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 Definition While definitions vary with time and doctrine, a large warship capable of acting independently, as a flagship, or a major escort; capabilities include anti-air warfare, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, land attack, and possibly ballistic missile defense [d] [e]
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This article intertwines with destroyer and frigate. I haven't yet decided if there's a reasonable single "fast attack craft" to include classic torpedo and motor gunboats, as well as missile boats. I'm also not sure, given the confusion in the three main vessel names, whether there needs to be an additional category that would include such things as oceangoing corvettes (e.g., Israeli Sa'ar), the latest incarnation of the Littoral Combat Ship, etc.

Indeed, I have not yet started frigate. Expect much back-and-forth among cruiser, destroyer, and frigate even in the early drafts. Howard C. Berkowitz 12:06, 19 July 2008 (CDT)

let's not forget the mighty Hood, me myte

Out of the cold and foggy night came the British ship the Hood
And every British seaman he knew and understood
They had to sink the Bismarck the terror of the sea
Stop those guns as big as steers and those shells as big as trees.

They'd find the German battle ship was makin' such a fuss
We gotta sink the Bismarck 'cause the world depends on us
Yeah, hit the decks a running boys and spin those guns around
When we find the Bismarck we gotta cut her down.

The Hood found the Bismarck and on that fatal day
The Bismarck started firing fifteen miles away
We gotta sink the Bismarck was the battle sound
But when the smoke had cleared away the mighty Hood went down.

Hood is problematic to discuss. Yes, she suffered from the limitations of battlecruisers, but it remains unclear if the hit that sank her came from Bismarck or the accompanying cruiser Prinz Eugen. Still, she was underarmored to be exchanging fire with a true battleship, and recent simulations show serious problems in her compartmentation and explosion protection. Up-armoring had been scheduled...
Jutland was a different situation -- Beatty's battlecruisers didn't need to be in battle line. In chasing Bismarck, it was reasonable to shadow and harass her with cruisers, with the assumption that battleships eventually would engage. Actually, the Germans had more respect for the British torpedo aircraft, which eventually crippled her, than did the British. Howard C. Berkowitz 23:14, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Interesting. I wonder if a German version of the song was released? And, if so, if it were a hit? A nice song, with only about four historical mistakes in the first verse alone (not quoted above). Hayford Peirce 23:38, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Everybody agreed on Lili Marlene. Howard C. Berkowitz 23:45, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
I should add, and perhaps make explicit, that I think battlecruisers are really outside the scope of this article but belong more in battleship, or, although I'd rather not, in their own article. There weren't all that many of them. Widely used naval designation codes use "BC" for battlecruiser, "B", as a first letter, being the designation for "battleship". (Yes, there was a CB or "large cruiser", and, even though some were built, I rarely saw a coherent explanation of their role.)
Some analysts consider the final US class of battleships actually built, the Iowas, as "fast battleships", another word for "battlecruiser", with the cancelled Montana class as "true" battleships. I personally consider Iowas as "true" as the South Dakotas. There's always a what-if argument of which would win in a single-ship engagement between an Iowa and a Yamato. Postwar armor tests suggest that the U.S. 16" guns were actually more powerful than the Japanese 18.1", and the U.S. armor and fire control were better. Those impertinent aviators sank Musashi and Yamato before Halsey had his chance to find out. Howard C. Berkowitz 19:20, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Approval via History Workgroup

Since I see no indication any other Military Editors are likely to be active soon, would anyone object to my adding the History Workgroup and trying for Approval there? There's always more that can go into subarticles, but I believe destroyer, cruiser and battleship are in decent shape. Howard C. Berkowitz 15:44, 20 May 2010 (UTC)