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USS Montana completion dates

 
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USS Montana completion dates - 8/20/2012 2:16:19 AM   
Fallschirmjager


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Hi forum friends
I am doing a personal scenario for my own solo gaming and I am going to add in two late war Montana class battleships. I did a lot of internet research as to when these two ships could possibly make an appearance in my game but I wanted to also come here and ask for opinions.
The ships were canceled in early 1943 and I believe only 1 had her hull laid down and never even launched, so I have to use a bit of guesstimate here.

My guess not only has to not only include launching but also fitting out and commissioning and training and arriving at Balboa or Mare Island.

I was thinking the Montana could become avaliable on May 7th 1945. VE day. Or is this way too early?
The second ship will be the USS Louisiana. I was thinking for it maybe sometime in January 1946.

< Message edited by Fallschirmjager -- 8/20/2012 2:32:41 AM >
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RE: USS Montana completion dates - 8/20/2012 2:24:50 AM   
zuluhour


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I checked the Supplemental and General Index ( Samuel Eliot Morrison) no mention I could find.

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RE: USS Montana completion dates - 8/20/2012 2:45:02 AM   
StK


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May 7th seems way early .. the earliest estimate for the ships with the yards being available (they where blocked by Iowa-BBs and Essex CVs) was somewhere from July to November 1945. It depends on how much of that you want to use for your scenario.. would you go for a scenario where the Montanas would have been given priority (which in turn would delay the Iowas and Essexs) or one where the US would simply have enough dock capacity to finish all projects in time?
Even though I think you should go with the historical estimates .. so somewhere between July and November.

And there are no real facts about those ships because their keel has never been laid, they never got past the design stage.

< Message edited by StK -- 8/20/2012 2:47:38 AM >


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RE: USS Montana completion dates - 8/20/2012 4:27:34 AM   
Chickenboy


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Hi Fallshirmjager,

From the Wiki page: By April 1942, the Montana-class design had been approved; construction was authorized by the United States Congress and the projected date of completion was estimated to be somewhere between 1 July and 1 November 1945.

Just like StK said...

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RE: USS Montana completion dates - 8/20/2012 4:32:05 AM   
wdolson

 

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There were two BBs launched early (Kentucky and Illinois I believe) and never completed to make room for more Essex class carriers, but they were both Iowa class. I don't believe any actual construction work was done on the Montanas at all. The Montanas would have followed the last two Iowas. I would guess if the Montanas had been built they probably wouldn't have been ready before late 1945. The Wisconsin was the last completed and she was commissioned April 1944. Construction on the Kentucky and Illinois were halted completely in 1947 and August of 1945. Though both had delays in starting construction due to the demands of the Essex program.

According to Wikipedia, BB-65 and 66 were supposed to be the Montana and Ohio, but they were changed to Iowas before construction began. In any case, they are really USN 46 ships even if completed.

Bill

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RE: USS Montana completion dates - 8/20/2012 4:33:12 AM   
Fallschirmjager


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Okay, I think I will do July 15th for Montana and Dec 1st for Louisiana.

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RE: USS Montana completion dates - 8/20/2012 12:52:03 PM   
Andar

 

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And don't have your Montana's appear at Balboa, as the ships would have been too wide for the Panama Canal

< Message edited by Andar -- 8/20/2012 12:53:26 PM >

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RE: USS Montana completion dates - 8/20/2012 6:16:00 PM   
Gridley380


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I hate to disagree, but the US didn't delay battleships for carriers. It delayed them due to landing craft, destroyers, and other small ships.

The US had at least 18 slipways capable of building capital ships. There were never more than 11 Essex-class on the ways at a time (though having 11 on the ways was common in 1943).

Kentucky was laid down at Norfolk and was using a slip there from 3/42 to 6/42. The first Essex-class laid down at Norfolk (USS Shangri-La) wasn't laid down until 1/43. Norfolk had four large slipways but never used more than two at once for CV and/or BB during the war. Building Kentucky would have delayed something, but it wouldn't have blocked a slip that would otherwise have been building a CV.

Illinois is a little more sketchy. I haven't found a well-documented (i.e. back to builder's records) source for her first laid-down date. Philly had 2 or 3 (reliable records again incomplete) large slipways at the time (by mid-43 there were certainly 3; can't confirm what was available in '42). Several sources list December 1942, with construction being suspended the same month. USS New Jersey had just been launched at that point and USS Wisconsin was still on the ways. The first Essex-class was laid down there in March 1943 (USS Antietam). Building Illinois there would have delayed the next CV laid in Philly (USS Princeton as she was finally commissioned). But... there's no reason another CV couldn't have been laid down elsewhere. In addition to Norfolk as noted above, Fore River had a large slip available for example.

So why didn't the US use all its large slips to build large ships? Because it needed huge numbers of small ships, and its small-ship building capacity was insufficient. Kentucky was replaced in her slip by LSTs.

Japan, FYI, DID have a big-slip choke point.

Again FYI, USS Iowa and USS New Jersey each took about 33 months to build. USS Missouri and USS Wisconsin took eight months longer (their priority having been lowered - rule of thumb is that later units of a class are build faster, not slower). However you also need to allow some working up and 'debugging' time: USS North Carolina had serious issues with vibration that took months to fix, for example. USS Essex was commissioned on the last day of 1942, but look when she appears on the game's OrBat.

So if you want more US BB, I suggest assuming a higher priority in the yards. Pull USS Missouri and Wisconsin forward about nine months, and add in Kentucky and Illinois in early and mid 1945 respectively. Montana might appear in 1946, but probably not sooner. Give up a few dozen LSTs, a squadron or so of DD, another of DE, and a CL or two for balance.

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RE: USS Montana completion dates - 8/20/2012 7:01:40 PM   
Lokasenna


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gridley380

I hate to disagree, but the US didn't delay battleships for carriers. It delayed them due to landing craft, destroyers, and other small ships.

The US had at least 18 slipways capable of building capital ships. There were never more than 11 Essex-class on the ways at a time (though having 11 on the ways was common in 1943).

Kentucky was laid down at Norfolk and was using a slip there from 3/42 to 6/42. The first Essex-class laid down at Norfolk (USS Shangri-La) wasn't laid down until 1/43. Norfolk had four large slipways but never used more than two at once for CV and/or BB during the war. Building Kentucky would have delayed something, but it wouldn't have blocked a slip that would otherwise have been building a CV.

Illinois is a little more sketchy. I haven't found a well-documented (i.e. back to builder's records) source for her first laid-down date. Philly had 2 or 3 (reliable records again incomplete) large slipways at the time (by mid-43 there were certainly 3; can't confirm what was available in '42). Several sources list December 1942, with construction being suspended the same month. USS New Jersey had just been launched at that point and USS Wisconsin was still on the ways. The first Essex-class was laid down there in March 1943 (USS Antietam). Building Illinois there would have delayed the next CV laid in Philly (USS Princeton as she was finally commissioned). But... there's no reason another CV couldn't have been laid down elsewhere. In addition to Norfolk as noted above, Fore River had a large slip available for example.

So why didn't the US use all its large slips to build large ships? Because it needed huge numbers of small ships, and its small-ship building capacity was insufficient. Kentucky was replaced in her slip by LSTs.

Japan, FYI, DID have a big-slip choke point.

Again FYI, USS Iowa and USS New Jersey each took about 33 months to build. USS Missouri and USS Wisconsin took eight months longer (their priority having been lowered - rule of thumb is that later units of a class are build faster, not slower). However you also need to allow some working up and 'debugging' time: USS North Carolina had serious issues with vibration that took months to fix, for example. USS Essex was commissioned on the last day of 1942, but look when she appears on the game's OrBat.

So if you want more US BB, I suggest assuming a higher priority in the yards. Pull USS Missouri and Wisconsin forward about nine months, and add in Kentucky and Illinois in early and mid 1945 respectively. Montana might appear in 1946, but probably not sooner. Give up a few dozen LSTs, a squadron or so of DD, another of DE, and a CL or two for balance.


This all sounds very reasonable to me.

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RE: USS Montana completion dates - 8/20/2012 8:16:14 PM   
StK


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@Gridley380: this is simply a point of how you want to look at things.
The US decided they needed the Carriers, Iowas and various small crafts (I forgot about the fact that many of those where produced in the big yards) more then they needed the Montanas. They could have delayed some of the Carriers in favor of the Montanas but they didn't.
The Montanas where ordered in May 1942 so if they would've been prioritized over the carriers they could easily have taken a place of one of the Essexs that where ordered in Aug '42 (CV-31 to CV-40)

So if you state it was delayed because of the small craft or if you state it was delayed of the carriers is basically just a wording thing.

< Message edited by StK -- 8/20/2012 8:17:34 PM >


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RE: USS Montana completion dates - 8/20/2012 9:37:09 PM   
Shark7


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For it to happen in time to matter, then I think several things would have to happen first:

1. No Great Depression. With no depression, shipbuilders would not have downsized.
2. No Washington or London Naval treaties. These limited ship building for at least a decade.
3. The war would have to have been prolonged. Perhaps a USN loss at Midway...but then again, that would have spurred increased carrier production, so would have likely had as negative an effect as a positive one.
4. The US Government/Department of the Navy remains committed to a battle fleet instead of a fast carrier based fleet.

In reality, none of those things did happen, and the Montana class was just not needed.

Now setting reality aside...if you want to put them in and try them, nothing is stopping you. You don't have to justify it to anyone if you want to add them in as reinforcements, but I wouldn't bring any of them in until very late 1945 or early 1946.

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RE: USS Montana completion dates - 8/20/2012 9:41:20 PM   
Fallschirmjager


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I thought too about modifying 1 of them to carry 28 x 5" guns in 14 double turrets and numerous AA guns while stripping off the 16" turrets.
This will be a solo game so I am just trying a few different things to break up the monotony.

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RE: USS Montana completion dates - 8/20/2012 11:35:16 PM   
Gridley380


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quote:

ORIGINAL: StK

@Gridley380: this is simply a point of how you want to look at things.
The US decided they needed the Carriers, Iowas and various small crafts (I forgot about the fact that many of those where produced in the big yards) more then they needed the Montanas. They could have delayed some of the Carriers in favor of the Montanas but they didn't.
The Montanas where ordered in May 1942 so if they would've been prioritized over the carriers they could easily have taken a place of one of the Essexs that where ordered in Aug '42 (CV-31 to CV-40)

So if you state it was delayed because of the small craft or if you state it was delayed of the carriers is basically just a wording thing.


Except Kentucky was halted and her slip used for LSTs, not a CV. I will grant I don't have any record of what happened to Illinois' slip, but Kentucky was most certainly delayed for smaller ships, not an Essex. I will grant you it is a fairly minor distinction. :-)

Edit to add: and remember Kentucky was an Iowa, not a Montana.

< Message edited by Gridley380 -- 8/20/2012 11:38:07 PM >

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RE: USS Montana completion dates - 8/21/2012 2:02:40 PM   
Andar

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gridley380


Edit to add: and remember Kentucky was an Iowa, not a Montana.


But they would have been Montana's if Congress hadn't intervened in 1940, in a desire to speed up fast battleship production.

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RE: USS Montana completion dates - 8/21/2012 5:01:58 PM   
pompack


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Per Friedman, US Battleships (to lazy to look up the page ref) the Montana's and the Panama Canal upgrade were delayed/canceled due to a steel shortage (driven by carrier/DE/landing craft construction among other things).

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