Most heavily Armed ship during ww2.

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Senior Airman
May 12, 2005
In my opinion it was the Patrol Torpedo Boat or better yet known as the PT Boat.


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The accolade of most heavily armed ship or ships must be awarded to the Fairmile D Type MGB's MTB's, they were armed with 2 X 6 Ponders 1 Forward 1 Aft, 2 X Twin .5" Machine Guns by the side of Bridge, 2 X Twin .303" Machines Guns aft of the Bridge, some also mounted Twin 20mm Oerlikon abaft the Bridge, The MTB's Mounted either 4 X 21" Torpedo Tubes or 4 X 18" Torpedo Tubes, and they had provision for Mines or Depth Charges, all this squezed into a hull 115' Long 21' Beam, and had a crew of 33.

Here is a picture of MTB753 a Fairmile D Type MTB


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The E-boats where a better vessel than the MTBs or PT boats
In 1945, future president John F. Kennedy visited defeated Germany with US Navy Secretary James Forrestal. As a former PT boat captain, he was naturally interested in the German counterpart so he made a point of carefully inspecting an intact "E-Boat" at Bremen. Kennedy's diary records his conclusion: the Schnellboot was "far superior to our PT boat."
Carriers had the biggest hitting power of any surface vessel but if I had to pick non aircraft carrying vessel I,d go for the Bismark or Tirpitz
they had superb gunnery control systems and the quality of the amour used was of the highest order. Thickness does not always mean best although it helps heres a piece of the Tirpitz belt armour.
Image is from my own personel collection and my be used in the public domain


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But then, something like a Dido class cruiser had a huge AA armament, while the USNs four-pipe destroyers carried a massive torpedo armament...fot thier size, the USCGs A/S cutters packed a considerable punch, as did the RNs escort corvettes.This is one of those debates where you a can argue for many different winners, because of variables like tonnage, intended role and threat environment.
The title of the thread is the most heavly armed ship on that basis if one vessel is pitted against another the carrier and the battleship are on the top of the pile a vessel of any size less than a heavy cruiser could be taken on by a battleships secondary armament once the main weapons are included its a slaughter.
Don't forget the Alaska-Class Battlecruisers and Iowa-Class Battleships.
The Musashi and the Yamato had some big guns! They were 18 inch guns!. The Missouri and other Iowa class ships had 16 inch guns, which were no small one either.

When the Musashi was hit during the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea (Part of the Battle of the Leyte Gulf), she was hit by 17 bombs and 19 torpedoes! It still took another 4 hours for it to capsize and sink.
The Iowa-Class BBs had better fire control systems though. I've also seen somewhere that the 16" on the Iowas' were more accurate.

I would take the Iowa-Class over the IJN big hitters, personally.

Yamato and her sister ship where indeed impressive vessels but there radar lagged well behind the western powers this in turn lost any effectiveness gained by the 18" guns I agree the Iowa were good vessels and indeed the fastest battleships every produced with a top speed of 32.5 kts as opposed to Yamatos 27kts or Bismarks 30.1 kts.
As a gun platform the Iowa class had only a couple of minor flaws with the necessity to navigate the Panama canal locks the beam of the vessels was kept too 108.2 ft (Bismark 118.1ft Yamato 121.1ft) this made for a fast ship but also made them slightly less stable. Because of this loss of beam the bows had a relatively high for-peak to take the seas, this impeded the ability to use the forward turret when firing over the bow at closer ranges. but overall as you say D they where excellent and very beautiful ships. As for any battle-cruisers the concept was good but they invariably ended up being put against battleships, and they where not designed for this, so as with the Hood they lacked sufficient protection against large caliber shells. I am pleased that the US has kept at least one Battleship around as they represent an important period in world events also even though they could be sunk by later and more powerful weapons the sight of one of these incredible monsters unleashing a broadside is a mighty and impressive thing.
Image C/O


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