Battleship Porn

Jebe

Spaceman
I just read through the FAQ, and it seems odd to me that the supercruiser would only serve for 13 or so years. It is possible to have two ships in service with the same name, and I would think that the ship would have plenty of fight left in it.

The only thing I could think of that would sideline it would be expense. Think Iowa class battleship in the Gulf War. Great ship, lots of weapons, but a cruiser or even guided missile destroyer could accomplish the same mission with fewer crew, expense, etc.
Are you referring to WW2 cruisers and Zumwalts?

The 5" naval guns cannot meet NGFS requirements, which was more or less the excuse for keeping the BBs in service. To be fair smaller faster firings guns have been favored over larger slower firing guns for that mission, and precision makes artillery more inherently useful as there's less issues with hitting one's own forces.

Meeting the requirements with something other then guns would have involved a navalized MLRS system built into a Arsenal Ship as they called it. That didn't go anywhere and even the Zumwalts have had to deal with a lot of opposition to have their contracts secured even for a limited run.
 

ELTEE

Rear Admiral
Are you referring to WW2 cruisers and Zumwalts?
Hmm - I wasn't referring to the Zumwalts at all. The Iowas were kept at a ready status for several reasons, not the least of which was national pride.

The 16 inch guns were certainly unique and for the most part, irreplaceable. My point was that by the Gulf War, the primary weapon for the BB centered on the Tomahawk cruise missile system. This weapon can easily be deployed by a wide range of vehicles, from SSBN and SSNs, to CGs and DDGs - not to mention air launched versions as well.

Missile for missile, it cost far less for the Navy to maintain any of these other ships in service than it cost to keep up an Iowa. Even with the proper funding, accidents could easily happen with the aging 16 inch guns as evidenced by the USS Iowa turret fire.

Nevertheless, despite these facts, Congress still insists that the BBs be able to return to combat on short notice should we need them again. I have to admit, there's a part of me that's pulling for them as well. Nothing looks like or has the psychological impact of a battleship.
 

Mace

Vice Admiral


I would surrender if I saw that thing take aim at me, there is also a certain dignity to having a real massive battleship, same way the dutch are building replica's of their 17th century fleet, just as a museum it's damn impressive if you walk around it. No doubt modern aircraft carriers or battleships would give the same impressions, and are a part of history that should be preserved.

Like the TCS victory in the WC4 intro.
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal


I would surrender if I saw that thing take aim at me, there is also a certain dignity to having a real massive battleship, same way the dutch are building replica's of their 17th century fleet, just as a museum it's damn impressive if you walk around it. No doubt modern aircraft carriers or battleships would give the same impressions, and are a part of history that should be preserved.

Like the TCS victory in the WC4 intro.
Oh they are very impressive. I was on the Kennedy the last time she was in Boston.. holy shit that old crate is huge!! I agree with you that they should be preserved... but to keep them up-to-date in case they need them again. When will that be? I mean I understand the massive weapons load outs and morale affect, but... BBs are very slow and I doubt it would be too hard to pick off.
 

Attachments

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
Never the less, this is largely a prestige issue - with the odd reversal of the Navy being the group that insists the battleships won't be needed and the Congress being the ones insisting on upholding the tradition.
Yeah thats pretty much what I figured. Probably the same with the Enterprise at this point. That carrier is extremely out of date. But don't forget the United States still has a Frigate from 1812 on active duty. On the same dime, the USS Constitution is kept in for prestige and historical tradition, but it actually shocks me of how serious this is taken. I went to see it with an old HS buddy on shore leave. He was in-uniform as he had just gotten off duty. I walked on board the ship and walked over to one of the cannons. I noticed my friend wasn't with me and saw him saluting the Lieutenant on deck and asked for permission to come on board. Apparently he could have gotten in a lot of trouble had he not.
 

Death

gh0d (Administrator)
BBs are very slow
You do realize the Iowas were designed to be part of carrier battlegroups, right? Both they and the Nimitz class are capable of over 30 knots (as were the carriers the Iowas were originally planned to hang with, during WW2).

(Arguably BBs aren't practical for use in a modern navy, especially not ones that have crews similar in size to those of aircraft carriers while being more limited in overall utility and flexibility, but that's another thread.)
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
You do realize the Iowas were designed to be part of carrier battlegroups, right? Both they and the Nimitz class are capable of over 30 knots (as were the carriers the Iowas were originally planned to hang with, during WW2)
Yes I do know that, but the BB isn't capable of sustaining those speeds for that long. The fuel consumption is ridiculous. Even when they were in their prime, they were considered to have a "Mighty thirst."
 

ELTEE

Rear Admiral
CVNs aren't designed to 'cruise' at 30+ knots the whole time either. The Iowas are not slow - they are many things, but that is not one of them.

They could easily keep up in any modern fleet formation/engagement.

Enterprise is not as outdated as you think. She is, though, due to be retired sooner rather than later. The reason we maintain her is so we have enough carriers to maintain our presence around the world. Remember that ships always have to cycle off duty for refueling (yes, even the nuclear ones), refitting, training, and redeployment.

The new Gerald Ford class is pretty impressive. I am really hoping the second ship is named Arizona, but it would admittedly break navy tradition.

As for the WC Concordia, I don't think we can really say that anything had to happen to the supercruiser. Having two active ships with the same name, while rare, would not be unprecedented. It's a big universe, after all :D
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
The new Gerald Ford class is pretty impressive. I am really hoping the second ship is named Arizona, but it would admittedly break navy tradition.
They already broke navy tradition. Carriers were usually named after famous battles and/or ships. Only once the US mass produced carriers did they actually consistently name them after people.


Langley
Lexington
Saratoga
Yorktown
Enterprise
Wasp
Hornet
Essex
etc.

Personally, I think we're overdue for a Lexington or Saratoga.

And I find the new Queen Elizabeth class even more impressive.
 

Jebe

Spaceman
Hmm - I wasn't referring to the Zumwalts at all. The Iowas were kept at a ready status for several reasons, not the least of which was national pride.
NGFS=Naval Gun Fire Support. Guns are cheaper then missiles for artillery missions.

The fact is they're less then ideal for NGFS, but that is the role they were retained for.

As warships the Dreadnought concept never panned out IMHO. Britain the top naval power of the time would have lost WW1 if the US hadn't stepped in with its Navy due to being bankrupted thanks to sinking too much of their resources in what was ultimately a strategically irrelevant piece of equipment. In Suriago Strait where everything was pretty much textbook perfect the torpedoes were the real performers. The Japanese developed torpedoes that outranged Naval Rifles in the 30s, although to be fair they were only ones to start WW2 with functional torpedoes.

There's only like 6 BB battles in history, and Tsushima is pretty much the only one that was decisive in a strategic sense. Jutland just drove Germany to get serious with SSKs, which led Britain being brought to its knees in terms of its treasury. The others at least didn't catastrophically backfire like Jutland did.

Yeah thats pretty much what I figured. Probably the same with the Enterprise at this point. That carrier is extremely out of date.
What's that make the Kitty Hawk?
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
What's that make the Kitty Hawk?
That's actually an excellent question... (and one I should have thought of as my friend served on it until it was retired.)

But I guess you could say there are exceptions to the rule. Look at the Battleships, named after states right? then what about the USS Kearsarge (BB-5)?
 

ELTEE

Rear Admiral
NGFS=Naval Gun Fire Support. Guns are cheaper then missiles for artillery missions.

The fact is they're less then ideal for NGFS, but that is the role they were retained for.

As warships the Dreadnought concept never panned out IMHO. ?
I did know what NGFS stands for. :p We do just fine without blowing people up in 16 inch turrets.

You're forgetting that the dreadnought is simply an extension of the centuries old 'ship of the line.' These ships were absolutely essential to any navy projecting power. At the start of WWI, airpower was in its infancy; with no clear successor, why would any admiral want to change a centuries old tradition? Would a line of destroyers or 'destroyer leaders' (Japanese) have the same impact on foreign policy, for example?

The principal difference is that by the time the dreadnought is introduced, several other technologies were coming into their own - namely airpower and the torpedo. There simply weren't many chances for battleships to tangle directly with the enemy -

- but there certainly were near misses. What if the Japanese had continued with their big guns towards Rear Admiral Sprague's force in the Battle of Samar? As it was, they caused considerable damage before being 'fooled' into retreating. Had they continued, the battleships and destroyers would have been powerless to stop them. The fact is, throughout the war, battleships were not needlessly risked because they cost so damned much to the nations that built them.

That being said, they certainly remained priority targets throughout the war because of their recognized and understood potential to devestate the enemy. They had weaknesses, of course. As for vulnerability to torpedos, that varied on which ship is in question. Look how many torps were required to actually sink the Bismarck, for example - and that's after she was set ablaze by hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

To the question of vulnerability to air attack, that is a legitimate concern. However, I would point out that not all battleships were equal here, either. American battleships of the Second World War tended to have formidable anti aircraft armament. They frequently downed aircraft headed for the carriers (or themselves) they were assigned to protect. In the above example, imagine a South Dakota or North Carolina class battleship in the same situation. I don't think the Swordfish would have been as successful in penetrating that kind of firepower.

Other navies did not have the same emphasis on this protection which lead to disasterous results; i.e. the Royal Navy's Force Z in the Pacific.

You mention the battle of Jutland; what we see there is similar to what we see on land in the First World War. A stalemate, of sorts. Technology was so similar between the fleets, it was difficult to truly obtain a decisive victory - there was no real 'game changer' employed yet. This fault, however, cannot be directly assigned to the vessels themselves. The dreadnought, whether battlecruiser or battleship, was not strategically irrelevant. If Britain hadn't built any, but Germany had, what do you think the balance of power would have been? It sure wouldn't have been decided by destroyers with torpedos - at that point in the war, the big guns were far more effective at range than the destroyers trying to line up for attack runs. Were some successful at Jutland? Of course, but only because they had the protection or the cover from their own BBs. Dreadnoughts only seemed irrelevant due to their inability to achieve a decisive victory.

As warships the Dreadnought concept never panned out IMHO
One argument I will clearly make is that there is no way a Dreadnought era vessel is inferior to a pre-dreadnought battleship in any way, shape, or form. Dreadnoughts were faster, more heavily armored, and far more lethal in battle due to their standard armaments. Half of the guns in pre-dreadnought designs were useless if the sea was the slightest bit rough.

If you want to get specific, I would concede that the concept of the 'battlecruiser' was certainly flawed, or at least the way they were employed was flawed. THAT is why the British losses were so high; Lord Fisher placed so much importance on these vessels (and, lets be honest, they certainly LOOKED the part when floating next to a battleship) that they lead the way during the engagement and suffered the price of cheap armor for speed.

The painful and cliched example which puts an exclamation point on the subject is the fate of the HMS Hood. Ironically, she was due for a refit and more than likely would have had the time to undergo the modifications had the Bismarck not sailed when he did.
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
I did know what NGFS stands for. :p We do just fine without blowing people up in 16 inch turrets.

You're forgetting that the dreadnought is simply an extension of the centuries old 'ship of the line.'
Ships of the line by the "Pre-Dreadnought" age were considered Cruisers, not battleships. Perhaps you mean the Man o war?
The principal difference is that by the time the dreadnought is introduced, several other technologies were coming into their own - namely airpower and the torpedo. There simply weren't many chances for battleships to tangle directly with the enemy -
I don't agree with your appraisal of air power at this point. The Dreadnoughts had just come out and military air power was still in it's infancy. The first of the bunch, HMS Dreadnought, was launched in 1906. The first Aircraft carrier (training or otherwise) weren't built until after WW1. Langley, Ark Royal, Argus, and I believe the Japanese Hosho were the first. So when the Dreadnought was launched, air travel itself was still being developed and was nowhere near being considered for naval use.

One argument I will clearly make is that there is no way a Dreadnought era vessel is inferior to a pre-dreadnought battleship in any way, shape, or form. Dreadnoughts were faster, more heavily armored, and far more lethal in battle due to their standard armaments. Half of the guns in pre-dreadnought designs were useless if the sea was the slightest bit rough.
That I'll agree with you on.

If you want to get specific, I would concede that the concept of the 'battlecruiser' was certainly flawed, or at least the way they were employed was flawed. THAT is why the British losses were so high; Lord Fisher placed so much importance on these vessels (and, lets be honest, they certainly LOOKED the part when floating next to a battleship) that they lead the way during the engagement and suffered the price of cheap armor for speed.
This I do not agree with at all. You are basing your opinion of the Battlecruiser on the British designs. It is well documented that the British had a very foolish outlook on how a ship "Should be" built in the years leading up to WW2. Thus they sacrificed armor, which turned out to be a disaster. But look at Scharhost, Gniesnau(Sp??), and the Graf Spee all battlecruisers (AKA pocket battleships) that were quite successful in what they were built for.
The painful and cliched example which puts an exclamation point on the subject is the fate of the HMS Hood. Ironically, she was due for a refit and more than likely would have had the time to undergo the modifications had the Bismarck not sailed when he did.
And had she gotten that upgrade rather then the Brits using her for diplomatic missions, history may have been recorded differently.
 

Tigerhawk

Captain
They already broke navy tradition. Carriers were usually named after famous battles and/or ships. Only once the US mass produced carriers did they actually consistently name them after people.


Langley
Lexington
Saratoga
Yorktown
Enterprise
Wasp
Hornet
Essex
etc.

Personally, I think we're overdue for a Lexington or Saratoga.

And I find the new Queen Elizabeth class even more impressive.
I'll agree with that...CV-60 Saratoga was my first ship.

Yeah thats pretty much what I figured. Probably the same with the Enterprise at this point. That carrier is extremely out of date. But don't forget the United States still has a Frigate from 1812 on active duty. On the same dime, the USS Constitution is kept in for prestige and historical tradition, but it actually shocks me of how serious this is taken. I went to see it with an old HS buddy on shore leave. He was in-uniform as he had just gotten off duty. I walked on board the ship and walked over to one of the cannons. I noticed my friend wasn't with me and saw him saluting the Lieutenant on deck and asked for permission to come on board. Apparently he could have gotten in a lot of trouble had he not.
If he was under any sort of contract, that's absolutely correct. While the Navy prides itself on tradition, admittedly some of that tradition wavers. However, where longstanding ones are concerned, such as saluting the naval ensign, the officer of the deck and requesting permission to come aboard, the Navy has always remained very serious.

That's actually an excellent question... (and one I should have thought of as my friend served on it until it was retired.)

But I guess you could say there are exceptions to the rule. Look at the Battleships, named after states right? then what about the USS Kearsarge (BB-5)?
As stated above, the Navy does sort of waver on tradition, and the naming of certain types of ships is part of that waivering. Battleships used to hold the state names exclusively...but then the Ohio-class SSBNs got that distinction. Up until the Ohio-class was no longer built, then the USS Connecticut, a Seawolf-class attack sub, got it...even though city names were normally assigned to attack subs, i.e. the Los Angeles-class. Of course, city names used to also be the domain of cruisers...except when they built the USS California...

Yeah. We're kinda wacky that way. :p
 

TCS-Concordia

Rear Admiral
I read an article about the new US Navy Carrier class. There is a movement in Congress to A> Dump the Gerald Ford name and scheme of naming the ships after Governmental Public Officials and to name the new ship and class USS Enterprise as the current one will be decommissioned after the USS George H. W. Bush comes online. I for one agree, there should always be an Enterprise in service. It still annoys me that the WWII Enterprise was cut up for scrap. Of all the carriers that were saved from WWII, that was the one most deserving IMO. Admiral Halsey even tried to get her saved. I do know her ship's bell and name from the fantail is at the US Naval Academy.
 

Dominator

Rear Admiral
frostytheplebe said:
It is well documented that the British had a very foolish outlook on how a ship "Should be" built in the years leading up to WW2. Thus they sacrificed armor, which turned out to be a disaster. But look at Scharhost, Gniesnau(Sp??), and the Graf Spee all battlecruisers (AKA pocket battleships) that were quite successful in what they were built for.
And somehow on 9 April 1940 british battlecruiser Renown engaged both Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, inflicted heavy damage on Gneisenau and forced german retreat.

Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were battleships (schlachtschiff - same designation as Bismarck), while Graf Spee (with two sister ships) was designated as panzerschiff (armored ship) - sort of heavy cruiser, designed and built in accordance with the treaty of Versailles. This class of ships was heavier and better armed then other heavy cruisers of the day, so British called them pocket battleships.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Yeah. We're kinda wacky that way. :p
Heh. I think about the only people bothered by such inconsistencies are sci-fi fans, who'd like every navy fictional or otherwise to be consistent, easy to understand... and positively inhuman. It would be very, very abnormal for anyone to always stick with the naming scheme.

Just looking at the exceptions you mentioned - well, what state wouldn't want a ship named after itself? Obviously, when a given class (like the Ohio) is discontinued, the state that would have been next in line (or at least felt it should have been next in line) starts lobbying to have some other ship named after itself. Ship names in general are subject to intense lobbying from many sides. And that is normal - consistent naming schemes would not be :).

And somehow on 9 April 1940 british battlecruiser Renown engaged both Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, inflicted heavy damage on Gneisenau and forced german retreat.
Guys, you know (at least, I hope you do :) ) very well that each ship engagement is completely unique, and usually very little info can be drawn for class comparisons based on an encounter or two. In one battle, a battlecruiser with a good crew will get the first shot in, and drive the enemy. In another, a different battlecruiser will be unlucky enough to take a hit right at the start and explode. There's a lot of factors involved, and blunt ship stats comparisons are just about the very last thing to consider (unless we're talking combat between a corvette and a battleship or something similarly mismatched).
 

Dominator

Rear Admiral
Guys, you know (at least, I hope you do :) ) very well that each ship engagement is completely unique, and usually very little info can be drawn for class comparisons based on an encounter or two. In one battle, a battlecruiser with a good crew will get the first shot in, and drive the enemy. In another, a different battlecruiser will be unlucky enough to take a hit right at the start and explode. There's a lot of factors involved, and blunt ship stats comparisons are just about the very last thing to consider (unless we're talking combat between a corvette and a battleship or something similarly mismatched).
Yeah of course you're right. I've read recently that sloppy ammunition handling rather than inadequate armor was responsible for the loss of three british battlecruisers at Jutland, so it was more matter of crew performance then technical deficiencies. Best way to rate a ship (or a class of ships) is to look at its operational history, and see if and how it was able to perform duties it was designed for.
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
And somehow on 9 April 1940 british battlecruiser Renown engaged both Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, inflicted heavy damage on Gneisenau and forced german retreat.

Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were battleships (schlachtschiff - same designation as Bismarck), while Graf Spee (with two sister ships) was designated as panzerschiff (armored ship) - sort of heavy cruiser, designed and built in accordance with the treaty of Versailles. This class of ships was heavier and better armed then other heavy cruisers of the day, so British called them pocket battleships.
The definition of what those three ships were classified as is "Pocket Battleship." But most (key word, most) historical sources classify them as heavily armed Battlecruisers because of their displacement, overall size and armament. You could make the same argument about the USS Constitution not being a frigate because she carried at least 18 more guns then a standard Frigate, but thats how she's classified.

Again it is the same deal with the USS Maine. She was called a battleship, despite all evidence to the contrary. She was an over armed cruiser and as such was classified as a "Second class Battleship." But her designation was not BB-1. It was ACR-! (Armored Cruiser 1).
 

Sylvester

Vice Admiral
CVNs aren't designed to 'cruise' at 30+ knots the whole time either. The Iowas are not slow - they are many things, but that is not one of them.

They could easily keep up in any modern fleet formation/engagement.

Enterprise is not as outdated as you think. She is, though, due to be retired sooner rather than later. The reason we maintain her is so we have enough carriers to maintain our presence around the world. Remember that ships always have to cycle off duty for refueling (yes, even the nuclear ones), refitting, training, and redeployment.

The new Gerald Ford class is pretty impressive. I am really hoping the second ship is named Arizona, but it would admittedly break navy tradition.
I happen to know a bit about this - I'm currently a NROTC Midshipman and I have a secret security clearance. Without revealing anything classified, I can tell you that Enterprise or any of the Nimitz class can cruise around at flank speed all they want - the only limiting factor is food. They are not limited to short bursts of high speed.

Enterprise is still a great ship - her problem is its getting extremely expensive to continue to operate her. Remember, she has eight smaller, more inefficient nuclear reactors compared to the two giant reactors on the Nimitz class.

And I am also completely in favor of naming carriers after battles/big ideas instead of people.
 
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