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Eboreg2

The Best Warship Classes of World War II

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Hello guys and gals, it's me again and I am officially out of ideas! That's why I've decided to f'king sell out and submit what might be my two final write-ups about the top 10 best and worst warship classes of World War II. I'm not using any sort of empirical criteria to define "best" or "worst" but instead am using two basic and rather subjective criteria, how well they did their job and how much of their home country's resources they took up. I'm going to count down the 10 Best in this write-up and submit the 10 Worst in another write-up that I'm fairly sure won't piss off a bunch of fanboys everywhere.</sarcasm>

 

Starting off at number 10 we have

THE TAKAO-CLASS HEAVY CRUISER
Takao.jpg.220f37f06af0ed8890d2f81250ffa563.jpg

I can't put down a list of the top 10 without acknowledging the superb quality of Japanese heavy cruisers and the four Takao-class heavy cruisers, Takao, Atago, Maya, and Chōkai, proved to be the zenith of those designs. They also proved to be queens of the night in the early stages of the war. Their first real taste of glory was when Chōkai led a force consisting four other heavy cruisers, two light cruisers, and 1 destroyer to inflict one of the worst losses the US Navy has ever suffered in the Battle of Savo Island. Atago and Takao later teamed up for the Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal and were forces to be reckoned with if it weren't for... well... more on that later. Maya's real piece of glory was when she teamed up with the Myōkō-class heavy cruiser Nachi at the Battle of the Komandorski Islands and seriously damaged the Pensacola-class heavy cruiser Salt Lake City. In fact, Salt Lake City would have been sunk if Admiral Hosogaya hadn't lost his nerve and called for a retreat. All things considered, he got off lightly for this blunder.

1947396209_YoureFired.jpg.41a2297b31262df0574949a9a0091159.jpg
By Japanese standards that is...

However, one battle stands out as the one that prevents the Takao-class from getting any higher on the list, Leyte Gulf. The Takao-class was all but wiped out in this battle with Atago and Maya getting sunk by submarines, Takao herself getting so heavily damaged by the same attack that she was effectively out of the war permanently, and Chōkai... well... let's not talk about Chōkai.

2071318508_WhitePlains.gif.faba1a61b8b3936b8560169e0fe743b2.gif
EVER!!!!

However, let's not let this disaster take away from the fact that unlike the heavy cruisers of other nations, the Takao-class did a lot more than just being an escort and, as such, I rate them as being not necessarily the best but certainly the most distinguished class of cruiser for World War II.

 

At 9th spot comes a set of four stalid old warhorses that proved to be the better of any of the battlewagons that were supposed to replace them. Of course, I am referring to none other than

THE KONGŌ-CLASS BATTLECRUISER
Kongo.jpg.184749b0248414f814b541d1f48a68d0.jpg

These four British-designed Battlecruisers, Kongō, Hiei, Haruna, and Kirishima, were never supposed to do as much work as they did what with being obsolescent WWI-era designs but they were instead called to do everything for one simple reason: fuel consumption. With the Imperial Japanese Navy having to budget their resources carefully for every operation and speed proving to be more important than armor and firepower in the era of the aircraft carrier, the answer to nearly every situation was "send in the Kongōs". They were often consigned to do dog's work but dog's work was what the IJN needed most of all. They went just about everywhere the carriers went and while that's not really a big contribution for the Japanese, what is a big contribution was the vicious fighting they took part in around Guadalcanal. These four beasts proved to be the bane of Henderson Field and on the two occasions the Americans sortied fleets to resist them, Hiei killed two American admirals in one battle and Kirishima smacked the ever-loving crap out of USS South Dakota. Of course, the fact that both were sunk shortly after their moments of glory doesn't really help their standing and brings home the fact that at the end of the day, the Kongō-class were still WWI-era Battlecruisers. Even so, their performance at the now-legendary Battle off Samar where they arguably distinguished themselves better than any of the other battleships, even Yamato, caps off their astonishing record and cements their position on the list.

 

For 8th place, we move to a pair of battlewagons from the good ol' US of A that only did everything. I am, of course, talking about

THE NORTH CAROLINA-CLASS BATTLESHIP
Washington.thumb.jpg.59816c410f8f2f66797ebc9aa60ab693.jpg

It's arguable that the Americans understood how to use their battleships better than the Japanese since they rarely if ever expected to actually get into a battleship duel but you know the saying, hope for the best, prepare for the worst. That was why the North Carolina-class, and subsequently all other American fast battleships, were created, to deter the enemy from trying to get in gunnery range of their carriers. They also had the added benefit of bringing a s---load of anti-aircraft guns to bear with which North Carolina herself shot down 7-14 aircraft at the Battle of the Eastern Solomons. American battleships also distinguished themselves in shore bombardment duty and supporting amphibious landings and while some may argue that battleship support was of little use in amphibious operations, I can find dissenting opinions from a certain Erwin Rommel. However, these alone don't put the North Carolina-class on the list. No, that honor goes to the Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal when USS Washington stood alone against a massive Japanese Task Force, including two heavy cruisers and one battleship that I mentioned earlier, and won. It has been said that the enemy of the good is the great and the two North Carolina-class battleships, especially the Washington, were excellent and highly distinguished designs.

 

7th place brings brings us away from the Pacific to the one class of ship that defined naval warfare in the Atlantic

THE TYPE VII U-BOAT
1438040495_TypeVII.thumb.jpg.ab9703f2a537e3bdd9215874f79c5005.jpg

Winston Churchill once said that the only thing that worried him during World War II was the U-boat menace and it's easy to see why. These things nearly strangled the mighty British Empire into submission and probably would have if the Germans had kept a better lid on their naval codes. Even when the threat of enstranglement had passed, they still proved their worth in tying down countless amounts of Allied resources just to keep their convoy lines open. Just to get the point across, I should probably note that I wanted to put on this list the class of warship most responsible for getting rid of these menaces but I simply couldn't find one. It took a massive combined arms effort spanning multiple classes of warship just to put these small and simple submersibles down. In fact, even der Führer in all of his delusional ranting and psychotic tendencies to blame everyone but himself late war recognized that these things were doing more than their fair share of heavy lifting leading to the head of the U-boat forces, Karl Dönitz, being named as his successor after he ate his pistol. After the absolute carnage these things wreaked from beginning to end, it is fairly easy to see why.

 

Coming in at 6th place, we have 5 British Battleships that brought battle home to the enemy in both world wars. That is none other than

THE QUEEN ELIZABETH-CLASS BATTLESHIP
1908583084_QueenElizabeth.jpg.0435d525b72d1fdb093027da2f690b0b.jpg

While the Queen Elizabeth class Battleships, Queen Elizabeth, Warspite, Valiant, Barham, and Malaya, were definitely not the most advanced of all the british battleship designs, they were certainly the most prolific. They had a good mix of firepower, armor, and mobility that the British found they could they could rely on from the time of their construction in World War I to the end of World War II. Especially after the Hood was gone. They first cut their teeth in the massive Battle of Jutland but that proved not to be their real claim to fame. Nor was the Second Battle of Narvik in which Warspite paddled a bunch of German destroyers into submission. No, it was the Mediterranean where they truly shined. At the Battle of Calabria, Warspite saw action again and gained one of the longest surface gunnery hits in history. At the Battle of Cape Matapan, Warspite moved to the front again with Barham and Valiant and proceeded to kick the crap out of Pola, Zara, and Fiume. The Battles for Crete saw Queen Elizabeth, Warspite, Barham, and Valiant teaming up to provide cover from the air and the sea. Warspite and Valiant even oversaw the surrender of the Italian Fleet in 1943 but they weren't done even then with Warspite and Malaya providing cover for Operation Overlord and Queen Elizabeth and Valiant seeing extensive service in the Far East. Sometimes, the oldies are still goldies and the Queen Elizabeth-class Battleships proved time and again that they still had it where it counted.

 

5th place brings us back to the Pacific to showcase the true terror of the deep.

THE GATO-CLASS SUBMARINE

Gato.thumb.jpg.585a6a10f50db2958476f88e23ecc236.jpg

It's no secret that the Americans waged the most successful submarine warfare campaign in history and the Gato-class submarine was the centerpiece of that campaign. While the Type VII U-boat nearly strangled Britain into submission, the Gato-class did strangle Japan into submission. Time and again, the Japanese found that their merchant ships were never safe no matter what they were carrying, be it food, fuel, ammunition, or even full-sized coastal artillery pieces. But what really catapults these small submersibles this high on the list was the fact that they weren't satisfied with sinking just merchant shipping but also scratched a good number of capital ships as well. Albacore alone sunk 4 front-line warships including the mighty armored carrier Taihō. Cavalla scratched the venerable aircraft carrier Shōkaku. Darter and Dace managed to nearly wipe out the Takao-class heavy cruiser by themselves. Harder became especially infamous for hunting down Japanese destroyers scratching three frontline destroyers in the space of only 4 days. These small boats terrorized the Japanese fleet and it could even be said that even without the help of nuclear weapons, their relentless blockade may very well have forced the Japanese surrender.

 

I personally could not decide which of these next two classes to put in front of the other so I eventually decided to compromise with a tie. 3rd place brings two rivals of the skies

THE SHŌKAKU-CLASS AND YORKTOWN-CLASS AIRCRAFT CARRIERS
Zuikaku.thumb.jpg.29ffeac337e9e12f1b57dfe3fd306788.jpg Enterprise.thumb.jpg.3e7ae3b8c66b66cc67c54c29e827d5df.jpg

You would be hard pressed to find a greater rivalry than the one between these two venerable classes of aircraft carriers. During the Pacific War they met in battle more than any other two classes of warship in the world, possibly of all time, and they traded blows again and again until their fists bled and their knuckles were bare. Although aircraft carriers are notoriously vulnerable, even today, both classes of warship proved time after time that they could take a licking and keep on ticking. They first met at, coincidentally, the first aircraft carrier duel in history, Coral Sea. They continued to trade blows either alone, or covered with entire fleets at their backs at the Eastern Solomons, Santa Cruz, Philippine Sea, even the final clash of carriers at Cape Engaño. Time and again they tried to prove themselves over the other and at the end of the day the only true victor...

...was American Industry.

 

Speaking of American Industry, at 2nd place we have the highly numerous but incredibly versatile

FLETCHER-CLASS DESTROYER
Fletcher.thumb.jpg.a18fe3a9cfaf4cfb9f84760977eae356.jpg

It has been said that after the Attack on Pearl Harbor, Isoroku Yamamoto said that he feared that all the attack did was awaken a sleeping giant. The Fletcher-class of destroyers is a perfect example of that as it proved to be more numerous than any class of front-line destroyer the Japanese had at the time. Combined. In fact, the Fletcher-class destroyer proved to be the most numerous class of destroyer in history. And with 175 examples to their name, you'd be forgiven for thinking that they were simply mediocre and only won through sheer numbers, to which I say you're dead wrong. As the Pacific War stretched out into 1943, these little tin cans were asked to do everything especially when the US Navy started finding all of its heavier assets either sunk or in drydock and they proved to be the equal of any task given them. From raids on shore installations to ferocious night combat with their Japanese counterparts. From sweeping for submarines to clearing the skies, these little ships only did everything. Hell, they even proved their worth on shore bombardment and their support was arguably more important than that of the heavy cruisers and battleships behind them. When Bull Halsey triumphantly sailed into Tokyo Bay to accept the Japanese surrender, he had at the head not a battleship, not an aircraft carrier, but three small Fletcher-class destroyers, O'Bannon, Nicholas, and Taylor. In fact, O'Bannon might have become the most famous destroyer of all time if it weren't for the exploits of her sister ship Johnston. It has been said the quantity has a quality all its own and the Fletcher-class destroyer had quantity in spades.

 

While we're on the subject of quantity vs. quality

WhyNotBoth.jpg.0456d7ebffe4a0d9ce770dada43cff1c.jpg

That brings us to the top spot on the list. The upstart queens of the seas

THE ESSEX-CLASS AIRCRAFT CARRIER
Essex.thumb.jpg.497b54e4e78d9b9a8ae338f6d123104c.jpg

It is no secret that American Industry won the Pacific War, the largest, greatest naval war of all time, and the epitome of that industry was the highly numerous Essex-class aircraft carrier. In the early stages of the war, the US and Imperial Japanese Navies beat each other black and blue and threw every asset they had at each other until they were down to the wire but by 1944, it was time to rebuild, and by the almighty did the Americans rebuild! 24 Essex-class carriers were built in total, more than most classes of destroyers, and their presence turned the story of the American effort in the Pacific from that of a desperate struggle into that of an unstoppable juggernaut. Nothing that the Japanese could throw at this mass of airstrips could stop their inexorable advance toward the home islands and, perhaps even more impressively, none of them could even be sunk. But their influence does not stop at the end of the Pacific War. Their construction and presence not only heralded the new era where the sea was controlled from the skies, but also brought about a new age where it was not Britannia that ruled the waves, but America.

Edited by Eboreg2
  • Cool 3

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If by "the best" you mean what they brought to the table then the influence of escort carriers on the war in the Atlantic and Pacific were second to none.

Air escort for convoys, Anti sub killer groups, ground support groups, Logistic ships that carried planes and pilots to the theatre of action, etc

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Not bad but I will disagree on the Kongo's. The Nagato was a much better battleship but it was missing something that every warship in the Pacific desperately needed, range.

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I dunno if I'd class the Takao-class as the 'best' heavy cruisers. I understand a lot of this is subjective, but there are quite a few examples that rank higher.

 

If you compare her to the top heavy cruisers of other nations... things start getting a bit painful.

  • Firepower: In terms of raw firepower, Takao is easily one of the best. Everyone is using 203mm guns, but ten of them is hard to argue with - she easily has the heaviest broadside of any WWII cruiser, throws more shells downrange than any other heavy cruiser. Her torpedo armament is also far and away superior to anyone else's - the Type 93 is an excellent torpedo, and she carries eight to a broadside with the ability to reload half of them. However, this also came with some drawbacks. Japanese shells had a chronic dud rate - of the five 203mm hits scored at the Battle of the Java Sea, all were duds (even the one that hit Exeter), and also had significant dispersion issues due to their light turret structures - they simply could not handle the force of their guns firing.
  • Armor/Protection: In this regard... ouch. The Takao-class's armor isn't that great. The belt isn't bad, but it's small, and due to how overweight the class was, when loaded only 85cm of the main armor belt was actually above the waterline - leaving only that small portion protected. The magazine belts are totally underwater, so realistically most hits against the citadel will be against either the 102mm portion of the belt that is above the waterline... or the main armor deck, which is a mere 32-35mm thick. Turrets and their barrettes all have 25mm splinter plating as armor. In terms of raw armor performance... the protection isn't that great. Topping that is the poor internal layout - the machinery spaces are all aft of the boilers spaces, leaving the cruiser quite vulnerable to torpedo hits disabling the all machinery in a single blow. Furthermore - the Type 93's remain a massive hazard that was directly responsible for the loss of several Japanese heavy cruisers. All in all, the protection and survivability of the Takao-class was very poor.
  • Mobility: Capable of a top speed of 34.3 knots as of their final rebuild, they were certainly fast cruisers, but their stability was poor and revisions to the ships couldn't get rid of the issue, which hampered their seaworthiness and also gunnery.
  • Other: Other limitations existed. For example, the fire control system (Type 92) could only handle own speeds of up to 30 knots - thus removing much of the benefit of the relatively high speed of the class. Anti-Aircraft ability of the ships is also fairly low, due to the mediocre ability of the 12.7cm/40 (although the fire control system was by no means bad) and the fact that this was backed up by the awful 25mm Hotchkiss AA gun. The lack of a fire control radar also limits it compared to many other cruisers, although I don't hold this against it (due to radar not being considered in the design of almost any heavy cruiser, save for a handful of wartime American cruisers).

There are worse examples of heavy cruisers out there, but also significantly better ones too. In terms of raw ability, I'd probably favor an Algérie, Zara, or Wichita....

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Tfw the Kongos are included but not the Iowas

926685091_ScreenShot2019-06-06at7_24_23PM.png.1ba2d16757269302c4a1f4318055c919.png

If you're going to name the best warship classes of WW2, then you must necessarily pay attention to technological advances. The Iowas may not have done as much as the Kongos service-wise, but design-wise they are undoubtedly superior.

I would also have to disagree with the Takaos: as @Phoenix_jz stated, there are worse designs, but there are also better designs.

Also, imagine not including the Cleveland class. There's a reason 27 of them were built.

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3 minutes ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

If you're going to name the best warship classes of WW2, then you must necessarily pay attention to technological advances. The Iowas may not have done as much as the Kongos service-wise, but design-wise they are undoubtedly superior.

Pretty rough right there since the only positive criteria for this list is service record.

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7 minutes ago, Eboreg2 said:

Pretty rough right there since the only positive criteria for this list is service record.

In that case, you must necessarily pay attention to lesser known classes like CVEs or even logistical ships like the liberty ships.

Service records as a class are different than service records of individual ships. Beyond the front lines and destroyers, heavy cruisers, battleships, carriers, etc. are other ships like destroyer escorts, escort carriers, and even logistical ships that played just as crucial, if perhaps even more crucial, roles in the war than front line ships. And even though ship classes like DEs and CVEs may have pretty unremarkable service records individually for the most part, the effects their classes had on the war as a whole should not be overlooked. The final result in the war would not have been possible without them.

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16 minutes ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

In that case, you must necessarily pay attention to lesser known classes like CVEs or even logistical ships like the liberty ships.

Service records as a class are different than service records of individual ships. Beyond the front lines and destroyers, heavy cruisers, battleships, carriers, etc. are other ships like destroyer escorts, escort carriers, and even logistical ships that played just as crucial, if perhaps even more crucial, roles in the war than front line ships. And even though ship classes like DEs and CVEs may have pretty unremarkable service records individually for the most part, the effects their classes had on the war as a whole should not be overlooked. The final result in the war would not have been possible without them.

I actually wanted to include the Casablanca-class CVEs but I found that in terms of numbers of submarines sunk, they just didn't contribute as much to the ASW role as you'd like to believe. Sinking submarines was a combined-arms effort during the war and you can't really reward any one class of ship for sharing the brunt of the ASW work. Add to that the fact that I didn't consider grunt work that didn't put the ship in any real danger like shore bombardment or anti-aircraft escort to be anything worthy of the list by its own and you'll begin to see why I had to (albeit somewhat reluctantly) drop the Casablanca-class from the list.

Also, logistical ships were essentially disqualified due to not being warships.

Edited by Eboreg2

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21 minutes ago, Eboreg2 said:

I actually wanted to include the Casablanca-class CVEs but I found that in terms of numbers of submarines sunk, they just didn't contribute as much to the ASW role as you'd like to believe. Sinking submarines was a combined-arms effort during the war and you can't really reward any one class of ship for sharing the brunt of the ASW work. Add to that the fact that I didn't consider grunt work that didn't put the ship in any real danger like shore bombardment or anti-aircraft escort to be anything worthy of the list by its own and you'll begin to see why I had to (albeit somewhat reluctantly) drop the Casablanca-class from the list.

Also, logistical ships were essentially disqualified due to not being warships.

Well, whatever floats your boat, I suppose.

However, according to the UN definition, "a warship means a ship belonging to the armed forces of a State bearing the external marks distinguishing such ships of its nationality, under the command of an officer duly commissioned by the government of the State and whose name appears in the appropriate service list or its equivalent, and manned by a crew which is under regular armed forces discipline." Thus, by this definition, logistics ships (such as USS Vestal, a repair ship) would be considered warships as long as they are run by the navy, are registered as such, and have the related flags.

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6 hours ago, Eboreg2 said:

I should probably note that I wanted to put on this list the class of warship most responsible for getting rid of these menaces but I simply couldn't find one.

Well, 'centimetric radar' isn't a ship after all, though that would be my vote. You are right that a single class didn't break the back, the split between ship and aircraft sinkings is pretty even. This is an interesting table on the overall results of various submarine arms:

image.thumb.png.85ed7b5a72b3abfae36382304dfa9df3.png

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Kagero class destroyers, were also excelent and the model to follow by the IJN.

By other part, LSTs were fundamental for the allied victory. 

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On 6/6/2019 at 4:56 PM, Phoenix_jz said:

I dunno if I'd class the Takao-class as the 'best' heavy cruisers. I understand a lot of this is subjective, but there are quite a few examples that rank higher.

 

If you compare her to the top heavy cruisers of other nations... things start getting a bit painful.

  • Firepower: In terms of raw firepower, Takao is easily one of the best. Everyone is using 203mm guns, but ten of them is hard to argue with - she easily has the heaviest broadside of any WWII cruiser, throws more shells downrange than any other heavy cruiser. Her torpedo armament is also far and away superior to anyone else's - the Type 93 is an excellent torpedo, and she carries eight to a broadside with the ability to reload half of them. However, this also came with some drawbacks. Japanese shells had a chronic dud rate - of the five 203mm hits scored at the Battle of the Java Sea, all were duds (even the one that hit Exeter), and also had significant dispersion issues due to their light turret structures - they simply could not handle the force of their guns firing.
  • Armor/Protection: In this regard... ouch. The Takao-class's armor isn't that great. The belt isn't bad, but it's small, and due to how overweight the class was, when loaded only 85cm of the main armor belt was actually above the waterline - leaving only that small portion protected. The magazine belts are totally underwater, so realistically most hits against the citadel will be against either the 102mm portion of the belt that is above the waterline... or the main armor deck, which is a mere 32-35mm thick. Turrets and their barrettes all have 25mm splinter plating as armor. In terms of raw armor performance... the protection isn't that great. Topping that is the poor internal layout - the machinery spaces are all aft of the boilers spaces, leaving the cruiser quite vulnerable to torpedo hits disabling the all machinery in a single blow. Furthermore - the Type 93's remain a massive hazard that was directly responsible for the loss of several Japanese heavy cruisers. All in all, the protection and survivability of the Takao-class was very poor.
  • Mobility: Capable of a top speed of 34.3 knots as of their final rebuild, they were certainly fast cruisers, but their stability was poor and revisions to the ships couldn't get rid of the issue, which hampered their seaworthiness and also gunnery.
  • Other: Other limitations existed. For example, the fire control system (Type 92) could only handle own speeds of up to 30 knots - thus removing much of the benefit of the relatively high speed of the class. Anti-Aircraft ability of the ships is also fairly low, due to the mediocre ability of the 12.7cm/40 (although the fire control system was by no means bad) and the fact that this was backed up by the awful 25mm Hotchkiss AA gun. The lack of a fire control radar also limits it compared to many other cruisers, although I don't hold this against it (due to radar not being considered in the design of almost any heavy cruiser, save for a handful of wartime American cruisers).

There are worse examples of heavy cruisers out there, but also significantly better ones too. In terms of raw ability, I'd probably favor an Algérie, Zara, or Wichita....

When people talk about being "Realistic" in WoWS, they won't like when "Realism" takes a dump on them.  Information like this is what makes me smile.

 

The newer USN CAs, Baltimore comes to mind, are pretty dangerous and more modern.  Wichita is a late 1930s design and Baltimore's design came about during the war.  The US liked them enough that 14 Baltimore-class were made.  11 of these would enter service during the war.  4 would enter service in the more critical 1943 period of the Pacific War.

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A few comments / notes on the OP ships listed.  I'm not going to give alternatives, but rather point out some issues about the ships chosen.

Takao class cruiser.  None of the Japanese heavy cruiser classes are particularly noteworthy as "the best."  All of them suffered from poor stability and low metacentric heights.  This made them very vulnerable to flooding and underwater damage.  Their internal layouts are easily described as poor.  This made damage control harder, and it took longer for these ships to go to battle readiness then many of their opposites in other navies.

The main battery guns, while accurate-- and the Japanese went to some lengths to improve this aspect of these guns-- suffered from a number of other deficiencies.  The guns were hand rammed and had a fixed loading position of +5 degrees.  This slowed the ROF to around 2 or 3 RPM at most.  Contemporary US 8" cruisers fired at 3 to 5 RPM and used a powered loading and ramming system.  The British Town class 8" cruisers achieved 3 to 6 RPM.  Even the 1920's built Italian Zara class used powered rammers achieving 2 to 4 RPM.

Next, the Japanese followed the British example in the Town class cruisers trying to get a quart out of a pint by making this class's guns elevate to 70 degrees for antiaircraft fire.  This proved an entirely worthless option and just complicated and made the mounts heavier.

Fire control on Japanese cruisers was of average quality for the time.  Nothing special to note there.  One thing the Japanese did do wrong was put a plethora of different fire controls on their ships for each different weapon system.  One thing the Japanese did poorly here was follow British pre-war practice where they split the rangefinder and director control into two different housings.  That is, the rangefinder crew was not integrated into the director system but rather input their data separately.

The heavy torpedo armament-- due to Japanese "torpedo mania"-- was a mistake.  Given the results the Japanese actually got with these weapons they were far more a fire and explosion danger on a cruiser than an effective weapon.  This was made worse by the presence of multiple aircraft and avgas due to the IJN doctrine using cruisers for scouting.

The secondary and AA armament were mediocre at best.  The class was lightly armed with just 4 twin 12.7" mounts with low ROF.  The 25mm light AA guns were even in 1939 marginal at best and by 1941 were close to obsolete.

Kongo Class.

I have no clue how these ships ended up on this list.  Two of the four were sunk off Guadalcanal after doing relatively little to their opposition.  Their armor was weak even in the 1920's.  They really had no outstanding features and their combat performance is certainly nothing of note.  Kirishima hit the South Dakota exactly one time doing almost zero damage.

1280px-USS_South_Dakota_(BB-57)_Naval_Ba

That was in return for the USS Washington putting about 40 16" shells into her wrecking her from end to end.

The Type VII U-boat.

While this class is undoubtedly the best for the niche it was designed for, it hardly rates "best" as an overall submarine design.  The Type VII was designed almost entirely for one purpose:  Commerce raiding against Britain.  In that role it was devastating to say the least.  But, that was the only role it was really suited for.  It couldn't act as a fleet scout in conjunction with surface ships like other nation's subs could.  It couldn't effectively scout large swaths of ocean on its own either due to a lack of sensors like radar and ESM.  On the other hand, the Type VII, like other German U-boats had one of the most advanced and effective sonar systems developed during WW 2, the GHG or Gruppenhochgerat.

hyyth.jpg

That's a late war version, but even the earlier versions were highly effective.  It was one of a select few German military inventions that truly surprised the Allies at the end of the war where they weren't even close to having something as good.

On the whole, the Type VII is simply too limited a system to be "the best" unless you accept that it was for just commerce raiding against a specific enemy nation.

The QE class battleships.

The British did a wonderful PR job for these.  Consider:  the Barham is the only Allied battleship sunk at sea.  QE and Valiant were sunk by mines at Alexandrea Egypt and sat out about half the war.  Warspite was crippled by a Fritz X bomb at Salerno and was only capable of limited operations (to about 12 knots max) for shore bombardment for the rest of the war using 3 turrets (X turret magazine damage by flooding was not repaired after the bomb strike).

Sure, they did well in 1939 and 40 against mostly the Italians and had some highly publicized wins, but on the whole the class also took a beating from which they never recovered.

The Gato Class.

I think this gives short shrift to the US fleet boat in general.  There were several classes involved, and they all performed quite well.

Edited by Murotsu
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On 8/11/2019 at 2:43 PM, HazeGrayUnderway said:

When people talk about being "Realistic" in WoWS, they won't like when "Realism" takes a dump on them.  Information like this is what makes me smile.

 

The newer USN CAs, Baltimore comes to mind, are pretty dangerous and more modern.  Wichita is a late 1930s design and Baltimore's design came about during the war.  The US liked them enough that 14 Baltimore-class were made.  11 of these would enter service during the war.  4 would enter service in the more critical 1943 period of the Pacific War.

It's the kind of stuff that doesn't often exist on paper. Little things like what material was used where, and what it actually means for certain parts of the ship to have armor or not, design overload, etc.h

 

The newer USN CAs are pretty much just cheating compared to most other heavy cruisers. I'm far from an 'Ameriboo', but I won't hesitate to say that the Baltimore-class was easily the best heavy cruiser class to serve during WWII, followed by the one-off Wichita. But, at the same time - the first Baltimore is laid down May of 1941 - about two years after the war startedWichita is a about six years older, but still one of the most modern heavy cruisers anywhere, laid down in 1935. The only real 'contemporaries' of Wichita are the heavily overweight Admiral Hipper (laid down 1935) and Tone (laid down 1934), who was also overweight - but not much more than Wichita. Most other heavy cruisers are laid down in 1931 at the latest, and considerable advance was made since then - for example, for the Zara-class (first pair laid down 1929) to achieve 95,000 shp on two shafts, the ships carried eight boilers. A decade later, 110,000 shp could be achieved in Italy on the same number of shafts with half the number of boilers (And resulted in 4-shaft designs with 200,000+ shp like Ansaldo's series of 16,000-ton cruisers). That's not a dissimilar improvement to what the Americans had, as compared to the eight boilers of most of the older cruisers, the Baltimore-class had only four boilers for their four shafts to reach 120,000 shp.

 

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6 hours ago, Phoenix_jz said:

It's the kind of stuff that doesn't often exist on paper. Little things like what material was used where, and what it actually means for certain parts of the ship to have armor or not, design overload, etc.h

 

The newer USN CAs are pretty much just cheating compared to most other heavy cruisers. I'm far from an 'Ameriboo', but I won't hesitate to say that the Baltimore-class was easily the best heavy cruiser class to serve during WWII, followed by the one-off Wichita. But, at the same time - the first Baltimore is laid down May of 1941 - about two years after the war startedWichita is a about six years older, but still one of the most modern heavy cruisers anywhere, laid down in 1935. The only real 'contemporaries' of Wichita are the heavily overweight Admiral Hipper (laid down 1935) and Tone (laid down 1934), who was also overweight - but not much more than Wichita. Most other heavy cruisers are laid down in 1931 at the latest, and considerable advance was made since then - for example, for the Zara-class (first pair laid down 1929) to achieve 95,000 shp on two shafts, the ships carried eight boilers. A decade later, 110,000 shp could be achieved in Italy on the same number of shafts with half the number of boilers (And resulted in 4-shaft designs with 200,000+ shp like Ansaldo's series of 16,000-ton cruisers). That's not a dissimilar improvement to what the Americans had, as compared to the eight boilers of most of the older cruisers, the Baltimore-class had only four boilers for their four shafts to reach 120,000 shp.

 

Which brings to mind, if WG ever decides to bring IJN Destroyer "Shigure" as a Premium DD (Shiratsuyu-class).  How realistic will they go?  Because I know in "Japanese Destroyer Captain" that Capt Hara Tameichi, bitterly complained many times in the book that Shigure was old with an overworked engine that could barely reach 30kts.  This was during 1942-1943 with all the fighting for Guadalcanal and the Solomon Islands.  I know there's all sorts of posts by people that "Long Lances should be realistic" but will they want that "realism" to apply to Shigure's engines?  Probably not :Smile_trollface:  People are picky with "realism" and "historical accuracy" until it becomes inconvenient for them.

 

Anyways, it was funny in the book with Shigure.  One of the sorties, a Vice Admiral is commanding the IJN force on another mission in the Solomons, they had no Cruisers and definitely no BBs.  Shigure was lagging behind.  The VAdm sends a message why Shigure is lagging behind at only 30kts.  Hara had to remind him that Shigure could only do 30kts, and to push any faster risked breaking the engines down.  The actual CO of Shigure, a Commander, asked Capt Hara if he should have the engine room boost the engines to keep up with the force.  Hara basically told him, "F**k no" and not risk the engines outside of emergencies in combat.  If the VAdm wanted Shigure to stay with the formation, the formation had to slow down for Shigure :Smile_teethhappy:

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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12 hours ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

Which brings to mind, if WG ever decides to bring IJN Destroyer "Shigure" as a Premium DD (Shiratsuyu-class).  How realistic will they go?  Because I know in "Japanese Destroyer Captain" that Capt Hara Tameichi, bitterly complained many times in the book that Shigure was old with an overworked engine that could barely reach 30kts.  This was during 1942-1943 with all the fighting for Guadalcanal and the Solomon Islands.  I know there's all sorts of posts by people that "Long Lances should be realistic" but will they want that "realism" to apply to Shigure's engines?  Probably not :Smile_trollface:  People are picky with "realism" and "historical accuracy" until it becomes inconvenient for them.

 

Anyways, it was funny in the book with Shigure.  One of the sorties, a Vice Admiral is commanding the IJN force on another mission in the Solomons, they had no Cruisers and definitely no BBs.  Shigure was lagging behind.  The VAdm sends a message why Shigure is lagging behind at only 30kts.  Hara had to remind him that Shigure could only do 30kts, and to push any faster risked breaking the engines down.  The actual CO of Shigure, a Commander, asked Capt Hara if he should have the engine room boost the engines to keep up with the force.  Hara basically told him, "F**k no" and not risk the engines outside of emergencies in combat.  If the VAdm wanted Shigure to stay with the formation, the formation had to slow down for Shigure :Smile_teethhappy:

It's a good point, although to be fair this applied to almost everyone. Destroyers tend to have to work the hardest to maintain speed since they're of such low tonnage, and they tend to put in the work more often than cruisers and very much more than battleships. Anyone with a constantly active destroyer fleet - Britain, Italy, and when they entered the war, America and Japan - had to deal with destroyers that were in constant operation, which wore on their machinery. America suffered less from this since they had such a volume of new destroyers that replacements weren't hard to come by when a ship needed to be refit badly, but the other three didn't really have that option, which left many having destroyers with effective speeds of less than 30 knots by the mid-war period.

Meanwhile, the Germans got out of this by having so many mechanical issues that they generally didn't get the chance to put enough mileage on their engines to wear anything down, while the French destroyers tended to just wear out their turbines so fast that they needed the extra attention (the reason the Le Fantasque-class were re-designated as light cruisers was not so much because of capability as is often touted, but rather to get them higher priority for maintenance than the other Allied destroyers).

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