South Dakota vs Iowa class

MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,350
Kansas
Edit: got ninja'd!

On the flip side looks like one British carrier was sunk by Germans capital ships, and a jeep carrier by IJN capital ships. Submarines on the hand, sunk more USN and IJN carriers.
Now it is starting to become a game of rock paper scissors. Planes sink subs, subs sink ships, ships shoot down planes lol
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,973
Dispargum
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.

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
The low morale probably expressed itself more when the Japanese gave up too soon, perhaps on the brink of victory. Poor maintenance and training could have also been factors. Sometimes it's difficult to draw a line between the different factors. For instance, a better trained fleet may have had higher morale. Higher morale may have resulted in better maintenance. How often does a battleship need the services of a gunnery maintenance facility?
 
Sep 2016
2
South Carolina
Back to the original thread topic, the size and total tonnage of the US battle fleet was set by treaty from 1921 until 1939. Battleship size was a maximum of 35,000 tons standard displacement and 16 inch guns. In 1934, the treaty was renewed with displacement remaining the same and gun size reduced to 14 inch. Japan dropped out in 1934. In 1937, concerns about very large Japanese battleships under construction led to the US involking the gun size escalation clause. The 1937 North Carolina class already under construction was upgunned to 16 inch although with protection against 14 inch. The 1938 South Dakota class was built with 16 inch guns and improved protection. The three countries still in the treaty met in 1938 and added a tonnage escalation clause to a maximum of 45,000 tons. This basically was the 1939 Iowa class which is more or less the South Dakota armor scheme, a longer hull with double horsepower, and the 16 inch 50 caliber gun. Probability the largest battleship that could fit through the Panama Canal. With the outbreak of WW2 in September of 1939, all naval armament treaties were abandoned.

Aircraft carrier tonnage was also limited by treaty. The US and Britian had 135,000 tons each with the Japanese at 81,000 tons. The Pearl Harbor strike force was constructed between 1934 and 1941. Four new carriers and major rebuilds of the two conversions were done after the treaty withdrawal.
 
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Oct 2011
543
Croatia
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.
Obsolete for what, though? As late as Vietnam war, surface gunnery proved more devastating than high-altitude bombardment. In terms of morale impact, surface gunnery was more effective than air power as late as Gulf War. Point is, even after battleship was rendered obsolete as a naval supremacy platform, it still retained important roles in providing direct fire support as well as providing point-defense screen for the fleet against attackers that penetrated air cover.
 
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MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,350
Kansas
In terms of morale impact, surface gunnery was more effective than air power as late as Gulf War.
Yeah nothing cheers a grunt up as much as seeing Volkswagen size lumps of high explosives being thrown at someone shooting at you
 
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Nov 2019
334
United States
I think that a number of case studies and analysis by the US Navy has shown that the 5" gun was more successful in a invasion support role than the larger caliber naval rounds from battleships. Today no navy is currently using rounds in excess of the 130mm caliber level.
 

MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,350
Kansas
I think that a number of case studies and analysis by the US Navy has shown that the 5" gun was more successful in a invasion support role than the larger caliber naval rounds from battleships. Today no navy is currently using rounds in excess of the 130mm caliber level.
The big guns did better against formal bunker constructions as well as being able to reach inland a lot further. There are a few accounts of German tanks being on the wrong end of a 16 inch shell lol. But as a general suppressor, the 5 inch gun with it rate of fire was excellent during the landing operations.
 
Sep 2012
1,216
Tarkington, Texas
A lot depends on what you want to bombard and what kind of ship it is mounted on. If you ask the Marines, I bet they would love some 8" and 16" shells in gun support. One problem in the WWII shore bombardments was much was from older ships with older guns. The older guns had less range and were not able to elevate as much as the newer guns. If you want to bombard a Pacific Coral Atoll with old battleships, the trajectory would be very flat and a lot would go over the atoll. On islands with height, chances are you would at least hit the island.

The US Navy has looked into using 8" and 6" main guns since the 70's. The ships used were old Destroyers and the recoil on a 3000 ton ship is severe and can cause damage. No one has tried this gun mount on a 8000 ton vessel as yet. There has been interest in a 6" gun that is not dual purpose. With expenses rising on new build ships, there has been no strident calls to give the Marines better gun support.

Pruitt
 
Oct 2011
543
Croatia
I think that a number of case studies and analysis by the US Navy has shown that the 5" gun was more successful in a invasion support role than the larger caliber naval rounds from battleships. Today no navy is currently using rounds in excess of the 130mm caliber level.
In terms of physical damage, maybe, and even that only against targets that could actually be destroyed by 5'' shells. But 16'' shells have massive impact, not just physical but psychological one as well.
 
Nov 2019
334
United States
In terms of physical damage, maybe, and even that only against targets that could actually be destroyed by 5'' shells. But 16'' shells have massive impact, not just physical but psychological one as well.
There are many things to be considered rather than which projectile makes the largest boom. Accuracy, penetration, and rate of fire, all of which are better with a 5" even in WW2, today the projectiles are so much better that a lower caliber weapon can due a significantly better level of damage than a much higher caliber weapon did in WW2.