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Subject: ww2 Yamato vs Iowa class
capt soap    9/17/2005 12:55:11 PM
How would this fight turn out? the Iowa's 16 inch guns against the Yamato 18 guns? The iowa had radar,which one would sink the other 1 on 1.
 
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cowboyp97dc       7/18/2010 12:17:55 AM
JFKY- Why oh why are we talking about PRE-war strategy?  You are saying that the Iowa was designed to be nothing more than old style "big gun club" lets belt each other until one of us can't continue ships.  The FIRST Iowa was not produced until 1943!!  You made the comment "The USN did not, and practically could not until 1943, believe that the CV's would provide CAP for aerial protection" - have you ever heard of a little battle called MIDWAY??  You know the little turning point of the whole war?  The USN didn't figure out after Midway that CV's could provide excellent CAP and help protect the fleet?  Or in your history book was Midway fought after 1943? 
 
Yes, the "big gun club" was worried about CV's and kept them pushed aside for fear that the "air weapon" would replace their surface fleets and put them out of business.  Most older admirals never trained with CV's or air tatics and were trined to put their BB next to the bad guys BB and blow them to hell.  They were afraid that the admirals that actually were looking toward the future and traing with CV and air tatics would replace them as the head of the fleet.  The admiral commanding the capitol ship is the one in overall command.  Yes, pre WWII most planning was based around the BB being the big boys on the block and slugging it out with the Jap surface fleet.  In that thinking the CV's were to serve as scouting platforms only- but that all changed on December 7, 1941.  The big gun club had to fold and go with the CV's because we didn't have any BBs in action- all that were at Pearl were damaged badly, and the Iowa was still on the drawing board no where near completion.  Don't you think that between the end of 41 to the beginning of 43 a lot of changes were made to the Iowa to make it a better fighting machine in the war that was unfolding?  Pearl Harbor showed us battle ships were obsolete in fleet vs fleet operations as the "capitol ship".  Midway showed us we could fight in this new naval warfare and win.  The Montana's were scraped because we needed more capitol ships the ESSEX class CVs.  Iowa's were the last line of defense for the capitol ships - the aircraft carriers.  Whatever pre-war planning there had been was tore up and burned when the Japs attacked Pearl Harbor.  From that time on is what counts and the simple fact that the Iowa class was not even in service till 1943 shows clearly they were designed and built to protect the CV fleets from all threats.
 
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Hamilcar    One question....   7/18/2010 12:22:57 AM
How do you explain Aubrey Fitch, Frank Fletcher, and Raymond Spruance? These "battleship" admirals fought better with carriers than Sherman, Mitscher, McCain, or that !@#$%^&*() idiot, Halsey.   
 
H.   
 
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earlm    Professionalism   7/18/2010 12:40:51 AM

How do you explain Aubrey Fitch, Frank Fletcher, and Raymond Spruance? These "battleship" admirals fought better with carriers than Sherman, Mitscher, McCain, or that !@#$%^&*() idiot, Halsey.   

 

H.   



Spruance is the one who stands out.  He was called "electric brain" and he understood the capabilities of his forces and those of the enemy.  Halsey fought the same way throughout the war despite the fact that the way to fight changed completely when radar, Hellcats, and VT fuses were available.
 
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cowboyp97dc       7/18/2010 9:35:48 AM
Hamilcar- I really wish people would read what others say before posting.  I didn't say that the admirals couldn't or didn't fight with carrier tatitcs.  I was talking how the admirals were "stacked" on the issue before the fighting broke out.  Don't you think that IF the "mighty" battleline had survived Pearl they would have thrust them right into battle "old school" big gun way?  It is what the majority of the admirals wanted - what they had trained for the majority of their carrers.  The aircraft carrier was the new weapon, unproven in battle (at least on the US side at that point), and most of the admirals were of the "big gun club" line of thinking.  They switched over to carrier tatitcs because THEY HAD NO CHOICE.  The battleships were all knocked out of action, and the carriers and escourt vessels were all we had left to hit back with.  No matter what they thought before the war, now they would have to fight with what they had.  By the time we actually had battleships back in the fleet Midway had already been fought, the war had already turned in our favor, the aircraft carrier had been proven to be "the ship", and the first BB back in service were the outdated ones raised from the bottom of Pearl.  They were too slow to keep up with the CV fleets and were formed into shore bombardment fleets.  When the mighty Iowas entered the war they were perfect for CV fleet operation.  They were fast enough, packed as much AA as a well defended airfield, and had main guns capable of blowing away any ships that may get lucky and get in too close to the CVs.  Im just saying that those characteristics which made them fill that role so perfectly were not made by accident.  The Iowa didn't join the fleet until 1943 (well after all the admirals had a change of heart regarding CVs), and it was the perfect big gun, floating AA armory that the CV fleets really needed.  Ships that fill their rolls so perfectly are not designed by fluke- they are designed to do so.
 
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Hamilcar    I read what you wrote, CB.   7/18/2010 6:07:37 PM
You bought into the myths. Sorry I interrupted those fairy tales with some facts. 
 
If you look at the US fleet problems from the 1930s..
 
 
 
 
 
and
 
 
You don;'t learn aircraft carrier tactics harem-scarem in one month flat. A solid decade of steady work developed the carrier task force as a scouting force and independent raider force. Once the battle-line disappeared, American battleship and cruiser admirals, who grew up with those very carrier tactics from young ensigns, applied them as they had learned them. That was how American greenhorns, like Spruance, were able to defeat combat veterans like Nagumo and Yamamoto.    
 
Practice makes perfect. That and a lot of luck. 
 
Next time, read what I write.
 
H.
 
 

   
 
 

 
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earlm    H   7/18/2010 11:40:10 PM
I think you overrate the Japanese admirals.  They may have been combat vets but they didn't know what they were doing at Midway or very many other battles.  Savo Islans and such were big exceptions and note there that they sank 0 transports.
 
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Hamilcar       7/19/2010 1:30:23 AM

I think you overrate the Japanese admirals.  They may have been combat vets but they didn't know what they were doing at Midway or very many other battles.  Savo Islans and such were big exceptions and note there that they sank 0 transports.
Could be. I doubt it though. They cleaned our clocks enough times to make me respect the Tanakas, Ozawas, and Toyodas. 
 
As long as you produce a single Halsey of your own to screw up the war?  They will bite you hard. 
 
H. 
 
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JFKY    Cowboy.....   7/19/2010 10:14:59 AM
Iowas designed 1939/39, ordered in 1940...deployed 1943....please note 1938 and 1940 are all PRE-WAR....ergo they were designed for a PRE-WAR mission, surface combat with their Japanese counter-parts. 
They were superlative platforms for that mission, the finest Battleships ever developed, the SoDaks were the second finest Battleships ever developed, but they never got to fulfill their designed mission, instead they became fire support vessels and fast carrier escorts.
 
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cowboyp97dc       7/20/2010 8:23:22 PM
 
"Iowas designed 1939/39, ordered in 1940...deployed 1943....please note 1938 and 1940 are all PRE-WAR....ergo they were designed for a PRE-WAR mission, surface combat with their Japanese counter-parts. 
They were superlative platforms for that mission, the finest Battleships ever developed, the SoDaks were the second finest Battleships ever developed, but they never got to fulfill their designed mission, instead they became fire support vessels and fast carrier escorts."
 
   I can agree with that- the Iowas were designed pre-war to go toe to toe with the Jap battle fleet.  The only thing I was saying is that their design was altered durring construction so they could fulfill their new rolls as fast carrier escorts and fire support ships.  Pearl showed us that the airplane had surpassed the BB as the dominate naval weapon.  Midway showed us that we desperately needed more AA fire from support vessels because CAP, and the existing AA could only do so much.  For example the Enterprise (the most decorated US ship in WWII) was upgraded several times to increase AA fire, and the Essex Class was designed to provide more fighters for CAP and offered more AA guns than could be mounted on earlier carriers.  The Navy was learning from the battles and upgrading existing ships with better armament for the battles we were fighting.  It only stands to reason that the Iowa class -which was still under construction and could be upgraded / altered easily- was indeed altered from its original blue print design durring construction to provide the maximum ammout of AA fire possible for the fleet, ergo being the best fire support and fast carrier escort available to any side.  Their design was modified durring construction to fulfill their new rolls in this new naval combat that no one had ever faught before this time in history.  The end result was the BEST battleship class of all time- need proof - No Iowa was ever sunk in battle can anyone name another class of battleship, which saw heavy active combat without a single loss.  Now that is American design and engineering baby!!
 
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cowboyp97dc       7/20/2010 8:57:30 PM
One more thought....  I think that we tend to forget just how good the guys and gals who built the Iowa Class were.  Here was a ship bascially blue-print designed to be a faster more updated version of a WWI battleship ie go toe to toe with other big gunned battleships and win, was altered durring construction to perform more needed tasks (protect the CV fleets with their awesome array of AA guns and 16in main guns, and bombard shore defenses prior to invasion), and it is the only class of ship made in WWII  to survive into the 1990s.  By the time this class set to the oceans in 1943 she had the design and strength to fight in four wars spanning from 1943 to 1992's Golf War.  They were upgraded many times but the main design features that made the Iowa Class the best fast carrier escort vessels ever were the same features that made them so "easy" to upgrade.  The AA arrays were removed an new mounts were installed for everything from Tomahawk cruise missles to Harpoon anti ship missles and the impressive 4x20 mm 76 cal Phalanx CIWS.  One could argue that had the Iowas been able to be upgraded to nuclear power they would still be in operation today, as they were the most stable platforms for firing anything you wanted to at the enemy, and lets face it putting a shell from a 16in 50 cal gun through an enemy ship is a lot more cost effective than a million dollar anti ship missle.  At any rate, I think the Iowa's impressive stats alone prove the Iowa was the true super battleship, as it far outlasted the Yamato class. 
 
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