WW2 era BB ships vs modern weapon systems

witchbottles

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okay premise is to take each of the following BB classes:

1. Iowa Class as it appeared in August of 1945.
2. Yamato Class as it appeared in the Battle of Leyte Gulf in 1944.
3. Bismarck class as it appeared in April of 1941.
4. KG V class as it appeared in May of 1945.

If each of these BB classes was engaged by one of the following modern naval ship classes, which modern ship would stand the best chance of actually sinking a battle-ready BB listed above?

1. a Floreal class FF as they appeared in December of 1985.
2. a OH Perry class FFG as they appeared in January of 1991.
3. a Jiangki II class FFG as they appeared in January of 2018.
4. a Sa'ar III class FFL as they appeared in December of 1990.

Could any of the modernized FF/FFG/FFLs listed stand a chance of putting one of those BBs under before being sunk herself by the main batteries of these battlewagons? Remember, a simple CA - the KMS Prinz Eugen took 2 nuclear device hits and stayed afloat, at Bikini Atoll.

The frigates listed seem to lack the needed volume of SSMs it would likely require to put one of those battlewagons down for good, and every one of the listed BB classes at the period given could outrun any of the listed frigates.

An interesting thought.

as an aside, how many Mk 48 ADCAPs do you estimate it would take to put the Musashi under? How many 533mm carrier-killer torpedoes? To put the USS Missouri under?
(Keeping the period listed in mind only for those BB's.)

KRL,
Jon H
 

Vinnie

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I think a lot would depend on the amount of fires the missile hit started. I'm no expert on naval matters but these battlewagons were very heavily armoured so could take a LOT of punishment. Within range they could dish it out but it's the range thing they would lose to. The FF could sidle up and launch their ordnance well out of range of the BB's big guns, tunr and retreat to base, rearm and do it again. Repeat as much as you wish.
 

Paul M. Weir

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How many SSM? To sink, I have no idea. Depending upon the warhead design (HE vs HEAT), a half dozen could effectively disarm a BB. With a pop-up type you could get a magazine detonation.

Now ADCAPS or modern wake homing torpedoes would be another matter. As they are designed to explode under the keel, WW2 torpedo bulkheads would be almost ineffective. 1 or 2 would get a mobility kill, depending where they detonated, I'd be very surprised if it took more than a half dozen to sink a BB. Yamato took something like from 10 to 12 WW2 air dropped torpedoes and had listed so far that the additional final torpedo strike hit her bottom. Counter flooding would be much less effective as the holes would likely be well inboard. So anything from 1 lucky shot (exploding under a magazine) to 3-6 would be my best guess.

As for a nuke, provided it burst underwater I would not expect any ship to survive within 500m. The Baker underwater test shot (only 23 kt) cleared something like a 300m void or bubble in the sea. Prinz Eugen was something like 1.2 km from the detonation and did not sink but was extremely contaminated, Plutonium was found in the captain's cabin. Though at that distance a ship might not sink it would be only days at best before all the crew would die from a combination of prompt radiation and fallout.
 

witchbottles

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I think a lot would depend on the amount of fires the missile hit started. I'm no expert on naval matters but these battlewagons were very heavily armoured so could take a LOT of punishment. Within range they could dish it out but it's the range thing they would lose to. The FF could sidle up and launch their ordnance well out of range of the BB's big guns, tunr and retreat to base, rearm and do it again. Repeat as much as you wish.
the problem with "rinse and repeat" on the SSMs is the extremely limited magazines if SSMs that FF/FFG/FFL class ships carry (4-8 being common - total, this includes reloads). Further, a Frigate as listed is not really capable of outrunning a BB listed, the big wagons outpace the Frigates listed by several (or even a dozen or more) knots. Further the BBs have steaming ranges FAR in excess of the CODAG or COGAG fueled boilers of the Frigates. - so they could give chase, and without a crippling hit of some kind slowing them to a merchant type speed (8-16 knots), close to an effective gun range for the MA, if not simply give chase and outlast the fuel tanks on the frigate.

The BBs were heavily armored topside, completely watertight, effective damage control that included counterflooding and fire containment. How many shells before the Bismarck's main battery went offline? But only 1 lucky hit to cripple her maneuverability.
 

Vinnie

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Given the range of surface to surface missiles, and assuming the Frigates home port is protected, the fact the BB can run down the frigate will never come into play.The Rinse and repeat strategy assumes the smaller ship runs for home.
 

witchbottles

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Given the range of surface to surface missiles, and assuming the Frigates home port is protected, the fact the BB can run down the frigate will never come into play.The Rinse and repeat strategy assumes the smaller ship runs for home.
I really think it becomes a factor of whose luck runs out first. Either one of 3-6 SSMs from the 4-8 onboard fired at the BB scores a crippling hit on either the main battery capability of firing at all - or a crippling hit on the maneuvering of the BB - OR the BB will run down the Frigate long before she ever makes port and will sink her with 1-3 salvoes (these periods represent the eras when the fire control teams on the BBs were at their respective peak efficiency). Consider that also each period represents the BB classes at their peak in (manually aimed but semi-if not full auto) AA capability. Each of these BBs could blanket a hemisphere of sky around the ship with prox fused HE AA fire in a near blackout of flak cloud explosions. Now NATO long ago determined that manually aimed AA weaponry was only capable of realistically stopping +/- 10% of any SSM incoming - so they developed autonomous computer guided point defense systems like CIWS and GoalKeeper. Still, if the total fired at the BB from onboard stocks, including any reloads was 4-8 missiles, then on average 1 of those missiles gets shot down by the AA fire - so 3-7 hit. Given that NATO long ago determined that the average failure rate for a SSM after it has been at seas without regular removal and maintenance runs about +/-2-4% - then there is a decent chance at least one of the SSMS will fail to guide correctly to impact and self-destruct or simply spin off across the open ocean. so 3-6 SSMs finally impact, and that represents the entirety of the Frigate's capability to engage the BB at all. can 3-6 HEAT 500kg hits on 7-10 inches of hardened RHA armor plating on the topsides of the BBs score a crippling hit? I'd give the odds about 50/50.

The other 50 % of the time, the damage is either minor and non-effectual or easily handled with damage and/or fire control parties quickly. Then the BB runs the hapless Frigate down to within 10-13 miles and engages with main battery guns, and ends the Frigates life within 2-4 hours of it firing its SSMs at the BB, sinking said Frigate long before it ever reaches a point of resupplying it's SSM stocks or its fuel.
(the SSM stocks being the critical factor, the fuel and lack of speed being the limiting factor that ends any long-range from home engagement.)

The OH Perry class carries 8 Harpoons, total. 4 in launch canisters and 4 reloads. It is renowned as one of the most capable FFG class ships of the modern era- The other Frigates listed carry less total and less-capable SSMs than the OHP class.

So I'd call this one actually more of an even match, myself.
 

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One thing to consider is the advances in HEAT warheads since WW2. Tank calibre rounds (100-125mm) can have in the order of 500-700mm penetration against plain armour. It's not that the best BB armour can defeat a good HEAT warhead it's whether there is something vital behind that point. I would guess that modern APFSDS rounds could also penetrate at tank battle ranges. I agree with witchbottles that WW2 AA would only down a very small fraction of SSMs. They were designed to protect against 200-400 MPH aircraft, not small 600 MPH+ missiles.
 

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Come on guys the anti-ship missiles have a vastly longer standoff range while a battleship is a line of sight direct fire weapon. Of course, by picking ships that are not even a tenth the displacement of the battleship and carrying fairly light weight weapons you are certainly trying to stack the deck in favor of the battleship. Now if you were to pick say an Arleigh Burke Class destroyer carrying about 50 something tomahawk missiles fired from so far away the battleship could never even dream of hitting it and indeed would be safe enough that it could have a supply ship with it to restock. Oh and a tomahawk can carry a nuclear warhead but even its conventional warhead is 1000 lbs.
 

Vinnie

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I'm not certain what helicopters these small ships carry but hey are a factor too, as is the fact that the frigate can be reprovisioned by aircraft.
Mind you, the FOG is part of a navy that is an integrated system...
 

witchbottles

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I found a study done by the USN when they began retrofitting the Iowa class ships. It was known in their kell-laying days in 42 and 43 that these BBs would be built with a "citadel" of armored protection, with both fore and aft areas lightly, if at all protected by armor plating. Final construction actually resulted in armor plate as thin a 1.5mm in the bow on both flanks (and below the waterline, none at all), up to a point about 15 feet from the Foc's'le point. There the armor plating began tethering topside, on both flanks, and below the waterline (but still nothing on the keel) - up to the beginning of the #1 turret barbette ring. At this point, deck armor was 1.75 inches, topside flank armor was 8.5 inches, and the anti-torpedo bulge armor began here at a 1.0 inch thickness that quickly expanded to the 18 inch bulge which ran the length of the "citadel" area - to a point just aft of the #3 turret barbette ring. The three main battery turrets themselves were top armored at 5.5 inches, and front/side/rear rated at 11 inches of armor. Secondary turrets (the 5 inch guns)- had a 3.5 inch armor all the way around the turret facings. The rest of the "citadel" from #1 barbette to #3 barbette - had only 2 inches of deck armor, and 11.5 inches of topside flank armor.

The armor compromises were made in initial planning in order to produce a fast BB that could maintain a 27.5 knot speed indefinitely (as long as fuel lasted). There was no way to accomplish this and armor the entire ship heavily, in the amount of time given to the designers or the ship-builders. By 1944, it was determined that a wholly armored BB with that speed rating *could* be built, but the design would be completely new, require a huge investment of money to create, and was not, given the course of the war, a cost-effective option (not enough bang-per-buck) - if a class of BB like that would take until 1949 (earliest projections) to arrive at the front lines ready for action.

so the USN compromised on the armor. the "citadel" was over 2/3rd the length of the ship. Here was located every single requires, sensitive, or critical to ship operations, pieces of equipment and duty stations. from the main batteries, the fire control directors, the three bridges, the radio compartments, the Radar direction center, the engines and their boilers and fuel stock, ammunition stowage, the seaplane stowage for spotting planes, the sick bay/surgery, damage control, main engineering, mess halls, in short if it was needed to fight the ship - it was in the "citadel". the spaces fore and aft were used for stowage of dry goods, stowage of fresh water, anchor/chain stowage, UNREP winch and roller gear stowage, crew's berthing areas, ship store (the place to get cigarettes or chocolate bars for the crew, if any were on board), special services stowage and offices (the place where items like the R&R baseball and soccer gear were kept and checked in and out during liberty calls), the ship's Post Office. In the after compartments below the waterline was the stowage for the running gear, drive shafts, rudder control cabling, spares for all the above, and spare screws and rudder sections.

Conventional wisdom in 43-44 was the "citadel" was enough to keep the BB class afloat in action and in fighting trim, regardless of damage, barring a critical penetration. Speed however, with both fore and aft damaged and counter-flooded, would have dropped to less than 12 knots.

As the ships were being retrofitted, the USN BuShips noted this design was not entirely satisfactory to prevent critical hits from plunging fire SSMs on the aft parts of the ship, especially- ie the areas of the running gear and its spares stowage. the USN, in its bureaucratic wisdom, decided the answer was another pair of CIWS located aft, one on each flank. so the ship had four, instead of 2 CIWS. And to add the Sea Sparrow AAM, capable against sea skimmers (but not supersonic SSMs). The captains taking the retrofitted class to sea and into action were none to thrilled that their dreadnoughts would be able to sustain more than a single hit from a "Harpoon" or "Styx" class SSM and stay in fighting trim, themselves. So the USN fleet commanders always ensured these BBs sailed with a battle group including a Belknap -class CG- capable for AA protection via its onboard Aegis and double ended Mk 141 VLS launchers with their 96 missile Standard SM2MR magazines.

Seems even the USN was aware, and feared (probably rightly so) more than a single hit from a modern SSM.
 

GeorgeBates

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Now ADCAPS or modern wake homing torpedoes would be another matter. As they are designed to explode under the keel, WW2 torpedo bulkheads would be almost ineffective. 1 or 2 would get a mobility kill, depending where they detonated, I'd be very surprised if it took more than a half dozen to sink a BB.
Paul puts his finger on the problem - why try to punch a hole in her side when these days you can break her back?

How many shells before the Bismarck's main battery went offline? But only 1 lucky hit to cripple her maneuverability.
And issues like this are equally telling. There are any number of ways to blind, hobble or disable an opponent, rendering a mission kill which can be mopped up at a later time

This thread says a great deal about the survivability of surface combat ships in this century. Defensive systems can be jammed, stealthed or overwhelmed. Even with sophisticated guidance and propulsion systems, present-day missiles and torpedoes are dirt cheap and plentiful. A great number of them can be launched at a high-value target to provide excellent return on investment. In a full-on conflict between two powers with the ability to deliver these weapons from a variety of aerial, surface, land-based and sub-sea platforms (which these days may themselves be remotely piloted), the toll on surface fleets may be fearfully heavy.
 
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GeorgeBates

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While, we're at it, for all the talk of Prinz Eugen surviving nuclear tests, we shouldn't forget how little it took to send Barham and Indianapolis to Davy Jones' locker. Sheffield is a more recent example.
 
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witchbottles

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While, we're at it, for all the talk of Prinz Eugen surviving nuclear tests, we shouldn't forget how little it took to send Barham and Indianapolis to Davy Jones' locker. Sheffield is a more recent example.
True, but the Indy was a prewar treaty cruiser, and took two midships torps to sink. PE was never built to treaty standards, but far above them (as all KMS ships were). HMS Barham took four U-boat torps bow on, in quick succession. She was a WWI era dreadnought. (watertight integrity rarely extended above the "2/3rds line". (ie approx 2/3rd up from the keel). She was not alone in this respect. Royal Oak met a similar fate dockside.

Both ships (Barham and Indy) were far outclassed by the four BB classes listed, or even the PE, by the war's end. I fully believe that if a war sortie by PE had occurred and it met the RN's reconditioned dreadnoughts (or anyone's treaty cruisers), it could have handled them well enough without anything larger than her 8 " main battery guns.

I think the navies of the world began to understand this (that they are really just eggshells with giant hammers) when they began developing new generation sea- skimmer SSMs with long-range targeting capability such as the Tomahawk, the SS-N-19 Shipwreck, or the 3M-45 (P700 Granit in PLAN service) - and the newest version of the MM-42 Exocet or SY-2 Block upgrade Silkworms. Extend striking range with an accuracy at or above 90% - this eliminates the loss of 5-10% to "goal keeper" type automated AA or manual aim AA defenses - arm with a main battery in excess of 6 missiles - this allows for the long range SAM interception of 40-50% of incoming SSMs - and finally, as we have seen in the Kirov, the Virginia, the Belknap, the Leahy, Ticos, and the DDG 43 classes, providing some armnor protection around the "citadel" areas, while modifying construction techniques therein to a return to "citadels" - provides the best possible chance of surviving 1-2 SSM hits. Beyond 2 hits, its guesswork, even for a Roosevelt or Truman class CVN to survive. Which is likely why the Missouris were finally retired and sent to become floating BB museums.

One of the nastiest inventions of the 1990s was the "Captor" mine. extremely cheap to produce, very available on the third world market, able to be laid in waters by small patrol craft - carried a single autonomous 533mm homing torpedo each. As Paul noted, these things were "backbreakers" and likely, could and still can, sink anything afloat with 2 hits, even a modern BB or CGN or CVN.
 

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I think the navies of the world began to understand this (that they are really just eggshells with giant hammers) when they began developing new generation sea- skimmer SSMs with long-range targeting capability such as the Tomahawk, the SS-N-19 Shipwreck, or the 3M-45 (P700 Granit in PLAN service) - and the newest version of the MM-42 Exocet or SY-2 Block upgrade Silkworms. Extend striking range with an accuracy at or above 90% - this eliminates the loss of 5-10% to "goal keeper" type automated AA or manual aim AA defenses - arm with a main battery in excess of 6 missiles - this allows for the long range SAM interception of 40-50% of incoming SSMs - and finally, as we have seen in the Kirov, the Virginia, the Belknap, the Leahy, Ticos, and the DDG 43 classes, providing some armnor protection around the "citadel" areas, while modifying construction techniques therein to a return to "citadels" - provides the best possible chance of surviving 1-2 SSM hits. Beyond 2 hits, its guesswork, even for a Roosevelt or Truman class CVN to survive. Which is likely why the Missouris were finally retired and sent to become floating BB museums.
This is is the point that matters. Large surface combatants can easily fall victim to small, numerous and comparatively cheap weapons systems.

True, but the Indy was a prewar treaty cruiser, and took two midships torps to sink. PE was never built to treaty standards, but far above them (as all KMS ships were)....
I went back to check on this, and although the Portland class were designed as CLs (displacing about half the tonnage of the Hipper class), they were re-classed as CAs when they were up-armed to 8-inch guns. Not only were they equal in firepower to the Hippers, their belt and deck armor (but not turret) were similarly thick. Both could cruise at 32 knots. German capital ships were known for their flood control systems, but Blücher did not hold up very well against Norwegian torpedoes, either.

... HMS Barham took four U-boat torps bow on, in quick succession. She was a WWI era dreadnought. (watertight integrity rarely extended above the "2/3rds line". (ie approx 2/3rd up from the keel). She was not alone in this respect. Royal Oak met a similar fate dockside.
The Queen Elizabeth class are considered the first true fast battleships, not dreadnoughts, and the first to mount 15-inch batteries. Barham and her sisters were better armored (and bulkheaded) than the succeeding Revenge class (which included Royal Oak), and faster than any Royal Navy battleships until the King George V class entered service. The class was modernized to varying degrees (Barham the least), but all were still badass capital ships at the outbreak of the war. Barham took three torpedo hits amidships.

I fully believe that if a war sortie by PE had occurred and it met the RN's reconditioned dreadnoughts (or anyone's treaty cruisers), it could have handled them well enough without anything larger than her 8 " main battery guns.
Prinz Eugen would have been well-advised to use it's 8 knot advantage to avoid any confrontation with a Queen Elizabeth class vessel. Would not have been a contest.
 

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I went back to check on this, and although the Portland class were designed as CLs (displacing about half the tonnage of the Hipper class), they were re-classed as CAs when they were up-armed to 8-inch guns. Not only were they equal in firepower to the Hippers, their belt and deck armor (but not turret) were similarly thick. Both could cruise at 32 knots. German capital ships were known for their flood control systems, but Blücher did not hold up very well against Norwegian torpedoes, either.
The Portland treaty cruisers were never a match for any ship of the Hipper-class CA's. They might have been roughly equal to the Lutzow, if she had been outfitted as designed with the 12 x 6 inch main battery - but she was not built to those specs, rather to the standard 4 double-mount 8 inchers and a superior speed and topside armor. ( as you noted, their under the waterline armor left a lot to be desired, but speed has to come from somewhere).
The Queen Elizabeth class are considered the first true fast battleships, not dreadnoughts, and the first to mount 15-inch batteries. Barham and her sisters were better armored (and bulkheaded) than the succeeding Revenge class (which included Royal Oak), and faster than any Royal Navy battleships until the King George V class entered service. The class was modernized to varying degrees (Barham the least), but all were still badass capital ships at the outbreak of the war. Barham took three torpedo hits amidships.
The Barham's best speed was 22 knots after her refit from dreadnought design as laid down to her modernization in 1932-1934 at around a half million pounds. Turret armor was improved, an anti-torpedo bulge added, but the most extensive refits were in fire control systems and in shifting secondary battery armament to turret positioning, clearing larger fields of fire. Lemp's single 1939 torpedo destroyed one entire length of the anti-torp bulge - forcing extensive repairs. Her later encounter with a full spread from another U-boat later in the war ended any doubt of her anti-torp bulge being able to withstand any sustained attack at all below the waterline. In contrast, modern from design BB's as the four listed, absorbed many more than three torp impacts. (Missouri class excepted - but doubtful it could have taken more than the Yamato Class or Bismarck class or even the PoW did off Malaya in 1942). the QE BBs and their kin ( the U.S. WV, Arizona and Texas -class BBs to name a few), were ships built to fight the last war, not the next one. Refitting them put them in action, but it did not provide them the tools to survive even their own war. (Hence Battleship row on Dec 8th, 1941).

Prinz Eugen would have been well-advised to use it's 8 knot advantage to avoid any confrontation with a Queen Elizabeth class vessel. Would not have been a contest.
The three survivors of HMS Hood and the crew in May 41 of PoW might disagree. More and more historical evidence is beginning to surface that it was the PE's 8 " battery that killed the Hood, not Bismarck's mighty guns. PE's multiple hits and near misses on PoW in Denmark Straits put her main battery out of action for 13 hours.

:)

I do agree with the main contention. Past Jutland any surface combatants were reliant on anti-air and ASW to prevent significant damage to the capital ships of the line. Post-war studies showed the modernization of weapon systems could eliminate the AAW threat almost completely, making air delivery weapons almost invulnerable, if used en masse. ASW developed similarly, but at a slower pace, making it a game of "kill before they shoot" instead of "find and pin or kill" as it was in the WW2 era.
 

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A very interesting and asymmetrical comparison - but an enjoyable thread. I was very fortunate to be at sea in 1989 when Iowa was in our BG. There is absolutely nothing to compare to seeing such a behemoth steaming at 30(+) knots about a mile off your starboard quarter in formation. Amazing - and the Navy paid me to do this. :)
 

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A very interesting and asymmetrical comparison - but an enjoyable thread. I was very fortunate to be at sea in 1989 when Iowa was in our BG. There is absolutely nothing to compare to seeing such a behemoth steaming at 30(+) knots about a mile off your starboard quarter in formation. Amazing - and the Navy paid me to do this. :)
I think the Iowa's refits ( to the entire class), created a ship capable and deadly enough to defeat the BCGNs of the Kirov class and their Slava and Kara escorts, easily. That refit gave them Tomahawk GPS (8 tubes); T-LAM-C Tomahawks (16 tubes); RGM-88 Harpoons (8 tubes); and finally SM1-MR (24 tubes) and Sea Sparrow (8 tubes) - to top off with a trio of CIWS 20mm autonomous point defense, and a pair of SH-2G LAMPS-II helos. (with Mk-46 ASW torps and plenty of loiter time; HIFR, and sonobouys).

Pair the Iowa as the 1990 cruise (7th Fleet) did, with a pair of Spruance DDGs, a Tico CG and a trio of FFGs- and they became the dominant force north of Diego Garcia - while warning off any sorties or attacks by non-coalition aligned nations. Absolutely terrifying. As a Marine on the beach at Al Khafjii - I can state we felt pretty damn good knowing the BB's 16 inch guns were pre-registered onto the staging areas where the Rep Guards armor was forming up.


Still ,a pair of leakers, and all of a sudden, it becomes problematic whether or not the main battery and engineering and CIC and Fire Control can maintain effectiveness beyond that (due to damage control). So retiring them to replace with upmissiled Blk 42 Ticos. more Leahy class and the Arleigh Burke II and IIA DDGs and CGs was probably the right move to see the USN surface fleet into the 21st century.
 

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The three survivors of HMS Hood and the crew in May 41 of PoW might disagree. More and more historical evidence is beginning to surface that it was the PE's 8 " battery that killed the Hood, not Bismarck's mighty guns. PE's multiple hits and near misses on PoW in Denmark Straits put her main battery out of action for 13 hours.
When your deck armor is only 1 - 3 inches, it doesn't make a hill of beans difference whether the plunging shell is 8-inch or 14-inch caliber - it's going to penetrate and make a mess.

I do agree with the main contention. Past Jutland any surface combatants were reliant on anti-air and ASW to prevent significant damage to the capital ships of the line. Post-war studies showed the modernization of weapon systems could eliminate the AAW threat almost completely, making air delivery weapons almost invulnerable, if used en masse. ASW developed similarly, but at a slower pace, making it a game of "kill before they shoot" instead of "find and pin or kill" as it was in the WW2 era.
Indeed, it comes down to who fires first, and letting fly with everything you have. The more I think about this, the more clearly the CV superiority over BBs in WWII illustrates the point - the CV was at comparatively little risk (save from submarines) as it launched its (numerous and cheap) attacks against enemy surface combatants from over the horizon, behind a screen of escorts. With the advent of the guided anti-ship missile and longer range torpedoes, the carrier's advantage has been shaved down to the point where it is just as vulnerable.
 

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When your deck armor is only 1 - 3 inches, it doesn't make a hill of beans difference whether the plunging shell is 8-inch or 14-inch caliber - it's going to penetrate and make a mess.



Indeed, it comes down to who fires first, and letting fly with everything you have. The more I think about this, the more clearly the CV superiority over BBs in WWII illustrates the point - the CV was at comparatively little risk (save from submarines) as it launched its (numerous and cheap) attacks against enemy surface combatants from over the horizon, behind a screen of escorts. With the advent of the guided anti-ship missile and longer range torpedoes, the carrier's advantage has been shaved down to the point where it is just as vulnerable.
I quite agree, the modern CV/CVN battle group is probably one of the largest military power projection forces in the world, with air launched arrays of weapons capable of 600 nmi delivery ranges on the a/craft, and add in the additional 50-85 nmi range of the weapon itself - and the fact that a Nimitz class carries 28 planes capable of launching 2-4 AGM-88A Harpoons each, that is a punch. That same strike package can also carry and deliver 6-10 500 pound Laser guided bombs, each plane, and that is a significant amount of moving and shaking that is going to happen.

Sadly the navies of the world are already losing sight of the fact that 20-50 aircraft and their weapons are dime over dozen cheaper than losing a ship in combat to King Neptunus Rex. Every navy seen is now working with smaller shipping armed exclusively with medium and long range SAMs rather than effective fighter-borne weapon systems, to protect the carrier strike force from airborne damage. The same Nimitz -class retired the only aircraft with AWG-9/Phoenix, in favor of a much reduced range and less-capable (and slower- so easier to avoid and spoof) AIM-120 AMRAAM launched from F/A18 D/E models (themselves inferior fighter aircraft).

The CVBG makes the CVN the center of its formation for a reason. It is the largest floating target on the ocean today, and the easiest for self-guided munitions to locate and hit. Whether this is the CoChin (ex-Kuznetsov) ; the Nimitz/Roosevelt classes, the Clemenceau class, the now retired Ark Royals, or the smaller and numerous CVHs such as the Viraat and Vikrant, Principe de Asturias, and so on - makes no difference.

The Churchill class sub that put the General Belgrano down at Falklands with a twin torp hit is really the only modern image we have of what might befall an armored WW2 era ship with modern torpedoes. Hence the prompting of this thread. :D
 

Paul M. Weir

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The Churchill class sub that put the General Belgrano down at Falklands with a twin torp hit is really the only modern image we have of what might befall an armored WW2 era ship with modern torpedoes. Hence the prompting of this thread. :D
While HMS Conqueror was a then modern design, the torpedoes used were Mark 8/Mk VIII** a WW2 era weapon. The original Mk VIII design dates from 1927. The Brits decided that their then current homing torpedo, the Tigerfish, was far too unreliable for the job.

Submariners are fond of saying that there are only 2 types of military vessels; submarines and targets.
 
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