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USSWisconsin
21 Jul 10,, 19:22
Would the US have been able to achieve the same results without battleships in WWII? Suppose the new WWII battleships weren't built and the old ones weren't refitted or repaired after Pearl Harbor, these resources went to heavy cruisers and carriers instead, with some big British type monitors built to use those older guns for shore bombardment. What effect would this have had on the outcome in the Pacific? What do you think?

BenRoethig
21 Jul 10,, 20:28
Leyte might have been lost.

Ken_NJ
21 Jul 10,, 21:31
Would not have had the AA firepower to defend the landing forces and carriers.
With the number of battleships that were available, shore bombardment would not have been as effective with the result of more causalities and a possibility of loosing an entire landing force in the Pacific and in Europe.

Blue
21 Jul 10,, 21:59
Ask any guy thats ever hit a hot beach. Without the BBs to soften up the defenses, it would have been a much harder, longer fight.

bigross86
21 Jul 10,, 22:11
But isn't it also true that a lot of the time the Naval artillery was on way too flat a trajectory to efficiently take out the Japanese defenses?

gunnut
21 Jul 10,, 22:17
Leyte might have been lost.

How so? Battleships became an escort rather than the main striking force due to the perfection of carrier aviation and tactics. Equal number of fleet carriers instead of battleships at Leyte Gulf would have led to the same result.

Dreadnought
21 Jul 10,, 22:39
How so? Battleships became an escort rather than the main striking force due to the perfection of carrier aviation and tactics. Equal number of fleet carriers instead of battleships at Leyte Gulf would have led to the same result.

Ah, but Leyte Gulf and battles like Savo Island were fought at night time. Carrier Ops were no good for that since you wouldnt be able to tell Japanese ships from American ships in the pitch dark on moonless nights.

Its also well known that the CV's or CVE's as history has shown couldnt hold up to Japanese BB guns. And one must remember that the USN as well as all other services had limited resources in ships and planes for some time so send in the ships that were expendable, the BB's included and save the Carrier for major fleet actions such as Midway etc.

US BB's went on well after WWII to provide the very same service the CV's couldnt do and cheaper at that. The right tool for the right job and BB's actions in most cases were also not dependant on weather as aerial operations were.

Dreadnought
23 Jul 10,, 03:56
*Now that I think about it, you can tecnically add the Battle of the North Sea to that list as well, and tecnically the Sharnhorst was a battlecruiser.:rolleyes::))

IMO, The Brits could have also finished off Bismark as well at night, instead waiting till first light the next day.

Gun Grape
24 Jul 10,, 19:05
Ah, but Leyte Gulf and battles like Savo Island were fought at night time. Carrier Ops were no good for that since you wouldn't be able to tell Japanese ships from American ships in the pitch dark on moonless nights.



And how many Battleships took part in the Battle of Salvo Island?

Both the Battle of Salvo Island (9 Aug 42) and Cape Esperance (11- 12 Oct 42) were Cruiser and Destroyer battles. Didn't have or need BBs for them.

Surigao Straits saw the DD force inflict the most damage, Not the BB line.

And the Guadalcanal battle on 14-15 Oct Hiei was damaged by CA/DD then destroyed by aircraft.

Kirishima is the only ship that was hurt bad by BB fire. Causing her skipper the scuttle her. But not before she hurt the SD.

The proof that they were not needed, or more precisely that no more were needed was the US canceling the Montana class and the last 2 Iowas. Along with delaying the building of the Mo and Whisky for more important priorities. Essex Carriers

Gun Grape
24 Jul 10,, 19:26
Ask any guy thats ever hit a hot beach. Without the BBs to soften up the defenses, it would have been a much harder, longer fight.

Didn't need them after Iwo.

Gun Grape
24 Jul 10,, 19:30
Would the US have been able to achieve the same results without battleships in WWII? Suppose the new WWII battleships weren't built and the old ones weren't refitted or repaired after Pearl Harbor, these resources went to heavy cruisers and carriers instead, with some big British type monitors built to use those older guns for shore bombardment. What effect would this have had on the outcome in the Pacific? What do you think?

They would have achieved the same results but it was quicker to repair the Pearl BBs. And those ships didn't take up spaces in shipyards that the new builds would have.

Notice that we did cancel all additional BBs after Midway. Focused on Essex carriers. The "New" WW2 Battleships had all been laid down prior to the US realizing that the era of Battleships was over.

shadow01
24 Jul 10,, 22:35
But isn't it also true that a lot of the time the Naval artillery was on way too flat a trajectory to efficiently take out the Japanese defenses?

They did that at Tarawa but learned from that error in future landings.

Gun Grape
24 Jul 10,, 23:16
They did that at Tarawa but learned from that error in future landings.


:confused:

bigross86
24 Jul 10,, 23:32
They did that at Tarawa but learned from that error in future landings.

But how do you fix that? The guns only have a certain elevation they can reach. The only way to fix it that I would see is to have them shoot at really high elevations from 30+ miles away or so. That would give it a plenty steep trajectory.

IIRC, even the 5-inchers were too flat...?

shadow01
25 Jul 10,, 03:46
Greater stand off range.

RustyBattleship
25 Jul 10,, 04:50
The maximum angle of elevation allowed on most 16" turrets was 42 degrees. Any steeper than that would flatten the bearings on the roller path.

The 5-inchers on the other hand could elevate up to 85 degrees as they were A-A as well as shore bombardment. But a 5-inch hi-cap really doesn't do too much to volcanic rock which most of the islands are made of. Its porosity dampens shock very well.

16-inchers coming in at a high angle would have been very impressive. But the mathematics of ballistic trajectories will not allow it. As soon as that "bullet" leaves the muzzle, gravity takes over.

However, Wisconsin did do a "bang up job" (pun intended) on Japanese bunkers with 16-foot thick walls and a few decades later on Iraqi bunkers with 12-foot thick walls.

Gun Grape
25 Jul 10,, 06:15
Greater stand off range.

No. Doesn't work that way. Greater stand off range on a naval gun gives you more "Skipped rounds".

For all the hype, the Iowas expended more 5/38 than 16/50 during the few landings that they took part in.

shadow01
25 Jul 10,, 15:56
No. Doesn't work that way. Greater stand off range on a naval gun gives you more "Skipped rounds".

For all the hype, the Iowas expended more 5/38 than 16/50 during the few landings that they took part in.

Being the novice here most of the books and videos that I have seen make the point that "plunging" rather than "direct" fire from BBs were more effective in both shore and ship to ship actions. I am refering to the main guns.

Again, being the "greenhorn" it makes more sense to me that rounds coming down from overhead have a better chance at penetrating that one that is fired at a shallow or more direct angle. Kinda like skipping a stone across water.

I am not disputing the folks on this site who have the knowledge, just asking questions for my own curiosity.

RustyBattleship
25 Jul 10,, 20:14
Being the novice here most of the books and videos that I have seen make the point that "plunging" rather than "direct" fire from BBs were more effective in both shore and ship to ship actions. I am refering to the main guns.

Technically you are correct. But reread my post above on the maximum allowed elevation of the guns. Hits from a BB's main guns were never "vertical" drops in their last moment of trajectory before impact. Though from a great distance, the curve of the ballistic trajectory will allow them to come in at a steep angle, but still not exactly "plunging" fire.

In Viet Nam the New Jersey did dig some very deep holes, one so deep the ground spotters thought it was a dud. After several days of digging in the soft dirt of that part of the world, they did find the projectile actually had exploded but was so deep it only made a big cavity several feet below the surface.

New Jersey hits on such terrain was more dramatic such as taking 20 feet off the top of a VC held mountain and catching a small fault zone on an island causing the end of the island to slip off and "sink". It was also very good at taking out VC tunnel complexes.

But volcanic rock, such as most of the Pacific Islands in WW II, was better than concrete to absord shock and only high altitude bomb drops would achieve a "plunging" effect. The problem was getting enough heavy bombers over there to drop the bombs.

shadow01
25 Jul 10,, 21:57
Thank again Rusty and all the others on this site for sharing with me knowledge that only people like you know.

bonehead
26 Jul 10,, 00:35
Does anyone know how much the Japanese Commander fretted over the location of our battleships during Leyte. Were any tactics made/changed for the battle due to our Battleships? On the flip side. Would our tactics have been the same if we had our Battleships replaced with carriers. If not what changes would have been made.

vadupleix
27 Jul 10,, 14:25
Would the US have been able to achieve the same results without battleships in WWII? Suppose the new WWII battleships weren't built and the old ones weren't refitted or repaired after Pearl Harbor, these resources went to heavy cruisers and carriers instead, with some big British type monitors built to use those older guns for shore bombardment. What effect would this have had on the outcome in the Pacific? What do you think?

The acquirence for seakeeping in southwest pacific may cost too much for a such a dual purpose ship.

USSWisconsin
27 Jul 10,, 15:09
The acquirence for seakeeping in southwest pacific may cost too much for a such a dual purpose ship.

Monitors were used successfully in the much stormier Atlantic, and the old US monitors managed several crossings of the Pacific during their careers. I think monitors would have been useful in the Pacific as shore bombardment platforms, but clearly the battleships had a substantial advantage in seakeeping - since we had enough of them (battleships), the need for monitors never really came up.

I would classify the battleship as the dual purpose ship (sea battles/escort and land bombardment) while the monitors had a single purpose.

Dreadnought
30 Jul 10,, 17:23
And how many Battleships took part in the Battle of Salvo Island?

Both the Battle of Salvo Island (9 Aug 42) and Cape Esperance (11- 12 Oct 42) were Cruiser and Destroyer battles. Didn't have or need BBs for them.

Surigao Straits saw the DD force inflict the most damage, Not the BB line.

And the Guadalcanal battle on 14-15 Oct Hiei was damaged by CA/DD then destroyed by aircraft.

Kirishima is the only ship that was hurt bad by BB fire. Causing her skipper the scuttle her. But not before she hurt the SD.

The proof that they were not needed, or more precisely that no more were needed was the US canceling the Montana class and the last 2 Iowas. Along with delaying the building of the Mo and Whisky for more important priorities. Essex Carriers


*Greetings GG,
As you can see I havent been on in some time due to things being rather busy. I would ask that you allow me to reply to your above questions in full before we move on or debate. I will take these one at a time since I wont have time to full post in response.:)

Dreadnought
30 Jul 10,, 17:55
And how many Battleships took part in the Battle of Salvo Island?

*You had three in theater during the battle of Savo Island.

1) BB55 North Carolinia arrived in the Pacific theatre in June 10, 1942. She was immediately dispatched to the Carrier Enterprise CV6 battle group Task Force 61.1 under Kinkaid. She helped stop the air attacks on Enterprise by downing between 7-14 Japanese planes and being able to put about approx 4x the amount of AA that any one DD could in the group.

It would be these planes from Enterprises group that BB55 North Carolinia helped protect that would deliver the blows to Hiei's steering gear and amidships. In actuality Hiei scuttled according to her records, not sunk by aircraft as her record follows below:

1435: HIEI is attacked by four TBFs from ENTERPRISE. One torpedo hits HIEI amidships on the starboard side. Another hits her stern and floods her steering gear.

1530: During the day, HIEI suffers 70 American sorties. Vice Admiral Abe orders Captain Nishida to Abandon Ship.

1745: HIEI is attacked by six "Dauntlesses" from Henderson Field, after some of her sailors were transferred. YUKIKAZE (identified as a light cruiser) receives a near miss.

Captain Nishida reluctantly orders HIEI scuttled. The Emperor's portrait is removed. Nishida and other survivors are rescued by DesDiv 27's SHIGURE, SHIRATSUYU, YUGURE and DesDiv 61's TERUZUKI. 188 crewmen are lost and 151 wounded.

1838: Admiral Yamamoto orders Abe not to scuttle HIEI, but the message is received too late.

1900-0100: HIEI sinks by the stern at 09-00S, 159-00E. 188 crewmen are lost.

14 November 1942:
Vice Admiral Abe is relieved of command. On their return to Japan, both he and Captain Nishida face a Board of Inquiry into the loss of HIEI.

20 December 1942:
Abe is reassigned to the Naval General Staff. Nishida is placed on the Reserve List. BatDiv 11 is deactivated and HIEI is removed from the Navy List.[5]


2) BB56 Washington arrived in theater on transfer from the Atlantic in August 1942 just after stopping at Brooklyns Navy Yard for minor updating.

3) BB57 South Dakota arrived after the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands in which she also protected CV6 the Enterprise.

IMO, That pretty much answers how many BB's were involved in the Solomons campaign. Two of these three BB's protected the carriers that supplied the airpower to the Solomons campaign outside of other limited land based airstrips early on.

Dreadnought
30 Jul 10,, 18:06
Both the Battle of Salvo Island (9 Aug 42) and Cape Esperance (11- 12 Oct 42) were Cruiser and Destroyer battles. Didn't have or need BBs for them.

*A lengthy question indeed. The first part I dont have time to answer right now (I will reply to this first thing on my next visit).

The second statement "Didint have them or need them" IMO, disagreed, as heres why:

Nimitz completely rejected the idea of redeploying the old battleships of Pacific Fleet to the South Pacific for lack of logistical support, but he sent Hornet on 17 August 1942 to replace Wasp and ordered Wasp to leave part of its air group as replacements for the other carriers. He also made plans for South Dakota and Washington to arrive in the South Pacific by mid-September.

Nimitz realized early on that the logistics it takes to keep those ships in theatre, had he sent them, was not there. No place to repair battle damage, maintain them or anything else except sending them back to the US Yards.

That means there was no way of supporting the older battleships needs for forward deployment until about 1943-1944 with AFDB's (or the “floating drydocks”). Once they were launched and transfered, now you could support the older battleships in the pacific theatre which is exactly what they did for several of the Island campaigns. And all of them did return once this was in place.

*Not having them is not to say they didnt physically have the ships, what they didnt have was the logisitcs in place to keep them in theater yet. As far as needing them, there is no doubt Nimitz was urged to deploy them until he outright refused to do so until the logistics were in place to maintain them.

See you soon.:)

dundonrl
31 Jul 10,, 09:34
well, I'm sure that Admiral Sprague and Taffy III wish they had some battleships during their action during the Battle off Samar.. Japanese battleships Yamato, Nagato, Kongō, and Haruna; heavy cruisers Chōkai, Haguro, Kumano, Suzuya, Chikuma, Tone; light cruisers Yahagi, and Noshiro; and 11 Kagerō- and Asashio- class destroyers went up against Rear Admiral Clifton Sprague's Task Unit 77.4.3 ("Taffy 3") consisted of the Light carriers/escort carriers: Fanshaw Bay, St. Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay, and Gambier Bay. Screening for Taffy 3 were the destroyers Hoel, Heermann and Johnston, and destroyer escorts Dennis, John C. Butler, Raymond, and Samuel B. Roberts.

only through the lack of situational awareness how valiantly the American's fought did they drive the Japanese off. If we would have had some BB's there, the situation would/could have been completely different..

Gun Grape
31 Jul 10,, 14:59
Taffy 3 is an example that BBs were not needed. Would have been great to have them but through the valiant efforts of some DD/DEs the battle was turned.

If we had BBs there, the battle could have turned out differently. But not necessarily better.

There will always be examples of "we could have used X."

But the original question was "How necessary were the BBs?"

Gun Grape
31 Jul 10,, 15:31
And how many Battleships took part in the Battle of Salvo Island?

*You had three in theater during the battle of Savo Island.

1) BB55 North Carolinia arrived in the Pacific theatre in June 10, 1942. She was immediately dispatched to the Carrier Enterprise CV6 battle group Task Force 61.1 under Kinkaid. She helped stop the air attacks on Enterprise by downing between 7-14 Japanese planes and being able to put about approx 4x the amount of AA that any one DD could in the group.

I know you are not comparing an BB with a DD?

But lets look at what a waste of men and material that is.

Fast BB of the SD/NC and Iowa class all had 20 5/38 DP Guns. 10 per side

The NC weighed 42,400 tons and had a crew of 18-23 hundred men.


A Fletcher had 5 5/38s weighed 2,500 tons with a crew of 329.


So a NC class had the equivalent of 4 Fletchers in 5/38 firepower.

4 Fletchers use 10 thousand tons of steel. 1/4th of what the NC had.

4 Fletchers need 1,316 crew members. Which is 500 to 1000 less than less than what the NC had.

And you can build Fletchers a lot faster than a BB.

One of the reasons that we stopped BBs building and concentrated on Essex and DD building.

Or you could have compared her to the USS Atlanta, what was also part of the task force.

A Class that had 16 5/38s in dual mounts that, except for 2, were mounted center line. 14 guns could bear on a target regardless of which side it was on.

8 thousand tons with a crew of 670. For the AA screening job, a better choice than any BB.

Pacfanweb
31 Jul 10,, 21:09
Yes, 4 Fletchers roughly equal AA as a BB, in 5"....but I don't think 4 Fletchers equal 1 BB in 40mm, though.

But 1 NC can take more punishment than any 4 Fletchers ever thought about and still be fighting.

Same thing with the Atlanta class. Can't take a hit. I've read the Atlanta's crew never felt the ship was all that safe. So it's great, as long as it doesn't get hit.

And I doubt you'll find anyone from Taffy 3 that wouldn't have LOVED to have a couple of BB's, even the old ones, on station with them.

Your theory works great if you simply regard the ships and men as disposable.....if so, just spam DD's all war at the enemy, and sure, you'll end up winning.

Gun Grape
31 Jul 10,, 22:20
Yes, 4 Fletchers roughly equal AA as a BB, in 5"....but I don't think 4 Fletchers equal 1 BB in 40mm, though.

But 1 NC can take more punishment than any 4 Fletchers ever thought about and still be fighting.

We are discussing the battles of 1942. Neither ships had 40mm;)

175 Fletchers were commissioned between 4 Jun 1942 and 22 Feb 44. How many Battleships could have been built during the same time? Without taking away from the other building that was going on at the same time?

The Fletcher class stayed in Continous commission from 1942 to 2001.

They proved they were worth more than all the Battleships through their longevity.



Same thing with the Atlanta class. Can't take a hit. I've read the Atlanta's crew never felt the ship was all that safe. So it's great, as long as it doesn't get hit.



The same number of Atlanta class CLs were sunk as US Battleships in the Pacific;)

Yet the US built 11 cruisers of that class at the same time they stopped work on Battleships.

It was an antiaircraft cruiser.

At the same time that Dred credits NC with 7-14 enemy aircraft shot down the Juneau was credited with 18 on 26 Oct while protecting Enterprise.



And I doubt you'll find anyone from Taffy 3 that wouldn't have LOVED to have a couple of BB's, even the old ones, on station with them.

And there are many times that I would have loved to have been wrapped inside a M1 tank. Didn't happen

The Men of taffy 3 could have used a BB but as history shows, they damn sure didn't need one.





Your theory works great if you simply regard the ships and men as disposable.....if so, just spam DD's all war at the enemy, and sure, you'll end up winning.

Its not a theory. Its history. There is one battle that battleships actually did battleship work in. They were used but were not needed. As shown by the actions of the US government. We quit building them right after Midway. Finished the two that were nearest completion canceled the rest and concentrated on CVs and DDs.

We used what we had but saw no need to build any more.

Pacfanweb
31 Jul 10,, 22:47
Actually, we were NOT discussing the battles of 1942, specifically, we were discussing the BB's necessity in WWII.

By your reasoning, the same way the BB's weren't "needed", we might as well not build houses, airplanes and cars....because we still lived and thrived in teepees, and got around the world just fine in sailing ships and on horses.

So just because a BB wasn't present and the battle was won anyway does not equate to "they weren't needed".

To win the war? Yes, we probably would have won the war without them.

To do a better, more efficient and quicker job? No, it would have taken longer and cost more lives.


Now, for your specific points:

Atlanta class cruisers: 2 were lost off Guadalcanal. I don't recall us losing any BB's outside of Pearl Harbor, and they weren't even ready for battle then...and only one of those was not raised. (Arizona) But we didn't lose any in a 'non-sneak-attack-when-we-were-not-yet-at-war' battle. SoDak got battered because of self-inflicted electrical problems, but was never in danger of being lost.

I'd classify the Atlanta's as a "one trick pony". The BB's were not. The could do AA support, bombardment, refueling, and slug it out with other BB's, and live to tell the tale.
And sure, the US built 11 Atlantas.....after they already had twice that number of BB's either built or almost completed. We also built 10 fast battleships. Wow, big difference....one more Atlanta built. We built ten new BB's, when we already had a dozen or so.

Taffy 3......didn't NEED a BB? Again....I guess I don't NEED a house if I own a tent, but I'd survive bad weather a lot better and more safely if I had a house and not a tent. But in a pinch, I guess a tent would get the job done if a house wasn't available.....but nobody would choose a tent over a house.

Gun Grape
31 Jul 10,, 23:12
Now, for your specific points:

Atlanta class cruisers: 2 were lost off Guadalcanal. I don't recall us losing any BB's outside of Pearl Harbor, and they weren't even ready for battle then...and only one of those was not raised. (Arizona) But we didn't lose any in a 'non-sneak-attack-when-we-were-not-yet-at-war' battle. SoDak got battered because of self-inflicted electrical problems, but was never in danger of being lost.

Doesn't mater how they were lost. 3 Battleships were lost at Pearl. 2 were never raised.

2 Atlanta class were lost to torpedoes.




I'd classify the Atlanta's as a "one trick pony". The BB's were not. The could do AA support, bombardment, refueling, and slug it out with other BB's, and live to tell the tale.

And Atlanta's could not do bombardment and refueling why?

They were originally designed as flotilla leaders so refueling was one of their duties. And their 5/38s were one of the most effective weapons used in NGB during WW2.



And sure, the US built 11 Atlantas.....after they already had twice that number of BB's either built or almost completed. We also built 10 fast battleships. Wow, big difference....one more Atlanta built. We built ten new BB's, when we already had a dozen or so.

Those Battleships were built during a time that Navies were rated by how many Battleships they had. None were laid down after Carriers became the top dog. The Atlanta's were.

The battleships days were numbered after Taranto harbor. Over after Coral Sea/Midway

Gun Grape
31 Jul 10,, 23:16
But 1 NC can take more punishment than any 4 Fletchers ever thought about and still be fighting.


I can build 16 Fletchers for the same amount of steel as the North Carolina.

And yes those 16 Fletchers will take more damage, Do more damage and be more useful than 1 battleship. They will also have more 5/38s 40mm and 20mm than that 1 battleship.

Pacfanweb
01 Aug 10,, 00:51
2 BB's lost at Pearl, never to return. Arizona and Oklahoma. Utah was not a Battleship at that time. Didn't even have any big guns.

Oklahoma was raised, but not repaired....as much because she had reciprocating engines as anything else.

So really only one BB was a total loss, and still....a sneak attack on a fleet that was at peace isn't the same as two warring fleets duking it out on the high seas, with everyone ready to fight.

Your 16 Fletchers will certainly be able to cover more ground than any 1 BB, for sure. But let 5-6 of them take on an enemy BB and see what happens. You might sink the BB, or badly damage it. But at what cost? How many men will you lose?
Again, if all you care about is the end result, by all means....crank out DD's and CV's and the heck with all other ships. Who needs 'em? Don't worry about taking on enemy heavy units...we have more men to replace those that are lost. :rolleyes:

How many convoys were not attacked in the Atlantic because an old BB was escorting it? I believe S&G declined to engage several times for this reason. BB's certainly were needed. Maybe not as much as some folks claim, but also most certainly not "not at all", as you are.

Who was going to sink Kirishima? Washington and SoDak's escorting destroyers got themselves shot to hell before the BB's even got started. If that wasn't "BB doing BB work", as you described it, I don't know what is.

Re: Shore Bombardment: Yes, DD's and the 5" in general most certainly did a lot of work in that area. But how many places were captured using those guns ONLY? And if no BB's were used, how much of the defenses would have been left intact? Heck, the Japanese managed to put up terrific fights even with BB's doing pre-invasion bombardments.......how bad would things have been on the ground had no heavy guns been employed?

Hard to say exactly how bad, but I think it's safe to say there would have been less destruction on the islands, pre-landings.

This argument is about like saying "why does an NFL team need offensive linemen?", because they are big and slow. You can feed 4 fast wide receivers for what one tackle eats/costs. Yeah, but it'll take all of them to stop one opposing defensive lineman (BB), much less the linebackers (CA's)

RmK
01 Aug 10,, 03:00
Didn't Utah still carry battleship armor? In this case not having big guns wasn't the issue. In a "passive" sense Utah was a battleship that was sunk. If I'm seeing this wrong, please correct me, I'm here to learn.

Gun Grape
01 Aug 10,, 03:05
The question was Were they necessary. The answer was no.

Then people started throwing all the other stuff in.

They were not necessary. They ones we had did help but we would have still won the war if there were no battleships.

StevoJH
01 Aug 10,, 04:28
Didn't Utah still carry battleship armor? In this case not having big guns wasn't the issue. In a "passive" sense Utah was a battleship that was sunk. If I'm seeing this wrong, please correct me, I'm here to learn.

I thought she was a target hulk.....

Basically an old battleship stripped of anything useful and with extra armour bolted on top.

The in service battleships then used her for target practice.

-----------------

However getting back to the topic, as Gun Grape said, no, they were not neccessary in world war two.

Pacfanweb
01 Aug 10,, 05:04
Don't think anyone is disputing whether we win the war or not if there are no BB's.......but I don't see how anyone can dispute that the BB's made things easier.

But if you're going with the simple "could we have won without them" angle, you can say the same thing about the CA's, too. Take them out of the equation and we still win.

If you are going to say we would have won in exactly the same fashion, with less casualties and the same time frame without either....than I don't think so.

RustyBattleship
01 Aug 10,, 05:34
I thought she was a target hulk.....

Basically an old battleship stripped of anything useful and with extra armour bolted on top.

The in service battleships then used her for target practice.

-----------------

However getting back to the topic, as Gun Grape said, no, they were not neccessary in world war two.

Utah was not an unmanned "hulk". She was converted as a target TRAINING ship. Part of her fantail was painted to look like a carrier deck for dive bombers to PRACTICE aiming at. The carriers were the targets the Japanese were after and hit her with everything they had.

Also, I am not going to argue if Battleships were necessary or not. We had them, we used them and the final surrender was signed aboard one of them.

Whether they were ABSOLUTELY necessary or not is pure conjecture and I'm tired of brain storming hypothetical scenarios. The fact is that we used them and were very effective when used. Whether their usefulness was well planned or not can also be argued.

But not with me.

StevoJH
01 Aug 10,, 06:17
I'm not going to argue that they werent useful. Better to have something then to not have it. But the way i've been thinking is, would the money have been better spent on more carriers or cruisers?

The answer, possibly.

shadow01
01 Aug 10,, 11:41
From what I gather on this topic I think the question is answered more on "balance", than "needed or not".

The more tools a commander has to use, the more options they have to employ.

The battle of Samar demonstrated that fact. Taffy 3 had DD and DD escorts going up against some major IJN units. Excellent improvised manuvers by Admiral Sprague, weather, what had to be considered incredible bravery by the DDs and DD escorts charging at a superior force knowing full well that more than likely their chances of survival was low at best, demonstrated at least to me having some BBs in the area would have been a needed element.

No argument War2 brought the Aircraft Carrier to the top of the pecking order for offensive firepower. And I know the Carriers at Samar were CVEs not the front line jobs that had more of everything; armor, guns, planes, and speed, but keep in mind that because of other navies having BBs in service we needed our own to match them, especially in a night action where planes in War2 were not very effective.

Dreadnought
02 Aug 10,, 19:03
Hi guys, just a quick reply as time is short.

In reply to GG.

They were not necessary. They ones we had did help but we would have still won the war if there were no battleships.

*The older BB's would have been good for shore bombardment as they were employed after returning to the Pacific. They would have been questionable in battle against Japans or Germany's (or even the Italians) newest BB's at the time. They no doubt did their jobs in shore bombardment in as much as Kongo and Haruna no doubt rocked Henderson Field in a night bombardment during the Solomons Campaign and no USN cruiser beit CA, or CL had the firepower they did. Radar (questionable) speed (yes,) firepower negative.

The BB's no doubt provided excellent AA coverage to the CV's time and time again and claimed a good share of Japanese downed planes as well as bombarded Japanese home islands and infastructure. There is no doubt they were as important as any US cruiser beit CL or CA or DD when it came to surface engagements.

Is it possible that we would have won the Naval battles of WWII without them?

IMO, I suppose it was possible but at what cost and how long were we willing to fight? How many of our "prized" CV's could have been sent to the bottom and how fast could they have been replaced and how many more lives lost?

What in the USN inventory could have stood up to the Tirpitz, Yamato, Musashi, etc had they escaped the air attacks or if the weather didnt cooperate with the battle plans? Its quite obvious lesser gunned ships were not going to do this against enemy BB's, their only resort would have been torpedo strikes, by cruiser subs or with DD's and there is no saying that it would not have been a slaughter of men and ships outright.

The BB's were indeed needed wether you agree with that statement or not it makes no difference. Naval history and pure material facts of battle has shown they were needed just as much as any other ship in the fleet. The right tool for the right job. Japan and Germany were actively constructing battleships that no USN (CA,CL) cruiser or Destroyer could have engaged in one on one or even two on two. They would have been sunk in minutes and they may have damaged them too but at the cost of their lives and lost ground in the island campaigns.

IMO, We were both smart for building them when we did and lucky we chose to keep a few of them instead of scrapping them for they saw three more conflicts following WWII that helped give an upper edge to our fighting forces, helped them advance and helped save lives as well.

Even the Heavy Cruisers (and the CL's) time had come and past before the end of the BB's era. Much like the BB's time had come and past because of the CV's and airpower. None the less, they were and still are around for the future, If the US government wanted them gone that badly then they would have been scrapped outright and never even offered them a chance at hanging around as museums. The proof of this is by looking at how many capital ships, older BB's, CA's, CL's, SS, SSN, and yet we still have 8 BB's around as museums the majority of which are of the last three classes built with 4 of them being the last class built period. I wonder what they were thinking.:))

gunnut
02 Aug 10,, 19:10
well, I'm sure that Admiral Sprague and Taffy III wish they had some battleships during their action during the Battle off Samar.. Japanese battleships Yamato, Nagato, Kongō, and Haruna; heavy cruisers Chōkai, Haguro, Kumano, Suzuya, Chikuma, Tone; light cruisers Yahagi, and Noshiro; and 11 Kagerō- and Asashio- class destroyers went up against Rear Admiral Clifton Sprague's Task Unit 77.4.3 ("Taffy 3") consisted of the Light carriers/escort carriers: Fanshaw Bay, St. Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay, and Gambier Bay. Screening for Taffy 3 were the destroyers Hoel, Heermann and Johnston, and destroyer escorts Dennis, John C. Butler, Raymond, and Samuel B. Roberts.

only through the lack of situational awareness how valiantly the American's fought did they drive the Japanese off. If we would have had some BB's there, the situation would/could have been completely different..

What if the 6 escort carriers were fleet carriers? Instead of 150 planes, they launched 500 planes?

gunnut
02 Aug 10,, 19:25
Is it possible that we would have won the Naval battles of WWII without them?

IMO, I suppose it was quite possible but at what cost? How many of our "prized" CV's could have been sent to the bottom and how fast could they have been replaced and how many more lives lost?

Enemy battleships never came close to our CVs. They were bombed to hell by carrier planes before they got close.



What in the USN inventory could have stood up to the Tirpitz, Yamato, Musashi, etc had they escaped the air attacks or if the weather didnt cooperate with the battle plans? Its quite obvious lesser gunned ships were not going to do this, their only resort would have been torpedo strikes by subs or with DD's and there is no saying that it would not have been a slaughter of men and ships.

Why stand up to them if we can bomb them again and again? They will need to escape the bombings first before we have to worry about standing up to them. Even if they did somehow escape air attack, could they have chased down our fleet carriers?



The BB's were indeed needed wether you agree with that statement or not it makes no difference. Naval history has shown were needed just as much as any other ship in the fleet. The right tool for the right job.;)

I dont have the time to chase these arguments around, this is why I prefered to answer in kind one at a time.

They were helpful to have, just like any other tools in the bag. But I don't think they were necessary.

Let's flip the question around. What if we had only battleships and no carriers?

Dreadnought
02 Aug 10,, 19:44
Why stand up to them if we can bomb them again and again? They will need to escape the bombings first before we have to worry about standing up to them. Even if they did somehow escape air attack, could they have chased down our fleet carriers?

*Gun, what would happen if the CV was caught by itself? It happened before and not just to us but the Brits as well if not mistaken.;)

Our Essex class of heavy CV (Essex herself CV9) didnt fit out until late 1942 and didnt appear in the Pacific theatre until late May 1943. So we had very few CV's to work with in the Pacifice until the Essex class began to appear.

As far as chasing them down speed was somewhat comparible, sea keeping in bad weather would have counted greatly and a BIG problem had she fell into gunnery range of even one of those enemy BB's.

Dreadnought
02 Aug 10,, 19:48
They were helpful to have, just like any other tools in the bag. But I don't think they were necessary.

*IMO,as necessary as any other ship. When your enemy has both (as in Japans case) then you fight with both or build one idea better.

Let's flip the question around. What if we had only battleships and no carriers?

*Prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor thats exactly what the USN battle line consisted of. A line of BB's with very little in the way of CV's on the scale that Japan had. The USN had 8 CV's at the time including her first USS Langley CV1, all were a mixture of displacements and conditions at the time of Pearls attack and the Pacific War.

Germany only created one CV the Graf Zepplin and that disappeared into Russian hands after Germany surrendered.

gunnut
02 Aug 10,, 20:06
*Gun, what would happen if the CV was caught by itself? It happened before and not just to us but the Brits as well if not mistaken.;)

What happens if a battleship was caught by herself against an enemy task force? Or worse, a sub?



Our Essex class of heavy CV (Essex herself CV9) didnt fit out until late 1942 and didnt appear in the Pacific theatre until late May 1943. So we had very few CV's to work with in the Pacifice until the Essex class began to appear.

As far as chasing them down speed was somewhat comparible, sea keeping in bad weather would have counted greatly and a BIG problem had she fell into gunnery range of even one of those enemy BB's.

The problem with battleship was their weapons only had a range of roughly 20 miles. They could fire at night, but that would be very inaccurate. Japanese and Germans didn't have advanced radar sighting equipment. They still relied on optics to sight the guns. These didn't work too well in the dark.

During daylight, the carriers would have launched the planes. Battleships would have to take evasive actions, which would have slowed them down. Slowing meant not catching up to the carriers to use their big guns. Meanwhile, carrier planes had a range of hundreds of miles. They could catch up to any ship in the ocean. Or disengage from any ship at any time they wanted.

Battleships were helpful to have, but not necessary. Carriers were critical. What would have happened if we only had battleships but no carriers?

gunnut
02 Aug 10,, 20:12
*IMO,as necessary as any other ship. When your enemy has both (as in Japans case) then you fight with both or build one idea better.

I disagree. We could have built only carriers and still won the war, with similar results (as in not significantly more difficult in achieving victory).



*Prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor thats exactly what the USN battle line consisted of. A line of BB's with very little in the way of CV's on the scale that Japan had. The USN had 8 CV's at the time including her first USS Langley CV1, all were a mixture of displacements and conditions at the time of Pearls attack and the Pacific War.

Right, and after that the Essex class came out in large numbers. We didn't built battleships in large numbers. Not only did we build the Essex in large numbers, we built escort carriers in HUGE numbers. A few escort carriers combined can match the firepower of a battleship, exceed the utility, and vastly outrange the battleship's guns.

What would have happened if we concentrated on building battleships instead of fleet carriers, and light cruisers instead of escort carriers? I believe our victory would be significantly more difficult to achieve.

Dreadnought
02 Aug 10,, 20:45
I disagree. We could have built only carriers and still won the war, with similar results (as in not significantly more difficult in achieving victory).

*At a much greater cost in both expense and the possibilty of lives. Weather affected Carrier ops greatly in WWII since the USN had never fought a battle over such a wide tract of ocean and you still had to counter Germany's influence in the Atlantic as well with their surface raiders.

Right, and after that the Essex class came out in large numbers. We didn't built battleships in large numbers. Not only did we build the Essex in large numbers, we built escort carriers in HUGE numbers. A few escort carriers combined can match the firepower of a battleship, exceed the utility, and vastly outrange the battleship's guns.

*Only problem is it can do little of either against a BB or Heavy Cruiser in high seas, rain or fog and almost nothing if a BB or Cruiser appeared from behind a rain squaw or a fog except attempt to run as happened in many encounters in both the Atlantic and Pacific. Airpower no doubt showed its strength and it weaknesses during the Pacific and Atlantic battles. Mother nature also proved that even though radar was in its infancy and gaining ground, weather and land masses could wreak havoc with it on a whim.


What would have happened if we concentrated on building battleships instead of fleet carriers, and light cruisers instead of escort carriers? I believe our victory would be significantly more difficult to achieve.

*Airpower did infact change the dynamics of sea battles that was a given. All forms had their strengths and weaknesses.

Examples:

Halsey himself was a aviator however he choose the BB's (SD) (NJ) & (MO) as his flag after the Doolittle Raid and for the majority of WWII.

Tovey chose a BB (KGV) as well against the Germans in sea battle against Bismark.

Vice-Admiral Günther Lütjens chose the Bismark as his flag for Commerce Raiding exercises against the RN in the Atlantic.

The IJN Admirals majority chose Cruisers and later Yamamoto chose both Nagato pre Pearl Harbor raid and Yamoto and Musashi as his flag later in WWII.

Why? IMO, the chances of taking battle damage and survival from a rival with comparable weapons. More armor, more protection.

gunnut
02 Aug 10,, 21:51
*At a much greater cost in both expense and the possibilty of lives. Weather affected Carrier ops greatly in WWII since the USN had never fought a battle over such a wide tract of ocean and you still had to counter Germany's influence in the Atlantic as well with their surface raiders.

How do you figure? Weather affected carriers as well as battleships. Carriers couldn't launch planes and battleships' limited range was limited further.



*Only problem is it can do little of either against a BB or Heavy Cruiser in high seas, rain or fog and almost nothing if a BB or Cruiser appeared from behind a rain squaw or a fog except attempt to run as happened in many encounters in both the Atlantic and Pacific. Airpower no doubt showed its strength and it weaknesses during the Pacific and Atlantic battles. Mother nature also proved that even though radar was in its infancy and gaining ground, weather and land masses could wreak havoc with it on a whim.

Carriers would have screens. They didn't operate by themselves. Besides, if it were this simple to just sneak up on a carrier task force, the Japanese would have done it already. They didn't do it not because they were afraid of US battleships (in fact they relished the thought of going head to head with US battleships), they didn't do it because they couldn't sneak up on a task force.



*Airpower did infact change the dynamics of sea battles that was a given. All forms had their strengths and weaknesses.

Examples:

Halsey himself was a aviator however he choose the BB's (SD) (NJ) & (MO) as his flag after the Doolittle Raid and for the majority of WWII.

Tovey chose a BB (KGV) as well against the Germans in sea battle against Bismark.

Vice-Admiral Günther Lütjens chose the Bismark as his flag for Commerce Raiding exercises against the RN in the Atlantic.

The IJN Admirals majority chose Cruisers and later Yamamoto chose both Nagato pre Pearl Harbor raid and Yamoto and Musashi as his flag later in WWII.

Why? IMO, the chances of taking battle damage and survival from a rival with comparable weapons. More armor, more protection.

So the strength of a battleship was thick armor (naturally) to protect the flag? That's kinda expensive, don't you think? I figure they picked battleships for their flag because of prestige rather than protection. That and maybe a battleship was bigger and could accommodate the staff better.

By the way Dread, your last post was #750,000 of this board. :)

Dreadnought
02 Aug 10,, 22:46
How do you figure? Weather affected carriers as well as battleships. Carriers couldn't launch planes and battleships' limited range was limited further.

*Correct,Carriers couldnt launch planes during heavy seas and storms, the only protection they had were the screen and her 5" galleries and those couldnt fire across the deck like the Japanese carriers also couldnt and had to turn to bring those galleries to bare. But, the BB could fire on either beam with the main battery plus the 5 inch batteries and the AA mounts. Most times the BB's also had the DD screen just like the carriers did but in some rare cases traveled without them.

Anything with sight range from 10-12 miles even during storms gave the BB a better chance then any US carrier. The BB's (post Pearl) could also use indirect fire to scare anyone away that appeared on radar. The carriers didnt have that tool to use. In as much as most BB's didnt have the CAP the Cv's enjoyed. The DD's in many cases did the work for the carriers as they were primarily focused on air ops. The DD's also did the same work for the BB's in turn when in line or the 5-5-v formations.

Dreadnought
02 Aug 10,, 23:04
Carriers would have screens. They didn't operate by themselves. Besides, if it were this simple to just sneak up on a carrier task force, the Japanese would have done it already. They didn't do it not because they were afraid of US battleships (in fact they relished the thought of going head to head with US battleships), they didn't do it because they couldn't sneak up on a task force.

*Gun, One must remember that for a good part of war prior to Midway the Japanese strongly relied upon the Mark one eyeball and all of its mistakes and phantasms. None of the Japanese ships at Midway had radar and all communicated via one frequency to the CAP and their airwings making it diffacult to assign targets.

The test beds for the Japanese radars were the BB's Ise and Hyuga. These were still experimental at this point in time while the USN was already an approximate 2 years ahead of them.

I want to check a reference first to see if they infact had them and what they were.

One reference I found real quick was that BB Ise recieved Type 21 radar operationally in late August 1943. This would have been Surface and Aerial search radar. About the same time their AA gunfire control radars appeared.

One note on Hyuga:

20-28 May 1942:
A Type 22 surface search radar is installed. HYUGA tests the set in detecting the ISE in the Inland Sea, but it is deemed unsatisfactory by Captain Matsuda and is removed.

I have my doubts, so I will check an official source on this to see when she did actually get a functioning set.

blidgepump
03 Aug 10,, 03:50
I've been following this thread for several days between Dread & GG & Gun.

The wealth of information that each has read, studied, or lived along with the passion brought forth reminds me of Battlewagons slugging it out. :))

Dreadnought
03 Aug 10,, 04:28
So the strength of a battleship was thick armor (naturally) to protect the flag? That's kinda expensive, don't you think? I figure they picked battleships for their flag because of prestige rather than protection. That and maybe a battleship was bigger and could accommodate the staff better.


*Well Gun, in my opinion these men were old school, the BB was pretty much still considered by many to be arbitrator at sea (many naval historians and experts of those days relied upon the notion that if you didnt have battleship in your navy, your navy really didnt rank) if they went by Naval teachings including Japanese believes of one final show down between battlelines with giant guns heavy armor and speed. I would guess harkening back to the age of sail for the Americans, Im not too familiar with Japanese Naval history prior to WWI though. The BB's did offer every comfort the CV's did but had thicker armor, etc. and perhaps maybe even better sea handling qualities in other words less rock and roll in negledgable sea at speed due to beam etc.. Only one of the South Dakotas was modified for Flagship purposes that I read of. Two 5"/38 mounts were removed from her (South Dakota) to make Flag space so she only carried 8 mounts total. The Iowas im not so sure about how many were built with that space already in mind but at some point they all had Admirals aboard through out different conflicts so Im guessing they were all built with that or modified into that at points.

*As far as expensive goes Gun remember your President and other Heads of State of other Countries, Royalty etc traveled aboard the BB's in those days. Some traveled aboard the Cruisers as well. No Air Force One yet.:)

By the way Dread, your last post was #750,000 of this board.

Yeah, we have become quite popular havent we. If we have that many posts can you imagine how many visitors that dont post and just browse?:)

bonehead
03 Aug 10,, 05:22
I still think the fact that the peace treaty was signed on the Missouri, rather than a carrier, which would have a lot more room for spectators and participants, showed just how important battleships were to the people in that time.

Dreadnought
03 Aug 10,, 05:36
The proof that they were not needed, or more precisely that no more were needed was the US canceling the Montana class and the last 2 Iowas. Along with delaying the building of the Mo and Whisky for more important priorities. Essex Carriers

*An interesting passage about King and his decisions regarding cancellation of the Montana's.


Investing in the Revolution

If the phrase “show me your defense budget and I’ll show you your defense priorities” carries any weight, the Navy dramatically changed its priorities promptly following the transformational battles in the spring of 1942. Even after Pearl Harbor, the General Board had resisted moving toward a carrier-centered fleet. The board wanted to increase the number of carriers, but it opposed converting light cruiser hulls into small carriers, and proposed a building program that would lay down only nine additional carriers through 1944.49

In May, however, King, now Chief of Naval Operations, unilaterally modified the General Board’s recommendations, indefinitely deferring five battleships and replacing them with five carriers and ten cruisers.50 King was supported in Congress by a powerful ally, Representative Carl Vinson, who in June submitted a bill authorizing construction of 1.9 million tons of carriers, cruisers and destroyers—but no additional battleships. While to some degree the bill reflected the shortage of battleship armor plate, to an even greater degree it acknowledged that the battleship had been displaced by the carrier as the centerpiece of the fleet. In fact, King later slipped the priority for battleship production to sixth.51 The Navy’s wartime construction program proved a watershed in the ascendancy of the carrier force.



Reflections on a Revolution

In its role as the fleet’s new main fighting ship, the carrier also showed its weaknesses. Carrier aircraft became the chief naval weapon during daylight hours, but when the sun set, air power lost its grip on control of the sea, and surface combatant engagements proved the norm. In a number of maritime engagements during World War II, the battleship dominated.52 Moreover, battleships were hardly sitting ducks against carrier-based aircraft, particularly when operating as part of a carrier task force. Battleships in World War II were equipped with air defenses, perhaps some 100 times greater than those available during the attack on Pearl Harbor. For example, in the Battle of Santa Cruz in November 1942, one of the new US battleships shot down 32 Japanese planes in less than 32 minutes, while taking only one bomb hit that did little damage.53

Still, there could be no doubt as to the carrier’s new status in the fleet. This change reflected not only in budgets and naval operations, but also in the organization of the fleet. The Navy’s carrier task forces could launch “round-the-clock” offensive air operations and sustain themselves for long periods from a mobile fleet train. Battleships filled a new role, supporting carrier task force operations. The age of the carrier battle group had arrived. In the span of a few years, war at sea had been transformed.

The Navy’s transformation profile reflected all the key building blocks historically associated with military revolutions. In addition, and perhaps most important, the key lesson of the revolution at sea may be recognizing the critical requirement of achieving both mental and physical change before a break point can be crossed, and transformations mature into revolutionary new ways of war. At some point, all the force’s key dynamics—doctrine, technology, human and capital resources, and organizational design—must evolve sufficiently to allow the aspirations of vision to be realized in operational practices.



Keep in mind though the hulls for both additional Iowas (Kentucky and Illinois) were already being constructed and were not cosigned to scrap until Mid August 1945 for Illinois. The official closing of WWII happened August 14th 1945 and Kentucky's construction wasnt suspended in Norfolks Yard until Feb 17th 1947. The Montana's were canceled in July 1943, however their designs were pretty much finalized but their keels were never laid. Philly would have built a few of those as well.;)

*In retrospect to the above notations another notation:

Admiral Stark sucessfully pleaded with Roosevelt for two more Iowas (these would be Illinois and Kentucky), but Congress did not act on the administrations request until France fell to Germany.

The fear that England would go next rushed through the "Two Ocean Navy" Bill. This authorized the construction of the Montana class of battleships.

None of the Montana's were built as they were suspended after the Coral Sea action. They were cancelled July 21 1943. As for the Illinois and Kentucky, about 15% of the materials required for building were already gathered for them, When in April 1943, the Bureau of Ships proposed diverting their machinery to Midway class carriers. Admiral Ernest J. King (CNO) at the time shot back "I cannot acquiesce in a complete cessation of BB construction: these ships with their combination of gun power and ability to withstand damage are highly valuable and more then justify expenditure of the time and materials required for their construction. King actually wanted their building accelerated, Not postponed.;)

Source:

BuShips (Bureau of Ships) to VCNO (Vice Chief Naval Operations), April 1943, CNO (Chief of Naval Operations) Central file.
COMINCH (Commander in Chief) to VCNO, 16 April 1943, CNO Central file. NHC.

Dreadnought
03 Aug 10,, 18:21
Found when Hyuga recieved her functioning radars. It was after her conversion to a hybrid carrier.

7 June 1944:
At Kure. Drydocked. Two improved Type 22 surface search radars are fitted. A pair of Type 13 air-search radars and E27 radar detectors are probably also installed at this time.

Dreadnought
04 Aug 10,, 04:44
Kirishima is the only ship that was hurt bad by BB fire. Causing her skipper the scuttle her. But not before she hurt the SD.

*This I cannot agree with.

A recent study of the wreckage footage along with Officers testimony into the sinking revealed that Kirishima was believed to have been hit 20 times by large caliber gunfire (16" in this case) and 16 times by 5"/38 gunfire. Even Lee in his report to Nimitz sighted atleast 8 major caliber hits within a 7 minute time frame. There were many "shorts" reported but on closer analysis of the wreck they can now say Kirishima was also struck below the waterline with penetration atleast 7 times. The highest major caliber hit being the Compass platform and the lowest being her steering gear. The report suggests that Kirishima's water tight integrity ruptured at frame 148 and she sank due to progressive flooding. The report sights three Officers accounts of battle and the Chief Damage Control Officer as well.

The report:

Kirishima Damage Analysis by Robert Lundgren in contrast with Robert Ballard's film footage and inspection of the wreck dated 5 March 2010.

http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/battleships-forum/battleships-forum/www.navweaps.com/...lundgren/Kirishima_Damage_Analysis.pdf

And Krishima wasnt the only ship Washington beat down that evening.

Third Battle Of Savo Island (http://usswashington.com/1stbatt.htm)

From radar tracking and visual observation of enemy ships, there were:

(1) Fired upon by this ship and apparently sunk:

1 large cruiser or BB (WASHINGTON only.)
2 large cruisers (WASH 5".)
1 destroyer (our DD's plus WASH 5".)

(2) Fired upon by this ship and apparently damaged:

1 14" BB silenced and out of control (WASH. only.)
1 DD burning (WASH. 5".)
5-9 light craft silenced (our DD's plus WASH. 5" plus S.D.)
There was no melee. This ship was undamaged

dundonrl
04 Aug 10,, 12:38
For all the hype, the Iowas expended more 5/38 than 16/50 during the few landings that they took part in.

during the 1968/69 action the USS New Jersey was in off the coast of Vietnam, she expended 5,866 16-inch and 14,891 five-inch.. 11,000,000+ lbs of 16" and 700,000 lbs of 5" guess which was more effective..

"The Communist troops certainly don't like to come out when NEW JERSEY is firing", said Captain Finch. "One of our biggest problems flying into a Red infested area is the antiaircraft fire we take. But after NEW JERSEY got on station over here and started shooting, she held ground fire to a minimum. As long as you are in the area and firing, the Communists hole up with their flak machines and anti-aircraft weapons. This gives us more freedom in picking out better targets."

Captain Finch went on, "NEW JERSEY is best at rooting out and destroying enemy bunkers. The eight-inch, 155mm and 105mm land-based artillery make a small impression on the land, compared to what the 16-inch does; it really clears out the area."


In August of 1967, the decision was made to commission NEW JERSEY for the third time, this time to serve for the duration of hostilities in Southeast Asia. The program change decision which approved the activation of the battleship was "for employment in the Pacific Fleet to augment the naval gunfire support force in Southeast Asia". The real motivation behind the activation was that "a major calibre gunfire support ship is necessary if we are to continue, after October 1968, the present deployment level of two such ships (major calibre gunfire support) in Southeast Asia". Much has been said as to why the Secretary of Defense chose the battleship over another eight-inch cruiser. Some contend it was because the 16-inch guns have a greater range and pack a more powerful punch. This was not the rationale of the Secretary of Defense. His primary contention was that the battleship was significantly harder, i.e., less vulnerable than the eight-inch cruiser. Additionally, the Secretary's decision stated "analysis shows that the battleship with 16-inch guns provides greater effectiveness for equal cost than the cruiser with eight-inch guns in this limited mission (naval gunfire support)".





The problem with battleship was their weapons only had a range of roughly 20 miles. They could fire at night, but that would be very inaccurate.
Battleships were helpful to have, but not necessary.



How do you figure? Weather affected carriers as well as battleships. Carriers couldn't launch planes and battleships' limited range was limited further.


Radar range estimation provided a significant accuracy advantage over earlier ships with optical rangefinders. Off Truk Atoll on 16 February 1944 Iowa engaged the Japanese destroyer Nowaki at a range of 35,700 yards (32.6 km). While she did not hit the destroyer she did straddle her, setting a record for the longest ranged straddle in history.

this she could do at night or in the rain, as long as the radar was working..

Within a few hours of clearing the harbor, the ship encountered gale force winds with gusts up to 65 knots. Although some minor damage to exterior fittings resulted, the ship's combat readiness was in no way affected.



I still think the fact that the peace treaty was signed on the Missouri, rather than a carrier, which would have a lot more room for spectators and participants, showed just how important battleships were to the people in that time.

the USS Missouri was chosen by the President, because he was from Missouri, and there were no heavy carriers in Tokyo Bay during the surrender ceremonies because they would have been toast if the Japanese had decided to continue hostilities.



so.. as you can see from what I've posted as replies to different posts #1, yes she fired more 5" rounds than 16" rounds during Vietnam, but the 16" rounds were MUCH more useful..

while an aircraft carrier/aircraft are incapicated by bad weather/fog, a BB firing main guns definitely isn't.

Dreadnought
04 Aug 10,, 13:12
Sorry for the bad link, this one will work though.:)

http://www.navweaps.com/index_lundgren/Kirishima_Damage_Analysis.pdf

shadow01
04 Aug 10,, 13:14
I may be wrong , but I remember reading that during the Vietnam War that the North refused to return to the negotiation table until the BB New Jersey was removed.

If that is a true account, then that sends a "powerful" statement about the value of a BB.

Pacfanweb
04 Aug 10,, 14:42
I believe that is true about the Communists stipulating that the New Jersey had to be withdrawn from the conflict before they would return to the peace talks. I've read that in several books.

A couple small things to add to what Dundonrl wrote: Yes, the Jersey fired more 5" rounds....then again, she has double the number of 5" guns, too, and they can fire faster.

The second thing is, IIRC, that number of rounds fired in Vietnam by the 16's is a record. So SOMEONE was calling for them.

That one quote at the top of his post is echoed in a book I have...it said that the Communists were known to go inactive or outright evacuate anywhere within range of Jersey's guns when she was in the area.

Dreadnought
04 Aug 10,, 17:53
" There is no weapon system in the world that comes even close to the visible symbol of enormous power represented by the battleship." -- Retired Gen. P.X. Kelly, USMC.;)

I believe that is true about the Communists stipulating that the New Jersey had to be withdrawn from the conflict before they would return to the peace talks. I've read that in several books.

*The thousands of leaflets dropped from KC-130's on the jungles of Vietnam within range of New Jerseys guns did help a bit with a psycological aspect.;)

gunnut
04 Aug 10,, 18:45
I still think the fact that the peace treaty was signed on the Missouri, rather than a carrier, which would have a lot more room for spectators and participants, showed just how important battleships were to the people in that time.

I believe there were 3 reasons for that.

1. The carriers were held outside the confined waters of Tokyo Bay. Just in case if something went wrong...

2. It was to intimidate the Japanese by holding the ceremony under the guns of a battleship. It's symbolic as well as psychological.

3. The carrier's flattop just didn't have the proper appearance of a warship. Cruisers were too small. America's largest battleship was the natural choice.

Stitch
04 Aug 10,, 20:37
I believe there were 3 reasons for that.

1. The carriers were held outside the confined waters of Tokyo Bay. Just in case if something went wrong...

I've heard about this one before; in fact, there's another thread in here somewhere that talks about it.

There were some suspicions among the occupying Allied forces that some die-hard Japanese militarists might make a suicide attack on the naval forces in Tokyo Bay (in particular the surrender ceremony), so forces were held in reserve just outside the Bay "just in case". I believe they also had quite a few fighters patrolling the skies above Tokyo "just in case".

gunnut
04 Aug 10,, 21:53
I've heard about this one before; in fact, there's another thread in here somewhere that talks about it.

There were some suspicions among the occupying Allied forces that some die-hard Japanese militarists might make a suicide attack on the naval forces in Tokyo Bay (in particular the surrender ceremony), so forces were held in reserve just outside the Bay "just in case". I believe they also had quite a few fighters patrolling the skies above Tokyo "just in case".

You mean like this? :))

http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k281/blurr91/military/016314c.jpg

Stitch
04 Aug 10,, 23:23
Um, yeah, like that . . . . .

Dreadnought
05 Aug 10,, 04:14
Thats alot of airpower right there.:))

Notice Mo's guns are at max elevation. Posture of peace till she leaves port and then lowered to reduce the stress on the hydraulics and hardware when at sea.;)

A beautiful pic none the less.:)):cool:

gunnut
05 Aug 10,, 04:39
Thats alot of airpower right there.:))

Notice Mo's guns are at max elevation. Posture of peace till she leaves port and then lowered to reduce the stress on the hydraulics and hardware when at sea.;)

A beautiful pic none the less.:)):cool:

I think I jacked that picture from Navsource. That was the day when the surrender ceremony was held, possibly right after. As a show of force, the USN flew a few hundred fighters over Tokyo Bay, and the USAAF flew a few hundred B-29s over Tokyo.

At least Japan was spared a full scale land invasion. The A-bombs saved millions of lives.

edit: yep...here it is: http://www.navsource.org/archives/01/63i.htm

Dreadnought
05 Aug 10,, 04:53
I think I jacked that picture from Navsource. That was the day when the surrender ceremony was held, possibly right after. As a show of force, the USN flew a few hundred fighters over Tokyo Bay, and the USAAF flew a few hundred B-29s over Tokyo.

At least Japan was spared a full scale land invasion. The A-bombs saved millions of lives.

edit: yep...here it is: Battleship Photo Index BB-63 USS MISSOURI (http://www.navsource.org/archives/01/63i.htm)

*Gun, if I had to guess a timeframe of that picture it was immediately after the signing. From what I have read they were ordered a slow flyover as soon as the Ceremonies came to a close. Not quite sure if the delagates were still aboard but it had to be very close. Notice the small boats all tied up beside her. These were from all ships in the harbor at that time. The Japanese Delegation was brought aboard by USN destroyer (USS Nicholas DD449) and the the DD was immediately ordered to clear Missouri once they were aboard. Maybe even for picture purposes I suppose.

bonehead
05 Aug 10,, 06:09
I believe there were 3 reasons for that.

1. The carriers were held outside the confined waters of Tokyo Bay. Just in case if something went wrong...

2. It was to intimidate the Japanese by holding the ceremony under the guns of a battleship. It's symbolic as well as psychological.

3. The carrier's flattop just didn't have the proper appearance of a warship. Cruisers were too small. America's largest battleship was the natural choice.

That kind of says it right there doesn't it. A Battleship was still needed for intimidation, symbolism, and was one of the few ships we had that we could intentionally put in harms way and reasonable expect the ship to return. in other words "Do not send a kid to do a mans job" A carrier of that time did not have the psychological pull as a battleship. Even at the end of the war, and several great carrier battles, the leaders of that time thought a carrier was too pretty to be sent into a place where something may go wrong and they might have to slug it out at close range.

RustyBattleship
05 Aug 10,, 06:13
It is true that the planes were scheduled to do their fly over when the ceremony ended. Jerry Dunphy (a TV newscaster here in L.A.) was in one of those planes at the time.

They flew the exact same number of planes that the Japanese used to bomb Pearl Harbor. (I've mentioned this in another post on this board).

The photo on the website mentioned above does look like the Missouri. But the photo posted on this board I think may be the Iowa with all turrets in line and all guns elevated at the same angle. Missouri's Turret II was turned slightly to starboard to allow room for all the delegates and media.

Unfortunately the resolution is not fine enough to make out a hull number or the bullwark on the 08 level secondary con (stiffeners were OUTSIDE on the Iowa - still are).

On Missouri, to make room for everybody, a mushroom ventilator was removed from the deck and had a flat steel plate bolted in place. I believe tha ammo replenishment outrigger on the right side of Turret II was used to hoist the vent off and later put it back on. I think the deck socket for the closest cargo handling davit would have been too far aft to remove and replace the vent.

Anyway, whether the photos are misslabled or not, I'm going to print that photo and give it to a drinking buddy of mine at the VFW post who was on the Iowa at that time. I'll just plop it down on the bar in front of him and ask, "You remember this day by any chance?"

Dreadnought
05 Aug 10,, 13:10
This is the caption that is attached to the pic.

Surrender of Japan, 2 September 1945. Navy carrier planes fly in formation over the U.S. and British fleets in Tokyo Bay during surrender ceremonies. Missouri (BB-63), where the ceremonies took place, is at left. Detroit (CL-8) is in the right distance. Aircraft include TBM, F6F, SB2C and F4U types.

Its from the DOD Collection so hopefully they labeled it correctly.;)

Link to the photo's

Battleship Photo Index BB-63 USS MISSOURI (http://www.navsource.org/archives/01/63i.htm)

Link to DD Nicholas carrying the Japanese and French Delegation out to Missouri.

Destroyer Photo Index DD-449 / DDE-449 USS NICHOLAS (http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/449.htm)

DD Nicholas enroute to Missouri with a Japanese DD in the background.

gunnut
05 Aug 10,, 23:00
That kind of says it right there doesn't it. A Battleship was still needed for intimidation, symbolism, and was one of the few ships we had that we could intentionally put in harms way and reasonable expect the ship to return. in other words "Do not send a kid to do a mans job" A carrier of that time did not have the psychological pull as a battleship. Even at the end of the war, and several great carrier battles, the leaders of that time thought a carrier was too pretty to be sent into a place where something may go wrong and they might have to slug it out at close range.

A 6'6" martial artist with 260 lb of muscle and armed with a pair of escrima sticks is intimidating, but virtually useless on the battle field. Why? Range is too short. I'll put him down with the full fury of my 135 lb weakling frame and a $70 Mosin rifle from 300 yards away. There was a reason knights were retired from warfare.

RustyBattleship
06 Aug 10,, 00:37
I wish I could get a highter resolution of that photo to not only inspect the 08 level bulwark but the AA battery on Turret II. The 40 mm battery on Turret III is clear enough but the battery on Turret II looks like it would have been for 20 mm guns. The Iowa was the only ship of the class to have 20 mm instead of 40 mm on that turret.

By the way, I absolutely HATE this new format. My eyes are bad enough as it is and I'm really straining to read the posts.

bonehead
06 Aug 10,, 05:45
A 6'6" martial artist with 260 lb of muscle and armed with a pair of escrima sticks is intimidating, but virtually useless on the battle field. Why? Range is too short. I'll put him down with the full fury of my 135 lb weakling frame and a $70 Mosin rifle from 300 yards away. There was a reason knights were retired from warfare.

That only reinforces that battleships were still needed for WW2. They just needed a time and a place as there were some places we did not feel comfortable placing carriers. I am not so sure about retiring the knight however. We still have armored calvary and the ground troops are still sporting body armor after all these years. We also have many of the same ideals in battle as the knights of old. I would say it is more of an evolution rather than a retirement.

Dreadnought
06 Aug 10,, 13:03
I wish I could get a highter resolution of that photo to not only inspect the 08 level bulwark but the AA battery on Turret II. The 40 mm battery on Turret III is clear enough but the battery on Turret II looks like it would have been for 20 mm guns. The Iowa was the only ship of the class to have 20 mm instead of 40 mm on that turret.

By the way, I absolutely HATE this new format. My eyes are bad enough as it is and I'm really straining to read the posts.

*Hows about this shot of Missouri Mr. L. taken July of 1945 from the carrier Yorktown.;)

http://www.navsource.org/archives/01/016341c.jpg

This shot shows both Iowa and Missouri together side by side transfering crew via Breeches Buoy in August 1945 and is zoomable so you can see what you want to see on the turrets and upper levels.

http://navsource.org/archives/01/061/016304c.jpg

Dreadnought
06 Aug 10,, 14:26
Hi Mr. L. I found one that would confirm that its the Missouri. The location of the small boats and the gangway in the other picture already posted match this one taken from a B-29 while flying over Missouri after the ceromony. The DD portside is Buchanan. This is from a private online collection so I didnt want to snub the owners. Click on the pic and it will enlarge.
Google Image Result for http://www.paulandterry.com/USS%20Missouri%20Tokyo%20Bay.jpg (http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.paulandterry.com/USS%2520Missouri%2520Tokyo%2520Bay.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.paulandterry.com/LambertSide.htm&usg=__9BnQw3i3UMAqkmvHk7ahTW2tSK0=&h=694&w=782&sz=221&hl=en&start=9&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=8vdFv7IhkBeUfM:&tbnh=127&tbnw=143&prev=/images%3Fq%3DUSS%2BMissouri%2BTokyo%2BBay%2Bsurren der%2BWWII%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26rlz%3D1T4 SUNA_enUS280US282%26tbs%3Disch:1)

RustyBattleship
06 Aug 10,, 17:48
Hi Mr. L. I found one that would confirm that its the Missouri. The location of the small boats and the gangway in the other picture already posted match this one taken from a B-29 while flying over Missouri after the ceromony. The DD portside is Buchanan. This is from a private online collection so I didnt want to snub the owners. Click on the pic and it will enlarge.
Google Image Result for http://www.paulandterry.com/USS%20Missouri%20Tokyo%20Bay.jpg (http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.paulandterry.com/USS%2520Missouri%2520Tokyo%2520Bay.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.paulandterry.com/LambertSide.htm&usg=__9BnQw3i3UMAqkmvHk7ahTW2tSK0=&h=694&w=782&sz=221&hl=en&start=9&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=8vdFv7IhkBeUfM:&tbnh=127&tbnw=143&prev=/images%3Fq%3DUSS%2BMissouri%2BTokyo%2BBay%2Bsurren der%2BWWII%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26rlz%3D1T4 SUNA_enUS280US282%26tbs%3Disch:1)


I have no argument about that photo which is a nice air view shot with lots of detail - showing BOTH turrets I & II rotated about 30 degrees to starboard. The 40mm mount on turret II is also correct.

However, it's the earlier posting of an Iowa full broadside (starboard) with the planes flying over perpindicular to the centerline of the ship. Another photo from the same website also shows the planes flying over the Missouri but at an angle.

As for small boats being all around the ship, this is not surprising as almost every ship in the water had their personnel boats alongside.

And of course I know what Destroyers brought in the dignitaries (Appendix H of my book quoting Missouri's deck log of that day).

But being as picky as I am about proper designations, identifications, etc. I would still like to see a clearer picture of that photo so I can study both the AA shield on Turret II and the framing of the 08 level conning station. If I can identify it as Missouri, then we all can rest assured that the photo was correctly labeled. But I really hope it is of the Iowa for a number of personal reasons.

Dreadnought
06 Aug 10,, 18:07
Hmm maybe this shot might help then. Its taken from the Starboard beam showing the turret angled during the flyover.

Google Image Result for http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/images/g490000/g490487.jpg (http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/images/g490000/g490487.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/wwii-pac/japansur/js-4.htm&usg=__c3eGhe7GdsyMOzZwjSabVC5r3Yo=&h=605&w=740&sz=112&hl=en&start=115&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=E1Q6D8_fQS-mqM:&tbnh=115&tbnw=141&prev=/images%3Fq%3Doverhead%2Bview%2Bships%2Bin%2Btokyo% 2Bharbor%2Bsurrender%2Bceremony%2Bwwii%26start%3D1 00%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26rlz%3D1T4SUNA_enU S280US282%26ndsp%3D20%26tbs%3Disch:1)

Another thought Mr. L. find pictures of the ships in harbor via Navsource or other, sooner or later your going to find one with Iowa in it. Perhaps even the British ships in the bay have Iowa in the background and you will have your answer.

gunnut
06 Aug 10,, 18:28
That only reinforces that battleships were still needed for WW2. They just needed a time and a place as there were some places we did not feel comfortable placing carriers.

Right, and those times were too few and far in between. The few incidences that we absolutely needed them did not justify the cost in both construction time, operations, and the material expended.

The Gustav 80cm siege gun was great to have. It could pummel a city day or night. But it expended so much men and materiel for such a limited role that it would have been better to raise another brigade of infantry.


I am not so sure about retiring the knight however. We still have armored calvary and the ground troops are still sporting body armor after all these years. We also have many of the same ideals in battle as the knights of old. I would say it is more of an evolution rather than a retirement.

I knew this would come up so I have a response already. Notice the tank and armored soldiers today match the range of unarmored soldiers and any other vehicles on the ground. A guy with AK47 has the same range as an armored American soldier with an M16. The M1 Abrams not only has more armor, but more range than a mounted knight in the medieval times, relatively speaking of course.

One other critical difference between sea and land is that we can sink a ship at sea by bombing, but we can't hold land by bombing. We can't hold the sea because we can't dig in into the ocean. We can dig in on land. We can destroy fortresses on land and at sea. A fortress destroyed at sea is lost. A fortress destroyed on land will continue to fight because the men can continue to hold land in the ruins.

Albany Rifles
06 Aug 10,, 20:22
I haven't looked through all of the thread but my response is yes for 2 reasons.

The newer models wer fast enough to keep up with the fast carriers, provide them protection and to be floating anitaircraft citadels. Very valuable as the war went on.

The older models were also converted to antiaircraft citadels and provided valuable NGFS platforms for amphibious operations while providing protection to the Gator Navy.

blidgepump
07 Aug 10,, 03:26
Okay Mr. L, I got the 20mm guns on Iowa's turret No. 2, vs 40mm on the Mighty MO. But your framing comment made about Level 8 I'm not following with I look at the attached link.

What should I be observing? :confused:

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/images/g490000/g490487.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/wwii-pac/japansur/js-4.htm&usg=__c3eGhe7GdsyMOzZwjSabVC5r3Yo=&h=605&w=740&sz=112&hl=en&start=115&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=E1Q6D8_fQS-mqM:&tbnh=115&tbnw=141&prev=/images%3Fq%3Doverhead%2Bview%2Bships%2Bin%2Btokyo% 2Bharbor%2Bsurrender%2Bceremony%2Bwwii%26start%3D1 00%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26rlz%3D1T4SUNA_enU S280US282%26ndsp%3D20%26tbs%3Disch:1

RustyBattleship
07 Aug 10,, 04:45
I'm having a heck of a time navigating this new method of uploading attachments. This will be my fourth try of a photo we took up in Benicia. Hopefully the lettering will be large enough for you to read.

blidgepump
07 Aug 10,, 19:26
Thank you Mr. L.

shadow01
07 Aug 10,, 20:21
I know they had to remove some of the upper radar to get her to fit under the bridges, but it looks so empty. Yeah I know sounds mushy but it reminds of the propellers on display at Battleship Cove in Fall River, MA.

Kinda like they chopped a foot off and put it on display. And yes I know Mamie will never be recalled or steam on her own power again but it just feels strange to see such proud ships with their parts seperated from them.

RustyBattleship
07 Aug 10,, 22:08
I know they had to remove some of the upper radar to get her to fit under the bridges, but it looks so empty. Yeah I know sounds mushy but it reminds of the propellers on display at Battleship Cove in Fall River, MA.

Kinda like they chopped a foot off and put it on display. And yes I know Mamie will never be recalled or steam on her own power again but it just feels strange to see such proud ships with their parts seperated from them.

All of the mast sections are tied down on the ship's fantail, mostly on the helicopter deck.

bonehead
08 Aug 10,, 03:13
Right, and those times were too few and far in between. The few incidences that we absolutely needed them did not justify the cost in both construction time, operations, and the material expended.

The Gustav 80cm siege gun was great to have. It could pummel a city day or night. But it expended so much men and materiel for such a limited role that it would have been better to raise another brigade of infantry.



I knew this would come up so I have a response already. Notice the tank and armored soldiers today match the range of unarmored soldiers and any other vehicles on the ground. A guy with AK47 has the same range as an armored American soldier with an M16. The M1 Abrams not only has more armor, but more range than a mounted knight in the medieval times, relatively speaking of course.

One other critical difference between sea and land is that we can sink a ship at sea by bombing, but we can't hold land by bombing. We can't hold the sea because we can't dig in into the ocean. We can dig in on land. We can destroy fortresses on land and at sea. A fortress destroyed at sea is lost. A fortress destroyed on land will continue to fight because the men can continue to hold land in the ruins.

"Times were few and far between" like nearly every island assault in the pacific theater, and anti aircraft duty to protect the carriers. Battleships saw a lot of action Gunnut and there was a reason for that. They were needed. Battleships were crucial to secure Guadalcanal ( the turning point of the Pacific theater). Battleships usefullness were also the reason for their reactivation for later wars.

Ok now comparing a knight to an A1 Abrams is like comparing a blunderbuss to an FAL. Yes they are firearms but there was a hell of a lot of evolution between them. The idea of an armored calvary unit and how it is used in battle is still the same.

zraver
08 Aug 10,, 03:52
Right, and those times were too few and far in between. The few incidences that we absolutely needed them did not justify the cost in both construction time, operations, and the material expended.

Then what about Leyte Gulf (Surigao Strait)? If we had not raised those ships from the bottom of Pearl Harbor (after building them in the first place) our whole invasion of the Philippines would have been in great jeopardy. Likewise ships like the Washington proved vital in the Solomons. As we pushed on Japan the battleships huge AAA armament and natural attractiveness to and resistance of kamikaze attacks saved uncounted lives. Then of course there is the NGFS and bombardment missions.

The Gustav 80cm siege gun was great to have. It could pummel a city day or night. But it expended so much men and materiel for such a limited role that it would have been better to raise another brigade of infantry.



I knew this would come up so I have a response already. Notice the tank and armored soldiers today match the range of unarmored soldiers and any other vehicles on the ground. A guy with AK47 has the same range as an armored American soldier with an M16. The M1 Abrams not only has more armor, but more range than a mounted knight in the medieval times, relatively speaking of course.

One other critical difference between sea and land is that we can sink a ship at sea by bombing, but we can't hold land by bombing. We can't hold the sea because we can't dig in into the ocean. We can dig in on land. We can destroy fortresses on land and at sea. A fortress destroyed at sea is lost. A fortress destroyed on land will continue to fight because the men can continue to hold land in the ruins.[/QUOTE]

Gun Grape
08 Aug 10,, 18:31
*Airpower did infact change the dynamics of sea battles that was a given. All forms had their strengths and weaknesses.

Examples:

Halsey himself was a aviator however he choose the BB's (SD) (NJ) & (MO) as his flag after the Doolittle Raid and for the majority of WWII.

The IJN Admirals majority chose Cruisers and later Yamamoto chose both Nagato pre Pearl Harbor raid and Yamoto and Musashi as his flag later in WWII.

Why? IMO, the chances of taking battle damage and survival from a rival with comparable weapons. More armor, more protection

Thats because Halsey became a fleet commander vice a Carrier Division Commander. The SD was designed as a Fleet Flagship for the start. The reason she had 8 vice 10 5" mounts like the rest of the class. Same with the Iowa class. They were designed for a larger staff than the Essex class carrier were.

The same goes for the Japanese ships. Carriers did not have the room to incorporate a Fleet Staff. Its a simple case of logistics


Tovey chose a BB (KGV) as well against the Germans in sea battle against Bismark.

See above. KG5 was outfitted as a fleet flagship..


Vice-Admiral Günther Lütjens chose the Bismark as his flag for Commerce Raiding exercises against the RN in the Atlantic.

It would have been really hard for the German Commander to have picked a aircraft carrier as a flagship. They didn't even have Battleships Much less Aircraft Carriers.

Gun Grape
08 Aug 10,, 18:33
I may be wrong , but I remember reading that during the Vietnam War that the North refused to return to the negotiation table until the BB New Jersey was removed.

If that is a true account, then that sends a "powerful" statement about the value of a BB.

Often 'Quoted" but you will find no factual information to back that assertion up. New Jersey deployed to SE Asia on schedule and left on schedule. M21 and I hashed this out long ago

Gun Grape
08 Aug 10,, 18:40
That kind of says it right there doesn't it. A Battleship was still needed for intimidation, symbolism, and was one of the few ships we had that we could intentionally put in harms way and reasonable expect the ship to return. in other words "Do not send a kid to do a mans job" A carrier of that time did not have the psychological pull as a battleship. Even at the end of the war, and several great carrier battles, the leaders of that time thought a carrier was too pretty to be sent into a place where something may go wrong and they might have to slug it out at close range.

Missouri was picked by the President. Named after his State.

Gun Grape
08 Aug 10,, 19:10
Then what about Leyte Gulf (Surigao Strait)? If we had not raised those ships from the bottom of Pearl Harbor (after building them in the first place) our whole invasion of the Philippines would have been in great jeopardy. Likewise ships like the Washington proved vital in the Solomons. As we pushed on Japan the battleships huge AAA armament and natural attractiveness to and resistance of kamikaze attacks saved uncounted lives. Then of course there is the NGFS and bombardment missions.

Lets look at the battle of Surigao Strait. Nishimura's Southern Force had 2 Battleships,1 Heavy Cruiser and 4 Destroyers.

The US Destroyer force hit both BBs with torpedos, and sank one. The attack also sank 2 of the 4 DDs and crippled 1.

This left the Japanese with 1 BB, 1 heavy Cruiser and 1 DD against the US BB line of 6 BBs and 8 Cruisers. The BBs/CAs sank the wounded Battleship. Aircraft sunk the Mogami the next day.

Did we Need the BBs for that action? Or would the battle have still been won by the Cruiser and Destroyers?


Battleships played an important role in AA defense of the Fast battleships. And provided good NGF support. Read the USMC NGF summery for the Pacific theater. They were good shooters, not great shooters.

The question was were they necessary. The answer is still no. Name the decisive action that they, acting in the traditional Battleship role, justified their worth.

The Fleet Carriers were the power projection force in the Pacific that allowed us to win the war. The CVEs were the decisive force in the Atlantic in stopping the U-Boat threat by getting rid of the mid Atlantic gap that the U Boats used to their advantage early in the war. The DD/DEs were the ships that did the actual rooting out of the sub threat and provided radar pickets to warn the battle groups. And Submarines denied the Japanese raw material by devastating their transport/merchant fleet.

RustyBattleship
08 Aug 10,, 22:17
Missouri was picked by the President. Named after his State.

That's correct. Originally the New Jersey was to be the ship to accept the surrender. Reason for her selection is that although the Iowa was the first to be launched in August of 1942, Philadelphia wanted to show more than Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell as all American. So New Jersey was launched precisely on 7 December 1942 one year to the day of the Pearl Harbor attack. They did the same thing with the Wisconsin the following year.

Trivia: Because Philly went triple shifts to build and launch BB-64 exactly two years after the Pearl Harbor attack. That made Missouri (BB-63) the "last Battleship" where she was built in Brooklyn and launched in January of 1944 almost 2 months after Wisky..

Dreadnought
09 Aug 10,, 18:13
[QUOTE=Gun Grape;750847]Thats because Halsey became a fleet commander vice a Carrier Division Commander. The SD was designed as a Fleet Flagship for the start. The reason she had 8 vice 10 5" mounts like the rest of the class. Same with the Iowa class. They were designed for a larger staff than the Essex class carrier were.

The same goes for the Japanese ships. Carriers did not have the room to incorporate a Fleet Staff. Its a simple case of logistics


*Disagree, You seem to sight one reason for Flag purposes. I can agree with that but there are several reasons why Halsey chose an Iowa class BB for his Flag.

1) Better sea keeping and stability in gale force winds. This was found out on New Jerseys sea trials off Rockland Maine in 1943. Officers would later comment that her handling and seakeeping in gale force winds was superior to any carrier or any cruiser in the fleet. The Iowas would have to slow down for other ships in the fleet during stormy weather or rough seas.

2) Off Guam and in formation both the carriers and the New Jersey "ran away" from Alabama (South Dakota class BB) when the Admiral rang for 30 knots as they note that Alabama became a "speck on the horizion" since she could only pull 27 knots at best.

A small clip from the logbook:

On matters that perhaps only USS New Jersey commanding officers fully appreciate, Snyder (CO during her Vietnam cruise) tells of speaking with Carney about Halsey's preference for the Battleship.
"Admiral Carney told me that the reason Halsey was so pleased with the New Jersey was that he didn't have to turn into the wind to launch aircraft and recover aircraft like he'd been doing in the past on carriers. Here he had a ship that just passes the aircraft carriers and was able to maintain course and speed and head for the objective without worrying about the ability to launch and recover aircraft.

*This is in relation to the quote I made in earlier post about protection and vulnerability:

When is an aircraft carrier most vulnerable?

When she's turning and speeding into the wind to launch planes and when shes recieving planes. Thats when she is most vulnerable, Particularly during WWII before missles and CIWS that protect them like now days along with their missle armed escorts.

*Halsey didnt have to waste that time nor stick his neck out for a bomb to land on a flight deck and possibly take himself or his staff out of action.

"Plus," he said, "the New Jersey had an entire suite of offices because she was large and modernized in those days - I'm speaking of World War II - so large that Halsey's entire flag staff had a complete intelligence operation and all the things that they needed to carry out the functions of a flagship, which had not been the case, at least that's what Admiral Carney told me."

*Note here, the Iowa was already built and at sea, Iowa was different then all the sisters at the time due to her Conning tower height and certain changes in her armoring scheme. She was considered the Flagship of the class not the New Jersey.

*This one I give you. However it is also documented (Seas of Thunder), Halsey also sighted "vulnerability" to have his flag aboard the Carriers. Halsey instead of inviting his Admirals aboard the New Jersey for talks, would visit the new Essex class Carriers instead because he did appreciate them none the less, but also so he could see them upclose citing his days aboard the Carriers and his former aviator days.

*Halsey also had prior command of a DD (USS Dale) before he assumed command of a Carrier. Along with PT boats as well.

He was a four star Admiral at that time and could have any ship in the fleet as his flag. He chose New Jersey, not just for some of the reasons mentioned above but also he was a native of Elizabeth New Jersey.

If politics didnt intervene, where do you think the signing ceremony would have taken place? Hint, it wouldnt have been Mo. ;)


Earlier, in January, 1945, Admiral Halsey left the USS New Jersey with his Third Fleet flag and staff. By May of that year, though, Halsey was back as Third Fleet Commander, but this time on the USS Missouri. Halsey preferred the New Jersey as before, but she was undergoing an overhaul on the West coast.

After he resumed Third Fleet operations, one of Halsey's first strikes was the bombardment of Naha, Okinawa. According to Stillwell's second Battleship book on the USS Missouri, Fleet Admiral Halsey said of the Naha strikes: "I gave orders for her to drop some 16-inch calling cards on the enemy's doorstep. I wanted him to know I was back."

Dreadnought
09 Aug 10,, 18:45
It would have been really hard for the German Commander to have picked a aircraft carrier as a flagship. They didn't even have Battleships Much less Aircraft Carriers.

*The German Navy (KM) had only two BB's at the time (Two of the worlds newest). Bismark and Tirpits both built, launched and already on final trials. History shows the Germans prefered Battle Cruisers as well as the British and they had plenty of them at them time including the neweset Prince Eugan in tow with them.

Germany actually had two CV's in building

Graf Zepplin and FLUGZEUGTRÄGER "B"

Graf Zepplin became a war prize to the Russians after Germany collapsed and was scuttled. It was found not long ago off Finland I believe.
The second CV was scrapped on the ways in 1940.

A link to Germany's ship building roster:
Kriegsmarine Naval Vessels 1935-1945 - KBismarck.com (http://www.kbismarck.com/gwarships.html)

gunnut
09 Aug 10,, 19:25
"Times were few and far between" like nearly every island assault in the pacific theater, and anti aircraft duty to protect the carriers. Battleships saw a lot of action Gunnut and there was a reason for that. They were needed. Battleships were crucial to secure Guadalcanal ( the turning point of the Pacific theater). Battleships usefullness were also the reason for their reactivation for later wars.

Battleships were nice to have, but not absolutely needed. I don't see any difference in outcome in every single one of these engagements if a fleet carrier were in place of a battleship. However, the outcome of these engagements would be vastly different if we had a battleship substituting a fleet carrier.


Ok now comparing a knight to an A1 Abrams is like comparing a blunderbuss to an FAL. Yes they are firearms but there was a hell of a lot of evolution between them. The idea of an armored calvary unit and how it is used in battle is still the same.

My point was that armored cav now has equivalent range as the main force, ie the heavy armored division and the heavy mechanized infantry. Because they use the same equipment - M1 Abrams and M2/M3 Bradleys.

Battleships don't have the same range as carriers.

Albany Rifles
09 Aug 10,, 20:07
Kind of appropos of nothing...while Raymond Spruance commanded the Fifth Fleet he usually flew his flag from the USS Indianapolis, CA-35. As an old cruiser man he probabaly felt more at home aboard her.

Dreadnought
09 Aug 10,, 20:27
Battleships were nice to have, but not absolutely needed. I don't see any difference in outcome in every single one of these engagements if a fleet carrier were in place of a battleship. However, the outcome of these engagements would be vastly different if we had a battleship substituting a fleet carrier.

*Gun, we have shown posts on threads from the "men in charge" of the USN at the time. Iregaurdless of what we say and think (our opinions as well) these were the men in charge of the USN at the time. It was their job to excute war in the Pacific. If they deemed them necessary, then no doubt they were necessary irregaurdless of what our opinions might be. Thats all of us. The men that made those decisions and determinations were responsible for not only keeping the US safe during wartime, but also to carry that war all the way across the Pacific up to Japans doorstep using all means possible. The Battleships included. There is no doubt they were indeed a required tool for that job in as much as every other ship was a required tool to bring about the desired outcome. It makes no difference what GG states or what I state or whomever else. We didnt wear the stars those gentlemen did so therefore we are also not privy to their thought train or intentions but in recorded history which always bears the hallmark of hindsight when reviewed years later by those not there and not even born yet for another few decades.;)


Battleships don't have the same range as carriers.

*In those days (WWII) thats very questionable as to range, the only problem is the BB could go alone, doctrine forbade your CV's from going alone without escort (DD,CVE,BB or other)

Now days not even comparible, theres no place on the globe the CVN's cant reach within X amount of hours. Even alone if need be, but chances are they not alone, their escort just is not visible to the naked eye.;)

Dreadnought
09 Aug 10,, 20:32
"Mac" used a Cruiser many times as well for talks and sometimes a base of operations.;)

Gun Grape
10 Aug 10,, 04:01
Kind of appropos of nothing...while Raymond Spruance commanded the Fifth Fleet he usually flew his flag from the USS Indianapolis, CA-35. As an old cruiser man he probabaly felt more at home aboard her.

Or that USS Augusta CA-31 was used as the Presidential Flagship by both FDR and Truman.

She was also the flagship of CincLant (Adm King)

And the flagship for Operation Torch instead of USS Mass. Embarking both the Naval Commander and General Patton the ground force commander.

And Rear Admiral Kirk and Gen Bradleys flag for Overlord,

Dreadnought
11 Aug 10,, 03:48
I'm having a heck of a time navigating this new method of uploading attachments. This will be my fourth try of a photo we took up in Benicia. Hopefully the lettering will be large enough for you to read.

This is a comparrison to Rusty's post about the different outside surface of the 08 Bridge.

RustyBattleship
11 Aug 10,, 22:27
This is a comparrison to Rusty's post about the different outside surface of the 08 Bridge.
Actually, that's Secondary Conning Station on 08 level. The Captain's bridge and primary Conning Station were on 04 level. The ship's helmsman wheel was actually inside the armored (Class B armor) Conning Tower. Presently both of the solid brass helmsman's wheels are stored in MARAD's APL. But in the attached pics, you can see the one on 04 level is inside the armor by looking at the slits. The one on 08 level has large portholes in it.

Dreadnought
11 Aug 10,, 22:54
Perhaps a dereliction in terms Mr. L. From what I know when the ship left Port you would find the Captain on the 08 bridge. Im sure you know where the entrance is. It is listed as the 08 Bridge but many refered to it as the Captains bridge since his other two residences were close by.

Im shocked with how stripped the Conning Tower helm is, They really did a number on it. Even the idicator on the speed dial is missing along with the "Trick Wheel warning signs" among other fixtures such as SSR (although I do see the pedistal for it). I figured the one with the portholes was the 08 since the 04 bridge had the hand crank glass protectors for the vision slits on the outside and then ofcoarse the main bridge glass.

Im guessing her "Aft" Steering station still has the brass wheel afixed or was it removed to storage as well?

blidgepump
11 Aug 10,, 23:32
Mr. L, Do the ships get the parts back from MARAD's APL when the ship is released for good or are Navy parts always navy parts?

RustyBattleship
12 Aug 10,, 00:47
Perhaps a dereliction in terms Mr. L. From what I know when the ship left Port you would find the Captain on the 08 bridge. Im sure you know where the entrance is. It is listed as the 08 Bridge but many refered to it as the Captains bridge since his other two residences were close by.

Im shocked with how stripped the Conning Tower helm is, They really did a number on it. Even the idicator on the speed dial is missing along with the "Trick Wheel warning signs" among other fixtures such as SSR (although I do see the pedistal for it). I figured the one with the portholes was the 08 since the 04 bridge had the hand crank glass protectors for the vision slits on the outside and then ofcoarse the main bridge glass.

Im guessing her "Aft" Steering station still has the brass wheel afixed or was it removed to storage as well?

Yeah, we weren't too happy during our inspections in 2006 as to what all is missing. As for "Aft" steering, that was "Local Control" in the Steering Gear Rudder rooms themselves below 3rd deck.

It is true that the ship's Captain often would be at the 08 level where he needed the extra elevation (another 30 feet) for visual extension. But the main bridge is at 04 level (with a special chair just for him on the Starboard side) where he had overall communications with all the ship's divisions.

The glass crank up window in front of the armored Conning Station up forward were present on all ships EXCEPT the New Jersey. When and why they were removied is beyong me. But back in 1968 when I worked on her for her Viet Nam deployment, I was standing on the bridge when the Captain was showing our planners and Type Desk (the funding office) to put something up there. His very words were, "They have nothing that can sink this ship. But they can cause some damage and a good hit up here will send fire through those slits.

In 1982, I found the plan that designs those crank up windows. But Type Desk didn't have the funds for it. We had a microfilm reel of all of North Carolina's plans but their slit covers were too small (I was going to cannibalize them if they would fit - I cannibalized the towing Pelican hook off the Massachusettes and two winches off the Chicago fo the Iowa class reactivations. I detail the efforts in my book).

It is ironic that this subject of funding comes up at this time. Last Friday I attended a funeral of one of my old shipyard buddies. He went through the apprenticeship as a boat builder and later transferred topside to Type Desk. I got a few chuckles out of the attendees when I told them that while I was on the 4th floor designing extra armor plate for the New Jersey, he was on the 5th floor trying to figure out how to pay for it.

Dreadnought
12 Aug 10,, 13:22
Sorry Mr. L. didnt mean to confuse you with "aft steering," I was refering to the third steering station located below decks by the Main switchboard.
I'll post a pic later.

Dreadnought
12 Aug 10,, 22:55
Ok, so far we have showed Conning on the 08 level Bridge and the 04 level Bridge (both above the main deck) Now what I believe is called Secondary Conning. This is below decks. And then as Mr.L mentioned, you still have the rudder control in the steering gear compartment via hydralic ram motors. Thats four positions to steer the ship by incase one or more are lost to damage. As you can see she is well looked after.;)

RustyBattleship
13 Aug 10,, 05:09
Ok, so far we have showed Conning on the 08 level Bridge and the 04 level Bridge (both above the main deck) Now what I believe is called Secondary Conning. This is below decks. And then as Mr.L mentioned, you still have the rudder control in the steering gear compartment via hydralic ram motors. Thats four positions to steer the ship by incase one or more are lost to damage. As you can see she is well looked after.;)

Oh yeah. Whenever I was in the main switchboard room it was for my electrical and electronics engineers to inspect it for working (and safe) condition.

I hope you have some sort of a "Low-Jack" device super glued to the back side of that wheel. At the cost of copper based metals, somebody is going to try to figure out a way to get it off the ship and sold to a recycling center. At the VFW post I go to on Tuesday nights, next door is a recycling center. Some guy was standing in line with a large bronze grave marker of a WW II vet. Before he could get up to have it weighed, the recycling center called the cops and they were right behind him. The marker was turned over to the VFW post in hopes of finding the cemetery it came from. But no luck so far. The post still has it for safe keeping however.

By the way, if any of you are better computer researchers than me, the grave marker is:
WARREN H. SMITH
US ARMY
NOV 1 1922 JUN 24 1984

According to the Social Security Death Index, his last residence was Compton, California.

USSWisconsin
13 Aug 10,, 05:15
Oh yeah. Whenever I was in the main switchboard room it was for my electrical and electronics engineers to inspect it for working (and safe) condition.

I hope you have some sort of a "Low-Jack" device super glued to the back side of that wheel. At the cost of copper based metals, somebody is going to try to figure out a way to get it off the ship and sold to a recycling center. At the VFW post I go to on Tuesday nights, next door is a recycling center. Some guy was standing in line with a large bronze grave marker of a WW II vet. Before he could get up to have it weighed, the recycling center called the cops and they were right behind him. The marker was turned over to the VFW post in hopes of finding the cemetery it came from. But no luck so far. The post still has it for safe keeping however.

By the way, if any of you are better computer researchers than me, the grave marker is:
WARREN H. SMITH
US ARMY
NOV 1 1922 JUN 24 1984

According to the Social Security Death Index, his last residence was Compton, California.

I hope the grave robber resisted arrest

Dreadnought
13 Aug 10,, 12:59
Oh yeah. Whenever I was in the main switchboard room it was for my electrical and electronics engineers to inspect it for working (and safe) condition.

I hope you have some sort of a "Low-Jack" device super glued to the back side of that wheel. At the cost of copper based metals, somebody is going to try to figure out a way to get it off the ship and sold to a recycling center. At the VFW post I go to on Tuesday nights, next door is a recycling center. Some guy was standing in line with a large bronze grave marker of a WW II vet. Before he could get up to have it weighed, the recycling center called the cops and they were right behind him. The marker was turned over to the VFW post in hopes of finding the cemetery it came from. But no luck so far. The post still has it for safe keeping however.

By the way, if any of you are better computer researchers than me, the grave marker is:
WARREN H. SMITH
US ARMY
NOV 1 1922 JUN 24 1984

According to the Social Security Death Index, his last residence was Compton, California.

Mr. L, that particular area is pretty much off limits to anyone outside the crew for now. I'm sure they have measures in place to protect the ship outside of the norm and its fittings. Any scrap dealer or recycling facility that would have that or as you mentioned a grave marker or something John Q Public wouldnt find on the local street come through his door should atleast have the descency to pick up the phone and ask someone. Much of the ship is monitored but the again you always have to watch for souvenier hunters and thieves. So far they have done pretty well from what I gather.

Dreadnought
13 Aug 10,, 13:02
I hope the grave robber resisted arrest

I second that one.

Ytlas
13 Aug 10,, 13:28
By the way, if any of you are better computer researchers than me, the grave marker is:
WARREN H. SMITH
US ARMY
NOV 1 1922 JUN 24 1984

According to the Social Security Death Index, his last residence was Compton, California.

The United States Department of Veteran's Affairs provides the markers for eligible veterans.
Somewhere in their records they should have which cemetery the marker was sent to.
Headstones and Markers - General Information - Burial and Memorial Benefits (http://www.cem.va.gov/hm/hmgen.asp)

zraver
13 Aug 10,, 16:17
The United States Department of Veteran's Affairs provides the markers for eligible veterans.
Somewhere in their records they should have which cemetery the marker was sent to.
Headstones and Markers - General Information - Burial and Memorial Benefits (http://www.cem.va.gov/hm/hmgen.asp)

If they can't even keep track of Arlington they might not be much help. Old acid paper records are about destroyed by now unless carefully preserved. A better bet is to look on the net for the obits or the local papers obit fish from pre-net times. County records are often fished as well and can at least narrow down a last known address or next of kin.

Ytlas
13 Aug 10,, 18:07
If they can't even keep track of Arlington they might not be much help. Old acid paper records are about destroyed by now unless carefully preserved. A better bet is to look on the net for the obits or the local papers obit fish from pre-net times. County records are often fished as well and can at least narrow down a last known address or next of kin.

The guy in question passed away in 26 years ago. Chances are very good that the paper his information is stored on is in very good shape. It could have been converted to microfiche a number of years ago like the National Archives did with various paper records.

The National Personnel Records Center might also have where he's buried. If the Department of Veterans Affairs provided the marker they could have put an addendum to his records.

USSWisconsin
02 Sep 10,, 03:25
My interpretation of the answer, considering the input recieved as well as my own research is:

The US used their battleships effectively, but would have won without them.
The British needed their battleships because the Germans had them, and the North Sea gave battleships an edge over carriers at the time in bad weather
The Germans and Japanese would have had a better chance had they used the resources required for battleships elsewhere
The Italian and French battleships were not a significant factor in WWII, the outcome would have been the same either way

USSWisconsin
03 Sep 10,, 01:28
Here are the brass wheels in aft steering on USS Wisconsin

Dreadnought
14 Oct 10,, 22:54
Nice pics, bare bones up.;)