1930s British Sanity Options (Economy, Navy, Airforce and Army)

Besides, modern trunk roads are good for testing tanks as well.
Is that correct? My understanding is that caterpillar tracks and asphalt roads don't mix.

AIUI the underlying problem with British tanks designed after 1934 IOTL was that the prototypes weren't tested properly before being ordered into production. However, this wasn't due to incompetence or inadequate facilities, it was due to insufficient time.

ITTL there won't be enough money to replace the A2 Medium tanks with the A6 or A7 between 1929 and 1934. However, there will be more R&D money for AFVs including tanks over this period. As a result the specifications A8 to A12 will be issued a few years earlier. This would have given the Army time to test them properly, sort out the mechanical faults and only order the best designs into production.

AIUI the Army bought so many Mk VI light tanks because nothing better was ready and they couldn't spend all the money the Treasury had given it to buy tanks. ITTL something better would be available because they had been in existence for some years and had been properly tested. Therefore, they could put the best cruiser tanks (which AIUI was the A10) and the best infantry tank (which IAUI was A12) into production in 1936. As already related these tanks would have had their mechanical problems sorted out before they were put into production.
 
Is that correct? My understanding is that caterpillar tracks and asphalt roads don't mix.

AIUI the underlying problem with British tanks designed after 1934 IOTL was that the prototypes weren't tested properly before being ordered into production. However, this wasn't due to incompetence or inadequate facilities, it was due to insufficient time.

ITTL there won't be enough money to replace the A2 Medium tanks with the A6 or A7 between 1929 and 1934. However, there will be more R&D money for AFVs including tanks over this period. As a result the specifications A8 to A12 will be issued a few years earlier. This would have given the Army time to test them properly, sort out the mechanical faults and only order the best designs into production.

AIUI the Army bought so many Mk VI light tanks because nothing better was ready and they couldn't spend all the money the Treasury had given it to buy tanks. ITTL something better would be available because they had been in existence for some years and had been properly tested. Therefore, they could put the best cruiser tanks (which AIUI was the A10) and the best infantry tank (which IAUI was A12) into production in 1936. As already related these tanks would have had their mechanical problems sorted out before they were put into production.
So at what point will both be replaced by the Infantry Tank Mk III?
 
I wonder whether a bigger motor industry with a more developed road system could have resulted in earlier big tanks/universal tanks. IOTL, there were requirements for new tanks to be able to fit on the narrow gauge railways used in the U.K in the mid 1930s.
The problem with the UK was that they were well served by an existing Railroad network, and didn't need the off-road capable vehicles in the USA, since the UK had a decent network of surfaced roads, predating the Automobile
Bad news, was the RRs were politically powerful, and tried had to tax long range gasoline Trucks out of existence, and succeeded with the Steam Trucks from using those roads

UK passenger Car market was adequately served by a large number of manufacturers, with most, by US Standards, laughably small and poorly designed factories.
In the US, the first wave of consolidation was before WWI, with GM formed to try and compete with Ford on variety, while retaining economies of scale of large plants
 
On warm days. One reason why the US went to much into rubber block track in the '30s.
Then that could be a problem. There were many warm days in the UK in the 1930s because it had an unusual number of decent summers. The other places were the British Army had tanks between the wars were Egypt and India.
 
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I wonder whether a bigger motor industry with a more developed road system could have resulted in earlier big tanks/universal tanks. IOTL, there were requirements for new tanks to be able to fit on the Narrow Gauge railways used in the U.K in the mid 1930s.
Great Britain had about 20,000 miles of Standard Gauge railway. The Irish Gauge was 6½ inches (12% ) wider than the Standard Gauge. So, no.
 
on warm days,
One reason why the US went to much into rubber block track in the '30s
Rubber pads reduce the effect but do not eliminate it. It’s still rough on roads. Truthfully the weight alone can be an issue if used often. It’s generally best to avoid using tanks on roads when possible. There are other trade offs with rubber blocks. They increase floatation but have a harder time dealing with mud when they do sink in. Canadian Dry Pin tracks for Shermans were created due to a lack of rubber but they found they often had better mud management and wear life as well.
 
Cruisers 1929-45 IOTL
1929-36 - The Tonnage Quota Period


The Royal Navies of the British Empire & Commonwealth (BEC) had 55 cruisers of 331,990 tons at the end of 1929 plus another 4 ships of 36,540 tons under construction that would be completed 1930-31. That is:

Cruiser Situation 1929.png

On order were 2 County class heavy cruisers (Northumberland and Surrey) which had to be cancelled because of the first London Naval Treaty and the light cruiser Leander.

At this time the Admiralty's requirement was 25 cruisers to work with the fleet and 45 for trade protection, which produced a total requirement for 70 cruisers including 10 that could be overage. The service life of a cruiser had recently been increased from 15 to 20 years so they needed to be built at the rate of 3 ships a year to maintain a force of 60 underage cruisers.

However, a parsimonious British Government would only let them have 50 cruisers and that's what they were ordered to negotiate for at the First London Naval Conference of 1930. The resulting treaty allowed the British Commonwealth to have 339,000 tons of cruisers at 31st December 1936 consisting of 15 heavy cruisers of 146,800 tons armed with 8" guns and 35 light cruisers of 192,200 tons armed with 6" guns.

LNT Cruisers OTL.png

The maximum number of cruisers of sub-category (a) shall be as follows: for the United States, eighteen; for the British Commonwealth of Nations, fifteen; for Japan, twelve.
That is the ratio of heavy cruisers between the United States and Japan was 3:2.
The United States contemplates the completion by 1935 of fifteen cruisers of sub-category (a) of an aggregate tonnage of 150,000 tons (152,400 metric tons). For each of the three remaining cruisers of sub-category (a) which it is entitled to construct the United States may elect to substitute 15,166 tons (15,409 metric tons) of cruisers of sub-category (b). In case the United States shall construct one or more of such three remaining cruisers of sub-category (a), the sixteenth unit will not be laid down before 1933 and will not be completed before 1936; the seventeenth will not be laid down before 1934 and will not be completed before 1937; the eighteenth will not be laid down before 1935 and will not be completed before 1938.
Which, would have produced a total of 150,000 tons of Category A ships and 189,000 tons of Category B ships for a total of 339,000 tons giving the United States parity with the British Commonwealth.
Except as provided in Section III of this Annex and Part III of the present Treaty, a vessel shall not be replaced before it becomes "over-age". A vessel shall be deemed to be "over-age" when the following number of years have elapsed since the date of its completion:
(a) For a surface vessel exceeding 3,000 tons (3,048 metric tons) but not exceeding 10,000 tons (10,160 metric tons) standard displacement:​
(i) If laid down before 1 January 1920: 16 years;​
(ii) If laid down after 31 December 1919: 20 years.​
The 38 ships of the Weymouth to E classes were laid down 1910-18 and would be overage by the end of 1938. The 2 E class cruisers were laid down in 1918 and would become overage in 1942.
"The "Frobisher" and "Effingham" (United Kingdom) may be disposed of during the year 1936.
Vindictive and Hawkins were laid down in 1916 and completed 1918-19 and therefore would become overage in 1934 and 1935 respectively.

Frobisher and Effingham would not become overage until 1940 and 1941 respectively because they were laid down 1916-17 but weren't completed until 1924 and 1925.

The Hawkins class was armed with 7.5" guns and had to be disposed of by the end of 1936 or rearmed with guns of 6.1" calibre or less. If not the British Commonwealth would be breaking the Treaty because it would have more than 146,800 tons of Category A cruisers. This is why the Treaty allowed the early disposal of Frobisher and Effingham.
Apart from the cruisers under construction on 1 April 1930, the total replacement tonnage of cruisers to be completed, in the case of the British Commonwealth of Nations, prior to 31 December 1936, shall not exceed 91,000 tons (92,456 metric tons).
The 91,000 ton rule provided enough tonnage for 13 Leander class cruisers. This included Leander herself because she wasn't laid down until 8th September 1930. The projected cruiser force at 31st December 1936 was as follows:

Cruiser Situation 1936 as projected in 1930.png

However, only 90,500 tons of the 91,000 tons was actually used and the 13 ships built were 3 Amphion class, 3 Arethusa class, 5 Leander class and 2 Southampton class. They were laid down 1930-34 and completed 1933-37. They were followed by 9 cruisers of 80,770 tons that were laid down 1935-36 to replace ships that became overage 1937-39. They consisted of the Arethusa class ship Aurora, 2 Edinburgh class, 3 Gloucester class and 3 Southampton class. AIUI Aurora had to be built as an Arethusa because there wasn't enough "replacement tonnage" to build her as a Southampton.

The Second London Naval Treaty signed on 23rd March 1936 abolished the tonnage quotas and allowed the British Commonwealth to keep some ships that should have been scrapped by the end of 1936 to keep within the limits of the previous treaty. Therefore, the totals at the end of 1936 were actually 56 ships of 388,470 tons.

Cruiser Situation 1936 Actual OTL.png

The extra cruisers were the 3 ships of the Caledon class and the 4 Hawkins class cruisers.

1936-45 - The Rearmament Period and Second World War

The end of the tonnage quotas coincided with an increase in the Admiralty's cruiser requirements because it was now planning to fight a war against Japan and Germany instead of Japan alone. The new requirement was for 100 cruisers including 15 that were overage from the previous requirement for 70 including 10 that were overage. The 100 ships were made up of 55 fleet cruisers and 45 trade protection ships instead of 25 fleet cruisers and 45 trade protection ships required previously.

The 100 cruiser force required the building of 4 ships a year plus a fifth ship in leap years. However, the plan for the financial years 1936-37 to 1939-40 was to order 28 cruisers at the rate of 7 per year. Unfortunately, the economic problems that Rearmament created forced the "rationing" of new construction in the 1938-39 and 1939-40 financial years with the result that 2 cruisers were ordered in the 1939-40 Naval Estimates instead of the planned 7. Therefore, a total of 23 ships were ordered instead of the 28 that had been planned. The 23 ships that were ordered consisted of the 2 Edinburgh class ships already referred to, 11 Colony class and 10 Dido class. However, 6 additional Dido class were ordered in the War Emergency Programme.

None of the Colony and Dido classes had been completed by September 1939 which left the Royal Navies with 65 cruisers of 469,240 tons as follows:

Cruiser Situation 1939.png

The 22 ships of Leander to Edinburgh classes were built in an average of 2½ years, but the average building time for the 27 ships of the Colony and Dido classes was 3¼ years. This was because of the overloading of the naval armaments industry during the rearmament period and other ships being given a higher priority during the war.

It was a similar story for the 8 Swiftsure class cruisers that were ordered in 1941. They aught to have been completed by the end of 1945, but limited resources and changing priorities meant that 4 ships were still under construction at the end of 1945. This included Hawke which was laid down in September 1943 and hadn't been launched. A ninth Swiftsure was ordered in April 1942, but was cancelled in August 1942 and wasn't laid down. The average building time for the 3 ships that were completed by the end of 1945 was 3¼ years.

6 Neptune class cruisers were ordered in 1944. These consisted of 5 new ships and Bellerophon the 8th Swiftsure which was re-ordered as a Neptune. None of them were laid down before the war ended.
 
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Cruisers 1929-39 ITTL
1929-36 - The Tonnage Quota Period


The situation at the end of 1929 was similar to OTL. What was the same was that there were 55 ships completed and 4 ships under construction for completion by the end of 1931 as follows:

Cruiser Situation 1929.png

The difference was that 8 cruisers had been ordered in the 1928-29 and 1929-30 Navy Estimates instead of 3. That is 4 Leander class in 1928-29 (instead of the County class cruisers Northumberland and Surrey) and 4 Leanders in 1929-30 (instead of Leander). This was possible because the British Government and the voters that elected it weren't as parsimonious as OTL and they weren't as pro-disarmament as OTL either.

The Leanders were ordered in 1928-29 instead of the last Counties because Admiralty had already made the decision to stop building large cruisers armed with 8" guns in favour of smaller ships armed with 6" guns because they were cheaper. The Vote 8 costs (that is without guns and aircraft) were £2.0 million for a County and £1.6 million for a Leander. Therefore, 5 Leanders cost the same as 4 Counties. Furthermore, five 10,000 ton Counties displaced 50,000 tons, but seven 7,000 ton Leanders weighed 49,000 tons so more small ships could be built on the same tonnage.

IOTL Northumberland and Surrey were to have been laid down in 1929 and completed by May 1932, but they were suspended and then cancelled outright on 14th January 1930 as a goodwill gesture for the First London Naval Conference that began on 21st January 1930. However, ITTL the 4 Leanders ordered in their place were laid down in 1929 and completed in 1932. The 4 Leanders ordered in the 1929-30 Estimates were laid down in the summer of 1930 and completed in 1933.

The Cabinet approved the Admiralty's 70 cruiser target in 1929 and allowed it to negotiate for 500,000 tons at the forthcoming naval disarmament conference. The resulting First London Naval Treaty of TTL allowed the British Commonwealth to have 500,000 tons of cruisers instead of the OTL 339,000 tons and all of the extra 161,000 tons was in the light cruiser category. The cruiser quotas for Japan and the United States were increased proportionately.

LNT Cruisers TTL Japan 65%.png
The maximum number of cruisers of sub-category (a) shall be as follows: for the United States, twenty-four; for the British Commonwealth of Nations, fifteen; for Japan, sixteen.
That is the ratio of heavy cruisers between the United States and Japan was 3:2.
The United States contemplates the completion by 1935 of twenty cruisers of sub-category (a) of an aggregate tonnage of 200,000 tons (203,209 metric tons). For each of the four remaining cruisers of sub-category (a) which it is entitled to construct the United States may elect to substitute 15,000 tons (15,241 metric tons) of cruisers of sub-category (b). In case the United States shall construct one or more of such four remaining cruisers of sub-category (a), the twenty-first unit will not be laid down before 1933 and will not be completed before 1936; the twenty-second will not be laid down before 1934 and will not be completed before 1937; the twenty-third will not be laid down before 1935 and will not be completed before 1938; the twenty-fourth will not be laid down before 1936 and will not be completed before 1939.
Which, would have produced a total of 200,000 tons of Category A ships and 300,000 tons of Category B ships for a total of 500,000 tons giving the United States parity with the British Commonwealth.
Except as provided in Section III of this Annex and Part III of the present Treaty, a vessel shall not be replaced before it becomes "over-age". A vessel shall be deemed to be "over-age" when the following number of years have elapsed since the date of its completion:
(a) For a surface vessel exceeding 3,000 tons (3,048 metric tons) but not exceeding 10,000 tons (10,160 metric tons) standard displacement:​
(i) If laid down before 1 January 1920: 16 years;​
(ii) If laid down after 31 December 1919: 20 years.​
The 38 ships of the Weymouth to D classes were laid down 1910-18 and would be overage by the end of 1938.

The 2 E class cruisers were laid down in 1918 and would become overage in 1942.

The 4 ships of the Hawkins class were laid down 1916-17. Vindictive and Hawkins were completed 1918-19 and would become overage in 1934 and 1935 respectively. Frobisher and Effingham were completed in 1924 and 1925 and would not become overage until 1940 and 1941.

The Hawkins class was armed with 7.5" guns and had to be disposed of by the end of 1936 or rearmed with guns of 6.1" calibre or less. If not the British Commonwealth would be breaking the Treaty because it would have more than 146,800 tons of Category A cruisers. This is why the Treaty allowed the early disposal of Frobisher and Effingham. That is.
"The "Frobisher" and "Effingham" (United Kingdom) may be disposed of during the year 1936.
ITTL the Admiralty wanted to keep the Hawkins class until the middle of the 1940s. Therefore, the whole class was to be rearmed with nine 6" guns in single mountings by the end of 1936 to avoid breaking the Category A clause of the First London Naval Treaty.

The Admiralty considered rearming the Hawkins class with twelve 6" in 4 triple turrets and rearming the E class with eight 6" in four twin turrets, but the proposals (which would have included fitting new engines) were rejected on cost grounds. The estimated costs or rebuilding the Hawkins class was the same as 4 Leander class ships and the cost of rebuilding the E class was two-thirds the cost of 2 Leanders. Treasury told the Admiralty that it would have to choose between laying down 33 new ships between April 1930 and the end of 1936 or 27 new ships and rebuilding the Hakwkins and E class. The Admiralty chose the former.
Apart from the cruisers under construction on 1 April 1930, the total replacement tonnage of cruisers to be completed, in the case of the British Commonwealth of Nations, prior to 31 December 1936, shall not exceed 147,000 tons (149,359 metric tons).
The 147,000 ton rule provided enough tonnage for 21 Leander class cruisers. This did not include the 4 Leanders ordered in the 1928-29 Estimates instead of Northumberland and Surrey because they were laid down before 31st March 1930. However, it did include the 4 ships ordered in the 1929-30 Estimates because they were not laid down until the summer of 1930.

The projected force for 31st December 1936 was 70 ships consisting of 15 heavy cruisers, 25 new light cruisers and 30 old cruisers as follows:

Cruiser Situation 1936 Projected TTL Mk 2.png

The 4 Leander class cruisers ordered in the 1928-29 Estimates would replace the light cruisers Birmingham, Brisbane, Dartmouth and Lowestoft. The 21 ships displacing 147,000 tons laid down after 1st April 1930 and completed before 31st December 1936 would bring the total number of cruisers up to 70.

The long-term plan was to lay down 55 cruisers of the 7,000 ton type 1929-44 for completion 1932-47. This included 28 to be laid down 1929-35 at an average rate of 4 per year and 27 to be laid down 1936-44 at an average rate of 3 per year. There would be 70 cruisers at 31st December 1947 consisting of 13 Counties, 2 Yorks and 55 ships of the 7,000 ton type. The 15 heavy cruisers would become overage in 1948-51 and the replacement ships were to be laid down 1945-49 for completion 1948-52.

There were no changes of plan ITTL. The Admiralty did consider building 12 Leanders and 12 ships of 5,250 tons armed with six 6" guns for a total of 24 ships to get another 3 hulls out of the 147,000 tons, but that idea was rejected. They then considered building 3 Southamptons instead of the last 4 Leanders, but they decided to stick to the original plan. The 21 ships that were laid down 1930-34 and completed 1933-37 were actually built as Amphion class cruisers (i.e. Leanders with their machinery arranged on the unit system) and their average standard displacement was 6,972 tons for a total of 146,405 tons, which was 595 tons less than the Treaty allowed.

The cruisers force planned for the end of 1936 was 18,670 tons short of the 500,000 tons that the Treaty allowed and 24 ships of the Centaur to Birmingham class displacing 107,700 tons would become overage by the end of 1938 for a total of 126,370 tons. The Admiralty used 80,000 tons of this allowance to order 8 Edinburgh class in the 1934-35 and 1935-36 Estimates. These were ordered in place of the 3 Southampton class, 3 Gloucester class and the Arethusa class ship Aurora that were ordered IOTL. They were laid down 1935-36 and completed 1937-39.

The plan had been to use 40,000 tons of the 46,370 tons to order another quartet of Edinburghs in the 1936-37 Estimates. However, the Abyssinian Crisis resulted in the Cabinet allowing the Admiralty to order 8 Edinburghs in the 1936-37 Estimates. The official reason for the 4 extra ships was that they were to replace the 4 Hawkins class cruisers in 1939. They were laid down in December 1936 and completed in the summer of 1939.

1936-45 - The Rearmament Period and Second World War

IOTL the Admiralty wanted the Second London Naval Treaty to reduce the maximum size of a cruiser from 10,000 tons to 7,600 tons to make them more affordable. They succeeded in having it reduced to 8,000 tons. This is why the Colony class was built instead of more Edinburghs. Ironically the Colonies broke to the Treaty because they displaced 8,525 tons instead of the designed 8,000 tons. The Admiralty wanted the maximum size of a cruiser reduced to 7,600 tons ITTL too, but the Americans and French would not agree to any reduction and the TTL version of the Second London Naval Treaty retained the 10,000 ton limit.

The TTL version of the Treaty still abolished the tonnage quotas so the British Commonwealth was free to have as many cruisers as it could afford as long as each ships did not displace more than 10,000 tons. This coincided with an increase in the Admiralty's cruiser requirements because it was now planning to fight a war against Japan and Germany instead of Japan alone. The new requirement was for 100 cruisers made up of 55 fleet cruisers and 45 trade protection ships instead of 25 fleet cruisers and 45 trade protection ships required previously.

The 70 cruiser force included 10 that could be overage and required an average building rate of 3 ships a year. The new 100 cruiser force included 15 that were overage and required and average building rate of 4 ships a year plus a fifth ship every leap year.

The actual position at the end of 1936 was 80 ships completed or about to be completed and 16 ships laid down 1935-36 which were due to be completed 1937-39 as follows:

Cruiser Situation 1936 Actual TTL Mk 3.png

The 96 ships that would be in existence at the end of 1939 included the 10 ships of the Caroline, Calliope and Cambrian classes due to be scrapped by the end of 1936 but they were retained because of the Abyssinian Crisis, the abolition of the tonnage quotas and the decision to increase the number of cruisers from 70 to 100. The 28 ships of the Centaur to Birmingham classes would become overage by the end of 1938 and the 2 E class cruisers would become overage in 1942.

The Cabinet approved the construction of 28 cruisers in the 1936-37 to 1939-40 Estimates for completion 1939-42 in both timelines. The first 12 would bring the number of cruisers up to the 100 required and the other 16 were to replace some of the 40 ships that would be overage by the end of 1942. However, instead of being ordered 7-7-7-7 as IOTL they were to be ordered 8-8-8-4 ITTL. These were to be followed by 20 ships in the 1940-41 to 1944-45 Estimates to be completed 1943-47 when there would be 96 underage cruisers completed 1928-47 and 4 overage ships.

Cruiser Plan 1936-42 Mk 3.png

The 8 ships ordered in the 1936-37 Estimates were the 8 Edinburgh class laid down at the end of 1936 and completed in the summer of 1939. 16 Dido class were ordered in the 1937-38 and 1938-39 Estimates and 4 Edinburgh class were ordered in the 1939-40 Estimates. However, no ships were ordered in the War Emergency Programme ITTL so the total ordered in the 1936-37 to 1939-40 financial years was 28 instead of 29.

The Rearmament Programme didn't create any economic problems ITTL because the armaments industry was larger and therefore able to cope with the increase in demand. For example 33 cruisers were ordered in the 8 financial years 1928-29 to 1935-36 instead of 20, which was an average 4 a year instead of the OTL average of 2½ a year. The increase of 3 cruisers a year, that is from 4 to 7 ships a year 1936-37 to 1939-40 ITTL was not as great as the increase of 4½ cruisers a year, that is from 2½ to 7 ships a year, that was planned IOTL.

IOTL the 29 ships ordered in 1936-39 consisted of:
  • 2 Edinburgh class. They were laid down in December 1936, launched in March 1938 and completed in the summer of 1939. They took an average of 31 months to build;
  • 11 Colony class. They were laid down between February 1938 and November 1939; launched between May 1939 and July 1942; and completed between May 1940 and July 1943. Fiji the first to be completed was built in 25 months. Ceylon the last to be completed was built in 51 months. These were also the shortest and longest building times for the class. The average building time was 36 months;
  • 16 Dido class. They were laid down between August 1937 and March 1940; launched between February 1939 and September 1942; and completed between May 1940 and January 1944. The shortest building times were 33 months for Argonaut and Bonaventure. The longest building time was Diadem which was built in 50 months. The average building time was 41 months. The Arethusa class upon which they were based on were built in an average of 27 months.
ITTL the 28 ships ordered 1936-39 consisted of:
  • 12 Edinburgh class. They were built in two groups instead of the 2 Edinburghs and 11 Colonies of OTL.
    • 8 ships ordered 1936-37. They were laid down in December 1936 and were built in place of the 2 Edinburghs laid down at the end of 1936 and 6 of the 2 Colonies and 5 Didos that were laid down between November 1939 and March 1940 IOTL. The 8 ships built ITTL were launched in the spring of 1938 and completed in the summer of 1939. They took an average of 31 months to build;
    • 4 ships ordered 1939-40. They were laid down between April and November 1939, launched between November 1940 and February 1942 and completed between December 1941 and May 1943. They were built in an average of 34 months. They were built in place of the Colony class ships Gambia, Jamaica and Uganda and the Dido class ship Black Prince, which took an average of 40 months to build;
  • 16 Dido class ordered 1937-38 and 1938-39. They were laid down between August 1937 and April 1939. They were built instead of the 6 Colonies and 10 Didos that were laid down over that period IOTL. They were launched between February 1939 and January 1942 and completed between November 1939 and January 1943. The shortest building time was 19 months for the ship built instead of Fiji. The longest building time was 45 months for the ship built instead of Ceylon. The average building time was 31 months, which was 4 months longer than the average building time for the Arethusa class that they were based on.
Or put another way 28 ships were laid down between December 1936 and November 1939 and completed between the summer of 1939 and May 1943 in an average of 31 months instead of the 29 TTL ships that were laid down between December 1936 and March 1940 and completed between July 1939 and January 1944 in an average of 38 months.

The reduction in building times was due to building 28 ships instead of 29, laying the ships down earlier so they were more advanced when cruiser construction slipped down the Admiralty's list of priorities and finally because more warship building capacity was maintained between 1929 and 1936 ITTL.

For example the 33 cruisers ordered in the 8 financial years 1928-29 to 1935-36 ITTL had 132 gun turrets for an average of 16½ a year, but the 20 ships built over that period IOTL had 76 for an average of 9½ a year, so average of 7 extra cruiser gun turrets were being built every year ITTL. That's an increase of 62.5%. The 29 cruisers ordered in the 4 financial years 1936-37 to 1939-40 IOTL had 132 turrets and the 28 ordered in that period ITTL had 128 which required averages of 33 and 32 gun turrets a year respectively. The increase in production from 16½ to 32 a year ITTL was easier to achieve that the OTL increase from 9½ to 33 a year that was required IOTL.

The Swiftsure class of TTL were based on the Edinburgh class instead of the Colony class. The earlier completion of the cruisers ordered 1936-39 ITTL had a knock-on effect on these ships. They weren't ordered any earlier ITTL, but the 8 ships ordered in 1941 were laid down by the end of 1942 and completed by the end of 1945. However, the ship that was ordered in 1942 (which was reordered as a Neptune in 1944) and the 5 Neptunes that were ordered in 1944 ITTL were not laid down before the war ended.

Cruisers Completed 1915-45.png

Costs

Unfortunately, I only have the Vote 8 costs of all the cruiser classes built IOTL and the Vote 8 cost does not include the gun barrels and aircraft.

Vote 8 costs of cruisers ordered 1928-29 Estimates to War Emergency Programme
(Thousands of Pounds)

Cruiser Costs 1928-29 to 1939-40 Mk 2.png

The 8 Edinburgh class (Group 1) were ordered in the 1934-35 and 1935-36 Estimates and the 12 Edinburgh class (Group 2) were ordered in the financial years 1936-37 to 1939-40.

The ships were ordered over 12 financial years (1928-29 to 1939-40) so the average increase is £1.83 million a year which was also the average cost of the 12 extra ships.

33 ships ordered the 8 financial years 1928-29 to 1935-36 ITTL cost £57.20 million and the 20 built IOTL cost £32.52 million. The 13 extra ships cost £24.68 million for an average of £3.09 million a year and £1.90 million per ship.

On the other hand the 28 ships ordered in the 4 financial years 1936-37 to 1939-40 IOTL cost £51.40 million, which was less than the £54.10 million that the 29 ships built ITTL cost. This saved £2.70 million for an average of £0.68 million a year and £2.70 million per ship.

The only costs that I have that include gun barrels and aircraft are £1.40 million for the Arethusa class ships Aurora and Penelope and £2.20 million for the Southampton class cruisers Glasgow and Liverpool. These are increases of £150,000 and £360,000 respectively. I'm guessing that the gun barrels and aircraft for the Leander and Amphion classes cost £200,000 because they had eight 6" guns instead of six 6" guns that the Arethusas had. I'm also guessing that the guns and aircraft for the Colony and Edinburgh classes was the same as the Southampton class because all 3 classes were armed with twelve 6" guns and carried the same number of aircraft.

Based on those assumptions an extra £244,000 would be required for the gun barrels and aircraft which was an average of £200,000 a year over the 12 financial years. In common with the Vote 8 cost there was an increase of £280,000 in the first 8 financial years for an average of £350,000 a year and a decrease of £360,000 over the second 4 financial years for an average of £90,000 a year.

Conversions

It's well known that the Hawkins class cruiser Effingham was rearmed with nine 6" and four (later eight 4") 1936-38, 6 C class cruisers were converted to AA ships 1935-40, another 2 C class cruisers were converted to AA ships during the war and that the D class cruiser Delhi was rearmed with five American 5" DP guns and the Mk 37 fire control system in 1941.

What is less well known that the 25 cruisers completed between 1928 and 1936 had their existing secondary armament of four 4" replaced by eight 4" by 1939 and that many of them had 2 quadruple or 2 octuple 2pdr pompoms fitted at the same time. The 8 Southamptons, 2 Belfasts and the Arethusa class cruisers Aurora and Penelope were completed with these weapons.

ITTL the 4 Hawkins class cruisers had their existing main armaments of five 7.5" guns replaced by nine 6" guns before the end of 1936 so that their displacements were counted in the Category B cruiser quota rather than the Category A quota. Full rebuilds of these ships and the 2 E class cruisers which included a new gun armament of twelve 6" and eight 6" in 4 triple and 4 twin turrets respectively were considered. However, they couldn't be carried out because the Treasury gave the Admiralty a choice between building 21 new cruisers between April 1930 and the end of 1936 or building 15 new ships and rebuilding the 6 existing ships over the same period. The Admiralty chose the former because it offered the best value for money.

Full modernisations of the Hawkings and E classes were reconsidered and rejected in 1936. This time the Treasury could have found the money to do it without having to reduce the number of new cruisers planned to be ordered 1936-37 to 1939-40 from 28 to 22. The problem was that the refits would not be completed until 1941-42 at the earliest because the new ships had priority for the limited turret making capacity. This wasn't value for money because the Hawkins and E classes were due to be scrapped 1947-48. Therefore, 4 Hawking and 2 E class only had their AA armaments modernised 1937-39 by fitting eight 4" and two octuple 2pdr pompoms.

The 40 cruisers completed 1928-36 ITTL had their existing secondary armament of four 4" guns replaced by eight 4" guns. The County and York classes also had two quadruple 2pdr pompoms fitted and the Leander and Amphion classes had 2 quadruple 2pdr pompoms fitted. The 16 Edinburgh class completed 1937-39 were built with twelve 4" guns and 2 octuple 2pdr pompoms.

That meant that a total of 46 cruisers had their AA armaments modernised 1937-39 ITTL instead of the 26 ITTL.

The Admiralty also had the 8 D class converted to AA cruisers 1935-39 ITTL because they were newer than the C class and were due to be retained for longer. Their larger hulls allowed the fitting of a heavier armament. The C class ships usually received eight 4" and one quadruple 2pdr pompom. The D class received ten 4" and two octuple pompoms or twelve 4" and two quadruple pompoms.

The Situation at 3rd September 1939

IOTL the Royal Navies of the British Empire and Commonwealth (BEC) had 65 cruisers of 469,240 tons as follows:

Cruiser Situation 1939.png

Under construction or on order were 27 ships of 183,375 tons (11 Colony class and 16 Dido class) that were due to be completed 1940-42. However, the last ship wouldn't be completed until January 1944.

The ITTL cruiser force consisted of 96 ships of 683,075 tons as follows:

Cruiser Situation 1939 ITTL.png
Under construction were 20 ships of 129,600 tons (16 Dido class and 4 Edinburgh class) that were due to be completed 1940-42. They were actually completed between November 1939 and May 1943.
 
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Especially considering that the Brits caught on to the infantry gun concept from fighting the Germans in 1942, but in development realized they were too expensive and more trouble than they were worth. Meanwhile the Germans increasingly abandoned the infantry gun in favor of the 120mm mortar and upgraded 81mm ones.
The thing I don't get is why no one else thought the heavier mortars were worth it besides the Soviets, Japanese (though theirs were rather ridiculous in number and lack of capability), and the aborted German 150mm mortar and never fully introduced 210mm in late 1944.
A British heavy SP 7.2-7.5 inch (since they already had those calibers for artillery) mortar would have been an excellent relatively cheap (compared to conventional artillery) bunker buster and more accurate than rockets.
The British found them to be not as effective as we might think

I think you shared a document regarding mid war use of BREN Gun (slowing assaults and being grouped instead) and 2" smoke rounds etc - in that doc I recall it mentioned that the heavy mortars were slower to deliver support than the divisions 25 pounder field regts or indeed the infantry battalions own 3" mortars could and were therefore not rated as highly

Possibly it was down to an organisation issues as the heavy mortars would be a part of the Divisions Machine gun Battalion and were not Royal Artillery and therefore not so good with slide rules and maps etc and not part of the Divisions artillery net (and shorter ranged etc)

That all being said it does make for a cheaper easier to make substitute than field artillery - so had the urgent need been there then they make sense

Where I think they do shine is the creation of a smoke screen for a planned deliberate attack.
 
This quotation comes from the Third Report of the Defence Requirements Committee, which was dated 12th February 1936.

The National Archives reference is CAB.024.259 (0026).
(C)—Cruisers.

1. Nobody can foretell at the present moment what will be the cruiser problem that we shall have to face during the next decade. If there is no agreement on total tonnage or on qualitative limitations, any size of cruisers may be built, and we shall be forced to make an adequate reply. The calculations of the cost of Cruiser building in the programme of new construction is based on the assumption that the new cruisers to be built are mainly of the 10,000-ton 6-inch gun type. It must therefore be regarded as a minimum.

2. It is necessary in the first place to consider by what date we should aim at bringing the British Commonwealth Cruiser strength up to the minimum requirement of 60 Under-age Ships in a total of 70 ships. It would be desirable, if it were practicable, that this position should be reached in 1942, since Germany has announced her intention of completing her 35 per cent, quota by that year, and all of it will be under-age. In relation to the Far Eastern situation, an earlier date would be suggested, but, as will be seen from paragraph 4, the question is determined by what is practicable rather than by what is strategically desirable. 1942 is therefore a convenient date on which to base the present review. The state of the Commonwealth cruiser force at the end of that year that would result from various building programmes is set out in the attached table.

3. It will be seen that in the table 44 R.N. cruisers are shown in full commission. The number of R.N. cruisers at present maintained in full commission is 30, but in the view of the Naval Staff an increase in this number is necessary for the following reasons: The present tension in the Mediterranean has exposed markedly our weakness in cruisers in commission. In order to equal even the Italian cruiser strength in the Mediterranean it has been necessary to reinforce the cruisers of the Home and Mediterranean Fleets by withdrawing those stationed all over the world for the protection of our trade. The war training of the Home Fleet is handicapped by having only one cruiser squadron in that fleet, and squadrons abroad are handicapped by the absence of ships returning home for refits and recommissioning. In addition, it is undesirable to have too large a percentage of cruisers in reserve, or to put into reserve comparatively new ships. It is intended, therefore, to add a second squadron to the Home Fleet and to increase the Home and Mediterranean Fleet cruiser squadrons from 4 to 5 ships each. The normal number of ships in a fleet cruiser squadron has in the past always been five, and was only reduced in 1930-31 as an economy measure. The increase of 14 ships in commission would therefore be distributed as follows:—

CAB.024.259 (0026) 3rd DRC Report Cruiser Requirements Part 2.png

4. It is not considered that the position resulting from a 3-ship-a-year programme, which would still leave us with 23 overage cruisers in our total in 1942, is one that can be accepted. On the other hand, if we are to complete the whole of our requirement of 60 underage cruisers by that date, it will be seen that 24 ships (plus 1 R.A.N.) would have to be included in the four programme years 1936-39. So rapid an increase would entail a large number of comparatively modern ships being placed in reserve, and no further building could take place between 1939 and 1945, when ships would be laid down to replace the Kent Class which become overage in 1948. It is considered that a steady building programme of 5 ships a year offers a suitable compromise, and is recommended for adoption. If the 5-ship-a-year programme is adopted up to 1939 4 ships can be included in the 1940-44 programme period.
CAB.024.259 (0026) 3rd DRC Report Cruiser Requirements.png

ITTL the number of R.N. cruisers in commission was maintained at 44 ships after 1930-31 instead of being reduced to 30.
 
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The British found them to be not as effective as we might think

I think you shared a document regarding mid war use of BREN Gun (slowing assaults and being grouped instead) and 2" smoke rounds etc - in that doc I recall it mentioned that the heavy mortars were slower to deliver support than the divisions 25 pounder field regts or indeed the infantry battalions own 3" mortars could and were therefore not rated as highly
I doubt it was in my document, because it referred to small infantry tactics. If you can find it though I would be curious to know why. Might be the methods and practice the 25 pounders had if indeed it was true.

Possibly it was down to an organisation issues as the heavy mortars would be a part of the Divisions Machine gun Battalion and were not Royal Artillery and therefore not so good with slide rules and maps etc and not part of the Divisions artillery net (and shorter ranged etc)
That certainly would.

That all being said it does make for a cheaper easier to make substitute than field artillery - so had the urgent need been there then they make sense

Where I think they do shine is the creation of a smoke screen for a planned deliberate attack.
Not sure it really is an artillery substitute, rather an enhancement for the infantry that artillery would then enhance if available.
 
Destroyers 1929-39 IOTL
1929-36 - The Tonnage Quota Period


At the end of 1929 the British Commonwealth had 163 destroyers of 171,600 tons (149 RN, 12 RAN and 2 RCN) that had been completed between September 1910 and May 1927. This included 108 of 114,655 tons completed 1915-18, 53 of 54,420 tons completed 1919-25 and 2 Experimental A class of 2,525 tons completed in 1927.

At that time a destroyer became overage 12 years after its date of completion. This meant that the 41 destroyers of 44,880 tons completed to the end of 1917 were already overage and that all but two of the remainder would become overage by the end of 1937.

The Admiralty's 10-Year Plan of 1924 included the construction of 135 destroyers in 15 flotillas. The first 10 flotillas were to be ordered at the rate of 2 per year in the 1926-27 to 1930-31 financial years and the other 5 were to be ordered at the rate of one per year in the financial years 1931-32 to 1935-36. On that basis there should have been 72 destroyers in 8 flotillas under construction or on order at the end of 1929, but HM Government had only approved 27 in 3 flotillas that had been ordered at the rate of one per year from 1927-28. Another pair of destroyers had been ordered by the Canadian Government for the RCN. The 29 ships were due to be completed 1930-32.

The Admiralty's plan at the end of 1929 was for 144 destroyers in 16 flotillas to be built at the rate of one flotilla per year. However, the Cabinet cancelled 4 of the destroyers that were on order as a gesture of goodwill before the First London Naval Conference and only allowed it to negotiate for 150,000 tons instead of the 200,000 tons that it wanted so there was only enough tonnage for 12 flotillas.

Under the Treaty individual destroyers could not exceed 1,500 tons standard displacement, except for 16% which could displace up to 1,850 tons. The service life of a destroyer was 12 years after its date of completion if it had been laid down before 1st January 1921 and 16 years if it had been laid down after 31st December 1920.

The 25 destroyers of the A to C classes that were already on order were completed 1930-32. A further of the 54 destroyers of the D to I classes were ordered in the 1930-31 to 1935-36 Navy Estimates and completed 1932-38. Therefore, only 8½ of the 15 flotillas in the 1924 Plan were built.

The First London Naval Treaty allowed the British Commonwealth enough tonnage for 50 cruisers, but the Admiralty had a requirement for 70. Therefore, the Admiralty decided to use the "16% Rule" to build 13 scout destroyers to supplement the cruiser force. The result was the Tribal class and the first 7 were ordered in the 1935-36 Estimates and the other 6 were to be ordered in the 1936-37 Estimates.

1936-39 - The Rearmament Period

The British Commonwealth had 169 destroyers of 204,809 tons at the end of 1936 consisting of 70 ships displacing 96,504 tons of the A to H classes completed 1930-36 and 99 ships of 108,305 tons completed 1916-27.

The total was about 55,000 tons more than the First London Treaty allowed. This was possible because the Treaty allowed the cruiser, destroyer and submarine quotas to be reached in stages by the end of 1936 and the Second London Naval Treaty signed on 25th March 1936 abolished the tonnage quotas.

The abolition of the tonnage quotas allowed Admiralty to revive its requirement for 16 flotillas of destroyers, which now included 4 that could be overage. However, the need to be able to fight a war against two great powers rather than one produced a new requirement for 22 flotillas, including 6 that could be overage, that is 16 flotillas to work with the fleet and 6 for local defence and trade protection.

8½ flotillas of destroyers had been ordered at the rate of one per year in the 1927-28 to 1935-36 which with the 2 prototypes and 2 destroyers ordered by Canada meant that the equivalent of 9 flotillas of underage destroyers were in existence or on order. There were also the 7 Tribal class destroyers ordered in 1935-36 which were now classed as fleet destroyers because the abolition of the cruiser tonnage quota meant that they were no longer required to be scouts to supplement the inadequate cruiser force.

Therefore, it was decided to order 2 flotillas a year from 1936-37, but the economic problems that Rearmament created lead to the "rationing" of new construction in the 1938-39 and 1939-40 Estimates which led to the deletion of the 2 flotillas of destroyers planned for 1938-39 which resulted in 6 flotillas being ordered in the 4 financial years 1936-37 to 1939-40 instead of the 8 that had been planned. That is:
  • 17 destroyers ordered 1936-37 - 9 Tribal class (which with the 7 ships ordered in 1935-36 made 2 flotillas of 8 destroyers) and 8 Javelin class;
  • 16 destroyers ordered 1937-38 - 8 Javelin class (the K group) and 8 Lighting class (the L group);
  • 16 destroyers ordered 1939-40 - 8 Lightning class (the M group) and 8 Javelin class (the N group).
The situation in September 1939

The British Commonwealth had 192 destroyers of 256,752 tons at the outbreak of World War II and another 24 of 44,240 tons under construction. 180 belonged to the RN, 5 were in the RAN and 7 were in the RCN.

79 destroyers of 88,515 tons were overage because they had been laid down before 1st January 1921 and completed 1917-25. These consisted of 12 R&S class, 58 V&W class and 9 Scott & Shakespeare class leaders. 10 V&W class destroyers had been given W-AIR modernisations and another 5 would be converted during the war. The Shakespeare class leader Wallace had been refitted with 2 twin 4", one quadruple 2pdr pompom and 2 quadruple 0.5" mountings. The Scott class leader Stuart and 4 V&W class were serving with the RAN.

The remaining 113 destroyers of 168,237 tons were underage because they had been laid down after 31st January 1920 and completed 1927-39. They consisted of 2 prototypes, 79 ships of the A to I classes, 16 Tribal class and 16 Javelin class. 7 ships of the A to I type were in service with the RCN.

The 24 destroyers under construction or on order consisted of 8 Javelin and 16 Lighting class. They would be completed between January 1940 and April 1943.

The 24 destroyers that were under construction or on order did not include the 6 Tribal class ordered by the Australian Government from Australian yards in 1939. Only 3 of the 6 ships were built. They would be completed 1942-45.

They didn't include the 4 Tribal class that the Canadian Government would order from British yards in 1940 or the 4 Tribals that it would order from Canadian yards 1941-43. The 4 Canadian Tribals ordered from British yards were completed 1942-43 and the 4 ships ordered from Canadian yards were completed 1945-48.

The 79 overage destroyers were just sufficient for 9 flotillas of 9 ships and the 113 underage destroyers were sufficient for 13 flotillas of 8 or 9 ships. Therefore, there were enough destroyers to form the 22 flotillas that were required, but there were 13 underage and 9 overage flotillas instead of the 16 underage and 6 overage that were required.
 
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Destroyers 1929-39 ITTL
1929-36 - The Tonnage Quota Period


Quote from Page 64 of Grand Strategy, Volume I, Rearmament Policy.
'The Army is pared to the bone', the Chief of the Imperial General Staff declared with some justification. And he added bitterly, 'the only reproach that has ever been levelled at us at Geneva is that we have disarmed too much, and that our army is so small that it is incapable of fulfilling our international obligations'.
The CIGS was speaking about the state of the British Army in 1931, he could just as easily have been speaking about the state of the Royal Navy in 1929, which IOTL would become even worse over the next half-decade. Fortunately, the British Government of TTL and the people who elected it weren't as parsimonious as OTL and didn't want Britain to disarm too much either.

The Admiralty wanted 16 flotillas of destroyers including 4 that could be overage and a destroyer became overage 12 years after its date of completion.

The British Commonwealth had 163 destroyers of 171,600 tons at the end of 1929 which at 9 destroyers per flotilla would have been enough to form 18 flotillas (162 ships). Each flotilla had to include a leader which had facilities for the Captain (D) and his staff. It was only possible to form 17 flotillas (153 ships) because 17 of the 163 destroyers were flotilla leaders.

The 17 flotilla leaders belonged to the Marksman, Scott and Shakespeare classes and the 146 "ordinary" destroyers were members of the I, M, R, S, V, W and Experimental A classes. 149 ships (including 16 flotilla leaders) were in the Royal Navy, 12 ships including (one flotilla leader) were in the Royal Australian Navy and 2 were in the Royal Canadian Navy.

It was an ageing force:
  • 45 ships of 44,880 tons were completed 1910-17 and were already overage;
  • 109 ships of 112,230 were completed 1918-20 which would become overage by the end of 1932;
  • 9 ships of 10,890 tons were completed 1921-27 which would become overage between 1933 and 1939. This included the 2 Experimental A class destroyers, that were ordered in the 1924-25 Navy Estimates and completed in 1927.
Under construction or on order were 27 destroyers of the A to C classes ordered in the 1927-28 to 1929-30 Estimates for the Royal Navy, which were due to be completed 1930-32 and 2 A class destroyers ordered by the Canadian Government for the RCN that would be completed in 1931.

Therefore, there would only be 4 flotillas of underage destroyers at the end of 1932, instead of the 12 that the Admiralty wanted.

The Admiralty's 1924 Plan included 135 destroyers to be ordered in the 10 financial years 1926-27 to 1935-36 to be completed 1929-38. That is 90 to be ordered 1926-27 to 1930-31 for completion 1929-33 and 45 ships 1931-32 to 1935-36 for completion 1933-38. Therefore, the number of destroyers ordered to 31st March 1929 was 45 short of what the Admiralty had planned 5 years previously.

IOTL it would get worse before it got better. First the Government cancelled 4 of the destroyers that were on order as a gesture of goodwill for the First London Naval Conference. Then it instructed the British delegation to negotiate for 150,000 tons of destroyers, which became the British Commonwealth's quota in the resulting Treaty. This was enough for 12 flotillas of A to I type destroyers or 75% of the number that the Admiralty wanted.

ITTL the British Government didn't cancel any of the destroyers that were on order and it allowed the British delegation to negotiate for the 200,000 tons of destroyers that the Admiralty wanted. The Americans agreed provided that they could have parity with the British Commonwealth and the Japanese agreed provided that they were allowed 70% of America's quota as follows:
200,000 tons (150,000 tons IOTL) British Commonwealth​
200,000 tons (150,000 tons IOTL) United States​
140,000 tons (105,500 tons IOTL) Japan​

This was similar to the 5:3:3 capital ship and aircraft carrier ratios in the Washington Naval Treaty. That is Japan had 70% of America's destroyer strength instead of 60% of its capital ship and aircraft carrier strength.

The following clauses of the Treaty were the same in both timelines:
  • Destroyers were defined as, "Surface vessels of war the standard displacement of which does not exceed 1,850 tons (1,880 metric tons), and with a gun not above 5.1 inch (130 mm) calibre."
  • "Vessels which cause the total tonnage in any category to exceed the figures given in the foregoing table shall be disposed of gradually during the period ending on 31 December 1936."
  • "In the destroyer category not more than sixteen percent of the allowed total tonnage shall be employed in vessels of over 1,500 tons (1,524 metric tons) standard displacement. Destroyers completed or under construction on 1 April 1930 in excess of this percentage may be retained, but no other destroyers exceeding 1,500 tons (1,524 metric tons) standard displacement shall be constructed or acquired until a reduction to such sixteen percent has been effected."
  • "A transfer not exceeding ten percent of the allowed total tonnage of the category or sub-category into which the transfer is to be made shall be permitted between cruisers of sub-category (b) and destroyers."
  • "Except as provided in Article 20, the tonnage laid down in any category subject to limitation in accordance with Article 16 shall not exceed the amount necessary to reach the maximum allowed tonnage of the category, or to replace vessels that become "over-age" before 31 December 1936. Nevertheless, replacement tonnage may be laid down for cruisers and submarines that become "over-age" in 1937, 1938 and 1939, and for destroyers that become "over-age" in 1937 and 1938."
  • A surface ship displacing 3,000 tons or less became overage 12 years after its date of completion if they had been laid down before 1st January 1921 or 16 years after its date of completion if it had been laid down after 31st December 1920.
IOTL 54 D to I class fleet destroyers (6 flotillas) and 7 Tribal class scouts were ordered in the 1930-31 to 1935-36 Estimates. The D to H classes were completed 1932-36, the I class was completed in 1937 and the Tribals were completed in 1938.

This meant that the RAN and RCN had 72 underage fleet destroyers at the end of 1936 (that is 8 flotillas worth) and another 9 under construction. The 72 underage ships consisted of 2 Experimental A class, 68 A to H class and the 2 Canadian destroyers.

ITTL the Government provided the Admiralty with enough money to order 108 D to I class fleet destroyers in the 1930-31 to 1935-36 Estimates and the Canadian Government ordered a pair of F class destroyers in 1932. The D to H classes were completed 1932-36 and the I class was completed in 1937. ITTL each class consisted of 16 "standard" destroyers and 2 flotilla leaders instead of the 8 "standard" ships and one leader of OTL.

The "16% rule" allowed the British Commonwealth to have 13 destroyers of 1,850 tons IOTL and 17 destroyers of that size ITTL. However, the Admiralty didn't order any Tribal class destroyers ITTL because it didn't have a requirement any destroyers of the scout type because it wasn't short of cruisers to scout for the fleet.

IOTL the British Commonwealth had 123 underage destroyers of 169,659 tons at the end of 1936. That is 2 Experimental A class, 27 A to C class, 90 D to H class, 2 Canadian A class and 2 Canadian F class completed 1927-36. Furthermore, 18 I class destroyers of 25,008 tons would be completed in 1937, which would increase the number of underage destroyers to 141 of 194,667 tons by the end of 1937.

Therefore, the British Commonwealth had 13½ flotillas worth of underage destroyers at the end of 1936 and would have 15½ flotillas worth at the end of 1937.

The plan was to have 23 overage destroyers of 26,990 tons (2½ flotillas) at the end of at the end of 1936 to make a grand total of 146 destroyers of 196,649 tons. The old destroyers would consist of 3 Scott class leaders and 20 V&W class which with the 4 RCN destroyers would form 3 flotillas.

The 18 I class ships due to be completed in 1937 would replace 2 Scott class leaders and 16 V&W class. There would then be 146 destroyers of 200,667 tons, which was 667 tons more than the TTL version of the First London Naval Treaty allowed. There would be 15 flotillas of underage A to I class destroyers plus one flotilla formed from the 4 Canadian destroyers and the surviving overage destroyers of the Scott and V&W classes.

The 146 destroyers would consist of 131 RN, 9 RAN and 4 RCN ships.

The RAN had 12 destroyers at the end of 1929 in both timelines. That is the Marksman class leader Anzac, 5 S class and 6 I class completed 1910-19. IOTL they were discarded 1930-37 and replaced by the Scott class leader Stuart and 4 V&W class destroyers completed 1917 that were transferred from the Royal Navy in October 1933. ITTL the 12 existing ships were still discarded 1930-37, but they were replaced by 9 brand new E class destroyers in 1934.

1936-39 - The Rearmament Period

As already explained the British Commonwealth was to have had 146 destroyers (16 flotillas worth) at the end of 1936 consisting of 123 underage ships completed 1927-36 and 23 overage ships completed before 1925.

However, the plan changed in 1935 because of Germany's renunciation of the Treaty of Versailles and the Abyssinian crisis. This led to the Cabinet giving the Admiralty permission to retain the ships that had to be scrapped to make way for the 18 G class destroyers that would be completed in 1935 until the treaty that would replace the First London Naval Treaty was negotiated.

The Second London Naval Conference began on 9th December 1935. The resulting Second London Naval Treaty signed on 25th March 1936 abolished the tonnage quotas. This allowed the Admiralty to keep 4 leaders of the Scott and Shakespeare classes and 36 V&W class destroyers (4½ flotillas worth) that aught to have been scrapped by the end of 1936.

As a result the British Commonwealth had 186 destroyers of 242,229 tons at the end of 1936 which was enough to form 20½ flotillas. There were 123 underage destroyers of 169,659 tons (13½ flotillas worth) that had been completed 1927-36 and 63 overage destroyers of 72,570 tons (7 flotillas worth) completed 1917-24.

In both timelines the Second London Naval Treaty said that a surface vessel displacing less than 3,000 tons became overage 12 years after its date of completion if it was laid down before 1st January 1921 and 16 years if it was laid down after 31st December 1920. However, this was meaningless without a tonnage quota.

The events of 1935 resulted in the Admiralty having to plan for a simultaneous war against Japan and Germany instead of its previous plan for a war against Japan alone.

IOTL this resulted in the destroyer requirement being raised from 16 flotillas (including 4 that could be overage) to 22 flotillas (including 6 that could be overage). The 16 underage flotillas were to work with the fleet and the overage flotillas were for trade protection and local defence.

ITTL the requirement was increased to 24 flotillas by the end of 1942. That is 16 flotillas to work with the fleet and 8 for local defence and trade protection. All of the destroyers would be underage and the Admiralty was also allowed to reduce the service life of a destroyer from 16 years to 12 years.

There would be 141 underage destroyers at the end of 1937 consisting of the 2 Experimental A class, 135 A to I class, 2 Canadian A class and 2 Canadian F class ships. This was enough to form 15 full-strength flotillas so there was a deficiency of 9 flotillas.

Therefore, the Cabinet approved the construction of 10 flotillas at the rate of 2 per year in the 5 financial years 1936-37 to 1940-41 which would be completed 1938-42. The tenth flotilla would replace the flotilla of 9 A class destroyers which would become overage in 1942.

The new flotillas would have 8 ships rather than 9. This was for two reasons. The first reason was because they would be built to a new design that was large enough to include the facilities for the Captain (D) and his staff, so there was no need to build a flotilla leader. The second reason was that exercises had shown that destroyers were more effective if they operated in smaller groups of 4 ships.

There would be 210 destroyers at the end of 1942. That is 126 B to I class (14 flotillas) completed 1931-38, 80 Javelin class (10 flotillas) completed 1938-42, 2 Canadian A class and 2 Canadian F class completed 1930-42.

The British armaments industry was larger at the beginning of the Rearmament period ITTL and as a result it created fewer economic problems. Therefore, there was no need to delete 16 destroyers from the 1938-39 Estimates. Therefore, 64 destroyers were ordered in the 4 financial years 1936-37 to 1939-40 instead of the 49 that were ordered IOTL. That is 64 Javelin class instead of the 9 Tribal class, 16 Lightning class and 24 Javelin class destroyers that were ordered IOTL.

It has already been explained that the Tribal class were intended to be scouts rather than fleet destroyers because there was a shortage of cruisers to scout for the fleet and that there was no need for them ITTL because there wasn't a shortage of scout cruisers.

What has yet to be explained that the Lightning class was built because of a shortage of trade protection cruisers, which is why they were armed with six 4.7" 50 calibre guns in turrets firing 62lb shells instead of the six 4.7" 45 calibre guns in shields firing 50lb shells that armed the Javelin class. There was no shortage of trade protection cruisers ITTL either so there was no need to build the Lightning class.

Costs

According to National Archives document CAB.024.272 (0003) Defence Expenditure in Future Years, Dated October 1937 the costs of the A, H, Javelin and Tribal class destroyers were:
£335,000 A class​
£380,000 H class​
£575,000 Javelin class​
£595,000 Tribal class​

Unfortunately, I haven't any costs for the Lightning class. They would have been more expensive than the Javelin class because they were larger, more heavily armed and AIUI the N class were built as Javelins rather than Lightnings because the latter was too expensive.

The 135 destroyers ordered for the Royal Navy in the financial years 1924-25 to 1939-40 cost £61,640,000 and the 201 ordered over that period ITTL cost £87,960,000, which is an increase of 66 ships costing £26,320,000 for an average increase of £1,645,000 a year over 16 financial years. However, the changes took place in the 10 financial years 1929-30 to 1938-39.

ITTL 99 destroyers costing £37,620,000 were ordered in the 6 financial years 1929-30 to 1934-35 instead of 50 costing £19,000,0000 ITTL, which was an increase of 49 ships costing £18,620,000 for an average increase of £3,103,333 a year.

However, the 34 destroyers ordered in the 2 financial years 1935-36 and 1936-37 ITTL cost less than the 33 ships ordered ITTL. That's because 18 I class and 16 Javelin class costing £16,040,000 were ordered instead of 9 I class, 16 Tribal class and 8 Javelin class costing £17,540,000. The difference was a decrease of £1.5 million over 2 years.

The 16 Javelin class ordered in the 1938-39 Estimates of TTL cost £9.2 million, which was £9.2 million more than OTL because the 16 ships planned for that financial year weren't ordered. However, that was because of the demand pull inflation and balance of payments deficit that Rearmament created IOTL. Therefore, HM Treasury should have no problem finding the money ITTL.

I have had to cost the 16 Lightnings built IOTL at £575,000 per ship (that is the same as a Javelin class destroyer) because I don't know how what the cost of a Lightning was. The 32 destroyers (16 Javelins and 16 Lignthnings) ordered in the 1937-38 and 1939-40 Estimates IOTL would have been more expensive that the cost more than the 32 Javelins ordered ITTL.

To summarise, there is an increase in expenditure of £18,620,000 between 1st April 1929 and ending on 31st March 1935, a decrease of £1.5 million between 1st April 1935 and 31st March 1937, an increase of £9.2 million in the 1938-39 financial year and unknown decreases in the financial years 1937-38 and 1939-40.

These figures don't include the £670,000 that the Canadian Government paid for the 2 A class that it purchased for the RCN in both timelines or the £760,000 that the Canadian Government paid for the 2 F class destroyers ordered in 1932 ITTL.

The Situation in September 1939 IOTL

The British Commonwealth had 192 destroyers of 256,752 tons at the outbreak of World War II and another 24 of 44,240 tons under construction or on order. 180 belonged to the RN, 5 were in the RAN and 7 were in the RCN.

79 destroyers of 88,515 tons were overage because they had been laid down before 1st January 1921 and completed 1917-25. These consisted of 12 R&S class, 58 V&W class and 9 Scott & Shakespeare class leaders. 10 V&W class destroyers had been given W-AIR modernisations and another 5 would be converted during the war. The Shakespeare class leader Wallace had been refitted with 2 twin 4", one quadruple 2pdr pompom and 2 quadruple 0.5" mountings. The Scott class leader Stuart and 4 V&W class were serving with the RAN.

The remaining 113 destroyers of 168,237 tons were underage because they had been laid down after 31st January 1920 and completed 1927-39. They consisted of 2 Experimental A class, 79 ships of the A to I classes, 16 Tribal class and 16 Javelin class. 7 ships of the A to I type were in service with the RCN.

The 24 destroyers under construction or on order for the Royal Navy consisted of 8 Javelin and 16 Lighting class. They would be completed between January 1940 and April 1943. The Australian Government ordered 6 Tribal class destroyers from Australian yards in 1939, but only 3 of them would be built and completed 1942-45. The Canadian Government would order 4 Tribal class destroyers from British yards in 1940 which would be completed 1942-43 and 4 Tribals from Canadian yards in 1942 that would be completed 1945-48.

The 79 overage destroyers were just sufficient for 9 flotillas of 9 ships and the 113 underage destroyers were sufficient for 13 flotillas of 8 or 9 ships. Therefore, there were enough destroyers to form the 22 flotillas that were required, but there were 13 underage and 9 overage flotillas instead of the 16 underage and 6 overage that were required.

The Situation in September ITTL

The British Commonwealth had 236 destroyers of 321,317 tons at the outbreak of World War II and another 32 of 54,080 tons under construction.214 belonged to the RN, 9 were in the RN and 13 were in the RCN. The number of RCN destroyers had increased from 4 at the end of 1936 to 13 in September 1939 because one of the 2 C class flotillas built ITTL was transferred to the RCN 1937-39.

63 destroyers of 72,570 tons were overage because they had been laid down before 1st January 1921 and completed 1917-24. They consisted of 9 Scott class leaders and 56 V&W class. 18 of the 63 overage destroyers had been scheduled to be scrapped between the Munich Crisis and September 1939 but they had been given a reprieve because a war with Germany was thought to be imminent. None of the overage destroyers had been rearmed because they were due to be scrapped by 1942.

The remaining 173 destroyers of 248,747 tons were underage because they had been laid down after 31st January 1920 and completed 1927-39. They consisted of 2 Experimental A class, 135 A to I class, 32 Javelin class, 2 Canadian A class and 2 Canadian F class.

The 32 destroyers that were under construction or order were all Javelin class ships. They would be completed between January 1940 and the end of 1941.

The 236 destroyers were formed into the equivalent 27 flotillas (24½ RN, one RAN and 1½ RCN) with 8 or 9 ships per flotilla. The ratio of underage to overage flotillas was 20:7 which was a great improvement on the 13:9 ratio of OTL.

Mobilisation

32 fleet destroyers of the Javelin class were under construction or on order ITTL instead of the 8 Javelins and 16 Lightnings that were on order IOTL. The TTL ships were completed by the end of 1941, but the OTL ships weren't completed until April 1943. The improvement over OTL was because the UK's warship building capacity was greater ITTL and because fewer warships of other types were being built. For example 23 cruisers were under construction or on order in September 1939 IOTL and another 6 were ordered in the War Emergency Programme, but there were only 20 under construction or on order ITTL and no ships were ordered in the War Emergency Programme.

The 16 Javelin class planned to be ordered ITTL's 1939-40 Estimates were ordered in the War Emergency programme instead of the 16 O and P class ships built IOTL. The number of Q to Z, C, Weapon, Battle, G and Daring class destroyers built ITTL was exactly the same IOTL and there were no qualitative improvements.

The Australian and Canadian Governments couldn't order any Tribal class destroyers ITTL because it didn't exist. The Australians had no immediate need for more destroyers ITTL because they had 9 E class destroyers that were transferred to the RAN in 1934 instead of the flotilla leader Stuart and 4 V&W class destroyers transferred to the RAN in 1933 IOTL. Furthermore, the Royal Navy transferred 3 of the Javelin class destroyers built in the 1938-39 Estimates to the RAN ITTL and they took the place of the 3 Tribal class destroyers that were built in Australia IOTL. The Canadian Government ordered 8 Javelin class destroyers instead of the 8 Tribal class destroyers that it ordered IOTL and the RCN might receive some of the 16 Javelin class destroyers ordered for the Royal Navy in the 1938-39 Estimates.
 
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Submarines

This is much simpler than what I've written about aircraft carriers, capital ships, cruisers and destroyers.

I think that there would be no change between the POD and 1936. That is the TTL First London Naval Treaty limits the British Commonwealth, Japan and United States to 52,700 tons of destroyers. The British Government and Royal Navy wanted to have submarines banned altogether and if that wasn't possible reduce the submarine threat by restricting the quality and number of submarines that the British Empire's potential enemies could have.

Therefore, 2 of the 6 submarines ordered in the 1928-29 Estimates were cancelled before the First London Naval Conference commenced as a gesture of goodwill and 21 submarines were ordered at a rate of 3 per year in the 7 financial years 1929-30 to 1935-36.

The decision to make the Royal Navy capable of fighting a war against Japan and Germany instead of Japan alone increased the number of submarines that the Admiralty required from 55 to 82. This led to 8 submarines being ordered in the 1936-37 Estimates and 7 boats being ordered in the 1937-38 Estimates. Unfortunately, the overheating of the economy that Rearmament created IOTL forced the Treasury to "ration" the number of ships ordered in the 1938-39 and 1939-40 Estimates. As a result 3 submarines were ordered in 1938-39 and 4 were to be ordered in 1939-40 for a total of 7 instead of the 14 that were planned. However, it was worse than that because the 4 boats planned for 1939-40 hadn't been ordered before September 1939 and they seem to have been included in the 24 submarines ordered in the War Emergency Programme.

However, the rearmament programme of TTL did not create the balance of payments deficit and demand pull inflation that occurred after 1936 IOTL because the extra defence expenditure between 1929 and 1936 allowed the British armaments industry to cope with the increase in demand. That is Britain had a bigger armaments industry in 1936 and the increase in demand after 1936 was smaller than OTL because defence expenditure after 1936 was about the same as OTL and more money had been spent between 1929 and 1936 ITTL.

Therefore, 7 submarines were ordered in the 1938-39 estimates instead of 3 and another 7 were ordered between April and August 1939. That's a total increase of 10 boats. However, I'd go three better than that and order 24 submarines in the 3 financial years 1937-38 to 1939-40 instead of 10, which would increase the total number of submarines ordered 1936-37 to 1939-40 from 18 to 32.

None of the 14 extra submarines would have been completed before September 1939 and it's likely that the number of boats ordered in the War Emergency Programme would have been reduced proportionately.

Therefore, 14 of the submarines ordered at the outbreak of World War II IOTL were effectively begun between 6 months and 2 years ahead of OTL and therefore were completed between 6 months and 2 years earlier than OTL as well. That is the boat ordered in 1937-38 would be completed 2 years before the WEP boat that it replaced, the 5 boats ordered in 1938-39 would be completed a year earlier than the WEP boats that they replaced and the 8 boats ordered between April and August 1939 would be completed 6 months earlier than OTL. The earlier completion of these boats would have a knock on effect on the submarines ordered between 1940 and 1945 ITTL.
 
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This from Pages 23 to 27 of British War Production which I copied from the transcript on the Hyperwar website.



The Renovation of the Navy

Additions to naval strength were essential and in the years between 1936 and 1939 the Navy was greatly renovated and somewhat augmented. But compared with the Air Force the rearmament of the Navy did not go either fast or far. We have seen that naval strength—especially in comparison with foreign navies—had never fallen as low as the equipment of the R.A.F., and the leeway to be made up was by comparison small. But the cost of making it up was very high: indeed so high as to leave no financial margin for additional new construction. Expenditure on naval supplies and equipment in the five financial years ending March 1939 was over £240 millions;17 of this the bulk, more than eighty-five percent, went to new construction or to the modernisation and equipment of naval vessels. This was a large sum, but it was from meeting the full needs of the time and farther still from satisfying the Admiralty. It continued to feel the full rigour of financial limitations after they had ceased to control the expansion of the Air Force. No wonder that in naval circles the feeling that more could be done than was in fact being achieved lingered correspondingly longer.

The Admiralty's plans for expansion, unlike those of the other Services, too shape early and remained fairly constant. It unvarying aim was a 'two-power standard'.18 Long before 1936 when the 1930 Naval Treaty was due to expire,19 even in Europe shatter the comfortable international situation which had made the 'one-power standard' acceptable. Throughout the early thirties it had been assumed that the sole naval danger lay in the Far East, and that in war very small force would be needed in Home Waters and the Mediterranean. In the years following Hitler's rise to power and Mussolini's adventure in Abyssinia this assumption was no longer tenable, and much greater provision for European waters had to be planned.

The plans were at first very modest and in themselves need not have cost much. When at the turn of 1933 and 1934 and again towards the end of 1935 the Defence Requirements Sub-Committee of the Committee of Imperial Defence was considering the programmes of the Services, it still tried to fit the naval demands into the framework of the 'one-power standard'. The prospects of German rearmament on the sea did not yet appear either high or immediate,20 and all that the Defence Requirements Sub-Committee therefore recommended in addition to the 'one-power standard' was a force sufficient to prevent the strongest European naval power from obtaining control of Britain's vital home terminal centres while the Navy was making the disposition for war in the Far East.

This added requirements meant a very small addition to the nominal strength of the fleet—a few more trade protection vessels, chiefly cruisers and destroyers.21 The financial burdens were nevertheless quite heavy, for although the total number of ships was not to be greatly increased, the approaching end of the 1930 Treaty, due to expire in 1936, as well as the changing international position, made it essential to reduce the excessive proportion of old ships. It was stated that by 1942 seven battleships, twenty-four cruisers, eighty-three destroyers, two aircraft carriers, not to mention a host of smaller ships, would be well over age and would need replacing, and that in addition a large number of other ships would have to be modernised. All this needed large sums of money: something between 250 and 300 million pounds to be spent during the five years 1934–39, or at least four time the annual expenditure on naval construction in any of the previous five years. So high indeed was the cost that the prospects of going beyond the 'one-power standard' were most unpromising, and those of adding to the numbers recommended by the Defence Requirements Sub-Committee (the 'D.R.C. standard') more unpromising still.

Yet such additions appeared very necessary and were soon to be pressed by the Admiralty. The international situation was changing very fast, and before anything could be done to achieve the 'D.R.C. standard' events made its underlying strategic principle out of date. Within a year of the Defence Requirements Sub-Committee's recommendations of November 1935 the Admiralty had to raise the whole problem anew. It reckoned with the probability that the German Navy would in a few years be so strong that the Royal Navy would be unable to defend the Home Waters in addition to the Singapore area. In fact, the reappearance of the German Navy refocused attention on the need to secure out own Home Waters, and restored that requirement to its old predominance. A 'two-power standard' had thus become the ruling strategic concept. Naval strength was to be made sufficient:
  1. to enable us to place a fleet in the Far East fully adequate to act on the defensive and to serve as a strong deterrent against any threat to our interests in that part of the glove;
  2. to maintain in all circumstances in Home Waters a force able to meet the requirements of a war with Germany at the same time.
Included in (1) and (2) would be the forces necessary in all parts of the world, behind the cover of the main fleets, to protect our territories and merchant ships against spasmodic attacks.

Table 4 shows the number of vessels by 1942 which this standard necessitated compared with the number needed under the earlier proposals for expansion and with the existing naval strength in 1934.

The naval standards of 1934–36

Table 4 from Britsih War Production.png

The figures were indeed very large. Added to the costs of the replacements proposed by the Defence Requirements Sub-Committee, the cost of new construction to achieve the 'two-power standard' proved too much for the national finances in 1936, and was to remain so to the end. Indeed, from 1936 onwards the whole story of naval requirements can be represented as a series of abortive attempts to approach the standard with insufficient financial means.

The first of these attempts came in 1935. The Government was now prepared to go as far as to sanction a general plan which was to be spread over seven annual programmes between 1936 and 1942 and which would, if fulfilled, have brought the Navy up to the extended 'one-power standard' as defined by the 'D.R.C.' formula.23 More than that the Government was not in a mood, and perhaps not in a position, to consider. The only way in which it was able to respond to the growing pressure of the Admiralty was to agree in the following year that the approved programme should be so accelerated as to complete within three years all that industry could build in that time.24 This concession was not, however, to be take as the first step towards a 'two-power standard', and in approving it the Government made it clear that the financial and industrial principles underlying the rearmament policy in general were not thereby to be set aside. The purpose of the 'acceleration' was to establish a strong Navy as quickly as appeared practicable, without resorting to emergency measures in relation to labour or to an undue diversion of shipbuilding and other connected industrial activities from their normal channels.

This limitation the Admiralty had to accept, though only for the time being.25 In the autumn of 1937 and again at the turn of the year the Admiralty 'tried again'. In its final form the request was that the same number of ships should be built in 1938 as in 1937. The Admiralty also insisted on additional expenditure, mainly to meet higher prices and wages. These proposals, however, proved no more feasible than the previous attempts to approach the 'two-power standard', and the Chancellor of the Exchequer challenged them on the same grounds as before. But in addition he was able to point out that the naval proposals would be beyond the capacity of industry; that they would have an adverse effect on merchant shipbuilding and would create unemployment in later years. His arguments carried the day, and when at the turn of 1937 and 1938 the Minister for Coordination of Defence submitted to the Cabinet his recommendations for the 'rationing' of defence expenditure over the next few years, he definitely declared himself against the Admiralty demands.

For the time being the Cabinet reaffirmed that finance must decide the issue, and at the beginning of 1938 the final compromise (the result of protracted negotiations) fixed the 'ration' of the Navy at £410 millions, to be expended over the next three years.26 The new programme thus defined—to be known as the 'rationed' programme—marked a considerable increase in the cost of naval preparations, but it fell far short of the Admiralty's unvarying aim of a 'two-power standard'. Before the end of 1938 further additions were to be asked for and further expenditure sanctioned. By August 1938 an additional £10.5 millions was sanctioned for the new construction of small ships to be made available for service within a year. But it was not until 1939 that the whole scale of rearmament came under review and the very principles of British naval strength could be considered.27

This phase, however, belongs to the next chapter and carries the story into the war period. By comparison, the record of pre-war rearmament as told in this chapter might well appear as one of repeated defeats of the Admiralty's long-term plans and of continued failure to build-up the Navy to the strength required by the strategic position. Yet the period was by no means one of frustration. Though the Navy as yet failed to expand at a rate needed for a 'two-power standard', it did expand somewhat and, above all, its equipment was now in the process of being renovated and strengthened. Of the two million tons of effective strength of the Navy at the end of 1938 about a quarter had either been newly built or brought up to date since 1935. By the end of 1938 some 545,000 tons of naval vessels were under construction and some 125,000 tons were in the process of being modernised and refitted. In addition highly valuable industrial potential for use in war was being built up in several specialised fields. More will be said about this later.28

17 See Table 2, p. 12.

18 Unlike the 'two-power standard' of pre-1914 which implied the British Navy was equal to the combined naval forces of any other two powers, the 'two-power standard' now did not take into consideration the largest naval power (U.S.A.), but was confined to naval requirements necessary to protect British interests simultaneously against Japan in the Far East and Germany in Europe.

19 See p. 3.

20 By the time of the Defence Requirements Sub-Committee's third report in November 1935 the prospects of German rearmament were recognised and the committee recommended that a 'two-power standard' should be aimed at. It was, however, primarily concerned with the next three years, and as little progress could be made towards a new standard of naval strength during that period, the committee limited its recommendations to the existing approved standard of naval strength, i.e. the 'D.R.C. standard'.

21 See Table 4, p. 25.

22 As stated in 1936. In 1938 requirements for a 'two-power standard' in 1942 were revised as follows: 21 capital ships, 13 aircraft carriers, 90 cruisers, 21 destroyer flotillas, 73 submarines. For the estimated requirements in 1939 see p. 58.

23 The so-called 'Deficiency' Programme of November 1935. See Appendix 1, Table A.

24 The 'Accelerated' Programme of 1936. See Appendix 1, Table B.

25 The Admiralty could still claim to be accelerating the 'D.R.C.' programme, while in fact working up to the 'two-power standard'. After the 1937 programme, however, it would no longer be able to represent its intentions as mere modifications of the 'D.R.C' proposals, for to do so would mean to agree to stop all new construction in a year or two hence, i.e. immediately after, as a result of the acceleration, the ships built to the 'D.R.C.' programme were laid down.

26 Nominally this meant an increase of at least £200 millions over the limits as settled and defended by the Chancellor of the Exchequer throughout the earlier discussions. But a great deal of the increase was accounted for by the higher costs of labour and materials which had risen twenty percent above those of 1935, by the much enhanced requirements for anti-aircraft defence of ships and coastal installations, and by defence measures other than new construction. The new programme was to cost £60 millions in 1939 and in that year it was to contain two capital ships, four cruisers and at least fifty-six destroyers, minesweepers and fast escort vessels.

27 The naval programmes of new construction approved between 1936 and the outbreak of war are summarised in Appendix 1, Table B.

28 See pp. 4751.
 
Minor War Vessels - Requirements
For the purposes of this thread minor war vessels include Hunt class escort destroyers, sloops, frigates, corvettes and fleet minesweepers.

According to Roskill in Volume 2 of British Naval Policy between the Wars the Admiralty had a requirement for 53 sloops at the POD (which were for their various duties including minesweeping) to be built at the rate of 7 a year. However, a building rate of 7 ships a year over 12 years produces a force of 84 ships. 12 years was the service life of a destroyer in 1929 and I suspect that it was also the service life of a sloop.

According to the British official histories (Grand Strategy Volume One and British War Production) the British Empire & Commonwealth had 51 minor war vessels in 1934, but 120 were required for a war against Japan and 226 were required for a war against Germany and Japan. See this table from Page 25 of British War Production.

Table 4 from Britsih War Production.png

According to this quote from Page 58 of British War Production the requirement for escort vessels and minesweepers had risen to 300 by the spring of 1939.
Yet even so, the Navy, according to Admiralty estimates, would still need as a minimum some 1,110 trawlers and 300 escort vessels and minesweepers of which only about two-thirds were provided for in the current programmes.
Furthermore, according to this quote from Page 59 of the same source.
But the chief new factor was the activity of German ocean-going U-boats along the Atlantic routes, and this meant that at least another 100 additional escort vessels of longer range than the corvettes were needed to operate them both ends from the middle of the Atlantic and thus to provide a continuous convoy across the ocean.
According to Appendix One on Page 470 of British War Production.

Estimated Requirements of Small Vessels, 1940 and 1941

Escort Vessel Requirements 1940-41.png

With the programme of small vessels it is also necessary to reckon the requirements of fleet units employed on convoy and anti-submarine duties, and more especially the requirements of destroyers. The demands for destroyers for convoy escorts and fleet duties were heavy in 1940 and were to become heavier; a high rate of losses—fifty-seven in the first year of the war—had to be provided for. Fifty 'old age' escort destroyers were acquired from the United States in September 1940, but they were not sufficient to meet the need and by the end of 1941 the annual programme had come to include forty destroyers compared with the sixteen in the original war 'emergency' programme. The programmes of 1940 and 1941 also included the early batches of landing craft to assist in the harassing operations on the Continent and to prepare for the coming offensive. Small as were these landing vessel programmes they made a sizeable addition to the emergency programmes of the post-Dunkirk era.
 
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