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  • #46
    Originally posted by jrb1537 View Post
    How about earlier (and more) Des Moines?
    I don't understand your comment here. How would that be possible, and to what purpose?

    Was the design of Des Moines mature enough for significantly earlier construction?

    Alaska and Guam were commissioned in June and Sept of 1944, and may not have deeply storied histories, but were in use in the Pacific theater of WW2 in 1945. Like many things built for that war, those ships were determined to be not very useful after the war, and were eliminated.

    Des Moines wasn't laid down until May 1945, commissioned in 1948. And because of that timing, I doubt the design and construction of the Des Moines was ever seriously part of the war effort during WW2. It may be that the design development of that class may have taken resources that may have been better employed at advancing US capabilities that could been employed in time for use in fighting WW2, and so may have hindered the war effort. Likewise the Montana class.

    Alaska and Guam were both built at Camden, with keels laid in December 41, and February 42, launched in August and November 1943. Could they have avoided much of the design development of the Alaska class, and built two more capable ships of the Iowa class at Camden in the same time interval, and employed them during the war? The Alaska class was ordered in September 1940, within a couple of weeks of when the second ship of the Iowa class was laid down. Iowa was laid down in Brooklyn in June 1940, New Jersey in Philadelphia in September 1940, Missouri in Brooklyn in January 1941, and Wisconsin in Philadelphia in January 1942. And the two of the Iowa class that were not completed, Illinois was laid down in Philadelphia in January 1945, and Kentucky was laid down in Norfolk in June 1944. If the Alaska class had not been ordered, what if Illinois and Kentucky could have been laid down in Camden in early 1942, and been operating in the Pacific theater of WW2 by late 1944?
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    • #47
      Build more Atlanta class Lt Cruisers, and speed up their follow-on class Juneau. The threat was from the air.

      We had enough heavy hitters and aircraft to take care of the Japanese fleet and do shore bombardment.

      The scout role of the cruisers had been replaced by air. At that time we needed ships that could protect the CVs.

      The San Diego was the 2d most Decorated ship of WW2 and had the honor of being the first major allied ship to sail into Tokyo Bay.
      Attached Files
      Last edited by Gun Grape; 16 Dec 12,, 18:55.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by JRT View Post
        I don't understand your comment here. How would that be possible, and to what purpose?

        Was the design of Des Moines mature enough for significantly earlier construction?

        Alaska and Guam were commissioned in June and Sept of 1944, and may not have deeply storied histories, but were in use in the Pacific theater of WW2 in 1945. Like many things built for that war, those ships were determined to be not very useful after the war, and were eliminated.

        Des Moines wasn't laid down until May 1945, commissioned in 1948. And because of that timing, I doubt the design and construction of the Des Moines was ever seriously part of the war effort during WW2. It may be that the design development of that class may have taken resources that may have been better employed at advancing US capabilities that could been employed in time for use in fighting WW2, and so may have hindered the war effort. Likewise the Montana class.

        Alaska and Guam were both built at Camden, with keels laid in December 41, and February 42, launched in August and November 1943. Could they have avoided much of the design development of the Alaska class, and built two more capable ships of the Iowa class at Camden in the same time interval, and employed them during the war? The Alaska class was ordered in September 1940, within a couple of weeks of when the second ship of the Iowa class was laid down. Iowa was laid down in Brooklyn in June 1940, New Jersey in Philadelphia in September 1940, Missouri in Brooklyn in January 1941, and Wisconsin in Philadelphia in January 1942. And the two of the Iowa class that were not completed, Illinois was laid down in Philadelphia in January 1945, and Kentucky was laid down in Norfolk in June 1944. If the Alaska class had not been ordered, what if Illinois and Kentucky could have been laid down in Camden in early 1942, and been operating in the Pacific theater of WW2 by late 1944?
        Wouldn't have happened. The last 2 Iowas were put on hold after Midway. Then given a low priority in the build scheme of things. The US needed Carriers, Destroyers, and ships that could provide AA protection to the carriers. The days of the Battleship were over.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by Gun Grape View Post
          Build more Alaska class Lt Cruisers, and speed up their follow-on class Juneau. The threat was from the air.
          You meant to type Atlanta of course

          I agree, there was far more need for heavy AA guns and that means the incomparable 5-inch/38 paired with the Mark 37 FCS and proximity fuze, and that means the Atlanta/Juneaus
          “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
          ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

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          • #50
            Fixed it. Damn keyboard.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
              You meant to type Atlanta of course

              I agree, there was far more need for heavy AA guns and that means the incomparable 5-inch/38 paired with the Mark 37 FCS and proximity fuze, and that means the Atlanta/Juneaus
              Now imagine the two Alaska's built as "big" versions of an AA light cruiser. Each of the turrets of the 12" took up the space of two 2x5/38 turrets. Remove the float planes and you can add a couple more. Add that total to what the Alaska already had and you have a big AA cruiser with 28x (or more) 5/38 in 14 turrets. That is more 5" AA than an Iowa class. The reduction in weight might also make the class faster or longer ranged design- (say a 34knot or 15,000nm). The thick deck and side armor (for a cruiser) makes them much more survivable against a Kamikaze strike of their own while the lack of torpedo protection is much less of a handicap since they are not intended to fight Japanese cruisers and thus the Long Lance. Plus the big fuel bunkers. Or just reduce the armored thickness for weight savings,, speed up construction or for more speed or range.

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              • #52
                Z

                The Atlanta class already had more 5/54 throw weight per side than the Iowas did. With a lot less crewing requirements than the Alaska's.

                Due to the way they were positioned the Atlanta's , could bring 7 twin 5/38 turrets to bear per side for a total of 14 guns. Iowas could do 10 guns.

                The Alaska class should have been postponed/cancelled with the last 2 Iowas.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by Gun Grape View Post

                  The Alaska class should have been postponed/cancelled with the last 2 Iowas.
                  Valid argument, but they were not cancelled, so what about if they were neither cancelled or built as planned but converted to a new role which was common in WWII. That is why I advanced the idea of a heavy or big AA cruiser. The Iowas or other fast battleships as goalies, Alaska class as sweepers o the Atlanta class full back positions with destroyers and DE's as center backs and mid fielders.

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                  • #54
                    I'll keep looking, I'm sure they did propose Alaska class mods like Jason suggested back then - four more twin mounts forward on two levels, two more in the waist, the existing six on the ends of the SS and two more aft. The aviation suite was removed - including the cats and two additonal AA directors were fitted amidships.

                    They weren't built - two Atlanta's or Juneau's cost less and provided the same number of guns - with less tonnage and men.

                    Its cool that they built the Alaska's they were awesome ships - and perhaps demonstrated to our enemies that they were up against a country that could bring just about anything to the battle - while the enemies couldn't.

                    I imagine that the first two were so far along when they were canceling the final battleships, and there were missions for them in their designed configuration - particularly because they were canceling the other big gun ships - so they just completed them, rather than cancel or rebuild them in a different configuration.

                    In hindsight - I don't think they were needed - but in 1940 or even in 1944, could any of us be sure of that with what was known at the time. :)
                    Last edited by USSWisconsin; 17 Dec 12,, 02:22.
                    sigpic"If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees.
                    If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children."

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by USSWisconsin View Post
                      I'll keep looking, I'm sure they did propose Alaska class mods like Jason suggested back then - four more twin mounts forward on two levels, two more in the waist, the existing six on the ends of the SS and two more aft. The aviation suite was removed - including the cats and two additonal AA directors were fitted amidships.

                      They weren't built - two Atlanta's or Juneau's cost less and provided the same number of guns - with less tonnage and men.
                      If built as AA cruisers they made have had a smaller complement or if bigger, because of more weapons. How many men did the Alaska need for engineering duties compared to two Atlanta classes? Plus 2x Atlantas may have had the same number of 5" guns but was massively weaker in secondary AAA capability. Thats why I advanced the idea of them as a sweeper or even as a goalie to replace a fast battleship. A single hull bristling with guns between the incoming attack and the carriers. Two Atlanta's would have weaker fire and risk collision to bring the 5" concentrations together.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Gun Grape View Post
                        The Atlanta class already had more 5/54 throw weight per side than the Iowas did. With a lot less crewing requirements than the Alaska's.
                        You meant to type 5/38 throw weight, right?

                        And I agree, Atlanta's made more sense than AA-upgrade Alaska's or any type of Iowa.

                        (Although it was fortunate for Wisconsin that Kentucky had a complete bow waiting for her.)



                        Originally posted by Gun Grape View Post
                        Due to the way they were positioned the Atlanta's , could bring 7 twin 5/38 turrets to bear per side for a total of 14 guns. Iowas could do 10 guns.
                        Honestly though that only applies to the first 4 units. Those wing mounts were problematic for a couple reasons and not repeated.

                        Still though, they outgunned anything afloat in the heavy AA department.
                        Last edited by TopHatter; 17 Dec 12,, 03:05.
                        “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
                        ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Gun Grape View Post
                          Cruisers normally don't have any underwater protection. Thats one of the things that make them "Cruisers" vice battleships.

                          As far as Scharnhorst and long range shooting. Lets all remember that she has one of, if not the longest, gunfire hits against a moving target. IF it was her or Warspite comes down to a matter of meters.

                          She hit HMS Glorious at 26,500 Yds (24,200m).

                          Dread, not sure where you got your info. WVa opened fire at 22,800 yds. Also note that WVA had the most modern radar set of the battleship line. Some of the other BBs had earlier models and never had a firing solution.
                          Agreed for the most part Grape, however, Sharnhorst took three full salvos to make her hits on Glorious, And I do agree about range (22,800) my bad, There is no doubt that WV could have opened that range if she had not been shooting the AP rounds for the first several salvos, as far as firing solutions some stories vary, It was told that Pennsylvania couldnt achieve a FC solution and another story told that the reason Pennsylvania did not fire was due to having to manuver quickly to avoid the Maryland and came out of line.

                          IMO, West Virginia was well capable of more distant shooting given her radars picked them up at approximately 41,000 yards and when she did fire she was under director control.

                          Sharnhorst also didnt have anyone firing back at her with the exception of a torpedo crossing close to her bow so pretty much she could walk her salvos on to the flat top while closing the range. Sharnhorst also had the speed adavantage over Glorious where as the West Virgina was probably slower then her Japanese counterpart but positioned perfectly for the engagement.
                          Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Gun Grape View Post
                            Wouldn't have happened. The last 2 Iowas were put on hold after Midway. Then given a low priority in the build scheme of things. The US needed Carriers, Destroyers, and ships that could provide AA protection to the carriers. The days of the Battleship were over.
                            *Actually, the last two Iowas were laid down well after midway, 44Dec/45Jan. Remember Grape, the Iowas didnt join the US Fleets until feb-march 1943 (BB61 & BB62). Construction continued on (BB65 & BB66) until approx mid-late 1946 so the USN was not done yet with the heavy gun ship up until that point including the Des Moines class heavy cruiser with the Auto 8's. By that time USN cruisers (heavy) were already larger then their contemporaries. The Beau of Ships wanted their machinery (Kentucky and Illionois) diverted to the Midway class of carriers almost right after the first two Iowas joined the fleet in 1943 and the other two (BB63 & BB64) were being completed at the time and joined the fleet in late 1944.

                            You really couldnt justify more AA ships when Japans factories were not really producing more planes at this point in time and many of their experienced pilots were lost between Midway and the Marianas campaigns. The US had plent of planes as well as bases besides the CV's. And you already had many ships including the BB's modifed to carry more AA weapons then ever before.

                            If not mistaken the BB's had more AA alterations made to them more then any other hull designation from the new ships (Iowas) to the older ones. Take the Mississippi for instance.

                            IMO, Landing craft and other craft perhaps even subs were needed more then destroyers or cruisers. By the time these ships were cancelled Japan was already retreating across the south Pacific. Cutting off their life lines to their island possesions and natural resources meant more subs attacking their merchant fleets and naval ships. There is no doubt that US subs contributed greatly in denying the Japanese oil, rubber, tin etc and sinking any naval ship that they came upon. They literally watched the Japanese naval ports and anchorages in wait.
                            Last edited by Dreadnought; 18 Dec 12,, 03:16.
                            Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

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                            • #59
                              You misread my post. I never mentioned construction. Both of those ships were ordered on 09 Sept 1940

                              The last 2 Iowas that were built were ordered 12 June of 1940. Both of them were laid down in Jan 41

                              If not mistaken the BB's had more AA alterations made to them more then any other hull designation from the new ships (Iowas) to the older ones. Take the Mississippi for instance.
                              Yes they did because the legacy BBs started out behind the power curve. And the fact that they had their AA armament improved did nothing to alleviate the need for more AA protection for the Fast Carrier task forces.

                              Only the North Carolina, South Dakota and Iowa class could keep up with the carriers. More protection was needed. Look at the number of planes the Japanese put up in the later battles. And the suicide planes they had in reserve for the defense of the homeland. We needed more AA. Okinawa shows that with the Navy losing 34 ships to air attack.

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Dreadnought View Post
                                Sharnhorst also didnt have anyone firing back at her with the exception of a torpedo crossing close to her bow so pretty much she could walk her salvos on to the flat top while closing the range.


                                Scharnhorst was hit by gunfire from HMS Ardent before sinking her.

                                She was also hit by gunfire and a torpedo by HMS Acasta. Before she sank her also.

                                As for taking 3 salvos to hit Glorious, How many rounds did Mass fire to get the 5 hits on Jean Bart? A ship tied up in port.

                                Long range naval gunfire is more about luck then equipment. One of the reasons the US BB line waited till they could see "The whites of their eyes"

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