismark was already damaged by the time Rodney & Co. caught up with her.

The ultimate irony about the sinking of the Bismarck, to me at least, was that a lowly Swordfish torpedo bomber managed to jam Bismarck's rudder making her virtually uncontrolable. Which allowed Rodney, KGV, and company to finish Bismarck off.

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 26):
It's a pity (in a sick kinda way Smile) that WWII did not see any slugfests in the Jutland or Trafalgar tradition. And we will of course never see it again in our age of push-button warfare. Battleships was sheer brawn, and gamesmanship between the traditional elements of warfare - speed, armement and armor.

To me the battleship is a strange beast. Despite being such huge, expensive, and resource extensive weapons systems, they were very limited in what they could actually do. The value of a battleship is that it could provide protection against your enemies battleships. Granted the Germans used their panzerschiffe, battlecruisers and battleships as commerce raiders; but you didn't need 11" or 15" guns to sink merchant ships.

Very similar to strategic nuclear weapons. Should either weapon be used to its fullest ability the end result wouldn't be pretty. Certainly the outcome of the Battle of Jutland illustrates that. The lessons learned from Jutland certainly played a large role in the creation of the Washington and 2 London Naval Treaties. W/o the treaties we would have seen a naval arms race spring up between Great Britain and the US; and to a lesser extent Japan.

By the end of WWII you have battleships confined to secondary roles. The American fast battleships/battlecruisers (North Carolina, South Dakota, Iowa, and Alaska classes) are primarily working as escorts for the fleet carriers, making use of their very extensive AA batteries. The US standards, being too slow for escort duty, are confined to shore bombardment. The British battleships fill much of the same role, with the BBs in the home fleet keeping what remains of the Kreigsmarine confined in the North and Baltic Seas. With Japan's fuel supplies severely restricted she isn't able to effectively field any of her battleships, which all eventually fall with the exception of Nagato.
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b757300
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Thu Feb 09, 2006 3:15 am

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 26):
The Hood was a beefed-up battlecruiser, and as such was insufficiently armored. It suffered the same fate as several other battlecruisers during the Battle of Jutland - plunging fire plunging into a magazine and exploding her. Hood was simply no match for the Bismark one-on-one.

It is too bad the Hood hadn't received its planned armor upgrades. She would have been in a lot better shape to dual with enemy battleships.

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 26):
It's a pity (in a sick kinda way ) that WWII did not see any slugfests in the Jutland or Trafalgar tradition. And we will of course never see it again in our age of push-button warfare.

Last time that battleship faced battleship was at the Battle of Surigao (part of the Battle of Leyte Gulf) and it resulted in the U.S. battleship, many of which had been raised from the mud of Pearl Harbor, blowing the Japanese fleet out of the water. We don't know which Japanese BB was sunk, either the Fuso or Yamashiro, while the other was sunk by submarines.
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Banco
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Thu Feb 09, 2006 3:24 am

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 26):
The Hood was a beefed-up battlecruiser, and as such was insufficiently armored. [...] Hood was simply no match for the Bismark one-on-one.

I'm not sure "beefed-up" is fair. She had no pretence to be anything other than a battlecruiser at any point in her career. The fact that she was huge doesn't alter the simple truth that she should never have been pitched into a single ship action against the Bismarck. She wasn't designed to fight a battleship, and everyone in the navy knew it. She was somewhat unlucky in that her consort that day was barely out of the dockyard, and she was also further undermined by Vice-Admiral Holland's generally appalling tactical performance and definitely mad decision to pitch her at the Bismarck rather than the Prinz Eugen. Bismarck should have been left to Prince of Wales (which was also outclassed, but to nothing like the same degree - at least on paper, that ships lack of readiness is already mentioned), which was at least a battleship.

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 27):
The ultimate irony about the sinking of the Bismarck, to me at least, was that a lowly Swordfish torpedo bomber managed to jam Bismarck's rudder making her virtually uncontrolable.

I don't know about an irony. The Swordfish attackers were deliberately aiming at her rudder. you can say it was a fluke that one hit caused such damage, but the rudder area was a known weakness. It was yet more evidence that the day of the battleship was drawing to a close. The Battle of Taranto some months earlier had already shown the vulnerability of big gun vessels (albeit in harbour in this case) without air cover to aerial attack, even to slow outdated biplanes carrying a single bomb or torpedo - and directly influenced the Japanese plan of attack at Pearl Harbor. The sinking of the Bismarck, and the later sinkings of the ill-fated Prince of Wales and the Repulse, having been scandalously sent east without air cover simply re-inforced that view. Battleships were to all intents and purposes finished.
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cfalk
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Thu Feb 09, 2006 3:27 am

Quoting Arrow (Reply 25):
For those battleship afficionados who want to get into the history and evolution of these monsters, two books written by Robert K. Massie: Castles of Steel and Dreadnought.

I've read both books, and I concur. Excellent books. In fact I am re-reading Castles of Steel right now. Big grin
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Lumberton
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Thu Feb 09, 2006 4:05 am

Quoting B757300 (Reply 28):
We don't know which Japanese BB was sunk, either the Fuso or Yamashiro, while the other was sunk by submarines.

Uh...I think the first one (Fuso?) was put out of action by the initial torpedo attack by the destroyers; the latter was sunk by gunfire. No IJN BB was sunk by subs during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. In fact, I think the IJN only lost Kongo to subs during the entire war. Their carrier fleet wasn't that lucky, though.
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desertjets
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Thu Feb 09, 2006 4:43 am

Quoting Banco (Reply 29):
I don't know about an irony. The Swordfish attackers were deliberately aiming at her rudder. you can say it was a fluke that one hit caused such damage, but the rudder area was a known weakness.

Maybe irony was not the proper term, but the match-up seems odd at best. Having, arguably, one of the most advanced and powerful battleships in the Atlantic theater crippled by a rather primative torpedo bomber (primative, yet effective).
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Banco
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Most Powerful "Battleship"? (Excludes Carriers)

Thu Feb 09, 2006 4:49 am

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 32):
Maybe irony was not the proper term, but the match-up seems odd at best. Having, arguably, one of the most advanced and powerful battleships in the Atlantic theater crippled by a rather primative torpedo bomber (primative, yet effective).

Oh, I see what you mean. Yes, that's true and indeed is ironic. In fact, to further the point, one of the reasons the Swordfish were so successful in managing to get close was that the German gunners routinely fired too far in front of the aircraft, not taking into account quite how slow the "stringbag" was.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
UALPHLCS
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Most Powerful "Battleship"? (Excludes Carriers)

Thu Feb 09, 2006 5:00 am

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 7):
The Yamato and her sistership the Musashi was, of course the baddest class of battleship in the world.

The Iowa was actually nowhere near the Yamato in terms of head-to-head fighting ability, and in fact, I say it was not even a battleship at all. The Iowa class was more like a battle-cruiser.

The guiding rule of battleships was that their armor had to be able to protect the vitals of the ship from the same armement that it carried. Thus, if the ship carried 16 inch guns, it had to be armored against hits from 16 inch shells. Battle-cruisers were ships which had the same armement of battleships, but whose armor did not meet that standard, trading weight for speed.

I have to disagree.

As a Certifed Docent on the Battleship New Jersey we get this question a lot. Could the Iowas compete with the Yamatos? Heavier guns and armor are not nessisarily the end all and be all of the argument.

The Iowas were not only faster, as you pointed out, but also had radar range and proximity fuses. Additionally although the 16" guns of the Iowas were smaller than the Yamatos they were a higher velocity, packing more of a punch than the Yamato.

the iowas were designed to take on the Yamato and her sister ships. Becasue they never met the debate has to remaine academic so we will never resolve it.

I seriously doubt however, that any naval power in the 1930's when the Iowas were concieved would have classified them as heavy cruisers. They were fast battleships, Similar in concept, (but better designed) to the Italian Roma, which was also a fast battleship.

While there is some trade off on armor 17 1/2" of class A armor was tested and proved effective against Japanese ordanace. Additionally Iowas' have a layered system of armour. Allowing a shell to pass through several varied depths of armor before reaching the armoured box. The conning tower and the barbets are the most heavily armored areas as they are the most exposed to direct fire and a essential areas. They are 17 1/2" thick. US Steel Armor production was "Probably" of a higher quality than Japanese as well.

New Jersey and her sisters could shoot faster, and more accurately, they were faster and could absorb any punishment Yamato could deliver. Historians frequently call any hypothetical Iowa vs. Yamato action a draw. But I think the Iowas could take punishment and give out better than they took.
A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
 
L-188
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Most Powerful "Battleship"? (Excludes Carriers)

Thu Feb 09, 2006 5:15 am

Quoting Wukka (Reply 3):
I'd always heard that the Yamato was quite the badass, but never really got around to looking it up.



Quoting Lumberton (Reply 23):
IMO, your point is valid. The Iowas had superior fire control technology, speed, and (I believe) a superior fire rate...and the 16 inch projectile, while not equal in destructive power to the Yamato's 18 inch, could still have made quite a mess on the target platform!



Quoting Lumberton (Reply 23):
Quoting N328KF (Reply 20):
It's silly to say that the Yamatos were the most powerful. They were the biggest, and had the largest guns, but by no means would they have dominated Iowas. It's likely that they would have been very good matches for each other.

IMO, your point is valid. The Iowas had superior fire control technology, speed, and (I believe) a superior fire rate...and the 16 inch projectile, while not equal in destructive power to the Yamato's 18 inch, could still have made quite a mess on the target platform!

But Japanese ships where highly vulnurable from a damage control perspective. The Iowa would have been able to take some hits from those 18" guns, but would have survived. I have no doubt that the Yamato would have ended up like those carriers off Midway-uncontrolable fires or Hood-exploding ammo.

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 26):
It's a pity (in a sick kinda way ) that WWII did not see any slugfests in the Jutland or Trafalgar tradition.

Battleship vs. Battleship....not really, but if you can deal with some cruiser action, do a search for "The Battle of the Komondorski Islands". That one is studied, it was the longest running pure ship-sip gun battle during the war.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
dl021
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Most Powerful "Battleship"? (Excludes Carriers)

Thu Feb 09, 2006 7:07 am

I'd say that the ability of the Iowa class BBs to accurately place, using fire control radar, fire and work at night put them ahead of the Yamato class vessels, even though Yamato and her sister Musashi had bigger guns.

Add that the the speed advantage held by the Iowas and you have a superior warship.

Of course either ship could be sunk if hit by enough aerial torpedoes.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
Dougloid
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RE: Most Powerful "Battleship"? (Excludes Carriers)

Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:06 am

Quoting Arrow (Reply 25):
Great thread.

For those battleship afficionados who want to get into the history and evolution of these monsters, two books written by Robert K. Massie: Castles of Steel and Dreadnought.

Ordered Castles of Steel on Amazon today.

Here's what I had to say about the Iowa. Bear in mind that it is the second battlewagon to bear the name Iowa-we have the silver service on display at the Capitol.

The Big J.

What more needs to be said? I was lucky enough to tour her at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard before she was refitted with some of the modern bells and whistles, and after those same bells and whistles had been added. I was privileged to tour the Mighty Mo in the same time frame but I never have toured the Iowa or Wisconsin-although I do know a "man of war's man" who is proud of his service aboard the Iowa.

At present the future home of the second Iowa is in limbo as the good people of San Francisco try and decide whether she should be berthed there as a museum and memorial to the soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen who gave, as Lincoln called it, "the last full measure of devotion".

Some feel that such an overt weapon should never have a place in the City by the Bay under any circumstances, and others would attempt to apply their own political and social context as a precondition to her berthing there.

She is what she is. Weapon, shrine, memorial to the young men whose bravery and courage we lesser mortals can only marvel at, a warning against the love of war, a marvel of the best technology of her time? All these things and more.

She is also a standard bearer for the people of the State of Iowa-we are enormously proud of her and the men who served so valiantly in her. If we had an ocean you can be quite sure that San Franciscans would never have been placed in the awkward position of deciding if they want this grey lady.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
pacificjourney
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RE: Most Powerful "Battleship"? (Excludes Carriers)

Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:14 am

Please don't hijack an otherwise interesting thread with the political, flag-waving crap.

Another thread exists on the very issue you have raised, please go there.
" Help, help ... I'm being oppressed ... "
 
Dougloid
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RE: Most Powerful "Battleship"? (Excludes Carriers)

Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:38 am

Quoting Pacificjourney (Reply 38):
Please don't hijack an otherwise interesting thread with the political, flag-waving crap.

Another thread exists on the very issue you have raised, please go there.

OK sorry let's talk about Kiwi battlewagons.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
UALPHLCS
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RE: Most Powerful "Battleship"? (Excludes Carriers)

Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:46 pm

Quoting Slider (Reply 18):
My sentimental favorite, however, is the USS Wisconsin, the second one (BB-64).

Just need to correct a misconception. Wisconsin was forth in her class New Jersey was second.

BB-61 Iowa New York Navy Yard
BB-62 New Jersey Philadelphia Navy Yard
BB-63 Missouri New York Navy Yard
BB-64 Wisconsin Philadelphia Navy Yard
BB-65 Illinois Philadelphia Navy Yard Scrapped after 22% completion
BB-66 Kentucky Norfolk Navy Yard Scrapped after 70% completion Bow used to repair Wisconsin.

An excellent source for all kinds of Naval information is Navsource.com
A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: Most Powerful "Battleship"? (Excludes Carriers)

Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:30 pm

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 37):
Bear in mind that it is the second battlewagon to bear the name Iowa

Actually, incorrect, Dougloid. BB-61 was the third battleship to bear the name Iowa. Prior to that was the Iowa-class BB-4 and the South Dakota-class BB-53. Prior to the trio of battleships, a monitor was named Iowa, so BB-61 would be the fourth overall.
South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
 
Traindriver
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RE: Most Powerful "Battleship"? (Excludes Carriers)

Thu Feb 09, 2006 3:09 pm

Another decent book about battleships is "Sacred Vessels"
The Cult of the Battleship and the Rise of the U.S. Navy
by Robert L. O'Connell. It was published in the early 90's.
The author was an analyst with Army Intelligence and had
also written a few other books dealing with military history.
 
Lumberton
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RE: Most Powerful "Battleship"? (Excludes Carriers

Thu Feb 09, 2006 8:36 pm

Quoting Pacificjourney (Reply 38):
Please don't hijack an otherwise interesting thread with the political, flag-waving crap.

What ticked you off, Pacificjourney? He is hardly the first a.netter to stray a little OT.

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 39):

OK sorry let's talk about Kiwi battlewagons.

Well, there was HMS New Zealand, built in England, but I believe she was crewed by Kiwis....

[Edited 2006-02-09 12:57:25]

[Edited 2006-02-09 13:03:26]
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Most Powerful "Battleship"? (Excludes Carriers)

Thu Feb 09, 2006 8:39 pm

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 43):
Quoting Pacificjourney (Reply 38):
Please don't hijack an otherwise interesting thread with the political, flag-waving crap.

What ticked you off? Pacificjourney is hardly the first a.netter to stray a little OT.

Believe it or not - I concur with PJ on his assessment here . . . this is what he was talking about. Great post right up to here.

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 37):
If we had an ocean you can be quite sure that San Franciscans would never have been placed in the awkward position of deciding if they want this grey lady.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
TSV
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RE: Most Powerful "Battleship"? (Excludes Carriers)

Thu Feb 09, 2006 11:59 pm

Quoting TSV (Reply 16):
which Battleship

Yes to avoid "that" debate the operative word in my question was "Battleship". Scharnhorst - being a Battlecruiser - was not meant to be included.

Speaking of Google :

http://www.citiesofscience.co.uk/go/London/ContentPlace_1796.html

Must look at visiting if I ever get to the UK again.

And speaking of Scharnhorst and worthwhile reading if anyone has Tarrant's book on the KGV Battleships the account of her sinking by DoY et al is well worth reading.

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 24):
Bismarck and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen sinking the Hood and damaging the POW.

And not forgetting to mention (the much maligned) PoW landing arguably the most critical hit on the Bismarck.

By the way does anyone know the name of that program that I think was on the Discovery Channel that featured the footage of the Bismarck during this action taken from Prinz Eugen?

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 24):
But the sinking of Repulse and POW at Singapore was largely due to lucky hits.

Well in the case of PoW you could also say that questionable design features contributed to the effectiveness of these "lucky" hits. Certainly according to Tarrant's book there was much modification on the other ships in the class and design revision on the Vanguard as a result of the particular way of losing PoW.
"I told you I was ill ..." Spike Milligan
 
slider
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RE: Most Powerful "Battleship"? (Excludes Carriers)

Fri Feb 10, 2006 12:51 am

Quoting UALPHLCS (Reply 34):
As a Certifed Docent on the Battleship New Jersey we get this question a lot. Could the Iowas compete with the Yamatos? Heavier guns and armor are not nessisarily the end all and be all of the argument.

Wow! Thanks for the great education UALPHL! Great stuff- your experience and knowledge here is impressive. I love Anet because of the wide range of knowledge and experience. This is one such example. Thank you!!  bigthumbsup 

Quoting UALPHLCS (Reply 40):
Just need to correct a misconception. Wisconsin was forth in her class New Jersey was second.

Yes, that I knew. I was referring to the second build of the USS Wisconsin.

The first one was an Illinois class, commissioned in 1901. Designated BB-9.

The second Wisconsin, BB-64 (the one I alluded to), had a keel laying in 1941.
 
UALPHLCS
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RE: Most Powerful "Battleship"? (Excludes Carriers)

Fri Feb 10, 2006 1:28 am

Quoting Slider (Reply 46):
Yes, that I knew. I was referring to the second build of the USS Wisconsin.

The first one was an Illinois class, commissioned in 1901. Designated BB-9.

The second Wisconsin, BB-64 (the one I alluded to), had a keel laying in 1941.

Oh I see, sorry about that, I understand you now.

Just to stir the pot a little bit. Technically, IMO the most powerful warship ever to put to sea would be the Ohio class SBNs. Stealthy, and able to defend herself, and enough firepower that a single boat is able to wipe any country off the face of the map.

However, I understand that that isn't what this thread is about.
A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
 
pacificjourney
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RE: Most Powerful "Battleship"? (Excludes Carriers)

Fri Feb 10, 2006 3:37 am

TOPIC POLICE - move along please ...
" Help, help ... I'm being oppressed ... "
 
tristarenvy
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RE: Most Powerful "Battleship"? (Excludes Carriers)

Fri Feb 10, 2006 4:04 am

The Texas!

Just kidding...a little Texan chest beating....

It would be an interesting concept to have a pure battleship vs. battleship computer game. No carriers, just big guns vs. big guns. I think Yamato would probably win, for sheer throwing power.

Another great topic for the "What If?" files....
If you don't stand for SOMETHING, you'll fall for ANYTHING.

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