The Sun, The Stars and The Sickle: Alt-WWII and a Tripolar Postwar World

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by WaterproofPotatoes, Sep 15, 2018.

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What would you like to see next

Poll closed Sep 27, 2018.
  1. Prewar Departures

    7.3%
  2. Technology: Ships, planes, etc

    7.3%
  3. Japan, China & Philippines 1939-1940

    31.7%
  4. Italy 1939-1940

    17.1%
  5. Nazi Germany: Norway Fallout

    34.1%
  6. Other (please describe in reply)

    2.4%
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  1. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    And, a bit of a worldwide update:

    USN:

    -The Atlanta, Rochester and Tucson class cruisers, collectively known as "the Follies" are proving to be a real disappointment. The former class are light cruisers built on scaled-up destroyer hulls, and the latter two arose for a specification to build light and heavy cruisers on a common hull. All three classes struggle in the heavy weather of the North Atlantic, and Admirals Nimitz and Halsey have lodged several complaints with Leahy about their poor performance. Wet, top-heavy, rapidly rolling, and generally otherwise unpleasant, they are US sailors' least favourite ships. It is rumoured that their overly-light construction may have been the impetus for the Jacksonville class being so huge- each Jacksonville is nearly three times the size of a Folly, and carries twice the number of 8" guns as a Rochester.

    So miserable were the Follies, they are either being stopped on the ways or sent back to have their armament replaced with 5" guns, making them little more than oversized destroyer leaders.

    -Construction is progressing well on the massive Alabama class battleships. Some rather unusual structures are being erected on Vermont as well.

    RN:

    -Progress on the Battle and Weapon class destroyers is proceeding well

    -A proposal for a larger design for new light cruisers is proposed as well.

    -Keels laid for the five 1942 Programme Light Carriers, and the 1942 Programme Fleet Carriers Audacious and Irresistible

    -Vanguard sees yet another design revision- the proposed built-up BL 16" Mark IV guns to be replaced with a new monobloc BL 16" Mark V, promising greater performance and longer life for less weight. Conqueror and Thunderer formally dismissed as surplus to the requirements of the Royal Navy. Ironically, Vanguard's already near-legendary floating testbed status may be what sustains her.

    -Yards assigned for the Malta class carriers. With no need to reserve slips for Conqueror and Thunderer, it is hoped that the keels can be laid on at least the first two by late 1943.

    -Wear on existing ships is proving to be a real problem. Renown and Repulse, worked nearly nonstop on convoy protection and having received no major work since their moderate refits in the early mid 1930s are showing serious signs of wear. Repulse's condensers are in bad shape (often ensuring the ratings get cold showers only), and she can only make 28 of the 32 knots she should be capable of. Renown is in better repair, but she too is being worked very hard. Courageous and Glorious are being worked constantly as well, but there is really no alternative. Both have been assigned to Pacific service as Implacable and Indefatigable are due to be ready by early 1943 and there are far fewer threats in the North Atlantic now (Progress is faster than OTL, as there is less need for escorts, more resources available as the KGVs are already done, and they are prioritized). Hood and the Nelsons, while still worked hard, are prioritized for maintenance now that the KGVs are in service, giving the RN a total of eleven fast battleships. Hood is also something of a testbed; she recently underwent a short refit and had her 24" torpedo launchers removed, and replaced with eight Dutch-designed stabilized "Hazemeyer" mounts in their place. Confidence in the Triumph class battleships was shaken after Swiftsure's sinking, but they are nonetheless far better than the WWI battleships, and now that Renown and Repulse's performance is so degraded, they are set to take over more far-cover duties for the Arctic convoys, while R&R finally get some TLC. The Queen Elizabeths soldier on in the Home and Mediterranean Fleets, while the remaining poor, unloved Revenges are in the worst state of all. Having received no work of note beyond the addition of torpedo bulges in the 1920s, they are only capable of some 19 kn, and used primarily for bombardment missions.

    RCN and RAN:

    -Each of the largest Imperial navies is expressing an interest in a carrier of their own. Currently, the largest ship type operated by the RCN is a light cruiser, and for the RAN, a heavy cruiser. The Sea Lords are supportive of these ambitions.


    IJN:

    -The New Naval Estimates, finally pared down to something reasonable, set the pace for construction.

    -A solution for the Yamakuni class cruisers is reached. With French design assistance, a true dual-purpose 155mm triple turret will be built. The class will mount five of these turrets, three ahead and two abaft the superstructure. Torpedoes will be retained, as will a pair of floatplanes, on a 710 ft. hull. However, they won't be laid down until 1943 as other ships have priority.


    Marinha do Brasil:

    -It is determined that the battleships Minas Geraes and Sao Paulo are too old to be of any real use to the war effort. Worse, their material condition is poor and there is little that can be done to make them more capable. Talks are underway with the USA to see if they can be traded in for something more useful. The USN, while glad to have a South American partner, has ruled out the sale of a Standard battleship to Brasil, although they are not opposed to selling a heavy cruiser.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019 at 7:57 PM
  2. Noblesse Oblige Reaper Squad Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2014
    Location:
    Deling City, Galbaldia
    Ah yes, Brazil's...."Battleships"

    In fairness, at this point, the Minas Geraes class is old as dir (and because its Brazil and thus probably lacks the material to even refit her) But isn't there an older battleship to toss in Rio de Janeiro's way?

    Here's hoping Canada and Australia gets carriers and actually keeps them this time around (more so Canada, who had it so briefly, even I never knew they had one.) Yes, as you can tell, I'm a sucker for naval aviation.

    Was there a post regarding potential names for a Malta-class or will it be largely the same as OTL (Malta, Africa, Gibraltar, New Zealand)?
     
  3. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    The names are slated to be Malta, Gibraltar, Furious (named after the one the was sunk TTL), and Incomparable (a shame it was never used OTL!)

    As for (OTL) RCN carriers, we had a few! There were the loaned escort carriers HM Ships Puncher and Nabob, followed by three Colossus class light carriers, HM Canadian Ships Warrior, Magnificent and Bonaventure. Warrior was a loaner from 1945-49, built for Pacific service and not winterized, and sent back quickly. Maggie had winterization and an angled deck, serving from 1949 to 1957 before being sold off while Bonnie, serving from 1957 to had a steeper angled deck, American radar, and was (barely) jet capable, flying Banshees from 1957 to 1962. In 1970, her now rifle-green clad sailors bid farewell to Canadian carrier aviation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019 at 9:10 PM
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  4. Yatta Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2018
    Brazil can get a big heavy cruiser and classify it as a BBμ, for micro-battleship.
     
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  5. Noblesse Oblige Reaper Squad Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2014
    Location:
    Deling City, Galbaldia
    It doesn't work that way.

    Plus you're only going to hurt the brains of the common folk.
     
  6. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    That will likely not be necessary- while the USN doesn't have a spare battlewagon now, that doesn't mean they won't have one later.

    The USN is in the challenging position of trying to match the RN, MN and IJN all on its own, lest the Imperials forget just what Uncle Sam is capable of. Arming the UoC Navy will be exceedingly difficult without irritating Japan (and it doesn't help that Japan is occupying a lot of the coast in Northern China), so Brazil will be a valuable naval partner.
     
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  7. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    Ah, and I forgot to mention what's left of the Kriegsmarine's surface assets.

    After Lützow's torpedoing at the hands of USS Edsall, she limped back to Kiel with a torpedo boat escort, but was soon shipping so much water, her engine room was flooded, leaving her dead in the water. She required a tow back to Kiel, barely making it through the canal, and sinking at her moorings before she could be brought into drydock.

    Although she was raised, her engines and gearboxes were flooded, fuel lines contaminated with seawater, and suffered severe structural damage. As such, she was deemed not worth repairing.

    This leaves the KM's surface assets:

    - 1 battleship (Tirpitz; Bismarck sunk)

    - 0 small battleships (2 sunk)

    - 0 aircraft carriers (Graf Zeppelin troopship conversion halted, broken up for scrap instead)

    - 2 pocket battleships (Admiral Graf Spee and Admiral Scheer; no Battle of the River Plate TTL as it would have been too risky against the stronger RN)

    - 0 heavy cruisers (1 sold, 4 sunk)

    - 0 light cruisers (1 sunk, 5 scrapped)

    - 3 destroyers

    - 19 fleet torpedo boats

    - ~130 E-Boats

    - 1 fleet tender/aviso/armed yacht (Hitler's yacht Grille)

    Not exactly world beating... the RN alone has 25 battleships and battlecruisers in commission and one more huge one on the ways.

    Submarines are where the KM shines; approximately 680 of all types produced during the war; 150 in serviceable condition as of early-mid 1942.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019 at 9:13 AM
  8. Noblesse Oblige Reaper Squad Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2014
    Location:
    Deling City, Galbaldia
    The Kriegsmarine is done as a surface force. With just Tirpitz, Spee, and Scheer left, alongside its destroyers and torpedo boats, it may as well just stay within their ports (assuming bombers don't just go in and blow them up out of spite at this point.)

    Dunno how viable subs will be in the long haul. They're going to start strapping ASW equipment to everything that can take it and start going ham on them soon enough.
     
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  9. VoidTemplar Travelling through Dimensions

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2018
    Location:
    Equis Vitis
    One suspects that given the Vatican's location and population, divine intervention would be required for them to have a strong fleet right now
     
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  10. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    That's the situation right there.

    While the KM has managed to draw blood against the RN, sinking the battleships Royal Oak and Swiftsure and the carrier Furious, that hasn't even put a dent in the RN's ability to operate as a coherent fighting force. The last of these actions just proved that sinking a British battleship will just make them really mad, and bring their buddies in the IJN to blow up all the ships that did it. Swiftsure's loss has also already been made good now that the Marine Nationale's Richelieu has been completed and commissioned.

    The Allies are also beginning to experiment with dedicated sub-hunting groups. Nimitz and Halsey are able to get along well with Tovey and Fraser, so coordination is much easier. ASDIC/Sonar is widespread, and the major Allied navies are working on ASW weapons more effective than traditional depth charges. Even small Japanese kaibokan (Sea Defence Ships, kind of like a lighter, diesel-engined RN sloop), are beginning to mount ahead-firing mortars.

    1942 is also the year the Allies really start building up their strategic bombing capabilities...
     
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  11. Rufus Shinra Statistical unlikeliness

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    Location:
    Paris
    I'll have you know that the Vatican navy is undefeated, like the Mongolian one.
     
  12. WaterproofPotatoes #TeamMahan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    Speaking of the Mongols, there's a rather interesting propaganda situation there...

    Nazi propaganda is very fond of touting the whole Aryan racial superiority thing, and as part of it, brands their Eastern enemies as "savages" and "progeny of the hordes of Khan".

    However...

    The Khanate of Mengjiang is an Allied nation, although she is less independent from Japan than even Manchukuo. That characterization is especially laughable when you have the Hordes of Khan fighting on your side.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019 at 7:05 PM
  13. Luminous Headwing Consulting

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Location:
    The Piedmont of the Appalachians
    And, to be fair, they are perfectly serviceable as light cruisers (and really the only US ship besides the Omaha class that could be called "light". The refit removed the top heavy and underperforming mounts and now all 3 classes of four ships each are essentially variants of OTL Atlanta. The Atlanta is 8x2 5"/38, the Tucson is 6x2 + 4x1 5", and the Rochester class is capable of carrying a massive 10x2 5" guns.

    However, I imagine that, with there won't be a Juneau class equivalent TTL.

    Someone might even be getting a bargain battleship after the war, as there's not much point to her right now. Not unless they try to sail a surprise Nazi Hydrogen bomb up the Thames and it works because sheer audacity.

    Obviously the Vatican receives the Pepsi fleet via some convoluted mechanism and puts it into commission.

    Then again, with how many suggestions i've seen for a Lichtenstein colony...
     
  14. Yatta Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2018
    A most convenient solution to Brazil's battleship problem.
     
  15. Luminous Headwing Consulting

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Location:
    The Piedmont of the Appalachians
    Guess it will depend on who draws the short straw.

    "Machukuo, Japan has a present for you..."
     
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  16. Eternity Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    The Garden City, South Island, New Zealand
    Naaa. Assuming she survives to the end of the war, the Kriegsmarine will scuttle her a la Great War.
     
  17. Luminous Headwing Consulting

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Location:
    The Piedmont of the Appalachians
    Stop being logical here. :p
     
  18. cincpac overboard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2013
    After the end of this alt-WWII I think that France may be well positioned to take an early lead in land-based rocketry. France had its own space visionary in one Robert Esnault-Pelterie, who designed a sounding rocket capable of reaching an altitude of 60 miles, but which experienced a lag in development with the outbreak of the OTL war. ITTL after the war there will still likely be German V-weapons to spur rocket advances, and France, not having been able to build a massive bomber fleet, will likely turn to rockets to deliver nukes once they are developed. They will be less financially crippled than OTL, plus the also less cash-strapped British might jointly fund rocket projects with the aim of putting the first communication satellites in orbit. The Soviets, in contrast, are likely to be behind in development compared to OTL as they may not even make it to German territory by the end of the war and thus not be able to corral as many German rocket engineers. Even worse, Sergei Korolev, the premier Soviet rocket designer of OTL, may not survive the Gulag ITTL. He may even end up dying in combat as Stalin raids the Gulag even more than OTL for cannon fodder.
     
  19. Theoretical_TJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2014
    Location:
    Texas
    That's downright staggering. That means they can have over 200 deployed on war patrol at once. What major project got less funding pre-war to allow for this.
     
  20. Yatta Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2018
    They're probably not getting sunk as quickly because they have less encounters with any Allied shipping because they're based in Germany still.
     
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