Welcome back to your weekly installment of the ship of the week! Back again by unpopular request, I'm sealclubbing moderator Tsukiumi. I’m writing this review on my phone from the seat of a John Deere 8260R while blasting Cher. It doesn’t get much more ‘MURICA than that, unless you’re playing the ship of the week!
Unless you're a Communist, you WILL listen to that while reading this.
The Iowa-class battleships were designed in 1938 when the U.S. Navy proposed a new class of battleships that were to develop on the lessons learned from the development and construction of the North Carolina-class and South Dakota-class of battleships. Of exceptional concern were the Kongo-class battleships that were able to use speed to harass convoys and outgun fast aircraft carrier escorts, as well as the refusal of Japan to disclose details regarding the construction of the Yamato-class battleships. Wishing to have an apt and equal response, the construction of the Iowa-class was approved. These factors culminated in the U.S., Britain, and France invoking the "Escalator Clause" of the second naval treaty, which permitted 16-inch guns and 45,000 long tons standard displacement.
With the emergence of aircraft carriers and the need to protect them from surface threats, the concept of “fast battleships” came into prominence; ships designed with the speed and the endurance to keep pace with carrier groups and serve as a major deterrent to surface attack. To fulfill this role, the design called for a top speed of 33 knots from 8 boilers connected to 4 turbines; each turbine to a propeller shaft. This layout produced a total of 230,000 shaft horsepower. Furthermore, the ship had a greater waterline length-to-beam ratio, making the ship longer than its predecessors, as well as notably faster.
The main armament of the Iowa class — while using rifles of the same diameter of 406mm as preceding ships — were longer than the rifles on the South Dakota-class (increased from 45 calibers to 50 calibers) and therefore have the distinction of being the largest rifles mounted on any US warship to date. This increase in rifle length resulted in greater distance for expanding gases in the chamber to propel the projectile, which equated to higher muzzle velocity, greater range, and greater armor-penetration capabilities than preceding rifles. Furthermore, the Iowa-class had a comprehensive suite of secondary and anti-aircraft guns due to the design emphasis of increased protection against air attacks; the armament systems were supplemented with state-of-the-art radar-based fire control systems (Missouri mounted the Mark 27 Fire Control Radar set).
The Iowa-class battleships had the characteristic “all-or-nothing” armor scheme seen in preceding American battleships, with the thickest armor around the citadel between Turrets A and Turret C. The outer hull plate was 38mm Special Treatment Steel (STS) and the side armor of 307mm was angled at 19-degrees inwards in order to confer greater armor thickness for little additional weight; this was especially advantageous against shells from longer range. The hull has a triple bottom under the citadel to protect against under bottom explosions. The armor scheme of the Iowa class was largely the same as the preceding South Dakota class, which offered protection from 406mm/45 rifles firing 1,016 kg Mark 5 shells from ranges between 16,000 – 27,000 meters. As the second pair of Iowa-class battleships built, Missouri and Wisconsin had some armor differences from the first pair, Iowa and New Jersey: forward bulkhead armor thickness increased to 368mm to better protect against head-on rounds. This is noteworthy when facing enemies bow-on in World of Warships.
USS Missouri was the third ship of the Iowa-class, laid down at the Brooklyn Naval Yard on 6 January 1941, launched on 29 January 1944, and after a few months of sea trials, commissioned on 11 June 1944. Missouri has the distinction of being the last battleship commissioned into the US Navy.
Missouri was completed and launched in June 1944. She would spend five months in trials before sailing to San Francisco where she would be destined for a fleet flag. Leaving in December 1944, Missouri arrived in the Caroline Islands where she joined Task Force 58 in January 1945. From January to March 1945, TF 58 would conduct raids against Tokyo, Yokohama, and Iwo Jima. March 1945 would see Missouri again taking part in raids against Japan itself. On the return trip, Missouri provided naval gunfire support for the invasion of Okinawa through the month of May. While off Okinawa, Missouri was struck by one Kamikaze and another scored a near miss. Both attacks resulted in minor damage.
In May 1945, Missouri became the flagship of the Third Fleet joining Task Force 38 in further support of the Okinawa Campaign and additional strikes against Japan in June. Other following raids would constitute the remainder of Missouri’s wartime service, and shore bombardment became commonplace. On the 2 September 1945, the official surrender of Japan was signed aboard Missouri while she was anchored in Tokyo Bay. Missouri would then sail for New York. She remained in active service after the war, the only battleship to do so, and participated in training exercises through 1949.
In August 1950, Missouri was re-based to Japan in preparation for coastal operations during the Korean War. Missouri spent the remainder of the year and a portion of the following year providing fire support for landing troops. Following this, she briefly returned to Norfolk Navy Yard to receive refits before returning to Korea in late 1952. She continued coastal operations until she again returned to Norfolk Navy Yard for additional refits in early 1953. Following the completion of her modifications, Missouri conducted training operations through February 1955 before being placed in the Pacific Reserve Fleet where she would remain until her reactivation in 1984.
In October 1984, the battleship was towed to the docks at Long Beach, California where she would undergo a major refit before her re-entry into service. During this overhaul, she received Tomahawk and Harpoon missile systems. Missouri was officially recommissioned on 10 May 1986 and joined her sister ships in conducting coastal operations during the Gulf War, most notably conducting bombardments near Kuwait City. Following the end of the Cold War, Missouri was again decommissioned and stricken on 12 January 1995. She was placed back in the Pacific Reserve Fleet in Bremerton, Washington until 1998 when she was towed to Ford Island, Hawaii in preparation to make her a museum ship. In 1999, Missouri — now adjacent to the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor — opened to tourists and continues her service today as a historical reminder of the end of the battleship era
So, what’s she like in game?
Are you sick and tired of all this Russian Bias ™ going on? Do you just want to slap the silly paper ships and remind them who actually had a Navy that could kick ass and take names? If so, I’ve found your ship. Big guns that shoot pure, unfiltered FREEDOM. Radar to show everyone who’s boss. AA that…. makes dark clouds over you! Welcome to the Missouri, one of my favorite battleships!
How to win the
The Mighty Mo is your typical high tiered American battleship: Excellent maneuverability and speed, decent armor (I played the SHIT out of mine before the citadel was lowered, folks!), and good guns that make cruisers scream like an injured Peter Griffin (Aahhhh! Aahhhh!). And did I mention a radar consumable? Hell yeah it’s got one! Your job is to use your maneuverability to put the enemy in really bad places- you won’t be taking caps, but MO radar hurts just as much as Des Moines radar if there’s a teammate to capitalize on your spotting. You don’t chase lolibotes, but you sure make them think you will. Get them to blow their torps, change direction, and laugh as you pull up their skirts and show their non-camouflaged aft to the team. Take caps if nobody else can and you can use terrain. Who gives a shit that you’re in a battleship? People like that lost the war. You know who takes caps? MURICA. You also look for broadside cruisers, and you slap them upside the head with massive citadels. You use your AA to make pretty clouds around enemy aircraft, while rushing back to the Worcester next to you. But, it’s cool. He’s also representing MURICA.
The Missouri for all basic purposes is an Iowa. You get the cool radar consumable, but don’t die to use it. That’s just stupid. Put it in your toolbox. In the back of my farm truck is a giant box, and half the tools hardly ever come out. This will be how your radar will feel some battles. And, that’s totally fine. You do nothing for your team if you’re dead. You want to be in the fight, taking damage. But, you don’t want to lose the fight. Be there for your team- they need your large guns, and you HAVING radar will deter a lot of DDs from trying to cap. Play her smart, and she’ll reward you.
I bought my Missouri before a week-long vacation in Denver. I’ll never forget that trip- I was sick as a dog the entire time. I hardly ever left the hotel room, but I wasn’t mad. I played with my new toy for hours on end, and God, was she FUN. Of course, the remainder of that trip involved buying an Audi and driving home in a blizzard, so yeah…. The Missouri games were of course my most fun 😛
I really don’t like high tiers. Getting me to queue above Tier VII feels like the meme with the lion (me) being dragged into the cage. But, there are two ships that just make me smile in high tiers: Des Moines and Missouri.
Fun trivia: When I can’t sleep, and want to play shooty botes for a few minutes to tire, I’ll take Missouri into Co-Op. Even running Premium consumables, I can turn a nice profit. Her income modifier is insanity, but you know what? If she didn’t have one, I’d still love the shit out of her. Thanks for the memories, Missouri. You’re a lot of fun to play!
And damn, you have an awesome music video.
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