25 January 2015, France's Bretagne class Battleships
After not being used much in World War I the Bretagne class went under several refits and were mainly training vesels leading up to World War II at which time they became active. However, the fall of France happened quickly and they were soon primarily out of the war.
Lorraine in Alexandria Harbor on April 24, 1942:
Imperial War Museum, A-9853
25 January 2015, France's Courbet class Battleships
Conceived right before World War I, the Courbet class had four ships in it. One was lost in the 1920s, two ended up with the Allies in Great Britain, and one was captured by the Germans. In the 1930s they were mostly used as training ships.
Paris leaving Devonport in July 1940:
Imperial War Museum, A-777
24 January 2015, Japan's B-64/B-65 class Battlecruisers
The B-64/B-65 class of battlecruisers were to be similar in appearance to the Yamato class but with only 12.2" guns and much lighter armor. Construction was tentatively going to start in 1942 but with the war situation they were cancelled.
24 January 2015, Japan's 13 class Battleships
As part of the Japanese Navy's 8-8 Project (8 new battlecruisers and 8 new battleships) the 13 class ships were going to be high speed battleships carrying 18" guns. However the Washington Treaty was ratified and the four 13 class ships were cancelled.
23 January 2015, Japan's Yamato class Battleships
Under the misguided notion that all naval wars will end in an epic clash of fleets, like the Battle of Tsushima in May 1905, the Japanese Navy (including Admiral Yamamoto) wanted battleships that could defeat any other battleship in the world thinking that it was to only way to win a conflict.
Now looking back on World War II we can no see how flawed that strategy was. Carriers became king and battleships supported them, not the other way around.
For a nation that was resource starved building these Yamato class monstrosities was beyond ludicrous.
Just the same two were finished and rarely used. While stationed at Truk the Yamato got the nickname "Hotel Yamato" as it never went out on sorties. After all how could they since they gulped precious oil in vast amounts! Only the Yamato fired its weapon at opposing ships one time. Both met their ends from the weapons of carriers.
IJN Yamato during trials in October 1941:
Imperial War Museum, MH-6177
19 January 2015, Japan's Kii class Battleships
The Kii class also fell victim to the Washington Treaty. Materials were assembled for the four to be constructed but they were cancelled for construction got underway.
19 January 2015, Japan's Amagi class Battlecruisers
The Amagi class battlescruisers were another ship intended to be built to attain parity. However, the Washington Treaty caused for two of them to be broken up and two to be converted to carriers. However the Amagi was wrecked in an earthquake and never finished.
19 January 2015, Japan's Kaga class Battleships
The Japanese goal was to build enough battleships to be at parity with the United States. The Kaga class battleships were to carry ten 16" guns. However, the Washington Treaty limited how many battleships a nation could have. As the Kaga class ships weren't completed the Kaga was turned into an aircraft carrier and the Tosa was made into a target to experiment with the technologies that the Japanese would use in World War II.
A partially complete Tosa being towed from Nagasaki in 1922:
Kure Maritime History and Science Museum
19 January 2015, Axis vs Allied Battleships and Carriers
Not that the Axis powers were ever going to join their fleets to fight against the Allied fleet in a big blow out battle, but I thought it would be interesting to see the total number of Battleships and Carriers available to the Axis and Allied powers in any particular month during the war.
The industrial might of the Allies wins out as the Axis powers couldn't even get parity with the Allies.
The sudden drops and rises coincide when France and Italy bowed out of the war and when Japan and the United States joined in.
18 January 2015, Japan's Nagato class Battleships
The Nagato class were the first battleships in the world to mount 16" guns. The IJN Mutsu was lost to an internal explosion and the IJN Nagato was one of the few ships in the Japanese Navy to survive World War II.
IJN Nagato in Brunei, Borneo on October 21, 1944:
Kure Maritime City Historical Museum
18 January 2015, Japan's Ise class Battleships
The Ise class were another World War I era pair of battleships that were well past their prime in World War II. They too were mostly used for training, but in the desperate months after the failure at Midway, they were selected to be converted into hybrid battleship carriers. Even with this they failed as there just weren't the pilots or aircraft to place on them.
IJN Ise after being converted to a hybird battleship-carrier on August 24, 1943, near Sata Point:
Kure Maritime Museum
17 January 2015, Japan's Fuso class Battleships
The Fuso class were laid down before World War I and for the time were the best battleships in the world. By World War II they were well past their prime and despite several refits they were mostly used as training vessels.
Imperial War Museum, MH-5926
17 January 2015, Warship Numbers
Here's a comparison between the Japanese and American Naval strengths in numbers of battleships/battlecruisers and carriers/light carriers. These numbers are based on a ship's completion date and when they were sunk.
We can see that the Japanese never had an advantage with battleships and had an advantage until early 1943 with carriers, but then American production took command and the Japanese Navy never had a chance.
16 January 2015, Japan's Kongo class Battlecruisers
The Kongo class had its first ship built in England where the Japanese learned about ship building and the rest were constructed in Japan. Built before World War I it was refitted several times before World War II started.
Members of the class participated in most of the major battles in the Pacific.
Imperial War Museum, MH-6159
10 January 2015, Great Britain's Vanguard Battleship
The HMS Vanguard was intended to act as a buffer against Japanese aggression and provide enough time for the main fleet to arrive. Hoping to reduce the amount of time it took to construct the ship 15" turrets from converted battlecruisers were to be used. However, the Vanguard was not finished until after World War II.
HMS Vanguard on trials in 1946:
US Naval Historical Center, NH-103677
10 January 2015, Great Britain's Lion class Battleships
The Lion class was designed to meet the rumored 60,000 ton ships being developed by Germany, Japan, and the Soviet Union. It was going to mount a better 16" gun than the ones mounted in the Nelson class.
Ultimately other wartime requirements caused the cancellation of the four ships in the class.
9 January 2015, Great Britain's King George V class Battleships
There were 5 battleships in the King George V class.
HMS Duke of York leaving dry dock at Rosyth:
Imperial War Museum, A-20167