anchor chain

Vermont Class


Line drawing of Vermont

Displacement 43,000 tons
Armament 4 x 3 16"
12 x 1 5" + a few AA
Speed 21 knots
VTS Rating   (5)   6   3

Designed as an uprated Colorado with half again as many main guns, the Vermont class (originally known as the South Dakota Class) was curtailed to only two units by the Washington Naval Treaty. Easily distinguished by her "wishbone" smokestacks, she was a powerful warship, but she was terribly slow in comparison to contemporary rival ships such as the British "Saints" and the Japanese Owari. The advent of radar in the late thirties gave this class a new lease of life as a first-class warship, if only the enemy would come to her. They did, but from the air.

Virginia looked smart at anchor in Pearl Harbor with all the other WW I-era battlewagons on Battleship Row in 1941, but a Japanese 18" projectile fitted as a bomb pierced her magazines and she exploded so violently that recognizable pieces were found in nearby Honolulu. Her hulk was raised and eventually towed to Normandy two and a half years later and used as a breakwater. Vermont served faithfully in convoy duty as a deterrent to German surface raiders, but except for some AA rounds flung at German reconnaisance snoopers never fired her considerable armament in anger. Post-war, she survived Test Able but sank during Test Baker at Bikini atoll.

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