Best Battleship: Tactical Factors

Tactical Factors Yamato Iowa Bismarck Richelieu King George V Vittorio Veneto South Dakota
Displacement (full load, tons) 71,569 57,540 50,932 46,797 44,460 45,236 44,374
Displacement Rating 10 8 7 6.5 6 6.5 6
Gun Platform Rating 10 8 9 8 7 8 8
Speed 27 knots 33+ knots 30 knots 32 knots 29 knots 31 knots 27 knots
Speed Rating 6.5 10 8 9 7.5 8.5 6.5
Damage Control Rating 8 10 8 7 10 8 10
Raw Score 34.5 36 32 30.5 30.5 31 30.5
Overall Rating 9.5 10 9 8.5 8.5 8.5 8.5

GENERAL COMMENTS: This category is tremendously subjective. All I am trying to do here is put together at least a rough index of how useful the ship might be tactically (gun platform, speed), and how much raw punishment it could absorb (displacement, damage control). Gun platform is simply a rough index of the beam of the vessel (we'll deal with actual sea-keeping in a later section). In the matter of speed, I am personally of the belief that a fast ship is a nice thing to have, but that speed in general is not a critical deciding factor in the outcome of battles. For the purposes of the rating, I put Iowa at 33 knots and subtracted .5 point per knot from there on down. Damage control is very hard to quantify. American practice, by the end of the war, was simply superb. How much better than the everybody else (especially the French, about whom I don't even have anecdotal evidence) is impossible to say. So I simply took my best guess. The end result was that these ships all scored very close together in terms of an overall rating, which 'feels' right to me. All seven of these ships were large, steady gun platforms which could absorb an enormous amount of punishment. Iowa barely edges Yamato because of her speed and superb damage control. Yamato, though, has the advantage of an enormous displacement. To my mind, for all practical purposes, they are practically the same in their usefulness -- it's largely a matter of preference. All the others display a good blend of factors, but aren't quite in the same league in their ability to absorb damage, largely because of their displacement. The deciding factor in determining their real usefulness and damage-resistance ability becomes their respective protection schemes.

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