Skip to comments.The FReeper Foxhole Studies USS Alaska CB-1
Posted on 09/09/2006 4:52:42 PM PDT by alfa6
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The six Alaska class "large cruisers" were ordered in September 1940 under the massive 70% Expansion ("Two Ocean Navy") building program. The Navy had been considering since 1938 building ships of this entirely new type, intermediate in size between battleships and heavy cruisers. The new ships were to carry out what were then the two primary missions of heavy cruisers: protecting carrier strike groups against enemy cruisers and aircraft and operating independenly against enemy surface forces. Their extra size and larger guns would enhance their value in both these missions and would also provide insurance against reports that Japan was building "super cruisers" more powerful than U.S. heavy cruisers. In fact, Japan developed plans for two such ships in 1941--partly as a response to the Alaskas--but never placed orders for their construction.
As built, the Alaskas were much closer to cruisers in design than to battleships or battlecruisers. They lacked the multiple layers of compartmentation and special armor along the sides below the waterline that protected battleships against torpedos and underwater hits by gunfire. Other typical cruiser features in their design were the provision of aircraft hangars and the single large rudder. Unlike other U.S. cruisers of the day, the hangars and catapults were located amidships, and the single rudder made them difficult to maneuver. On the other hand, the Alaskas' side armor covered more of the hull than was standard in contemporary U.S. cruisers.
Wartime conditions ultimately reduced the Alaska class to two ships. Construction of CB-3 through CB-6--along with the five Montana (BB-67) class battleships--was suspended in May 1942 to free up steel and other resources for more urgently needed escorts and landing craft. A year later, CB-4 through CB-6 were definitively cancelled. Hawaii (CB-3), however, was restored to the building program. Launched and partially fitted out, her construction was suspended and she was considered for conversion to a missile ship or command ship, but she was scrapped, still incomplete, in 1959.
After more normal construction periods, Alaska (CB-1) and Guam (CB-2) both arrived in the Pacific theater ready for action in early 1945. There they carried out both of their designed missions--carrier protection and surface strike--although their chances of encountering their primary intended opponents, Japanese heavy cruisers, had long since disappeared. Both returned to the U.S. soon after the war's end and, not finding a place in the postwar active fleet, remained in reserve until scrapped in 1960-61.
Design Specifications for the Alaska Class Cruisers displacement. 27,000tons; length. 806'6"; beam. 91'1"; draft. 27'1" (mean)
speed. 31.4 Kts; complement. 2,251;
Armor: 9" belt, 12 4/5" turrets, 1 2/5" + 4" + 5/8" decks
armament. 9 12", 12 5", 56 40 mm, 34 20 mm; aircraft. 4
Machinery: 150,000 SHP; G.E. geared turbines, 4 screws.
The Alaska class consisted of six ships, of which three were never begun:
# Alaska (CB-1), built at Camden, New Jersey. Keel laid in December 1941; launched in August 1943; commissioned in June 1944. # Guam (CB-2), built at Camden, New Jersey. Keel laid in February 1942; launched in November 1943; commissioned in September 1944. # Hawaii (CB-3), built at Camden, New Jersey. Construction suspended between May 1942 and May 1943. Keel laid in December 1943; launched in November 1945; never completed. # Philippines (CB-4), ordered at Camden, New Jersey. Never begun, suspended in May 1942 and cancelled in June 1943. # Puerto Rico (CB-5), ordered at Camden, New Jersey. Never begun, suspended in May 1942 and cancelled in June 1943. # Samoa (CB-6), ordered at Camden, New Jersey. Never begun, suspended in May 1942 and cancelled in June 1943.
The Navy's third Alaska (CB-1 )-the first of a class of "large cruisers" designed as a compromise to achieve a fast cruiser with a heavy main battery was laid down on 17 December 1941 at Camden, N.J., by the New York Shipbuilding Corp., Launched on 15 August 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Ernest Gruening, wife of the Honorable Ernest Gruening, Governor of Alaska, and commissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 17 June 1944, Capt. Peter K. Fischler in command.
Following post-commissioning fitting out at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Alaska stood down the Delaware River on 6 August 1944, bound for Hampton Roads, escorted by Simpson (DD-221) and Broome (DD-210). She then conducted an intensive shakedown, first in Chesapeake Bay and then in the Gulf of Paria, off Trinidad, British West Indies, escorted by Bainbridge (DD-246) and Decatur (DD-341). Steaming via Annapolis, Md., and Norfolk, Alaska returned to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, where the large cruiser underwent changes and alterations to her fire control suite: the fitting of four Mk. 57 directors for her five-inch battery.
Alaska departed Philadelphia on 12 November 1944 for the Caribbean, in company with Thomas E. Fraser (DM-24), and after two weeks of standardization trials out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, sailed for the Pacific on 2 December. She completed her transit of the Panama Canal on 4 December, and reached San Diego on the 12th. Thereafter, the new large cruiser trained m shore bombardment and anti-aircraft firing off San Diego before an availability at Hunter's Point, near San Francisco.
On 8 January 1945, Alaska sailed for Hawaii, and reached Pearl Harbor on the 13th, where, on the 27th, Capt. Kenneth M. Noble relieved Capt. Fischler, who had achieved flag rank. Over the ensuing days, Alaska conducted further training before getting underway as a unit of Task Group (TG) 12.2, weighing anchor for the western Pacific on 29 January. She reached Uhthi, the fleet anchorage in the Caroline Islands on 6 February, and there joined TG 58.5, a task group in the famed Task Force (TF) 58, the fast carrier task force.
Alaska sailed for the Japanese home islands as part uf TG 58.5 on 10 February 1945, assigned the mission of screening the aircraft carriers Saratoga (CV-3) and Enterprise (CV-6) as they carried out night air strikes against Tokyo and its airfields. During the voyage, all hands on board Alaska speculated about what lay ahead almost three-quarters of the men had never seen action before and sought out the veterans in their midst "for counsel and advice."
Sensing the air of expectation on board his ship Capt. Noble spoke to the crew over the public address system and reassured them of his confidence in them. In doing so, he used an analogy familiar to most Americans: "We are a member of a large task force which is going to pitch directly over the home plate of the enemy, " he said, "It is our particular job to back up the pitchers."
Alaska, still with TG 58.4formed around the fleet carriers Yorktoum (CV-10), Intrepid (CV-11), Independence (CVL-22) and Langley (CVL-27 - again drew the duty of protecting the valuable flattops. Her principal mission then, as it had been before, was defense of the task group against enemy air or surface attacks.
Its battle plan outlined in detail, TF 58 cruised northwesterly from the Carolines, following the departure from Ulithi on 14 March. Refueling at sea on the 16th, this mighty force reached a point southeast of Kyushu early on the 18th. On that day, the planes from TG 58.4 swept over Japenese airfields at Usa, Oita and Saeki, joining those from three other task groups, TG 58.1 TG 58.2, and TG 58.3 in claiming 107 enemy aircraft destroyed on the ground and a further 77 (of 142) engaged over the target area.
Soon thereafter, Alaska received word of the proximity of "friendlies" in the vicinity. At 0822 a single-engined plane approached the large cruiser "in a threatening fashion" from ahead m a shallow dive. Alaska opened fire promptly and scored hits. Unfortunately, almost simultaneously her fire eontrolmen were receiving word that the plane was, indeed, a friendly F6F"Hellcat." Fortunately, the pilot was uninjured and ditched his crippled plane, another ship in the disposition picked him up.
Good morning to everyone at the Freeper foxhole.
And a fine good morning to you as well. Getting any rain today?
Here's one that I missed last night
Well, we've been getting some rain which is good. Unfortunately it doesn't help the fire situation any.
We're still under a burn ban for the entire state it'll take much more rain before we can get out of this situation.
We're getting ready for "Patch Tuesday". This month's Windows Critical Updates will include two for Windows, one for Microsoft Office and the September version of the malicious Software Removal Tool.
We began using the laptop full time last week. It's a Dell Inspirion. We got it back in July thinking things weren't going to work out with the desktop but in fact it did work out after all.
When I went to check e-mails at one point, the power light was out. My brother and his nephew just happened to come down that day back in July. They did troubleshooting with a Dell person from India.
Then my cousin from the out in the country outside of town came down and looked at the box. As it turned out the power supply was burnt and had to be replaced. An order was put in for a new power supply and a laptop.
Both arrived last week. Both computers work OK and the rest is history.
We're still waiting for the Dell Rebate check on the laptop to arrive. the rebate was cleared on 8/16/06 so it should arrive sometime next week.
So, that's what's been going on.
The 12" guns had a max range of about 21 miles, however th MK18 AP shell only weighed 1,100lbs or so. Your point on the effectiveness of the 12" vs older 14" is well taken.
Also from the same source the US Navy never considered the Alaska Class to be a battlecruiser but a large cruiser.
One other thought on the Graf Spee vs USS Alaska. IF the Germans had the Alaska off of Buenos Aires the British would have taken a real beating. But of course the Germans didn't so it is just idle speculation
Have a great day
Never a dull moment, eh :-)
September 10, 2006
READ: Matthew 23:23-31
You also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy. Matthew 23:28
As a young homemaker, I enjoyed cleaning our house from top to bottom. The trouble was, it never stayed clean for long. Eventually I discovered that if I kept our house reasonably tidy, it appeared to be clean even when it wasnt. Gradually I concentrated more on the appearance of a clean house and neglected thorough cleaning. This compromise was not only convenient, it was convincing. Sometimes even I was fooled. But on sunny days my clean-looking house was revealed for what it wasdusty and dirty.
In Jesus day, the scribes and Pharisees were hypocrites who concentrated on the appearance of holiness while neglecting their heart-holiness (Matt. 23:25). When the light of Jesus shined on them, He revealed the truth about their outwardly religious life. He didnt say these external acts were necessarily wrong, but they were wrongfully used as a coverup for wickedness. For them, inner housecleaning was long overdue.
Keeping up appearances in our housework isnt wrong, but pretending our hearts are clean is. Only those who are clean on the inside will welcome Jesus with confidence when He returns. Is your heart ready? Or is heart-cleaning needed? Now is the time to take care of it!
Bible in One Year: Bible in One Year: Proverbs 8-9; 2 Corinthians 3
Absolutely true, and there are many reasons for this
1. They were built to counter large Japanese cruisers that were rumored to be coming out (turned out to be just a rumor). In the still existent mentality of Jutland and ships of the line, BB's would fight BB's, cruisers - cruisers, etc.
2. The battle cruiser concept had been greatly disparaged after Jutland. Even existing battlecruisers got a name change. No one in their right mind would say they wanted to build one.
3. The concept of fast battleships didn't yet exist, although the Iowas were being laid down concurrently. It was still an ingrained concept that cruisers were the grey hounds of the fleet.
4. Psychologically, a 12" gunned cruiser is was a world beater. Something to stoke enormous pride in its crew, and put the fear of God into the enemy. "Pocket battleship", "light battleship", etc. just doesn't have the same effect, as it puts the ship in an inferior designation. Boxers always want to get into the next lower weight for the same reason.
Note, however, that the USN did not give them the names of cruisers (a city name), but rather names of territories. This was testament to the ships special place. Thank you very much for the info. on the 12"/50cal. The fanstasic ballistics of our 12"/50cal, 14"/50cal(BB40's) and 16"/50cal(on BB61s) is often overlooked.
Also of note is that Jane's always groups the CB1s with battleships (but calls them battlecruisers). This is greatly due to tonnage. The CB1s were 32,000 tons. This made them twice as large the BB26, half again as large as the BB28 and BB31 (all of which had inferior guns to the Alaska), and equal in tonnage to the BB40, BB43, and BB45. And although the BB55-BB60 had 30% greater tonnage, the Alaska was 100 feet longer than those ships. Only the Iowas were larger in every way.
They were truly one of a kind types.
Hope I DON'T see this next Saturday at the Airshow :-)
September 11, 2006
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I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
I had read that hummingbirds can fly backwards, but the cynic in me doubted it. So when my wife mounted a hummingbird feeder by the kitchen window and filled it with sugar water, I sat down with a cup of coffee to see if it was true.
Before long, hummingbirds began to appeara ruby-throated male and several females. I soon gave up trying to watch their wings as they flew. All I could see was a blur. I was captivated by the feisty little creatures as they darted up and down, away and back, vying for an open spot at the feeder and chasing one another away.
After a while, only one bird was lefther long, thin beak sucking up the liquid. Then, when she was finished, she flew straight backwards, then up, and finally darted out of sight among the trees.
How did she do it? God knows. Sometime on the fifth day of creation, while He was forming whales, sharks, orioles, and loons, God created the hummingbird with its amazing ability to fly backwardsa miracle of His power.
I didnt need that awesome illustration to prove the existence and brilliance of God. But it did remind me once again that I have every reason to worship God, for I too am fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14).-->
Bible in One Year: Bible in One Year: Proverbs 10-12; 2 Corinthians 4
Free Republic's 9-11 100 Hours of Remembrance
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Posted on 09/06/2003 3:45:49 AM CDT by jriemer
Your comment had me thinking that the Alaskas really would have been the perfect deep ocean commerce raiders, able to run away from battleships and destroy any other heavy cruiser by keeping it inside its 12" guns, while keeping them from closing within their own gun range. Only an aircraft carrier could have dealt with such a threat.
Well that is my idle speculation ;-)
Their day has passed, but I love the lines of those old battleships and heavy cruisers.
Good One, alfa6!
It was time and I had been wanting to do this particular ship for some time.
Y'all take care
Howdy there Valin, long time no see
Half Track pic for Tuesday
September 12, 2006
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I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Philippians 1:23
Every 26 years or so, we move to a different house.
Actually, Sue and I moved into our first home when our first child was a baby. We had no idea we would live there for 26 years. When we finally did change our residence, it was an emotional time.
On the day we moved, after everything was out of the house, we did one final walk-through to relive the memories. The toughest moment came when we entered Melissas bedroom. We had said goodbye to her 2 years earlier after a car accident took her earthly life. Now we were bidding adieu to the sunflower-decorated room she loved so much.
As I think of that emotional time when we moved, I am reminded of what a great change of address Melissa enjoyed on the day she was ushered into Gods presence. Our move to a different house pales in comparison to the glories our daughter now enjoys in heaven. What a grand comfort to know that our departed loved ones who have trusted in Jesus are now living in Gods majestic kingdom! (2 Cor. 5:1).
Are you ready for that ultimate change of address? No matter where you live on this earth, make sure your final home will be heaven.
Bible in One Year: Bible in One Year: Proverbs 13-15; 2 Corinthians 5