fighting ships of the world



ALASKA battlecruisers (1944)

Alaska 1944

Alaska 1944

No Name Builder Laid down Launched Comm Fate
CB1 Alaska New York SB, Camden 17/12/1941 15/8/1943 176/1944 stricken 1/6/1960
CB2 Guam New York SB, Camden 2/2/1942 12/11/1943 17/9/1944 stricken 1/6/1960
CB3 Hawaii New York SB, Camden 20/12/1943 11/3/1945 --- suspended 9/1947, sold 1/1960
CB4 Philippines New York SB, Camden --- --- --- cancelled 24/6/1943
CB5 Puerto Rico New York SB, Camden --- --- --- cancelled 24/6/1943
CB6 Samoa New York SB, Camden --- --- --- cancelled 24/6/1943

Displacement standard, t


Displacement full, t


Length, m

241.3 wl 246.4 oa

Breadth, m


Draught, m

9.70 full load

No of shafts



General Electric geared steam turbines, 4 Babcock & Wilcox boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, t

oil 3619

Endurance, nm (kts) 12000 (15)

Armour, mm

belt: 229 - 127, main deck: 102 - 97, upper deck: 36, splinter deck: 16, barbettes: 330 - 278, turrets: 325 - 127, CT: 269 sides, 127 roof


3 x 3 - 305/50 Mk 8, 6 x 2 - 127/38 Mk 12, 14 x 4 - 40/60 Mk 1/2, 34 x 1 - 20/70 Mk 4, 2 catapults, 4 seaplanes (SOC, OS2U)


SK, 2x SG-1, 2x Mk 8, 2x Mk 12/22



Ship project history: Big cruisers Alaska and Guam owing to their sizes and armament frequently referred to a class of battleships, however they conduct the origin from the Washington cruisers, being their lineal descendants.

The origin of these ships is obliged to several factors. First, with a beginning of war in Europe all contractual limitations have become invalid, secondly financing of new shipbuilding programs did not meet Congress back action, thirdly, at that time in naval circles the concept of "supercruiser" which could come to replace existing Washington cruisers with 203mm main guns was popular. Works on the project of new cruiser (for her even the new subclass in the American system of indexation of the ships has been created: ) have begun in 1940. Alas, free from limitations designers has a little changed feeling of a measure. The ship was very huge, but any silly. The requirement of achievement of high speed predetermined the big slenderness of the hull that not allowed to ensure a little effective underwater protection, besides presence of just only one wheel instead of two (that practised on battleships) predetermined bad manoeuvrability.

On early design stages protection was assumed only from 203mm shells (except magazines, traditionally better protected), but then armour was strengthened, and as a result ships had immune zone under fire of 305mm guns in the range of 90-120 cables at a relative bearing 60.

It was originally supposed to arm ships by 8 305/50mm guns in twin and triple turrets, however as a result they have decided to place all guns in triple turrets to not waste time on working out of turrets of two types.

Under the program of 1940 building of six ships of class was provided (CB1-6), however by 1943 the relation to this project begun to change for the worse, and three ships were cancelled. Building of 3 Hawaii was suspended in 1947

When in 1944 "white elephants" Alaska and Guam were commissioned, their project was criticised very much.

Ship protection: Main 134m belt was 4.6m high. It was 229mm thick (127mm at lower edge) and inclined at 10 to vertical. It was closed by 260mm bulkheads. Steering gear compartment had 270mm sides and bulkheads. Underwater protection was 3.0-2.4m deep. Main deck was 102-96mm thick over machinery and 108mm over magazines. 19-16mm splinter deck was one level lower and 36mm upper deck was one level higher. Steering gear had 38mm roof. Thickness of second deck over steering gear was 102mm. Barbettes were 330-278mm thick. Turrets had 325mm faces, 152-133mm sides, 133mm rears and 127mm crowns. CT had 269mm sides and 127mm roof.

Modernizations: None.

1/1946, both: 3 x 3 - 305/50 Mk 8, 6 x 2 - 127/38 Mk 32, 14 x 4 - 40/60 Mk 2, 34 x 1 - 20/70 Mk 10, 2 catapults, 4 seaplanes, SK, 2x SG-1, 2x Mk 8, 2x Mk 12/22 radars

Naval service: No significant events. 

Alaska 1944

Ivan Gogin, 2014-15