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  • Best Battleship of World War II?

    This is always a controversial question, so it's worth asking here. I'm putting what I consider the 3 main choices in this poll, along with an option to choose "other." Each of these ships actually represents it's class of ships (e.g Iowa represents MO, WI, and NJ).

    So here we go!





    144
    Yamato
    18.75%
    27
    Iowa
    49.31%
    71
    Bismarck
    17.36%
    25
    Other?
    14.58%
    21
    Our forefathers died to give us freedom, not free stuff.

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  • #2
    I had to go with the Iowa here on the basis that it's the only one that survived the war!

    Simplistic, but true.

    Dr. S.
    Imagine a ball of iron, the size of the sun. And once a year a tiny sparrow brushes its surface with the tip of its wing. And when that ball of iron, the size of the sun, is worn away to nothing, your punishment will barely have begun.

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    • #3
      I selected the Iowa because in a one-on-one fight with any of these ships, its the one I'd prefer to have. Plus, like Dr. S said, it doesn't hurt that its the only one that survived! :thumb:
      "Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting dirty for"
      "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and a lot of bitching"

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      • #4
        Re: Best Battleship of World War II?

        Originally posted by Brian King
        This is always a controversial question, so it's worth asking here. I'm putting what I consider the 3 main choices in this poll, along with an option to choose "other." Each of these ships actually represents it's class of ships (e.g Iowa represents MO, WI, and NJ).

        So here we go!

        [
        Hands down the Iowa. When I was on the WWII mailing list we had the same debate. The Iowas were the only ship that could take on any other battleship and win. But I have to admit lliking the Rodney and Nelson class BBs.

        Cheers!



        Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

        "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

        What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

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        • #5
          No US Iowa class battleshp was sunk during WWII. The Yamato class and Bismark were all sunk by aircraft. (Thanks Billy Mitchell.)

          Further, when it comes to fire-control, the Iowa wins hands down.
          Retreat hell, we just got here. Every Marine, a rifleman.

          Never let the facts get in the way of the truth.

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          • #6
            Yamato class

            Let the flames begin!
            If it was a one-on-one fight during the day, under good weather conditions, with aircraft and other ships not involved; I would rather ride the Yamato than the Iowa.
            Now if you want to say a Montana class against a Yamato class, then my money would be on the Montana.
            Reasons for my pick of Yamato over Iowa are easy.
            The Iowa had only two advantages over Yamato, and they were six knots and better radar directed fire control system.
            Giving fair due, those six knots would allow Iowa to either engage or not engage; but this is a gun fight, so I would say running away would not be in the cards. Also those six knots would allow Iowa to stay at maximum range, and the use of the fire control radar to best advantage.
            The problem is, Iowa could not score hits at extream range back during WWII, no ship could. The Iowa class's poor extream range shooting was proven out when two of the Iowa's tried to hit a Japanese destroyer at 30,000 to 36,000 yards. The Japanese destroyer was able to use its 5 knot speed advantage to slowly open the range. Thus there was lots of shooting, but not one hit or even near miss to show for it!
            The range would have to get down to the upper 20,000's yard ranges for either ship to be able to get repeatable hits on the other. Barring that golden BB hit that can end a gun fight at any time, at ranges under around 32,000 yards, Yamato's optical range finding system and fire control would get the job done just fine. Unless the weather was poor, or this was a night battle; Iowa would not have the winning advantage with the Radar alone.
            Now lets talk about the important things, guns and armor. Yamato's 18.1 inchers were equal to the Iowa's 16 inchers. Iowa's guns did have a bit faster fireing rate, but not enough to make a telling difference.
            The telling difference between the two ships was armor, period. The Yamato was armored against its own guns, the Iowa was not! The Iowa was in reality a Battlecruiser (Yes, now the flames will really start!), not a Battleship. Those extra six knots came at the expence of armor for additional HP, double the HP of the preceding US Battleships.
            Yamato had thicker armor on the belt and on the deck than Iowa did.
            Iowa would not have much chance getting deck armor penetrations on Yamato, but the reverse would not be true.
            If ranges closed close enough to get side belt hits, Iowa would have to get with in 18,000 yards to get penetrations on Yamato, where Yamato could get penetrations on Iowa's side belt out to around 24,000 yards.
            Both ships were very vulnerable to flooding of the unarmored bow and stern areas (in front of the forward turrets, and behind the rear turrets). Flooding of those areas would likely cripple either ship, but sinking the other ship would require armor belt and or armored deck penetrations.
            But again being 100% fair, the Yamato's had an armor weak spot, and that was the 6.1 inch secondary gun turrets. They were recycled light cruiser gun turrets, and thay were thinly armored. A direct hit one one of the 6.1 inch gun turrets, could result in a secondary magazine explosion. But the same could be fairly said of Iowa's 5/38 secondary gun mounts. Notice I did not call them turrets, as they carried even less armor!
            Finally, there is sheer bulk, and that advantage goes to Yamato by almost 20,000 tons!
            My opinion is that the Yamato would be reduced to a floating wreck in this battle, but she would steam away (slowly) the winner. Iowa would sleep with the fishes.
            Regards, Gregg

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Yamato class

              Originally posted by Gregg
              The problem is, Iowa could not score hits at extream range back during WWII, no ship could. The Iowa class's poor extream range shooting was proven out when two of the Iowa's tried to hit a Japanese destroyer at 30,000 to 36,000 yards. The Japanese destroyer was able to use its 5 knot speed advantage to slowly open the range. Thus there was lots of shooting, but not one hit or even near miss to show for it!
              While I respect your opinion; I disagree that the example you show here is a valid one. It was very hard to hit a destroyer at any range. Using it to show that the radar directed guns of the Iowas would not hit the much larger bulk of the Yamato.

              Cheers!


              Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

              "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

              What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

              Comment


              • #8
                Finally, a question that doesn't have an undue amount of 'USA just built a lot of 'em and they weren't nearly as good....' stuffola.

                I voted for the Wisconsin, er, Iowa. Understood that on a perfect day the Yamato might have a chance, but given that the Wisconsin, er, Iowa, could pick and choose the time and place of the engagement, (due to their speed advantage), I can only assume that the American Commander would have been savvy enough to choose non-perfect conditions.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I would think an Iowa would win a fight with a Yamato class.

                  I read an article on the www.warships1.com website that detailed a simulation/test conducted by the USN on the effect of the 16 inch round of the Iowa's Mk7 tripple turrets on the armor of the Yamato class. I don't know how they managed to get an example of the armor (perhaps from another unfinished vessel??? Anyone know?), anyway bascially the Yamato class type steel armor plate sample had SHATTERED into many pieces!

                  I think the round in question that was used was the 2,700lbs AP round, not the other 1,900lbs round. This 2,700lbs round could only be fired from the Mk 7 turret in addition to the 1,900lbs round used in both the Mk 6 and Mk 7.

                  The SD and NC Class had the Mk 6, while the Iowas and the projected Montana class had the Mk 7.
                  "To know the weapons the enemy has is already to beat them!"

                  http://www.anft.net/f-14/f14-photo-vf213-01l.jpg

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                  • #10
                    Yamato class armor plate

                    If you are ever in the Washington DC area, check out the Washington Naval Yard Museum.
                    They have a section of armor plate that was manufactured for the Yamato class. I was told it was plate intended for the third ship of the class, the one that was converted into an aircraft carrier.
                    There is a nice round hole in the plate off to the left side edge, made by a 2700 pound 16 inch AP shot. But the range of that test shot was only about 2,000 yards!
                    As to the 2700 pound "super heavy" AP projectiles, all the modern US Battleships were built to use it. Only the 1920's vintage West Virginia class Battleships were restricted to the older "standard" weight AP projectiles, and I think they weighed in at around 2300 pounds if my memmory is correct. The 16 inch HE "bombardment" projectile weighed around 2100 pounds.
                    The Yamato AP weighted 3300 pounds!
                    Then there was the well documented "long range dispersion" problem with the Iowa class Battleships main guns, that was not corrected until sometime in 1945. That problem played a big part in the failure to hit or even near-miss that Japanese Destroyer in 1944.
                    Now lets make this a real fair fight, lets do it at night under fog conditions. That way Iowa could close to less than 10,000 yards and blast away!
                    We were talking about a one on one, equal conditions fight.
                    Regards, Gregg

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Some Information

                      You might want to look at this website for some interesting information:

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

                      Although the Yamato might have a slight advantage in armor, I like the Iowa's fire control and speed advantage.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Slight advantage in armor?

                        If you call an additional 4 inches of belt armor (16 vs 12) and 3 inches of deck armor (9 vs 6) a slight advantage, I would love to see what you would call a big advantage.

                        Remember, the Yamato and her two sisters (one full sister and one half sister)were sunk by torpedoes, not bombs or shell fire.

                        The Yamato class did have a fatal defect with her anti-torpedo defence system. But to be totally fair, the Iowa class torpedo defence system was not up to the task either.
                        Only the Montana class would have finally had a decent torpedo defence system.
                        Since neither the Yamato or the Iowa carried torpedos, this is really a moot point to the discussion.
                        Regards, Gregg

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Why the Iowa?

                          There is more than thickness to consider when rating armor protection. The quality and placement of the armor matters as much if not more. In addition, the armor is only one factor for rating a battleship. You have to consider speed, gun size and accuracy, fire control, compartmentalization, secondary armament, spotting planes, and radar.

                          One big question about the Yamato was those 18" guns. The best rating I've ever heard about them was that they were mediocre. I've seen the 16" of the Iowa rated somewhat higher. Give me a speed advantage, a better punch, and better firecontrol, I think the Iowa was a better battleship.

                          Edit: I was looking around a bit more and came upon this page:

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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I would have to go w the Iowa. BUT there was a serious
                            problem that Chin Lee pointed out. The Yamato DID outrange
                            the Iowa. That means for at least a few salvos, the Iowa would be taking fire and NOT be sending any to Yamato.
                            .

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Ummmm.... Bismarck? PLEASE DON'T HURT ME!!!:bowdown:

                              Sorry, I don't know all the little dinky things but once again a poll that contains so many factors that a resonable victor cannot be acertained.

                              Just cuz its the only ship that made it through the war doesnt mean anything. If the Iowa or Yamato were in port when they are attacked by planes and there are no repair facilities good enough for the ship what do you do? That is not nesscerily a fault in the design. That is a situational factor.
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                              Hell is other people. -Jean-Paul Sarte

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