I've heard the same, reason given that the ship's roll would absorb the recoil impulse.
When we did a tour of the Wisconsin a couple years ago the docent did say that the 16" guns were never supposed to be fired directly over the bow. I don't recall anyone asking why.
Did not work well for PoW guns bearing forward bearing forward.
I wonder about the stress of firing 6-8 major caliber guns on 0 degrees relative bearing. Many years ago I was told the Iowas could not do it, but I never followed it up when I had the chance. I have the French BB book of Jordan and Dumas, and will check on this. There were no more all-forward BB in the Richelieu class after the first three, rest had fore and after main gun turrets. That tells us something. At Mers el Kebir the two Dunkerques were Med-moored with sterns to the open sea. Not nice.
Edited by shep854, 20 April 2018 - 2227 PM.