Radarless Iowa vs Yamato: 1944

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
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Karl Heidenreich
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Radarless Iowa vs Yamato: 1944

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Thu May 18, 2006 6:46 pm

With this thing about Bismarck vs. Iowa it ocurred to me that we can create a more "interesting" scenario:
- Pacific Ocean, Fall 1944.
- An Iowa Class BB is detached from her Task Force due to a complete failure of all her radar systems, including fire direction.
- Early in her route Navy HQ calls in urgency and orders her to intercept what is suspected to be a Yamato Class BB that succesfully evade the Task Force screen (rather imposible but let´s asume it). No aircraft cover for the moment because every available plane is busy with MacArthur´s Forces in Phillipines.
- Early in the morning, clear skies, smooth seas, both approaches each other full ahead.
This is it. :?: :?: :?:

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Post by Bgile » Thu May 18, 2006 7:18 pm

Well, an Iowa Class had 8 or more radar systems, but assuming what you said ...

Yamato has bigger guns, more armor, bigger ship. I'd go with the big guy, at least on paper. It seems like a no brainer to me.

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Post by Gary » Thu May 18, 2006 10:57 pm

Iowa probably has the rate of fire advantage but if you take away Iowa's radar capability then I forsee the Japanese leviathan coming out on top.

IIRC, Yamato had the furthest firing (about 45,000 yards) main guns.
I think second place goes to Scharnhorst so Iowa loses out there but hits at that extreme range without radar are virtually a no go so I'm just waffling on about nothing.

Yamato with her 3219 lbs monstrous shells and her walls of Jericho armour should win - Especially in a short range engagment.
God created the world in 6 days.........and on the 7th day he built the Scharnhorst

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Post by Bgile » Fri May 19, 2006 12:49 am

In my opinion, rate of fire is not a significant factor in long range fire because shell time of flight is much longer than reloading time. In any case, I have seen Yamato’s reloading clock and it is 30 seconds long, the same as for the Iowa Class. I don’t know whether they could do that in practice, but I don’t have any particular reason to doubt that they could.

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marcelo_malara
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Post by marcelo_malara » Fri May 19, 2006 1:28 am

This scenario would be interesting for a movie. Karl, you will have to think the plot!!!

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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Fri May 19, 2006 3:20 pm

Between 1999 to 2002 I used to work in movies in my country, very low budget. As a matter of fact I produced a 90 minutes motion picture called "Password". You can check it on the IMDB. It was such a bad business that I had to go back to building projects. :?

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Post by Gary » Fri May 19, 2006 5:59 pm

Hi Karl.

Sorry the movie didnt work out for you buddy
God created the world in 6 days.........and on the 7th day he built the Scharnhorst

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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Fri May 19, 2006 6:25 pm

Thanks Gary.
OK. This scenario clearly shows something quite important: the strong characteristic of the Iowa Class is the radar directed fire control. No one mention Iowa´s speed, armour, the Mark VII 16" shell, etc. etc. Then we must asume that Iowa, when stripped of her only real advantage falls in the same category of all her contemporaries and, at the end, could face destruction at their hands. No invincible ship after all.
The Yamato emerges, though, as the Superbattleship in terms of guns and armour. Then, ship by ship, conventional optic fire direction applied, the Yamato is the One (Nevertheless Bismarck is the overall most famous and the epic saga lead character)!
Best regards.

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Post by Gary » Fri May 19, 2006 6:30 pm

Hi Karl.

Am I correct in thinking that Musashi was slightly larger than Yamato?.
Just like Tirpitz was slightly larger than Bismarck.

It should also be remembered that the USN didnt know about Yamato's main battery being 18" until after the war.
During the war, the USN believed that Yamato carried 16" guns.

Iowa wouldnt know what she was dealing with until a 3219 lbs projectile slammed into her :evil:
God created the world in 6 days.........and on the 7th day he built the Scharnhorst

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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Fri May 19, 2006 8:40 pm

As far as I know Yamato and Musashi were more or less the same vessel. Yamamoto did transfer his flag from Yamato to Musashi because it had a better comunication equipment. Somewhere I read that Musashi electronic equipment was a little better than Yamato. That´s as far as I know today.
And yes, the US intelligence was misleaded on the calibre of Yamato´s main guns. The Japanese officially classified the guns as 16" on purpose, and the USN went for it.
But that it´s quite curious, you know. When Yamato went on her last mission, the Ten Go Operation to Okinawa the US Navy had a complete Battleship Squadron prepared to deal with her, radar included. And what happened? The US admirals decided against the use of the BBs and, instead, sent a 300 torpedo-bombers sortie to intercept the Japanese Leviathan. It was as they knew that even in a outnumbered combat of Yamato against five or six US BBs she really posed a serious danger to their surfarce units. Did the US intelligence knew about Yamato´s 18" main guns? Or was it the Bismarck Syndrome: "To deal with a single Axis Battleship the Allied counterpart need to assemble a whole fleet and evade a one against one action"

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Post by Bgile » Fri May 19, 2006 9:28 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:Thanks Gary.
OK. This scenario clearly shows something quite important: the strong characteristic of the Iowa Class is the radar directed fire control. No one mention Iowa´s speed, armour, the Mark VII 16" shell, etc. etc. Then we must asume that Iowa, when stripped of her only real advantage falls in the same category of all her contemporaries and, at the end, could face destruction at their hands. No invincible ship after all.
The Yamato emerges, though, as the Superbattleship in terms of guns and armour. Then, ship by ship, conventional optic fire direction applied, the Yamato is the One (Nevertheless Bismarck is the overall most famous and the epic saga lead character)!
Best regards.
I didn't mention the Iowa's weapons because they weren't superior to Yamato's. If you are going to compare it to another contemporary ship, then the gun and the heavy 16" shell become an important point of comparison.

Japanese AP shells were IMO inferior to US AP shells, but I don't consider that a disadvantage because we are talking about a much heavier shell in Yamato's case.

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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Fri May 19, 2006 10:02 pm

Correct me if I´m wrong, please.
But in a long distance combat between Yamato against an Iowa, where the rate of fire depends on the time the shell travels to it´s target, the Yamato has superiority because of her longer range and because she (the Japanese armour) could withstand the Mark 7 16" Iowa´s shell better than Iowa can withstand the 18" Yamato´s shell?
In short range, where the rate favours Iowa and the Mark 7 16" shell has a better performance, even now the Yamato´s 18" has better chances to knock out the Iowa´s armoured citadel than viceversa?

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Post by Gary » Fri May 19, 2006 10:30 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:But that it´s quite curious, you know. When Yamato went on her last mission, the Ten Go Operation to Okinawa the US Navy had a complete Battleship Squadron prepared to deal with her, radar included. And what happened? The US admirals decided against the use of the BBs and, instead, sent a 300 torpedo-bombers sortie to intercept the Japanese Leviathan. It was as they knew that even in a outnumbered combat of Yamato against five or six US BBs she really posed a serious danger to their surfarce units. Did the US intelligence knew about Yamato´s 18" main guns? Or was it the Bismarck Syndrome: "To deal with a single Axis Battleship the Allied counterpart need to assemble a whole fleet and evade a one against one action"

Hi Karl

I think that by that late stage in the war, the USN had accepted the fact that air power was now the weapon of choice.
The aircraft had proved its worth
God created the world in 6 days.........and on the 7th day he built the Scharnhorst

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Post by Bgile » Fri May 19, 2006 11:18 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:Correct me if I´m wrong, please.
But in a long distance combat between Yamato against an Iowa, where the rate of fire depends on the time the shell travels to it´s target, the Yamato has superiority because of her longer range and because she (the Japanese armour) could withstand the Mark 7 16" Iowa´s shell better than Iowa can withstand the 18" Yamato´s shell?
In short range, where the rate favours Iowa and the Mark 7 16" shell has a better performance, even now the Yamato´s 18" has better chances to knock out the Iowa´s armoured citadel than viceversa?
Yep. I agree.

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Post by Gary » Fri May 19, 2006 11:31 pm

Any ship without a sloped armour deck behind its armour belt becomes more vunerable at shorter ranges - unless like Yamato, you have a whopping great thick armoured belt to begin with.

Did Yamato have a sloped armour deck behind her belt?
I suspect not - she'd hardly need it with her walls of Jericho belt armour
God created the world in 6 days.........and on the 7th day he built the Scharnhorst

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