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BB-72 to BB-78, post-Montana battleships ?

Archibald

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Seven battleships BB 72 through BB 78 were projected in 1942. Armament was to consist of 8 × 18 in (4x2).

More info ? Whe one see the huge size of the projected Montanas... :eek:
 

elmayerle

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As an educated guess, I'd say something very similar to the Montana-class except with dual 18" turrets instead of triple 16" turrets.
 

smurf

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I'm afraid these are extremely tenuous. See
http://www.phpbbplanet.com/warshipprojects/viewtopic.php?t=1136&highlight=bb72&mforum=warshipprojects
 

Skybolt

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Agree... there is a lot of fantasy work about the late US battleships projects. Some very amusing and impressive. I have some three dozens of profiles on my HD. No-one has ever provided an hard proof (eg. a drawing). Neither Friedman managed to find anything.
 

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The BB72-78 “battleships” were and still are the product of the media. Firstly the wartime press who, in the absence of any authorised data, speculated on what could possibly follow the Montana designs. Currently the BB72-78 “design” is enjoying a second lease of life courtesy of the internet – notably Wikopedia which has an unreferenced entry on this topic. This data appears, with the same wording, on a number of other sites which do not appear to have any interest in the authenticity of their information. It is interesting that many of the naval history web-sites that deal with authenticated warship designs and projects make no mention of the BB72-78 battleships.

There is no mention of the BB72-78 in Friedman’s “US Battleships a Design History” nor in Dulin & Garzke’s “Battleships - United States battleships of in World War II”, but Polmar in “Ships and Aircraft of the US Fleet” (P128/129) does mention the speculation that took place in regard to this “design” during the war years.

The reality is that other than a small number of design studies that were not intended for production the Montana class design was the end of the US Navy's battleship designs.
 

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Archibald said:
Seven battleships BB 72 through BB 78 were projected in 1942. Armament was to consist of 8 × 18 in (4x2).

More info ? Whe one see the huge size of the projected Montanas... :eek:

http://web.mst.edu/~rogersda/american&military_history/World%27s%20Fastest%20Battleships.pdf

http://www.navysite.de/bb/bb67class.htm

http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/usnshtp/bb/bb67.htm

--Lee
 

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"The 106,500 ton study was a paper project and was initated before the Montana and her sisters were cancelled. The fast Montana was BB65-8 another preliminary to Montana.
The 18inch gun Georgia and Virginia classes produced by ALNAVCO are mythical and are intended for wargame use"
 

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Comparing the Montana class to original (1920s) South Dakota class which also had 12 16 inch, 50 caliber guns, what caused the weight and size growth that would have prevented the Montanas from using the Panama Canal? Bigger powerplant, more armor?
 

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The specifications for the Montana have me wondering, also. A slower speed and inability to use the Canal are really worth the tradeoff for the extra firepower? Was the extra armor and protection a last desperate gasp for survival in the projected airpower dominated world of the mid to late 40s?
 

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I don't think airpower was the primary driver. There were three obvious sources of displacement growth in the Montana design compared to the 1920 SoDak concept, and only one is primarily motiovated by airpower

1) 4-5 knots more speed and a rough tripling of installed engine power. The increased speed was needed to stay with the rest of the US battle line.

2) a significant increase in armor so that the Montana could claim to be protected against the newest heavy ammunition from its own 16-inch guns. There was more deck armor, but I don't think that was driven particularly by aerial bombs (could be wrong on that front, though)

3) the switch from casemated antisurface-only 6-inch secondary guns to a larger number of turreted high-angle dual-purpose 5-inch mounts. That was certainly motivated in large part by the need for improved medium AA capability (thought the 5-inch/54 was an excellent anti-surface gun as well).
 

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I know this thread is ancient, but I'm interested in knowing where you found this quote? I've never heard of these studies.

airman said:
"The 106,500 ton study was a paper project and was initated before the Montana and her sisters were cancelled. The fast Montana was BB65-8 another preliminary to Montana.
The 18inch gun Georgia and Virginia classes produced by ALNAVCO are mythical and are intended for wargame use"
 

ceccherini

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There are mentions of it in Friedman's book about U.S. battleship design history. It was a project to adapt Montana's armor and torpedo defence design to the lessons of the war. Hull form was the same but expanded to the dimensional limit of the new panama locks (1200 ft. long and 142 ft. wide). It was never intended for production, you can consider it the american equivalent of german H design series from H-42. Armament was the same while speed was greater thanks to the better length-beam ratio. A real but short lived Montana follow on project was instead for 8 new battleship with same dimensions and main armament of BB67 but with an increased AA armament, a slight decrease in speed (to the same of South Dakota, so from 28-29 knots to 27) and some minor modification to armor. Sorry for my bad english
 

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Hi Ceccherini, thank you for the information. Which of Friedman's books does this come from? I'd guess that twelve 16" guns would have been the preferred choice but was any consideration given to other calibers, particularity the USN's own 18"? I'd also love to know what sort of ideas they had to enhance AA armament, I know the 6" dual-purpose gun (used on the Worchester class light cruiser) was considered in some earlier studies. By the way your English is fine.
 

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There were a study around the time of the Iowas under development to mount 3 triple 18" turrets on them, but the design came up way too slow for USN and abandoned. Imagine an Iowa, same layout just bigger guns but slower speed. Not sure about armour though...
 

ceccherini

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Colonial-Marine said:
Hi Ceccherini, thank you for the information. Which of Friedman's books does this come from? I'd guess that twelve 16" guns would have been the preferred choice but was any consideration given to other calibers, particularity the USN's own 18"? I'd also love to know what sort of ideas they had to enhance AA armament, I know the 6" dual-purpose gun (used on the Worchester class light cruiser) was considered in some earlier studies. By the way your English is fine.
You're welcome! Thank you for your undeserved appreciation of my limping english. The book is "U.S. Battleship: an illustrated design history" and the reference to the 106'500 ton design is at the end of the chapter dedicated to the Montana's design history, if I remember correctly. The 6 inch automatic gun wasn't considered for post Montana battleship, instead general board proposed not less than 32 5"/54. Also in the scarce description of these projects there is no mention about an ipotetical employment of the 18"/47 that, strangely was in testing at the time although non intended for any project, even those purely conceptual.
 

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I have that book in front of me and read it cover to cover before, and it has absolutely no mention of any 106.000 ton ship or 18in gun ship at the end of the Montana chapter. The final USN battleship studies concerned increasing Montana class deck armor at the expense of belt armor, mainly they wanted a 3in upper deck so it would stop 500lb bombs completely, and some notional work on revised Montana style hulls with 12 or 9 guns, varying speed, and completely revised anti aircraft batteries using the 5/54 gun. Nothing like 32 such weapons was proposed either, the mention is of a dozen. It was far heavier then the 5/38cal.

Sounds like internet nonsense with made up citations to me.

The largest US battleship in the book is a 90,000 ton Tillman linked proposal of which no real details are provided. That design series of course was never serious and only conducted to satisfy congressional inquiry.
 

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The 106.500ton Montana study is as said a paper study to make the ship immune to torpedo damage (or as described unsinkable by torpedoes) which resulted increasing the the displacement by 50%! The same study for Iowa resulted "only" 20.000ton increase in displacement!
This study is mentioned in Dulin & Garzke's US Battleships and one of the Warship issue mentioned by John Roberts.

The 18" armed Iowa design was from 1938 April, it displaced around 45.000tons and had slightly thicker armour than the original Iowa.
 

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Friedman does mention this gun in it's USN battleships book:
page 331 lower right corner mentions a 3x2 18" ship on 45.000tons for the Montana/Iowa development line of 1938/39

there is also a mention for n 50.000ton maximum battleship with 3x3 18" cannons at page 239 (together with 20" designs! originally 24"! ) of 1934/35
 

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Any chance there is mention of a conceptual South Dakota class at 80,000 tons with 15 18" guns in 5 turrets? I could swear I read somewhere they'd looked at that idea before settling on the eventual South Dakota class design.
 

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sferrin said:
Any chance there is mention of a conceptual South Dakota class at 80,000 tons with 15 18" guns in 5 turrets? I could swear I read somewhere they'd looked at that idea before settling on the eventual South Dakota class design.

Which South Dakota? South Dakota I of 1920 or the actually built South Dakota II of 1939
 

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That sounds like one of the Maximum Battleships (specifically Design IV-2) drawn up for Senator Tillman in 1915-1916 to establish what the biggest ship was that could use existing infrastructure.
 

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RLBH said:
That sounds like one of the Maximum Battleships (specifically Design IV-2) drawn up for Senator Tillman in 1915-1916 to establish what the biggest ship was that could use existing infrastructure.

Yes, USN does not really favoured the 18" Cannons. Tillman's proposals featured them and considered for the Iowas as well, otherwise the USN was quite happy with it's 16" weapons. Might be a different case id WNT was't enacted and the USN had to cope with the 18" armed N3's (Saint class) the French 45cm armed proposal or the Japanese No.13 class (with preliminaries of 4x2, 5x2, 4x3 or 2x2,3x3 46cm cannons)
 

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RLBH said:
That sounds like one of the Maximum Battleships (specifically Design IV-2) drawn up for Senator Tillman in 1915-1916 to establish what the biggest ship was that could use existing infrastructure.

Yep, just checked the source. (Weapons and Warfare Volume 22 - which I strongly recommend picking up on eBay, anybody who has an interest in weapons of every stripe up to about 1980-ish.)

15 18" guns in a 3x5 configuration, 80,000 tons, 35 knots. Would NOT have been Panama Canal compatible.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/WEAPONS-AND-WARFARE-24-VOLUME-HARDCOVER-SET-/161981911179?hash=item25b6dfd08b:g:lXsAAOSwuYVWn8x3
 

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sferrin said:
RLBH said:
That sounds like one of the Maximum Battleships (specifically Design IV-2) drawn up for Senator Tillman in 1915-1916 to establish what the biggest ship was that could use existing infrastructure.

Yep, just checked the source. (Weapons and Warfare Volume 22 - which I strongly recommend picking up on eBay, anybody who has an interest in weapons of every stripe up to about 1980-ish.)

15 18" guns in a 3x5 configuration, 80,000 tons, 35 knots. Would NOT have been Panama Canal compatible.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/WEAPONS-AND-WARFARE-24-VOLUME-HARDCOVER-SET-/161981911179?hash=item25b6dfd08b:g:lXsAAOSwuYVWn8x3

You are wrong, they ARE capable to travel through the panama canals. Iowas were designed as such and they could travel and these designs had the same width.
The old lock chambers are 110 ft (33.53 m) wide by 1,050 ft (320 m) long, with a usable length of 1,000 ft (305 m) which are in the dimensions of these ships.
 

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sferrin said:
RLBH said:
That sounds like one of the Maximum Battleships (specifically Design IV-2) drawn up for Senator Tillman in 1915-1916 to establish what the biggest ship was that could use existing infrastructure.

Yep, just checked the source. (Weapons and Warfare Volume 22 - which I strongly recommend picking up on eBay, anybody who has an interest in weapons of every stripe up to about 1980-ish.)

15 18" guns in a 3x5 configuration, 80,000 tons, 35 knots. Would NOT have been Panama Canal compatible.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/WEAPONS-AND-WARFARE-24-VOLUME-HARDCOVER-SET-/161981911179?hash=item25b6dfd08b:g:lXsAAOSwuYVWn8x3

I'm not sure what your source is talking about, but if they're referring to the Tillman battleships, their data on the ship's configuration and speed is incorrect. I've used that series before, and it has some good stuff, to be sure, but it also has gaps in its scholarship. I'm looking at the Navy's actual "Spring Styles" draft plans for the Tillman IV-2 design right now. Key specs:

Length on waterline: 975 ft.
Beam: 108 ft.
Draft: 32 ft. 5 in.
Displacement: 80,000 t
Armament: 15 x 18"/50 MCG in 5x3 arrangement (two turrets superfiring forward, three turrets aft with turret C facing forward, turret D superfiring over turret E)
Secondary armament: 21 x 6" secondary guns in casemates, unspecified single 3" heavy AA, 4 x 21" torpedo tubes
Propulsion arrangement: electric drive, 24 boiler rooms, quadruple shafts
Output: 90,000 EHP, 25.2 knots maximum speed, cruising range 12,000 miles @ 10 knots
Armor: 16" main belt (tapered down to 8"), 5-15" barbettes, 21" turrets, 5" turret tops, 18" conning tower.
Other armor: protective decks (horizontal armor) indicated at total thickness of 200* and 180*, but that's not inches, so not sure what they're referring to. Another source says 5" deck armor.
Torpedo protection: 4 torpedo bulkheads.
Superstructure: Armored conning tower behind turret B, lattice mast behind conning tower, three funnels, with second lattice mast between funnels 2 & 3, flush-deck design
Estimated cost: $50 million each (approx. three times cost of BB-45), estimated requirement for five-ship squadron ($250 million). The entire 1916 Program, by the way, cost $500 million

The IV-2 design, which is the ultimate variant of the Tillman-inspired maximum battleship studies is a Panamax specification, but it's still compatible with the Canal. The absolute limiting dimensions of the canal were 1000' x 110' x 40' (a 108' beam and a 38' draft were considered the upper limit, though).

As for speed, no US battleship design had a 35-knot top speed. The fastest pre-Washington true capital ship designs were the Design C and Design D fast-battleship/battlecruiser hybrids, and the 900-foot Design C (54,500 tons, 12 x 16"/50 in superfiring triples) still only produced 30.0 knots on 90,000 EHP. The General Board rejected it out of hand as too expensive, and more importantly, too novel. The original designs for the CC-1 battlecruiser had a 35-knot speed, but only because they had just 10 x 14" main guns, a 5" belt, and deck armor of just 1.5", on a displacement of 35,000 tons. The revised design, with 8 x 16"/50 guns and modestly improved armor, would have produced 33 knots on 43,500 tons, still on 90,000 EHP.
 

sferrin

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Sounds like Weapons and Warfare got a few things mixed up.

edit - Just double checked. The book said the reason they went smaller was because the larger designs couldn't fit through the canal. (Not saying the book is correct, just that that is what it says.)
 

carsinamerica

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sferrin said:
Sounds like Weapons and Warfare got a few things mixed up.

edit - Just double checked. The book said the reason they went smaller was because the larger designs couldn't fit through the canal. (Not saying the book is correct, just that that is what it says.)

I think they might have screwed that up, too. The whole point of the design series was that every class of ship kept getting bigger, and costs were spiraling on pace with displacement. They'd gone from 16,000 tons in the BB-26 (South Carolina) class to 31,400 tons in the BB-38 (Pennsylvania) class, and that was in less than a decade of design. Senator Ben Tillman, in 1912, wrote a resolution insisting that the Navy Department investigate the "maximum battleship," saying that the Navy should, "[F]ind out from authentic and reliable sources the maximum size and maximum draft, the maximum thickness of armor to make the very best battleship that the world has ever seen or ever will see.....Let us find out just how far we can go with any degree of safety and go there at once. Let us leave some money in the Treasury for other more necessary and useful expenditures....." (quoted in O'Connell, Robert L. Sacred Vessels: The Cult of the Battleship and the Rise of the U.S. Navy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991, pp. 133-134).

After some consideration, the Bureau of Construction & Repair decided that the limiting factor was the Panama Canal, and developed a series of battleship designs whose dimensions were Panamaxed, and then worked out what could be done on those dimensions, with that displacement. For a time, they were considering sextuple turrets with 16" guns, before switching to the triple-18" turret for Design 4, which was then worked out in more detail as Design IV-1 and IV-2. As far as I know, though, they were always using the canal's dimensions as the finishing point, since otherwise there would be no practical limit.

Interestingly, when the Navy was beginning pre-planning for 1930s dreadnoguhts, they revisited the "maximum battleship" concept as a way of figuring out what the Japanese might build if the London Naval Treaty were to be abrogated, and how the US might counter it with a Panamax design. They considered two approaches:
  • A 66,000-ton design, 975' x 107' x 33.5', with 8 x 20" MCG in 4x2 turrets, 20 x 5" secondaries, and 16 x 1.1" heavy AA. Belt armor would have been 16", as were the barbettes, well-armored turrets (18" faces, 7" tops), with a 6.5" armor deck. Quadruple-screw turboelectric machinery would have produced 25.3 knots on 88,300 shp.
  • A 72,500-ton design, with draft increased to 37', the same armament and roughly equivalent armor (about 1,000 tons extra), but with a bluffer hull form and more engineering space to produce 220,000 shp in order to achieve a maximum speed of 30.0 knots.

It wasn't until the BB-67 design that the Navy was willing to exceed the Canal's limitations, and even then only because they planned to build a new set of larger locks.
 

Nick Sumner

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I think the 'total thickness of 200* and 180*,' for deck armour possibly refers to the weight of the plating. 5 inch thick steel would weigh 200lbs per square foot. 180lbs would be 4.5 inches
 

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I've got to wonder about the insane sounding sextuple 16" turret. Just doesn't seem practical for all sorts of reasons.
 

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It's not impossible to imagine a sextuple turret. Design it like the French did and put in two three-gun mounts like they used in the Pennsylvanias and the early Treaty cruisers. That way there's only two mounts to elevate instead of six individual guns.
 

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The Tillman sextuple turret is a triple twin turret where you can elevate 3 pairs of guns separately but not all separately.
In the 1920's japan played with the idea of how to put 41cm guns in quad turrets and they thought of multiple solutions:
Single: 4 guns elevated separately,
Double Twin: two pairs of guns elevated separately
Elevated quad: all 4 guns on two levels elevated together
Triple: the centre twin and the 1-1 side guns elevated separately:
0cfc29c7.jpg

(The quad turrets were used as part of the no.13 capital ship preliminary series of designs)

As for the 1930's Maximum battleship, here are drawings how it would had looked like:
usNkxNd.png

Max_BB.jpg
 
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ceccherini

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Where did you find that wonderfull picture of japanese proposed quadruple turrets? Also is the USN the only navy that thought about sextuple turret?
 

Tzoli

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ceccherini said:
Where did you find that wonderfull picture of japanese proposed quadruple turrets? Also is the USN the only navy that thought about sextuple turret?

First it was mentioned in the Hiraga archive in a weight and size table:
And later I've found this photo on the net searching for 41cm guns and turrets in Japanese:
http://kancolle-news.com/archives/40737120.html
NOgozUe.jpg
 

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The Hiraga Archive, the gift that keeps on giving!

WRT to Ceccherini's question on sextuple turrets, the UK deployed one, but only for LAA, the 40mm Bofors mount on Vanguard, the planned replacement for the octuple 2pdr mount on the wartime battleships and carriers.
 

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WRT a big gun sextuple mount, the primary problem, assuming you don't go to a double-stacked arrangement, is that you're doubling the barbette diameter over a triple, which becomes difficult to fit into the hull at bow and stern. You may be forced to look at the layout ISTR the French looked at for one of their inter-war BC designs, where they put two quads amidships.

The other issue is going to be mutual interference between shells, which was a major source of inaccuracy in some triples, and is going to be far worse in a sextuple, particularly a double-stacked one.
 

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DWG said:
The Hiraga Archive, the gift that keeps on giving!

WRT to Ceccherini's question on sextuple turrets, the UK deployed one, but only for LAA, the 40mm Bofors mount on Vanguard, the planned replacement for the octuple 2pdr mount on the wartime battleships and carriers.

Indeed! It is a masterpiece of information! It would be even better if we could read the Japanese text! Though many were written with hand writings and even Japanese had trouble reading them!
Also it does not even contain the full archive, because my friend have some Japanese books containing drawings from he Archive yet they are not present in it, not to mention there are many blank pages in it or pages with a 1-2 words written on them!.
 

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Thanks for that information on Japanese quadruple turret designs Tzoli, fascinating stuff. Eventually the Japanese decided on larger (46cm) guns for the No.13 class right?

Anyway, seems like fitting four sextuple 16" turrets on a design that has to fit through the Panama Canal would be quite a design challenge.

Regarding the 1934 maximum battleship it looks like it doesn't follow the traditional USN design rule of having some degree of protection against your own guns. I can't imagine that even 16" of belt armor would be enough to provide a significant immunity zone against a 20" shell.
 

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Colonial, actually, the design resolution was brought about by a very large body coefficient, essentially wall slabbed hull sides to increase volume. The sextuples were three pairs of 16" which of course brought about their own problems because of the size of the opening in the girder. The designs did manage to draw the turret/barbettes closer amidships (see the 18" versions) but you understand well that they still were at the hull quarterturns. What is more the problem is that of weights on the roller paths. The weight in turn requires very powerful electric motors, most unlikely the USN would have gone for hydraulics. While doable, the 18" versions did represent a more reasoned design, and if the HG were pared down to 10-18" would certainly give a more balanced design.
 

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How the United States Navy perceived the likely post-War line up (pre-Truman and Attlee):
Very interesting, especially the mention of the 60000 ton battleship design to be possibly built after Illinois and Kentucky. The displacement figure is consistent with Montana class but it is referred as a Gibbs private venture so it could be something completely different. The only post-Midway USN battleship's design activity I've ever heard of is the 106000 ton "super Iowa" conceptual study.
 

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Actually there was another post Montana study made by two University Students for a small Battleship from around 1942.

But this Gibbs & Cox proposal is new to me as well! This firm did produced battleships designs for the Soviets in 1936-39 so it's not impossible they continued to propose such for the USN when war broke out. Question is does this firm had any archives which survived the past 75 years?

That 106.000ton Super Iowa study you referring are a qucijk study of how large should the Iowa be to be basically unsinkable by torpedoes. Most of the extra tons went into underwater protection.
small-bb-jpg.630485
 

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