Battleship Top Ten

From the Washington Naval Treaty to the end of the Second World War.
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marcelo_malara
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Re: Battleship Top Ten

Post by marcelo_malara » Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:15 pm

The ugliest Battleship of all time:
1. HMS Rodney and HMS Nelson
Very few people would disagree at this... It seems that it is easier to choose the ugliest than the most beautiful.

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Karl Heidenreich
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Re: Battleship Top Ten

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:18 pm

First of all it seems Miro 777 is back again. Welcome!

Second. I don´t agree with the Nelsons. My eleven year old son believes they are good looking so I will have to back him. Anyway Gangut is more ugly.

And there are some WWI BBs that deserve that place too...
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

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Karl Heidenreich
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Re: Battleship Top Ten

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:19 pm

By the way: why not include HMS Vanguard as one of the handsome ones! It was such a beautifull ship, very like Hood but much more impressing!
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

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miro777
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Re: Battleship Top Ten

Post by miro777 » Sun Sep 14, 2008 11:13 pm

Hey,

he really thinks that? well if so i do understand ur motives....

im a very organized person and so the fact of somethin not being symetrical annoys me...
but thats maybe just being german...

the HMS Vanguard is a mix between Hood and KGV (appearance wise)

Ive been reading up on Subs alot the past years and I must personally say that the lines of a VIIB boat can only be matched by a few capital ships...

adios
Die See ruft....

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Re: Battleship Top Ten

Post by VeenenbergR » Thu Sep 18, 2008 6:06 pm

Wondering about Nagato on the Top 10 most powerfull ships. Why then not the West Virgina Class?

Most Powerfull classes were:

Yamato
Iowa
South Dakota
Bismarck
Richelieu
South Carolina
Littorio
Nelson
KGV
Nagato or West Virginia.

Most beautiful were:

Bismarck (2)
Richelieu (1)
Littorio (3)
Scharnhorst (2)
Dunkerque (2)
Alaska (2)
Repulse & Renown (2)
Hood (1)
Yamato (2)
KGV (5)

Most beautifull cruisers:

Admiral Hipper (3)
Zara/ Pola (4)
Trento/ Bolzano (3)
Takao (4)
Tone (2)
Haguro (4)
Oyodo/ Agano (5)
Giuseppe Garibaldi (2)
Algerie (1)
Mogami (4)

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dfrighini
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Re: Battleship Top Ten

Post by dfrighini » Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:32 pm

I agree with this list in part... see below

Most Powerfull classes were:

Yamato- heaviest, biggest guns, but slow (27 kts)
Iowa- fastest ship (i.e. captain can pitch the battle), so could win against Yamato
South Dakota (not sure why it is here, similar armour to Iowa, but slow, 27 kts, and had problems in combat)
Bismarck- we all know her history, agree with this ships position
Richelieu- a good ship, but had an boring career
South Carolina- fine ship
Littorio- lacked good radar and night fighting ability, however fast powerful ship
Nelson- old week slow ship, but good guns
KGV- better (i.e. modern ship) when compared to Nelson, faster than Nelson, but still slow (27kts)
Nagato or West Virginia. -tough decision, how about Kirishima? if I have to chose between the two, I would chose Nagato... but its close

For me the bigger problem is South Dakota, she has less weight (and armor percentage vs. displacement), slower speed and major problems in combat when compared to the Bismarck. If it had not been for the Washington (16 inch guns) the South Dakota would have been trashed by the Kirishima and her escorts. I know people take about her (South Dakota) only receiving superficial damage, but in the world of 'all or nothing' armor systems, there are week areas, like soft-ends. It is possible for a battleship to sustain so much structural damage that this in turn could endanger the ship. If the Washington had not saved the South Dakota, then she would have been trashed by the Kirishima and her consorts. Problem here is, when rating a battleship, to some extent you must also consider the crew, American crews have a patchy record when it comes to night fighting, especially when they have lost there radar.

I think the South Dakota should be in the top ten, but not in third place?
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Re: Battleship Top Ten

Post by lwd » Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:57 pm

1) This discussion has generally been about classes more than specific ships.
2) SoDak did have some problems in her initial battle but these were pretty much fixed.
3) Why do you say the Nelson's are weak? They may not be fast but hardly weak.
4) With regards to comparing SoDak to Bismark:
a) percentage armor is a very difficult thing to calculate between different navies.
b) SoDak had significantly more powerful guns.
c) SoDak had what was arguably a superior fire control system.

Not that I agree with the list. I'm inclined rank Bismark lower for one.

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Re: Battleship Top Ten

Post by VeenenbergR » Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:59 pm

To Oberwarrior:

If speed is the most important feature (over armament and armour) the list could be in this order:

1 Iowa (33) [16]
2 Bismarck (30) [15]
3 Richelieu (30) [15]
4 Littorio (30) [15]
5 Dunkerque (30) [13]
6 Kirishima (30) [14]
7 Yamato (27) [18]
8 South Dakota (27) [16]
9 South Carolina (27) [16]
10 KGV (27) [14]

Stil feel more comfortable with the list based on armanent, armour and then speed.

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Re: Battleship Top Ten

Post by lwd » Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:23 pm

VeenenbergR wrote:...Stil feel more comfortable with the list based on armanent, armour and then speed.
If that is really your system then shouldn't the list look more like

1. Yamato
2. Iowa
3 & 4 South Dakota and North Carolina
5, 6, 7 Nagato, Nelson, Colorado
8, 9, 10, 11,(12?) Richeleu, Victorio Venito, Vangard, Bismark, and possibly KGV

That's not considering things like fire control or TDS.

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Re: Battleship Top Ten

Post by VeenenbergR » Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:50 pm

To Iwd:

No, this list doesn't respect those other important factors like armour, sinkability, fire control systems.

Gunnery was important however, but speedier ships could try to evade action but can not win if their firepower & defense systems are inferior to better ships. So the Scharnhorsts were no match for old battleships and in the end could not even run away of slower ships like DoY. The Scharnhorst was plagued by boiler problems which gave her a better speed but no guarantee on a sustained high(er) speed.

Iowa and Yamato: these ships are forbidden opponent for a Bismarck class. Could outrun Yamato but not an Iowa. The last one was also Bismarcks most dangerous opponent. Superior in almost every aspect except opticals.

I judge that Bismarck against the Washington or South Dakota classes, the latter had the better punch and also the better defenses. Bismarck should try to avoid any duel against them. Bismarck is able by superior speed to avoid them.

Against the Richelieu or Dunkerque's the Bismarck had the better chances if looking at her better opticals, higher ROF and heavier secondary armament. But Richelieu is almost an equal in every respect.

Against the longer ranging Littorio's the Bismarck should be better of in duels at night!! But I also judge German marksmenship better than the capabilities of the Italians.

Against ONE KGV the German ship is superior in most categories (see duel against PoW), but I think ONE KGV be a very "nasty" opponent and superiority is only marginal.

Against a Nelson, Nagato or West Virginia, Bismarck better had to keep a healthy distance. When meeting a Nagato Bismarck is supposed to be suprior on longer ranges against Nagato's weaker horizontal armour (about like the Hood).

Kirishima's or Cesare/ Duilio classes: these ships are as vulnerable like Hood, Renown and Repulse.
The Alaska's: same problem for an Alaska. Alaska being too weak on armament to really trouble the Bismarck.

All other "old" BB's: could give a (very) nasty punch to a Bismarck, but otherwise no serious opponents.
F.e. Bismarck against Warspite or Bismarck against Idaho. What will be the lilely outcome?

Conclusion: Bismarck is a perfect raider (with exception of the lack of torpedo tubes), but has to be (very) carefull if a convoy is protected by any ship bigger than a CA. In combination with another raider Bismarck can opt for attack giving an accompanying ship a chance to attack the convoy.

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Re: Battleship Top Ten

Post by dfrighini » Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:01 pm

To VeenenbergR

Speed is an important factor when considering old fashioned gun duels between battleships (pre-radar) as it allows the captain with the faster ship to pitch the engagement, taking account of wind speed/direction, sunlight/moonlight, which can considerably effect the enemies performance. A good example of this is Admiral Spee's tactics at the battle of Coronel, where Spee was able to position his ships in the darkness with the British ships (older, but of equal class) illuminated by the setting sun. Whilst it was difficult at first for the German gunners, blinded by the setting sun, as the sun set, they were able to clearly see the British ships outlined.

I agree that the South Dakota had the heavier guns, and that Bismarck had a higher rate of fire. However I feel it should be noted that naval engagements frequently started at around 28,000 meters (Scharnhorst scored one of the longest hits ever recorded, this was 26,300yd). Gunnery over such ranges would be inaccurate and would waste valuable ammunition, which it should be noted, battleships only carry a limited supply. Battleship, unless they are going to get a quick/lucky hit on a magazine, really need to close on each other.

Armor is an interesting question. I don't think you can simply compare how many inches of armor plate each vessel carries. Some countries had more effective steal than other countries. German (KC) and British steal (cemented) where the best, and as Kbismarck.com points out considerably better than US A plate armor. You must also take into account what armor system is being used. For example Bismarck used a graduated armor system, with a lower armor deck. As many people have pointed out this left some important areas under protected, however the lower armor deck provided good protection to her vitals. The graduated armor system means deep penetrations are difficult (not impossible).
It should also be noted that the shell penetration abilities/range and armor levels are closely matched. This is important, because it means that in order to have devastating, you need to be firing at range, when guns are least accurate. When battleship are close in, the armor works at its best (there always being more belt armor than deck, due to weight), and as Rodney discovered fighting the Bismarck, battleships have a theoretical immunity zone, where both deck and belt armor (with turtle deck arrangement) are working together.
Overall, whilst armor is important, it not the be all and end all of naval warfare (modern WW2 battleships), as gun caliber are so large, both 15 inch and 16 inch guns are going to do considerable damage when they hit. I think it makes little difference, I would not like to be hit by either. What could be more important is how good is the ammunition, for example German ammunition was pretty poor during World War 2, with many shell failing to explode on impact. The fire rate could be every important, especially when the range closes, along with the guns spread. The Bismarck's guns has a high velocity, meaning the time difference between firing, and hitting was reduced, making to easier to correct the fall of shot.

Perhaps (if we are not simply comparing ships) the most important factor of all is crew, training, moral and quality. The South Dakota's crew felt almost blind, and did not know what to do once the power had failed, the American's had come to rely on the radar to much, and lacked the training to be able to cope without it. The South Dakota did have batter radar than the Bismarck. However the Bismarck's crew were better trained for night action without radar, like the Japanese. Radar, especially centimetric (with PPI) is very important, and can determine a battle (at night, or poor whether), however radar, like fire control, or anything else on your ship is something which can be damaged or destroyed, and due to radar's brittle nature, is more likely to be damaged, either by hit/or by gun shock. Its important a crew know what to do when they don't have radar, this could also determine a battle, as the South Dakota's performance proves. In good daylight, radar is of little difference. Optical performance is key, the Bismarck's radar system is good in this circumstance, as the German's used their radar as a range acquiring device.

I think (on paper) when all of this has been taken into account, a battle between Bismarck and the South Dakota would be close, but feel the Germans would have the upper hand. As I said before, I am not against the South Dakota being in the top ten, however I am not sure it should be in third place.

I also mentioned Rodney/Nelson's position. This has been covered endlessly by other people. I am not convinced they are good ships, they have good guns, but are old, and have many, many design faults.

I note you have based the list on armor and guns, on this point I have to agree. Its almost impossible to make a fair list (of this nature) because of so many different factors, so you need to narrow the order and count each ship on it merits.

Have you considered playing battleship top trumps?

Ober
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Karl Heidenreich
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Re: Battleship Top Ten

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:23 am

Nelson´s superiority over more modern ships is quite an argument. Just because she uses the internal armour "raft" type doens´t mean she had a serious advantage over KGVs, Bismarck and the more modern Vanguard. After all her "inconviniences" has been posted in this forum a lot, we just have to read old threads.

Nelson´s design was one of the more compromised ones and I doubt the British intended her to be a part of a battle line. I don´t doubt that Bismarck could have handled her in an open seas combat. A difficult one, but could have done it.
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RF
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Re: Battleship Top Ten

Post by RF » Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:04 pm

marcelo_malara wrote:
The ugliest Battleship of all time:
1. HMS Rodney and HMS Nelson
Very few people would disagree at this... It seems that it is easier to choose the ugliest than the most beautiful.
Would this have any bearing on the fact that Rodney (with help from KGV) shelled a near stationary Bismarck into a wreck?

Rodney was an effective battleship in that it did the job it was supposed to do. Beauty in a warship is a luxury, you have the ships for the job they are to be used for. Maybe that was the basic problem for the Germans with Bismarck.

Put this into another perspective - heavyweight boxers are admired, respected as fighters and their record as fighters. They have never been regarded (as far as I know) as candidates for a beauty contest..... Not even in the Gay community.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: Battleship Top Ten

Post by Bgile » Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:08 pm

RF wrote:
marcelo_malara wrote:
The ugliest Battleship of all time:
1. HMS Rodney and HMS Nelson
Very few people would disagree at this... It seems that it is easier to choose the ugliest than the most beautiful.
Would this have any bearing on the fact that Rodney (with help from KGV) shelled a near stationary Bismarck into a wreck?

Rodney was an effective battleship in that it did the job it was supposed to do. Beauty in a warship is a luxury, you have the ships for the job they are to be used for. Maybe that was the basic problem for the Germans with Bismarck.

Put this into another perspective - heavyweight boxers are admired, respected as fighters and their record as fighters. They have never been regarded (as far as I know) as candidates for a beauty contest..... Not even in the Gay community.
Similarly I think US ships seldom make the "beautiful" lists because of their very heavy flak batteries, which break up their silhouette.

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Re: Battleship Top Ten

Post by RF » Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:10 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:
Nelson´s design was one of the more compromised ones and I doubt the British intended her to be a part of a battle line. I don´t doubt that Bismarck could have handled her in an open seas combat. A difficult one, but could have done it.
The second and third sentences here encapsulate the scenario - without an action in reality we don't know.

But suppose the Bismarck on 26 May prior to its rudder being impaired had encountered Rodney and a bold German commander, knowing that commerce attack was out and Bismarck was heading to France, decided to attack....
Then we would have the answer.
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