Best rebuilt battleship?

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Karl Heidenreich
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Postby Karl Heidenreich » Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:41 pm

Well... Royal Navy Battleships experienced much more heat, in their classic role as surface combat vessels, than the US Navy Battleships. The British did had Battleship casualties in open combat while the US Battleships were sunk at Pearl. No offense intended.
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Postby Bgile » Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:17 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:Well... Royal Navy Battleships experienced much more heat, in their classic role as surface combat vessels, than the US Navy Battleships. The British did had Battleship casualties in open combat while the US Battleships were sunk at Pearl. No offense intended.


Non taken, but how does that make them better ships?

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Postby tommy303 » Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:38 pm

There was little scope for the USN battleships in the Pacific as much more than support ships and air defence vessels for the carrier groups. How vessels were used has little bearing on technical superiority questions.

One should add that the USN's Old Battle line, many of which were sunk at Pearl, fought and won the last surface engagement between battleships.

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Postby Karl Heidenreich » Tue Aug 08, 2006 8:48 pm

Bgile:
Non taken, but how does that make them better ships?


Nope. Each ship must be taken and studied at the time, and their particular virtues examined as their weaknesses. I believe that the American ships were, overall, much better ships than her contemporaries due to the time, money and experience their designers had. It´s a shame (and I always said this) that their role was not as significant as the British, Japanese or German BBs.
The American Command must had given them an oportunity, as when Yamato went on the Ten Go mission and an sqaudron of American BBs were waiting for her. But war is a practical and not a very romantic discipline so aircraft took the Big "Y".

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Postby Chel Sea » Tue Aug 08, 2006 8:58 pm

QE History

World War One
She was launched on 16 October 1913 at Portsmouth, Hampshire, and entered service in January 1915 during World War I.

While still undergoing testing in the Mediterranean, the Queen Elizabeth was sent to the Dardanelles for the Allied attempt to knock the Ottoman Empire out of the war. The Queen Elizabeth was the only modern battleship to participate, though a number of battlecruisers and pre-dreadnought battleships were also involved. She became the flagship for the preliminary naval operations in the Dardanelles Campaign, leading the first line of British battleships in the decisive battle of March 18, 1915. During the military invasion of the Gallipoli on April 25, the Queen Elizabeth was the flagship for General Sir Ian Hamilton, commander of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. However, after the sinking of HMS Goliath by a Turkish torpedo boat on May 12, the Queen Elizabeth was immediately withdrawn to a safer position.

She joined Admiral Hugh Evan-Thomas's 5th Battle Squadron (consisting of Queen Elizabeth-class battleships) of the Grand Fleet based at Scapa Flow, but she missed the Battle of Jutland due to being in dock for maintenance.

Inter war period
Between the wars she was the flagship of the Atlantic Fleet from 1919 to 1924. From 1924 she was the flagship of the Mediterranean Fleet. She was extensively re-built, coming out of refit with an all new superstructure, her 6-inch (152 mm) guns removed and in their place she received 20 4.5-in (114 mm) guns and several smaller anti-aircraft guns. She also received facilities for aircraft with a launching catapult amidships.

World War Two
During World War II, she was part of the Mediterranean Fleet. She was mined and sunk by an Italian human torpedo attack on 18 December 1941 in shallow water in the harbour at Alexandria, Egypt. Although low in the water, her decks were clear and the Italian crews were captured. She was able to maintain the illusion of full operational status, concealing the weak British position in the Mediterranean, until raised and patched up for the journey to the United States Navy Yard in Norfolk, Virginia where she was repaired. From there she was sent to the Pacific, where she served from 1944, taking part in raids on Japanese bases in Indonesia. She returned to Britain in July 1945, and was sold for scrap in March 1948.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Queen_Elizabeth_(1913)]Wikipedia

Hardly a second rate ship, also survived being sunk, and was in service up until 7 years later. However US posters should rightly be proud of their BB's construction and the fact that at least some of their BBs are preserved, unlike here in the UK where they were disgracefully scrapped with no thought of future generations, then again that war cost the UK more than just a few scrapped Battleships, but there are no regrets this side of the pond in that sense.

The UK had less ships, fine, but as was stated when 2 Allied ships past each other in the Atlantic, US ship hails "Greetings from the World's biggest Navy" ribbing the British for not having even the 2 power standard anymore, reply: "Greeting from the world's finest Navy".

I hope that we can leave it at that, maybe not, but worth a try :angel:

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Postby Bgile » Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:25 pm

Chel Sea wrote:QE History

World War Two
During World War II, she was part of the Mediterranean Fleet. She was mined and sunk by an Italian human torpedo attack on 18 December 1941 in shallow water in the harbour at Alexandria, Egypt. Although low in the water, her decks were clear and the Italian crews were captured. She was able to maintain the illusion of full operational status, concealing the weak British position in the Mediterranean, until raised and patched up for the journey to the United States Navy Yard in Norfolk, Virginia where she was repaired. From there she was sent to the Pacific, where she served from 1944, taking part in raids on Japanese bases in Indonesia. She returned to Britain in July 1945, and was sold for scrap in March 1948.




I think Tennessee's WWII history was comparable to QE's, beginning with the attack on Pearl harbor and including the ambush of Fuso and Yamashiro, many shore bombardments and many Kamikaze attacks.

QE was an older ship and participated in WWI and other campaigns as you mentioned, but I just didn't understand why that makes her "better", which was the topic of this discussion.

I understand your points, and she certainly had a colorful history. I too wish that at least one of those grand old ships had been preserved. The US took old battleship USS Oregon off of her museum duty, removed her armament and superstructure, and used her as an ammo barge in the Pacific. Really a pointless loss of a Spanish American war veteran.

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Postby Gary » Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:34 pm

It would have been lovely if Warspite had been saved.
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Re: Best rebuilt battleship?

Postby RNfanDan » Wed Aug 09, 2006 3:26 am

Bgile wrote:OK, so because Tennessee didn't have the same combat career as QE, that makes QE a better ship?

Read my post again. I give the technical nod to the Volunteer and Prune Barge. They were, on paper, the better ships. But, that doesn't mean they were "best", because other factors come into play, including those I qualified my answer with, in making my choice.

USS North Carolina was the first modern US battleship to join the pacific fleet, and the ONLY battleship in that fleet at the time she joined it. She spent the whole war defending carriers and bombarding shore targets, so I guess that makes QE a better ship?

The NC was a brand new battleship, not a reconstructed unit. Therefore, the NC is eliminated, by default, from this discussion. Please read the qualifying list of candidates in the original post.

I suppose you could say that all British ships were a better return on investment, because there were fewer of them so each was called upon to do more.

That won't hold, on either premise. At the beginning of the war, Britain had ten older, WW1-era battleships, five each in the R- and Queen Elizabeth classes. The US had, in similar but smaller classes, a total of 12. Even if you discount Nevada and Oklahoma, the two navies were roughly battleship-balanced in older BB's, with ten each. So much for "fewer of them"...

As to their ROI, not all the old British capital ships were "reconstructed". Only the three QE's had been extensively rebuilt (QE, Valiant,Warspite); again, these are the ones on the list. Of these, I feel the lowest ROI was Valiant, but all served well during the war.

Finally, why could QE not be described as a second string backup? It seems obvious to me that she was, but maybe I'm missing something here.


I'm not as "up" on the Queen Elizabeth as I am Warspite, but Chel Sea's post covers that ship's talking points. The whole class were very busy ships, participating actively throughout the war and in nearly every theater. Because of the nature of the European naval war, RN battleships remained important units in that war.

Conversely, no resurrected Pearl Harbor BB was a "first-team" player after its sinking. Even at Surigao Strait, Oldendorf's was a second-tier group, too slow for the Varsity in a war that, by then, belonged almost exclusively to the carriers. However, the Tennessee and California were easily the best of those that were raised.

Much of the big-gun action of the early Pacific war, belonged to the new battleships of the NC and SoDak classes. Even BB's not at Pearl---New Mexico, Idaho, Colorado---weren't brought in to help replace the fleet's losses.
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Re: Best rebuilt battleship?

Postby Bgile » Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:56 pm

RNfanDan wrote:
Bgile wrote:OK, so because Tennessee didn't have the same combat career as QE, that makes QE a better ship?

Read my post again. I give the technical nod to the Volunteer and Prune Barge. They were, on paper, the better ships. But, that doesn't mean they were "best", because other factors come into play, including those I qualified my answer with, in making my choice.

USS North Carolina was the first modern US battleship to join the pacific fleet, and the ONLY battleship in that fleet at the time she joined it. She spent the whole war defending carriers and bombarding shore targets, so I guess that makes QE a better ship?

The NC was a brand new battleship, not a reconstructed unit. Therefore, the NC is eliminated, by default, from this discussion. Please read the qualifying list of candidates in the original post.

I suppose you could say that all British ships were a better return on investment, because there were fewer of them so each was called upon to do more.

That won't hold, on either premise. At the beginning of the war, Britain had ten older, WW1-era battleships, five each in the R- and Queen Elizabeth classes. The US had, in similar but smaller classes, a total of 12. Even if you discount Nevada and Oklahoma, the two navies were roughly battleship-balanced in older BB's, with ten each. So much for "fewer of them"...

As to their ROI, not all the old British capital ships were "reconstructed". Only the three QE's had been extensively rebuilt (QE, Valiant,Warspite); again, these are the ones on the list. Of these, I feel the lowest ROI was Valiant, but all served well during the war.

Finally, why could QE not be described as a second string backup? It seems obvious to me that she was, but maybe I'm missing something here.


I'm not as "up" on the Queen Elizabeth as I am Warspite, but Chel Sea's post covers that ship's talking points. The whole class were very busy ships, participating actively throughout the war and in nearly every theater. Because of the nature of the European naval war, RN battleships remained important units in that war.

Conversely, no resurrected Pearl Harbor BB was a "first-team" player after its sinking. Even at Surigao Strait, Oldendorf's was a second-tier group, too slow for the Varsity in a war that, by then, belonged almost exclusively to the carriers. However, the Tennessee and California were easily the best of those that were raised.

Much of the big-gun action of the early Pacific war, belonged to the new battleships of the NC and SoDak classes. Even BB's not at Pearl---New Mexico, Idaho, Colorado---weren't brought in to help replace the fleet's losses.


I understood your post. My point was that one could use the ship history argument to distort comparisons of any ship type at all, not just the reconstructed ones. For example, USS England sank 5 japanese submarines in the space of a few days. Does this make her better than all other ASW ships? No. It shows she was a good ship with a competent crew. Another ship could have done just as well given the right opportunity. If you put USS Tennessee in place of QE, there is IMO no reason to expect the former couldn't have done just as well as the latter. For that reason, I don't understand the QE being considered a better ship.

You are wanting to give the QE credit for her war record, and that's fine. I was just under the impression we were comparing ship characteristics, not ship record. If record is a part of being "best rebuilt battleship", OK. I just didn't understand the criteria. I don't think we disagree on the facts at all.

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Postby Chel Sea » Wed Aug 09, 2006 5:42 pm

Bgile wrote:
Chel Sea wrote:QE History

World War Two
During World War II, she was part of the Mediterranean Fleet. She was mined and sunk by an Italian human torpedo attack on 18 December 1941 in shallow water in the harbour at Alexandria, Egypt. Although low in the water, her decks were clear and the Italian crews were captured. She was able to maintain the illusion of full operational status, concealing the weak British position in the Mediterranean, until raised and patched up for the journey to the United States Navy Yard in Norfolk, Virginia where she was repaired. From there she was sent to the Pacific, where she served from 1944, taking part in raids on Japanese bases in Indonesia. She returned to Britain in July 1945, and was sold for scrap in March 1948.




I think Tennessee's WWII history was comparable to QE's, beginning with the attack on Pearl harbor and including the ambush of Fuso and Yamashiro, many shore bombardments and many Kamikaze attacks.

QE was an older ship and participated in WWI and other campaigns as you mentioned, but I just didn't understand why that makes her "better", which was the topic of this discussion.

I understand your points, and she certainly had a colorful history. I too wish that at least one of those grand old ships had been preserved. The US took old battleship USS Oregon off of her museum duty, removed her armament and superstructure, and used her as an ammo barge in the Pacific. Really a pointless loss of a Spanish American war veteran.


Tell you what, BB 43 was also a fine looking ship compared to the refitted QE's (which looked cluttered and beamy with those torpedo bulges like the German Dreadnoughts did), much better prow, and US BBs in general lead the way with balanced configurations, let alone the 30 degree gun elevation that gave a healthy 10,000 yard range over the horizon apart from the fire control already posited.

For me the longer (very active) service history of the QE class would tick the boxes of the question in hand, but I won't really argue with the technical points either.

QE is a just a personal fave of mine, I'll readily admit that I'm looking at it with QE tinted spectacles, I can see from most of the knowlegable consensus on here that the Warspite is in more favour. I've got an Airfix Warspite ready to build, probably by the time I retire, since there seems to be so little time these days with work and etc... I still wish I had a QE though, better camo schemes available :o

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Postby Gary » Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:15 pm

Hi Chel Sea.

The Re-built QE's certainly were splendid ships.
The RE-built Tennessee's were equally as good and maybe the 16" gunned WeeVee stands out with the heavier main battery.

But I do believe that the Re-built US ships had better AA weaponary and by late WW2, that is what counted.



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Postby Tiornu » Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:37 pm

"Best" means different things to different people, whether it's design quality or war record or aesthetics or the ship that brought your granddad home in one piece.
I tend to view things in design terms. I'd pick QE over Warspite because I like those 4.5in guns. Both ships arguably had better deck protection than the American ships, but the forward barbettes were especially vulnerable.

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Postby foeth » Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:50 pm

I tend to favor a warship on details that cannot be added by a week or two of conversion. The USN had the 40mm bofors, the Germans did not. Doesn't make each individual USN warship better because they have a better AAA arrangement. And so on.

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Postby Bgile » Wed Aug 09, 2006 10:05 pm

foeth wrote:I tend to favor a warship on details that cannot be added by a week or two of conversion. The USN had the 40mm bofors, the Germans did not. Doesn't make each individual USN warship better because they have a better AAA arrangement. And so on.


That's interesting, because that was a big deal to the US Navy. The weapon had to be redesigned for mass production, and it affected the layout of the entire superstructure. One of the reasons US ships looked cluttered and didn't have nice clean lines like the German ships was all those 40mm and 20mm guns. Not everyone knows this, but every 40mm quad mounting also had a separately located director with a lead-computing sight, further detracting from the ship's appearance.

Much of the work done in the wartime modernizations was to increase AA capability, and it took a lot more than a couple of weeks!

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Postby Chel Sea » Wed Aug 09, 2006 10:43 pm

Gary wrote:Hi Chel Sea.

The Re-built QE's certainly were splendid ships.
The RE-built Tennessee's were equally as good and maybe the 16" gunned WeeVee stands out with the heavier main battery.

But I do believe that the Re-built US ships had better AA weaponary and by late WW2, that is what counted.



By the way, I love your screen name :wink:
Thanks Very much for giving us Damien Duff on the cheap (I'm a Toon fan) :cool:


Wow, I was thinking about BB 43's almost Yamato-like AA arrangement around the Citadel when writing "balanced".

On a side note about the Bofors gun, designed in Sweden, along the same lines as the fearsome and also Swedish designed 88mm, so who got the better deal out of that neutrality, (not to mention the high Carbon Steel that built all those ships and tanks for Germany, and for the protection of which <supply route> Norway was invaded) LOL, :?

Many thanks Gary, :cool: Yes, football, the national pastime, I say that the Toon fans are the best in the world in my experience/honest opinion, and reading programme notes when players are asked which ground has the best Atmos, they almost always say St James' Park, which is a pleasure to visit, if only it was'nt so blinking far away!

I've got to say that I started going to Stamford Bridge back in 1988, when were were considerably more rubbish, and way before Abramovich, so it's nice to have some Premiership payback at last against the older big boys.

Ahh, Damien what a great player, I've been saying all summer don't sell him, he was there for us when Robben got crocked. To show what a good character he is he turned down Tottenham for more money, because of how us fans woud feel, because we and Spurs go way back in not a nice way in some senses (re Gus Poyet having a patchy reputation with us now after going there and kissing badges after scoring at ours). I think that you guys will treat him well, like you did Babayaro.

OK enough football, I always go off topic in a football forum into things military and political, and now I'm taking this thread to Cuba talking Footey :oops: :silenced:


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