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  • #16
    Luckily for Britain
    Why, if there's no WW1?
    "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

    "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Selous View Post
      (I forget when the 2PS was introduced),
      I think it lasted from 1889 to 1909, but I could be wrong.
      Diadochi Rising Wargame:
      King Pairisades I of the Bosporan Kingdom

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      • #18
        Luckily for Britain, WWI provided a means to forge an enduring alliance with the US and a way to pass the torch of naval dominance without sacrificing national security. But what if WWI never happened and the Royal Navy was faced with two rapidly growing fleets of foreign dreadnoughts each interested in carving out a national place in the sun and economic sphere.

        To make matters worse was the emergence of a possible third threat, this one in the pacific. Japan at one point planned for a fleet of 10 dreadnoughts and 4 battle cruisers by 1930. If the Anglo-Japanese naval alliance fell apart the British would have another ocean to defend. What could the Royal Navy do, was it even possible for the British people and economy to support a fleet of battleships able to take on any two fleets by 1930, could British yards have built enough vessels to do so?
        Mmmm

        The RN had in Sept 1907 some 390 vessels.
        The RN had in Sept 1914 some 639 vessels
        and come Nov 1918 it had some 1750 vessels
        So yes it did have the capacity to build, and given there would be no other major drain on the economy or for resources, then I would wager it could have built more if it so wanted.

        The British Government and the RN (prior to 1908) had already concluded that a naval war with the US couldn't be won but equally so for the US.

        Regards
        "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

        "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Anacreon View Post
          I think it lasted from 1889 to 1909, but I could be wrong.
          Hi

          Nope that is correct. It was re-appraised in 1909.
          As mentioned in my previous post a (naval) war with the US was now seen as unthinkable. A more realistic standard that was finally agreed on by Parliamnet in 1912, was that the RN should be 60% bigger than Germany's, the next largest navy after the USN.

          Regards
          "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

          "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

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          • #20
            You know, in this alternate scenario I can see the Imperial Defence Movement gaining more traction, due to the wide spread of 'threats' to local areas maybe. Just a theory. I wonder if Australia or Canada could produce modern vessels to contribute to local, smaller operations, had they been brought well on side by a more robust stance of pan-Empire defence.
            ------
            'I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.' - Thomas Jefferson

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            • #21
              The RN despite the desires of others was capable of seeing the wood for the trees.

              They acknowledged that the vessels they had, would be no match for those coming from the USN/IJN. There focus had been on Germany. With no WW1 there is no reason to suggest that the pre-Washington capital ship designs mounting 18" wouldn't have come to pass, especially since the main factor in there not being built was money-and obviously the limitations of the forthcoming Washington Naval Treaty.

              Regards
              "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

              "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Selous View Post
                You know, in this alternate scenario I can see the Imperial Defence Movement gaining more traction, due to the wide spread of 'threats' to local areas maybe. Just a theory. I wonder if Australia or Canada could produce modern vessels to contribute to local, smaller operations, had they been brought well on side by a more robust stance of pan-Empire defence.
                Perhaps various regions could have contributed funds for specific ships, as in the case of Malaya. It might have been used as a unifying cause, like the Ottoman ships were.

                As a side note, when considering ship construction during the war and plans for such, note that due to the war in France, the government was very reluctant to fund the construction of new capital ships. Also, Britain ordered thirty dreadnoughts and battlecruisers between 1909 and 1913, having twenty-eight of those in service by the end of May 1916. Thus, I don't think Britain's ability to build large numbers of capital ships quickly can be questioned.
                Diadochi Rising Wargame:
                King Pairisades I of the Bosporan Kingdom

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Selous View Post
                  Yes, and if that isn't possible (I forget when the 2PS was introduced), some other measure will be sought to advance and defend Britain's interest. States rarely 'give up'
                  They either go out quietly or with a bang

                  Throughout the 19th Century it is Halifax which was considered the closest of the developed naval bases which would be used to project power in the Americas. JCR Colomb's work on the defence of the coaling stations, and their use in the wider defence of the Empire is the best source for this. Whether Halifax's position within such a scheme could endure into the 1920s, I am not aware.
                  Halifax's access to the Gulf or Mexico and Caribbean is limited if the US is riled.

                  That being so I find it difficult to really take for granted any postulated position of the US when one of the major events of the 20th Century, which surely must have effected US foreign policy, has been put as void.
                  I used where possibly projected ship building rates from before WWI. Us BB building was not to counter a hostile German fleet since that fleet rarely left port and could not reach the US anyway. Nor way is to counter Japan where the US had a huge lead. Plus japan would have seen the US send her BB's to the West coast. Instead only 1 US BB a pre-dreadnought was on the West coast.

                  I can't say either way, though with the influence of the likes of Teddy Roosevelt, a place in the sun seems high on the agenda, yet by the same token, with his influence, for example, I don't see it leading to war. Something just tells me the US electorate and appendages of government wouldn't want to spend their nice new shiny fleet over some sandpit. Sending a squadron for some display, yes, but without the mechanisms or rather, potential of total war being present to be put into motion, it seems doubtful blows would be struck.
                  No one really expected WWI to explode as it did out of the Balkans either.

                  It was probably more common in pre-dreadnaughts where, at least according to Conways, a number of ships received alterations to their armaments, without major structural changes like razee-ing.
                  Likely, since one of the major advances of the dreadnought was much improved compartmentalization and thicker armor.

                  There is some question of reciprocation here. Do you contend the RN would not alter a ship order, or continue to make orders, which any naval professional would presume to be out-dated/undergunned? Considering we're covering a period of 1914 - ....1939?
                  Building programs past the 20's are sketchy becuase of the way things were altered by WWI and the post war treaties. However, through ships to be completed by the late 20's to 1930 the numbers are fairly stable.

                  None of which, I think, can generate a Total War on the footing of the Great War (or even simmilar, which would prompt a full naval deployment) I can envisage stand-off or at most, a limited conflict utilising local forces, but not re-directing the whole fleet to anywhere. Was the US making moves to conquer the Carrib or Belize?
                  In the new world the most likely conflicts would be either debt rescheduling (European gun boat diplomacy) or plantation agriculture (US fruit and agricultural companies)

                  I wasn't clear; I meant the gulf between the USN and RN: would the RN have been left behind so badly after not having expended so much blood and treasure in the German war.
                  The RN ended the war with the stronger fleet and under both countries building programs would have remained the larger. The problem for the RN is the combined US/Germany building totals (not alliance) may outpace Britain ability to maintain a fleet capable of facing any two enemies and winning.

                  Andy,

                  During WWI the Britain seems to have had 13 yards big enough to build dreadnoughts and battle cruisers at a time with no more than 7 being laid down or completed in any given year. Of those 4 were commercial yards devoted to foreign sales and the remaining 9 served the Royal Navy. The US had 6 and Germany had 5 for a total of 11.

                  How many smaller warships a nation can build doesn't really matter in a discussion of big ship building where the weights and sized involved dwarf small vessels. Even yards big enough to build liners can't build battleships unless they also have the specialized cranes to move the turrets, the foundries to cast metal thick enough etc. You also need armories to make the guns. The US had 2, I don't know about the others. After all you can only make as many battleships as you can arm.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Selous View Post
                    You know, in this alternate scenario I can see the Imperial Defence Movement gaining more traction, due to the wide spread of 'threats' to local areas maybe. Just a theory. I wonder if Australia or Canada could produce modern vessels to contribute to local, smaller operations, had they been brought well on side by a more robust stance of pan-Empire defence.
                    Hello Matey

                    The (shipbuilding) contribution from the Empire would have been minor in terms of Fleet assets. A few cruisers, destroyers and submarines, plus a plethora of minor vessels. The main contribution would have been finance, raw materials, man-power and the logistical support they could give through geography.

                    Regards
                    "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

                    "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by zraver View Post
                      Andy,

                      During WWI the Britain seems to have had 13 yards big enough to build dreadnoughts and battle cruisers at a time with no more than 7 being laid down or completed in any given year. Of those 4 were commercial yards devoted to foreign sales and the remaining 9 served the Royal Navy. The US had 6 and Germany had 5 for a total of 11.

                      How many smaller warships a nation can build doesn't really matter in a discussion of big ship building where the weights and sized involved dwarf small vessels. Even yards big enough to build liners can't build battleships unless they also have the specialized cranes to move the turrets, the foundries to cast metal thick enough etc. You also need armories to make the guns. The US had 2, I don't know about the others. After all you can only make as many battleships as you can arm.
                      Hi zraver

                      Any WI based on purely a numbers game will rather weak as there are numerous extraneous factors to be considered. However........

                      Britain produced her BB's & BC's at a faster rate than Germany. In Britain the average build time was 27months, compared to some 35.9months in Germany.

                      In terms of Naval Ordnance I can think of at least 4 firms (with several sites) that produced heavy caliber naval guns, and that's without going through any reference material.

                      The commercial yards depending on the details of any alternative scenario, would be used, as they were in reality during WW1

                      I take your point that a firm building liners cant build from scratch a BB, but there's no reason (in principle) why they cant have some say somewhere along the construction, especially after all the heavy stuff is fitted-thus freeing up a basin or slip for another hull etc.

                      Regards
                      Last edited by Andy H; 04 Jun 12, 18:46.
                      "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

                      "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by zraver View Post
                        Halifax's access to the Gulf or Mexico and Caribbean is limited if the US is riled.
                        I don't know what to tell you; it was the planned stop-off point for getting ships into North American waters should the US kick off between 1860s and...well, I don't know when.


                        I used where possibly projected ship building rates from before WWI. Us BB building was not to counter a hostile German fleet since that fleet rarely left port and could not reach the US anyway. Nor way is to counter Japan where the US had a huge lead. Plus japan would have seen the US send her BB's to the West coast. Instead only 1 US BB a pre-dreadnought was on the West coast.
                        No one really expected WWI to explode as it did out of the Balkans either.
                        I think there was a bit more to it than just some damn silly business in the Balkans, even if that was a suitable cassus belli for the papers. The wider environment in 1914 was fertile for world war between those who partook, for their various reasons, with their various aims. I'm not sure the Britain versus Poseidon's other aspiring children, exists in a similar wider context, at least, it didn't as such in 1914 though naval fears would go on to shape much of the following couple of decades.

                        Unless the US is to tread into British territory with much aggression, or seek, with some mighty forethought and risk, the destruction of Britain as the hegemon, I don't see it coming to happen. (which sounds damn expensive, I'm not sure on trade-relations between Britain and the US at the time but I'd imagine the years of peace had built up some trade. To say nothing of a de-balancing of European concert) But that's just as I see it, I'm by no means certain. One of the few enjoyable moments of the post 1945 world for Britain has been that it was the US tax payer which decided to foot the bill for securing the second era of globalisation and all the trade upon its seas.

                        I'd imagine that by a similar, if reversed token, the same could be said for the US back then. Defeating the British at sea, decisively, to leave Japan and Germany still in the ascendancy, and having certainly not come out unscathed, leaves open and under-protected US trading interests (and the commerce of her trading partners, including the one she just fought a war against) once defended by the RN as the constable at sea. For that reason if I were the US president which did this, I would anticipate being shot by my electorate. Though admittedly, at the time, all this theoretics may not appear so. Yet still, my main trouble here is I don't see the political will for this game of Battleships.

                        Building programs past the 20's are sketchy because of the way things were altered by WWI and the post war treaties. However, through ships to be completed by the late 20's to 1930 the numbers are fairly stable.
                        Stable within a given context. You've altered the context with the op, you've altered the environment and all actors have to react to that. If it is evident that the US is going hell for leather on ship building and presents a more serious threat, as is inferred by the OP, then I would not be certain, but would presume, this would be reflected in British ship-building.

                        In the new world the most likely conflicts would be either debt rescheduling (European gun boat diplomacy) or plantation agriculture (US fruit and agricultural companies)
                        Still sounds like small fry for major fleet action and a war footing.

                        The RN ended the war with the stronger fleet and under both countries building programs would have remained the larger. The problem for the RN is the combined US/Germany building totals (not alliance) may outpace Britain ability to maintain a fleet capable of facing any two enemies and winning.
                        It would strike me that, in the absence of alliance between the US and Germany, Britain has to 'only' maintain a total force csapable of dealing with the next largest navy and then some. But not demanding necessarily of being able to defeat a combination of the two, as with the aims of the 2 power standard. The only problem then is fleet concentration and the ability to move it around, which fortunately was made a little easier by having a global logistics system (much bolstered thanks to the work Carnavon Commission and others by 1890) stretching from Esquimalt to Shanghai.
                        Unless something catastrophic happens, that should be enough.

                        Edit: I'll have to bow to Andy's knowledge on the RN deciding it couldn't win a war with the USN (see below) in far flung waters, it makes a sense to me. From my own reading (a couple of years ago now) I deduced it could, but this was for a few decades earlier than the proposed time line difference.
                        Last edited by Selous; 04 Jun 12, 18:47.
                        ------
                        'I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.' - Thomas Jefferson

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                        • #27
                          The RN ended the war with the stronger fleet and under both countries building programs would have remained the larger. The problem for the RN is the combined US/Germany building totals (not alliance) may outpace Britain ability to maintain a fleet capable of facing any two enemies and winning.
                          Hi zraver

                          But the RN had already reached the conclusion that it couldn't win or indeed lose a naval war with the USN. Germany was a different matter, and unless the USN decided to strike whilst the RN was engaged with the German navy, then nothing would change. Even then I doubt the RN would seriously attempt to engage the USN in distant waters whilst a more immediate threat existed closer to home.

                          Regards
                          "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

                          "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

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                          • #28
                            Throughout the 19th Century it is Halifax which was considered the closest of the developed naval bases which would be used to project power in the Americas. JCR Colomb's work on the defence of the coaling stations, and their use in the wider defence of the Empire is the best source for this. Whether Halifax's position within such a scheme could endure into the 1920s, I am not aware.
                            Halifax's access to the Gulf or Mexico and Caribbean is limited if the US is riled.
                            Hi Selous & zraver

                            As I have mentioned the British/RN realised that they couldn't win or lose against the USN. In that context the dockyard in Jamaica was closed and the number of ships on the North American and West Indies station were greatly reduced.

                            Regards
                            "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

                            "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

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                            • #29
                              I just beat you to it mate, with an edit to my last post
                              I had not heard of this decision, and admittedly, I'm still thinking (as I often am) in terms of it being 1880.
                              ------
                              'I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.' - Thomas Jefferson

                              If you have questions about the forum please check the FAQ/Rules

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Anacreon View Post
                                Perhaps various regions could have contributed funds for specific ships, as in the case of Malaya. It might have been used as a unifying cause, like the Ottoman ships were.

                                As a side note, when considering ship construction during the war and plans for such, note that due to the war in France, the government was very reluctant to fund the construction of new capital ships. Also, Britain ordered thirty dreadnoughts and battle cruisers between 1909 and 1913, having twenty-eight of those in service by the end of May 1916. Thus, I don't think Britain's ability to build large numbers of capital ships quickly can be questioned.
                                A side on this. Both Australia and New Zealand funded the building of Dreadnoughts prior to WW1. Canada's House of Commons also voted funding for a couple of Dreadnoughts to built, but it was stopped in the Canadian Senate. The Senate required that the Dreadnoughts be built in Canada for economic benefits, so at the commencement of WW!

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