There have been many and varied discussions concerning the Washington Treaty and battleship design (or in the case of this forum, the limitations on bigger and better designs). But how about the cruisers? What kind of supercruisers might have evolved had the signatories not limited themselves (even if many of them were cheating, they still had to limit the cheating to some extent). CAs with 9 or 10" main batteries, thicker armor, etc.?
Assuming perhaps that Washington Treaty limited BBs, but not CAs; the Pacific war could have gone in a similar direction. The big slow US BBs at the bottom of Pearl, the Japanese BBs staying at home for the most part as they did in the event, due to fuel constraints and conservatism.
Leaving it mostly to cruisers and destroyers to slug it out in the numerous Solomons battles. Which might therefore have been all that much more spectacular, had some big, badass cruisers gone at it. What if San Fransisco had had a 6" belt and 10" guns when going up against the Hiei? Of course the Japanese automatically had supercruisers, if you factor in the Long Lance torpedoes. So imagine a 20,000 ton Chokai! It would have been one hell of a tough ship...
Anyone know much about CA designs up to the treaty putting a damper on them?