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Most underrated battleship/battlecruiser?

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Notmi, Jan 1, 2005.

  1. Notmi

    Notmi New Member

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    I've been wondering what battleship or battlecruiser might be most underrated? Not necessarily best but simply (much) better than its reputation. One candidate might be Italian Littorio-class ships, I believe RM didn't use them as efficiently as they should have been used. Therefore much of their potential left unused and they didn't got much puplicity.

    Other potential "winners" in this category?
     
  2. DesertWolf

    DesertWolf Member

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    Dunkerque class. They were very fine ships but had the misfortune of being caught in port.
     
  3. scaramouche

    scaramouche New Member

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    Yes! they were designed specially to outclass the German pocket battleships-THe "Richelieu" and Jean Bart"- arrived a bit late in the scene, but with their powerful armamet were fine ships..
     
  4. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    Almost any battlecruiser is underrated by some folks, to such an extent that they sometimes use it as a synonym for a small battleship.
    Hood is a good candidate.
     
  5. me262 phpbb3

    me262 phpbb3 New Member

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    but it was the bigest ship them, so i do not think we can call it "small"( it was larger than bismarck)
     
  6. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    That is the point. It was usual for battlecruisers to be larger than battleships.
     
  7. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    The NORTH CAROLINA and SOUTH DAKOTA class ships. Definitely overshadowed by the later IOWAs, yet they performed yeoman service during the war.
     
  8. scaramouche

    scaramouche New Member

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    How about the five battleships completed for Argentina (2) Brazil (2) and Chile (1) during 1910-1915?
     
  9. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    The Brazilian ships were among the most powerful in the world when completed, but it's like they grew a layer of rust overnight. I don't know how they fell into disrepair so quickly.
    The Rivadavias were good ships. My only complaint would be with their American 12in weaponry.
    Latorre is probably over-rated on the basis of her 14in guns and deceptive armor stats. She was more like a slow battlecruiser than anything else.
     
  10. scaramouche

    scaramouche New Member

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    quote="Tiornu"]The Brazilian ships were among the most powerful in the world when completed, but it's like they grew a layer of rust overnight. I don't know how they fell into disrepair so quickly.
    The Rivadavias were good ships. My only complaint would be with their American 12in weaponry.
    Latorre is probably over-rated on the basis of her 14in guns and deceptive armor stats. She was more like a slow battlecruiser than anything else.[/quote]

    You are on the mark on most of these..For one thing, the "Rivadavia: class battleships (l have photographs if you are interested) were built from the start to be superior to the "Minas Gerais"class.As far as the "Minas GErais" class, and their layer of rust..(good point!) the backwood recuits which made uo the crews of the Brazilian dreanoughts, impressed by a naval rebellion in Portugal attempted one of their own. The revolrt was soon crushed, but the Brazilian government did not trust their navy any longer, and removed the breech-blocks of te 30mm guns. By 1917, these sips were in utter disrepair....May l ask wat your complaint about the American 12 inch guns is? these were Mk. 7s, with a range of 29,9 km, and a 880 shell , which actually outranged the 356 mm L.45 of the " Latorre"..May l also add as far as their armoured protection, the "Rivadavia"class were more like German battleships, despite for all their outward North American appearance. To quote the "Technical supplement" of "London Times": " The Argentines received, for their money a better batlleship than otherwise possible" Your comments are welcome!
    I'm enclosing a photo pf the two Argentine battleships c. 1940; also present : one of the "25 de Mayo" type heavy cruisers, and several destroyers.
    Best regards! "...


    "Siell mie paimelauluin lauluin
    min muamo mieroon suori
    Karjalan maill kuldakkakoset gut-kuup"

    (From the "Reppurin Laoulou", a popular song of Karelia.)
     
  11. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    The 12in gun, as mounted in old battleships both American and Argentine, never got a hard-capped shell, meaning that impacts with thick, face-hardened armor were likely to result in broken shells and unpenetrated armor. You can check the stats at http://www.geocities.com/kop_mic/ . I don't know if the Argentine navy ever got a delay fuze for their shells.
    Latorre already had decent shells before she left British service. I do not know if the British (or anyone else) supplied modern shells for the Minas Geraises.


    "I could keep this up all day."
    "Yes, idiocy is tireless."
    [from RETURN TO KALEVALA by Me]
     
  12. scaramouche

    scaramouche New Member

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    My data comes from Jane's annuals and from Argentine naval histories. The 870 lb shell of the "Rivadavia" -class was armor piercing-and l cannot imagine an AP of this generation not being "hard capped:, particularly when the Argentine Navy addopted its first "hard capped" proyectiles back in the 1880s, when it secured a batch of Krupp 240 mm L.35 coastal guns. Guns of this type were also mounted aboard the 1890 coast-defense ships "Libertad" and Independencia" and in every subsquent Argentine capital ship and cruiser-The same applies to the Chilean ships...and very probably to the Brazilain dreadnoughts as well..It does not seem logical to spend a fortune on warships unless they are provided with proper shells...


    Tonigt l'll merry-merry be'
    but tomorrow l'll be sober"
    (Old American drinking song)[[/u][/b]
     
  13. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    Hard caps first appeared c1910, I believe--don't remember exactly. The US continued using soft caps right into 1936. The French never got hard caps for their old battleships, as far as I can tell. The British, as is well known, did not get hard caps until after the hard lessons of Jutland.


    "Grief is like bleeding, you know. A little will heal you, a lot will kill you."
    [from RETURN TO KALEVALA by Me again]
     
  14. scaramouche

    scaramouche New Member

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    That is not what l gather from the following :

    " A small wrought iron cap ( said to be the idea of a Captain English of Royal Engineers) fixed a solid proyectiles had been tried about 1877, suggested by an accidental discovery at Shoeburyness that armour plate with a wrought-iron veneer was actually mre vulnerable than the same plate without it. The "veneer" transfered to the nose of a projectile, provided a "bolstering effect" whch reduced the tendency of a shot to shatter and gave 25 percent more penetration. Such capped shot grew in popularity for about ten years...(By 1902 ) Vickers 6 and 7.5 inch armored-piercinh shells (equipped with Johnson forged steel caps) could easily defeat 6 to 12 inches of armor plate respectively"..."
    Ref. Comparato, "Agre of Great Guns..." pag. 150


    As a matter of interest, during an uprising which occurred in 1893, the coast-defense batteship "Independencia" of the Argentine Navy engaged the monitor "Los Andes", an older naval vessel controled by the insurgents...After a brief engagemennt, the monitor was disabled by a well placed -AP shot from the "Independencia" which penetrated 15 3/4 inches of armor plate...This reference comes from Brassey's Naval Annual-1894 , pag. 46-47
     
  15. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    An AP cap increases penetration primarily via two factors. First, it pre-stresses the armor just before the impact with the shell body. (This would not have figured much in the above-mentioned trials since the veneer was itself motionless and thus had no energy of its own to transfer to the armor.) Second, the cap tends to hold the point of the shell body together; if you viewed a cross section of the tip of the shell, the cap would appear like a doughnut around the shell body. This is how the veneer aided in penetration. Surrounding the shell body, it helps hold it together. Since the shell does not as readily break apart, it is focused more intensely against the plate. There are other things to consider, such as the ability to "bite" into plate when striking at an angle, but they are less important here.
    The first caps were relatively soft--and "soft" is indeed relative when we're talking about iron and steel. Against thick, face-hardened armor, a soft cap would do an adequate job when striking at the normal (a direct hit, shell perpendicular to the plate) and at angles up to 15deg, maybe 20deg at most on a good day. Looking at the old US 12in shell, you can see its descent angle exceeds 15deg at a range of 16,000 yards, so that would be the greatest range where you could expect good results. But keep in mind, there are plenty of other factors that can change the angle, the most important of which would be the target inclination; you don't usually get a hit from a ship that is exactly on your beam.
    In the decade before WWI, the Germans and Russians and Austrians (that's entirely from memory) developed caps that were significantly harder, giving a significant boost to armor penetration. It also appears that these three navies also switched to TNT (which was less powerful but more stable than picric acid) and also used delay fuzes. These are the key factors in permitting effective penetration of armor.
     
  16. scaramouche

    scaramouche New Member

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    Interesting-personally l think the "Rivadavia" class were the most efficient battleships owned by any South American nation-and that they carried better protection than the "Latorre"- The The "Rivadavia" class were delivered 1914-1915-thus the shells they utilized were of the most recent AP type-Their 305 mm L.50s were Mk. 7s, built in 1910- Their AP shell weighed 394 kg and an elevation of 15o they had a range od 24.900 meters-(Breyer's "Battleships and Battlecruisers, 1970) pag. 189-They were equipped with the latest materials and systems available to the US Navy, including the AP shells-tis in turn provoked a congrssional inquiry in the US, as some legislators protested against the transfer of such mdern technology to a foreign nation.. These battleships were converted to oilfiring in the US in 1925-26,and in 1927,, after steaming at 20 knots for more than 70 hours they engaged in target practive at targets located more than 19 km away.. O.N.I. Monthly Information Bulletin Vol. X No2, August 1927 (O.N.I=Office of Naval Information, U.S. Navy )


    According to Jane'ss Fighting Ships (Sampson, Low, Marston and Co, London, 1914) pag. 422. the maximum penetration of the 305 mm L.50s carried by the "Rivadavias" was as follows:
    "Max. penetration against K.C with capped AP at 5000 yards was 19 inches, and at 5000 yards 23 inches. When the BBS returned from the US, they brought new consigments of AP shlls fo their main as well as their secondary armament.. They were also fitted with new fire control systems
     
  17. Wspauldo12

    Wspauldo12 New Member

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    I have 1 comment about the Hood. i might have been larger than the Bismark, but it was nowhere near as heavy. The Bismark was armored supper think. It is still the heaviest ship commissioned by Europe (I think I think I hope). Battle Crusiers were ment to have battleship guns but be faster, as a result they had much thinner skin. Like Cruisers. bigger guns, fast to build, cheap, thin skined.
     
  18. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    Bismarck did not have especially thick armor. Mostly the thicknesses were average.
    Looking only at dreadnoughts, the largest European product was Vanguard at 44,500 tons standard. Jean Bart was completed at around the same tonnage as Tirpitz, alightly above Bismarck.
     
  19. Notmi

    Notmi New Member

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    By heavy, do you mean actual weight or some kind of armor+armament -thingy? If actual weight, then they were almost equal. My sources give around 42000-45000 tons as standard displacement for both.
    And Bismarck wasn't heaviest ship commissioned in Europe, Tirpitz and Vanguard were heavier but only slightly.

    About battlecruisers, I generally agree except two things: "fast to build, cheap".

    Edit: Ah, Tiornu was faster.
     
  20. CDN FIRE

    CDN FIRE New Member

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    What about the Battlecurisers the US built late in WW2.I think they had 9 12" guns
     

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