alecsandros wrote:But were USN modern capital ships supposed to fight in a battleline and under torpedo threat ?
Yes. Look when they were designed. The Alaska for instance was ordered in 1940 so for the US the design was prewar. The Iowa was ordered even earlier June of 39 and the Montana design was approved in April of 42 and ordered in May of 42. At that time the battle line was still doctrine and the US faced a serious torpedo threat as the campaigns in 1942 showed rather graphically.
Their speed and super-heavy AA, along with the task-force concept, which was almost always employed in the Pacific operations (and sometimes in the Atlantic to), show that they were meant for another kind of surface war.
No it shows they adopted to that style of war but I think you will find that even pre war most countries used a task force concept. It doesn't mean that subs or destroyers or even cruisers can't get in torpedo range though, even without factoring in the range of the type 93s.
Naval design was usualy evolutive, with ship classes being born from the need to counter possible enemy classes. A 9 x 12" gunship, with 32kts speed, 35.000tons displacement and 6" armored decks can only be used for
- the destruction of CLs, CAs, DDs [which was a battlecruiser role in other navies], AND
Well I'm not sure battlecruisers were by doctrine suppose to have to deal with DDs and while fighting smaller cruisers was one of their roles it was also a role of said smaller cruisers was it not?
- engagement of comparable enemy ships. And what comparable ships were they on the seas of the war ? Well let's see...
But the USN didn't view those as comparable and indeed the Alaskas would have been at a disadvantage them. It was built to counter a never built Japanese "super cruiser" as noted previously in this thread and eslewhere.
Finaly, in case you haven't seen this text in Wiki yet:
Indeed I have seen the text in wiki and note that the paragraph above it gives a very good case for them being cruisers while neglecting some of the relevant points for not considering them battleships or battlecruisers.
MVictorP wrote:... I still can see why such a late, big ship had no TDS in an era where submarines, torpedo crafts as well as torpedo bombers were such the rage.
I agree that it is one of their weakest points. Wiki does give one reason that seems possible:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska_class_cruiser
The General Board, in an attempt to keep the displacement under 25,000 tons, allowed the designs to offer only limited underwater protection. As a result, the Alaska class, when built, were vulnerable to torpedoes and shells that fell short of the ship. The final design chosen was a scaled-up Baltimore class ...
Honestly, I think a well-made heavy cruiser, if not expendable, should have some TDS furthermore if it's being laid down after 1935.
Certainly some torpedo protection would have made sense for heavy cruisers after that date although given the way the threat progressed one simply couldn't put an effective TDS on a heavy cruiser and as noted putting one on Alaska would have increased her displacement considerably.
The US battlecruisers didn't set no trend,
Hard for nonexistant ships to set trends although one can argue the Japanese super cruisers started one.
as neither did the Alaskas.
That was because the era of the big gun warship ended in the mid to late 40s.
Both were dead-ended project, with no descendance nor antecedant in the USN's history -
Well the Balitmores can be considered antecedants in many ways.
maybe it's time to stop looking to the USN as the standard in these type of ships?
Why? They were the only ones who built them.
Anyway, international classification trumps regional ones, in any case, even the RN's.
There is no "international classification" and there was none at the time the Alaskas were built. Even if there was it would only do so within the
I find no explanation why the Alaskas didn't have one.
Perhaps because you don't want to?
To the contrary; Please enligthen me.
That's what I've been trying to do.
Did they? That's certainly debateable. If one looks at what TDS were suppose to do there simply wasn't room in a cruiser especially one built based on post WWI torpedo threats. Since we don't have a definative defintion I can't conclusivly reject your position but you are even further from invalidating mine.
, it's not debateable. These cruisers all had a genuine
. Their efficiency may be debateable, but not their existance.[/quote]
Then show me a widely accepted defintion for what a TDS is. They may have torpedo defences that doesn't mean it's a TDS. Again look at the article I posted on TDSs and show me how the torpedo defences of these ships were designed to meet the goals of a TDS specifically a post WWI TDS.