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Bismarck VS USS Texas (BB-35) : Who Wins?

Bismarck VS USS Texas (BB-35) : Who Wins?


Texas in World War I (after July 1916 and before October 1917): The two large steel towers are her lattice masts, which were replaced with a tripod version during her modernization overhaul in 1925–1926

Bismarck VS USS Texas (BB-35) The first question that comes to mind would be why the engagement? 

Moreover, there is absolutely no reason for BISMARCK to seek to engage the USS Texas. But that would end the conversation, of course.

So let’s just say for hypothetical purposes, that TEXAS is somehow the only protection left for a vital convoy.

Battleship Bismarck & Her Armor Protection : An Extensive Analysis

Bismarck, photographed from Prinz Eugen, in the Baltic at the outset of Operation Rheinübung CC BY-SA 3.0 de

Speed — TEXAS is not remotely in the same class as BISMARCK. That @12 knot difference allows BISMARCK to dictate the terms of engagement. TEXAS certainly can ‘protect’ her escort, but will have to wait on the first moves.

Armor — BISMARCK’s armoring system is of the same incremental design as TEXAS. Both are a bit ‘dated’ and BISMARCK has the benefit of an extra 25 years of theory. Both can penetrate the other at ‘decisive range.’

Radar — Both have a ‘search’ which will let the other know where they are. “Radar fire control” is a year or so away. Pretty equal.

Rodney firing on Bismarck, which can be seen burning in the distance
Royal Navy official photographer – Imperial War Museum

Fire Control — Pretty much even odds. Perhaps BISMARCK’s could get on target faster. But like all their fire control in the Great War, crew fatigue reduced efficiency. TEXAS has the US system which proved itself accurate in extensive interwar exercises.

Armament — Here things are more or less equal. The US Navy was pleased with the performance of 14″ battleship guns and considered them up to the task of defeating battleship armor.

The German 38cm SK/C34 was also very capable and was a fine battleship gun.

But here’s the “less.”

USS Texas 1892 & (BB-35) : A History In Pictures

BISMARCK can range nine miles further out than TEXAS. That’s NINE miles. Quite a gauntlet to run at 20 knots.

Sure, TEXAS’ guns can reach out to 13 miles by themselves. But at this time that is considered “decisive range” where battleships are expected to deal out crippling punishment. She’s got a tough row to hoe’ doesn’t she?

All in all, though I love the TEXAS, she’s out of her league on a 1v1 to the bitter end.

But, in conclusion, BISMARCK would know she’s been in a fight.

Bismarck VS USS Texas (BB-35) Written by Brooks Witten

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Bismarck VS USS Texas (BB-35)