From: San Diego (Lives in Indianapolis)
The case of the Battle cruiser is once again marketing run amuck. Jackie Fisher wanted the Battle cruiser to be the ultimate scout. It was big (so could operate in bad weather and carry a LOOOOOTTT of fuel, so it run at high speeds a long time). But no one wanted to spend that kind of money on a big scout. So other duties were assigned , like anti-commerce , long range patrol, and showing the flag. And of course the word "battle" sounds so damned sexy. Irresistible. Thers your problem. A Battle cruiser was never intended to go to to toe with a battleship. If it spotted one , it was to turn and run from it. Remaining just in sight , but just out of range.
Historically it was a "large frigate". In Nelson's day a 44 gun frigate , or a fast Razee (cut down ship of the line) would have done the same duty. The problem was , aircraft were just arriving on the scene for the same mission. Now the USN hated the word Battle Cruiser. A cruiser was a scout vessel, a commerce protection or raider, a general purpose vessel. Consequently it felt that "Large cruiser" was must more appropriate a word , and description.
The "Territory class" of CB's were a strange breed. By the time they were laid down the scouting mission was gone, but there's some debate over their intent. Maybe it's a case of "The Jone's have it"...(the Japanese are building them so we need them...) but the USN had never feared NOT playing the game. Since they were designed before the war , I suspect it would be easier to sell congress on 6 more "Large cruisers" than 6 Battle cruisers, or battleships. And they could be used for convoy and carrier escorts to protect against the surface threat (a role they eventually did any way) freeing the big new battleships to go out and kill other battleships. War changes things, theories change, doctrine changes , but hardware takes a long time to change. So you build two, cancel four.
Frankly, I'm a strong defender of Battleships and their continued usefulness as capital ships during and just after the second world war. Yes, Yamato was sunk after being attacked by 300 airplanes for an hours. News flash everyone, less planes did more to the IJN at Midway. Similarly force Z was sunk, after being attacked all day, with the PoW High Angle radar out, and she still nearly survived, while Repulse was sunk by literally the last two torpedoes dropped before night set in--all while the TF was being commanded by a man who insisted it didn't air cover until over an hour after the air attack had started.
These things weighed against the shore bombardment role, the battleships continued successful use as an anti-ship platform at Guadalcanal and Leyte Gulf (and the near success of the Japanese with them on multiple occasions)--not to mention that it was the only capital ship worth it salt at night during the period--does not equal the antiquated reputation Battleships seem to have been assigned to the "history" of the Second World War.
Now having said that, those territory cruisers always made me scratch my head. They canceled the Montanas--rightly so I think, the Iowas were more than enough--but kept right on building these...
They finished them a few months before the war ended, immediately put them in reserve/moved them to the scrap yard when the war was over.
< Message edited by Revthought -- 5/8/2016 2:24:10 AM >
Playing at war is a far better vocation than making people fight in them.