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"The US Navy Had Plans to Build the Ultimate Battleship" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2018 12:58 p.m. PST

….. Here's Why It Never Happened.

"The Montanas would have been immensely powerful ships, probably more powerful than their Japanese (or German, or Soviet) counterparts. Battleship combat was an inherently risky endeavor . Nearly every salvo has a chance of getting a lucky hit that strikes a magazine, sending the victim to the bottom in minutes. Nevertheless, the Montanas would have been the favorites in any scrum; they could throw more weight, hit harder, and hit more accurately than any of the competitors.

In the early 1940s, the U.S. Navy still expected to need huge, first rate battleships to fight the best that Japan and Germany had to offer . The North Carolina, South Dakota, and Iowa class battleships all involved design compromises. The Montanas, the last battleships designed by the U.S. Navy (USN), would not…."
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Lion in the Stars11 Aug 2018 7:31 p.m. PST

Honestly, the biggest problem with the Montanas was their size. The Iowas are just barely small enough to fit inside the Panama Canal (there is 12" of space between the side of an Iowa-class and the side of the Canal locks!)

That means the Montanas would have had to spend an extra 4-6 months going around South America, effectively limiting them to one ocean. Modern carriers have a similar problem, but we deal with that by having them deployed accordingly.

Montanas are fun to play in World of Warships, once you grind your way up to them. But WoW isn't super-realistic in terms of ship combat.

StarCruiser11 Aug 2018 7:36 p.m. PST

It's already well known that the US had plans to add larger locks in the Panama Canal, even back then.

That plan didn't happen, and the Montanas had become irrelevant as air power was quickly becoming the deciding factor in the Pacific…

Lion in the Stars12 Aug 2018 3:27 p.m. PST

Adding larger locks to the Panama Canal would have taken about a decade, which would still leave the Montanas 'stuck' in whichever ocean they were launched (probably the Atlantic, though it's possible Bremerton could have built a couple in the Pacific) for WW2.

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