[Post Reply] [*]  Page 28 of 33  [ 325 posts ]  Go to page « 126 27 28 29 3033 »
Author Message
Garlicdesign
Post subject: Re: Thiaria: RebootPosted: February 14th, 2018, 8:30 pm
Offline
User avatar
Posts: 883
Joined: December 26th, 2012, 9:36 am
Location: Germany
And on it goes:

3. Series production
In 1935 and 1936, the Thiarian submarine force was busy training personnel and testing some foreign-built prototypes; the Naval Submarine Yard at An Trionaid became operational in mid-1936. Still, there were only seven boats available in January 1935, and nine a year later, half of them vintage US boats designed in 1917; so far, there was no operational capability whatsoever. It would take another year to get some actual combat-capable submarines on patrol; by year’s end 1937, the number had increased to 18, still by no means an impressive figure. Yet, some answers to the requirements of the Thiarian Navy had been found. The CTS yard had acquired a license for an improved Saphir-class, which was considered the best medium sized submarine minelayer of its age, and was ready for more orders, and several Thiarian officers had been sent to France to serve on Redoutable-class boats and collect experience on these generally high-regarded vessels. Along with the two copies building in Nantes, plans and licenses for the Batch 3 Redoutable were acquired, so Thiarian production at the Naval Submarine yard could start in 1936. With the cruiser and minelayer submarine question settled – the former in 1935, the latter in 1936 - the decision on which medium submarine to build remained open till 1938, especially because the Roosevelt administration had forbidden the Electric Boat Co. to sell a license for the Nimfeach-type to the Thiarians – something De Schelde had no qualms about for the Leipreachan-type, which was however not delivered before 1937. Series building of an improved Leipreachan-type started in 1938 at the CSCA yard, which had built a dedicated submarine yard facility at Abersiorrad between 1935 and 1938. These three types were the mainstay of Thiaria’s submarine fleet throughout the war; they were gradually improved and enlarged, but there were no fundamentally new types at all till the re-emergence of the small coastal submarine in 1943.

3.1. Meadail-Class (Batch 2)
Thiaria had a tradition of placing great emphasis on mine warfare, and they built the greatest percentage of dedicated submarine minelayers in proportion to the total force of any power in the Second World War – although their failure to develop a workable torpedo-tube launched mine might have something to do with that too. The 1935 and 1936 estimates contained two minelayers of an improved Meadail-type each, the 1937 estimates already four: LT Cudal (Cuttlefish) and LT Ochtapas (Octopus) in 1935; LT Gliomach (Lobster) and LT Cloichean (Prawn) in 1936; LT Sceithroin (Jellyfish) and LT Creachann (Scallop), LT Portan (Crab) and LT Capall Mara (Sea Horse) in 1937. They externally differed from the first four Meadails in being longer and slightly beamier, increasing displacement to 1.000 / 1.350 tons; their bows had become more raked and flared, and some sheer was added forward as well to improve surface seakeeping under South Atlantic conditions. As usual, crash dive time was poor and remained at 45 seconds. The trainable torpedo tubes aft were deleted, but two fixed rear-facing tubes were installed; this had become possible with the lengthening of the hull. Finally, the CT was slightly downsized and even more streamlined. Due to the added size, the 75mm deck gun could be replaced by a 100mm one; AA was still provided by only two 13mm MGs. Many internal features from the Nimfeachs were introduced to improve habitability. They had passive hydrophones, but not yet ASDIC. Performance remained the same as on the first batch: Speed was 16 kts surfaced and 8 kts submerged, range was 8.000 nm at economic speed and diving depth remained at 75m. The first two units were among the last Thiarian submarines to be delivered in Ocean Gray; soon after their delivery, all new submarines were painted in Raider Blue, which remained their standard colour throughout the war.
[ img ]

When Thiaria entered the Second World War, five of these boats were in commission, with the other three following during 1940. Building time had been steadily shortened from 40 months for the class ship to 26 months for LT Sceithroin, the fastest to be completed. These figures pale in comparision with the rates achieved by Germans and Americans during the war, and Thiarian submarine construction techniques would never achieve such a degree of efficiency. Nevertheless, the second Batch of the Meadail-class enjoyed a reputation of great reliability. They were intensely employed against Patagonia, South Africa and Brazil, and they even made some sorties towards Recherche and the Panama channel, as long as it was possible to secretly refuel them at Madagaskar under the eyes of Vichy authorities and in Peru with the silent consent of the local government. These possibilities of course ceased early in 1942 and early in 1943, respectively. By that time, Gliomach and Portan had been lost already, and Cloichean was captured by the British in a damaged state at Mogadishu during the conquest of Italian Somaliland. The other five had received a reduced rig with again modernized wireless gear, ASDIC, IFF, ECM and passive radar by late 1942.
[ img ]

During 1942 through 1944, their activities centered on Brazil’s ports, where they scored some impressive kills; with a net tally of 81.000 GRT – including a Brazilian escort carrier and two US destroyers – LT Sceithroin was the most successful Thiarian submarine minelayer and the fourth most successful of all Thiarian submarines. Ochtapas on the other hand was responsible for the largest enemy warship ever sunk on a Thiarian mine, the British escort carrier HMS Vindex off Capetown in early 1944. By mid-1944, only these two remained of their class, all others having been lost (Capall Mara was reported missing somewhere around the Cape of Good Hope since late 1943 and has never again turned up; the rest were confirmed combat losses). The survivors had received improved AA gunnery in 1943 (two single 20mm, one of them very provisionally on deck level, instead of the landed 13mm MGs) and radar in 1944.
[ img ]

With the dedicated submarine minelayer having gone extinct as an effective warship type during the war, Sceithroin and Ochtapas were not wanted as prizes. Both were hulked and remained in Thiarian hands for auxiliary duties; after some years as mobile battery recharging stations, they ended as mooring pontoons. They were eventually scrapped during the early 1970s after having become leaky.

3.2. Dragun-Class (Batches 1B, 2 and 3)

3.2.1. Batch 1B
Even before the French-built Draguns were delivered, the Thiarians had already worked over their plans to further adapt the design to their needs. They changed the bow shape for better flotation forward, added sheer and flare for improved seakeeping. The deadwood aft and the rudder shape was modified to improve hydrodynamics and maneuverability. The periscope arrangement was also altered to a standardized layout to be introduced on all Thiarian subs, to reduce training requirements. Several detail improvements in habitability were adapted from the Nimfeach-class. Although there was some criticism about this decision, they retained the trainable triple torpedo mount aft. Two boats were ordered in 1935 and delivered in late 1938 and early 1939, respectively; the Naval Submarine Yard at An Trionaid built twice as fast as any French yard at that time. They were named LT Fathlia (Shaman) and LT Ollpheist (Wyrm).
[ img ]

Both operated in the central Atlantic in 1940 through 1942; ventures into the Pacific and the Indian Ocean however revealed that 12.000 miles range, which sounds like a lot at first glance, was not quite enough for these theaters. They were quite successful, both totaling over 60.000 GRT. By 1943, they had received the usual upgrades – ASDIC, IFF, passive Radar, and ECM – but they were not very high on the priority list for retrofit with radar and improved AA; their good reliability also worked against them, because there was no need for lengthy refits, and they always were sent back to action after rather short R&R periods.
[ img ]

Within two months in late 1943, this negligence backfired, and both were sunk by Allied airplanes; their lack of AA and their slow crash-dive time now proved fatal.

3.2.2. Batch 2
Although the Draguns proved generally very satisfactory, the Navy wanted truly global range for its cruiser submarines. The basic design was thus lengthened to allow for 50% larger bunkers; engine power was increased to retain the previous speed of 20/10 knots. Range was now 18.000 nm at economic speed, an excellent figure which put the Thiarian cruiser subs on par with the US Balao class. On the minus side, displacement increased to 1.700/2.300 tons, and crash dive time to over a minute with nearly empty bunkers (with full bunkers, it was 50 seconds). Diving depth was officially still 100 meters, but based on service experience, all boats were cleared for 120 meters in 1942. A simplified and more streamlined forward rudder arrangement was adopted, and the CT shape was reworked to streamline it further; a second twin 13mm MG mount was added immediately forward of the original one. The original torpedo arrangement was abandoned; only four forward and two aft tubes remained, all fixed and reloadable. Torpedo stowage was increased to an impressive 22 fish (three reloads for each forward tube, two for each stern tube). All had ASDIC upon completion. There also were improvements in engine, ballast tank and rudder control which allowed for a reduction of the crew, in turn improving habitability even further. Most importantly, the second Batch of the Dragun class was the first Thiarian submarine type to be fully welded. Two units each were ordered under the 1936 (LT Draiodoir (Wizard) and Fathach (Giant)), 1937 (LT Cailleach (Witch) and Saoi (Sage), 1938 (LT Asarlai (Warlock) and Marbhdraoi (Necromancer) and 1939 (LT Deirbhirseach (Dervish) and Draoi (Druid)) estimates, all from the naval submarine yard at An Trionaid. None were completed before the war due to some teething problems with the fully welded construction, but as experience was picked up, building times could be significantly cut compared with riveted vessels. Due to this effect, all eight boats were commissioned within eighteen months; construction lasted for nearly four years for the first two, three years for the second duo and two and a half years each for the last four. By late 1941, all eight were in service.
[ img ]

With their range, they were ideally suited for service in the Indian Ocean. The Thiarians made use of every possibility to secretly re-fuel their boats in Portuguese (where there was no surveillance prior to 1943) or Vichy French waters (where the authorities overlooked Thiarian activities in order to piss off the English) and ranged all the way to the Persian Gulf, Recherche, India and even occasionally Australia. Although only a handful of Thiarian boats was on patrol, and successes were scarce due to Thiarian concerns for force conservation, which ruled out more aggressive tactics, regular reports about merchant losses in areas which had previously been considered safe from submarine attack forced the Commonwealth to deploy an enormous number of escorts to nominal backwater areas, which in itself was a major strategic success. During 1940 through 1942, two Batch 2 boats were lost, LT Fathach (unknown cause) and LT Deibhirseach (waterbombed during a convoy attack near Recherche). Three of the class were used for secret missions to Koko during 1942, delivering plans and parts for Thiarian radar installations and bringing back Kokoan torpedoes and passive night-vision equipment for reverse-engineering. All boats were fitted with ECM, IFF and passive radar by late 1942; LT Asarlai was used from late in 1941 as a testbed for the first active radar installation on a Thiarian submarine, which however was a failure due to the large size of the antenna used. These tests however resulted in the development of a truly workable submarine radar.
[ img ]

After re-fueling along the rim of the Indian Ocean had become increasingly impossible in mid-1942, the remaining Batch 2 boats usually operated along the African east coast, preying mainly on oil convoys from the Middle East. They were among the first Thiarian subs to receive active radars, and by January 1944, they all had received a set. Their 13mm MGs were replaced with two 20mm cannon from 1942, enabling them to put up a more credible defence against British carrierborne ASW airplanes.
[ img ]

From 1943, the survivors landed their aft 100mm gun in favour of two more 20mm cannon. This programme was complete in early 1944.
[ img ]

The presence of Thiarian submarines in the Indian Ocean had forced the British to routinely keep ten escort carriers at the ready in this area by early 1944, which weakened their war effort elsewhere; one of them, HMS Nabob, fell prey to LT Saoi in March 1944, and LT Marbhdraoi, which was Thiaria’s second most successful commerce raider with 103.000 GRT sunk, also was responsible for destruction of a Recherchean light cruiser in 1943. LT Draoi and LT Cailleach were lost in 1943 and 1944, respectively, the former to a Recherchean airstrike, the latter to Hedgehog grenades from a British destroyer escort. The other four – Draiodoir, Saoi, Asarlai and Marbhdraoi – survived the war, although Draiodoir was scuttled during the Thiarian civil war and scrapped after salvage in 1947. The other three were awarded to Brazil after the war; due to a scarcity of spare parts and the availability of US surplus submarines, they did not enter service and were scrapped in the early to mid-1950s.

3.2.3. Batch 3
The batch 2 boats were considered completely successful, but somewhat underarmed; although they had very long range, the Navy wanted ever more, and more surface speed, too. These demands resulted in another upscale. The pressure hull was increased in diameter and lengthened accordingly to retain length-width-ratio; the added space was used for sturdier structure, stronger engines, yet more bunker and – most importantly – the addition of two further torpedo tubes forward. Torpedo stowage increased to 24 fish (two reloads for each tube); all Batch 3 units received oxygene powered torpedoes from the start. Some adjustments to hull shape were made to reduce the crash dive time, but in service, usually no less than 60 seconds were achieved, which was still too slow in the face of air attack. Maximum operational diving depth increased to 150 meters, however. AA was augmented by replacing the 13mm MG mounts with a 20mm twin mount and the addition of another one on a retractable platform forward of the CT. Displacement increased to 2.100/2.700 tons, range to 25.000 nm and speed to 23/10 knots; they were among the fastest submarines on the surface on either side of the war. The two 100mm guns were retained, but replaced with a newer model. Under the war programme, 16 Batch 3 cruiser submarines were laid down between 1940 and 1943, all at the Naval Submarine Yard: LT Vuibhearn (Wyvern), Griofa (Griffon), Niseag (Kraken) and Airp (Harpy) in 1940; LT Arracht (Spectre), Taibhse (Ghost), Scail (Revenant), Samhailt (Phantom) and Siolpaire (Vampire) in 1941; LT Conriocht (Werewolf), Gorgain (Gorgon), Deamhan (Demon), Gruagach (Ogre) and Cioclop (Cyclops) in 1942 and LT Sfioncs (Sphinx) and Tiotan (Titan) in 1943. All 1940 and 1941 units were commissioned between November 1942 (Griofa) and March 1944 (Siolpaire); of the 1942 boats, only LT Conriocht became available weeks before the civil war. LT Gorgain and Cioclop were completed during and shortly after the civil war, but never commissioned; the other four boats never left stocks, although none were cancelled. Only the first four were commissioned with two 100mm guns.
[ img ]

On all 1941 boats, the aft 100mm gun was replaced by another 20mm twin mount, boasting the number of 20mm guns to six. This arrangement was later retrofitted to the 1940 boats; by 1944, all units of the class had landed the aft 100mm gun.
[ img ]

The 1942 and 1943 boats replaced the forward retractable 20mm twin – always a cumbersome and unreliable installation – by a single fully automatic 37mm/70 gun in a fully enclosed mount which was integrated into the CT front; this worked much better than the 20mm installation. The forward 100mm gun was retained. Replacement of the aft 20mm cannon by another 37mm was contemplated, but not implemented because of the limited numbers of available 37mm/70s, most of which were needed for large surface ships.
[ img ]

The range of these boats pre-destined them for operations in the eastern Pacific, where they pinned a number of allied escort forces far out of proportion to their own number. They initially scored nearly at will, but from mid-1943, a tight convoy system was implemented by the Americans, and a dozen escort carriers were constantly on duty between Panama and Hawaii. One of them – USS Manila Bay – was lost to the torpedoes of LT Samhailt in January 1944. Otherwise, successes were limited, although they routinely turned up nearly everywhere in the Pacific Ocean; they also regularly held contact with Thiaria’s Kokoan allies and were used to convey rare strategic materiel, secret technical equipment or key diplomatic or intelligence personnel. Some boats of the class also held contact with the Germans and were a regular sight at St.Nazaire. LT Niseag, Airp, and Scail were lost in action, Arracht went missing on a journey to Koko, Taibhse accidentally hit a ‘friendly’ mine and the brand-new Gorgain was disabled during the civil war by the Thiarian destroyer Spadhruil when Prime Minister Murchada attempted to use her to escape to Peru; the submarine was heavily damaged, never repaired and scrapped in 1946. The six survivors – Vuibhearn, Griofa, Samhailt, Siolpaire, Conriocht and Cioclop – were divided among the British and the USA as prizes and scrapped after being briefly used for trials. By 1955, nothing was left of them.

Greetings
GD


Top
[Profile] [Quote]
BB1987
Post subject: Re: Thiaria: RebootPosted: February 14th, 2018, 9:07 pm
Offline
User avatar
Posts: 2517
Joined: May 23rd, 2012, 1:01 pm
Location: Rome - Italy
Uh, didn't expect to see more straight away :D
Nice to see those references here and there

_________________
My Worklist
Sources and documentations are the most welcome.

-Koko Kyouwakoku (Republic of Koko)
-Koko Kaiun Yuso Kaisha - KoKaYu Line (Koko AU spinoff)
-Koko - Civil Aviation


Top
[Profile] [Quote]
eswube
Post subject: Re: Thiaria: RebootPosted: February 14th, 2018, 9:36 pm
Offline
User avatar
Posts: 8387
Joined: June 15th, 2011, 8:31 am
Contact: Website
Fantastic entries! :D

_________________
My Worklist
My very neglected Deviantart page


Top
[Profile] [Quote]
Garlicdesign
Post subject: Re: Thiaria: RebootPosted: February 14th, 2018, 9:38 pm
Offline
User avatar
Posts: 883
Joined: December 26th, 2012, 9:36 am
Location: Germany
Hello again - now the last part

@Krakatoa: Passive Sonar/Hydrophones (standard from ~ 1936)

3.3. Caisealoid-Class

3.3.1. Batch 1
The Dutch built Leipreachan-class perfectly satisfied every Thiarian requirement for a medium seagoing submarine, and was chosen as a template for series production while the prototype was still undergoing trials. Like the minelayers and cruiser subs, the Dutch basic design was modified in several ways to cater to specific Thiarian needs. They were lengthened, had slightly larger diameter pressure hulls and received flared clipper bows with some sheer forward and had the deadwood aft cut away to improve seakeeping and maneuverability. The hulls were fully welded, except over the main engine compartment where riveting was used for easier access. Displacement increased to 1.300/1.650 ts. The forward rudders were standardized with other Thiarian subs, as was the streamlined CT. ASDIC was part of the series package from the start. The number of torpedo tubes remained the same (four forward, two aft; 18 fish were carried), but a second 100mm gun was added. Initially only two 13mm MGs were provided for air defence. Engine power was increased to meet the ambitious requirement for 20 kts on the surface and 10 kts submerged; battery capacity was nearly doubled compared with the Leipreachans. Surface range remained 10.000 nm at 12 knots; these boats were not supposed to venture farther than the Capes or the equator (although some of them did during the war). Crash dive time officially was announced as 35 seconds, which sounds fair for their size, but was only achieved with full bunkers and increased as mission time progressed; the Thiarian navy never flooded empty bunkers with seawater because that did more damage than good. Maximum diving depth was an excellent 150 meters. The 1938 estimates contained the first four submarines, who received the names of marine mammals: LT Caisealoid (Cachalot), Mar Ron (Sealion), Deilf (Dolphin) and Piolotach (Pilot Whale). All were contracted to the CSCA yard, which had a long-established reputation of delivering quality in a short time, and lived up to it by building all four in under two years.
[ img ]

The 1939 estimates contained four more (LT Toithin (Porpoise), Miol Mhor (Blue Whale), Liopardron (Sea Leopard) and Mucmhara (Mereswine)), also all from CSCA and identical to the first four. The war programme stepped up production significantly; in 1940 and 1941, a total of 16 units were laid down, six in 1940 at CSCA (LT Beagron (Seal), Rorcual (Rorqual), Graonlannach (Harp Seal), Eilifint Mara (Elephant Seal), Droimeiteach (Razorback) and Dronnach (Humpback Whale)) and ten in 1941, four of them (LT Deilfliath (Grampus), Dugang (Dugong), Craindubh (Orca) and Narbhal (Narwhal) at the Boldisaire yard at Carriolar – which usually specialized in yachts and small craft – and the rest again at CSCA (LT Rosualt (Walrus), Bomhara (Manatee), Morshronnach (Bottlenose Whale), Sireinach (Sea Cow), Eite Chosach (Spotted Seal) and Banmhiol Mor (Beluga)). As these boats became available – CSCA achieved building times of 18 – 20 months during the war, Boldisaire needed half again that time – all the latest improvements were implemented. The 1939 boats already had ECM, IFF and passive radar when completed; they also received the newest wireless equipment.
[ img ]

The 1940 and 1941 boats had their 13mm machineguns replaced with a single 20mm gun upon completion; most of the others were retrofitted accordingly, although in some cases this took till mid-1944.
[ img ]

The class boat LT Caisealoid was employed as a testbed for a fully enclosed and watertight mount for a single 37mm cannon in late 1941 and early 1942; she had to land her forward 100mm gun to allow for the installation of the AA mount. Tests were eventually successful, and these mounts became standard for the second batch of the class in 1942. Caisealoid herself retained the 37mm mount for the rest of her career.
[ img ]

The 1941 boats were all completed with radars; the others enjoyed top priority for retrofits, and by early 1944, the whole class had radar. The 1941 boats also were the first ones who carried oxygene-powered torpedoes from the start; these were introduced in mid-1942 for the cruiser subs, and by late 1943 all Thiarian submarines except the minelayers had received them.
[ img ]

LT Toithin was fitted with a retractable 20mm twin instead of the fore 100mm twin after battle damage in late 1943; it was however decided not to refit any other Units of the class in this way.
[ img ]

The last boats of the class to be commissioned were the Boldisaire-built units of 1941; all four needed till early 1944 to become operational. Unlike their sisters, all of them were fitted with a twin 20mm mount aft of the CT in lieu of the single.
[ img ]

Four units – Liopardron, Rosualt, Morshronnach, and Banmhiol Mor – landed their aft 100mm gun in 1944 and replaced it with a second 20mm twin mount. This conversion was planned for the rest of the class as well, but in most cases could not be carried out for various reasons.
[ img ]

The 24 boats of the first batch of the Caisealoid-class bore the brunt of Thiarian submarine warfare in the Atlantic, which was quite a feat, because there were never more than ten of them operational at the same time. They were not enough to form as much as a single wolf pack, so their successes always were limited compared with what the Germans achieved, and no less than seven Caisealoid-class boats never scored a single kill at all. But by again and again hitting allied shipping in remote, unlikely spots, they contributed to the Thiarian strategy of pinning as many enemy escort forces to areas where they had little to do, thus reducing allied forces available to actively engage the Thiarians to a manageable size. In the end, allied production capacity prevailed, but postwar assessments came to the conclusion that the huge escort forces pinned to remote areas by a handful of Thiarian subs might have helped elsewhere to conclude the war several months earlier. Thirteen Batch 1 Caisealoids were lost during the war, including one that was set afire and burned out during the civil war. The survivors – LT Caisealoid, Toithin, Liopardron, Rorcual, Deilfliath, Craindubh and Rosualt – became allied prizes and were allocated to France and the Soviet Union. The French quickly scrapped their loot, but the Soviets used them operationally for several years, then for trials and training, and one actually escaped scrapping and was returned to Thiaria in 1970, along with the battlecruiser LT Caithreim, for refurbishment and exhibition. That boat, LT Toithin, incidentally was Thiaria’s most successful submarine of the Second World War with a net tally of 167.000 GRT. She remains permanently docked at the Thiarian submarine museum at An Trionaid and is the most popular exhibit there.

3.3.2. Batch 2
During 1940 and 1941, further orders for Caisealoid-class boats were placed; in their original shape, the subs looked pretty much identical to the first batch. They had the same size, displacement and performance. Internally, they were different however. A new type of more compact diesels with the same power allowed for the installation of larger batteries, increasing submerged range of 200 nm at 4 knots, which was an excellent figure for a traditional submersible. Improved flooding arrangements cut 5 seconds from their crash dive time regardless of how much fuel and stores they carried; in service, they only were good for the same 35 seconds as their predecessors, although they were indeed less affected by empty bunkers. Diving depth remained at 150 meters. All of the 12 units laid down in 1942 – six each at CSCA (LT Barracuda (Barracuda), Miolsiorc (White Shark), Colgan (Swordfish), Dorad (Dorado), Bradan (Sturgeon) and Rotha (Stingray)) and Boldisaire (LT Piorana (Piranha), Brathaire (Sea Devil), Casuir Siorc (Hammerhead), Maco (Mako Shark), Cearban (Blue Shark) and Liamhan (Basking Shark), respectively) – were delivered till September 1944, with building times varying from 15 months (Barracuda was commissioned in October 1943) to 22 months for Cearban. They might have been built even faster if not for the decision to fit them with two fully enclosed 37mm AA guns in lieu of their entire gun armament, which was made in November 1942 when they were still under construction; war experience at that point showed that the air threat had been badly underestimated prewar, while opportunities to use 100mm guns in a surface engagement had become scarce during 1942. The first three CSCA boats (Barracuda, Miolsiorc and Colgan) had both 37mm cannon on deck level.
[ img ]

All others had the forward one integrated into the CT in a hydrodynamically more advantageous way.
[ img ]

The 37mm mounts were quite complicated and had some teething problems, but CSCA solved them by late 1943, and from then on, they worked reliably. Since these boats also were all commissioned with a factory loadout of oxygene powered 559mm torpedoes, they managed to score some successes despite having to operate under constant pressure from the ever-increasing allied escort force. During 1943, twelve additional units were laid down, eight at CSCA (LT Reamora (Remora), Sciota (Skate), Laimhineach (Anglerfish), Tuinnin (Tuna), Cat Mara (Catfish), Eascann (Moray), Anglait (Monkfish) and Breac (Trout)) and four at Boldisaire (LT Curaman (Tench), Fiogach (Dogfish), Leathog (Plaice) and Alabard (Halibut)), to identical plans. Of these, only Reamora and Eascann were completed before the armistice. Tuininn, Cat Mara, Fiogach and Leathog were delivered afterwards, but not commissioned. LT Sabh Mara (Sawfish), Cnudan (Gurnard), Doingean (Bass), Greine Mara (Sunfish), Cimeara (Ghost Shark), Bumalo (Lizardfish) and six unnamed units were laid down in 1944, the first six at CSCA, the unnamed units at Boldisaire. Only the first two were launched, both after the war. The others were still in early stages of construction when the war ended; all were demolished on stocks to provide material for the completion of some of the 1943 units after the war. Of the eighteen completed units, only ten (all 1942 boats except Maco and Liamhan) saw operational service. Of these ten, only five managed to hit allied shipping; Piorana however racked up a tally of 70.000 GRT on a single mission in late 1943. Miolsiorc, Bradan, Brathaire, Dorad and Casuir Siorc were lost, the last three of them without having achieved anything. Rotha and Eascann were scuttled during the civil war, and Fiogach was set afire and burned out in dock. When the armistice was signed, Barracuda, Colgan, Piorana, Maco, Cearban, Liamhan, Reamora, Tuininn, Cat Mhara and Leathog were left. The first six were earmarked for service with the Thiarian co-belligerent forces against Japan, but only Barracuda and Maco saw actual service in the Pacific. Both were requisitioned and handed over to the USN as prizes when the war was over. The other eight remained in Thiaria and became part of the Nation’s much reduced postwar naval defense force. They were stripped of all gunnery between 1946 and 1948 and rerated as training vessels.
[ img ]

They spent most of their service providing sparring partners for Thiaria’s ASW forces in the following years. Cat Mhara was lost in an accident in 1950, but replaced by Cnudan, whose hull had not yet been broken up and was completed by 1954. By that time, Thiaria already had access to modern US sonar and electronics gear, and Cnudan became a prototype for the reconstruction of the whole fleet. They received modern active and passive sonars of domestic design (although with US help), a completely reworked periscope array and communications equipment, a US-sourced fire-control computer and radar, a snorkel, completely new batteries and electric motors and a redesigned bow; the latter modifications boasted their submerged speed by 50% to 15 kts. Surface speed fell to the same figure due to the installation of smaller, more economic diesels; surface range dropped to 8.000 nm because the size of bunkers was reduced. The rebuilds lasted from 1956 (Colgan) to 1959 (Tuirinn).
[ img ]

Although these boats would have reached the limit of their service life in about 1970, a replacement programme launched in 1966 came to naught after Thiaria’s swing to the left and her flirt with the Soviets; a Soviet offer to deliver new Foxtrot-class subs to replace them was rejected because these would not have been a real improvement. These developments ensured an exceptionally long service life for these subs; they were retired between 1982 (Barracuda) and 1989 (Tuirinn) without having been significantly refitted again.

3.4. Pearla-Class

3.4.1. Batch 1
Owing to an operational emphasis on mine warfare and a lack of torpedo-tube deployable mines, the Thiarians built more dedicated minelayer submarines before and during the Second World War than any other power. As the Meadail-Class was a very satisfying design, all further developments were based on it. The 1938 and 1939 estimates called for another four units per year, which differed from the original by having a fully welded hull with new, standardized forward diving planes and stronger internal structure for a diving depth of 100m. Speed and surface range were unchanged, but more efficient batteries increased underwater range to 100nm at 4 knots. Under the war programme, another eight boats were laid down in 1940 and 1941 (four per year represented the capacity limit of the CTS yard’s submarine facility). The changeover from riveted to welded hulls was deemed significantly enough for a new naming convention; like the French boats that had inspired them, the improved Meadails were named for gemstones. Their names were LT Pearla (Pearl), Criostal (Crystal), Corail (Coral) and Ghrianchloch (Quartz) in 1938, LT Smaragaid (Emerald), Agait (Agate), Aimitis (Amethyst) and Diamant (Diamond) in 1939; LT Saifir (Sapphire), Turcaid (Tourquoise), Ruibin (Ruby) and Omra (Amber) in 1940 and LT Topas (Topaze), Citrin (Citrine), Obsaidian (Obsidian) and Gairnead (Garnet) in 1941. As usual for the CTS yard, building times were relatively long, but improved as the war progressed; the first four needed an average of 30 months, which dropped to 26 for the 1939 and 1940 boats and 22 months for the 1941 group. When delivered, all had active and passive ASDIC.
[ img ]

All 1939 and later boats were already delivered with IFF, ECM and passive radar. Retrofit to the older boats was complete in early 1943.
[ img ]

The first unit of the class to receive radar was Turcaid, which was commissioned last of the 1940 group in May 1943. She also had a 20mm gun in lieu of the usual 13mm twin, and was field-converted to carry another 20mm on the upper deck late in 1943.
[ img ]

The 1941 group was mostly identical to Turcaid; by December 1943, all were in service. Refit of the earlier boats with radar and 20mm guns was underway pretty much throughout the war as they became available for R&R; at the time of the armistice, all were completed, Corail being the last one in July 1944. They operated successfully all around the South Atlantic Ocean; one of Criostal’s mines very nearly sunk the battleship HMS Resolution off Dakar in 1942, and their efforts made the ports of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro virtually unaccessible during most of 1942 and 1943. As could be expected, losses were high; at the time of the armistice, only Corail, Aimitis, Saifir, Turcaid, Omra and Gairnead were left. The allies were not interested in them as prizes, and they remained in Thiarian hands, but by the time the Thiarian Navy was again allowed to operate submarines in 1948, torpedo-tube launched mines were available, and these boats were never re-commissioned. They were used for a long time as mooring pontoons or floating oil tanks. Four were scrapped during the 1960s, and the last two were scuttled in 1979 and 1983, respectively, as artificial reefs at the coast of the Eilean Deilf near Ogleidhras; they are popular diving sites to this day (if you can stand the temperature of the water).

3.4.2. Batch 2
Answering the navy’s call for much increased underwater endurance – which was particularly important for the minelayer fleet which was more affected by the ever increasing allied air threat than the subs operating in the open ocean – CSCA presented a linear upscale of the Pearla-class with a lengthened and widened pressure hull and nearly doubled battery capacity; the larger size also allowed for the addition of two mine tubes on either side, increasing mine loadout to 40. Surface speed dropped slightly to 15 knots, submerged speed remained at 9 knots, and surface range increased to 10.000 nm. A 20mm twin mount substituted the single mount of the first batch. CSCA kept up its building rhythm of four boats per year; LT Oinisc (Onyx), Resheoid (Moonstone), Turmailin (Tourmaline) and Opal (Opal) were laid down in 1942, LT Sead (Jade), Beiril (Beryl), Camail (Camelian) and Gaing (Jet) in 1943. When the Thiarian civil war commenced, only Oinisc and Turmailin were complete. Neither performed a minelaying mission before the armistice; during late 1944 and early 1945, CSCA also delivered LT Resheoid and Opal.
[ img ]

The other four units were cancelled shortly before the armistice so CTS could mass-produce the small Tuireann-Class coastal defence submarine, and broken up before launch. The four completed units remained in Thiarian hands after the war; between 1947 and 1950, their mine tubes and gun armament were removed and they were turned into conventional fleet submarines.
[ img ]

Opal and Resheoid were converted to testbeds for sonar and electronics development in 1953/4, but used only briefly in this role before they were retired in 1958 and partly broken up to be used as lifting cylinders for underwater salvage operations. Oinisc and Turmailin remained in use as training boats till 1957 and 1962, respectively. The former was converted to an underwater target in 1957 and used up in a live-fire exercise in 1964. Turmailin was hulked in 1963 and used as a stationary training unit at the Submarine school, where she remained in use till 1993. She was then handed over to the scientific museum at Clianmehail, where she was transferred via the Liathui river; she was carefully reconverted to her original minelayer configuration and remains on display to this day.

3.5. Tuireann-Class
By mid-1943, the Thiarian submarine arm was operating virtually worldwide and possessed a suitable type mix for a coherent overseas strategy. The Thiarian surface fleet had so far performed well against anything the Allies threw at it, and Thiaria proper was still safe from enemy strategic bombing. But elsewhere in the world, the tide of war turned; Thiarias allies suffered crushing defeats at Stalingrad, Kursk and Rotuma during the first half of 1943, and the spirited attempt of the Axis to retake French North Africa faltered in the Battle of Bizerte, resulting in an allied counteroffensive that finally took Tunis in October 1943. The decimation of Japanese/Kokoan naval power and the loss of North Africa threatened to free allied naval assets which previously were earmarked for the Pacific and the Mediterranean. Allied – especially US – naval construction assumed ever more monstrous dimensions, and the Thiarian Navy acknowledged the possibility that they might have to defend the home islands much closer to their shores than expected at some point in the future – to which kind of warfare the current submarine fleet could contribute very little. To provide the ability to do so, the small coastal submarine, which had ungloriously been dumped from Thiarian naval planning in the mid-thirties, was unearthed again. The Naval Submarine Yard drew up a design for a 400-ton boat of compact dimensions with enhanced survivability against all kinds of ASW measures, which could operate in areas where the enemy enjoyed air and surface superiority. Like all Thiarian subs, it was double-hulled and of very sturdy construction, requiring a construction time of about 12 months. This was fast by Thiarian standards, but laughably slow by anyone else’s. The newest high-capacity batteries were installed to provide high underwater speed and endurance; 15 kts burst speed and 250 nm range at 5 knots were achieved. Above water propulsion and range was not neglected (as in the smaller German and Japanese boats with high underwater speed); the boats could reach 16 knots and had a range of 5.000 nm at 10 knots. Armament consisted of four bow torpedo tubes without reloads and a 37mm cannon in an enclosed turret, the same type that was installed on most Thiarian fleet submarines at that time. Crash dive time had been cut to 20 seconds. As might be expected, 500 tons was not quite enough for the total package; the final design displaced 550 tons on the surface and 650 tons submerged. Seakeeping in rough weather was no decisive factor in the design of these submarines; neither was habitability. In October 1943, the Thiarian Navy decided to quit construction of cruiser and minelayer submarines, devoting the Naval Submarine Yard and CTS to the construction of large numbers of the new coastal boats. Eight units at each yard were ordered that month, and work started immediately. They received the names of celtic deities and other mythical creatures: LT Tuireann, Cliona, Nuada, Eladha, Oghma, Brighid, Morrighan and Neimheadh (Naval Submarine Yard) and LT Rhiannon, Eithne, Niamh, Cian, Creidhne, Cethlenn, Manannon and Aine (CTS). By year’s end, all were laid down; the Naval submarine yard delivered the first unit (Cliona) in early August 1944, after ten months, which was the shortest building time for any Thiarian submarine during the war. Prior to the armistice, seven more were delivered (Tuireann, Nuada, Oghma, Morrighan, Rhiannon, Eithne and Cethlenn); the Naval Submarine Yard delivered the balance of the initial order (Eladha, Brighid and Neimheadh) after the armistice, while work on the CTS boats ceased during the war because the shipyard became a battlefield between rebellious naval personnel (supported by union workers) and fascist militiamen.
[ img ]

None of the boats completed the initial training cycle, and there were no operational sorties. As high-speed subs were of more interest to the allies than traditional fleet subs, all Tuireann-class boats had to be surrendered, while many much larger subs remained in Thiarian possession. Three each went to the USA and Great Britain, two to the Soviet Union, one to France and one to Brazil. Since contemporary German submarine technology was also in allied hands and far superior to Thiaria’s, these subs, though exhaustively tested, had no influence on postwar submarine development; all except one were scrapped in the 1950s. LT Nuada however was still afloat in 1990, when she was discovered in a wooden boat house in a small river estate in Latvia, where she lay since the late 1950s, rusty and forgotten; she was purchased by a private Thiarian company for a handful of dollars, refurbished and put on display at Sea World in An Thuaid, where she remains to this day. Of the 24 boats laid down in 1944 (Lugh, Tailtiu, Fodhla, Neith, Ciocal, Cenncroithi, Luchtaine, Tuan, Aengus, Nechtan, Airmidh, Banbha, Daghdla, Badhbh, Nemhain,Ecne, Danan, Emer, Deirdre, Eriu, Boann, Etain, Bebhinn and Mocha), none was completed. Sixteen more, for which no names were assigned, were scheduled to be laid down during 1944 as well, but were never begun.

All things considered, Thiaria’s submarine campaign made the best out of rather limited resources. Thiaria started the war with 25 submarines, eight of which were earmarked for training duty. Numbers were then built up quickly; including the pre-war boats, the Thiarian navy commissioned a total of 116 submarines between 1932 and 1944. Another sixty were begun, but never delivered. Although these numbers are dwarfed by Germany’s production and are not too far removed from Italy’s (the Italians ordered sixty subs in 1935 – 1939 and another 72 from 1940 to 1943), it has to be noted that Thiarian subs on the average were much larger than German or Italian ones; tonnage-wise, the Thiarians out-produced Italy nearly 3:1. Sixty Thiarian submarines were lost during the war, half of them to air attacks. With a tally of 237 enemy ships of all types totalling 1.280.000 GRT, they scored less than 10% of the German submarine arm, but on the other hand had to make do with only about 10% of Germany’s submarine fleet. Their main effect was the diversion of very substantial allied escort forces to backwater areas, particularly the Indian and eastern Pacific Oceans, which prevented the Allies from concentrating their overwhelming numerical superiority where it was needed during most of the war.

Greetings
GD


Top
[Profile] [Quote]
adenandy
Post subject: Re: Thiaria: RebootPosted: February 14th, 2018, 11:00 pm
Offline
User avatar
Posts: 1457
Joined: July 23rd, 2011, 1:46 am
Location: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland - God Save The King!
EXCELLENT work GD :!:

And FANTASTIC illustrations my old fruit... Truly FAN-BLOODY-TASTIC my friend :D

I can't WAIT to see what's next :P

Well Done :!:

_________________
The Archive - http://shipbucket.com/index.php
NEW site - http://test.shipbucket.com/
The Forum - http://shipbucket.com/forums/search.php ... ive_topics
Misc Drawings - http://shipbucket.com/images.php?dir=Misc Drawings
Old Site - http://www.old.shipbucket.com/
SB IRC Channel - https://discordapp.com/channels/2880167 ... 5533166592


Top
[Profile] [Quote]
Sareva
Post subject: Re: Thiaria: RebootPosted: February 15th, 2018, 12:18 am
Offline
User avatar
Posts: 66
Joined: June 9th, 2017, 9:48 pm
A damn good job!

_________________
The shiba does as it pleases.


Top
[Profile] [Quote]
Hood
Post subject: Re: Thiaria: RebootPosted: February 15th, 2018, 9:21 am
Offline
Posts: 5734
Joined: July 31st, 2010, 10:07 am
Blimey, you have been productive!
Lovely drawings and an excellent set of submarines.

_________________
Hood's Worklist
1952 Carrier
Interwar RN Capital Ships
Super-Darings
Never-Were British Aircraft


Top
[Profile] [Quote]
Gollevainen
Post subject: Re: Thiaria: RebootPosted: February 15th, 2018, 4:03 pm
Offline
User avatar
Posts: 4205
Joined: July 27th, 2010, 5:10 am
Location: Finland
Contact: Website
fantastic as usual. always nice to see new updates

_________________
Coming next: L/M Moskva, some research ships, pr.26bis, Pr.1144 remakes and Project 1143 complete redux.



Shipbucket mainsite, aka "The Archive"
Submit your drawings to the archive here
Novgorod AU wiki


Top
[Profile] [Quote]
eswube
Post subject: Re: Thiaria: RebootPosted: February 15th, 2018, 8:10 pm
Offline
User avatar
Posts: 8387
Joined: June 15th, 2011, 8:31 am
Contact: Website
Great work! :D

_________________
My Worklist
My very neglected Deviantart page


Top
[Profile] [Quote]
Garlicdesign
Post subject: Re: Thiaria: RebootPosted: April 1st, 2018, 8:37 pm
Offline
User avatar
Posts: 883
Joined: December 26th, 2012, 9:36 am
Location: Germany
Hello again!

Thiarian Gunboats and Escorts

1. Remaining World War I ships
Thiaria was required to downsize its naval personnel to 40.000 after the Great war under peace treaty conditions. This allowed for manning the remaining battleships, cruisers and destroyers, and a sizeable minesweeper fleet too, but for most of the escorts, no crews could be spared. This was one of the reasons that led to the amalgamation of Thiaria’s Customs Enforcement Service, Maritime Rescue Service and Harbour Police Force to the Garda na hTeorainn Mara (Coast Guard, literally Marine Border Guard) in 1922. This service was not limited in manpower and attracted many former military sailors which were discharged after the war; it also received many former warships. Of the Caithne-class Q-ships, most were sold off for civilian use, but four remained with the Coast Guard (they were however discarded in the early 1930s). The Coast Guard also received some Seabhac-Class trawlers and a variety of civilian vessels purchased on short notice; none of these were still available in 1940. But the core of its high-seas patrol force throughout the 1920s and 1930s consisted of twelve WWI-vintage Ursan-class sloops, which would continue to give sterling service in another world war.

1.1. Ursan-Class
The Ursan-class sloops entered action late in the first world war; of the 16 units available early in 1919, only four had actually seen combat, and six were virtually yard-new. Two more were completed after the war. The Navy retained the four oldest ones as minesweeper tenders; the other 14 (named Ursan (Bear), Cadhoit (Coyote), Tiogar (Tiger), Broc (Badger), Mactire (Wolf), Siota (Cheetah), Fiachat (Wildcat), Faolchu (Jackal), Hieana (Hyenah), Gairial (Gharial), Dobharchu (Otter), Grisun (Grison), Pantar (Panther) and Firead (Ferrett)) were transferred to the Coast Guard in 1922, at first virtually without any modifications except reduction of armament to 2 100mm guns and 4 8mm MGs.
[ img ]

While many other first-generation ships of the Thiarian Coast Guard were discarded in the late 1920s and early 1930s, the Ursan-class still had enough life in their robust hulls to warrant a complete mid-life reconstruction, which took place between 1932 and 1937 (two ships per year were taken in hand for an average of two years). They received a lengthened forecastle, a completely reconstructed bridge, new masts with new w/t gear and new, larger boats. Armament was changed to one 100mm gun and four 13mm machineguns.
[ img ]

During this refit, the ships were prepared for a possible wartime role as convoy escorts, which after all had been their original purpose back in 1917. They were fitted for, but not with ASDIC, Hydrophones, two DC racks aft and two DC throwers on each beam, a second 100mm gun aft and two 37mm twins side by side on the aft deckhouse; two of the 13mm machineguns had to be relocated. When the war started, all twelve received the equipment mentioned above within the first six months; with everything already prepared, refit took an average of two weeks per ship. By late 1940, all units (minus Grisun, an early war loss) were in service as convoy escorts. They retained their Coast Guard crews; although the Navy did not think very highly of them, they displayed the same skill, tenacity and courage and earned the respect of friend and foe alike. By mid-1942, they had received two additional 20mm guns (a twin forward); otherwise, they remained unchanged.
[ img ]

Distribution of radars was responsibility of the navy; consequently, the Coast Guard had very low priority. It took them till early 1943 to assign some used first-generation sets to the Ursan-Class, and a total of nine units had received a full suite by year’s end. These nine boats also landed their 13mm machineguns and swapped them for 20mm cannon on a 1:1 basis, bringing the total of 20mm guns to six. Four more (Ursan, Broc, Hiaena and Pantar) were lost before any refit could take place; of the refitted boats, three were lost in 1944 (Tiogar, Fiachat and Firead).
[ img ]

Six units (Cadhoit, Mactire, Siota, Faolchu, Gairial and Dobharchu) survived the war and were disarmed. The first four were still in a fairly decent shape and returned to regular Coast Guard service, looking almost exactly as they looked in 1939 (minus the gun forward); the other two were cannibalized to keep the rest running. They served till the late 1950s, by which time they were totally used up. They were scrapped between 1959 and 1963.

2. Interwar Coast Guard cutters

2.1. Carriolar-Class
To quickly replace the mix of ex-civilian makeshift patrol craft that made up the bulk of the coast guard in 1922, a class of 24 350-ton cutters was ordered in 1924 and laid down in three annual batches of eight between 1925 and 1927. By late 1929, all were in service. They were seaworthy craft with single-shaft VTE engines and coal-fueled boilers; they were capable of 16 knots and armed with a single 100mm gun of WW1 vintage, which were taken from surplus stocks or removed from scrapped C- and D-class destroyers. They received the names of Thiarian cities: Carriolar, Abernenui, Firinnea, Nuatearman, Cathair Riordan, Ardgleann, An Thuaidh, Copairgabhra, An Deantus, Dundubh, An Ceardlann, Dubhcraig, Carmaille, Cruacearta, Ardmainear, Nuacathair, Naomh Aine, Fomhareas, Arathiar, Coleraine, Ardgarrai, Cathair Etheile, Seanmainistir and Cladach na Salann.
[ img ]

Like the larger Ursan-class upon reconstruction, these boats were already prepared to act as sub-chasers in case of mobilization. When the war broke out, they were fitted with DC racks, four 13mm MGs (a twin aft and two singles in the bridge wings) and a new w/t rig; the upper bridge received protective plating and air lookout posts. They were crewed by Coast Guard personnel throughout the war.
[ img ]

None ever received radar or ASDIC, so their effectiveness as sub-chasers would always remain limited; they were nevertheless used intensively in the first two years of the war for lack of alternatives. After 1942, when more modern sub-chasers became available in quantity, they were mostly used as patrol and rescue craft. By 1943, the 14 remaining units had at least received three 20mm cannon apiece in lieu of two of the 13mm machineguns, and most had protective plating between the end of the forecastle and the mainmast and a new w/t office behind the bridge, freeing deckspace aft for rescue rafts. Nine had their 100mm LA gun replaced by a 75mm HA gun, complete with a new HA rangefinder.
[ img ]

When the war was over, ten were still available. They were used as buoy and lighthouse tenders by the Coast Guard for another 20 years, some remaining available into the mid-1970s, when they were sold for scrap value.

2.2. Sruthgabhal-Class (Batch 1)
In 1935, the remaining Seabhac-class Coast Guard Trawlers were due for disposal; in this year, it was also decided to massively expand the service, already with the unstated intention to enable it to take over some of the Navy’s duties in wartime. A 450-ton design with a very robust and seaworthy flush-decked hull was prepared, powered by a twin-shaft diesel-electric plant capable of a top speed of 20 knots and 5 knots of silent creeping speed on electric motors alone. Armament was a single 75mm DP gun forward and four single 13mm machineguns; slots for two DC racks, two DC throwers and ASW sweeps were provided for quick refit in wartime. They were also designed for, but not yet with lightweight ASDIC and hydrophones. 24 were ordered in three annual batches of eight in 1937, 1938 and 1939. Like previous Coast Guard Cutters, they were named for Thiarian Cities: Sruthgabhal, Dunfaolamh, Stoirmcraig, Camastra, Donndroim, Abermearui, Tefuaran, Fearmainear, Duniarthar, Portancuan, An Digheann, Smurach, Breaglais, Realthas, Scathgleann, Cormallan, Iarannis, Copaircnoc, Berancuan, Traceann, Fadamharc, Gleanncastan, Dubhforceais and Dun Bunaitheoir. The first units entered service in late 1938 in the Coast Guard livery; the last unit to be delivered in blue-white was LT Realthas in December 1939.
[ img ]

The last ten entered service during 1940 and early n 1941 (last three) already as fully equipped sub-chasers, achieving average construction times of 12 months. Complete retrofit of the earlier units to sub-chasers lasted till mid-1940.
[ img ]

Manned by Coast Guard personnel, they acquitted themselves well; though their design speed was lower than that of the US PC class, they were capable of attaining it at full load, which the PC was not. Though not rated as oceangoing by the Thiarians, they were capable of operating in appalling weather conditions if necessary, but mostly were used to protect coastal convoys around the Thiarian homeland. Their engines however were not very reliable, and the class suffered from relatively high maintenance requirements and many mishaps. By 1943, they swapped their aft 13mm MGs with 20mm cannon, and Raththanach became the prototype for the installation of a submarine-type radar set. Throughout the war, only four of the first batch actually received such radars.
[ img ]

Losses were considerable; fifteen boats were lost during the war and three during the civil war. The six survivors were scrapped in the 1950s after their complicated diesel-electric engines had become unserviceable.

3. Interwar Navy designs
Having no colonies and limited economic interests abroad, the Thiarian Navy had no peacetime requirement for gunboats or sloops. During the 1920s and 1930s, a total of sixteen hulls for special purposes (Survey Ships, Minelayers and Aviation Tenders) were constructed which could double as gunboats if necessary; they can be found under mine warfare craft and auxiliaries (to be posted later). There was however a highly original design for export.

3.1. Eire- and Republica-Class
In 1936, the second LNT lifted the limit of a maximum of four guns for sloops; this was done at the insistence of the British, who would proceed to build their highly successful six- and eight-gun sloops of the Egret/Black-Swan-types of 1.400 tons standard. The CSCA yard had been in contact with the Mexican government since 1934 about a design for a maximum-power sloop; the second LNT finally allowed to develop this type to the utmost of its possibilities. After the havoc wreaked upon the USN by the Imperial Mexican fleet in 1916, Mexico’s new revolutionary government had been forced in the peace treaty to eschew any ship beyond the sloop category (2.000 tons and 20 kts maximum, 155mm caliber maximum, no torpedoes), and the once-proud Mexican Navy was reduced to a shadow of its former self. To restore some of its former prestige, they sought a sloop which would outgun any foreign destroyer and carry enough armour protection to defeat 127mm projectiles. By applying destroyer-building techniques, particularly longitudinal framing, CSCA managed to design a 1.990-ton hull of 105m LCWL which would be strong enough to carry an armament of a mid-sized WW1 cruiser: Eight 130mm guns in lightweight twin mounts, two each superimposed fore and aft, plus six 37mm AA guns and eight 13mm machineguns. An airplane was proposed, but eventually dropped. They were fitted for, but not with ASW equipment (two stern racks and four DC throwers) or rails for 100 mines; only one of these variants could be installed at the same time, and displacement would exceed the 2.000 ton limit in either case. The waterline had 70mm plating, with 25mm decks, the latter very low in the ship to balance the topweight of the gun mounts. Machinery was limited to 9.000 SHP on two shafts, easily enough for the allowable maximum speed of 20 knots. Aluminium was used for much of the superstructure to cut weight; the Thiarian Navy ruled this measure out due to the inflammable nature of that material, but the Mexicans had no such qualms. The deal between the Mexicans and CSCA included the construction of two hulls in Thiaria and a license for six more to be built in Mexico. The first two – Republica and Mexico – were laid down late in 1936 and early in 1937 and delivered to Mexico together in May 1939 after an average building time of 24 months.
[ img ]

These vessels made a huge impression, and the Thiarians and Mexicans were widely accused of exceeding the 2.000-ton limit. In fact, the vessels came out overweight, but not very much and not on purpose. Their armour nicely balanced the topweight of their guns, and they were reasonably seaworthy – not up to usual Thiarian standards, but enough for the Gulf of Mexico and the East Pacific. Mexican construction had started in 1938, but over twenty years without any major orders had left their mark upon the once-renowned Tampico Navy yard, which had built the first – and last – Latin American dreadnought battleship in 1914. The Mexicans needed till late 1942 to complete their domestic pair – named Libertad and Progreso – and the other four units were never laid down. The second pair omitted Y 130mm turret in favour of ASW gear; this was not due to stability issues, but because the Thiarians could no longer deliver 130mm guns after the first batch of 12 had reached Mexico in late 1939.
[ img ]

These four units were the largest and most powerful Mexican ships till the 1950s; by aligning themselves with the Allies in 1943, the Mexicans acquired the right to build destroyers and the large sloops were relegated to the second line (the home-built Mexican destroyers, ironically, were based upon the Thiarian P-class, although with US weapons and equipment). The sloops nevertheless remained in service as TS till the 1980s and were not scrapped prior to 1990.

Just as the Mexican contract was negotiated, the Irish Republic celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Easter uprising, and the Thiarian government presented them with a quite unwanted gift: The promise to build them a flashy flagship for their fledgling Navy free of charge. LE Eire, as she was dubbed by the Thiarians themselves, was ordered at CSCA to the plans of the Mexican sloops in late 1936 and laid down in late 1937. As she was required to operate in the stormy North Atlantic, CSCA applied Thiarian stability standards, requiring the removal of one of the 130mm twins. Turret B was considered most impairing for stability and replaced with a 37mm twin, which was relocated from its original position aft (two additional 13mm twin mounts were installed there instead. The vessel was fitted for minelaying, but never so employed. CSCA built her in 20 months and delivered her in September 1939; she traveled to the USA in November that year and crossed the Atlantic in December, proving her seaworthiness.
[ img ]

Like the Mexican ships, LT Eire had a long, peaceful service life and was decommissioned in 1975, but not scrapped prior to 1995.

4. War Escort programme

4.1. Iaguar-Class (Batch 1)
By 1936, the Thiarians considered war within the next decade as virtually unavoidable; as soon as the British Empire got involved in a major European conflict, they would seize the opportunity to topple it. To fight a war against a substantial part of the Royal Navy, particularly the elite forces of Patagonia and Recherche, all available destroyers would be needed by the fighting fleet, so escort duty would have to be assumed by lesser craft. The 14 Ursan-class coast guard cutters were a beginning, and four Spiorad Naomh-class survey ships were also earmarked for service as oceangoing convoy escorts in case of war, but these units of course were nowhere near enough. A design for an escort vessel capable of operating in the roughest waters imaginable under the worst weather conditions possible was prepared in 1937 by the Navy design department. It was based upon the very successful fleet minesweepers of the Tririnn-Class, which were upscaled by 50%, featuring a 1.300 ton hull of 88m LCWL with twin shaft steam turbine propulsion for 24 knots speed. Although these ships were not built to civilian standards, like Britain’s Frigates, they were much simplified compared with contemporary destroyers; hull design allowed for employment of yards incapable of destroyer construction, so transverse framing was employed and the whole hull was quite bulky for what it was designed to carry. The forecastle was extended all the way to amidships for optimum seakeeping. To achieve maximum stability, armament was limited to the absolute minimum for escort service: Two single 100mm DP guns with a full HA fire control system, three twin 37mm mounts and two quad 13mm AAMG mounts, plus DC rails aft, four DC projectors amidships and ASDIC. Radar was considered desirable, but other ship types had higher priority, so it was considered acceptable that they were completed without and retrofitted later. All in all, armament and equipment could easily have been fitted to a 900 – 1.000 ton hull, but by accepting larger size, an immensely seaworthy and comfortable vessel was achieved, fully capable of operating in South Atlantic winter conditions. An initial batch of four was ordered in 1938, and four more in 1939. They continued the tradition that escorts be named for land predators and received the names Iaguar (Jaguar), Osalat (Ocelot), Glutan (Wolverine), Cobra (Cobra), Liopard (Leopard), Archu (Bloodhound), Claiomhfhiacail (Sabretooth Tiger) and Caracal (Caracal). The small, relatively inexperienced yards employed needed between 30 and 36 months to complete them; the first two did not enter service prior to August 1941…
[ img ]

…and three took till early 1942. As war production of electronic gear picked up, these already had a full radar suite, although the surface search radar was so awkwardly placed as to be nearly useless. They also had an additional pair of 13mm MGs in each bridge wing.
[ img ]

In 1943, they received more modern surface search radars, which were also relocated to a more favourable spot, and other improvements to their electronic suite. They also swapped their 13mm MGs for 20mm cannon at a ratio of 2:1, and four of the class received single fully automatic 37mm cannon in lieu of their twin semi-automatic guns, in effect doubling the number of 37mm shells they could put into the air.
[ img ]

The other four retained their semi-automatic 37mm guns, but received the same radar upgrade and two additional 20mm singles abreast the bridge.
[ img ]

Despite hard war service, only Archu and Cobra were lost; with an overabundance of escort craft on the market after World War II, there was no interest in them as prizes. They were disarmed and transferred to the Thiarian Coast Guard. After modernization in 1954/5, they featured a single 37mm gun in a new mount with local radar control, four 13mm MGs and extensive firefighting and rescue gear, plus a well equipped sickbay in the forecastle.
[ img ]

Due to their immensely robust hulls, they were able to serve till the early 1980s, and the last one was scrapped in 1992, at the ripe old age of 50 years.

4.2. Iaguar-Class (Batch 2)
The merits of the Iaguar-design, which sported a very reasonable combination of capabilities on a hull of supreme seaworthiness and excellent habitability, were soon apparent; under the war programme, another 40 were laid down between 1940 and 1944 – six in 1940, eight each in 1941 and 1942, twelve in 1943 and six in 1944. Another eight had been approved for 1944, but were never laid down, and accordingly not named. Their names were Cugar (Cougar), Leon (Lion), Seacal (Jackal), Lincse (Lynx), Borrnathair (Adder), Crogall (Crocodile) – all laid down 1940; Sionnach (Fox), Puma (Thiarian Snow Puma), Ollbhear (Grizzly), Cu (Wolfhound), Banbhear (Polar Bear), Ailegeadar (Alligator), Caiman (Caiman), Mhoanatora (Monitor Lizard) – all laid down 1941; Madra (Wildhound), Fiachu (Staghound), Brocmeala (Ratel), Iaguarundai (Jaguarundi), Bulladoir (Bulldog), Margae (Dwarf Ocelot), Anacanda (Anaconda), Crotail (Rattlesnake) – all laid down 1942; Maistin (Mastiff), Diongo (Dingo), Ginae (Kodkod), Bhombat (Wombat), Bobchat (Bobcat), Colocolo (Pampa Cat), Racun (Raccoon), Cat Coille (Polecat), Neas (Weasel), Fosa (Fossa Cat), Tiogrin (Tigrina), Pioton (Python) – all laid down 1943; and Minc (Mink), Sibhead (Civet), Easog (Stoat), Mangus (Mongoose), Martan (Marten), Saible (Sable) – all laid down in 1944. As the Thiarians ran out of suitable large predators to name these ships after, their namesake animals became smaller and cuter as the war progressed, earning the second batch the unofficial nickname Ainmhi-Clumhach-thart-ar-baolach-Class (‘more-or-less-dangerous-furry-animal-class’). The first 24 were completed during the war (five in 1942, eleven in 1943, eight in 1944), after building time could be cut to an average of 20 months. They differed from the first batch by having a tripod mainmast with improved electronics arrangements and a 37mm quad turret with radar fire control on the position of the former aft deckhouse. The 100mm guns were of a newer, more powerful model, and the number of 20mm cannon was increased to 10 (three twin and four single mounts). All had a complete radar suite of the newest make upon completion. The weight reserves available were easily sufficient to accommodate the modifications, and the second batch boats were just as seaworthy as the first.
[ img ]

As the 37mm quad turrets were in short supply, some early units were completed with three single 37mm guns; otherwise, they were identical. This applied to Cugar, Seacal, Lincse, Sionnach, Ollbhear and Caracal.
[ img ]

None of the second batch were much modified during the war. Ten (Leon, Lincse, Sionnach, Seacal, Cu, Banbhear, Brocmeala, Iaguarundai, Bulladoir and Anacanda) were lost in the war, one (Caiman) during the civil war. Three of the unfinished units (Bobchat, Racun and Tiogrin) were completed afterwards, without 20mm cannon, but a hedgehog forward. All other surviving units with 37mm quads were retrofitted to this standard by 1949.
[ img ]

The boats with 37mm singles received a fourth single mount on B position in 1948, but no hedgehog.
[ img ]

In this guise, the 16 escorts – rated as frigates after the war - served throughout much of the 1950s. In 1956, a complete rebuild of the still relatively new ships was decided upon. They had their engines gutted and replaced with an all-new diesel plant with the same speed of 24 knots, but more than twice the range. Their entire superstructure was replaced with an all-new arrangement of relatively low profile, with a lattice mast and US-sourced electronics. A completely new domestically developed sonar was installed, and they were among the first warships worldwide to receive towed array sonars. Surface armament now was two fully automatic 76mm guns, and for ASW work, two 400mm triple ASW torpedo tubes and Weapon Alfa were embarked. A total of twelve were rebuilt that way; Cugar, Ollbhear, Caracal and Bulladoir were scrapped instead. Reconstruction lasted from 1957 through 1962.
[ img ]

The twelve frigates remained in service for another 15 to 20 years; the last quartet was decommissioned in 1982. All were scrapped by 1987. Retrospectively, these ships – individually efficient as they were, being the only truly oceangoing escorts of all axis powers (barring possible secret Kokoan projects not yet posted) – were too large, complex, material- manpower- and cost-intensive to be provided in the necessary numbers; the 32 completed units were dwarfed by the allied masses of destroyer escorts and frigates, totaling over a thousand hulls, and the Thiarians regularly had to use fleet minesweepers for ASW work.

4.3. Sruthgabhal-Class (Batch 2)
With series production of the Sruthgabhal-class sub-chasers in full swing in 1940, the type was the natural choice for the wartime sub-chaser programme. Although they were a little too large and complex for effective mass-production, the Thiarians considered them the minimal size to be of any use even in coastal waters under South Atlantic conditions. To ease construction, the diesel-electric plant was replaced with a pure diesel installation of the same power; speed remained the same at 20 knots. They could be distinguished by their heavier tripod foremast and their rearranged upper bridge; armament was the same as in the post-refit Coast guard cutters. Between 1940 and 1944, a total of 80 hulls was laid down, averaging 16 per year; half of them were however completed as large motor minesweepers (see their entry under mine warfare craft). The sub-chasers were named for cities, like the first batch (in the sequence of their completion): Braithreachas, Abersiorrad, Saorsheilbh, Portiarracht, Coilldomhain, Dunleasri, Crochcupla, Raththanach, Aberfoire, Naomh Micheal, Gualpoll, Sruthcursa, Gleannbinn, Portiasc, Duncronthrath, Trateathan, Castelnau, Duneaspag, Trarinn, Banseipeal, Deisceartra, Breadochas, Cluaincaora, Baseamrog, Tramioruilt, Abhalon, Gleanmuilean, Fadabail, An Deanu De, Cnocpirimid, Cuaneamhai, Milistra, An Cuibhreach, Trapailm, Fochta Uaine, An Nead, Longfort, Talamhceann, Beaghaile, Anfa Caolas. Five were completed in 1941, nine in 1942, eight in 1943 and seven in 1944. Eleven were incomplete at the time of the armistice (An Deanu De was the last unit completed in September 1944). All were manned by Navy personnel.
[ img ]

From 1943, they were completed with four 20mm cannon and 2 13mm MGs as light AA; most older units were retrofitted till 1944. A total of fifteen received submarine-type radars during 1944.
[ img ]

The class was employed both around the home islands and along the South American coast; of the 29 units commissioned, 15 survived the war. Three more were completed in 1946/7, and eight were broken up incomplete. All 18 survivors were handed over to the Coast guard and recommissioned in 1946/8, armed with a single 20mm cannon and equipped with a large salvage crane aft.
[ img ]

They enjoyed long peacetime careers, some serving until well into the 1990s; today, three (Cluaincoara, Abhalon and Fadabail) remain as hulks, the rest was scrapped.

4.4. Saighnean-Class
Initial service experience with the Iaguar-class revealed that they were excellent ASW escorts, but their AA capacity was only enough for self-defence. In 1941, there was no dedicated anti-air escort below cruiser size in Thiaria’s inventory. During the ground campaign in Argentina, the Thiarians had to bring troop and supply convoys through areas within range of enemy land-based air, and the need for such a ship began to be felt. The CSCA design for the Mexican sloops was revived; the hull was shortened and widened, armour protection was omitted, and a bulbous bow and much stronger machinery were installed to increase speed to 24 knots. An all new armament of six 100/60 DP guns and four 37mm autocannon was installed, both with the latest radar-guided fire control. Twelve 20mm cannon provided close defence. The ships had ASDIC and passive sonar and a heavy DC outfit, and the same radar suite as a cruiser. Displacement was 2.200 tons standard. Due to their complexity, construction of these powerful ships was only possible on specialized destroyer and cruiser yards, which were extremely busy at that time. Production bottlenecks delayed the first four vessels till 1942; in 1943, seven were laid down, and five more in 1944. They were rated as sloops and received names of weather phenomena: Saighnean (Thunderbolt), Tintreach (Lightning), Tradghaoth (Tradewind), Speirling (Whirlwind) – laid down in 1942; Striop (Breeze), Leoithne (Zephyr), Tornado (Tornado), Sinnean (Squall), Hairicin (Hurricane), Cuaifach (Gust), Anfa (Blizzard) – laid down in 1943; Macalla (Echo), Monsun (Monsoon), Feathan (Breeze), Seidean (Storm), Raiste (Squall) – laid down in 1944. Only the first four were completed during the war; Speirling was lost shortly before the start of the civil war.
[ img ]

The other three became allied prizes after the war; they were considered so capable that the Americans and British claimed them for themselves, lest someone who would actually need them laid their hands on them. All unfinished hulls had to be scrapped. Despite their short service record, during which they had no opportunity to achieve much, they were – hull for hull – certainly the best escort vessels of World War two. As a class, however, they were a complete disaster, because their complexity and long construction time made sure the war was lost before they became available.

Next: Thiarian Mine warfare craft

Greetings
GD


Last edited by Garlicdesign on April 19th, 2018, 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
[Profile] [Quote]
Display: Sort by: Direction:
[Post Reply]  Page 28 of 33  [ 325 posts ]  Return to “Alternate Universe Designs” | Go to page « 126 27 28 29 3033 »

Jump to: 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Aiseus and 8 guests


Contact us | The team | Delete all board cookies | All times are UTC


cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Limited
[ GZIP: Off ]