a reply to: mash3d
The thing about Battleships is: They never really had their chance to shine like they could of.
The whole idea behind a battleship is to have a platform that is afloat that can move a large variety of guns (from small to huge) all over the world,
and have some of those guns quite big that can shoot quite far.
The first of the "modern day" battleships did their first (and only) engagement against each other in the Battle of Jutland between Great Britain and
Germany during World War one. That battle pretty much ended in a draw, though both sides claim victory.
As in most cases: being at war and doing battle shows you the issues and problems you have, and what to fix. This battle did just that.
The English ships were blowing up.....literally, blowing themselves to nothing. This was because they were carrying much more ammo and powder than
they had room for, and the magazines were quite vulnerable. German ships didn't carry that much ammo as their gunnery was much more accurate....and
because they were hitting the English battleship's powder magazines (boom). They lost 151 ships compared to the Germans 99 that they lost.
But: the Royal Navy was able to contain the German ships which ended up pulling back.
So you can see why both sides sort of claimed victory. England succeeded in keep the German ships from breaking out.....but the Germans sunk a hell of
a lot more ships.
From that point on, there was a lot of improvements of the ships and their weapon systems from the lessons learned from that battle.
BUT! There was this new thing......airplanes......which were getting bigger, faster and could carry large bombs. Better yet: you could put them on a
flat top ship and launch them while at sea.
One of the weakest points of a battleship is the deck. It's not armored like the hull. A few well placed bombs, and that's all for the battleship.
So by the time WW2 came about, there had been a LOT of improvements made to battleships compared to the ones from WW1. But....air power showed that
not only was it able to catch up, but could pass what the battleship had to offer.
Hell, a old biplane carrying a single bomb is what doomed the Bizmark. It didn't sink it of course....but it damaged the rudder so they could only
steer the ship in circles......until the rest of the royal navy caught up with her.
But: you are right. Prestige. That was the thing. And it was a very, very big thing back then.
Like here in the US now....people love their football teams. Their basketball teams, etc. Back then, people loved their huge ships. The bigger, the
better. The bigger the guns it carried, the better. Each ship gave that country a sense of national pride. Even when the ships became out dated.
Even in today's world with all our missiles, bombers, etc. Ask anyone to picture a Naval Warship, and the most often first image that comes to mind is
a big ship bristling with big guns.
Never mind how outdated those guns are compared to cruise missiles and fighter jets........it's that huge floating platform with big guns that people
I've sometimes wonder what naval battles of WW2 would have been like if for some reason air power had not advanced so fast.