Naval Equipment that should and shouldn't have entered service

This is your problem, sometimes: you're allergic to stating your point clearly.

Where is the US Navy lying here?
USS Franklin. The fire from the Kamikaze hit had reached the hull metal below the hanger line and ruined her annealing. She was worthless scrap.

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Might add this little bit of the record after Churchill asked his navy what happened to it in the Indian Ocean and why it happened.

It makes for interesting reading. Remember what is happening in the macro. read it only if one wants to know how I reached my conclusions earlier.

Minute from Prime Minister to First Lord of Admiralty, First Sea Lord and Fifth Sea Lord

[ADM 1/ 11980] 14 April 1942

Comparison between aircraft complement of British and Japanese aircraft carriers


Let me have the estimated aircraft of different patterns borne on each of the five Japanese Aircraft Carriers in the Indian Ocean and in our INDOMITABLE, ILLUSTRIOUS, FORMIDABLE. Let me also have the tonnage on both sides.

What is the explanation why the Japanese are able to carry so many more aircraft than we do? What is the explanation why ships like ILLUSTRIOUS, FORMIDABLE and INDOMITABLE should be described as not fully trained considering they have not been engaged for over a year and have been working up for several months? What are the aircraft for the FORMIDABLE which were left behind at Colombo? What steps have been taken to replenish her and arm INDOMITABLE with Martlets? These issues are causing very considerable concern.

Minute from First Lord of Admiralty to Prime Minister
[ADM 1/ 11980] 16 April 1942
Comparison between aircraft complement of British and Japanese aircraft carriers


I attach a memorandum prepared by the 5th Sea Lord and the Naval Staff in answer to your Personal Minute No. M. 136/ 2 of the 14th April.

Memorandum by Fifth Sea Lord
[ADM 1/ 11980] 16 April 1942
Comparison between aircraft complement of British and Japanese aircraft carriers


With reference to the Prime Minister’s personal minute No. M. 136/ 2 of the 14th April –

I. Let me have the estimated aircraft of different patterns borne on each of the five Japanese Aircraft Carriers in the Indian Ocean and in our INDOMITABLE, ILLUSTRIOUS, FORMIDABLE. Let me also have the tonnage on both sides. The following are the known details of the Japanese carriers, as compared with our own, in the Indian Ocean. The list shows the tonnage on both sides.

II. What is the explanation why the Japanese are able to carry so many more aircraft than we do?
(i) With the possible exceptions of the SHOKAKU and ZUIKAKU, they are unarmoured and are therefore larger for the equivalent weight. (Our COURAGEOUS (unarmoured) Class carried as many, of [sic] not more, than the Japanese carriers of equivalent tonnage.)
(ii) Their actual tonnage is probably in excess of that disclosed.
(iii) Accommodation for personnel is more congested than would be acceptable for Europeans.
(iv) They are possibly carrying and operating a deck cargo of aircraft as is the practice of the U.S.A. aircraft carriers.

III. What is the explanation why ships like ILLUSTRIOUS, FORMIDABLE and INDOMITABLE should be described as not fully trained considering they have not been engaged for over a year and have been working up for several months?

State of training of INDOMITABLE, FORMIDABLE and ILLUSTRIOUS.

INDOMITABLE, from reports received from her late Commanding Officer, from the R.A.A. Mediterranean after his visit to her at Port Sudan, and from Admiralty officers who have recently visited her, is an efficient ship from the air point of view.
This ship had a proper work up period and in spite of the fact that she had to disembark her squadrons whilst carrying out two R.A.F. fighter ferrying trips is still efficient.
FORMIDABLE, left her two T.B.R. Squadrons in the Mediterranean when she sailed for repairs in U.S.A. She took with her one squadron of Swordfish which was a ‘scratch’ collection of pilots due to leave the station. This squadron was left at Jamaica during the refit. ILLUSTRIOUS left her squadrons in the Eastern Mediterranean and took no aircraft when she went to refit in U.S.A.
For one year FORMIDABLE and ILLUSTRIOUS were in dockyard hands, and their squadrons were in the Mediterranean to which station it was intended that they should return.
The Admiralty’s original intention was that FORMIDABLE and ILLUSTRIOUS should return to the Mediterranean with one fighter squadron and one T.B.R. Squadron each, thus increasing the Naval air strength in the Mediterranean by two fighter and one T.B.R. squadron. These squadrons were given sound training in the United Kingdom but it became necessary to re-equip the two fighter squadrons with Martlets and provide two T.B.R. squadrons for each ship, thus bringing them to full aircraft complement before sailing for the Eastern Fleet.
The only way the two additional T.B.R. squadrons could be found was by bringing home the squadron from Jamaica and using a half squadron ex ARK ROYAL. Both these squadrons had to be brought to full strength and worked up in what was known to be an inadequate period.
FORMIDABLE and ILLUSTRIOUS both had to be sailed for the Eastern Fleet without an adequate work up period. Had all the squadrons even been properly worked up before joining the carriers, the latter would still not have been efficient without training at sea. Both with some inadequately trained squadrons the carriers had to start almost from scratch and do their best to work up on the passage out.
The fighter squadrons had to be worked up on the few Martlet aircraft then available in the United Kingdom, and re-equipped with the Martlets brought over by FORMIDABLE and ILLUSTRIOUS. These aircraft were already months behind scheduled delivery dates.
Neither of these two fighter squadrons were in consequence as well trained as was desirable, principally owing to lack of Martlets on which they could train. The deck landing training carrier1 which was available in pre-war days and at the start of the war, became increasingly used for aircraft ferrying from the invasion of Norway onwards. The training carrier is now employed on operational duties at Gibraltar.
When individual pilots untrained in deck landing are embarked, the first line carrier must devote to ‘ab initio’ training valuable time which should properly be devoted to operational training.

SUMMARY.

In conclusion, it is desired to emphasise that a carrier can only be worked up and kept in efficient air training by constant practice at sea. This in turn depends on both the carrier and her aircraft being available.
In the case of FORMIDABLE and ILLUSTRIOUS, neither carrier was available, as they were laid up for repairs and had to be sailed for their operational theatre after an inadequate period for working up. Their aircraft could not be given sufficient squadron training before the carriers arrived from the U.S.A. owing to:–
(a) Insufficient Martlets being available.
(b) Two of their proper T.B.R. squadrons having to be retained in the Eastern Mediterranean, which meant that two inadequately trained squadrons had to be provided in their place.

IV. What are the aircraft for the FORMIDABLE which were left behind at Colombo?

These were two Fulmar squadrons in Colombo which were flown there from the Eastern Mediterranean. Both these squadrons had been flying Hurricanes and had not been one year ashore while the FORMIDABLE and ILLUSTRIOUS were refitting. Many of their pilots were new and had not been trained in deck landing as there was no deck landing training carrier at home nor was there a carrier in the Mediterranean on which to train them.

V. What steps have been taken to replenish her and are INDOMITABLE with Martlets?

Replacement aircraft are now en route to the East Indies direct from U.S.A. in ILLUSTRIOUS, and by freighter from United Kingdom. Reserves of all types, except Martlets which were not available, were already in Ceylon but owing to the lack of R.A.F. aircraft, these reserves, so laboriously built up, are being flown in the defence of Ceylon by spare Naval pilots and those R.A.F. pilots which could be collected.

Seafires, the Naval version of the Spitfire, are being dispatched to replace INDOMITABLE’s Sea Hurricanes. If INDOMITABLE is re-equipped with Martlets the results may well be that those squadrons now equipped with Martlets in FORMIDABLE and ILLUSTRIOUS will have inadequate reserves. If undue wastage is not experienced on Martlets an additional squadron could be formed from those being shipped in mid summer [1942].

Pretty much what I wrote previous in this thread. From the RN itself after the debacle off Sri Lanka.
 
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And as such you think that Parliament minute I cited earlier is a load of bullshit the Royal Navy is serving Parliament. Alright. Considering Slade blatantly gets his facts wrong about the timing of Indomitable's fire and her retirement until I get around to financing further book purchases on Royal Navy carriers postwar I'm inclined to stick to my opinion that it was more finances and the complete shitshow that was Victorious' rebuild that prompted Indomitable's early retirement. Wouldn't have been the last time, either; see Victorious' own early retirement.
 
@Cryhavoc101

1. I used an Australian source, too, if you noticed to lead in? Same conclusions.
2. USS Essex was ordered in q1940, so she was designed in 1939 or earlier. Her common descent from Yorktown and Wasp is fairly obvious. The war lessons had not sunk in yet. Won't see those until postwar.

But there were in war mods, to improve av-gas safety and fire fighting. The TDS was improved but still inadequate. Notably about Essex is that she grows a hurricane bow, has an armored overhead and an angle deck gets slapped on her... postwar, but her essential Yorktowness remains.

Incidentally on 25 November Essex took a Kamikaze on her flight deck.

Smith, Peter C. (2014). Kamikaze: To Die For The Emperor. Barnsley, UK: Pen & Sword Books Ltd. p. 32.

She never left station. 10 days and she was back at it. Halsey introduced her to three typhoons in as many months. Still on station. She was the first of the finest breed of her improved Yorktown type of WWII. She served until 1969. 1967 She recovered Apollo 7.

She was the ship on which Neil Armstrong learned to fly.

Name me a ship with that kind of pedigree? Enterprise and maybe Yorktown, her design forbears. Maybe Wahoo, Tang, Flasher, Barb or Silversides, Trigger or Drum. Or Samuel D. Roberts, and Heerman and Johnston and Sterrett as destroyers. Maybe Juneau and San Francisco as cruisers.
You will get no disagreement from me on the Essex class being the best of all the CV designs in WW2

However they were not treaty limited and certainly did benefit from the 4 year gap between the designs allowing for learnings from the Yorktown's and Wasp - and the shared early war time experiences of the British

Essex was laid down in April 1941 and while there is no doubt that they are an evolution of the Yorktown the extra years between the design provided them with a much greater amount of armour, improved machinary layout, better TDS and being far larger than both the Yorktown and the Illustrious class, better at operating aircraft and more of them

If you really want to compare carriers then compare the Illustrious class to the Yorktown's - USA's treaty limited carriers and not one that was freed from the shackles of the 2LNT limitations.
 
The Essex class was designed under WNT limits to 27,000 tons, just like the North Carolinas and South Dakotas. The Iowas also began as treaty battleships under the 2LNT escaltor clause and only added a lot of weight after the war began. The tonnage limits imposed on the Navy by Congress were informed by the treaties that Congress had ratified. It may not be accurate to say that the Essex design was limited by the WNT, but it would be accurate to say that the design was legally limited to 27,000 tons, the same as the WNT limit for aircraft carriers. The first US capital ships that were built without any measure of adherence to the interwar treaties were the Midways and Montanas.
 
The Essex class was designed under WNT limits to 27,000 tons, just like the North Carolinas and South Dakotas. The Iowas also began as treaty battleships under the 2LNT escaltor clause and only added a lot of weight after the war began. The tonnage limits imposed on the Navy by Congress were informed by the treaties that Congress had ratified. It may not be accurate to say that the Essex design was limited by the WNT, but it would be accurate to say that the design was legally limited to 27,000 tons, the same as the WNT limit for aircraft carriers. The first US capital ships that were built without any measure of adherence to the interwar treaties were the Midways and Montanas.
The 1st LNT reduced max carrier (but not BB) size compared to the WNT. I'm not sure why WNT limits are relevant?
 
Would have loved to have seen a Jaguar M!

Could it have been put on the 'Park Royal' in the late 70's replacing the Bucc's?
AIUI the Jaguar M was cancelled because it failed its carrier qualification trials which led to its cancellation because the cost of curing its faults as a naval aircraft and the necessary modifications to the Clemenceau class aircraft carriers were prohibitive.


AIUI it could have been put on the Victorious, Eagle and Hermes as well as Ark Royal. However, the Buccaneer was a better aircraft than the Jaguar, so there isn't much point in the latter replacing the former. Buccaneer carries a heavier payload further than a Jaguar. Plus the folded dimensions of the two aircraft are similar so the number of aircraft that can be accommodated is about the same.
 
Ok then . . . how about the RFA's "Round Table" class?

View attachment 581931

Why not more 'Fearless' vessels instead? Why have a fleet of LSL's that can beach themselves when the gaffer doesn't bother using this option in San Carlos in '82 thus slowing down the length of the landing operation? At least with the 'Fearless' class you have the option of more LCU's. The 'Round Tables' didn't carry enough Mexeflottes down South, only carrying three units.

Much obliged!
Because unlike the Fearless class, the Sir Lancelot class weren't built to replace the LST Mk 3s operated by the Royal Navy's Amphibious Squadron. They were built for the British Army and their "day job" was transporting its heavy equipment between the UK and (mainly) Germany in peacetime.

According to Brown & Moore in Rebuilding The Royal Navy...
... they were built to commercial standards and not intended for use in opposed landings. They were , however, intended to land troops (with Mexifloats) on suitable beaches in the event that ports were destroyed. Since they were regarded as merchant ships, the rules said that if they grounded they had to be docked for inspection and hence beaching was only practised once, just before a planned docking.
They were operated by commercial companies under charter when first completed and were transferred to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in 1970. (Brown & Moore say 1980, but that is a typo.)
 
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You will get no disagreement from me on the Essex class being the best of all the CV designs in WW2

However they were not treaty limited and certainly did benefit from the 4 year gap between the designs allowing for learnings from the Yorktown's and Wasp - and the shared early war time experiences of the British

Essex was laid down in April 1941 and while there is no doubt that they are an evolution of the Yorktown the extra years between the design provided them with a much greater amount of armour, improved machinary layout, better TDS and being far larger than both the Yorktown and the Illustrious class, better at operating aircraft and more of them

If you really want to compare carriers then compare the Illustrious class to the Yorktown's - USA's treaty limited carriers and not one that was freed from the shackles of the 2LNT limitations.
--Illustrious was ordered in 1937. It is fair to say that she was LNT treaty restricted as to design. Average air group ~36-44 aircraft. ~22,000 tonnes SDP
--Ark Royal was ordered in 1934. It is fair to say that she was treaty restricted. Average air group ~44-54 aircraft. ~25,000 tonnes SDP

What happened?

--Yorktown was ordered in 1933. Definitely WNT and she was so treaty restricted. Average air group ~64-76 aircraft ~25,000 tonnes SDP
--Wasp was ordered in 1935. WNT hobbled. Average air group ~ 64-76 aircraft ~ 18,000-20,000 SDP (sources vary)

So Illustrious is more akin to WASP.


Start 15.00 in and you will see what I think about British claims about armored flight deck carriers.

And here...

What is the difference between an Essex and an Illustrious?

About the Lexingtons. (The Two White Elephants).

While the Ranger was being constructed, the two white elephants entered service and demonstrated that size mattered. In this case, it was soon obvious that the total number of aircraft in a fleet was not as important as the number on board each carrier, because the latter comprised U.S. carrier aviation’s tactical unit, the air wing. (Later, well into World War II, the U.S. Navy began conducting multicarrier air-group operations.) Size also bought speed and survivability. The Lexington and Saratoga, but not the Ranger, fought in the Pacific. The bigger carriers were not turkeys; they were ugly ducklings that became swans.
Read the whole article at the USNI citation to get the fill story.

And now...

Many of the ships the U.S. Navy built during World War II reinforce the bigger-is-better lesson. Designers always want to create the tightest possible package that fulfills specific requirements. For various reasons, by 1941 the U.S. Navy was demanding enough to get larger packages than those of some other navies (German heavy cruisers and destroyers were larger, apparently without getting as much for the tonnage). During the war, British captains periodically wrote that they wished they could have similarly large ships, and by the time Japan surrendered the British were designing and building U.S.-size destroyers. However, the usual response by the British design authority was that the American ships were large simply because their designers were incompetent; they produced loose, expensive ships.
Now that was clearly untrue. The Americans designed tight ships for the criteria they wanted. If one looks at the Atlantas and the Didos, both ship classes which I like *See same article), one sees that the American AAA cruiser was designed to be like a large destroyer. The RN wanted a dual use cruiser that had some trade protection value, hence the different choices in main armament, and the different solutions to mid and close-in AAA defense when that became an urgent necessity in the Med and in the early Pacific War. One has to see WHY a navy did what it did, and adjudge the effectiveness. Juneau was just an Atlanta repeat with better arrangements. Dido had to be replaced by a larger platform with different guns.

Another myth...

The only real criticism was that having been designed mainly for the calm Pacific, the ships were ill-adapted to patrolling rough northern waters, which Cold War service usually entailed. The British had much better hull forms for seakeeping. However, many of their well-designed warships could not accommodate new technologies, resulting in the size of the Royal Navy contracting faster than necessary.
The RN ships might have radioed "what typhoon?" as the joke goes, but I think Friedman was being generous. Small ships with wrong length to beam ratios (And you British ships know who you are, since I crossed in one.) ride ROUGH in a Pacific typhoon or an Atlantic hurricane. The western Pacific as the Japanese knew and the British discovered is not a gentle place. The Arctic seas were rough, but warships that could ride through a Pacific cyclone could FIGHT in arctic seas, especially aircraft carriers.

What conclusions can be drawn about ship design? One lesson, at least in surface ships, is that reaching for spectacular performance, speed for example, is often counterproductive: The enemy’s weapons generally outrun ships. The sacrifices made for a few knots may be difficult to identify, but they are real and later on become unacceptable. Also size pays, even if at the outset it may seem wasteful. The larger the ship, the better the opportunity to modernize her to keep up with a changing world.

A navy needs numbers. Usually that is translated to mean that ships should be made as inexpensively as possible. However, there is another way to look at numbers.

The number of ships the U.S. Navy can maintain is, roughly, the number the Navy can build each year multiplied by the number of years a ship remains viable—and viability is a matter both of how well the ship survives the rigors of the sea and of how well she survives the rigors of a rapidly changing world. The bigger the ship, the better she will survive the sea. If bigger also means better at adapting to the changing world, the answer to numbers is probably to build fewer ships each year but to make them big.
Quod erat demonstratum. Or to put it another way... Which ships were scrapped as useless and which served postwar?

The Essexes and their GATO/BALAO submarine contemporaries, have examples which are now museum ships with the pedigrees of the Constitution. Even the North Carolinas and the Iowas are so honored.

Where is the Illustrious and T class sub?

Razor blades.
 
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--Illustrious was ordered in 1937. It is fair to say that she was LNT treaty restricted as to design. Average air group ~36-44 aircraft. ~22,000 tonnes SDP
--Ark Royal was ordered in 1934. It is fair to say that she was treaty restricted. Average air group ~44-54 aircraft. ~25,000 tonnes SDP

What happened?

--Yorktown was ordered in 1933. Definitely WNT and she was so treaty restricted. Average air group ~64-76 aircraft ~25,000 tonnes SDP
--Wasp was ordered in 1935. WNT hobbled. Average air group ~ 64-76 aircraft ~ 18,000-20,000 SDP (sources vary)

So Illustrious is more akin to WASP.
Um... where the hell are you getting your Standard Displacement figures? Because they're completely wrong.
 
Um... where the hell are you getting your Standard Displacement figures? Because they're completely wrong.
I think he might be crossing full load displacement with standard displacement. Since Yorktown displaced 25,500 tons at full load and Wasp displaced 19,000 tons full load.
 
Ship's displacement Plimsoll line (usual combat loading) in metric tonnes. Standard displacement is a WNT treaty definition of the time of crew, ammunition, ammunition, provisions, but not fuel load or reserve boiler water or consumables.

There is a measurable difference. That reserve capacity varied by navy. RN was not as much as USN so "displacement" is an "iffy" thing. The figures are within the combat loading expected.
 
Ship's displacement Plimsoll line (usual combat loading) in metric tonnes. Standard displacement is a WNT treaty definition of the time of crew, ammunition, ammunition, provisions, but not fuel load or reserve boiler water or consumables.

There is a measurable difference. That reserve capacity varied by navy. RN was not as much as USN so "displacement" is an "iffy" thing. The figures are within the combat loading expected.
Ah, okay then. That brings me to my next question: how is the Illustrious class the only one of the three with a displacement at the Plimsoll line smaller than her standard displacement, given standard explicitly doesn't count a lot of tonnage that would count under the definition you use?
 
AIUI the Jaguar M was cancelled because it failed its carrier qualification trials which led to its cancellation because the cost of curing its faults as a naval aircraft and the necessary modifications to the Clemenceau class aircraft carriers were prohibitive.


AIUI it could have been put on the Victorious, Eagle and Hermes as well as Ark Royal. However, the Buccaneer was a better aircraft than the Jaguar, so there isn't much point in the latter replacing the former. Buccaneer carries a heavier payload further than a Jaguar. Plus the folded dimensions of the two aircraft are similar so the number of aircraft that can be accommodated is about the same.
The RN had bought 48 Phantoms by the time the Jaguar M failed it's carquals, years earlier iiuc.
 
Okay, at this point I'm going to have to ask where you got those numbers, because this smells very fishy.

Listed as 23,000 tons full load. That is FULL LOAD. Short tons = ~ 20,000 tonnes. Might be a bit light? Long tons to metric 23,370 tonnes. Take your pick. That is what I have to deal with because different navies used different values. Sources bounce all over wrt to it. 22,000 tonnes is logical given l/b/d.

Okay?
 
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Listed as 23,000 tons full load. That is FULL LOAD. Short tons = ~ 20,000 tonnes. Might be a bit light? Long tons to metric 23,370 tonnes. Take your pick. That is what I have to deal with because different navies used different values. Sources bounce all over wrt to it. 22,000 tonnes is logical given l/b/d.

Okay?
Considering that that full-load figure is in complete contravention of every source I can think of, no, not okay. 23,000 tons is the standard displacement. Their designed full load displacement was 28,620 tons and over 29,000 during wartime. Seaforces is wrong here.
 
Considering that that full-load figure is in complete contravention of every source I can think of, no, not okay. 23,000 tons is the standard displacement. Their designed full load displacement was 28,620 tons and over 29,000 during wartime. Seaforces is wrong here.
You could be right. If so, it should be corrected.
 
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