A Confederate Navy after independence?

Now just going off the idea of the CSA winning its independence, use whatever cliche you want, how would the Navy be able to develop?
 
Probably as a coastal defense force with attempts at building a sea going, commerce raiding fleet until prestige demands dreadnoughts which turn out to be budget-bustingly bad ideas.

"Not at all well" in other words.
 
Given that they're going to be at a severe disadvantage in terms of industrial output compared their chief rival, the only real option they would have would be to be at the absolute forefront of naval technology.
Whether they can do that, though, is highly questionable.
 

Pangur

Donor
They may well have considered submarines, initially short range coastal types and then longer range types
 
They may well have considered submarines, initially short range coastal types and then longer range types
Why would they try submarines more than regular vessels? Considering the limitations of early submarines, even the ones that didn't wind up killing most of their crews.
 

Pangur

Donor
They may not have gone that way (subs) initially but in longer term I think they would have as it would give them the proverbial bang for the buck. Anther consideration would be that they had to have had some group in their navy who were submarine minded seeing as they kept trying with the Huntley
 

Delta Force

Banned
Probably as a coastal defense force with attempts at building a sea going, commerce raiding fleet until prestige demands dreadnoughts which turn out to be budget-bustingly bad ideas.

"Not at all well" in other words.
The CSA wouldn't need parity with the US, just enough to form a fleet in being and tie down USN assets. If they have allies even a small fleet can pose a strategic advantage by limiting the USN's abilities in other areas. If they can have superior equipment and training even better. The German Navy didn't need to match the Royal Navy in dreadnoughts to pose a threat in World War I, and the IJN put up quite the fight against the USN in World War II.

Why would they try submarines more than regular vessels? Considering the limitations of early submarines, even the ones that didn't wind up killing most of their crews.
They probably aren't going to adopt the thinking of Mahan since it would be impossible for them to achieve naval supremacy and protect their own trade. Juene Ecole would be of interest to them however, as they would be able to build and/or purchase enough cruisers and raiding ships to pose a threat to US trade. Submarines would fit right into the Juene Ecole doctrine.
 
They may not have gone that way (subs) initially but in longer term I think they would have as it would give them the proverbial bang for the buck. Anther consideration would be that they had to have had some group in their navy who were submarine minded seeing as they kept trying with the Huntley
How much bang for how much buck, compared to a surface ship?

This is a serious question, I'm short on figures.

And having a handful of nuts (and yes, I use the word nuts for anyone who thought the Huntley was a good idea) behind the Huntley is not the same as there being a great drive even within the navy, let alone those who would be determining what the navy gets to build and its budget, for subs.
 
They probably aren't going to adopt the thinking of Mahan since it would be impossible for them to achieve naval supremacy and protect their own trade. Juene Ecole would be of interest to them however, as they would be able to build and/or purchase enough cruisers and raiding ships to pose a threat to US trade. Submarines would fit right into the Juene Ecole doctrine.
Im sure they would maintain a pretty good river navy.
 
The CSA wouldn't need parity with the US, just enough to form a fleet in being and tie down USN assets. If they have allies even a small fleet can pose a strategic advantage by limiting the USN's abilities in other areas. If they can have superior equipment and training even better. The German Navy didn't need to match the Royal Navy in dreadnoughts to pose a threat in World War I, and the IJN put up quite the fight against the USN in World War II.
The problem is that the High Seas Fleet was a sufficiently serious threat to the Royal Navy to have the effect it did only because it was uncomfortably close to the Royal Navy - a handful of ships would not have been anywhere near as effective even as a fleet in being.

And the IJN was also far from small.

They probably aren't going to adopt the thinking of Mahan since it would be impossible for them to achieve naval supremacy and protect their own trade. Juene Ecole would be of interest to them however, as they would be able to build and/or purchase enough cruisers and raiding ships to pose a threat to US trade. Submarines would fit right into the Juene Ecole doctrine.
But that doesn't translate into a special focus on submarines, just a debate on submarines versus surface ships that submarines may well lose (whether or not they'd win in an AH.com - we who know WWI and WWII - discussion on the subject or not).

And why would they resist the urge to have dreadnoughts because all the other big boys do? Why would they just abandon all ideas of naval supremacy and protecting their trade? That might be the cold bloodily realistic thing to do, but I can't see it being very viable in a democracy. And if the Confederacy is lead by a flat out authoritarian or oligarchic state, it may see more conviction and less judgment, like most (at least)) authoritarian states have shown when it comes to cold efficiency.
 
The most likely year for a CSA victory is 1862, which means many of the innovations and advances associated with the naval war (e.g., submarines) will not happen, since they occurred fairly late in the war.

A postwar CSN will probably resemble the postwar United States Navy of OTL (although it will even smaller). Some cruisers will be stationed overseas, primarily to show the flag (and act as commerce raiders in case of war). These will be wooden ships, with steam but relying primarily on sails (as did most ships of that type IOTL).

At home, the CSN will have armorclads for harbor and coastal defense. They will be casemate ironclads. I expect it would take years for the Confederates to build monitors or turret ships, partly due to this type of ship being associated with the Union. Due to the expense, most, if not all of these ships will end up in reserve (as the USN did with its armored ships IOTL).

One innovation of the late 19th century I could see the CSN adopting is concept of fairly small vessels with extremely large guns. These types of gunboats could be popular due the association with Confederate icon Thomas Jefferson.
 

frlmerrin

Banned
The Confederacy will have a longer continuous coastline than the rump USA in nearly all probably scenarios. It will also continue to have an export led economy. The Confederacy will face at least two regional maritime threats that it will need to address, namely the USA and Spain, especially if it covets Cuba*. The Confederacy is unlikely to find the USA’s involvement in South American politics such as occurred in OTL as anything other than a direct threat.
Thus any new Confederate Navy is going to have to perform at least three functions and perhaps 4 functions.
1) Protection of her international trade, this would be primarily on the Atlantic route**.
2) Protection of the home coast
3) Denial of naval superiority to the USA in the Caribbean, Central and South America.
4) Possibly provision of a local amphibious capability (for Cuba and other Spanish possessions)
Fortunately, in most probably scenarios the Confederacy is well placed to achieve these functions. First almost any resolution of the American Civil War in the Confederacy’s favour will leave the USA in a terrible financial state with a lack of foreign investment, government funds or means of obtaining funds and little in the way of export trade. As a result of these factors immigration and hence the availability of cheap labour which helped drive the USA’s economy in this period will dry up. Thus the USA will be in a poor position to fund a new navy or indeed maintain the old one (both of which it failed to do in OTL where financial pressure were far less). In addition to this in many Confederate victory scenarios the USA is unlikely to abandon its naval love affair with the monitor. These were obsolete before the first one was built, had little military value and were a technological dead end.
The Confederacy by contrast is in a much better position. It may end the war in a similar or even worse position than the USA but it has the wherewithal to get out of that situation in terms of its export trade. Thus it can raise funds to build a new navy have it built (like nearly everyone else in this period) in Britain or France.

The Confederate navy would already have a few ships. They included the commerce raiders Shenandoah and Tallahassee along with the powerful ironclad rams Sphinx and Cheops. The British could probably be persuaded to part with Wyvern and Scorpion now that the Confederacy was now a nation*** and along with the smaller weaker craft this would make a reasonable home defence force. Purchase of a handful of modern small ironclads (4 say) and small steam sloops or corvettes (4-6 say) would give the Confederates a regional navy on a par with that of the USA. Purchase of two smaller oceanic ironclads and about four large corvettes or perhaps frigates would give the Confederacy the power to protect her shipping in the Atlantic.
*It should be noted that a Confederate-Spanish war anytime before the mid 1870s is likely to be a sound naval defeat of the Confederacy.
**As part of this it may wish to support the anti-slavery patrol.
***Plus the Royal Navy thought they were poor.
 
I think an excellent example to consider is the Imperial Germany Navy of the 1870s to 1880s. There would be a lot in common between the IGN and the CSN to give one an idea of how things would progress. The Germans formulated a strategy similar to but predating the French Jeune Ecole which they employed during the Franco-Prussian War.

Undoubtedly, the Confederation would initially turn to overseas shipyards for large warships at first. At least three advantages the CSN has over the IGN is an established officer corps with battle experience, established naval bases and a naval heritage to draw upon. The CSN would go thru the various stages of being first a green water navy and then a blue water navy.
 
I think an excellent example to consider is the Imperial Germany Navy of the 1870s to 1880s. There would be a lot in common between the IGN and the CSN to give one an idea of how things would progress. The Germans formulated a strategy similar to but predating the French Jeune Ecole which they employed during the Franco-Prussian War.

Undoubtedly, the Confederation would initially turn to overseas shipyards for large warships at first. At least three advantages the CSN has over the IGN is an established officer corps with battle experience, established naval bases and a naval heritage to draw upon. The CSN would go thru the various stages of being first a green water navy and then a blue water navy.
Yes but with no industrial base. Attempting to build one dreadnought would be a national undertaking. The CSN would be closer to Chile and Brazil at best, but probably closer to the brown-water capabilities of Argentina at the time.

Also, I assume you will want slaves on industrial era ships to shovel coal and so forth; so now you have the possibility of slave revolts at sea.
 
Yes but with no industrial base. Attempting to build one dreadnought would be a national undertaking. The CSN would be closer to Chile and Brazil at best, but probably closer to the brown-water capabilities of Argentina at the time.

Also, I assume you will want slaves on industrial era ships to shovel coal and so forth; so now you have the possibility of slave revolts at sea.
The Confederates would have more money than those three nations, and it can easily purchase British or French built ships.
 
Stunningly bad, of course, especially because, like the early US, they wouldn't be able to afford anything much new until their debts cleared, and, like OTL, 95+% would've been glubbed or taken during the war from Union naval superiority.

Even after those decades after their debts cleared, they'd neither be able to afford or make much, being both a poor and antiindustrial nation. Yeah, they could buy Britain, as in the war, but their budget was still tiny.

Yeah, subs seem probable, because they tried and failed with them in OTL. But, they could build just a handful, and they'd be about as successful as Hunley.

Personally, I'd be intrigued to see which Navy they'd attack and lose to.
 

Delta Force

Banned
The Confederates would have more money than those three nations, and it can easily purchase British or French built ships.
Indeed, I ran the figures (for a timeline I am doing) and if so inclined the Texas state government could easily afford to purchase a dreadnought every two years from its oil royalties in the early 1900s for its navy. The state of Texas itself could thus have one of the most powerful navies in the Americas or be a major donor of ships for the CSN to use in the Gulf region. Either would give Texas a lot of clout in the confederate government.
 
No doubt the CSN would mostly be a brown water fleet, with a majority of the vessels being suited towards coastal defense, with Royal Navy training and doctrine becoming fleet wide. However the CSN's few blue water assets, would no doubt be either loaned or "gifted" from the RN.

The CSN Marine Corps would mostly be a security force, with an emphasis of assisting the MA's while aboard ship, providing security while ashore and potentially manning shore emplacements aboard naval installations.
 
Actually, the Confederacy would have had plenty of money for a navy at least as large as that maintained by the antebellum United States. Confederate revenues from the 12.5 percent tariff which was proposed by Secretary of the Treasury Memminger in 1861 were estimated to be $25,000,000. And based on the proposed 10-12.5 percent export tax on the $237,000,000 of anticipated export revenue for 1861, the Confederate Treasury expected to realize another $25,000,000.Source Those revenues weren't realized in OTL, of course, because the Union blockade almost immediately cut off the Confederacy's foreign trade. But it is reasonable to assume an independent, freely trading Confederacy could have realized that much, or more. And of course, that does not include other sources of revenue that existed in 1860 (for example, excise taxes on liquor, which brought in almost 10 million dollars a year for the federal government in 1860, and could be expected to bring in probably a third to a half that much for the Confederacy) and others (taxes generated by the rise of cigarette manufacturing, oil and petrochemical production, for example) which are virtually certain to arise in later years.

To give one an idea how much money we're talking about, one 1860 U.S. dollar was worth (depending on the standard of measurement used) anywhere from $27.90 to $3470 in 2011 U.S. dollars. Which means the $50,000,000 Confederate estimated revenue would be equivalent in purchasing power to $1.4 billion in 2011 dollars, at the very LOW end of the scale, and over $173 billion at the high end. And by way of comparison, the anticipated Confederate revenue from the import tariff and the excise on exports alone was not much less than the entire Federal revenue for 1860, roughly $64 million dollars.

Also, by means of comparison, the entire federal military budget in 1860 was $29,000,000 (the entire federal budget was $78 million, with the rest spent as follows...Post Office, $15 million; Other General Spending, which meant things like subsidies for businesses such as railroads, spending on other internal improvements, salaries for government officials, etc., $30 million; and $3 million interest on the federal debt).

Since the Confederacy won't be spending a significant portion its national revenue on internal improvements in the North and business subsidies for Northern businesses, as the Federal Government was doing, it should be, even with less revenue available, able to maintain at least as large a navy as the antebellum U.S. did, and maybe larger.

Given that a dreadnought cost somewhere between $4 million and $8 million to build, and the type of ships the Confederacy would likely want to build in quantity (harbor and river defense ships, cruisers for protecting trade routes) would cost considerably less, the Confederacy would certainly have the money for a navy able to protect its perceived interests, with a small fleet of battleships besides to counter U.S. power especially in the Caribbean.
 
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frlmerrin

Banned
Stunningly bad, of course, especially because, like the early US, they wouldn't be able to afford anything much new until their debts cleared, and, like OTL, 95+% would've been glubbed or taken during the war from Union naval superiority.

This is silly! Nations like people do not stop spending and taking on new debts until they have paid off their old ones. On top of that an independent Confederacy would have had the means to service its war debts and to pay them off over a suitable period. I think the WHOLE of OTL USA took over 50 years to pay off the American Civil War and they only did it that quickly because of European purchasing for WWI was enormous. Britain took just over 60 years to pay off her WWII debt to the USA. Debt is really not going to be that much of an issue for the Confederacy because as I have already mentioned they have the means to service it plus they have the means to generate further income from trade. They may not be the hugely expanding power house that the USA was in OTL but they will do better than the Argentine or Australia. The USA is the country that will have really bad debt problems because it will have similarly huge debts but it does not have much of an export economy to pay them off and taxing the domestic economy will slow growth. If the country becomes a poor creditor it can expect much less investment and hence immigration. What immigration there will be is likely to make things worse rather than better. In most independent Confederacy scenarios the USA does rather poorly economically. In a few where it is really beastly to the remaining Indians and exploits their lands to the maximum or where the French have not occupied Mexico and they steal even more of its territory whilst at the same time avoiding coveting British North America in arms (or at least getting defeated badly doing so) they do OK. In many especially where the British or French are involved things are very bad something like Chile of Bolivia perhaps even further dissolution of its territories due to economic collapse.

You do realise that if the Confederacy has Sphinx, Cheops, Wyvern, Scorpion and just two other 1865 era ironclads like Huáscar or Smerch they would completely outclass the OTL USA’s 1865 navy in coastal waters. Only on the deeps would they have an advantage with the large frigates.
 
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