Warships that should never been built?

What are some steel era warships (1859-present) that should never been commissioned?

In my opinion, the USS Maine was one of the worst battleships ever built. It was already obsolete when she was commissioned. Her design was just so ugly and bad. However, she was important to creating the modern US Navy and turning the US Navy into a real blue water navy, and the US Navy (or even the USA as we know it) would not exist without her.
 
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I'm not a fan of Swift, the F class destroyers and the coastal destroyers. I think they should have built an improved E class instead. The improvements would have been oil for fuel and turbine machinery for a maximum speed of 27 knots.
 
I am going to say HMS Hood should not have been built. I have big question marks over all the WWI emergency capital ships, R&R and the Outrageous class. There was a need for fast capital ships and the later two classes make sense pre 1916 as cruiser bullies. OTOH the Admirals were too late and the cancellation of the last three speaks volumes.
 
Captain definitely, the only good thigh about it was the lessons learned....except the Admiralty pretty much already knew them.
Fisher's Follies. Use the money on Admirals, or idk ANYTHING ELSE. What an absolutely colossal waste of resources.
Shinano as a carrier was pretty stupid, it's carrying capacity wasn't good and it was supposed to be a repair carrier right?
Dulios, Italias etc. The Italians wasted huge amounts of money and resources building gigantic ships to counter the British.
I am going to say HMS Hood should not have been built. I have big question marks over all the WWI emergency capital ships, R&R and the Outrageous class. There was a need for fast capital ships and the later two classes make sense pre 1916 as cruiser bullies. OTOH the Admirals were too late and the cancellation of the last three speaks volumes.
I'd agree and disagree.
I think the Admiralty could've sat down after they dismantled Hoods keel post Jutland and could've designed something more akin to a 16" K2. Americans had been using the All or nothing for years, and going for twin 16" might mean they just build it as bigger 15/42s rather than the absolute mess they were going with the lighter shells and all that nonsense with the Nelsons 16s. Bringing down the guns from 18" to 16" might also allow for a thicker belt.
But as I previously stated, I absolutely agree fisher follies should've never happened. R&R less so, though they certainly needed that extra armour.
 

Stenz

Monthly Donor
Pretty much any French capital ship pre-Dunkerque and even then I’m sceptical about quadruple turrets
 
The Yamato - a behemoth of a battleship that while intimidating with it's size and guns, was completely exposed to air attack without a carrier escort protecting it and Japan had a limited number of aircraft carriers and the size of the Yamato meant it consumed a large amount of fuel, which meant if it was short on fuel, it had to sit out major battles like Midway and Guadacanal.
 
Captain definitely, the only good thigh about it was the lessons learned....except the Admiralty pretty much already knew them.
Fisher's Follies. Use the money on Admirals, or idk ANYTHING ELSE. What an absolutely colossal waste of resources.
Shinano as a carrier was pretty stupid, it's carrying capacity wasn't good and it was supposed to be a repair carrier right?
Dulios, Italias etc. The Italians wasted huge amounts of money and resources building gigantic ships to counter the British.

I'd agree and disagree.
I think the Admiralty could've sat down after they dismantled Hoods keel post Jutland and could've designed something more akin to a 16" K2. Americans had been using the All or nothing for years, and going for twin 16" might mean they just build it as bigger 15/42s rather than the absolute mess they were going with the lighter shells and all that nonsense with the Nelsons 16s. Bringing down the guns from 18" to 16" might also allow for a thicker belt.
But as I previously stated, I absolutely agree fisher follies should've never happened. R&R less so, though they certainly needed that extra armour.
HMS Captain had to happen. Look at all the private individuals all around the world seizing on bits of rapidly advancing technology and forcing ships through. Something was going to happen. Probably something tragic. Lessons learnt.

Something needed to be built mid WWI. I just don't know what. More QEs aren't the answer. The follies and R&R are disposable wartime builds that were allowed to live longer then they should have been by an accident of history. Anything built without hindsight would not have fared well under WNT. The evolutionary conveyor belt of RN ship building wasn't quite up to a post WNT ship.

I used to think that about the follies but then I read a essay (sorry can't source it better than that) about the follies as raider killers. Liners had big hulls and could outpace cruisers. It is one of the reasons we get battle cruisers. R&R and the follies are very much about countering them, Baltic excursions aside. In 1914 that makes sense. The follies armament makes more sense when you compare it to and armored cruiser or one of the early Towns. When they were used to beat up cruisers the follies worked well. Big fast stable hulls with 18 x 4" guns. That works. Post WWI who cares. Scrap them. This is the RN with a huge industry behind them. Then history and the WNT bites.
 

Stenz

Monthly Donor
Battlecruisers were never built as raider killers. The follies were never intended as some form of anti-cruiser ships.
 

Stenz

Monthly Donor
S &G might disagree strongly....... and yes German liners converted into AMC did figure in the thinking.
Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were used as raiders, not raider killers?

Figure in the thinking how? Fisher wanted battlecruisers as a fast wing for the fleet or cruiser killers (when he came close to expressing his ideas properly), I’ve never seen anything about being worried about AMCs.
 
HMS Captain was a tragedy, but a likely part of the evolution of a new technology, and almost inevitable--not the particular ship, but some BAD (in hindsight) designs. Some should have been anticipated, but it is new tech.
USS Katahdin was pretty thoroughly useless.
 
Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were used as raiders, not raider killers?

Figure in the thinking how? Fisher wanted battlecruisers as a fast wing for the fleet or cruiser killers (when he came close to expressing his ideas properly), I’ve never seen anything about being worried about AMCs.
Yep S & G were used as raiders. Then killed by a battle cruiser. It is confusing when there are two pairs of S & Gs ;)
You know in some documents the KGVs were "battle cruisers" so Scharnhorst was killed by one twice? :confused:

There are a couple of ideas going into battle cruisers. Fast wing for the battle fleet. Strategically mobile reserve for Empire policing. Cruiser killer. AMC Ocean liner killer*. Ocean liners around 1890s had big seaworthy hulls and high speeds they could keep up for longer distances in rougher weather than contemporary cruisers. Also being big they could take a lot of punishment. In the days before director fire an AMC wasn't that different to a protected cruiser. This was a big deal for the RN before WWI. Nations like Germany are building ocean liners which can easily be converted into unstoppable AMCs. Pre battle cruiser you are looking at ships like the Blakes as counters. Battle cruisers continued this thinking. Wartime experience in 1914-18 showed the threat to be minimal.
That 1900-1918 period is a really interesting window for big fast ships. Lots of funny ideas that aren't exactly wrong given the tech at the time, but soon to be shown as not as bad as thought or overtaken by technology. It made me rethink the follies. Not as crazy as they looked.



*For once I have some sources. The Genesis of a Cruiser Navy, Scott M. Lindgren. The Cavalry of the Fleet, Ryan Alexander Peeks.
 

Driftless

Donor
USS Katahdin was pretty thoroughly useless.
Neither fast nor manoeuvrable enough for the task it was designed for - ramming.

The turn of the previous century American double-deck turrets on battleships and cruisers, starting with the USS Kearsarge(BB-5). Among several deficiencies, the ammunition hoist systems were inefficient, especially given the different rates of fire for the two sizes of the weapons in the stack. As an experiment (USS Kearsarge), it was worth the try, but the commitment to carry on the idea through to the five ship Virginia class was not wise.

*edit* At least the Virginia's had a fairly lengthy service, mostly showing the flag in the Great White Fleet. Fortunately, they never needed to go to war against peer ships.
 
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SsgtC

Banned
The Freedom and Independence classes. The LCS is an expensive ship that's so lightly built and poorly armed it can't been risked in the littorals. You know, the very area of ocean it was supposedly designed to operate in. Not to mention that it's horribly unreliable to the point that the Navy can't risk them on long deployments.
 

Driftless

Donor
The Freedom and Independence classes. The LCS is an expensive ship that's so lightly built and poorly armed it can't been risked in the littorals. You know, the very area of ocean it was supposedly designed to operate in. Not to mention that it's horribly unreliable to the point that the Navy can't risk them on long deployments.
I believe the USN has waffled back and forth on that littoral role from the get-go til now. Would they have been better off tweaking some of the USCG cutter designs for the role, or just writing off the whole idea?
 
HMS Captain had to happen. Look at all the private individuals all around the world seizing on bits of rapidly advancing technology and forcing ships through. Something was going to happen. Probably something tragic. Lessons learnt.

Something needed to be built mid WWI. I just don't know what. More QEs aren't the answer. The follies and R&R are disposable wartime builds that were allowed to live longer then they should have been by an accident of history. Anything built without hindsight would not have fared well under WNT. The evolutionary conveyor belt of RN ship building wasn't quite up to a post WNT ship.

I used to think that about the follies but then I read a essay (sorry can't source it better than that) about the follies as raider killers. Liners had big hulls and could outpace cruisers. It is one of the reasons we get battle cruisers. R&R and the follies are very much about countering them, Baltic excursions aside. In 1914 that makes sense. The follies armament makes more sense when you compare it to and armored cruiser or one of the early Towns. When they were used to beat up cruisers the follies worked well. Big fast stable hulls with 18 x 4" guns. That works. Post WWI who cares. Scrap them. This is the RN with a huge industry behind them. Then history and the WNT bites.
A lot of the stuff on Captain wasn't necessary, and her demise didn't lead to huge lessons thst the royal navy applied that they didn't already know. Her masts, incredibly strong because they were tripods didn't snap, had they they might've saved the ship. Sails wouldn't matter anyway, they'd be done away with within a few years. They could've built a smaller ship, something that wasn't as much of a waste.

Design Y instead of the R's. 28 knots, 11" belt and 8 15 inch guns. Can you imagine having such useful units down the line? Gives incentive for the K2 type Hood too, since otl admirals would be far to incremental even for the Royal navy.
Not really, because the follies were so lightly built going at full speed and shooting at something would mean the ship would be in port for a few months at least because of the structural issues. R&R make more sense for that role.
Follies main problemswere the hulls weren't that stable, they were so lightly built they suffered from a lot of structural damage. Who the hell really needs 18" guns to beat up cruisers and liners? You could do a better job with a 12" gun and fit more on to the ship.
 
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