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BB Massachusetts - 5/29/2013 9:29:10 PM   
Roger Neilson 3


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I spent the first three weeks of May on a road trip round New England. Thanks to those on the forum who helped me with advice about where to go and what to see. Second day in Boston I was on the USS Constitution, and two weeks later on the BB Massachusetts at Fall River. Others have posted great pictures of the Fall River ships.

My observations, in no way meant to diminish the BB are worth, I think, sharing. Whilst its a big ship, its not as big as I expected it to be. Indeed the Sub and DD moored beside her are sizeable companions. I had always assumed for artisitc effect the icons in WITP exaggerated the smaller ships to make them easier to depict - not so I reckon.

There are obvious differences in technology and build and gunnery between the two, but the living conditions on the two were not that different. I really do take my hat off to the guys who lived and fought on these ships - for months on end sometimes. The design principle looked to me to be, stick as many guns on as you can and then let the guys live in the space left......

The sub 'Lionfish' is moored very close to the battelship so its not a perspective thing, lengthwise she is pretty well the length of the battleship from the fore to the aft guns.....

Now I may be telling you things you all know, if so apologies, but my expectation was of a very different size between the two.

As for the holiday, WOW. 1200 miles of sheer enjoyment, though with a sense of places opening for tourists as we left! (Not necessarily a bad thing).

Roger




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RE: BB Massachusetts - 5/29/2013 9:48:59 PM   
geofflambert


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It's not the size that counts, it's the weight. Also you can't see the submerged displacement unless you went swimming.

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RE: BB Massachusetts - 5/29/2013 10:28:18 PM   
Roger Neilson 3


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Yes I know. It was more a reflection on my assumption that BBs were much bigger ships compared to others. And that they had a level of space and comfort which destroyers and their like did not have. I was shocked by the crew quarters being effectively nothing more than a big space......

Roger

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RE: BB Massachusetts - 5/29/2013 10:37:11 PM   
AW1Steve


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Roger Neilson 3

Yes I know. It was more a reflection on my assumption that BBs were much bigger ships compared to others. And that they had a level of space and comfort which destroyers and their like did not have. I was shocked by the crew quarters being effectively nothing more than a big space......

Roger


That "big open space" is "affectionately" known in the USN, as "open bay spaces". And as everyone on the "Big Mamie" had their own bunks, and didn't usually need a hammock, that was a HUGE improvement. Also, they didn't mess where they Berthed. Some thing the RN would continue till the mid-50's. The USN mostly ended the practice in 1936.

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RE: BB Massachusetts - 5/29/2013 11:52:20 PM   
crsutton


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She was around 40,000 tons. An average tanker today might be 90,000 tons-without all that armor too.

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RE: BB Massachusetts - 5/30/2013 12:14:20 AM   
HexHead

 

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Went on a field trip in HS, from Newburyport. Fall River is the other end (south) of the state.

She served in both theaters, Operation Torch, and now is berthed in Battleship Cove.

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RE: BB Massachusetts - 5/30/2013 1:12:59 AM   
geofflambert


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In my current PBEM the Tennessee is being refitted for six months yet, and it's already been refitting for two. This is in part to make her more "livable" for the crew on long periods at sea (and in port).

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RE: BB Massachusetts - 5/30/2013 3:00:29 AM   
pompack


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Roger Neilson 3

Yes I know. It was more a reflection on my assumption that BBs were much bigger ships compared to others. And that they had a level of space and comfort which destroyers and their like did not have. I was shocked by the crew quarters being effectively nothing more than a big space......

Roger


There is size and displacement

Many years ago I was shocked by a picture of a Baltimore class CA next to a South Dakota class BB:

BB 680 feet long
CA 673 feet long

Now the BB is about three times the displacement of the CA and they both gotta float so the BB has more beam and draught, but the side-by-side length comparison just surprised me.

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RE: BB Massachusetts - 5/30/2013 3:37:26 AM   
geofflambert


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A Baltimore class CA is in my opinion the best CAs ever built. It's a real racehorse too, and you'll see greater lengths in ships built for speed. Compare to Iowa. No fat hogs they.

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RE: BB Massachusetts - 5/30/2013 6:03:32 AM   
Lokasenna


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quote:

ORIGINAL: pompack


quote:

ORIGINAL: Roger Neilson 3

Yes I know. It was more a reflection on my assumption that BBs were much bigger ships compared to others. And that they had a level of space and comfort which destroyers and their like did not have. I was shocked by the crew quarters being effectively nothing more than a big space......

Roger


There is size and displacement

Many years ago I was shocked by a picture of a Baltimore class CA next to a South Dakota class BB:

BB 680 feet long
CA 673 feet long

Now the BB is about three times the displacement of the CA and they both gotta float so the BB has more beam and draught, but the side-by-side length comparison just surprised me.


South Dakotas were also rather short-looking. I forget why that was, but I think it was intentional.

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RE: BB Massachusetts - 5/30/2013 6:20:36 AM   
wdolson

 

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The Iowas were close to 900ft long.

Bill

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RE: BB Massachusetts - 5/30/2013 1:25:50 PM   
tocaff


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Having seen one of the Iowas berthed in New York harbor many years ago I was surprised at how she looked bows on. That girl was built for speed. She also struck me as having a low water line, though the bow was high. What do I know?

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RE: BB Massachusetts - 5/30/2013 4:39:05 PM   
geofflambert


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The high flared bow keeps the bow wash off the deck. I've seen video of one of the Iowas making a hard turn at full speed. It was awesome. Maybe someone will post a link to such a film.

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RE: BB Massachusetts - 5/30/2013 4:54:00 PM   
obvert


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Roger Neilson 3

My observations, in no way meant to diminish the BB are worth, I think, sharing. Whilst its a big ship, its not as big as I expected it to be. Indeed the Sub and DD moored beside her are sizeable companions. I had always assumed for artisitc effect the icons in WITP exaggerated the smaller ships to make them easier to depict - not so I reckon.

There are obvious differences in technology and build and gunnery between the two, but the living conditions on the two were not that different. I really do take my hat off to the guys who lived and fought on these ships - for months on end sometimes. The design principle looked to me to be, stick as many guns on as you can and then let the guys live in the space left......

Roger



After having just visited as well, I would agree. Much smaller than I'd thought. Still spacious on the inside but no wasted space at all, and the deck between the main turrets is packed as tightly as possible.


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RE: BB Massachusetts - 5/31/2013 2:36:18 AM   
geofflambert


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We should all remember that being a smaller target is a good thing.

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RE: BB Massachusetts - 5/31/2013 8:45:13 AM   
obvert


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quote:

ORIGINAL: geofflambert

We should all remember that being a smaller target is a good thing.


What I wondered while standing on it was what a hit directly amidship would do? All of those 5" and 40mm mounts, cranes, boats and radar/fire directors. Seems like a good shot from a main gun battery of a BB or a few big bomb hits could take out most of the secondary and AA guns on one side of the ship. maybe that's true of a lot of BBs, but it seemed a relevant question seeing how little room there was around the turrets of those 5" mounts especially.

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RE: BB Massachusetts - 5/31/2013 5:20:00 PM   
geofflambert


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They were absolutely vulnerable to large shells and bombs but I think it was unusual for anything short of a kamikaze to take out more than one or two of them.

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RE: BB Massachusetts - 6/1/2013 1:02:08 AM   
wdolson

 

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The South Dakota took huge casualties on the tower during the fight at Guadalcanal. I read something from the destroyer crews who helped clean up the dead after the battle. The carnage was something that haunted most of them the rest of their lives.

Bill

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RE: BB Massachusetts - 6/1/2013 5:51:40 PM   
Bobdina1

 

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The gunfire damage report on the South Dakota plus pictures are located here if anyone wants to see.http://www.researcheratlarge.com/Ships/BB57/1942DamageReport/GuadalcanalDamageRpt.html

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RE: BB Massachusetts - 6/1/2013 6:32:54 PM   
Symon


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Roger Neilson 3
I spent the first three weeks of May on a road trip round New England. Thanks to those on the forum who helped me with advice about where to go and what to see.

Hi Roger,
Remember you asking about fun places to go and fun things to do for your visit to this side of the pond. Really nice to see the forum was helpful and you are having a ball.

Ciao. JWE

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RE: BB Massachusetts - 6/3/2013 3:15:11 PM   
Roger Neilson 3


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The forum was very helpful indeed, back home now and missing New England - a lovely place.

Only a few scary moments driving over there, but some helpful people kept tooting their horns until I got it right!

Already thinking of another mega trip for next year.....

Roger

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RE: BB Massachusetts - 6/4/2013 12:19:37 AM   
spence

 

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quote:

What I wondered while standing on it was what a hit directly amidship would do? All of those 5" and 40mm mounts, cranes, boats and radar/fire directors. Seems like a good shot from a main gun battery of a BB or a few big bomb hits could take out most of the secondary and AA guns on one side of the ship. maybe that's true of a lot of BBs, but it seemed a relevant question seeing how little room there was around the turrets of those 5" mounts especially
.

If you would like a description of this sort of thing you could read the descriptions of the attack on the Yamato in "A Glorious Way To Die" (the author was a Ltjg Gunnery Officer IIRC) . It has been a while since I read it but it seems the torpedo attacks were preceded by waves of F6Fs strafing the gun crews in the AAA mounts. Something about the blood cascading from one mount to the next one lower sticks in my mind.

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RE: BB Massachusetts - 6/4/2013 12:21:30 AM   
spence

 

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quote:

Only a few scary moments driving over there, but some helpful people kept tooting their horns until I got it right!


Yeah...exactly...RIGHT!!!!

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RE: BB Massachusetts - 6/4/2013 12:51:05 AM   
wdolson

 

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The first wave attack on the Yamato wasn't just strafing, the fighters had 5 inch rockets too. The attack pretty much disabled most of the AA on the ship.

Bill

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RE: BB Massachusetts - 6/4/2013 5:10:15 AM   
PaxMondo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bobdina1

The gunfire damage report on the South Dakota plus pictures are located here if anyone wants to see.http://www.researcheratlarge.com/Ships/BB57/1942DamageReport/GuadalcanalDamageRpt.html

Most interesting aspect of the report to me:

"From reference (f), however, it appears that this was probably a Japanese 8-inch AP projectile. From the damage produced it appears that the majority of the hits were AP projectiles. Reference (f) reported that the Japanese used a fuze with a time delay of 0.4 second, in 8-inch and larger AP projectiles and a time delay of 0.08 second in 6-inch AP projectiles as compared with a time delay of about 0.02 second to 0.035 second in U. S. Naval AP projectiles."

SD superstructure would have been shambles if not for this. Not discounting the lives lost at all, but it could be have been much worse if the fusing had been to USN specs. 18 x 8" hits if properly fused ... instead most of them were through and throughs ...

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RE: BB Massachusetts - 6/4/2013 5:12:31 AM   
geofflambert


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Roger Neilson 3


Already thinking of another mega trip for next year.....

Roger


New Orleans, baby, get some of that Cajun food. Mobile is near enough, has good seafood too, and has BB Alabama where you can see everything almost, down to the bottom of at least one barbette. You might work Galveston in too, with the Texas. She came to your neck of the woods to fight the High Seas Fleet in WWI. If you can get there in the early spring, it's beautiful, not too hot and the mosquitoes are only as big as B-25's then. They get alot bigger in a month or two. You might also want to go up river a piece and see Vicksburg. Among other things, it has a beautiful restored wood-clad gun boat, the Cahokia, I believe. Natchez is nearby and that might interest you too. Lots of antebellum mansions with tours. Of course if you have time, Shiloh is not that far away either.

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RE: BB Massachusetts - 6/4/2013 1:07:10 PM   
Roger Neilson 3


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Strange you should say that, we are looking at New Orleans and where else. A mega trip would be LA to New Orleans via Amtrak (we did the Californain Zephyr two summers ago) then possibly Atlanta then Washington.....

And we tend to travel in Spring.

So may well do another OTT topic on all that when we get closer to a definite trip plan.

Roger

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RE: BB Massachusetts - 6/4/2013 1:18:13 PM   
Roger Neilson 3


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quote:

ORIGINAL: spence

quote:

Only a few scary moments driving over there, but some helpful people kept tooting their horns until I got it right!


Yeah...exactly...RIGHT!!!!


I understood you lot drive on the worng side of the road... not a problem, so do people like the French!

My problems were the overtaking on both sides of me at once, the tailgating, and the turning through a red light..... still with trauma conselling I should be all right in a decade or two says my shrink.....

Some of the busy roads up in Maine I managed though..... example here


Roger




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RE: BB Massachusetts - 6/4/2013 1:42:55 PM   
Bullwinkle58


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Roger Neilson 3


quote:

ORIGINAL: spence

quote:

Only a few scary moments driving over there, but some helpful people kept tooting their horns until I got it right!


Yeah...exactly...RIGHT!!!!


I understood you lot drive on the worng side of the road... not a problem, so do people like the French!

My problems were the overtaking on both sides of me at once, the tailgating, and the turning through a red light..... still with trauma conselling I should be all right in a decade or two says my shrink.....

Some of the busy roads up in Maine I managed though..... example here


Roger





There's your problem. Sitting in the right-hand seat taking photos and steering with your left. Insanity!

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RE: BB Massachusetts - 6/4/2013 2:34:47 PM   
Roger Neilson 3


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But I was told it was an automatic......?????

At least I didn't drive while texting on my phone, or checking route directions with it in my hand while driving.....

Roger

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