How would you improve the Royal Navy

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
RobertsonN
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Re: How would you improve the Royal Navy

Post by RobertsonN » Fri May 06, 2011 10:00 am

By conservative, I was referring to the 1930s. Tennyson, DNC in the earlier period, was certainly a radical with a very open mind: He raised the protective deck in the R class, introduced a sloped belt with crushing tube torpedo protection in the Hood, and an internal sloped belt, raft body, and water compartment torpedo protection in the Nelson class. The first two were probably more suitable for the conditions of the First War than the earlier designs of Sir William White, at least up to the introduction the Greenboy shells (in the opinion of Brown). However, their low GM made them harder to modernize, and the poor shelter of the more steeply sloping deck behind the main belt made them more vulnerable to the better shells in the Second War.
Just like one man could virtually design a complete steam locomotive whereas now big design teams are needed for individual components of the much more complex modern locomotives, in the battleship era, the man at the top exercised great control over what kind of ship was built. The earlier times were simpler, more human and more interesting I find (maybe it's because I am now 59 that I think this way).

paul.mercer
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Re: How would you improve the Royal Navy

Post by paul.mercer » Sun May 08, 2011 11:18 pm

Bgile wrote:
paul.mercer wrote:Gentlemen,
Once again thanks for your replies, perhaps I mistook the meaning of 'Improve' as when I suggested 3X15" in four turrets I was assuming that the Washington Treaty did not apply and that weight and size was not a concern.
OK, then 3x18" in four turrets on 100,000 tons. :D
WOW!

Bgile
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Re: How would you improve the Royal Navy

Post by Bgile » Mon May 09, 2011 12:44 am

paul.mercer wrote:
Bgile wrote:
paul.mercer wrote:Gentlemen,
Once again thanks for your replies, perhaps I mistook the meaning of 'Improve' as when I suggested 3X15" in four turrets I was assuming that the Washington Treaty did not apply and that weight and size was not a concern.
OK, then 3x18" in four turrets on 100,000 tons. :D
WOW!
That obviously would not be practical; there might not be a yard in the UK which could build it ... and it might not be the best use of resources even if you assume conventional battleships are going to be built.

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RF
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Re: How would you improve the Royal Navy

Post by RF » Mon May 09, 2011 8:32 am

Basically the same problem that Hitler's Z Plan would have come up against - had it proceeded.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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19kilo
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Re: How would you improve the Royal Navy

Post by 19kilo » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:22 pm

Could the three ex-large light cruisers, Furious, Corageous, and Glorious have been modernised in the late 30s? I'm thinking a very radical rebuild along the lines the IJN took with Akagi and Kaga. Extending the flight deck out to the bows, and aft a bit, and giving Furious an island. Would this have been practical from a design standpoint, or was it all a money issue?

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RF
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Re: How would you improve the Royal Navy

Post by RF » Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:02 pm

It would be a money issue, dictating the most efficient spend of the defence budget.

In the late 1930's Britain started to re-arm seriously, with resources emphasised on new weaponry such as the KGV's rather than rebuilding ''old crocks'' like Glorious or even Hood. And don't forget that there was intense competion between the three armed services for funds, especially the RAF and the need for air defence against bombers.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Jellicoe
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Re: How would you improve the Royal Navy

Post by Jellicoe » Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:41 am

Given the problem of Britain's overseas empire (far-flung our navies melt away), my fleet construction program would
concentrate on the notion that Britain needs to protect convoys, and have ships available for many stations and possible points
of conflict all over the world.

The core force of BBs/BCs (15 in 1936) can suffice with the addition of a new batch of hardy not-confined-by-treaty battleships.
I would order 4 improved KGVs, basically Lion, with 45,000 tons/30kts/9x16 in, laid down at roughly same pace as the KGVs
were historically, and retain the plans for refits of older BBs/BCs that were under way.

The carrier situation is more problematic. In 1936 Britain had 6 carriers available, of which only 3, Courageous, Glorious, and Furious,
could keep up with the faster battleships. Eagle, ex Chilean Almirante Latore BB, was a nice looking design, and it seems that a good
refit could have enabled an increase in either her speed (from 24kts) or her AC capacity (from 21), to allow her to be able to operate
as a full fleet carrier. Argus is largely fit for training, and Hermes, likewise, is very limited with slow speeds and few aircraft.
Furious I would refit to bring her up to the standards of her 2 sisters with AC complement of 48. Ark Royal had been laid down
in 1936. I would keep that construction going and add 3 others of similar design.

In Sept, 1939, Britain had 66 cruisers active, with 23 new ones laid down. I think the cruiser designs of the Kents, etc, were all
basically sound, and a program extending the 8x8 heavies and 9x6 lights would be sufficient, at a pace consistent with what
was in effect in 1939. Britain had to have a large force of cruisers to protect her overseas stations. I would go for the max possible
here, sacrificing the allowable 6/6 new battleship/cv designs by 2 each. The same with destroyers, DEs, corvettes, or any number
of other smaller ship types. As many as possible would be ideal. The saved 170,000 or so tons from having a 4/4 BB/CV program
instead of 6/6 would applied towards these smaller support warships. 8 capital ships with proper escort to me seems more
reasonable than 12 without, given the number of times RN capital ships were sailing around with little or no escort at all, some of
them being sunk for their efforts.

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RF
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Re: How would you improve the Royal Navy

Post by RF » Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:48 pm

This sounds like a good plan, particulary the emphasis on convoy defence.

One area not consider is the use of fleet auxiliary supply ships to enable the cruisers and capital ships to stay at sea longer.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

Djoser
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Re: How would you improve the Royal Navy

Post by Djoser » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:20 am

Great post Jellicoe...

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Jellicoe
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Re: How would you improve the Royal Navy

Post by Jellicoe » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:07 pm

A note on the Brit carriers. Eagle is of course the ex-Almirante Cochrane, not the Almirante Latorre which remained a battleship in the service of Chile until 1958.

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