World War II in the Pacific
Delaware Class . 1910. 10- 12"/48 ; 20,000 tons ; 519 feet ; 20 knots.
Two ships: Delaware (BB-28) and North Dakota (BB-29), were an upgrade to the South Carolina design but 25% heavier. Authorized later, but also completed in 1910. Both ships were scrapped by treaty in the 1920s.
Florida Class 1911. 10- 12"/48 ; 21,800 tons ; 522 feet ; 21 knots.
Two ships: Florida (BB-30) and Utah (BB-31). Authorized in 1908 and commissioned in 1911. 21,800 tons, 10-12"/48. Coal burners, both served briefly in Great Britain. Florida was scrapped in 1931 per treaty. The second was demilitarized and became a target ship; Utah (AG-16) was sunk at Pearl Harbor where she remains. She was sited where Saratoga (CV-3) normally berthed and her plank deck with no big guns was mistaken for that carrier.
Wyoming Class . 1912. 12- 12" ; 26,100 tons ; 562 feet ; 21 knots.
Two ships; Wyoming (BB-32/AG-17) Arkansas (BB-33); Last of the 12" battleships, laid down in 1910, completed in 1912 with six dual turrets for her 12" guns. Flush deck and her secondary guns mounted high above the waterline. Coal burner. This class reached the limit of 12" armed battleships. Wyoming had been converted to a gunnery training ship, AG-17, per treaty, and operated in the Chesapeake Bay during the war. Arkansas served in the Atlantic theater until the battles moved beyond the coasts and she arrived in the Pacific in 1945.
New York Class . 1914. 10- 14"/45 ; 27,000 tons ; 573 feet ; 21 knots.
Two ships; New York (BB-34) and Texas (BB-35); 10-14"/45. laid down in 1911. Start of the second generation of dreadnoughts with larger guns in five dual turrets. Remained coal burners. Secondary armament remained in casements of 5" guns for torpedo boat (destroyer) defense, but added anti-aircraft machine guns. Both served in the Atlantic until Dec 1944.
Nevada Class . 1916. 10- 14"/45 ; 27,500 tons ; 583 feet ; 20 knots.
Two ships: Nevada (BB-36) and Oklahoma (BB-37) laid down in 1912. Introduced oil fired boilers and all-or-nothing armor scheme. Heavy armor provided for vitals: boilers, engines, magazines; and leave bow and stern unarmored, thereby using weight where it counted. Removed amidships turret yet keep the same number of guns the same by making fore-most and aft-most turrets triples. Oklahoma did not survive Pearl Harbor.
Pennsylvania Class . 1916. 12- 14"/45 guns ; 31,400 tons ; 608 feet ; 21 knots.
Two ships: Pennsylvania (BB-38) laid down in 1913 and Arizona (BB-39) laid down in 1914, commissioned in 1916. Slightly larger then preceding class with all four turrets triples. Arizona is a memorial in Pearl Harbor.
New Mexico Class . 1917. 12- 14"/50 guns ; 33,400 tons; 624 feet ; 21 knots.
Three ships; New Mexico (BB-40), Mississippi (BB-41), and Idaho (BB-42); The money for an extra ship came from sale of 1908 pre-dreadnoughts Mississippi (BB-23) and Idaho (BB-24) to Greece. Essentially same as preceding class except with new style "clipper" bow and an upgraded 14" gun. Most had 12 single 5"/25 secondary guns, except Idaho had ten enclosed 5"/38 dual purpose guns.
Tennessee Class . 1920-21. 12- 14"/50 guns ; 32,600 tons; 624 feet. Two ships: Tennessee (BB-43) and California (BB-44), Laid down in May 1917 and Oct 1916; commissioned June 1920 and Oct 1921. Essentially the same as the preceding class, but with turbo-electric propulsion and all secondary guns mounted in the superstructure.
Colorado Class . 1921-23. 8- 16"/45 guns ; 32,500 tons ; 624 feet ; 21 knots. Three ships completed: Colorado (BB-45), Maryland (BB-46), Washington (BB-47)(incomplete, used as target per treaty), and West Virginia (BB-48); laid down in 1917 and completed 1921 and 1923. Similar to preceding class except main armament exchanged four triple 14" turrets for four turrets of double 16" guns. It was the first class able to make use of the experiences of the First World War. All guns were placed above the main deck, the first class without casement guns.
After WWI, a naval arms treaty resulted in cancellation or scrapping on the ways, seven battleships: BB-47 of the Colorado Class and BB-49 to 54 of the very large South Dakota Class. A new South Dakota class was completed after the Treaty ended. Also during this period, Billy Mitchell showed that battleships could be sunk by Army Air Service aircraft bombing
North Carolina Class . 1941. 9- 16"/ guns ; 37,000 tons ; 729 feet ; 30 knots Two ships: North Carolina (BB-55) and Washington (BB-56). Designed to Treaty standards to not exceed 35,000 tons, but when the treaty expired the armament was upgraded to 9-16" guns and the speed capability raised to 30 knots for a slightly heavier ship. Laid down Oct37 and June38, commissioned Apr41 and May41. These were the first ships built without the lattice mast, made extensive use of welding, and the last to be finished before the US entered the war.
South Dakota Class . 1942. 9- 16"/50 guns ; 42,000 tons ; 681 feet ; 28 knots. Four ships: South Dakota (BB-57), Indiana (BB-58), Massachusetts (BB-59), and Alabama (BB-60); More compact at 681 feet, with weight savings used in extra armor. Because fatter, they were also slower. The need to keep up with fast carriers was not predicted in the design.
Iowa Class .1943-44, 9- 16"/50 guns ; 45,000 tons ; 887 feet ; 30 knots. Four ships: Iowa (BB-61), New Jersey (BB-62), Missouri (BB-63), Wisconsin (BB-64), and not completed: Illinois (BB-65) 22% and Kentucky (BB-66) 72%. Sacrificed some armor to obtain a 30 knot speed. Kentucky was considered for completion as an ICMB launcher, but it never happened. All were recommissioned for the Korean War.
Montana Class - canceled 1942. 12- 16" guns ; 65,000 tons ;
The five ships of the Montana class were designed to confront the Japanese Yamata Class super battleships. When it became apparent that carriers were more important than battleships, the Montana's were canceled so that shipyard capacity could produce more Essex class fleet carriers. The Montanas were to be an extension of the Iowa Class, larger, 65,000 tons vs. 45,000, they were to carry a forth triple turret making 12 -16" guns to use against 9-18" guns of the Japanese: weight of broadsides was about the same. The Montanas were wider, they would not fit through the Panama Canal, much more heavy armored, able to survive hits, and somewhat slower. The Iowa Class, designed to escort fleet carriers, remained the fastest battleships ever built.
The battle cruiser as a class had not faired well in WWI where, on the battle line, they were shown to be more vulnerable to damage than a battleship and without sufficient weight of broadside to sink enemy battleships. As an extra-heavy cruiser, they had been insufficiently fast to chase down other cruisers.
Alaska and Guam arrived on the scene in 1945 after the Japanese battle fleet had been destroyed. They had sufficient speed to keep up with the fast carrier task force and they were used for shore bombardment. There armor and anti-aircraft guns were useful during the kamikaze attacks towards the end of the war.