No Washington Treaty...

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
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IronDuke
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No Washington Treaty...

Post by IronDuke » Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:08 am

Now here is an interesting one. No Washington Treaty, instead USA remains neutral in WWI and the War drags on into 1919 and only then ends in Allied Victory following the mass use of the Medium D Tank (which was the British plan for 1919). France and Germany are both exhausted.

Britain finishes all four 'Hoods', retains the Japanese Alliance (as she was in fact urged to by the Leaders of Australia and New Zealand) and builds the eight G3 and N3 ships.

The USN builds both the six Saratoga Class Battle Cruisers and the Washington of the Colorado Class and all Six South Dakota's.

Where does the balance of Naval power lay...?
Ted
"It only takes two or three years to build a ship but three hundred to build a tradition" Admiral Cunningham RN

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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:52 am

Ted,

Interesting thread, indeed. Last year I was very attracted to the RN plans prior to 1921 and the Treaties. I did, in fact, posted a bit about the RN superdreadnoughts that could have come out of a Treaty Free enviroment. This enviroment that affected so much the naval power, at least in dreadnought design, of the RN and the USN.

However I can tell you that with the designs the RN (and also the IJN) had by 1921 I do not doubt that the seas would be keen to be dominated by the Pax Britanica...

viewtopic.php?f=30&t=2548

Best regards,

Karl
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by IronDuke » Thu Apr 08, 2010 3:39 am

RN N3 Battleship design was for four ships each 48,500 tons 820 feet long 106 foot beam 9 x 18 inch 16 x 6 inch 6 x 4.7 inch dp. Speed 23.5 knots. Armour 15 inch belt, 8 inch deck 15 inch turrets. Would have launched 1925

G3 Battle Cruisers (in fact Fast Battleships in armour) four ships each 48,000 tons 856 feet long 106 feet beam 9 x 16 inch 16 x 6 inch 6 x 4.7 inch dp. Speed 32 knots. Armour 14 inch belt, 8 inch deck 14 inch turrets. Would have launched 1924
Ted
"It only takes two or three years to build a ship but three hundred to build a tradition" Admiral Cunningham RN

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neil hilton
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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by neil hilton » Mon May 17, 2010 11:01 am

One point that hasn't been mentioned is about CVs.
Without the Washington Treaty the major navies would never have converted their BCs to CVs nor would they have started designing purpose built CVs probably until much later, maybe when the next war may have shown CVs as being useful. Thus BBs would remain the pre-eminent naval vessel and those designs would have little or no AAA (as aircraft would be viewed as only useful for spotting).
CVs, if built at all, would be small vessels (CVLs not full sized CVs) and deemed as second line vessels only useful for providing large scale scouting and ground support for invasions. Torpedo planes would never have been designed IMO. Thus airgroups on CVLs would be entirely dive bombers (for ground support) and recon aircraft, maybe a few fighters to counter enemy recon aircraft.
The end result would be a sort of role reversal between BBs and CVs regarding their eventual primary role.
Also carrier tactics would be ignored as pointless as few or no CVs would be in service and not as frontline vessels.
Of course this is just a hypothesis.
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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by Bgile » Mon May 17, 2010 1:31 pm

No, the US, Japanese and British navies all knew that carriers had become very important. They didn't just convert ships to CVs; they built new ones. Enterprise, Wasp, Hornet and Yorktown would have been built, for example. They'd definitely been worse off than in the actual case, however.

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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by lwd » Mon May 17, 2010 7:34 pm

neil hilton wrote:One point that hasn't been mentioned is about CVs.
Without the Washington Treaty the major navies would never have converted their BCs to CVs nor would they have started designing purpose built CVs probably until much later, maybe when the next war may have shown CVs as being useful. Thus BBs would remain the pre-eminent naval vessel and those designs would have little or no AAA (as aircraft would be viewed as only useful for spotting).
I'm not at all sure about this. The US BBs designed late in the 30's had some pretty impressive AAA suites. This reference:
http://books.google.com/books?id=bJBMBv ... ns&f=false
indicates US interest in carriers dates to 1918. It also indicates that experiments with carrier strike forces were date back to the early 30's and that large carrier designs were considered prior to the Lexington conversions and that Ranger and Wasp were severely impacted by the treaty.
This source makes a similar case:
http://books.google.com/books?id=QNtKa7 ... ns&f=false
CVs, if built at all, would be small vessels (CVLs not full sized CVs) and deemed as second line vessels only useful for providing large scale scouting and ground support for invasions. Torpedo planes would never have been designed IMO. Thus airgroups on CVLs would be entirely dive bombers (for ground support) and recon aircraft, maybe a few fighters to counter enemy recon aircraft.
Care to state why? Certainly the above sources call this to question.
The end result would be a sort of role reversal between BBs and CVs regarding their eventual primary role.
Also carrier tactics would be ignored as pointless as few or no CVs would be in service and not as frontline vessels.
Of course this is just a hypothesis.
And one that seems to be in conflict with the information I gathered in just a quick search.

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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by RF » Tue May 18, 2010 8:48 am

IronDuke wrote:
Where does the balance of Naval power lay...?
Ted
Ultimately, if you are projecting this forward without international agreement on naval size limitation, and all other things being equal, by the time of the late 1930's and 1940's the US must achieve superiority in numbers because of the size of economy, population and resources. Britain and Japan would not be able to properly keep up......
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by neil hilton » Tue May 18, 2010 11:17 am

The Washington Treaty was in 1921-22. So designs in the 30s shouldn't count because this is about an alternative history.

This is the point I'm trying to make. The treaty shifted the focus of naval development from BBs to CVs because of the restrictions on tonnage and gun size. Heres my logic;
I haven't read the whole treaty but from the bits I have read, the section on carriers gives me the impression they were more concerned with them being quickly converted into BBs or BCs during wartime (hence the restriction on gun calibre carriers could be fitted with, which I see as 'these ships cannot be fitted with BB sized guns') rather than as heavy airstrike platforms. If this was the case then the navies didn't really think much of carriers as front line platforms, does this sound logical? I could be misunderstanding this of course.

My supposition is based on this. If the navies of the world only thought of carriers as only suitable for recon and ground support of amphibious ops, then development of the technology and the tactics would be a low priority and thus they would be no where near as capable as they really turned out to be.

In the real world the eventual role for BBs was to provide ground support for amphibious invasions and the eventual role for CVs was as the central vessel in naval power projection. Without the treaty this state could be reversed ie the BB retaining centre stage and the CV only being used for ground support.
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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by lwd » Tue May 18, 2010 4:55 pm

neil hilton wrote:The Washington Treaty was in 1921-22. So designs in the 30s shouldn't count because this is about an alternative history.
I disagree. The designs in the 30's were influenced by lessons learned from the first carriers as well as the treaties. When reading about those designs it's clear that the impact of the treaties was to keep the design sizes of carriers in that time period less than the lessons learned indicate the ideal sizes would be.
This is the point I'm trying to make. The treaty shifted the focus of naval development from BBs to CVs because of the restrictions on tonnage and gun size.
But there were also restrictions on the carriers. Up to this point I simply don't see anything to support this.
Heres my logic;
I haven't read the whole treaty but from the bits I have read, the section on carriers gives me the impression they were more concerned with them being quickly converted into BBs or BCs during wartime (hence the restriction on gun calibre carriers could be fitted with, which I see as 'these ships cannot be fitted with BB sized guns') rather than as heavy airstrike platforms. If this was the case then the navies didn't really think much of carriers as front line platforms, does this sound logical? I could be misunderstanding this of course.
I think you are wrong here. My guess is that they didn't want someone building a battleship putting a small flight deck on it and calling it a carrier. Conversion would not be quick or easy in any case.
My supposition is based on this. If the navies of the world only thought of carriers as only suitable for recon and ground support of amphibious ops, then development of the technology and the tactics would be a low priority and thus they would be no where near as capable as they really turned out to be.
I believe there is more evidence to support a naval atack role than a ground support one. Indeed I think the USN was the only naval airforce that got heavy into graond support. Especially once it became clear a plane could carry a torpedo.
http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WTJAP_WWII.htm
Shows the first Japanese arial torpedo as dating to 1931
http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WTUS_WWII.htm
Indicates the US started work on one in 1925
http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WTBR_PreWWII.htm
Indicates a pre WWI British torpedo, the Mark VII, as used on flying boats in the 20's and picutres a Sopwith Cuckoo dropping one in what is noted as a well known photo (no date however). It also lists the MK VIII as used in aircraft from 1920 on. Following that lead we get to: http://www.aviastar.org/air/england/sopwith_cuckoo.php
Where they mention that the first carrier based torpedo squadron is formed in 1918. and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sopwith_Cuckoo
mentions a plan to use them vs the High Seas Fleet. This clearly indicates a strike roll for carrier based aircraft prior to the treaties.
In the real world the eventual role for BBs was to provide ground support for amphibious invasions and the eventual role for CVs was as the central vessel in naval power projection. Without the treaty this state could be reversed ie the BB retaining centre stage and the CV only being used for ground support.
Possible I guess but if so not necessarily for the reasons you suggest.

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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by Foggy » Wed May 19, 2010 12:53 pm

"However I can tell you that with the designs the RN (and also the IJN) had by 1921 I do not doubt that the seas would be keen to be dominated by the Pax Britanica..."

If the war had dragged on without the US, would not Britain have been totally exhausted economically? As it was, Britain was one of the biggest supporters of the treaties because, as I understand it, they knew they couldn't afford their own building programs.

With the US out of the war, I cannot believe Britian could have built up to her projections. Certainly the Admirals would have been significantly delayed at best. And if the US had remained out of the war, that implies the isolationists would have dominated, leading me to suspect the US would not have fully followed thru with her building programs either.

Sounds to me like net gain to the Japanese....
-- Wayne

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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by neil hilton » Thu May 20, 2010 10:07 am

lwd wrote:
neil hilton wrote:The Washington Treaty was in 1921-22. So designs in the 30s shouldn't count because this is about an alternative history.
I disagree. The designs in the 30's were influenced by lessons learned from the first carriers as well as the treaties. When reading about those designs it's clear that the impact of the treaties was to keep the design sizes of carriers in that time period less than the lessons learned indicate the ideal sizes would be.
This is the point I'm trying to make. The treaty shifted the focus of naval development from BBs to CVs because of the restrictions on tonnage and gun size.
But there were also restrictions on the carriers. Up to this point I simply don't see anything to support this.
Heres my logic;
I haven't read the whole treaty but from the bits I have read, the section on carriers gives me the impression they were more concerned with them being quickly converted into BBs or BCs during wartime (hence the restriction on gun calibre carriers could be fitted with, which I see as 'these ships cannot be fitted with BB sized guns') rather than as heavy airstrike platforms. If this was the case then the navies didn't really think much of carriers as front line platforms, does this sound logical? I could be misunderstanding this of course.
I think you are wrong here. My guess is that they didn't want someone building a battleship putting a small flight deck on it and calling it a carrier. Conversion would not be quick or easy in any case.
My supposition is based on this. If the navies of the world only thought of carriers as only suitable for recon and ground support of amphibious ops, then development of the technology and the tactics would be a low priority and thus they would be no where near as capable as they really turned out to be.
I believe there is more evidence to support a naval atack role than a ground support one. Indeed I think the USN was the only naval airforce that got heavy into graond support. Especially once it became clear a plane could carry a torpedo.
http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WTJAP_WWII.htm
Shows the first Japanese arial torpedo as dating to 1931
http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WTUS_WWII.htm
Indicates the US started work on one in 1925
http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WTBR_PreWWII.htm
Indicates a pre WWI British torpedo, the Mark VII, as used on flying boats in the 20's and picutres a Sopwith Cuckoo dropping one in what is noted as a well known photo (no date however). It also lists the MK VIII as used in aircraft from 1920 on. Following that lead we get to: http://www.aviastar.org/air/england/sopwith_cuckoo.php
Where they mention that the first carrier based torpedo squadron is formed in 1918. and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sopwith_Cuckoo
mentions a plan to use them vs the High Seas Fleet. This clearly indicates a strike roll for carrier based aircraft prior to the treaties.
In the real world the eventual role for BBs was to provide ground support for amphibious invasions and the eventual role for CVs was as the central vessel in naval power projection. Without the treaty this state could be reversed ie the BB retaining centre stage and the CV only being used for ground support.
Possible I guess but if so not necessarily for the reasons you suggest.
All these sites refer to things that happened after the treaty, after the navy brass found they had to readjust their ideas about naval warfare.

As an example, how about the Billy Mitchell bombing of the Ostfriesland which took place in Feb 1921. The important point is what the navy brass reaction was. They said; 'so what, you've sunk a stationary ship with no DC and no AAA. It would never happen against a functional ship'. Clearly the brass thought carriers weren't useful for sinking ships.
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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by Bgile » Thu May 20, 2010 1:33 pm

neil hilton wrote:
All these sites refer to things that happened after the treaty, after the navy brass found they had to readjust their ideas about naval warfare.

As an example, how about the Billy Mitchell bombing of the Ostfriesland which took place in Feb 1921. The important point is what the navy brass reaction was. They said; 'so what, you've sunk a stationary ship with no DC and no AAA. It would never happen against a functional ship'. Clearly the brass thought carriers weren't useful for sinking ships.
And they started building aircraft carriers why?

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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by neil hilton » Thu May 20, 2010 1:43 pm

Because the treaty prevented them from building more battleships?
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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by Bgile » Thu May 20, 2010 2:59 pm

neil hilton wrote:Because the treaty prevented them from building more battleships?
Didn't the USN have to limit the size of one of it's CVs because of a total tonnage limit on carriers?

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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by lwd » Thu May 20, 2010 4:31 pm

neil hilton wrote: ...
All these sites refer to things that happened after the treaty, after the navy brass found they had to readjust their ideas about naval warfare.
No they don't. Note again that the British had formed a carrier based torpedo squadron in WWI (1918) and planed on using it to attack the High Seas Fleet.
As an example, how about the Billy Mitchell bombing of the Ostfriesland which took place in Feb 1921. The important point is what the navy brass reaction was. They said; 'so what, you've sunk a stationary ship with no DC and no AAA. It would never happen against a functional ship'. Clearly the brass thought carriers weren't useful for sinking ships.
Some of them did but of course they were correct to some extent. Sinking a battleship with no AAA, no DC, and at anchor was a considerably different proposition from sinking one underway and battle ready especially by the planes of the time. However that doesn't mean that they thought that planes could not sink or badley damage ships and in particular battleships. Remember a number of WWI ships were lost to single mines or torpedo hits.

Furthermore once you start building carriers some ecomomies of scale become pretty obvious. Bigger ships can carry more and heavier planes and can move faster allowing yet heavier planes. Furthermore the stores and support personel and equipment can be used more efficiently in big ships.

Then there's the thought of why limit the tonnage of carriers if they weren't a threat?

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