No Washington Treaty...

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

Post by lwd » Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:54 pm

Perhaps I should clarify my position a bit. I'm not saying that September 1939 is a bad date for the start of WWII. I am saying that there are other dates that are as good, indead depending on how you define things the other dates may be stronger or weaker. For instance does the war become a world war as soon as it meets the critieria for say major fighting on multiple continents? If so should one consider that to be the start of the war or should the start be when the figting that lead to this started? Both positions can be argued with some considerable merit. Indeed it would make a good competative debate topic. My own preference is to use the defintion That the war started when the shooting started in a conflict that lead to or became part of the war. However I can acknowledge that other positions have considerable merit and depending on what is being discussed may be more valuable.

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neil hilton
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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by neil hilton » Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:12 pm

Thats a good point, one I believe even professional historians come to blows over. My opinion obviously differs from yours. Maybe start a new thread? If one doesn't already exist?
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RF
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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by RF » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:24 pm

Until June 1940 the whole of the war against Nazi Germany was entirely focussed on Europe itself and the north-eastern North Atlantic, except for the AGS episode and the interception of a small number of German merchantman. No surface raiders were operating at all in the winter/spring of 1940.

All wars have starting points, from which the conflict spreads. Sometimes it takes a long time to spread. But continental and world wars have I think to be taken from their starting points so all of the military action in each of the individual fronts and campaigns are accounted for. The war in China was on a continental scale from August 1937, with huge loss of life and some Japanese defeats, but because it wasn't on the doorstep of the Americans or people in western Europe it was easily overlooked. In fact it probably was the bloodiest conflict going on from 1939 (the British starting point of WW2) until the start of Barbarossa.

Incidently during the late summer of 1939 the Russians were involved in fighting at both opposite ends to their country - in Poland and on the borders of Mongolia. Again overlooked by most historians...... And was the Winter War against Finland part of WW2? Your thinking seems to imply not.

As a further illustration I would cite the 1942 border war between Peru and Ecuador. I would exclude that from WW2 because neither of these two Latin American countries were linked to either the Allies or Axis, and no outsiders took part in the fighting. It was completely self contained and isolated from the global conflict.
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neil hilton
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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by neil hilton » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:03 pm

As I have stated before IMO a World War is defined by fighting over multiple continents and or oceans with involvment of the miltiaries of many nations. Obviously different from you views. Fair enough.
Both RF and lwd have stated many possible starting points for the continental and regional wars that eventually led into or were subsumed into WW2, I think this vagueness is the problem, it causes arguments (which although is good to participate in :D ) is not clear enough to be definative whereas a more clearer starting point as I've pointed is is very clear.
I am not arguing that the war in China did not lead into WW2 or the Winter War or the Spanish Civil War, they all had factors which ended in WW2, I don't believe they can be classed as World War simply because at the time they were happening the fighting was localized to a single continent.
Also by including these wars into the overall definition of WW2 it ignores what was considered to be the specific situation at the time (with hindsight if the war in China is considered to be part of WW2 then it ignores what the people at the time thought it was, nobody at the time thought it would eventually result in World War). This neccessarily alters the opinions of amateur historians like us looking at the situation with hindsight, and making judgements etc.

This is getting way off topic I think. :think:
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RF
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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by RF » Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:26 pm

neil hilton wrote:As I have stated before IMO a World War is defined by fighting over multiple continents and or oceans with involvment of the miltiaries of many nations. Obviously different from you views. Fair enough.
But It isn't different from my view at all. What I am looking at is the starting point of these campaigns as they evolve into global conflict.

The issues discussed here may not specifically relate to whether things would be different had there been no Washington naval treaties, but it does have some bearing on that in the context of how wars develop and escalate. Most wars are only recognised for what they are after the event: you couldn't for example call the Hundred Years War as such at the point it started, as nobody knew it would last about a hundred years. And in either July 1937 or in September 1939 few people were expecting it to escalate into a global worldwide conflict, but that is how it evolved.
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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by Dguts1813 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:49 am

This thread seems to have wandered a long way from the original topic - "What if there was no Washington Treaty". So, if the three way building race between US, Japan & Britain had continued what would have been the effects on warship development through the 20's & early 30's? (I put the early 30's as the cut-off date as I doubt any of the economies involved, except possibly the US, could have kept it up much longer.) The development of capital ships is fairly easy to see, most of the ships that might have been built were already on the stocks or well into the design phase. What of Cruisers and Carriers?

The Treaty Cruisers, of course, evolved into the CA of WWII. Would that have happened as quickly, or in such numbers, without the Treaty? I doubt it. As for Carriers, with so much time and energy, not to mention money, being spent on BB's & BC's how much would have been left over to build CV's? For the British Carrier Fleet I would think that things would have gone pretty much as historical - that is Argus, Hermes, Eagle, Furious, Glorious & Courageous. But what of the Japanese? In 1921 the IJN had Hosho fitting out and plans for a pair of 12,500 tons ships that probably would have resembled an enlarged Ryujo with about 48 aircraft. As for the US, without the Lexington's to play with, I would assume there first purpose built Carriers would been something along the lines of the first design for the Ranger - 1 14,000 ton flush decked ship with 60 to 70 aircraft.

Ed B.

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RF
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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by RF » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:16 pm

Dguts1813 wrote:This thread seems to have wandered a long way from the original topic - "What if there was no Washington Treaty". So, if the three way building race between US, Japan & Britain had continued what would have been the effects on warship development through the 20's & early 30's? .....
Now lets stop at this point and ask a question. Is the premise outlined in the rest of the above post following my quotation actually addressing the original topic any more than the discourse immediately prior to it?
Because here there is an implicit assumption which throws back to the above discussion on the starting points of wars. That assumption is the three way naval race between USA, Britain and Japan. Now that may well have happened. Or it may not. Either way there are major strategic imlications - not least another arms race. If that does happen it poses major economic implications and effects - such as for example the Great Depression is reduced, or delayed, or simply doesn't happen because economies are piling state expenditure into armaments......

The uncertainties become even greater over warship development. Big warships could grow, without international regulation, into real Hitlerian monster ships of the type the Fuhrer proposed for his Z Plan...... great for the shipbuilding industry and its supporting infrastructure. However there is a point where long run economies of scale kick in and dictate smaller, more economical ships that can be subject to mass production, which is where the USA has obviously the biggest advantages. If so then the US will develop the most efficient, optimum sized navy and types of ships. The RN is most likely to follow suit. If this does happen then both of these navies would be little different from their WW2 actual. The unknown (assuming no major war) is how things would develop into the 1950's.

Of course a three way naval race as suggested above would alter international line-ups; if Britain and the USA become hostile then it would benefit Britain in keeping Japan as an ally. The US could respond by seeking a European ally, such as a resurgent Germany. Here the whole course of world history could then change out of recognition....
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Dguts1813
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Re: No Washington Treaty...

Post by Dguts1813 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:51 pm

Regarding warship design and development beyond the early 30's without the Treaty, as with any "counter-factual argument" that becomes more and difficult to predict the further you get from the date at which you skew the Historical Time Line. However, as I stated in my last post, I doubt that any of the economies involved could have sustained the Naval Arms Race much beyond 1930 or 35. As to the effect of such an Arms Race on the length or depth of the Great Depression, that is even more difficult to predict.

On the subject of the "Three Way" arms race and its implications for international relations - particularly regarding the diplomatic relationship between Britain & the US - it should be remembered that one of the primary objectives of the US in the negotiations at Washington was severing the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. That alliance was due to come up for renewal in 1922. Despite the US/British war-time alliance of 1917-18 there was still much suspicion of British intentions in the US. Eliminating that alliance allowed the US to continue the "Orange War" planing without having to worry about a threat from the other side the Atlantic.

Ed B.

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