South Dakota Damage Analysis

The Discussion Board For The True Queen Of The Seas

South Dakota Damage Analysis

Tony D
Joined: 15 Mar 2004, 20:39

01 Oct 2010, 23:58 #1

After a year's work, it's finally done.  Enjoy.
NavWeaps Owner

Posts 0

02 Oct 2010, 00:07 #2

Thanks for the link.  The documents look great.



Joined: 03 Apr 2006, 09:39

02 Oct 2010, 01:04 #3

Great stuff.Soth Dakota was handled poorly that day(with bad luck),things would have been much worse if some fish had hit.

Joined: 10 Feb 2010, 15:58

02 Oct 2010, 02:20 #4

Wow, great stuff and an incredible amount of research. I'll be reading it for several days.

Joined: 26 Mar 2005, 10:21

03 Oct 2010, 12:58 #5

While I agree that South Dakota could have been handled better at GC2, the SoDak design proved she could take serious battle damage and still be able to fight well. The design of the 4 SoDaks prove they were BBs built to last and keep going. IIRC, SoDak went into this battle with no training to work with Washington or the 4 DDs that escorted them, and she also had one of her 16"/45 guns out of service due to an earlier bomb hit. Had her electrical system been managed better, I believe she still could have fouhanks for posting this, Tony.ght well, and she did resume firing after the electrical systems were repaired, but with no radar and other parts of her FCS.

She took at least 8 14" shell hits, and some 15 8" AP shells as well as the 6" and 5" hits, and simply absorbed them, without the danger of uncontrolable flooding.

BB57 proved this was truely a 'street fighter' class of BBs. Not since the Battle of Jutland has a BB taken so much damage at sea and still lived to fight another day. Yes, I know the BBs at PH took more damage, but they were not at sea.

Thanks for posting this, Tony.


1Big Rich
Joined: 03 May 2006, 02:05

03 Oct 2010, 14:27 #6

Thank you, Tony and Rob.


Big Amp
Joined: 27 Dec 2006, 18:38

03 Oct 2010, 21:37 #7

Hey Ed,

From the analysis I count "only" 6 x 14" hits of which just the one was AP so don't quite know where you are comming from.

Thank goodness a high proportion of hits, for whatever reason (who cares anyway), did not explode otherwise the damage would have been greater and there would have been more casualties but even then I do not believe the ship would have been threatened. Yes she took a bit of a hammering but IMO not really Jutlandesque and in no way comparable to the hidings taken by the German battlecruisers or by Lion or Warspite.

For my tastes the SD class are an outstanding design, pretty well the best all round BBs and they are way the best looking of the US BBs. Very formidable opponents.     

Jay Tea NH
Joined: 24 Aug 2007, 23:14

03 Oct 2010, 23:40 #8

This is amazing work. I can't wait to print out a copy for fuller study. And yeah, the SoDaks were exceptionally good boats.


Joined: 25 Apr 2007, 19:40

04 Oct 2010, 14:47 #9

Great site !

I think they were a very good class but there were compromises made as with all designs (especially the 35K treaty designs).

They were slower than other modern Battleships excluding North Carolina and Washington, they were described by Friedman as cramped, their belt armour was internal (pros and cons here - but imo in actual service more cons than pros), their TDS was inferior to their preceding class ect

I would also argue that Dunkerque probably took more of a pounding from more powerful RN 15" shells  relative to South Dakota's beating from weaker IJN 14" HE shells and survived.

ps I dont want to turn this in to the usual pissing contest so I'll leave it at that
Last edited by Boemher on 04 Oct 2010, 15:20, edited 3 times in total.

Joined: 10 Jan 2010, 03:46

04 Oct 2010, 15:34 #10

South Dakota class battleship pound for pound were the best BB,s built Being monday morning quarterback the SD should have been back in states undergoing sea trials but this was war . Hope someone in near future studies the wrecks of iron bottom sound in more detail Finf the Hiei, Kirishima bow and 2 US heavy cruisers that have not been found.Anyone know if photos of Northampton wreck are online anywhere?