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What is your Favorite type of ship?

Discussion in 'Other Weapons' started by f6fhellcat, Jan 12, 2010.

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What is your favorite type of warship?

  1. aircraft carrier

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. battleship

    23.1%
  3. submarine

    26.2%
  4. cruiser

    15.4%
  5. destroyer

    15.4%
  6. frigate

    20.0%
  1. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I lost a reply to two people the first time so one at a time now.
    Another way of looking at it was that the British sacrificed armor and perhaps some firepower to get more speed on a battleship sized hull. The Germans sacrificed firpower and perhaps some armor to get the speed. One could argue that the German designs were really fast battleships but the Germans called them battlecruisers so I'll go with their designation.
    If that were the case why weren't they lableled battlecruisers by the Germans?
    Not really. They had no where near the firepower of a contemporary US battleship nor were they much faster than the newest US battleships.
    Much the same can be said of a heavy cruiser. Furthermore they fit well into the evolution of curisers. The RN's pre Washingtion treaty heavy cruiser designs were to have 9.4" guns and the Germans built some heavy cruisers between the wars with 11" guns. The Alaskas were scaled up Baltimores and fit well into the evolution of curisers in the USN.
    I would argue that the British got good service out of their BCs during the war as did the Japanese. Furthermore while Hood was unlucky so was Mutsu and at least Hood was engageing an enemy at the time. It's worth noteing that the rational for building the Alaska's included hunting down a similar class that the US though the IJN was building. As for commerce raiding combined arms proved very effective here as elsewhere when well executed.
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I disagree. They were to have near the gunpower of a contemporary battleship and Alaska is not even close. Furthermore battle cruisers were often close to or in some cases even larger than battleships in size. Again Alaska isn't.
    Concur.
     
  3. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Well we agree on the Scharnhorst, so let's continue discussing the Alaska class. The second part of your argument, "battle cruisers were often close to or in some cases even larger than battleships in size. Again Alaska isn't."
    I never mentioned size but let's look at this aspect.

    Unless noted other wise data is from the US Naval Historical Center website:
    Class Type Displacement Std.

    Iowa BB 45,000
    South Dakota BB 35,000
    N Carolina BB 35,000
    Alaska CB 27,500
    Baltimore CA 13,600
    Wichita CA 10,000

    So the Alaska class was much closer, displacement wise, to a fast battleship than to a heavy cruiser.

    Now let's look at the Alaska's displacement compared to what other countries designated battle cruisers.

    Here I had to use Wikipedia data because The US Navy Historical site did not list all the necessary ships.
    Ship--Country--Displacement Std.--Notes

    Alaska US 29,771. (1)
    Kongo Japan 27,941. (2)
    Hood UK 43,350.
    Renown/Repulse UK 27,600.
    Dunkerque France 26,500.

    So I think it is apparent that with the exception of the Hood the Alaska's displacement falls in line with other ships designated as battle cruisers and a great deal above ships considered as heavy cruisers.
    (1) This displacement varies from the US Navy site but this figure is listed at Wikipedia and a number of other sites.
    (2) This class of battlecruisers, Kongō, Hiei, Kirishima, and Haruna were rebuilt in the 20's and 30's as battleships.
     
    belasar likes this.
  4. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    I can see two reasons why Germany called the Scharnhorst class battleships, one the overinflated Nazi ego. Two, Herr Hitler and Gobbels were frequently economical with the truth. A battleship sounds far better than a battlecruiser, and during Hitler's rearmament Germany routinely over and under stated their military capability as the situation warrented. Nor is the practice of mis-nameing a class of weapon a purely German trait, as the F-117 comes to mind. The Nighthawk is a light attack aircraft and has never to my knowledge even attempted to dogfight with another aircraft, yet it is designated a "Fighter".

    For me it comes down to mission capability. Neither the Scharnhorst or Alaska classes had any realistic hope of defeating any true battleship, be it modern (Iowa/KGV) interwar (Arizona/West Virginia) or refitted First war (Warspite/Texas), in one on one duel. Yes you could say that the USS Texas would always lose to a IJN Yamato, but to be fair Yamato has to be classed as a super-battleship. The mission capabilities of both classes of ships fit neatly into the standard mission statement of a Battlecruiser, overwhelming firepower over a standard Cruiser (Heavy or Light), and had the speed (and mission) to evade a true battleship.

    The Alaska's were not much faster than the Iowa's to be sure, but it should be understood the battlesship technology had in the Iowa's reached it's ultamate expression. You could build a BB that had the heaviest standard guns (16 inch ), thick armor, and fast speed. The design path had reached the end of the road.
     
  5. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    The reason I think they are correct in calling her a battleship, though a severely under armed one, is that, as I said earlier "Actually the original battlecruiser concept was a ship with near the gunpower of a battleship, the speed of a cruiser and armored against cruiser gunfire."

    -The Scharnhorst did have the speed of a cruiser, but so did some fast battleships.
    -Scharnhorst only mounted a main battery of 9x11in guns, a size weapon more in keeping with a battlecruiser but, she was designed to accept the 15in gun mount later mounted on the Bismark/Tirpitz. Because of delays in the development of this 15in gun it was decided to arm her with the 11in as a temporary measure. The turret barbettes had been designed to accomidate either mount (6x15in in three twin turrets) or (9x11in in three triple turrets). Plans were to re-arm her but war broke out before this was accomplished. This points to the intention of having a battleship sized main battery but, then again so did some battlecruisers.
    -The kicker is the amount of armor and the displacement, the Scharnhorst was closer to a battleship. Her armor was well in excess of what was required against a cruiser. It was more in keeping with what I gave earlier as one of the battleships characteristics, "One of the design criteria for battleships was that it be armored to provide an immune zone against it's own main battery."

    I don't have time right now but I'll assemble the comparative data so we can all discuss it.

    I do fully agree with your earlier statement, "The USN went to great lengths to call the Alaska's anything but a Battlecruiser, but for all intents and purposes they were classic BC's." I think when everyone can see the data, side by side, they'll see that it supports this position.
     
  6. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    What is the criteria for battleships, battle cruisers, and heavy cruisers? Does it vary by navy? Seems to me that will be the only way to settle the discussion we have here.
     
  7. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Had the Scharnhorst gotten the 15in guns I would agree that you now had a small, or as they they used to call them "Second Class" battleship. Without them she was, IMO, undergunned for a battleship, but superb as a BC.

    In truth I am not sure you can settle this as it is a matter of opinion and USMCPrice's contention is not without merit. In armor and displacement Scharnhorst compares well with BB's, in firepower she falls well short. For me an out of balance configuration is the hallmark of a BC. Just as you could not call a Monitor a BB even though it had the armor and guns size of a BB it lacked the speed to meet the measure. But again it comes to opinion.
     
  8. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    You just described Scharnhorst perfectly and stated it very precisely also, something that I have failed to do despite trying. I would contend however, that of ships that were officially designated as battlecruisers, with the exception of the HMS Hood, the "out of balance" part of their configuration was always their armor. Most battlecruisers had cruiser speed, most battlecruisers were much heavier gunned than heavy cruisers, more closely approximating that of a battleship. But the most important aspect for designating them as battlecruisers IMO was they were armored against the gunfire of cruisers. Of those ships officially designated as battlecruisers only Hood lacks this characteristic. Of the two ships classes we are discussing Scharnhorst does not share this trait but the Alaska does.
     
  9. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    My favourite is the german heavy cruiser "Prinz Eugen". A well made ship that survived two A-bombs and sunk at the Kwajalein-Atoll for destroyed dense bushes at the 22nd of December 1946. Good armor, good speed with 33.5kn and a good operation range with 6.800nautical miles. Good thing made in Germany.
     
  10. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Looked good as well.
     
  11. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    The concept of a Battlecruiser is somewhat confusing and did vary somewhat depending on the navy.

    British Admiral Jackie Fisher is generaly thought of as the father of the Battlecruiser. Worried about the threat to Britain's worldwide comerce from Armord Cruiser's, especialy those of France, he wanted a ship that could act as a cruiser-killer. ( in the eyes of Britain the only thing more contemptable than commerce raiding, is carnal relations with your sister and even that was a close call) When Germany began to deploy a battlefleet that challenged the RN, the mission of the BC began to evolve. They now needed a vessel who could punch through the cruiser/destroyer screens, locate the enemy main battle fleet, and report its position to the RN's MBF. We get our first layer of confusion here, as Adm. Fisher could not at first decide what to call his ships. He would refer to them randomly as Capitol ships, Battleships, and Cruiser-Battleships before settling on the more evocative Battlecruiser.

    Great Britain was the only country to operate BC's continuously from pre-WWI throuh 1945. They also built more of them (some 13 I think) than any other nation and roughly equal to all other nations combined during the same period. They needed to as the RN's Battlecruisers had a disstressing habit of sinking when facing enemy fire. All RN BC's followed the same pattern, heaviest guns, best speed and thin armor, so for many this is the classic design of a BC.

    Imperial Germany built the next largest BC fleet with 5 such ships (2 more were under construction during the war, but were not completed) As Germany could not outbuild the RN in numbers, they chose to outbuild in quality. Here lies our second area of confusion. WWI German BC's were really better classed as small Battleships due to their armor, but were called BC's both by the High Seas Fleet and the RN. Indeed the WWI German BC's, though smaller, share much of the design theory as the WWII Scharnhorst class. It should be noted that while the German navy called the Scharnhorst a BB, the RN refered to the class as Battlecruiser.

    The main differences between RN and German BC's of the era are that British ships had guns equal in size to those deployed on Battleship's at the expence of armor protection, while German BC's employed lighter guns with better armor. It is worth noting that the RN lost 3 BC's at Jutland with nearly all the crew's after a few hits while The High Seas Fleet lost only one, which they scuttled, after more than 30 hits, while omly losing 117 crew(about 10%).

    The second half of WWI saw the deployment of 'Fast' Battleships that could carry heavy guns (14-15 inch), full armor and had the speed of previous BC class's. As USMCPrice has noted the 4 Japanese BC's were rebuilt as "Fast" BB's. Adding another layer of confusion.

    The BC era should have ended at the close of WWI, as aircraft equipped with reliable radios launched from carriers or catapults could now preform the scouting fuction formorly held by Battlecruiser's. But then Boy's love their toys!
     
  12. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The problem is this doesn't consider the contemporary part I mentioned.
    If you look at the desing of the Constelation class battlecruisers they were roughly contemporary with the Colorado class battleships. The Collarado's weighted in at 32,600 according to wiki. According to World Battleships List: US Battlecruisers and Large Cruisers
    the Constelation/Lexington class battlecruisers were to displace ~44,000 tons!
    If we look at the British ships using the following sources:
    List of battlecruisers of the Royal Navy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    List of dreadnought battleships of the Royal Navy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Renown and Repulse are roughly contemporary with the QE's.
    The former weighed in at 32,000 tons the latter at 27,500.
    The G3's weighing in at almost 54,000 tons were contemporaries of the Nelsons at 34,000 tons. Even the earlier Hoods were designed at almost 47,000 tons.
    The Kongo's designed a bit earlier than the Fuso's and Ise's was only 36,600 vs 38,600 and 39,100. Data from Nihon Kaigun
    I believe the Dunkirques were also rated battleships by the French so I won't address them.
    For Germany the Derflinger's at 27,000 tons are contemporary with the Konig's at 26,000 tons.
    By these standard the Alaska's are well under the contemporary Iowa's and Montana's. Indeed if you compare the weight ratios of the Alaska/Montana to say Baltimore/SoDak I think it looks much more like the large cruiser it was.
     
  13. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I disagree. I think both would have a decent chance vs the older designs particularly if the older BB's haven't had their fire control suites updated. I'd give the Alaska odds against any of the Japanese BBs up to the Nagato's.
    Not necessarily because of the technologies involved. Indeed aircraft and the lack of any real threat and cost were what resulted in the lack of BB construction after WWII.
     
  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Well looking at wiki the Derflinger's had a belt of up to almost 12" and 11" turrets while the Konigs had 14" belts and 12" turrets. That looks like more the cruiser armor to me.
     
  15. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    No the first problem is you're using different displcement figures. I specifically noted that the displacements I was using were standard displacement, note the heading.

    Class Type Displacement Std.

    Iowa BB 45,000
    South Dakota BB 35,000
    N Carolina BB 35,000
    Alaska CB 27,500
    Baltimore CA 13,600
    Wichita CA 10,000

    The 44,000 figure you stated for the Lexington was the design full load.

    And here is the actual statement from the source you quoted.

    Final Design Specifications
    Displacement: 44,638 tons full load; 51,217 tons emergency full load

    There is a big difference, here's my previous data with full load displacement added.

    Class Type Displacement Std./full load

    Iowa BB 45,000/52,000t
    South Dakota BB 35,000/42,000t
    N Carolina BB 35,000/41,000t
    Alaska CB 27,500/32,000t
    Des Moines CA 17,000/21,000t
    Oregon City CA 13,700/17,000t
    Baltimore CA 13,600/17,000t
    Wichita CA 10,000/13,400t

    *note it is often hard to find both displacement std./full load in one source. Most often one or the other are given. Because the original site did not give all the data I needed I took the full load displacements from Jane's Fighting Ships. I consider it a reliable source.

    So no, if we look at contemporaries Iowa's would be contemporary to Baltimores or Oregon City class heavy cruisers (and the Alaskas). Both of which were around the 13,600/13,700 full load displacement. If the Montana had ever gotten it's hull in the water it's contemporary heavy cruiser would have been the Oregon City or Des Moines class, neither of these ships displacements support your hypothesis.

    Now you initially raised the displacement question, I had not initially considered displacement as a factor in a ship being designated a battlecruiser, my earlier post was in response to you. Once, I looked at the question from a displacement point of view I saw that the Alaska class, with few exceptions had a similar displacement to ships designated by other navies as battlecruisers.

    My initial contention was:

    "Actually the original battlecruiser concept was a ship with near the gunpower of a battleship, the speed of a cruiser and armored against cruiser gunfire."

    I stand by that statement and will provide data to support my position.
     
  16. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Here is additional data that is interesting when considering the battlecruiser question. All data was taken from Jane's Fighting Ships of WWII.
    Posted by Me:
    "Actually the original battlecruiser concept was a ship with near the gunpower of a battleship, the speed of a cruiser and armored against cruiser gunfire."


    Well, first armored like a cruiser?

    Main belt armor
    Ship Type
    Iowa BB-16" (1)
    South Dakota BB-16"
    N Carolina BB-16"
    Colorado BB-14-16"
    Tennessee BB-14"
    Alaska CB-6"-9"
    Des Moines CA-6"-8"
    Oregon City CA-6"-8"
    Baltimore CA-6"
    Wichita CA-5"
    Lexington CC-6"

    (1)-The actual armor on the Iowas, as best as I can tell was 12.1" class A with 1.5" STS outboard to decap shells (12.1+1.5=13.6). Additionally the armor was inclined at 19 degrees giving it much greater cross section and effective thickness. The STS supposedly increased the armors performance by 30%.

    Next up Germany, then Japan, then Britain.
     
  17. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Main belt armor

    Note: When a size range is given it's due to the main belts being tapered, normally towards the ends. Sometimes, as in the Kirishima class, it varied vertically.

    Germany

    Bismark/Tirpitz BB-5.7-13"
    Scharnhorst -4-13"
    Lutzow/AdmScheer/-4" +1.5"internal
    Graf Spee
    Adm.Hipper CA -5"
    Nurnberg CA-4"
    Leipzig CA-4"

    Japan

    Yamato BB-16"
    Nagato/Mutu BB-13"
    Ise/Hyuga BB-8"-12"
    Fuso/Yamashiro BB-8-12"
    Kirishima/Kongo -8" as battlecruiser (CC), 3" additional armor added when rebuilt as BB for 11"
    Atago CA -4"
    Haguro CA -3"

    Britain

    Vanguard BB -4.5-14"
    KGV BB -16"
    Nelson BB -14"
    QE/Warspite BB -4-13"
    Royal Sovereign BB -6-13"
    Renown/Repulse CC -6-9"
    Hood CC-5-12"
    Exeter/York CA-3"
    Kent/London/Norfolk CA -4.5"

    So from this data CA's (Heavy Cruisers) main armor belt ranges from 3" to 8" with an average across all classes of 4.9"

    BB's (Battleships) main belt ranges from 11"-16" (the low end being the rebuilt Japanese battlecruisers) with an average across all classes of 14.1"

    The ranges do skew per nation, example the US averages are BB-15.6" CA-6.75"
     
  18. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I may have but as your figures show that still doesn't account for it.
    Look at your full load displacement for the SoDaks which were a generation later than the Lexington class BC's. The BC's still out weight the BB's.
    If you look at the design dates the Witchita class is designed about the same time as the SoDaks and the displacement ratio is 1:3, the same holds true of the Baltimores to the Iowa's although it's a bit less than 1:3. If you then compare the Alaska's to the Montana's which were designed about the same time the ratio again is pretty close to 1:3 (actually a bit higer at ~40%). Certainly the Alaska is not any where close to equal or heavier than the Iowa's or the Montana's which bracket her. Or for that matter any where close to the displacment ratio of any of the BC compared to contemporary BBs.
    But the point is the ration of displacement to contemporary battleships. The Alaska is much smaller than any other battlecruiser when compared to contemporary battleships.
    The Alaska's fire power was considerably less than any of the fast US battleships. She did indeed have the speed of a cruiser but that can be said about any cruiser so doesn't help to differentiate battlecruisers from other curisers. As for armored against a cruiser to some extent that's certainly true but I will note that Iowa would also meet your defintion of a battle cruiser.
     
  19. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Alright Lwd, before we re-engage (in the discussion) I'd like to make one thing perfectly clear, I really enjoy my discussions with you. Your posts are always well thought out, supported by data and insightful. You make me think, research and view things from an alternative perspective, in short I get mental exercise and learn. :salute: Just since your last post, I decided that while I knew basically what the different displacements were I'd review their definitions. I knew standard load differed from full load in that standard load was without fuel or reserve boiler water. What I didn't know and just discovered today was that this load designation was instituted to avoid penalizing the British under the post WWI Naval Treaties because their ships had to operate at such long distances and therefore required greater fuel capacity. Cool Huh?

    Back to the discussion.
    Lwd wrote:
    This is because they are of different generations. If they had been built with the same techniques and technology as the Lexingtons their displacements would probably jump by a third. There were many weight saving measures instituted in the design of the North Carolinas to keep within treaty limits. These were further refined in the SoDak's and even further refined in the Iowa's. Examples would be welded construction, more advanced machinery that used higher pressure steam to derive more power with less machinery, which led to less internal space necessary for the machinery, which led to less area needing to be protected by armor and on and on. A good example is that the Iowa's were originally designed to use the 16"/50 MkII left over from the cancelled Lexingtons. This would have resulted in an increase of at least 2,000tons, not counting additional weight required for the supporting structure, over the gun/turret/barbette weight of the 16"/45 used on the North Carolinas and SoDaks. As a weight saving measure the Bureau of Ordnance had plans for a new lighter turret that used a smaller diameter barbette. Smaller diameter means less weight in armor needed for the same level of protection, and commensurate reduction in weight for the hull and supporting structures because less weight needed to be supported. We won't go into the details, but the turret didn't materialize and the Iowa's had already been started with the smaller barbettes but the new, lighter 16"/50 MkVII was designed which allowed for a weight savings of over 860 tons while still mounting the more powerful 16"/50 gun.
     
  20. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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