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Old 20th June 2019, 01:49 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
I can't stand Wikipedia articles on ships with all that pretentious "she" and "her" crap.
Ships have always been 'she' or 'her'.

What's pretentious about it?
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Old 20th June 2019, 01:49 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
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.
Sort of.
I think only Rodney suffered from the leaks.
I don't think Nelson did.
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Old 20th June 2019, 01:57 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
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.
Sort of.

I don't speak ill of her at all!

As above.



No, that was the compromise when the design length was reduced.

Indeed!

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?
Rodney wasn't going to have 'more turrets at the back'
Where are you getting that from?
There were designs drawn up for various ships and configurations in the 20s and 30s, not all of them were serious or got beyond sketches.
If you want to see what British Battleships would have been without the treaty restrictions look at the Lion Class battleships.
Construction was started but then suspended and they were given a lower priority in light of wartime experience.
They were then cancelled altogether and the only ship produced was the Vanguard which was a completely different design again.


Bismarck was a big ship but very over rated. That is I think the result of her lucky hit on the obsolete Hood. If she had come up against Rodney, Nelson or a fully commissioned and operational PoW first it would have been a different outcome.
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Old 20th June 2019, 02:05 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by 8enotto View Post
Except behemoths like the Bismarck and Tirpitz outgunned them and sunk a few easily.
Well, if by "a few" you mean one unmodernised battlecruiser that had been laid down before Jutland, and if by "outgunned" you mean "had a virtually identical main battery as Bismark and Tirpitz"

Originally Posted by 8enotto View Post
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.
Well if by "battleships of a different class" you mean "cruisers"
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Old 20th June 2019, 02:33 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post

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?
Bismark was fast for a ship of her size and her guns were slightly superior to the BL 15" guns, but since the latter dated back to 1912, this isn't to be wondered at.

Seetakt radar was not capable of supporting blind firing, and in any case, Bismark's rear facing set was knocked out by the blast from her first salvo - which is why Suffolk and Norfolk could keep shadowing her.

Bismark's armour scheme was antiquated. It provided good protection from flat trajectory shells to her magazines and machinery, but not to other areas. This is why she was beaten into a blazing funeral pyre long before she was in danger of ceasing to float.

There were other flaws in her design, like poor AA arms, and being triple screw instead of having 4 screws like any decent battleship.

Really, for a ship launched in 1939, Bismark leaves a lot of room for improvement.

The fact that she scored a lucky hit on Hood is the only reason people think anything of her other than the fact that she got curb-stomped on her maiden voyage.
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Old 20th June 2019, 02:54 AM   #46
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What the KGVs, Rodney and Nelson and Vanguard would have been without a treaty (and one got part built in the war.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion-class_battleship

Well, to be strict, the KGV class was to have had 3 of those quad turrets which would have been a mighty sight.
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Old 20th June 2019, 04:54 AM   #47
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I would suggest that any battleship built in the 1930s onwards. Aircraft carriers should have been built instead.
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Old 20th June 2019, 05:40 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
I would suggest that any battleship built in the 1930s onwards. Aircraft carriers should have been built instead.
Sorta but I'll defend the admirals and politicians on one score, I'm not sure anyone could have predicted how dramatic and swift the shift from battleships to Carriers would be. My understanding is that part of the reason nations started building carriers in the first place was because the treaty limits on other kinds of ships.
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Old 20th June 2019, 05:53 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
I would suggest that any battleship built in the 1930s onwards. Aircraft carriers should have been built instead.
That was not possible. Aircraft carriers were regulated as well, due to the naval treaties. The navies of the major powers at the start of WW2 were exactly the way they were because of those naval treaties.

Example. The uss Wasp (cv-7) was built the way it was, too small to be completely efficient, because this was the only tonnage allowed to the us at that time.
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Old 20th June 2019, 06:28 AM   #50
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So you're telling me people actually followed those treaty limits? I've only ever read one book on a WWII naval event (the voyage of the Bismarck), ages ago, but I recall it giving ships' weights above the treaty limits, repeatedly. In fact, there were two numbers per ship: the real weight and the published-at-the-time weight, which was lower but still above the limit, which made me wonder what the point was, since it meant claiming "ya we're breaking the treaty, but only by a little bit". Are you saying the Brits followed it, and it was only the German ships that went over the line like that?
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Old 20th June 2019, 07:10 AM   #51
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Germany just ignored it with Bismarck.
If you want to see the 'treaty' ships look at Scharnhorst-class and Deutschland-class.
By the time of Bismarck the treaty had been abandoned by everyone hence the RN starting to build the Lion class.

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Old 20th June 2019, 07:45 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
So you're telling me people actually followed those treaty limits? I've only ever read one book on a WWII naval event (the voyage of the Bismarck), ages ago, but I recall it giving ships' weights above the treaty limits, repeatedly. In fact, there were two numbers per ship: the real weight and the published-at-the-time weight, which was lower but still above the limit, which made me wonder what the point was, since it meant claiming "ya we're breaking the treaty, but only by a little bit". Are you saying the Brits followed it, and it was only the German ships that went over the line like that?
Everyone broke them. I believe they used some sort of calculation to get "standard tonnage" but in reality they all displaced quite a bit more. They cheated by a sort of, standard amount I guess. Germany never broke either London Naval Treaty since they didn't even sign. Japan did for the first London treaty of 1930, but not the 2nd one of 1936. So it was just France/UK/USA and Italy left. Nelson/Rodney were limited by the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 actually. The USA building a cut down carrier (The Wasp), which wasn't even laid down until 3 months after Japan walked out on negotiations is quite frankly, baffling.

ETA: I'm not sure how anyone can say the Nelson class was anything like the worst warship ever. They were truly the best ever built when they were built... and the only battleships laid down in the 1920's.

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Old 20th June 2019, 07:58 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by 8enotto View Post
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.
The opposite actually. The backbone of the RN at the start of the war were 10 WW1 era battleships. The Revenge and Queen Elizabeth classes. The QE class could make 24kts, the Revenge only 20kts. They were, probably*, the best afloat at the end of WW1. Then there were the 2 Nelson class battleships, capable of 23 kts. They also had 3 Battecruisers: The Hood, Renown, and Repulse. 3 other BC's, of the Courageous class, had been converted to mid-sized aircraft carriers. Bismark was a "fast battleship", capable of 30kts, one of very few afloat when she was launched. The Royal Navy was building 5, the KGV class, but none were ready at the start of the war. Germany had two other... almost unclassifiable big ships, the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. Armor like a battleship, speed like a battlecruiser, but terribly undergunned (9x11" main battery). Any capital ship of the RN vastly outgunned them.

*USS Colorado class, and IJN Nagato being the only real contentions to that. But neither was ready at the end of WW1.

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Old 20th June 2019, 08:09 AM   #54
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Scharnhorst was supposed to be upgunned but it never happened.
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Old 20th June 2019, 08:09 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
So you're telling me people actually followed those treaty limits? I've only ever read one book on a WWII naval event (the voyage of the Bismarck), ages ago, but I recall it giving ships' weights above the treaty limits, repeatedly. In fact, there were two numbers per ship: the real weight and the published-at-the-time weight, which was lower but still above the limit, which made me wonder what the point was, since it meant claiming "ya we're breaking the treaty, but only by a little bit". Are you saying the Brits followed it, and it was only the German ships that went over the line like that?
Everyone broke the treaties (some a little, some quite a lot).
But there’s one thing in building a ship just a bit too large in order to make it more balanced, but something else to disregard it entirely in building numbers of ships.

The UK seemed to be the one that kept themselves the most faithfull to the treaties.
The Japanese were the worst offenders (seriously? The Yamato being a 35000 ton 16 inch armed battleship? This they did declare though)

The most creative offenders were the USA. For instance only counting 60 shells per gun officially, so that they could stay in the legal limits, even though the official amount per gun was 100 and space provided was 115.
Or declaring the Saratoga and Lexington to be only 33000 tons (even though they were 36000 tons) because the treaty allowed for a max of 3000 tons to be used for improvment of AA defence.
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Old 20th June 2019, 08:10 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
So you're telling me people actually followed those treaty limits? I've only ever read one book on a WWII naval event (the voyage of the Bismarck), ages ago, but I recall it giving ships' weights above the treaty limits, repeatedly. In fact, there were two numbers per ship: the real weight and the published-at-the-time weight, which was lower but still above the limit, which made me wonder what the point was, since it meant claiming "ya we're breaking the treaty, but only by a little bit". Are you saying the Brits followed it, and it was only the German ships that went over the line like that?
I think the main goal of the treaties was to substantially slow down the rate of escalation between the major powers. Yes, everybody cheated a little bit, but that was a vastly preferable to having everyone racing to build as many battleships as possible, as big as possible, as fast as possible, for fear of being left behind when the next war started.

A bit of cheating on tonnage here and there was acceptable. Anyone who went full HAM would be signaling to the others that they were getting ready for a shooting war.
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Old 20th June 2019, 10:06 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
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.
If only they had armament and protection to make them competitive with the multitudes of smaller patrol craft around the world.
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Old 20th June 2019, 10:28 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
If only they had armament and protection to make them competitive with the multitudes of smaller patrol craft around the world.
The Navy is... trying. Buying missiles from Norway of all places.
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/th...r-thanks-26183

“They don’t have the firepower to hit anything more than a few miles away. They’re unlikely to survive being hit by anything in return. They cost more than twice as much as promised, and require 75 percent more crew to operate than planned for. The modular-mission capabilities that were a key selling point had to be abandoned. And they’re breaking down constantly.”
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Old 20th June 2019, 10:31 AM   #59
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Old 20th June 2019, 10:37 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
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.
If only they had armament and protection to make them competitive with the multitudes of smaller patrol craft around the world.
Yup. They seem very expensive and large for something that is overgunned for dealing with Somali pirates.
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Old 20th June 2019, 01:10 PM   #61
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And undergunned for anything else. A service life extension for the Perry Class frigates would have been better.
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Old 20th June 2019, 01:40 PM   #62
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If we go back to the age of sail the "Vasa" was not exactly a smashing success...


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasa_(ship)
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Old 20th June 2019, 02:59 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
If we go back to the age of sail the "Vasa" was not exactly a smashing success...


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasa_(ship)
I mentioned that one in post #4. Unfortunately it predates the period being discussed, but it's about as whopping a failure as there can be.
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Old 20th June 2019, 09:10 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
I mentioned that one in post #4. Unfortunately it predates the period being discussed, but it's about as whopping a failure as there can be.
The Mary Rose?

https://maryrose.org/the-history-of-the-mary-rose/
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Old 20th June 2019, 11:02 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
No contest, I think. The Vasa didn't even make it out of the harbor.
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Old 21st June 2019, 12:09 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Nope, as the first statement on that website says:

Quote:
There’s a common misconception that the Mary Rose sank on her maiden voyage.

In fact, she was a successful warship for Henry VIII for 34 years: almost the entire duration of his reign.
Too early and too successful for inclusion.
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Old 21st June 2019, 02:04 AM   #67
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Yes.
Though there is a similarity to them.
Both seem to have been unbalanced on their fateful voyages, the Vasa down to ****** design, and the Mary Rose due to new and bigger guns on board and more people (possibly up to 700). And they both got done in by a cross wind, pushing their open gun ports under water.
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Old 21st June 2019, 06:56 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Yes.
Though there is a similarity to them.
Both seem to have been unbalanced on their fateful voyages, the Vasa down to ****** design, and the Mary Rose due to new and bigger guns on board and more people (possibly up to 700). And they both got done in by a cross wind, pushing their open gun ports under water.
And the Mary Rose may have had a Spanish crew who did not understand the orders given in English. The order was to close the gun holes so the ship could turn. They were left open so water poured in sinking her.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 02:45 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
I can't stand Wikipedia articles on ships with all that pretentious "she" and "her" crap.
That's just correct English grammar.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 06:01 AM   #70
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I had read Preston's book long before these videos came out and I too disagree with most of Preston's choices. To me it seems a book designed to sell books, not to be taken too seriously by people with a truly keen interest in naval history.

The fundamental problem with the book is Preston doesn't have a consistent idea or standard as to what makes a ship bad. How is one supposed to find the answer if one has not defined the problem?

If a ship exhibits poor seakeeping qualities, structural issues, or fails to meet its design requirements I would consider that to be a bad ship. If however, a ship meets its design requirements and performs satisfactorily, but those design requirements turn out to be faulty, does that make the ship bad? I think not. Preston doesn't seem to see the distinction.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 02:56 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
The Navy is... trying. Buying missiles from Norway of all places.
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/th...r-thanks-26183

“They don’t have the firepower to hit anything more than a few miles away. They’re unlikely to survive being hit by anything in return. They cost more than twice as much as promised, and require 75 percent more crew to operate than planned for. The modular-mission capabilities that were a key selling point had to be abandoned. And they’re breaking down constantly.”
LCS (both types) is a great example of a faulty requirement AND ships built that do not even meet that faulty requirement while also suffering serious mechanical defects and all while being grossly over-budget. They deserve their own book.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 03:06 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Mark F View Post
I had read Preston's book long before these videos came out and I too disagree with most of Preston's choices. To me it seems a book designed to sell books, not to be taken too seriously by people with a truly keen interest in naval history.

The fundamental problem with the book is Preston doesn't have a consistent idea or standard as to what makes a ship bad. How is one supposed to find the answer if one has not defined the problem?

If a ship exhibits poor seakeeping qualities, structural issues, or fails to meet its design requirements I would consider that to be a bad ship. If however, a ship meets its design requirements and performs satisfactorily, but those design requirements turn out to be faulty, does that make the ship bad? I think not. Preston doesn't seem to see the distinction.
I've not read the book, but several of his choices seem to be simply that it was the wrong ship for the time. I.E., Yamato. He disregards that at the beginning of the war NOBODY, except for perhaps a few Japanese carrier enthusiasts, realized how important carriers would be. And they weren't the dominant factor in the IJN.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 03:10 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
I've not read the book, but several of his choices seem to be simply that it was the wrong ship for the time. I.E., Yamato. He disregards that at the beginning of the war NOBODY, except for perhaps a few Japanese carrier enthusiasts, realized how important carriers would be. And they weren't the dominant factor in the IJN.
That is the problem. They should have known that aircraft would be the key weapon, rather than battleships.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 03:10 PM   #74
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Even the RN that invented carriers didn't realise it
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Old 22nd June 2019, 03:24 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by Mark F View Post
LCS (both types) is a great example of a faulty requirement AND ships built that do not even meet that faulty requirement while also suffering serious mechanical defects and all while being grossly over-budget. They deserve their own book.
Their initially-envisioned role strikes me as similar to the "Torpedo Boat Destroyer" role or even the sort of WWII destroyers, which generally were smaller and often had a shallower draught than the LCS.

Modern destroyers are quite different.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 03:27 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
That is the problem. They should have known that aircraft would be the key weapon, rather than battleships.
Early aircraft weren't up to the task. Nobody had any reason to believe carriers were going to become the decisive surface combatant.

Even today, it's a huge challenge to get a decisive number of capable planes into that hangar, and launched and recovered on that airfield.

There's a reason only one nation in the world currently boasts of carriers as its naval warfare centerpiece.

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Old 22nd June 2019, 03:30 PM   #77
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I think you have to at least nominate the Japanese aircraft carriers whose flight decks were made of ... wood. It's very hard to survive a WWII battle in a wooden warship like the Kaga.

The saving grace - and it's a big one - is that the Japanese were the first nation to successfully deploy aircraft carriers in battle. So, for at least a few years, the Kaga was unmatched. It was a terrible warship, but it was first.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 03:33 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
I think you have to at least nominate the Japanese aircraft carriers whose flight decks were made of ... wood. It's very hard to survive a WWII battle in a wooden warship like the Kaga.

The saving grace - and it's a big one - is that the Japanese were the first nation to successfully deploy aircraft carriers in battle. So, for at least a few years, the Kaga was unmatched. It was a terrible warship, but it was first.
It was unmatched for years. That seems like a great warship to me.

No weapon is future proof.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 03:37 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
It was unmatched for years. That seems like a great warship to me.

No weapon is future proof.

Yeah, I withdraw my nomination. The Kaga sucked, but it sucked less than any other aircraft carrier for a long, long time.
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Old 22nd June 2019, 05:19 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
That is the problem. They should have known that aircraft would be the key weapon, rather than battleships.
Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Even the RN that invented carriers didn't realise it
As I said earlier, a few Japanese may have realized it, but they weren't in charge. They had the world's best carrier doctrine, aviators, and aircraft at the end of 1941, but it all went away in six months, in large part thanks to intelligence.

Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
I think you have to at least nominate the Japanese aircraft carriers whose flight decks were made of ... wood. It's very hard to survive a WWII battle in a wooden warship like the Kaga.

The saving grace - and it's a big one - is that the Japanese were the first nation to successfully deploy aircraft carriers in battle. So, for at least a few years, the Kaga was unmatched. It was a terrible warship, but it was first.
American carriers also had wooden decks at the time. They were easier to repair.
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