Tirpitz Vs USS Texas

Tirpitz Vs USS Texas

Recognition drawing prepared by the US Navy

The USS Texas and the German battleship Tirpitz were two of the most impressive warships of World War II and naval history. Both vessels were heavily armed and armored. Yes, one was older, however, a hypothetical battle between these two warships would have been a titanic struggle, with the outcome depending on a variety of factors.

At the outset of World War II, the Tirpitz was one of the most fearsome warships in the world!

Tirpitz under attack by British carrier aircraft on 3 April 1944

Commissioned in 1941, the German battleship Tirpitz was one of the most formidable warships of World War II, and was a key part of Germany’s naval strategy during the conflict. Armed with eight 15-inch guns, twelve 5.9-inch guns, and sixteen 37mm and 20mm anti-aircraft guns, the Tirpitz was a fearsome opponent on the high seas.

One of the most impressive features of the Tirpitz was its heavy armor. The ship’s armor was made up of a combination of Krupp steel and Wotan steel, which were among the strongest materials available at the time. The thickest armor on the ship was 12.6 inches thick, and was located on the ship’s main belt. This thick armor made it virtually impervious to most naval gunfire, and allowed it to withstand sustained attacks from enemy ships.

In addition to its heavy armor, the Tirpitz was also equipped with a variety of powerful weapons. Its main battery consisted of eight 15-inch guns, which were among the largest guns ever mounted on a battleship. These guns were capable of firing a shell that weighed over a ton and had a range of over 20 miles. The ship’s secondary battery consisted of twelve 5.9-inch guns, which were used for close-range combat against enemy ships and aircraft. Finally, the Tirpitz was also equipped with a variety of anti-aircraft guns, including sixteen 37mm and 20mm guns, which were used to shoot down enemy planes and defend the ship against aerial attacks.

In contrast, the USS Texas was an older battleship commissioned in 1914.

Played an important role in both World War I and World War II. Before World War II, the Texas underwent extensive modernization and upgrades, which helped to keep it in service well into the 20th century.

The Texas was built at the Newport News Shipbuilding Company in Virginia, and was launched in May 1912. The ship was named in honor of the state of Texas, and was designed to be one of the most powerful warships of its time. At the time of its launch, the Texas was armed with ten 14-inch guns, twenty-one 5-inch guns, and several smaller guns and torpedoes. It was also equipped with a variety of advanced technologies, including wireless communications and advanced fire control systems.

The Texas saw action during World War I, primarily serving as an escort for convoys crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

USS Texas-2.jpg
Battleship USS Texas (BB-35). Off New York City, circa 1919. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command

After the war, the ship was overhauled and modernized, with new guns, engines, and armor. This modernization effort helped to extend the ship’s lifespan and keep it in service well into the 20th century.

In the years leading up to World War II, the Texas underwent a series of upgrades and improvements. These upgrades included the addition of anti-aircraft guns, improved radar and sonar systems, and increased speed and maneuverability. The ship’s armor was also strengthened, making it more resistant to enemy fire. In addition armed with ten 14-inch guns, twenty-one 5-inch guns, and forty-eight 40mm and 20mm anti-aircraft guns.

Texas in the Gatun Locks, while transiting the Panama Canal en route to the US east coast, 21 June 1937

Its armor was slightly thinner than that of the Tirpitz, but still formidable, with a maximum thickness of 12 inches. The Texas was also slower than the Tirpitz, with a top speed of just 21 knots.

If these two ships had met in battle, it is highly likely that the Tirpitz would have had the upper hand.

Its superior speed and armor would have allowed it to close the distance with the Texas and engage it at close range, where its 15-inch guns would have had a significant advantage over the Texas’s 14-inch guns.

However, the Texas’s large number of anti-aircraft guns would have made it difficult for the Tirpitz to call in the Kriegsmarine for a successful supporting air attack. Yes the Tirpitz carried 4 planes, but they served for merely a reconnaissance purpose.

And the ship’s thick armor would have made it difficult for the Tirpitz’s shells to penetrate.

If Texas surprised Tirpitz in a fog, she could dispose of the German battleship. Inclement weather favored the Texas, where the fog of war creates a much more even playing field. Their radars were fairly similar in strength. So, unfortunately Texas couldn’t use that advantage to her up her luck.

Frank Hoyer, commented; “Tirpitz is far superior to Bismarck. Texas don’t have any chance in any case. Even in WW1 against Bayern she had been in trouble due to the poorest quality of US CA armored plates of all nations. Against Tirpitz with her excellent radar guided fire control and absolutely superior armor quality and speed + accuracy of the guns.. ..you need two Texas’s.”

In conclusion, the outcome of a battle between these two warships would have depended on a variety of factors, including the skill of the crews, the weather and sea conditions, and the tactics employed by each side. Nevertheless, given the Tirpitz’s superior speed, armor, and firepower, it is likely that it would have emerged victorious in such a battle.

3″/50 caliber antiaircraft gun on platform atop a boat crane on Texas, installed in 1916 in addition said to be the first AA gun installation on a US battleship
Internet Archive Book Images – https://www.flickr.com/photos/internetarchivebookimages/14596330249/ Source book page: https://archive.org/stream/popularsciencemo89newyuoft/popularsciencemo89newyuoft#page/n670/mode/1up
Identifier: popularsciencemo89newyuoft (find matchesTitlePopular science monthly Year1872 (1870sAuthorsSubjectsScience PublisherNew York : D. Appleton Contributing LibraryGerstein – University of Toronto Digitizing SponsorUniversity of Toronto View Book PageBook Viewer About This BookCatalog Entry View All ImagesAll Images From Book In addition, Click here to view book online to see this illustration in context in a browseable online version of this book. Text Appearing Before Image: (i,j(i Introducinsf Our First Anti-Aircraft Ciun Text Appearing After Image: Moreover, fhoto Ccnvral N.ws Mounted on a special platform forty feet high on the battleship Texas is a three-inchnaval gun adjusted so that a high angle of elevation can be attained.

Tirpitz Vs USS Texas