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ALASKA / CB-1
Notes: The ALASKA class were designed as "super-cruisers" (and designated as large cruisers, or CB's, when built) to counter the Japanese heavy cruisers mounting 10-8" guns, and to counter the German SCHARNHORST class and the reported battlecruisers (B-64 class) that the Japanese were building. (Oddly enough, during their planning stages, the Japanese modified their plans (to the B-65 class) to counter what Japanese intelligence had learned about the ALASKA class!) The ALASKA class was originally designed to carry 8-12" guns in one twin and two triple turrets, but the design was modified to carry three triple mounts, in large part to simplify production. The 12" gun was of a new design, and fired a 1,140-pound shell out to 37,000 yards (as compared to the last American 12" guns mounted in the ARKANSAS class, built circa 1912, which fired an 870-pound shell to slightly over 29,000 yards). The overall design was similar to the BALTIMORE class heavy cruisers, but with the enlargement in size, it was possible to move the aircraft hangars and catapults to midships. By the time they became operational, their originally-conceived mission was no longer viable. They were excellent escorts for the Fast Carrier Groups as their speed was good enough to keep up with the ESSEX class carriers and their size allowed a heavy anti-aircraft battery to be carried.
ALASKA saw service at Okinawa and with various carrier Task Forces in the Pacific in 1945. But at the end of World War II, there were simply no longer opponents for them to fight (as the BALTIMORE class cruisers were quite capable of standing up to any Russian cruisers), and their size (and uniqueness of main battery armament) made them relatively expensive to operate. Considered "white elephants", they were soon put into reserve. Following years in "mothballs", ALASKA was scrapped at Newark in July, 1961.