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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RF
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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Postby RF » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:49 am

paul.mercer wrote:Gentlemen,
I have to say number 1 Warspite and as number 2 possibly Graf Spee or one of the German armed merchant cruisers like Pinguin


If we are including armed merchant cruisers then presumably Kormoran would have to be number one in that category - the only armed merchant cruiser to sink a regular light cruiser in open battle.
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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Postby R Long » Tue May 21, 2013 1:58 am

Not to let the U.S.S. San Francisco slip from memory...the only U.S. warship awarded TWO Presidential Unit Citations, and one of the most highly decorated with 17 Battle Stars, the "San Fran" served as flagship early in World War II.

The San Francisco saw extensive action through the war, sinking eight enemy warships, including the heavily armed battleship Hiei...and disabling five others. The heavy cruiser suffered grim casualties and heavy damage at the Battle of Cape Esperance and Naval Battle of Guadalcanal but survived the war.

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neil hilton
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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Postby neil hilton » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:22 pm

I think 'successful' and unsuccessful' is a bit ambiguous and is open to a lot of personal interpretation, great for a lengthy thread.

This is the way I would personally judge a warship as being successful.
1. The ship has to get its crew safely back to shore every time, therefore if its is sunk it is unsuccessful. If you think that is harsh ask what the dead crew think of their sunken ship!
2. It has to contribute significantly to the nations maritime policy in peace and war. Sitting in harbour rusting away is a waste of money, swanning around the ocean using up fuel and food may be useful (patroling and such) but it isn't a significant contribution imo.
Remember, these are warships and the tax payers want their moneys worth out of them.

Examples.
SMS Seydlitz, thumbs up for the first point, thumbs down for the second. USS Monitor, thumbs up for the second point and thumbs down for the first.

Some notable examples of successful warships.
HMS Victory, USS Constitution, HMS Warspite, HMS Illustrious, USS San Francisco.

Some notable examples of unsuccessful warships.
HMS Captain, Mary Rose, Wasa, KMS Tirpitz, HIJMS Yamato and Musashi.
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RF
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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Postby RF » Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:48 pm

neil hilton wrote:I1. The ship has to get its crew safely back to shore every time, therefore if its is sunk it is unsuccessful. If you think that is harsh ask what the dead crew think of their sunken ship!
2. It has to contribute significantly to the nations maritime policy in peace and war. Sitting in harbour rusting away is a waste of money, swanning around the ocean using up fuel and food may be useful (patroling and such) but it isn't a significant contribution imo.
Remember, these are warships and the tax payers want their moneys worth out of them.


From the examples given I was wondering how the likes of SMS Emden, SMS Scharnhorst, SMS Moewe, SMS Wolf, SMS Seeadler would fare under this criteria.

Emden created a commerce raiding legend which caused the first Reichsmarine cruiser to be named after her, yet a large part of her crew were lost in the battle with HMAS Sydney and the mission did not have a material impact in the course of the war and certainly not a winning one.
SMS Scharnhorst lost her entire crew, yet created a legend that persists into the post WW2 Federal German Navy.

Moewe and Wolf weren't built as warships but created commerce raiding records for themselves representing remarkable feats of seamemship on the part of their commanders. They did far more than the Admiralstab could have expected from them. Yet they had no impact on the course of the war. Seeadler represents an even more extreme dichotomy, being lost in a maritime accident nothing to do with the Allies.
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neil hilton
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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Postby neil hilton » Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:07 pm

There are hundreds of ships throughout history that have done Stirling work and gone done fighting to the very end all over the world and from all maritime nations. I wouldn't classify them as successful vessels but that is my personal opinion and success or not is a personal interpretation.
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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Postby northcape » Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:25 pm

HMS Norfolk

Two famous sea battles, two decisive hits: Bismarck - forward fire control; Scharnhorst - radar set.

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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Postby lynn1212 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:17 pm

i do not agree that being sunk is necessarily a down check. there are times when you just have to face the fact that you have to put it all on the line. sometimes you come out and other times you don't . the question is did you perform you allotted task and was it worth the loss? would you consider the DDs and DEs lost protecting the taffy's as unsuccessful ? i would think not.

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neil hilton
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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Postby neil hilton » Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:35 am

To quote General Patton; "wars are not own by going out and dying for your country. They are won by making the other fellow go out and die for his country." The same applies to ships, wars are not won by going out and getting sunk.
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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Postby RF » Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:16 pm

neil hilton wrote:To quote General Patton; "wars are not own by going out and dying for your country. They are won by making the other fellow go out and die for his country." The same applies to ships, wars are not won by going out and getting sunk.


Yes, but you can't have a war without losses. Even totally one sided battles feature some loss to the victor. Whether on land or at sea.
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neil hilton
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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Postby neil hilton » Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:51 pm

Absolutely true, but being successful in battle alone does not make a ship successful overall IMO. First and foremost a ship is a ship. The sea is the real enemy and every time you go to sea you are risking your life, if your ship for whatever reason can't bring you back to shore safely it has failed in its primary task.
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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Postby aurora » Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:53 pm

Most successful-she is my username-HMS Aurora :clap:
Most unsuccessful-HMS Prince of Wales :kaput:
Quo Fata Vocant-Whither the Fates call

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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Postby RF » Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:23 am

aurora wrote:
Most unsuccessful-HMS Prince of Wales :kaput:


Why pick POW? That ship hit Bismarck during the DS battle and scuppered Rheinubung.

Whereas Hood scored no hits and fired on the wrong target......
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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Postby aurora » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:10 am

POW as a modern battleship,which was in my opinion, badly used used in the Denmark Strait battle,sufficient to have sustained damage and hauled out the of line after Hood's demise.OK she hit Bismarck; but did little else of any moment thereafter.Just the way I see things I guess.
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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Postby RF » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:43 am

Well, Holland could (and in my view should) have sailed from Scapa Flow with his flag transferred to POW. The whole DS battle would then have been different, Hood opening fire on the correct target.

The mishandling of POW isn't the fault of the ship or its crew, it did what it could at DS and it also covered Wake-Walker's cruisers afterwards. So given the operational state of the ship I would rate POW as a qualified success in the campaign against Bismarck, even though Leach broke off the action when Hood was destroyed.
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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Postby aurora » Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:32 pm

RF wrote:Well, Holland could (and in my view should) have sailed from Scapa Flow with his flag transferred to POW. The whole DS battle would then have been different, Hood opening fire on the correct target.

The mishandling of POW isn't the fault of the ship or its crew, it did what it could at DS and it also covered Wake-Walker's cruisers afterwards. So given the operational state of the ship I would rate POW as a qualified success in the campaign against Bismarck, even though Leach broke off the action when Hood was destroyed.


RF I cannot and will not challenge a word of what you have written-it is most certainly the way that I would have liked to have seen the deployment in the DS-this of course is a "what if situation" but nevertheless POW was undoubtedly a "green" ship; but despite that shortcoming,she did the best she could and therefore I am obliged to reconsider her not to be the most unsuccessful warship; but place that ignomy on HMS Glorious-she had achieved little in the war and was sunk by S&G off Norway-having left the scene of battle -her Captain determined to have his Commander Air court martialled.
Quo Fata Vocant-Whither the Fates call

Jim


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