The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

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

Post by David » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:08 am

I'd vote for WARSPITE, given her 30 year career and the great variety of her actions (against BBs, CBs, DDs, submarines, aircraft and shore positions.) SHEFFIELD was also successful: BISMARK, BARRENTS SEA, SCHARNHORST. Successful can have many, sometimes contradictory meanings. As built, RODNEY was a worse compromise of a bad design but no one can argue that she was unsuccessful in her career. On the other hand, SMS GOEBEN, a good WWI German battlecruiser design; tough, hard hitting and fast; yet she didn't really do much herself. Was she unsuccessful? She was doubtless the most influential ship in the history of the world.

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RF
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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Post by RF » Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:47 am

David wrote: On the other hand, SMS GOEBEN, a good WWI German battlecruiser design; tough, hard hitting and fast; yet she didn't really do much herself. Was she unsuccessful? She was doubtless the most influential ship in the history of the world.
I am not completely clear on the criteria for the last sentence here.

Geoben served the Turks under the name I believe of Yavuz, principally in the Black Sea. It could be argued that the ship influenced the Ottoman Empire into entering WW1 but I think that it would have done so anyway. Beyond that what influence did Geoben have?

Most influential ship? Surely HMS Dreadnought.
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David
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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Post by David » Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:00 am

By bringing the Turks into the war, she precipated the Gallipoli campaign, the defeat of which led to the Russian Revolution and the creation of the Soviet Union. As a further effect, Turkey stayed neutral in WWII. Dreadnought was influential (turbines, all-big-gun, etc) but battleship design, in terms of armament disposition, eventually went with the US Michigan class ABXY arrangement with no wing turrets.

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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Post by lwd » Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:22 pm

What's more I'm pretty sure the US design predated the US's knowledge of Dreadnaught. So if she isn't built the effect is just delayed a year or two. Where Goeben had to be in the right place at the right time. I'm pretty sure a ship that wasn't close to her design wise couldn't have been. Of course if you are looking at things like that there's always the Maine. Destroyed, proably by an internal coal dust explosion which would put her in the running for unsuccessful warship but whoose destruction resulted in the Spanish American war. So certainly influential.

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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Post by David » Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:13 am

I should have added that If Turkey had remained neutral in WWI, the British would have been unable to claim the ruins of the Ottoman Empire- no Sykes-Pigot Agreement, no Balfour Declaration, no Iraq or Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Israel. Perhaps a nod should be given to that remarkable super-dreadnaught AGINCOURT (14 x 12") which played its own pivotal role in the whole Turkish affair without ever having been outside the North Sea. I agree, MAINE was influential as the catalyst (however fake) for the American Empire. I've seen her listed sometimes as a BB and others as an Armoured Cruiser. Was she a "Second Class" BB later rated as an Armoured Cruiser? If so, was that a function of obsolesence or a change in rating?

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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Post by lwd » Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:25 pm

David wrote: ... I've seen her listed sometimes as a BB and others as an Armoured Cruiser. Was she a "Second Class" BB later rated as an Armoured Cruiser? If so, was that a function of obsolesence or a change in rating?
Looking at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Maine_(ACR-1)
She was apparently rated as an ACR first then rerated as a battleship.

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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Post by Bgile » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:43 pm

Ship combat capability was increasing very fast during that period. US Battleships built in the next few years after Maine were much more powerful.

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RF
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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Post by RF » Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:17 pm

David wrote:I should have added that If Turkey had remained neutral in WWI, the British would have been unable to claim the ruins of the Ottoman Empire
Not too sure on that one - I wouldn't fancy the Ottoman Empire lasting the 1920's.
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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Post by David » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:00 pm

I wouldn't either, but the British would have been less likely to take over the region and the current politics might have been vastly different, particularly as regards Iraq, Israel and Jordan. An independent Kurdistan? Who knows, but I think the map of the Near East would look a lot different than it does today.

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RF
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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Post by RF » Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:55 am

The British I think certainly would intervene because of their overiding economic interests in the Middle East region, and to protect their empire in the Indian sub-continent.

Saudi Arabia would have become independent by throwing the Turks out, probably with British support (because of the oil interests). And Isreal? Yes that issue would be fully there anyway. The Ottomans kept the lid on that conflict, in much the same way Tito and the federal Republic of Yugoslavia kept the lid on the conflict between the Serbs and Croats. Take the lid off and the fighting starts.
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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Post by frankwl » Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:25 pm

If you're going to consider successful warships shouldn't you include a representative of the German U Boat fleet or the U.S. submarine fleet? Not glorious like surface ships, perhaps, but low cost, devastating to their enemies, sinking everything from merchant men to aircraft carriers and battleships, nearly starving Britain, cutting Japan off from its empire. The Germans paid dearly when the Royal and Canadian navies and the U.S. fleet rolled them for an appallingt casualty rate but the U.S. subs sank more tonnage than Nimitz's aircraft carriers. Pig boats I think is U.S. navy slang for submarines.

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RF
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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Post by RF » Sun Jul 31, 2011 6:05 pm

There is certainly no reason why individual subs can't be included. One problem area may be in defining the success of a partiular submarine, and that success won't necessarily be in terms of tonnage sunk. To give one example I would mention U-862 on the basis of a heroic voyage which made it the only WW2 sub to sink ships in each of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans and made the most distant U-boat attack from Germany in WW2. But not a top scoring sub in terms of actual tonnage sunk.
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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Post by Jellicoe » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:49 am

David wrote:
On the other hand, SMS GOEBEN, a good WWI German battlecruiser design; tough, hard hitting and fast; yet she didn't really do much herself. Was she unsuccessful? She was doubtless the most influential ship in the history of the world.


Definitely influential, maybe not the most, but I do take issue with the first sentence: "She didn't really do much herself," Quite the contrary she had a remarkable career of engagement with the enemy, as in:

Oct 1914 Bombardment of Sevastapol, engaged Russian destroyers, sank the Russian mine-layer Prut.
Nov 1914 soried against the Crimea, engaged elements of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, damaging the
Russian BB Svjatoj-Evstafij, while sustaining damage herself.
December 1914 struck two mines
April 1915 sortie into Black Sea, sank two Russian freighters, fought off RUssian destroyers.
May 1915, sortie into Black Sea, clashed with RUssian battleships, damaged on ship, received a couple of hits.
Jan 1916, clashed with BB Imperatrica Ekaterina II
1918 left Dardanelles to attack troop transports, struck mines. Sank Brit monitors Raglan and M 28, hit more mines,
attacked by Brit aircraft, ran aground, finally docked in May 1918 for the first time in 4 years!

Very few warships deserve the title of WAR ship more than the Jawus Sultan Selim/Jawus Selim/Yavuz = Goeben.
I would say that she deserves to be listed among the great warriors of all time.

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RF
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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Post by RF » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:44 am

David wrote:By bringing the Turks into the war, she precipated the Gallipoli campaign, the defeat of which led to the Russian Revolution and the creation of the Soviet Union.
It may have contributed to Russia losing the war but claiming that Goeben caused the Russian Revolution (actually there were two revolutions in 1918) and the foundation of the Soviet Union is the sort of hyperbole and misplaced exagerration I would expect from politicians like Blair, Obama and Cameron.
Take away the Geoben - the Russian Revolution would have happened anyway.
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RF
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Re: The most successful and most unsuccessful Warships

Post by RF » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:49 am

Jellicoe wrote:David wrote:
SMS GOEBEN,..... She was doubtless the most influential ship in the history of the world.
Without detracting from the combat record of the Goeben stated above (which incidently omitted to mention the bombardment of Algiers in the first few days of WW1) the quoted verdict is again pure hyperbole and exagerration.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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