Bismarck vs Iowa class Battlership

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Sieger
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Bismarck vs Iowa class Battlership

Post by Sieger » 19 Jan 2003 07:01

Who would win if the Bismarck and a Iowa class battleship had met in the North Atlantic and slugged it out?

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Re: Bismarck vs Iowa class Battlership

Post by Caldric » 19 Jan 2003 10:05

Sieger wrote:Who would win if the Bismarck and a Iowa class battleship had met in the North Atlantic and slugged it out?


The Iowa unless the Bismarck is lucky will win. There are reasons for this, the guns for one, the Iowa 16" had 42,000 yard range compared to the Bismarck 15" of 38,880 yards, the Iowa projectile from the main guns was astounding 1000 lbs heavier then the Bismarcks, Iowa 2700 lbs and the Bismarck 1764 lbs. Even with the much heavier round the Iowa could fire at 2500 feet per second compared to the slighting faster 2690 feet per second Bismarck. The full broadside of the Iowa was 24,000 lbs compared to the 14,112 lbs the Bismarck could fire. That is a major difference in who hits who the hardest. The Bismarck was faster firing though.

Armor: The Bismarck had 12.6" of Belt armor of decent quality steel, the Iowa had 12.2 of good steel, this is the only thing they are comparable at, even though it is possibly the most important part of the armor on the ship. However, all other armor is in favor of the Iowa, the decks, towers etc. were 2 to 6" thicker then the Bismarck.

The Germans had better optics, not surprising, however Radar was without a doubt in the favor of the Iowa, the Mk13 allowed the Iowa to "blindfire" its guns, the Germans were not capable of doing this and this gives the Iowa a great advantage.

Overall the two ships are not really the same class, the Bismarck was laid down before the Iowa did not have the advantage of the later refinements in Radar etc. However I think the South Dakota class would also send the Bismarck to the bottom and it was designed around the same time.

All of this comes from the following is very interesting reading by the way.

http://www.combinedfleet.com/baddest.htm#operational

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Musashi
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Post by Musashi » 19 Jan 2003 13:00

I agree. Iowa would win.

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Post by Andy H » 19 Jan 2003 14:13

The result would still be the same with the Bismarck lying on the seabed, a mangled,twisted wreck.

:D Andy from the Shire

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Sam H.
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Post by Sam H. » 19 Jan 2003 15:51

Yeah ... Iowa, with 9 16" guns and her superior speed and fire control ... Bismark would have to be extremely lucky.

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Sieger
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Post by Sieger » 20 Jan 2003 02:31

I am under the impression that Bismarck's design flaws are due to the lack of experience by the Germans on Naval matters (with the exception of U-boats).

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Tim Smith
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Post by Tim Smith » 20 Jan 2003 11:54

Bismarck was sunk before Iowa was commissioned, so a more likely scenario is Tirpitz vs Iowa. Tirpitz by 1944 had better radar than Bismarck had in 1941, and better AA, but was otherwise identical. Tirpitz would be outclassed by Iowa just the same. Only chance for Tirpitz is for a lucky German hit at the beginning of the engagement which knocks out Iowa's fire control radar.

The Germans were behind the USA and Britain in WWII in battleship development in three key areas: radar, armour protection system, and AA defences.

1) Britain developed radar faster than Germany, and shared the technology with the USA. Early German radar was inefficient and unreliable.

2) In armour protection, all the other major nations adopted the US method of 'all or nothing'. This was a system that created an armoured citadel in the centre of the ship, extending from the forward turret to the after turret, protecting engine rooms, magazines, and steering gear. The citadel was protected by a thick armour belt and a single thick deck, with a 'burster' deck above that to decap and explode shells before they reached the main deck. The bows and stern of the ship were left unarmoured, but apart from the rudders and propeller shafts, a hit in this area would not be critical.

This was a highly effective system, but the Germans did not adopt it. Instead they simply developed further the layered armoured system of their last WWI dreadnaughts, adapted to put more emphasis on horizontal protection, and less on the side belt. However the main armoured deck was set one deck lower than in other nations' ships, leaving many vital systems above it. Also the main armoured deck was not as thick as in British ships, leaving the German ships more vulnerable to plunging shells.

In the later stages of the Bismarck engagement, the British battleships Rodney and King George V closed in to fire at Bismarck from close range - in fact they would have done more damage if they had stayed at long range.

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Post by peter_suciu » 20 Jan 2003 17:19

I don't believe naval doctrine of the day really looked at ship A against ship b. I think you'd really have to look at a Jutland style engagement between the German High Seas Fleet and an appropriately sized US naval force.

I also think the really interesting thing is that up to Jutland in World War I everyone expected large scale naval battles like the kind from a century before hand. Then Jutland happens and that is essentially the last of the old school naval battles before aircraft carriers changed naval warfare forever.

Here is a what if that I've thought about...what if the whole of the High Seas Fleet is on station in the North Sea when World War II breaks out? What would the British send to take on the German squadron?

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Galahad
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Post by Galahad » 22 Jan 2003 01:37

The Iowas had one other advantage that no one has mentioned--unless I need new eyes. She was faster AND more maneuverable than Bismarck or Tirpitz. She could both choose the range of the engagement and dodge salvos easier.

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Sam H.
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Post by Sam H. » 22 Jan 2003 02:10

Hey ... I mentioned the superior speed of the Iowa's ... though I did not elaborate as clearly as you
:?

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Galahad
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Post by Galahad » 22 Jan 2003 02:25

I just made my appointment for an eye transplant. <g>

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Madsen
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Post by Madsen » 23 Jan 2003 00:52

When was Iowa set into service?
I'm thinking that if you are designing a battle ship like Iowa and know about B and T wouldn't you try to make it better?
i'd do that. Wouldn't take any chanch of building a Ship that could'nt match some ofthe greatest Ships in the World

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Galahad
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Post by Galahad » 23 Jan 2003 02:01

Iowa was commissioned in February 1943.

xxSLOWxxRYDERxx
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Re: Bismarck vs Iowa class Battlership

Post by xxSLOWxxRYDERxx » 23 Feb 2019 05:47

Just seen this post, I wasn’t even out of diapers when this was published but I have some questions about the Bismarck and Iowa, is anyone here still active on this website 16 years later?

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Takao
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Re: Bismarck vs Iowa class Battlership

Post by Takao » 23 Feb 2019 10:38

xxSLOWxxRYDERxx wrote:
23 Feb 2019 05:47
Just seen this post, I wasn’t even out of diapers when this was published but I have some questions about the Bismarck and Iowa, is anyone here still active on this website 16 years later?
Go for it, there are plenty of naval experts here. I missed this first time around.

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