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Thread: Can Iowa-class battleships fire directly forward?

  1. #1
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    Can Iowa-class battleships fire directly forward?

    I know that the Iowa-class battleships have bow with shear, but can the guns fire directly forward if they're elevated enough to have clearance? A museum curator on the New Jersey said that the ship structure can't handle the stress and blast of the guns firing directly forward and there are angle limits to prevent that from happening.

  2. #2
    Patron Michigan_Guy's Avatar
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    At one time (before the up-link antenna was installed) I think one of the Iowa's did this, but it wasn't a good idea. I swear I read something on this forum about that, but I can't find it.
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    The North Carolina certainly could
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    I think the problem would be with Turret 2 firing over top of Turret 1. Maybe if it was a very high angle, but if they were firing at a lower angle it's going to damage the lower turret.

    But Turret 1 certainly can.

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    Scharnhorst evidently could as well
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  6. #6
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Common sense says that the Iowa Class would definitely be able to fire forward. Think about it. If an enemy battleship was ever able to cross the "T" with an Iowa Class then she would be defenseless. Now one can scour the photo archives for such a picture but I have never found one. The photo of a broadside being unleashed is simply too dramatic to be passed up compare to one turret firing forward. Also, having stood atop both turret 1 and 2 the bow of the Iowa is no impediment.

  7. #7
    Defense Professional RustyBattleship's Avatar
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    They can, indeed, fire forward over the bow. But the last time we did it on the New Jersey, the green water vent shutters would slam shut sounding like M1 Garands being fired inside the berthing spaces.

    Nobody could sleep or nap in that bunkroom -- except one gunners mate. He was so pooped out rearranging the shells for the tests, unloading powder bags (110 lbs each) from their top cannisters onto trays for the loaders, he slept through the entire gunnery trial. When he woke up he was asked if he was okay with all that noise.

    He replied, "What noise?"
    Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.

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