Keynes' Cruisers Volume 2

Story 2213
Brooklyn Navy Yard, September 13, 1943

The hull of the USS Missouri entered the dirty waters of the East River moments after a bottle of champagne was broken across her bow. Workers and her crew still had months of labor and then training before the last battleship ever to be accepted into the United States Navy would be ready for battle, but the building slip was needed for more important work. Hours after the ceremony, a landing ship's keel blocks were being arranged. Steel would be cut starting tomorrow for an LST.
 
Brooklyn Navy Yard, September 13, 1943

The hull of the USS Missouri entered the dirty waters of the East River moments after a bottle of champagne was broken across her bow. Workers and her crew still had months of labor and then training before the last battleship ever to be accepted into the United States Navy would be ready for battle,( but the building slip was needed for more important work.)* Hours after the ceremony, a landing ship's keel blocks were being arranged. Steel would be cut starting tomorrow for an LST.
*Landing Ship Tanks more important then battleships? Yes, historical events proved that to be true. Certainly more imperative at the time.
 
Story 2214
Near Capetown, South Africa, September 14, 1943

The 800 replacements and reinforcements for the South African corps were ordered off the train that was supposed to take them to the docks for embarkation and transportation to Port Said. The former merchant cruiser Hector had struck a mine within sight of Table Mountain and was lost. New options would be found and the journey would be delayed by a week. Until then, the replacements would continue to be trained by the three dozen veterans who had been sent back to recover from their wounds.
 
Story 2215
Sicily, September 15, 1943

Everything around him was chaos. It was his job to bring coherence to the complexity. Three days ago, a flare had been sent up at theater headquarters. Yesterday, army and corps headquarters were overrun by amphetamine eating monkeys and now the division was being tasked to get ready for something big. The division had been on a rest, refit, and recuperation cycle with an expectation that the next big operation would not be until late October or early November depending on weather and moon interactions.

The Big Red One was the best division in the entire goddamn United States Army with an incredible core of combat veterans who could scramble on the fly. But the fundamental question was what were they supposed to be scrambling to? Did they need to put down a riot? Did they need to seize Pantelleria? Were they heading to Greece? Were they landing in Marseilles? Were they to conduct a shore to shore assault across the Messina Straits? Any of those missions and three dozen others could be done. Over the past six weeks, preliminary staff work had been done on at least fifty scenarios; most of the planning was for training and teaching purposes of young captains and rapidly promoted majors but at least the sketch of a plan was in place from which the entire divisional staff could bear down on. But what was the mission? Slim Williamson would need to know. He motioned to his driver to get the jeep and headed over to his commanding general. Slim would head to Corps HQ with a couple bottles of whiskey on an intelligence gathering mission. He would be back by the daily pre-dinner briefing.
 
Story 2216
Govan, September 16, 1943

HMS Rodney left the dry dock. She had a fresh coat of paint, a hull scraped of all the growth that could accumulate after months at sea, retubed boilers and a new anti-aircraft fit. A pair of destroyers would join her down the Clyde and into the open seas tomorrow for trials before the big battleship rejoined the fleet. Even as the mighty ship slowly made her way downriver to her overnight berth, HMS Iron Duke was being lined up by a quartet of tugs for the dry dock. She would be needed once more for a mission far more important than being an accommodation ship and a bomb magnet in Scapa Flow. Anything of value that did not contribute to either her survivability against mines or air attack would be stripped over the next forty five days. The first great task was the removal of the few remaining main gun turrets. And then the bridge and superstructure was to be cut down. She did not need to be able to fight another Jutland to serve well on her final mission.
 
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I'm guessing blockship or breakwater for Iron Duke...
My thoughts too,
Breakwater landing with the Higgins boats to provide some AA cover for the beaches would be interesting.

Or add a removable bow and make the worlds biggest, toughest LST. :)
 
I'm somewhat surprised no one has mentioned anything about Rodney
She is in a much better condition. Rodney will make a very decent shore bombardment platform along with Nelson and the WW1 battleships/battlecruisers. That leaves the KGVs as a homogenous force to operate in the Far East. With almost no Axis battleship in ETO, anything that can sail and has heavy guns is enough to provide support to amphibious operations.
 
I think I posted way too quickly before checking the facts. You were right to be sceptical. It seems I was wrong and Quiberon didn't need blockships https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-E-Logistics1/maps/USA-E-Logistics1-8.jpg

So, Iron Duke becomes another Centurion in Normandy?
You dont necessarily need the bridge and superstructure cut down, did any cutting down occur to ships that were used as breakwaters OTL in Normandy, it sounds like a bit more than run of the mill breakwater for Iron Duke.
 
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