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Old Nov 6, 2013, 09:23 PM   #26
G51989
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Originally Posted by quagmire View Post
Her own guns could knock out the radar system that helped aim the guns. Shows how A) Primitive the tech was back then B) How powerful those guns were. .
Yamatos gun's may have been good but the projectiles she fired were questionable, the Iowa's 16 inch guns had similar range and penetrating power, while being able to fire faster, without knocking out its own radar

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No Montana class BB keel was laid down. Montana and Ohio were reordered as Illinois and Kentucky which were both supposed to be Iowa classes. Illinois and Kentucky were never finished. Though there were several discussions on converting the hull of Kentucky to a BBG( guided missile battleship) or a carrier( ala the Lexington's), but that never materialized. Her bow was used to repair Wisconsin. She was ultimately scrapped as well.
D'oh! My bad, its been forever since I researched these things. I forgot about the Abandoned Iowas.

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The Navy currently lacks shore bombardment capabilities. Something cruise missiles are not practical to do. And the 5" guns on modern ships just don't pack a big enough punch. Thus a purpose for those 16" guns. But, the railgun is supposedly going to be able to pack a similar punch.
Those 16 inch shells might pack a punch, but the operating cost of a BB is FAR to high, in the 1980s, Iowas used nearly a million dollars a week, just in fuel, added to a HUGE crew and insane maintenance cost, virtually every part had to re machined when it failed as they were not produced anymore.

The operating costs of BBs are just to high, the 16 inch guns are useless after a dozen miles inland, and can't do anything a DDG can't do.

Sure, a T-Hawk might cost a million dollars a shot, but operating a DDG is MUCH cheaper than a BB.

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understand that the Zumwalt is a whole new ballgame. Doesn't excuse the fact it has seen constant delays and cost overruns so much so that it's close to the price tag of a capital ship.
Yes, you'll find the same overruns in early nuclear submarines, the Enterprise, and the Seawolf. I think the Enterprise was something like 2 and a half times its original budget? But it ended up being the platform for all Supercarriers.

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Also hence the curiosity of the cost of a modern BB...... Not saying we should start rebuilding BB's. Just curious as how much a modern one would cost. It probably wouldn't need to be as heavily armored as the Iowa's and below due to as you mentioned, there hasn't been a need for ship vs ship combat. It would serve as a naval artillery platform.
It would cost tons of money to build a 21st century BB with little to no reason imo, we already have ships capable of bombardment. They're called DDGs, Guided Missile Submarines, and Aircraft carriers with air wings.
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Old Nov 6, 2013, 09:25 PM   #27
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Old Nov 6, 2013, 09:36 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by G51989 View Post
Yamatos gun's may have been good but the projectiles she fired were questionable, the Iowa's 16 inch guns had similar range and penetrating power, while being able to fire faster, without knocking out its own radar
Actually, I was referring to the Iowa's. I don't believe the Yamato class had radar controlled guns.


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Those 16 inch shells might pack a punch, but the operating cost of a BB is FAR to high, in the 1980s, Iowas used nearly a million dollars a week, just in fuel, added to a HUGE crew and insane maintenance cost, virtually every part had to re machined when it failed as they were not produced anymore.
I think a modern BB would be nuclear powered, automated, etc. It took about 2000 crew members to operate an Iowa. A Nimitz requires 5000( ~4500 for a Ford). For a capital ship, BB's were easy to operate. I'm not advocating recommissioning the Iowa's. I know at 70 years old, they are way too old be operated economically.

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Sure, a T-Hawk might cost a million dollars a shot, but operating a DDG is MUCH cheaper than a BB.
Like I said, cruise missiles are not very effective for shore bombardment missions. But, like I said this is moot as the railgun is supposed to pack a similar punch as the 16" shell.

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Yes, you'll find the same overruns in early nuclear submarines, the Enterprise, and the Seawolf. I think the Enterprise was something like 2 and a half times its original budget? But it ended up being the platform for all Supercarriers.
We'll see. The biggest issue I have with it is where is the oversight from our government? Why isn't Congress demanding Lockhead Martin, Boeing, etc and who ever design the Zumwalt go and explain to them why the hell these ships, planes, etc that were supposed to cost this much ended up costing a boatload more. Where is the accountability?

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It would cost tons of money to build a 21st century BB with little to no reason imo, we already have ships capable of bombardment. They're called DDGs, Guided Missile Submarines, and Aircraft carriers with air wings.
And only carrier air wings will be able to convince me that they could handle shore bombardment operations. Cruise missiles are way too expensive to use for that.

As a side note..... Those 16" guns are impressive to see and hear fire.

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Old Nov 7, 2013, 02:33 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by quagmire View Post
Actually, I was referring to the Iowa's. I don't believe the Yamato class had radar controlled guns.
Ah.

The Yamatos had pretty good Surface radar, but it was not used for fire control, other than ranging. Still better than nothing.

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I think a modern BB would be nuclear powered, automated, etc. It took about 2000 crew members to operate an Iowa. A Nimitz requires 5000( ~4500 for a Ford). For a capital ship, BB's were easy to operate. I'm not advocating recommissioning the Iowa's. I know at 70 years old, they are way too old be operated economically.
A modern BB wouldn't make very much sense. As ship to ship close up ass beatings don't happen anymore. And it would become useless after your troops move a few dozen miles inland, tho the BAE rail guns could fix that.

But, instead of spending all that money on a big expensive target, why not just put the railguns on the next generation of DDGs? Which is whats gonna happen anyway.

Also the new Advanced gun system on the Zumwalt has a range of about 60 miles.

A Nimitz and a Ford need huge crew members not so much for the ship itself, those people are needed for the fact that they are basically carting around a small air force.

Of course we couldn't bring the Iowas back, the vast majority of people who actually know how to effectively operate that ship and its basic weapon systems are all dad, parts and ammunition are no longer made either. Also, I don't think the USN uses the same grade of Bulk oil anymore as fuel, as all the carriers are nuclear, and everything else is gas turbines. So you couldn't support one.

The closet thing to a modern battleship would be these bad boys



Those were the main reason the Iowas were brought back into service, little more than a penis waving contest.

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Like I said, cruise missiles are not very effective for shore bombardment missions. But, like I said this is moot as the railgun is supposed to pack a similar punch as the 16" shell.
Cruise missiles seem to prove very effective against lost of targets, I beleive the main reason they stopping being used in Both Iraq wars was because after a week or so they just ran out of targets. Missiles can also be fired at a much longer range. As badass as those old 16 inch guns are, they aren't nearly as accurate.

The 16 is badass, but it's not even in the same league as the railgun. The Railgun will be able to fire 6 different types of ammunition at roughly twice the speed of the 16inch gun, as well as have a range of 220NM.

Even the upcoming generation of 5/54s will have an effective range of 20 miles with a couple new types of shells.

I don't see a reason you would want the 16 inch guns for anything, if a 5/54 can't get through it, call in an airstrike.

Plus, if i was a solider on the ground, I do NOT want to be backed up by a 70 year old fire control system blindly throwing 9 gigantic shells my way to hit a small target. The 5/54 can pretty much almost put a shell through someones front door, its that accurate.

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And only carrier air wings will be able to convince me that they could handle shore bombardment operations. Cruise missiles are way too expensive to use for that.
Carrier wings even did a great job of shore bombardment in WW2. BBs were useful for shore bombardment, but the kind of wars like WW2 or Korea simply don't exist anymore. And more than likely won't again.

Yes, cruise missiles are expensive. But so would be spending 8 billion dollars on a new age battleship with bigass guns, or reactivating the 70 year old releics and blowing half a billion dollars yearly in fuel plus a 2000 man crew.

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As a side note..... Those 16" guns are impressive to see and hear fire.
While I'm to young to have seen them fired, I have visted a couple BBs, very impressive ships. But they are from another time and were built for a different kind of warfare. I would rather build 4-5 DDGs and a submarine for the cost of 1 new age battleship

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We'll see. The biggest issue I have with it is where is the oversight from our government? Why isn't Congress demanding Lockhead Martin, Boeing, etc and who ever design the Zumwalt go and explain to them why the hell these ships, planes, etc that were supposed to cost this much ended up costing a boatload more. Where is the accountability?
Well, back in the day, it ended up being breaking new ground. Today, the defense industry does a lot of lobbying, so congress normally looks the other way.

The other reason the Zumwalt is so expensive, is that only 3 will be built. Down from 33, so the R and D costs must be paid for in 3 ships. Through I expect more ships to be built if the first 3 perform.

And there is an amount of risk going forward with all new stuff as well, it is nice that the US does have the best surface ships.

The only Navy that has ships that are of compatible quality and NOT stuffed with American weapon systems and defense systems ( Hello Japanese and England! ), would probably be the Marine Nationale, what I have seen of French ships is pretty impressive.

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Old Nov 7, 2013, 09:27 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by G51989 View Post


A modern BB wouldn't make very much sense. As ship to ship close up ass beatings don't happen anymore. And it would become useless after your troops move a few dozen miles inland, tho the BAE rail guns could fix that.

But, instead of spending all that money on a big expensive target, why not just put the railguns on the next generation of DDGs? Which is whats gonna happen anyway.

Also the new Advanced gun system on the Zumwalt has a range of about 60 miles.
I know that. Like I have been saying, a BB today would simply be a naval artillery platform. That was why they were reactivated for Korea and Vietnam.


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Of course we couldn't bring the Iowas back, the vast majority of people who actually know how to effectively operate that ship and its basic weapon systems are all dad, parts and ammunition are no longer made either. Also, I don't think the USN uses the same grade of Bulk oil anymore as fuel, as all the carriers are nuclear, and everything else is gas turbines. So you couldn't support one.
The Iowa's were converted to burn modern fuel during the 1980's refit. Just saying.


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Cruise missiles seem to prove very effective against lost of targets, I beleive the main reason they stopping being used in Both Iraq wars was because after a week or so they just ran out of targets. Missiles can also be fired at a much longer range. As badass as those old 16 inch guns are, they aren't nearly as accurate.
I'm not saying they aren't effective in the destruction sense. I'm saying it isn't cost effective when naval guns could do the job at a cheaper price.


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I don't see a reason you would want the 16 inch guns for anything, if a 5/54 can't get through it, call in an airstrike.
If an air strike could solve everything,the Army wouldn't have artillery guns either..... So yeah those 16" guns would be very good artillery guns for the Navy.
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Old Nov 7, 2013, 09:45 AM   #31
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They had the Forrestal docked outside of Newport for many years. I used to be able to take my boat for an up close look pre-9/11.

In the spring of 2002,however, I went into the bay where she was docked and out of nowhere there were 2 low-profile, unmarked boats with some kind but forceful MPs who told me to leave the area and never return.
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Old Nov 7, 2013, 04:29 PM   #32
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The Zumwalt has been in development well before 2000
I had the date wrong. Closer to the late 70's early 80's. O'Keef left the Barbey right after I did in 75'. He went to some undisclosed location as did I.

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Old Nov 7, 2013, 11:55 PM   #33
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I know that. Like I have been saying, a BB today would simply be a naval artillery platform. That was why they were reactivated for Korea and Vietnam.
I believe they were reactivated due to the fact that we had nothing better at the time to bombard coastal positions.

The issue with those guns is they have such a limited range, so unless your fighting a huge war with a coastal country, they'll be useless after a couple of days as your soldiers advance past 20 miles.

And if your looking for an artillery platform, we already have those under development, the Zumwalt with railguns will provide far more firepower.

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The Iowa's were converted to burn modern fuel during the 1980's refit. Just saying.
Ah, I didn't know that, I always assumed they just tanked off the same tankers that the old school carriers used.

Tho that could be an issue if we ever bought Back the Iowa's. How do you support them? They use a pretty massive amount of fuel.

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I'm not saying they aren't effective in the destruction sense. I'm saying it isn't cost effective when naval guns could do the job at a cheaper price.
Well, a plane jane as we'll call them Tomahawk runs about 600,000 dollars, with the newer and more fancy ones running between 1.0-1.2 million dollars.

Is that expensive? Sure!

However, there are two ways to bring back the Battleship is one were inclined.

1: You can bring back the Iowa's, yank them into dry dock, and probably spend billions of dollars rebuilding and modernizing them. Then hopefully finding some people who aren't dead to train a huge crew, after that you spend a million dollars a week filling the thing up with gas, plus huge logistics costs, you'll need a battlegroup with submarines to protect the thing because a modren torpedo would send that thing to the bottom pretty quick. Start making 16' powder, ammo, and barrels again. Make a ton of spare parts for the 4 of them, and all that.

You could probably buy a couple thousand cruise missiles for all that cost. So that isn't the cost effective way to do things. The missles are.

Plus, how many targets are there going to be on the coast? Added to the fact that a BB would need to get REALLY close to the shore to use its 16 inch guns, and be vunreable to running around, and getting sunk by a submarine or hit by surface to sea ASMs.

2: We build an all new battleship class, complete with heavy armor, nuclear power, bigass guns, and all the trimmings. Looking at more billions.

So that is my logic, sure shells might be cheaper, but getting those guns to where they need to go is a FAR more expensive option.

I think that was one of the reasons besides the accident on the Iowa that the Navy decided to call it quits with them, they simply were not cost effective. Esp when your burning 1-2 missiles a week just in fuel ( The Iowas were not the most efficient ships ever built. damn fast tho )

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If an air strike could solve everything,the Army wouldn't have artillery guns either..... So yeah those 16" guns would be very good artillery guns for the Navy.
Air Strikes are typically used to knock out large targets before the ground forces get in, artillery is typically used to engage targets to well hidden for an air strike, or in areas were flying a plane in can be to risky.

The 16 inch gun is cool, but after a couple of days and your land troops are beyond the range of those guns, what use it?
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Old Nov 8, 2013, 12:28 AM   #34
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And if your looking for an artillery platform, we already have those under development, the Zumwalt with railguns will provide far more firepower.
I said that earlier( and what got us started on this BB debate) the railgun was meant to replace the Iowa's 16" guns. So we are in agreement there.

Just saying before the Zumwalt's railgun, the Navy lacked guns big enough to do any meaningful damage when shooting at shore targets when they were decommissioned in the 90's.

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Tho that could be an issue if we ever bought Back the Iowa's. How do you support them? They use a pretty massive amount of fuel.
The Navy obviously had a plan to. Up until 2009, Iowa and Wisconsin were supposed to be kept and maintained in a state where they could be reactivated for war. Interesting bit there that despite the damage to turret 2 on Iowa, they deemed repairing the turret would be cheaper than repairing New Jersey's training mechanisms that were welded down during decommissioning( probably some politics too played into it). New Jersey was originally along with Wisconsin the two Iowa's that were to be kept in a war-ready state. But, was later swapped for Iowa and Wisconsin.

It's impressive though that the Essex and Midway class carriers also remained relevant until the early 90's. Granted Lexington became a training carrier.


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1: You can bring back the Iowa's, yank them into dry dock, and probably spend billions of dollars rebuilding and modernizing them. Then hopefully finding some people who aren't dead to train a huge crew, after that you spend a million dollars a week filling the thing up with gas, plus huge logistics costs, you'll need a battlegroup with submarines to protect the thing because a modren torpedo would send that thing to the bottom pretty quick. Start making 16' powder, ammo, and barrels again. Make a ton of spare parts for the 4 of them, and all that.
Not advocating bringing back the Iowa's. Way too old....

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2: We build an all new battleship class, complete with heavy armor, nuclear power, bigass guns, and all the trimmings. Looking at more billions.
Don't think a modern BB would need to be heavily armored. The only reason I am referring this modern big gunned ship as a BB is because BB's were the ships that typically had the big guns. I would be satisfied with a ship designed to handle firing modern set of 16" guns. Doesn't need to be built for ship vs ship duking it out battle. But as stated, just act like a naval artillery platform.

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I think that was one of the reasons besides the accident on the Iowa that the Navy decided to call it quits with them, they simply were not cost effective. Esp when your burning 1-2 missiles a week just in fuel ( The Iowas were not the most efficient ships ever built. damn fast tho )
Considering Missouri and Wisconsin participated in Desert Storm( which again used their guns to bombard targets), I don't think the mishap on Iowa scared the Navy away from BB's.

Plus there were factors with that explosion that shouldn't be a factor whether a BB is practical today. The captain of the Iowa focused more on her cruise missiles than training his men using her guns. The Iowa was in poor material condition when she was being refitted, but they didn't do a proper job fixing the issues because they rushed her reactivation( which I do believe cracks in her barrels were noted before the explosion).
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Old Nov 8, 2013, 02:24 AM   #35
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I said that earlier( and what got us started on this BB debate) the railgun was meant to replace the Iowa's 16" guns. So we are in agreement there. .
Yeah, I feel the railguns go far and beyond whatever the 16 inch guns were capable of.

I feel the 16 inch gun was a great weapon, for its time. Today, its just not up to par. It also is not the most accurate thing ever build. Badass tho.

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The Navy obviously had a plan to. Up until 2009, Iowa and Wisconsin were supposed to be kept and maintained in a state where they could be reactivated for war. Interesting bit there that despite the damage to turret 2 on Iowa, they deemed repairing the turret would be cheaper than repairing New Jersey's training mechanisms that were welded down during decommissioning( probably some politics too played into it). New Jersey was originally along with Wisconsin the two Iowa's that were to be kept in a war-ready state. But, was later swapped for Iowa and Wisconsin.
I honestly do not think the Navy ever actually planned to bring them back into commission, I think it was just something to appease the older folks in the Naval command and in congress.

Even before 2009, they all ended up rotting away in the Mothball fleet or as Museum ships, most of the people needed to run them, or train new crew members were dead by that point. Or to old to do it again. Also, the navy made 0 effort to maintain a supply of ammunition, gun barrels, or spare parts. Its likely that they wouldn't have been able to be brought back into commission even if they wanted to.

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It's impressive though that the Essex and Midway class carriers also remained relevant until the early 90's. Granted Lexington became a training carrier.
I mean carriers are a little different, they are nothing more than floating airports, its fairly easy to fit a catapult and modern arresting system. And modern defenses. A BB is just a little different.

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Not advocating bringing back the Iowa's. Way too old....
If i ever become Bill Gates rich, I'm buying that **** and putting her back to sea, sure they might not say its for sale, but write a big enough check Buy em a new Zumwalt or two

Tho I think the only BB you could even make an offer on would be the Texas or Alabama.

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Don't think a modern BB would need to be heavily armored. The only reason I am referring this modern big gunned ship as a BB is because BB's were the ships that typically had the big guns. I would be satisfied with a ship designed to handle firing modern set of 16" guns. Doesn't need to be built for ship vs ship duking it out battle. But as stated, just act like a naval artillery platform.
A modern BB would need extensive modern armor, anti torpedo bulges and defense systems, and lots of AA and AM defense systems. As it would need to move very close into shore to be able to bring its guns to bear, and would be very vulnerable to submarines and surface fired ASMs, as well as aircraft attack as she wouldn't be able to maneuver that close to shore.

That was the worry in the 80s, how an Iowa would put up with a medium or large ASM, it wouldn't take very many exotcts to send an Iowa to the bottom , and that is a tiny ASM.

Also, we have a workable railgun only a few years away from active service. What advantage would a 16 inch powder fired gun have over a far more powerful and advanced railgun?

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Considering Missouri and Wisconsin participated in Desert Storm( which again used their guns to bombard targets), I don't think the mishap on Iowa scared the Navy away from BB's.
I think it influenced not keeping them in service even after the war. I think the navy logic was that they had DDGs that could do the same job for less, and in the face of budget cuts, the old WW2 ships had to go, the operating costs where far to high.

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Plus there were factors with that explosion that shouldn't be a factor whether a BB is practical today. The captain of the Iowa focused more on her cruise missiles than training his men using her guns. The Iowa was in poor material condition when she was being refitted, but they didn't do a proper job fixing the issues because they rushed her reactivation( which I do believe cracks in her barrels were noted before the explosion).
I am aware of that, the Iowa should have never gone to sea imo,it was in to poor of a condition.

Had I been in command, I would have made sure those 16 inch guns would never be fired had I known there were cracks in them, and just kept it to missiles.
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Old Nov 8, 2013, 11:23 AM   #36
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I said that earlier( and what got us started on this BB debate) the railgun was meant to replace the Iowa's 16" guns. So we are in agreement there. .....
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Originally Posted by G51989 View Post
Yeah, I feel the railguns go far and beyond whatever the 16 inch guns were capable of.
...
First of all... Thank you for this thread, it's been fun to read and I've learned quite a bit.

Second... you both are missing one important point about the effectiveness of a WWII BB, with your focus on stats and technologies. Often the USN isn't there to support an invasion.. they are there to intimidate and/or awe a local population. I was in Vancouver when the Missouri (iirc) paid a courtesy call to the port. She stayed out in the outer harbour and intimidated us... even though we are allies. There is just something about the sheer presence of ship of that history and of that size parked in your harbour makes you sit up and take notice.

There was a very good in-depth series of articles about the BBs of that era and whether they were still relevant. The consensus was, at that time, they still had a role. The USN is about projecting power. Sometimes you want to project that power without actually blowing anything up. Parking BB in someone's harbour, or just off-shore, is way to project the image of raw power. An aircraft carrier is also good, if not better, but I are probably too valuable to risk. A BB can take care of itself and still project that power.

Oh, and the other point you missed is that a BBs 16' guns don't need to fire very far inland to support invading troops. The 16' are used to support the invasion of the port, when the troops don't have access to their artillery. Once the port is captured and the troops have landed their own equipment they will drag their guns along with them.

All that said... probably not worth cost anymore. The roles mentioned above don't justify the ongoing costs, imho.
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Old Nov 8, 2013, 10:18 PM   #37
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RATS! I missed out. I was hoping to have some place to park my squadron of Helldivers.
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