Best British battlefleet for ww1

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Hood, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. Peg Leg Pom Well-Known Member

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    In WWI for long range over water patrols for the RNAS I want the North Sea Class blimp. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NS_class_airship Ideally the RNAS would have looked at blimps seriously at the same time they were experimenting with the Mayfly rigid airship (that broke its back before it flew). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMA_No._1
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    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
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  2. Stenz Don't judge the past by the standards of today... Monthly Donor

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    Fleets of QEs, watched over by radio-equipped blimps, with a scouting wing of all-or-nothing armoured BCs?

    I’m enjoying this thread immensely!
     
  3. steamboy Well-Known Member

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  4. CultBoy Well-Known Member

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  5. Peg Leg Pom Well-Known Member

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    The one glaring gap in the RN in WWI is the lack of convoy escorts (and convoys before 1917 but that's doctrinal)
     
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  6. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

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    That gets me thinking... what about something like an analogue to the WWII Flower class corvette?

    Perhaps, an "anti-submarine trawler", one that can be built quickly and easily in merchant shipyards. Perhaps, something on the order of:

    EDIT: What I had originally proposed was too large, and sloop-levels of size and sophistication.

    -168' × 30', 760 tons.

    -Coal-fired, shipyard-built, triple expansion engine, 2x fire-tube Scotch boilers. 1 shaft, 12kn top speed, 14 when forced and coal sprayed with fuel oil (carried in a small tank for emergencies). 4000 nmi range. Open bridge.

    -Armed with:

    • 1x 12pdr 12cwt gun (3"/L40) on foredeck
    • 1x stern depth charge rail with 20 charges
    • 1x Vickers 1pdr (mounted high behind bridge)
    • 2x Lewis machine guns, 1 per side
    • 1x 81mm Stokes mortar forward
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
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  7. Peg Leg Pom Well-Known Member

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    What you're looking at is the Flower Class Sloop, originally designed as fleet minesweepers. Over 100 were built in five sub classes. The problem with them is they only had a range of 2000 miles. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flower-class_sloop

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  8. FirstGermanMapper New Member

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    Lets compare it with Kaiserliche Marine
     
  9. Cryhavoc101 Well-Known Member

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  10. Jellico Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't the answer some variation on "we have a huge fishing fleet"?

    WWI convoys isn't a simple question. It is not like they forgot convoys existed. But there are costs to running convoys and genuine questions about the seamanship of the merchants that have to be answered. Did they even really need convoys before 1916?

    But lets assume the decision is made. I really do think the initial answer was the trawler fleet. Even then the usual dynamic is to build the slow building capital ships in peace time and spam out the fast built escorts in peace time. Jacky Fisher has just spent a few years reducing the full time man power of the fleet to save running costs. You aren't going to build up numbers again with marginally useful anti-sub escorts when there are a bunch of nominally short term useful trawlers and yachts available.
     
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  11. Dorknought Well-Known Member

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    In August 1914 the RNAS had 7 airships 52 seaplanes 39 land planes. 16 of the seaplanes had 70lb radios with a range of 120miles. Source DK Brown the Grand Fleet.
     
  12. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

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    There was also a plan to build a class of 85 small anti-sub trawlers, but they were canceled in favour of building a class of 55 larger sloops-of-war, the Kil(began) Class:

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    These ships (182' x 33', 895t, 13kn) were remarkably sophisticated for their time- they carried early hydrophones, and were given a fore-and-aft design with a single mast near dead midships, to confuse submarines as to which end was which. They also carried a 4" gun and 12 depth charges. I couldn't find a range figure, however.
     
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  13. Jellico Well-Known Member

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    Anyone reckon they could convince their lordships to build the Orions with 8 x 13"?

    You can run the argument that the 13" battery has a similar with of fire with more range and accuracy than the preceded 5 x 12" layout. The Germans are building 5 x 12" too. The argument worked with the QEs.

    The mass saved can go to protection, speed, or a cheaper ship. But the butterflies flow on to all future 10 and 12 gun ships.
     
  14. Stenz Don't judge the past by the standards of today... Monthly Donor

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    I’m not so sure. The QEs went to 8 x 15” because it provided the same weight of broadside as the proceeding 10 x 13.5” ships, which in turn had the 13.5” as the RN was growing dissatisfied with the 12”. To reduce the broadside on the Orion class would mean it was too light, the spotting for the Orion and previous classes being poor due to the positioning of the spotting top. Less guns mean it’s harder to spot the fall of shot (in the technology of the day).
     
  15. Spencersj345.346 Well-Known Member

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    Not to mention the fact that naval guns are not the most accurate weapons in the world and the more you fire per salvo the greater the chance of hitting the target which when considering how bad fire control technology was at the time is no small feat
     
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  16. Jellico Well-Known Member

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    I picked on the Orions for a reason.

    Every British battleship before the Orions could only achieve a 10 gun salvo with cross deck firing of en echelon turrets. Practically we are talking 8 gun broadsides.

    They are the first class to leap to 13.5". The 13.5" shell is nearly twice as heavy as the 12" so there is still an increase in salvo weight. It is a more accurate and longer ranged gun.

    If you are going to break up the turret farm design school and maybe go for a fast battleship this is the first chance before the 15".
     
  17. Dorknought Well-Known Member

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    Joe public was conditioned to expect that Dreadnoughts had 10 or more guns. Less was inferior. It was a ‘race’, and you aim to win.
     
  18. Stenz Don't judge the past by the standards of today... Monthly Donor

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    So why no outcry when the Queen Elizabeth class was launched? Better media campaign to emphasise their relative power?
     
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  19. Count of Crisco Pithy remark here.

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    You can always turn and say "yes only eight, but they are bigger. That makes them by default better."
     
  20. naraic Well-Known Member

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    This is why the previous poster suggested the Orions. They were the first 13.5 inch gunned battleship.