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Bismarck vs USS Iowa

Discussion in 'Ships & Shipborne Weaponry' started by JimboHarrigan2010, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Not sure why you think the sea state would eliminate the advantage of long range shooting. From some of what I've read over on kbismack the German radar was actually pretty good. There was also some pretty good shooting at long range in the North Atlantic. The problem for the Germans is that the US practiced long range engagements and their doctrine was to keep the engagement at long range. The redundant radars would also be a factor as even shorter range engagements might require or at least significantly benefit from radar fire control due to visibility issues. As for taking damage the German ship might be able to take more and stay afloat the question though is how much could it take and keep fighting in comparison with an Iowa.

    Looking at Nathan Okun's tables Bismarck's turret faces can be penetrated out to over 28,000 yards by Iowa's guns. The upper facet looks to be penetrable at any range and the turret roofs at anything over 26,000 yards. The barbets are vulnerable out to around 30,000 yards as well at over that hits are unlikely in any case. In comparison the Bismarck has to get under 18,000 yards to penetrate Iowa's faceplates and only starts penetrating the turret roofs at ranges in excess of 38,000 yards. Nathan Okun has a fairly detailed comparison of Bismarck's armor scheme to that of several contemporary battleships (SoDak is used rather than Iowa for the US). It doesn't inspire confidence in the ability of Bismarck to soak up more damage than Iowa.
     
  2. Dave55

    Dave55 Member Patron  

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    In addition to having a big speed advantage the Iowas were great sea boats so they'd be able to open and close the range at will in rough seas. No contest under any conditions.
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I disagree. If it came down to a knife fight such as Washington vs Kiroshima it's pretty much a toss up. Or perhaps more accurately crew training and luck will be more important than the hardware differences.
     
  4. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    to hit something accurately past 10,000 meters, you have to stay on an even keel, steady at less than 20 knots i think. a tossing prow? i doubt if you'll hit anything that far, no matter how good your radar, or how accurate your guns are.
     
  5. Dave55

    Dave55 Member Patron  

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    Maybe true but the Iowas outgunned Bismarck with more numerous and more powerful main armament with better ammo.
    They also had, if I remember correctly, thicker turret, barrette, deck and conning tower armor, equal belt armor and the armor deck was several levels higher so that communication and fire control systems were protected by it.

    Seems to me Iowas would have big advantage no matter how close the range was.
     
  6. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    not meaning to belittle the wealth of technical information given out here, but they're just that: numbers. what items in the tale of the tape do you look at to guess with certainty who will win the boxing match? number of wins? knockouts? weight? reach? height? any of those could make a decisive difference but you'll never be sure. remember, joe luis got his ass kicked by a light heavyweight (though he won the bout.) jack johnson got floored by a middleweight.
     
  7. Dave55

    Dave55 Member Patron  

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    Sure, I agree. I was just trying to emphasize that the Iowas were the top dog of battleships, and I think, by a pretty good margin.
    At first I thought your Louis vs Billy Conn was a pretty good analogy but I think a flash knockdown by a heavy underdog might be a better one. Like Hammering Henry Cooper knocking down Clay (or Two Ton Tony Galento vs Louis) instead of long match with with Billy Conn. Iowa could follow Conn's plan if it wanted to and hit Bismarck from long range and stay away with speed.

    If you ever see Conn's interview about the fight it is really good. He's was very well spoken and talks about how confident and happy he was in the final rounds until that big hit. He was smiling when he said "And that was the end of me." :)
     
  8. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    ???
    So if you hit anything over 10Km you are hitting it inaccurately?

    Bismark, POW, and Eugen all scored hits at well over that range in rough seas traveling at well over 20 knots. Yamato likely scored a hit at 3 times that distance while moving at over 20 knots. New Jersey and Iowa repeatedly straddled a wildly maneuvering destroyer at well over 30,000 yards (and may have inflicted splinter damage) while well in excess of 20 knots. Your opinion doesn't seam to conform to the reality of naval combat in WWII.
     
  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I think there's a pretty good argument for the Yamatos at least being close.
     
  10. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    well, i have to qualify myself. if it's a long-range shooting match with both sides keeping a distance, my assumptions stay. but if it was like in denmark strait, or between washington and kirishima, it doesn't. in the second premise, you two are racing at each other at top speed, and the distance between you is shrinking at the rate of your combined speeds. in that case your shooting accuracy improves every second, and you two will invariably switch to visual sighting.
     
  11. Takao

    Takao Ace

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  12. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    one wins at the ring toss every once in a while.
     
  13. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    It's not like there are a lot of big gun actions that fit the bill.

    To get the kind of radar interference, you would need a hurricane/typhoon.
    [​IMG]
     

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