The first all big gun battleships, one being the first designed and the other being the first constructed.
One to test and validate new technologies and the other forced to conform to old ideas and rules.
The result would be two ships that would change the face of world navies.
Dreadnought bringing about the use of turbine engines has the definite advantage in speed over the
South Carolina use of VTE engines. A good 3 knot difference between the two.
South Carolina introduced the super firing gun system which would be eventually adopted by all
battleships in the future. This allowed the SC to have the same broadside as the Dreadnought
with less length, weight, and one less turret.
Armament was very similar, both using 12in/45 caliber dual gun turrets, SC having again 4 turrets vs. Dreadnought 5, both used 3in (12 Pound QF guns) for secondary defense against torpedo boats, SC having 22 mounted in the decks vs. Dreadnought 24 on the decks & turrets. SC had 2 additional 3 pound guns. Both ship did have torpedo tubes with SC having 2 21" inch tubes vs. Dreadnoughts 5 18" inch.
Both had tall observation systems with Dreadnought having 2 tripod masts with the fore mast being the taller of the two. While the SC had the distinctive American cage masts of equal height fore & aft.
Armor Schemes were different as well, with the SC being more heavily armored with 8-12 inch belt, 2.5 inch deck, 8-10 inch barbettes, 2.5-12 inch turrets, 12 inch CT, while the Dreadnought had 11-4in belt, 11in barbettes, 11in turret faces, 3-1.5in decks.
I think both ships are overall pretty evenly matched and I would say it’s too close to call in the designs of the ships. The test would be the captain & crew abilities in 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)