No Washington Treaty...

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
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19kilo
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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by 19kilo » Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:07 am

What probably would have happened is that when the US saw the RN building BBs with 18in guns is they would have designed and built their own ships with 18in guns. The US at that time was in a much better economic and industrial possition to win any battleship building arms race with Britain and Japan. Thankfuly it didnt ever come to that.

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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:33 pm

At 1921 the US construction plan did not contemplate any 18" ship. Only the British and Japanese were thinking in such a gun for their ships. If you read both, Raven and Roberts and Friedman about the plans prior to the Washington Treaty the impressive ones were from both sides of the US: GB and Japan.
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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by Bgile » Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:27 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:At 1921 the US construction plan did not contemplate any 18" ship. Only the British and Japanese were thinking in such a gun for their ships. If you read both, Raven and Roberts and Friedman about the plans prior to the Washington Treaty the impressive ones were from both sides of the US: GB and Japan.
The US 18" gun and it's development and reasons for cancellation are described at:

http://navweaps.com/Weapons/WNUS_18-48_mk1.htm

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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by 19kilo » Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:33 pm

That makes sense to me. If Im reading it right, it was the Washington Treary that was the most important cause for the US to can its 18in gun designs. So, it stands to reason, if there was no treaty, and the US saw a need for it, the 18in gun would have been developed.

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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:01 pm

From the moment the escalator clauses were invoked by the US, to the outbreak of the European War, Pearl Harbor and so on there was enough time and resources for the US to came with an 18" gun in order to mount it in their latest design, the USS Montana. However they choose to go with the 16". I do not believe the USN was keen to a larger gun than 16" as the Japanese or, eventually, the British.
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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by lwd » Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:42 pm

I have read (but don't remember where) that the US considere 18" past the point of diminishing returns. They were also quite happy with their new "super heavy" rounds. That's not to say that they might not have changed their minds if someone else built some and publicised it. Considering the reasonably good relations between the UK and US what are the odds that in the abscene of an international "Washington Treaty" the two don't come up with something of thier own?

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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by neil hilton » Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:45 pm

lwd wrote:That may have held in the early 20's but I'm not sure it would have after that. The Japanese in particular were looking for a way to overcome the advantage of the British and US in terms of BBs and they simply couldn't have built enough to do it. The carrier promised to be a possible edge. Early on scouting was probably considered as the most important but attack aircraft were clearly a consideration at the time.
Not sure about this. Wasn't the Japanese diplomat who agreed to the 5-5-3 BB ratio in the treaty accused of of being a traitor by his collegues back in Japan? sounds like the Japanese high command wanted parity in BBs not CVs.
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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by neil hilton » Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:52 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:At 1921 the US construction plan did not contemplate any 18" ship. Only the British and Japanese were thinking in such a gun for their ships. If you read both, Raven and Roberts and Friedman about the plans prior to the Washington Treaty the impressive ones were from both sides of the US: GB and Japan.
The Japanese were surely thinking bigger guns and BBs at the time. Not sure if the British were actually serious about 18" gun super BBs, all those super looking plans for ever bigger and badder ships sounds suspiciously to me like the ship building industry desperately trying to squeeze more money out of the government to pad their bottom line. Or maybe I'm just cynical and paranoid! :wink:
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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by RF » Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:02 pm

neil hilton wrote: .... all those super looking plans for ever bigger and badder ships sounds suspiciously to me like the ship building industry desperately trying to squeeze more money out of the government to pad their bottom line. Or maybe I'm just cynical and paranoid! :wink:
Not at all, perish the thought......

And there was the Fuhrer, asking for 21 inch guns......
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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by Djoser » Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:22 pm

neil hilton wrote:
Karl Heidenreich wrote:At 1921 the US construction plan did not contemplate any 18" ship. Only the British and Japanese were thinking in such a gun for their ships. If you read both, Raven and Roberts and Friedman about the plans prior to the Washington Treaty the impressive ones were from both sides of the US: GB and Japan.
The Japanese were surely thinking bigger guns and BBs at the time. Not sure if the British were actually serious about 18" gun super BBs, all those super looking plans for ever bigger and badder ships sounds suspiciously to me like the ship building industry desperately trying to squeeze more money out of the government to pad their bottom line. Or maybe I'm just cynical and paranoid! :wink:
I actually wonder just how far the tremendous competing battleship/battlecruiser race would have run, before it was cut back all on its own by budget constraints, particularly in Japan and England. And if neither of them were going to build the other 5-6 behemoth BBs they were talking such a big game about, why then the USA needn't bother either. The flaws in this argument are of course that several ships would have been laid down.

Once laid down it's a little harder to just drop the idea (unless there's a war on, as in the case of the splendid Mackensen BC, etc.). But in that case, they might have gone for carrier conversions anyway maybe. Weren't early carriers a little cheaper and easier to build than a super-superdreadnought, in the 20's?

Or what if they went ahead and bankrupt themselves building these superfleets (only to have them sit idle without expensive imported oil in the case of Japan), and it triggered an earlier worldwide Depression? War could have begun a few years earlier, in that case.

Of course, there is this notion that it began in '39, but that is a limited viewpoint. The case could be made that it was much earlier, in China. Plus future generations might lump them together, rather like 'The Napoleonic Wars', Hundred Years War, etc. The intervening years of jockeying for position and skirmishing seem like a long time to us less than a century later, but in 500 years it would be the blink of an eye. There was the little intermediate practice session in Spain as well. The bloodless invasion of Czechoslovakia was an invasion nonetheless. And so forth.


But even in this 'not so different after all' scenario, we would surely have 2-3 great big nasty tough ships extra for each nation, which could lead to some fun speculation about individual duels. Even if the end result, vis a vis naval strategy and ultimate victory, wasn't much different than with the Washington Treaty.

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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by RF » Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:33 am

Djoser wrote: I actually wonder just how far the tremendous competing battleship/battlecruiser race would have run, before it was cut back all on its own by budget constraints, particularly in Japan and England. And if neither of them were going to build the other 5-6 behemoth BBs they were talking such a big game about, why then the USA needn't bother either.
Had the Germans proceeded in full with the Z Plan then both the British and Americans would have had to respond........
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by lwd » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:38 pm

Djoser wrote: ... Or what if they went ahead and bankrupt themselves building these superfleets (only to have them sit idle without expensive imported oil in the case of Japan), and it triggered an earlier worldwide Depression? War could have begun a few years earlier, in that case.
Or it may have resulted in the depression occuring later or not at all. Any of these could have pushed the war earlier or later. Later is probably less likely as the economic edge of the US and to a lesser extent the UK would have really hampered the Japanese. But earlier they would likely have been even further behind in naval power.
Djoser wrote: ... But even in this 'not so different after all' scenario, we would surely have 2-3 great big nasty tough ships extra for each nation, which could lead to some fun speculation about individual duels. Even if the end result, vis a vis naval strategy and ultimate victory, wasn't much different than with the Washington Treaty.
Some fairly respected authors have had some very negative things to say about some of the US designs from the 20s.
RF wrote: Had the Germans proceeded in full with the Z Plan then both the British and Americans would have had to respond........
The US response would likely have been not to cut back on the Iowas or Montanas if the German fleet were judged a serious threat. If the design and construction time lines are similar to historical although the first of the H class is layed down prior to any of the Montanas there's a good chance the lattere would have been operational about the same time if not before. As for carriers the German ones would have been pretty insignifcant and likely very short lived.

Likely one would have seen most if not all the WWI battleships being scrapped.

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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:45 am

RF:
Had the Germans proceeded in full with the Z Plan then both the British and Americans would have had to respond........
Not necesarily. The democracies react quite slow to threats as the whole nazi affair pre WWII showed. In the US there were a lot of politicians and public figures against any intervention and arms race. It was only with Pearl that the US could launch itself in a full weapons program.

Look at what happened with the US in the mid-late 70 ies under Carter: whilst the soviets built their super army, navy and air force the US didn't improved anything, even having the prototypes of B-1 bomber or M-1 Abrams tank and many other developments. The same could apply pre WWII.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by Bgile » Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:14 am

Karl Heidenreich wrote:RF:
Had the Germans proceeded in full with the Z Plan then both the British and Americans would have had to respond........
Not necesarily. The democracies react quite slow to threats as the whole nazi affair pre WWII showed. In the US there were a lot of politicians and public figures against any intervention and arms race. It was only with Pearl that the US could launch itself in a full weapons program.

Look at what happened with the US in the mid-late 70 ies under Carter: whilst the soviets built their super army, navy and air force the US didn't improved anything, even having the prototypes of B-1 bomber or M-1 Abrams tank and many other developments. The same could apply pre WWII.
The first of the Los Angeles class SSNs were commissioned in 1976 and were in serial production until 1996. Carter served in SSNs, by the way.

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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by RF » Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:37 am

Karl Heidenreich wrote:
The democracies react quite slow to threats as the whole nazi affair pre WWII showed. In the US there were a lot of politicians and public figures against any intervention and arms race. It was only with Pearl that the US could launch itself in a full weapons program.

Look at what happened with the US in the mid-late 70 ies under Carter: whilst the soviets built their super army, navy and air force the US didn't improved anything, even having the prototypes of B-1 bomber or M-1 Abrams tank and many other developments. The same could apply pre WWII.
There is a difference between non-intervention in far off conflicts, and a threat that can develop from afar that puts the conflict on your doorstep and directly threatens you. Once the threat is clear public atitudes of indifference change. That happened in WW2; it happened again under Carter, in 1980 by firstly the complete failure of the primary election campaign of Teddy Kennedy and then the election of Ronald Reagan.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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