The Alaska-class was a waste of dockyard space and money

It seems to me that the US Navy would have been much better of using the money and dockyard space to build more AA cruisers, rather than the Alaskas. The Alaska's were practically battleships in terms of size, displacement, and armament, but would have been crushed by any battleship they fought.
To its credit, the US Navy realized that the Alaska's were not a good idea by June 1943, when they canceled most of the class.

250 Piece Survival Gear First Aid Kit

LifeStraw Water Filter for Hiking and Preparedness

250 Piece Survival Gear First Aid Kit

  1. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >The Alaska's were practically battleships in terms of size, displacement, and armament
    No.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      They were certainly battleships in term of monetary cost.

      https://i.imgur.com/mLADXNl.jpeg

      >battlecrusier/supercruiser designed to slaughter cruisers and destroyers shouldn't be used in the battleline
      Did OP just learn about Jutland? Also he's a gay.

      Name one engagement in the Pacific in which an Alaska would have been the best suited ship for the battle.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        The numerous cruiser only engagements and several carrier engagments in which there was no battle line but rather a destroyer screen protecting a heavy cruiser or carriers. Or even if you could simply attack the edges of the screen without fighting a battleline directly. Basically anything but the Yamatos and the Nagato.

        Coral Sea, Invasion of Midway, Solomon Sea in particular, Santa Cruz, Savo Island and anything at night since it has massive radar range due to its large size, at the battle of Guadal Canal it likely could have slugged it out with Hiei though more than one Kongo or a close range engagement with any of them would have been bad. The Kongos can dish it out but can't tank it since they are just battlecruisers with a slight retrofit.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      https://i.imgur.com/mLADXNl.jpeg

      >battlecrusier/supercruiser designed to slaughter cruisers and destroyers shouldn't be used in the battleline
      Did OP just learn about Jutland? Also he's a gay.

      They were certainly battleships in term of monetary cost.
      [...]
      Name one engagement in the Pacific in which an Alaska would have been the best suited ship for the battle.

      If Alaska was in the place of the USS Washington we would be singing praises the Alaska instead.
      Anyways Alaskas cost less than Iowas and while Iowas are busy with the opponents battleships the Alaskas can take out the enemy cruisers with 12 inch guns easily without being in the effective range of the Long Lance.

  2. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >battlecrusier/supercruiser designed to slaughter cruisers and destroyers shouldn't be used in the battleline
    Did OP just learn about Jutland? Also he's a gay.

  3. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >The Alaska's were practically battleships in terms of size, displacement, and armament

    Here's Alaska next to an actual Battleship, USS Missouri

    The Alaska class was a reaction to German pocket Battleships and suffered from "too many cooks in the kitchen" when being designed, but their good speed of ~33kn made them good carrier escorts.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I mean yeah when you pick the largest BB the US built it looks small in comparison, but the Alaskas are bigger than the SoDaks. The only thing separating Alaskas from being BBs is 2 in bigger guns and a thicker belt.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >their good speed of ~33kn made them good carrier escorts.
      But relative to their cost and displacement, they had deficient AA schemes. In the fighting off Okinawa, the Alaska's didn't perform well in the AA role.
      I'm not saying that the Alaska's were bad battlecruisers. But I am saying that the USN had no need for battlecruisers, especially once the Guadalcanal Campaign was over.

      The numerous cruiser only engagements and several carrier engagments in which there was no battle line but rather a destroyer screen protecting a heavy cruiser or carriers. Or even if you could simply attack the edges of the screen without fighting a battleline directly. Basically anything but the Yamatos and the Nagato.

      Coral Sea, Invasion of Midway, Solomon Sea in particular, Santa Cruz, Savo Island and anything at night since it has massive radar range due to its large size, at the battle of Guadal Canal it likely could have slugged it out with Hiei though more than one Kongo or a close range engagement with any of them would have been bad. The Kongos can dish it out but can't tank it since they are just battlecruisers with a slight retrofit.

      I forgot about the Guadalcanal Campaign, and you are right on that count. A battlecruiser would have been perfect for those five-ish battles. The rest you mentioned were carrier battles though, where a cruiser with a heavier AA complement would have been better.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        anon, every single ship in every navy had deficient AA schemes when the war started, just take a look at how much more AA was on ships by '45 compared to '40. No one except LeMay, Mitchell and Yamamoto and a few others suspected how dangerous air power would become to naval forces

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          My dude, USS Alaska was commissioned in June 1944, well after the point everyone and their mother had realized that airplanes were the new dominant form of naval power. The Navy and the shipbuilder had plenty of time to modify the ship during construction for some extra AA, but they didn't.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            It's a waste to cancel an almost completed hull. That's why Kentucky is so tragic.

  4. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Doing some quick research because of this thread, hadn't realized how bad the Japanese dropped the ball by not signing the Second London Naval Treaty in 1936. After the collapse of the interwar naval treaty system, the Japanese would only build three new BBs, the three Yamato hulls. In comparison, the USN would complete ten new BBs before and during the war. Seems kinda moronic for a country to not sign a treaty that would prevent their enemy from massively outpacing them in BBs. Were the Japanese not trying to undertake a comprehensive BB construction program? It really looks like the Japanese put all of their eggs in the Yamoto basket.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Look up the IJN's history with Charlie Chaplin.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        What the actual frick?

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          real life is stranger than anime

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          The history of the Japanese military establishment in the 1930s is absolutely batshit insane. Infighting, assassinations, coups, gang violence, etc. It was basically a perfect storm of contemporary technology and feudal outlooks.

          Fun fact: Unit 731 was basically the pet project of one man (Shiro Ishii), who secured his funding by going on a tour of western nations and then lying his ass off about how Japan was lagging behind the west and would get devastated by biological and chemical warfare unless they funded his biological warfare program.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I have yet to see actual documents from 731, given my experience with every single "'horrible terrible thing" from the bullshit about the Trail of Tears to the big ol' Hoax of Holos I am incredulous regarding any atrocity porn. That said the Japs absolutely dropped black plague on the Chinks, though it was legal as neither was a party to any treaty forbidding it. Similarly Nanking got sacked hard just like any city subjected to sacking by a pissed off and ill disciplined force, it was not pleasant but also nothing special. I'm not saying it couldn't happen because unlike a certain event in Europe it was at least physically possible but after 80 years of lies about the Tuskegee Syphilis treatment experiments which did zero harm to any nog I'd have to wade through mountains of shit on forums to find a somewhat objective account of it. Anybody got some sauces which aren't from the usual suspects nor are Jap apologist shit?

            • 2 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              The history of the Japanese military establishment in the 1930s is absolutely batshit insane. Infighting, assassinations, coups, gang violence, etc. It was basically a perfect storm of contemporary technology and feudal outlooks.

              Fun fact: Unit 731 was basically the pet project of one man (Shiro Ishii), who secured his funding by going on a tour of western nations and then lying his ass off about how Japan was lagging behind the west and would get devastated by biological and chemical warfare unless they funded his biological warfare program.

              Japan's actual insanity was just the Decisive Battle Doctrine in its entirety. It relied on replicating the Russo-Japanese War. The problem is that unlike Russia, Britain and America could actually build their own sea going ships. Britain had build Russia's fleet piecemeal. The plan relied on a sneak attack which already makes it a bad idea not only for legal reasons or aggitating your target when your plan relies on them giving up after taking loses, it requires your opponent to allow it to happen one way or another. Then it requires the opponent to neither frick you up with commerce raiding, which Japan was highly vulnerable to both because of the nature of its empire and its shitty anti-sub doctrines nor to hold off and build up such a massive advantage that it crushes you. It relies on the enemy not only being moronic but also incapable of reading a history book or knowing anything about Japan's little coming out party as a naval power.

              If you want to win ask not "how can I defeat my enemy" ask "how might I lose this war" and avoid that.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      In 1936 the IJN was more concerned about the Royal Navy than the American Navy.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        So the Japs thought they could outbuild the Limeys?

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      So the Japs thought they could outbuild the Limeys?

      you're confusing treaty limitations for practical limitations
      treaty limitations would have cemented Anglo-American naval superiority, which IIRC was about 5:5:3 against Jap
      but nonetheless the Japs were always never going to outbuild either the Bongs or the Burgers, they just didn't have the resources. the 8-8 program was all they could manage and nearly broke the nation as is.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        That's what confuses me. A 5:5:3 ratio is actually pretty decent for Japan. America and Britain both would have to fight in both the Atlantic and Pacific, while Japan would only have to fight in the Pacific.
        Furthermore, both Britain and America could outbuild Japan if the treaty limitations were abandoned. The treaty allows Japan to maintain naval parity and still have tons of money for the army. Remember that Japan's economy was still decently small and underdeveloped by the 1930s, especially when compared to the UK and USA.
        Why the frick would Japan abandon the treaty? All they got out of leaving it was that they could build the Yamatos, which they were doing in secrecy anyways.
        In return, the Americans started building a MONSTER fleet of BBs and CVs before the war had even started. If the treaty had lasted up until the start of the war, Japan would be better much off. Sure, they probably still would have lost, but the torrent of capital ships rolling off American slipways would have been a couple years later.
        Seems to me that no matter what way you look at it, even with hindsight removed, the Japanese decision to abandon the interwar naval treaty system was a moronic move, that could only have been made for ideological or jingoist reasons.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous
        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >America and Britain both would have to fight in both the Atlantic and Pacific, while Japan would only have to fight in the Pacific.
          All 3 powers anticipated that they would bring their full force to bear; nobody expected the Germans and Italians to throw a fit at the same time the Japs did
          Early WW2 was the British Empire fighting a two-ocean war; it was considered unlikely (and financially unrealistic) to prepare for that, much the same way the US today wouldn't think of fighting Russia and China alone and simultaneously
          (in iirc 1939 or 1940 the Admiralty said the RN would have to be half again its size to take on Germany, Italy and Japan all at once)

          also, the Japs regarded the Anglo-American navies as an unspoken alliance against them, for racial reasons, so
          >A 5:5:3 ratio
          would in practice be a 10:3 ratio, and they were absolutely seething about it
          this mindset culminated of course in Pearl Harbor

          hence, from the Jap POV, following the treaty is unacceptable for ideological reasons
          arguments against abandoning the treaty are "merely" practical
          choosing between these two courses, one can always argue for rolling the dice, practicality be damned
          once again that's the entire mindset that led to 1942

          >the Japanese decision
          >was a moronic move, that could only have been made for ideological or jingoist reasons.
          Japan's WW2 story in a nutshell, really

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            So they leave the treaty and then they just... don't start a massive shipbuilding program? I don't get that part. The Japanese get two post-treaty carriers, the Shokaku and Zuikaku (Three if you count Taiho), they get two post-treaty battleships, Yamato and Musashi (which were probably overbuilt and oversized), and... no post-treaty cruisers?
            I understand that the Japanese don't have the absurd shipbuilding capabilities of the US, but was this really the extent of their post-treaty naval expansion?

            • 2 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              they also nearly finished two Unryu class carriers
              another major problem was not being able to train enough carrier pilots
              >So they leave the treaty and then they just... don't start a massive shipbuilding program?
              pretty much
              they wrote a check with their mouth their ass couldn't cash

              >and... no post-treaty cruisers?
              there's the Agano class, but I don't recall how many they completed
              and they were not much better than the Leander class I think

              >the absurd shipbuilding capabilities of the US
              just prior to WW2 the US matched the British for shipbuilding, making them both world leaders in shipbuilding at about 1 million tons annual capacity each. When the war kicked off the US proceeded to expand that more than tenfold within the space of 2 years.
              the Japanese shipbuilding capacity in 1939 was less than 400ktons.

            • 2 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              They did. The Shokaku class, Tone class, and Yamato class all began building after the treaty ended. Geography was as much a problem for Japan as material resources, they didn't have much space to expand their existing shipyards or good locations to build new ones from scratch. Slipway and drydock availability was always a major constraint for them.

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                I though the Tone-class was laid down before the treaty collapsed?

              • 2 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                They were, but they were originally laid down as the 5th and 6th Mogami class. Issues with the Mogami class along with the deteriorating international situation led to them being heavily redesigned while on the slipway. The hull form is about the same, but other than that they are completely different ships and were actually built free from treaty limitations.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          https://i.imgur.com/8Vlg4At.png

          NTA but oh, so the admirals were just morons who thought Japan could magically increase their industrial capacity overnight (they couldn't).

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >the admirals
            more like Tojo and his pro-war cabal
            the likes of Yamamoto and Higashikuni were well aware of American industrial might and counselled against war

            [...]
            Japan's actual insanity was just the Decisive Battle Doctrine in its entirety. It relied on replicating the Russo-Japanese War. The problem is that unlike Russia, Britain and America could actually build their own sea going ships. Britain had build Russia's fleet piecemeal. The plan relied on a sneak attack which already makes it a bad idea not only for legal reasons or aggitating your target when your plan relies on them giving up after taking loses, it requires your opponent to allow it to happen one way or another. Then it requires the opponent to neither frick you up with commerce raiding, which Japan was highly vulnerable to both because of the nature of its empire and its shitty anti-sub doctrines nor to hold off and build up such a massive advantage that it crushes you. It relies on the enemy not only being moronic but also incapable of reading a history book or knowing anything about Japan's little coming out party as a naval power.

            If you want to win ask not "how can I defeat my enemy" ask "how might I lose this war" and avoid that.

            the Jap plan relied mainly on both the bongs and burgers doing to the nips what the frogs did to the krauts, i.e.
            >okay okay you win I sign Second Armistice at Compiègne and you can have Paris
            or in this case, Burma, Malaya, Philippines

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          5:3 ratio with the US didn't fit their perceived needs and they saw it as an insult. I'd recommend Kaigun goes over the history of the IJN and how they got to that point.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      The Battleships had almost no impact on the war, anyway.
      American CVs beat the Japanese ones. Partly due to better design, doctrine, and damage control, but the biggest blow was also due to luck.

  5. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Counter argument: I wish to have sex with that ship.
    QEDick.

  6. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Iowa was too slow. We need something FAST. Alaska is FAST.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      The Essex-class, the Iowa-class, and the Alaska-class all literally had the same top speed, 33 knots.

  7. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >At 1753 a photographic group of 2 VSB was launched for photo mission over burning heavy cruiser (MOGAMI). This group landed aboard at 2107 after a successful flight. A close scrutiny of the excellent photographs, the observations of an experienced photographer, and a direct comparison with our 8 inch cruisers, leads to the firm belief that this MOGAMI Class heavy cruiser is in reality a battle cruiser of at least 20,000 tons, mounting 11 or 12 inch guns.

  8. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    there was a lot of waste in the post-war period
    that's just the nature of war, because you are talking about build programs that take 3-4 years to complete and you have zero fricking clue what the war will look like by then

    it seems to me that Americans in particular don't understand this, because they never had to enter WW2 with their interwar army, they had the benefit of watching over 2 years of developments from 1939 to 1941 and building up their forces in "peacetime" so to speak.

  9. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >It seems to me that the US Navy would have been much better of using the money and dockyard space to build more AA cruisers, rather than the Alaskas.
    Welcome to the mainstream when it comes to Alaskas; pretty but completely pointless is the majority view on them. The only debate is over what the resources and manpower used on them should have actually been used for.

  10. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Well that pic looks cool at least, otherwise yes I agree.

  11. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The biggest thing that this thread has taught me is that the nation most responsible for Japan being backed into a corner by 1941 is Japan itself

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Correct.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Yes
      If they'd simply not pursued their imperialistic dreams or let racism blind them to the benefits of allying with the Anglo hegemony, they'd have avoided the carnage of WW2, being nuked twice, and would be a sort of Scandinavian country of the Far East today, except with ten times the population

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >the benefits of allying with the Anglo hegemony

        Why do you think they couldn't have won the land war in China? They could have if they didn't poke the USA, and formed a treaty with Britain to not attack any more of their colonies in exchange for their limiting presence in China to Hong Kong.
        China was weak as frick. Japan had already wiped out most of their 14 million strong army by the time they attacked pearl harbor.
        Japan lost 2.5mil vs 900k in the Pacific mostly to the USA vs 2nd Sino-Japanese. If they didn't lose 2.5 million people to the USA, they could have easily beaten China where they were winning 5:1 instead of losing 10:1.

        Not to mention, the snowball effect of having wiped out millions of chinese and having experienced veterans to continue beating China harder instead of them dying to the US.

        and formed a treaty with Britain
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Japanese_Alliance
        they tried that already and it expired because the US and Canada (correctly) anticipated a future war with Japan and didn't want the alliance getting in the way of their own relations

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >the end of the Alliance was instead symptomatic of the already-present political reality of eroding ties between both countries, rather than its cause.[46] Britain had for example, become increasingly suspicious of a potential Japanese threat to its Asian colonies and interests, due to growing Japanese ambitions in China, the rise in Pan-Asianism, as demonstrated by Japanese support for Indian revolutionaries and the presence of Japanese propagandists in Malaya and India
          this

          if alliances are the only thing stopping war between you two, and if repealing the alliance results in an arms race, then news flash: she wasn't really that into you from the start

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I mean, all that Japan would have needed to do to win WW2 would have been to successfully keep their military in check and not get involved in a basically unwinnable land war in China. If they did that and stayed in the UK and US' good graces and offered some token support for the Allied powers against Germany and Italy once the USN's undeclared war on the Atlantic became open warfare between Germans and Americans, they could have pretty easily become America's ally in Asia against communism once the war was over without getting bombed to hell and back first.
      >single handedly ruins the japanese empire by starting the bullshit with china that ultimately lead to a war with the us

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >I mean, all that Japan would have needed to do to win WW2 would have been to successfully keep their military in check and not get involved in a basically unwinnable land war in China
        The latter follows the former, and the former wasn't going to happen without either a much stronger ruler than Hirohito or the Meiji constitution making the Army and Navy beholden to the civilian government, rather than equals to it. At the end of the day, Japan was fricked by mid-level Army and Navy officers with dreams of grandeur untarnished by the realities of traveling abroad.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Why do you think they couldn't have won the land war in China? They could have if they didn't poke the USA, and formed a treaty with Britain to not attack any more of their colonies in exchange for their limiting presence in China to Hong Kong.
        China was weak as frick. Japan had already wiped out most of their 14 million strong army by the time they attacked pearl harbor.
        Japan lost 2.5mil vs 900k in the Pacific mostly to the USA vs 2nd Sino-Japanese. If they didn't lose 2.5 million people to the USA, they could have easily beaten China where they were winning 5:1 instead of losing 10:1.

        Not to mention, the snowball effect of having wiped out millions of chinese and having experienced veterans to continue beating China harder instead of them dying to the US.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          I've been reading a lot books on the Pacific War this year, but I haven't ever read any on the China front. Any good books on the China front for an American who knows an average amount about China?

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Rana Mitter's Forgotten Ally is pretty much the gold standard for current literature on China's role in the war.

            Why do you think they couldn't have won the land war in China? They could have if they didn't poke the USA, and formed a treaty with Britain to not attack any more of their colonies in exchange for their limiting presence in China to Hong Kong.
            China was weak as frick. Japan had already wiped out most of their 14 million strong army by the time they attacked pearl harbor.
            Japan lost 2.5mil vs 900k in the Pacific mostly to the USA vs 2nd Sino-Japanese. If they didn't lose 2.5 million people to the USA, they could have easily beaten China where they were winning 5:1 instead of losing 10:1.

            Not to mention, the snowball effect of having wiped out millions of chinese and having experienced veterans to continue beating China harder instead of them dying to the US.

            >Why do you think they couldn't have won the land war in China?
            China actually did win a number of battles early on before the war in Europe broke out, and were still managing to tie down huge amounts of the IJA through to 1945. As long as both Mao and Chang Kai Shek were fighting the Japanese, Japan was not going to control anything beyond the major cities and the railroads connecting them. Even having Wang Jingwei as a collaborator head of state in the occupied territory didn't help them. Remember, this is the man who everyone had believed would be Sun Yat-sen's successor as head of the Chinese Nationalist Party over Chang, who had enormous influence in the party in the 20s-30s.

            >They could have if they didn't poke the USA
            The US cut off Japan's supply of metal and oil BECAUSE of their actions in China. Japan's expansionism in China was abhorrent both to the general US population as well as the US government.

            >the snowball effect of having wiped out millions of chinese and having experienced veterans to continue beating China harder instead of them dying to the US.
            For the love of all that is Holy, read Forgotten Ally by Rana Mitter. You have absolutely no fricking clue what you're talking about and it shows. Bayoneting old women and infants does not an elite infantryman make, and that's assuming that the divisions weren't suffering constant attrition to disease and malnutrition because Japan couldn't even supply their own armies. Japanese civilians were already being forced to ration rice, vegetables, and seafood in 1940.

            • 2 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              >Rana Mitter's Forgotten Ally is pretty much the gold standard for current literature on China's role in the war.
              Sweet. Gonna order it off Amazon tonight.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          The Sino-Japanese wars began in 1931. If Japan still hadn't finished off China 10 years later, they weren't ever going to. Getting the US directly involved was simply the last straw.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      If they settled for taking Dutch and French possessions (colonies where the master nation was already out of the war) then there wasn't much the US and UK could have done. Britain was occupied fighting Germany and Italy, the American public did not want war in general and even less so against Japan.
      War would still likely eventually come but by that point Japan would have had the time to fortify their holdings.

  12. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Another thing that the Japanese screwed up was not trying to create a decisive battle for all of 1943 and the first half of 1944. Seriously, what was up with that? Between the Guadalcanal Campaign and the Battle of the Philippine Sea, Japan's major surface and carrier assets would do jack shit.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      It took all of 1943 for them to reconstitute their naval air power, and honestly losing the Gilberts and Palaus wasn't that big a deal. The islands themselves certainly weren't nearly as defensible as the Philippines or Saipan and Guam, so it makes sense that they didn't go off half-wienered trying to defend them.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        They sure did lose a frickton of airpower in the Bismarck Sea Sinkhole.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *