Royal Navy and HSF vs USN 1918

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
lwd
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Re: Royal Navy and HSF vs USN 1918

Postby lwd » Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:23 pm

Indeed they could probably take Porto Rico and other US possessions in the Carribean early in the war but that's not a very good trade off for Canada. In the long run the US has a lot simpler logistics problem and is operating closer to their bases which makes it a serious problem for the Europeans.

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19kilo
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Re: Royal Navy and HSF vs USN 1918

Postby 19kilo » Thu Dec 16, 2010 9:56 pm

If it went more than a year or two, then US submarines would get some interesting experience.

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Re: Royal Navy and HSF vs USN 1918

Postby Bgile » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:16 pm

This whole scenario sounds ridiculously one sided to me. Someone even hypothesized that the US might have to import things if their industry was "on the front line". If that happened the war would be over anyway.

Let's see ... we have Japan, Mexico, the UK, and Germany vs USA. Why don't we throw in Russia, Spain and Italy as well? The result would not be any different. I would suggest that the UK alone could defeat the USA in this time period without any help from anyone else.

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Re: Royal Navy and HSF vs USN 1918

Postby lwd » Fri Dec 17, 2010 3:22 pm

Bgile wrote:... I would suggest that the UK alone could defeat the USA in this time period without any help from anyone else.

I disagree with this. While the USN might be inferior to the RN at this point if the US is on the defensive fighting in and around the Americas that will make up for a lot. Then there's Canada. The border is so large that the US should be able to use superior numbers against the UK. Certainly the UK will have a very hard time holding onto the prarie provences and if they fall the west is pretty cut off and holding Mantioba and Ontario is non trivial. Ultibatly the RN could win most of the naval battles but take prohibitive losses doing so and while that's happening the UK could well be loosing most if not all of Canada. Even throwing in Germany doesn't help them that much in this scenario as they still have to get German troops to Canada although it gives them a bit more naval supremacy and allows them to at least contest US holdings in the Carribean. Now if Mexico is added things can get much worse for the US depending on the timing.

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Re: Royal Navy and HSF vs USN 1918

Postby Bgile » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:34 pm

"A bit more naval superiority." A bit? I find that amusing to say the least.

Most US industry was concentrated in a few eastern states. All they have to do is destroy the USN, land and make the industrial areas unuseable and the US will surrender.

I suppose the definition of "win" is important. Invading and holding the USA would be impossible for them financially because of the large land mass and continuous resistance over an indefinite period. If they were trying to eliminate the USA as a world power ... that IMO wouldn't be very difficult.

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Re: Royal Navy and HSF vs USN 1918

Postby lwd » Fri Dec 17, 2010 7:52 pm

A trans Atlantic invasion is not a trivial exercise and in addition to the USN there are coastal defences. Again this sort of scenario is difficult to assess without more details. If the invasion is a surprise attack it might well succeed. If there has been a fairly long period of escalating tension then the US has time to stockpile or even lay mines build defences build up the army etc. At the same time the Europeans would have time to build up defences in Canada but I believe this presupposed an intial war with France which is going to limit their actions in the Americas until that's over. There was also some industry on the West coast. For instance San Diego Naval base was created in 1918 from an area previously owned by a coaliton of ship building firms. Bremerton is even older predating the 20th century. Likewise Pittsburg became a steel town in 1875 with a history of iron and armaments prodcution that dates back to the ACW. Gary Indiana became a steel town in 1906, etc.

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19kilo
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Re: Royal Navy and HSF vs USN 1918

Postby 19kilo » Sun Dec 19, 2010 1:45 am

Good post LWD! I would assume the US Atlantic fleet would concentrate at Hampton Roads. It would probably stay there as a "fleet in being" much as the HSF actualy did and not come out except under favorable circumstances. Unless an east coast port were captured early on, the only viable fleet base the GF and HSF would seem to have is Halifax. US light forces opperating out of Boston, New York, etc......would try to interdict trans atlantic supply lines.......

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Re: Royal Navy and HSF vs USN 1918

Postby Bgile » Sun Dec 19, 2010 4:07 am

The only coast defenses along the eastern seaboard were Spanish American War era Endicott works. The enemy fleet could have shelled all the US port cities essentially with impunity. Depending on what was being fought over, that alone might have forced the US govt to sue for peace due to public pressure.

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Re: Royal Navy and HSF vs USN 1918

Postby 19kilo » Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:32 pm

That would depend if there had been a periode of growing tennsions or not. If there had been, say, just a year, then the threat from mines alone would probably kept the battle fleets from doing such bombardments. Any more time and there would probably be additional gun batteries and submarine to contend with. The Dardannels show what good minefields could do.

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Re: Royal Navy and HSF vs USN 1918

Postby Bgile » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:10 pm

OK, well ... I don't think this is worth my debating it any more. There seem to only be three of us anyway.

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Re: Royal Navy and HSF vs USN 1918

Postby 19kilo » Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:39 am

I would assume Britain would take the Panama canal right off the bat.

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Re: Royal Navy and HSF vs USN 1918

Postby lwd » Mon Dec 20, 2010 7:59 pm

19kilo wrote:I would assume Britain would take the Panama canal right off the bat.

I'm not sure about that. The US put quite a bit of effort into defending it and will probably be able to reinforce from the Pacfic side. If it looks like the canal may fall it would probably be in the US interest to destroy the locks and or dams. US traffic through the Carribean is going to be pretty minimal anyway and they certainly don't want to let the RN and company into the Pacfic that easily.


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