Bismarck vs. Iowa

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
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miro777
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Bismarck vs. Iowa

Post by miro777 » Sun Mar 12, 2006 5:05 pm

hey

simple question
wat do u think of the szenario of Bismarcka against the USS Iowa?
there are no other ships close by. middle of the atlantic. good weather, perfect conditions.

thanx

miro
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Karl Heidenreich
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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Mon Mar 13, 2006 3:35 pm

Both heavily damaged, both return to port with heavy casualties.

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miro777
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Post by miro777 » Mon Mar 13, 2006 3:37 pm

hmmm

good short answer.
and true.
they probablt will.
wat if include a heavy cruiser on both sides?
Admiral Hipper and USS Baltimore???

adios
miro

(btw congrats to ur 100th post lol)
Die See ruft....

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Karl Heidenreich
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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Mon Mar 13, 2006 3:39 pm

Let´s hope no another Savo Island.

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Karl Heidenreich
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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Mon Mar 13, 2006 4:46 pm

And thanks!

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miro777
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Post by miro777 » Mon Mar 13, 2006 5:22 pm

yeah
and im half way there....
Die See ruft....

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José M. Rico
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Post by José M. Rico » Mon Mar 13, 2006 10:02 pm

miro777 wrote:(btw congrats to ur 100th post lol)
miro777 wrote:yeah
and im half way there....
The number of postings made is not really that important. It's the quality of the messages, and what one can offer to others, what matters most. :D

turlock
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Bismarck vs Iowa

Post by turlock » Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:06 pm

Goodbye Bismarck.

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Post by Bgile » Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:41 pm

If you are talking about the Iowa as she was in 1945 vs Bismarck still afloat by then, (or Tirpitz), then Iowa has a big advantage because of much more powerful guns and the ability to realistically hit Bismarck at 35kyds and continue to determine the range because of superior speed.

A gunnery officer from one of the new BBs once stated that her gunnery radar was so good that any officer with a modicum of training could draw a picture of the target with a dot where every shell landed after every salvo.

At ranges over 25kyds it's very hard to adjust fire visually for range, even with excellent visibility.

If Iowa fails to achieve a decisive result at 30-35kyds it just sails away.

With respect to cruisers, the Baltimore class had much thicker armor than the German CAs, so could penetrate turrets at much greater range. The Oregon City class were even better, and the DesMoines had fully automatic loading for their main battery. Of course the latter were also 17k ton cruisers and weren't ready before the end of the war. They also had very good radar directed FC.

If you hypothesize a short range slugfest it's anyone's fight, with Bismarck having an edge because of faster firing. If you include the cruisers, the thicker armor on the American cruisers might be decisive and if you include DesMoines it's a slaughter.

We are talking about a completely different generation of technology though, and against US ships in 1941 things are much more even.

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Post by miro777 » Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:25 pm

hey

yes very good arguments.
yes the technological diff. between 1941 and 45 is very big...

thanx

miro
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Karl Heidenreich
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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:37 pm

Let´s strip the Iowas of her radar. Now, what?

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Post by Bgile » Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:59 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:Let´s strip the Iowas of her radar. Now, what?
Now things are much more even. Then we tend to have the "close range" fight I alluded to. I think they still have an edge because of their more powerful guns, which can penetrate Bismarck's turret armor at any range. Still though, I think either ship can win and the closer the range the better off Bismarck is because she would be able to better utilize her superior rate of fire.

In any engagement of battleships luck is a factor too. For example, if either ship loses her primary fire control position it could be decisive.

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Karl Heidenreich
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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:10 pm

The plunging fire will affect more the Iowa´s deck, isn´t it?

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Post by Bgile » Thu Mar 23, 2006 10:33 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:The plunging fire will affect more the Iowa´s deck, isn´t it?
Depends on what you mean by "deck". The Iowa has a 6" armor deck with a thinner STS deck just below it to catch spall from heavy hits on the armor deck. Bismarck's flat trajectory shells probably aren't going to penetrate that system even at Bismarck's maximum range. The greater the range the more horizontal armor is penetrated, all other things being equal.

Both ships can cause each other a great deal of damage to the area above the main armor deck. The Bismarck's upper belt area wouldn't keep out battleship size shells. The lower belt area is better protected in Bismarck and at close range where Bismarck can penetrate Iowa's belt, Bismarck has an advantage. Bismarck's lower citadel probably can't be penetrated at any range by Iowa because of the way it was designed with the "turtleback" scheme.

Of course, Iowa is faster and can dictate the range at which the battle is fought unless they run into each other at night. We are assuming no radar, remember. If they stumble into one another at night and exchange fire at less than 10kyds anything can happen. Washington wrecked Kirishima in 9 min at 8500yds. A very unequal contest, though.

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Karl Heidenreich
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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:23 pm

In terms of armour, then, Iowa has a better upper belt than Bismarck, but the main belt is even between these fictional contestors, isn´t it? Also, the citadel part of both ships is heavily armoured and there is no radical advantage from one over the other?
The difference will be in terms of speed (Iowa is faster than BismarcK) and with long range fire (16" against 15"). The Bismarck will have to play the Hood part of Denmarck Straits trying to approach as much as possible to Iowa, then?

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