The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

General naval discussions that don't fit within any specific time period or cover several issues.
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Karl Heidenreich
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The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Wed Apr 19, 2006 9:26 pm

This is an objective issue, not to mention our favorite vessel but to think about which one was more successfull or wasn´t. Doing so having in mind that the warships accomplished the tasks they were design/built/operated for. Or don´t.
I´m going to mention some of them (but not all and not in any specific order). There may be a lot others.
SUCCESSFUL WARSHIPS: HMS Victory, IJN Mikasa, HMS King George V (WWII), USS Enterprise (WWII), USS Missouri (WWII, Korea, VN and Gulf War), HMS Iron Duke (WWI), USS South Dakota (WWII), USS Massachussets (WWII), HMS Conqueror (SSN at Falklands), HMS Dreadnought (pre WWI), U-47 (WWII), etc.
UNSUCCESFUL WARSHIPS: Bucentaure (French flagship at Trafalgar), DKM Graf Spee (WWII), Schanhorst & Gneisenau (WWI), IJN Yamato & Musashi (WWI), USS Arizona (WWII), HMS Hood (WWII), HMS Prince of Wales & Repulse (WWII), DKM Tirpitz (WWII), Richelieu & Jean Bart & Dunkerke (and all the WWII´s French Fleet for that matter), HMS Glorious (WWII), General Belgrano (Arg. Falklands), Potemkin (Russia), Suvorov (Russian flagship at Tsushima), Royal Oak (WWII), etc.

As you can see those successful are there because... well, they were successful as HMS Victory or IJN Mikasa. Both were the flagships of the greatest admirals of all times in the two greatest naval victories of all times. The same with USS Enterprise at Midway or the Missouri (the Japanese surrender on her deck and Cher sang there too).
For the unsuccessful we can see that there are ships that simply vanished as the Hood, General Belgrano or PoW and Repulse; there are flagships of disastrous fleets as Villeneuve´s Bucentaure or the Russian Suvorov, etc. Tirpitz, Yamato and/or Musashi are among the unsuccessful because, at the end, they didn´t fight as they were expected to.
There are others that may arise some discussion like, uhm... Bismarck or Santisima Trinidad (successful, unsuccessful, simply unluky?) What about the British BCs at Jutland? etc. etc. etc.
Well, there it is. :think:

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Postby Bgile » Wed Apr 19, 2006 10:30 pm

I know more about the US Navy than any other, so:

USS Constitution.
CSA Virginia.
CSA Florida.
USS Monitor.
USS Kearsarge.
USS Olympia.
USS Oregon.
USS Washington.
USS Tang.

I imagine there are a few people who don't know how some of those ships distinguished themselves, or even when or in what period they fought. Significantly, most US citizens of the last few generations wouldn't know either. :(

Most US Combat in WWII and since has involved combinations of fleets such that individual ships have been unable to stand out.

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Ulrich Rudofsky
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Postby Ulrich Rudofsky » Wed Apr 19, 2006 10:39 pm

I think the record shows that the German surface raiders of world war 2 did a fair amof damage amount caused ennormous fear and tied up the opponent for some time. I would not put them into the unsuccessful slot with the Yamato. The same goes for the HMS Hood! :evil:
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Postby Karl Heidenreich » Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:46 pm

Ulrich:
I think the record shows that the German surface raiders of world war 2 did a fair amof damage amount caused ennormous fear and tied up the opponent for some time. I would not put them into the unsuccessful slot with the Yamato. The same goes for the HMS Hood!


Hey, I didn´t mention in the list all the German raiders! Just the Graf Spee which history is known to all of us. And about the Hood, well, I put it as unsuccessful because her mission was to stop the German Squadron at Denmarck Straits and she failed at that, and in that process she was, also, sunk. So, we can hardly called Hood successful. :!:

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Ulrich Rudofsky
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Postby Ulrich Rudofsky » Thu Apr 20, 2006 2:49 am

I have to differ. The Graf Spee did a fairly good job sinking 9 merchant ships and engaging the enemy cruisers. Her scuttling was an honorable naval action also. The Gneisenau and Scharnhorst also proved to be quite formidable. As to the HMS Hood, she sailed with the Germans in Spain, she did engage the Dunkerque, and she faced the Bismarck in a valiant confrontation. Success and failure of ships and people are quite hard to assess............but I would consider them a greater success than, say, the USS Missouri.
Ulrich

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Postby ufo » Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:11 am

Success - well ...

Trade warfare being of great interest to me I have to throw in a vote for CSS Alabama, the most successful raider to roam the seven seas.

And one more for the grand old lady of the Dreadnought age: HMS Warspite; successfully fighting her ways through two world wars, never shy of an engagement.
And if you have to show of a single great victory to be included than may Narvik stand for her achievement in finishing of a substantial part of the German destroyer fleet, afterwards dearly missed by the Germans in the fights of Norway and in the Channel.

Unsuccessful - now there is a list with no end. Steam-submarines come to mind but there is so much more.

Just my two votes
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Postby Karl Heidenreich » Thu Apr 20, 2006 3:13 pm

Ulrich
The Gneisenau and Scharnhorst also proved to be quite formidable.


There has been a misunderstanding: I wasn´t referring to the WWII twins but to Admiral Spee´s Squadron at Falkland Islands 1914. I´m very aware of the success of the German raiders, specially those incredible auxiliary cruisers in the South Atlantic and Indic Oceans.

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Postby Ulrich Rudofsky » Thu Apr 20, 2006 3:38 pm

OOOOPPPPP! Now I get it!
Ulrich

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Gary
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Postby Gary » Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:45 pm

Warspite served Britain very well.

On to HMS Hood.
She was a successful ship IMO.
She was the opitomy of the British Empire's seapower for nigh on 20 years.
Her presence could put the "frightners" on an enemy.
By WW2, age was beginning to show but she still managed to blow up the French battleship Bretagne (albeit at anchor) at Mers-El Kebir.

True, Hood was lost in the Denmark strait and that was an unsuccessful attempt by the British to stop Bismarck.
But if you turn that way of thinking around, Bismarck was not successful either.
Blowing up the Hood was never part of her mission - she was to sink British commerce.
All in all, Bismarck was a bloody expensive way for the Germans to rid the world of HMS Hood.
Sunk on her first combat sortie (Bismarck)
God created the world in 6 days.........and on the 7th day he built the Scharnhorst

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Postby Karl Heidenreich » Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:56 pm

Gary
But if you turn that way of thinking around, Bismarck was not successful either.
Blowing up the Hood was never part of her mission - she was to sink British commerce.
All in all, Bismarck was a bloody expensive way for the Germans to rid the world of HMS Hood.
Sunk on her first combat sortie (Bismarck)


Agreed! Operation Rheinbung wasn´t successful either. In that order we can count the Bismarck as a very famous, glamorous, beautifull, powerfull but nevertheless unsuccessful battleship. But at least she fought bravely against many other battleships (which Tirpitz, Yamato and Musashi didn´t) and to the last of her breath with her colors flying (which Graf Spee didn´t).

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Postby Gary » Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:00 pm

The British admiralty and any ship designers with battleship armour scheme knowledge would know about Hood's weakness but I do not believe that it was common knowledge amongst the lower decks (junior enlisted men) and it certainly wasnt known by ordinary members of the public that this giant of a warship could blow up.
God created the world in 6 days.........and on the 7th day he built the Scharnhorst

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Success is Hard to Define

Postby RNfanDan » Mon Apr 24, 2006 7:54 pm

As the fates of warships are inseparably intertwined with their applications, their commanders, and the element of chance, it is very hard to measure "success".

For example, HMS Glorious was a thoroughly successful ship, especially when one considers that her fundamental design was so radically singular in nature (as one of Fisher's three shallow-draught shore bombardment designs, along with Courageous and Furious). In fact, Glorious was effectively sacrificed due to ignorance and incompetence, not through lack of her success as a carrier.

The British seemed to understand little about the strategy required to effectively employ their carriers and Courageous was thus, similarly "wasted" chasing after U-boats. The loss of these two magnificent and highly-successful ships, as well as the Hermes at Trincomalee (all for different reasons), was a very expensive lesson to the RN.

All three ships however, were successful for other reasons. The experience gained from their existence allowed Britain to develop some of the most effective carriers of the entire war, and were superior in many respects to their contemporaries.

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Postby Gary » Mon Apr 24, 2006 10:51 pm

In terms of "success" - Germanys most successful ship (I.E - the warship that sank the most enemy ships) was Pinguin :shock:
God created the world in 6 days.........and on the 7th day he built the Scharnhorst

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Postby miro777 » Wed May 31, 2006 5:49 pm

hey...
in my opinion the Bismarck was successful..
to answer to question if she was or not...we have to define successful
if succesfful means how many tons she sank or how much influence she made on naval thinking..then she is one of the most successful ships...
if u define successful as life time, etc, then the Bismarck would be very unsuccessful..
in my opinion success is influence and fame and scoring the operations...
and so Bismarck is rather successful.

going on to the Graf Spee or Scharnhorst+Gneisenau (WW1)...
i would rather call them succesful as well...
they didn't had a long life time, but again they causesd so much confusion and actaully sank numerous ships...
I would call the Admiral Scheer the most successful ship of WW2, with several HSKs (pinguin, thor, komet, atlantis & komoran)

Going on to Hood...i would say she was not oo successful..
she had a goal: to stop Bismarck...
she had the advantage and she lost.
the reasons are of course decisive but lets forget about them now...
she failed to succeed her operations...therfore i would not call her successful.
the PoW was just unlucky! i would call that ship unlucky...
so was the Tirpitz on the german side...
not unlucky..but simply inactive...
in a sense successful being the 'queen of norway' but in any surface actions....inactive!

the most successful ship of the RN for WW2 is in my opinion the HMS Ark Royal...
with ehr lucky hit she put the Bismarkc out of action...
wat would ahve happened iof Bismarck would have still been out there?
she did the most important act for the RN in WW2

kkk
adios
miro
Die See ruft....

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Postby Karl Heidenreich » Wed May 31, 2006 5:54 pm

Welcome again to the forum Miro!


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