1939 Battleship Forces: US Navy vs Royal Navy

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
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Gary
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Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: US Navy vs Royal Navy

Postby Gary » Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:16 pm

Bretagne?
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Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: US Navy vs Royal Navy

Postby Thorsten Wahl » Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:03 pm

I'm am sorry i forgot this preemptive strike on anchoring ships.
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Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: US Navy vs Royal Navy

Postby lwd » Mon May 03, 2010 3:30 pm

Wasn't Bretagne underway?
Does anyone have a read on the relative quality of the shooting of the RN vs the USN at this time? I do know that when a USN BB squadron joined the allied effort in Britian in WWI it took a few months to get them up to what the British considered acceptable standards. This came as something of a shock to the USN officers of the time. My impression is that they learned there lessons pretty well but I don't know.

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Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: US Navy vs Royal Navy

Postby RF » Tue May 04, 2010 7:47 am

As I understand it Bretagne did get under way - just as the Nevada did during the attack on Pearl.
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Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: US Navy vs Royal Navy

Postby Bgile » Tue May 04, 2010 2:10 pm

Thorsten Wahl wrote:I'm am sorry i forgot this preemptive strike on anchoring ships.


What difference does that make in the destructive capability of a 15" shell?

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Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: US Navy vs Royal Navy

Postby Thorsten Wahl » Tue May 04, 2010 5:53 pm

Absolutely nothing
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Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: US Navy vs Royal Navy

Postby Gary » Tue May 04, 2010 6:22 pm

Was it ever established what path the fatal shell that destroyed Bretagne took?

I wrote somewhere ages ago that I thought it had gone through the roof of a turret but my theory was dis-liked
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Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: US Navy vs Royal Navy

Postby neil hilton » Thu May 20, 2010 12:28 pm

I think we should all get down on our knees and be thankful this never happened. It would be just handing the world to Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan on silver plate with a big bow tied around it.
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Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: US Navy vs Royal Navy

Postby RF » Fri May 21, 2010 4:17 pm

I doubt it - they do not have the logistics to conquer the US.
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Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: US Navy vs Royal Navy

Postby alecsandros » Fri May 21, 2010 8:35 pm

RF wrote:I doubt it - they do not have the logistics to conquer the US.

Without the Royal Navy, they would have first conquered England. Then, they would have organised a few revolutions in South and Central America, overthrow a few governments, and pow! A bridgehead in the Americas...

Not to mention North Africa woudl have been swiftly conquered by Rommel, while the entire South-Eastern Asia would have fallen udner the Japanese for a long, long time.

Even without the possible bridgeheads in teh Latin America, the US would have remained isolated, politicaly and economicaly, whiel the 2 empires snatched resources from all over the world unchallenged (exept by some partisans).

Oh, and the Russians would have signed an armistice in early 1942, giving away the territories west of the Urals. (because without the US and UK shipments, they would have starved to death on the battlefield....)

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Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: US Navy vs Royal Navy

Postby lwd » Wed May 26, 2010 1:58 pm

alecsandros wrote: Without the Royal Navy, they would have first conquered England.

Perhaps but perhaps not. Without some details it's hard to tell.
Then, they would have organised a few revolutions in South and Central America, overthrow a few governments, and pow! A bridgehead in the Americas...

Ever heard of the Monroe Doctrine? This would have provoked an almost immediate involvement with the US.
Not to mention North Africa woudl have been swiftly conquered by Rommel, while the entire South-Eastern Asia would have fallen udner the Japanese for a long, long time.

??? How can you just say that? Japan's army was pretty throughly tied up with it's war in China. Are you just assuming no one else does anything.
Even without the possible bridgeheads in teh Latin America, the US would have remained isolated, politicaly and economicaly, whiel the 2 empires snatched resources from all over the world unchallenged (exept by some partisans).

Unlikely.
Oh, and the Russians would have signed an armistice in early 1942, giving away the territories west of the Urals. (because without the US and UK shipments, they would have starved to death on the battlefield....)

??? That also seems unlikely. They had stopped the Germans in late 41. Perhaps a German offensive(s) in 42 could have forced them to some sort of terms but certainly not in early 42.

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Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: US Navy vs Royal Navy

Postby alecsandros » Wed May 26, 2010 6:00 pm

lwd wrote: [Perhaps but perhaps not. Without some details it's hard to tell.

That's true. But it's a serious possibility nevertheless.
Ever heard of the Monroe Doctrine? This would have provoked an almost immediate involvement with the US.

No I haven't heard about it :D
But how would the US intervene without a fleet? On land? How fast ? With how many troops? Would they be enough to put out the fires the Germans are provoking?
Of course in the long run the US would win, if they would have the comitment to do it...

??? How can you just say that? Japan's army was pretty throughly tied up with it's war in China. Are you just assuming no one else does anything.

Japan was killing China at leisure in 1940-1941. Germany;s and Italy's armies in North Africa would have had little to no opposition (from who could they possibly have feared from...? )


??? That also seems unlikely. They had stopped the Germans in late 41. Perhaps a German offensive(s) in 42 could have forced them to some sort of terms but certainly not in early 42.

The Russians only held the Germans because they managed to pull back ~ 50 divisions from the far east (knowing the Japanese wouldn't attack).
I know this had been discussed before and that you foudn another source claiming ~ only 14 divisions were moved. I fidn that incorrect, based on the war memories of Guderian, Melenthin, the writings of Warlter Lord about the war in the Pacific, and several others.
Even Lidell Hart said that, IIRC, "German intelligence anticipated and discovered a force of ~ 240 Russian divisions on the western front in June-Sep 1941. However, by early 1942, intelligence reports confirmed names and positions for over 300 divisions".

Also, the Russian war effort would NOT have been sustainable without US and UK war aids, as we have discussed thoroughly with Byron several months ago (not enough food, trucks, steel, in short :) ).

Overall, I'd say without the Lend-Lease act, the Russians would have been badly beaten by mid 1942.

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Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: US Navy vs Royal Navy

Postby lwd » Wed May 26, 2010 7:36 pm

You seem to be assuming complete destruction of both of the fleets. Historically that would be an unlikely result. In any case by 39 the US and to a lesser extent Britain are already ordering or building fleets that would be surperior to both those of Germany and Japan. Of course for this scenario to even be considered I would think that the world would be a vastly different place and Japanese and German aggresion would be at least some extent curtailed.

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Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: US Navy vs Royal Navy

Postby w.hollister@.sch.uk » Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:47 am

An interesting scenario to try and answer.
A fundamental weakness for the British battle fleet remained the inclusion of 3 Battle cruisers all of which, HOOD, REPULSE and RENOWN, whilst very fast were very thinly armoured and by comparison with US Battleships, fatally flawed.
The USN's 'All or Nothing' principle of armouring would most likely have given its ships an advantage in close range fighting but on the other hand, British ships had in many cases undergone total reconstruction as was the case with the 'Queen Elizabeth ' class all of which had a significant speed advantage over all the USNs pre-Washington Treaty vessels like 'NEVADA', WEST VIRGINIA' or 'COLORADO' classes.
American ships' ability to carry a larger number of main guns would have been a factor, e.g 10x Fourteen- inch compared to a standard British mix of 8x Fifteen- inch. Though British Fifteen -inch guns were incredibly reliable, accurate and carried a terrific punch.
Similarly, American Sixteen-inch gunned ships were immensely powerful and matched only by Britain's two NELSON CLASS.
The staying power of modernised British ships was very good and in the case of NELSON and RODNEY, exceptional.
Gun ranges would also have been a significant factor with many British vessels having had their main armament elevation increased in order to boost overall ranges. H.M.S.s NELSON and RODNEY for example had 40 degree main armament elevation available. No USN battleship came any where near this figure.
Individual ship's speed would also have become a significant factor with no US vessel able to exceed a designed speed of 21 knots, and in practice, often slower.
By contrast, RN vessels routinely attained 21- 24 knots ( except for the unmodernised 'REVENGE' class of 5 vessels all of which were limited to around 20-21 knots), whilst the Battlecruisers could often achieve 29-32 knots.
Taking everything together, speed, hitting power and armoured protection, I would give the British just a slight edge over the American ships and would possibly identify a 'winner' in a Jutland-type scenario as the British given that they had learned a lot from fighting a real 'Jutland ' against the Germans in 1916 and had spent over 20 years training to fight a much more successful second version of the battle sometime in the future.
Everything would in the end come down to philosophy, tradition, training and the quality of the hardware each navy would commit to an action.
In conclusion therefore:
Royal Navy - Advantages of speed and gun range. Tradition and training too would have been factors.
United States Navy - Advantages of protection and gun numbers per ship would have been significant factors.

Hope all this might be of use to you.

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Re: 1939 Battleship Forces: US Navy vs Royal Navy

Postby Dave Saxton » Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:02 pm

w.hollister@.sch.uk wrote:An interesting scenario to try and answer.
A fundamental weakness for the British battle fleet remained the inclusion of 3 Battle cruisers all of which, HOOD, REPULSE and RENOWN, whilst very fast were very thinly armoured and by comparison with US Battleships, fatally flawed.
The USN's 'All or Nothing' principle of armouring would most likely have given its ships an advantage in close range fighting but on the other hand, British ships had in many cases undergone total reconstruction as was the case with the 'Queen Elizabeth ' class


It's intuitive that the American battleships were well armored, in comparison to "battle cruisers" or the pre-Jutland designed British battleships. But this was not the case. All American battleships prior to North Carolina actually had weaker deck protection than the Hood or the modernized Renown. For example, the main armored decks on the Big 5 were only 1.5" of STS (armor grade steel) laid over top of 1.5" of mild Steel (not an armor grade steel). Obviously this does not equal a 3" main armored deck. It calculates to an effective thickness of about 1.7". Additional armor plates were stacked on top the existing main armored deck in some cases but this increases effective thickness marginally at best because it is still laminated plates. The same principles apply to most of the British reconstructions as well though. Renown and Repulse had fairly thin belt protection but most of the British belts are ~13" which is the point of diminishing returns in terms of belt thickness.

There could be a lot of attrition on both sides.
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