Royal Navy Fleet Problems

Did the USN fleet problems use the entire Atlantic and Pacific fleet together? The Med or Home fleets would still be close to 1/2 the RN each in terms of capital ships there are pictures of three CVs for example totally not secretly planning for the raid on Taranto in interwar for example...
I believe so yes. It certainly involved ships from both coasts and most of the BB’s along with basically all of the CV’s.
 
Of course, the trouble with exercises is that they dont always teach you the right lesson.
The RN did indeed conduct A/S exercises between the wars. However the conditions lead to the conclusion that the submarine threat could be handles, and that attacking using the periscope was highly dangerous.
The mistake they made was to execise in the channel (shallow, no layer) and to assume that two ships would be working together (reducing the issues of dead time).

The problem (and for all navies) is that realistic exercises that cover everything are very expensive (and tie up a lot of ships), and in the 30's, with money short, weren't going to happen.
 
Of course, the trouble with exercises is that they dont always teach you the right lesson.
The RN did indeed conduct A/S exercises between the wars. However the conditions lead to the conclusion that the submarine threat could be handles, and that attacking using the periscope was highly dangerous.
The mistake they made was to execise in the channel (shallow, no layer) and to assume that two ships would be working together (reducing the issues of dead time).

The problem (and for all navies) is that realistic exercises that cover everything are very expensive (and tie up a lot of ships), and in the 30's, with money short, weren't going to happen.
It would be all but impossible to stage exercises simulating the Atlantic convoys. Even using the RFA in the place of merchant ships in the convoy would hard to arrange without disrupting normal fleet operations.
 

HJ Tulp

Donor
Of course, the trouble with exercises is that they dont always teach you the right lesson.
The RN did indeed conduct A/S exercises between the wars. However the conditions lead to the conclusion that the submarine threat could be handles, and that attacking using the periscope was highly dangerous.
The mistake they made was to execise in the channel (shallow, no layer) and to assume that two ships would be working together (reducing the issues of dead time).

The problem (and for all navies) is that realistic exercises that cover everything are very expensive (and tie up a lot of ships), and in the 30's, with money short, weren't going to happen.
Are there any sources describing the birth of this misconception? I'm mightily interested :)
 
Are there any sources describing the birth of this misconception? I'm mightily interested :)
There are a number of references to what they did (exercises were done convenient to the A/S school at Portsmouth) and the channel is shallow and fast flowing (so no layers). While I dont have a source defining what they learnt, what the did seems to bear out the assumption that you could handle submarines, which implies they iddnt realise the difference between hunting in the channel and in the Atlantic. Oceanography was pretty primitive in the 30's, so presumably an excusable mistake. It also led to the 10-torpedo broadside of the T-class submarines, intended to fire on hydrophone data, rather than periscope, which only made sense if they considered they could handle a submarine attacking using its periscope.
So its a bit circular, but working backwards from what they did, its all logical. Wrong, but its easy to see how they got there.

IF they'd had the money, what they should have done was to hire a dozen or so merchants, and conduct defensive exercises in the Atlantic, but the money wasnt there.
 
It would be all but impossible to stage exercises simulating the Atlantic convoys. Even using the RFA in the place of merchant ships in the convoy would hard to arrange without disrupting normal fleet operations.
It could have been done, but it would have been pretty expensive.
 
It could have been done, but it would have been pretty expensive.

Why simulate the Atlantic convoys? To have this as an issue requires a large enemy sub force with access to the Atlantic. Who? France? a disarmed Germany or Italy that has to exit the Med in the first place. Unless you assume that there is such a force its a very low probability issue. Attacks fairly close to the British Isles more likely but the known solution to that is air patrols forcing subs to dive and slow down, defensive mines and shortish range escorts.

The WW2 situation arises because Germany has rearmed starting in the mid 1930s, occupies all of Norway and France. in the course of a single summer. This is not a likely event. The Fall of France results in Indochina being occupied by Japan, which gives them the ability to stage out of Indochina not launch an attack from Formosa or Truk which is not really much of a site for assembling a large amphib force.
 
Why simulate the Atlantic convoys? To have this as an issue requires a large enemy sub force with access to the Atlantic. Who? France? a disarmed Germany or Italy that has to exit the Med in the first place. Unless you assume that there is such a force its a very low probability issue. Attacks fairly close to the British Isles more likely but the known solution to that is air patrols forcing subs to dive and slow down, defensive mines and shortish range escorts.

The WW2 situation arises because Germany has rearmed starting in the mid 1930s, occupies all of Norway and France. in the course of a single summer. This is not a likely event. The Fall of France results in Indochina being occupied by Japan, which gives them the ability to stage out of Indochina not launch an attack from Formosa or Truk which is not really much of a site for assembling a large amphib force.
Because the Empire is trade and Britain depends entirely on trade or it will not survive.

Convoys, not just Atlantic convoys, against a multitude of enemies from air sea and below should be simulated. Enemies come and go, what is a known factor is they will go for Britains supply lines.
 
Because the Empire is trade and Britain depends entirely on trade or it will not survive.

Convoys, not just Atlantic convoys, against a multitude of enemies from air sea and below should be simulated. Enemies come and go, what is a known factor is they will go for Britains supply lines.
So where is the threat to come from?
 
A convoy from Gibraltar to Malta would be much more likely to be used in interwar exercises than an Atlantic convoy. The threats make more sense to an interwar Royal Navy.
 
Yes. The problem would be that it's significantly further away from home waters so it's difficult to get a large portion of the fleet together for exercises.
But why would you need to test it in the same location, much of the test would work in any location?

The main issue with RN are really in my mind political not technical, ie if you start looking at USW seriously and actually doing any tests you have to look at WNT and especially 1LNT and renegotiate or at least keep old ships like the S class DDs......?
 
But why would you need to test it in the same location, much of the test would work in any location?

The main issue with RN are really in my mind political not technical, ie if you start looking at USW seriously and actually doing any tests you have to look at WNT and especially 1LNT and renegotiate or at least keep old ships like the S class DDs......?
Yes

Though AIUI there is no need to modify the WNT/LNT to keep the R & S class vessels. Just reduce the armament and speed to fit a "sub-destroyer" escort category. Which would allow fitting ASW weapons and extra fuel tanks for greater range anyway.

Though i think the machinery from some of the scrapped destroyers was preserved and reused later on a few corvettes or frigates.
 
Yes

Though AIUI there is no need to modify the WNT/LNT to keep the R & S class vessels. Just reduce the armament and speed to fit a "sub-destroyer" escort category. Which would allow fitting ASW weapons and extra fuel tanks for greater range anyway.

Though i think the machinery from some of the scrapped destroyers was preserved and reused later on a few corvettes or frigates.

It was all scrapped...IIRC as part of the way of retainig a ship, the name of I forget, which was lost in an accident.
 
So where is the threat to come from?
One Reason the US Army has a Zombie contingency planning.
It not the actual enemy, Zombies, but to simulate that kind of Disorder.

So the RN could have been planning for a fictional opponent, call them Freedonia, that has a large Submarine force and plan to redo the old German Plan from the Great War
 
Top