"they didn't get all the way there but the bismarck class battle ships came pretty close... sortof..."
Bismarck and Tirpitz had 15" main guns, well within what other navies were building at the time. Bismark was also based on rather tried and true naval design concepts carried over from First World War ships.
The monsters that Germany planned on paper would have taken them far beyond that, or what most other nations were even capable of at the time.
For every inch increase in the shell diameter the shell adds disproportionately more weight, and becomes increasingly difficult to handle. The Japanese found that out with their two super battleships with 18.1" guns. Ironing out the shell handling problems was a very involved process that apparently was never 100% satisfactory.
Oh, and I was wrong... the H-44 class, which would have carried the 20" guns, had a design weight of 130,000 tons and a length of over 1,100 feet.
In order to produce a ship like that, German would have had to have virtually stopped production of tanks and many other armaments just to supply the armor plating in a reasonable amount of time.
And, even if they did, there was nowhere in Germany to build a ship that big.
As I said, pie in the sky planning (or even building prototype tanks of unusual proportions) doesn't mean you have the ability to actually produce that stuff in numbers substantial enough to make a difference.
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza
Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Last edited by Mike Irwin; March 17, 2013 at 09:59 AM.