Monitors . The success of the Monitor over the Merrimac lead to American adoption of the low freeboard, big gun, coast defense ships that, because of the size of their guns, were classified as battleships. Some other nations also adopted monitors for coast defense. A monitor had no sea keeping qualities and they were eventually superseded by conventional seagoing battleship designs with the Indiana as the US developed an empire as a result of the war with Spain in 1898? A monitor was towed to the Philippines, an unsatisfactory experience. (The original Monitor sank while transiting from Norfolk to Charlestown on 31 Dec 1862.) The last class of US monitors were converted to submarine tenders in WWI where their low freeboard was ideal for submarines to tie up.
Early battleships carried a mix of gun calibers. In 1900 a typical battleship was 15,000 tons, had a main battery of 12" guns, a secondary battery of 6" guns in side turrets, and smaller guns in casements along the sides. As armor made smaller arms less effective, the norm shifted to a mix of 12" and 9" guns. The mix of guns made recognition of the fall of shells difficult and a theory of the superiority of all guns of one size was circulated.
The South Carolina and Michigan were designed in 1905 as all
big gun battleships with 8- 12" guns and commissioned in 1909. Meanwhile
England laid down the Dreadnought in Oct 1905 and commissioned in
Oct 1906, thus bearing the distinction of being the first and namesake
of the new type of battleship. Dreadnought carried ten 12" guns and
could stand at maximum range and destroy any battleship of the era
that carried only four big guns with many useless lesser armament. All
existing battleships were immediately rendered obsolete. Dreadnought also
included other improvements, steam turbines, thicker armor that
justified the demarcation between "Dreadnought" and "pre-Dreadnought"
|.30 caliber||.303||7.62 mm|
|.50 caliber Browning||.500||12.7 mm|
|20 mm Oerlikon||0.79||20 mm|
|1.1 inch Hudson||1.1 in||28 mm|
|37 mm||1.46 in||37 mm||1 pounder|
|40 mm Bofors||1.57 in||40 mm||2 pounder|
|3 pounder||1.85 in||47 mm||3 pounder|
|4 pounder||2 in||50 mm||4 pounder|
|6 pounder||2.24 in||57 mm||6 pounder|
|3"||3 inch||76 mm||12 pounder|
|5"||5 inch||127 mm||36? pounds|
|6"||6 inch||152 mm||108 pounds|
|8"||8 inch||203 mm||240 pounds|
|12"||12 inch||305 mm||1,070 pounds|
|14"||14 inch||355.6 mm||1,660 pounds|
|16"||16 inch||406 mm||2,240 pounds.|
Difficulties in Determining Ship Displacement.
|Colorado||32,600 tons||32,600 tons||??||?|
|North Carolina||35,000 tons||42,000 tons||??|
|Iowa||45,000 tons||52,000 tons||??|
Other things that cause confusion.
Aircraft . The combination of aircraft and radio allowed actively spotting
shellfire beyond the line of sight or indirect fire caused quick acceptance by
all navies. Scouting aircraft extended the eyes of the fleet over
Aircraft catapults which were first mounted atop gun turrets where the turret was turned into the wind for launching or were mounted amidships were recovery by hoist was easiest. Catapults were later mounted aft to open the arc of fire and to keep the flammable items well aft where a fire is less likely to spread. The squared off stern of wartime designs is to house a hanger.
Designs tried to meet the needs foreseen. This is most obvious in national designs. German ships sallied for short trips and did not need to provide much for crew accommodations. Japan considered armament the reason for warships and carried lots of guns, but were uninhabitable by US standards. US ships were designed for temperate climates and did not include sufficient air circulation for equatorial weather; surprise torpedo attacks were devastating when all passage ways were open to allow cooling. Britain liked light cruisers to patrol her shipping lanes where there were many close ports of call. The US felt a need for range and heavy guns to operate in the vast Pacific, hence maintained a larger proportion of light weight, heavy (8") cruisers than other nations. Once the size limitations were removed, the US started building the Baltimore class of larger heavy cruiser, but was most successful in quickly producing large numbers of Cleveland class light cruisers.
The Germans also sent cruisers to attack the convoys; cruisers outgunned the light arms of the convoy anti-submarine escorts and the cruiser easily ran down the scattering convoy. The convoys then had to employ defending cruisers. The Germans responded with the battleship-cruiser combination wherein the battleship engaged the convoy escort while the cruiser shelled the merchants. An aircraft carrier tried to accompany each troop convoy. Later in the war, there were sufficient escort carriers (CVE) to accompany most convoys and even go off in search of submarines traveling and resting outside of the convoy lanes so that U-boats were under attack everywhere.
It was partially in anticipation of convoy raiders (convoys and raiders were also used in WWI) that in 1940 the US authorized battle cruisers - to defend shipping by outgunning conventional cruiser-raiders with less expense and more speed than battleships. However, the Japanese did not raid convoys with surface ships, nor did they convoy their own merchant ships, making attack by US submarines more advantageous.