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Nazi Germany's Battleship Bismarck vs. America's Iowa Class: Who Wins?

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  • #46
    Originally posted by flash View Post
    Could the North Carolina stop and recover her own aircraft assuming that time is of the essence as it always is?
    Was it even possible in the prevailing sea state?
    No, it was not, the only damn thing that could get aloft was a Swordfish!
    Not one of the most recent and most sexy carrier borne ac could possibly have taken to the air.
    The Swordfish put the dagger in the beasts wound, and no other aircraft could have done so, ancient old stringbag or not!

    Please. TBD and sbd could have both taken off.....but the FAA was the bastard stepchild and didn't rate decent aircraft.
    Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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    • #47
      Originally posted by MarkV View Post
      I think this thread needs the naval equivalent of Monty Python's colonel turning up and saying "I warned you, this thread is getting too silly"


      There. Happy now?

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by Tuck's Luck View Post
        No disrespect mate but bollocks!

        How can you possibly draw that conclusion and in such a trite one liner?

        Even if they'd have met (which they never could have) numerous factors have to be taken into account not least inexperienced crew and so much more.

        The comparison is mute anyway as others have pointed out.

        Just write off two mighty battleships and all the men who served on them in a handful of words on a forum in 2016.
        USS Washington (BB 56) was a class build just before South Dakota class. There were actually few difference in term of speed/armament between the two classes.

        If one argue about crew and experience, IJN Kirishima heavily damaged USS South Dakota and was then sunk by USS Washington under command of Rear Admiral Lee who was said to know more about radar that ship's operators.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by Metryll View Post
          USS Washington (BB 56) was a class build just before South Dakota class. There were actually few difference in term of speed/armament between the two classes.

          If one argue about crew and experience, IJN Kirishima heavily damaged USS South Dakota and was then sunk by USS Washington under command of Rear Admiral Lee who was said to know more about radar that ship's operators.
          Actually, Kirishima scored one 14" hit on S. Dakota (near #3 turret) doing superficial damage. Almost all the damage taken by the S. Dakota was 5" and 8" shell hits that riddled the superstructure.

          One might note that Admiral Lee was also the USN's leading gun expert and "Ching" Lee drilled his ships in gunnery brutally.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
            One might note that Admiral Lee was also the USN's leading gun expert and "Ching" Lee drilled his ships in gunnery brutally.
            Unlike a certain Lord Beatty, from an earlier war...

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            • #51
              The Washington and South Dakota were fairly new ships and so had raw crews. The IJN battleships had veteran crews that had been together for years.

              Pruitt
              Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

              Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

              by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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              • #52
                Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                It's comparing a sniper rifle to a musket. The Iowa would be on target first and that's the end of Bismarck. After say, 5 to 10 solid hits Bismarck is finished. The second her primary fire control spotting top is put out of commission (a virtual certainty), she's done. Bismarck won't even get a hit other than by sheer luck. In local control the turrets can't hit anything beyond about 5,000 yards at most.

                The Mk 13 fire control radar alone ensures Iowa gets a straddle on the first salvo. That means hits on Bismarck within the first two minutes of engagement. It's all down hill from there for the Germans...

                Put another way, the US fire control radar is about 20 times more accurate at 15,000 to 20,000 yards than German optical control or the 54cm Seetakt set is. The Iowa can get a range accurate to a few yards and bearing that is within .001 degree.
                The Bismarck is at very best 1/10th as accurate. The US fire control computer is better too along with a better system going to the turrets.

                http://www.combinedfleet.com/b_fire.htm
                Also, US [and British] battleships tended to be escorted by more cruisers and destroyers, and once the Bismark had been softened up, in would have gone the escorts to mount the coup de grace with torpedoes.

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                • #53
                  I think I should also mention the human element. Off Guadalcanal the USN commanders fought as they had been trained. They found out the hard way that the range of Japanese torpedoes was much greater than they had supposed. They also supposed the IJN slowed down their ships at night in restricted waters. Last, one of the admirals refused to let his ships open fire until the Japanese were quite close. He didn't trust his radar.

                  Pruitt
                  Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                  Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                  by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Bismarck was an average BB by the standard of 1939 nothing exceptional. And the sinking of any german battleship ( even if they had the Yamato) in a north atlantic sortie was just a matter of time given the overwhelming superority of royal navy in every department.If you put aside emotions the bismarck episode was pretty much a david vs goliath struggle with RN being the latter( not in moral terms but in sheer size).The hype around bismarck was probably the result of the same wartime and postwar propoganda by Allies which depicted the german army as a mechanized juggernaut in 1939 and Luftwaffe akin to the spanish armada in the battle of Britain.
                    Remember even in 1941 it was germany vs British EMPIRE , not just british isles and even in darkest days of the blitiz or after dunkirk the outcome of war was never in doubt but these events were sensationalized to make it seem how victory was snatched from the jaws of defeat

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by nastle View Post
                      Bismarck was an average BB by the standard of 1939 nothing exceptional. And the sinking of any german battleship ( even if they had the Yamato) in a north atlantic sortie was just a matter of time given the overwhelming superority of royal navy in every department.If you put aside emotions the bismarck episode was pretty much a david vs goliath struggle with RN being the latter( not in moral terms but in sheer size).The hype around bismarck was probably the result of the same wartime and postwar propoganda by Allies which depicted the german army as a mechanized juggernaut in 1939 and Luftwaffe akin to the spanish armada in the battle of Britain.
                      Remember even in 1941 it was germany vs British EMPIRE , not just british isles and even in darkest days of the blitiz or after dunkirk the outcome of war was never in doubt but these events were sensationalized to make it seem how victory was snatched from the jaws of defeat
                      But it was.
                      The British Empire might have looked formidable on a map in 1941, but it's very extent brought with it world-wide vulnerabilities. Italy was hostile. Japan threatening, and the USSR very doubtful.
                      The Empire had long and vulnerable lines of communication and supply which all could be interdicted.
                      The position in 1941 seemed very dark indeed.
                      "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
                      Samuel Johnson.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post
                        But it was.
                        The British Empire might have looked formidable on a map in 1941, but it's very extent brought with it world-wide vulnerabilities. Italy was hostile. Japan threatening, and the USSR very doubtful.
                        The Empire had long and vulnerable lines of communication and supply which all could be interdicted.
                        The position in 1941 seemed very dark indeed.
                        not as dark as that of wehrmacht in 1940-41, esp not that of the british isles
                        after the battle of france and britain and the norwegian campaign what was left of their armed forces was in shambles
                        look at number of weapons and personal available to the empire vs germany
                        Empire had just as many soldiers as the germans
                        The technology of Empire was generally superior to that of germans
                        Its industrial base far more extensive
                        Their subjects less likely to be restive
                        Their navy and that of friendly US reigned supreme in almost all oceans ,the uboats were a nuisance at best and japanese did not get in until US does
                        Italy after Taranto was hardly a naval threat, and their army was shown by O conner to be incapable of combat with a first rate power like UK

                        Geographically and in terms of forces available to them the germans
                        1=Never blockade the british isles
                        2-Cannot sever atlantic trade
                        3=cannot Invade british Isles


                        anyway back to Bismarck vs Iowa

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by nastle View Post

                          Geographically and in terms of forces available to them the germans
                          1=Never blockade the british isles
                          2-Cannot sever atlantic trade
                          3=cannot Invade british Isles
                          The U boats came pretty damn close in 1 and 2
                          Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                          Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by MarkV View Post
                            The U boats came pretty damn close in 1 and 2
                            None other than Sir Winston claimed the U boot was his biggest fear.
                            "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                            Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                            you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
                              There is something else; North Carolina had 3 spotting aircraft, but Bismarck had some too... and never used them.
                              Why?
                              IMHO, if Lutjens had come down with the flu, that Battleship would have had a much better chance... but the question remains. Those spotter planes can go farther and see a hell of a lot more than those old radar sets.
                              Why did no German Capitol ship ever make good use of them when it counted?
                              The main reasons why Bismark never used her spotters is 1 weather and 2ndly a round from PoW managed to damage the catapult that was not noticed until it was to late to try and fix it (if they could).


                              AFAIK German Radars where fairly good for what they where, and fairly competitive, even late in the war, the main issue was the Germans it seems did not develop the same systems to use it as we did, and to a degree a lack of ability to use it in the first place.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                The US learned from actions off Guadalcanal that spotter planes were targets filled with aviation fuel. Unless you were conducting a leisurely bombardment of an island you wanted to invade, they were actually a luxury. The IJN could and did use their spotter planes at night. They were instrumental in finding the Allied Fleet off Guadalcanal.

                                Pruitt
                                Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                                Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                                by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

                                Comment

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