Royal Navy Super Battleships and Battlecruisers

From the birth of the Dreadnought to the period immediately after the end of World War I.
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Karl Heidenreich
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Royal Navy Super Battleships and Battlecruisers

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Fri Sep 11, 2009 1:44 am

Precisely, in 1921, the Director of Naval Construction of the RN came to apply the lessons of the war to the real life and Britain´s new battlefleet. Only the British and the Germans had this expertise, hence they were the only ones with fleet action experience. Japan´s Tsushima was too far away, not in years but in technology and the US did not engaged in fleet combat operations during WWI. Germany surrendered and lost its fleet. So, only the Britons had the "know how".

Of course, it was before politics got in the way and the Treaties spoil all the fun. After the Treaties naval advance never was the same. Nelson, Rodney, Graf Spee, Richelieus, Bismarck, North Carolina or South Dakota are pale and diminish bearers of a more mightier (and never born) tradition.

1921 saw the following RN designs. Each of them could have taken any "modern" WWII ship as a toy:

K2 885 feet, 53,100 tons, 144,000 shp, 8 x 18" 16 x 6"
K3 885 feet, 52,000 tons 144,000 shp, 9 x 18" 12 x 6"
J3 860 feet, 43,100 tons 151,000 shp 9 x 15" 12 x 6"
I3 925 feet, 51,750 tons 180,000 shp 9 x 18" 16 x 6"
H3c 860 feet, 46,500 tons 180,000 shp 6 x 18" 16 x 6"

The chosen one:

G3
860 feet
46,500 tons
180,000 shp
33 knots
9 x 16.5"
16 x 6"

Three turrets located in the bow section, around the conning tower. Triple towers.

We also have the Battleships

L2 860 feet, 52,100 tons, 70,000 shp, 8 x 18" 16 x 6"
L3 860 feet, 51,100 tons, 70,000 shp, 9 x 18" 16 x 6"
M3 775 feet, 46,000 tons, not availabe, 8 x 18" 16 x 6"
M2 815 feet, 48,750 tons, not avaible, 8 x 18" 16 x 6"

These were the Battleship Killers the RN was preparing for their "Second to None" fleet: for facing the USN and the IJN together (believe it or not some believed that USN will have to face an anglo japanese naval aliance or, in the other side of the Atlantic, a dual menace from the USN and IJN).

The M3, which with the G3, would have been the flagships of this navy could have been the slayers of the Yamatos. As with the Montanas they never came as a reality, a pitty. But they would have been greater than anything the world saw in WWII, nor German, British, Japanese or American.

But the Treaty, the damn treaty left the RN with O3 designs: Nelson and Rodney. "Just" 35,000 tons. 23 knots. Shallow belts.

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Sir Winston Churchill

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Re: The RN´s Super Battleships and Battleruisers

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:31 pm

OK. Will try by sharing the first set of Battlecruiser designs of the 1921 RN construction program. Please, refer to the first post to guide with the specifications of each of these beautiful vessels.

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Re: The RN´s Super Battleships and Battleruisers

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:41 pm

Second set of Battlecruiser designs of the 1921 RN Construction Program:

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Re: The RN´s Super Battleships and Battleruisers

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:43 pm

Third set that includes the G3 (chosen) BC of the 1921 program.

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Re: The RN´s Super Battleships and Battleruisers

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:47 pm

Now the Battleships. Aside from the 18" armament these were not as impressive as the BCs. It´s curious that the first two: L´´´and L´´ used their main turrets all at the same level without superfiring system. Maybe the idea was to avoid top heavy characteristics that will come with the armoured high barbettes.

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Re: The RN´s Super Battleships and Battleruisers

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:52 pm

Second set of Battleships from the 1922 construction program. We can see where do the Rodneys came from now, of course, in a very diminished version.

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Re: The RN´s Super Battleships and Battleruisers

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sat Sep 12, 2009 10:11 pm

Now the N3 which was, with the G3, the chosen one to be part of the "new" RN battlefleet. But let´s see why the RN need these new ships. Before the Washington Conference the expected naval arm race would have looked something like this:

Britain will have G3 BCs and N3 BBs

USA will have the Lexington BCs and the South Dakota BBs (not the same ones that finally were built) The Lexingtons were 43,500 ton, 23 knot and 8 x 16" armed. The South Dakotas were 43,200 tons, 23 knot and 12 x 16" armed.

IJN will have the Amagi Class BC, the Kii Class BC and the I3 Class BB. The Amagis having 30 knots speed, 40,000 tons and 10 x 16" guns. The Kiis having 29,75 knots speed, 41,400 tons and 10 x 16" guns. The I3s having 30 knots speed, 47,500 tons and 8 x 18" guns.

For 4 G3 the Japanese will have 12 of the Amagi and Kii Class, in theory.

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Re: The RN´s Super Battleships and Battleruisers

Post by The Man » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:46 pm

Where did you find this?

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Re: The RN´s Super Battleships and Battleruisers

Post by RF » Fri Oct 02, 2009 7:43 am

G3 (had it been built) vs Yamato might have been interesting.......
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Re: The RN´s Super Battleships and Battleruisers

Post by RF » Fri Oct 02, 2009 7:46 am

Karl Heidenreich wrote: Of course, it was before politics got in the way and the Treaties spoil all the fun.
And before the potential of the aircraft carrier was realised. In fact I am surprised that monster size carriers weren't considered.
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Re: The RN´s Super Battleships and Battleruisers

Post by Bgile » Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:17 am

RF wrote:And before the potential of the aircraft carrier was realised. In fact I am surprised that monster size carriers weren't considered.
Shinano was converted to a carrier during construction. The US was planning larger and larger carriers and built some of them. I think jets were the driving factor behind the postwar "super carriers" though, because they require more space for takeoff and landing.

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Re: The RN´s Super Battleships and Battleruisers

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:06 pm

Obviously the I3 is the one of my likes with 18" and such a gigantic dimensions. That one could be the one destined to nail Yamato.
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Re: The RN´s Super Battleships and Battleruisers

Post by RF » Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:20 am

Karl, I wasn't thinking of conversion from battleship to carrier, but construction as a designed carrier.
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Re: The RN´s Super Battleships and Battleruisers

Post by RF » Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:23 am

Karl Heidenreich wrote:Obviously the I3 is the one of my likes with 18" and such a gigantic dimensions. That one could be the one destined to nail Yamato.
A very bizarre arrangement of turrets and superstructure. My money would be on Yamato.
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Re: The RN´s Super Battleships and Battleruisers

Post by RF » Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:24 am

Or coming to think of it, by 1941 super-Yamato.....
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