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Psycodiver

What if the Montana was actually built

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Lets talk, what if the Montana was built. Granted by the time she was finished and fitted the war would have been near done if not already done. What then though? With her speed of only 28ish knots would that spared her from the scrap yard? The Iowas were kept because of their fast speed mixed with powerful guns, but the South Dakota class and NC class were not kept on because they were not fast enough,nor was the Alaska class kept because the power of their guns couldn't offset their fuel consumption and how much crew was needed for her. Do you think they could have massaged enough speed to keep her in the fleet like the Iowas were?

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The Alaska's were scrapped because the class was not considered particularly useful or successful.  There was brief thought Hawaii might be converted into some sort of missile ship, including ballistic missiles, but that went nowhere.  The Montana's, even if one or two were built would have ended up in reserve because of the cost of operation.  They might have been pulled out due to their low mileage, so-to-speak, for Korea or Vietnam as fire support ships but outside that they'd of just rusted into oblivion and been scrapped at some point.

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At least one probably would have ended up as a Museum at some point, but other than that they probably would have led very mundane lives before being decommissioned.

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Moot point.  The days of the battleship were over after Midway.  Every single one of them had become obsolete over night.  There were what, 15 Essex class carriers and dozens of smaller ones built?  WOW is unwilling, for the sake of the game,  to duplicate the effect of air power.   Aircraft carriers had become the dominant force in naval warfare.

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12 minutes ago, Okie_navy_prime said:

Moot point.  The days of the battleship were over after Midway.  Every single one of them had become obsolete over night.  There were what, 15 Essex class carriers and dozens of smaller ones built?  WOW is unwilling, for the sake of the game,  to duplicate the effect of air power.   Aircraft carriers had become the dominant force in naval warfare.

True, carriers rendered the BB obsolete fairly early in the war.  That and economics.  BB's were expensive to build, maintain, and operate.  And one submarine could take one out of action.  IIRC, many USN BB's didn't even leave US waters due to fear they'd be sunk by subs.

But if WG had a game that was centered around CV's, they'd really need a UI improvement.  If the main game play mode was using the current CV UI, I doubt you'd have 10% of the current player base. 

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18 minutes ago, Okie_navy_prime said:

Moot point.  The days of the battleship were over after Midway.  Every single one of them had become obsolete over night.  There were what, 15 Essex class carriers and dozens of smaller ones built?  WOW is unwilling, for the sake of the game,  to duplicate the effect of air power.   Aircraft carriers had become the dominant force in naval warfare.

True and not disagreeing with it but the Iowas stayed in and out of service for almost 50 years. The question I proposed is would she met the same fate as the Iowa's OR because of her lack of speed and resource intensive nature would have forced her to the scrap yards

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You mean the Illinois and the Kentucky.

These WERE the two Montana Class Battleships being built, and were nearly finished by the end of the war as Iowa Class.

So far into construction, the 'Montana' design was cancelled, and they were reworked into two more Iowa Class.

Reasons...   Panama Canal.   Supporting Fast Carrier groups with AA.

....H.O.W.E.V.E.R...

In 1945, there was a rude awakening by the US military.  It was called the PROXIMITY FUSE -- that would render aircraft rather dangerous to fly around in.

Late into the war, Battleships were called in to do more dirty-work by getting in close to mainland Japan to bombard targets more safely.

Japan had copied the proximity fuse and were getting them on-line as early as March 1945.

This is the reason the US held on to the better battleships (Colorado and up) until scrapping them out in 1959.  The technology was uncertain about the future of carriers. 

There was also worry that some new 'death ray' could wipe the skies clean, and we'd be screwed if we didn't hold these ships in reserve.

In retrospect, there actually were useful purposes for the old battle-wagons until the Iowa's were retired.

....

But to the original question:  They would have served along-side the Iowas until the Gulf war.  Perhaps they would have kept one in the Atlantic and one in the Pacific.  Their history would have match the Iowas.

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It all depends. If Monty wasn't as economical to run as Iowa, it'd get the axe before them. 28 knots isn't fast enough to sprint with the carriers, and an extra turret really was excessive for what the Iowa's ended up doing post-WWII.

Personally, I think she'd have gone the way of the other 27 knot BBs.

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The Montanas are large enough to warrant a nuclear reactor refit to allow them to keep up with the carriers post-WW2.

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9 hours ago, Big_Spud said:

At least one probably would have ended up as a Museum at some point, but other than that they probably would have led very mundane lives before being decommissioned.

What for? Texas was saved not only due to it's war record and service length but because the Texas legislature took an active role in forming a commission to bring her to Texas. That is how most of the ships we have were saved, someone was interested in them. Most of the battleships saved went to their namesake state, excluding Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin. 

9 hours ago, Psycodiver said:

True and not disagreeing with it but the Iowas stayed in and out of service for almost 50 years. The question I proposed is would she met the same fate as the Iowa's OR because of her lack of speed and resource intensive nature would have forced her to the scrap yards

 

2 hours ago, Phoenix_jz said:

It all depends. If Monty wasn't as economical to run as Iowa, it'd get the axe before them. 28 knots isn't fast enough to sprint with the carriers, and an extra turret really was excessive for what the Iowa's ended up doing post-WWII.

Personally, I think she'd have gone the way of the other 27 knot BBs.

Montanas were expected to hit at least 27-28 knots, similar to the North Carolina and South Dakota class. Post war, the South Dakotas were retired partly because they were cramped for the size of the crew needed to man them. The North Carolina's then followed as, while older, they were not as cramped. Missouri was the last US BB in commission mostly because of Truman. The Montanas might have sailed longer then the North Carolinas, but they too would have been sent to mothballs. Truman really had a thing for the Mighty Mo.

 

As for a reactivation for the Korean War, It would come down to what was needed, and cost. This wasn't WW2 where money was no object, we need it, build it. All four Iowas were brought back online for the Korean War, but I believe only one was off the peninsula at any one time. I don't think the North Carolinas or South Dakotas were even given a thought of activation. Montana, even with an additional 3 16in guns, would likely not have been reactivated.

2 hours ago, TornadoADV said:

The Montanas are large enough to warrant a nuclear reactor refit to allow them to keep up with the carriers post-WW2.

This is about the stupidest thing I have ever read.

 

the USS Enterprise CVN-65 was 90,000 tons and had 8 nuclear reactors to power her. The building costs of nuclear was so much, she was the only one built of her class, and she went to sea with non of the planned self defense weapon systems on board.

 

In order to make the Montana-class nuclear, they would literally have to remove the superstructure of the ship as well as the deck armor to get to her boiler and engine systems. Assuming we are doing this conversion at the same time and technology of Enterprise (constructed 1958-1960, mind also most of the Mothball BBs were sent to scrap in 1959-1960) you would need to get at least 6 Enterprise type nuclear reactors into the hull of Montana. In addition, you also have to add in the nuclear shielding and new piping to the engine rooms as well as changing out the condensers. We also may need to modify the reactor systems to take the shock of firing the main battery. Then you have to put it all back together.

Based on later Baltimore conversions to missile ships, the Navy might consider upgrading or changing the Montana's secondary batteries. Also the ships superstructure would change as we don't need those stacks. The costs of this conversion are now ballooning. Other ships you might have converted or that were to be built are being canceled to cover this ships costs.

 

No ship in any Navy that I am aware of modified an existing ship to run under Nuclear power. It is simply economically  unfeasible and a complete pipedream..

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If any were kept around in mothballs until Reagan's 1980s "600 ship Navy" I think there would be a slight chance they'd get reactivated and modernized. But once the funds dry up with the end of the Cold War they'd suffer the same fate as the Iowas.

 

The question would be if they survive that long. Even the four completed Iowas only barely escaped the scrapyards on numerous occasions.

 

One thing that might help their odds would be if Stalin had his way and the Soviets completed some of the battleships they had planned.

 

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37 minutes ago, Lampshade_M1A2 said:

If any were kept around in mothballs until Reagan's 1980s "600 ship Navy" I think there would be a slight chance they'd get reactivated and modernized. But once the funds dry up with the end of the Cold War they'd suffer the same fate as the Iowas.

 

The question would be if they survive that long. Even the four completed Iowas only barely escaped the scrapyards on numerous occasions.

 

One thing that might help their odds would be if Stalin had his way and the Soviets completed some of the battleships they had planned.

 

There definitely was a chance they'd have been reactivated.  A very good chance. 

After all, the Navy also considered reactivating the Massachusetts and the North Carolina, along with the Salem and Des Moines during that time period. 

I'd say that means very serious thought would have been given to also reactivating ships that likely were almost brand-new, as far as service time goes. 

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17 hours ago, Lampshade_M1A2 said:

If any were kept around in mothballs until Reagan's 1980s "600 ship Navy" I think there would be a slight chance they'd get reactivated and modernized. But once the funds dry up with the end of the Cold War they'd suffer the same fate as the Iowas.

 

The question would be if they survive that long. Even the four completed Iowas only barely escaped the scrapyards on numerous occasions.

 

One thing that might help their odds would be if Stalin had his way and the Soviets completed some of the battleships they had planned.

 

I wonder.... do you think, had a Montana been completed, that might've prompted the USSR actually go all the way with some of the BBs the already laid down?

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While it would be hilarious to see the Soyuz with its awful two plates bolted together “belt”, I doubt it. 

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Wait... The Russians did what now to the belt?

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On 12/25/2017 at 10:48 PM, Okie_navy_prime said:

Moot point.  The days of the battleship were over after Midway.  Every single one of them had become obsolete over night.  There were what, 15 Essex class carriers and dozens of smaller ones built?  WOW is unwilling, for the sake of the game,  to duplicate the effect of air power.   Aircraft carriers had become the dominant force in naval warfare.

I think that's overly simplistic point, Battleships were not obsolete, they just were not economically effective to built anymore.  But the idea that the Battleship was obsolete and that Carriers were dominant was a dangerous idea in WWII,  which caused Halsey to underestimate the Battleships of his enemy and overestimate the strength of aircraft carriers at the San Bernardino Strait, letting himself be lured by Ozawa's decoy force of CVs, which weren't that much of a threat.  Battleships were extremely dangerous, even if they weren't ascendant in the navy anymore.  

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1 hour ago, Sventex said:

I think that's overly simplistic point, Battleships were not obsolete, they just were not economically effective to built anymore.  But the idea that the Battleship was obsolete and that Carriers were dominant was a dangerous idea in WWII,  which caused Halsey to underestimate the Battleships of his enemy and overestimate the strength of aircraft carriers at the San Bernardino Strait, letting himself be lured by Ozawa's decoy force of CVs, which weren't that much of a threat.  Battleships were extremely dangerous, even if they weren't ascendant in the navy anymore.  

It's a pretty easy choice to criticize Halsey for his decision but in reality, it's almost all in hindsight. 

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2 minutes ago, Dunk_Master_Flex said:

It's a pretty easy choice to criticize Halsey for his decision but in reality, it's almost all in hindsight. 

The does not change the fact that Battleship were still very dangerous.

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Various plans were considered for a "Phase 2" modernization of the Iowas including one that removed the rear 16" gun turret and replaced it with a VLS, a hanger for helicopters and STOVL aircraft, or a combination of the two. Ultimately this was rejected and a more modest upgrade plan kept the third turret and instead replaced the existing Tomahawk armored box launchers with VLS grids, replaced the six twin 5"/38 turrets with four twin 5"/54 mountings (the same turret design planned for the Montanas, not a newer design with automatic loading), and made a second attempt to add Sea Sparrow launchers.

 

As the Montanas would still have nine guns even if you removed one of the triple turrets perhaps a more extensive modernization would occur featuring a hanger.

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I'm not expert in naval stuff. But from what i know the best sceario i could see for the Montanas was if they were converted to carriers, since it would be a waste to scrap that hull after all the investiment. But even that would be expensive and US already had way too many fleet carriers. Another option would be for the several weird tests USN was doing at the start of Cold War, like putting an 8inch gun in a DD. Like the Iowa-class. Montana had space to spare.

At the end of WWII several capable warships from the USN were scrapped. Because there was no point keeping so many of them, since the total war economy stopped for obvious reasons. Even after all the scraping USN was the largest navy in the late 40s by a REALLY HUGE margin (think about it, after the War only the US and Britain had operational carriers for some years).

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On 12/26/2017 at 3:43 AM, AVR_Project said:

You mean the Illinois and the Kentucky.

These WERE the two Montana Class Battleships being built, and were nearly finished by the end of the war as Iowa Class.

So far into construction, the 'Montana' design was cancelled, and they were reworked into two more Iowa Class.

Reasons...   Panama Canal.   Supporting Fast Carrier groups with AA.

....H.O.W.E.V.E.R...

In 1945, there was a rude awakening by the US military.  It was called the PROXIMITY FUSE -- that would render aircraft rather dangerous to fly around in.

Late into the war, Battleships were called in to do more dirty-work by getting in close to mainland Japan to bombard targets more safely.

Japan had copied the proximity fuse and were getting them on-line as early as March 1945.

This is the reason the US held on to the better battleships (Colorado and up) until scrapping them out in 1959.  The technology was uncertain about the future of carriers. 

There was also worry that some new 'death ray' could wipe the skies clean, and we'd be screwed if we didn't hold these ships in reserve.

In retrospect, there actually were useful purposes for the old battle-wagons until the Iowa's were retired.

....

But to the original question:  They would have served along-side the Iowas until the Gulf war.  Perhaps they would have kept one in the Atlantic and one in the Pacific.  Their history would have match the Iowas.

Sorry, but NO.  Illinois and Kentucky (BB 65 and 66 respectively) were designed, laid down and built as Iowa class ships as can clearly be seen in the photos of both taken during construction.  Kentucky was actually launched incomplete while Illinois was scrapped on the builder's ways.  As you can clearly see this is an Iowa class hull, 887 feet long with 3 main battery barbettes (circular roofed over positions.)  There were intended to be 6 BB-61 class ships, 2 were cancelled incomplete.

Kentucky was built here in Hampton Roads at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, the building way you see in the background was a fixture of the yard until it was demolished in the mid 1980s (IIRC.)  The drydock she was built in is still in use today for maintenance of anything the Navy has including CVNs.  A Spruance class DD was tiny compared to the internal volume of that dock and a Tarawa class LHA came nowhere near filling it, neither did Kentucky.

Montana was designated BB-67.  Neither BB-65 nor 66 were intended as Montana class ships.  There were to be a total of 5 BB-67 class ships, BB-67 through 71.  All 5 were cancelled before any construction or keel laying began.  If you have any information to back your statement that BB-65 and 66 were to become Montana class ships please provide a link.

016607.jpg

 
016600.jpg
Edited by CAPT_Rob

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25 minutes ago, CAPT_Rob said:

Montana was designated BB-67.  Neither BB-65 nor 66 were intended as Montana class ships.  There were to be a total of 5 BB-67 class ships, BB-67 through 71.  All 5 were cancelled before any construction or keel laying began.  If you have any information to back your statement that BB-65 and 66 were to become Montana class ships please provide a link.

"The latter four battleships of the class, those designated with the hull numbers BB-63, BB-64, BB-65, and BB-66 (Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Kentucky, respectively) were not cleared for construction until 12 July 1940,.[2] While BB-63 and BB-64 were originally planned as the final ships in the Iowa-class to serve as fast escorts for the Essex-class aircraft carriers, BB-65 and BB-66 were intended to be the first ships of the Montana class which was larger and slower while mounting twelve 16 in (410 mm) Mark 7 guns.[3][4] However, the passage of an emergency war building program on 19 July 1940 resulting in Illinois and Kentucky being re-ordered as the fifth and sixth ships, respectively, of the Iowa class in order to save time on construction, so the first ship of the Montana-class would be reassigned as BB-67.[5][6][7] The orders for BB-65 and BB-66 were placed on 9 September 1940, and the ships were laid down on 6 December 1942, and 7 March 1942, respectively."

Seven days....    Just seven days in 1940 -- and construction wasn't actually started until 1942.  They decided they needed more Iowas.  That's where I got confused.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Kentucky_(BB-66)

I stand a rectum.

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Neither of you are totally wrong. 

 

Quote

Hull numbers BB-65 and BB-66 were originally intended as the first and second ships of the Montana-class of battleships;[143] however the passage of an emergency war building program on 19 July 1940, resulted in both hulls being reordered as Iowa-class units to save time on construction.[144][145] 

So 65 was supposed to be Montana originally.  Ended up being re-ordered as Illinois of the Iowa class. 

Edited by JuiceEFruit

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On 12/28/2017 at 5:05 PM, AVR_Project said:

"The latter four battleships of the class, those designated with the hull numbers BB-63, BB-64, BB-65, and BB-66 (Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Kentucky, respectively) were not cleared for construction until 12 July 1940,.[2] While BB-63 and BB-64 were originally planned as the final ships in the Iowa-class to serve as fast escorts for the Essex-class aircraft carriers, BB-65 and BB-66 were intended to be the first ships of the Montana class which was larger and slower while mounting twelve 16 in (410 mm) Mark 7 guns.[3][4] However, the passage of an emergency war building program on 19 July 1940 resulting in Illinois and Kentucky being re-ordered as the fifth and sixth ships, respectively, of the Iowa class in order to save time on construction, so the first ship of the Montana-class would be reassigned as BB-67.[5][6][7] The orders for BB-65 and BB-66 were placed on 9 September 1940, and the ships were laid down on 6 December 1942, and 7 March 1942, respectively."

Seven days....    Just seven days in 1940 -- and construction wasn't actually started until 1942.  They decided they needed more Iowas.  That's where I got confused.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Kentucky_(BB-66)

I stand a rectum.

No worries, confusion happens.  IIRC Montana was under development changes in the design and armament right up until the day construction of the class was formally cancelled though the initial concept was already underway before the keel of BB-61 was laid.  To add to the confusion keels were not always laid in order of hull number, for example BB-63 was laid down AFTER the keel of BB-64 and they were launched and commissioned in that order as well making Missouri (BB 63) the last battleship completed for the USN.  Same thing happened with other US warship types as well and late in the war some ships were cancelled while others of the same class with hull higher numbers were brought to completion.  It's entirely possible that if matters had worked out differently and additional battleships had been needed we might have seen BB-67 (Montana) laid down before BB-65 (Illinois.)  The numbering of the hulls comes from the order in which construction is authorized, not when they are actually laid down or completed.

Wisconsin was actually laid down before Missouri in part because the Philadelphia NSY had space to begin construction sooner than the New York NSY did while Kentucky was begun before Illinois for similar reasons.  EDIT:  I had originally stated that Wisconsin was actually laid down before Illinois in error.

I usually go to NAVSOURCE.ORG for a lot of my information and photos as well as hazegrey.org/danfs for ship histories.  Both make an effort to stay up to date and cover USN ships from modern day all the way back to the American Revolution.

 

"I stand a rectum"?  :Smile_amazed:  Eh?  Never heard that one before.

 

Edited by CAPT_Rob

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Important to remember the premise of this thread.

If they were built, then that July 19, 1940 Emergency War Building plan wouldn't be passed, and the two hulks in the slipways would have been the two Montana class ships.

One reason for them to be built is if truthful intel on the Yamato class ships had been discovered. 

Unfortunately, the USSR was on the German side of the conflict in that moment of history, as they had spy planes flying over Japan every couple weeks.  They knew the exact dimensions of the ships being built and knew ahead just what sized rifles they would be capable of.

The flawed info the US got in 1942 had the Yamato's scaled down to 16" gun size.  Had they shown up at Guadalcanal and faced Admiral Lee's battleships...  the Montana's would have been put on the emergency fast-track.  This at the cost of the lives of thousands of US sailors.

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