TL-191: Navy Blue and Gray - Naval Forces of the USA and CSA

I always thought the Great Lakes would have been an absolute gong show just because of the generally small surface area to play with. Add in the alternate development because you don't need anything with serious legs you've got fun little place to play around with.
 
Something I noticed rereading through The Grapple, there's a mention that the reason the naval forces in the Pacific have to deal with converted escort carriers is because every fleet carrier the US builds during the war goes to the Atlantic against the British. I wouldn't imagine that it's unreasonable something along the lines of the Essex-class could exist and be built given how many were produced IRL in just Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and Fore River. If even just a third of the number were produced in TL-191 due to the home front and material shortages, that's still 4-5 that could be built and put to use along with the USS Sandwich Islands and other carriers that existed still giving the US a decent carrier fleet here.
 
Death Rider --- USS Dakota --- The Great War (1914-1917)

USS Dakota 2.png


^^^ --- USS Dakota (BB-39) --- by @Undeadmuffin

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Description / Specifications

Armament
  • 10x 14 in guns - 2x triple turrets, 2x twin turrets
  • 21x 5 in guns
  • 2x 3 in AA guns
Displacement
  • 27,500 tons standard
  • 28,400 tons full load
Dimensions
  • Length - 583 ft
  • Beam - 95 ft 3 in
  • Draft - 28 ft 6 in
Speed
  • 20.5 kt
Range / Endurance
  • 8,000 nmi at 10 kt
  • 5,120 nmi at 12 kt
  • 1,931 nmi at 20 kt
Capacity
  • 2,000 short tons fuel oil
Armor
  • Belt - 13.5 in to 8 in
  • Bulkheads - 13 to 8 in
  • Barbettes - 13 in
  • Turrets - 18 in
  • Deck - 5 in
Complement
  • 864 officers and men
Aircraft:
  • 2x floatplanes

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Background


The aftermath of the Second Mexican War in 1881-1882 put things into perspective for both the United States government and the United States Navy. Since the end of the War of Secession in 1862, the expansion and technological advancement that the USN enjoyed for a time was all together halted and left to rot like so many of its wooden warships. Financially stricken, with focus geared toward westward expansion, devoting revenue to the maintenance of standing army along the border with the Confederacy, the USN was woefully neglected, severely undermanned, and hopelessly outclassed by the time war started in 1881. Despite still enjoying a numerical advantage over the small Confederate States Navy, the USN was pitifully outnumbered and outperformed by the larger, more modern navies of Great Britain and France, who utilized steel hulls, heavier guns, and steam power to their advantage. The US Navy failed to prevent the Royal Navy and French Navy from attacking their coasts and bombarding their cities, with their ships unable to challenge the more modern fighting vessels on equal terms. Even duels and engagements with the Confederate Navy, which had invested some revenue into purchasing more modern ships, revealed deficiencies in combat capability and performance on US Navy vessels. The simple fact was that the Navy was a overwhelmingly defeated. Battered and humiliated, the war was a harsh lesson for Navy officials and personnel alike, a lesson that they would seek to learn from in the coming years leading up to the Great War.

From the 1880s to the 1910s, the US Navy underwent a massive reconstruction effort. It sought to completely rebuild and remold itself into a modern fighting force with steel-hull ships that could compete with other European Powers. In the growing debate over the importance of a modern navy, Theodore Roosevelt, despite his support for a large standing army, said, "It is folly for the Republic to rely on antiquated wooden hulks for its defense when one steel ship from one of our foes can sink the entire lot in one fell swoop". A former Secretary of the Navy at the time also reinforced this notion after a thorough review of the Navy, commenting in a report to Congress that, "The condition of the Navy demands the prompt and earnest attention of Congress or it will once again endure another humiliating defeat". Along with massive rearmament and research programs that sought to give the Navy the most modern ships the country could produce, a ruthless culling of the Navy's ranks was also put into effect, with older, stagnant, or incompetent officers being retired, younger officers being trained in new methods of naval war, and with new recruiting drives urging men to join up and fill the ranks of United States' new steel navy.

By the turn of the century the United States Navy was resurgent. New technologies, new foes, and new conflicts around the world forced the USN to constantly adapt to the ever changing naval environment. With the introduction of the Royal Navy's HMS Dreadnought, a new level of competition for the already heated naval arms race was added as the great powers sought to build their own renditions of the revolutionary new design. With growing threats to the security of the United States in both the Atlantic, Pacific, and Caribbean in the form of the ever omnipotent Royal Navy and with the rise of the Japanese Empire as a great naval power in the Pacific after the defeat of Spain and the acquisition the Philippines, the US Navy embarked on its newest naval construction program with the utmost urgency.

Several new classes of dreadnoughts were made during this time by United States. All of them incorporated new or unique design features as the naval arms race between the Great Powers intensified. One of the newest classes of dreadnoughts the United States Navy would produce would be the Dakota-class dreadnoughts, with USS Dakota the lead ship in a family of dreadnoughts that would later be dubbed the "Standard-type" battleships.

With threats facing the United States across vast stretches of ocean from competing naval powers like Japan and the United Kingdom, the USN set out on building a new type of dreadnought with the capability of matching the Royal Navy's heavy power and the long range endurance of the Japanese Imperial Navy for operations in the Pacific, along with the armor protection to endure hits that would otherwise incapacitate a dreadnought. The result of this long, arduous, and methodical process was the design features incorporated into the USS Dakota. She would prove to be a rather drastic evolution for US dreadnought designs. She was one of first ships in the US Navy to be built with triple turrets, having two triple turrets out of an arrangement of four turrets total, which was very different compared with previous US designs that had more twin turrets in arrangements of five or six turrets total. She was also the first to be built with tripod masts instead of the lattice masts found on other US dreadnoughts and one of the first in the US Navy to be built with a new armor scheme that emphasized the maximum amount of protection for the most vital parts of the ship. This latter feature would later be dubbed the "all-or-nothing" armor protection scheme. She utilized an oil-fired steam power plant with geared turbines, which improved her fuel efficiency and fuel economy, giving her the long range distance and endurance the Navy so coveted when concerning operations in the vast waters of the Pacific.

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Service History --- 1914-1917

USS Dakota participated in some of the most critical naval battles of the Great War, with a service record spanning both the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean.

In August 1914, as the crisis in Europe reached a breaking point that made war all but inevitable, Dakota set sail with three full squadrons of the US Pacific Fleet toward the Sandwich Islands. The objective was to take the British squadron based out of Pearl Harbor by surprise, destroy it, and secure the islands for US occupation. Surprise was critical to the success of the operation. After a lengthy time at sea, with the US Pacific Fleet maneuvering around the islands to avoid detection, the opportunity to strike finally came as US sea planes confirmed that the British squadron at Pearl Harbor remained at anchor.

Dakota was one of the first ships to open fire on the British squadron still moored at Pearl Harbor. As other US vessels suppressed British shore guns, Dakota was able to maneuver into an ideal shooting range that allowed her to fire all her guns in a full broadside. She was able to score multiple and accurate hits on several ships within the harbor, severely damaging multiple vessels, and generally rendering them unable to be put out to sea. Despite the intense bombardment, a handful of British vessels escaped into open waters, where they were engaged by the waiting US fleet. Dakota was able to sink one vessel as it broke out into the open, sustaining no damage. By the end of the engagement the British squadron was effectively annihilated, allowing the US invasion force composed of infantry and marines to land on Oahu.

As US forces engaged the British in the Sandwich Islands over the course of several weeks, Dakota was used for shore bombardment, to suppress or destroy the remaining coastal batteries still operable. Efforts by the British to salvage the damaged ships still in Pearl Harbor by repairing their guns were also suppressed by Dakota. The one major obstacle that remained was Fort William Rufus at the mouth of Pearl Harbor. With its two 12 inch guns the reinforced concrete fortress was able to sink one cruiser, two destroyers, and damage two dreadnoughts. Shells from the USS Dakota were unable to penetrate the fortress despite multiple attempts to suppress it, with the ship continually having to disengage from gunnery duels with the fort's guns. Eventually a raiding party consisting of marines and sailors from the Dakota finally destroyed the fort, with the raiding party pouring diesel oil and gasoline into the fort's vents, then igniting the mixture with explosives, creating a massive explosion that destroyed the "Concrete Battleship". With Fort William Rufus neutralized, the last pockets of resistance on the Sandwich Islands surrendered by the end of August 1914. The operation was a resounding success and a strategic victory for the United States.

From September 1914 to June 1916, operations in the Pacific were largely characterized by small scale naval raids and combat patrols between the Entente Powers and the Central Powers. Smaller British, Australian, and Japanese ships continually harassed and engaged ships from the United States and Germany. Despite losing its colonial possessions in China and the South Pacific early in the war, the German East Asia Squadron under the command of Admiral Graf Spee was able to find a safe and secure haven in the Sandwich Islands once it had been captured by the United States upon the outbreak of the war. During this period Dakota conducted numerous combat patrols and missions, scouting the waters around the Sandwich Islands with other ships of the US Pacific Fleet or linking up with German vessels to provide support to screening their escape from British ships. Despite this level of activity, Dakota would not see any major action until 1916 - before then, the majority of engagements across the Pacific were conducted by smaller vessels of the opposing navies.

At the beginning of 1916, Dakota sustained severe damage during a combat patrol off the coast of the Sandwich Islands while pursuing a Japanese surface force that had laid a trap. Japanese submarines fired on Dakota, scoring a hit, that forced her captain to disengage from the pursuit and sail back to Pearl Harbor. She would undergo repairs in dry dock for the next couple of months, while the rest of the US Pacific Fleet conducted patrols without her. By the end of June 1916 her repairs were complete and she was put to sea again.

During the Battle of the Three Navies, USS Dakota helped played a critical role in turning back the British and Japanese fleets sent against the Sandwich Islands, gaining massive fame in the process. South-west of the islands on a combat patrol, the squadron that Dakota was attached to spotted the British squadron from Singapore. Initially deployed in a disadvantageous position that would have allowed the British to cross their T, the US ships turned hard to bring their guns to bear on the British, attempting to form a battle line under intense fire. Dakota's deck was showered with shrapnel from near misses, but no serious damage had been sustained as she got into formation to fire her full main armament. By this time the US battle line had closed to within range of the British battle line with screening cruisers and destroyers closing in and fighting for space within their respective formations.

By this time, the battle was fully underway. Dakota's main battery was able to zero in on one British dreadnought, bracketing the ship with accurate fire until the opposing ship was destroyed and long range. It was at this time that a British cruiser closed to within effective range of Dakota, with the US ship's secondary battery of 5 inch guns firing on the enemy vessel. Multiple hits were registered that effectively rendered the cruiser dead in the water. Soon after, however, a chance hit to the Dakota's rudder, which jammed it, forced the dreadnought to turn to port in a long arc. The jammed rudder took Dakota out of the US battle line, sending it sailing to within 9,000 yards the British battle line. Dakota was subjected to intense fire, bracketed and raked with shells, with multiple hits slamming home across many parts of the ship. Flooding occurred below the water line, while fires broke out on multiple sections within the hull and on the deck. Despite the dire situation, the ship's guns continued to fire on the British battle line, with gun controllers and spotters choosing targets as best they could under the hail shells and smoke. Gunners in the main turrets struggled to adeptly correct their shots in coordination with spotters, having to take into account the turning angle of the ship, making constant calculations and corrections. Despite the chaos of having to sail so close to the British line the ship was miraculously still afloat, its gunners and spotters registering hits on multiple British vessels, forcing several enemy ships to zig-zag and turn away, bending the British battle line out of shape as it took fire from other US warships.


As Dakota continued her turn to port and away from the British battle line, with its crew still struggling to get the rudder under control, spotters identified the vanguard of the Japanese battle line sailing into position from the north, attempting to sandwich the US line between it and the British. Once again the stricken ship came under fire, finding itself caught between the guns of the British and Japanese. While the repair crews tried frantically to get the rudder under control, the gunnery crews prepared for another fight with the Japanese as they sailed into range. Again the ship was bracketed by the enemy and again the ship took on water, fire, and multiple hits from the Japanese. Dakota was now positioned behind the US battle line as it continued to sail forward, leaving the stricken ship behind. Again despite their vulnerable position the main battery and secondary battery on the Dakota continued to fire away at any and all targets. Multiple hits were also scored on several Japanese vessels, forcing them to zig-zag away from the Dakota's chaotic fire. Finally, after frantic work, the rudder on the ship was finally brought under control. Quickly assessing the damage done to the ship and having been taken out of formation with the rest of the US fleet, leaving it dangerously alone and vulnerable to torpedo boats, destroyers, and the concentrated fire from other heavier ships, Dakota sailed away and back to Pearl Harbor.

Although the Battle of the Three Navies was tactically inconclusive for all sides involved, it was a strategic victory for the United States. Despite loosing several ships and and thousands of seamen, the Sandwich Islands remained firmly in US hands. Having lost the element of surprise, their fleets savaged from a determined US defense and far away from any friendly ports, the British and Japanese were forced to turn away. USS Dakota received 29 hits from the enemy during this battle, gaining six feet of water due to flooding and having several sections of the ship completely burned away. Despite the ferocious damage only 14 sailors were killed and 17 were wounded throughout the course of the battle. Newspapers in the US affectionately dubbed Dakota as "The Death Rider" and her actions within the larger battle became known as "The Death Ride of Dakota". The warship stayed in Pearl Harbor for several months to undergo extensive repairs. During this time the war in the Pacific once again settled into minor skirmishes and raids between smaller vessels. The main battle fleets of each opposing navy would not sortie for a major confrontation for the rest of the war.

With the British and Japanese checked in the Pacific, US Navy officials turned their attention to the South Atlantic and ongoing naval war between Chile and Argentina. Chile, a Central Powers aligned belligerent, had been engaged in a difficult war with its long time rival, the Entente aligned Argentina. On land the Chilean Army made no progress against the Argentine Army over the difficult terrain of the Andes. At sea the Chilean Navy was unable to strike with much force against the Argentine Navy as it protected the vital sea lanes to Great Britain, relying on commerce raiding and harassment tactics against the combined numbers of the Argentine Navy and the Royal Navy. Dakota sailed for the South Atlantic with her squadron to assist the Chilean Navy in cutting off the sea lanes between Great Britain and Argentina.

Before breaking into the South Atlantic, the US squadron stopped over in Valparaiso, Chile, to take on supplies and work on refits, with US officers meeting with Chilean officers to strategize their next move. Once Dakota was refitted and supplied, she sailed south with the squadron to link up with the Chilean Navy. It was decided that they would sail around the heavily mined Straight of Magellan, through the stormy waters of Cape Horn, and toward the Falkland Islands, going north from there to cut off the supply line between Argentina and Great Britain. Despite successes against the Chilean Navy in smaller clashes, the Argentine Navy made an effort to avoid fighting the combined US-Chilean force in any open battle, relying on sea mines deployed in critical areas that the two navies may navigate through.

Despite attempting to avoiding battle, the US-Chilean naval force was able to engage Argentinian surface ships on several occasions around the Falkland Islands and in the South Atlantic, denying the seas to Argentine Navy with their presence. Dakota, for her part, was kept back from these skirmishes while the smaller US ships were used to either clear mines or engage smaller Argentine ships. She was used primarily for coastal raiding along with the other dreadnoughts, bombarding Argentine ports that stockpiled supplies bound for Britain and sinking cargo ships still anchored at port. These raids, along with the arduous maneuvering of the two allied fleets in difficult waters to clear vital areas of Argentine sea mines, helped to finally cut off Great Britain from the supplies she so desperately needed.

When the Great War finally ended in a Central Powers victory in 1917, Dakota was part of a combined US-Chilean-Brazilian naval force that was about to engage a British-Argentine force of roughly equal size. The cease fire came minutes before the engagement started, sparing the crew and ship from further fighting.

USS Dakota ended the war with an impressive service record. She played an active role in almost every major action in the Pacific, helping to seize the Sandwich Islands by annihilating the British force stationed there, going on to survive the Battle of the Three Navies and helping to turn back the combined British-Japanese force sent to take the islands back. She played another critical role in helping to cut off supplies to Great Britain, assisting Chilean allies in gaining superiority of the seas in the South Atlantic and bombarding Argentine ports stocking-piling supplies. President Theodore Roosevelt, upon a visit to the ship in New York City after the the victorious end of the war, called her "the finest example of American naval superiority ever put to sea" and commented that her crew "were some of the most exceptional heroes of the United States Navy".
 
I always thought the Great Lakes would have been an absolute gong show just because of the generally small surface area to play with. Add in the alternate development because you don't need anything with serious legs you've got fun little place to play around with.
Ah, if only that were the case, right? In the books Canada, Great Britain, and the United States all thought the same thing. Although very important, it seems that surface ship actions were very minimal due to the amount of mines and submarines used in the area here. Each side had built "Great Lakes Battleships" in anticipation for the battles would come to try and control the Great Lakes, but it seems that major confrontation never happened. Would have been nice to see though, kind of like a 20th century version of the Battle of Lake Erie to go along with the other naval engagements during this time. I guess Turtledove wasn't interested in that, or was very aware of the time period in this case.

They definitely would have been a bit different in terms of design compared to a regular coastal defense ship or monitor, that's for sure.
 
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Something I noticed rereading through The Grapple, there's a mention that the reason the naval forces in the Pacific have to deal with converted escort carriers is because every fleet carrier the US builds during the war goes to the Atlantic against the British. I wouldn't imagine that it's unreasonable something along the lines of the Essex-class could exist and be built given how many were produced IRL in just Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and Fore River. If even just a third of the number were produced in TL-191 due to the home front and material shortages, that's still 4-5 that could be built and put to use along with the USS Sandwich Islands and other carriers that existed still giving the US a decent carrier fleet here.
Hm. I don't know enough about that to really say at the moment, but its an interesting choice in strategy given the circumstances. One would think that sending another fleet carrier to the Pacific, along with other ships and escort carriers, would be prudent as well. Escort carriers can only do so much given their size and speed and a fleet carrier in the Pacific to take the place of Remembrance would be the better choice to me, if possible.

Again though, I don't really know much on that at this time to really say.
 
So, here is a very short list of some some potential ship names for both USN and CSN ships in TL-191, specifically for their riverine forces, like the monitors used during the Great War. To narrow it down a bit, I've divided them up by faction based on what I feel each navy might name their ships after, but are also just for fun.

The list is not complete, and can be added to in the future when needed

List of names for USN Riverine Monitor Fleet -- "The Snapping Turtles", 1914-1917

Pontiac-class
  • USS Pontiac
  • USS Neolin
  • USS Tecumseh
  • USS Metacomet
Inquisitor-class
  • USS Inquisitor
  • USS Arbitrator
  • USS Intercessor
  • USS Adjudicator
Retribution-class
  • USS Retribution
  • USS Punishment
  • USS Vindication
  • USS Recompense
Amphitrite-class
  • USS Amphitrite
  • USS Dynamene
  • USS Palaemon
  • USS Leoucotha
List of names for CSN Riverine Monitor Fleet -- "The Floating Flatirons", 1914-1917

Albemarle-class
  • CSS Albemarle
  • CSS Pamlico
Neuse-class
  • CSS Neuse
  • CSS Cirrituck
Santee-class
  • CSS Santee
  • CSS Congaree
Catawba-class
  • CSS Catawba
  • CSS Pee Dee
 
So, here is a very short list of some some potential ship names for both USN and CSN ships in TL-191, specifically for their riverine forces, like the monitors used during the Great War. To narrow it down a bit, I've divided them up by faction based on what I feel each navy might name their ships after, but are also just for fun.

The list is not complete, and can be added to in the future when needed

List of names for USN Riverine Monitor Fleet -- "The Snapping Turtles", 1914-1917

Pontiac-class
  • USS Pontiac
  • USS Neolin
  • USS Tecumseh
  • USS Metacomet
Inquisitor-class
  • USS Inquisitor
  • USS Arbitrator
  • USS Intercessor
  • USS Adjudicator
Retribution-class
  • USS Retribution
  • USS Punishment
  • USS Vindication
  • USS Recompense
Amphitrite-class
  • USS Amphitrite
  • USS Dynamene
  • USS Palaemon
  • USS Leoucotha
List of names for CSN Riverine Monitor Fleet -- "The Floating Flatirons", 1914-1917

Albemarle-class
  • CSS Albemarle
  • CSS Pamlico
Neuse-class
  • CSS Neuse
  • CSS Cirrituck
Santee-class
  • CSS Santee
  • CSS Congaree
Catawba-class
  • CSS Catawba
  • CSS Pee Dee
Hey, long time no see.
Cool names.
 
Hey, long time no see.
Cool names.
It hasn't been that long, has it? lol Nice to see you again!

So, some of the names here could be considered "legacy" names. Albemarle and Neuse, for example, were real Confederate ironclads. Amphitrite is both a real "New Navy" monitor and a real class of USN monitors. The names Pontiac, Tecumseh, and Metacomet were also used by USN ships of various types during the Civil War. And, of course, Punishment is a canon monitor in the books. I just put her as part of a class.

For the USN monitors, I had each class have a certain theme. Indian chiefs, Greek sea deities (with names not claimed by the Royal Navy), and names that carry with it a very hostile and aggressive feel to them, matching the "Remembrance Ideology" of the United States at the time.

The Confederates have a slightly more uniform theme - waterways and rivers, as well as the occasional "legacy" name that just so happens to match the theme.
 
Hey, long time no see.
Cool names.
It hasn't been that long, has it? lol Nice to see you again!

So, some of the names here could be considered "legacy" names. Albemarle and Neuse, for example, were real Confederate ironclads. Amphitrite is both a real "New Navy" monitor and a real class of USN monitors. The names Pontiac, Tecumseh, and Metacomet were also used by USN ships of various types during the Civil War. And, of course, Punishment is a canon monitor in the books. I just put her as part of a class.

For the USN monitors, I had each class have a certain theme. Indian chiefs, Greek sea deities (with names not claimed by the Royal Navy), and names that carry with it a very hostile and aggressive feel to them, matching the "Remembrance Ideology" of the United States at the time.

The Confederates have a slightly more uniform theme - waterways and rivers, as well as the occasional "legacy" name that just so happens to match the theme.
I have also finally found an accurate match for what the USS Punishment's armament might have been like. Turns out the Royal Navy made 6 in. gun monitors specifically for riverine warfare and were intended for Brazil before the outbreak of war in 1914.

HMSMersey.jpg


The Humber-class monitors of the Royal Navy look nothing like what Punishment is suppose to be, buts armament and mission parameters match. The Humber class essentially had two single 6 in. guns in open turrets, while the Punishment is said to have a single enclosed twin turret with 6 in. guns. The Humbers were built around 1912 and saw service in East Africa and Gallipoli. Interestingly enough this design may actually fit well for Confederate monitors too, since I believe they would be contracting the British to build ships for them.
 
So, the Great War in TL-191 starts in June, 1914, yes?

I wanted to do a count of how many battleships the United States had ready at the outbreak of war. Now, since this is an alternate timeline, the numbers may be wildly different, but I took a count of how many battleships the US Navy had in commission in our timeline by the time of June 1914. It may not be entirely correct, so take this count with a grain salt. Again, I'm only counting the dreadnoughts and pre-dreadnoughts the US had by 1914 from our timeline to get some kind of idea about US naval strength in TL-191.

This is what I got:

USN Commissioned Dreadnoughts: 10*
  • South Carolina-class: 2
  • Delaware-class: 2
  • Florida-class: 2
  • Wyoming-class: 2
  • New York-class: 2
* - The two ships of the Nevada-class and the two ships of the Pennsylvania-class were commissioned after the outbreak of WWI in Europe in 1914 and before the US's entry into the war in 1917. These four ships, if they were added into TL-191's timeline, would still see action during the war, but would likely not have been ready upon the outbreak. With context to TL-191, I decided not to include the three ships of the New Mexico-class. They would have commissioned after the war was over.

USN Commissioned Pre-Dreadnoughts: 23**
  • Indiana-class: 3
  • Iowa-class: 1
  • Kearsarge-class: 2
  • Illinois-class: 3
  • Maine-class: 3
  • Virginia-class: 5
  • Connecticut-class: 6
** - The pre-dreadnought ships were, at various points, used largely as training ships with the USN, with the older pre-dreadnoughts going into reserve commission. The ships of the newer Virginia and Connecticut classes were used briefly as convoy escorts before the end of the war in November 1918. However, pre-dreadnoughts during WWI saw extensive front-line use by their respective navies in secondary naval theaters, with the British, French, Russians, and Germans using them as "expendable" assets so as not to risk the more modern and more expensive dreadnoughts and battlecruisers. With context to TL-191, it is highly likely that the US Navy would use their pre-dreadnoughts in a similar fashion as their European foes due to the scale of naval operations during the Great War.

In total, the United States Navy would have had at least 33 battleships of various types available by the outbreak of the war in 1914, with more modern dreadnoughts still being built. Although impressive when added up, the capabilities of the ships and the training of the crews must be considered.

Now, in TL-191, its likely that the numbers may be entirely different. Perhaps the US Navy has even more ships than in our timeline, having to deal with serious naval opponents. It must be noted that in these books around the time of the Great War that US Navy is able to field a fleet large enough to support major operations across the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic ocean, committing their force of modern dreadnoughts into pitched battles. This is just to give a small amount of insight into the possible strength of the US Navy in TL-191, a starting point to build off of.
 
Now, in TL-191, its likely that the numbers may be entirely different. Perhaps the US Navy has even more ships than in our timeline, having to deal with serious naval opponents. It must be noted that in these books around the time of the Great War that US Navy is able to field a fleet large enough to support major operations across the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic ocean, committing their force of modern dreadnoughts into pitched battles. This is just to give a small amount of insight into the possible strength of the US Navy in TL-191, a starting point to build off of.
The US Navy would likely be at least number three in the world in size, given its industrial capacity. Perhaps even number two. The primary reason we had so few battleships compared to Britain and Germany OTL was that we had no reason to make a huge buildup, as we were easily keeping ahead of the Japanese, had no policy issues with the British, , the Germans were pretty much bottled up in the North Sea by said British, and we outnumbers and outgunned the French and Italians.
 
The US Navy would likely be at least number three in the world in size, given its industrial capacity. Perhaps even number two. The primary reason we had so few battleships compared to Britain and Germany OTL was that we had no reason to make a huge buildup, as we were easily keeping ahead of the Japanese, had no policy issues with the British, , the Germans were pretty much bottled up in the North Sea by said British, and we outnumbers and outgunned the French and Italians.
Yes. And in TL-191's case the United States now has a major reason, even the willingness, to build-up its naval force exponentially. Britain, France, and Japan would contest US interests in the Pacific and the Atlantic as it builds more dreadnoughts. Perhaps as a consequence of this Japan also builds up its naval force as well, building more dreadnoughts itself or even commissioning the British to build a few for them too.

I'd say the US Navy in this case would be on par in numbers to the Germans upon the outbreak of the war, with the Nevada and Pennsylvania-classes (or their TL-191 equivalents) being ready for use.

I also do believe the US would commit some of its more capable pre-dreadnoughts to the war as well. With operations from the Atlantic to the Pacific, their importance in filling gaps in other comparatively minor naval theaters despite their obsolescence would be needed. Depending on where they are used, its likely their most active service would be against the Confederates, while most of the modern dreadnoughts take on the Japanese and British. That's just a guess though.
 
I also do believe the US would commit some of its more capable pre-dreadnoughts to the war as well. With operations from the Atlantic to the Pacific, their importance in filling gaps in other comparatively minor naval theaters despite their obsolescence would be needed. Depending on where they are used, its likely their most active service would be against the Confederates, while most of the modern dreadnoughts take on the Japanese and British. That's just a guess though.
Most likely uses would be...

1. Engagements in the Canadian Maritimes and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and off British Columbia. Similar to their role in Gallipoli.
2. Convoy escort
3. Blockading the Gulf of Cortez
 
I'm not that knowledgeable about naval history, tactics and such but since the Central powers won WWI ITTL I would think the defeated Entente Powers would have lost quite a few ships the victorious Central Powers after the war.
The Entente Powers might have also been restricted on how much they could build after the war but I don't remember turtledove mentioning any of this in the books, so I wonder if the size of the navies in TTL's WWII wouldn't have been closer to the same size?
Or wouldn't the Germans and US have bigger navies? I imagine Japan would be about the same or maybe even bigger than OTL.
 
I'm not that knowledgeable about naval history, tactics and such but since the Central powers won WWI ITTL I would think the defeated Entente Powers would have lost quite a few ships the victorious Central Powers after the war.
The Entente Powers might have also been restricted on how much they could build after the war but I don't remember turtledove mentioning any of this in the books, so I wonder if the size of the navies in TTL's WWII wouldn't have been closer to the same size?
Or wouldn't the Germans and US have bigger navies? I imagine Japan would be about the same or maybe even bigger than OTL.
France and the Confederacy were limited in that way. Britain was not, mainly because she wasn't fully defeated like the other nations. The Japanese probably would be bigger, yes
 
Some ideas for the Confederate Navy's Capital Ships


CSS Jefferson Davis class Battleship.
In 1936, President Jacob Featherson as part of the modernization of the Confederate Armed Forces would order new classes of warships for the Confederate Navy, including two battleships of the Jefferson Davis class. After about two months of designing, the final design for the class consisted of a new turbine powerplant, aviation storage place in the midships, as for armament, there were 3 16' guns for each of the main gun turrets along with two turrets of 6' guns and numerous smaller caliber AA guns. In all, the class weighed in at a total of 49,000 tons fully loaded. The first ship, Jefferson Davis, was launched in May of 1940 with President Featherson heading the ceremony. The second ship, CSS Robert E. Lee was launched in October of 1940 with it being completed in August of 1941 and commissioned the following month. The Davis would be fully completed with the fitting out by January of 1941 and entering full service in June of 1941, just in time for it to take part in the Invasion of the Bahamas, where it bombarded the weak Union forces there. The CSS Jefferson Davis would subsequently take part in several Confederate Naval Operations including a bombardment of Union positions along the coast of Delaware. The Davis would meet it's end following it's engagement and destruction of the Union Battlecruiser Saratoga, where it was destroyed by the Union Battleships Washington and Pennsylvania off the coast of New Jersey. The Robert E. Lee would see action throughout the Battle of the Atlantic as the main flagship of the Confederate Navy, in 1943 in a naval action, the Lee would sink the Union Battleship USS Idaho and the heavy cruiser USS Olympia. In April of 1944, while defending Wilmington, North Carolina from Union ground troops, the Lee was attacked and sunk by bombers of the Union Air Force in the harbor, it's wreck would eventually be raised and scrapped in the late 1940s. The wreck of the Jefferson Davis would eventually be found by famed shipwreck hunter Bob Ballard in 1988 at 38. N and 72. W, it would become iconic, with a movie being made about it's final battle and a song titled Sink the Jefferson Davis. In 1938, the Admiralty would order two more ships of this class with a few modifications, and the ships would both be laid down in September of 1938 and work continued until August of 1942 when the building of these two battleship hulls were ordered to be halted as the war situation tuned against the Confederacy.


CSS Longstreet class Battlecruiser.
Before the rise of Jacob Featherson, the Confederate Naval High Command was coming up with plans of a new generation of Capital Ships. One of these proposals was initially called the Project 402 Battlecruiser, which the original requirement was that it was to have three turrets with four 12' guns with two smaller turrets with three 8' guns. The eventual design would compose of two main gun turrets with three 16' guns in each one, along with one turret with two 8' guns, and additionally with six more turrets with two 6' guns. The design was approved in March of 1934, the problem was that the Confederacy lacked any large drydocks outside of Norfolk, which was being watched by the Union. The Confederacy had to turn to the French for help, which the first ship, the CSS James Longstreet was constructed at the Saint Nazaire Shipyard in France. Whereas the second ship, the CSS J.E.B. Stuart was constructed in the new shipyard at Mobile Naval Shipyard under French supervision (though the building of the Stuart would be built in 1936 as the drydock took years to build.) The Longstreet would be launched in July of 1937 and completed in April of 1938, the CSS Stuart would launched in April of 1939 and would be completed in May of 1940. As the Second Great War went into full swing, the Longstreet would be deployed to the Caribbean to assist with Confederate Amphibious Assaults in the region while the CSS Stuart bombarded Atlantic City and also took part on commerce raiding against the Union Merchant Marine in the Central and North Atlantic. The Stuart would prove to be successful, in which she would sink 10 Union, 2 German, and 2 Norwegian merchant ships. However, as the CSS Stuart was patrolling the coastal region of Canada, the Union Navy ships Pittsburgh, Boston, and Los Angeles would engage the Confederate Battlecruiser and the resulting naval action would see the Pittsburgh severely damaged and scuttled on December 2nd, 1941. The CSS Stuart would be eventually be sunk by the Union Navy Battleships during an engagement off the coast of Bermuda in September of 1943. The CSS Longstreet would eventually be sunk by Union Fighter Bombers during the Siege of New Orleans and be salvaged and scrapped in the mid to late 1940s.


CSS Florida class Pocket Battleship/Heavy Cruiser
After the First Great War, the Confederate Navy by treaty was forbidden to possess Battleships that are heavier than 10,000 tons, 3 or more main gun turrets, and over 12' gun caliber. In the mid 1920s, the Confederate Admiralty started contemplating a new class of capital ships to replace their 5 pre-dreadnought battleships that they allowed to keep. Among the proposed designs, was a battlecruiser with four 11' gun turrets, a three turret battleship with 12' guns, and a two turreted "Pocket Battleship" with 12' guns. In 1928, the final design, which was the pocket battleship proposal was ultimately chosen. Three of these new Pocket Battleships were ordered, two from the Mobile Naval Arsenal, and one from United Steel Shipyards in New Orleans. The ships in the class were Florida, Texas, and Chihuahua, with the Florida and Texas being laid down in late 1929 and the Chihuahua being laid down in 1930, which they were all completed by 1935. The Confederacy would lie to the Union about these ships, being that they were under 10,000 tons in weight, and were intended to replace three of their pre-dreadnought battleships from the early 1900s. When the Confederacy invaded the Union during Operation Blackbeard, the Chihuahua was at Charleston, the Texas taking part in anti-commerce raids in the Atlantic, and the Florida taking part in the Invasion of the Bahamas. The Texas would be engaged by Union Warships off the coast of Nova Scotia during an attempted attack on a convoy. She would be pursued by the Union Navy all up they way off the coast of Labrador where she was sunk off of the coast of Cod Island at 57. N and 61. W. The two surviving ships of the class in the Spring of 1942 would all be re-classified as heavy cruisers. The Florida be severely damaged in the superbombing of Newport News and was abandoned due to the radiation. The Florida would eventually be towed out into the Atlantic and be sunk by the US Navy in 1945. The Chihuahua would be destroyed by Union Navy destroyers in the Caribbean off the coast of Cuba in the Straits of Florida on April 26th, 1944.


CSS North Carolina class Heavy Cruiser
In the middle of 1938, the Confederate Admiralty would order the construction of 2 heavy cruisers of a new class. This class was to have a turbine power plant, three turrets with barrels of 8' guns, three triple mount turrets of the newly developed automatic 5' guns. The construction of two of the ships would commence in September of 1938 and would be launched in December of 1940 and February of 1941 as the CSS North Carolina and CSS Sonora respectively and commissioned in August and September of 1941. In October of 1940, two more cruisers* of the class would be ordered and be laid down in January of 1941, but in August of 1942, the construction of both ships would be suspended under the orders of none other of than Jake Featherson as other war weapons constructions were prioritized such as destroyers and frigates. The two unfinished hulls were eventually scrapped on their slipways after the war ended in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The CSS North Carolina and Sonora saw action against the Union Navy in the Atlantic, and in June of 1943, the Sonora was sunk by Union Navy aircraft and heavy cruisers in the naval action in the Central Atlantic. The CSS North Carolina in the final months of the war would be used to assist in the evacuation of Confederate Troops in Georgia and in South Carolina, and on May 2nd, 1944, the CSS North Carolina was attacked and immobilized by Union Navy frogmen in Jacksonville, Mississippi. The CSS North Carolina would be raised in June of 1945 and be taken to Savanna for scrapping.
* = It has been long been speculated that the intended names for the cruisers where to CSS Cuba and CSS Louisiana.


CSS Alabama class Heavy Cruiser
In 1935, as part of the re-armament of the Confederate Navy, a class of three heavy cruisers would be ordered, as part of Specification 1024, the cruiser was to be armed with four dual mount 8' guns and six dual mount dual purpose 5' guns and an aviation facility. While designing the ship, the Confederate took influences from the French Algerie class Heavy Cruiser. In December 1935, the first cruiser would be laid down, the second would be laid down in January of 1936, and the final ship would be laid down in May of 1936. These would become the CSS Alabama, Arkansas, and Kentucky, which the last ship would be commissioned in July of 1939 to the Confederate Navy. When war broke out in 1941, the Alabama and Kentucky would take part in the Amphibious Assault into the Bahamas while the Arkansas provided gunfire support for the Confederate Marines landing in Haiti. During the invasion of the Bahamas, a Union Coastal Battery would cause damage to the CSS Kentucky, which spent 3 months in repair in it's homeport of Tampa. On May 22nd, 1942, while on a sortie off the coast of Delaware, all three ships would battle against the Union Navy, which the Kentucky would cause damage to Union Cruiser USS Dayton and sunk the destroyer USS Pope. However, the Confederates would lose the CSS Arkansas to gunfire from the cruisers USS Madison and USS Boston. CSS Alabama would be lost in a night engagement almost a month later to the Battleship USS Montana. The CSS Kentucky would end up surviving the 2nd Great War and be pressed into the US Navy as the USS Kentucky, which she would be used as a gunnery training ship until 1951, when she was turned into a depot ship, which she would serve the role until her decommissioning in 1962 and was sold to shipbreakers in France in 1964.


CSS Virginia class Heavy Cruiser = Same as OTL Foch class Heavy Cruiser
After the 1st Great War and the subsequent reduction of the Confederate Navy, the CSN would posses 7 cruisers, which were built at the turn of the 20th century. In the late 1920s, the Confederacy would construction of their first class of Heavy Cruisers, as a matter of fact, they would work closely with the French in the designing of these cruisers. Both navies were to build the same design, the French would operate them as the Suffern class, while the Confederates were to operate them as the Virginia class. The Confederacy would begin construction of their cruisers in 1928, with the CSS Virginia being commissioned in April of 1933, the CSS Tennessee would be commissioned in October of 1933, and the final member of the class, the CSS Georgia, would be commissioned into the Confederate Navy on March 14th, 1934. In order to fool the Union of what these cruisers really were, they were originally armed with triple mount 6' guns, in their 1938 refits, the ships would be updated with dual mount 8' guns, similar to the ones found on the Alabama class cruisers. When the 2nd Great War kicked off, only 2 of the 3 ships in the class were in American Waters as the CSS Tennessee was caught in the Black Sea while on a goodwill tour to Russia with the light cruiser CSS Macon. In December of 1941, both the Tennessee and the Macon would be transferred to the Russian Navy and the Tennessee would be named as the Admiral Makarov in Russian Naval Service, though most of her crew would remain to her Confederate crew. The Makarov fight against the navies of Bulgaria, the Ukraine, Turkey, and Austria-Hungary. During the war, the Makarov would be responsible for the loss of three Ottoman and two Austrian destroyers, the Austrian cruiser Triglav, and several merchant ships of Ottoman, Ukrainian, Austrian, and German origin. In January of 1944, the Admiral Makarov while providing naval gunfire support to Russian ground troops was sunk by German bombers off the coast of Crimea. The Georgia and Virginia at the start of the war would conduct anti-shipping operations in the Atlantic, in which they would sink four Union merchant ships. The Virginia would be badly damaged by the Union submarine USS Pike off the coast of Florida in May of 1942, which resulted in the ship spending three months in Tampa undergoing repairs. The CSS Virginia would be sunk by the destroyers USS John Paul Jones and USS Fletcher in the Caribbean off the coast of Haiti in August of 1943 in a naval action between the Union and Confederate navies. The CSS Georgia would be badly damaged by Union aircraft while at port in Mobile Bay in April of 1944. The CSS Georgia was then captured by US Forces shortly thereafter and was eventually sunk by the Union Air Force while testing new and experimental weapons on her off the coast of Labrador in 1948.
 
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I don't know if the CSN would have any battleships at this point. The CSN was always second to the army and all that steel building a dubiously useful ship could be put to better use making more barrels. Heavy cruisers would probably be the limit of what they actually need.
 
Some ideas for the Confederate Navy's Capital Ships
I don't know if the CSN would have any battleships at this point. The CSN was always second to the army and all that steel building a dubiously useful ship could be put to better use making more barrels. Heavy cruisers would probably be the limit of what they actually need.
They are neat, but RaspingLeech is right. The CSN would mostly be a Brown Water Navy, with Mexico to pick up the slack. I can see Capital Ships, but all the same.
 
More ideas of mine, being the Light Cruisers of the Confederacy


CSS Richmond class Light Cruiser
In late 1937, the Confederate Admiralty would order the construction of 3 ships of a new class of Light Cruisers for it's growing Blue Water Fleet. The specification, called Project 943, was to have four triple mount turrets with 6' guns, two torpedo launchers, and an aviation facility to accommodate two scout planes. The first ships would be laid down in the summer of 1938 at the Mobile Naval Arsenal and at Charleston Shipyard. These three ships would be named the CSS Richmond, Havana, and Perryville, and the Havana would be the first ship to be commissioned on December 12th, 1940, thus the Richmond class would sometimes be referred to as the Havana class. The Richmond would be commissioned in April of 1941 and the Perryville in September of 1941. Three more ships of the class would be laid down in September and October of 1940 and would ultimately be cancelled in August of 1942 due to smaller oceangoing ships and riverine warships being prioritized. The Richmond and Havana would both be deployed to the Bahamas to assist in it's invasion in the summer of 1941 while the Perry was fitting out in Charleston. The CSS Havana would be lost in 1943 in the Central Atlantic when the Union submarine USS Barb torpedoed and sunk her with all hands lost. The Richmond during the war had sunk two Union Destroyers and damaged the heavy cruiser USS Denver off the coast of Delaware in March of 1943. The Richmond at the end of the war would escape to Mexico and be interned there, and would recommissioned into Mexican service as the Maximilian I and serve with the Mexico until 1972, she was then sold to ship breakers in the UK in 1973. The Perryville in October of 1943 would be severely damaged in a collision with the CSS Longstreet, as a result, was laid up in Tampa for the remainder of the war. After war's end, the Union Navy would press her into service as a barracks ship for the Confederate Mine Clearing Force* until June of 1947. In July of 1947, the old cruiser was towed to the Bahamas and scuttled there, and since had become a popular spot for divers.
* = The Confederate Mine Clearing Force was a postwar unit made up mostly of former Confederate Navy personnel who were tasked with clearing sea mines that were laid across the coastlines of the former Confederacy and the United States. Inspired by OTL's German Minesweeping Administration, which was formed after WWII from German sailors to clear sea mines.


CSS Savanna class Light Cruiser
In late 1934, the Confederate Admiralty would order 8 cruisers for construction, the cruisers in question were to built to the specifications of Project 557. The first ship would be laid down in March of 1935 and launched in May of 1937 as the CSS Savanna at the Charleston shipyard and would be commissioned into the Confederate Fleet in late December of 1937. The Savanna would be joined by her sisterships the Jacksonville, San Antonio, Cowpens, and Fort Sumter, three of the planned ships of the class would ultimately be re-ordered as AA cruisers for the Louisville subclass. The Savanna class' armament would consist of four triple mount turrets of 6' guns and three smaller caliber dual purpose gun turrets and four torpedo tubes. The ships of the class would ultimately take part in numerous operations during the war, including the Cowpens and Jacksonville, which both took part in the Invasion of Bermuda in 1943. Out 5 ships in the class, only two of them, the Cowpens and the San Antonio would survive the war, with the Savanna being sunk by the USS Buffalo in the Atlantic in 1942 alongside the CSS Arkansas. The Fort Sumter would be destroyed by Union Fighter Bombers while defending the coastal city of Wilmington in 1944, and was ultimately raised and scrapped in 1947. The Jacksonville would be sunk by aircraft from the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise on September 11th, 1943 near Bermuda. The San Antonio would be captured alongside with the Cowpens at war's end in Tampa and would be given to the infantile Texan Navy, where it served until 1964 where it was decommissioned and scrapped in 1965 in Brownsville. The CSS Cowpens would be pressed into service in the Union Navy as the USS Cowpens, where it served as a Light Cruiser until 1950, where it was then converted into a barracks ship where it served in that capacity until 1969 where it was then decommissioned and sold for scrap that same year to France. However, the ship would break tow near it's final destination of Brest and ended up foundering on the coast of Ireland, where the hull remained to this day, though ship breakers would salvage pieces of the ship throughout the years, as late as 1990.


CSS Louisville class Anti-Aircraft Cruiser.
Originally planned to be members of the Savanna class of Light Cruiser, the three ships where re-ordered as a modified design in October of 1936. This new design was just the main armament was simply changed to five dual mount turrets of 5' automatic guns, which were to be dual purpose guns, which they were designed mainly as an anti-aircraft weapon. The first ship, the CSS Louisville, was launched in June of 1938 at Mobile and was commissioned into the Confederate Fleet in January of 1939, it's sister ships, the CSS Memphis and CSS Veracruz, would be commissioned in late 1939 and early 1940 respectively. During the war, the ships accompanied larger capital as a form of Anti-Aircraft protection, which their guns would prove to be formidable to any Union aircraft that dared get in their way. The CSS Memphis and CSS Louisville would get destroyed in a naval action with Union Ships north of the Bahamas in October of 1943. The CSS Veracruz would end up getting attacked by Union Navy Frogmen while it was it's moorings in Savanna, Georgia in April of 1944, and was raised and scrapped in the late 1940s.


CSS Manassas class Light Cruiser
After the First Great War, the Confederate Cruiser Force was reduced to 7 cruisers from the turn of the 20th Century, in the early 1920s, the Confederate Admiralty was working on designing a class of new cruisers which was to get around the Naval Restrictions placed on them by the Union. In the process, they would work with the French in their designs. The design ultimately chosen was to feature three dual mount 6' guns and an aircraft catapult. Two of the ships would be constructed in France while the third ship was constructed in New Orleans. The first ship, the CSS Manassas, would be launched on July 4th, 1927, and be commissioned on December 1st, 1927. The other two ships, the CSS Macon and CSS Little Rock, would be both commissioned in 1928 to the Confederate Navy. During the inter-war years, the ships would do many goodwill tours across the world, notably with the CSS Little Rock visiting Union Ports in 1932. When war broke out in 1941, the CSS Little Rock and Manassas would both take part in the Invasion of Haiti while the CSS Macon was trapped in the Black Sea. The Macon would be transferred to the Imperial Russian Navy and be renamed as the Novik and serve with the Russians throughout the war until being sunk by the Austrian Navy in September of 1943. The CSS Little Rock was lost in August of 1941 near Norfolk Virginia after striking a mine laid by the Union Navy. The Manassas after the Haiti operation would serve for much of the war as a Gunnery Training ship in the Gulf of Mexico until late 1943 when she was put into service to provide gunfire support to Confederate Ground Force in the Caribbean. On February 4th, 1944, Union Navy Dive Bombers would attack the Manassas and would cause severe damage to the ship while sailing off the coast of Cuba. The Manassas was ultimately lost while the ship was being towed to the port of Havana by the Destroyer CSS Hammond in the Strait of Florida.


CSS La Paz class Protected Cruiser
Built at the turn of the 20th Century in Britain, the La Paz class Protected Cruiser served the Confederate Navy as frontline cruisers until 1915 when they were re-delegated to use as Gunnery Training Ships. Following War's End, the three ships, the CSS La Paz, New Orleans, and Birmingham would be retained by the Confederacy, and as such, returned to frontline service as cruisers. They would serve in this role until the mid 1930s when they were withdrawn to 2nd Line roles again, such as training vessels, and with the Birmingham, would become a barracks ship. During the 2nd Great War, the CSS La Paz would play a role during the Invasion of Haiti when it transported Confederate Marines to the island during it's invasion. Afterwards, the La Paz would operate out of Cuba as a training vessel until March of 1944 when it was pressed into service as a AA cruiser, in which it would stationed at New Orleans until it's ultimate capture by Union Forces. After the war, the La Paz would be used as a minesweeper tender for the Confederate Mine Clearing Force until mid 1947, when it was finally decommissioned and was subsequently scrapped in Mobile. The CSS Birmingham would serve as a Barracks Ship until her capture by the Union Navy at Tampa Bay in June of 1944. She was used by the occupying Union troops until May of 1945, when the old ship was towed out to the Atlantic and scuttled loaded with old Confederate Chemical Weapons. The CSS New Orleans would serve as a gunnery training ship until April of 1944 when she was called into frontline service for last time as a floating gun battery at Savanna, Georgia, providing naval gunfire support for the retreating Confederate Army. On May 2nd, 1944, the ship was attacked and sunk Union Air Force fighter bombers and was sunk, the shipwreck would be raised and scrapped sometime in 1945.
 
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