Germans in WWII having Iowa class battleships

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kevin32422
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Germans in WWII having Iowa class battleships

Post by kevin32422 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:55 am

Suppose the Germans in WWII had in their arsenal all 4 Iowa class battleships or as close as they can get to the class and the latest upgrades during the time frame of the war plus what the had during the war would that have been enough to change the course of battle in the Atlantic.?

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Re: Germans in WWII having Iowa class battleships

Post by frontkampfer » Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:43 am

Personally - unless they have a good CAP (which was non existent beyond shore based air cover)it would not have made much difference. RN still had the advantage of projection regardless of the quality of ship in question.
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Re: Germans in WWII having Iowa class battleships

Post by alecsandros » Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:55 am

However, the AA arsenal of the Iowa class was formidable, and more than capable of dealing with Swordfishes and Albacores...
My guess is that IF the Geermans could mantain 2 Iowas at sea, many convoys between the USA and the UK would be cancelled.

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Re: Germans in WWII having Iowa class battleships

Post by kevin32422 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:33 am

I think it would have made a huge difference if they could have kept their supply ships out and they needed carriers as well for recon and another level of anti air protection

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Re: Germans in WWII having Iowa class battleships

Post by RF » Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:24 pm

This is an interesting thread, but two thoughts occur to me.

Firstly how would a conservative Gross Admiral like Raeder have used them? Four would still be numerically inferior, at least on paper, to the RN. And by their mere possession there would already be a sharp British construction response.

Secondly how would the USA react? Surely an American would see 4 Iowa's in the KM as a threat to them, particulary if Germany was allied to Japan? Expect to see a scenario of US Iowa against a German Iowa.....
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Re: Germans in WWII having Iowa class battleships

Post by frontkampfer » Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:52 am

alecsandros wrote:However, the AA arsenal of the Iowa class was formidable, and more than capable of dealing with Swordfishes and Albacores...
My guess is that IF the Geermans could mantain 2 Iowas at sea, many convoys between the USA and the UK would be cancelled.
You just have to get lucky once! Bismarck found out about that just as they were on the threshold of safety. The US had the best AA available and the Japanese still got through even before the Kamikaze's came on the scene. Got to control the airspace over your ships. It gives the ship AA gunners a better chance - IMHO.
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Re: Germans in WWII having Iowa class battleships

Post by kevin32422 » Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:31 pm

I think Raeder would be more aggressive with having more battleships available keeping them in the open sea and supplied would be a problem maybe some hit and run tactics in coordination with aircraft and subs would have evened things out

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Re: Germans in WWII having Iowa class battleships

Post by Thorsten Wahl » Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:24 pm

An Iowa BB probably would have been out of service past the first torpedohit.(indirectly by increased hull drag and reduced speed)
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Re: Germans in WWII having Iowa class battleships

Post by ede144 » Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:16 pm

The German Iowa's were named H I J K L and M. If the war didn't start in 1939, the first two would have been commissioned in 1941/42

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Re: Germans in WWII having Iowa class battleships

Post by alecsandros » Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:54 am

Thorsten Wahl wrote:An Iowa BB probably would have been out of service past the first torpedohit.(indirectly by increased hull drag and reduced speed)
... However, the Norh Carolina managed to mantain reasonable speed after being hit by a much larger torpedo - Japanese type 91 long lance...

It would be difficult for the Swordfishes to launch torpedoes from good angles (with some chance of hits), as the 40x20mm Oerlikons+80x40mm Bofors+20x127mm would put up a radar directed wall of death with a maximum density of fire at around 3km from the battleship, much farther than they could launch torpedoes...

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Re: Germans in WWII having Iowa class battleships

Post by Rick Rather » Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:55 am

Interesting thread.

I think that, in the face of such a threat the US would not only deploy it's own Iowas to the Atlantic, but also several new-construction CVs and CVLs. This would probably have delayed US operations in the Pacific. The German BBs would have been brought-down, but not before seriously complicating Allied operations & planning in both theaters.
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Re: Germans in WWII having Iowa class battleships

Post by Dave Saxton » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:21 pm

alecsandros wrote:It would be difficult for the Swordfishes to launch torpedoes from good angles (with some chance of hits), as the 40x20mm Oerlikons+80x40mm Bofors+20x127mm would put up a radar directed wall of death with a maximum density of fire at around 3km from the battleship, much farther than they could launch torpedoes...
Your ascribing far more capability to radar directed flak than actually existed. FD radar even upgraded by MK12 and to MK22 just coudn't do what your claiming. It would of had a very difficult time with Swordfish low to the sea and swordfish could take a lot of splinter damage from proximity fused munitions and keep flying due to their construction. The 40mm and 20mm light flak had optical, not radar, direction too. In low visibility and rough seas of the Atlantic they will not be as effective.

I don't think it would have made any difference on the war. Iowas are easier to sink than Bismarcks and Scharnhorsts, and Bismarcks and Scharnhorsts have the same firecontrol/surface gunnery capabilities of Iowas. 11" artillery is ample for surface raiding or supporting cruisers and destroyers in the Artic. My guess is one gets crippled and sunk after sinking the Hood, two are lost by bombing while in harbor, and one is crippled and sunk by superior numbers of British fleet units in the Artic.
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Re: Germans in WWII having Iowa class battleships

Post by Dave Saxton » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:44 pm

frontkampfer wrote: You just have to get lucky once! Bismarck found out about that just as they were on the threshold of safety. The US had the best AA available and the Japanese still got through even before the Kamikaze's came on the scene. Got to control the airspace over your ships. It gives the ship AA gunners a better chance - IMHO.
Fully agree. Control of air space is a cardinal rule and no amount of ship board flak can defy that rule for very long. Just ask Yamato and Musashi or Prince of Wales and Repulse.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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sample of swordfish attack profile

Post by Thorsten Wahl » Mon Dec 23, 2013 5:49 pm

swordfish attack profile against Scharnhorst (Utsire 21.07.1940) one year before "Rheinübung"
contact holder distance 19 km 170 degrees
torpedobombers gather over the clouds ahead and abeam to port of the ship
breaktrough the clouds in a tailspin until a heigt of 80 - 30m was reached in somewhat above 2000 m distance
releases distance about 1800m - 1200m distance

three out of six swordfish were shot down by Scharnhorst.
swordfish attack profile Utsire.png
swordfish attack profile Utsire.png (89.98 KiB) Viewed 3737 times
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Re: Germans in WWII having Iowa class battleships

Post by alecsandros » Mon Dec 23, 2013 6:22 pm

Dave Saxton wrote: The 40mm and 20mm light flak had optical, not radar, direction too. In low visibility and rough seas of the Atlantic they will not be as effective.
.... I/m pretty sure the 40mm Bofors mounted on the Iowas were radar directed...
Regardless, remember the carnage North Carolina and SOuth Dakota did against incoming Japanese aircraft flying at 2-3x the speed of the Swordfishes... piloted by veteran pilots... And remember Iowa had even more AA artillery than either North Carolina and South Dakota...

The Swordfish would approach at 160km/h (44meters/second). To get from 4km to below 1km (optimal launch distance), the planes needed to transit 3000 meters or more, so 3000/44 = 68 seconds. In 68 seconds, the Iowa would fire 10880 x 40mm shells, and over 220 x 127mm shells. With the planes down to 1000m , over 60 x 20mm shells / second would be added to this firepower.

Compare this to the AA output of the Bismarck...544x3.7cm shells and about 100 x 105mm shells outputed in 68 seconds...
Suplemented at ranges below 2000meters by about 3000 x 2cm shells/minute...

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