Here’s Who Would Win Between Nazi Germany’s Bismarck and the Navy’s Last Battleship

    Kyle Mizokami

    Security,

    An epic battle. 

    The larger context of the battle—the U.S. Navy being forced to take on the German Navy—would have had serious repercussions for the Pacific theater. Germany was, after all, considered the primary threat, with Japan second and Italy third. A more powerful German Navy (or weaker Royal Navy) would have had second order consequences for the Pacific, delaying the Solomons campaign, including the invasion of Guadalcanal, the Battle of the Coral Sea, and even the Battle of Midway.

    Despite the vast scope of the Second World War, the navies of the United States and Nazi Germany fought few, if any, direct surface engagements. By the time of America’s entry into the war the Royal Navy had already sunk or neutralized the lion’s share of Hitler’s Kriegsmarine, with only Hitler’s U-boats remaining a substantial German threat.

    But what if the UK’s Royal Navy hadn’t been as successful as it was, and the U.S. was forced to hunt down the German Navy’s major surface combatants? What if the Iowa-class fast battleships had been sortied into the Atlantic to square off against their counterparts, the Bismarck-class battleships?

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    The Bismarck-class battleships were the largest surface ships built by Germany before and during the Second World War. Germany had been prohibited by the Treaty of Versailles to build warships over 10,000 tons, but the Anglo-German Naval Treaty of 1935 implicitly allowed them—though the German Navy was not to exceed thirty five percent the size of the Royal Navy.

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