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HMS Duke of York for 8 US 8" Cruisers?

Discussion in 'Ships & Shipborne Weaponry' started by Marmat, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. Marmat

    Marmat Member

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    Producing shells for British 14" Mark VII guns shouldn't be a problem, as it was the bores were the same as the US BB 14/45 cal. and 14/50 cal. Marks - 355.6 mm, the British breeches were taller than the US. The British were familiar with the US guns too, several had been used as railway guns in WWI, they'd been fitted in the Chilean BB Almirante Latorre, and the pair of Abercrombie Class monitors.

    Richelieu was a different and more complicated matter altogether, her guns actually had a bore of 14.96" or 380 mm, they were re-bored in the US to fire British 15" shells, i.e. 381 mm, which was just as well because French shells had shown themselves prone to blowing up in the breech.

    Early in the war the British had contracted with US firms to produce artillery shells, they weren't happy with the product. Instead, they increased the volume of their contracts in Canada, and invested in the US. Before Lend Lease, the British Gov't owned the 2 largest explosives manufacturing plants in the US, and had contracted to acquiring artillery shells up to 9.2".

    Re: Given that the USS North Carolina did not run builder's trials until May 19-20, 1941, and that this deal was likely initiated in February/March, 1941, any problems associated with the USS North Carolina would not have been known at the time.


    Good point, the problem wasn't noticed until props in the water pre-builders trials. I responded to directly to USMCPrice, my intent was to point out that the dates given weren't valid in regards to ready for combat, problems developed, and they weren't, neither were the SoDaks. DoY was more conventional, and not liable to the same problems. If a deal was made in Feb., on the US side it could be because more fast carriers i.e. "3 Yorktowns" meant that more Fast BBs would be required short term at least.


    Re: Also, don't forget that the USS Iowa had similar problems to the USS North Carolina and USS South Dakota classes. The USS Iowa would undergo experimental propeller combinations in an effort to dampen the vibrations from April-July, 1943.

    Sure, but given the problems with the NC's & SoDaks in 1941, if a requirement remained to have US Capital Ships able to overtake their speediest Japanese equivalents as per Intelligence, then the Iowas were certainly needed, the earlier 2 classes would never be able to do it.
     
  2. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    It was my understanding, and my interpretation of what I'd read in Freidman and other sources, that the vibration problems were not related to the steam plants per say, but to propeller resonance combined with the twin skegs that caused the majority of the problem. This was corrected to a large degree by swapping, modifying and replacing the propellers. An additional factor (never corrected) was too much flexibility in the mounting of the main thrust bearings. My recollections were reinforced by reading the report PDF's that Richard/Takao, so generously provided (thank you, I now have them cached!) Marmat, would you care to elaborate on what issue you were referring to?

    I think the "ready for combat" statement takes what I posted out of context. I believe that what I gave were launching and commissioning dates.

    I believe what we were discussing was, if in February '41 looking forward, the US saw a sufficiently critical need for a fast battleship, that they would trade eight of their 8" cruisers to Britain for it. I did not and do not believe that to be the case. This is partially based upon when the ship, the Duke of York, would have been forecast as being available. I fact, it wasn't until late '41. Unless, Britain were to misrepresent to the US an unrealistic date for DoY being placed in commission, US planners could forecast that on the approximate date they took possession of the British BB, their indigenous fast BB situation would be as I stated. "So by the time the US would have had use of the Duke of York they would have had 5 fast BB's in the water, 2 of them commissioned."

    Takao's very well made point, in my mind, reinforces that US planners would not have seen a critical need for this ship at the time of the proposal.
    Your supposition as to why the US Navy might have such a desperate need, that they might want to make such a trade, was to counter the Japanese Kongo's. The rest of my earlier reply was intended to address that point. If the US Navy was so concerned with the potential threat pre December 7th, and it was hypothetical in Feb. 41, why did they send Washington off to serve with the Home Fleet on 26 March 1942, at which point in time we were at war with Japan and the threat was real?

    I think catastrophe overstates the situation somewhat. In early 1941 no one knew, nor adequately predicted the early problems the North Carolinas would have with vibration so there really wasn't a predictable problem that DoY would be able to solve given her projected availability date.

    The North Carolinas and SoDak's, despite vibration issues, had their problems sufficiently addressed that they gave very good, in fact exemplary wartime service. The South Dakota has the record for the most enemy aircraft shot down in a single engagement (26) at the battle of Santa Cruz, on 26 October 1942. Washington displayed remarkably accurate gunnery when she engaged and sank the Japanese battleship Kirishima during the second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, 14-15 November 1942. North Carolina has the most decorated US battleship of WWII with 15 Battle Stars. She took a torpedo, tearing a 32 x 18 foot hull below her waterline, portside on 15 September 1942, but still managed 26 knots and maintained her position in the carrier screen. In the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, the vibration did hamper her sufficiently to reduce her rate of fire from her 5"/38's to 17 rounds per minute per tube, but thats still pretty impressive since the gun is rated at 15-22 rounds per minute with integral hoist.
     
  3. Marmat

    Marmat Member

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    I switched the order a bit in order to make it read better:

    1)
    Re: I think catastrophe overstates the situation somewhat. In early 1941 no one knew, nor adequately predicted the early problems the North Carolinas would have with vibration so there really wasn't a predictable problem that DoY would be able to solve given her projected availability date.



    “The problem must have been terrifying. Unless it was solved, the two most modern US battleships would be unable to operate with fast carriers. The design practices that had led to the new hull form and to the new generation of lightweight machinery extended to large numbers of other ships, including three more battleship classes. It was therefore, conceivable that the entire modern US battle line would prove a failure” – Norman Friedman.


    I have to disagree with you, I think, “in early 1941, there was a catastrophe very much in the process of happening”, sums Friedman up quite accurately, fortunately catastrophy was averted.




    2) Re: “I think the "ready for combat" statement takes what I posted out ofcontext. I believe that what I gave were launching and commissioning dates.”


    True, that’s what you posted, but then you stated “so at the time of the scheme was being mentioned the US had a good idea of when it's fast BB's would be coming online.”, which is clearly incorrect. Those dates soon became meaningless in light of the vibration problems, the USN & builders still had alot of work to do, and had no clear idea when those ships would be ready for operations, if not for combat.




    3) Re: It was my understanding, and my interpretation of what I'd read in Freidman and other sources, that the vibration problems were not related to the steam plants per say, but to propeller resonance combined with the twin skegs that caused the majority of the problem. This was corrected to a large degree by swapping, modifying and replacing the propellers. An additional factor (never corrected) was too much flexibility in the mounting of the main thrust bearings. My recollections were reinforced by reading the report PDF's that Richard/Takao, so generously provided (thank you, I now have them cached!) Marmat, would you care to elaborate on what issue you were referring to?


    Sure, I’ll provide some quotes, but in order to make sense of this and place it in proper context, I have to point out before I mentioned the High temp/pressure plant I stated:

    “There's more to it, the North Carolinas had serious problems that go beyond the space here.

    Suffice to say they were unconventional, of new technology, they had in fact been completed BEFORE the dates usually given, but they were proving to be mechanical nightmares. …”


    Which is true, but perhaps I should’ve then said “for example”?


    If I had decided to elaborate, use up some of that space, I could also have gone on about “unlike earlier US battleships, these ships were longitudinally rather than transversly framed” and “their unusual hull form, their two inboard shafts emerging from the hull in deep skegs, or keels” and “Preliminary builders trials of both ships revealed severe longitudinal vibration”, “The vibrations ran along the propeller shafts themselves, up to the shaft braces, the gearing, even the turbines themselves”, these turbines were the special “high pressure turbines all manufactured by Westinghouse and General Electric...(i.e. mated to the high temp/pressure boilers) …Experience with power stations on land showed that efficiency would improve, and the new high speed machinery would be much lighter, but there was a strong feeling that battleships were far too important to be the subject of experiments” and of course all this either contibuted to the vibration problem, was seriously effected by the problem, or were areas that had to be looked at before the vibration itself could be tackled – the quotes are all Norman Friedman, as was much of the rrst.


    4) Re: Your supposition as to why the US Navy might have such a desperate need, that they might want to make such a trade, was to counter the Japanese Kongo's. The rest of my earlier reply was intended to address that point. If the US Navy was so concerned with the potential threat pre December 7th, and it was hypothetical in Feb. 41, why did they send Washington off to serve with the Home Fleet on 26March 1942, at which point in time we were at war with Japan and the threat was real?


    Simple; in Feb 1941 Britain was in a war in the Atlantic, of concern to the US. There may have been a discussion of sorts about a trade of ships, at the same time the ABC1 Conference i.e. "America, Britain Conference" or “America, Britain, Canada”, depending on the source, was taking place in Washington DC, Jan-March, 1941.

    In brief, if war developed involving the US, the greater threat was Germany, Europe would come first. If Japan entered the war, military strategy in the Far East would be defensive. In June, 1941, Germany attacked the USSR, which was quickly assumed to be on the brink of capitulation, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. It was imperative to supply the Soviets to keep them in the war, the best route was via the Arctic to Murmansk & Arkangel. The last quarter of 1941 saw huge naval losses suffered by the British; 2 BBs seriously damaged, 2 BB’s, 1 BC and a Feet Carrier sunk. With Malta in crisis, "Operation Ironclad" in the works for the RN, and Tirpitz and other German raiders on the Norwegian Coast or available in the Baltic to interdict convoys to the USSR, the USN sent TF-39 with Washington, the carrier Wasp, and support vessels to assist the Home Fleet, all were of great importance to the war in the Pacific of course, but Germany came 1[SUP]st .
    [/SUP]

    This wasn’t unusual, the Fast BBs were sent to the Atlantic when required. For example a year or so later, Alabama and South Dakota with 5 Destroyers sailed to the Orkneys as TF-22, and were assigned to TF-61 as part of the Home Fleet when they arrived on May 19, 1943. Early in June they covered the reinforcement of the garrison on the island of Spitzbergen. Adequate protection was required since Scharnhorst had joined Tirpitz (and Lutzow) in Norway in March, and in fact would sortie and shell Spitzbergen in Sept., unchallenged. In July, Alabama participated in a diversion aimed toward southern Norway known as “Operation Governor”. The intent was to draw German attention away from the real Allied thrust towards Sicily, and hopefully to draw out the German Raiders – they didn’t bite. The pair and their destroyers sailed for Norfolk on Aug 1, 1943. In short, they were involved in Ops. against Germany



    5) Re: I believe what we were discussing was,if in February '41 looking forward, the US saw a sufficiently critical need fora fast battleship, that they would trade eight of their 8" cruisers toBritain for it. I did not and do not believe that to be the case. This ispartially based upon when the ship, the Duke of York, would have been forecastas being available. I fact, it wasn't until late '41. Unless, Britain were tomisrepresent to the US an unrealistic date for DoY being placed in commission,US planners could forecast that on the approximate date they took possession ofthe British BB, their indigenous fast BB situation would be as I stated. "So by the time the US would have had use ofthe Duke of York they would have had 5 fast BB's in the water, 2 of themcommissioned."


    I’m not sure that’s the case, it may very well be that with Germany 1[SUP]st[/SUP], the primary consideration was cruisers for the British, with the US getting something worthwhile, or at least there was a fit and/or a need of sorts in regards to tactical doctrine then current, in return. If Standley’s requirements still held, and you’ll note that TF-39 referred to above i.e. 2 fast BB’s and a carrier, then the USN would soon require 10-12 Fast BB’s to pair up with their still new-ish fast Fleet Carriers. We know now that with war experience, co-ordinating search, CAP & air attacks, a Fleet Task Force would encompass 2-4 carriers with escorts.


    6) Re: The North Carolinas and SoDak's, despitevibration issues, had their problems sufficiently addressed that they gave verygood, in fact exemplary wartime service…


    You’re preaching to the choir here, I’ve been aboard the “Showboat”several times over the years, but the point remains, they had their warts, and some of those warts never went away.
     
  4. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Good post Marmat, there are a number of points I agree with you on, but some that I think you are viewing from the point of view that includes information that would not have and could not have been known to those proposing the scheme in February 1941.

    *bolded items are what I posted, to which you were replying:

    We agree here, the problems never completely disappeared but they had been remediated to levels that were acceptable or did not have an unacceptable adverse effect on their operational usefullness.

    On this I agree and think is what I was arguing all along. If the scheme was hatched, it was an effort to get Britain cruisers it needed to protect it's shipping, while the US was still neutral. Trading a battleship, regardless of when the US would take possession would be something Roosevelt could sell to the public. I do not believe that in February 1941, looking forward once again, the US had so desperate a need for a fast battleship that they said, "hey we really need a fast battleship, let's see if Britain will trade us one of hers for eight of our 8" cruisers." If we are to accept, what I understand your hypothesis to be, we needed the DoY to counter the Japanese Kongos. When will we have the ships to do this? US naval planners would more likely have said, (remember this is in Feb. 41) "O.K. we need fast battleships, Britain has a hull in the water that should be ready to go by November. What do we have on the books?


    BB-55-we laid her down on 27 Oct '37, she launced 13 June 1940, 31 months 16 days, she is now fitting out and we expect her to commission in early April around 10 months after her hull was in the water.

    BB-56-we laid her down on 14 June '38, she launched on 1 June 1940, a hair under 24 months, she is now fitting out and should commission mid-May, around 10 months after her hull hit the water.

    BB-57-first of ship of the North Carolina's follow on class. She was laid down 5 July '39 and is scheduled to launch in early June. Build time should be approximately 23 months about what we had with the BB-56. Given our average of 10 months to fit out before commissioning we should have her by March '42.

    BB-58-she was laid down 20 Sept '39. She is scheduled to launch in November, right at 23 months build time. 10 months for fitting out would give us a commissioning date of probably September '42 (she actually commissioned in April '42, 5 months and 9 days after launching but we are talking what would be predicted in Feb. 41).

    BB-59-Laid down 20 July 39, we expect her to launch in mid-September, 26 months build time. Given 10 months for fitting out we should have her in commission next July. (actual commissioning date 12 May '42)

    BB-60-We laid her down last February, the first to be exact. We should have her hull in the water by February '42 (16 Feb. '42 actual) and she should commission in December, next year. (actual 16 August '42)

    BB-61-BB 57's follow on class. We laid her down 27 June last. She should launch next June. (Actual 27 August '42)
    BB-62-We laid her down last September, the 16th to be exact, so approximate time of launch should be mid month next September. (Actual 7 December 1942)
    BB-63-We laid her down on 6 January, this year she should have hull in water by January '43 (Actual 29 January '44)
    BB-64-We laid her down in January also the 25th. We should have her in the water by January 1943 also. (Actual 7 Decenber '43)

    This is what I was referring to when I posted:
    and
    Marmat wrote:
    That is why I wrote:
    The statement was taken out of context. I was giving what was known or could reasonably have been predicted in February 1941. Your statement would have been appropriate/relevant if the scheme was hatched after North Carolina had run her trials or if US planners had designed their battleships, knowing they would have the problems that in actuality occurred.


    This is also why I think Carronade nailed the situation exactly when he posted:
     
  5. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    I had started an additional post on the NC and all fast BB's problems Marmat, but the sons home on leave and wants to do something, so I'll have to post it later.
     
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  6. freebird

    freebird Member

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    I would agree, that politics may have played a large part here, ie "Let's get something back so that we can appease Congress"


    USMC, the dates of commission are not really as relevant here, the expected dates "ready for action" would have to be what they would look at.
    While they would commission NC in April, it wouldn't have speed trials until May, with expected availability near the end of '41.

    So the USN would be expecting 2 fast BB's ready for action by the end of '41, with the 4 South Dakota's in 1942 between late summer '42 and early 1943.



    USMC, I would agree with you that 8 CA's is too much to give away, but if there were discussions between naval staff, probably 4 or 5 cruisers would be something that would be more realistic. (perhaps 3 CA's & 2 CLs)

    I think your focus on dates of commission is not really giving an accurate comparison, as the US tended to commission ships much earlier than the UK.
    The DoY was commissioned in in Nov 1941, and was taking Churchill across the Atlantic in December.
    The NC was commissioned in April, but didn't even have speed trials until late May.

    Both of these ships were launched in 1940 (DoY about 3 months before NC), but given the slower British pace due to strain on shipyard resources, the 2 ships might be expected to be ready at the same time - by the end of 1941 - and about a year befor the last 3 South Dakotas.


    And as I posted earlier, it's very difficult for us sitting here in 2011 to get into a 1941 frame of mind, knowing as we do how the battleship played a much smaller role in the Pacific than expected.
    At the time, (early 1941) the battleships was still the king of the sea, and the US would have had serious concerns about the situation.

    There was supposed to be a ratio of 5:5:3 between the US,UK and Japan.
    The UK had 15 capital ships, 3 fast battlecruisers, 2 slow (but heavy) Nelsons, 10 old & slow WWI BB's + 3 new fast BB's expected by the end of 1941
    The US had 15 BB's, all WWI vintage and all limited to a very slow 20 - 21 knots. (The reconstructed QE's could at least make 23.5 knots)

    Japan had 10 BB's, 4 of them the fast Kongos, + 6 other BB's, all of which could make 25 knots. They also had 3 more Yamato class building, with the first available early '42, with the second late '42.



    So in 1942, if they were to face 12 Japanese battleships, all capable of 25+ knots, I can certainly see how the US navy would be more comfortable with having 3 fast BB's by the beginning of '42, with 3 more by the end of '42, and the Alabama in early '43.
     
  7. Marmat

    Marmat Member

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    ... marine, the salute's for both you and your young lad. I have a friend in Afghanistan for Christmas, could've been there myself except for illness; his last e-mail the day before last said he was "off to the north in bad guy country for a few days, over Christmas"

    As far as DoY for cruisers go, there's no line in the sand, it's all discussion and points of view, damm good ones at that!
     
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  8. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    The salute back is for your friend in the 'Stan this Christmas. The son I mentioned spent last Christmas there around Sangin.

    That's the way I'm looking at it, glad you are also, these type of discussions are some of my favorite!
     
  9. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    The British were familiar with the US guns too, several had been used as railway guns in WWI, they'd been fitted in the Chilean BB Almirante Latorre, and the pair of Abercrombie Class monitors.

    Almirante Latorre mounted British-built guns, 14" Mark I, firing 1586lb AP shell vice 1400lb for the contemporary American 14". The 14" in the KGV class was very similar, firing a 1590lb AP, which led me to erroneously refer to it as the Mark II, it was for some reason the Mark VII.

    The four Abercrombie class monitors of WWI carried American 14" guns. Four twin turrets had originally been ordered for the battle cruiser Salamis being built in Germany for the Greek navy. The war precluded their delivery, so Bethlehem Steel sold them to the British, who had just discovered a need for shore bombardment ships to operate on the Belgian coast.

    There was also an Abercrombie in WWII, second of the two-ship Roberts class, but they carried standard British 15" guns and turrets. Roberts's was formerly mounted in the monitor/gunnery training ship Marshal Soult, Abercrombie's was ordered as a spare for Furious in case her 18" proved unsuccessful.
     
  10. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    I've seen some sources say that shells were manufactured specifically for Richelieu in America, others that her guns were relined to take British 15" shells, presumably the new style heavy 1938lb type. The latter would be simpler logistically, especially when the ship operated with the British Far Eastern Fleet, but it would presumably require modifications to the gunfire control system since the shells would not have the same ballistic characteristics.

    Come to think of it, ammunition had to be provided for Richelieu's secondary armament and a variety of French ships which eventually operated with the Allies - 8", 6". 5.5", not sure of any 5.1" gunned ships, 3.9", 3.5". No doubt some stocks were available in North African ports. Automatic weapons appear to have been standardized on 20mm and 40mm in most Free French ships.

    Apparently there was no available stock of 15", not surprising since the ships and guns had just entered service, rather precipitiously as it turned out! On the other hand, 14" for Duke of York (and 5.25" if needed) was in production, so it would probably be easiest just to ship it to the US or wherever the ship was operating. By the same token, 8" and 5" would have to have been provided for the American cruisers, in the same way that we provided ammunition for other ships, tanks, etc. given to our allies.
     
  11. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    Firing shells different from those it was designed for may adversely affect a gun's performace, and AFAIK the French 15" were no wonders of precision in the first place, in a 1947 trial at 20.400m they registered a horizontal dispersion of 1.460m that's 7% compared to the 3-5% I've seen for other main BB guns.
     
  12. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    The one thing that doesn't make sense to me is is why did they want 8" cruisers for commerce protection. Against an AMC a small 6" cruiser would be enough, the 6 x 6" Arethusa class were specifically designed as the smallest ship that could succesfully deal with a German armed merchant raider

    The main reason anyone in WWII "needed" 8" cruisers was......because other navies had 8" cruisers. The type was basically artificial, created by the Washington Treaty. No one was building or showing interest in 8" cruisers before that; as you say the 6" type were adequate for all cruiser missions and better for some like engaging destroyers. The only exception was the British Hawkins class with their 7.5" guns, built in "response" to a non-existent German type and promptly abandoned; the next class (E) reverted to 6" armament (in a further irony, the late 1930s modernization for the Hawkins, carried out only in Effingham, included replacing the 7.5s with the same WWI-era 6" mounted in the Ds and Es). This otherwise unremarkable class likely influenced the adoption of the 10,000 ton and 8" gun limits.

    (the Hawkins were also one of the unluckiest of cruiser classes, two of five were lost by grounding, Vindictive also ran aground in the Baltic in 1919 but was salvaged)
     
  13. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    I agree but by early 1941 the Germans had only two 8" cruisers plus the two surviving pocket battleships (with two more possibly building, I have no idea if the admiralty was aware of the real status with Lutzow/Tallin, and Seydlitz/Poltava), so, considering there were more than enoungh County to counter four ships, the "because others have them" makes sense only if thinking of Japanese or Italian 8" ships not the German ones and commerce protection was not an issue in the Med. AFAIK the Japanese heavies proved pretty effective raiders when they could be spared fo that role.
     
  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I'm not at all sure that's the case. For instance 8" guns were being developed in the decade prior to the acceptance of the treaty. See:
    Britain 7.5"/45 (19 cm) Mark VI
    USA 8"/55 (20.3 cm) Marks 9, 10, 11, 13 and 14
    Japanese 20 cm/50 (7.9") 3rd Year Type No. 1
    And there was the Hawkins class cruisers the first commissioned at the end of WWI and the last well after the treaty was implace;
    Hawkins class cruiser - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Although technically they have a 7.5" gun rather than an 8" gun. I've also heard that the RN was looking at 9.2" gunned cruisers during the period just prior to the Washington treaty.
     
  15. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    One of the side effects of the treaties was the creation of a huge gap between "cruisers" and "battleships", while in WW1 there were 14.000t armoured cruisers and 17.000t dreadnoughts in WW2 the gap between the 10.000 to 13.000t "large cruisers" and the smallest BBs at around 26.000t was a lot larger. If we consider new constructions the gap is even larger, barring the early 35.000t Nelson an 28.000t Dunquerques most WW2 battleships were close to 40.000t or above while even post treaty cruisers didn't go over 15.000t until the Salem and Alaska classes. I find it hard to believe there was no "need" for an intermediate shgip but as the treaty allowed retention of some over the limit ships, like the 42.000t HMS Hood, it was strongly unlikely anybody would build something smaller.I agree the 10.000t limitation made for unbalanced ships unless you went for a 6 gun design or eceeded the limits which is what everybody eventually did in the later ships, comparisons of "full load displacement", "standard" and bunkerage makes for interesting reading.
     
  16. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    At the time of the Washington Conference, the current designs of the major navies included nothing in between light cruisers of 5-7000 tons and battle cruisers and battleships of 40,000+. The one exception, the Hawkins class, was not being continued by the British; one of them, Cavendish/Vindictive, was converted to other use before even being completed. It might be just as well to say that the treaty formalized a gap already developing and accelerated the process by forcing early retirement of "mid-sized" ships like the early battle cruisers and dreadnoughts which were already beginning to look puny by comparison with the G3s, N3s, Amagis, South Dakotas, etc.

    Side note, those interesting links on 8"/20cm guns relate them to cruisers and aircraft carriers designed to treaty limits.

    I also expect someone would have sought to exploit the gap, possibly with something like an Alaska or Dunkerque. A well-balanced 8" cruiser of around 14,000 tons is another possibility.

    For the contrary point of view, we might note that the design process for the US Lexington class started in the 10-14,000-ton range and concluded that nothing less than a full-sized battle cruiser was worth building.

    I don't have the reference handy, but in the era of disarmament and idealism it was even suggested that no warship needed to be larger than 7000 tons with 6" guns. As noted earlier, such a ship could deal with any armed merchantman, so the only rationale for larger warships was that other parties had them.
     
  17. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Well, LWD was in the right ballpark, but the wrong part of the field.

    Since, it is only true if you ignore the many armored cruisers that had been built. The Japanese had several armored cruisers with 8-inch guns.
    Japanese 8"/45 (20 cm) EOC Patterns S, U and W and 8"/45 (20.3 cm) 41st Year Type

    The US also had several classes of armored cruisers armed with 8-inch guns.
    USA 8"/30 (20.3 cm) Marks 1 and 2
    USA 8"/35 (20.3 cm) Marks 3 and 4 and 8"/40 (20.3 cm) Mark 5

    Allowing some leeway in caliber, the British armored cruisers mounted 7.5-inch or 9.2-inch guns.
    British 7.5"/45 (19 cm) Mark I
    Britain 7.5"/50 (19 cm) Mark II and Mark V
    Britain 9.2"/31.5 (23.4 cm) Marks III to VII
    Britain 9.2"/47 (23.4 cm) Mark X

    The German armored cruisers mounted either 8.27-inch or 9.4-inch guns.
    Germany 21 cm/40 (8.27") SK L/40
    Germany 24 cm/40 (9.4") SK L/40 and Austria-Hungary 24 cm/40 (9.4") Krupp C/94

    of course, this is not mentioning lesser nations warships. That is a awful lot of nations "not interested" in an 8-inch caliber gun(well 7.5 to 9.2-inch intermediate caliber gun)...

    So, while it is misleading to say "that no nation was building 8-inch gunned cruisers." Because, after all, the armored cruiser had been superseded by the battlecruiser, and few nations would be interested in building an inherently inferior warship. And, it would be a fallacy to say that no nation was ever interested in an 8-inch caliber gun before the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty, as there clearly was an interest before the advent of the battlecruiser. One could say that the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty led to a renewed interest in the caliber, because of the restrictions placed on battleships and battlecruisers.
     
  18. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    Takao, you have a point, perhaps I phrased it poorly. I certainly did not mean to suggest that no one in the history of the universe prior to 1922 had thought about 8" gun cruisers, but naval thought at the time of the Washington conference, or in the dreadnought era in general, showed little interest in the type. There's hardly any warship imaginable that someone hasn't, well, imagined; and some like the Hawkins or Glorious et. al. even get built, although they may quickly prove to be outside the mainstream even in their own navy. With those qualifications, if there was any serious consideration of 10,000-ton 8"-gun cruisers prior to the Washington treay imposing the limit, I would be delighted to hear it.
     
  19. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    At least two armoured cruisers actually fought in WW2. the Greek Averoff and Italian San Giorgio, they were pretty similar, both had 4 x 254 (10") and 8 x 190 (7.5") guns though the Averoff really belonged to the earlier Pisa class, give either a decent fire control and they have a good chance against a first generation treaty. IIRC the Kako and Furutaka were laid down in 1922 so they Japanese must have been thinking of them earlier than the treaty. They were not 8" 10.000t (the original guns were 200mm not the full 8" and below the 10.000t limit) but rather a scaled up Yubari and probably better all round ship than the first generation "treaty cruisers".
     
  20. Marmat

    Marmat Member

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    Sorry for the delay, I had to re-check my sources,

    The error was mine, not the source, this should read:

    The British were familiar with 14" guns too (not "with the US guns too"), several had been used as railway guns in WWI, they'd been fitted in the Chilean BB Almirante Latorre, and the pair of Abercrombie Class monitors - my bad.

    The KGVs carried Mk VII guns in Mk II (twin) and III (quad), turrets. Previous 14" gun Mks had been taken up by the guns referred to above, they were non-RN Standard. The Mk 1 Elsworth of Latorre/Canada was actually of slightly higher performance than the KGV Mk VII.

    The standard line on Richelieu has been that her guns had been re bored to fire British 15" shell, but French sources now say otherwise:

    After Dakar the French convened an enquiry to determine what had caused the premature detonations referred to above, 316 modified 15" shells followed, with another shipment scheduled for 1941. In any case, when Richelieu sailed to the US she carried 407 APC shells, and 373 charges, and tracings of plans for these shells, made in Dakar. Crucible Steel in the US was contracted to produce these shells, but they changed the design instead, basing them on the standard US 14" shell; 930 shells in 2 lots were ordered, fire control was upgraded. The 1st batch was delivered to Scapa Flow in Mar. 1944 (training rounds were provided in the meantime), where Richelieu also received various radars, including Type 284 fire control. Confusion may lie in the reload sent to Scapa, the addition of British Fire Control, the US made shell wasn't as tall as the French, but still had a taller ballistic cap than the stubbier British shell, so I dunno?

    The 6" guns posed fewer problems, one was removed for test firing ashore and shells based on the standard US 6"/47 Mark 16 were produced.


    As for the Washington Treaty, cruiser comparisons etc., why not start a new thread?
     

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