Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
You need to play a total of 10 battles to post in this section.
Ariecho

February 22 - Focus: Iowa-class

25 comments in this topic

Recommended Posts

2,242
Alpha Tester
4,441 posts

FIND ALL OUR DAILY THREADS HERE

 

General

 

We all have a tendency to avoid well-known ships, but there was no way around today.  Of course, this means that the challenge will be to cover in about 3 hours what people have covered in books.  Nobody can't say we never tried...

 

List of large ships with a significant event on a February 22:

1909 - HMS VanguardSt. Vincent-class - Launched
1928 - HMS SussexLondon-class - Launched
1943 - USS Iowa - Iowa-class - Commissioned
1944 - USS PittsburghBaltimore-class - Launched

 

Statistics for surface ships on a February 22:

Allies: 40 ships laid down, 43 launched, 27 commissioned and 4 sunk

Italy: 1 ship commissioned (RM RD 6)

 

 

1944

 

On February 22, 1944, USS Iowa (BB-61) was commissioned, the first of the six Iowa-class battleships to be ordered (only 4 would be completed).

 

 

War Plan Orange:

The US Navy departed from its traditional approach on slow battleships with the North Carolina-class (USS North Carolina and USS Washington), ships who were built with one target in sight: the Kongō-class.  Until then, armor had been privileged.

 

1_zps53c78de3.jpg

 

The reasoning behind this change of strategy was developed through what was then named War Plan Orange, a series of joint strategies developed by the US Army and the US Navy to fight an eventual war against Japan.  This war plan alone deserves its own thread, so I will just stick to the basics.  

 

Until the North Carolina-class and its multiple drawings (more than fifteen versions were offered) came to fruition, the US Navy's main battle fleet was centered around 21-knot capable battleships, who were not fast enough to go after the Kongō-class (believed at that time to be able to reach 26 knots), and to lure them away from carrier groups they may be escorting.  When Plan Orange was developed, most western navies refused then to believe that aircraft could sink battleships and that just that notion would make the plan obsolete.  What had been properly analyzed though was that the Japanese would eventually attack, and that a campaign would be fought around the Philippines.

 

Another reason behind the US fast battleship turnaround was that US military intelligence was starting to receive rumors that the Japanese were developing a new class of super battleships.  By 1937, the intelligence reports became even more precise and said that 3 ships were being developed with a 46,000-ton displacement and armed with 16-inch guns.  Some reports even mentioned ships with 18-inch guns.  While it eventually proved to be true, the existence of the Yamato-class was only verified by the US intelligence in 1942.  Rumors only being rumors, and without any solid evidence, the US had to stick with the treaties until some proof could be shown to a country that was still very isolationist at the time.

 

 

1938 - Super-South Dakota

In 1938, the United States, the United Kingdom an France decided to change the displacement limits on battleships from 35,000-ton to 45,000 tons, still limiting the armament to 16-inch guns although some US naval engineers pushed for 18-inch.

 

The first idea to emerge was to capitalize on the South Dakota-class already developed if not built, lengthen the hull, fit another 16-inch turret or replace all the 16-inch guns with 18-inch guns.

 

In parallel, the US Navy design bureau asked its team to look at another alternative, with no displacement limit but one sine qua none condition: the ships would have to be able to fit in the Panama Canal.

 

The original design was a ship armed with 12 x 16-inch guns, 20 x 5-inch guns, capable of 35 knots, and with a range of 20,000 nautical miles at a speed of 15 knots.  Of course, engineers being engineers, several modifications were added later on.  All the designs resulted in ships displacing over 50,000 tons.

 

1_zpsd9bfc1f4.jpg

 

Iowa-class:

Naval engineers were sent back to the drawing board and asked to capitalize on the South Dakota-class, but capable of 33 knots and displacing around 40,000 tons.  One thing should be noted here, which shows how serious the US Navy was:  all this evolution took place within two months!

 

A first proposal was offered to which, of course, people replied with "what if" questions.  One of them included a larger freeboard and a sloped armored deck, which, of course, added more weight to the program.  It was also decided that, rather than using the more modern 16-inch/45 developed for previous battleship classes, money could be saved by using the 16-inch/50 that had been developed around 1922 for canceled battleships and battlecruisers.  Eventually, these guns, designed for the South Dakota-class, didn't work, because the turrets built to shelter them didn't fit, but the 16-inch/50 caliber was retained, and the Bureau of Ordnance developed a new gun, labeled Mark 7.

 

Again, engineers were sent back to the drawing board, and again, they came back with several solutions.  Another month had been added to the study (still a remarkable pace) and two options emerged: a 12 x 16-inch gun 27-knot ship and a 9 x 16-inch gun 33-knot ship.  The two options were retained but the slower one would be used for another class of ships, the Montana-class.

 

By now, an estimated displacement was given to the US Navy: 44,682 tons with the 16-inch/45 gun or 46,551 tons with the new 16-inch/50 gun.  In parallel (again), the US Navy had developed some studies comparing the two 16-inch guns and eventual 18-inch guns and had concluded that the 16-inch/50 was the better gun. The problem was that its utilization would put the ship above the new treaty limits, which was not acceptable.  The only solution would be to keep the guns but to develop lighter turrets, which the Navy thought could be done "easily".  The Service delivered and offered some turrets that weighed 1,663 tons each, offering a collective saving in weight of 825 tons.  By June 1938, a 44,559-ton ship was offered to the Navy, just before the Allies adopted the 45,000-ton battleship limit.

 

2_zps1bee460b.jpg

1938 evolution of the Iowa-class design

 

3_zps446f471d.jpg

Iowa preliminary design

 

The rest of the year was spent adjusting displacement and working on machinery, a task that was given to the New York Naval Shipyard.  Priority was set on survivability and compartmentalization, to diminish the chances of sinking.  This, of course, added weight but all these efforts took some time and when most of them were completed, the two other co-signing nations of the treaty were at war, which pretty much meant that weight restriction was moot.

 

 

Protection:

Torpedo protection didn't evolve from what was done on the previous class, the South Carolina.  Even the October 1942 event, when USS North Carolina was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine and suffered some substantial damage didn't move the Bureau of Ships, after recommendations were made to modify the fifth and sixth scheduled Iowa-class battleship (USS Illinois and USS Kentucky).

 

Shell protection was also derived from the previous class, offering an invulnerability zone between 18,000 and 30,000 yards against 16-inch/45 shells (21,700 to 32,100 yards against higher velocity shells).  This zone shrank dramatically when the Bureau of Ordnance (BuOrd) designed a brand new 2,700-pound shell. US studies showed that the only zone at which an Iowa couldn't be penetrated by such a shell fired by another Iowa would be between 23,600 and 27,400 yards.  Engineers calculated that to add a good enough protection against such shells would require a 16.4-inch armor, which would raise the displacement to over 51,000 tons, reducing the ship's speed to 28 knots.

 

[Note: Thanks to NGTM_1R to clarify the issue of the 16-inch/50 guns when reading the article before release]

 

 

Authorization:

On July 1, 1939, contracts for USS Iowa (BB-61) and USS New Jersey (BB-62) were signed.  USS Missouri (BB-63) and USS Wisconsin (BB-64) were authorized in 1940 for an incorporation within the 1941 budget.  With the fall of France in June 1940, another two ships were ordered in September: USS Illinois (BB-65) and USS Kentucky (BB-66).  They were never finished.

 

 

Completion:

As expected, when the first ships were finished, their displacement was way over what had been expected.  USS New Jersey was rated at 55,000 tons.  In consequence, the average speed in operation was calculated to be 31 knots, a number reduced to 30.7 knots under average sea conditions.

 

 

Armament:

As discussed earlier, the Iowa-class main armament was the 16-inch/50 gun.  These guns were modernization of what had been developed in the 1920s to equip new battleships and battlecruisers, who were eventually canceled.  While the guns were in turrets that could accommodate 3 guns, each gun could be elevated separately if needed.  Originally supposed to receive the Mark 5 (2,240-pound) shell, they eventually received the more destructive Mark 8 (2,700-pound) shell, nicknamed the "super-heavy" shell.  Each turret needed a crew of 94 men.

 

16-50_Mark_VII_gun_barrel.JPG

16-inch/50 gun on its way to USS Iowa, 1942

 

Secondary armament was provided by the universal Bofors and Oerlikons.  The original number was supposed to be 24 x 40-mm and 40 x 20-mm, a number soon increased to 40 x 40-mm and eventually 60 x 40-mm and 60 x 20-mm by the time USS Iowa was completed.  With all this extra armament, by 1945, average displacement reached over 56,000 tons.  It should be added that the 20-mm Oerlikons proved totally useless against Kamikaze attacks, as they could only damage the aircraft, but not destroy it.  They were eventually nicknamed "door-knockers", a similarity that they share with their German counterparts who also called them like that.

 

Immune zone:

The Iowa-class battleships had an immune zone between 18,000 and 30,000 yards against the 16-inch/45 original shell.  That immune zone shifted to in between 21,700 and 32,100 yards against the 16-inch/50 shell, similar to what could be found on the South Dakota-class.  The immune zone shrank dramatically though when a new shell was developed by the Bureau of Ordnance.  That new shell shrank the Iowa-class' immune zone to in between 20,200 and 25,500 yards against the new 16-inch/45 guns and in between 23,600 and 27,400 yards against the new 16-inch/50 guns.  The new shells pretty much killed the concept of fast battleships.  Adding an armor good enough to protect against those shells would have brought the ships' displacement around 51,500 tons and would have lowered their speed to 28 knots.

 

 

Operational life:

While obviously present during World War II, the Iowa-class battleships saw little surface-to-surface engagement, unless the second "surface" was Japanese ground positions who were pounded by the 16-inch guns.

 

The two last hulls (USS Illinois and USS Kentucky) were eventually considered to become the basis of a new aircraft carrier class, a project that was rapidly abandoned.

 

800px-Iowa_class_aircraft_carrier.jpg

 

 

World War II was not the end of the line for the Iowa-class battleships, as you all know.  Whether it was during the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Lebanon campaign or even Desert Storm, the big ships were still present.  One of them even sunk an alien ship!

 

Battleship_Poster.jpg

:trollface:

 

In the 1980s, when the Soviets introduced the Kirov-class, the United States decided to modernize the Iowa-class battleships, around what would be known as battleship battle groups.  Since then, they have been retired again, and are still in display as museums, in such good conditions that you would never know that they are 70-year old.

 

2092_zps5a7df797.jpg 

Personal picture taken in Norfolk in 2013

 

 

 

Edited by Ariecho
  • Cool 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2,242
Alpha Tester
4,441 posts

Evolution of the Iowa-class

 

The Iowa-class battleships served way beyond the war they were designed to fight.  The latest engagement was during Operation Desert Storm, in 1991, when they helped to create a diversion, to pull the Iraqi Forces towards the Kuwait beaches, making them believe that the coalition forces were about to start an amphibious landing.

 

2_zps0fd68111.jpg

USS New Jersey in 1943.  +1 to whoever can identify the other battleship in the background

 

3_zps996e8e87.jpg

USS Missouri, 1945.  Two pictures of same attack.

 

5_zps324a0ef8.jpg

USS Missouri during the Korean War

 

4_zps31468ff8.jpg

1967 or when budgets and traditions collide.

 

6_zps5d920a5c.jpg

USS New Jersey, 1982

 

 

 

Edited by Ariecho
  • Cool 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,859
Supertester, Members, Alpha Tester, In AlfaTesters, Beta Testers
11,285 posts
1,963 battles

Excellent work today :glasses:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alpha Tester
1,033 posts
2,614 battles

...hit send to early??

 

NOOB!!!!!!!!!! :trollface: NO +1 FOR YOU!!!......yet

 

Lol funny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alpha Tester
44 posts

Fantabulous essay-it was written so spectacularly I could place myself there! +1 for you---oh wait wrong essay. I'll wait till you're done :trollface:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2,242
Alpha Tester
4,441 posts

...hit send to early??

 

NOOB!!!!!!!!!! :trollface: NO +1 FOR YOU!!!......yet

The noob is taking care of today without warning and doing you a favor, pal ... :angry:  There will be some repercussions to this deliberate attack ... :glasses:

  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2,242
Alpha Tester
4,441 posts

Better late than never!  Here they are...  Sorry about the delays.

 

We found out last night that NGTM was sick (get better, man), so JeeWeeJ asked if I could take over, which I did, while already thinking about the gazillion other things that I had to do.  This led to the premature posting accident.  Then, because misery never comes alone, I lost all my work again, just to find out that I had already created a draft in late January, for USS Missouri, that we never had the chance to use.  Saved by the bell...

  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alpha Tester
1,033 posts
2,614 battles

Dang it, I know what ship is in the back round, But I cant remember the name :l 

 

EDIT: I renember now! Its the french battleship Richelieu. The funny looking funnel got me :P 

 

notice the rear funnel

Edited by waffles1945
  • Cool 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
69
[_CIA_]
Alpha Tester, In AlfaTesters
285 posts
2,615 battles

Battleships are beautiful :honoring:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2,242
Alpha Tester
4,441 posts

Dang it, I know what ship is in the back round, But I cant remember the name :l 

 

EDIT: I renember now! Its the french battleship Richelieu. The funny looking funnel got me :P 

 

notice the rear funnel

Correct (+1)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alpha Tester
43,775 posts
296 battles

Battleships are beautiful :honoring:

Indeed so,majestic,powerful beasts of steel. 

Dang it, I know what ship is in the back round, But I cant remember the name :l 

 

EDIT: I renember now! Its the french battleship Richelieu. The funny looking funnel got me :P 

 

notice the rear funnel

+1 :3.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2,137
Members
3,593 posts

Better late than never!  Here they are...  Sorry about the delays.

 

We found out last night that NGTM was sick (get better, man), so JeeWeeJ asked if I could take over, which I did, while already thinking about the gazillion other things that I had to do.  This led to the premature posting accident.  Then, because misery never comes alone, I lost all my work again, just to find out that I had already created a draft in late January, for USS Missouri, that we never had the chance to use.  Saved by the bell...

Excuses excuses...:trollface:

Nah, great work man!:great:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
188
[COB45]
[COB45]
Alpha Tester
305 posts
7,890 battles

Nice read, too bad so many of the pictures can no longer be seen due to the photobucket bandwidth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8
[DJL]
Members
64 posts
2,130 battles

"One even sunk an alien ship"

 

Lulz that movie was so terrible but I can't help watch that scene everytime I catch the movie on TV!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Banned
14,965 posts
1,407 battles

I approve. Great read. +1 mate.

It should also be noted that my hull was "launched" about 70% complete to make room for the Mo's repairs, so I was technically launched :P.

The Guided Missile Battleship design for me actually got off the ground and I was re-designated too. Just some more info.

 

Btw, if anyone reads this, +1 to anyone who can tell the ship that's actually in my sig. They don't have good paintings of me as just a battleship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×