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Sventex

How the US Shrunk a Battleship

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The Chieftain goes into the detail on how the US was able to shrink a North Carolina class design into the compact SoDaks along with tidbits of the career of the USS Alabama.

 

Edited by Sventex

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11 minutes ago, Sventex said:

The Chieftain goes into the detail on how the US was able to shrink a North Carolina class into the SoDak design along with tidbits of the career of the USS Alabama.

Well...they didn't actually shrink one of the existing NCs...just designed a new line of BBs that were shorter.

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1 minute ago, IfYouSeeKhaos said:

Well...they didn't actually shrink one of the existing NCs...just designed a new line of BBs that were shorter.

I'll edit the words so no one takes me literally.

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"How to squeeze 130,000 SHP into ~250 feet while only taking up 3,500 tons"

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The USN spent a lot of time testing models at the David Taylor basin to get a hull design that would work.  This is a luxury other nations really didn't have.  This was, and I think still is, the world's largest test basin for hulls and naval engineering design.

David_Taylor_Model_Basin_-_exterior_view

US_Experimental_Model_Basin_-_interior_v

Being able to test various hull designs led to the most efficient one for the S. Dakota, and the introduction of the skegs on the outboard shafts that artificially increased the effective length of the hull.  The design was repeated on the Iowa class only the ship was increased in length making higher speed possible.

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It's more like

 

"How did they go back in time and shrink an Iowa?"

 

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21 hours ago, Sventex said:

I'll edit the words so no one takes me literally.

Didn't have to...I was being trolly…yours was fine considering the timing of the related article being the same day & most knew what you were talking about & it was good click bait for those that hadn't.

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The SoDaks were the best Treaty Battleships.   Best gun/armor combo of that era.   Some other designs might be faster, but not as well armed or armored.  Some might have a bit more armor or speed, but less firepower.     But nothing else had this combo of firepower, armor, speed and FC, while adhering to the Treaty.   Anything that was better didn't meet the terms. 

All this didn't do anything for their looks, however.  IMO, anyway.   The NC's and Iowas are much better looking, to me. 

Edited by JuiceEFruit

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3 hours ago, JuiceEFruit said:

All this didn't do anything for their looks, however.  IMO, anyway.   The NC's and Iowas are much better looking, to me. 

I came to the opposite conclusion, the smaller hull size makes the main battery guns look proportionally bigger while the the lack of open deck space and the clustering of the secondary turrets makes it look like a floating fortress.  The Yamato may have the largest guns, but the ship has all that open deck space and the ship is so damn fat that the gun turrets don't actually look that large in the photos.

Edited by Sventex

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SoDak had the issue of having a very wet #1 turret.

That's what happens when you don't have enough bow length

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23 minutes ago, MrDeaf said:

SoDak had the issue of having a very wet #1 turret.

That's what happens when you don't have enough bow length

None of the US fast battleships had particularly 'dry' bows, even the Iowa class with their severe sheer. 

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So.. would any of the NC/SoDak/Iowa class would had been able to take an 18 inch shell hit?

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2 hours ago, Bill_Halsey said:

So.. would any of the NC/SoDak/Iowa class would had been able to take an 18 inch shell hit?

I've read that the Iowa super heavy 16" shell had similar penetration capabilities as the 18.1" shell and that at the same time, the Iowa did have a small immunity zone for her own guns (about 5000 yard) But I've also read that the Iowa does not have any immunity to the 18.1" shell while the Yamato did have small immunity zone to her own guns between 22,000 and 33,000yds.

This information seems contradictory, but I don't have the exact answer.

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3 hours ago, Bill_Halsey said:

So.. would any of the NC/SoDak/Iowa class would had been able to take an 18 inch shell hit?

Sure.  Just depends on where it hits.  They could (and most likely would) take multiple 18" hits and keep on fighting.   It's not like an 18" shell is some unstoppable force of nature that will blow to smithereens anything it hits. 

  Remember, 3 RN cruisers took multiple 11" hits from Graf Spee...and that's about the same thing, given the relative size of the cruisers and GS's shells.   None of them blew up, because that lucky hit didn't happen. 

Same could be said about Yamato taking 16" hits.    Just depends on where and from how far away.   The right hit from 18 miles away and Yamato goes "BOOM".     But it's HARD to get that "just right hit".

And you could say that about most any modern (or old) ship.  

Kirishima took 20 or more 16" shells from Washington.  She sank, but she didn't blow up and it took awhile.

Battleships are tough.  A Hood-like outcome in a gun duel is very unlikely.   Think of all the gun duels that have taken place vs. the number of ships that have simply blown up as a result of one hit.    And the two RN BC's at Jutland blew up because of the RN's terrible handling of powder at the time, not because a shell that penetrated their magazines.   

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4 hours ago, MrDeaf said:

SoDak had the issue of having a very wet #1 turret.

That's what happens when you don't have enough bow length

So did the KGV's.   So did Renown.  Lots of ships were wet.  Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were wet, which is why their bows were changed.  And they were still wet afterwards.   Just depends on the weather.  Some more than others.  Sailors are tough, and worked around it. 

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It wasn't just a matter of shortening the ship though that was certainly the most obvious thing.  They also gave them a deeper draft to be able to maintain adequate buoyancy.  As one might imagine, this slowed them down relative to the NC class and also made them more cramped and less habitable but that was a price the U.S. was willing to pay for more protection.

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