Best warships that should have been built

In almost any TL with some version of a CP victory the war is over but the peace is not as outwardly settled. Each great power and the lesser powers will need to remain armed in some better measure. The alliances will remain and relationships cross-cut. The Dutch hang between Germany and Britain, their greatest threat is Japan, a British ally, they pose a threat to Australia, yet Dutch oil is part of the British economic sphere. I do not think they need a large fleet but do need to begin building towards a more complex naval capability to defend the DEI far away. The true threat may be 20 plus years away but one builds a navy over decades. A single big ship could be where the Dutch learn. The same applies to a lot of other navies.
It is not a question of necessity but of money. Is the Netherlands going to be richer in this scenario? Will the pacifist lobby be less strong? The chances of the Netherlands being able to fund a fleet based around battleships big enough to matter are pretty small.
 
It is not a question of necessity but of money. Is the Netherlands going to be richer in this scenario? Will the pacifist lobby be less strong? The chances of the Netherlands being able to fund a fleet based around battleships big enough to matter are pretty small.
Money will be tight and pacifism still rampant but the dangers more obvious. To squeeze out money for a sole ship class at likely favorable or downright cheap money will be doable. It should still take a decade before finances improve and the threats crystallize or vanish. In a less settled world the peace dividend will be less and Germany might "gift" the ship in lieu of debt forgiveness and tighter relations.
 
Money will be tight and pacifism still rampant but the dangers more obvious. To squeeze out money for a sole ship class at likely favorable or downright cheap money will be doable. It should still take a decade before finances improve and the threats crystallize or vanish. In a less settled world the peace dividend will be less and Germany might "gift" the ship in lieu of debt forgiveness and tighter relations.
Was the world really settled OTL? Japan was the no.1 threat for the Netherlands OTL already. Why would that threat be any bigger ATL? Buying one battleship will not do anything against countering that threat.
 
Some of my top choices have already been mentioned but one class that not only should gave been constructed, but STILL needs to be resurrected in a hurry is the CG(N)-X.

25,000 tons, 512 VLS tubes, BMD capable, nuclear powered so it can operate current and forcast 2nd and 3rd Generation Rail Guns and Directed Energy systems.. Plan was for 19, I'd argue for at least 26, two per CV(N)BG and three for independent SBG use as floating THAAD with two-three DDG-51 Block III/IV. The world is still a very unfriendly place and the U.S. is riding too hard on 1990s tech into the third decade of the 21st Century.

Another gaping hole in the USN inventory is shore bombardment. The fleet needs to come up with at least a 155mm armed design, although a 208mm would be better that can provide useful naval gunfire support, not just with the gee-wizz 100 mile deep strike but with conventional rounds as well. Ideally a variant of the CG(N)-X but with a much smaller VLS, say 96 compartments, four 155mm/208mm guns and space/weight saved for both rail guns and directed energy. Need at least one of these, ideally two+ for each 'Phib group.
When and in what amount of gun/laser/directed energy weapon systems per ship is going to have a major impact on power requirements. This is one reason that the Navy was funding alternative fusion research such as that by Robert Bussard. Low cost (low in the scheme of things budget wise, the Navy probably loses money per year in liat aircraft than they put into fusion) with huge potential payout if it works. I saw something about a research effort by HB11, a company spun out of New South Wales University, that has made potential progress with the Proton-Boron 11 reaction. To their credit they aren't making any grand claims or predictions
Such a system or the Polywell* for example if it could be made to work would be ideal. What the Navy was after was something that could fit in a ships hull after all. Besides a compact, relatively cheap and easy to produce fusion reactor not only potentially solves a lot of Earth based problems but hands us the Solar System and its resources on a silver platter. There could also be potential problems politically with a workable fusion reactor of this type. One I could see happening is certain nation states whose economies rely on selling a certain hydrocarbon reacting by funding terrorist responses.

*The thing that will make fusion a reality IMO is advances in superconductors and the manufacturing processes to produce usable materials from them. Not just lab curiosities. The recent MIT design proposal is based on the use of superconducting tape for the magnets. A material that wasn't around when ITER** was designed. The MIT design is also based on a certain amount of modularity allowing maintenance and or upgrades.

**The primary function of ITER and fusion research by the US Dept of Energy is to produce Phdatrons, not electrons I'm my opinion
 
I've got to disagree with a few of these:

Graf Zeppelin was a disaster waiting to happen. And even Hitler realised that. For a country obsessed with "wunderwaffe" it's telling that they never bothered to complete their carrier.
I have to discredit this point. This is completely wrong.

 
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The second batch of Iowa class battleships.
Improved under water protection improved armor and improved guns.
They would have been extremely useful in the right circumstances in world war II if completed.
But the right choice was made and resources where diverted to aircraft carriers
 
For the US 1913 Scheme #3, originally planned as a possible design for New Mexico, it would have mounted 10 16" guns on a hull of 35,700 tons. It is unfortunate that the New Mexico's were not of this type, a shame the Tennessee's were not, and a crying shame that the Colorado's were not. Yet another thing to blame on Josephus Daniels. Admittedly the USN having 5 16" Battleships completed in 1921 would have really screwed with the WNT, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
1. One does not want too many turrets distributed on too long a hull, or one achieves the steel version of hogging.
2. The eventual South Dakotas show a good compromise, or perhaps something like this... for a mid 1920s to mid 1930s modernization...

Also the Virginia Battleship design A rather than the Design B that was built OTL, all but one member of the original board endorsed design A, but that one guy was so strenous that they convened a second board. This second board unlike the first included line officers with combat experience, these new officers chose B, the version with the 8" turrets stacked on top of the 12" rather than the conventional mounting of A.
Several questionable design decisions were implemented. The Virginias had wing turrets which were a stress weakness in the armor scheme. The turret on turret super-position of 20.3 cm gun houses on the 30.5 cm main armament gun houses were not only a human factors disaster of unbelievable idiocy as the hoists fouled each other, but the 20.3 cm gun gun houses were an added topweight hazard and a armor weakness since the gun-house armor of the super-imposed mounts was extremely thin and vulnerable to enemy medium caliber naval guns.

Better was this:

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The large surface raider appears to be a 1920s to 1930s solution when submarines are still mostly blind, mostly slow and mostly vulnerable, before radar one needs a flock of aircraft to scout at any distance, speed to outrun or bigger guns to outfight Cruisers, and tonnage for habitability, fuel, stores and workshops to be independent. Now I believe these ships became political weapons at bottom, but again are a case of Germany getting the right ship after its useful era past. These are in my mind what the Imperial Navy needed, perhaps useful post-war and in the interim years before 1939.
This was always a chimera as soon as a bomber was possible that could deliver a torpedo.

In theory a very fast heavy cruiser, say 10 to 15,000 tons, might slip in and extend this life for the mission, but I think it becomes the surface component to the U-boat war, and still vulnerable to any opposing surface fleet since the biggest issue is that Germany must break out of the North Sea to ever contest any enemy. That should have circled them back to a cruiser submarine, far faster in transit or stalking, far better underwater when evading or transiting near any air cover, and able to stay out on station once it got out on the shipping lanes. Its biggest weakness being finding targets.
Same again.

Germany should have been earlier to pursue RDF and hunting for radio chatter, an antenna is easier than getting an airplane on a sub and Germany should have seen the value radar has for a submarine searching the expanse of ocean at night too. And I wonder why no one thought about jamming radios on target shipping, that seems to be a necessity for some lone hunter to delay the hounds. Germany's geography almost mandates that submarines are its only hope getting out beyond the British Isles, its surface Navy is best used as the bogeyman to tie down the RN on big ships and ignore escorts. If I were to reform the KM or either era I would get them to admit the capital ships are a bluff and pursue mine warfare, submarines and aviation to actually fight a winnable naval war versus the only opponent that matters, the RN, strangle the coastal trade, sink ships at anchor, blockade from the Western sea lanes. A decisive battle is propaganda to lull the British into opposing the wrong thing. Nazi Germany did not have the time or I believe leadership to do just that, so perhaps it is moot, but grist for our ATL mills.
Someone did think about making submarines electronic warfare platforms. It was NOT the Germans or the British.

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So for my ATL thinking, I want a Cruiser that can go hunting on the open ocean, faster than anything afloat, only better armed than the average AMC or likely trade protection cruiser, likely biased to several scout airplanes. Maybe a sort of Tone-class looking thing, less guns, maybe a light torpedo optimized for anti-ship kills, using more tonnage for endurance, and the earliest Radar and ESM outfit technology permits. Still a dead end but between 1919 and 1939 it has promise and can be paraded as Germany's foreign station cruiser. It might leverage into a supporting role for a better U-boat campaign after that, but then I think it needs to consider AA warfare and radar to warn against aircraft. It will pursue a dangerously exposed mission but Germany has the deck stacked against her anyway.
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The stupid shall be etc...
 

Attachments

What are some cool warships of the steel era (1859-present) that should have been built?

My lists are :
Planned Dutch battlecruisers (German invasion in 1940 ended all plans of that)
United States class aircraft carriers
Ersatz Yorck class battlecruisers
HMS Lion
H class battleships
CVA-01
Planned Ticonderoga class successor
Graf Zeppelin aircraft carrier
French and Italian WW2 era ship designs never built or completed (French and Italian warships are my favorite
What value would the Graf Zeppelin or H-class have had?

Same with the United States class?
 
Some of my top choices have already been mentioned but one class that not only should gave been constructed, but STILL needs to be resurrected in a hurry is the CG(N)-X.

25,000 tons, 512 VLS tubes, BMD capable, nuclear powered so it can operate current and forcast 2nd and 3rd Generation Rail Guns and Directed Energy systems.. Plan was for 19, I'd argue for at least 26, two per CV(N)BG and three for independent SBG use as floating THAAD with two-three DDG-51 Block III/IV. The world is still a very unfriendly place and the U.S. is riding too hard on 1990s tech into the third decade of the 21st Century.

Another gaping hole in the USN inventory is shore bombardment. The fleet needs to come up with at least a 155mm armed design, although a 208mm would be better that can provide useful naval gunfire support, not just with the gee-wizz 100 mile deep strike but with conventional rounds as well. Ideally a variant of the CG(N)-X but with a much smaller VLS, say 96 compartments, four 155mm/208mm guns and space/weight saved for both rail guns and directed energy. Need at least one of these, ideally two+ for each 'Phib group.
512 VLS? Jesus that's insane. Makes a Kirov look like a pacifist's wet dream.
 
Personally, I'm skeptical of the 512 figure. The Wiki citation leads back to GlobalSecurity.org, which I don't trust very much. And the similarly-large, if not as optimized for the role, San Antonio BMD version has only 288. Sounds like a much more reasonable figure to me.
 
Personally, I'm skeptical of the 512 figure. The Wiki citation leads back to GlobalSecurity.org, which I don't trust very much. And the similarly-large, if not as optimized for the role, San Antonio BMD version has only 288. Sounds like a much more reasonable figure to me.
I think that the CVGN(X) was probably a stretch too far, but the concept of an AAW arsenal ship is worthwhile. Maybe a San Antonio derivative arsenal ship with MT30's that could hold 384 to 512 cells, mount AN/SPY-6 and get up to around 32kts might be somewhere near an affordable solution.
 
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I think that the CVGN(X) was probably a stretch too far, but the concept of an AAW arsenal ship is worthwhile. Maybe a San Antonio derivative arsenal ship with MT30's that could hold 384 to 512 cells, mount AN/SPY-6 and get up to around 32kts might be somewhere near an affordable solution.
The real problem is that the Navy won't be able to get enough missiles for all the cells of such ships in peacetime(heck they already struggle with this as it is on existing ships)and unlike shells and bombs missiles have a rather long production cycle
 
The Sprucan hull form could fit 128 cells (2 x 8 x 8) on about 9,000 tons, although it was completely maxed out with that kind of loadout. I don't think there's much need to go over that number, although a large hull could fit larger cells and therefore longer-range missiles, and would handle everything more comfortably.
 
That's great a far more useful fleet in the 80s and 90s but my first thought was 'what about crewing?'

Type 21 = 179
Leander = 260
Type 42 = 250ish depending on source - some as high as 300
Type 22
  • Batch 1: 222
  • Batch 2: 273
  • Batch 3: 250
Bristol = 397

So having larger fleet of type 42s and type 22s is going to need significantly more manpower over OTL which is quite costly as you know

There would also have to be an increase over OTL in harbour facilities (probably more a case of maintaining more existing facilities over OTL) and a larger RFA which also costs money and resources.

I think that gap would have to be absorbed by having fewer hulls (but probably still far more over OTL) - and have Bristol paid off as the training ship at HMS Excellent (replacing HMS Kent earlier) in Portsmouth.

I can also imagine that with so many Type 22s that no type 23 would be required to replace the Leanders and older ships and no new class would be required before the noughties leaving very little for shipyards to build during the 90s - especially when the peace dividend kicks in.

But that is unlikely to shape thinking in the late 70s and with more hulls that is more refits.

You mention greater development and more effective cost overheads for Sea Dart given the greater number of ships and users along with 'Land Dart'

In the same vein we would probably see greater and faster development of the Sea Wolf system including the light 4 cell system and VL although I cannot see Rapier being replaced with Land Wolf (although the CAMM system seems to have replaced missiles in all 3 services today!!)?
My post took place in a TL that began the day after CVA01 was cancelled.

The 1967 decision to withdraw from "East of Suez" by the end of 1974 is still made and the the 1968 decision to bring the "East of Suez" withdrawal to the end of 1971 still happen. However, the performance of the British economy improved between February 1966 and the end of 1974 that the Mason Defence Review of late 1974-early 1975 is avoided. The performance of the British economy continues to be better than OTL and the Knott Defence Review is also avoided.

Therefore, ITTL the British armed forces are maintained at their pre-Mason Defence Review strength until the end of the Cold War.
 
I can also imagine that with so many Type 22s that no type 23 would be required to replace the Leanders and older ships and no new class would be required before the noughties leaving very little for shipyards to build during the 90s - especially when the peace dividend kicks in.
Correct. I direct you to the following.
Summary

IOTL 36 destroyers and frigates were built for the RN consisting of 8 Type 21, 14 Type 22 and 14 Type 42. There were also 20 Leander class modernisations of 26 planned.

ITTL 72 destroyers and frigates were built for the RN consisting of 48 Type 22 and 24 Type 42. None of the Leander class were modernised because it was decided that building new ships was more cost effective.
Assuming that there were no losses the RN would have had 75 frigates and destroyers in 1990 consisting of Bristol, 24 Type 42, 48 Type 22 and 2 Leanders. The totals IOTL were Bristol, 6 Type 21, 14 Type 22, 12 Type 42 and 18 Leander class to maintain the force of 50 destroyers and frigates that was set after the Falklands War, but the actual number was smaller than that.
With hindsight I should have done it slightly differently. Bristol would not have been ordered and a 27th Leander would have been built in its place. 25 Type 42s would have been ordered 1968-71 instead of 24 as written previously. I should also have had 50 Type 22s ordered 1974-85 instead of 48. One of the two extra ships would have been in place of the first Type 23, which was ordered in 1984.

That would have given the RN 75 destroyers and frigates at the end of the Cold War consisting of 50 Type 22s and 25 Type 42s. All older destroyers and frigates would have been scrapped or sold by the end of 1990.

There wasn't much for the shipyards to do in the 1990s anyway. 10 Type 23s had been ordered before the end of the Cold War (one 1984, three 1986, three 1988 and three 1989) from Yarrow (6) and Swan Hunter (4). Long-lead items for 6 Type 23s were ordered in 1990, but in the first 3 ships weren't ordered until 23rd February 1992 and the final trio wasn't ordered until 1996. AIUI there were no new orders until the first Type 45s were ordered and that seems to be about the year 2000.

ITTL there wouldn't be a Type 23 frigate because there was no need for it. The Type 42 would become due for replacement from 1993 and the Type 22s wouldn't become due for replacement until 1999. Therefore, the follow-on ship from Type 22 would have been a ship armed with an area defence SAM to replace the Type 42 and a number of Type 43 or Type 44 destroyers would have been ordered 1986-96 instead of the 15 Type 23s ordered over that period IOTL.
 
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I have to discredit this point. This is completely wrong.

The Graf Zeppelin was doomed from the start.
1st, the Germans never had enough resources or manpower to complete the ship, let along maintain it
2nd, the Bf-109 would have made a godawful carrier fighter. Its narrow landing gear and tendency to shift left on takeoff would have made it a horrible plane to fly from carriers. And its terrible range would severely limit its capabilities.
3rd, with all those Swordfish torpedo bombers out there, a lone carrier seems like a nice juicy target
 
In the same TL as above...

Royal Navy Submarines from the Middle 1960s to the End of the Cold War
Ballistic Missile Submarines


5 Resolution class SSBN were built instead of 4. The fifth boat was ordered in 1963 along with the other four boats. It was laid down in 1965 at Vickers, Barrow or Cammel Laird and completed before the end of 1969. Furthermore, all five boats were refitted with Poseidon immediately after the USN finishes rearming its SSBNs with Poseidon. Consideration was given to rearming them with Trident 1, but it was decided that Poseidon would be adequate until the Vanguard class entered service.

5 Vanguard class SSBN were built to replace the Resolution class. They were also built at a faster rate than the OTL boats. IOTL the 4 boats were laid down 1986-93 and completed 1993-99. ITTL the 5 boats were laid down 1986-90 at a rate of one per year and completed 1993-97 at an average rate of one per year.

Fleet Submarines


Dreadnought, Valiant and Warspite are built as OTL. Dreadnought was still withdrawn from service in 1980.

IOTL 16 boats of the Churchill, Swiftsure and Trafalgar classes were ordered 1965-86. However, ITTL 23 SSNs were ordered 1965-87 at the rate of one per year. The last 6 were ordered to replace Dreadnought, Valiant, Warspite and the 3 Churchill class.

14 boats were in service early in 1982 instead of 11. The target of 20 was reached in 1987 and was maintained at that level until the end of the Cold War. IOTL there were only 16 SSNs in service at the end of 1989 because Talent was not completed until 1990 and Triumph wasn't completed until 1991.

Patrol Submarines

There were 30 fleet and patrol submarines at the end of 1974 in both timelines. There were 8 fleet submarines (Dreadnought, 5 Valiant/Churchill class and the first 2 Swiftsure class) and 22 patrol submarines (one A class, 8 Porpoise class and 13 Oberon class).

AKAIK the long-term plan was for 20 SSN and 10 SS and ITTL 10 Upholder class patrol submarines were built in the 1980s to compliment the fleet submarines.

Sub-Martel wasn't cancelled ITTL as there was no 1974 Defence Review.
 
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