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"Ultimate battleship" designs

ceccherini

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Hello all, I'm searching infos regarding real (albeit conceptual only) battleship projects distinguishing themselves for extraordinary caliber of main guns and/or number of main guns and displacement. I'm aware of the following, some yet briefly discussed in other topics:
-Tillman maximum: 1916/1917 series of studies concerning the largest ship compatible with the Panama Channel locks dimension. 63/80000 tons of displacement, 18 inches vertical Armour, 25/30 knots of speed and a massive armament of 12 to 24 16 inches guns (the latter in sextuple mounts) or 13/15 18 inches guns.
-Russian 1914 superbattleship proposal: a pre-WW1 study for a 45000 tons battleship armed with 16 16in guns in quadruple turrets.
-Kaneda superbattleship: an insane pre WW1 Japanese concept (probably never seriously developed) of an half million tons battleship armed with 100 16in gun in 50 twin turrets
-Fujimoto dream battleship: a 1934 Japanese study of a battleship armed with 12 20in guns in quadruple or triple turrets, 16in vertical belt and 11in horizontal belt in, reportedly, only 50000 tons.
-USN 1934 maximum battleship study: a new "Panamax" battleship study but this time with a 8 20in guns main battery.
-late H series studies: Ww2 german paper projects for an hypothetical postwar battleship incorporating war lessons and a hybrid steam turbine/diesel powerplant. Final design was H44, a 140000 ton battleship with 8 20in guns.
-1944 USN study: a concept of a battleship incorporating war lessons. 106000 tons displacement and an Iowa based hull nearly 1200" long. No data on armament and armour
 

Tzoli

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Kaneda's Design was probably from 1922-23 when he was the director of the Kure Naval Yard.

You can add the last IJN Battleship proposal of a battleship with 51cm cannons on 100.000tons displacement (post "Super Yamato")

But define Ultimate battleship in your thinking.
 

GWrecks

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ceccherini said:
-1944 USN study: a concept of a battleship incorporating war lessons. 106000 tons displacement and an Iowa based hull nearly 1200" long. No data on armament and armour
Huh, never heard of this one. Is it perhaps related to BB65-8? Also, I'm reminded of how Tzoli mentioned how Illinois I think (?) would've had a much changed secondary battery placement when completed (Which reminds me more of a cruiser), so I'm thinking that might have something to do with this design too.

The Russian 16-gun battleship is also new to me.

Also, not really a battleship, but Incomparable would've been pretty big IIRC. Makes me wonder if Fisher ever proposed a standard dreadnought version. Early designs for the Lexington class were also very...long, but only armed with eight 14" guns I believe?

I'm probably not being coherent here...
 

Tzoli

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That is more of a study to see what is required for a ship to be "unsinkable" with torpedoes hence the large tonnage which was mostly associated with the underwater defence system with the longer hull required to maintain the speed of the Iowas.

The Russian 4x4 16" battleship was the ultimate battleship for the Baltic and Black Sea fleets:
http://www.gwpda.org/naval/irn16bb.htm
 

Iron Felix

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From "Superlinkori Stalina" and "Flot, kotoriy unichtozhil Hrushchev":
1935-1936 concepts:
4x4x18" guns, 26 knots, belt 380 mm
3x3x20" guns, 24-28 knots, belt 500 mm
3x2x21" guns, 24-28 knots, belt 500 mm
1945-1955 project "Maximum" (huge variant of Project 24):
Diceplacement - 130 000 ton
Speed to 29-30 knots
Main guns - 4x3x18" L/55 guns: shell 1580-1720 kg, charge 620 kg, muzzle velocity 820-850 mps, range 55+ km, 2-3 rpm
Second guns, or, big universal caliber - 6x220 mm or 8x180 mm universal guns (3x2, or 2x3 220 mm, 4x2, or 2x4 180 mm) - based on Project 84 turrets - double-barrel 180 mm universal guns, 9-10 rpm
Universal guns, or "small" universal caliber - combination of 152 + 100 mm, or only 130 mm guns. 152 mm guns in triple turrets, to 16 rpm, 100 and 130 mm guns in quadriple turrets, to 18 rpm.
I haven't data about AA guns of "Maximum" - on standart Projects 24 it was 12x4x25 mm and 12x4x45 mm - and about armour - on standart Project 24 belt 420-450 mm, decks 245 mm.
...
And, Russian Imperial concepts (from "Posledniye ispolini Rossiyskogo Imperatorskogo flota", S. Vinogradov):
In 1914 projected two type of 16" L/45 guns, with standart 1116.3 kg shell, for Wickers-Armstrong, charge 320 kg, speed 766 mps, and more powerful, for Obukhov plant, charge 373 kg, speed 820-850 mps, range 40+ km.
Also, "by perspective", in 1914 on Obukhov plant projected powerful 18" L/45 gun - shell 1586 kg, charge 540 kg, muzzle velocity 890 mps, range 50+ km.
Engineer Izenbek projected special loading system for main guns, and, in Russian WW1 16 inch battleship projects used turrets with this system. Izenbek system is: feed without intermediate mechanisms, automatic lowering of barrel, and others - analog of Soviet Cold war tank "caroussel" loading system. Standart rate of fire, without extra loads - 4 rpm on barrel (!) in 16 inch caliber, but, "more if needed". And, one Russian 8x16" project - it's acually two 8x16" American or Britich battleship :))) In Russia projected 8, 9, 10, 12 and 16-gun 16" battleships, it's a 35.7, 40.18, 44.65, 53.58 and 71.44 tons per minute - Yamato (9 guns x 1460 kg x 2 rpm) - 26.28 tons per minute. Full analog - Tillman, 5x3x18" guns, 1746 kg, 2 rpm, 52.38 tons per minute.
Also, projected specal distance-operated systems for second caliber, with autoloading of guns. By this concept, second caliber was more lighter than standart - small armoured (only guns and systems). Builted 6" L/50 gun, shell 47.3 kg, 850 mps, and projected 6" L/52 gun, shell 47.3 kg, 914 mps. Also, worked at 7" and 7.1" guns, projected 183 mm L/52 gun - B-1, B-1-K and B-1-P was a Soviet reincornation of this project.
Also, projected armour for big battleship - huge belt by full lenght, 12 inch, 18 inch in center, two 2.5 inch decks. Armoured of turret - to 20 inch.
And, projected type of artillery, 2x4 and 2x2 guns turrets.
Also, projected many guns - special AA, or only automatic.
Based in Maxim gun projected 47 mm auto cannon. Also, created concept of 76.2 and 95 mm (!) Maxim cannons.
Engineer Rosenberg in 1901 (!) projected 57 mm 6-round automatic AA gun.
Brothers Sergey and Vasiliy Valitskiy in 1885 builted 87 mm automatic cannon, based on M1877 field cannon. Maybe, it was first Russian automatic gun ever built.
In 1915 knyaz Chegodayev was projected 19-barrel (Gatling?!) AA gun "in minimall artillery caliber" - in Russian Empire 37 mm.
Also in 1915 engineer Kraukle projected gas-operated revolving heavy machine gun.
 

scorp

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Any images available for those 1935-36 and 1945-55 Soviet projects, Iron Felix? Thanks.
 

pathology_doc

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While we are on the topic of "Ultimate" battleships, does anyone know of any sort of British projects in this regard? I play an online game called "World of Warships" in which the ultimate ship in the British research line is a fiction called the Conqueror. It basically amounts to an upscaled Vanguard with Lion-class 16 inch triple turrets (though the guns are actually 16.5 inch), and an option for 18-inch (original Furious-type) guns in place of the triple 16 inch.

The general consensus among players of the game is that it represents a fictional 1940 reconstruction (along KGV-like lines) of one of the pre-Washington L2-class designs, but I'm wondering if there's anything else weird and wonderful out there that it could be.
 

RLBH

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While we are on the topic of "Ultimate" battleships, does anyone know of any sort of British projects in this regard? I play an online game called "World of Warships" in which the ultimate ship in the British research line is a fiction called the Conqueror. It basically amounts to an upscaled Vanguard with Lion-class 16 inch triple turrets (though the guns are actually 16.5 inch), and an option for 18-inch (original Furious-type) guns in place of the triple 16 inch.
One of the design studies leading to the LION design broadly meets that description, I believe it was 16L38 though I'm sure someone with the books at hand will correct me. Four triple 16", either six or eight twin 5.25", armour and machinery as for the selected design, rather lower speed - possibly only 26 knots or so, from memory.
 

Hood

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The only "ultimate" battleships studied for the RN were the various Lion class studies, if we are defining "ultimate" in terms of timeline.
I'm not aware of any proposals for 16.5in after Washington. The trouble with WoW is that there is a lot of fictional muddying of waters.
 

Tzoli

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That was 16E-38 of the Lion preliminaries:

Difficult to describe an ultimate battleship as such did not exist.
But the most armed battleship designs of the Royal Navy were the ABC designs eg the N3 series with many having triple 18"/45 cannons.
There was the HMS Incomparable BC from Lord Fisher with 3x2 20"

The L2 design looked very diffierent from that WoWs fantasy...

As you can see there were two L2s.
Even if they would had been built they would had a Nelson style bridge, but with modernisation she coudl had got (as proposed for the Nelsons themselves as well) a Warspite like proto KGV bridge.
 

Iron Felix

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While we are on the topic of "Ultimate" battleships, does anyone know of any sort of British projects in this regard? I play an online game called "World of Warships" in which the ultimate ship in the British research line is a fiction called the Conqueror. It basically amounts to an upscaled Vanguard with Lion-class 16 inch triple turrets (though the guns are actually 16.5 inch), and an option for 18-inch (original Furious-type) guns in place of the triple 16 inch.

The general consensus among players of the game is that it represents a fictional 1940 reconstruction (along KGV-like lines) of one of the pre-Washington L2-class designs, but I'm wondering if there's anything else weird and wonderful out there that it could be.
Gun on "Furious":
Gun on 1920-1922 projects:
 

Tzoli

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Yes, the only other capital ship which would carry the 18"/40 cannons was the three Admiral (Hood) preliminaries with 4x1, 3x2 or 4x2 such weapons
 

pathology_doc

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The trouble with WoW is that there is a lot of fictional muddying of waters.
Of which the playerbase itself is well aware, which is why I came here when my poring through Friedman's tome failed to turn up anything of concrete value. If anyone had anything concrete on this, it would be you guys.

Thank you all for your input.
 

pf matthews

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The following comes from an early copy of Warship when it was published as a quarterly 'magazine' instead of its now annual book format. Taken from an article about the Lion class battleships by John Roberts. I have the whole article in pdf format, but the file size exceeds forum limits, so, here are a concept of the 16E 38 (12 x 16in gunned design) and a table of Lion class preliminary designs data.
 

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Iron Felix

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Russian ultimate 1914 turrets (standart rate of fire - 4 rpm, and, it's not a maximum) - used in WW1 projects. True Wunderwaffe :)
 

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Tzoli

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Montana isn't ultimate at all. There were much strogner and larger designs then her, even among her preliminaries.
 

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Didn't the US introduce a rule that banned the production of guns above 16"?
 

Tzoli

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There was no rule just the Washington and the 1st and 2nd London Naval Treaties forbid the build of such armed warships for the signatory nations
The USN did produce 18" and 20" cannons in the early 20's before WNT
 

DWG

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While we are on the topic of "Ultimate" battleships, does anyone know of any sort of British projects in this regard?
There was the N3 class.
The UK was more focussed on minimizing the size of battleships to make them more economically feasible alongside the 70 cruisers the RN needed for its worldwide commitments. Hence various proposals for 12" and 14" battleships (and even an evaluation of 10") as the new standards at the various post WNT naval conferences, and why KGV ended up with 14" guns rather than the 16" it might have gone with if construction could have been delayed slightly.
 

Tzoli

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The 1945 Lions with their semi-automatic 16"/45 cannons (A 16/50 and a new 15"/50 was considered and the 15" seems to be under development in 1945 as well) might be considered for the Ultimate BBs of the RN
Especially the A design with its enormous size
 

Forest Green

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The UK was more focussed on minimizing the size of battleships to make them more economically feasible alongside the 70 cruisers the RN needed for its worldwide commitments. Hence various proposals for 12" and 14" battleships (and even an evaluation of 10") as the new standards at the various post WNT naval conferences, and why KGV ended up with 14" guns rather than the 16" it might have gone with if construction could have been delayed slightly.
True, there comes a points where building bigger isn't sensible. The Nelson class was the largest the RN actually built I think, which was derived from the N3.

You also have the fact that some of these 18-20" guns fire like 1 round per minute and you have fewer barrels typically too.
 
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ceccherini

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The 1945 Lions with their semi-automatic 16"/45 cannons (A 16/50 and a new 15"/50 was considered and the 15" seems to be under development in 1945 as well) might be considered for the Ultimate BBs of the RN
Especially the A design with its enormous size
Late War British battleship studies were very large but size increase was mainly driven by defensive and not offensive capabilities so they were not ultimate in the sense of largely superior to contemporary foreign adversaries. Many years ago I read about a British 150000 tons BB study but probably it was just an invention of some internet user. Still given the far too great importance that the RN attributed to BB from 1944 onwards, the large postwar Soviet capital ships program and the discovery of Yamato true gun caliber, it's strange RN never considered any increase in armament compared to late Treaty battleships (as the Soviet were doing in the same time frame, even proposing 12 18" guns before Stalin imposed the classic configuration of 9 16" guns) even if it was seriously contemplating the building of extremely large and expensive battleships.
 

Tzoli

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The Lion program died in around 1945 october and the true calibre of the Yamato was only discovered post war. The only hostile nation after ww2 was the Soviet Union havign only like two pre WW1 battleships and indeed many BB and BC projects while the allies had 3 Nations still holding Battleships in their disposal and a 4th, Italy could be regarded as an auxiliary in this matter. USN having major superiority both in numbers and quality.
 

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Late War British battleship studies were very large but size increase was mainly driven by defensive and not offensive capabilities so they were not ultimate in the sense of largely superior to contemporary foreign adversaries. Many years ago I read about a British 150000 tons BB study but probably it was just an invention of some internet user. Still given the far too great importance that the RN attributed to BB from 1944 onwards, the large postwar Soviet capital ships program and the discovery of Yamato true gun caliber, it's strange RN never considered any increase in armament compared to late Treaty battleships
I don't think this is entirely true, there were more ways of increasing battleship lethality than just increasing gun calibre. The RN interest was in improved shells, flashless charges and higher rates of fire to compliment its increasingly refined radar controlled gunnery. For instance, the objective RoF for the 16" MkIV gun in the Mk.III turret appears to have been three rounds per minute which would give a per ship shell output of 27 rounds per minute versus 24 for a Montana.
 
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ceccherini

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The Lion program died in around 1945 october and the true calibre of the Yamato was only discovered post war. The only hostile nation after ww2 was the Soviet Union havign only like two pre WW1 battleships and indeed many BB and BC projects while the allies had 3 Nations still holding Battleships in their disposal and a 4th, Italy could be regarded as an auxiliary in this matter. USN having major superiority both in numbers and quality.
While official confirmation only came postwar, it's now clear that allied know of Yamato size and armament at least by the end of 1944. That's not surprising given that battle of Leyte gulf permitted close observation by US aircrafts and in January or February 1945 even Life magazine published a very clear photo of Yamato taken by air. "only" the Soviet Union? Immediate British post war planning assumed a huge and very fast Soviet naval build up that was a very great concern as no one could have predict the US stance in future European conflicts (a doubt fully comprensibile in light on McMahon act) and even in case of US intervention the size of the Usn postwar fleet (rapidly shrinking between ww2 and Korean War). In the immediate postwar environment US-UK cooperation was neither as strong as in WW2 nor assured for the future while Ussr and Red Navy in particular was a huge potential threat. A large number of very large new Soviet battleships in a few years time frame was very possible (and in fact planned) and so for a gun minded admiralty a qualitative superiority in battleships should have made sense but I agree with JFC Fuller, qualitative superiority is not just or not necessarily to have larger guns.
 
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DWG

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the objective RoF for the 16" MkIV gun in the Mk.III turret appears to have been three rounds per minute which would give a per ship shell output of 27 rounds per minute versus 24 for a Montana.
The 1944/45 reboot of the Lion class considered the initial 70,000 ton concepts unbuildable (couldn't fit in UK docks), so looked at more lightly armoured three triple turret designs, and designs with two triple turrets. The three turret designs didn't get the weight down far enough, and by mid 45 the Admiralty had two alternatives, the 45,000t X3 with two triple 16" forward (and a brief fling with quad 15" instead), which was buildable, and B3, with three triples, which at 65,000t wasn't. So the most likely scenarios would be 18rpm/ship.
 
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Colonial-Marine

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Design for whatever loading setup that would be used to achieved the optimistic rate of 3 shells per minute per gun was never completed.
 

DWG

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The Nelson class was the largest the RN actually built I think, which was derived from the N3.
Hood was the largest, at 44,000t a full 10,000t heavier than the Nelsons. With better armour than the QEs and Rs, she's clearly a fast battleship rather than a battlecruiser.
 

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The far too great importance that the RN attributed to BB from 1944 onwards,
The Future Building Committee envisaged a 12 battleship future fleet in 1944, by 1945 this was known to be unaffordable, by 1947 the future fleet was down to the KGVs and Vanguard, and by 49 the KGVs started being reduced to reserve status, with only two battleships declared to the WEU. Any unjustified focus on battleships was fleeting at best. By contrast to the battleships, the 1944 carrier fleet concept would have had the 4 Maltas, the 4 Audacious (the eventual Ark Royal and Eagle), the six armoured deck carriers and the 22 light fleet carriers of the Colossus, Majestic and Centaur classes.
 

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I have an official paper from late 1944 early 1945 from the Admiralty itself comparing various designs including Yamato and in those the data wasn't even close to what Yamato actually had still stating 16" armament and around 45-50.000tons.
Yes, the allies had vague knowledge about the Yamatos and suspected it's true size and armament but there were nothing precise until after the war.
 

ceccherini

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I have an official paper from late 1944 early 1945 from the Admiralty itself comparing various designs including Yamato and in those the data wasn't even close to what Yamato actually had still stating 16" armament and around 45-50.000tons.
Yes, the allies had vague knowledge about the Yamatos and suspected it's true size and armament but there were nothing precise until after the war.
Still by the time of Ten-Go, US operations against Yamato were planned estimating the range of 18 inches guns on the enemy's side. Confidential informations are not shared uniformally to every level nor to anyone, that's not a falsification of a general consensus between intelligence analysts about the capabilities of Yamato class. Also there were rumors that future Soviet battleships were to be armed with 18 inches guns (that was the initial plan).
 
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Quadruple torpedo tubes on designs A though A2 are a bit of an odd addition.
 
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