Optimize the RN for WWII

of course a lot of what we want to spend cash on is stuff like the RFA, more sloops, improved aircraft, refiting everything but the Rs if possible, keeping the turret and armor industry more intact, and more manpower among other things, but yeah this is a fair amount of cash that is available for higher end stuff
Some of what's been suggested won't cost more money but the rest will cost more than 10-15% more. You'll have to make a list of them in order of what you think is the most important and spend the extra money accordingly. Which is what Their Lordships of the Admiralty had to do IOTL.
 
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I think the Edinburghs had more light AA and 2 more twin 4" mounts. Probably where most of the extra crew went.
Part of Post 159 for your perusal.
They carried nearly the same armament.
  • 12 x 6in (4 x 3), 12 x 4in (6 x 2), 16 x 2pdr (2 x 8), 8 x 0.5in (2 x 4), 6 x 21in TT and 3 aircraft - Edinburgh class.
  • 12 x 6in (4 x 3), 8 x 4in (4 x 2), 8 x 2pdr (2 x 4), 16 x 0.5in (4 x 4), 6 x 21in TT and 2 aircraft - Fiji class.
The Edinburghs had twice as many 2pdrs but this offset by the Fijis carrying twice as many 0.5in.
 
Could the Firefly get devoped any sooner? It would make a great base for a high speed light bomber/ Torpedo / Scout plane for the FAA
If you have Rolls Royce abandon the Peregrine, Vulture and Exe early then you could have the Fulmar with a Griffon engine instead of the Merlin in 1940.
 
For the record, the Yorks were 1.8 million pounds to the 2 million pounds of the Counties.
Are those the Vote 8 costs? That is ex-guns which was in Vote 9 of the Navy Estimates. The Cabinet Paper I quoted in Post 144 said £2.4 million for Kent.

This might be easier to read.
£2,400,000 Kent​
£2,175,000 Glasgow (including aircraft £55,700)​
£2,200,000 Liverpool (including aircraft £55,700)​
£1,400,000 Penelope (including aircraft £22,000)​
£1,400,000 Aurora (including aircraft £22,000)​
£1,650,000 Dido​

It didn't have costs for the Yorks, Leanders, Edinburghs and Fijis. However, according to Morris.
As economical alternatives to the 10,000 ton Counties the Yorks hardly succeeded, for the one-eighth saving in cost was not significant enough.
On that basis a York would cost £1.75 million using your cost for a County and £2.10 million using my cost for a County.
 
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These are the other costs from the table in Post 144.

Battleships
£7,500,000 Nelson​
£7,600,000 Rodney​
£8,000,000 King George V (including aircraft £75,000)​

Destroyers
£335,000 "A" class​
£380,000 "I" class​
£575,000 "K" class​
£595,000 Tribal class​
 
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Battleships
£7,500,000 Nelson£7,600,000 Rodney£8,000,000 King George V
How much do these reflect real costs? ie N&R had large added subsidy and slow work costs added due to them being the only BBs built in 20s (plan was from Hood till 1930 WNT replacement would start...) and KVG had extra costs due to shifts to speed construction due to war priority? An early 30s BB build due to say a different 1LNT would be presumably cheaper in the depression with lower wage costs that are one of the largest costs of shipbuilding (and steel making)?
 

marathag

Kicked
That's made me think of something.

Frank Whittle joined the RAF in January 1923 IOTL. That's before the POD so he can't join the reformed RNAS instead. However, would the Third and Fifth Sea Lords be more interested in gas turbines than the relevant parts of the RAF because gas turbines used safer fuels than piston aero engines? They'd probably want turboprops rather than jet engines due to the formers lower fuel consumption.
Work on turboprops, that are more fuel efficient than turbojets, and lighter than a reciprocating engine, plus less vibration.
Shoot for 400mph, not 500
 
How much do these reflect real costs? ie N&R had large added subsidy and slow work costs added due to them being the only BBs built in 20s (plan was from Hood till 1930 WNT replacement would start...) and KVG had extra costs due to shifts to speed construction due to war priority? An early 30s BB build due to say a different 1LNT would be presumably cheaper in the depression with lower wage costs that are one of the largest costs of shipbuilding (and steel making)?
The costs of Nelson & Rodney are the real costs . The cost of King George V is the estimated cost at October 1937.

The costs of Nelson & Rodney in Jane's 1939 are the same as the costs quoted in Posts 166 & 144. Incidentally Jane's 1939 also says that the cost of the guns & turret armour for a Nelson was £3 million and the cost of the machinery for a Nelson was £490,000.
 
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Is there anywhere online where I could find a list of "scrapped UK Vessels" due to the Naval Treaties?
Is this of any use? It's based on the list of British and Commonwealth Cruisers 1922 in Conway's 1922-46 and is arranged in order of the Year column. There are 58 ships in the list which include the Hawkins class ship Vindictive which was completed as an aircraft carrier in 1918 and converted into a cruiser 1923-25.
  • 14 were discarded 1922-29 of which 12 were broken up, one (Raleigh) was wrecked and one (Caroline) became a drill ship for the RNVR & survives to this day as a museum.
  • 16 were broken up 1930-36 which is when the First London Naval Treaty was in force.
  • 28 were left on 1st January 1937 and as you can see none were discarded between then and the outbreak of World War II. They consisted of 13 C class, 8 D class, 2 E class, 4 Hawkins class and HMAS Adelaide.
  • As you can see the displacements in the table are deep loads and the tonnages in the Treaties were standard displacements.
  • Service Lives.
    • In 1922 the service life of a cruiser in the Royal Navy was 15 years after their date of completion. This meant that a building rate of 4 ships a year was required to maintain a force of 70 ships including 10 that were over age. The "15 Years" column contains the dates when the ships became overage.
    • A few years later this was changed to 20 years which lowered the building rate which was required to maintain the 70 cruiser force to 3 ships a year.
    • The First London Naval Treaty allowed surface vessels displacing between 3,000 tons and 10,000 tons that had been laid down before 1st January 1920 to be replaced 16 years after their date of completion. Therefore 35 of the 44 ships that existed at the end of 1929 became overage before the end of 1935 and the other 9 became overage 1937-42. It also allowed Frobisher and Effingham which became overage in 1940 and 1941 respectively to be scrapped before the end of 1936. That reduced the number of ships that became overage 1937-42 to 7 which were one C class, 3 D class, 2 E class and Adelaide.
    • However, only 16 of the 37 ships that could have been discarded under the terms of the Treaty actually were because it also said, "Apart from the cruisers under construction on 1 April 1930, the total replacement tonnage of cruisers to be completed, in the case of the British Commonwealth of Nations, prior to 31 December 1936, shall not exceed 91,000 tons (92,456 metric tons)." And "Vessels which cause the total tonnage in any category to exceed the figures given in the foregoing table shall be disposed of gradually during the period ending on 31 December 1936."

RN Cruisers 1922 from Conway's.png
 
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Only if there Admiralty had been willing to expend the financial and political capital to keep them relevant, unless there were major changes there then the Ports would have been more a dead weight in 1939.
The would have been very useful for convoy protection purposes, even if facilities had to be built up in the lead up to or even after the start of the war.
 
Establish an RN construction college for electricans and welding, offer the courses for free to commercial shipyards to increase the skill base available from the late 20s.

Next part of the jigsaw is to let all builders know that any ships ordered for the RN or UK government must be welded and establish a wiring standard for shipyards to work to.

Establish a set of RN standard of diesel generators and pumps, based on a Gardner or Perkins engine.
More welders would have been useful for tanks too. While that's not the RN's sphere of interest, it wouldn't be the first time the navy contributed to armoured vehicle development.
 

Driftless

Donor
Wasn't there a fair level of union resistance back then to the idea that welders would replace riveters? Both from a skills learned and lost, and work time for a task?

To get an earlier jumpstart on welding as a mainstay, wouldn't you need some kind of incentive for the union to jump on board?
 
Will someone riddle me this.

What is the outcome if the Crown colony cruisers swap their triple 6" turret in the X position for a twin 4" DP turret and no Didos are built, rather more of these Crown Colonies are. How many cruisers are built in total, when are they delivered, what battles get changed, are the results better?
 
Is this of any use? It's based on the list of British and Commonwealth Cruisers 1922 in Conway's 1922-46 and is arranged in order of the Year column. There are 58 ships in the list which include the Hawkins class ship Vindictive which was completed as an aircraft carrier in 1918 and converted into a cruiser 1923-25.
  • 14 were discarded 1922-29 of which 12 were broken up, one (Raleigh) was wrecked and one (Caroline) became a drill ship for the RNVR & survives to this day as a museum.
  • 16 were broken up 1930-36 which is when the First London Naval Treaty was in force.
  • 28 were left on 1st January 1937 and as you can see none were discarded between then and the outbreak of World War II. They consisted of 13 C class, 8 D class, 2 E class, 4 Hawkins class and HMAS Adelaide.
  • As you can see the displacements in the table are deep loads and the tonnages in the Treaties were standard displacements.
  • Service Lives.
    • In 1922 the service life of a cruiser in the Royal Navy was 15 years after their date of completion. This meant that a building rate of 4 ships a year was required to maintain a force of 70 ships including 10 that were over age. The "15 Years" column contains the dates when the ships became overage.
    • A few years later this was changed to 20 years which lowered the building rate which was required to maintain the 70 cruiser force to 3 ships a year.
    • The First London Naval Treaty allowed surface vessels displacing between 3,000 tons and 10,000 tons that had been laid down before 1st January 1920 to be replaced 16 years after their date of completion. Therefore 35 of the 44 ships that existed at the end of 1929 became overage before the end of 1935 and the other 9 became overage 1937-42. It also allowed Frobisher and Effingham which became overage in 1940 and 1941 respectively to be scrapped before the end of 1936. That reduced the number of ships that became overage 1937-42 to 7 which were one C class, 3 D class, 2 E class and Adelaide.
    • However, only 16 of the 37 ships that could have been discarded under the terms of the Treaty actually were because it also said, "Apart from the cruisers under construction on 1 April 1930, the total replacement tonnage of cruisers to be completed, in the case of the British Commonwealth of Nations, prior to 31 December 1936, shall not exceed 91,000 tons (92,456 metric tons)." And "Vessels which cause the total tonnage in any category to exceed the figures given in the foregoing table shall be disposed of gradually during the period ending on 31 December 1936."

That is awesome! Very much looking forward to going through that list in detail.

Cheers, Matthew. 🍻
 
If you have Rolls Royce abandon the Peregrine, Vulture and Exe early then you could have the Fulmar with a Griffon engine instead of the Merlin in 1940.
That would be a good stop gap plane for sure and be good for the roles I would have it be used for. Basically what the Firefly was used for in Korea etc post WWII but a decade earlier.
 
Maybe, but I suspect that the Australian and Canadian government's would cut their naval spending accordingly in the period between the POD and the middle 1930s.

IOTL the Australians bought 2 County class cruisers. The seaplane carrier Albatross was swapped for the 3 Amphion class cruisers. The RAN transferred their O class submarines to the RN and the RN transferred 5 old destroyers to the RAN but that wasn't a swap.

IOTL the Canadians bought 2 A-I type destroyers and the RN transferred another 5 to the RCN. There was also a plan to swap British built Tribal class destroyers for Canadian built Flower class corvettes but it didn't come to fruition because they couldn't negotiate an exchange rate. Canada did order 4 Tribals from British yards though.
would be great if you could keep all this and get them each one more cruiser but don't know how that could be done.
 
From an earlier post:

Before complaining about the dud decisions that naval planners made lets have a look at numbers that underpin navies.

Taking the Washington and London treaty limits, they allowed for the RN:
  • 525,000 tons of Battleships (44% of tonnage)
  • 135,000 tons of Carriers (11% of tonnage)
  • 146,800 tons of Heavy Cruisers (15% of tonnage)
  • 192,200 tons of Light Cruisers (12% of tonnage)
  • 150,000 tons of Destroyers (13% of tonnage)
  • 52,700 tons of Submarines (4% of tonnage)
1,201,700 tons of warships

At 44% of tonnage, this may look Battleship heavy. However allowing for cost of build, maintenance, replacement costs and operating costs the cost per ton of naval power is quite different.
  • £10,326,750 per year of 525000 tons of Battleships (16% of yearly cost) £19.7 per ton per year
  • £11,465,550 per year of 135000 tons of Carriers (18% of yearly cost) £84.9 per ton per year
  • £6,387,268 per year of 146800 tons of Heavy Cruisers (10% of yearly cost) £43.5 per ton per year
  • £9,104,514 per year of 192200 tons of Light Cruisers (14% of yearly cost) £47.3 per ton per year
  • £17,064,000 per year of 150000 tons of Destroyers (27% of yearly cost) £113.7 per ton per year
  • £8,889,963 per year of 52700 tons of Submarines (14% of yearly cost) £168.7 per ton per year
£63,238,045 per year
Now the DD and SS consume 41% of your costs but make up only 17% of your navy by tonnage.

From figures presented to Parliament on the cost of ships and maintenance, a total life-cycle cost based a 26 year service life (that of Battleships) then over that service life you can run:
  • 8 35,000 ton Battleships or
  • 7 35,000 ton Fast Battleships or
  • 3 23,000 ton Fleet Carriers or
  • 6 10,000 ton Light Carriers or
  • 13 10,000 ton Heavy Cruisers or
  • 20 6,000 ton Light Cruisers or
  • 33 1,500 ton Destroyers or
  • 42 800 ton Submarines
The reason for Destroyers and Submarines being so costly was they were expensive to construct on a cost per ton basis and that you had to replace them twice over the 26 year life in order to maintain that 'capability'. Carriers ran around at full speed burning fuel to conduct air operations and needed their air-group replaced every 5 years.


RC3lGRW.jpg


The costs of warships in 1938:

Letter LONDON, 3 June 1938

In response to your telephone request of yesterday, I enclose a statement, with enclosure, which elaborates the financial aspect of the proposal regarding the acquisition of a Capital Ship by Australia.

I hope very much this will give you the information you require.

May I ask that the details may be treated as confidential.

CHATFIELD

_

Enclosure

Statement and Enclosure

n.d. [3 June 1938

CAPITAL SHIP FOR AUSTRALIA

A modern Battleship costs about 8 3/4 million, and could probably be completed late in 1943. By this time the AUSTRALIA and CANBERRA would be 15 years old and as a rough estimate it would probably be possible to allow the Australian Government about 1 1/2 million pounds in part exchange for these two ships. The net cost of Australia’s Battleship would therefore be about 7 1/4 million pounds.

In paragraph 30 of the Chiefs of Staff Memorandum-Australian co- operation in Imperial Defence’-it was stated that the cost of a Capital Ship was estimated at 8 million pounds. The increase of about 3/4 million is due to the recent necessity of increasing the size from 35,000 to 40,000 tons.

The attached table shows in considerable detail how the relative costs of various types of ships given in paragraph 28 of the Memorandum are arrived at.

The actual figures are, of course, subject to certain fluctuations, but the relative costs remain fairly constant.

In paragraph 31 of Chiefs of Staff Memorandum it was stated that a new ship might become available in 1941. This date was given because it was thought that it might be possible to let Australia have one of our later KING GEORGE V Class ships, instead of having to wait for a new ship to be built or for one of our 1938 programme ships.

A recent review of our Capital Ship position vis-a-vis Germany and Japan shows however that we are unlikely to be able to afford to let Australia have one of our KING GEORGE V Class ships, which are specifically required to counter German ships in home waters.

We should be prepared therefore to provide Australia with either a new ship or one of our 1938 programme ships in 1943.

ESTIMATED DIRECT COST OF PRINCIPAL CLASSES OF SHIP EXPRESSED AS A YEARLY AMOUNT
Maintenance Annual Large Ship Costs Aircraft Replacement Repairs Total (a) (b) (c) (d)

Capital Ship 310,000 34,500 307,500 54,800 706,800 (NELSON Class) (100%)
Cruiser, Large 187,000 23,000 93,600 20,000 323,600 (45.7%)
Cruiser, Small 130,000 23,000 57,500 14,900 225,400 (31.8%)
Aircraft Carrier 255,000 414,000 202,500 22,500 894,000 (36 A/C) (126.5%)
Aircraft Carrier 160,000 172,500 162,500 19,500 514,500 (15 A/C) (72.7%)
Destroyer Flotilla 332,000 - 181,800 14,500 528,300 (J. Class-8 Vessels) (75%)
Submarine (1000 tons) 39,800 - 25,700 (e) 65,500 (9.25%)

NOTES (a) Maintenance covers the pay, victualling and miscellaneous expenses of the personnel, naval stores, fuel and armament stores consumed, and the cost of annual docking and repair.

(b) The figure for aircraft covers cost of replacing equipment (assumed life-5 years) plus annual cost of maintenance of personnel and material chargeable to Vote 4. It has been assumed that Capital Ships would carry 3 aircraft and Cruisers 2 aircraft.

(c) This figure represents the capital cost of building the ship divided by its ‘life’. The lives assumed are:-

Capital Ships 26 years Carriers 20 years Cruisers 23 1/2 years Destroyers 22 years Submarines 14 years (d) Large repairs take place about the ninth year of the ship’s life. In the case of a Capital Ship, a second large repair takes place about the eighteenth year. The figure taken for this column represents the aggregate cost of large repair(s) divided by the vessel’s life as scheduled under (c). The actual cost of large repair is, for the most part, conjectural as little or no experience has been gained of these vessels.

(e) Submarines are not subjected to ‘Large Repairs’. The average annual cost of all repairs and of periodic renewal of batteries is reflected in column (a).

GENERAL The ‘Maintenance Costs’ make no allowance for the non-effective liability of the personnel borne, which does not mature until years later. But if, as should be the case, it may be assumed that the reduction of any particular vessel enables a consequent reduction to be made in Vote A, there would be an eventual saving to the non-effective votes.
 
Fully develop the CVE design pre-war. It could be done and conversions could be pre-selected.

Sure the maintenance in terms of air crew and the ships crew themselves is expensive but in war the expense is justified.

Build a convoy strategy around the CVE and escorts rather than using fleet carriers on search and destroy missions as noted earlier.
 
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