Fuel Consumption

The Washington (North Carolina class battleships) were designed for an endurance of 15,000 nautical miles at 15 nautical miles per hour (knots) with a designed fuel oil capacity of 6,959 tons. Assuming that the ship will burn that amount of fuel at that endurance, then it figures out that the ship would burn 6.98 tons of fuel per hour. This equals approx 1,880 gallons per hour, as designed.

The Washington actually performed better than their designed endurance. In 1942, under war conditions, the Washington actually performed as follows:

(BATTLESHIPS-by R. Dulin Jr. & W. Garzke Jr.)


5,550 TONS
(Normal fuel capacity)
15 knots 6.25 tons/ hr 1,682 gal/ hr 13,500 nautical miles
20 knots 12.8 tons/ hr 3,458 gal/ hr 8,640 nautical miles
25 knots 28.1 tons/ hr 7,564 gal/ hr 4,925 nautical miles
27 knots 43.3 tons/hr 11,666 gal/ hr 3,456 nautical miles
(this is assuming the burning of all of the normal 5,550 tons of fuel oil)

Refueling schedules appeared to keep the ships refueled as often as their schedules would permit. Not only was this for cruising endurance, but the larger ships were used to refuel their escorting destroyers as standard operating procedure. In that way, the escorts would be able to remain with the battleships and carriers where they were needed.

The Washington refueled from tankers and took on anywhere from 200,000 to 700,000 gallons of fuel oil. 700,000 gallons equals approximately 2,600 tons of fuel which is about half of the ship's 5,550 ton normal 1942 capacity.

Ref:"BATTLESHIP AT WAR" by Ivan Musicant


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