Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Armistice with Germany required

The Armistice with Germany required that most of the High Seas Fleet be disarmed and interned in a neutral port; largely because no neutral port could be found, the ships remained in British custody in Scapa Flow, Scotland. The Treaty of Versailles specified that the ships should be handed over to the British. Sony VAIO PCG-3B1M Battery

Instead, most of them were scuttled by their German crews on 21 June 1919 just before the signature of the peace treaty. The treaty also limited the German Navy, and prevented Germany from building or possessing any capital ships.

The inter-war period saw the battleship subjected to strict international limitations to prevent a costly arms race breaking out.[50] Sony VAIO PCG-3D1M Battery While the victors were not limited by the Treaty of Versailles, many of the major naval powers were crippled after the war. Faced with the prospect of a naval arms race against the United Kingdom and Japan, which would in turn have led to a possible Pacific war, the United States was keen to conclude the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922. Sony VAIO PCG-3G2M Battery This treaty limited the number and size of battleships that each major nation could possess, and required Britain to accept parity with the U.S. and to abandon the British alliance with Japan.[51] The Washington treaty was followed by a series of other naval treaties, including theFirst Geneva Naval Conference (1927), Sony VAIO PCG-5R1M Battery the First London Naval Treaty (1930), the Second Geneva Naval Conference (1932), and finally the Second London Naval Treaty (1936), which all set limits on major warships. These treaties became effectively obsolete on 1 September 1939 at the beginning of World War II, but the ship classifications that had been agreed upon still apply.[52] Sony VAIO PCG-7162M Battery The treaty limitations meant that fewer new battleships were launched from 1919–1939 than from 1905–1914. The treaties also inhibited development by putting maximum limits on the weights of ships. Designs like the projected British N3-class battleship, the first American South Dakota class, and the JapaneseKii class—all of which continued the trend to larger ships with bigger guns and thicker armor—never got off the drawing board. Sony VAIO PCG-7181M Battery

Those designs which were commissioned during this period were referred to as treaty battleships.

As early as 1914, the British Admiral Percy Scott predicted that battleships would soon be made irrelevant by aircraft.[54]By the end of World War I, aircraft had successfully adopted the torpedo as a weapon.[55] Sony VAIO PCG-41112M Battery

In 1921 the Italian general and air theorist Giulio Douhet completed a hugely influential treatise on strategic bombing titled The Command of the Air, which foresaw the dominance of air power over naval units.

In the 1920s, General Billy Mitchell of the United States Army Air Corps, Sony VAIO PCG-7153M Battery believing that air forces had rendered navies around the world obsolete, testified in front of Congress that "1,000 bombardment airplanes can be built and operated for about the price of one battleship" and that a squadron of these bombers could sink a battleship, making for more efficient use of government funds.[56] Sony VAIO PCG-71312M Battery This infuriated the U.S. Navy, but Mitchell was nevertheless allowed to conduct a careful series of bombing tests alongside Navy and Marine bombers. In 1921, he bombed and sank numerous ships, including the "unsinkable" German World War I battleship SMS Ostfriesland and the American pre-dreadnought Alabama.[57] Sony VAIO PCG-7144M Battery Although Mitchell had required "war-time conditions", the ships sunk were obsolete, stationary, defenseless and had no damage control. The sinking of Ostfriesland was accomplished by violating an agreement that would have allowed Navy engineers to examine the effects of various munitions: Mitchell's airmen disregarded the rules, and sank the ship within minutes in a coordinated attack.Sony VAIO PCG-7191L Battery The stunt made headlines, and Mitchell declared, "No surface vessels can exist wherever air forces acting from land bases are able to attack them." While far from conclusive, Mitchell's test was significant because it put proponents of the battleship against naval aviation on the back foot.[3] Rear Admiral William A. Sony VAIO PCG-3C1M Battery

Moffett used public relations against Mitchell to make headway toward expansion of the U.S. Navy's nascent aircraft carrier program.

The Royal Navy, United States Navy, and Imperial Japanese Navy extensively upgraded and modernized their World War I–era battleships during the 1930s. Sony VAIO PCG-3F1M Battery Among the new features were an increased tower height and stability for the optical rangefinder equipment (for gunnery control), more armor (especially around turrets) to protect against plunging fire and aerial bombing, and additional anti-aircraft weapons. Some British ships received a large block superstructure nicknamed the "Queen Anne's castle",Sony VAIO PCG-3H1M Battery such as in the Queen Elizabeth and Warspite, which would be used in the new conning towers of the King George V-class fast battleships. External bulges were added to improve both buoyancy to counteract weight increase and provide underwater protection against mines and torpedoes. Sony VAIO PCG-3J1M Battery The Japanese rebuilt all of their battleships, plus their battlecruisers, with distinctive "pagoda" structures, though the Hiei received a more modern bridge tower that would influence the new Yamato-class battleships. Bulges were fitted, including steel tube array to improve both underwater and vertical protection along waterline. Sony VAIO PCG-8141M Battery The U.S. experimented with cage masts and later tripod masts, though after Pearl Harbor some of the most severely damaged ships such as West Virginia and California were rebuilt to a similar appearance to their Iowa-class contemporaries (called tower masts). Radar, which was effective beyond visual contact and was effective in complete darkness or adverse weather conditions, was introduced to supplement optical fire control.[59] Sony VAIO PCG-8161M Battery Even when war threatened again in the late 1930s, battleship construction did not regain the level of importance which it had held in the years before World War I. The "building holiday" imposed by the naval treaties meant that the building capacity of dockyards worldwide was relatively reduced, and the strategic position had changed. Sony VAIO PCG-3C2M Battery In Germany, the ambitious Plan Z for naval rearmament was abandoned in favour of a strategy of submarine warfare supplemented by the use of battlecruisers andBismarck-class battleships as commerce raiders. In Britain, the most pressing need was for air defenses and convoy escorts to safeguard the civilian population from bombing or starvation, Sony VAIO PCG-5N2M Battery and re-armament construction plans consisted of five ships of the King George V class. It was in the Mediterranean that navies remained most committed to battleship warfare. France intended to build six battleships of the Dunkerque and Richelieu classes, and the Italians two Littorio-class ships. Neither navy built significant aircraft carriers. Sony VAIO PCG-5P1M Battery The U.S. preferred to spend limited funds on aircraft carriers until the South Dakota class. Japan, also prioritising aircraft carriers, nevertheless began work on three mammoth Yamato-class ships (although the third, Shinano, was later completed as a carrier) and a planned fourth was cancelled.[11]Sony VAIO PCG-5S1M Battery the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, the Spanish navy consisted of only two small dreadnought battleships, España and Jaime IEspaña (originally namedAlfonso XIII), by then in reserve at the northwestern naval base of El Ferrol, fell into Nationalist hands in July 1936. The crew aboard Jaime I murdered their officers, mutinied, and joined the Republican Navy. Sony VAIO PCG-9Z1M Battery
Thus each side had one battleship; however, the Republican Navy generally lacked experienced officers. The Spanish battleships mainly restricted themselves to mutual blockades, convoy escort duties, and shore bombardment, rarely in direct fighting against other surface units.[60] In April 1937, España ran into a mine laid by friendly forces, and sank with little loss of life.Sony VAIO PCG-7171M Battery In May 1937, Jaime I was damaged by Nationalist air attacks and a grounding incident. The ship was forced to go back to port to be repaired. There she was again hit by several aerial bombs. It was then decided to tow the battleship to a more secure port, but during the transport she suffered an internal explosion that caused 300 deaths and her total loss. Sony VAIO PCG-7186M Battery Several Italian and German capital ships participated in the non-intervention blockade. On 29 May 1937, two Republican aircraft managed to bomb the German pocket battleship Deutschland outside Ibiza, causing severe damage and loss of life. Admiral Scheer retaliated two days later by bombarding Almería, causing much destruction, Sony VAIO PCG-81112M Battery and the resulting Deutschland incident meant the end of German and Italian support for non-intervention. The German battleship Schleswig-Holstein—an obsolete pre-dreadnought—fired the first shots of World War II with the bombardment of the Polish garrison at Westerplatte;[62] and the final surrender of the Japanese Empire took place aboard a United States Navy battleship, Sony VAIO PCG-31111M Battery

USS Missouri. Between those two events, it had become clear that aircraft carriers were the new principal ships of the fleet and that battleships now performed a secondary role.

Battleships played a part in major engagements in Atlantic, Pacific and Mediterranean theatres; in the Atlantic, the Germans used their battleships as independent commerce raiders. Sony VAIO PCG-31311M Battery

However, clashes between battleships were of little strategic importance. The Battle of the Atlantic was fought between destroyers and submarines, and most of the decisive fleet clashes of the Pacific war were determined by aircraft carriers.

In the first year of the war, armored warships defied predictions that aircraft would dominate naval warfare. Sony VAIO PCG-8152M Battery Scharnhorst andGneisenau surprised and sank the aircraft carrier Glorious off western Norway in June 1940.[63] This engagement marked the last time a fleet carrier was sunk by surface gunnery. In the attack on Mers-el-Kébir, British battleships opened fire on the French battleships in the harbour near Oran in Algeria with their heavy guns, and later pursued fleeing French ships with planes from aircraft carriers. Sony VAIO PCG-61111M Battery The subsequent years of the war saw many demonstrations of the maturity of the aircraft carrier as a strategic naval weapon and its potential against battleships. The British air attack on the Italian naval base at Taranto sank one Italian battleship and damaged two more. The same Swordfish torpedo bombers played a crucial role in sinking the German commerce-raider Bismarck. Sony PCG-71213M Battery On 7 December 1941, the Japanese launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Within a short time five of eight U.S. battleships were sunk or sinking, with the rest damaged. The American aircraft carriers were out to sea, however, and evaded detection. They in turn would take up the fight, eventually turning the tide of the war in the Pacific. Sony PCG-71311M Battery The sinking of the British battleship Prince of Wales and her escort, the battlecruiser Repulse, demonstrated the vulnerability of a battleship to air attack while at sea without sufficient air cover, finally settling the argument begun by Mitchell in 1921. Both warships were under way and en route to attack the Japanese amphibious force that had invaded Malaya when they were caught by Japanese land-based bombers and torpedo bombers on 10 December 1941.[64] Sony PCG-71312M Battery At many of the early crucial battles of the Pacific, for instance Coral Sea and Midway, battleships were either absent or overshadowed as carriers launched wave after wave of planes into the attack at a range of hundreds of miles. In later battles in the Pacific, battleships primarily performed shore bombardment in support of amphibious landings and provided anti-aircraft defense as escort for the carriers. Sony PCG-71212M Battery Even the largest battleships ever constructed, Japan's Yamato class, which carried a main battery of nine 18-inch (46 cm) guns and were designed as a principal strategic weapon, were never given a chance to show their potential in the decisive battleship action that figured in Japanese pre-war planning.[65] Sony VAIO PCG-5J4M Battery The last battleship confrontation in history was the Battle of Surigao Strait, on October 25, 1944, in which a numerically and technically superior American battleship group destroyed a lesser Japanese battleship group by gunfire after it had already been devastated by destroyer torpedo attacks. Sony VAIO PCG-5K1M Battery All but one of the American battleships in this confrontation had previously been sunk by the Attack onPearl Harbor and subsequently raised and repaired. When Mississippi fired the last salvo of this battle, the last salvo fired by a battleship against another heavy ship, she was "firing a funeral salute to a finished era of naval warfare."[66] Sony VAIO PCG-5K2M Battery In April 1945, during the battle for Okinawa, the world's most powerful battleship,[67] the Yamato, was sent out against a massive U.S. force on a suicide mission and sunk by overwhelming carrier aircraft with nearly all hands. After World War II, several navies retained their existing battleships, but they were no longer strategically dominant military assets. Sony VAIO PCG-5J5M Battery Indeed, it soon became apparent that they were no longer worth the considerable cost of construction and maintenance and only one new battleship was commissioned after the war, HMS Vanguard. During the war it had been demonstrated that battleship-on-battleship engagements like Leyte Gulf or the sinking of HMS Hood were the exception and not the rule, Sony VAIO PCG-5L2M Battery and with the growing role of aircraft engagement ranges were becoming longer and longer, making heavy gun armament irrelevant. The armor of a battleship was equally irrelevant in the face of a nuclear attack as tactical missiles with a range of 100 kilometres (60 mi) or more could be mounted on the Soviet Kildin-class destroyer and Whiskey-class submarines. Sony VAIO PCG-6S4M Battery By the end of the 1950s, minor vessel classes which formerly offered no noteworthy opposition now were capable of eliminating battleships at will. The remaining battleships met a variety of ends. USS Arkansas and Nagato were sunk during the testing of nuclear weapons in Operation Crossroads in 1946. Sony VAIO PCG-6W1M Battery Both battleships proved resistant to nuclear air burst but vulnerable to underwater nuclear explosions.[68] The Italian battleship Giulio Cesare was taken by the Soviets as reparations and renamed Novorossiysk; she was sunk by a leftover German mine in the Black Sea on 29 October 1955. The two Andrea Doria-class ships were scrapped in 1956.[69] The French Lorraine was scrapped in 1954, Richelieu in 1968,[70] and Jean Bart in 1970.[71] Sony VAIO PCG-6W2M Battery The United Kingdom's four surviving King George V-class ships were scrapped in 1957,[72] and Vanguard followed in 1960.[73] All other surviving British battleships had been sold or broken up by 1949.[74] The Soviet Union's Marat was scrapped in 1953, Parizhskaya Kommuna in 1957 and Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya (back under her original name, Gangut, since 1942)[75] in 1956-7.[75] Sony VAIO PCG-7Z1M Battery Brazil's Minas Geraes was scrapped in Genoa in 1953,[76] and her sister ship São Paulo sank during a storm in the Atlantic en route to the breakers in Italy in 1951.[76] Argentina kept its two Rivadavia-class ships until 1956 and Chile kept Almirante Latorre (formerly HMS Canada) until 1959.[77] Sony VAIO PCG-8Y2M Battery The Turkish battlecruiser Yavûz(formerly SMS Goeben, launched in 1911) was scrapped in 1976 after an offer to sell her back to Germany was refused. Sweden had several small coastal-defense battleships, one of which, HSwMS Gustav V, survived until 1970.[78] The Soviets scrapped four large incomplete cruisers in the late 1950s, Sony VAIO PCG-8Y3M Battery whilst plans to build a number of new Stalingrad-class battlecruisers were abandoned following the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953.[79] The three old German battleships Schleswig-HolsteinSchlesien, and Hessen all met similar ends. Hessen was taken over by the Soviet Union and renamed Tsel. Sony VAIO PCG-8Z1M Battery She was scrapped in 1960. Schleswig-Holsteinwas renamed Borodino, and was used as a target ship until 1960. Schlesien, too, was used as a target ship. She was broken up between 1952 and 1957.The Iowa-class battleships gained a new lease of life in the U.S. Navy as fire support ships. Radar and computer-controlled gunfire could be aimed with pinpoint accuracy to target. Sony VAIO PCG-8Z2M Battery The U.S. recommissioned all four Iowa-class battleships for theKorean War and the New Jersey for the Vietnam War. These were primarily used for shore bombardment, New Jersey firing nearly 6,000 rounds of 16 inch shells and over 14,000 rounds of 5 inch projectiles during her tour on the gunline,[81] seven times more rounds against shore targets in Vietnam than she had fired in the Second World War.[82] Sony VAIO PCG-8Z3M Battery As part of Navy Secretary John F. Lehman's effort to build a 600-ship Navy in the 1980s, and in response to the commissioning of Kirov by the Soviet Union, the United States recommissioned all four Iowa-class battleships. On several occasions, battleships were support ships in carrier battle groups, or led their own battleship battle group. Sony VAIO PCG-7112M Battery These were modernized to carry Tomahawk missiles, with New Jersey seeing action bombarding Lebanon in 1983 and 1984, while Missouri and Wisconsinfired their 16 inch (406 mm) guns at land targets and launched missiles during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. Sony VGP-BPL15/B Battery Wisconsinserved as the TLAM strike commander for the Persian Gulf, directing the sequence of launches that marked the opening ofDesert Storm, firing a total of 24 TLAMs during the first two days of the campaign. The primary threat to the battleships were Iraqi shore based surface-to-surface missiles; Missouri was targeted by two Iraqi Silkworm missiles, with one missing and another being intercepted by the British destroyer HMS Gloucester.[83] Sony VGP-BPS15/B Battery All four Iowas were decommissioned in the early 1990s, making them the last battleships to see active service. USS Iowa and USS Wisconsin were, until fiscal year 2006, maintained to a standard where they could be rapidly returned to service as fire support vessels, pending the development of a superior fire support vessel.[84] Sony VGP-BPL15/S Battery The U.S. Marine Corps believes that the current naval surface fire support gun and missile programs will not be able to provide adequate fire support for an amphibious assault or onshore operations. With the decommissioning of the last Iowa-class ships, no battleships remain in service or in reserve with any navy worldwide. Sony VGP-BPS15/S Battery A number are preserved as museum ships, either afloat or in drydock. The U.S. has eight battleships on display:MassachusettsNorth CarolinaAlabamaIowaNew JerseyMissouriWisconsin and TexasMissouri and New Jersey are now museums at Pearl Harbor and Camden, New Jersey, respectively. Iowa is now on display as an educational attraction at the Los Angeles Waterfront in San Pedro, California. Sony VGP-BPS15 Battery Wisconsin was removed from the Naval Vessel Register in 2006 and now serves as a museum ship in Norfolk, Virginia.[87] Massachusetts, which owns the distinction of never having lost a man while in active service, was acquired by the Battleship Cove naval museum in Fall River, Massachusetts in 1965.[88] Sony VGP-BPL15 Battery Texas, the first battleship turned into a museum, is on display at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, near Houston. North Carolina is on display in Wilmington, North Carolina. Alabama is on display in Mobile, Alabama. The only other 20th century battleship on display is the Japanese pre-dreadnought Mikasa.Battleships were the embodiment of sea power. Sony VGN-P series Battery For Alfred Thayer Mahan and his followers, a strong navy was vital to the success of a nation, and control of the seas was vital for the projection of force on land and overseas. Mahan's theory, proposed in 1890's The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660–1783, dictated the role of the battleship was to sweep the enemy from the seas.[89] Sony VGN-P11Z/Q Battery While the work of escorting, blockading, and raiding might be done by cruisers or smaller vessels, the presence of the battleship was a potential threat to any convoy escorted by any vessels other than capital ships. (This concept came to be known as a "fleet in being".) Mahan went on to say victory could only be achieved by engagements between battleships, Sony VGN-P11Z/R Battery (which came to be known as the "decisive battle" doctrine in some navies), while targeting merchant ships (commerce raiding orguerre de course, as posited by the Jeune École) could never succeed.[90]Mahan was highly influential in naval and political circles throughout the age of the battleship,[3][91] calling for a large fleet of the most powerful battleships possible. Sony VGN-P11Z/W Battery Mahan's work developed in the late 1880s, and by the end of the 1890s it had a massive international impact,[3] in the end adopted by many major navies (notably the British, American, German, and Japanese). The strength of Mahanian opinion was important in the development of the battleships arms races, and equally important in the agreement of the Powers to limit battleship numbers in the interwar era. Sony VGN-P21S/W Battery The "fleet in being" suggested battleships could simply by their existence tie down superior enemy resources. This in turn was believed to be able to tip the balance of a conflict even without a battle. This suggested even for inferior naval powers a battleship fleet could have important strategic impact.While the role of battleships in both World Wars reflected Mahanian doctrine, the details of battleship deployment were more complex. Sony VGN-P21Z/G Battery Unlike the ship of the line, the battleships of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries had significant vulnerability to torpedoes and mines, weapons which could be used by relatively small and inexpensive craft. The Jeune École school of thought of the 1870s and 1880s recommended placing torpedo boats alongside battleships; these would hide behind the battleships until gun-smoke obscured visibility enough for them to dart out and fire their torpedoes.[3] Sony VGN-P21Z/R Battery While this tactic was vitiated by the development of smokeless propellant, the threat from more capable torpedo craft (later including submarines) remained. By the 1890s the Royal Navy had developed the first destroyers, which were initially designed to intercept and drive off any attacking torpedo boats. Sony VGN-P29VN/Q Battery During the First World War and subsequently, battleships were rarely deployed without a protective screen of destroyers.Battleship doctrine emphasised the concentration of the battlegroup. In order for this concentrated force to be able to bring its power to bear on a reluctant opponent (or to avoid an encounter with a stronger enemy fleet), Sony VGP-BPS18 Battery battlefleets needed some means of locating enemy ships beyond horizon range. This was provided by scouting forces; at various stages battlecruisers, cruisers, destroyers, airships, submarines and aircraft were all used. (With the development of radio,direction finding and traffic analysis would come into play, as well, so even shore stations, broadly speaking, joined the battlegroup.[93]) Sony VGP-BPL18 Battery

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