Monitor wrote:What are the advantages of the "All or nothing" over the "Incremental" armor scheme and viceversa?
I think when you look at a certain armour scheme you also have to think about the context the ship is used in.
For a ship that spends it’s life operating in various task forces as a fast AA platform, as a fire spitting supporter of landing operations or as a hunter of loose raiders, I would say an AoN scheme is the perfect choice. You would want armour that protects the very vitals of the ship as a fighting unit. Once the battle is won, who cares if your bow lays on the ocean floor. There are destroyers to guard you, tugs to pull you, repair ships to nurse you back home.
The story is much different for a ship that is intended to operate as a raider. Here the designer faces the task not only to protect the parts vital for a single fight but also to build in protection to allow for a sustained campaign. A ship intended to spend months alone at sea and survive numerous engagements, cannot do very well with the bow shot off. So in that case you would rather want incremental armour.
I think in most cases there is no answer what particular solution was better or worse. It depends on the intended role of the ship. Only when you take that into account you can judge if the designers got it right.
I think on a general note that is the point that invalidates all these famous battleship rankings. Though they are all members of the Washington Treaty category ‘battleship’ they differ much in purpose. In the Pacific in 1943 a massive light AA is vital. In the Arctic where you sit and wait for a cheeky Panzership to venture out, lots of light AA are more of a fire hazard and a cause of shrapnel when you are hit. So one has to look at the designer’s choice in context of the theatre of war.