The best ships of the 20th century / Battle warships - a small overview article about the most powerful warships of the 20th century.
1. Nimitz-class aircraft carriers
A series of 10 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, with a total displacement of 100, 000 tons. The largest warships in the history of mankind. Recent events in Yugoslavia and Iraq have shown that ships of this type are capable of wiping out not the smallest countries in a matter of days, while the Nimitz themselves will remain immune to any anti-ship weapons, with the exception of nuclear warheads.
At the moment, the "Nimitz" are the full-fledged masters of the World Ocean. Regularly undergoing modernization, they will remain in the current composition of the fleet until the middle of the XXI century.
2. Iowa-class battleships
The standard of the battleship. The creators of "Iowa" managed to find the optimal combination of firepower, speed and security.
9 guns of 406 mm caliber
Main armor belt - 310 mm
Travel speed - over 33 knots.
4 battleships of this type managed to take part in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War. Then there was a long respite. At this time, there was an active modernization of ships, modern air defense systems were installed, 32 "Tomahawks" further strengthened the strike potential of battleships. The complete set of artillery barrels and armor were left unchanged.
Now "Iowa" are withdrawn from the combat strength of the fleet. Their repair and modernization were recognized as inexpedient, battleships have completely exhausted their resource for half a century. Three of them have been turned into museums, the fourth - "Wisconsin", is still quietly rusting as part of the "Reserve Fleet".
3. Orly Burke-class destroyers
For 2012, the US Navy has 61 Aegis destroyers, each year the fleet receives another 2-3 new units. Together with its clones - Japanese destroyers URO such as "Atago" and "Congo", "Orly Burke" is the most massive warship in history with a displacement of over 5, 000 tons.
The most advanced destroyers to date are capable of striking any ground and surface targets, fighting submarines, aircraft and cruise missiles, and even shelling space satellites.
The destroyer's armament complex includes 90 vertical launchers, of which 7 "long" modules, which can accommodate up to 56 Tomahawk cruise missiles.
Built in just 1 year, a huge ship with a total displacement of 21, 000 tons revolutionized the world's shipbuilding. One salvo of HMS "Deadnought" was equal to a salvo of the entire squadron of battleships during the Russo-Japanese War. For the first time, the piston steam engine was replaced by a turbine.
The only victory "Dreadnought" won on March 18, 1915, returning with a squadron of battleships to the base. Having received a message from the battleship "Marlboro" about a submarine in sight, he rammed it. For this victory, the captain of the Dreadnought, who allowed himself to fall out of the wake, received from the flagship the highest approval that a captain of the HMS in the English fleet can get: "Well done."
5. Essex-class aircraft carriers
24 strike aircraft carriers of this type became the backbone of the US Navy during the war. They actively participated in all military operations in the Pacific theater of operations, traveled millions of miles, were a tasty target for kamikaze, but, nevertheless, not one of the Essexes was lost in the battles.
Huge for their time ships (full displacement - 36, 000 tons) had a powerful air wing on their decks, which made them the dominant force in the Pacific Ocean.
After the war, many of them underwent modernization, received a corner deck (type "Oriskani") and remained in the active composition of the fleet until the mid-70s.