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Most handsome BB/BC of WW2?

Discussion in 'The Members Lounge' started by Brutal Truth, May 6, 2021.

  1. Brutal Truth

    Brutal Truth Active Member

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    I know that it may sound weird to consider weapons "handsome" or "beautiful" but I indeed do. A lot of people consider cars beautiful. I don't much care about cars but tanks or warships... well, everybody has his own quirks I guess ;)

    As for my list:
    Nr 1, not surprisingly considering my Avatar, is HMS Hood. Then, in no particular order, HMS Repulse, the Twins, the Yamato class and the V.V. class. I also like the Alaska class but they are considered cruisers, even if some consider them BCs.
     
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  2. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Active Member

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    Hood was a pretty ship.

    It always confuzzles me why Alaskas were considered cruisers, but the Brits called the Ugly Sisters "battleships". Both classes seem to be battlecruisers, to me.
     
  3. Prospero Quevedo

    Prospero Quevedo Well-Known Member

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    I liked the Alaskas too but thought what a waste battle cruisers were phasing out of most navies old BCs being up armored and upgraded to battleship class, I always thought the Italians had great looking ships the Roma class and those completely rebuilt BCs, but they never used them effectively against the allies. Like what good is a navy that won't go to combat. The Iowas svelte cc c were good looking I want to take some old Iowa kits, since new tooled kit have come out you can find deals on the old ones. Want to try and make a Montana from drawing and what I've read says she was simply a stretched Iowa with a forth turret to match the amount of fire power against the Yamato class. I also liked the looks of the Jean Bart and the Richelieu rather interesting design along with the Rodney and Nelson.
     
  4. Brutal Truth

    Brutal Truth Active Member

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    The Alaska had intermediate armament and protection between a heavy cruiser and BB. To me the most obvious and simplest classification seems battlecruiser too, but the Amis decided to call them "large cruisers". Well they call the 16 000 t. Zumwalt a destroyer instead of a cruiser so one shouldn't be surprised. I wonder if they will reclassify the new Ford supercarriers as "aircraft carrying destroyers" or maybe some weird acronym :D The Alaska were built as an answer to a rumored class of Japanese supercruisers, and while the latter never materialized, they were good escort ships for carrier groups with a powerful AA armament, and useful heavy guns for amphibious support. If they had been kept mothballed I suspect they would have been a better choice than the older and larger Iowas for the 1980s refit.
    The Ugly Twins were Beautiful Twins IMO. I think they were light battleships because their armor was on battleship scale. Their belt was thicker than the Bismarck class.

    Prospero Quevedo: I disagree about the Italian Navy not fighting. Their battleships did see little use, but that was not uncommon in WW2, and Italy was hampered by fuel scarcity. Their cruisers and destroyers however fought hard and suffered horrendous losses. I think the navy was maybe the best Italian service but the top leadership was not very brilliant.
    I like the Montana too, but they were never built. If we consider the Never Were projects, I think the Soviet designs were very handsome and interesting too.
     
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  5. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Before and during WW2 a "cruiser" could be anything from a gunboat sized craft up to the aforementioned Alaskas. It was a catchall type of class.

    My vote for for handsomest was the Bismark class.
     
  6. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Active Member

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    That makes some sense, even if their armament was awful light for a 1939 battleship. They'd have problems punching through the belt of any modern battleship of the era -- they'd probably have to use speed to maintain distance to ensure plunging fire for any hope at all against a KGV or South Dakota-class BB.

    I didn't mean to imply that I thought Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were ugly, I was just using one of the nicknames they had amongst the Brits. Especially once fitted with the clipper bow, they were very handsome indeed.
     
  7. Prospero Quevedo

    Prospero Quevedo Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I remember that battle several cruisers and destroyers played 2400 scale waterline war gaming had Italian ships, US, British and French and some IJN. I thought the recognition strips was a bit much I know it was so friendly aircraft could know you but I thought it was also something that would attract enemy planes. Looked great though in miniature. Also had hundreds of 285 scale armor. Lol had a friend in armor logistics said the military bought thousands of them all types of vehicles and aircraft and set up huge war tables to visually play out a battle scenario. Said they'd play out if the Russians attacked Western Europe how the would deploy and repell. Anyway it was all modern warfare my hundreds of armor was wwi german, American, British, Italian, Russian. Went over board could field 50 tiger 2s 70 panthers, 60 Sherman's, there was six of us and I probably could have taken on all the others combined and still fielded more fire power. Most built on the company level I was more on the battalion level looked kewl with trays with lines of Sherman's or tiger 1&2s Panthers had some really painted up great German three color schemes some solid some wash effect so the looked spray painted. Sold most of my painted stuff since I don't game anymore. Need to find my notes and rewrite and print it out. We used the angriff I used a lot of my armor books gunnery tables and just about doubled the weapons tables and added a lot of vehicles. Back then you asked me a vehicle I could tell you the armor thickness oblique speed weapon performance. I have files all packed away months like two years worth of work want to pass that on to my grandnephews, lol bet my niece will be mad at me teaching them war games. Oh in our naval war games I was usually the Italians
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2021
  8. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    There were a number of lovely ships in the WWII generation, but I have to go with the Iowa class. I live in the Philadelphia area, so I frequently see the New Jersey across the Delaware River from downtown. Visited her several times, including the "belly of the beast" tour, which I recommend to anyone who can manage ladders and confined spaces.

    I would consider both Iowa and Montana followons to the South Dakota class, taking two different approaches. Iowa was essentially a stretched SD, freed from the 35,000 ton limit but not the 110' of the Panama Canal, with the principal change being a 5-knot increase in speed. The 28-knot Montana carried on the design philosophy of SD, longer and - the big change - wider to provide the desired armor and underwater protection. Montana would also have been a bit longer than Iowa - 34' - but would have needed a less powerful propulsion plant - 172,000 shp vs. 212,000 - helping to free up space for the additional turret. The length between #2 and #3 turrets would be about 40' less in Montana.

    Side note - another option when the 35,000-ton limit was raised to 45,000 might have been a stretched, 12-gun South Dakota. Iowa was 207' longer than SD, most notably at the bow, some at the stern, some amidships to accommodate the larger engine plant. Suppose the increase was concentrated amidships, providing ~100' to accommodate an additional turret and perhaps a slight increase in engine power to maintain speed at 28 knots (or not, a longer hull is generally more efficient even at the same hp).

    Norman Friedman described the Alaska as a heavy cruiser freed from the Washington treaty restrictions.
     
  9. Brutal Truth

    Brutal Truth Active Member

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    The Iowas had (actually have, they are still there after all) an elegant profile but I don't like their bulbous prows.

    Definitions are always a matter of semantics but the Alaska-class size and armament were in the range of a light battleship. I think that Friedman's description fits more the Des Moines-class. Btw, the US Navy considered the DMs for refit instead of the Iowas but they concluded that the hull was too small to accommodate all the needed systems and the rebuilding would have been almost as expensive.

    The decision to arm the Twins with 280 mm guns was political, to avoid upsetting the Western powers too much. They were planned to switch to dual 380 mm turrets like the Bismarck, mounting three of them, but the conversion was never carried out.
     
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  10. Prospero Quevedo

    Prospero Quevedo Well-Known Member

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    For British it would be the prince of Wales or queen Elizabeth after her modernization.
     
  11. the_diego

    the_diego Active Member

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    I don't like the Missouri or Yamato classes; first because of the uneven distribution of the three main turrets. Second, is what appears to be a stern-heavy main structure when viewed overhead.

    A nice-looking battleship to me has an equal number of main turrets fore and aft of the super structure, and a sleek ellipsoidal deck when viewed from the top. So my favorites are the Bismark, the Hood, New Mexico class, Gneisenau class, Kongo class.
     
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  12. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    HMS Barham, HMS Royal Oak, RN Roma, Bismarck/Tirpitz, FS Richelieu just to name a couple.
     
  13. Half Track

    Half Track Well-Known Member

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    I like just about any BB, partial to the Iowa class.
     
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  14. Prospero Quevedo

    Prospero Quevedo Well-Known Member

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    My favorite bbs would be the iowas, the Yamato class, most of the late war classes and the modernized ships like the new Mexico's the queen Elizabeth class. I think bc class were a waste as most were scraped right after the end of the war as most navies considered them obsolete.
     
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  15. Riter

    Riter Well-Known Member

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    Littorio class BB. Long sleek guns, cyliindrical tower, cut down quarterdeck. The race car of battleships (at least she looks fast).
     
  16. Prospero Quevedo

    Prospero Quevedo Well-Known Member

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    I loved the Roma class she looks great and looked like she was well armed but apparently Italian AA must not be very effective as all of her class were all damaged and put out of action several times and generally spent most of the war in the repair docks. They looked great and formable at least the British must have thought so since they sent a number of missions to put them out of action. The Italians had great looking fighters too like the machi 202 and 205 the G55 and others. However the fighters didn't seem to be able to protect the ships and anti aircraft fire wasn't able to ward off enemy aircraft as well. The Italians for the most part had some good looking equipment but either not enough or just not technologically equal to their contemporaries. Those wwI ships they upgraded and modernized looked like brand new modern designs. They did a lot to make those ships as good as any other modern ships of other navies. The Brits did the same with the queen Elizabeth class the queen Elizabeth and one other completely modernized the hull case mates built out and the deck widened for more anti aircraft guns brand new superstructure. The others in various modes of modernization new superstructures but the hull case mates plated over but still there and not built over like the most modernized hulls. Then at least one with just a few upgrades the case ate guns removed and new funnel a but of the superstructure built up but mostly still the old wwI design guess they couldn't afford to rebuild all the ships. Part of why the hood was lost they were modernizing her but they just couldn't afford to do so as they wished, funny how countries that cut their military budgets as low as they could with out destroying their military when a war is on they can find the funds that didn't exist. Like the US they took funding where ever they could had fund raisers. Started things with a promise to pay. The most important thing was they nationalized all industry under the federal government and had radio companies, vacuum cleaner, sewing, typewriter companies all making guns or parts for the war effort. The Italians I don't know what kind of war economy they had but they were never in keeping with other countries in producing war equipment they didn't really produce much in tanks and aircraft. The Germans wanted to get them to build factories and produce like they did but the Italians didn't want the Germans to interfere with the way they did things like it's either all Italian or nothing. Like the semoventi was a decent tank but the guns except for the 105 version were too weak the Germans wanted them to use their kWh 40 but the Italians refused but instead reworked a three inch naval gun as a suitable tank gun the Germans liked it and ordered five hundred but slow tank manufacturing and slower after Italian surrender, they mange red to only build half the number by the wars end, a combination of slow delivery of war materials and the workers just not into the work they were doing slowed the manufacturing of new war equipment. There was a resentment against the Germans for forcing them to work and taking control of everything. The soviets didn't seem to have much of a navy they had a larger fleet before the war but lost most of it with a conflict with Japan which I think made the Japanese think they over powered the Soviet navy they can overpower the Soviet army. That was their undoing the Soviet army was another matter and Japan paid dearly they lost thousands of troops and found their tank technology was far behind the soviets who over ran them with hundreds of tanks with heavy machine guns mounted on the top of the turrets that riddled Japanese troops. Too bad Japan didn't do much to build more better tanks to counter the Soviet tanks as that would be their down fall again in 45 when Stalin pushes them out of Manchuria with thousands of tanks and troops the Japanese were completely surprised and didn't have much to stop the large force of Russian tanks. I'm actually surprised that they didn't see it coming as tanks are noisy and hard to conceal. I think the failing of the Russian navy is they didn't keep up with other nations most of their ships were still old wwI designs and I think the Japanese had been modernizing their ships so the were more advanced and it didn't help that the soviets were bottled in and had to run out in colume and the Japanese sat in line and blasted them as they sailed out one after the other.
     
  17. Riter

    Riter Well-Known Member

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    The Soviets did have some modern battleships planned and designed, but none were built. It's actually better than the Soviets didn't invest much in what we now know was a blockaded fleet (Baltic Sea Fleet). Their Black Sea Fleet was much more active but very fearful of the Luftwaffe. They didn't have major units in the Far East. Anyway, by concentrating on the Army and Air Force, the Soviets built enough material goods (along with plenty of Lend Lease help) to defeat the Wehrmacht.

    You're right about Regia Marina not developing good AA defenses. What's worse is their lack of radar and how four heavy cruisers of the Zara class were caught flat footed in a night battle. Then the lack of air support and the failure to finish the Aquila (aircraft carrier). Like the Germans, they built too many torpedo boats and not enough destroyers. Torpedo boats (not to be confused with those small MTB/PT boats the Allies had) were pretty obsolete by WW II and destroyers would have been a better buy. Now, if the mission of torpedo boats were as convoy escorts and ASW, then I would give them a little more slack.

    The biggest handicap was the insufficient fuel. They had only enough fuel for six months of operation and had to rely on Germany for fuel. Italy was not ready for war and didn't plan for it until 1945. Good read is Bragadin's The Italian Navy in WW II. I learned of it in 1977 and it took me until 1980 to find one.

    Pretty ships but they couldn't even invade Malta.
     
  18. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    You seem to be thinking of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-5. The naval war had two phases. The Russian Far Eastern fleet lost a few ships in battle but was mainly bottled up in their base at Port Arthur, where most of them were sunk by Japanese Army artillery; several were salvaged after the war and incorporated into the Japanese navy. The Russians also sent most of their Baltic fleet on a long and painful voyage to the Far East, only to be defeated at the battle of Tsushima. Port Arthur had already fallen to the Japanese, so the Russians tried to pass through the strait of Tsushima to reach Vladivostok; this allowed the Japanese, who had ample warning of their approach, to cross the T with devastating results. Most of the fleet were either sunk or surrendered.

    Most of the Russian ships had been built in the past ten years, but the Baltic fleet included a number of smaller and older ships. After travelling up to 18,000 miles, most of the fleet were in a poor state of both repair and morale.
     
  19. Riter

    Riter Well-Known Member

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    Imperial Japanese Navy! I hate those pagoda masts on their battleships. Their heavy cruisers looked a lot better (especially than our treaty class cruisers). Of course, they were top heavy.
     
  20. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Was there a war declaration between the USSR and Japan until the Soviets attacked autumn 1945?
     

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