From: Near Portland, OR
Well... as the allies my surface ships are terrified of the yamato and her sister. I could probably send all of my battleships vs those two and still come out the loser. Vs the AI I just dropped like 50 bombs on the Yamato and all I did was scratch her paint. Stupid torpedo planes all missed lol.
If you need to smash some enemy surface ships the Yamato is the most effective ship in the world at doing so.
Even if the age of the battleship was dead and gone by this point, I wish the Americans had produced some Montanas. Or realized before the war that limiting battleships to panama capable severly gimps them for combat. Stupid canal.
In the end, the fast BBs were mostly AA platforms. They would have been more effective with the 16 inch turrets replaced with more AA. The only time fast BBs were used in a surface action was when the South Dakota and Washington were used at Guadalcanal. They were facing an old BB and smaller ships, but the Washington did quite well. The South Dakota not so much, but she had an electrical failure early on.
If Halsey had kept his fast BBs at the exit to the San Bernardino Straits at Leyte, the world might have seen what fast BBs were capable of. The same night at Surgio Strait a bunch of old iron demonstrated that radar controlled gunnery was lethal, even on an ancient platform.
The Montanas would have been a waste of yard space that was needed to build Essexes. Two Iowas were launched early and never completed to allow building more Essex class carriers. In the end, if the Iowas had been canceled and that yard space used for Essexes, it probably would have been better. TF 38/58 could have had one more carrier task group.
Battleships are sexy looking, but they are about as practical as owning a Corvette with a family of 4.
WitP AE - Test team lead, programmer