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Old 18th June 2019, 05:59 PM   #1
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World's Worst Warships?

Thread inspired by these two videos, themselves a response to this book.
Drachinifel*, the video guy, disagrees with more than half of the author's choices, but what are YOUR choices?
I hereby nominate the USN's Mississippi Class battleships, created by committee when the Navy wanted battleships but Congress didn't want to pay for them. Only 13,000 tons, carrying the same armament as the Connecticut Class, insufficient speed, sea-keeping, and fuel capacity, AND commissioned a year-and-a-half after Dreadnought! Sold to Greece after only a few years service, and considerably more useful to that nation.

Dishonorable Mention: The Alaska Class Cruisers, created to fight ships that never existed, extremely expensive (a whole new gun design), and capable, according to one source I've seen, of steaming in circles for a full hour with the helm centered, because reasons.

*Drachinifel. How the hell do you pronounce that? At least he stopped using the computerized voice.
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Old 18th June 2019, 07:34 PM   #2
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Hmm the Littoral Combat Ship gets my nom. Let's have a shallow draft manuevarable ship that can operate in coastal areas that we can share a design between the Navy and Coast Guard. Good idea. Then it just kept ballooning until it cost more than most other countries spend on DDG's with far less capability.
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Old 18th June 2019, 09:42 PM   #3
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The USS Vesuvius. A warship that looked more like a yacht. Moved fast. And was armed with....pnuematic guns that fired Dynamite.

It was the darling of the media, who thought in an ingenious and economical way to take out the big armored warships of the era.

However, the "guns" turned out to have woefully inadequate range (just 500m), and had horrible accuracy to boot. During the Spanish American War it made a few runs at the Cuban fortifications but did little more than unnerve the Spanish troops.
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Old 18th June 2019, 10:43 PM   #4
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It looks as if the book in question only starts in 1860, which is too bad as it rules out the Vasa. That one is pretty hard to beat.
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Old 19th June 2019, 01:33 AM   #5
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Through no fault of the design, the Yamato and its fellow Yamato Class battleships have to be considered.

The Japanese had already taught the world that big gun naval warfare was going to be a thing of the past, but rather than use the two yuge battleships to possibly sucker the Americans in when they still had sufficient naval power (they being the IJN), they kept them safely away until their fates were fairly well sealed when the USN had submarine and carrier dominance. The Musashi went down during Leyte Gulf, when it was still the flagship of the fleet, I believe. And the inglorious and stupid end to the Yamato at Okinawa is the stuff of legend.

The one time the Yamato got into the shooting war it was very effective against smaller ships but didn't meet up with the USN battleships, and certainly no carriers! Both of the ships of the class were allergic to carriers. The anti-aircraft batteries were less effective than designed. And no one's immune to torpedoes, which is what took out the Musashi.

So design-wise, probably good ships but we don't have enough data. But when it comes to mismanagement by naval command, absolute boondoggles.
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Old 19th June 2019, 02:49 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by kookbreaker View Post
The USS Vesuvius. A warship that looked more like a yacht. Moved fast. And was armed with....pnuematic guns that fired Dynamite.

It was the darling of the media, who thought in an ingenious and economical way to take out the big armored warships of the era.

However, the "guns" turned out to have woefully inadequate range (just 500m), and had horrible accuracy to boot. During the Spanish American War it made a few runs at the Cuban fortifications but did little more than unnerve the Spanish troops.
Pneumatic guns were popular for a while, it was to do with the characteristics of explosives and propellants at the time.
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Old 19th June 2019, 02:50 AM   #7
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Italy produced a number of spectacularly bad 'Ram' ships.
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Old 19th June 2019, 06:11 AM   #8
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HMS Rodney. Half a battleship.
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Old 19th June 2019, 06:15 AM   #9
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the USS Gerald R. Ford - it doesn't even fly.
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Old 19th June 2019, 06:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
HMS Rodney. Half a battleship.
How very dare you speak ill of her! Rodney is my waifu!
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Old 19th June 2019, 06:54 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
the USS Gerald R. Ford - it doesn't even fly.
But it has rail gun!

Granted only used to launch aircraft, still that's some sci fi **** right their.
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Old 19th June 2019, 07:04 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
HMS Rodney. Half a battleship.
How is Rodney 'half a battleship'?
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Old 19th June 2019, 07:13 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
How is Rodney 'half a battleship'?
Treaty limitations? It wasn't the most battleship possible with the technology and resources of the period.

---

Anyway, I think that all warships, like all warplanes, are essentially interim designs, stopgaps to fill a need while you work on something better. There's no such thing as a "definitive" article. Just you going to war with the warships you have, not the warships you wish to have or plan to have at a later date.

---

The LCS is a good example of an "interwar" design. It's crap, mostly because there's no real urgency to it. In an actual shooting war with a near-peer adversary, we'd probably see something entirely different. Some mass-produced, cheap, awkward, and ineffective design. And then they'd work on refining and improving and replacing it. Just about the time the war was over, they'd have something much better - maybe even worth keeping! ... And they'd only make three of them because the war is over and they don't need them anymore.

And then you'd have a whole generation of people convinced that the first wartime design, warts and all, was the "definitive" warship design, simply because there were a lot of them and they're in all the war footage and there's a lengthy wikipedia article about their design and exploits.

And you'd have a small but vocal faction of butthurt Navy nerds, loudly complaining that they should have built out whole armadas of the new design, instead of just the three and then mothballing them.

Last edited by theprestige; 19th June 2019 at 07:15 AM.
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Old 19th June 2019, 08:17 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
HMS Rodney. Half a battleship.
Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
How is Rodney 'half a battleship'?
Because it's a Cherry Tree -- cut down by Washington.

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Old 19th June 2019, 08:19 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
How is Rodney 'half a battleship'?
Not sure, I mean the no rear turret idea doesn't really make the class half a battleship... ugly as sin though yes.

Here is a real half battleship:



Oh Japan... such poor decisions you made.
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Old 19th June 2019, 08:34 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The LCS is a good example of an "interwar" design. It's crap, mostly because there's no real urgency to it. In an actual shooting war with a near-peer adversary, we'd probably see something entirely different. Some mass-produced, cheap, awkward, and ineffective design. And then they'd work on refining and improving and replacing it. Just about the time the war was over, they'd have something much better - maybe even worth keeping! ... And they'd only make three of them because the war is over and they don't need them anymore.

And then you'd have a whole generation of people convinced that the first wartime design, warts and all, was the "definitive" warship design, simply because there were a lot of them and they're in all the war footage and there's a lengthy wikipedia article about their design and exploits.

And you'd have a small but vocal faction of butthurt Navy nerds, loudly complaining that they should have built out whole armadas of the new design, instead of just the three and then mothballing them.
It is sort of like the joint-strike-fighter problem. Instead of building a ship for a specific purpose we want it to do everything. Stealthily insert a commando team, maybe patrol coastal waters. OK. Oh, but it needs to be able to do its own AA and ASW warfare. And it needs a helicopter pad. So instead of having a platform for one specific need, it becomes this jack-of-all trades kind of thing, master of none. Like the JSF, its compromised because its supposed to be all things to all air forces... navy air forces... and a marine corps harrier version. Now, a smaller country might "need" that, but the USN has well over 100 major combat warships so it can afford to specialize.

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Old 19th June 2019, 08:42 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
HMS Rodney. Half a battleship.
I seriously doubt whether the surviving 5% of Bismarck's crew would have agreed with you.

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Old 19th June 2019, 09:03 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
I seriously doubt whether the surviving 5% of Bismarck's crew would have agreed with you.

Dave
Yeah, and measured by broadside throw weight, the Nelson class was 4th highest of any battleship design ever. 18,432 lbs compared to Bismark's 14,112 lbs. One of the many overrated German designs of the war (I don't mean just ships).
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Old 19th June 2019, 09:38 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Hmm the Littoral Combat Ship gets my nom. Let's have a shallow draft manuevarable ship that can operate in coastal areas that we can share a design between the Navy and Coast Guard. Good idea. Then it just kept ballooning until it cost more than most other countries spend on DDG's with far less capability.
It does seem unbalanced on paper at least.
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Old 19th June 2019, 10:07 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
It is sort of like the joint-strike-fighter problem. Instead of building a ship for a specific purpose we want it to do everything. Stealthily insert a commando team, maybe patrol coastal waters. OK. Oh, but it needs to be able to do its own AA and ASW warfare. And it needs a helicopter pad. So instead of having a platform for one specific need, it becomes this jack-of-all trades kind of thing, master of none. Like the JSF, its compromised because its supposed to be all things to all air forces... navy air forces... and a marine corps harrier version. Now, a smaller country might "need" that, but the USN has well over 100 major combat warships so it can afford to specialize.
Without wanting to get into it here, I think the JSF is an obvious and intelligent iteration of the same processes that first produced, and then obsoleted, the "night" fighter and the "all weather" fighter. Just the logistics win alone makes it an improvement over its predecessors.

Warships, on the other hand are a little different. But even there, "multi-role" is an important requirement for most surface combatants.

The destroyer, for example. It starts as a defensive picket for the fleet, screening against torpedo boats, and later submarines. The ASW job is vitally important to the fleet, so destroyers pretty much have to be able to operate ASW helicopters, use sonar, and launch torpedoes or depth charges.

With the advent of air power, the vital job of air defense must also be done. And it seems like it's simply more effective - you get more protection for the fleet - if every surface combatant can do both ASW and AD work. The pinnacle of this principle is the Arleigh Burke and similar classes. They can defend against submarines, defend against air attack, engage other surface combatants, and even support shore operations. This is vastly superior to needing four different ships to fill all those roles in your fleet. It gives you supreme flexibility in your disposition of forces. Any destroyer, anywhere on the picket line, can handle any threat the enemy throws at you, and do any job that happens to be in front of them.

Carriers do a similar multirole thing, but in terms of air power. The flattop itself is just an air base. But that air base can initiate air superiority, naval strike, and land attack missions with equal facility - often using the same airframes with different loadouts!

Anyway, I see the problem of the LCS as being one of too many "nice to have" features. Typical of an interwar design. A real wartime LCS wouldn't bother with "nice to have". It would be focused on closing an observed capability gap that was sinking ships, killing sailors, and losing battles.

One big problem the LCS is having is that it was designed for a requirement to operate in permissive environments. But that requirement doesn't really in a shooting war against a near-peer, or even a committed but inferior opponent in their home waters with restrictive rules of engagement (Iran and the Persian Gulf, I'm looking at you).

If a shooting war with Iran does kick off, we'll probably take the lessons learned from the LCS, and crank out something else that actually closes whatever capability gap emerges.

Probably it's going to be something similar to the Sa'ar 5 class. Something focused on defeating small combatants in contested waters.

It might also just be a new frigate class, doing basically the same ASW/AD/surface combat job as the destroyers, but cheaper and smaller.

Current generations of air defense radars and missiles are increasingly capable against small surface targets and faster missiles. The distinction between a plane, an anti-ship missile, and a fast attack boat is pretty much going away, in terms of what weapon systems you need for each one. More multi-role!

I like multi-role. But there are limits. There's only so many different capabilities you can cram into a smaller boat. At a certain point, it makes sense to specialize, especially with smaller boats, which are cheaper. Part of the problem of the battleship in modern navies is that it combines over specialization (surface combat at short range) with huge cost. The only time you want to specialize a big ship, I think, is when there's a big payoff (container ships) or it's just a way to get the multirole you want some other way (carriers).
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Old 19th June 2019, 11:13 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Without wanting to get into it here, I think the JSF is an obvious and intelligent iteration of the same processes that first produced, and then obsoleted, the "night" fighter and the "all weather" fighter. Just the logistics win alone makes it an improvement over its predecessors.

Warships, on the other hand are a little different. But even there, "multi-role" is an important requirement for most surface combatants.

The destroyer, for example. It starts as a defensive picket for the fleet, screening against torpedo boats, and later submarines. The ASW job is vitally important to the fleet, so destroyers pretty much have to be able to operate ASW helicopters, use sonar, and launch torpedoes or depth charges.

With the advent of air power, the vital job of air defense must also be done. And it seems like it's simply more effective - you get more protection for the fleet - if every surface combatant can do both ASW and AD work. The pinnacle of this principle is the Arleigh Burke and similar classes. They can defend against submarines, defend against air attack, engage other surface combatants, and even support shore operations. This is vastly superior to needing four different ships to fill all those roles in your fleet. It gives you supreme flexibility in your disposition of forces. Any destroyer, anywhere on the picket line, can handle any threat the enemy throws at you, and do any job that happens to be in front of them.

Carriers do a similar multirole thing, but in terms of air power. The flattop itself is just an air base. But that air base can initiate air superiority, naval strike, and land attack missions with equal facility - often using the same airframes with different loadouts!

Anyway, I see the problem of the LCS as being one of too many "nice to have" features. Typical of an interwar design. A real wartime LCS wouldn't bother with "nice to have". It would be focused on closing an observed capability gap that was sinking ships, killing sailors, and losing battles.

One big problem the LCS is having is that it was designed for a requirement to operate in permissive environments. But that requirement doesn't really in a shooting war against a near-peer, or even a committed but inferior opponent in their home waters with restrictive rules of engagement (Iran and the Persian Gulf, I'm looking at you).

If a shooting war with Iran does kick off, we'll probably take the lessons learned from the LCS, and crank out something else that actually closes whatever capability gap emerges.

Probably it's going to be something similar to the Sa'ar 5 class. Something focused on defeating small combatants in contested waters.

It might also just be a new frigate class, doing basically the same ASW/AD/surface combat job as the destroyers, but cheaper and smaller.

Current generations of air defense radars and missiles are increasingly capable against small surface targets and faster missiles. The distinction between a plane, an anti-ship missile, and a fast attack boat is pretty much going away, in terms of what weapon systems you need for each one. More multi-role!

I like multi-role. But there are limits. There's only so many different capabilities you can cram into a smaller boat. At a certain point, it makes sense to specialize, especially with smaller boats, which are cheaper. Part of the problem of the battleship in modern navies is that it combines over specialization (surface combat at short range) with huge cost. The only time you want to specialize a big ship, I think, is when there's a big payoff (container ships) or it's just a way to get the multirole you want some other way (carriers).
This is pretty close to deserving its own thread: The benefits and costs of multi-role military platforms versus specialization. I actually used to agree with your line of thinking completely, but the more articles I read about the shortcoming of the JSF and the LCS over the years, the more I've kind of come to the conclusion how absolutely boneheaded and wasteful the DoD has been about both projects. But, something like a modern CG or DDG does have a specialized role: protect the aircraft carrier, or landing assault ship. But, secondarily, they can project power on their own. For the first few decades of the Cold War it was the cruiser that did the heavy lifting for AA protection, and destroyers and frigates took care of the ASW thread. With the modularity of the VLS system (each cell can hold a tomahawk, or 4xAA missiles, or a torpedo for example), and upgrades to the weapons we could put in them, both could be very well taken care of from the same ship.

It looks like the navy has now backed down from the "modularity" component of the LCS. And each ship will have one of three roles with a crew trained it.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/bu...-failure-58837

Looks like the Navy has learned their lesson and the next smallish, but still ocean going ship, will be a more traditional frigate. Dubbed FFG(X).

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Old 19th June 2019, 12:08 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Not sure, I mean the no rear turret idea doesn't really make the class half a battleship... ugly as sin though yes.

Here is a real half battleship:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...arrier_Ise.jpg

Oh Japan... such poor decisions you made.



Didn't this one go down just after the battle at Midway?
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Old 19th June 2019, 12:24 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Not sure, I mean the no rear turret idea doesn't really make the class half a battleship... ugly as sin though yes.

Here is a real half battleship:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...arrier_Ise.jpg

Oh Japan... such poor decisions you made.
Originally Posted by 8enotto View Post
Didn't this one go down just after the battle at Midway?
Nope. Sunk at anchor outside of Kure.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_battleship_Ise

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Old 19th June 2019, 12:28 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
HMS Rodney. Half a battleship.
Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
How is Rodney 'half a battleship'?
Originally Posted by Major Major View Post
Because it's a Cherry Tree -- cut down by Washington.
And this is what they were cut down from.

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Old 19th June 2019, 12:58 PM   #25
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Yes but that doesn't make them 'Half a Battleship'

If you want to use that name then the KGVs were 'half a battleship' as they were cut down from the Lion class.

Nelson and Rodney were very successful ships. How in the world do they qualify for a thread on the 'World's Worst Warship'?

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Old 19th June 2019, 12:59 PM   #26
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We haven't mentioned Russian Aircraft Carriers yet.
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Old 19th June 2019, 02:03 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Without wanting to get into it here, I think the JSF is an obvious and intelligent iteration of the same processes that first produced, and then obsoleted, the "night" fighter and the "all weather" fighter. Just the logistics win alone makes it an improvement over its predecessors.

Warships, on the other hand are a little different. But even there, "multi-role" is an important requirement for most surface combatants.

The destroyer, for example. It starts as a defensive picket for the fleet, screening against torpedo boats, and later submarines. The ASW job is vitally important to the fleet, so destroyers pretty much have to be able to operate ASW helicopters, use sonar, and launch torpedoes or depth charges.

With the advent of air power, the vital job of air defense must also be done. And it seems like it's simply more effective - you get more protection for the fleet - if every surface combatant can do both ASW and AD work. The pinnacle of this principle is the Arleigh Burke and similar classes. They can defend against submarines, defend against air attack, engage other surface combatants, and even support shore operations. This is vastly superior to needing four different ships to fill all those roles in your fleet. It gives you supreme flexibility in your disposition of forces. Any destroyer, anywhere on the picket line, can handle any threat the enemy throws at you, and do any job that happens to be in front of them.

Carriers do a similar multirole thing, but in terms of air power. The flattop itself is just an air base. But that air base can initiate air superiority, naval strike, and land attack missions with equal facility - often using the same airframes with different loadouts!

Anyway, I see the problem of the LCS as being one of too many "nice to have" features. Typical of an interwar design. A real wartime LCS wouldn't bother with "nice to have". It would be focused on closing an observed capability gap that was sinking ships, killing sailors, and losing battles.

One big problem the LCS is having is that it was designed for a requirement to operate in permissive environments. But that requirement doesn't really in a shooting war against a near-peer, or even a committed but inferior opponent in their home waters with restrictive rules of engagement (Iran and the Persian Gulf, I'm looking at you).

If a shooting war with Iran does kick off, we'll probably take the lessons learned from the LCS, and crank out something else that actually closes whatever capability gap emerges.

Probably it's going to be something similar to the Sa'ar 5 class. Something focused on defeating small combatants in contested waters.

It might also just be a new frigate class, doing basically the same ASW/AD/surface combat job as the destroyers, but cheaper and smaller.

Current generations of air defense radars and missiles are increasingly capable against small surface targets and faster missiles. The distinction between a plane, an anti-ship missile, and a fast attack boat is pretty much going away, in terms of what weapon systems you need for each one. More multi-role!

I like multi-role. But there are limits. There's only so many different capabilities you can cram into a smaller boat. At a certain point, it makes sense to specialize, especially with smaller boats, which are cheaper. Part of the problem of the battleship in modern navies is that it combines over specialization (surface combat at short range) with huge cost. The only time you want to specialize a big ship, I think, is when there's a big payoff (container ships) or it's just a way to get the multirole you want some other way (carriers).
I tend to agree with you. Especially the Independence class. There seems to be a lot of compromises to achieve the speed and range. And the draught is closer to a frigate than many corvettes which seem more capable. And with the ability to not rely on their helicopters to strike surface targets more than 5 miles away.
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Old 19th June 2019, 02:08 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
The one time the Yamato got into the shooting war it was very effective against smaller ships but didn't meet up with the USN battleships, and certainly no carriers! Both of the ships of the class were allergic to carriers. The anti-aircraft batteries were less effective than designed. And no one's immune to torpedoes, which is what took out the Musashi.

So design-wise, probably good ships but we don't have enough data. But when it comes to mismanagement by naval command, absolute boondoggles.

It did pretty well against the Gamilons, though.
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Old 19th June 2019, 02:19 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Hmm the Littoral Combat Ship gets my nom. Let's have a shallow draft manuevarable ship that can operate in coastal areas that we can share a design between the Navy and Coast Guard. Good idea. Then it just kept ballooning until it cost more than most other countries spend on DDG's with far less capability.
Fully agree on that one. USN is now calling them "frigates", to disguise how useless they actually are.

Originally Posted by kookbreaker View Post
The USS Vesuvius. A warship that looked more like a yacht. Moved fast. And was armed with....pnuematic guns that fired Dynamite.

It was the darling of the media, who thought in an ingenious and economical way to take out the big armored warships of the era.

However, the "guns" turned out to have woefully inadequate range (just 500m), and had horrible accuracy to boot. During the Spanish American War it made a few runs at the Cuban fortifications but did little more than unnerve the Spanish troops.
I've always kind of liked Vesuvius. Dunno just why. I'm thinking the range may have been more than that but would have to look it up.

Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Not sure, I mean the no rear turret idea doesn't really make the class half a battleship... ugly as sin though yes.

Here is a real half battleship:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...arrier_Ise.jpg

Oh Japan... such poor decisions you made.
To be fair, Ise and Hyuga did originally have a full complement of 12 14-inch guns. And as Tony Tully says about their near-sisters Fuso and Yamashiro "They're so ... tall!"
But yeah, making them a useless half-carrier was a dumb decision.
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Old 19th June 2019, 02:24 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
We haven't mentioned Russian Aircraft Carriers yet.
Oh, yes.
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Old 19th June 2019, 02:46 PM   #31
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How about the Russian Ironclads Novgarod and Admiral Popov?

Circular ships and impossible to steer?

On trials on the river they were both caught by the current and spun helplessly round in circles and were whirled out of the river and miles out to sea before they were taken in tow.

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Old 19th June 2019, 03:03 PM   #32
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Then there is HMS Captain. the only privately designed battleship taken in to RN service.
It was built by Captain Cowper Phillips Coles and his backers.
their aim was to show the Admiralty that they were old fashioned and out of date by building for them a turreted ironclad rather than having guns on a broadside.
It was backed by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and various prominent 'voices' in positions of influence and power including the First Lord of the Admiralty (a political appointee).
Because of the weight of the two turrets and guns they had to be mounted very low to avoid making the ship top heave, this resulted in a very low freeboard of less than 8 feet from waterline to deck.
It was taken in to service by the RN but the Chief Constructor for the Admiralty E.J Reed warned that it was of too low a freeboard and unstable and amateurish in it's design.
This was dismissed as just jealousy by Coles' supporters.

Captain was lost at sea in the Bay of Biscay on it's third voyage, other ships with it and the few survivors reported it lurched to port and was swamped sinking in just a minute.
Coles was lost with the ship.
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Old 19th June 2019, 03:12 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
To be fair, Ise and Hyuga did originally have a full complement of 12 14-inch guns. And as Tony Tully says about their near-sisters Fuso and Yamashiro "They're so ... tall!"
But yeah, making them a useless half-carrier was a dumb decision.
I have no idea if Japan's super tall "Pagodas" were useful or not. Damned cool looking though.
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Old 19th June 2019, 04:59 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
How about the Russian Ironclads Novgarod and Admiral Popov?

Circular ships and impossible to steer?

On trials on the river they were both caught by the current and spun helplessly round in circles and were whirled out of the river and miles out to sea before they were taken in tow.
Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Then there is HMS Captain. the only privately designed battleship taken in to RN service.
It was built by Captain Cowper Phillips Coles and his backers.
their aim was to show the Admiralty that they were old fashioned and out of date by building for them a turreted ironclad rather than having guns on a broadside.
It was backed by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and various prominent 'voices' in positions of influence and power including the First Lord of the Admiralty (a political appointee).
Because of the weight of the two turrets and guns they had to be mounted very low to avoid making the ship top heave, this resulted in a very low freeboard of less than 8 feet from waterline to deck.
It was taken in to service by the RN but the Chief Constructor for the Admiralty E.J Reed warned that it was of too low a freeboard and unstable and amateurish in it's design.
This was dismissed as just jealousy by Coles' supporters.

Captain was lost at sea in the Bay of Biscay on it's third voyage, other ships with it and the few survivors reported it lurched to port and was swamped sinking in just a minute.
Coles was lost with the ship.
Both of the above listed in the book. The Round Russians may at least have been of some value as floating batteries.

Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
I have no idea if Japan's super tall "Pagodas" were useful or not. Damned cool looking though.
Nor do I, but I agree they looked cool. Far better than the USN's ungainly cages/tripods with three-story houses on top. Made the ships look even slower than they actually were.

Back to the modern US Navy, how about the Zumwalt Class destroyers? Proud owners of two 155mm guns for which not one round of ammunition exists, because it was going to cost $1 Million each. But hey, at least they're stealthy.
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Old 19th June 2019, 05:45 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Back to the modern US Navy, how about the Zumwalt Class destroyers? Proud owners of two 155mm guns for which not one round of ammunition exists, because it was going to cost $1 Million each. But hey, at least they're stealthy.
"Postwar" designs. That's the weird thing about the "worst warship?" question. The Zumwalts were being planned and laid down just as the Cold War was ending. Without an aggressive near-peer navy to oppose them, it didn't make sense to build them after all. The cost savings that would have been realized by manufacturing the ammunition in bulk were never going to happen. The targets those ships were supposed to shoot at, that would have justified the still-enormous cost of the ships, vanished almost overnight. So instead of being the first three ships of a large class of next-gen surface combatants, the Zumwalts are just prototypes and technology testbeds.

Yes, the guns will never have the ammo, but does that actually make the Zumwalt a bad ship? I don't think so. It may be bad for other reasons, but some of the "problems" of the ship are problems only out of context.

I feel the same way about treaty battleships like the Rodney. It's true they were not everything a battleship could (and arguably should) be. But they were exactly the battleships the UK needed during the interwar treaty period. I would argue that makes them some of the world's best warships.

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Old 19th June 2019, 06:59 PM   #36
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I can't stand Wikipedia articles on ships with all that pretentious "she" and "her" crap.
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Old 19th June 2019, 08:57 PM   #37
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The British fleet was to be light and fast, hard hitters that could match or better most known ships when they were built. Except behemoths like the Bismarck and Tirpitz outgunned them and sunk a few easily. Then the Bismarck was crippled by a biplane. The German pocket battleships were supposed to devastate allied shipping, and would have if they were not hunted down by battleships of a different class.

The big Japanese ships were designed to take on the best the US could offer before they could fire a shot. As mentioned airplanes and poor decisions are all it really fought against. The US battleships sunk at Pearl Harbor took on more modern Japanese units and by tactical advantage destroyed them.

The problem of big battleships seems to be the opposition didn't read the rules and send the planned equipment.

Everyone has misjudged what they will be facing equally well it seems. Smaller more versatile surface ships seem to be more successful if they didn't suffer from being barely seaworthy or have weird control issues.
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Old 19th June 2019, 09:03 PM   #38
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Versatile surface ships seems to be the modern rule. Assault carriers seem to be the exception. And even those are pretty versatile.
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Old 19th June 2019, 11:00 PM   #39
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Rodney - half a battleship.

because it was originally designed to be much longer, with more turrets at the back. A real whopper of a battleship. Wiki says treaty limitations, but I suspect it would have introduced huge technical problems with such a large vessel. Rodney had issues with her length causing leaks in high seas anyway. And she would have needed a big improvement in engines as well.
Originally Posted by Major Major View Post
Because it's a Cherry Tree -- cut down by Washington.
Sort of.

Originally Posted by Hubert Cumberdale View Post
How very dare you speak ill of her! Rodney is my waifu!
I don't speak ill of her at all!

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
How is Rodney 'half a battleship'?
As above.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Treaty limitations? It wasn't the most battleship possible with the technology and resources of the period.
Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Not sure, I mean the no rear turret idea doesn't really make the class half a battleship... ugly as sin though yes.
No, that was the compromise when the design length was reduced.

Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
I seriously doubt whether the surviving 5% of Bismarck's crew would have agreed with you.
Indeed!

Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Yeah, and measured by broadside throw weight, the Nelson class was 4th highest of any battleship design ever. 18,432 lbs compared to Bismark's 14,112 lbs. One of the many overrated German designs of the war (I don't mean just ships).
Rodney certainly had hitting power. It was used to shell inland targets on D-Day. Imagine if it had been completed with a proper back half to suit the front half!

IIRC, Bismark was designed to be fast as well as powerful. It could outrun most other capital ships of its class (that was the problem with finding the bugger!). It had much more modern range-finding equipment including radar. And weren't the big guns longer range too?
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Old 20th June 2019, 01:43 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Hmm the Littoral Combat Ship gets my nom. Let's have a shallow draft manuevarable ship that can operate in coastal areas that we can share a design between the Navy and Coast Guard. Good idea. Then it just kept ballooning until it cost more than most other countries spend on DDG's with far less capability.
The Persian Gulf would seem to be the sort of littoral environment where such ships should be designed to operate, and with a potential opponent that is predominantly small craft or shore defences.
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