American SH shells - Famed or Folly

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Bill Jurens
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Re: American SH shells - Famed or Folly

Post by Bill Jurens » Mon Sep 23, 2019 3:44 am

It's interesting to note that although there are a lot of Iowa/Yamato comparisons, there seem to be relatively few detailed comparisons of Montana vs Yamato, so what follows represents a highly informal assessment. Almost a guess.

The Montana class ships (would have) carried considerably more protection than an Iowa did, including an extremely comprehensive arrangement of lighter gauge splinter-protection, so would have done much better than an Iowa regarding protection. Displacements and speed of Montana/Yamato were roughly similar, which suggests -- at least in general terms -- that resistance to damage and tactical capabilities might be expected to be roughly similar as well. A broadside of 9-18" does, at least in theory, deliver slightly more kinetic energy than 12-16", but considering differences in rates of fire, that probably pretty much ends in a saw-off as well.

It's easy to over-think these things and quickly become mired-up in technical trivia, but overall, as a first 'back of the envelope' estimate, my guess would be that in a one-on-one engagement without aircraft involved and assuming reasonable weather conditions, they would have been pretty evenly-matched opponents.

Bill Jurens

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