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Warship Comparison: Bismarck VS North Carolina

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Hey, guys. Here's another warship comparison. This time I want to compare the largest battleship of the Kriegsmarine and the most highly decorated battleship of the USN during WWII to know which is better. Here goes.

  Length Beam Draught Displacement Machinery/Propulsion Speed Range Armaments
Bismarck 850 ft. 120 ft. 35 ft. 50, 900 tons 12x high pressure steam heated boilers, 3 shafts, geared turbines 35 mph 15, 000 km 8x15in main guns, 12x6in guns, 16x105mm cannons, 12x20mm AA cannons, 8x20mm AA machine guns
North Carolina 730 ft. 110 ft. 33 ft. 34, 000 tons 8x boilers, 4x general electric steam turbines, 4x shafts 30 mph 32, 187 km 9x16in main guns, 20x5in dual purpose guns, 16x1 in AA cannons
Winner: Bismarck Bismarck Bismarck Bismarck Bismarck Bismarck North Carolina North Carolina
 

Time to determine the winner.

  Main guns Anti-ship guns AA guns
Bismarck Lose Lose Tie (Bismarck had more but No Cal had better)
North Carolina Win Win Tie (Bismarck had more but No Cal had better)

And there we have it, guys. North Carolina is better than Bismarck. But take note that this comparison and result is based on what I know. What is more important to me is your feedback. So which warship do you think is better?

P.s. If you want to see my previous warship comparison. Click this.

Edit 1: I made a mistake saying that Bismarck's main guns are better than No Cal's. Don't worry. No Cal has better main guns. Also edited the AA guns comparison result. Sorry, again. No Cal is better than Bismarck everyone. That is final (I'm sorry Bismarck...).

Edited by Spyryjyon

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Senior Moderator
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No Cal - double the range and slightly lower draught makes her more useful for open ocean warfare - Bismarck would have to take a supply ship with her, a rather debilitating achilles heel.

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Bismarck is essentially the raider from hell and designed to operate in Europe, where 15" guns are sufficient for wrecking havoc on the British (and their sheer number of cruisers), with high speed capable of outrunning capital ship responses. North Carolina's designed for the open ocean (Atlantic and more importantly, Pacific), where top speed beyond that of the task force isn't particularly needed, but heavier armament for capital ship combat - your table should reflect North Carolina as being more heavily armed than Bismarck, by the way.

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I'd rather get the No Cal because she was solid enough. If anti-ship for that matter, do know that Washington gave Kirishima a hard whack herself. Bisko's AA suite directors had a hard time crunching against a Fairey Swordfish of all the planes out there. Also, armor had a wonky layout despite being really solid. That or you stick to "Bismarck is the bestest battleship EVAR" and that she tops up every battleship out there including Yamato.

 

Bismarck is essentially the raider from hell and designed to operate in Europe, where 15" guns are sufficient for wrecking havoc on the British (and their sheer number of cruisers), with high speed capable of outrunning capital ship responses. North Carolina's designed for the open ocean (Atlantic and more importantly, Pacific), where top speed beyond that of the task force isn't particularly needed, but heavier armament for capital ship combat - your table should reflect North Carolina as being more heavily armed than Bismarck, by the way.

 

15 inch guns against 16 inch guns? Oh man.

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I'd rather get the No Cal because she was solid enough. If anti-ship for that matter, do know that Washington gave Kirishima a hard whack herself. Bisko's AA suite directors had a hard time crunching against a Fairey Swordfish of all the planes out there. Also, armor had a wonky layout despite being really solid. That or you stick to "Bismarck is the bestest battleship EVAR" and that she tops up every battleship out there including Yamato.

 

 

15 inch guns against 16 inch guns? Oh man.

 

We all know North Carolina is better because she has numerous AA Guns and Secondaries, she's also can detect enemies within out range of the radar

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We all know North Carolina is better because she has numerous AA Guns and Secondaries, she's also can detect enemies within out range of the radar

 

Lel

We all know

US.AA *Holy Sh*t

Radar=Look when the wash duel with krish

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Hey, guys. Here's another warship comparison. This time I want to compare the largest battleship of the Kriegsmarine and the most highly decorated battleship of the USN during WWII to know which is better. Here goes.

  Length Beam Draught Displacement        
Bismarck 850 ft. 120 ft. 35 ft. 50, 900 tons        
North Carolina 730 ft. 110 ft. 33 ft. 34, 000 tons        
Winner: Bismarck Bismarck Bismarck Bismarck        
 

 

 

I am interested in how you arrived at the conclusion that the LOA plays a part in this.

Also, in what way does her beam make a difference to anything here? An extra 2 foot? Hardly a way to compare ships.

Again my thoughts on comparisons..

 

Comparing the two ships is fine on paper, but IRL various factors such as crew training, morale, equipment maintenance, other arms and forces all come into play.

 

In game example; You can put a first time player in a tier 10 BB and a unicum in a tier 5 BB.  All likelihood, the tier5 would win.

 

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 Your reply might be a bit misleading. Bismarck has more AA guns but No Cal has more. The more the better. Also, Bismarck has more secondaries if you add it up correctly. It's in the table. 

 

 

Bismarck's AA weaponry was...adequate, but nowhere near as effective as North Carolina.

 

Continental battleship designs (RN, RM, KM) were designed to take advantage of the proximity to land for air cover. Hell, the RN had barely modernized their battleships with AA weaponry when WWII rolled around. Likewise, the Germans divided their secondaries between HA and LA guns. The Americans, however, had newer battleship designs refitted with HA batteries because of the nature of Pacific warfare - far from any land-based air cover. Bismarck's 6" secondaries, IIRC, were not HA guns, whilst all of North Carolina's 5" batteries were HA, giving NC a much better AA defense than Bismarck has.

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Super Tester
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Bismarck's AA's can't even shoot Swordfish :(

 

I'm with SoCal, had better AA's against enemy planes (oh you know, that stuff happened)

 

besides, Bismarck and Tirpitz were raiders..

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North Carolina. All day.

 

It is widely consider THE best treaty Battleship class along with the South Dakota Class.

 

What makes these two class is their balance to Speed, Firepower, Protection and all the other accessories.

 

Good speed? Check. 27-28 knots is decent enough to escort CVs or maneuvering around.

Good armor? Check. NC being able to resist any 14 inch shell at normal distance, and the South Dakota take it up to the MK 6 16 inch shell (The L/45 one, not the Iowa's one).

Good gun? Check. 16 inch gun can easily match with the Bismarck's 15 inch gun. It had 9 of them as well compare to the 8 on the Bismarck.

Good AA? Check. Miles better than any nation's Battleship.

Good FCS? Check. The MK 3 FCS manage that incredible 45 shots 9 hit record on the IJN Hiei during the 3rd Battle of Solomon. Imagine it with the MK 8.

 

It's an all round Battleship class. Also if you count in the South Dakota, there's 6 of these vs the 2 Bismarck Class Battleship.

Who do you think gonna win? Also, I didn't mention the Air superiority. German Navy don't even had a CV (Well it has, but it had never been finished).

 

Edited by Alvin1020

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Sorry to break your German Supremacy bubble.

What you are comparing does not hold up. Tirpitz and Bismarck had terrible engagement capabilities. Sure their technology was wunderbar. But they didnt use it correctly.

And that is factored in the game.

 

BUT BUT!! LORD DEATHSKYZ!!! MASTER OF THE PUBS!! SAVIOR OF THE MASSES!!! THE BISMARCK HAD HER MAIN BELT FULLY INTACT!!

 

But her external modules were not well protected you see. Her hull may have survived to become a wunderbar battering ram, but she was quickly rendered combat ineffective.

And combat ineffective isnt something helpful.

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*Stuff*

 

But her external modules were not well protected you see. Her hull may have survived to become a wunderbar battering ram, but she was quickly rendered combat ineffective.

And combat ineffective isnt something helpful.

 

And her out-dated All rounded protection means that her main belt cannot cover as much area. The protection under waterline is poor, and protection for critical part of the ship (Specifically the Engine and the boiler room) is not good enough.

 

People always evaluate a Battleship by it's main belt - that may be true in WWI, but not really in WWII. Shells don't only come at a straight line and hit your main belt/hull only anymore - Deck protection and the protection for the crucial part of the ship (Ammunition, Engine, Gun, Command tower, etc.) should also be taken into factor.

 

For Bismarck's tonnage, it could have been much better. Look at the Yankees - They build some essentially just as good ship class (If not better) with less than 40000 tons - And even the Iowa is larger than the Bismarcks by only 3000 more tons - And it had all the things a "Modern Battleship" needed, unlike the Bismarck which is basically a 42000 tons ship slapped on some armor with 15 inch guns.

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Like I pointed out - Bismarck is essentially the raider from hell and designed to wreak havoc on the Atlantic (and probably Mediterranean) trade lanes. However, she's not particularly built for a fleet battle, and for that matter, it's not like the Germans had sufficient capital ship strength to pull a Jutland in WWII against the Royal Navy.

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Like I pointed out - Bismarck is essentially the raider from hell and designed to wreak havoc on the Atlantic (and probably Mediterranean) trade lanes. However, she's not particularly built for a fleet battle, and for that matter, it's not like the Germans had sufficient capital ship strength to pull a Jutland in WWII against the Royal Navy.

 

Agreed - might as well build a couple more Deutschland/Heavy Cruisers/ Smaller capital ship or hell more U-boats.

As I said sometime before, they have their flaws, but in a way perfect for Germany's strategic target - to disrupt the Atlantic trade routes. You don't need Bismarck to deal with the ordinary escort force of convoys (Heavy Cruisers or Destroyers) - You need something that can do hit and run (The early days in the war already proven how even a lonely Graf Spee can make the British panic).

 

Building big Battleships are contradict to what Germany aims for - If you are gonna face British/US Battleship, Even Bismarck is a 50/50 whether it will win. Might as well then just avoid them all together with smaller ship that can be build in larger quantity - it may even be more effective. Sure you may lose a few of them when some get unlucky (I sounds really cruel, but it is the way to go), but it will really cause chaos in the Atlantic along with the U-boats.

Edited by Alvin1020

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The North Carolina survived WW2 and is currently a Museum ship (and was one of the most decorated BBs in the USN of WW2)

 

The Bismark is at the bottom of the Ocean.

 

I think that clearly shows which one is best.

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The North Carolina survived WW2 and is currently a Museum ship (and was one of the most decorated BBs in the USN of WW2)

 

The Bismark is at the bottom of the Ocean.

 

I think that clearly shows which one is best.

 

This is such Bravo Zulu, give this man a Medal! :medal:

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The North Carolina survived WW2 and is currently a Museum ship (and was one of the most decorated BBs in the USN of WW2)

 

The Bismark is at the bottom of the Ocean.

 

I think that clearly shows which one is best.

 

Yeap, I personally would have given the Bismark more credit if it wasn't for the fact that it couldn't even shoot down Swordfish Biplanes as multiple people said (not that that Italians at Taranto could either...but). I have full confidence if the USN ships could shoot down faster kamikazes, they could obliterate Biplanes 

 

Bismark also got her rudder and other modules knocked out easy for a super BB, plus she was not designed for fleet action (BB vs other BB action)

 

North Carolina on the Other hand was built to take on BB's especially since the US wanted to counter the Japanese - Washington vs kirishima being a prime example of the ships survivability in a close quarters battle

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Yeap, I personally would have given the Bismark more credit if it wasn't for the fact that it couldn't even shoot down Swordfish Biplanes as multiple people said (not that that Italians at Taranto could either...but). I have full confidence if the USN ships could shoot down faster kamikazes, they could obliterate Biplanes 

 

Bismark also got her rudder and other modules knocked out easy for a super BB, plus she was not designed for fleet action (BB vs other BB action)

 

North Carolina on the Other hand was built to take on BB's especially since the US wanted to counter the Japanese - Washington vs kirishima being a prime example of the ships survivability in a close quarters battle

 

USS North Carlolina (BB-55) was designed to escort the US Carrier after took a heavy losses on their Battleships at the Pacific so they transferred it from North Atlantic Fleet to the Pacific Fleet and USS North Carlolina (BB-55) don't just escort the US Carrier to provide AA Cover it also took a majot part as Naval Bombardment during the Pacific War Campaign well thanks to majority upgrades of the US BB AA upgrades most of their BB were upgraded to have the 40MM Bofors gun so that why she could take down lot of planes shadowing AA overs for the US CV plus did i forget to mention those 5" secondary armanents too? 

For the Bismarck let said lack of AA power and resulted to it being sunk just from the swordfish well we are not a Naval Historician so we all can't really make a judge with USS North Carolina (BB-55) and KM Bismarck.

Edited by davud1537

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The whole AA thing with regards to Bismarck is primarily due to the lack of high angle (HA) secondary artillery. Continental navies were much slower in developing and adopting dual purpose secondary batteries for their warships. Take the Royal Navy for example - at the start of WWII, just three of her battleships were modernized with appropriate AA armament. Going by modernization in terms of fleet strength, the Royal Navy was the third ranked navy in the world (behind Japan and US), and at a serious threat from the KM and RM (and to some extent, the MN). The big issue is that continental navies were much slower in developing HA mounts for DP guns because it wasn't urgently needed - the plan was for land-based aircraft to coordinate with naval movements and provide air cover. For the KM and RN, this involved their capital ships being protected by the Luftwaffe when operating in the North Sea or the Mediterranean, whereas combat in the Atlantic would see carrier-based aircraft envisioned as reconnaissance platforms to vector fleets towards each other, rather than actual aircraft strike groups doing the sinking. 

 

The USN and IJN pushed further on carrier development through the need to provide air cover for fleets in the Pacific, where there would be few (if any) friendly airstrips within range for fighter cover. The IJN went one step further by theorizing that aircraft carriers could launch sufficient aircraft to be a strike group unto themselves, an idea that appeared to be vindicated when the Brits wrecked the Italians at Taranto. Pearl Harbor was basically Taranto writ large, and Japanese carriers ditched the reconnaissance aspect in favour of focusing solely on strike craft and their escorts on their carriers (while their cruisers were fitted with aviation capabilities for recon). The USN lagged slightly behind the IJN in terms of carrier-heavy doctrine, but overtook it following Pearl Harbor and U.S.S. Enterprise's success in holding out against the IJN in the following months.

 

All of which means that Bismarck, while a pretty solid battleship design when she was launched and an excellent raider, was sadly lacking in capabilities required for WWII fleet warfare and would have been absolutely creamed if it ever saw combat in the Pacific. The IJN had pushed to extensively retrofit their existing capital ships to defend against carrier groups, and by the 1930s, the USN was modifying designs to counter the IJN ships. The RN and KM lagged pretty behind the IJN and USN (RN was focused more on scraping up the money to modernize their aging battleships whilst maintaining the massive cruiser fleet required to police its trade lanes and colonies, whilst the KM basically had to start from scratch after WWI and the ToV). The North Carolinas, who were authorized in 1937 (after the IJN was visibly modernizing and upgrading its capital ships) reflects the USN's advances in naval doctrine. Hell, North Carolina herself was launched just months before Bismarck met her end.

Edited by Syanda

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The North Carolina survived WW2 and is currently a Museum ship (and was one of the most decorated BBs in the USN of WW2)

 

The Bismark is at the bottom of the Ocean.

 

I think that clearly shows which one is best.

 

Irrelevant comparison.

If your definition of "best" is "lasts longest" then sure, run with it.

That she is a museum ship is more a factor that she was built by a country with a large consumer base, a large economy and that the US was on the side that won the war.

Take out those factors and I can bet your bottom dollar that there'd be significantly less chance of her being around.

 

Tee

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Irrelevant comparison.

If your definition of "best" is "lasts longest" then sure, run with it.

That she is a museum ship is more a factor that she was built by a country with a large consumer base, a large economy and that the US was on the side that won the war.

Take out those factors and I can bet your bottom dollar that there'd be significantly less chance of her being around.

 

Tee

 

You missed the point - She wasn't sunk in Action, The Bismark was - therefore the one that wasn't Sunk was better.

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