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Oberon II
Post subject: Re: First World War Battlecruiser ChallengePosted: September 16th, 2020, 9:49 am
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A few tweaks required (as Karle94 has detailed) but some seriously nice work here! Well done!

Look forward to seeing the reconstructed HMS Agincourt at some point (Hint Hint...)
Perky50 wrote: *
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HMS Agincourt
Displacement: 36,500 tons
Length: 734 ‘(wl)
Beam: 94’
Draught: 30’

Installed Power: 98,000 SHP
42 Water Tube boilers
4 Shafts 2 Steam Turbine sets
27 knots
Range: 5,000 miles at 14 knots

Compliment: 1,142

4 twin – 15”
14 single – 6”
4 x single – 3” AA
2 x single 3-pdr
4 – 21” Torpedo Tubes (submerged)

Main Belt: 11”
Upper Belt: 9”
Ends: 9” - 6”
Casemates: 6”
Bulkheads: 4”
Turrets: 12” – 9”
Barbettes: 11” - 9”

HMS Agincourt came about as a result of discussions surrounding the Queen Elizabeth design. When it was decided to proceed with a more austere choice for the final plans for those battleships, the decision was made to build one battle cruiser version of the class, which was the norm for the period.
While lighter in some respects the armour scheme was comprehensive and provided the best level of protection seen in a British battle cruiser up to that point in time. In service the ship would prove to be very serviceable, and even with its increased size when compared to previous designs, it would be comparably manoeuvrable.

HMS Agincourt would first see action on April 7th, 1916, when the Battle Cruiser Fleet under Vice Admiral Horace Hood would manage to intercept the High Seas Fleet’s scouting group under the command of Ludwig von Reuter.
In that battle, that would see the loss of the German battle cruisers Derfflinger and vonn der Tann in exchange for HMS Lion, Hood’s command would eke out a narrow victory before being forced to withdraw with the unexpected arrival of the bulk of the High Seas Fleet.
HMS Agincourt would receive 17-11” and 12” hits during the battle. While moderate levels of damage were incurred, and X turret was seriously damaged, the ship stood up to the enemy fire rather well, shrugging off the majority of the hits that struck her.
After repairs, HMS Agincourt would rejoin the fleet in time for the great decisive battle of the Great War at Jutland on July 9th, 1916. Here again HMS Agincourt would be damaged, this time seriously. Her journey home after the battle was one of epic proportions (at least in the eyes of the empire).
With the end of the Great War, HMS Agincourt would serve on with the fleet, with commissions in home waters, as well as the Mediterranean and the Far East. In the mid 1920’s she would see her first reconstruction. This would include bulges, improvements to fire control, aircraft handling facilities, and an enhanced AA battery.
Agincourt would return to dockyard hands in early 1931 for a major reconstruction. While not one of the ‘Eight’ as those select ships were known, her reconstruction would be very comprehensive in its own right, on par with similar work performed in other navies at the time.


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AU Democratic Commonwealth of the Falkland Islands (DCFI) [under development]

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Post subject: Re: First World War Battlecruiser ChallengePosted: September 18th, 2020, 11:42 am
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Russia , Malakoff-class battlecruiser
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Malakoff-class was a class of two battlecruisers of Imperial Russian Navy. The class included Malakoff and Chernaya. They were named after the battles Malakoff and Chernaya. The class had slight differences from the Borodino-class but they were much heavier (around 3700 tons according to Sprinsharp) .They were designed to serve in the Black Sea with the icebreaker bow. The class was slower than some battlecruisers of their time , yet had better armor and the heaviest broadside of any capital ship at the time. They had a main armament of 12x 356mm Pattern 1913 guns and a secondary armament 24x1 130mm Pattern 1913 both distributed around the ship. Just like any post-dreadnought capital ship of Russia , the ship was designed in belief of broadside fights and distributing the main armament and magazines would give it a higher survivability and less chance of detonation. With this belief they found no advantages of superfiring guns and all were mounted on the deck level. The aft 3 turrets were facing backwards and the forward one was facing forwards. Aft 2 turrets were seperated by a turbine room. The ship was armored in a similiar level to borodino , but was to have slightly thicker belt armor (250mm vs 237.5mm) and a armor layout similiar to the battleship Imperator Nikolai. She was around 10 meters longer and 0.5 meters wider than Borodino , and had more powerful machinery of 95.600 SHP to allow a speed of 27 knots (It was believed she could reach 28-9 knots if machinery was forced). The low freeboard of the ship gave limited use of secondary battery in heavy seas. The class was seemed to outclass Mackensen-class and any of British battlecruisers of the time except the Renown with her speed and Hood totally. Malakoff didnt involve in any major engagement in Black Sea in World War I , and spent most time in harbors since the commissioning along with her sister ship Chernaya. Malakoff was kept in navy after the war and was kept in Soviet Navy along with her sister and they were renamed Sentyabr'skaya Revolyutsiya (September Revolution) and Voroshilov (Kliment Voroshilov) respectively . Sentyabr'skaya Revolyutsiya and Voroshilov was reconstructed in mid 1930s with new machinery , fire control systems , replaced her main guns with better guns of the same caliber and had a larger superstructure. Their anti-aircraft armament was reinforced in 1941. Sentyabr'skaya Revolyutsiya and her sister provided gunfire support in Operation Barbarossa. Sentyabr'skaya Revolyutsiya was bombed during the war with no major damage meanwhile Voroshilov suffered heavy damage and sunk. Sentyabr'skaya Revolyutsiya was struck off the Navy List after the World War II , and was scrapped.

Springsharp report:
Malakoff, Imperial Russia Battlecruiser laid down 1912 (Engine 1913)

34.843 t light; 36.609 t standard; 38.684 t normal; 40.344 t full load

Dimensions: Length (overall / waterline) x beam x draught (normal/deep)
(769,03 ft / 767,39 ft) x 101,71 ft x (31,50 / 32,56 ft)
(234,40 m / 233,90 m) x 31,00 m x (9,60 / 9,92 m)

12 - 14,00" / 356 mm 52,0 cal guns - 1.648,62lbs / 747,80kg shells, 80 per gun
Breech loading guns in turret on barbette mounts, 1913 Model
4 x Twin mounts on centreline, evenly spread
24 - 5,12" / 130 mm 50,0 cal guns - 81,26lbs / 36,86kg shells, 100 per gun
Breech loading guns in casemate mounts, 1913 Model
24 x Single mounts on sides, evenly spread
24 hull mounts in casemates- Limited use in heavy seas
4 - 2,95" / 75,0 mm 50,0 cal guns - 13,63lbs / 6,18kg shells, 150 per gun
Anti-air guns in deck mounts, 1912 Model
4 x Single mounts on centreline, evenly spread
4 raised mounts
Weight of broadside 21.788 lbs / 9.883 kg

- Belts: Width (max) Length (avg) Height (avg)
Main: 9,84" / 250 mm 497,70 ft / 151,70 m 18,37 ft / 5,60 m
Ends: 4,92" / 125 mm 244,75 ft / 74,60 m 9,84 ft / 3,00 m
24,93 ft / 7,60 m Unarmoured ends
Upper: 3,94" / 100 mm 497,70 ft / 151,70 m 8,53 ft / 2,60 m
Main Belt covers %100 of normal length

- Torpedo Bulkhead - Additional damage containing bulkheads:
2,95" / 75 mm 497,70 ft / 151,70 m 26,25 ft / 8,00 m
Beam between torpedo bulkheads 95,47 ft / 29,10 m

- Gun armour: Face (max) Other gunhouse (avg) Barbette/hoist (max)
Main: 11,8" / 300 mm 5,91" / 150 mm (top armor) 9,74" / 248 mm
2nd: 2,95" / 75 mm 0,98" / 25 mm -

- Armoured deck - multiple decks:
Fore and Aft decks: 2,95" / 75 mm
Forecastle: 1,18" / 30 mm Quarter deck: 1,18" / 30 mm

- Conning towers: Forward 15,75" / 400 mm, Aft 15,75" / 400 mm

Coal and oil fired boilers, steam turbines,
Geared drive, 4 shafts, 95.604 shp / 71.321 Kw = 27,00 kts
Range 4.000nm at 15,00 kts
Bunker at max displacement = 3.736 tons (55% coal)

1.378 - 1.792

£3,759 million / $15,037 million

Distribution of weights at normal displacement:
Armament: 3.749 tons, %9,7
- Guns: 3.749 tons, %9,7
Armour: 12.720 tons, %32,9
- Belts: 5.010 tons, %13,0
- Torpedo bulkhead: 1.427 tons, %3,7
- Armament: 2.895 tons, %7,5
- Armour Deck: 2.612 tons, %6,8
- Conning Towers: 776 tons, %2,0
Machinery: 3.943 tons, %10,2
Hull, fittings & equipment: 14.431 tons, %37,3
Fuel, ammunition & stores: 3.841 tons, %9,9
Miscellaneous weights: 0 tons, %0,0

Overall survivability and seakeeping ability:
Survivability (Non-critical penetrating hits needed to sink ship):
49.920 lbs / 22.643 Kg = 36,4 x 14,0 " / 356 mm shells or 7,4 torpedoes
Stability (Unstable if below 1.00): 1,14
Metacentric height 6,6 ft / 2,0 m
Roll period: 16,6 seconds
Steadiness - As gun platform (Average = 50 %): 75 %
- Recoil effect (Restricted arc if above 1.00): 0,88
Seaboat quality (Average = 1.00): 1,51

Hull form characteristics:
Hull has rise forward of midbreak,
a normal bow and a cruiser stern
Block coefficient (normal/deep): 0,551 / 0,556
Length to Beam Ratio: 7,55 : 1
'Natural speed' for length: 27,70 kts
Power going to wave formation at top speed: 46 %
Trim (Max stability = 0, Max steadiness = 100): 50
Bow angle (Positive = bow angles forward): -2,50 degrees
Stern overhang: 1,64 ft / 0,50 m
Freeboard (% = length of deck as a percentage of waterline length):
Fore end, Aft end
- Forecastle: %22,50, 31,50 ft / 9,60 m, 29,86 ft / 9,10 m
- Forward deck: %9,50, 29,86 ft / 9,10 m, 29,86 ft / 9,10 m
- Aft deck: %51,50, 21,46 ft / 6,54 m, 21,46 ft / 6,54 m
- Quarter deck: %16,50, 21,46 ft / 6,54 m, 22,97 ft / 7,00 m
- Average freeboard: 24,42 ft / 7,44 m

Ship space, strength and comments:
Space - Hull below water (magazines/engines, low = better): %84,2
- Above water (accommodation/working, high = better): %171,5
Waterplane Area: 54.509 Square feet or 5.064 Square metres
Displacement factor (Displacement / loading): %98
Structure weight / hull surface area: 201 lbs/sq ft or 982 Kg/sq metre
Hull strength (Relative):
- Cross-sectional: 0,95
- Longitudinal: 1,47
- Overall: 1,00
Adequate machinery, storage, compartmentation space
Excellent accommodation and workspace room
Ship has slow, easy roll, a good, steady gun platform
Excellent seaboat, comfortable, can fire her guns in the heaviest weather

Last edited by Renown on September 20th, 2020, 9:01 am, edited 10 times in total.

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Post subject: Re: First World War Battlecruiser ChallengePosted: September 19th, 2020, 10:07 am
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Location: France
By the ending of the ninteen century first decade, the Republikeinse Suid-Afrikaanse vloot felt the urgent need of replacing her main fighting ships, a pair of dutch built armored cruiser (elongated, up-gunned and armored version of the Holland class protected cruisers ) who where guetting quickly obsolecent since the emergence of british battle-cruiser concept.

Although the Dutch shipyards were approached, they lacked experience in building modern large warships (even more so than on the previous armored cruiser). Blohm & Voss offered a scaled-down version of the Molke class at a surprisingly affordable price. Germany was very interested in strengthening such a strategically located overseas ally. Additionally, under the agreement, the Kaiserliche Marine would be allowed to use Richardsbaai harbor as a naval base.

The bill for two units of the proposed design remained nevertheless too high, and the south african admiralty asked for ship's complement to remain underd 640 men ,otherwise, handling the two vessels would have been beyond their available workforce.

A new design was studied with main weapons in single 283mm gun turrets . The germans tried to puch for bulding only one stronger ship, but the Afrikaners insisted that two were needed.

the various studies and negotiations had spread considerably over time and so the first ship wasn't laid down before march 1912, commissionned in april 1914. the second one being laid down six month latter it wasn't available at the begining of world war one and therefore was seized by the german navy.

The new admiral ship of the Republikeinse Suid-Afrikaanse vloot was named Van Villebois-Mareuil after a french general (paradoxical for a german build ship) who joinned the Suid-Afrikaanse Republiek during the second boer war. It was the weakest battle-cruiser ever built, but not the worst. Notably, with 41 000 shp and a beam reduced to 21 m, it was the fastest one when commissioned at 29 knots. Overall she was considered a very seaworthy boat and a good gun platform.

It was dispatched to join the von spee squadron to raid the Falkland Islands before they jointly sett course back to Richardsbaai. The rendez-vous was set at Picton island on 1rst of decembre. But supply and coaling took longer than expected so the depature from Durban was reported . In adition the journey to south america was lengthen for climate issue. After 3 days waiting for their african allies Von Spee decided to head for port stanley without them. Had he had the support of a battle-cruiser (small as it was) he may have dare bombing the refuelling british squadron, probably changing the course of the battle.

On the fateful 8th of decembre the afrikaans squadron was about to finally reach the rendez-vous point ( a week latter than expected...). The British were informed by questionned german prisonners of the presence of the battlecruiser . Knowing that ,this time, speed would not be on their advantage, they splitted their fleet in two squadron. One being tasked to cut off the retreat of the enemy if the other found it. This was achieved 4 days later, north of South Georgia.

The higher speed and manoeuvrability of the Joris ( nickname of the ship) prevented him of being seriously hitted for almost 3 hours, leaving the time for the rest of the squadron to flee. But its fate was sealed: the first and only battlecruiser of the south african navy was sent to the bottom with it's entire crew by the end of 12th of december evening, just before the night could had help him escape.

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Last edited by waritem on November 7th, 2020, 10:43 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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Post subject: Re: First World War Battlecruiser ChallengePosted: September 19th, 2020, 1:17 pm
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Chatham-class Battlecruiser

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The fifth battlecruiser class built by the Republic of the United Provinces, the Chatham class (named after the raid on the Medway, 1667), consisted of two ships, Chatham, launched in 1915 by Marine Etablissement, and Vågen, launched in 1916 by Republikeinse Maatschappij De Schelde. These were the second class of battlecruisers explicitly intended for independent operations, and not in conjunction with the battlefleet based in the East Indies. You can see the SS report here:

On her maiden voyage, she broke out of the english blockade with the scout cruiser Enno Doedes Star towards the caribbean. She subsequently spent two months raiding the north american coast up to Newfoundland, until Star hit a mine at night and had to be scuttled. Chatham returned to the continent for refit and repair in 1917, where she was bombed in drydock by the RAF, causing little damage but great distress in the Navy staff.

Chatham's succesful raiding carreer was cut short by the dutch defeat during the Great War and the subsequent Batavian Revolution, where she stood with the Loyalists and faced off her Mutualist sister in a tense standoff. Subsequently, she became the flagship of the Home Squadron and was mothballed in 1929.

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Hatsuyuki-class Escort Ships . . . <3

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Post subject: Re: First World War Battlecruiser ChallengePosted: September 19th, 2020, 6:54 pm
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Shortly after the Alfen-Trager reformation in 1890, the newly formed nation has been trying to evolve their small navy into something that would be able to compete in the international scene. The plan was to construct a batch of warships in 1900, and then another one in 1910 for the staatsmarine.

Lanzer von Schadeleitz was the ship of the line for the 1910 batch. She was named after the legendary Lancer of Shaladeiha, a prominent figure during the Tragerreich incursions to Shaladeiha in the 15th century. It was the second ship class to bear the battlecruiser designation, after the Norwitch class of the Welts navy. She was laid down in 1914, just weeks before the continental war. By the eve of 1916 she was already seaworthy. She was assigned to protect the then-neutral Alfentrage seafront.

In July 1916, the Welts navy commenced a blockade to halt Roanokian trade routes. This, in turn also blocked the Alfentrager trade route, but the Welts had agreed to lend supplies to keep Alfentrage neutral. This agreement however, did not satisfy with Alfentrage's needs. Combined with skirmishes from the Welts ally, the Estvarian navy, Alfentrage righteously declared war against the welts and its allies.

The war started with the Staatsmarine spearheading into the Welts blockade. Lanzer von Schadeleitz was the lead ship of this attack, She commanded the battle fleet consisting of 6 battlecruisers and 8 battleships agaist the Welts blockade in the battle of Walland strait. The Staatsmarine was relatively untouched, losing only 1 battlecruiser against the Welts' 4. Lanzer von Schadeleitz has claimed 2 of those ships.

In January 1917, the combined force of the Staatsmarine and the Roanoke Navy is in full steam to push the sea conflict into Welts territory. The Lanzer von Schadeleitz was the main leader of many battles against the Welts Navy. And she performed succesfully against the enemy ships.

By the closing months of the war, She had sunk 6 battleships, 2 torpedo boats, and 1 battlecruiser. Soon after in the battle of Fargoshe, her conning tower was struck with an armour piercing shell from SS Incursor, and 15 of her 44 boilers were disabled too, greatly crippling her fighting capability.

She was retreated to the Alfentrage coast to be rebuilt and repaired. But before she was fully repaired, the war ended and she was kept in storage for a year. She served as an ammunition depot from 1919-1921, and training ship from 1921-1930.

In 1931, she was converted into an aircraft carrier to serve in the Shaladeiha colonies, ironically serving in the place she was named after.


Class and type : Schadeleitz class battlecruiser

Displacement : 18,560 at normal load
22,000 at deep load
Length : 187.1 m
Beam : 25 m
Draught : 5.334 m normal, 6.5532 m deep
Installed power : 69,736 shp (52,002 KW)
48 Henri & sons boilers
Propulsion : 4 shafts, 2 steam turbine sets
Speed : 26.9 knots
Range : 7,000 nmi, 10,000 nmi at 10 knots
Complement : 1000 (1380 active duty)
Armament : 4 × twin 305mm SA 1910 B. X guns
12 x casemate mounted 152mm Darby mk II guns
6 x flexible mounted 75mm fast reloading guns
Belt : 4–6 in (102–152 mm)
Decks : 1.5–2.5 in (38–64 mm)
Turrets : 7 in (178 mm)
Conning tower : 6–10 in (152–254 mm)

Last edited by jjx indoweeb on September 20th, 2020, 6:25 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Post subject: Re: First World War Battlecruiser ChallengePosted: September 19th, 2020, 9:08 pm
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Joined: June 3rd, 2011, 10:42 am
Alexander Nevsky Class Battlecruiser

The Navy will be both the hammer and the anvil - Admiral of the Fleet V.A. Nikolayev (1910)

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The Alexander Nevsky class was the largest Russian battlecruiser class that was operational during the First Great War. They were a response to both German and British designs and fully encapsulated the Russian naval doctrine at the time. They were the hammer, while the immense Apostle class Super-Dantes were to be the massive anvil, so to speak. Designed and built with some technical expertise from both the French State and the Republic of the United Provinces, these were one of the first operational ships with a quadruple main battery arrangement. The main battery was made up of three of these quadruple turrets, each housing four 14 inch guns. Their speed was impressive for a battlecruiser of their size when they first came online in mid-1916, capable of reaching a full thirty knots, while its contemporaries could barely make twenty eight; perfect for the flanking manoeuvres that they were designed for. An added benefit was that this was also perfect for breaking out of the Oresund and into the Atlantic if needed.

While Russia stayed neutral during the first few years of the First Great war, these ships proved to be a massive boon when the Greater Russian Union finally entered the war against the German Empire. Although still far too late to turn the war in the Franco-Dutch alliance's favour, it completely humbled the Germans. The turn of speed and the sheer firepower these vessels had proved decisive in breaking the German's sense of invincibility. The Alexander Nevsky's most famous moment was when she sank the SMS Knesebeck and her escorts singlehandedly during Battle of Kiel.

Class and type : Alexander Nevsky Class Battlecruiser

Displacement : 38,000 tons (38.609 tonnes)
Length : 745.5 (227.22 meters)
Beam : 88.5 feet (26.97 meters)
Draught : 30.5 feet (9.29 meters)
Installed power : 120,000 Hp (89,483 KW)

Propulsion : 28 Yarrows oil burning boilers, 4 turbines 4 shafts
Speed : 30 knots (55.56 kph)
Range : 6,000 nmi at 12 knots (11,112 km at 22.22 kph)
Complement : 1,400 officers and men.
Armament : 12 x 14 inch (356 mm) 52 calibre guns in three quadruple turrets.
16 x 5.1 inch (130 mm) 55 calibre guns in single casemate mounts.
6 x 3 inch (75 mm) 50 calibre guns in single pedestal mouns on the main turrets.

Belt : 4-10 inch (105 - 254 mm)
Decks : 2.5 inch (64 mm)
Turrets : 4-12 inch (105 - 305 mm)
Conning tower : 6-10 inch (152 - 254 mm)

Ships in class:
Alexander Nevsky: Laid down: 10/12/1913, Launched: 19/2/1915, Commissioned: 6/7/1916
Ilya Muromets: Laid down: 14/1/1914, Launched: 4/3/1915, Commissioned: 13/9/16
Mikula Selyaninovich: Laid down: 19/1/1914 Launched: 15/5/1915, Commissioned: 1/1/17

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Post subject: Re: First World War Battlecruiser ChallengePosted: September 19th, 2020, 10:58 pm
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Joined: November 15th, 2012, 8:36 am
Location: California, USA
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Eichhorn Class Battlecruiser

SMS Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff
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Named after the famous German general after his victories in Liège and Tannenberg, SMS Ludendorff was the 5th and final ship of the Eichhorn class battlecruisers for the Großerdeutschland Navy. Commissioned in March of 1917, he was too late to see the 1st Battle of Skaggerak that his first three "sister" ships were present for. Originally built as a response to the British Lion Class battlecruisers, Ludendorff was the most modern of his type, taking in the lessons learned from the barroom brawl that was the 1st Skaggerak. However, he was present for the Naval Order of April 14th, 1919, culminating in a last-ditch effort to provoke a final battle with the Royal Navy and her allies. During the course of this battle, Ludendorff was able to critically damage three battlecruisers (Princess Royal, Lion, & Tiger), and assisting in the destruction of a fourth, HMS Victoria, which blew up with a shell penetrating her after magazines. However in return, he received 17 heavy hits, 12 of them greater than 14 inches in caliber, which resulted in the shattering of his upper works, the destruction of her aft turrets (which were only kept from going up with the sacrifice of a midshipman calling for the magazines to be flooded as he shut the doors), and several hits just above or at the waterline at the bow. Gravely wounded, he swung out of the battle line, making for home as night fell, while being constantly harassed by Royal Navy light forces who attempted to torpedo him as he made his retreat. Limping away, Ludendorff was down by the bow, and barely making 8 knots, due to the 5,000 tons of water that had flooded the ship. Yet, only managed to make it to port due to the arrival of several pump steamers which came to his aid, helping to stabilize the flooding. Ludendorff spent the final months of the war in drydock, being completely repaired just as the Armistice was signed. He would spend the interwar period making various voyages in the Atlantic and Pacific, before being modernized in the 1920's, and more heavily so in the 1930's. He would go on participate in the 2nd Great War, raiding convoys in the Atlantic, where Ludendorff was finally sunk facing off against British convoy protection forces off the coast of Norway in 1941.

Class Statistics:

25,500 t light; 26,700 t standard; 28,500 t normal; 29,850 t full load

689 ft WL / 691.5 ft OA

8 - 12.60" / 32cm SK L/50; 1912 Model (4xII)
16 - 5.91" / 15cm SK L/45; 1906 Model (16xI)
12 - 4.10" / 10.5cm SK L/45; 1906 Model (14xI)

- Belt
Main - 11.80" / 30cm
Upper - 6.70" / 17cm
Ends - 4.10" / 10.5cm
- Guns:
Primary - 11.80" / 30cm (face); 8.20" / 21cm (sides); 11.80" / 30cm (barbette)
Secondary - 5.50" / 14cm (casemate)
- Deck:
Forecastle - 2.40" / 6cm
Main Deck - 3.10" / 8cm
Quarterdeck - 2.40" / 6cm
- Conning Tower:
Forward - 13.80" / 35cm
Aft - 8.20" / 21cm

Coal & Oil fired, steam turbines,
Geared drive; 4 shafts, 96,232 shp / 71,789 Kw = 28.00 kts (28.8 kts on trials)
Range 4500nm @ 14 kts

*Edit (01/19/21): Updated image

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Last edited by Imperialist on January 19th, 2021, 6:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Kiwi Imperialist
Post subject: Re: First World War Battlecruiser ChallengePosted: September 20th, 2020, 5:29 am
Posts: 103
Joined: December 10th, 2014, 9:38 am
The war between France and Imerina in the late 1880s shattered the Royal Merina Navy. A hammer and anvil strategy, built around a fleet of torpedo boats and breastwork monitors, was found to be unsustainable. Most of the fleet was sunk or damaged by the end of the war. In its aftermath, the Royal Merina Navy turned its attention to a cruiser fleet. The original plan called for two first class cruisers and four third class cruisers to be commissioned over a period of 18 years. While modest by European standards, this represented a significant investment for Imerina. A pair of Alasora class cruisers, based on the Royal Navy’s Pearl class, entered service in 1896. Advances in naval technology altered the existing plan. The two remaining third class cruisers were ordered as scout cruisers. They were commissioned in 1905 as the Ikaloy class. By 1910 the battlecruiser had succeeded the first class cruiser and the plan changed again. The Royal Merina Navy contracted Vickers, Sons & Maxim to design and build a single battlecruiser to be commissioned in 1914. It could not afford a second.

The Merina battlecruiser was laid down in 1911 as a 21,000-ton ship armed with eight 12 inch (305 mm) guns. These were of the standard 45-calbire Mark X design as the 50-calibre Mark XI had an unsatisfactorily short service life. While available, the more capable 13.5 inch (343 mm) gun was not considered. The battlecruiser’s intended role was to destroy enemy cruisers in and around Imerina. Such an increase in firepower was considered unnecessary. This role also shaped the secondary battery, which consisted of ten 6 inch (152 mm) Mark XVI guns in casemate mounts. The smaller 4 inch (102 mm) secondary battery of British capital ships at the time was inadequate, at least in the eyes of the Royal Merina Navy. Each main gun turret had a 9-foot (2.7 m) rangefinder, which supplemented a 15 foot (4.6 m) one atop the conning tower. Protection consisted of an 8 inch (203 mm) armour belt, which diminished to 4 inches near each end of the ship, and 9 inches of armour over the most critical components: the conning tower, barbettes, and main guns. 1.5 inches (35 mm) of deck armour was provided. The powerplant could, in theory, propel the ship to a speed of 28 knots (32 mph, 58 km/h). In practice, only 26.5 knots (30 mph, 49 km/h) was achieved during trials.

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The Merina battlecruiser was practically complete when the First World War broke out. In August 1914, she was loaned to the Royal Navy for the duration of the conflict. In return for a complete overhaul after the war, the Merina government charged a nominal fee of £1. The ship was commissioned as HMS Alba and assigned to the First Battlecruiser Squadron in October. She became the flagship of the 2nd Battlecruiser Squadron when that unit was established in January 1915, and spent most of the war alongside the Royal Navy's other 12 inch armed battlecruisers. A pair of 3 inch (76 mm) high-angle guns were installed later that year. Alba was present at the Battle of Jutland and sustained heavy damage at the hands of SMS Moltke and SMS Von der Tann. X turret and much of the port secondary battery was knocked out. Repairs were completed in mid-1917 and Alba returned to the 2nd Battlecruiser Squadron. A flying-off ramp for a Sopwith 1½ Strutter was added to X turret in 1918. A second ramp atop B turret for a Sopwith Pup was considered, but rejected. An aircraft carried there would have blocked the 15 foot rangefinder. The ship was transferred to the Royal Merina Navy in 1920 after the agreed overhaul, which turned out to be less comprehensive than the Merina government had expected.

Commissioned as Radama I, the battlecruiser spent most of the interwar period in reserve. A substantial modernisation effort was planned for 1941. This included new oil-fired boilers, a complete revision of the secondary battery, and modern fire control systems. The outbreak of the Second World War placed these improvements on hold. Instead, the crew was brought up to full strength and gunnery exercises took place. Imerina joined the war in December 1941 and Radama I successfully engaged Vichy French warships off Nosy Be. The ship’s guns also supported ground troops during the campaign to take Vichy French territories in the region. After the French threat had been eliminated, Radama I sailed for Ceylon where she became a second-line capital ship under Royal Navy command. Radama I was decomissioned shortly after the war. Her engines were in a poor state and their replacement was not worth the cost. She was retained as a museum ship until the 60s, when the new socialist government sold her for scrap.

Last edited by Kiwi Imperialist on September 20th, 2020, 11:53 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Post subject: Re: First World War Battlecruiser ChallengePosted: September 20th, 2020, 5:47 am
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Originally conventionalized in 1912 as a proposed construction to, "Fulfill the role of cruiser in commerce raiding yet also be allowed to sufficiently protect itself in the event of hostile pursuit," CC-1 as it was dubbed before an official name was given ran through a period various designs ranging from as low as 20,000 long tons normal with 6x3 12" guns to a beastly 40,000 long tons normal "sketch" that included six separate twin-turrets sporting 14" guns - the latter of which would be moderately incorporated into the one-off vessel USS Oregon, a more sane battleship design. BuShips had finalized plans for what would become USS Liberty and her sistership Justice, coming out at a length of 825' on the waterline - and an overall length of 839' - with a beam of 99.5' and a draft of 30' normal. Main battery consisted of eight 14"/L51 guns in four twin-turrets with two superfiring, a secondary battery of fourteen six-inch guns in single-casemate mounts mounted majority aft, with a handful of 3" dual-purpose mounts added in before completion. Four 21" side-firing tubes rounded out the armament.

Tonnage would come out at 35,884 tons normal load with a maximum weight of 38,592 tons, with a speed of twenty-nine-and-a-half knots maximum. Range was planned as eleven-thousand nautical miles at an average cruising speed of eleven knots. Propulsion consisted of six oil-fired boilers powering steam turbines with geared drives pushing 122,713 maximum horsepower through four shafts - unfortunately said propulsion would plague the class for years mostly due to poor design quality.

Her main belt was 9" thick to protect the ship's vitals and magazines, while fifty-foot extensions at 6" thick prevented damage to areas just forward and aft of these spaces. Both conning towers consisted of twelve-inch-thick armor plating, completing her protection scheme. Liberty's torpedo protection was two-inches thick in an armored bulkhead that would cover the machinery spaces, as though the general consensus amongst U.S. Navy strategists was that improved gunnery would lessen the reliance on and threat of hostile torpedo attacks, the fear of a rush by a swarm of torpedo boats led to the consistent theme within the various design studies.

Laid down in early 1914, Liberty would be launched by the beginning of 1917 and commissioned the same year. Her sistership Justice would be laid down and launched in 1915 and late 1917, respectively. Having been assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, CC-1 would initially conduct patrols along the eastern United States before being ordered to Great Britain as reinforcement, eventually being attached to the Royal Navy's main scouting group. Seeing occasional sorties throughout 1918, her first taste of combat was the shelling of Imperial German troops dug in along the Belgian coast in preparation of a renewed offensive that would never take place. With the ending of hostilities the early the following year, Liberty would return home to join Justice in several victory laps along the New England coast before entering the pair's new homeport of Jacksonville, Florida.

Preceding the outcome of the Washington Naval Treaty in 1923, the ships were elected to be retained in exchange for the first American dreadnoughts being scrapped. The first of numerous refits occurred in 1925, adding four more 3" dual-purpose guns and plating over a pair of the secondary casemate mounts. The low-quarterdeck would see the inclusion of a rudimentary catapult for a pair of floatplanes meant to be used for gunnery spotting and corrections. New radio equipment and navigational aids were added, an all-new set of directors added and the inclusion of various other emerging technologies.

USS Liberty - laid down 1914 -> launched 1917 -> commissioned 1917 -> ???
USS Justice - laid down 1915 -> launched 1917 -> commissioned 1918 -> ???
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shib goes bork

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Post subject: Re: First World War Battlecruiser ChallengePosted: September 20th, 2020, 12:04 pm
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Joined: December 10th, 2014, 9:38 am
The submission period for the First World War battlecruiser challenge has ended. 19 entries were received before the deadline. The Shipbucket community now has an opportunity to rate each submission and determine the winner of the challenge. The poll can be found at this link. Responses will be will be accepted until 23:59 UTC-12, 23rd of September. The subject of the next challenge will be revealed when the poll results are released.

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