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The Great War Superdreadnoughts in WWII

Discussion in 'Ships & Shipborne Weaponry' started by MastahCheef117, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    Warspite, Valiant, and Barham were all in action at Cape Matapan and helped sink two Italian heavy cruisers and a destroyer. They were also at Crete although their only action was anti-aircraft.

    Warspite fought at Narvik and at Calabria as Martin mentioned.

    Valiant took part in the attack on the French fleet at Mers-el-Kebir.

    Malaya and Revenge conducted shore bombardment. Malaya, escorting a convoy, deterred Scharnhorst and Gneisenau from attacking, but there was no firing on either side.
     
  2. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    All of the Queen Elizabeth class battleships fought during World War II(of which the Warspite was a member) - with the exception of the Queen Elizabeth herself(she missed Jutland as she was undergoing maintenance at the time). Two other battleships would be HMS Revenge & HMS Royal Oak, although I don't think she fired her guns in anger during the brief time between the DoW and her sinking at Scapa Flow in October, 1939.

    On the German side, the battleships Schlesien and Schleswig-Holstein both fought during world war II. The light cruiser SMS Pillau also saw action in World War II, but as the Italian light cruise Bari.

    There might be some others, but I don't remember, however a few ships did survive to World War II & beyond, but were used for purposes other than combat. For example, the seaplane carrier HMS Engadine wound up in the Philippines as the SS Corregidor, and was sunk in Manila Bay, on December 17, 1941, when she strayed into an American-laid minefield with a huge loss of life. Others would be the HMS Caroline which was serving as an HQ ship for the Royal Navy in Belfast, Northern Ireland - Also, IIRC, she is the only warship still in existence that participated in the Battle of Jutland. For the Germans, the battleship SMS Hannover was left derelict, wit scrapping beginning in 1944. Finally, the light cruiser SMS Hamburg served as a barracks ship in Kiel, until the decision was made to scrap her in 1944.
     
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  3. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Thanks, Takao - I was unaware of HMS Caroline : a remarkable survivor indeed........... :S!
     
  4. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Actually - how could I forget ? - there's a small 'survivor' right next to the computer on my desk....

    [​IMG]


    ......OK,OK...but I like to think that it at least heard that gunfire....! :i_surrender:
     
  5. ptimms

    ptimms Member

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    Good to see the Iron Duke there too. My Great-Great Uncle was a Petty Officer guns on the Iron Duke at the battle of Jutland. He was my Great Grand Mothers Brother, I never met him but my Dad remembers him.
     
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  6. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Now that is interesting !

    Oh - I can do 'Iron Duke' as well..............

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    Come to think of it, Iron Duke was still around in WWII, as an accommodation ship at Scapa Flow. Wikipedia, quoting British Battleships of World War One by R.A. Burt also describes her as an anti-aircraft platform, with a twin 5.25" gun mount. She was damaged in a couple of German air raids.
     
  8. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    The 'Rs' were used for a lot of convoy escort duty.

    They'd make short work of any Axis commerce raider except Bismark/Tirpitz
     
  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I'm not sure that it wouldn't be a pretty even contest between one of them and one of the twins. Of course if an "R" and Scharnhorst for instance inflict severe damage on each other it's a British strategic victory. The German ship is also going to have a rough time even making it back to port so could win the battle at least tactically and loose strategiclly.
     
  10. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    With their low elevation 15" the R were probably outranged by the 11" armed German ships and Jutland proved the contemporary and similarly armoured Queen Elizabeth were far from immune to 11" fire.
    German orders to the raiders were to avoid combat with equivalent forces, and it's unlikely a raider would be able to recognize an R from a modernized QE without closing in, so barring exceptional circumstances that duel was not going to happen as all raiders had at least a 6 knot advantage over the R..
     
  11. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Well given that the twins declined a prolonged engagement with Renown (or was it Repulse) I can't see them sticking around to duel with a battleship. They might be able to defeat an R in a long range engagement given the right conditions but would they have enough ammo left to continue with much of a raiding cruise afterwards?
     
  12. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    It was Renown, though the Germans may not have known exactly what they were up against. It was dark, in heavy weather, and Renown was accompanied by several destroyers. But the basic point is still what lwd said, even if they defeat one British ship, who knows what else they might have to deal with before they get home? It would be even worse in distant waters; damage which reduced their speed or seaworthiness could end up being fatal.
     
  13. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I doubt that the 11-inch guns were used very often, if at all against merchant shipping(although the 11-inchers were used against British AMCs). The AP rounds would go through one side and out the other, quite likely without triggering the AP's fuse. IIRC, the Graf Spee used her secondary guns to sink most of her targets. If they did use the 11-inchers, they would probably have used HE rounds, which would be far less effective against an armored warship.

    As to the twins "declining a prolonged engagement with Renown..." you need to define "prolonged"...The HMS Renown opened fire at 0505 with the Germans responding at 0508 and the action continued in stops and starts until 0715 when the twins outdistanced the Renown and her escorts. However, there are mitigating circumstances that weigh heavily on the German decision to retire: The Gneisenau came off the worse for wear in the two hit tradeoff with Reknown - having a fire control director disabled and one of her main gun turrets disabled, the Scharnhorst was having her own problems, albeit of a mechanical nature, and then there were the8 British destroyers and the threat of a focused torpedo attack to contend with - while at the same time effectively engaging Renown.

    And that was just Operation Weserübung...The Twins avoided action with British battleships three times during Operation Berlin, first against HMS Ramillies on February 8, 1941, and then, just Scharnhorst against HMS Malaya on March 8, 1941, and finally against HMS Malaya on March 9, 1941.
     
  14. ptimms

    ptimms Member

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    That is good, he wasn't a young man, George Richards had been just about to retire when war broke out. If I remember rightly he had been in the Navy since 1892 (or 1894) and served right through the 14-18 war. My other Great Uncle earned a DCM at Gallipoli in HMS Indefatigable.
     
  15. SymphonicPoet

    SymphonicPoet Member

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    Also missing from the list are the Soviet Gangut class battleships, though their service during both wars was mostly or entirely shore bombardment.

    Gangut Class:
    Gangut / Oktyabrskaya Revolyutsiya
    Petropavlovsk / Marat
    Sevastopol / Parizhskaya Kommuna
    Poltava / Frunze

    If you care to include navies that saw no combat the list grows longer, since the major South American powers all had dreadnoughts, as did Turkey.

    Argentina
    Moreno
    Rivadavia

    Brazil

    Minas Gerais
    Sao Paulo

    Chile
    Almirante Latorre

    Turkey
    Yavuz (It makes me cry that Goeben/Yavuz survived to 1973 only to be scrapped.)

    I've always been amused that my copy of Jane's WWII classes Argentina as a "miscellaneous" navy, but not China or Romania. I suspect that this had something to do with the editor not wanting anything in the list before B. (The editor clearly has trouble with alphabetical order anyway, since he gives Bra an entry . . . after Bri [and dominoin].)
     
  16. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    The Almanacco Navale (Italian equivalent of Jane's, I have a 1943 and a 1973 edition) has always listed the Italian navy first then the rest of the world in alphabetical order, IIRC Flottes de Combat did the same with French navy.

    I share your pain about Yavuz/Goeben, only Warspite would have been better, IMO if anyone had suggested to the Turkish Navy they needed to "do one better" to the Greek's Averoff she may have been saved :XD:.

    I believe the 3rd "deny" during operation Berlin was against HMS Rodney the twins were outmatched by her in everything but speed. Without the "escalator clause" in the treaties , we may have seen some more ships like Rodney, Shanrhorst and Dunquerque as 35.000t was too little for a balanced fast battleship (most came out closer to the 45.000 of the escalator clause).
     
  17. SymphonicPoet

    SymphonicPoet Member

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    Oh, I am equally, no indeed much more distressed by the losses of both Warspite and Enterprise. There was no excuse at all for scrapping either of those ships. Simply criminal.
     
  18. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    Agree.

    Enterprise is the one the US should have saved.

    Her stern plate is in a small park in River Vale, NJ. I took some pictures of it and posted them on WW2talk in 2011.
    I can't find them now and can't seem to download them from that site, but here is a link to it, in case anyone is interested.
    You'll need an ID over there to see the images though.

    http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/36009-enterprise-stern-plate-in-new-jersey/?hl=enterprise

    http://www.cv6.org/remember/rivervale.htm
     
  19. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Totally agree - scrapping Warspite was an awful act matched in the UK only by the thoughtless scrapping of Guy Gibson's Lancaster.

    I guess we must be grateful for what we have - I well remember that the saving of HMS Belfast was a close-run thing.
     

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