AHC: Strong post-war Royal Navy?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by King_Arthur, Dec 21, 2018.

  1. NOMISYRRUC Help! It's the Hair Bear Bunch!

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    I suggested cancelling and suspending more ships in 1945-46 to release more money for R&D in the period 1945-50.

    The intention was to accelerate the development of the steam catapult, angled flight deck and Seaslug missile system so that they would all come into service 4 years earlier.

    However, it could also be to accelerate the development of marine gas turbines for destroyers, frigates and fast attack craft so that the Metropolitan Vickers G6 was ready to go into service in the middle 1950s.

    That would have allowed the Type 12 family to have had four G6 units to produce 30,000hp and the Type 14 to have a pair of G6 units to produce 15,000hp. There would not have been a Type 81 ITTL. More Type 12 Rothesay class would have been built in their place.

    The TTL County class would have had eight G6 units to produce 60,000shp. The first pair of ships were ordered under the 1955/56 Estimates, but IOTL weren't laid down until 1959 and completed 1962-63. ITTL I was hoping that the accelerated development of the GWS-1 Seaslug would allow them to be laid down in 1955 and completed 1958-59.
     
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  2. Finbarr the Fair Well-Known Member

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    That makes sense in many ways. Though I might be contrary and argue for finishing some ships in 1946-8, especially those that are 85-90% complete in 1945. While scrapping more veterans and also most unlaunched hulls to clear slipways for civilian work. The suspended ships were a bit of a trap, freezing the RN into the Ark Royal and delaying completion of the Centaur class. When what was needed was 3-4 "Malta"-sized carriers designed in the early 1950s to take advantage of the R&D. With no Tigers on the horizon perhaps the Majestics (or Centaurs if pushed ahead) could be seen as cruiser equivalents, at least for the ASW and command roles.

    What would also be needed is a realisation that it wouldn't be economical to modernise the Armoured Fleet Carriers for service much beyond the late-1950s. Could Implacable and Indefatigable (the newest and least damaged) be partially modernised in the late 1940s? Converted to a large single hanger class by removal of the deck between the two hangers and using part of the space for storage of spare parts and other material suspended from a false ceiling or in a space above it? Maximum number of aircraft carried would revert to around 30-36 once jets come into service but they'd be ready earlier than Victorious. Feasible or nonsense?
     
  3. NOMISYRRUC Help! It's the Hair Bear Bunch!

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    The ships I was specifically thinking of cancelling outright were Hermes and all 16 Daring class instead of only 8. IOTL none of the Daring class had been laid down before VJ Day.

    The ships suspended early in 1946 would be Eagle and Ark Royal. However, Eagle would still be launched in 1946 to clear the slip.

    Ships like the Centaur and Majestic classes of aircraft carriers, Tiger class cruisers, Battle and Weapon class cruisers, would have been completed, suspended and/or cancelled in 1945-46 as OTL.

    What I was hoping that transferring the transfer of funds would achieve would be.
    • Bring the BXS-1 steam catapult trials on Perseus forward from 1951 to 1947
    • Bring the angled flight deck trials which took place on Triumph in 1952 IOTL forward to Warrior in 1948 in place of the OTL flexible deck trials. This would in turn bring forward the completion of the first County class DLG from 1962 to 1958.
    • Bring the Girdle Ness trials of Seaslug forward from 1956-61 to 1952-57.
    • Don't cancel the digital version of CDS in 1949.
     
  4. Riain Well-Known Member

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    That's a lot of stuff to accelerate , and with the SeaSlug it looks like at LOT. Were the schedules technology driven or financial and human driven?
     
  5. Finbarr the Fair Well-Known Member

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    @NOMISYRRUC

    I'd be tempted to complete the Tigers as Minotaurs rather than suspend them and scrap some "veterans" instead of retaining those. Is there any reason to suspend construction of Battle and Weapon class destroyers rather than cancel (and scrap) them along with the Gaels? Do you know where I can find details of how complete were various ships that were laid down or launched before VJ day?
     
  6. NOMISYRRUC Help! It's the Hair Bear Bunch!

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    You may be surprised to know that I have a spreadsheet. Send me your email address and I will send it to you.
     
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  7. NOMISYRRUC Help! It's the Hair Bear Bunch!

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    Just for you.

    In the case of the Battle class...

    Battle Class.png
     
  8. NOMISYRRUC Help! It's the Hair Bear Bunch!

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    The Weapons class

    Weapon class 3.png

    Gael class

    8 ordered by VJ Day out of 16 planned.
    None laid down by VJ Day.
    All cancelled December 1945

    Daring class

    16 ordered by VJ Day
    None laid down by VJ Day.
    8 cancelled December 1945 - of the remainder
    2 laid down 1945 (Daring 29/09/45 and Dainty 27/12/45)
    2 laid down 1946
    1 laid down 1947
    1 laid down 1948
    2 laid down 1949

    8 launched 1949-52

    8 completed 1952-54​
     
  9. PMN1 Member

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  10. KillerT Well-Known Member

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    But would you build the Malta’s bearing in mind that they are more future proof than pretty much any other class, although the Collussus class could very easily have become the 1960s ASW carriers and LPH, so basically just helicopter carriers, would you see Triumph converted to heavy repair ship?
     
  11. Zen9 Well-Known Member

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    They could only contemplate the Malta because of war and emergency powers to drydock it in civilian facilities.
    Facilities they felt lacked security and some were notable for industrial unrest.

    The hope must have been that they could get the government to fund a Uk sited new military drydock.
    Because ironically they had Empire facilities that were big enough.

    It's also a fact almost nothing of the Malta design was carried into the 1952 CV or the Medium Fleet CV effort.
    It was a dead end.
     
  12. Riain Well-Known Member

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    That's interesting. What 'experience' design inputs were used in the 1952 design, more Audacious style?
     
  13. Zen9 Well-Known Member

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    That's a bit of a vague question.
    The '52 and CVA-01 are clean sheet designs.
    Though there are standard parts like seats, doors etc.
    But not the plant.
    Not the hanger
    Not the flight deck

    Experience was informing the designers on what worked in real life.
     
  14. Riain Well-Known Member

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    Malta class was designed to "pulse" launch most of its CAG in a single strike, whereas previous carriers had operated on a 'range' of half the CAG ar any one time. Did the 1952 carrier have the ability to launch 3/4 or more of its CAG in a single strike?
     
  15. Pangur The Cat Donor

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    I was under the impression that the Malta class where designed with WW2 experience and it was incorporating the lessons in to the design slowed down the whole exercise
     
  16. StevoJH Well-Known Member

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    Well yes. But then with the 1952 CV they had to take into account the lessons learnt from early jet operations at sea and the angled deck trials.
     
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  17. Riain Well-Known Member

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    By 1952 the US was incorporating many British ideas for carriers, most notably the covered-in "hurricane bow": IIUC the Forrestal was ordered with a hurricane bow. I also think that by 1952 it was becoming obvious that while fewer jets could be carried they carried more ordnance than propeller planes, making a pulsed strike less important .
     
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  18. PSL Information not passed on is lost.

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    If you want to build and sustain large deck carriers you have to stop wasting money on masses of new frigates in the 1950s & 1960s and instead follow the American lead and each decade build a new batch of bigger and bigger multipurpose -destroyer leader/light cruisers .

    There is no other way other than not participating in the cold war/NATO etc.

    The WW-II Legacy fleet was an advantage gifted to all fleets after WW-II. wasting this is foolish.
     
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  19. Pangur The Cat Donor

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    Point taken, not all experience has to be combat experience
     
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  20. NOMISYRRUC Help! It's the Hair Bear Bunch!

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    Exactly the opposite in my opinion.

    In the period from about 1950 to about 1980 it was more cost effective for the Royal Navy to buy new ships than modernise existing ships. This is because hulls and machinery are cheap while weapons, radars, sonars and computers are expensive.

    IMHO it was the money spent to complete Hermes, Tiger, Lion and Blake and the rebuild of Victorious that was wasted. It would have been better to have spent the money on new aircraft carriers.

    Comparisons with the American legacy fleet ships are misleading because they tended to be bigger than equivalent British ships, which made it easier to modernise them. They also had hidden advantages like using electric power for gun mountings rather than hydraulic power, AC electrical systems instead of DC and better accommodation for their crews than war built British ships.