posted on Jan, 30 2009 @ 12:44 AM
Hey, I stumbled across this forum and figured I'd add my two cents.
First of all, There was NO ultimate warship. They all had limitations.
My worst list. R-class and Scharnhorsts. R-classes were a backwards step from the QE's and were considered expendable in WWII. Next up,
Scharnhorst and her sister were doomed from the they day they were launched. Over weight and under gunned, their armour decks were actually below the
waterline. The armour scheme was a reversion to WWI designs. Their fickle machinery was unable to fit below the armoured decks and lay exposed behind
only 3" of plating. They had short legs and water splashing over the decks would often interrupt function of both forward turrets.
Now to look at the rest.
Nelson and Rodney: Dangerous and well protected, but slow and poorly laid out. In fact, Rodneys own blasts damaged her greatly while dueling with
Bismarck. Her 6" guns with high angle were an AA failure, and her 4.7" didn't live up to expectations.
KGV: Undergunned for new design. Notoriously wet forward and their Quad turrets jammed in battle. They gave up 2 main guns for more armour(hence
the dual turret), even though they had questionable watertighness.
Bismarck: Her armour was built for short range gun duels. Hard to sink with great internal subdivision, but with almost everything above the
waterline unprotected they were easy to silence in battle. Their achilles heel was the triple screw, they could not steer without her rudder. AA fit
was adequate when designed, obsolete by the the time they commisioned.
Yamato: What can be said. The biggest, thickest everything couldn't prevent the her crew from dubbing her "Hotel Yamato" The overly thick armour
actually hindered their underwater protection. A torpedo hit in 1943 allowed 3,000 tons of water in, three times as much as a torpedo hit on the
North Carolina. They had masses of AA, but unguided and proved ineffective.
Richeleu: superb ship, with a great amount of protection with a very deep belt and antitorpedo system. On paper, especially after
"Americanization", she was a fine warship. Her main drawback being all her main guns forward in two turrets.
Litorio: A fine class of seaboats, if hampered by poor craftsmanship and the Pugilese torpedo defense system. No more glaring faults than any of the
other treaty BB's
N. Carolina: Designed to fit 12-14" on 35,000tons. An escalation clause allowed for the adoption of 9-16" and some extra tonnage. The 16" was a
real performer. Low muzzle velocity and heavy shell weight combined for great long range accuracy and the best deck penetration of WWII. They had a
unsolved vibration at high speeds and armour offered NO immunity to their own 2700lb shells.
S. Dakota: Designed for 16" with better protection than N. Carolina on the same tonnage. They too had a weakness with their internal armour belt
and anti torpedo system. This was very apparent when Washington rammed Indiana. Although she steamed into port under her own power, the story could
have been much different had one more bulkhead failed. Tthey had a marginal immunity to the 2700lb super heavy.
Iowa: They too were imperfect. The long narrow bow accounted for a very wet ship forward and a large unprotected volume. The same armour scheme as
S.Dakota with more angle to the belt to increase resistance to heavy shells. They were the best AA ships afloat. The 16"/50 was longer ranged than
the 16"/45 and had better side armour penetration.
The best WWII BB is very debatable. I have to say Washington. While not perfect, she prowled the Atlantic for Tirpitz, sank Kirishima and Ayanami in
night action, and never was hit or lost a man to enemy fire while earning 13 battlestars. She sank more combat tonnage than any other US BB in WWII.
For 5 weeks she patroled Japanese waters alone, being the only US BB in the Pacific.