How the Navy Sent 4 of Its Most Powerful Battleships to Attack North Korea

    Robert Farley

    Security,

    A forgotten story. 

    The Iowas will not, of course, participate in any future conflict on the Korean Peninsula. However, in the event of conflict USN surface ships will undoubtedly contribute significantly to the conflict by means of land attack cruise missiles. Moreover, the navy may yet provide USS Zumwalt and her sisters with the means to provide gunfire support against land targets. In such a case, North Korean coastal installations would become very vulnerable, indeed.

    In the final months of the Second World War, the battleships of the U.S. Navy (USN) ranged across the archipelago of Japan, bombarding industrial, military and logistical targets at will. The Japanese military lacked enough ships, planes and fuel to defend the nation, leaving coastal areas at the mercy of the steel behemoths. Although most of the credit (such that it is) for the destruction of urban Japan belongs to the bombers of the U.S. Army Air Force, the battleships and cruisers of the navy contributed their share.

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    At the end of the war, most of the USN’s battleships were scrapped, sunk as targets or placed into reserve. When the United States went to war again, earlier than anyone had expected, three battleships of the Iowa class returned to service, joining their sister USS Missouri off the coast of Korea. For three years, these ships would rain terror down upon North Korean and Chinese forces.

    Response and Reactivation: 

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