ww2 battleship

The 5"/25 (127 mm) battery aboard the U.S. Navy battleship USS New Mexico (BB-40) prepares to fire during the bombardment of Saipan, 15 June 1944.
Note the time-fuze setters on the left side of each gun mount, each holding three “fixed” rounds of ammunition; the barrels of 20 mm machine guns at the extreme right; and triple the 14"/50 (34.5 cm) guns in the background.

(Source: Official U.S. Navy photo 80-G-K-14162 from the U.S. Navy Naval History and Heritage Command)


The short lived French battleship Dunkerque, a rather beautiful answer to the German Deutschland-class cruisers which appeared in 1929. Dunkerque and her sister Strasbourg were full-sized battleships by WWI standards. While they couldn’t compete with the latest designs of peer nations the very well designed Richelieu-class appeared in 1935 to do that, leaving the Dunkerque-class as fearsome cruiser hunters.

Dunkerque was seriously damaged by the British attack on Mers-el-Kébir in July 1940, she was hit four times by 15″ shells from HMS Hood and beached. The British returned to finish her off and since she was beached in front of a village Admiral Somerville opted to use torpedoes. One struck a depth charge laden patrol boat moored alongside Dunkerque and the subsequent explosion tore both ships apart. It was the end of a very short career.

After temporary repairs finally made her again seaworthy, she left for Toulon almost two years later in February 1942. There the Germans tried to seize her, so the French scuttled her, in a drydock. They also set her afire, leaving not much of a ship for the Italians to then seize. They in turn cut the barrels down so the French couldn’t somehow repair what was left. Then the Italians surrendered and the Germans took ownership, removing the bow to float the wreck out of the drydock. During this time the Allies bombed her on several occasions. The remaining 15,000 tonnes of the once 27,000 tonne battleship, renamed Q56, was eventually condemned and sold for demolition on 30 September 1958.

This aerial photograph of Pearl Harbor was taken three days after the attack. The black streaks are oil leaking out of the sunken ships. The USS Arizona is on the bottom right.

(Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives)

lethal-truama  asked:

Why did we start calling them battleships and drop the name dreadnaughts that name sounds way more terrifying

The term Dreadnought came to be once HMS Dreadnought was launched, which was such a revolutionary design it deemed all previous Battleships, now called pre-Dreadnoughts, obsolete. 

So as to drive this point home, the term was applied to all Battleships that followed her design philosophy of an all-big caliber main armament, great speed and much improved armor layout, which greatly took into account both the torpedo and the plunging shell (shells fired at a high angle of elevation).

Anyhow, the term, alongside its follow-up, the Super Dreadnought, was eventually dropped in favor of the more generic Battleship (although I much prefer the spanish version, Acorazado), since basically by the start of WW2 all remaining battleships were in essence Dreadnoughts (well, super Dreadnoughts), with just a handful of surviving pre-dreadnoughts that were nothing more than training/auxiliary ships, so the need to differentiate the types basically banished. 



Super Dreadnought


Likely taken during Operation Tungsten, a sailor of the Royal Canadian Navy looks aft from HMCS Algonquin’s deck, toward what would be the King George V-class battleships HMS Duke of York and HMS Anson - ca. April 1944.

Sourced from: Department of National Defence, Library and Archives Canada.

Battleships at anchor on battleship row in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
USS Nevada
USS Oklahoma *
USS Pennsylvania
USS Arizona *
USS Tennessee
USS California *
USS Maryland
USS West Virginia *
*Sunk or destroyed

USS Idaho (BB-42), a New Mexico-class battleship shells Okinawa on 1 April 1945. Photo taken from the USS West Virginia (BB-48).

She is easily distinguished by her tower foremast & 5”-38 Mk 30 single turrets (visible between the barrels of the forward main turrets). Idaho was the only battleship with this configuration.

“USS West Virginia 5-5-42; Long patch, port side, aft view”

Series: General Correspondence, 1940 - 1951Record Group 181: Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments, 1784 - 2000

This is one of a collection of photographs of salvage operations at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard taken during the period following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

More photos of Pearl Harbor salvage operations in the @usnatarchives online Catalog.

More posts commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

“Pearl Harbor attack. View looking down Battleship Row from Ford Island Naval Air Station, shortly after the Japanese torpedo plane attack. USS California (BB-44) is at left, listing to port after receiving two torpedo hits. In the center are USS Maryland (BB-46) with the capsized USS Oklahoma (BB-37) alongside. USS Neosho (AO-23) is at right, backing clear of the area. Most smoke is from USS Arizona (BB-39).”

(NHHC: 80-G-32640)

“Warships of the British Mediterranean Fleet bombarded Fort Cupuzzo at Bardia, Libya, on June 21, 1940. On board one of the battleships was an official photographer who recorded pictures during the bombardment. Anti-aircraft pom-pom guns stand ready for action.”