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Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 5:21:59 PM   
Q-Ball


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The threads of BEST LOOKING and MOST FAMOUS have gotten alot of interest. But I am interested in the Best DESIGNS of World War II; ships that were ahead of their time, or a very efficient use of resources, or just plain awesome.

My nominations:

KONGO CLASS: Launched 4 years BEFORE the Battle of Jutland, yet still very useful ships in World War II that were easy to modernize. Fast and compact, they easily best any contemporaries, most of whom were scrapped shortly after WWI. They are the oldest ships in WITP, but by no means the worst.

YORKTOWN CLASS: Ditto from above, on 25,000 ton weight, such a good design that the Essex class was basically an upgraded copy.

IJN A Class Cruisers: Sure they were top-heavy and egregious treaty violations, but the Japanese A Type Cruisers, basically all CA's, were fearsome surface opponents. Fast and powerful, they were better than contemporary Allied cruisers.
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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 6:17:59 PM   
Historiker


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Pathbreaking for all later subs. Derivates of this sub served in 1st class armies until the 90th...

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Worst Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 6:46:15 PM   
herwin

 

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What about a parallel thread on the ships that were only retained because they had some minimal value?

IJN: Ryujo, with its short flight deck very inefficient.

etc...

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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 6:57:55 PM   
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DD: Shimakaze, very fast and armed to the teeth. French destroyers get a mention to for being very fast as well.

Carriers: The British carriers win in this category. They were very well armored, to the point that Invincible even lived up to its name while operating in the Med.

Cruisers: Gonna give this category to the Brooklyn CLs. 15 6" guns are just plain scary. And at least one of the class was still in active service in the early 1980s.

Submarines: I-400 type. An aircraft carrying submarine. Even modern subs still don't do this. This is a very innovative design that never really got battle-tested.

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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 7:16:00 PM   
Terminus


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The I-400 was a horrible waste of time and resources. The aircraft-carrying submarine was a cul-de-sac in submarine design, and the I-400 was the worst of the bunch. Huge, lumbering and ungainly, and only capable of carrying 3 aircraft, even though it was meant to be capable of strike operations. Just awful.

The Shimakaze was probably too fast to be useful. I'd nominate the Akitsukis instead.

As for the Brooklyns, those would get my vote too, even though they were Treaty cruisers.

The British carriers get lots of praise for their armour, but they were critically deficient in the one thing that aircraft carriers have to be able to do (carry aircraft). I like the Essex better.

< Message edited by Terminus -- 6/26/2008 7:23:49 PM >


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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 7:19:48 PM   
Iridium


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7

Carriers: The British carriers win in this category. They were very well armored, to the point that Invincible even lived up to its name while operating in the Med.



Eh, this I'd disagree with. British CVs were at best adequate, I tend to wonder why they tended to flood so easily after 1 torpedo hit. >20,000 ton vessels should be able to withstand at least a torpedo or two. They lacked emergency power systems, lacked decent airgroup sizes and tended to be rather bad at turning. Only until the end of the war did they start putting decent CV designs on the table (Malta). That all said, they did look nice for the most part.

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RE: Worst Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 7:22:08 PM   
Q-Ball


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quote:

ORIGINAL: herwin

What about a parallel thread on the ships that were only retained because they had some minimal value?

IJN: Ryujo, with its short flight deck very inefficient.

etc...


Ryujo wins the award for "Treaty Loophole". The treaty limit for CV's was 10,000 tons, anything under didn't count. So, the IJN designed a ship with the largest Aircraft capacity they could under 10,000 tons. Big hanger, really bad CV in every other aspect.

Another "Treaty Loophole" ship was the Tomozurus. Italy tried the same thing, getting basically a DD-type ship with DD armament onto less than 600 tons. Didn't really work.

I also nominate the IJN SHADOW CV PROGRAM. The products weren't actually that successful, but a very clever work around of the Treaty limits. Zuiho Class, Chitose Class, Junyo Class, and I think Ryuho all fall in this category. I think Mizuho was intended to be another conversion, but they tried Diesel Engines rather than Steam Turbines in other CS's, and as a result she never made her designed speed.

< Message edited by Q-Ball -- 6/26/2008 7:28:05 PM >

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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 7:23:59 PM   
Iridium


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Terminus

The Shimakaze was probably too big to be useful. I'd nominate the Akitsukis instead.



Shimakaze > Akitsuki in tonnage?

2567 vs 2701

Shimakaze wasn't all that big, the issue with it perhaps was the role it fulfilled was not going to be used by Japan against the US. It wasn't the right DD for Japan at the time, another Akitsuki would have been more useful.

I dunno, Ryujo was about as durable as any other Japanese CVL, it had a large hangar, decent range and 29 kt speed...I'd say it was a success for what it was.

< Message edited by Iridium -- 6/26/2008 7:28:34 PM >


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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 7:24:49 PM   
Terminus


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You'll notice I just changed my post...

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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 7:27:35 PM   
Historiker


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quote:

The British carriers get lots of praise for their armour, but they were critically deficient in the one thing that aircraft carriers have to be able to do (carry aircraft). I like the Essex better.

wow, I agree with Terminus

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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 7:31:41 PM   
Iridium


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Terminus

You'll notice I just changed my post...


However, now I just got the idea if Japan had put a Shimakaze engine room into an Akitsuki they'd get a speed close to 35-38 kts probably. Then Akitsuki would finally get around it's main disadvantage.

< Message edited by Iridium -- 6/26/2008 7:32:12 PM >


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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 7:40:06 PM   
Q-Ball


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I agree on Akizuki; the 3.9 in DP was a brilliant gun.

Shimakaze is cool, but actually a BAD design for Japan. She had a real touchy new high-pressure steam turbine that produced almost 80,000 shp, in other words almost as much shp as in Nagato. It's like dropping a truck engine into a Honda. That, plus all the torps, makes a VERY expensive and technical design, not exactly what the Empire needed.

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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 8:07:42 PM   
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7

Carriers: The British carriers win in this category. They were very well armored, to the point that Invincible even lived up to its name while operating in the Med.


As others have mentioned, the RN's fleet carriers were not all that brilliant. WHilst they weren't bad ships as such, the armoured hanger/flight deck caused all sorts of issues with airgroups, maintainence and weight.

The light carriers were IMO a much better design, but still not the best by a long shot.

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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 8:26:03 PM   
panda124c

 

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Fletcher class DD.

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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 8:35:19 PM   
lineartube

 

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I like the Richelieu design. The quadruple towers were not new, neither she was the first battleship with a couple of them. Heck, not even the first French battleship with those, but as for design, it was superb.

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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 8:44:38 PM   
Historiker


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And one lucky hit causes the end to 50% of the main armement...
They may look fine, but quadruple turrets don't seem that brilliant to me concerning possible battle damages...


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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 9:02:23 PM   
lineartube

 

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One lucky hit turned the Bismarck in a merry go round. The trouble with luck or lack of it, is that it can happen to anyone.

It did saved weight that could be used to for other stuff and she didn't had to cross the "t" to make use of all of its main guns.

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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 9:09:50 PM   
Historiker


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There's a difference between getting a torp in the rudder and one shell taking out half of the main armement - but well...

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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 9:14:13 PM   
Nixuebrig

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: lineartube

One lucky hit turned the Bismarck in a merry go round.




The Bismarck was far awy from being a good design.

Best designed? Essex-Class Carriers and Subs Class VII-C


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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 9:32:01 PM   
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One ship class that doesn't get a lot of attention because of its mishmash of roles is the DE. The Butler class was IMO a exemplary mix of capabilities and economy. For a fraction of the cost of a Fletcher the DE could provide ASW, AA and radar picket duty and, as witnessed at Samar, surface combat. According to the AAR of USS Samuel B. Roberts Captain the ships design helped it survive much longer than anticipated. "Her low silhouette provided enemy fire control with 'no real point of aim and is defensively one of the best silhouettes of all the navies of the world'".

So I nominate for the DE class USS John C. Butler .

< Message edited by thegreatwent -- 6/26/2008 9:46:39 PM >


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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 9:44:39 PM   
John Lansford

 

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I'll nominate the South Dakota class BB's.  Pound for pound the best battleships in the world at the time, combining heavy firepower, excellent secondary weaponry, good speed and endurance, and heavy armor in a compact displacement. 

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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 9:55:00 PM   
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CV: Midway - all the utility of an Essex, but with an armoured deck. As a testament to their good design they served for 50 years in their original Navy.

Sub: Type XXI - revolutionary. Designed for mass production with advanced features that shaped submarines for the future.

DD: Fletcher - big, capable and designed for ease of construction.

I am still pondering for the other categories...

Edit BB: Iowa. Big, beautiful and capable of taking on any other battleship in the world. The end of the BB era is not the only reason they were not replaced... (I like Vanguard, but she was designed only to use up some spare guns, so does not really count...)

< Message edited by goodboyladdie -- 6/26/2008 9:58:01 PM >


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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 10:46:28 PM   
goodboyladdie


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quote:

ORIGINAL: goodboyladdie

CV: Midway - all the utility of an Essex, but with an armoured deck. As a testament to their good design they served for 50 years in their original Navy.

Sub: Type XXI - revolutionary. Designed for mass production with advanced features that shaped submarines for the future.

DD: Fletcher - big, capable and designed for ease of construction.

I am still pondering for the other categories...

Edit BB: Iowa. Big, beautiful and capable of taking on any other battleship in the world. The end of the BB era is not the only reason they were not replaced... (I like Vanguard, but she was designed only to use up some spare guns, so does not really count...)


For the Cruiser I am going for Brooklyn. She was a Heavy Cruiser with a big Light Cruiser main battery. Her design was good enough to form the basis of the development of future USN CLs AND CAs (Wichita being the link vessel).

For the Escort category, my heart says the Black Swan Class Sloop. They packed a huge AA punch and later, in the form of the Improved Black Swan became extraordinary Sub Killers too. However, the best design was the US DE family. The basic hull design was perfectly suited for adaption with different machinery, armament and bridge design over the range, all mass produced and cheap, to provide the numbers needed to win the ASW war across the Oceans.

For CVL, it has to be the British Light Fleet. Although a little too slow, the economy this gave, as well as the larger complements allowed by the lack of an armoured flight deck, meant that this utility design was able to serve for many years, through boom and bust.


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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 11:07:10 PM   
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I vote Iowa. Well built, well armored, upgradeable, had service life measured in decades.

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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 11:25:58 PM   
Terminus


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Post-war analysis of the Bismark seems to have been blinded by Nazi propaganda. She was touted as a fantastic, revolutionary, brilliant design, when in actual fact, she was about one evolutionary step forward from her HSF predecessor, the Baden class. A very, very overrated battleship.

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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 11:26:42 PM   
mdiehl

 

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BB: South Dakota class
CA: Baltimore class
CL: Atlanta class
DD: Gearing class
CV: Yorktown --> Essex class
ASW: Cannon class or USCG 327'.
Submarine: German Type XXI.


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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 11:27:59 PM   
Terminus


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The Atlanta? The single worst US cruiser design of all time?

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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 11:39:52 PM   
hawker


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Terminus

Post-war analysis of the Bismark seems to have been blinded by Nazi propaganda. She was touted as a fantastic, revolutionary, brilliant design, when in actual fact, she was about one evolutionary step forward from her HSF predecessor, the Baden class. A very, very overrated battleship.




P.S. Roman legions are overrated too

< Message edited by hawker -- 6/26/2008 11:42:47 PM >


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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 11:41:43 PM   
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i have to point out that there was a reason the type XXI subs never got into combat: while revolutionary in concept, there were so many design flaws that the Germans really couldn't get them to work correctly... one problem (which probably would have been fatal in many cases) was that much of the vital plumbing was located outside the pressure hulls, making them vulnerable to salt water, not to mention depth charges.

US personal assessing the design after the war were impressed by certain features, but didn't think they would be terribly robust in combat or daily use. i don't think any were retained by US or British forces very long except for some evaluation of the design.

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RE: Best Designed Ship of WWII - 6/26/2008 11:43:45 PM   
Terminus


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True. I believe the Russians based their Whiskey class on them, though.

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