Best Pre-war Battleship/Battlecruiser

Discussion in 'Polls' started by parsifal, May 11, 2008.

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Best prewar battleship/batteship/armoured ship

Poll closed Jul 10, 2008.
  1. Warspite Class

    11.8%
  2. Hood

    19.6%
  3. Renown/Repulse

    9.8%
  4. Nelson Class

    7.8%
  5. West Virginia Class

    5.9%
  6. California Class

    2.0%
  7. New Mex Class

    2.0%
  8. Pennsylvania Class

    7.8%
  9. Fuso/Ise Class

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. Nagato Class

    3.9%
  11. Kongo Class

    3.9%
  12. Scharnhorst Class

    19.6%
  13. Deutschland Class

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  14. Paris/Courbet Class

    2.0%
  15. Dunkerque Class

    2.0%
  16. Cavour/Doria

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  17. Marat Class

    2.0%
  18. Sverige Class

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    OKay, a few of us have thought it might be a good idea to have a second look at the Battleship debate, but without the wartime superdreadoughts included.
     
  2. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Tough poll, a lot to pick there. Firepower, speed, armor, all have different sets.

    Before I kick out a pick, I have a couple of questions for the board.
    1. Is the Scharnhorst the fastest or is it one of the French BBs?
    2. 16" guns on the Nagato and the California?
    3. Who's got the thickest deck armor (not side, deck only)?

    After figuring which one leads in those three departments, would look at fire control next.
     
  3. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Hi tim

    Effective Sea Speeds are the way to go, Here are the effective speeds and armament of all the ships listed . For the armour, i have listed the max turret, side and deck armour (total, all decks). Please note, I have only researched the ship characteristics very quickly

    Warspite Class 24.5 Kts, 8 x 15", 11/13/8.5
    Hood 29 kts (1941), 8 x 15", 15/12/8
    Renown/Repulse 29 kts (1941), 6 x 15", 11/9/6
    Nelson Class 23 kts, 9 x 16", 16/12/14
    West Virginia Class 21.5 kts, 8 x 16", 18/16/5 (approx)
    California Class 20.5 kts, 12 x 14", 18/14/6.5
    New Mex Class 21.5 kts, 12 x 14", 18/14/6 (approx)
    Pennsylvania Class 21 kts, 12 x 14", 18/14/6
    Fuso/Ise Class 24.9 kts 12x14, 12/12/7
    Nagato Class 25.3 kts 8 x 16", 14/12/11
    Kongo Class 29.5 kts+ (after 1940 refits), 8 x 14", 9/8/7.5 (approx)
    Scharnhorst Class 32 kts 9 x 11", 14/13.75/6.75
    Deutschland Class 27 kts 6 x 11", 5.5/3/1.5
    Paris/Courbet Class 20.5 kts (approx), 8 x 13.4", 17/10.75/3.5
    Dunkerque Class 29.5 kts, 8 x 13", 13.25/9.75/5
    Cavour/Doria 28.25 kts, 10 x 12.6", 11/9.75/5 (approx)
    Marat Class 23 kts (design speed), 12 x 12 ", 12/8.75/3.75 (approx)
    Sverige Class 23.5 kts, 4 x 11", 8/8/2 (approx)


    These figures are approximate, but reasonably close nevertheless. They represent "max total protection", and do not reflect thje overall extent of armour protection. There are also many other factors that affected Battleship design efficiency....
     
  4. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I honestly do not know eneogh about ships to make an honest opinion here. So I am hoping to learn something here. I am leaning toward the Hood or the Scharnhorst class though.
     
  5. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    I think you should have a separate poll for the Battleships Battlecruisers. Or else allow multiple choice to pick one of each.

    When you say "pre war" do you mean Sept 1939? We already did a BB poll for May of 41 {time of Bismarck sinking}

    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/ww...attleship-straight-duel-may-1941-a-11878.html


    Tim, of the 5 BC types, the Scharnhorst is the fastest at 32 knots, but only has 9 x 11" guns. The Renown Hood can do 31 knots, the Renown's with 6 x 15", the Hood had 8 x 15". The French Dunquerque's could do about 30 knots and had 8 x 13" guns. Kongo's could also do 30 knots and had 8 x 14" guns.

    Only Nelson, Nagato Colorado class have 16" guns. California's had only 14" guns. The 3 Colorado's had 16" guns. {CO, MD, WV}

    All of the BB's were 23.5 knots or slower, except for Italian Cavour's {27 knts}, and Nagato's {26 knts}

    Perhaps delcyros can answer more detailed info on deck armour, as stats don't tell the whole story about angles and compatmenting etc.
     
  6. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Parsifal
    very difficult to decise. I need still more time to choose between Nelson-class, West Wirginia-class, Nagato-class, Renown, Scharnhorst-class and Dunkerque-class.

    BTW there is a typo in Warspite specs it had 8 not 5 15" guns. It was bad that Valiant, more extensive modernized Queen Elizabeth-class BB than Warspite, missed the dead-line by mere 2 months, its refit ended Nov 39.

    Very good and difficult poll!

    Juha
     
  7. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    I think the Hood was clearly the best of the Battlecruisers.

    However, if the Scharnhorst's had completed their planned upgrades {would have had 3 x twin 15" guns} and improved deck armour it would have made a much closer match
     
  8. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Freebird, I'm with you on seperating the polls. It would work better. BCs really aren't capital ships in the idea that they are designed to slug it out in the battle line. Too many admirals made that mistake and they went to the bottom. Although by looking at the numbers, it seems the Scharnohorst and the Hood had as good (if not better) defenses compared to some of the BBs. I guess the question comes up about the extensiveness of the armor.

    Got my US BBs a little mixed up with the barrel size. Knew there were 16"s out there but couldn't remember which ones.
     
  9. delcyros

    delcyros Well-Known Member

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    The most reasonable candidate for this poll should be HMS HOOD. It features a balanced combination of speed, firepower and protection at the expense of excessive size.
    Do not make the mistake in judging HOOD according to her rapid sinking in the battle of Denmark street, it was THE battleship of the interwar period.
    Others might have been harder to sink (Scharnhorst, Colorado) or more powerfully armed (Nelson) but as a balanced warship, she was not superceded before the advent of the Bismarck class many years later.
     
  10. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Even then, her sudden demise was probably the result of a lucky hit. if the British had spent even a little time and money upgrading her, she might have had a chance. as it was, she just pulled the number 13 on the day she was sunk.

    IMO Bismarck is one of the most overrated designs as well, but I dont want to hijack the debate at this point
     
  11. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    All of the BB's were 23.5 knots or slower, except for Italian Cavour's {27 knts}, and Nagato's {26 knts}



    Basically true, except for Warspite and QE , which after their last refits were closer to 24.5 kts. The pocket battleships were rated at somewhere between 27 and 28 kts (depending on who you believe). Finally the Ises and Fusos were rated at between 24.7 and 25.3 kts, depending on the time after refit. In addition, all of the US BBs could not exceed 21 kts max sea speed, and then only for relatively short periods. In a long stern cahase, their effective speed was much slower than that, because of the generally low freeboard. Finally, the Nagatos after refit were rated at 26.5 kts (every bit counts), but this may well have fallen away as the war progressed.

    None of the Japanese BBs or BCs were protected to anything like the US standard. Indeed all of the US BBs in this poll are armoured to the "all or nothing" principal, which was the correct way to distribute armour. There is little point to distributing armour a bit here, a bit there, if the vitals are not covered properly. The Japanese designs relied on speed and firepower to win battles, with armour distribution being rather poor, and thin at that....

    Deck armouring in these BBs was poor. Those that were modernised all had additional deck armour added, as it was realized that at range plunging fire through the deck was the biggest threat to a ship, even in a surface engagement. I believe that Hood was destroyed by a deck penetration that happened to reach a magazine. But i am not a dedicated Hood student.
     
  12. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    Agreed. Perhaps a poll should be for BB's only pre-1939, not BC's.

    Do you think the Scharnhorst was harder to sink than the Hood?

    Was the Warspite finished before Sept 1939?
     
  13. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Hi Freebird

    According to Conways, Warspite's refit was from March 1934 to March 1937.

    Valiant and QE were completed in November 1939, and December 1940 (respectively), to more or less the same specs.

    British refits were less extensive than those of other nations, but were highly cost effective, and took full advantage of the british naval architecture advantages that come with building the most battleships of any nation
     
  14. slaterat

    slaterat Member

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    The Renown and the Repulse recieved quite different rebuilds. The Repulse was quite limited, while the Renown was extensively rebuilt.

    I picked the Renown as it was the best of the RN rebuilds. Its deck armour was increased to a 6 inch main deck topped by another deck of 2-4 inches.AFAIK the deck totaled 10 inches over the magazines. She was still capable of 29 knots and had an excellant secondary arament of 20 4.5 inch guns. Originally built with an internal anti torpedoe bulge she had another external one added. Therefore at the start of WW II the Renown was the best RN capital ship, being the fastest with the heaviest deck armour as well as the best protected against air attack. Her biggest weakness would be the narrow 9 inch main belt, but overall the most useful of the RN rebuilds. The Renown was a better ship than the Hood ,whose deck armour was spread over three decks. The poor Hood was to have been modernized similar to the Renown, but the war started and the rest is history.

    Slaterat
     
  15. Kurfürst

    Kurfürst Banned

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    Its a though choice for me between the Dunkerque, the Hood and the Scharnhorst. The others I eliminate from the decision because of their low speed or insufficient armor. But I am probably have to agree with delcyros about the Hood having the best balance of qualities of these.
     
  16. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    Good reasoning. But what source do you use for the deck armour stats? 10" sounds a little high, but if it was thats incredible protection.

    Also it isn't mentioned in the poll, but does "best ship" include ships crew? The Renown/Repulse had much more experience than some of the other BC's/BB's, the performance of Repulse in the South China Sea {avoiding 4 Torpedo/bomb attacks before the fatal one} is mainly a result of the skill of the Capitan/Helm. {and could have survived had the RAF Buffalos been called for as soon as the air attack began}
     
  17. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Highly doubtful that Fze Z could have survived, in my opinion. Japanese losses would have increased, but the japanese had quite a numbe of LR Torpedo Bombers uncommitted to the battle, as at the time of the sinking. Matsungaga, the Commander of the air corps with the brief to sink the the two British ships was boarding a G3M to personally lead the last wave, should they be needed. I believe there were at least 17 Nells not committed to the strike as at the last sinking.

    From memory, Force Z was only ever promised 6 Buffaloes as aircover, with each only a relatively short time over the target.

    Now, it would have been a different story if the Indefatigable had not hit a rock enroute with the two Capital ships, and had been available to provide local aircover
     
  18. dysonsphere

    dysonsphere New Member

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    Hmmm Hood would have been top if her rebuild along the lines of then QE class had been carried out. Nelson and Rodney were good in theory but were too slow and suffered from main armanent problems for their whole life. Including restrictions on permissable arcs of fire. Also the 6" twin turrets were not much use AA was more important.
     
  19. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I admit the Renown and Nelson make a good combination. Both had good deck armour and by 1939 standards, very good LAA guns. The Renown had an unmatched HAA defence which were useful as anti destroyer weapons and the Nelson had a good 6in secondary defence.
     
  20. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    Actually the final wave {the Japanese launched from several directions at once, after the Repulse had already successfully "combed" 3 TB waves} was almost the LAST group of TB's on hand, and they were already low on fuel. The remaining Nell's had 250 500 lb bombs, Force Z had already evaded several bomb attacks with minimum damage. Even 6 buffalos would have been enough to disrupt unescorted bombers trying to launch torpedoes.

    If the Buffaloes had showed up and prevented the Japanese from launching a multi-directional attack on the Repulse, and assuming that Capt. Tennant had retreated to Singapore, the Japanese would not have enough time to launch again {from Indo-China bases}

    It was actually HMS Indomitable that was scraping rocks in the Caribbean. The other 2 "I" {Implacable} class would take a couple more years to complete. {Not to nit-pick or anything} :D
     
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