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Post subject: WWI & WWII Royal Navy What IfPosted: January 25th, 2012, 5:00 am
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I have found online material that indicates
the Royal Navy could have ended WWI with
fifteen Queen Elizabeth class BB's.
In 1913, the Canadian Govt. was asked to
fund 3 additional QE's, but the Canadian
parliament voted it down.
The R class BB's were supposed to be
repeat QE's, but the Admiralty committee
overseeing ship construction got nervous
about maintaining oil supplies in wartime,
so the design was changed to coal-fired
boilers. The R class was shorter, less
hydrodynamic, and underpowered, which
reduced their speed. To keep their speed
from being too low, they were given less
armour than the QE's.
Renown & Repulse were supposed to be
R class BB's, but Adm. Fisher had returned to
the Admiralty, and wanted more BC's, so they
were built as such.
So, if these decisions had gone the other
way, there would have been 8 QE's and 7
R class BB's, which would have been identical
to the QE's. By the time of WWII, the RN could
have had 2 Warspites, 2 Queen Elizabeths, and
2 Valiants, in terms of updated BB's, plus the
other 9 ships would have been equal to Barham
or Malaya.


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Chuck ship art
Post subject: Re: WWI & WWII Royal Navy What IfPosted: January 25th, 2012, 6:47 am
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Thats why 20-20 hine sight is so great.


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jabba
Post subject: Re: WWI & WWII Royal Navy What IfPosted: January 25th, 2012, 11:45 am
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This makes sense to me, but would surely only effect WWI due to the terms of the Washington Treaty?

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Bombhead
Post subject: Re: WWI & WWII Royal Navy What IfPosted: January 25th, 2012, 5:29 pm
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This sounds interesting.


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SrGopher
Post subject: Re: WWI & WWII Royal Navy What IfPosted: January 26th, 2012, 2:18 am
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I feel as though the RN would fight to divide the Dominions up into separate navies in the Washington Treaty. It may not happen, but I think that would be an argument. Canada keeps the three they built, Australia and New Zealand each get one or two, etc...

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Portsmouth Bill
Post subject: Re: WWI & WWII Royal Navy What IfPosted: January 26th, 2012, 8:11 am
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That didn't work; from the point of view of the naval conferences the 'Empire' navy was taken as a whole, so Canada, Australia, New Zealand had their navies under the RN.


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signal
Post subject: Re: WWI & WWII Royal Navy What IfPosted: January 28th, 2012, 4:15 am
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Also, from what I have read about the Australians
scuttling the HMAS Australia was that their navy
was considered to be separate from the Royal Navy.
They were not required to scrap their battlecruiser,
it was done as a budget - savings measure by a new
liberal government. The Admiral commanding the RAN
refused to scrap the ship and had her scuttled off the
east coast of Australia.
So, Australia and Canada could have each kept
two BB or BC, like Spain, or one of the South American
navies. They might not have done so. Australia's reason
for eliminating HMAS Australia was that it was costing
their government 30% of the fuel and maintenance, and
40% of the payroll for the whole navy, for just one ship
that was becoming obsolete. Even a more modern vessel
would be very expensive on a peace - time budget.
If Britain had 15 QE's, would they not have insisted
on the Naval Treaty terms allowing them all to be kept?
Britain scrapped all of its pre - Iron Duke BB's and all of
the BC's that were built before HMS Tiger without any
complaints. No navy would have willingly given up modern
battleships already completed. Food for thought. The WWII
Royal Navy battle line would have been better armoured,
faster, and more fuel efficient.
This "Alernate Universe" could also include the 3 cancelled
sister ships to HMS Hood. If those ships had been built, then
one or more of them would have been modernized, with more
armour protection. HMS Hood was scheduled for this at least
twice in the 1930's, but each time it was postponed because
the Hood was Britain's premier "show the flag" warship, and
had a very heavy schedule of visits to foreign ports.
Note that this would not have involved building ships of
unusual or experimental design, just building planned ships
to serve alongside one that already existed.


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APDAF
Post subject: Re: WWI & WWII Royal Navy What IfPosted: January 28th, 2012, 9:39 am
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You could have no Washington Treaty or Britain not signing it.


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Portsmouth Bill
Post subject: Re: WWI & WWII Royal Navy What IfPosted: January 28th, 2012, 5:23 pm
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By the time the Australia was scuttled she was a liability; grossly expensive to operate for a smallish navy, and an obsolete design, with no real potential for modernisation, even if Australia had the capability to attempt such a folly (and of course there wasn't the technical ability in the early 1920's). As much as I like the Hood,Tiger Renown/Repulse, they were the end product of a failed evolution, and the earlier designs were simply frightful, huge unamoured hulls waiting to be blow to smitherines and costing a lot of lost lives. True, the fast Battleship was the answer, if we think even these were worth pursuing, and maybe with the marvelous hindsight we now have eight QE's would have been a good bet.Then I'd go for four modern fast battleships, much like an earlier Vanguard, giving twelve decent battleships. All the other hulls would be converted into carriers, the 15-in transferred to the new hulls, and in terms of ultimate saving a better bet than modernising the 'Repair' and 'Refit'. And to repeat, the RAN was always included with the RN (and RCN RNZN) when toting up the total tonnage for the naval confererences, to claim anything different is nonsense.


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jabba
Post subject: Re: WWI & WWII Royal Navy What IfPosted: January 28th, 2012, 5:43 pm
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Wise words Bill...

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