I was watching a video on the older standard type battleships (Navada class) and I was playing with the idea of what if Japanese damage at Pearl Harbor had been so superficial to the Battlefleet (either because of US preparedness due to intercepting radio traffic or luck) that they would have been ready for war within a couple of months. I doubt the US having seen the power of the carrier and knowing the slow speed of the standard type battleships at 21 knots would have tried to employ these ships against the Japanese. They would however have made excellent convoy escorts across the Atlantic/Arctic providing cover against German raiders. This to me (aside from shore-bombardment and becoming floating AA farms) seems like a rational use the allies would have had for these ships had they been ready to fight more quickly. What do you guys think?
Only half the BBs there were seriously hit. The other half were formed into Task Force 1 which by February 1942 was almost as strong as the Pacific Fleet had been at Pearl Harbor. In fact 3 of the 6 Atlantic Fleet BBs were transferred to the Pacific. As long as the Japanese had battleships in the Pacific the US wasn't sending there's away.
That’s interesting I didn’t know that. Curious that in 1942 we were stilling relying on our old BB’s when carriers had proven far more effective by that point. They couldn’t keep up with the fast carrier task force and were slower than most Japanese BB’s.
In 1942 there were no US carrier aircraft that could reliably hit a battleship, let alone sink a group of them. TBDs were too slow and brittle to deliver their payloads. SBDs couldn’t deliver enough of a pounding to win before attrition would force them to back down. The advent of carrier dominance was not complete until Avengers and Helldivers proved they could sink battleships.
That is a good point. However with the first South Dakotans coming online and the North Carolina’s ready for service one would think they’d deploy all of those units to the Pacific and assign the old battleships to convoys headed to Russia or the UK.
We assumed the old Japanese BB's were the same speed as ours and didn't realize how much faster they were. A lot of the early treaty BB's instead did a stink in the Atlantic to face off against Tirpitz. As for the Pacific we weren't just trying to maintain parity, we were attempting to gain a numerical advantage.
Interesting. I was familiar with the stints the treaty-era BB’s did in the Atlantic (Washington serving in Scapa, Massachusetts in North Africa). I didn’t know that our intelligence wasn’t aware of how fast IJN battleships were. I can see why the US would want to try and gain an advantage in the Pacific.