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Best CA, fall 1941

 
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Best CA, fall 1941 - 9/18/2009 2:02:51 AM   
borner


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This probably has been debated before, but I am curious to see what the popuar view is of the best CA that was around in the fall of 1941. While the US had the great Baltimore class later in the war, I think the top 2 the German Prinz Eugen, and Italy's Zara class probably on top. It helped both were far over treaty limits, and the German had a powerplant prone to breakdown. I am not considering numbers produced, just the best all around design
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RE: Best CA, fall 1941 - 9/18/2009 2:16:51 AM   
jolly_pillager

 

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Mogami class, IMO

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RE: Best CA, fall 1941 - 9/21/2009 12:15:51 AM   
borner


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She was good, but in a gunfight I think the Eugan takes her, and protection the Zara was very good. Wildcard there is can Mogami get a long lance hit to turn the tables. Long range I think the weaker top armor really hurts Mogami though.

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RE: Best CA, fall 1941 - 9/23/2009 7:41:10 PM   
Tiornu

 

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Best at what? If you want a battle-line equalizer, you probably want a Japanese ship with Long Lances, as that's the closest thing to an equalizer you can get on less than battle-line tonnage. Or you could try Lutzow.
Do you want something that can stand up under gunfire? Probably Zara is "best."
Scouting? Tone.
Something that can reliably get to a distant theater? Probably something American.
A ton-for-ton well-rounded utility unit? Algerie or Wichita.
My preference is for Wichita.

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RE: Best CA, fall 1941 - 9/24/2009 1:43:55 AM   
borner


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good point. I had forgotten about Algerie.

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RE: Best CA, fall 1941 - 10/25/2009 4:33:00 AM   
crsutton


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No, I think any Brooklyn class CL would be the best. Very heavy ships, just about as heavy as the CAs and with much more modern fire control systems, damage control and incredible rate of fire. Assuming a daylight battle,

Night battle is a toss up as they do not have torpedoes. If the early model radars and radar operators were working up to snuff then the Brooklyns would win. Otherwise whoever gets the first salvo in.

After the Guadacanal campaign, Allies decided that the treaty cruisers, (and I suspect this would apply to all pre-war 8 inch cruisers) were not suitable for close-in night actions. Their fire control systems were not modern enough, turret speed was too slow and rate of fire was too slow.

In 41, the most modern cruisers were the Brooklyns. I don't know about the Brits but I think that their CLs were smaller, but in a night action in 41 a British cruiser might have a better advantage as they all had radar and in 1941 knew how to use it.



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RE: Best CA, fall 1941 - 11/20/2009 2:58:54 AM   
borner


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for the reasons you mentioned I think I would take a southampton class, although the brooklands did have better protection. still, not knowing what type of fight I am going into, I would still pick the Zara. Being 50% larger does help though.


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RE: Best CA, fall 1941 - 11/20/2009 6:42:09 PM   
Akos Gergely

 

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Since Wichita was essentially an 8" gunned version of the Brooklyns I can only agree with Tiornu as the best all-rounder, even with her stability problems.

Otherwise my bet would be on Mogami in a night battle, in 1941 (especially in AE :)).

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RE: Best CA, fall 1941 - 11/21/2009 11:04:33 PM   
Big B

 

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As the best CA in the Fall of 1941, aside from Hipper and Zara - the best by stats would unquestionably be New Orleans - by any stats.
Best AA, best armor & immunity zone, best range, best reliability, fire power excellent (aside from no torpedoes), Radar (soon anyway), usually unmentioned - but by far the best fire control system.

Judging the N.O. class by Savo Island is like judging the Zara class by Matapan - very deceptive ... and don't forget that San Francisco was responsible for dooming the Jap BB Hei (her 8" guns penetrated Hei's belt and flooded her engineering spaces).

Overall - best CA design of 1941 ... or 1942.

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RE: Best CA, fall 1941 - 11/26/2009 1:15:38 AM   
borner


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Hipper was good, but the power plant kept having leaks.

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