While the Iowa class were certainly great ships, they were never seriously tested in battle against another battleship. The bismark class had high
profile but short lives.
In terms of doing what a battleship was designed to do, that is dishing out punnishment and taking it there is nothing that beats the record of the Q.
Elizabeth class battleships, particularly HMS Warspite.
taken from wikipedia:
"She survived Jutland, taking heavy damage and saving the Warrior by taking the hits instead.
In April 1940, Warspite served in the Norwegian Campaign, providing essential battleship support during the Second Battle of Narvik, when Warspite and
numerous British destroyers attacked eight German destroyers trapped in Ofotfjord, near the port of Narvik.
Warspite's Fairey Swordfish, a bi-plane fragile in appearance, attacked and sunk the German U-boat U-64, to become the first aircraft to sink a
U-boat in World War II. One heavily damaged German ship, the Erich Koellner, was destroyed by broadsides from Warspite. Warspite targeted the Diether
von Roeder and Erich Giese, the former was scuttled by the ship's crew, while the Erich Giese was destroyed by Warspite and destroyers. The objective
of eliminating all eight German destroyers, who were running out of both fuel and ammunition, was achieved with minimal loss.
During the summer of 1940, Warspite was transferred to the Mediterranean theatre and fought in several engagements. The most important of these were
the important strategic victory at the Battle of Cape Matapan in which three Italian heavy cruisers and two destroyers were sunk in a night action,
and the Battle of Calabria. Her sister ships were all heavily damaged during their time in the Mediterranean. HMS Barham was sunk and Valiant and
Queen Elizabeth both spent time resting on the bottom of Alexandria harbour after their hulls were holed in an attack by Italian frogmen. Warspite
stayed afloat but was damaged several times.
During the Battle of Calabria she was credited with achieving the longest range gunnery hit from a moving ship to a moving target in history. This was
a hit on the Giulio Cesare at a range of approximately 26,000 yards. Warspite also took part in the naval portion of the Battle of Crete, where she
was badly damaged by German bombers.
In June 1943, Warspite joined Force H, based in Gibraltar, and took part in Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily, in July, along with the
battleships Nelson, Rodney and Valiant, and the carriers Formidable and Illustrious. Warspite began her bomdardment of Sicily on July 17, when she
poured heavy fire onto German positions at Catania.
Between 8 September and 9 September, Force H, covering the landings at Salerno, came under fierce German air-attack, but shot down many German planes.
On 10 September, Warspite, who had battled the Italian Fleet during her time in the Mediterranean in 1940-41, led them, now surrendered to the Allies,
into internment at Malta.
Warspite, now commanded by her one time midshipman Herbert Annesley Packer was back in action on 15 September, at Salerno. The American sector was in
a precarious situation after the Germans had counter-attacked, and when Warspite and Valiant arrived at Salerno they commenced a bombardment of German
positions that effectively saved the Allied forces. However disaster soon struck Warspite, for on 16 September she was attacked by a squadron of
German aircraft, armed with an early guided missile, the Fritz X (FX-1400). She was hit three times, one of them striking near her funnel, ripping
through her decks and causing immense damage, making a large hole in the bottom of her hull, and crippling much of Warspite as it did so. Casualties
were minor; 9 killed and 14 wounded.
On 6 June 1944, Warspite took part in the Normandy Landings as part of the Eastern Task Force, firing on German positions to cover the landing at
Sword Beach(some say the first to open fire on the beaches, though this is disputed) . She subsequently helped support the Americans on their beaches.
"X" turret, badly damaged by the FX 1400 attack, remained inoperative. She also helped support Gold Beach a few days later. Her guns worn out, she
was soon sent to Rosyth to be regunned. On the way, she set off a magnetic mine, causing heavy damage, but made it to Rosyth safely. She received only
partial repairs, enough to get her back into action for bombardment duties.
After repairs, she bombarded Brest, Le Havre and Walcheren, the latter of which was an assault on that island which began on 1 November, with Warspite
providing support for the troops, in what was to be the last time she fired her guns. Largely inactive since Walcheren, Warspite was placed in
Category C Reserve on 1 February 1945. Following the end of the war, there were pleas to retain Warspite as a museum ship like Lord Nelson's HMS
Victory, but they were ignored and the ship was sold for scrap in 1947.
She had survived Jutland, the many horrors of the Second World War, and post-World War I RN cuts, and in 1947 Warspite would achieve one more victory
when she escaped the indignity of the breakers' yard. After already experiencing trouble on the journey to the breakers due to a storm, she broke
free of her anchor, subsequently running hard aground in Prussia Cove. It was a defiant end to her career, and Warspite had to be scrapped in situ
over the next few years. The ship that 'refused to die', finally met her lamentable end, when breaking work was completed in 1950. Warspite had
gained the affections of some of the most famous figures in the UK, including some of the most revered Royal Navy commanders in its history, Sir
Andrew Cunningham in particular, and became a legend, her name becoming synonymous with majesty and courage. She was arguably the greatest battleship
the Royal Navy ever possessed."
NOW THAT IS HOW A BATTLESHIP IS MENT TO SERVE!!!!!!!!
[edit on 21-6-2007 by paperplane_uk]