BattleCarriers, a stupid idea?

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Re: BattleCarriers, a stupid idea?

Post by Bgile » Wed May 19, 2010 1:30 pm

OK, I give up. No amount of logic is going to get through here. You guys obviously think two "BCV"s are going to be functionally equivalent to 1 CV and 1 BB and nothing is going to dissuade you.

User avatar
neil hilton
Senior Member
Posts: 334
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:31 pm

Re: BattleCarriers, a stupid idea?

Post by neil hilton » Wed May 19, 2010 2:41 pm

Bgile wrote:OK, I give up. No amount of logic is going to get through here. You guys obviously think two "BCV"s are going to be functionally equivalent to 1 CV and 1 BB and nothing is going to dissuade you.
My opinions here are impartial. Your arguments are very valid. I'm just playing devils advocate, and just seeing what the consesus is. Which so far is not good for BCVs.
Veni, vidi, verrimus!
I came, I saw, I swept the floor!

Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Re: BattleCarriers, a stupid idea?

Post by Bgile » Wed May 19, 2010 3:49 pm

neil hilton wrote:
Bgile wrote:OK, I give up. No amount of logic is going to get through here. You guys obviously think two "BCV"s are going to be functionally equivalent to 1 CV and 1 BB and nothing is going to dissuade you.
My opinions here are impartial. Your arguments are very valid. I'm just playing devils advocate, and just seeing what the consesus is. Which so far is not good for BCVs.
The last suggestion was for a ship about the size of a Midway class CV. I don't think such a ship is possible, but if it was, which one would you rather have?

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 4152
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: BattleCarriers, a stupid idea?

Post by alecsandros » Wed May 19, 2010 5:43 pm

Steve, don't get mad please :)
What I'm trying to say is that this is an interesting concept, that might be of good use on a tactical level, although having setbacks at a strategic level.

Certainly the people on Courageos or Gambier Bay would have liked some fully armored decks and heavy guns, don't you think?

Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Re: BattleCarriers, a stupid idea?

Post by Bgile » Wed May 19, 2010 9:33 pm

alecsandros wrote:Steve, don't get mad please :)
What I'm trying to say is that this is an interesting concept, that might be of good use on a tactical level, although having setbacks at a strategic level.

Certainly the people on Courageos or Gambier Bay would have liked some fully armored decks and heavy guns, don't you think?
I'm not mad, but ... no.

The people on Courageous would have liked to have patrols out so they could have sunk Scharnhorst instead of the other way around. If you have an incompetent captain you can manage to get your ship sunk for sure.

The Gambier Bay was a 7800 ton ship. What exactly are you going to arm her with that will protect her against Yamato? Because we lost a small number of CVEs to surface gunfire are you going to saddle the entire fleet with relatively useless guns instead of aircraft?

User avatar
neil hilton
Senior Member
Posts: 334
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:31 pm

Re: BattleCarriers, a stupid idea?

Post by neil hilton » Thu May 20, 2010 9:40 am

I have been thinking about the tactics a BCV may use.

Scenario: Side 1 = 2 BCVs vs side 2 = 1BB and 1CV.

Before anyone explodes prematurely, I am playing devils advocate here.

The CV has an airgroup of around 90 (30 fighters, 30 dive bombers and 30 torpedo bombers).
Each BCV has around one third this (30 fighters for example) totalling 60 fighters all alocated to CAP.

BVR the CV sends its airgroup (maybe as 1 strike or more) 60 strike aircraft escorted by 15 fighters (the rest slated as CAP).
This runs into the 60 fighter CAP. The fighters tangle 1 on 1 and each side shoot down half the other and damage some of the rest. This leaves 60 dive/torpedo bombers vs 45 fighters. I envisage a 60 to 75% loss rate for the bombers and around 5 to 10% loss rate for the fighters. The remaining bombers RTB damaged. With such a huge CAP its entirely possible that none of the strike force even get close to the BCVs, but if they do it will be very few and maybe score a hit on each BCV causing little real damage due to their BB like construction.

This effectively renders the CV toothless for days while its damged planes are repaired.

Leaving the BCVs airgroup at about 58 working fighters. Which can be loaded with small bombs (100kg, 200kg) and sent against the BB and CV.
Say 15 as fighters and 31 as fighter bombers keeping 12 as CAP.
This runs into the CVs CAP of 15 fighters. Again the loss rate is half and half. However this leaves the ships vulnerable to the 31 FBs, these run into the AAA, which inflicts about 5 to 10% losses (remember these are fast manoeuvrable fighters). Thus 28 get through.
Assuming a 66% hit rate, thats 19 bomb hits. Assuming a 50% hit rate gives 14 bomb hits.
The small bombs wont penetrate the tough hide of the BB but would make a mess of the superstructure. The CVs unarmoured deck and sides would get peppered however. It would be turned quickly into a burning wreck possibly even sunk though I doubt it.

Now the BCVs can send in another airstrike at liesure and wear the BB down a little, then they can close to gun range and finish both the BB and the wrecked CV off with their 12 16" vs 9 16". Assuming the CV wasn't scuttled by its crew and the BB didn't run. If the BB did run (which would be more likely IMO) then follow up airstrikes could harry it hoping to get a lucky hit to slow it down sufficiently for the BCVs to close.

This is a hypothetical scenario and I'm just posing a possibility as devils advocate.

Thoughts anyone?
Veni, vidi, verrimus!
I came, I saw, I swept the floor!

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 4152
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: BattleCarriers, a stupid idea?

Post by alecsandros » Thu May 20, 2010 11:28 am

@ Steve
My point is that CVs are much better only if the enemy can be discovered and tracked at a considerable distance.
IN more enclosed bodies of water, and in regions with unpredicatable changes in the weather, such a tracking would be very difficult to perform.
The proximity to the enemy air bases is another factor of concern for a normal carrier: enemy planes can come in big numbers, that can overwhelm the ship; also, the damage inflicted on the ship is considerable.

For instance, in the Mediteranean, a BCV may have been a great asset to have, IMO. Better than a normal carrier and better than a battleship in convoy escort from Gibraltar to Malta...

@Neil
Hello,
I see a good scenario there :) Very plausible, especialy considering the fact that a single carrier is VERY unlikely to sink a battleship on it's own. LEt alone TWO heavily armored ships (Both the RN and the USN came to this conclusion late war. If you need reference for this - I can provide them)

The question is - why would the BCVs carry only fighters on board? I mean, it certainly serves them well in this engagement, but I don't know if it's a realistic air wing to consider...

User avatar
neil hilton
Senior Member
Posts: 334
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:31 pm

Re: BattleCarriers, a stupid idea?

Post by neil hilton » Thu May 20, 2010 12:11 pm

alecsandros wrote:@ Steve
My point is that CVs are much better only if the enemy can be discovered and tracked at a considerable distance.
IN more enclosed bodies of water, and in regions with unpredicatable changes in the weather, such a tracking would be very difficult to perform.
The proximity to the enemy air bases is another factor of concern for a normal carrier: enemy planes can come in big numbers, that can overwhelm the ship; also, the damage inflicted on the ship is considerable.

For instance, in the Mediteranean, a BCV may have been a great asset to have, IMO. Better than a normal carrier and better than a battleship in convoy escort from Gibraltar to Malta...

@Neil
Hello,
I see a good scenario there :) Very plausible, especialy considering the fact that a single carrier is VERY unlikely to sink a battleship on it's own. LEt alone TWO heavily armored ships (Both the RN and the USN came to this conclusion late war. If you need reference for this - I can provide them)

The question is - why would the BCVs carry only fighters on board? I mean, it certainly serves them well in this engagement, but I don't know if it's a realistic air wing to consider...
You're right it is an unrealistic airgroup composition for a standard CV. With only a limited airgroup a more general purpose multi role aircraft would give greater capability than just numbers would indicate. Stanadrd CVs can carry specialist aircraft a ship with less capacity has to be more thoughtful in what it carries.
Also I imagined some tactician may have considered that having a very strong CAP would make such a ship very defensible, while having the heavy guns for its primary offensive punch.
This concept is probably too modern an idea for ww2 though, IMO.
Veni, vidi, verrimus!
I came, I saw, I swept the floor!

Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Re: BattleCarriers, a stupid idea?

Post by Bgile » Thu May 20, 2010 2:03 pm

This is so bad from so many points of view that I'm uncomfortable even discussing it, but I'm trying.

Try to visualize a battleship and the way it is designed, with all the armor, ammunition hoists, engine rooms, and so on. Look at a plan of one. Now look at the plan for an aircraft carrier. Imagine the length of the flight deck and the size of the hanger. Now try to combine the two. It just isn't practical. For example, look at the main battery, it's armor, and where it's located. It isn't right at the bow or right at the stern, because the ship would be very weak structurally with those weights at the very ends of the hull. Think of the incredibly long belt required to protect this monstrosity and how much that would weigh.

If you do manage to build this thing structurally sound on say, 100,000 tons, what happens when a heavy aircraft dips off the end of the deck on launch? That was actually normal. It's going to land on your guns, right? What happens when it doesn't make it to the flight deck on landing? These things happened.

Has it ever occurred to you guys that there were reasons no one tried to built such a ship, and why the 8" guns were removed from Lexington and Saratoga?

lwd
Senior Member
Posts: 3810
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:15 am
Location: Southfield, USA

Re: BattleCarriers, a stupid idea?

Post by lwd » Thu May 20, 2010 4:18 pm

neil hilton wrote:I have been thinking about the tactics a BCV may use.

Scenario: Side 1 = 2 BCVs vs side 2 = 1BB and 1CV.
...
The CV has an airgroup of around 90 (30 fighters, 30 dive bombers and 30 torpedo bombers).
Each BCV has around one third this (30 fighters for example) totalling 60 fighters all alocated to CAP.
First problem if the two BCV's have a total of 60 fighters they aren't going to have 60 up as CAP at any one time. Indeed it's unlikely that they would have more than 20 up.
BVR the CV sends its airgroup (maybe as 1 strike or more) 60 strike aircraft escorted by 15 fighters (the rest slated as CAP).
This runs into the 60 fighter CAP. The fighters tangle 1 on 1 and each side shoot down half the other and damage some of the rest. This leaves 60 dive/torpedo bombers vs 45 fighters. I envisage a 60 to 75% loss rate for the bombers and around 5 to 10% loss rate for the fighters. The remaining bombers RTB damaged. With such a huge CAP its entirely possible that none of the strike force even get close to the BCVs, but if they do it will be very few and maybe score a hit on each BCV causing little real damage due to their BB like construction.
Neither side is going to have all their planes in the air at one time. However there's a good chance the side with the CV will have used some of its planes as scouts and located the opposition while being un detected itself. Futhremore there's a good chance that the raid comes in with near parity in fighters. Which means the bombers get their shots in. Note that both of the BCVs are more vulnerable to dive bombers than a BB would be due to their flight decks and aircraft support features. Net result is likely to be two damaged BCVs neither of which may be able to continue air ops and in any case neither of which has any offensive airial punch. If the side with the CV is aware of the nature of the airgroups on the two BCVs they may even have an edge in fighters. In any case there are likely to be enough planes left on the CV for at least one more attack. If even a single torpedo hits the BCVs are in trouble.

Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Re: BattleCarriers, a stupid idea?

Post by Bgile » Thu May 20, 2010 4:41 pm

I realize now that I've been playing at a disadvantage here. If you are going to build two 45,000 ton BCVs, I'm going to build two 45,000 ton carriers. I will have 200 or more aircraft.

lwd
Senior Member
Posts: 3810
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:15 am
Location: Southfield, USA

Re: BattleCarriers, a stupid idea?

Post by lwd » Thu May 20, 2010 4:52 pm

Well if we are looking at tonnage limits I'll take a couple of Yourktowns and a North Carolina. Comes out pretty close to 90,000 toons.

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 4152
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: BattleCarriers, a stupid idea?

Post by alecsandros » Fri May 21, 2010 5:35 am

Bgile wrote:I realize now that I've been playing at a disadvantage here. If you are going to build two 45,000 ton BCVs, I'm going to build two 45,000 ton carriers. I will have 200 or more aircraft.
Steve, you're such a party breaker today! :D

User avatar
neil hilton
Senior Member
Posts: 334
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:31 pm

Re: BattleCarriers, a stupid idea?

Post by neil hilton » Fri May 21, 2010 11:34 am

Fighters can be fitted with drop tanks and used as recon planes. So the BCV force could detect the BB and CV. Assuming they do, as well as assuming the CVs scouts detect the 2 BCVs, then the 2 BCVs full airgroups can be scrambled and waiting. The hypothetical scenario I posted could be interpreted as either a full single airstrike or as two or three lesser strikes over the course of a day (the point being if one side does it one way the other side can do so to, fairs fair). Maybe I should have posted this in with the hypothetical scenario post. I hope that clarifys things.

If the BCVs have a similar construction and armour to a BB as I originally posited (as an example) how can a single torp hit cause serious damage when it wouldn't do so to a BB?

@Bgile.
Why are you assuming these BCVs are 45000 ton vessels. There are 35000 ton BBs with heavy armour and 9 16" guns. Reducing the number of turrets to 2 would save a lot of weight (1600 tons I believe, if that isn't enough 2 twin turrets would save a few hundred tons more) which could be used for a 30 plane airgroup (how heavy are 30 fighters and all the support bits and pieces they require) and changing the design of the superstructure to a hanger? Is that unreasonable? This is one of the questions of this thread.
You obviously believe it is unreasonable, fair enough.
Veni, vidi, verrimus!
I came, I saw, I swept the floor!

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 4152
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: BattleCarriers, a stupid idea?

Post by alecsandros » Fri May 21, 2010 12:13 pm

Let's don't forget BCV's realy existed.

THe Japanese Ise and Hyuga displaced ~ 40.000 tons, were equiped with 8 x 356mm guns (2 fw, 2 aft) AND with a hangar and a catapult each.
They were designed to carry 14 dive bombers and 8 float planes.

Good picture, here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ise_c ... rawing.png
and here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Battl ... _Hyuga.jpg

As you can see, te flight deck was quite short ~ 70 meters (the entire ship was 215 meters long). If they would have eliminated the aft turrets, and lenghtened the flight deck, it could have been ~ 110 meters long. And, of course, the ship could have carried more planes...

Post Reply