Warships that should never been built?

The Swedish Goatland was trying too hard to be too many things and therefore didnt do any very well . Also issues with supply of aircraft didn't help
I just want to say that trying to look up the vessel in question led me on a long Wikiwalk through Stirling Generators.

I'm pretty sure that I was on the wrong ship (I was on the sub), but it was a fascinating walk through the fields of thermodynamics.
 
I just want to say that trying to look up the vessel in question led me on a long Wikiwalk through Stirling Generators.

I'm pretty sure that I was on the wrong ship (I was on the sub), but it was a fascinating walk through the fields of thermodynamics.

I know a few Australians who are NOT fans of Kockums.

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That is a Gotland.

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That is a Collins.
 
Counterpoint:

1. The Italians, saddled with the Germans and the Moose, had to figure out how to move supply past Malta and past the Royal Navy to a lunatic who had no clue about logistics all the way off there in Egypt. Of course they lost (TORCH and 8th Army) but it was on land. Not at sea.

2. Britain had lift which it criminally squandered in nonsensical operations (Crete, Andaman Islands, Rhodes, Kos, other Dedocanese tomfoolery and a questionable Dakar White Feather and don't bring up Madagascar, please.)

3. I think Pelilieu might be the major US bolo to compare and contrast for sheer colossal unnecessary waste and idiocy, but all in all based on some of the insane stuff the Russians and Germans pulled on each other around Sevastopol, I'm happy with those rankings, CH. YMMV and it should. It is subject to interpretation and PoV.

4. The Japanese are just not too good. Example WAKE ISLAND. If the landing attempt had been made at Midway, you would have an RTL example of just how lousy they were at storming a defended beach, much less planning an amphib op. The SNLF would have snuffed it before the first Daihatsu grounded.

But to tie this into building ships that make no sense?

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Those are F-Lighters. Favorite meal for these guys...
1.The Italians and Germans lost 4 million tons of shipping / 3000+ships attempting it (and ultimately failing I would add) - and it was their back yard. The British supplies had to go the long way round and were still more effective.

2. D-Day. Germans and Russians could not even have a wet dream about such capability the British possessed. And the Kerch Landings. I would laugh if for the utter futile tragedy of those operations. Yes the Brits got some things wrong in WW2 but nothing even approaching the Kerch debacles. And the Severnaya Bay north assault by the Germans late in that battle using 130 Rubber boats was effectively to all intents and purposes a glorified unopposed river crossing. None of that puts them even close to 2nd and 3rd place.

3. Pelailu was in hindsight a total waste of time and US lives as its airfield was ultimately never used. But there was a clear objective at the time and it was ultimately taken.

4. Wake was a good example of how not to do things - but still the Russians repeatedly failing at 'unopposed landings' at Kerch is a far better example of how not to do things
 
The Swedish Goatland was trying too hard to be too many things and therefore didnt do any very well . Also issues with supply of aircraft didn't help
HMSwS Gotland will appear at some point in my naval story. I've already had various Baltic navies appear with pansarskepps. Except here, she may be slightly less of a mishmash after some changes.


Sargon
 
Type 1935 Torpedo Boats
12 useless ships built by a navy that desperatly needed decent modern ships. Then they build nine more, in a slightly improved Type 1937 version that proved to be almost as bad.
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Based on what?

Numbers? Between 1935 and 1945 the IJN commissioned exactly TWO new Battleships, the Italians managed three, the French four (although the Dunkerques were arguablly battle cruisers, not true fast BB). The United State commissioned 10 (2 North Carolina, 4 South Dakota, 4 Iowa). The Royal Navy commissioned 5 KGV. At the start of WW II the Japanese had Six fleet carriers, France had an "aircraft carrier" the Italians had none, the USN had 8 (including Hornet which was on its shakedown cruise on December 7th), the Royal Navy had 10 fleet carriers. Of course during the war the U.S. commissioned 16 Essex class fleet carriers and 9 Independence class CVL (and one Midway class, that snuck in under the wire)

Technology? The Japanese didn't have ANY shipborne radar until April of 1942 (when sets were installed in the Ise and Hyuga). The Royal Navy had its first set afloat in 1938, with gun control sets out by 1940. The USN had its first sets afloat in mid 1940.

About the only real "edge" the IJN had was one specific aircraft, the A6M Zero, even in that case it was an advantage that was fleeting, with the F4F actually having a positive win:lose ratio vs. the Zero, and the F6F, F4U, and F8F operating on an entirely different plane of existence. The B5N had good range, but Ralphie could shoot it down with his Red Ryder air rifle (has a compass in the stock) and the D3A was massively inferior to the SBD. IJN torpedoes were very good, although the decision to use oxygen fueled engines was, at best, questionable; two Japanese heavy cruisers were lost off Samar when their Type 93 torpedoes exploded due to damage to their oxygen flasks.
I would suggest that the B5N was possibly the best operational Torpedo Bomber of the early war period. It was a combination of the aircraft and the weapon itself. The Japanese torpedo had a faster and higher release window and the B5N was able to use those capabilities. Swordfish worked great in the Atlantic where it did not face serious opposition (although there were cases in the Med where it could not catch its targets when it was in a stern chase) but in the Pacific where there was a decent protective bundle (aircraft and guns) around the targets it would have been a disaster. The TBD was at the end of its first line operational life with its replacement already in the pipeline . So it was a temporary advantage that the B5N had and the Japanese did not have the product pipeline (aircraft and crews) to maintain that advantage over the long term.

The Japanese had also put more thought into the operation of multiple carrier operations than either of trhe other 'carrier navies' of the time when the war began. This advantage disappeared when the U.S. Navy began to have enough carriers in the same theater to make such operations possible. There were some mistakes along the way while the USN played catch-up but by mid 1943 when the new carriers were starting to appear they had worked out most issues and developed an operational system that allowed constant scaling upwards.

Production capability and technological capability are related but not the same. The fact that the U.S. led in both disguises the point. Naval powerplants are a good example. The Germans had a very efficient high pressure steam plants in the Prinz Eugen. It was however very finicky and required a highly trained staff to operate it. The British steam plants were a much older, conventional design operating at lower pressures and subsequently less efficent. But they were comfortable with it, were confident that it could be produced and staffed in the numbers required and had high reliability. The U.S. Navy chose to go with newer designed high pressure plants (not as high as the Germans) but because of the manufacturing infrastructure was able to produce this equipment in high volume to very tight tolerances so that it could be used in a mass production environment. They were also able to establish a training program that taught the skills needed to run and maintain the complex systems quickly enough and in large enough numbers that it could support the largest fleet in the world.
 
More importantly, consider the war record; the mere threat of Tirpitz sorting led to the PQ-17 disaster, which in turn led to the closure of the Northern Route for Lend Lease during the summer months until 1944.
While I agree that the mere presence of the Tirpitz affected the northern convoy route and forced the allies to keep a sizeable surface battle force available to support it, the Northern route was always planned to be used less in the summer months. The greatly expanded hours of daylight made it much easier to search large area for the convoys and keep in contact once the convoys were spotted. It was only when much larger escorts could be supplied that the allies decided to force thru the summer convoys.
 

CalBear

Moderator
Donor
There are other, less obvious, but hugely important, bits of "tech" that marked the USN, in particular which made huge differences in effectiveness. Possibly the greatest, and least appreciated, of these is the American gun mounts, not that the 5"/38 wasn't a spectacular weapon, but the mount allowed it to truly shine. Starting with the first powered mount (the Mark 27 used for the 5"/25s on the Brooklyn class) used for secondary armament, the USN had absolutely break through performance, The Mark 27 had a train rate of 20°/sec, the powered mounts for the 5"/38 had train rates between 25°/sec and 34°/sec. By comparison the RN mounts for the 4.5"/45 QF started the war with 15°/sec train rates and reached 20°/sec later in the war, with some late war construction receiving the Mark V with a 25°/sec rate.

On the other hand the IJN train rate for their 12.7cm/50 (the standard armament on most IJN DD) was 4°/sec and the rate for the 12.7cm/40 was 12°/sec, with some late war refits getting an improved mount with 16°/sec. Even the mid/late war 10cm/65 (found on the Akizuki class DD, the Oyodo class Cl, and the carriers Taiho and Shinano) were saddled with a 16°/sec train rate mount, something that had a serious impact on what was otherwise an exceptionally good weapon. The KM standard heavy AAA gun, the 10.5CM/65 was more or less crippled by a train rate of 8° to 10°/sec.

Train rate is a critical, perhaps the critical, factor in getting a gun positioned to engage, followed by elevation rate (even with the best gun aiming radar or manual direction on Earth if the gun barrle can't track the aircraft it is going to miss). The 12° rate was reasonable against early WW II attack aircraft, which tended to be limited to 100-125 knots while carrying a weapon, however, by mid 1942 that speed had jumped top 175-200 and the 12° mounts simply couldn't stay on any sort of crossing target, by 1944 the speed had reached 250 knots and 16°/sec was insufficient, even 20°/sec was marginal against some aircraft.

This is the sort of more or less hidden "tech" where the U.S. and UK excelled. The U.S. also had a huge advantage in another piece of "modern" warfare, production/assembly lines and their related motion studies. When one applies assembly line motion study methods to repetitive tasks, like loading a gun mount, efficiency increases, frequently by a remarkable percentage when ship commanders drilled they gun crews. The U.S. was the pioneer in motion study (which was one of the reasons that American assembly lines were so effective during the War, and why Japanese factories became incredibly productive after the post-war reconstruction period and U.S. methods were adopted and improved) and it aided the U.S. military throughout the War.
 
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French, Italian and Japanese warships were the most modern of the war. Japan probably was THE most modern navy of the war.
I'd say the Dutch subs were the most modern just pre-war
Technology? The Japanese didn't have ANY shipborne radar until April of 1942 (when sets were installed in the Ise and Hyuga). The Royal Navy had its first set afloat in 1938, with gun control sets out by 1940. The USN had its first sets afloat in mid 1940.
Funny thing even the dutch had radar developed, just war prevented installation, 4 sets were ready just pre-war, and they managed to get 1 set out, which was installed on the Isaac Sweers in '40 (and it was a single antenna radar, the british one was still double antenna
 
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I'd say the Dutch subs were the most modern just pre-war

Funny thing even the dutch had radar developed, just war prevented installation, 4 sets were ready just pre-war, and they managed to get 1 set out, which was installed on the Isaac Sweers in '40
Dutch naval technology was good.
 
Hmm. It did not mechanically break down and it actually shot holes through British cruiser tanks, which also mechanically did break down at the time. I think that makes it a "qualified" success.
Goodness, you replied to nearly the entire thread in one post.

Anyways, the M11 was noted to be mechanically unreliable. Many of them were out of service on the eve of Operation Compass. Additionally, while it did overmatch the British light tanks, the fact that there were no more M11s in north Africa by the end of the British counter attack speaks volumes about its success in other applications. Italy rushed the M13 into service for a reason (and that I think would count as a qualified success).
 
1.The Italians and Germans lost 4 million tons of shipping / 3000+ships attempting it (and ultimately failing I would add) - and it was their back yard. The British supplies had to go the long way round and were still more effective.

2. D-Day. Germans and Russians could not even have a wet dream about such capability the British possessed. And the Kerch Landings. I would laugh if for the utter futile tragedy of those operations. Yes the Brits got some things wrong in WW2 but nothing even approaching the Kerch debacles. And the Severnaya Bay north assault by the Germans late in that battle using 130 Rubber boats was effectively to all intents and purposes a glorified unopposed river crossing. None of that puts them even close to 2nd and 3rd place.

3. Pelailu was in hindsight a total waste of time and US lives as its airfield was ultimately never used. But there was a clear objective at the time and it was ultimately taken.

4. Wake was a good example of how not to do things - but still the Russians repeatedly failing at 'unopposed landings' at Kerch is a far better example of how not to do things
Counterpoint.

More Counterpoint. The Kerch landings were successful. It was the exploitation that was botched.

I would suggest that the B5N was possibly the best operational Torpedo Bomber of the early war period. It was a combination of the aircraft and the weapon itself. The Japanese torpedo had a faster and higher release window and the B5N was able to use those capabilities. Swordfish worked great in the Atlantic where it did not face serious opposition (although there were cases in the Med where it could not catch its targets when it was in a stern chase) but in the Pacific where there was a decent protective bundle (aircraft and guns) around the targets it would have been a disaster. The TBD was at the end of its first line operational life with its replacement already in the pipeline . So it was a temporary advantage that the B5N had and the Japanese did not have the product pipeline (aircraft and crews) to maintain that advantage over the long term.
Like many situations, *(The French and their torpedo boats in a moment.) one has to get into the details to see what is going on. The Devastator was SLOW. Since her engine was a derated (P&W R1830 R-64 670 kW) COTS powerplant, she had to be designed flimsy and "Japanese" in design philosophy. That Ed Heinemann got so much out of her is incredible. The B5N Kate was marginally better with a 720 kW Nakajima Sakae N11 radial. We're talking 10% performance difference across all parameters between a 1933 design and a 1936 design. Note that the Devastator was as BIG as an Avenger. You put 1500 kW on the nose and a Hamilton Standard constant pitch prop on a Devastator and you get Skyraider type performance. But you go with what Congress will fund.

The Mark XIII (13 postwar) torpedo was schizo. in that BLISS LEAVITT, not the USN, designed the torpedo and THEY made the first 250 units in the serial run before GOAT ISLAND and the idiots at Bu-Ord stole the design and added it to their Congress-cretin (stinking politics) mandated torpedo monopoly. What that means is that the first Mark XIII torpedoes out of the Lexington's and Yorktown's magazines were not USN made. At Coral Sea, these were the Bliss Leavitt fish used by the Devastators and THEY WORKED. At Midway, the fish were USN made. They were clangers and sinkers. What people forget is that the Devastators at Midway HIT their targets with expected PH results. The Japanese report this. The Japanese also report fail to explodes, deep runs and prematures from the American USN made fish. GODDAMN Goat Island.

The Japanese had also put more thought into the operation of multiple carrier operations than either of trhe other 'carrier navies' of the time when the war began. This advantage disappeared when the U.S. Navy began to have enough carriers in the same theater to make such operations possible. There were some mistakes along the way while the USN played catch-up but by mid 1943 when the new carriers were starting to appear they had worked out most issues and developed an operational system that allowed constant scaling upwards.
The Japanese Kido Butai had 4 years of battlefield interdiction mission flight operations in support of their army in China from their flattops. Instant on demand tac-air necessity forced them to concentrate flattops first in pairs as CTFs from 1937 on. This kind of war experience also tended to make them practice deck-ops, strike package form ups and invent a prototype mirror/lights landing system, a kind of air tasking order approach to aerial staff work and so forth. They neglected naval reconnaissance; because of their China War experience parading up and down the East China Sea to attack fixed land targets; did not really teach them the vital importance of the recon battle. That neglect of this part of the aircraft carrier art, KILLED them when they came up against someone who practiced reconnaissance like their lives depended on it.

Technology quirks.

Production capability and technological capability are related but not the same. The fact that the U.S. led in both disguises the point. Naval powerplants are a good example. The Germans had a very efficient high pressure steam plants in the Prinz Eugen. It was however very finicky and required a highly trained staff to operate it. The British steam plants were a much older, conventional design operating at lower pressures and subsequently less efficient. But they were comfortable with it, were confident that it could be produced and staffed in the numbers required and had high reliability. The U.S. Navy chose to go with newer designed high pressure plants (not as high as the Germans) but because of the manufacturing infrastructure was able to produce this equipment in high volume to very tight tolerances so that it could be used in a mass production environment. They were also able to establish a training program that taught the skills needed to run and maintain the complex systems quickly enough and in large enough numbers that it could support the largest fleet in the world.
Funny story about the Prinz Eugen. When the Americans finally got her, they found the Germans had run salt water through her boilers. Instant atom bomb test target. Another funny story about the Prinz Eugen. The Germans forgot about her sonar and/or bungled the sabotage attempt. Harvard Underwater Sound Lab got ahold of it and USN sonar tech combined with the German multichannel mag-resisters = sonar superiority that has never been relinquished. BTW, that engine plant on the Prinz Eugen WAS a PoS from an engineering point of view. If you have to FORD it, then it is an ongoing mechanical casualty. I like to call it, not understanding the needs of the end-user. (See underlined and italics.^^^).
 
Goodness, you replied to nearly the entire thread in one post.

Anyways, the M11 was noted to be mechanically unreliable. Many of them were out of service on the eve of Operation Compass. Additionally, while it did overmatch the British light tanks, the fact that there were no more M11s in north Africa by the end of the British counter attack speaks volumes about its success in other applications. Italy rushed the M13 into service for a reason (and that I think would count as a qualified success).
Well... like even the best machines, you still have to have spare parts and mechanics and repair manuals and crews who know what they are doing etc... (Cough, Crusaders, cough.).

I think under the circumstances, that I was fair. YMMV and it should.
 
I'm ignoring the German Type 35s as a design disaster because they did serve as cadet ships and fill-ins for destroyers which the Germans did not have.

I'm interested in...

Caracteristics ( Melpomène lead ship)

Displacement: 610 tons standard, 834 tons full load
Length: 81 m (265 ft 9 in)
Beam: 10.5 m (34 ft 5 in)
Draught: 2.65 m (8 ft 8 in)
Installed power:
  • 4 boilers
  • 33,000 shp (25,000 kW)
Propulsion: Geared turbines, 2 shafts
Speed: 34.5 knots (63.9 km/h; 39.7 mph)
Complement: 8 officers, 94 men
Armament:

  • Before the war :
  • 2 × 100 mm (3.9 in) guns
  • 2 × 2 13.2 mm Hotchkiss MGs
  • 2 × 550 mm TLT (double barrel)
  • 1 x towed Ginocchio torpedo
  • After Allied modifications:
  • 1 x 100mm gun
  • 3 x 40mm QF 2 pnd naval guns
  • 2 x 20mm Oerlikon Mk 2/4
  • 2 x dual 13.2 mm Hotchkiss MGs
  • 2 x 550 mm TLT (double barrel)
  • 1 x towed Ginocchio torpedo

What makes them WEIRD and almost useless in their defined role; is that they employed an ITALIAN ASW weapon.

It was the Ginnochio torpedo.

Basically the (dumb) idea was to drop a sea kite diving paravane off the back of a corvette and/or destroyer, reel out the cable, let it sink to a pre-determined depth and tow it across the predicted intended motion of an enemy submarine until the cable scraped across it, got snared and the sub obligingly mined itself on the payload warhead in the kite.
Turns out a single destroyer or corvette would never intercept the enemy sub, so the French tried the line abreast sweep approach. Put 4 or 5 torpedo boats in a line abreast and drag the ocean for that pesky sub.

To make THAT work, now we are talking 15 m/s station keeping at danger close beam to beam intervals of less than 50 meters. NTG.

So... a design that looked good on paper and was useless in practice. (^^^)
 
I mean early American battleships were still garbage. The US began building battleships inspired by European designs as a response to Brazil’s Rischuelo. The USS Maine took 9 years to build, so expensive, and when completed was already obsolete. Their subsequent battleships also sucked (and ugly).
Honestly, I think this question really has to be broken apart into the pre- and post-dreadnought eras.

In the first generations of the Age of Steam and Steel (1860-1906), after all, it was nothing but a learning process - a learning process with very rapidly improving technology, and a contrasting lack of combat experience. The result was a confusion of ideas of just what a steam-powered steel warship was even supposed to *do*, or *how* it was supposed to do it. Virtually the entire fund of naval experience belonged to centuries of fighting ships built of wood and powered by wind. Lots of mistakes (some spectacular) were simply inevitable. The surprise is almost that it wasn't worse than it was.

So I can easily understand a Captain or a Redoutable much more readily than I can an Alaska or, yes, a Littoral Combat Ship. The former belong to an age where we really have to grade on a curve.
 
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