World of Warships – Chonky Boi

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Q. When is a Battlecruiser not a Battlecruiser?
A. When it’s a small, off-duty Czechoslovakian traffic warden.

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56 Comments:

  1. The Tank Commander

    It’s videos like these, Jingles, that I keep coming back after a decade of watching you. And to think I have a general dislike of gnomes. . . . . . . Welp, YOU ARE AN EXCEPTION.

  2. Thomas Chadwick

    On the whole battle cruiser thing, isn’t every ship technically designed to outgun the things it can’t outrun and outrun the things it can’t outgun?

  3. Paul, my dad told me of the time in ’45 that the Alaska was kind enough to give him a ride home. Even he, a lowly grunt, called it and her sisterships a “battlecruiser”.

  4. You can call them whatever you like, Jingles. I’ll just be waiting to see how you commentate a game completely full of cruiser battlecruisers and battleship battlecruisers now that we’ve got both and will be getting more in the game.

  5. Antonio Saavedra A.

    I miss the infamous pre-public SuperTester USS Alaska, one of the first super OP ships! Laser-accuracy guns, perfect aim, and shells that hit harder Montana! That was a true monster of a ship, even the public ST USS Alaska was too OP, just imagine how insane was the original one.

  6. SuperChickenLips

    Aaah, the “small off duty Czechoslovakian traffic warden” reference. One of my favorite Red Dwarf moments.

  7. The real reason the US Navy doesn’t call anything they build a battlecruiser even if it basically is one, is because calling something a battlecruiser makes it about %50 more likely to suffer a magazine detonation.

  8. No Jingles, it’s not a Small off-duty Czechoslovakian Traffic Warden. It’s a female Aardvark!

  9. Battleship grade guns? No? Then not a battlecruiser

  10. Actually Jingles…the British battlecruisers lost at Jutland were all sunk by German battlecruisers. Beatty bungled his tactics badly and recklessly closed the range, despite his ships having larger calibre guns than their German counterparts which would have enabled them to outrange the German ships and engage them with impunity. Also their lighter armour would have been perfectly adequate against any return fire at this much longer range. In the case of HMS Invincible, she was attached to the main body of the Grand Fleet and was acting as part of Jellicoe’s advanced scouting force. It was somewhat inevitable she would run into the main body of the pursuing 1st Scouting Group coming rapidly up from the south and it was just unfortunate she was engaged at relatively close range by multiple German ships. Point I’m trying to make is: there was nothing inherently wrong with RN battlecruisers PROVIDED they were used to their strengths – which at Jutland for various reasons they were not. In truth the German battlecruisers were really more of an example of an early fast battleship rather than a thoroughbred battlecruiser.

    • Whether or not he was wrong to close the range depends a lot on the standard of gunnery. Range without accuracy has no value.

    • @Crap Tacular well we do know that the standard of gunnery in the battlecruiser squadrons was much lower than that of the Grand Fleet – hence why the 3rd Battlecruiser Squadron had been detached to Scapa Flow as there was much more room to practice gunnery than at Rosyth. It’s certainly an interesting point you make though I personally think that Beatty’s haste to close the range was more to avoid a repeat of Dogger Bank and allow the 1st Scouting Group to escape.

    • Don’t forget Beatty also ordered the flash-proof doors be kept open in order to maximise firing rate (knowing the accuracy was poor). That WAS inherently wrong and the Lion – which refused to follow that order – was fine.

    • mynameiswritinwater

      I just like the Brits dreaming up excuses ( even after 100+ years) for their unfortunate and poorly led Battlecruisers at Jutland – less gunnery exercise, firing from a bad position (highlighted against the setting sun horizon) and questionable firing practises like open magazine hatches. Something’s got to give

      While the German Battlecruisers survived a hellish battering and being shelled by most of the Royal Navy battle, including partial magazine explosions after hours being bombarded by five battlecruisers and the Queen Elizabeth class BBs supporting them, surviving the suicide charge to distract the RN battle fleet and still make it home (well Luetzow got scuttled when it was decided it was impossible to bring her home while retreating towards Wilhelmshaven at speed ) . Yeah I think some BCs could stand being hit repeatedly by larger calibre guns…

  11. Compared to the very first battlecruisers that entered service, the Alaska is a fantastic battlecruiser. But compared to the battlecruisers in service when the Alaska was being built, I feel like it’s definitely a large cruiser. The term had really moved beyond something of the Alaska’s size and gun caliber well before anybody got an idea to build the Alaska, and the Navy probably didn’t want people to think that the Alaska was supposed to compete against things like the Hood, Renown or Kongo.

    • @MrNicoJac If you want a really good explanation Drachinifel has a great video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVWtKOZ0sFI where he explains why he has come to the belief that battlecruiser is not a good term for the Alaskas.

    • @DERP Squad The idea that being a battlecruiser *required* a ship to have the same guns as contemporary battleships is a common but annoying misconception. Many battlecruisers do have battleship-size guns because those guns are good at killing cruisers, but they’re far from the only guns that can do that. Ships with guns smaller than battleship size could and did get built to fill the battlecruiser role – see the 1930s Scharnhorsts. The whole “pose a threat to battleships at standoff range” was never a core mission for battlecruisers. That was just something extra that people were tempted to use them for to make extra use of their big guns – with predictable and disastrous results.

      The Baltimores are unrestricted heavy cruisers. The Des Moines are unrestricted heavy cruisers. The Alaskas, however, are 70-100% larger than either of those and are not in the same class. The Alaskas did still have a 5+ knot speed advantage over any contemporary battleship that wasn’t explicitly designed as a fast battleship (which is where the lines really start to blur).

    • @Smiling Cat A standard cruiser would never be considered a battlecruiser because it doesn’t have the clear margin of superiority over other standard cruisers that a battlecruiser does. To be a battlecruiser, a ship has to be definitively more powerful than a contemporary standard cruiser, and capable of easily defeating one or more such standard cruisers.

      The British battlecruisers destroyed at Jutland were up against ships armed with battleship-caliber guns, which they had not been designed to face (certainly not the early ones, and the later ones only marginally). As for Hood, I honestly think she *is* more of a fast battleship than a battlecruiser, regardless of what they called her.

    • @Wolfeson28 so then where do the heavy cruisers fall in all of this

      Meant to have favorable odds against standard cruisers and shit against battleships

    • @Wolfeson28 While I agree that battleship calibre guns are good at destroying cruisers, I think you have misunderstood my argument elsewhere. I didn’t state that having guns to be a threat to battleships at a stand off range was central to the battle cruiser doctrine, but that it was useful to aid a withdrawal. This is because the risk of damage to the perusing battleship is likely to give the battle cruiser a better chance to escape. I would argue that the Scharnhorst class were intended, and used, as battleships. They were armoured to resist the guns of their likely opponents in the form of the French battleships, and the 11 inch guns were designed to be high velocity in order to make up for their smaller calibre. The use of smaller guns wasn’t because of the intended role of the class, but because German industry at the time wasn’t able to forge larger guns having not produced a new capital ship in about 20 years. The Scharnhorst class were looked at by all contemporary sources as battleships, including the Germans themselves, except the Royal Navy where they were initially classed as battle cruisers before being reclassified as battleships post war. This was because the Royal Navy differentiated between battleships and battle cruisers purely on maximum speed, with the transition being at 28 knots.

      The Baltimore class and Des Moines class were designed specifically with the stipulation that they use the existing 8 inch gun as they, and other major components were already being produced within the US, and the logistics chain for supplying them was well established. They were also designed with the intention that they could be produced in the same shipyards and slipways as existing treaty compliant cruisers without excessive modification to the existing infrastructure. This limited their dimensions, and to some extent their displacement. The Alaska class were not designed with this limitation, and thus, as you point out, were significantly larger, though still only 2/3 of the Iowa class displacement, unlike most battle cruisers which shared similar displacement to contemporary battleships.

      On your final point of a 5kt speed difference between the Alaska class and contemporary battleships, I’m afraid you are mistaken. Both the Alaska class and Iowas had a top speed of 33kts, as did the Baltimore class, and Des Moines class. Foreign contemporary battleship designs were of a similar speed, with the Italian Littorio class and French Richelieu class at 32 kts, the British Vanguard at 30 kts. This is not a significant difference and wouldn’t grant a large tactical advantage. In contrast, take the 1915 Renown class battle cruisers with 32 kts and their contemporary battleships the Queen Elizabeth class and Revenge Class at 24kts and 23 kts respectively. An advantage of 8 knts, a full third of the battleships top speed, gives a major tactical advantage when trying to retreat from a superior force. For the Alaska class to have a similar capacity, it would have a top speed of 44 kts.

  12. Drachinifel actually made a good point why they’re cruisers and not battlecruisers. Chiefly their layout and design is clearly derived from US cruiser heritage.

    • So? Ship classification is about role and characteristics not because of the heritage. “A rose by any other name is still a rose.” Of course I don’t know if anyone ever tried to define a third type of cruiser of the time besides light and heavy.

    • @TheBitter73 yes actually, in the soviet union they had flat deck cruisers, they were carriers in the most, but they were armed with p800 anti ship missles and had a displacement of an Alaska, because it is illegal for any nation to bring a carrier through the Turkish straights, which is why they were also designing the yak38 in 1962 for vtol purposes.

    • And the fact that, by the time the Alaskas were being designed, 12″ guns really didn’t cut the mustard as a battleship’s main armament any more.

  13. I’ll go with Drachinifel’s reasoning on why They’re called Large Cruisers.

    • I’ve heard him make that case, and I think he’s just splitting hairs on that one. Large cruisers are simply one sub-type of battlecruisers that scales the concept down a bit.

  14. technically A Battle-cruiser is a fast battleship with crap armor and a large cruiser is a heavy cruiser with awesome guns technically

  15. I wouldn’t say the Alaska class are a battle cruiser. Battle cruisers have always had guns of the same calibre of the nations contemporary battleship guns, and were significantly faster than contemporary battleships. For the Alaskas, the US battleship gun at this point was the 16/50, however the Alaskas are armed with 12 inch guns. The Alaskas are also not significantly faster than contemporary battleships, being the same speed as the Iowa class, and only slightly faster than contempary foreign battleship designs. I think it’s more accurate to call the Alaska class a 1940s heavy cruiser without any treaty restrictions.

    • Battlecruisers are purpose made cruiser killers. The design theory is to have a gun big enough to over-match any armor a cruiser might be carrying, while being JUST armored enough to take fire from said cruisers in return. It just so happens that the guns big enough to slap cruisers around where contemporary battle-ship guns most of the time. But occasionally you get nations using older style battleship guns for their BC’s, like with the Royal Navy. And a bit more on the rare side is the Alaska, where the guns were purpose built for the task at hand.

    • @Trey Corbin The Nelson and Rodney had 16 inch guns

    • The Alaska class is better described as a super-cruiser. It was designed to counter a Japanese super-cruiser design that was never actually built (Pearl Harbour happened, at which point the Japanese more or less stopped new developments). The USN built two Alaska class (and cancelled I think another 3 being built) but could not work out how to use them since their intended targets were never built and they were very expensive to run. Hence they ended up decommissioned PDQ after the war ended.

    • The big problem with Jingles’ Battlecruiser issue is he’s assuming the British way is the only way, and the Germans said to that, “Hold my beer” with their battlecruisers which armored to stand against cruiser guns with guns equivalent to their battleships. The Germans made their battlecruisers armed to overwhelm any cruiser yes, but armored to withstand British on the inevitable gauntlet run out of the paranoid British blockade everyone knew the British would’ve enacted. The USN DID intend to make “proper” in the Lexingtons, and call them “Battlecruisers”, only for Naval treaties to scuttle that plan. The Alaska-class was intended very much to do a Battlecruisery role in the USN besides operating as the 50% upscale Baltimore they were designed as in hunting down particularly Japanese cruisers. Alas, the CV craze the shipyards were under had negated the cruiser hunting role as the Essex and Co fleets had blown up near every cruiser Japan had to possibly throw at the Alaskas.
      So calling the Alaskas is acceptable since they were effectively taking the Baltimore hull and guns, inflating them by half again, then sticking just a bit more Bofors and Oerlikons on them, and calling it a day. If they were designed entirely free from existing ship classes as their own thing, perhaps the “ debate would have some merit. Unfortunately since the USN bungled it by making a supersized Baltimore rather than a purpose built warship, the “Large Cruiser” designation is the correct one. Sorry Jingles, but trying to insert British nomenclature on other navies because the Royal Navy once, mark you, ruled the oceans, seems unfortunately stereotypically English to do. Maybe we should refer to British Battlecruisers as “Naval Bullies” or “Fischer’s Navy” and German Battlecruisers as Real Battlecruisers. After all, how many German Battlecruiser sunk in combat versus British? I think history shows who had the better ships and doctrine.

    • Tovey Churchill

      Nelson class had 16″ guns, HMS Furious had 18″ gun, didn’t work, but they have them nonetheless

  16. The through deck cruiser is what was used to bypass the halt on jet carriers and through decks were specifically for helicopters “honest guv, we won’t fill them.with harriers”

  17. RedShocktrooper

    To be fair the Lexington class was laid down as battle cruisers. They were to be armed with 16 inch guns.

  18. If you look at British battlecruisers they are based off battleship hulls. Similar bit for ze Germans. They each make sacrifices for speed. German’s sacrifice firepower and the Bri’ish gave up protection.

    Alaska is an enlarged cruiser hull. So while it may fill a similar niche it has a different design history.

  19. Mentioning how the UK didn’t wanna call their carriers “carriers” reminds me of the latest generation of Japanese carriers. Despite the fact that they currently can operate F-35-B’s in the same way that the US Marine Corp can, aboard light carriers, the Japanese refer to JS Izumo and JS Kaga (yes, like the one that attacked Pearl Harbor) as “Multipurpose Operation Destroyers.”

  20. I always die a little inside when I see that me and the other light cruiser player on my team are up against two Alaska “cruisers” designed specifically for the one and only purpose of ripping us a new one.

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