Top 10 Most Powerful Battleships of WWII (By Class)

Top 10 Most Powerful Battleships of WWII (By Class) | World War Wings Videos

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Over 60 battleships took part in combat operations during the Second World War. Here are the top ten battleships of WWII ranked by class: 

10. Queen Elizabeth Class

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Queen Elizabeth ships were armed with 4 twin 381-mm main guns, while the armor protection was modified from the previous class with a much thicker belt and underwater protection.

The turbine was rated at 75,000 shaft horsepower at overload, intending to give the ship a maximum speed of 25 knots. 

9. Richelieu Class

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These were fast battleships utilized by the French Navy, scaled up to accommodate more powerful 380 mm guns and armor. The belt armor was 327 mm thick and the main battery turrets were protected by 430 mm armor plate. 

The Richelieu Class was powered by four steam turbines and six water tube boilers that developed 155,000 hp, which can carry up to four seaplanes. 

8. Colorado Class

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These battleships were a group of four US Navy Super Dreadnought battleships. The Colorados were the last of the standard-type battleships that were built with similar speed and handling facilitating the line of battle maneuvers.

These ships were armed with eight 16-inch 45-caliber Mark 1 guns firing a 2,110-pound armor-piercing shell. 

7. Littorio Class

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Littorio Class battleships were used by the Italian Navy and were Italy’s most advanced battleships during WWII. 

The main belt armor of this class was designed and tested to resist 381 mm armor-piercing shells at ranges down to 16 kilometers.

6. North Carolina

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These were a class of two fast battleships utilized by the US Navy. 

They were armed with nine 406-mm Mark 6 guns and 20 127-mm Mark 12 guns with a main armored belt that is 305 mm thick.

5. The South Dakota Class

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The South Dakota Class was a group of fast battleships that were designed to the same treaty standard displacement limit of 35,000 long tons.

It featured nine 406 mm Mark 6 cannons in three gun turrets. These battleships are built to withstand 16-inch shell fire unlike its predecessor, the North Carolina class.

4. Nagato Class

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These were dreadnought battleships utilized by the Imperial Japanese Navy. The main armaments are made up of eight 45 calibers, 16.1 third-year type naval guns.

The turbine produced a total of 80,000 hp, giving a maximum speed of 25 knots, and the ability to carry up to three seaplanes. 

3. Bismarck Class

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Bismarck Class was a pair of fast battleships created for Germany’s Kriegsmarine. It had an armored belt that ranged in thickness from 220 to 320 mm.

The thickest section of armor covered the central portion where the gun turrets, ammunition magazines, and machinery spaces were found

These battleships can displace up to 52,000 tons when fully loaded and made up of four twin turrets that housed eight 15-inch SCK 34 guns.

2. Iowa Class

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The Iowa Class was a class of six fast battleships of the US Navy. The main guns used were nine 16-inch 406 mm or 50-caliber Mark 7 Naval guns.  

Iowa class battleships can carry three float planes. 

1. Yamato Class

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The Yamatos were the biggest battleships ever made in history. It’s equipped with nine 460 mm naval cannons that can fire 1,460 kg shells 42 km away. 

Designed to engage numerous enemy battleships simultaneously, Yamatos were fitted with heavy armor up to 650 mm and carried seven seaplanes. 

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