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KHT
Post subject: Re: Fisherless Royal NavyPosted: April 25th, 2017, 6:29 pm
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My only aber would be the almost German-looking bows. A straighter bow would make them look much more British.
Otherwise, a good looking series of cruisers.


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Krakatoa
Post subject: Re: Fisherless Royal NavyPosted: April 26th, 2017, 2:33 am
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Thanks for the comments guys.

KHT, the actual bow I used was an enlarged and slightly reformed Onslow DD out of my IRL folder.

One of the Fisherless RN principles is to enhance the standard RN ships, and I wanted a better, more weatherly bow than the IRL RN cruisers.


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Krakatoa
Post subject: Re: Fisherless Royal NavyPosted: January 2nd, 2018, 9:53 am
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I have been working on a reworked set of Commonwealth Navy ships on my website.

E and F Class Cruisers

The E class correspond to the RN original ships with a different layout. The F class is my replacement for the Frobisher class with the single 7.5" replaced with turrets to give the same broadside.

First designed as the follow on from the D type cruisers, the main changes being to double the power output to 80,000shp for an increase of speed from 29 to 33 knots but the original design raised the number of 6" from six to seven. Laid down in 1918 the three ships, Emerald, Enterprise, and Euphrates, had their building schedules slowed with the end of WW1. Allied to these three ships were five F class cruisers of the same design but these ships were to be armed with 7.5"/8" guns to combat the German Admiral Schroder class cruisers under construction. Both ships were to go to turret designs, moving away from the hand loaded, shield mounted, weapons of earlier designs. The twin 6" was to also be used on the G3/N3 designed ships, while the 7.5"/8" would be used on the forthcoming heavy cruiser classes. The E's would have four mountings, the F's three.

[ img ]

The changes between the two designs are fairly obvious with the F class having four triple 21" torpedo mountings, while the E class had four quadruple torpedo mountings. The F's had a fifth 4" mounting superfiring over the aft 7.5" turret.

[ img ]

The eight ships went through various refits with additions and alterations through to 1935, the most major of which was the addition of aircraft handling facilities and the change from single to twin 4" AA mountings. The first HACS units were also added to control the heavy AA batteries. Light AA was increased with another four single 2pd guns.

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By the outbreak of war in 1939, the ships were still the fastest cruisers in the fleet, and as such were posted to where their speed would be the greatest asset. To that end the three E's were at Gibraltar with Force H, while the five F's were with the Home Fleet from ports around the United Kingdom with three posted to Scapa Flow. The first signs of Radar and radar assisted gunnery sets were starting to show up on the ships as they went through their refit processes. The three ships with Force H had to wait till they were rotated through to UK ports for major upgrades. More AA weapons and electronic equipment saw the removal of the torpedo tubes and aircraft handling facilities as topweight became an ever increasing problem. With the Italians entering the war in July 1940 the Mediterranean became a real battleground where ships were at the mercy of aircraft but also had their own wins in various battles in and around the island of Malta with Force K. 1942 and the remaining cruisers are spread far and wide from fighting in the Arctic wastes to fighting around sun soaked atolls in the Pacific. Late 1943 saw a freeze on putting new equipment aboard these ships as the future of the war became clearer and these old and now worn out ships would have no future past the end of the current war. Maintenance of current systems would be it.

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By this time the ships foreparts still looked like sisters, but the rear areas were considerably different as new equipment set them apart. The Enterprise show its armament after late 1943 refit for Pacific service. The 20mm guns have gone and been replaced with twin 40mm mountings, where the F's replaced the catapult with two quad 2pd mountings the Enterprise had one octuple mounting in the same area.

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May 1941, and HMS Fearless is part of the search groups looking for the Prinz Eugen recently escaped from the Denmark Strait battle. The Fearless has yet to be modernised and is still carrying its aircraft handling facilities and both sets of torpedoes, speed is not optimum as the ship is overdue for a hull and boiler clean. The Prinz Eugen appears out of the darkness and into the dawns light, rushing into range of the Fearless and giving the Fearless no time to use its supposed superior speed to shadow the Prinz Eugen and call in the big boys to take care of the mighty cruiser. The Prinz Eugen being superior in all departments to the Fearless, starts hitting with its 3rd salvo, and registers hits reguarly thereafter. The effect of these hits on the Fearless is horrendous. The Fearless is armoured against 5.9" guns not the big 8.2" shells arriving from the Prinz Eugen, damage keeps increasing with firepower and horsepower both draining away. The Prinz Eugen did not get away unscathed, the 7.5" guns of the Fulmar hit the Prinz Eugen and caused enough damage for the Prinz Eugen to seek the sanctuary of a French Atlantic port for repairs. The end came for the Fearless when two hits from the same salvo hit the two forward turrets and magazines, causing an explosion that blew most of the bow away, leaving the Fearless in a sinking condition and just unable to carry on the fight as the Prinz Eugen sailed off into the distance. The nearest help for the Fearless was the cruiser Newcastle who arrived in time to take off the Fearless' crew and put a torpedo into the wreck and sink it.

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Krakatoa
Post subject: Re: Fisherless Royal NavyPosted: March 6th, 2021, 9:29 pm
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One of the original aims for this "Fisherless RN" page was to replace Admiral Fisher before he did too much damage to the RN when he returned in 1914. That was mainly for the warships that may have been built in the First World War but may have had an impact on the Second World War. Admiral Fisher, however, had already made his impact felt ten years previously when he initiated the ship that became Dreadnought, and started a revolution in warship design. So I thought maybe I better sidetrack Admiral Fisher a little bit earlier and see about counteracting some of the original design flaws. A thought to keep in mind is the loss of firepower when firing broadsides in the early Dreadnoughts. In real life, the Germans and Japanese lost 25%, the British, 20%, the US and Italy lost 0% and had the best layouts.


HMS Dreadnought (BB-1906)

HMS Dreadnought as a superimposed Battleship.

HMS Dreadnought put its name to a generation of Battleships. It managed that by also being the fastest built battleship.

Laid down: 02/Oct/1905, Launched: 10/Oct/1906, Commissioned: 02/Dec/1906.

No other nation could match the speed of building ships the way the British Empire could. It is not till 1942-43 when the US speed the production of the Iowa class that any other nation comes close.

While it was built fast, it was an awkward design with the broadside mounted 12" that did not get remedied till the 13.5" super-Dreadnoughts, some years in the future. Five turrets fitted, but only four can fire to either broadside. A complete waste of 20% of your firepower. I do not want to end up with a 'South Carolina' clone, but want to see an inline design or two using all five turrets, so that the design is not only revolutionary but with better firepower than its competitors also. So lets clear the decks and then refill them differently.

[ img ]

Three turrets aft will be the main layout. The first thing to do of course, is not to use the Dreadnought as the base drawing at all. One of the clones (St Vincent) will provide the base drawing as it at least has fixed some of the basic errors out of the original Dreadnought design. Such as smoke in the foretop from the fore funnel.

[ img ]

Utilising this design, the clone classes that produce the first seven dreadnoughts for the Royal Navy would extend the same design for the Colossus / Neptune types. The extra forty feet put into the latter three ships would be to uncramp the internal divisions of the first seven. More space for the divisions between turrets, boilers, engine rooms, and superstructure.

It will certainly make the ADV / Training Ship conversions more interesting as the ship will have the two twin turrets forward rather than the single in the real life ships.

[ img ]

The first iteration of the Dreadnought as a trials and training ship featured the removal of X Y Z turrets and the replacement of Y turret with the brand new designed and built triple 8" turret destined for the oncoming generations of British heavy cruisers then being discussed at the Washington Treaty. A set of school rooms was built between the after funnel and Y turret. The accommodation for the cadets being built into the area that the X 12" turret barbette had been removed from and the plated over area from the casemate 4". The 8" turret and its associated director were removed in 1925 and replaced with a catapult and crane for trials for a catapult to fit to the smaller light cruisers where a cross deck catapult would not be of sufficient length to get the seaplanes into the air.

1930 and the fate of all of the earlier dreadnoughts and battlecruisers is being discussed. The London Naval Treaty is around and trying to extend the "Battleship Holiday" for at least another five years. The Japanese fail to sign the original treaty and every man and his dog start to lay down new ships at the old 35,000 ton limit. It would be another five years before that limit expires to go to the 45,000 ton limit. It looked like the Japanese, who had been allies previously, would now be enemies in any next conflict. A resurgent Germany was starting to cause concerns at the Admiralty as well. The sea lanes around the world carried the lifeblood of food and materials to the British Isles and needed protection from the enemies the Admiralty could see on the horizon.

Along the sea lanes would be the trade protection cruisers and also the large flying boats. 1930 introduced the Short Singapore that would still be in service ten years later. These flying boats could also operate from the various islands under British Commonwealth control in all the various oceans, based on the islands scattered over those oceans. Only the biggest islands had harbours that could service and operate the big flying boats and had their own protection. There were a lot of smaller islands that the Admiralty would like to base the big flying boats from but would not be able to due to lack of servicing options.

To this end the Admiralty came up with the Area Defence Vessel scheme. The old battleships would have a hangar fitted at the rear of the ship which could contain their own air wing (6-8 aircraft) with which they would be able to use to maintain the base security and have the 12" guns as backup if a merchant raider or nosy enemy cruiser came along. A squadron of the big flying boats would be able to operate from the 'mother' ship which would be able to service the 'boats'. During peace time the hangar could be split and used for both as an aircraft hangar and either house a company of marines on peacekeeping duties or cadets / trainees in a training ship role.

On the outbreak of war, the ADV's would be outfitted with 2-3 Blackburn Roc fighters, 3-4 Fairey Swordfish and then dispersed around the world to their bases. Replacement aircraft could be delivered as required. Once at their base and set up, a squadron of flying boats could then be sent to operate from the ship.

[ img ]

Not a lot of money was to be spent on these conversions. More would be taken out, than put in. Forward boiler room, funnel and tripod removed. Plain builders steel would be used for the hangar which would have a reinforced roof to carry the lighters and ship boats that would transport everything to and fro around the harbour the ship was based in. The only reason for the ship to move would be reassignment. Mainly because the island the ship was based on would have a full land based airfield built, from which the big coastal command aircraft could operate.

1940 and air and sea search radar are fitted, with various upgrades appearing at irregular intervals. Generally the radar put aboard had been removed from a more modern ship that had received the latest upgrades. That is what being the bottom of the food chain is about. The topmast spotting area was glassed in and then became the control centre for flight operations, as well as its spotting duties. These ADV's acted as port 'flagship' for whatever rank was deemed necessary to command the port. Like the convoys having 'Commodores' which were recalled retired RN Captains, these ships often had 'Commodores' in command that had spent part of their service before retirement as 'Port Captains' so they would have the knowledge to run the port, created around the ship, successfully.

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Swordfish and Roc seaplanes were the first war loads for the ADV's.

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The Dreadnoughts first flying boat squadron were the Short Singapore.

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The Blackburn Roc's were eventually replaced by Spitfire floatplanes.

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I will add the Neptune/Colossus soon and complete the early battlecruisers. I have done a BC version but don't like the result, so will try again.


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Krakatoa
Post subject: Re: Fisherless Royal NavyPosted: March 7th, 2021, 1:36 am
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HMS Neptune (BB-1911)


The original layout of the Colossus / Neptune types is as shown below. They still carry the awkward wing turrets. Something I have been trying to eradicate from my Commonwealth Navy. Good old Fisher and his design work, building directions are hard to get rid of. The work I have done with the Dreadnought, fitting superimposed, inline, turrets to them, makes this next class of three ships interesting in that I can carry the aft three turret X Y Z layout on or go to the Q turret a class early. I will try a drawing of each to see what looks best and go from there.

[ img ]


So lets have a look at an XYZ layout.

[ img ]


The drawing certainly looks better than the earlier Dreadnought and clone classes. The extra forty feet is well used to increase the size of the machinery rooms. The placement of the 4" secondaries in the superstructure actually proved a success compared to the casemates on the Dreadnought which were prone to being washed out in moderate to heavy weather.

So lets have a look at a Q design.

[ img ]

Now that is a more interesting looking ship than the XYZ variant. The weight is better balanced with the Q turret, while the turret itself does not lose any of the angles it could fire at in comparison to the X turret. The secondaries are kept in the superstructure but are reduced to twelve guns due to the changes in the superstructure layout. I can see these three ships being wanted by the minor powers because of the layout lending itself to modernisation in the future. Even Australis might change its two ships of this type to this version.

BUT...... I also convert at least one of the class to an aircraft carrier. If I can strip the 'R' class 15" battleships to provide guns and armour for a modern battleship class then convert the hulks to escort carriers, then why would I keep these 3 to 5 ships, when I could do the same to them. As I say on the 'R' Class page, 5 escort carriers arriving in the North Atlantic in 1940/41, miracles do happen. The same miracle could take place with these ships, but I can not think of a reason that would require these 3 to 5 ships to be converted to aircraft carriers in 1930-32. Unless they have been transferred to Australis, Zealandia, South Africa, where they could be kept as battleships, by 1923 the ships would already have been reduced in armament to make them compliant with the Washington Treaty if they were to be kept in the Royal Navy. I make the CV conversion date 1930-32 as the three ships would be 20 years old at that point and ready for the scrap yard. To keep them alive after that date would need them to be converted to something useful, either as ADV's or CVE's.

[ img ]


Knowing what we know now, with 20/20 hindsight, these would be fantastic as CVE's on the North Atlantic convoys in 1940-41. They would make a definite difference. But could the Admiralty think ten years ahead. Probably not. Battleship Bill would still be in command at the Admiralty and aircraft carriers would still be a low priority. It is much more likely that these three RN ships would go to ADV's. They would never have been converted to oil fired boilers. There would have been no reason to do so with these ships only being training ships or as static seaplane tenders. I normally in my AU convert one of these to a CVE to be the companion training carrier to the Argus, while the other two go to ADV's.

So, two more drawings. One as a converted battleship, early 1930's style with some AA guns, and then an ADV type. This is postulating that the Colossus and Hercules get transferred to South Africa and Australis as training ships. If the battleships were converted as I show below to modern looking ships during 1931-33, they would not have been converted further. The work to get them into this condition would have been costly enough that the navies involved would not want to undo it to convert the hull to an aircraft carrier. For these conversions the boilers would have been converted from coal to oil firing.

[ img ]


The ADV conversions for the Indian and Atlantic Oceans have access to much more significant resources closer to hand than those that may be destined for the Pacific. The island groups that have airfields on them are few and far between. The ADV can sit in a lagoon and act as mothership to the big flying boats and provide all the services required. Where the Catalina is shown aft the ADV would carry a pair of powered lighters to use in the harbour that would be created around the ships.

[ img ]


The Colossus, Auckland, and Gascoyne were all converted to ADV's as being the most useful type to help operate the flying boat squadrons. This work was trialed through the islands and found to be a successful operation. These ships would prove invaluable during the coming war. Only Hercules was retained in its battleship variant and operated as a training ship with the Southern African Navy. The Neptune was the only one of the five to be converted to an aircraft carrier. Neptune was paired with the Argus as the extra training carrier which was extremely useful from 1938 onward when the great expansion of the Fleet Air Arm started. The Neptune was used sparingly on other duties as the training work it was doing was of such high priority.


[ img ]


The Blackburn Roc Floatplane was supposed to have been a fighter aircraft for the Fleet Air Arm, but was a failure in service, quickly being replaced by the Griffon. Converted to floatplanes they did useful service with the ten ADV's and as target tugs for the training carriers in the Irish sea. Replaced in 1940 with the first Mk.1 Spitfire conversions.

[ img ]


The mainstay of the ASW forces sent to the ADV's were the obsolete Swordfish which proved of great value trundling around the islands the ADV's were assigned to. The other aircraft used in this role was the Walrus which also was of better value than its looks suggested.

[ img ]



I will have another go at the Invincibles tonight (my time)


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Hood
Post subject: Re: Fisherless Royal NavyPosted: March 7th, 2021, 9:16 am
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Nice to see you back in action.
I think there are sound reasons why Dreadnought had the layout she had, conservative yes but she was a prototype and all-centreline armament soon became the norm that that long after.
But this is an interesting design concept and you have certainly come up with varied ways to keep these hulls alive well into the 1930s.

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acelanceloet
Post subject: Re: Fisherless Royal NavyPosted: March 7th, 2021, 12:23 pm
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I have some questions here about these improvements. I will not go into historical accuracy as that is not my thing, but I want to look into the technical aspects.

Looking at the dreadnought.
- The average height of the turrets of the IRL dreadnought was 49 feet above the keel, of the fisherless dreadnought it was 54,6 feet.
- The engine room + condenser compartment of IRL dreadnought was 58 feet long. The boiler rooms were (combined) 103 feet long. There is an gap between the 1st and 2nd boiler rooms which is partially there because of the side turrets, so that is ignored in the above measurements. That gets us 161 feet of machinery length. The fisherless dreadnought has a maximum of 137 feet of hull length available for machinery.
- armoured belt length of the fisherless dreadnought seems to be 316 feet. Of the original dreadnought it was about 291 feet, assuming it covers all turrets (the external belt is somewhat shorter it seems)
- The main deck level is carried a lot further aft, heightening the center of gravity of the hull (for strength reasons, the structural weight would be similar I suspect)

From the above, we can get some more data.
- Each mounting was 500 tons, so the raised turrets would raise the center of gravity: on a total (light ship) dispacement of 18120 tons that means a 0,7 feet raise. (technically 0,83 but I chose a slightly lower number as the bottom of the barbette would remain down below). That is quite a loss on a 5.6 feet (at full load) metacentric height. The increased hull depth further increases topweight, as does the doubled mast.
- To keep the same protection, the armoured belt would be 9% heavier then what the IRL dreadnought had.

In other words, the ship would probably need to increase width to improve stability for the increased topweight, would be considerably heavier as a result, and would be slower due to smaller machinery on a heavier ship. None of this (not even the additional length the drawing has compared to the IRL dreadnought drawing in the same thread) is shown in your specifications, so how were you planning to deal with this?

I do know that IRL, superfiring turrets were looked into. Whatever their reasons for not adopting that layout, the ship you have here has less firepower on 'the ends' then the IRL ship, and since the design doesn't really work as required as drawn now....... I'm actually pondering if it would not make more sense to drop the Q turret instead. You then get a ship with the same performance 'ends on' as you have now, and the same broadside as you have on the IRL dreadnought, on a slightly smaller displacement probably.

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Karle94
Post subject: Re: Fisherless Royal NavyPosted: March 7th, 2021, 8:19 pm
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The slow adoption of superfiring guns by European nations was due to the sighting hoods at the top of the turrets. They were worried that the blast from the superfiring guns would enter the turret below. The Americans simply moved them to the sides. I am also wondering why British ships have the turrets designed for the Brazilian ships. The only reason any British ships used them was because Agincourt was seized from the Ottomans at the outbreak of war.


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