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Bismarck vs. Yamato

Discussion in 'What If - Other' started by dasreich, Aug 16, 2002.

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  1. mikebatzel

    mikebatzel Dreadnaught

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    I need to retract this statement. After looking at some track charts and furthering my search into the matter, at the time Yamato fired her first salvo, Nagato was most certainly not masked by Yamato.
     
  2. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Actually, deck armor is probably the most important part of the system. Its major function is to protect the area below it from fragments. Yes, it is designed to withstand direct hits too, but fragments are what sink ships for the most part, even armored ones.

    Without an armored deck a ship taking damage will have its unarmored decks and bulkheads pierced by fragments large and small. These then become the means for progressive flooding to occur. Without an armored deck to stop fragments the ship will not only flood horizontally but vertically. That is, as the ship settles in the water from the added weight of flooding the fragment holes allow it continue unabaited. Eventually the ship sinks from progressive flooding.

    With a properly designed "raft body" where the armored deck forms a raft with the top of the side armor this makes penetrating the area below it difficult by anything other than a direct shell hit. Armoring the turrets, command positions and, such are done to prevent these from being taken out by fragments first and then to some degree by direct shell hits.

    In most cases WW 1 and 2 large caliber shells (say 12" or larger) hitting some armored portion of a ship, any armored ship, will generally knock out whatever it is that the armor protects. The theoretical protection given by armor is not matched in real world performance. Heavy shells weighing as much as a ton will simply smash the armor through shock in most cases or will shock associated systems like turret traverse mechanisms etc., to put these out of action. You find very few cases in either war where heavy armor actually kept out a heavy shell regardless of thickness.
     
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  3. USMC

    USMC Member

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    Bismarck/Tirpitz and Yamato/ Musashi

    Japan had more capable naval officers and surface fleet so its crew would be more effective than the Bismarck's. The Bismarck would have an advantage in speed and maneuverability. Armor and gun range would go to Yamato. Yamato had 9 18.1" guns. In terms of air cover,the only help the Bismarck could possibly receive was from catapult launched scout planes from Kriegsmarine destroyers. (Technically no air support) The Yamato could receive help from carrier aircraft from the IJN's extensive carrier fleet. The only chance Bismarck would have is to hug friendly coasts in hope for air support and resupply.
     
  4. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    Where did you come by this information?

    Crew quality would really depend on the time period. The IJN generally had very good crews early in the war. By mid-war, the Japanese naval service was experiencing manpower/crew training problems, just like Germany. In reality, between the IJN and KM, crew quality would most likely be a wash.

    And Bismarck had 8 15" guns, with a maximum range 39,589 yards. Yamato's maximum range was 45,960 yards, but neither ship would have much chance of hitting anything outside of 30,000 yards.

    KM destroyers did not, as a routine, operate aircraft. Few destroyers during WW II were fitted for aircraft operations, although many navies, including the USN, experimented with destroyers fitted with catapults to operate aircraft. Most of those experiments ended unsatisfactorily.

    Again, depends upon the time period. Yamato often operated independently of the Japanese carriers; on Yamato's last mission, there were no Japanese carriers remaining in an operational status.

    In a one on one engagement, the only aircraft likely to be involved would be each battleship's spotter aircraft; Bismarck had a single catapult and four Arado AR-196 spotter planes; Yamato had two catapults with seven FM1 "Pete" spotter planes.
     
  5. USMC

    USMC Member

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    I am sorry I should have specified. Both these warships in this situation were in early war hypothetical situations. Of course one on one combat would only involve spotter planes. I was also including the scenario of where this battle could take place. (A coast, out at sea)
     
  6. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    No need to apologize. The originator of this what-if left too many questions open for anyone to offer up any definitive answer. Actually, even if the details had been nailed down to begin with, there are too many random factors and variables that could come into play for anyone to make a compelling argument that either ship would have a decisive edge. Both ships were anachronistic by the time they were commissioned and neither really had much impact on the war.

    And personally, I wonder why anyone would bother; both ships belonged to Axis naval powers and were never going to be opposed to each other anyway
     
  7. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    You're right DA. This thread was created before we tightened down requirements for new What Ifs. Were it initiated now, it would never get approved for discussion.
     
  8. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

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    What is interesting is this thread was created back in 2002, and I scrolled through some of the pages and it looks like the same points are being brought up over and over again just by different people and at different times, and because very few people are going to go back and read all 7 years of the thread is the reason it is happening.
     
  9. USMC

    USMC Member

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    There are too many possible scenarios for this thread.
     
  10. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I'm going to close this thead for a while. As Tomcat says, it is going around in circle.

    If you have any thing new & significant to add, please contact me or another moderator to reopen.
     
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