The North Carolinas were our first modern battleships built under the 35,000 ton treaty restrictions. They also possessed the devastating American 16" naval rifles in the standard modern 3x3 configuration, as well as ten (10) of our excellent twin 5"/38 caliber dual purpose -- antiship and antiaircraft -- gun turrets.
They had a good speed at 29 knots, which could keep up with our fast carriers in the Pacific's new carrier warfare operations.
For a time, Washington backed up the Royal Navy's King George V class battleships, attempting to deter the German superbattleship Tirpitz from striking out from its Norwegian fjord lair at our Arctic convoys to beleaguered Russia. If properly deployed by the Admiralty, it could have been in position to intercept Tirpitz and its consorts, during the disastrous Convoy PQ17 operation. And Washington probably would have destroyed Tirpitz in short order.
Both North Carolina and Washington served in the Pacific. North Carolina was torpedoed off Guadalcanal in 1942 and withdrawn from operations for repair.
Washington was with South Dakota in the Second (Naval) Battle of Guadalcanal in mid-November 1942, and once Admiral Lee finally authorized it to open fire, it quickly devastated Japanese fast battleship Kirishima which soon sank, and we won the battle. Both ships continued to serve in the Pacific, primarily for antiaircraft support and shore bombardment.
The American model company Revell has had an excellent 1:570 full hull kit out of the class for some time. Japan's Aoshima has a 1:700 waterline model. I believe China's Trumpeter has both a 1:700 and 1:350 model out, but that should be checked. And I have (a link to my) 1:1200 "2-sided model" of Washington here. The class is also among the Hasbro/Avalon Hill War At Sea Naval Miniatures (game) 1:1800 model warships roster.
And there is also a quite good, camouflaged cardboard model in Wallis Rigby's wartime book of cutout, 3-D World War II warships. (Intriguingly, the carrier in it looks like Germany's never-finished Graf Zeppelin.)
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