WI, wall of battleships at D-Day?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by MatthewB, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. MatthewB Banned

    Joined:
    May 15, 2019
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Allied_warships_in_the_Normandy_landings#Battleships

    Seven battleships took part: four British and three US:
    • USS Arkansas
    • USS Nevada
    • HMS Nelson
    • HMS Ramillies
    • HMS Rodney
    • USS Texas
    • HMS Warspite
    Let's triple that number to 21 battleships:

    Per Wikipedia, in 1943 the British battleships Revenge and Resolution were recalled to Britain and decommissioned. Followed in Jan 1944 by Royal Sovereign. If we can hold off on the latter's handover to the Soviets we can add these three battleships. Now we need 18 more.

    Just imagine the site of 21 battleships firing onto German positions. Here at Iowa Jima there were eight battleships.

     
    Ferd42 likes this.
  2. Spencersj345.346 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2018
    You could get 10 more battleships from the rest of the existing older USN battleships those being New York, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Mississippi, Idaho, Tennessee, California, Colorado, Maryland, and West Virginia.
    Also add in Queen Elizabeth, Valiant, and Malaysia and you need just 5 more modern battleships which I guess could be Renown and the 4 surviving members of the KGV class
     
    Adamant likes this.
  3. Cryhavoc101 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Location:
    1123 6536 5321
    I would add that at Iwo Jima the Battleships took every opportunity to sail of and shell Japan so instead of the Island being shelled for 10 days it was only shelled for 3

    I recently read 'Flag's of our Fathers' and the implied criticism of the USN and allied naval forces in choosing the headliner mission of attacking the mainland is explicit
     
  4. MatthewB Banned

    Joined:
    May 15, 2019
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    IDK, were these available in Spring 1944?
     
  5. Spencersj345.346 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2018
    They were available but not in the theater...and the California and West Virginia were still working up after their extensive rebuilds completion
     
  6. MatthewB Banned

    Joined:
    May 15, 2019
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Nice.

    It would have been massive. The only time I can think of 20+ dreadnought battleships all firing at once would have been Jellicoe's Grand Fleet at Jutland. Here's 20 or more battleships/battlecruisers of the Grand Fleet below.

    [​IMG]
     
    arcee and Adamant like this.
  7. Zincwarrior Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    I take it we are not including the fast battleships in the Pacific attached to the carrier fleets? If we are positing a scenario how many does that add? Wiki says four Iowa class and four South Dakota class. These had modern radar / targeting systems IIRC.

    However, how effective is this? Wasn't Point du Hoc turned into a fair guesstimate of the surface of the moon by Texas?
     
  8. Spencersj345.346 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2018
    Sadly those battleships were not nearly as heavily experienced in shore bombardment as the older and slower battleships due to being used as mainly carrier escorts and well accuracy in fire support is quite important.
     
  9. Scott Washburn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2018
    It wasn't just the number of ships available it was the crews to man them. The three "R Class" British battleships were decommissioned because their crews were needed to man some of the landing craft used on D-Day. England really was reaching the end of its manpower resources.
     
  10. Zincwarrior Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    I missed the North Carolina class (add two more-man the US had a lot of battleships). They must have been decently accurate and we are talking a hypothetical. Washington and South Dakota fought in one of the only two battleship vs. battleship engagements of the Pacific war. Wisconsin sunk the Kirishima at the pivotal battle of Guadalcanal.

    EDIT: that comes up to an awful lot of battlewagons. Brings a tear to my eye...
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
  11. GTStinger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Were there enough targets that required massive shells to crack?
    D-Day might be better served having a couple dozen more DD,CL,Etc shelling with 5" guns.

    But a wall of BBs would be an awesome sight.
     
    Adamant likes this.
  12. TonyA Curmudgeon like, but nastier

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2015
    Location:
    South Florida
    I don't know about 21 BB's, but, there probably wasn't a single combat landing of WW2 that couldn't have used some additional gunfire prep and support. Doubt if Normandy was any different...
     
    Adamant likes this.
  13. NOMISYRRUC He isn't the best, but he is in the top one...

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2014
    What he said!

    Plus this quote from An Illustrated History of the Navies of World War II by Anthony Preston.
     
    Adamant likes this.
  14. NOMISYRRUC He isn't the best, but he is in the top one...

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2014
    I can't remember were Malaya was, but IIRC Queen Elizabeth, Valiant and Renown were at Ceylon with the Eastern Fleet.

    Three of the four surviving KGVs must have been at Scapa Flow with the Home Fleet. This is the paragraph that followed on from the quote in Post 13.
    However, the RM battleships Italia (ex-Littorio) and Vittorio Vento were IIRC anchored in the Great Bitter Lake at the time.

    Does anyone know the status of Guilio Cesare, Andrea Doria and Caio Duilio in the first half of 1944?

    I believe Richelieu was with the British Eastern Fleet in June 1944. IIRC Jean Bart had one 15" turret fitted. Lorraine was in the Mediterranean AFAIK. IOTL Courbet was used as a breakwater at Normandy. ITTL could she and Paris have been used as bombardment ships?
     
    Adamant and Dorknought like this.
  15. MatthewB Banned

    Joined:
    May 15, 2019
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Are you suggesting the Italian battleships join in the NGFS bombardment of their former German allies?
     
  16. NOMISYRRUC He isn't the best, but he is in the top one...

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2014
    Yes.

    AFAIK the 3 older Italian battleships were bombarding German positions in Italy in 1944-45.
     
  17. TonyA Curmudgeon like, but nastier

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2015
    Location:
    South Florida
    That might piss someone off...
     
  18. NOMISYRRUC He isn't the best, but he is in the top one...

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2014
    Yes. The Germans.

    To be serious, the ships exist and AFAIK the Italians have no shortage of trained manpower. It may not be a popular move, but it does provide 5 of the 14 battleships that @MatthewB wants.
     
  19. NOMISYRRUC He isn't the best, but he is in the top one...

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2014
    This is what the British battleships were doing in 1944. The source is British Battleships 1919-45 by R.A. Burt

    British Battleships 1944.png
     
  20. MatthewB Banned

    Joined:
    May 15, 2019
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Would this be the first time Italian dreadnoughts have left the Mediterranean?