Footnotes for Best Battleship Page: Anti-Aircraft

AA#1. Throw weight equals (rate of fire * number of barrels * weight of shell). Calculated from information in Campbell.

AA#2. This particular configuration represents Tirpitz at the end of her career. Note, too, that the 37mm gun carried by Bismarck (and most German ships until late in the war) was the 37mm Flak M42, which had a very slow practical rate of fire (listed at a nominal 160-180 rounds/minute) due to the necessity to change the 6-round clip between each burst.

AA#3. This particular configuration comes from Duke of York in April, 1945.

AA#4. Leaving Iowa as a '10' means everybody else (except Richelieu) gets adjusted downwards, sometimes dramatically so. The reasons for adjusting are mainly due to fire control. Iowa had tremendous fire-control, RPC, and radar for her mounts at the end of the war. I arbitrarily subtracted from the other ship's ratings (except Richelieu) for lack of radar, RPC, and so on.

The really awful truth here is that I'm being generous in terms of overall effectiveness for the DP guns. With proximity fuzed ammunition, the Allied batteries were perhaps five times more effective than their Axis counterparts. When you adjust for inferior fire-control (vis-a-vis the US Mk 37), lack of RPC, and so on, you could easily get a Secondary: Anti-Aircraft rating that looks more like this:

Secondary Armament: Anti-aircraft: The Harsh Score Yamato Iowa Bismarck Richelieu King George V Vittorio Veneto South Dakota
Raw Rating 2.5, 5.5 10 5 2 6 2 10
Adjusted Rating 1 10 1 1.5 5.5 .25 10

However, I do also note that in terms of lethality of the American 5" proximity fuzed ammunition, the historical kill rates for that shell were based on combat results against primarily Japanese aircraft, which were lighter and more prone to debilitating hits from shrapnel. This may have exaggerated the effectiveness of the shell. Similarly, the Japanese, firing much lighter 25mm shell against heavier and more robust American aircraft, were probably at an even greater disadvantage than the mere throweight of their guns suggests, because American aircraft could take a 'licking and keep on ticking' in situations which would have destroyed a Japanese plane.