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American Battleships Great War Era
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emurphyscript



Joined: 30 Jul 2012
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Location: Central Coast California

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:32 pm    Post subject: American Battleships Great War Era Reply with quote

The Story of the Ships, Personnel and Operations..The role of the US Navy in the Great War, are not as well known or understood as that of Royal Navy and Kaiserlichtemarine.

I hope to add weblinks that provide everyone a proper introduction. The USN had very little actual combat engagement. Its operations and influence on the RN was very significant. Very much so in the development of the convoy system in lat 1917, for example..both in dozens of escort ships and in pushing the RN to use convoys...

Anyone having info sources I would appreciate sharing. Thanks to all.
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emurphyscript



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:48 pm    Post subject: Introductary Websites for US Dreadnoughts and The Great War Reply with quote

Here are four websites which will give good descriptions of the ships, various history including a good summation of the USN in the Great War, and a very insightful article regarding a favorite topic" The American Standard " battleship and the thinking behind it.

http://www.hazegray.org/navhist/battleships/us_dr.htm
(very useful to start)
http://www.cityofart.net/bship/us_dreads_list.html
(many related US naval history links)
http://www.worldwar1.com/dbc/battlesh.htm
(USN and the RN Grand Fleet of the Great War)
http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-071.htm
(Definitive article on "The American Standard: battleship
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emurphyscript



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:38 pm    Post subject: Consideration of the Most Advanced Battleship Design 1920s Reply with quote

Does one call them the best Treaty Era Ships...

Objective is to first describe the last of the US Standards...The Colorados...and compare them to???

Negato
Nelson

Demonstrate first USN design and tactical philosophy. Then compare to contemoraries from Japan and Great Britain. I do not think France or Italy had any proper comparable ships. The Colorado, Negato, and Nelson were all operational in 1930 in more or less their original specification as commissioned before any major reconstruction.

All carried 16 inch armament, standard displacement in the low 30 thousand ton standard range, all within 14% length of each other.

They were the best of the best until the mid 30s. The best coming out of the Great War.

The Negato is the most difficult to research as well as the IJN of the period..so help as to information source greatly appreciated.

Here is a challenge to all of us in the community...at a quoted 80,000 shaft horsepower, was the Negato the most powerful coal fired steam powered ship ever built...warship or merchantman?? of all time?

I think so.
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emurphyscript



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:53 pm    Post subject: Title for An Article" The Ultimate Battleship of 1920-1 Reply with quote

My previous post mentions the " candidates".

I have also jointed the forum of another fine sight that centers on the IJN. Combined Fleets. http://www.combinedfleet.com/

I would think many of the members here would or might want to be members there. A lot of knowledge of navies and capital ships there.

A different style and emphasis, of course.

Neither this site or forum seems to have a whole lot on the American Dreadnought as it was up to the Washington Treaty 1922. Or its 1920-1930 competitors...I am hoping to get some insights into the Negato..laid down 1917 and commissioned 1920 so it is also a contemporary of the European navies and ships that so many members of this site have brought such insight to.

Thanks for everyone's input.
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MarkD



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EM (not sure what to call you!),

I was recently accepted as a volunteer for the Wiki on this site and I'm hoping to expand the info at least for the US pre-dreadnaughts. I have started with the USS Indiana:

Ship Index

There's still a lot of data to bring together from more sources than I care to count, but I will be adding to it as time permits.

As for data on these ships, I've found a surprising amount of information in copies of the Journal of the American Society of Naval Engineers. You can find many of these for free through Google Books (though they're difficult to weed through). I have found many sea trials reports for US ships and a few articles on "foreign" vessels. I can't recall seeing anything on Nagato, but I will try to find something.

MD
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emurphyscript



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:08 pm    Post subject: Thanks for the information lead Reply with quote

You can call me EM, MD.

I am very fond of the USS Connecticut and her sisters that steamed in 1908 ..The Great White Fleet...I know you have seen this website:

http://www.greatwhitefleet.info/

As I believe that up to the 1922 Treaty, the USS Colorado may have been the overall #1 battleship..prior to say 1941...I think the Connecticut class may have been the #1 Pre-Dreadnought overall. Of course obsolete at the time of the cruise as were all the world's pre-dreadnoughts.

Thanks for your research and efforts.

EM
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emurphyscript



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:08 pm    Post subject: Americans anticipated Jutland before Jutland Reply with quote

One of the major qualities of the "American Standard" dreadnoughts was all or nothing armor. The first of the Standands, the Nevadas, were laid down nearly 3 years before the battle of Jutland. Such armor was an attempt at long range and steep angle ap shells protection. I have told been that this development was due to study of the Russo Japanese battles.

All or nothing was not adopted by any other navy until??? The Neslons commissioned in 1930? I cannot yet find any comment about the 1920 Nagato armor scheme...so I assume it followed RN practice at the time.

Any ideas, opinions, or info from the community would be appreciated.
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emurphyscript



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:08 pm    Post subject: The Japanese may have used all or nothing armor early Reply with quote

According to this website, the Negato and her sister Mutsu, also got all or nothing armor scheme. The first such use, USS Nevada, laid down 1914 and commissioned March 1916...its plans and costs etc must have been debated in the US congress...with committees doing reviews with US naval testimony and documents...BEFORE 1914. All of this available to the public..US open society and press...did the IJN study this and decide to do their own design or arrive at it independently?

This article refers to the original Nagato being coal fired...but the spec page indicates different. A mystery still.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/japan/nagato-bb.htm
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MarkD



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the Journal of the American Society of Naval Engineers, February, 1914:

"The United States Navy Department, which has during the last seven years pursued a very consistent policy in battleship design, did put its smaller guns behind armor in the Delaware, Utah, Arkansas, and New York types, but in its 1911 ships, Oklahoma and Nevada, and in the Pennsylvania ordered this year, these weapons are placed in an entirely unprotected battery while the heavy armor on belt and turrets has been considerably thickened, the result being to produce an 'all or nothing design' which is in direct contradiction to the general policy observed in all European designs, which consists in carrying thinner belt and turret armor and armoring the 6 inch batteries. On the surface, the Oklahoma's protection would appear to have been achieved at the expense of far too great a proportion of the displacement. It is curious that during the period when the United States were protecting their auxiliary weapons the British Admiralty left its entirely exposed; but simultaneously with the armoring of the 6 inch weapons of the Duke class, the Americans abandoned protection of anything entirely for except big guns and belt whilst protecting the latter on a vastly increased scale."

It appears that this was a very public debate, so it stands to reason that every nation would have listened to the debate and made their own choices.
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emurphyscript



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:27 pm    Post subject: Thank you for 1914 References on the Great Armour Debate Reply with quote

Very public as expected in our society.

I would doubt such a public debate would occur in Japan at that time. Though the Japanese would absolutely pay attention to the US debates.

On the NavWeapons Technical Board Site, in the article about American Standards, reference is made to Nagato's armor durability:

"The Nagato suffered bomb damage in the Sibuyan Sea, which casts some doubt on her protective scheme. Although her reconstruction beefed up protection over and around the magazines, the rest of her protection remained of the earlier incremental protective scheme. Two bombs struck the Nagato, one knocking out Turret #4 and the other penetrating a boiler room. "

This casts doubt as to adoption by the IJN of all or nothing...or at least it was very differently applied in their case relative to the Amercian Standards.

On the other hand...was the original Nagato 100% coal fired...or a mix?

This investigation is certainly proving interesting.

For one thing, how the Americans went their own way so clearly with the Standards. Armor, "raft" buoyancy protected citadel design, other features...let us not forget turbo electric. Some early carriers got that one too, I understand.

Anyone find British study or response to the US All or Nothing during the 19 teens? The Nelsons did finally get it...but that was 1930.

Thanks again.
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MarkD



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This points out just how public this information was in the US. This is a short article from the Scientific American, which was reprinted in the ASNE Journal in February, 1912:

(Sorry for the long post, but it is interesting in the amount of information available and in the bias of the writer)


The Navy has every reason to be pleased with the design of our latest battleships, the Nevada and Oklahoma, contracts for the construction of which have recently been let to the Fore River and the New York shipbuilding companies. These ships represent, to a greater degree than any of their predecessors, the united experience and thought of the various branches of the naval service and the officers of both line and staff unite in the belief that these two ships are the most powerful vessels afloat or under construction today. The armor plan is particularly effective and decidedly original and in a comparison with previous vessels it will be noted that there are some very radical departures from existing practice.

The Nevada and Oklahoma are 500 tons larger than their immediate predecessors the New York and Texas. The principal dimensions are Length over all 583 feet beam 95 feet 2 5/8 inches mean draught 28 feet 6 inches. On this draught the displacement will be 27,500 tons. The Nevada will be driven by Curtis turbines and the Oklahoma by reciprocating engines. The boilers in both ships will be fired exclusively with oil and they will carry no coal. The estimated speed is 20 1/2 knots.
The armament will consist of ten 14 inch guns carried in four turrets disposed as follows; On the forecastle deck will be first a three gun turret then a two gun turret On the quarter deck will be a two gun turret and astern of that a three gun turret. This arrangement will give a concentration of fire superior to that obtainable from the ten 14 inch guns of the New York and Texas which will be mounted in five two gun turrets.

The new 14 inch 45 caliber gun is a far more powerful weapon than the 45 caliber 12 inch gun mounted on the Delaware and North Dakota. The muzzle energy of the 12 inch piece is about 40,000 foot tons whereas that of the 14 inch piece is about 66,000 foot tons. Moreover its shell which weighs 1,400 pounds as compared with the 870 pound weight of the 12 inch carries a much larger bursting charge of high explosive and therefore will be proportionately more destructive.

The principal interest of the new ships lies in their great defensive power. Not only will they carry a much greater weight of armor than has been carried or is to be carried by any ship built or building, but the armor will be disposed to greater advantage. The chief duty of a warship is to maintain her stability and her mobility and at all times present a completely protected emplacement for her guns. In other, words she must not only carry her guns into the fight but she must nurse them through all its savage hammering so effectually that they shall be able to pour shell into the enemy until they have silenced or sent him to the bottom.

So let us see how these conditions have been met in our new ships. Taking the North Dakota for instance as a basis of comparison, we find that the armor protection has been entirely removed from the secondary battery of 5 inch guns – a wise step which might well have been taken several years ago For it is a fact that the 5, 6 ,or 7 inches of armor with which the secondary batteries of warships of today are protected will simply serve as a shell burster, delaying the high explosive 14 inch shells long enough to cause the little firing hammer within the shells to leap forward and detonate the high explosive, the burst taking place after the shell has passed through the armor and is well within the body of the ship. So the torpedo defense guns will have nothing in front of them except the ordinary 4 inch or 5 inch plating of the ship's side which may very well allow the shells to pass through without bursting among the gun crews crowded about the guns.

The most important armor on a ship is undoubtedly the belt armor upon the hull itself, for to this is committed the duty of keeping the ship afloat and preventing projectiles from striking a vital blow in the magazine boiler rooms or engine rooms. In the new ships the belt will be 17 1/2 feet in width and at mean draught it will extend from 9 feet above to 8 feet 6 inches below the water. It will have the unprecedented thickness of 13 1/2 inches which it will maintain from its upper edge down to within a few feet of its bottom where it will begin to taper to a minimum width at the bottom of 8 inches. Very rarely if ever will the bottom edge of this deep belt be rolled out of water exposing the thin plating below. This belt will extend for over 400 feet along each side of the ship It will terminate well forward of No 1 barbette where it will be carried with the same depth and thickness entirely across the ship. At its after end the belt armor will be carried at its full depth of 17 feet to a point about 30 feet aft of No 4 barbette Here there will be a jog the depth of the belt decreasing from 17 1/2 feet to 8 ½ feet at which depth it will be continued aft for another 60 feet. Transverse bulkheads of the same thickness as the belt will here be carried across the ship.

An important feature of the side armor is the manner in which the plating will be laid on the ship. Hitherto the armor has been placed horizontally in two strips with a continuous horizontal joint located slightly above the water line between the upper and lower strip. This had the disadvantage that it presented a continuous line of cleavage near the water line and therefore, at a most vulnerable point. In the new ships, the armor plates are laid vertically, the joints being vertical and the plating extending the whole depth of the belt without any continuous joint at the water line. This is a most important improvement which will add greatly to the protective power of the side armor. Associated with the heavy belt in the work of protecting the ship's stability are two protective decks; a lower deck 1 1/2 inches thick on the flat which will slope along the sides to a junction with the bottom of the armor plate 8 1/2 feet below the water line. The slopes of this deck are 2 inches in thickness. On the deck above the gun deck is an upper protective deck 3 inches in thickness. These two decks provide an excellent protection against plunging fire and also against fragments of shells which might be exploded in passing through the thin ship's plating in the wake of the gun deck.

Equally massive is the armor protection for the main gun positions The barbette armor extends with a thickness of 13 inches from the turret down to the upper protective deck and from the upper to the lower protective deck the thickness is reduced to 4 ½ inches – this because of the 13 inch protection afforded by the side armor. The turret armor is equally massive. The port plate is 16 inches on the two gun turrets and 18 inches on the three gun turrets and the side and rear armor is 10 and 9 inches in thickness while the roof carries 5 inches of armor.

The battle of the Sea of Japan showed how important it is to thoroughly protect the positions from which the fighting of the ship is controlled and particular attention has been given to this in our new design. The conning tower and the signal station back of it each carry no less than 16 inches of armor and to protect the communications telegraph and telephone, wires, voice tubes, etc., the section upon which conning tower and signal station are supported has walls of 16 inch armor which are carried down to the protective decks.

It will be noticed that the new ships have but one smokestack and thereby hangs a tale. The new ships as already stated will burn fuel oil exclusively. This has enabled the designer to dispense entirely with coal bunkers, the oil being carried chiefly in the double bottom of the ship. The omission of bunkers sets free a large amount of space below decks which has enabled the designer to concentrate all of the six boiler compartments at the center of the ship where they occupy only 65 feet of her length. Hence it was possible to use a single smokestack placed immediately above the boiler rooms and hence again, and this is the important point, it was found possible to place around the whole of the uptakes a massive redoubt of inclined armor with walls everywhere 13 inches in thickness. This redoubt extends from the upper protective deck to the spar deck and that portion of the smokestack and uptakes which is within the structure of the ship will be completely protected against perforation. The importance of this construction will be appreciated when we bear in mind that, in the Japanese war, it was the perforation of the uptakes which contributed largely to the collapse of the Russian ships. The poisonous gases escaping between decks were drawn down and disseminated throughout the ship frequently driving the crew from their quarters.

From the above description it will be evident that in the Nevada and Oklahoma, the United States Navy will possess two fighting ships which will be the equal if not superior to any ships in their gun power and which will be greatly superior in their power of endurance in a long drawn out fight. If Congress will only be wise enough to add year by year the two battleships which represent the minimum requirement of our Navy, we shall be in a position to maintain our standing among the navies of the world. If less than two battleships a year be authorized, our Navy will steadily retrograde – “Scientific American.”

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emurphyscript



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:38 pm    Post subject: Again many thanks Mark D The USN not so backward afterall Reply with quote

The USN had no major engagements with the enemy in the Great War.

So its achievements are not widely know. Your quotes from sources of 1910 onward has told us what was not realized.

In many ways the Yankees were developing the overall best ships...if you used them to homogenous American battle line tactics.

Results of gunnery of the US ships attached to the Grand RN Fleet in 1917 indicated deficiencies in US gunnery. Not the guns so much as the crew training and fire control co-ordination. Problems of spread of shot were investigated...the US crews greatly improved though. The RN had a year and one half to correct and improve gunnery training after the problems of Jutland...so they were far ahead of the USN at the time. But not for long.

Any other source quotes are greatly appreciated.

This all makes me want to help in assisting the Dreadnought project in boosting its USN material. Mark D, you just have.

Thanks so much.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could not locate much about the Nagato and Mutsu, but the Japanese were notoriously secretive about their fleet designs.

I did find the following in the ASNE Journal from 1920. It is interesting to note that the author in no way underestimates Japanese shipbuilding capabilities. The very last paragraph sounds particularly ominous, if not prophetic!


SHIPBUILDING IN JAPAN

The new Japanese battleship Mutsu, which was laid down in 1918 at the Yokosuka Imperial dockyard, was successfully launched on the 31st of May. This vessel is described as the largest in the Japanese Navy from which it would appear that her sister ship the Nagato, being built in dry dock at the Kure dockyard since August 1917, has not yet been floated out. The type they represent is undoubtedly a most formidable one and, to those who are out of touch with current naval progress, it may come as a surprise to learn that the Mutsu and Nagato are more powerfully armed than any ship in the British Navy and larger than any warship now afloat, with the sole exception of HMS Hood. Their chief dimensions are Length 661 feet, beam 95 feet, draught 30 feet, displacement 33,800 tons. Geared turbines are to be installed in both ships from which a speed of a 23 ½ knots is anticipated. The main armament will consist of eight 16 inch guns. The Japanese ships therefore are slightly larger and considerably faster than their American contemporaries of the Maryland class, the nameship of which was launched on March 20th, but the main armament is the same in caliber and number of guns. Besides the Nagato and Mutsu, six further capital ships are under construction or about to be laid down in Japan, a number that will bring the establishment up to seventeen Dreadnoughts or, in popular parlance, super Dreadnoughts, for all save one of the seventeen are armed with guns exceeding 12 inches in caliber.

The exact position of the Japanese naval programme at the present moment is somewhat obscure. According to a Government measure introduced late in 1917, a sum of £30,054,800 spread over a period of six years was to be spent on the construction of two battle cruisers, three light cruisers, twenty seven destroyers, and forty eight submarines. Of this amount £2,544,000 were to be disbursed in 1918, £4,771,766 in 1919, £5,412,381 in the current year, £819,635 in 1921, £7,122,673 in 1922, and the balance in 1923. Apparently however the programme was subsequently modified to include a larger proportion of capital ships. The ultimate aim of the Japanese Government, as explained at the time, is to realize the so called eight eight system; that is to say squadrons each consisting of eight battleships and eight battle cruisers and to create, in time at least, three squadrons of this composition. But irrespective of financial considerations, there are factors which augur none too well for the attainment of this goal within the measurable future. Since the close of the war, shipbuilding in Japan has been seriously hampered by the difficulty of obtaining steel. She is dependent primarily on the United States and Great Britain for her supplies of this material and within the past two years her imports from both countries have fallen off considerably owing, on the one hand, to transport difficulties in the States and, on the other, to the fact that the unfavorable exchange situation makes it more profitable for British manufacturers to dispose of their steel in the European markets. So serious has the shortage become that this year's output of tonnage in Japan is expected to be less than 600,000 tons instead of the 800,000 tons forecast in January. This scarcity of steel is probably reacting on the naval programme and may account in part for the delay in floating out the Nagato. When the war boom in shipbuilding was at its crest, new yards sprang up in Japan with mushroom-like rapidity. Just before the Armistice no less than seventy shipyards were at work in the Osaka district alone, a number that has lately fallen to twenty. The home steel supply was gravely prejudiced at the beginning of the year by an act of sabotage perpetrated at the Yawata works, the only concern in Japan which is capable of producing large quantities of steel. So extensive was the damage that the works had to be closed down for several months. Another factor tending to retard the output of tonnage naval as well as mercantile is the higher rate of wages demanded by the shipyard workers. Four years ago the average daily wage of a Japanese shipwright was about a yen (2s). The present day average is doubtful but it is certainly much higher and fresh claims have lately been put forward on behalf of the workers. Thus the immense advantage which cheap labor gave to Japanese shipbuilders over their rivals in the Occident is gradually disappearing.

So far as technical efficiency is concerned, Japan unquestionably stands in the front rank as a shipbuilding nation. During the period of intensive construction brought about by the depredations of German submarines, many new records for quick building were made in the United States, and a yard at Ecorse Detroit River claimed to have licked creation by delivering the SS Crawl Keys of 2,300 tons gross twenty nine days after the keel had been laid, This achievement, creditable as it was, has however been surpassed by the Kawasaki dockyard at Kobe in the case of the steamer Raifuku Maru of 5,800 tons gross. The keel of that vessel was laid on October 7th, 1918, she was launched on October 30th, and her official trials were successfully completed on November 5th. In her case therefore the building period also covered twenty nine days, but she was larger than the American vessel by 3,500 tons – a difference that makes the record much more noteworthy. In speed of naval construction, the Japanese yards are equally well to the fore. The 31,300 ton battleship Ise, built by the Kawasaki Company, was completed in thirty one months. Twelve 700 ton torpedo boat destroyers ordered in Japan by the French Government at the beginning of 1917 were all in service by the following August, some of them having been built so quickly that the average period for the twelve worked out at five months. In the light of these performances, the assertion of a leading Japanese yard that provided the necessary material was forthcoming, they would be prepared to deliver a battleship of the largest dimensions within twenty months from the laying of the keel, a light cruiser within eleven months, and a large destroyer within five months, does not appear to be exaggerated.

The rise and development of modern shipbuilding in Japan furnishes one of the most striking instances of the national adaptability. The squadrons which carried the Japanese flag to victory at the Yalu in 1894 and at Tsushima in 1905 had been constructed almost entirely in foreign shipyards. It was not until 1903 that the first large armored warship was laid down in a Japanese yard, but since that date more than a score of fine battleships and cruisers have been built and completely equipped by the national industry and at the present moment, as we have seen, battleships of unprecedented size and power are approaching completion in Japan. The growth of the late Imperial German Navy during the twenty years preceding the war was regarded as phenomenal, but considering the great difference in wealth and productive facilities of Germany and Japan respectively, the latter's achievement in the same sphere of endeavor is even more astounding – “The Engineer.”

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:46 pm    Post subject: This latest article further establishes Japanese capability Reply with quote

High technical and construction capability...and early.

No wonder she was able to have excellent planes and carriers by the 30s.

I have been told about a naval researcher and historian, Sigfried Breyer...he supposedly had extensive data on early Japanese ships like the Nagato..but other people question his authenticity..

Well producing these articles from the time period of the teens and twenties certainly gives us a kind of time machine.

Here is something to think about...how well did the western press...USA, Britain, etc., know about Japanese carriers and their aircraft in the 30s.??.the ships and planes that attacked Pearl Harbor and afterward carried out the Midway operation did not just" pop" out of thin air. How well did the West appreciate Japanese naval airpower and deployment in the late 30s..perhaps 1940.

They did a lot of hull conversions to carriers after the Washington Treaty..outside of the 2 Yamatos being designed and laid down in the late 30s, they were not doing the level of battleship production as the US was doing after the treaty..

It is great to read these period articles...Thanks again
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:41 pm    Post subject: Interesting Additional Factor in Assessing Battleships WW1 Reply with quote

On another fine website's forum, NavWeapons....there was a detailed discussion of projectile effectiveness.

Now I thought we good old USA guys had the best ones from 14 inches on..but this may seem to be on the trail to the truth..

Before the mid 1920s, the USN did not use timed fuses and did not have separate armor piercing caps...the 16 inch guns of the final US Standards...the Nevadas..had great range...tightest of all fall of shot groupings...etc..but the shells would shatter at ranges over 22 to 24,000 yards...against KC armor...

Yes, US guns...even the 14s...can hit the enemy at 30,000 yards plus...but the shells cannot really penetrate unless the range is 20,000 yards or less..

S0...anyone have some resource data about WW1 shell performance I can look at???

I have been made to understand that by the late 20s this was corrected by the USN...they were very aware of it and the shot spread problems of some of the 14s..it is no wonder they developed uprated versions of the 14s...retrofitted them into the Standards...and in the late 30s developed the monster 2700 pound super heavy AP shell...

The baddest gun and the baddest ammo by 1941...but in 1918 they were not there yet...

So everyone, who was? Who do you think had the baddest gun and baddest ammo of 1918...or by 1922 at the time of the Treaty?

I am a neophyte in ballistics...so bear with my ignorance.

Thanks to all
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