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USS Iowa (BB-61)

ole timer Oct 19, 2014

  1. ole timer

    ole timer Forum Owner Forum Owner

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    USS Iowa (BB-61), 1943-____
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    USS Iowa, lead ship of a class of 45,000-ton battleships, was built at the New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York. Commissioned in February 1943, she spent her initial service in the Atlantic and carried President Franklin D. Roosevelt to and from Casablanca, Morocco, in November 1943. Early in January 1944, Iowa steamed to the Pacific, where she took part in the Marshalls Campaign later in that month and in February. From then until the end of 1944, she was actively involved in raids against Japanese facilities and campaigns to capture the Marianas, the Palaus and Leyte, including participation in the Battles of the Philippine Sea and Leyte Gulf.
    After overhaul in early 1945, Iowa returned to the western Pacific for the Okinawa campaign and the final operations against Japan. She was present in Tokyo Bay during the formal surrender of Japan on 2 September 1945. She returned to the United States later in that month and operated with the Pacific Fleet until she was decommissioned in March 1949.
    The Korean War brought Iowa back into active service. She was recommissioned in August 1951 and made a combat deployment to Korean waters in April-October 1952, during which time she served as Seventh Fleet flagship. Upon return to the U.S., she was transferred to the Atlantic Fleet. Over the next several years, Iowa made several European cruises and was present for the International Naval Review in Hampton Roads, Virginia, in June 1957. She was decommissioned in February 1958.
    After two and a half decades in "mothballs", Iowa was modernized under the 1980s defense buildup and recommissioned in April 1984. She went to European waters in 1985, 1986 and 1987-88, with the latter cruise continuing into the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea. A fire in her second sixteen-inch gun turret killed 47 crewmen on 19 April 1989, but Iowa was still able to deploy to Europe and the Mediterranean Sea in mid-year. Turret two remained unrepaired when she decommissioned for the last time in October 1990. USS Iowa is presently part of the Reserve Fleet.
     
  2. ole timer

    ole timer Forum Owner Forum Owner

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    [​IMG]
    USS Iowa (BB-61)

    Fires a full broadside of nine 16"/50 and six 5"/38 guns during a target exercise near Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, 1 July 1984.
    Photographed by PHAN J. Alan Elliott.
    Note concussion effects on the water surface, and 16-inch gun barrels in varying degrees of recoil.
     
  3. spanky

    spanky Lifetime Lifetime Member

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    I just saw a documentary on the Tirpitz. It and the Bismark were slightly lighter than the Iowa class BB's and just a wee bit under-gunned too. Just looked up the Yamoto; that beast was over 65,000 tons and had 9 18.1" (!) guns. Also didn't realize the Yamoto was commissioned in 1941, and her sister the Musashi in mid 1942; I always assumed they were commissioned later. It's telling that all four of the Axis big, bad girls ended up the victims of air power (no, the Bismark wasn't sunk by planes, but was critically damaged by an antiquated Swordfish biplane, which resulted in its demise).

    That's a cool picture showing the salvo, with the pressure waves on the ocean.
     
  4. ole timer

    ole timer Forum Owner Forum Owner

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    Yep...Bismarck got a torpedo in the rudder and was going in circles which is how the British caught up to her. She was sunk by the battleship King George V.
    There is an excellent movie on this Sink The Bismarck
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    A true story of heroism at sea. Heroism and hard choices are the order of the day as the Royal Navy desperately tries to destroy the most powerful battleship in the world - the Bismarck. In the spring of 1941, England remains the only undefeated nation in Europe and stands alone against Nazi Germany. But she can survive only as long as her vital ocean supply lines remain open. The biggest threat to shipping is Germany's floating fortress, the Bismarck, which is faster and has more fire power than anything Britain can throw against it. In port for the last three months, the dreaded Bismarck is now returning to the open sea to dominate the North Atlantic. This juggernaut of destruction must be stopped, and Churchill himself gives the order to the Royal Navy - sink the Bismarck at any cost! Featuring actual combat footage, this gripping film puts you on the front lines of one of the most crucial naval engagements of World War II.

    The Yamato (Japan) in her day was the largest battleship that sailed.
     
  5. spanky

    spanky Lifetime Lifetime Member

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    Yes, that is a crack'n good movie on the subject, which is based on the C. S. Forrester book "The Last Nine Days of the Bismark" (I know of an audiobook version of it lying around if anyone is interested...). Speaking of C. S. Forrester and rip'n good yarns, he is probably best known for being the author of the Horatio Hornblower series, which is a very good, albeit old-school, historical fiction series centered around the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic era.

    As another side note, the British battle cruiser HMS Hood, which the Bismark notoriously sunk, was the last of four such ships to be commissioned by the Royal Navy. A battle cruiser was meant to pack the punch of a battleship, but to weigh in at about the size of a cruiser; consequently, it was less armored than a battle ship. I believe three of these battle cruisers were sunk in the prelude engagements to the Battle of Jutland, and so the last of these, the HMS Hood, which was commissioned after WWI, was given a modified design, but obviously it was still not up to withstanding a shot or two by the big guns of the German Imperial Navy or later Kriegsmarine.