Doomed to fail

General naval discussions that don't fit within any specific time period or cover several issues.
Byron Angel
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Re: Doomed to fail

Post by Byron Angel »

wadinga wrote: Mon Oct 03, 2022 3:17 pm Hi HMSVF,

You posed the question:
I suppose as "specialty" ships they were more vulnerable to the "winds of change"? The wind of change being the battlecruiser?
However there was no such thing as a Battlecruiser until 1912/13!

I'm not so sure that was the case. See following:

Journal of the Royal United Service Institution
Volume 57, Issue 1 – March 1913
Pg 413

TYPES OF CRUISERS – It has been decided to discontinue the use of the terms “armoured cruiser”, “protected cruiser, first class”, “protected cruiser, second class”, “protected cruiser, third class”, “unarmoured cruiser”, and “scout”. In future cruisers will be officially divided into three classes, namely “battle-cruisers”, “cruisers”, and “light cruisers”.

The term battle-cruiser will continue to be used as at present.

The term cruiser will be used to designate all vessels at present classified as armoured cruisers, and protected cruisers first class.

The term light cruiser will be used to designate the remaining cruisers and the vessels hitherto classified as “scouts”.

..... which suggests that the term "battle-cruiser", upon however technically informal a basis, was in use prior to the Admiralty's cruiser re-classification order.

Go here - ... 4-1909.pdf - for a good discussion of the early history of the term.

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Re: Doomed to fail

Post by wadinga »

Hi Byron and all,

Thanks for the link to that academic paper, a mighty piece of work which considers many and varied points of view including Professor Seligman's.

I fudged the date as 1912/13 because although that official nomenclature is dated 1913 and the award of contract letter for the building HMS Tiger dated 3rd April 1913 calls her a battlecruiser (Clydebank Battlecruisers Ian Johnston Seaforth pub.) HMS Queen Mary's plans at the NMM call her an armoured cruiser.

The book also says that the award letter for HMAS Australia (1908) calls a First Class Armoured Colonial cruiser.

If the vessel is described as an armoured cruiser in the contract award document or builders plans that is surely an official designation. By the time HMS Tiger's contract was awarded, the type had evolved into a 28,000 ton, 13.5" gun equipped behemoth which had obviously become something very different to vessels like HMS Cressy, still in service. I'm sure that like Fisher's pet name "Invincibles" unofficial nicknames circulated for these super armoured cruisers.

I found most interesting the revelation in the paper that HMS Dreadnought, in early service as the only representative of her type, operated with armoured cruisers as a fast wing of the existing battlefleet since her speed advantage placed her with them in their role, rather than with the pedestrian, plodding battle line. Later when her speed became the norm for the battlefleet, it was necessary to have an evolution of the armoured cruiser that had a significant speed advantage, hence the Invincibles.

All the best

"There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
Byron Angel
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Re: Doomed to fail

Post by Byron Angel »

I posted only to point out that the term "battle-cruiser" was in common informal service usage for some time prior to it being officially confirmed by the Admiralty as a specific vessel class.
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Re: Doomed to fail

Post by tone »

wadinga wrote: Tue Aug 23, 2022 8:59 pm HMS Queen Mary's plans, shown on a recent Jutland TV documentary are marked "Armoured cruiser to be named Queen Mary". The evolution of that type into what would be called the "New Generation" battlecruiser was so fast, ships like Defence and Warrior were rendered somewhat obsolete shortly after completion.
The term "Battle Cruiser" (eventually to become "Battlecruiser", c1915) was only adopted in 1911. Previously, a number of terms such as "large armoured cruiser" were used for Invincible onward.
On 24 November, 1911, Admiralty Weekly Order 351 was promulgated, declaring that: "All cruisers of the “Invincible” and later types are for the future to be described and classified as “battle cruisers.” in order to distinguish them from the armoured cruisers of earlier date."
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