Quantcast

What It Took to Kill the Biggest (and Baddest) Battleship Ever Built

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

markkoelsch

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
4,364
Reaction score
148
The Yamato and Musashi were major league big stocks, but as pointed out were obsolete at the start of the war.

The same can be said of the Bismarck ,which took an amazing pounding before likely being scuffled. Yep Tirpitz, the sister ship, never saw much action.

The same can also be said of the Iowa class although none were ever sunk.

Really, the only one of them that saw anything close to their intended use against other battleships/cruisers was Bismarck.

Really, the only time there was ever a large scale battle of battleships in their intended surface role was the battle of Jutland.

Interesting stuff.
 

TALON

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
Messages
1,469
Reaction score
22
The Yamato and Musashi were major league big stocks, but as pointed out were obsolete at the start of the war.

Really, the only one of them that saw anything close to their intended use against other battleships/cruisers was Bismarck.

Really, the only time there was ever a large scale battle of battleships in their intended surface role was the battle of Jutland.

Interesting stuff.
There was the Battle of Surigao Strait, which was part of the larger Battle of Leyte Gulf. Though not on the scale of Jutland, it was the last battleship vs battleship action & Admiral Jesse Oldendorf "crossed the T".
 

The_Lone_Beagle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Messages
716
Reaction score
3
My completely semi-related (i.e, random) thoughts on this:

1. When the Yamato and other battleships like this were planned, there had never been any aircraft carrier vs. aircraft carrier battles yet (the Battle of Coral Sea in 1942 would be the first), and my memory bank about aircraft carriers in the mid-thirties were that while they existed, they weren't too impressive (as well as the aircraft they carried weren't too impressive). The articles make it sound like when they were built, it should have been known they would be obsolete, but it is only obvious in hindsight, &

2. Along the lines that tech progress can happen faster than you think, and the weapons you plan today could easily be obsoleted by other emerging tech, what does that say about some of our current weapons...esp. some with huge cost overruns...
 

Fred Garvin

Male Strumpet
Joined
May 23, 2013
Messages
1,686
Reaction score
4
Watch the full broadside salvos starting at 2:58.....man I just can't watch this enough!

[video]https://youtu.be/dVvEPTYrcXA[/video]
 

Zeus-cat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
4,584
Reaction score
786
My completely semi-related (i.e, random) thoughts on this:

1. When the Yamato and other battleships like this were planned, there had never been any aircraft carrier vs. aircraft carrier battles yet (the Battle of Coral Sea in 1942 would be the first), and my memory bank about aircraft carriers in the mid-thirties were that while they existed, they weren't too impressive (as well as the aircraft they carried weren't too impressive). The articles make it sound like when they were built, it should have been known they would be obsolete, but it is only obvious in hindsight, &

2. Along the lines that tech progress can happen faster than you think, and the weapons you plan today could easily be obsoleted by other emerging tech, what does that say about some of our current weapons...esp. some with huge cost overruns...
Very good points. Even though the U.S. battleships never really were used as intended, they were repurposed and found use as ground bombardment platforms.

They also proved to be excellent distractions for the kamikaze attacks. I read an article quite a while ago that said if the Japanese kamikaze pilots had picked their targets more rationally they may have seriously delayed or even stopped the island invasions in the Pacific. the pilots wanted the glory of damaging or sinking capital ships. Instead, if they had gone for the troop ships they could have done far more damage to the U.S. invasion plans. Sink a battleship and you really don't alter the battle as we didn't use our battleships to slug it out with the enemy battleships. Sink the troop ships and you prevent the invasion.
 

tomsteve

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2014
Messages
893
Reaction score
254
Watch the full broadside salvos starting at 2:58.....man I just can't watch this enough!

[video]https://youtu.be/dVvEPTYrcXA[/video]
WOW!!! that video had me watching more on battleships. I tried finding some videos of targets getting hit but couldn't.

what I found the Yamato is the armament:
9- eighteen-inch naval guns, mounted in turrets of three
6- 155-millimeter secondary naval guns
24- five-inch guns
162- twenty-five-millimeter antiaircraft guns
and 4 13.2-millimeter heavy machine guns.

162- 25mm guns..... the skies must have been lit up by tracer rounds.
 

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
9,020
Reaction score
1,142
Watch the full broadside salvos starting at 2:58.....man I just can't watch this enough!

[video]https://youtu.be/dVvEPTYrcXA[/video]
Huge projectiles and a LOT of powder. Note how slowly and carefully they load the final bags since they are now forming a chain of bags that reach the rear of the projectile. Doing that too fast and far thereby over-compressing the rear bag and the pocket of large grain BP at its rear was deemed to be the cause of the terrible turret accident on one of our battleships several years ago.
 

Charles_McG

Ciderwright
Joined
Sep 12, 2013
Messages
2,864
Reaction score
922
Location
SE Wisconsin
But if it hadn't been sunk, it wouldn't have been protected by ocean bottom silt and mud - and available for retooling after the Gamilon bombardment.
 

Fred Garvin

Male Strumpet
Joined
May 23, 2013
Messages
1,686
Reaction score
4
During the Gulf War, I was with 7th Corp...we were the ones who executed the left hook and caught the Iraqi's retreating from Kuwait. We were told that Big Mo was offshore, and would be firing her big 16's in shore battery, first time they were used in anger since Korea. I never saw her, but just knowing she was out there put a big smile on my face! Knowing the Iraqi's could only do 2 things: Run, or Die.

It was a privlidge and an honor to serve with her.
 

Fred Garvin

Male Strumpet
Joined
May 23, 2013
Messages
1,686
Reaction score
4
Now that is what you call slinging some serious BRASS !!
WOW!!! that video had me watching more on battleships. I tried finding some videos of targets getting hit but couldn't....
I get a big smile when I watch those full broadsides....yeah, we got yer big guns right here.....

I read somewhere about battleship use during WWII....talked about deployment with carrier groups. The comment that struck me was (I'm paraphrasing) When you watch those old films, and see the air filled with shrapnel, tracers, smoke and explosions as the Japanese aircraft try to punch through....all that is coming from the escorting battleship.
 

MikeyDSlagle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2013
Messages
2,424
Reaction score
423
During the Gulf War, I was with 7th Corp...we were the ones who executed the left hook and caught the Iraqi's retreating from Kuwait. We were told that Big Mo was offshore, and would be firing her big 16's in shore battery, first time they were used in anger since Korea. I never saw her, but just knowing she was out there put a big smile on my face! Knowing the Iraqi's could only do 2 things: Run, or Die.

It was a privlidge and an honor to serve with her.
Mighty Mo, but yeah. Awesome ship. Anything that can fire a Volkswagen 20 miles is just freaking awesome. Was sad to see the big boys decommissioned.
The movie Battleship, when they are getting her ready and fighting her... I love it. No need for anyone to point out the silliness that she had live rounds and full bunkers, etc. It was about an alien invasion so reality was already out the window.

Thank you for your service sir.
 

georgegassaway

Lifetime Supporter
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,716
Reaction score
608
But if it hadn't been sunk, it wouldn't have been protected by ocean bottom silt and mud - and available for retooling after the Gamilon bombardment.
Hah, wonder how many "got" that?



For those who are wondering what the..... it's an old 1970's Japanese animated series called "Space Battleship Yamato" there, named "Starblazers" in the U.S. I liked it. It's about as fondly revered old Sci-Fi in Japan as Star Trek here or Doctor Who in the UK (and here, and.....so many other countries).



Yamato "wreck" semi-buried on the sea floor after Earth's oceans had dried up
 
Last edited:

georgegassaway

Lifetime Supporter
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,716
Reaction score
608
OK, back to 16" guns. Here's an interesting old training film from 1955, showing a lot of detail about the turrets, systems, and crew tasks necessary. Looks like very little changed from then until the 1990's (except they seemed to be slower and more careful in the other video, particularly the ram speed)

[video=youtube;0OmOQs0ziSU]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OmOQs0ziSU[/video]

Take note of the "ramrod" (seen shortly after the beginning of the gunhouse segment at 5:28) that pushes the shell and powder bags up inside the barrel. it is a huge linked chain, sort of like a bicycle chain but way bigger. I think I saw some video years ago that demonstrated why it is a chain. If something got stuck, a steel ramrod would try to force the shell or bags anyway which could cause an explosion. The chain, if there is too much resistance, one of the links pops up then the rest of the chain follows suit. So it stops pushing. What holds it down and flat otherwise... is just gravity as it lays flush on the cradle and tray (and inside the barrel). An elegantly simple clever solution.
 
Last edited:

ThirstyBarbarian

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Feb 11, 2013
Messages
8,627
Reaction score
1,226
My completely semi-related (i.e, random) thoughts on this:

1. When the Yamato and other battleships like this were planned, there had never been any aircraft carrier vs. aircraft carrier battles yet (the Battle of Coral Sea in 1942 would be the first), and my memory bank about aircraft carriers in the mid-thirties were that while they existed, they weren't too impressive (as well as the aircraft they carried weren't too impressive). The articles make it sound like when they were built, it should have been known they would be obsolete, but it is only obvious in hindsight, &

2. Along the lines that tech progress can happen faster than you think, and the weapons you plan today could easily be obsoleted by other emerging tech, what does that say about some of our current weapons...esp. some with huge cost overruns...
As an example, it may not be long before so-called "carrier killer" ballistic missiles may make aircraft carriers obsolete, or at least far more vulnerable.
 

MALBAR 70

More Rockets Than Room
TRF Supporter
Joined
Aug 18, 2012
Messages
2,383
Reaction score
855
Location
Athol, Massachusetts
Hah, wonder how many "got" that?



For those who are wondering what the..... it's an old 1970's Japanese animated series called "Space Battleship Yamato" there, named "Starblazers" in the U.S. I liked it. It's about as fondly revered old Sci-Fi in Japan as Star Trek here or Doctor Who in the UK (and here, and.....so many other countries).



Yamato "wreck" semi-buried on the sea floor after Earth's oceans had dried up

I remember running home after school to watch this show. I still love it and own all 3 seasons on DVD as well as several of the movies. Great stuff.

I wonder if the outcome of WWII would have been different if the Yamato had the Wave Motion Gun...
 

Fred Garvin

Male Strumpet
Joined
May 23, 2013
Messages
1,686
Reaction score
4
Wow....what a serious mess. Not just the explosion, but the investigative (if you can even dignify the actions as that) shenanigans afterward....
 

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
9,020
Reaction score
1,142
Wow....what a serious mess. Not just the explosion, but the investigative (if you can even dignify the actions as that) shenanigans afterward....
And what a HORRIBLE way to die...
 

ThirstyBarbarian

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Feb 11, 2013
Messages
8,627
Reaction score
1,226
Wow....what a serious mess. Not just the explosion, but the investigative (if you can even dignify the actions as that) shenanigans afterward....
I remember when this happened, and it was definitely a mess.
 

ThirstyBarbarian

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Feb 11, 2013
Messages
8,627
Reaction score
1,226
Hah, wonder how many "got" that?



For those who are wondering what the..... it's an old 1970's Japanese animated series called "Space Battleship Yamato" there, named "Starblazers" in the U.S. I liked it. It's about as fondly revered old Sci-Fi in Japan as Star Trek here or Doctor Who in the UK (and here, and.....so many other countries).



Yamato "wreck" semi-buried on the sea floor after Earth's oceans had dried up

Didn't Daddyisabar make and fly something based on this?
 

The_Lone_Beagle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Messages
716
Reaction score
3
As an example, it may not be long before so-called "carrier killer" ballistic missiles may make aircraft carriers obsolete, or at least far more vulnerable.
Carriers are already highly restricted in where they can operate, since any aircraft with an anti-ship missile or smaller ship with a missile could easily overwhelm a carrier groups defenses.

Nevertheless, they are still the prime way to get aircraft quickly to remote areas and maintain a high ops temp. As well, they really are the only way to "project power," i.e., when you want to show somebody what you are capable of, accept no imitations!

Don't want to start an argument here, but a nuclear submarine is really what controls the seas...but obviously, since you can't see it, doesn't really project power or deter people/countries.
 

dhbarr

Amateur Professional
Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
6,956
Reaction score
1,422
A carrier -group- is the Big Stick, incl. sub escorts.
 

georgegassaway

Lifetime Supporter
TRF Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
4,716
Reaction score
608
..... don't do STUPID STUFF with the big stick. :)
 
Last edited:

bobkrech

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
8,353
Reaction score
34
Here's the 1989 turret accident I was referring to earlier. 47 killed!:

USS Iowa turret explosion

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Iowa_turret_explosion
If the battleship was obsolete by the end of WW2 in 1945, why were they resurrected in the mid-80s? Because naval ships are very expensive and there is not enough money to replace them. Furthermore what do you do with the command staff?

Wow....what a serious mess. Not just the explosion, but the investigative (if you can even dignify the actions as that) shenanigans afterward....
Naval gun operations really haven't changed much in two centuries with the exception of mechanical delivery of projectiles and powder bags and machine powered ramming. Unfortunately as was demonstrated in the gun movie, the ramming was a totally manually controlled process. IIRC all it took was a simple mistake in valve position to do an unsafe high speed ram versus a safe low speed ram as shown in the movie to cause the accident.

Unfortunately the brass did a big CYA and blamed a dead seaman for intentionally causing the explosion.....Absolutely disgraceful to treat the brave and hard working enlisted seamen that way.

Carriers are already highly restricted in where they can operate, since any aircraft with an anti-ship missile or smaller ship with a missile could easily overwhelm a carrier groups defenses.

Nevertheless, they are still the prime way to get aircraft quickly to remote areas and maintain a high ops temp. As well, they really are the only way to "project power," i.e., when you want to show somebody what you are capable of, accept no imitations!

Don't want to start an argument here, but a nuclear submarine is really what controls the seas...but obviously, since you can't see it, doesn't really project power or deter people/countries.
Just as the battleships became obsolete, so will the existing carriers. For a projection of force against third world threats nothing beats a carrier force, however for the past 70 years, the navy has disregarded the nuclear option because it is totally undefendable as was proven in the early Bikini Lagoon tests, so in a conflict with a nuclear power, all side have to tread lightly..... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Crossroads

Deploying a carrier fleets is not easy. While the carrier's nuclear propulsion system does not need to be refueled, the rest of the surface fleet and the aircraft need fuel on a weekly basis. Massive resupply capacity in a highly controlled quarter million square mile area of ocean must be maintained and protected. And while a carrier is one of the most sophisticated military war machines ever made, it still is hard pressed to maintain more than 1 sortie per aircraft per day for extended periods. Additionally, it is not possible to sustain a full strength carrier force in 2 conflict regions for extended periods due to funding limitations and lack of ships.
 

Winston

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
9,020
Reaction score
1,142
If the battleship was obsolete by the end of WW2 in 1945, why were they resurrected in the mid-80s? Because naval ships are very expensive and there is not enough money to replace them. Furthermore what do you do with the command staff?
I suspect it may have been for prestige, the Navy getting greater participation in conflicts without risking the loss/capture of pilots and for use in the intimidation of coastal nations without the ability to respond militarily, at least effectively so, due to US air supremacy. There was shelling from US battleships in both Vietnam and the Middle East.
 
Top