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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Military/History Related Hobbies > Alternate Timelines > Xtreme Alternate History

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Xtreme Alternate History Alternatives to History with No Holds Barred!

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  #1  
Old 20 Jul 15, 08:55
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May 24, 1941: Bismarck and Prinz Eugen are replaced with Missouri and New Jersey

In this crazy "what if" scenario, KMS Bismarck and Prinz Eugen are switched out for Iowa-class super-battleships just prior to the Battle of the Denmark Strait. In another breach of the space-time continuum, the Iowas are outfitted with their historical late-war weapons and equipment, radar-assisted gunfire, VT-fuses and all. The Germans have the ability to maintain such ships. Naturally the Royal Navy is going to do anything and everything it can to sink them. Assuming the historical forces dispatched against the Bismarck from 24-27 May 1941, can the two 60,000-ton giants prevail?

(For argument's sake let's assume that Admiral Lütjens is acting under direct orders to pick a fight with the RN forces. He will not take advantage of the Iowas' superior speed to zip away unless his ships are in immediate danger of being crippled or sunk.)
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  #2  
Old 20 Jul 15, 09:27
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PoW, KGV and Rodney join Hood at the bottom.
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Old 20 Jul 15, 09:48
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D K Brown thought that Rodney was more than a match for an Iowa-class, leaving KGV, PoW and Hood to sink the other American ship.
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Old 20 Jul 15, 09:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mycroft Holmes View Post
D K Brown thought that Rodney was more than a match for an Iowa-class, leaving KGV, PoW and Hood to sink the other American ship.
Fully loaded the Iowa class ships had almost twice the displacement of the Nelsons. They were faster, had thicker armor and more powerful and accurate guns that could fire to a longer range. I don't think any one battleship was a match for them, and that includes the Japanese Yamatos. However, here numbers are not on their side, and the RN has carrier support (however limited it may be).
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Old 20 Jul 15, 10:08
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D K Brown thought that Rodney was more than a match for an Iowa-class, leaving KGV, PoW and Hood to sink the other American ship.
Mr Brown must have been drinking a bit. Rodney was rated at 23knts, 10 less than an Iowa. Iowa advanced fire control and speed could keep the list ships out of range all the while bring effective fire on the RN ships. Even a lucky hit by a Swordfish would have had less of a chance with the large amount of AA weapons on the Iowas.
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Old 20 Jul 15, 10:12
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Originally Posted by BobTheBarbarian View Post
Fully loaded the Iowa class ships had almost twice the displacement of the Nelsons. They were faster, had thicker armor and more powerful and accurate guns that could fire to a longer range. I don't think any one battleship was a match for them, and that includes the Japanese Yamatos. However, here numbers are not on their side, and the RN has carrier support (however limited it may be).
RN carrier aircraft were no way in the same class as those of the IJN and the Iowas were build with the thought of large amounts of AA guns.

Armament: 1943:
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Old 20 Jul 15, 10:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Half Pint John View Post
RN carrier aircraft were no way in the same class as those of the IJN and the Iowas were build with the thought of large amounts of AA guns.

Armament: 1943:
That's why I marked "carrier support" with the qualifier "limited." Trying to send old 'string-bag' Swordfish through such a wall of lead would have had horrific consequences for the RN aviators.
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Old 20 Jul 15, 11:41
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You could have made it at least semi-sporting by making it one Iowa and one Des Moines cruiser. But with two Iowas, it wouldn't even have been close. The British would have lost both shadowers (Norfolk and Suffolk) early on.
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Old 20 Jul 15, 14:25
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Even one Iowa and a Des Moines, would be very difficult for the RN to deal with. Both of the above ships can accurately fire to about 25,000 yards and get firing solutions to 45,000.

The pair would be able to nearly smother a target in fire that was first salvo accurate.

The shadowing ships would have lost contact having to stay at 50,000 yards or more to avoid potential fire on them.
Also, they'd find their radar systems being jammed and largely useless as both ships carry several noise and deception jammers along with surveillance sets.

Unlike the Bismarck, attacking the above with Swordfish torpedo planes would be suicide. It would be unlikely that any would get within drop range and even if a few did they wouldn't survive the exit flight.

The technology shift in just a few years is really remarkable.
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Old 20 Jul 15, 15:10
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An even playing field?

In a further breach of the space-time continuum, any chance of swapping POW & KGV for Lion & Temeraire, two 'Lion' class battleships, in their projected 1944 configuration with 16 inch Mark IVs as their main armament?



Just a piece of whimsy!
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Old 20 Jul 15, 15:15
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Originally Posted by Doveton Sturdee View Post
In a further breach of the space-time continuum, any chance of swapping POW & KGV for Lion & Temeraire, two 'Lion' class battleships, in their projected 1944 configuration with 16 inch Mark IVs as their main armament?



Just a piece of whimsy!
That would be a closer match. The US BB would have a slight advantage in fire control and radar but it wouldn't be significant enough to make a real difference. This would be a who hits who first case.
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Old 20 Jul 15, 15:41
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Against two capital ships would not the RN have launched a greater effort than just against the Bismark.How many capital ships were available in the Home Fleet and the med,they must have had enough surface units to drown two unsupported battleships in shells ,sending in the air strikes at the same time.
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Old 20 Jul 15, 15:48
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Against two capital ships would not the RN have launched a greater effort than just against the Bismark.How many capital ships were available in the Home Fleet and the med,they must have had enough surface units to drown two unsupported battleships in shells ,sending in the air strikes at the same time.
When the RN first respond it was against two capital ships an they sent just about every thing that was available.

Much would have depend on how the ships were handled. In the OP was it stated who was crewing the Iowas?
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Old 20 Jul 15, 16:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grishnak View Post
Against two capital ships would not the RN have launched a greater effort than just against the Bismark.How many capital ships were available in the Home Fleet and the med,they must have had enough surface units to drown two unsupported battleships in shells ,sending in the air strikes at the same time.
They sent everything within range.
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Old 20 Jul 15, 17:16
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Originally Posted by Half Pint John View Post
Much would have depend on how the ships were handled. In the OP was it stated who was crewing the Iowas?

In name, the Germans. Though the scenario operates under the assumption that the performance and handling of the ships would be the same as if they were crewed by US sailors.
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