1939 Battleship Forces: US Navy vs Royal Navy

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
User avatar
Kyler
Senior Member
Posts: 382
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:49 am
Location: Evansville, IN U.S.A.
Contact:

1939 Battleship Forces: US Navy vs Royal Navy

Postby Kyler » Fri Oct 02, 2009 4:34 am

If in some parallel universe where the USA & UK were still enemies and their battleship forces existed at the same levels at the start of World War 2, who would win in an all out Jutland style battle?

I don't know where to look to find the exact forces strength of either side, shortly before the start of the second world war.

I am going to take the UK, since the US had yet to put into service any of the big 16in gun ships yet, so the RN's BB's & BC's were better armed for another Jutland type battle.
"It was a perfect attack, Right Height, Right Range, Right cloud cover, Right speed,
Wrong f@%king ship!" Commander Stewart-Moore (HMS Ark Royal)

Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: USN v RN, Who Would Win?

Postby Bgile » Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:43 am

Kyler wrote:If in some parallel universe where the USA & UK were still enemies and their battleship forces existed at the same levels at the start of World War 2, who would win in an all out Jutland style battle?

I don't know where to look to find the exact forces strength of either side, shortly before the start of the second world war.

I am going to take the UK, since the US had yet to put into service any of the big 16in gun ships yet, so the RN's BB's & BC's were better armed for another Jutland type battle.


Jane's Fighting Ships would give you commissioning dates and simple data on each class. The Nelsons were about five years newer than the last ships built by the US, the Colorado class. The Colorados had 16" guns.

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: USN v RN, Who Would Win?

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:01 pm

It would depend on the CVs as WWII demostrated.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

User avatar
RF
Senior Member
Posts: 7477
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:15 pm
Location: Wolverhampton, ENGLAND

Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: USN v RN, Who Would Win?

Postby RF » Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:06 pm

In a straight Jutland type action with no airpower involved, the advantage would be with the US as they had the more modern ships and (except for Rodney and Nelson) the heavier guns.

I would expect the US Fleet Commander to try to obtain a running action where Nelson and Rodney get left behind while the Americans deal with Hood, Repulse, Renown etc and then target the slower moving British battleships.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

lwd
Senior Member
Posts: 3810
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:15 am
Location: Southfield, USA

Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: USN v RN, Who Would Win?

Postby lwd » Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:33 pm

Wiki is actually a pretty good source of info for this. I'm not sure what adding CVs would do at the time. There was a big difference in the capability of CVs in late 41 early 42 as compared to 39.
Here are some sources on BBs
http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/shi ... list1.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ba ... tates_Navy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ba ... Royal_Navy
http://www.battleships-cruisers.co.uk/battleships.htm

US cruisers might actually give them an advantage in a general fleet action. The British had torpedoes on theirs but a Brooklyn is pretty good at discouraging both cruisers and DDs from getting close. If most of the US DDs had the older torpedoes those actually worked.

Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: USN v RN, Who Would Win?

Postby Bgile » Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:36 pm

RF wrote:In a straight Jutland type action with no airpower involved, the advantage would be with the US as they had the more modern ships and (except for Rodney and Nelson) the heavier guns.

I would expect the US Fleet Commander to try to obtain a running action where Nelson and Rodney get left behind while the Americans deal with Hood, Repulse, Renown etc and then target the slower moving British battleships.


Nelson and Rodney were faster than all the US battleships, so leaving them behind would be problematic.

User avatar
paulcadogan
Senior Member
Posts: 1095
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 4:03 am
Location: Kingston, Jamaica

Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: USN v RN, Who Would Win?

Postby paulcadogan » Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:34 pm

RF wrote: would expect the US Fleet Commander to try to obtain a running action where Nelson and Rodney get left behind while the Americans deal with Hood, Repulse, Renown etc and then target the slower moving British battleships.


Sorry RF, but Hood, Repulse & the reconstructed Renown would run rings around any of the US BB's in 1939.

The British QE's (23-24 knots) were all faster than their US counterparts (20-21 knots) too, plus Valiant and Warspite had been completely modernized, though the Queen Elizabeth was still under reconstruction in 1939 so would not be there to take part. Barham and Malaya's first reconstruction should have put them on par with any of the 1939 BB's in terms of "modern status". I believe most US BB's had their truly transforming modernization after Pearl Harbor.

So with the exception of the R's at 20-21 knots max, the British should have the speed advantage with 8 ships - the 5 QE's, Nel-Rod & the 3 BC's.

The US advantage would be in sheer number of guns with most of their BB's having 10 or 12 14-inch vs the 6 or 8 15-inch of the British. Plus the US BB's all had their gun elevation increased and so could outrange the R's, the unreconstructed QE's and Repulse. Colorado & Maryland may have had an advantage over Nelson & Rodney in terms of more efficient turrets and better handling.

The British AP shells were not of the poor quality they had been at Jutland (which might have been why German losses were not significantly higher then). The victor would be the side with the better tactics, and better shooting. The British would have been short one ship, but they could use their speed advantage to fight the action on their terms.

Of course, I have not considered the cruiser and destroyer actions, or the carriers.

Overall, I can see it being a horrific confrontation with substantial losses on both sides.

Paul
Qui invidet minor est - He who envies is the lesser man

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: USN v RN, Who Would Win?

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:39 pm

I do agree with Paul. For the 30ies the RN had a pretty good fast fleet (not the Rodney, of course, but the rest of them BBs and BCs). I feel a disadvantage from the USN in comparison with the RN. And of course the combat experience of the latter.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

lwd
Senior Member
Posts: 3810
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:15 am
Location: Southfield, USA

Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: USN v RN, Who Would Win?

Postby lwd » Fri Oct 02, 2009 7:23 pm

paulcadogan wrote: ...The victor would be the side with the better tactics, and better shooting.

You forgot what would probably be the most signficant factor. The better luck.
Overall, I can see it being a horrific confrontation with substantial losses on both sides. ...

A very messy draw would certainly be possible. Location could be very important as it might determine who got how many cripples home.

User avatar
tommy303
Senior Member
Posts: 1526
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 4:19 pm
Location: Arizona
Contact:

Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: USN v RN, Who Would Win?

Postby tommy303 » Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:53 pm

I believe the majority of the older US battle line had been reconstructed between 1929 and 1933, receiving anti torpedo blisters, improved armour, updated fire control, increased gun elevation, new secondary battery placement, new AA batteries, and in many cases new boilers and turbines. The Nevada's and Pennsylvanias were the most heavily reconstructed, being the oldest of the first line dreadnoughts; The New Mexico class was also improved in the early 1930s along similar lines, while the Tennessee and West Virginia classes had less done as they were considered better protected as built and were the newest in the fleet. The reconstructions were more or less equivalent to those of the QE and R classes with the exception of AA batteries. The US AA batteries were not markedly improved until the radical reconstructions following damage at Pearl Harbour.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood and Earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned these defended;
And saved the sum of things for pay.

Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: USN v RN, Who Would Win?

Postby Bgile » Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:09 pm

Absolutely agree with most everyone here. This seems to be one thing we all seem to agree on, with one exception. I don't understand why one fleet would be more experienced than the other. The current training level would determine the outcome, I think. Who could hit first and most often. I also think the R&R BCs might suffer terribly if the battle line count includes them, but the outcome is tough to call.

User avatar
Kyler
Senior Member
Posts: 382
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:49 am
Location: Evansville, IN U.S.A.
Contact:

Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: USN v RN, Who Would Win?

Postby Kyler » Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:15 pm

THERE ARE NO CV'S INVOLVED IN THE SCENARIO ONLY BATTLESHIPS
"It was a perfect attack, Right Height, Right Range, Right cloud cover, Right speed,
Wrong f@%king ship!" Commander Stewart-Moore (HMS Ark Royal)

User avatar
Karl Heidenreich
Senior Member
Posts: 4808
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:19 pm
Location: San José, Costa Rica
Contact:

Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: USN v RN, Who Would Win?

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:23 pm

Royal Navy wins, bigtime.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

User avatar
Legend
Senior Member
Posts: 325
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:46 am
Location: Tomahawk, Wisconsin

Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: USN v RN, Who Would Win?

Postby Legend » Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:35 am

I agree with the last statements... taking out the CV's... British have a fully trained battleship force... while US has it laying around in Pearl...
AND THE SEA SHALL GRANT EACH MAN NEW HOPE, AS SLEEP BRINGS DREAMS.

User avatar
paulcadogan
Senior Member
Posts: 1095
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 4:03 am
Location: Kingston, Jamaica

Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: USN v RN, Who Would Win?

Postby paulcadogan » Sat Oct 03, 2009 3:05 am

lwd wrote:You forgot what would probably be the most signficant factor. The better luck.


Very much so sir!

Bgile wrote:I also think the R&R BCs might suffer terribly if the battle line count includes them, but the outcome is tough to call.


That would be my biggest worry for the RN as their side protection gave zero immunity vs. 14-inch shells - not just them but the R BB's as well if the range was long enough for plunging shells.

Just for the sake of completeness, here are the opposing ships:
USN
West Virginia, Maryland, Colorado : 8 x 16" each, 21 knots
California, Tennessee: 12 x 14" each, 21 knots
New Mexico, Mississippi, Idaho: 12 x 14" each, 21.5 Knots
Pennsylvania, Arizona: 12 x 14" each, 21 knots
Nevada, Oklahoma: 10 x 14" each, 20.5 knots
New York, Texas: 10 x 14" each, 21 knots
Arkansas: 12 x 12' , 20.5 knots

Total: 15 ships, 24 x 16", 124 x 14", 12 x 12" = 160 heavy guns

RN
Nelson, Rodney: 9 x 16" each, 23 knots
Warspite, Valiant: 8 x 15" each, 24 knots (coincidence: Queen Elizabeth missed Jutland too!! :think: )
Barham, Malaya: 8 x 15" each, 24 knots
Revenge, Royal Oak, Royal Sovereign, Resolution, Ramillies: 8 x 15' each, 20 - 21 knots (though Royal Oak was at 18 max in 1939!)

Hood: 8 x 15", 29 knots
Renown: 6 x 15", 30 knots
Repulse: 6 x 15", 28 knots

Total: 14 ships, 18 x 16", 92 x 15" = 110 heavy guns

Commanding Admirals: RN - Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser USN - ??? (Kimmel took command in the Pacific in 1941)

With its disadvantage in gun numbers, RN could use its speed advantage - especially with the BC's & QE's - to cross the US fleet's "T" and strike the leading ships heavily while staying out of the line of fire of the ships further back in the US line.
Qui invidet minor est - He who envies is the lesser man


Return to “Hypothetical Naval Scenarios”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest