Dread Nought but the Fury of the Seas

I like that idea. Most capital secondaries are cruiser-calibre guns, which is what the RN would be “expecting” to use in the kind of scenario these “second-rate capitals” would be employed in. It’s not like the Royal Navy is not used to the idea of rating it’s capital ships
I like the idea as well, the problem is none of the 12" (and all 13.5" but the ID's and I assume Panther) have secondaries bigger than 4", which isn't enough to fight a post WW1 CL
 
These are all decent points, and I wonder if the way to finesse them is cross training? The ship deploys with gun crews sufficient for 4 of 5 main battery turrets and half the secondaries. If the Captain thinks that he might need all of the secondaries, he can designate one turret crew to cross-train as secondary gun crews. I would think basic gunnery training at Whale Island would start with something like a 4" gun, before sending battleship gun crews to main battery training. Not sure if the school did anything for the main battery, they might have relied on shipboard on the job training.
 
As you say man power isn't that much of a difference, the bigger issue is that these are old, tired ships. That means they need a lot of routine and reactive maintenance if they aren't going to be pier Queens and that costs money, especially as some ships will have effectively unique bits of kit further driving up costs. Right now they don't really have a choice but a force of smaller, more modern, more uniform ships costs much less to maintain and the RN really needs to focus on getting there as soon as possible.
Oh yes, this is a short term deal with worn-out ships (and for various reasons it'll be even shorter than the RN plans for...).
That said, it's also a way of sending impressive-looking ships that won't have been seen around the world in many years - everyone from Sumatran pirates up to the Indian Maharajas get to see a battleship with the White Ensign on it.

It's not entirely new either, there was a prewar practice of keeping a few 2nd Fleet ships overseas - e.g. HMS Triumph was in reserve at Hong Kong in 1914.
 
I like that idea. Most capital secondaries are cruiser-calibre guns, which is what the RN would be “expecting” to use in the kind of scenario these “second-rate capitals” would be employed in. It’s not like the Royal Navy is not used to the idea of rating it’s capital ships
Wouldn't it be a better use of resources to scrap the 12" 'second-raters' and use the guns & armour to make heavy cruisers with a 12" main battery ala WW2's Graf Spee? Use them in the role of screening carriers & killing commerce raiders, while preventing anyone from getting the bright idea that they should be in the battle line. Then, instead of building lightly armoured battlecruisers, just build proper fast battleships with 15"+ guns.
 
Brief thought - If you're going to use the old battleships with short crews on show-the-flag overseas stations, wouldn't it make sense to keep the secondaries manned and cut back on the main armament crews, maybe manning only 1 or 2 turrets? The secondaries may actually get used in anti-piracy / colonial policing operations. The 12" are overkill on anything short of a heavy cruiser, and in a war situation, the ship will have to be re-manned anyway.
In manpower terms, yes, but as @fester says, operating a turret is a much more complex task that takes time to train for as a unit. It's 50-100 men (IIRC British 12" turrets typically had a crew of 62), many of whom had to work in sequence.
Missing drill on a single 4" gun could usually be rectified in seconds, but getting out of sequence with a hoist or a rammer has the potential to jam the entire turret.

Having 4/5 main and half secondary also isn't much of a reduction in fighting capacity for the ships in question. They all had wing turrets, and even the Colossus class struggled to fire more than an 8-gun broadside, while secondary guns are unlikely to engage on both sides at once.
There are also other uses for the men, some of which can't be done away with (e.g. cooks or boats' crews), and at least one turret would be manned by the Marines, who would likely be required away from the ship on a colonial station more than at home.
 
These are all decent points, and I wonder if the way to finesse them is cross training? The ship deploys with gun crews sufficient for 4 of 5 main battery turrets and half the secondaries. If the Captain thinks that he might need all of the secondaries, he can designate one turret crew to cross-train as secondary gun crews. I would think basic gunnery training at Whale Island would start with something like a 4" gun, before sending battleship gun crews to main battery training. Not sure if the school did anything for the main battery, they might have relied on shipboard on the job training.
It's a good idea, and certainly was done for a range of roles - particularly magazine and handling crews, who needed similar skills and discipline regardless of the calibre.

Most heavy gun training was done aboard ship, and there were also dedicated gunnery training ships, usually old battleships.
 
Wouldn't it be a better use of resources to scrap the 12" 'second-raters' and use the guns & armour to make heavy cruisers with a 12" main battery ala WW2's Graf Spee? Use them in the role of screening carriers & killing commerce raiders, while preventing anyone from getting the bright idea that they should be in the battle line. Then, instead of building lightly armoured battlecruisers, just build proper fast battleships with 15"+ guns.
It's an interesting idea ... no doubt someone will think of it sometime ... somewhere ... :)
 
Wouldn't it be a better use of resources to scrap the 12" 'second-raters' and use the guns & armour to make heavy cruisers with a 12" main battery ala WW2's Graf Spee? Use them in the role of screening carriers & killing commerce raiders, while preventing anyone from getting the bright idea that they should be in the battle line. Then, instead of building lightly armoured battlecruisers, just build proper fast battleships with 15"+ guns.
The guns are overly heavy wire-wound antiques at this point; the 50-caliber Mk. IX guns in particular, which comprise almost half the guns were considered a failure and the Royal Navy is almost certainly eager to ditch them as soon as they can. Between needing to modify the mounts for higher elevations and the impact of these overly heavy guns on ship footprint, I don't think it's worth the cost savings.

The armor is even worse. Major advances in armor are coming, the Royal Navy won't want to be stuck with last-gen armor. And you have a far more limited supply of 10" and 11" armor plate than you have /45 guns, because these "heavy cruisers" are a lot longer than the dreadnoughts you'd be hauling the armor off and those dreadnoughts didn't even have much main belt coverage compared to the current generation. The guns you could handwave if you wanted to. The armor... no.
 
The guns are overly heavy wire-wound antiques at this point; the 50-caliber Mk. IX guns in particular, which comprise almost half the guns were considered a failure and the Royal Navy is almost certainly eager to ditch them as soon as they can. Between needing to modify the mounts for higher elevations and the impact of these overly heavy guns on ship footprint, I don't think it's worth the cost savings.

The armor is even worse. Major advances in armor are coming, the Royal Navy won't want to be stuck with last-gen armor. And you have a far more limited supply of 10" and 11" armor plate than you have /45 guns, because these "heavy cruisers" are a lot longer than the dreadnoughts you'd be hauling the armor off and those dreadnoughts didn't even have much main belt coverage compared to the current generation. The guns you could handwave if you wanted to. The armor... no.
Well, there's always shore batteries.
 
Well, there's always shore batteries.
In all honesty that is where a fair few of the 13.5" guns(although probably not their turrets due to the fact that they really couldn't have improved their elevation due to the fact that the 13.5" turret wasn't all that much larger than the RN's last 12" turrets) should have went as their ships were retired as a result of the naval treaties. Malta,Singapore(in place of the 15" guns placed there otl), and Gibraltar would have been prime candidates for this and depending on tensions with the US so would Halifax and Bermuda
 
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Stenz

Monthly Donor
Wouldn't it be a better use of resources to scrap the 12" 'second-raters' and use the guns & armour to make heavy cruisers with a 12" main battery ala WW2's Graf Spee?
It would, but I imagine the rationale behind this idea ATL is to save money on new construction and save the slips for new ‘first-raters’
 
Wouldn't it be a better use of resources to scrap the 12" 'second-raters' and use the guns & armour to make heavy cruisers with a 12" main battery ala WW2's Graf Spee? Use them in the role of screening carriers & killing commerce raiders, while preventing anyone from getting the bright idea that they should be in the battle line. Then, instead of building lightly armoured battlecruisers, just build proper fast battleships with 15"+ guns.
Certainly is not a bad idea, I agree with it, but it comes with certain shortcomings, namely:

  • That gives effective carte blanche to the rest to build their own new version of the armored cruiser or, better said, a battle scout that would be expensive, if not money draining at least.
  • The guns are already wore out and pretty much obsolete for the future, or rephrasing Fisher « to old and slow for a combat and too big for a cruiser»
  • The only specific advantage I can see is that effectively that would keep the caliber limit on Germany, but the thing is that it would also means branding those as capital ships instead of cruisers; something that even if selling it as fleet units for the Dominions, it wouldn't do too much a grace to everyone interested (namely US and Japan).
All of which takes us again to the wise behind the 8" as a reasonable limit to everyone, although I would still argue for a better displacement limit than the 10k tons.

PD: however note that it could be an effective scouting and heavy surface defense for a carrier group, it would be superb, but that's with hindsight.
 
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Stenz

Monthly Donor
I like the idea as well, the problem is none of the 12" (and all 13.5" but the ID's and I assume Panther) have secondaries bigger than 4", which isn't enough to fight a post WW1 CL
That's true, but they still have the 12" which would be more than good enough. The 4" would be good for anti-destroyer and torpedo boat work and who knows, maybe even modernised to to have some HA cover (BD mounts instead of casemates?) and allow some AA work?
 
Wouldn't it be a better use of resources to scrap the 12" 'second-raters' and use the guns & armour to make heavy cruisers with a 12" main battery ala WW2's Graf Spee? Use them in the role of screening carriers & killing commerce raiders, while preventing anyone from getting the bright idea that they should be in the battle line. Then, instead of building lightly armoured battlecruisers, just build proper fast battleships with 15"+ guns.
It's an interesting idea ... no doubt someone will think of it sometime ... somewhere ... :)
To expand on my rather glib comment, which was written in a hurry:

It's not necessarily in the RN's interest to build such a big cruiser (and, yes I'm aware of the irony of that statement given what they had built), simply because they have the need for large numbers, and have the most to lose from such ships.
Carrier escort won't be a mission until the early 30s (or later), and a decent 6" or 7.5" cruiser is good enough for hunting commerce raiders, with a proper heavy ship available as support, where possible.

It's more in someone else's interest to interfere with that RN model, by constructing ships to put them off-balance. As you say, the Panzerschiff were close to such a design, and a proper 12" battlecruiser would be even better.
Once they try to do that, the RN has to respond, but meanwhile, deterring anyone from trying by having a force of 15"+ ships is a better bet than building a set of second-rate 'super cruisers'.
 
That's true, but they still have the 12" which would be more than good enough. The 4" would be good for anti-destroyer and torpedo boat work and who knows, maybe even modernised to to have some HA cover (BD mounts instead of casemates?) and allow some AA work?
Some 4" guns were adapted during the war for AA use (usually one or two per ship, in totally open mounts). However, they weren't ideal as they were BL guns (bagged charges) rather than QF cased ammo.
 
Will we be seeing any updates regarding Coastal Motor Boats . Any changes in their development ? Has changes in aviation impacted on available engines or is it too early to see much of s change ?
 
We are all assuming that there will be a total tonnage limit to a treaty, we could have a building limit of no more than 1 or 2 capital ships a year with guns no more than 16" and total weight of 40k per ship.

Similar limits for CVs and cruisers construction will allow replacement of older units, but it will also allow for ships like the older Battlecruisers that have a hull form optimised for speed to remain relevant , with suitable upgrades.

With a slower pace of construction then refits will be a good way to keep steel armour rolling mills and gun pits open as part of the refit cycle, refitting guns to fire at 30° and refitting of fire control equipment to make the best of the improved turrets across the entire Battlefleet.

Refitting the 13.5" Battlecruisers as station flagships makes sense in this scenario, with oil fired boilers they will need less engineering staff, they have one less turret to man and the extra speed over one of the 13.5" battleships makes them more flexible in use.

Refitting the 12" Battlecruisers only makes sense to make the Kaisermarine adhere to the terms of the armistice, if they are reclassed as armoured cruisers then they might be worth the coin it will take but they will require extensive refits with bulging, New oil fired boilers, geared turbines and the main armament being thoroughly reworked.

If the cost of the refit can be done for less than the cost of an OTL County class cruiser then there might be some value in it as they should serve until the mid 30s at least.

The 12" and 13.5" Battlecruisers should have very clear instructions on what they should engage and what they should not engage, anything upto a Kongo should be ok but they need to run away from anything more than that. They need to be veiwed as cruiser killers and not as light battleships.
 
It's not necessarily in the RN's interest to build such a big cruiser (and, yes I'm aware of the irony of that statement given what they had built), simply because they have the need for large numbers, and have the most to lose from such ships.
Carrier escort won't be a mission until the early 30s (or later), and a decent 6" or 7.5" cruiser is good enough for hunting commerce raiders, with a proper heavy ship available as support, where possible.
Am still curious, given the case in the 30s, how expensive would be to have this panzershiffe style armored/ heavy cruiser of carriers escorts?. Of course this proposed design should have all possible technical advances applied to it, e.g. a better main gun loading system.
 

Stenz

Monthly Donor
Some 4" guns were adapted during the war for AA use (usually one or two per ship, in totally open mounts). However, they weren't ideal as they were BL guns (bagged charges) rather than QF cased ammo.
True, but some old 6” BL guns were converted OTL to be QF guns using cased ammunition (“QFC” guns) so the precedent is there...
 
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