Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 121

Thread: The Alaska's: Battlecruisers or Large Cruisers?

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Banned Regular
    Join Date
    20 Aug 09
    Posts
    49

    The Alaska's: Battlecruisers or Large Cruisers?

    So far as I know, the USN's CB-1 Alaska and CB-2 Guam (completed in 1944) were the last battlecruisers not only commisioned but actually deployed on active service by any navy. They were seen as obsolete almost as soon as they were begun and it was only a few champions amongst the Admiralty, particularly Admiral King, who saw them as fast escorts for America's massive carrier fleet being built for the Pacific War, that saved these two ships from cancellation.

  2. #2
    Military Professional maximusslade's Avatar
    Join Date
    16 Apr 08
    Location
    New England, USA
    Posts
    801
    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    USS Alaska (CB-1) was commissioned on 17 June 1944. She served in the Pacific, screening aircraft carriers, providing shore bombardment at Okinawa, and going on raiding missions in the East China Sea. She was decommissioned on 17 February 1947 after less than three years of service and was scrapped in 1960.[1]
    USS Guam (CB-2) was commissioned on 17 September 1944. She served in the Pacific with Alaska on almost all of the same operations. Along with Alaska, she was decommissioned on 17 February 1947 and was scrapped in 1961.

    These were the last of the true battlecruisers. However, the Soviet Kirovs were called battlecruisers, even though they were just large missile carriers.

    The Pyotr Velikiy was commissioend in 1998 and is still in commission with the Admiral Nakhimov undergoing overhaul. She was commissioned in 1988.

    I wholeheartedly and heavily disagree with the answer of this question. The Alaksas (CBs) were not battlecruisers. Described then and now they would be "superheavy" cruisers. Just as HMS Furious was not a battlecruiser nor was the Alaska. Battlecruisers were designed to fight in the main battle line against other battlecruisers and battleships. The Alaskas were the USN's response to ships such as the Deutchland class and a superheavy cruiser the Japanese were talking about building but never did (I forget the name of it at this time). I think the last commissioned battlecruisers were the battlecruisers of the Royal Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy. I would love to give names right now but I am on the plant floor and dont have the time to make sure I get the names right.
    Hit Hard, Hit Fast, Hit Often...

  3. #3
    Banned Regular
    Join Date
    20 Aug 09
    Posts
    49
    lol. You do know that the men who sailed on the ships called them battlecruisers and that there had to be official memos made to try and convince people to call them superheavy cruisers. Note: the memos failed. The sailors and admirals all called them BCs. Just because a bureaucrat wants to say a ship is a superheavy cruiser and not a battlecruiser DOES NOT MAKE THE BUREAUCRAT RIGHT!

    De facto, they were battlecruisers. De jure don't matter.

  4. #4
    Global Moderator
    Comrade Commissar
    TopHatter's Avatar
    Join Date
    03 Sep 03
    Posts
    15,914
    Quote Originally Posted by Harney View Post
    lol. You do know that the men who sailed on the ships called them battlecruisers and that there had to be official memos made to try and convince people to call them superheavy cruisers. Note: the memos failed. The sailors and admirals all called them BCs. Just because a bureaucrat wants to say a ship is a superheavy cruiser and not a battlecruiser DOES NOT MAKE THE BUREAUCRAT RIGHT!

    De facto, they were battlecruisers. De jure don't matter.
    I realize this assclown is already gone and if desired and I'm about to split this discussion off into another thread, but...

    The Alaska's were built along cruiser lines. Their arrangements such as the midships catapults, aircraft hangers, secondary armament numbers and placement, single rudder, armor scheme etc were all very much cruiser-style.

    They were "unlimited" cruisers, the pinnacle of cruiser development unhindered by treaty.

    And at least one admiral, the very one this guy cited, Earnest King, was emphatic about their cruiser role.
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

  5. #5
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Contrary by Nature.
    zraver's Avatar
    Join Date
    22 Oct 06
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    14,537
    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    I realize this assclown is already gone and if desired and I'm about to split this discussion off into another thread, but...

    The Alaska's were built along cruiser lines. Their arrangements such as the midships catapults, aircraft hangers, secondary armament numbers and placement, single rudder, armor scheme etc were all very much cruiser-style.

    They were "unlimited" cruisers, the pinnacle of cruiser development unhindered by treaty.

    And at least one admiral, the very one this guy cited, Earnest King, was emphatic about their cruiser role.
    Not really a naval guy but in looking at the Alaska class they sure look like battle cruisers.

    Alaska 34253t Gneisenau 38900t
    9x 12" guns 9x 11" guns
    33 knots 33knots
    12,000 miles 8,400 miles
    9" main belt 13.7" main belt
    4 aircraft 3 aircraft
    1517-1799 crew 1669 crew

  6. #6
    Military Professional dundonrl's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 Mar 07
    Posts
    697
    Quote Originally Posted by maximusslade View Post
    Battlecruisers were designed to fight in the main battle line against other battlecruisers and battleships.
    if you read up on the battle of Jutland, you can see what happens when you put Battle Cruisers in the line of battle. Look at Invincible, Queen Mary and Indefatigable.. they all were destroyed with almost all hands lost, while comparable Dreadnaughts took heavy shell fire and lived to tell about it (HMS Warspite comes to mind)..

  7. #7
    Global Moderator
    Military Professional
    Defense Professional
    Albany Rifles's Avatar
    Join Date
    27 Apr 07
    Location
    Prince George, VA
    Posts
    8,362
    Thanks guys.

    This clears up an obvious misconception I have had for many years.
    “We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God… Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass – a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a day’s heat, fell dusty.”
    ― T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

  8. #8
    Military Professional dundonrl's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 Mar 07
    Posts
    697
    Quote Originally Posted by maximusslade View Post
    Battlecruisers were designed to fight in the main battle line against other battlecruisers and battleships. .


    Battlecruisers WERE NOT designed to fight in a line of battle against other BB's.. Fisher didn't intend them to do that, and at Jutland it was proven that you CAN'T do that with them, look at the HMS Invincible 1st doing what she was designed to do, chase down enemy cruisers at the battle of the Falklands in Nov 1914, then what she wasn't designed to do, face BB's/BCs in a line of battle, when she was sunk by major caliber gun fire penetrating her midships Q turrent blowing her in half..

    The battlecruisers typically carried 8-15 in. guns (Hood, Repulse and Renown
    carried the biggest calibers) like the battleships. The WWI battlecruisers all
    carried 8-12 in guns, at the speed of 28 knots on the unheard displacement of
    17.250 tons. The Dreadnought, the world' s most powerful battleships carried
    10 X12 inch guns and displaced about 15.000 tons and the most powerful
    armored cruisers carried 4 X 9.2 inch guns. The other striking thing about
    these huge ships was that they were armored only to resist cruiser gunfire.

    couple quotes posted below...

    This was perfectly consistent with their role as envisioned by their creator. They
    would be cruiser terminators. They would scout for the battle fleet (in which
    role they could brush aside the armored cruisers that the enemy customarily
    deployed to foil such scouts), they could equally prevent enemy scout cruisers
    from approaching the battle fleet. They could chase and dispatch residuals
    after a battle. They would also be tremendously useful in running down and
    destroying enemy commerce raiders on the high seas, as well as interdicting
    enemy commerce. They could be useful as a fast wing of the battle line. In
    fact, battlecruisers succesfully did these things during WWI.

    What they were not intented to do was, join the battle line itself and shoot it
    out with enemy battleships. Unfortunately, over and over in the history of the
    battlecruisers, Admirals were unable to resist the temptation of adding their
    big gunfire power to the line of battle, hoping that enemy shells would not find
    their weakly protected vitals. But history showed that enemy shells seem to
    have an affinity for just such weaknesses. During the Battle of Skagerrak
    (Jutland), three British battlecruisers (including the HMS Invincible) were sank
    by enemy shells. A German battlecruiser SMS Lutzow, was shot to pieces
    during the same battle and sank. Another battlecruiser, Derfflinger was badly
    shot up but returned to port with difficulty. Battlecruisers were the real losers
    at the Battle of Skagerrak.

  9. #9
    Military Professional maximusslade's Avatar
    Join Date
    16 Apr 08
    Location
    New England, USA
    Posts
    801
    Yeah, just like every navy man I have ever spoken to has told me that their ship was the bestest, fastest, cleanest, yadda yadda yadda ship in the navy. Can't tell me they are all correct can ya?

    To boot, I kind of resent being compared to a beurocrat. I fancy myself an amature historian of USN warships. Granted I dont know everything and I dont have Rusty's experience. Also, I do not refer to some bean counter's version of events. The Alaskas were classified by the navy as superheavy cruisers, as a former sailor I learned the Navy is always right, not the sailor (for better or for worse). To boot, most historians (wiki and the like not included) classify alakas as cruisers. In fact, her MISSION classifies her as a cruiser. Her mission was to keep sea lanes open agaisnt other superheavy cruisers acting as commerce raiders, that is a cruiser job, not a BB's or CC's job.
    Hit Hard, Hit Fast, Hit Often...

  10. #10
    Global Moderator
    Military Professional
    Defense Professional
    Albany Rifles's Avatar
    Join Date
    27 Apr 07
    Location
    Prince George, VA
    Posts
    8,362
    Okay...just a dumb question, then.

    So if they we battlecruisers they woudl be BC instead of CB?

    Can't figure out why you Squids have to over complicate things! Like why is a V in VF mean heavier than air? Why not use an H?
    “We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God… Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass – a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a day’s heat, fell dusty.”
    ― T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

  11. #11
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
    Join Date
    12 Mar 05
    Location
    Panama City Fl
    Posts
    8,448
    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Okay...just a dumb question, then.

    So if they we battlecruisers they woudl be BC instead of CB?

    Can't figure out why you Squids have to over complicate things! Like why is a V in VF mean heavier than air? Why not use an H?
    No. They would have been designated CCs

    And they would have been named for States as a capitol ship.
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  12. #12
    Military Professional maximusslade's Avatar
    Join Date
    16 Apr 08
    Location
    New England, USA
    Posts
    801
    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Grape View Post
    No. They would have been designated CCs

    And they would have been named for States as a capitol ship.
    Actually, the battlecruisers the USN designed and started building were named for famous battles (Lexington & Saratoga) or notable ships from the navy's past (Ranger, Constellation, Constitution).
    Hit Hard, Hit Fast, Hit Often...

  13. #13
    Military Professional maximusslade's Avatar
    Join Date
    16 Apr 08
    Location
    New England, USA
    Posts
    801
    http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/u.../cru/cb1cl.htm

    CB-1 Alaska Class

    Alaska class cruiser - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Since I am too tired to go into it more deeply, here are just some of the places you an find info on these ships.

    If you want compare the Alaskas to the only battlecruiser ever (almost) built by the USN, the Lexingtons.

    To boot, don't compare the Alaska to the Sharnhorst. The German battlecruisers were intended and designed to be armed with 6 x 15" guns, not the 9 x 11" she was armed with as a stop gap measure to get her to sea faster. You want to compare to to a German ship, compare her to the Graf Spee.
    Hit Hard, Hit Fast, Hit Often...

  14. #14
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Contrary by Nature.
    zraver's Avatar
    Join Date
    22 Oct 06
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    14,537
    Quote Originally Posted by maximusslade View Post
    http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/u.../cru/cb1cl.htm

    CB-1 Alaska Class

    Alaska class cruiser - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Since I am too tired to go into it more deeply, here are just some of the places you an find info on these ships.

    If you want compare the Alaskas to the only battlecruiser ever (almost) built by the USN, the Lexingtons.

    To boot, don't compare the Alaska to the Sharnhorst. The German battlecruisers were intended and designed to be armed with 6 x 15" guns, not the 9 x 11" she was armed with as a stop gap measure to get her to sea faster. You want to compare to to a German ship, compare her to the Graf Spee.
    The Graf Spee was waht 1/3 the tonnage? The Lexington was much heavier.

    The Alaska's stand up well vs other battle cruisers as well: Derfflinger-class, Lion Class, Moltke class, Indefatigable class, Queen Mary and Dunkerque class etc. All including the Alaska share a similar gun size 10-14", thinner main belt armor, high speed and come in well over 20,000 tons with some over 30,000 tons.

    other than how she was named, how is she not a battle cruiser in terms of capabilities?

    Also in your earlier post you said,

    I wholeheartedly and heavily disagree with the answer of this question. The Alaksas (CBs) were not battlecruisers. Described then and now they would be "superheavy" cruisers. Just as HMS Furious was not a battlecruiser nor was the Alaska. Battlecruisers were designed to fight in the main battle line against other battlecruisers and battleships. The Alaskas were the USN's response to ships such as the Deutchland class and a superheavy cruiser the Japanese were talking about building but never did (I forget the name of it at this time). I think the last commissioned battlecruisers were the battlecruisers of the Royal Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy. I would love to give names right now but I am on the plant floor and dont have the time to make sure I get the names right.
    This is news to me, since as far as I know no battle cruiser ever fought as part of the main line against an enemy battleship line by choice. BC's were designed to be a fast striking arm of the fleet able to take out enemy cruisers and destroyers by gun power, but able to out run anything that might visit the same punishment on them. In this mission, the Alaska is perfectly at home by your own admission.

  15. #15
    Regular
    Join Date
    09 Nov 07
    Posts
    99
    Does anyone have any resources for some high-res photos of the alaskas? Compared to the Iowas, they are incredibly few and far between.

    Also, a hypothetical for everyone, suppose the Alaskas hadnt been scrapped, and instead remained in reserve. Any possibility they have been recommissioned in addition to, or even instead of, the Iowas in the 1980s? Seems like they could be reequipped to carry pretty much the same missile load as an Iowa, with many fewer men.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 275
    Last Post: 06 Jan 08,, 05:17
  2. Carrier Battle Group Essay
    By rickusn in forum Naval Warfare
    Replies: 56
    Last Post: 05 Sep 07,, 18:27
  3. Replies: 26
    Last Post: 22 Jul 07,, 23:55
  4. Big Battleship Doctrine 2
    By Defcon 6 in forum Battleships Board
    Replies: 581
    Last Post: 16 Jun 06,, 22:37
  5. Russian Navy
    By rickusn in forum Naval Warfare
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 17 Feb 05,, 04:55

Share this thread with friends:

Share this thread with friends:

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •