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Post subject: Re: WWI & WWII Royal Navy What IfPosted: September 3rd, 2019, 9:02 am
Posts: 6365
Joined: July 31st, 2010, 10:07 am
Have you read this thread over at All the World's Battlecruisers forum? Member Irishopinion has done a lot of research and analysis of the QE's genesis and of Fisher and his ideas in general. Its a long thread but its pretty juicy on the technical side.
https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/allthew ... 57f4c72672

A faster QE might indeed have been a very powerful ship, perhaps even game changing.

My musings on your questions:

Would Repulse, Renown and Hood been built at all?
Possibly for Repulse and Renown. It depends on Fisher and if he still wants more speed, maybe 5 or 6 QEs might have quenched his thirst. Of course, the one thing Fisher managed by changing both into battlecruisers was that he circumvented the 1914 construction freeze. If he hadn't then there is a good chance R&R would have joined Agincourt as the what-ifs of history. The Admirals seem to come from fast QE origins. Given a fast QE its easy to see the Admirals either being an improved repeat class or Fisher might have tried to push things further to 30kts still, and if the armour was similar to QE it might have avoided the post-Jutland redesign and they would have been further along in construction before the end of the war.

Would the ‘R’ class BBs have become what we know them to be? or would the QE’s have justified perpetuation into a second batch of 26 knot ships?
They would have remained as they were I think, their origins were different from the QEs which were seen as semi-experimental.

Is ‘Agincourt’ built or is she still cancelled? If built, what form does she eventually take?
Good question. Agincourt's final design is still open to speculation. The design changes might still have been made, but as to whether she is built or not depends on the outcome of the 1914 construction freeze. Its possible Fisher might have pushed for her completion had she been a 26kt ship rather than Repluse and Renown. Another complication was the latter were contracted to private yards and Agincourt was contracted to a Royal Dockyard, it was easier and cheaper to cancel her. Of course Fisher might have put enough pressure on to swap contracts and get Agincourt assigned to John Brown or Fairfield.
Some good background on Agincourt here: https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/allthew ... 57f4c72672

What role do the 12”-armed First Generation Dreadnoughts and Battlecruisers play in this scenario? are they cascaded to supercede the Pre-dreadnoughts in the Med because they are outclassed in the North Sea?
I don't think the existence of 5 or 6 (if Agincourt completes circa 1917) fast QEs would have that much impact on the rest of the fleet, they still make up a numerically small part of the Grand Fleet.

Would these developments have meant that Fishers Follies [Glorious, Courageous, Furious] have turned out differently? If so, Why?
Probably not as they were intended for the Baltic operation that never happened and shallow draught was important.

How would a undisputed British victory at Jutland and the superiority of the QEs/Rs have changed the postwar naval scene?
This is a tough question to answer, as you point out it depends on the composition of the rest of Beatty's force as to what a victory might have looked like. Hipper might have suffered more damage but he would still probably have escaped the rest of Jellicoe's force.

Do the American and Japanese construction programmes [begun during the war] change their nature in light of a British fleet with up to 4 squadrons of ships [1-2 x BBs and 2 x BCs capable of 26 knots]
Does the WNT take a different form to that we know from history?

If they had proved successful its likely that the Americans would have considered upping its battlefleet speed from 21kts, although South Dakota was meant to be a 23kt ship there might have been pressure to increase her speed. But being a heavy, large, design already they might have had to sacrifice some firepower, perhaps retaining 8 or maybe 10 16in guns. Its easy to imagine a 26kt New Mexico for example. The Japanese were already there, Nagato was a 26kt ship. So even by 1919 a 26kt QE would have been on curve if not just a little below it given the increase in gun calibre in America and Japan.

Does HMS Tiger survive WNT or does the Battlecruiser [in the absence of Repulse, Renown and Hood] die out by 1923?
Depends on hull numbers existing in 1923.

Does the G3/N3 +WNT saga produce the NelRods? or does a WNT-compliant British battle fleet take a different form? Say, for example: up-to-10 x 26 knot [Queen Elizabeths and 'Rs'] & 7-8 x 21 Knot [Iron Dukes and Orions] Battleships being regarded as sufficient to see Britain through to the 1930 London conference with relative parity maintained?
I think this is one of the most interesting aspects of the diversion of this history. Whatever form QE takes, by 1920 a 26kt 8x 15in battleship is old hat, in some respects G3 is almost an ideal replacement and with a little extra armour perhaps would have been perfect. But if the Admiralty is keen on stepping up to 18in guns its hard to see N3 scaling up in speed without serious growth in hull size, displacement and cost. Adding even 3 knots would have pushed N3 someway over 50,000 tons. But had there been 5-6 26kt QEs and maybe 2-3 30kt Hoods, then the RN would have been in a very good position, but there still would have been the problems and expense of the interwar reconstructions.

What form do the eventual replacements for the Iron Dukes and King George Vs take [keeping in mind the British desire to have firepower parity with USA and Japan’s 16”-armed ships]? 26-28 knot Design 16A anyone?
A 3x3 15in KGV maybe, but its hard to imagine the influence of the 26kt QEs really having any impact on 1930s thinking.

How are the QE’s upgraded/rebuilt throughout their life and how long do they serve?
As long as historical. Given costs and refit schedules its unlikely more than 4 would have had comprehensive reconstructions by 1939 even if they were important ships.

Hood's Worklist
English Electric Canberra FD
Interwar RN Capital Ships
Never-Were British Aircraft

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