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Battleships or heavy cruisers?..you make the call

Discussion in 'Naval Warfare in the Pacific' started by Class of '42, Mar 20, 2020.

  1. Class of '42

    Class of '42 Active Member

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    Had a long discussion years ago on another war forum about what capital ships, especially the Japanese, were better equipped or perhaps better suited navigating the narrow passages and islands in the South Pacific?...the big battleships or the more sleek heavy cruisers of the Mogami and Takao Class?. Sure the battleships had bigger guns, especially those Kongo class behemoths, but they seemed to be more suited for open water engagements, while turning on a dime wasn't exactly suited for the narrow channels, which dotted the Solomon Islands in 1942/43...just something to throw out while watching "In Harms Way" tonight.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2020
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  2. James Stewart

    James Stewart Active Member

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    I would just class them as the nation which owned them classed them, reduces confusion.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2020
  3. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Agree. Interior distinctions matter to interiors. The Washington Naval Limitations Treaty classed cruisers by gun size and left it at that*. A country could have a "light cruiser" with one six in gun and two hundred torpedo tubes if it wanted.

    *From memory.
     
  4. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The poster is asking which are better in restricted waters. Not is a battleship a heavy cruiser.

    IIRC, the turning diameters (KONGO & TAKAO) are roughly the same, although battleships take longer to respond to helm.

    The US Navy was afraid to risk battleships in restricted waters is often what is said in the books. However, I have not looked at their turning circles in sometime. The Japanese were supposedly looking at their oil consumption post-Midway, for their reason on holding off on sending battleships down to the Solomons. Although, they were probably looking to another attempt at a "Decisive Battle."

    The Kongos were originally battlecruisers, but they were converted to "fast battleships" in the 30's. While armor was increased, it was not increased to battleship standards, so I still see them as battlecruisers.

    Which was better in the Solomons depends on what task the Japanese are trying to accomplish.
     
  5. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member

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    Indeed. I imagine that the tactics and strategy would dictate the weapons platform. ....and availability.
     
  6. James Stewart

    James Stewart Active Member

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    I so misread the primary post, in the fresh light of day how I did so will remain something of a mystery to me. ( Apologies folks).
    I can offer no constructive view on the IJN cruisers / Battleships in restrictive waters, interesting question.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2020
  7. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Don't worry. When I saw the topic, I thought is was "Battleship or Battlecruiser" And would be a discussion on the Scharnhorst, Kongo, etc.
     
  8. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Would the risks have been different if the waters around the Solomons were mined?
     
  9. Class of '42

    Class of '42 Active Member

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    Sorry if my question wasn't quite worded right....just debating if the shallow waters and narrow straits of the Solomon's were more suited for Japanese heavy cruisers, than say the Kongō or the Kirishima due to their larger size. I would think mining would somewhat nullify the situation but the IJN would plow ahead anyway.
     
  10. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Each side brought to bear the weight of metal they could muster, I believe.
     
  11. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Outside of the Kongos, the Japanese battleships essentially sat out the war.
     
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  12. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    .....they used the BBs there--so did the US... I don't recall any problems they had with the shallow waters/straits/etc--the problems were from enemy ships!....
    ..I thought the BBs were at both 1st and 2nd Guadalcanal Battles...I thought they bombarded Henderson 13 /14 Oct?
    Oil and Japanese Strategy in the Solomons:
    Oil and Japanese Strategy in the Solomons: A Postulate
    Imperial Battleships
    Kongo-class Battleship | Nihon Kaigun
     
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  13. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ....the PTs were very well suited for shallow waters,..they could ''turn on a dime''.... but they did very poorly in the Solomons regarding sinking or damaging ships
     
  14. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Because they refused to deploy them. Massive effort followed by lack of will. Did make dandy HQ ships, though.
     
  15. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Well, PT-109 was turned into dime-sized pieces because she didn't turn on a dime.
     
  16. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    IJN also had to be ready to react to a thrust from another direction. It wasn't impossible that RN heavies would sortie into the Pacific.
     
  17. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    .....what a coincidence: I have the Oct 2019 WW2 Magazine edition right here and it has the PT boats as it's Weapon's Manual story....with PT109 as the story's picture with the 37mm gun tied [ hahahahah ] to the deck
    ..I got it about 2 weeks ago before the library closed for the evil VIRUS
    ..actually it was cut into about 2 large pieces, if I remember correctly ..just saying.....I thought PT109 was idle/not full power at the time?
     
  18. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ...they didn't turn because they didn't see the DD until '''too late''', if I remember correctly? .....if they had seen the DD, don't you think they would've ''turned on a dime''?
     
  19. Class of '42

    Class of '42 Active Member

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    PT-109 had a rendezvous with Admiral Tanka's Tokyo Express...unfortunately the destroyer Amagiri got in their way. Strange part was that Lt. Commander Kohei Hanami, who commanded Amagiri at that time, attended President Kennedy's inauguration in 1961.
     
  20. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    He was invited. Fellow warrior and all that. Honorable thing to do, I thought then.
     

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