The down side to this practice was a reduction of the relative height of the belt, which increased the chance of plunging shellfire going over or under it. Other changes included a widening of the ship to allow for an adequate torpedo protection system and an increase in vertical belt armor to 7 inches (180 mm). The task force arrived at Pearl Harbor on 26 March. Hood. Lexington was assigned to Black Fleet, defending Hawaii and the West Coast against Blue Fleet and Saratoga. The armor scheme was not modified, as that would have compromised the longitudinal strength of the hull. The conning tower was 2–2.25 inches (51–57 mm) of STS, and it had a communications tube with two-inch sides running from the conning tower down to the lower conning position on the third deck. 120–121; and the DANFS entry on, Breyer, pp. The problem was that the tonnage cap for new carrier construction had been set at 27,000 tons, which was too low for any practical conversion of the battlecruisers. As U.S. battleships then being built were expected to steam at 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph), this meant a minimum speed for battlecruisers of 25.4 knots (47.0 km/h; 29.2 mph). Strategist and Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan had warned then-Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt in 1897 of a much greater likelihood of conflict in the Pacific than in the Atlantic. [22] One proposed solution was to use a combination of three decks—a strength deck at the top of the hull, a protective deck which would rest atop the belt armor, 10 feet (3.0 m) above the waterline, and a splinter deck below that, just above the waterline. The Japanese had mistaken Task Force 44 for Lexington and Yorktown, which were much closer than anticipated, although they were along the same bearing. 8–31. [18] First used in the New Mexico-class battleships, it also had several other advantages. For this class, Rear Admiral David W. Taylor, who served as Chief Constructor for the Bureau of Construction and … (A series of proposed battlecruiser designs was in fact submitted to the General Board in 1909 but was not approved for construction.) A majority report recommended a top speed of at least 20 percent above that of battleships. [19] Two months later, she participated in Fleet Problem X, which was conducted in the Caribbean. One Japanese Aichi E13A "Jake" floatplane succeeded in tracking the task force for a short time after dark, but six H6Ks launched after midnight were unable to locate the American ships. The General Board retained these sketches but did not recommend construction. [14], Lexington was designed to carry 78 aircraft, including 36 bombers,[15] but these numbers increased once the Navy adopted the practice of tying up spare aircraft in the unused spaces at the top of the hangar. While only 2 ships were completed to specification, the Lexington-class is most similar to the British HMS Hood. Lexington and Yorktown launched a total of 53 Dauntlesses and 22 Devastators escorted by 18 Wildcats. Task Force 11 was ordered to return to Pearl and Lexington exchanged six Wildcats, five Dauntlesses and one Devastator for two Wildcats from Yorktown that needed overhaul before she left. [35], 16"/50 Mark 2 gun on display in Washington Navy Yard, The original design of the Lexington class called for ten 14"/50 caliber guns of either the Mark 4, 5, or 6 variety to be mounted in four turrets (two triple superfiring over two double turrets) for the main armament. However, there is no free lunch in warship design: You can have armor, firepower or speed, but not all three, and armor was the trait that was sacrificed. Lexington was the fourth US Navy ship named after the 1775 Battle of Lexington, the first battle of the Revolutionary War. [Note 3] Debate continued while the project remained suspended until May 1919, when the Board decided that the battlecruisers should be built as planned, except for a slightly slower version of Design B from C&R with increased protection for turrets, conning towers, magazines and communications. [21], Plans to begin construction were placed on hold in 1917. American aircraft shot down four of the torpedo bombers before they could drop their torpedoes, but 10 survived long enough to hit Lexington twice on the port side at 11:20, although 4 of the B5Ns were shot down by anti-aircraft fire after dropping their torpedoes. The beacon broadcast on a frequency very close to that of the American ships and many of the Japanese aircraft confused the ships in the darkness. Hone, Trent (2011). The proposed main battery of eight 14-inch guns was kept constant while other factors were calculated—speeds of 26, 29 and 32 knots; operating ranges of 5000, 7000 and 8000 miles; and belt armor of 8, 11 and 14 inches. [34], The estimated range would have been 10,000 nautical miles (19,000 km; 12,000 mi) at a speed of 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). An enlarged belt was required by a deeper hull, as all American battlecruiser studies required deep hulls to retain their girder strength because those hulls had to be abnormally long to attain their speed. The Board, concerned about the delay incorporating any of the redesigns would have on not just the Lexingtons but the 1916 building program in general and the subsequent cost, declined all four designs. These guns were originally mounted on the Florida- and Wyoming-class battleships, but they found their way into the secondary armament of every U.S. battleship that was built prior to the Washington Naval Treaty. The stated goal was to curb the rapidly growing and extremely expensive naval construction programs. [31], Turbo-electric propulsion was selected for the battlecruisers despite the fact it needed more room than geared turbines to allow for better underwater protection that wartime experience showed was essential. Also, the ship could go astern at full power simply by reversing the electrical polarity of the motors. [30], The gun turrets were protected only against splinters with 0.75 inches (19 mm) of armor. Power to the forward half of the ship failed shortly afterward. [18], The ship was designed to reach 33.25 knots (61.58 km/h; 38.26 mph),[7] but Lexington achieved 34.59 knots (64.06 km/h; 39.81 mph) from 202,973 shp (151,357 kW) during sea trials in 1928. Today's combat vessels mount weapons of staggering lethality, especially anti-ship missiles. This belt had a height of 9 feet 4 inches (2.8 m). They also defend themselves with cannons and missiles to shoot down incoming weapons with a technological finesse that would have seemed like an H.G. [46], Construction finally began upon the battlecruisers in 1920 and 1921, after a delay of almost five months. The solution decided upon was to place half of the boilers above the deck on the centerline with armored boxes fitted around each one. A disadvantage was the formation of a heavy layer of water which would creep up along the outer plating of the forecastle at higher speeds. [32] Despite these factors and the fact that American companies would have struggled to produce the very large geared steam turbines needed for such big ships, the Curtis Company tried unsuccessfully to convince the Navy to reverse this decision. [13][15][19], Also, with such a long, narrow hull came a consequent penchant for bending, which led to the challenge of adequate hull strength, especially longitudinal strength. Lexington was quickly refitted in Pearl Harbor at the end of the month and rendezvoused with Yorktown in the Coral Sea in early May. Comparing costs, a brand-new aircraft carrier would cost $27.1 million, while a conversion of one of the Lexington class, not counting the $6.7 million already sunk into them, would cost $22.4 million. The problem was that the tonnage cap for new carrier construction had been set at 27,000 tons, which was too low for any practical conversion of the battlecruisers. Moreover, designs were to be prepared and submitted quickly. [2], Lexington was the fourth US Navy ship named after the 1775 Battle of Lexington, the first battle of the Revolutionary War. [53], The task force changed course after dark for its rendezvous with the tanker Platte, scheduled for 22 February. The Lexingtons were given "no less than" seven funnels, four of them side by side. Roosevelt himself, as President of the United States, had written before Tsushima to British diplomat Cecil Spring Rice, "The Japs interest me and I like them. After the war the ship was extensively redesigned, partially as a result of British experience. The Japanese, however, captured Wake on 23 December before Saratoga and her consorts could get there. While four of the ships were eventually canceled and scrapped on their building ways in 1922 to comply with the Washington Naval Treaty, two, (Lexington and Saratoga) were converted into the United States' first fleet carriers. [36] The guns were capable of firing a 1,400 pounds (640 kg) armor-piercing (AP) projectile at a muzzle velocity of 2,800 fps (853 mps) to a range of 24,000 yards (22 km) at a maximum angle of 15 degrees. McMurtrie, Francis E., ed. These turrets were mounted above the flight deck on the starboard side, two before the superstructure, and two behind the funnel, numbered I to IV from bow to stern. [45] These could depress to -10 degrees and elevate to 85 degrees. The steering gear, however, was protected by two layers of STS that totaled 3 inches (76 mm) on the slope and 4.5 inches (114 mm) on the slope. This did not stop the U.S. The shock from the first torpedo hit at the bow jammed both elevators in the up position and started small leaks in the port avgas storage tanks. A planned attack on Wake Island in January 1942 had to be cancelled when a submarine sank the oiler required to supply the fuel for the return trip. Just one hit, as we saw with HMS Sheffield and USS Stark, can sink or cripple a ship. At this time, the ship was rotating its patrolling aircraft and the newly launched aircraft barely had time to reach the altitude of the Japanese before they arrived. The 08:15 report turned out to be miscoded, as the pilot had intended to report two heavy cruisers, but USAAF aircraft had spotted Shōhō, her escorts and the invasion convoy in the meantime. [32] Future science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein reported aboard on 6 July as a newly minted ensign under Captain Frank Berrien.

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+ How we made $200K with 4M downloads.

How we made $200K with 4M downloads.