AHC: Chinese Dreadnaughts

For that weight they'll get something along the lines of the Spanish "Espana" class mini dreadnoughts.
The Espanas were either the smallest Dreadnoughts or the largest and most capable Coast Defence ships. The Chinese ones would be larger but fill the same role, ie. if you want to blockade ports you'll have to be better prepared than old cruisers and gunboats. This could be only realised in a no-WW1 scenario. Interestingly it was the 9 Power and 5 Power Treaties that came out of the 1921 Washington Conference were a direct result of China's weakness and yet the Chinese were treated with disdain as a negotiating party, the other powers not even sure who was capable of representing China.
 
China was a member of the Entente - They declared war on Germany, so they legally could take possession of the ships according to Versailles. They buy the ships at Versailles itself, before the ear-marks were made. So even if the Entante wanted them, the sale had already happened.

Where the money comes from? Chang's government. His government still had some funding.
 
China was a member of the Entente - They declared war on Germany, so they legally could take possession of the ships according to Versailles. They buy the ships at Versailles itself, before the ear-marks were made. So even if the Entante wanted them, the sale had already happened.

Where the money comes from? Chang's government. His government still had some funding.
China contribution was symbolic at best.They were in no position to make any demands.If they are to buy the ships off someone,it would have to be from the entente powers themselves,assuming the Germans don’t scuttle them.Any deal between the Chinese and the Germans would have been ignored.A better case could be made for WW2.Chances are, China can probably get the German battleships off the other Entente powers in a bargain sale assuming A)they have the money, and B)the Germans don’t scuttle them .
 
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The British would rather the Chinese got a BB than France/Italy/Japan, so they (and possibly the US to piss off Japan) might back giving China a Helgoland or something
 
The Espanas were either the smallest Dreadnoughts or the largest and most capable Coast Defence ships. The Chinese ones would be larger but fill the same role, ie. if you want to blockade ports you'll have to be better prepared than old cruisers and gunboats. This could be only realised in a no-WW1 scenario. Interestingly it was the 9 Power and 5 Power Treaties that came out of the 1921 Washington Conference were a direct result of China's weakness and yet the Chinese were treated with disdain as a negotiating party, the other powers not even sure who was capable of representing China.
The bit about not being sure who has the power to represent China is kind of valid.
 
What about, to turn this on its head, Japan being more successful in the 1910s in capturing the Chinese government by treaty? An enhanced 21 Demands, or the like, and backing a winning horse in the ongoing skirmishes of the period leads to some significant portion of China becoming a client state to Japan; in exchange they place orders with the Japanese and end up with a Chinese navy that's basically an appendage of the Japanese Navy, not entirely unlike the Commonwealth navies (but not entirely like them either; it's still the closest comparison I could think of).

Failing that, what about a Chinese government that manages to hang together long enough to try and put in the winning bid on Rio de Janeiro when it comes up for sale, and instead of Turkey getting it, China gets it? The British may not choose to seize it in that case -- though they still may; even so, after the war, they may do as they did with the Chilean battleship and offer it to its original owner after the war.
 
Even if China does get battleships, where the heck are they going to get the trained crew for these monsters?
And the maintenance cost would be over the roof.
By 1937, it would probably be tied up to a dock, slowly rusting away.
 
The Espanas were either the smallest Dreadnoughts or the largest and most capable Coast Defence ships. The Chinese ones would be larger but fill the same role, ie. if you want to blockade ports you'll have to be better prepared than old cruisers and gunboats. This could be only realised in a no-WW1 scenario. Interestingly it was the 9 Power and 5 Power Treaties that came out of the 1921 Washington Conference were a direct result of China's weakness and yet the Chinese were treated with disdain as a negotiating party, the other powers not even sure who was capable of representing China.
Coastal battleships are for countries that can not afford proper dreadnoughts or are not allowed to build and buy them. At least according to Drachinifel.

If China can get or build coastal BBs they can also get dreadnoughts.
 
With only a post 1900 pod China isn't building its own, that's for certain. If the warlord era is avoided (be it by the Qing surviving or the revolution stabilizing) then China could potentially order a couple as the South American nations and Ottoman Empire did. If they want a white elephant to fly the flag on, then they get a single super dreadnought. If they intend to get any use out of their purchase, a trio of coastal defence ships would actually suit their defence needs quite well.
 
Strange that this seems so difficult (and it does). Per historical GDPs on Wikipedia, in 1913, China was the largest power not to have a dreadnought... by far. It was second only to the US if India is separated from the UK, and in third place if India isn’t. That means it had a larger GDP than Germany, France, Italy, A-H, Russia, and so on. So why didn’t they build dreadnoughts? They have a long coastline, they have a seafaring history, and they had a potential adversary, Japan. Lack of centralization? A sense of security? I don’t know enough to form an opinion.
Others have mentioned it, but China does not have a national government until 1950.
Having a fleet of BBs as well as the supporting fleet, crews and supporting infrastructure is a long term and expensive 'life style' decision by the owning nation - unless those ships are a vanity project!

So in order to have such a fleet - China needs to be more unified and stable (or a large chuck of it more unified and stable) for a long period and have better Infrastructure and heavy industry than OTL
China's best first chance was between 1880 and 1895. The Sino French wars 1 and 2 sank that dream with the Nanyang fleet. The Beiyang fleet was Japanese scuttled in 1895.

Between 1895 and 1972 (Nixon's visit to China) the chances for a capital ship centered battle fleet were ZERO. No technology, no training base and no political will. There was too much else critical to China happening internally with getting rid of Chiang kai Shek and then that mass murdering genocidal maniac Mao being TOP political priorities from 1925 onward.

Only now is China in a position to build capital ships and when it comes to building atomic subs? Let's say they are stuck in the 1970s.
 
China had battleships but lost them, so did Spain and Russia. There were plenty of case studies on how you fall down the pecking order when you lose naval power and countries like Italy and Japan show what can be achieved when you use naval growth to leverage domestic industrial power. There are more value propositions in acquiring battleships as a core to naval power and national esteem than just 'bling'. In 1914, the Ottomans were using Japan as a model and planning on a domestic capability to produce warships again and that the navy as an institution was linked with national rebirth. Australia was a 14 year old nation with a need to create an identity and this was to be at sea with an eventual force of 8 capital ships and 15,000 men. Russia too saw that to be a 1st class power required a credible naval force, by 1914 their construction budget was second only to GB. Germany had created the Navy to project Germany onto the world stage. Unlike the Prussian Army, the navy was an Imperial institution. The same with A-H, Austrian and Hungarian armies but a single navy. Even the USN was to be a vehicle for projecting the nations men as clean cut, well educated and sober hence the navy went dry in 1914 and still is today.

Navies were more than just ships, the cheapest way for China to improve it's outlook in the world is to build a credible navy in ships and as a new institution. In a pre-1914 world the money and motivation could be found. Ton for ton battleships were the most cost effective naval investment compared to any other type of warship.
 
Others have mentioned it, but China does not have a national government until 1950.


China's best first chance was between 1880 and 1895. The Sino French wars 1 and 2 sank that dream with the Nanyang fleet. The Beiyang fleet was Japanese scuttled in 1895.

Between 1895 and 1972 (Nixon's visit to China) the chances for a capital ship centered battle fleet were ZERO. No technology, no training base and no political will. There was too much else critical to China happening internally with getting rid of Chiang kai Shek and then that mass murdering genocidal maniac Mao being TOP political priorities from 1925 onward.

Only now is China in a position to build capital ships and when it comes to building atomic subs? Let's say they are stuck in the 1970s.
I would say that it was still possible for China to get a capital ship if the warlord period was somehow butterflied. Without the warlord period, there would have been money and technological/industrial growth to develop a navy. They probably wouldn’t have been able to build one themselves for quite some time, but buying a small number of dreadnoughts from the European powers should have been possible.
 
I would say that it was still possible for China to get a capital ship if the warlord period was somehow butterflied. Without the warlord period, there would have been money and technological/industrial growth to develop a navy. They probably wouldn’t have been able to build one themselves for quite some time, but buying a small number of dreadnoughts from the European powers should have been possible.
Nope. Regionalism when China "had" a government would have defeated any "national" government program. That is the whole reason the French were able to torpedo the Nanyang fleet. The Beiyang fleet sat on their keels and let it get sunk.
 
Nope. Regionalism when China "had" a government would have defeated any "national" government program. That is the whole reason the French were able to torpedo the Nanyang fleet. The Beiyang fleet sat on their keels and let it get sunk.
Regionalism =/= the state could not buy dreadnoughts/develop a navy. We are not talking about the effectiveness of the theoretical fleet, but whether an alternate China that averted the warlord era could have afforded to buy dreadnoughts.By all means a number of third rate powers during the period did buy and maintain dreadnoughts.
 
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Regionalism =/= the state could not buy dreadnoughts/develop a navy. We are not talking about the effectiveness of the theoretical fleet, but whether an alternate China that averted the warlord era could have afforded to buy dreadnoughts.By all means a number of third rate powers during the period did buy and maintain dreadnoughts.
Directly on point, Mao is North China and Chiang is South China. Until that huge fracture is settled once and for all, there is no, repeat, "NO" political basis for a unified national Chinese government, warlords or not, and no unified polity for a unified navy. ZERO CHANCE in any realistic ATL. China 101.
 
Directly on point, Mao is North China and Chiang is South China. Until that huge fracture is settled once and for all, there is no, repeat, "NO" political basis for a unified national Chinese government, warlords or not, and no unified polity for a unified navy. ZERO CHANCE in any realistic ATL. China 101.
Why are you talking about Mao and Chiang? We are talking about a potential situation where either Yuan Shikai does better, the Qing Dynasty somehow clings to life by successfully transforming into a constitutional monarchy or some other strongman successfully taking control of China during the 1910s. The warlord period was not something that was inevitable.
 
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Why are you talking about Mao and Chiang? We are talking about a potential situation where either Yuan Shikai does better, the Qing Dynasty somehow clings to life by successfully transforming into a constitutional monarchy or some other strongman successfully taking control of China during the 1910s. The warlord period was not something that was inevitable.
Because those two idiots were the main reason China was not unified until 1950.
 
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