South Dakota vs Iowa class

Nov 2014
459
ph
Aside from being slower, lighter, and smaller, what were the other differences? The South Dakota class also had the slightly less capable version of the 16 inch guns, at 45 calibers long, and also crew accommodations were smaller compared to the Iowa class, since the South Dakota class was smaller at 680 feet long, but how cramped was it, was it unreasonably cramped? Also did the South Dakota have air-conditioning for the crew quarters, for the tropics where the ships operated in, otherwise it can get unbearably hot and humid inside the ship. Or is it only for the officer accommodations and the bridge? Also can the South Dakota take on the Yamato one on one? Considering that the South Dakota class has the better fire control system and has a lot higher probability of landing the first shot from way out?
 

MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,384
Kansas
Aside from being slower, lighter, and smaller, what were the other differences? The South Dakota class also had the slightly less capable version of the 16 inch guns, at 45 calibers long, and also crew accommodations were smaller compared to the Iowa class, since the South Dakota class was smaller at 680 feet long, but how cramped was it, was it unreasonably cramped? Also did the South Dakota have air-conditioning for the crew quarters, for the tropics where the ships operated in, otherwise it can get unbearably hot and humid inside the ship. Or is it only for the officer accommodations and the bridge? Also can the South Dakota take on the Yamato one on one? Considering that the South Dakota class has the better fire control system and has a lot higher probability of landing the first shot from way out?
The ships had air conditioning through out
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
5,006
Dispargum
Any American commander would have been reluctant to take on the Yamato one-on-one. Yamato had several advantages over the American fast battleships - bigger guns, longer range, thicker armor. One advantage the Americans had was an intangible. By late 1944 morale in the Japanese surface fleet had plummeted which probably explains Yamato's poor performance off Samar, the only time she fired her guns in anger. But morale is one of those things Americans were unable to assess before battle. If the Americans were ever going to engage Yamato in a surface battle, they would have brought along four or five fast battleships to do the job. Or they would have done what they actually did at Okinawa - let the carrier planes do it.
 

MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,384
Kansas
Any American commander would have been reluctant to take on the Yamato one-on-one. Yamato had several advantages over the American fast battleships - bigger guns, longer range, thicker armor. One advantage the Americans had was an intangible. By late 1944 morale in the Japanese surface fleet had plummeted which probably explains Yamato's poor performance off Samar, the only time she fired her guns in anger. But morale is one of those things Americans were unable to assess before battle. If the Americans were ever going to engage Yamato in a surface battle, they would have brought along four or five fast battleships to do the job. Or they would have done what they actually did at Okinawa - let the carrier planes do it.
Yeah these kinds of comparisons are pretty silly. Neither navy had any conceivable doctrine that would see these ships fighting in isolation
 

sculptingman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2009
3,693
San Diego
Any American commander would have been reluctant to take on the Yamato one-on-one. Yamato had several advantages over the American fast battleships - bigger guns, longer range, thicker armor. One advantage the Americans had was an intangible. By late 1944 morale in the Japanese surface fleet had plummeted which probably explains Yamato's poor performance off Samar, the only time she fired her guns in anger. But morale is one of those things Americans were unable to assess before battle. If the Americans were ever going to engage Yamato in a surface battle, they would have brought along four or five fast battleships to do the job. Or they would have done what they actually did at Okinawa - let the carrier planes do it.
The Yamato's poor performance was because it was a stupid battleship. It was certainly fast- but it was Not nimble.
And any competent american commander would have LOVED to engage with the Yamato- being competent, they simply would have called in an AIRSTRIKE, because battleships could do effectively nothing to stop bombs from falling on their heads. Nor torpedoes launched from airplanes.

Battleships in WWII were obsolete. The smaller lighter battleships were built because large battleships were becoming an obvious waste of steel. And they were a smaller, faster target for aircraft. But most of all- because AGING naval brass were fixated on the idea of battleships defining naval power- when they no longer defined anything but ineffective waste.
The pocket battleships guns were intended for shore bombardment preparatory to an amphibious landing, but even then, there is little evidence to support the idea that mass shore bombardment was even marginally effective against the japanese island defense tunnels.

Yamato, Musashi, Tirpitz, Bismark- The Four most useless things built in WWII followed closely by the big battleships built by the US.

Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor proved Battleships vulnerable to air attack by both bombs and torpedoes.

What japan desperately NEEDED was 3 additional aircraft carriers.
What they Got was enough steel for 3 carriers, rusting away on the sea floor without having the slightest effect on their enemy.
 
Sep 2012
1,222
Tarkington, Texas
This is just historical hindsight. The aircraft carrier was unproven before 1941. Battleships were THE Capital Ships of any Navy. The US was the only Navy that had a career path for carrier aviation. Battleship admirals commanded Aircraft Carriers in all other navies. If the IJN had used the materials tied up in Yamato, Musashi and Shinano, would she have converted the other ships into Carriers? Would there have been enough trained flight personnel to man them?

I disagree that larger Battleships were outdated. Dimensions kept going up in new builds. What Battleships were built that were smaller than their predecessors?

Pruitt
 

starman

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
4,164
Connecticut
By late 1944 morale in the Japanese surface fleet had plummeted ..
I dunno……near Samar the Japanese were glad they sighted what they thought were fleet carriers, so they'd see real action instead of just pounding an anchorage.

which probably explains Yamato's poor performance off Samar, the only time she fired her guns in anger.
I thought the problem was lack of gunnery maintenance facilities outside Japan where, by mid '44, fuel for training was no longer available so the IJN had to go closer to the oil supply
 

Zip

Jan 2018
766
San Antonio
Battleships had their uses. Battleships and other surface warships were quite useful in the fighting in the confined waters of the Solomon Islands. And were very useful in the Surigao Strait after Halsey took Ozawa's bait.
 

sculptingman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2009
3,693
San Diego
This is just historical hindsight. The aircraft carrier was unproven before 1941. Battleships were THE Capital Ships of any Navy. The US was the only Navy that had a career path for carrier aviation. Battleship admirals commanded Aircraft Carriers in all other navies. If the IJN had used the materials tied up in Yamato, Musashi and Shinano, would she have converted the other ships into Carriers? Would there have been enough trained flight personnel to man them?

I disagree that larger Battleships were outdated. Dimensions kept going up in new builds. What Battleships were built that were smaller than their predecessors?

Pruitt
institutional stupidity has inertia.
Of COURSE they built larger battleships. The Iowa class were the largest the US built- But the US built several pocket battleships smaller than Iowa class during the war.

And sorry- But Battleships were proven obsolete when Billy Mitchell sank one using a biplane that only flew at 60 mph.

The japanese had built more carriers than anyone else prior to 41 and had LONG proven their utility with their prior acquisitions in asia.
After Midway- Japan switched one of the 3 yamato class battleships they were building to make it into a carrier... albeit too heavy a carrier... the Shinano- So you know there was a heated debate ongoing in japan over the wasted resources of new battleships- with oldtimers harking back to the pre-flight days of the russia-japanese conflict.

The theory of larger battleships was larger guns, and the theory of larger guns was to be able to strike an enemy that was too far away to reach you with their smaller guns. Being able to lob a shell 20 miles is better than being able to lob one 16 miles.

But The airplane gave a carrier a range of HUNDREDS of miles. If not for the undue influence of gun manufacturers and geezers with outmoded memories, ANY competent military mind could have figured that out.

In fact, Yamamoto's principal target in attacking pearl was the four US carriers stationed there and he was not happy that not even one of them was in port the day they Had to deliver the attack.
Had those carriers been sunk- then Midway would have been taken easily.

Military history is chock full of tales where old timers in charge, not understanding new weapons developments, made huge mistakes.
 

Zip

Jan 2018
766
San Antonio
And sorry- But Battleships were proven obsolete when Billy Mitchell sank one using a biplane that only flew at 60 mph.

Mitchell proved that under ideal conditions for conventional bombers they could sink a stationary ship that wasn't defending itself. In the actual event conventional bombers were pretty ineffective against shipping; as it turned out dive bombing and torpedos were the real danger.

And that a type of ship can be sunk in and of itself doesn't argue for it being obsolete.