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  • #31
    Originally posted by Selous View Post
    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.
    Very true, and until the US emerged from its post civil war naval shell very valid. Things did not begin to change until the US did emerge. Prior to that the US could only be said to control the coast within 15000 yards of one of its forts. Over the horizon belonged to the RN. Two things changed this. First the aforementioned US building program and secondly the end of the age of sale meant a British ship with empty coal bunkers could not sail. Until oil replaced coal ship ranges were greatly reduced.


    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.
    One possible cassus beli that escaped me earlier and much in the vein of entangling alliances would be a American-Japanese war in the Pacific. Japan as a British ally may try to force (through appeals to honor) the UK to honor that alliance.

    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.
    As I stared above a US-Japanese war likely involves a China aspect.

    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.
    Access to markets is a cassus beli for both countries and the most likely flash points are South America or Asia. Something else to consider is a US-Japanese clash that risks pulling in the UK opening doors for an ambitious Germany.

    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.
    Also at Andy, many of the British dreadnoughts reflected measures to cut costs in order to speed up the building of numbers. There is a high level of danger that further efforts to cut costs to pump up numbers may drastically weaken the vessels. The British may get lucky and create a nelson type layout early which was a fairly well balanced design so long as the enemy was to the front or sides. But they may also may make a mistake.

    The obvious solutions to us with the ability of hindsight and a history shaped by the Washington Treaties are the Nelsons. However in an era where there were no weight requirements, no lessons of Jutland but many British yards were at about max capacity for beam and drought the solutions may be different and a disaster.

    Still sounds like small fry for major fleet action and a war footing.

    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.
    Which goes back to my earlier post about older British designs being coal fired or oil sprayed coalers having very limited range.

    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.
    Fleet on fleet the RN could throw a far heavier weight of broadside, had more ships etc. However, none of this can prevent an eventual US march up the st. Lawrence sea way and seizure of Halifax which would strand the Grand Fleet far from home.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
      Development of the aircraft carrier and other accutrements of the naval air arm will occur anyway. I dont see much incentive from the Great War for the original development of naval air power, & the influence on development during the war are the sort that would occur in one fashion or another anyway.

      What I also see is the submarine developing differently since there is no example of a large submarine fleet as a stand alone raiding force. maybe someone will develop the concept later, but most navies will stick to the doctrine of the sub as a specialized torpedo boat, just another lesser craft in the overall fleet & tied to fleet operations. Probablly the USN & Japanese will build large cruiser subs, but again as fleet components & not as a independant flotillia.
      This is the big technology paradygn shift. Just as the Dreadnought battleship rendered a huge portion of older fleets obsolete or obsolesent at best the aircraft carrier and an effective submarine do the same thing again.

      So, in terms of fleet development the nation that is most capable economically of building large fleets repeatedly and can afford previous 'editions' to go obsolete is the on that comes out on top.

      For this period that is the US. Japan and Britain lack the indiginous resources to build their fleets by 1925. That is, neither has the oil, steel, or modern industrial base to really keep up economically.
      Its not that either couldn't manage the technology. Both could and were contemporary with the US in that respect. What they couldn't match is the scale of production and access to resources the US had.

      In a war versus both Britain and Japan the US could easily have simply ignored one, or largely so, while defeating the other. Neither had the resources to mount a land war against the US and technology was sufficently immature that there was no way a naval force alone could really massively impact the US economy of that period.

      This is a somewhat simplified version but it is essentially correct on a grand strategic level. Carriers and subs simply render the Dreadnought navy obsolete requing that nations wanting a competitive navy build another entirely new fleet of ships. That is an expensive proposition.

      Comment


      • #33
        Rough comparison of the end of the WWI era super-dreadnoughts and battle cruisers. I listed these quick looks for what they show about what each sides naval architects were seeing in their crystal balls. It is interesting to see the similarities and the differences in design philosophy. Following Germany's historic style her battle cruisers would mount smaller guns but battleship class armor while her super dreadnoughts like the US and UK would be slow big gun monsters (17").

        The US planned to build the most, the UK to build the biggest and the Japanese to build twins... The UK's solution of putting all the main guns forward seems to be somewhat handicapped by a planned avoidance of superfiring turrets.

        US plans are the most classically British. The ship classes each mount the same size guns but in different amounts with battleships trading speed for power. The US battle cruisers in fact are very fast by design speeds, able to run down destroyers and lesser cruisers.

        Japan's designs are very similar and in effect add up to 8 battle cruisers and no super dreadnoughts. They have the highest average speed, but the lowest overall throw weights and gun ranges, excepting the Admiral class and what battle cruisers Germany would likely have built.

        US South Dakota Class Super Dreadnought (6 planned)
        43,200 tons, 12x 16", 23knts beam 32m, draft 10m, length 208m, max armor 13.5" 25,200lb broadside throw weight

        Lexington Class Battle Cruiser (6 planned)
        43,500 tons, 8x16", 33knts, beam 32m, draft 9.4m, length 266m, max armor 12", 16800lb max throw broadside throw weight

        UK

        N3 Class Super Dreadnought (4 panned)
        48,000 tons, 9x 18", 23knts, beam 32.3m, draft 10.1m, length 248m, max armor 15", 25,533lbs broadside throw weight. Note- all main guns forward

        Admiral Class Battle Cruiser (4 planned)
        45,720 tons, 8x 15", 31knts, beam 31.7m, draft 9.6m, length 262m, max armor 12", 15,360lb max broadside throw weight.

        Japan

        Kii Class Super Dreadnought (4 planned)
        42,600tons, 10x 16", 30knt, beam 31m, draft 9.4m, length 252m, max armor 14" Note- 16" are 45cal v US 50cal


        Amagi Class Battle Cruiser (4 planned)
        41,217 tons, 10x 16", 30knts, beam 30m, draft 9.5m, length 252m, max armor 10", note- 16" are 45cal vs US 50cal

        Comment


        • #34
          One thing to keep in mind is that by 1930 the US pulled ahead and substancially so in building more efficent ships in terms of their machinery and systems. This might seem minor but the US is getting roughly the same amount of fighting power out of an 8" cruiser of 10,000 tons that the British are out of one at 12,000 tons and the Japanese at 15,000 tons.
          The same is true for battleships. At 35,000 tons (give or take) the British got 10 14" guns with decent armor and 26 knots. The US got 9 16" with almost equal armor and 28 knots for the same tonnage while the Japanese would have gotten substancially less than either of those.

          This is due to the US adopting all AC electrical systems versus mixed AC / DC and hydraulic for the British and Japanese, very reliable 600 psi plants when the British and Japanese are still running 300 to 400 psi, etc.

          Comment


          • #35
            While this is a stonking thread, gotta love anything about battleships. It might be too big a change to get anything like a straight answer. Descisions are not made in isolation and over the time period we are talking any navy will have passed through at least two generations of design of ships and possibly three. The problem is We are looking at the potential design of ships built incorporating lessons learned from ships that were never built in our world and battles that were never fought.

            For instance the USN went down the technological route in an attempt to squeez more out of their ships. Given a blank cheque will they still do that? The effects of the change might produce a USN that's more resistant to big changes, it's one thing to produce a small class with an unproven or experimental change. To see what happens. It is another to produce ten or twelve ships with one.

            Also the change to the original world are going to produce other changes in our world the caribean was a quiet backwater. Given the issues of a much larger and potentially hostile USN they are ideally placed for submarine bases. The harbours from what I can remember are too small to handle a dreadnaught let alone a fleet of them. So, better defences and garrisons and some effort into longer ranged subs and better torpedoes may result. Maybe more research earlier into minelayers? The intent being that in a worst case scenario the USN can be delayed in getting to sea to enable the RN to deploy it's fleet?

            Hong Kong and Singapore probably get better defences and a bigger garrison. Perhaps a permanent fleet to operate from them.

            Maybe in this world the Anglo Japanese treaty doesnt have the restriction on war with America and the British are sharing technology more fully than they were? Economies of scale being what they are maybe the two are sharing classes of ship?

            Don't get me wrong it's a good thread. It's a belting thread. But nobody can really say what's going to happen after the first four years. After that the butterfly has flapped his wings too much.
            "Sometimes its better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness" T Pratchett

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by zraver View Post
              First the aforementioned US building program
              As I say, I don't ken enough of the building program to agree or disagree.

              and secondly the end of the age of sale meant a British ship with empty coal bunkers could not sail.
              That's not so true, a decent class of battleship could end up the other side of the world, her bunkers well supported by the aforementioned network of coaling stations which really was the crown jewel in British seapower at the time.

              Until oil replaced coal ship ranges were greatly reduced.
              The Great White Fleet was hampered in this, the French vessels heading east to China were, and the German vessels south to Germany (Edit: I meant German Africa )were. Britain's only logistics in this regard, of getting a powerful warship on station, were much easier, because there was rarely a safe coaling station too far away



              One possible cassus beli that escaped me earlier and much in the vein of entangling alliances would be a American-Japanese war in the Pacific. Japan as a British ally may try to force (through appeals to honor) the UK to honor that alliance.
              Just my opinion, but I think too much service is paid to the 'entangling alliances' pre-WWI in bringing about major war; though it no doubt played a role (Thucydidian trinity of Fear, HONOUR, and Interest) everyone had more to gain or lose than hhonouring alliances. Britain didn't go to war with Russia in 1905 when Japan and Britain were getting well on their way to friendly and Russia was still this morning's big foe. If it's worked out that the RN cannot get enough assets on station to achieve a favourable situation for Britain in the end, then I doubt the Admiralty will risk helping out the Mikado for a war footing with the US.


              Access to markets is a cassus beli for both countries and the most likely flash points are South America or Asia.
              There's still a proportionate response per every situation. You seem to be looking hard for a major fleet confrontation which will bring your numbers to bare, and I don't know what has to happen to bring about that response other than what did happen, weltkrieg. Unless some parallel with the 1905 war can be brought about.
              What US policies are likely to bring about this clash over markets?

              Something else to consider is a US-Japanese clash that risks pulling in the UK opening doors for an ambitious Germany.
              That's why I think the Japanese may be left to their own devices, if it's looking hairy in European waters, and too much of a risk. I'd expect none of this occures, however, in a political vacuum, and overtures could be made to the Kaiser (depending on what hat he's wearing that day), for a stand-down, or some other measure, there usually is.


              Which goes back to my earlier post about older British designs being coal fired or oil sprayed coalers having very limited range.
              As I said before, I can't say in this time period as such, but thanks to the Carnarvon Commision and subsequent improvements in ship design and efficiency, I'd suspect any major coal powered warship can get to any RN station in the world, that was the point of the commission and Thomas Brassey certainly reckoned so by 1881. From station to the area of battle is another thing, and dependent on the kind of operation the RN or their foe, is likely to be engaged in. It is not a panacea but it is a huge enabler for the RN in strategic level maneuver

              Fleet on fleet the RN could throw a far heavier weight of broadside, had more ships etc. However, none of this can prevent an eventual US march up the st. Lawrence sea way and seizure of Halifax which would strand the Grand Fleet far from home.
              Why is that?
              Baring in mind Andy's point that the decision had already been made that they wouldn't risk it.
              If the RN task fleet can arrive in the water under immediate contest, which I think it can, can throw a heavier broadside, for what that's worth, and is larger than the US fleet it is likely to encounter (I don't , I'm going off what you say) presumably it can then win decisive tactical battle at sea? (that is what you seem to imply here) - area permitting, I doubt they'd just keep steaming south till they run out of coal, but seek to engage the USN (I can't quite believe I'm typing this) within a credible area, no?
              And then can withdraw what's needed repair to Halifax where in waiting, presumably, a number of support vessels will have subsequently arrive from off station. With the USN defeated in Mahanian force on force battle (I don't know if that's likely it's what I'm getting from what you said above) then those waters are now no longer contested, but under local control by the RN. Control of the sea however, is relative, the juncture between theoretical Command of the Sea, and reality. That space would be nevertheless, much more difficult to deal with now that, in this hypothetical post-battle scenario, the USN has lost its battle fleet to decisive engagement. What then?
              Which is still all rather moot if what Andy maintains to be true; the RN wouldn't be sent to fight the USN, by Admiralty decision.

              I may have to step off the merry-go-round for a bit, so have no hard feelings if I don't get back on some points.
              Last edited by Selous; 05 Jun 12, 07:35.
              ------
              '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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              • #37
                Darkplace makes an obvious and pertinent post above.

                Without WW1, its hard with any true knowledge to know how and what pace a naval arms race would proceed. The distant images and effects of WW1 were cataclysmic upon the human race and there consequences and complexities live on with us to this day.

                One can argue in favour of every nation, if certain cards fell there way or alliances or circumstance/scenario played out one way or another.

                As I mentioned earlier the rather simplistic and somewhat facile practice of comparing like with like numbers (in terms of BB characteristics etc) as the sole determining factor, is very limiting in terms of a insightful discussion.

                An excellent tome for anyone interested in such matters is Norman Friedmans, Naval Firepower (Battleship guns and gunnery in the Dreadnought ERA), published by Seaforth 2008

                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


                • #38
                  DP, Andy,

                  Very true, especially as we're going ever further from the initial alteration (presumably 1914 if not earlier) right into the 30s. It's such a drastic change, it's hard to chart.
                  ------
                  '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

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Selous View Post
                    As I say, I don't ken enough of the building program to agree or disagree.

                    That's not so true, a decent class of battleship could end up the other side of the world, her bunkers well supported by the aforementioned network of coaling stations which really was the crown jewel in British seapower at the time.
                    From Halifax there is a small coaling station (commercial) at both St Johns in Canada and Newfoundland. After that the British Virgian Islands, Bahamas and then Jamaica. From the US state of main to the Bahamas there is no British coal.

                    The Great White Fleet was hampered in this, the French vessels heading east to China were, and the German vessels south to Germany were. Britain's only logistics in this regard, of getting a powerful warship on station, were much easier, because there was rarely a safe coaling station too far away
                    Except for the West coast of South America and both American coasts.

                    Just my opinion, but I think too much service is paid to the 'entangling alliances' pre-WWI in bringing about major war; though it no doubt played a role (Thucydidian trinity of Fear, HONOUR, and Interest) everyone had more to gain or lose than hhonouring alliances. Britain didn't go to war with Russia in 1905 when Japan and Britain were getting well on their way to friendly and Russia was still this morning's big foe. If it's worked out that the RN cannot get enough assets on station to achieve a favourable situation for Britain in the end, then I doubt the Admiralty will risk helping out the Mikado for a war footing with the US.
                    I simply showed it as one in a number of possible flash points.


                    There's still a proportionate response per every situation. You seem to be looking hard for a major fleet confrontation which will bring your numbers to bare, and I don't know what has to happen to bring about that response other than what did happen, weltkrieg. Unless some parallel with the 1905 war can be brought about.
                    What US policies are likely to bring about this clash over markets?
                    More trying to look at it as they did, they thought in terms of a great big clash of steel.

                    That's why I think the Japanese may be left to their own devices, if it's looking hairy in European waters, and too much of a risk. I'd expect none of this occures, however, in a political vacuum, and overtures could be made to the Kaiser (depending on what hat he's wearing that day), for a stand-down, or some other measure, there usually is.
                    Kaiser Bill is a wildcard.

                    As I said before, I can't say in this time period as such, but thanks to the Carnarvon Commision and subsequent improvements in ship design and efficiency, I'd suspect any major coal powered warship can get to any RN station in the world, that was the point of the commission and Thomas Brassey certainly reckoned so by 1881. From station to the area of battle is another thing, and dependent on the kind of operation the RN or their foe, is likely to be engaged in. It is not a panacea but it is a huge enabler for the RN in strategic level maneuver
                    A couple of problems with coaling stations exist however. How much coal do they have and how fast can a fleet be coaled by hand. Loading the coal bunkers on a single dreadnought took a day or more of chain gang work.

                    Why is that?
                    Because the St Lawrence sea way is a river the forms the eastern boundary between the US and Canada. Its called a seaway becuase it links the Great Lakes with the Atlantic. Halifax is close to America and in the event of invasion is unlikely to hold.


                    I may have to step off the merry-go-round for a bit, so have no hard feelings if I don't get back on some points.
                    No hard feelings, this is less about conflict than about how ship and fleet building programs might have developed as newcomers entered the field. Not unlike the atom bomb and now stealth.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      In terms of carriers I'll will add this.
                      In reality:-
                      US Navy officers serving in Britain during WW1 took a close interest in the development of naval aviation. Their own service lagged behind British development when America entered the war in 1917, and the RN constructor Stanley Goodall was lent to the the USN Bureau of Construction and Repair. He took with him a number of warship plans, inc those for the aircraft carriers HMS Eagle and HMS Hermes, which were in the early stages of construction. He was also able to summarise British operational doctrine and informed the General Board that: Air fighting has become a feature of naval opeartions and the tactical movements of a fleet before an engagement opens will, most probably, be governed by information obtained by air scouts. A series of fights between opposing aircraft will most likely be a preliminary to a fleet action. A fleet should, therefore, be attended by recce and fighting machines....
                      The General Board accepted this philosophy and with the evidence of the large number of aircraft carriers being built or converted by the RN, pressed for the construction of large and capable ships in 1918. Design work continued after the war's end, but Congress refused the necessary funds and only allowed the conversion of the collier USS Jupiter....It would not emerge as the USN first CV until some 3yrs later.
                      Source: A Century of Carrier Aviation (The Evolution of Ships and Shipborne Aircraft) by David Hobbs. Published by Seaforth 2009.

                      Without WW1 there is no telling where naval aviation would have gone, and obviously the knock-on affect into WW2 naval history.

                      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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                      • #41
                        As I said, it's a busy day today, so just these last points

                        Originally posted by zraver View Post
                        From Halifax there is a small coaling station (commercial) at both St Johns in Canada and Newfoundland. After that the British Virgian Islands, Bahamas and then Jamaica. From the US state of main to the Bahamas there is no British coal.
                        I'm not sure on the cruising range of the ships of the period, I'd question the import of the above. In the unlikely, as we've established, event of major fleet operations, the USN will be headed north to defeat the RN at sea, as Uncle Alfred

                        ‘grasped the point that a belligerent who must control the sea in order to use it – as contrasted with a belligerent who must seek only to deny such control – has to be willing and able to give battle on demand.’[1]
                        [1] Gray, C.S. Modern Strategy (1st Edition. Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press. 1999)pp.225




                        Except for the West coast of South America and both American coasts.
                        Which is only important if A. the USN battle fleet is in the Pacific and the RN, for some reason I cannot contemplate, is seeking decisive naval battle there and not the Western Atlantic.

                        I simply showed it as one in a number of possible flash points.
                        For a flashpoint to spark a major war, it needs to exist in a wider political context. I don't get that between the US and Britain at this time, but I'm not saying for certain.

                        More trying to look at it as they did, they thought in terms of a great big clash of steel.
                        Mahan didn't recommend decisive naval battle for mere brushfires and stand offs. He emphasised the capital ship for obtaining relative control of the sea, not for settling a trade dispute.


                        Kaiser Bill is a wildcard.
                        Which is probably why he wouldn't be left with no eyes on him. The risk might not be taken.

                        A couple of problems with coaling stations exist however. How much coal do they have and how fast can a fleet be coaled by hand. Loading the coal bunkers on a single dreadnought took a day or more of chain gang work.
                        Presuming that any flare up takes place in a realistic escalation and the run-down of political options, necessitating upper level communications between governments, that's not so bad a time frame.


                        Because the St Lawrence sea way is a river the forms the eastern boundary between the US and Canada. Its called a seaway becuase it links the Great Lakes with the Atlantic. Halifax is close to America and in the event of invasion is unlikely to hold.
                        The USN fleet is on the Great Lakes and steaming out into the West Atlantic, before or after it's sought decisive Naval battle with the RN fleet?


                        No hard feelings, this is less about conflict than about how ship and fleet building programs might have developed as newcomers entered the field. Not unlike the atom bomb and now stealth.
                        Then if you're maintaining that the fleet building operations of the US, Germany and Japan combined are enough to strategically check the British ship building program, despite the lack of a Great power war's tax on resources and so on, well, I'm sure someone else is better read to answer that, because laying down hulls and productivity is the part I dozed off reading Kennedy The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery. (edit, actually, that's not quite fair, but I do not have those figures, more less can I say how they would have been altered by a lack of WWI or several years after no WWI.) So I'm not sure what else I can add.
                        Last edited by Selous; 05 Jun 12, 08:41.
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                        '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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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Selous View Post
                          DP, Andy,

                          Very true, especially as we're going ever further from the initial alteration (presumably 1914 if not earlier) right into the 30s. It's such a drastic change, it's hard to chart.
                          Hi Selous

                          Indeed.

                          On June 7th 1944, Senator David Walsh, Chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs United States Senate published a brief History of Naval Legislation from 1922-1944, pointing out the policy od the Government during these years and the steps taken in recent years to rebuild our Navy to its present strength.
                          The paper is in 3parts but only the first part is relevant here, its entitled the period of decline 1922-1930. It goes on to say in so many words, how the American nation was trying to lead the way in global disarmament by setting an example to other nations. The Senator for Massachusetts also pointed out that between 1922-1930, the other great naval powers (Great Britain, France, Japan and Italy) had built or authorized 400 naval vessels, compared to America's 11.

                          The public mood in America for a naval arms race without the needs arising from WW1, is hard to judge. The isolationist movement may well have remained stronger or even gained in strength. Without any obvious enemies on the horizon would the American Government spent money on a fleet, that had no immediate or plausible enemy, whilst negating other domestic issues or financial requirements?

                          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


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Selous View Post
                            As I said, it's a busy day today, so just these last points

                            I'm not sure on the cruising range of the ships of the period, I'd question the import of the above. In the unlikely, as we've established, event of major fleet operations, the USN will be headed north to defeat the RN at sea, as Uncle Alfred
                            A pure coal fired dreadnought has a range of between 5-7000 miles at 10-12knts. Dreadnoughts did not really get global range until oil spraying and then oil fired ships arrived. For the RN that does not happen until the Iron Duke class leaving the preceding classes; Orion (4), KGV (4), Colossus (2), Neptune (1), St Vincent (3), Bellerophon (3) and HMS Dreadnought vessels with very short legs

                            ‘grasped the point that a belligerent who must control the sea in order to use it – as contrasted with a belligerent who must seek only to deny such control – has to be willing and able to give battle on demand.’[1]
                            [1] Gray, C.S. Modern Strategy (1st Edition. Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press. 1999)pp.225
                            All 4 of the players sought control of the seas, not denial.

                            [quote]Which is only important if A. the USN battle fleet is in the Pacific and the RN, for some reason I cannot contemplate, is seeking decisive naval battle there and not the Western Atlantic. [quote]

                            Just a comment on the global network of coaling stations.

                            For a flashpoint to spark a major war, it needs to exist in a wider political context. I don't get that between the US and Britain at this time, but I'm not saying for certain.
                            The political reality between the US and UK at this time neither strained like it was between Germany and the UK nor improving like it was between the UK and France. The US was an up and comer globally now that its own domestic market was driving industrial advances and she had growing global ambitions stemming from the acquisition of overseas colonies following the Spanish-American War.

                            Mahan didn't recommend decisive naval battle for mere brushfires and stand offs. He emphasised the capital ship for obtaining relative control of the sea, not for settling a trade dispute.
                            However, wars have a way of growing despite good intentions.

                            Which is probably why he wouldn't be left with no eyes on him. The risk might not be taken.
                            A complex issue to be sure, but as hegemon, the UK may feel compelled to act against Y to deter adventures by X. However while acting agaisnt Y there is the danger that X will join the dance as well. Would Japan have dared attack in 1941 if there was no war in Europe and the full weight of the RN could have been sent to the Pacific and British skill at arms had not appeared so lack luster?

                            Presuming that any flare up takes place in a realistic escalation and the run-down of political options, necessitating upper level communications between governments, that's not so bad a time frame.
                            In the context of Halifax however a significant portion of any expeditionary force that has coal fired ships will be laid up for days refueling.

                            The USN fleet is on the Great Lakes and steaming out into the West Atlantic, before or after it's sought decisive Naval battle with the RN fleet?
                            US Army

                            [quote]Then if you're maintaining that the fleet building operations of the US, Germany and Japan combined are enough to strategically check the British ship building program, despite the lack of a Great power war's tax on resources and so on, well, I'm sure someone else is better read to answer that, because laying down hulls and productivity is the part I dozed off reading Kennedy The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery. (edit, actually, that's not quite fair, but I do not have those figures, more less can I say how they would have been altered by a lack of WWI or several year

                            I was looking at building programs before the Great War. The Anglo-German race wasn't the only naval arms race in town before WWI. The race with Germany and the US also opened up windows for smaller powers to make a play. Italy an ally of Germany would build 6 while Austria-Hungary built of planned 8. This drove a French program that called for 16 dreadnoughts to insure her fleets dominance in the south (with the RN controlling the North).

                            France a nation already struggling to match the German army for numbers felt compelled by the big guns ships and also tried to match the naval building programs of other rivals. These ships were seen as extensions of the state and national honor. heck at one point the Netherlands considered building up to 9 of them.

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                            • #44
                              One would hope that like the British who suffered a rather poor rate of return for shells fired, that the USN in the early 20th Century would hopefully improve on their woeful rate of return as witnessed in their last 2 naval engagements at Manila & Santiago in the Spanish-American War of 1898.

                              In the first encounter in Manila, the Spanish wrecks were examined and the following results were recorded:-

                              157 8in rounds fired, 14 hits recorded =9%
                              635 6in rounds fired, 7 hits recorded =1%
                              622 5in rounds fired, 22 hits recorded =3.5%
                              2124 6pdr rounds fired, 31 hits recorded =1.5%

                              at Santiago it was slightly better in some categories but not all

                              47 13in rounds fired, 0 hits recorded =0%
                              39 12in rounds fired, 2 hits recorded =5%
                              219 8in rounds fired, 10 hits recorded =5.5%
                              754 6&5in rounds fired, 17 hits recorded =2%
                              251 4in rounds fired, 13 hits recorded =5%
                              6553 6pdr rounds fired, 76 hits recorded =1%

                              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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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Andy H View Post

                                The public mood in America for a naval arms race without the needs arising from WW1, is hard to judge. The isolationist movement may well have remained stronger or even gained in strength. Without any obvious enemies on the horizon would the American Government spent money on a fleet, that had no immediate or plausible enemy, whilst negating other domestic issues or financial requirements?

                                Regards
                                Andy, the isolationist movement was a response to WWI and the Great Depression. Without WWI the US like most other powers at a similar stage of development would most likely have quite happily carried on with the whiteman's burden of colonial enterprise. The US had a psuedo-colony in Africa (Liberia) and colonial possessions in the Asia/Pacific region and Caribbean. She also had a growing network of corporate plantations in Central and South America she would send troops to secure. There was a growing economic/ religious interest in the Ottoman Empire. Finally, though still behind London in banking before WWI, the US was becoming a major global creditor and thus player at gun boat diplomacy

                                There is little evidence to suggest that minus WWI and the Great Depression that the US would have turned isolationist.

                                Again the evidence shows the US commissioned 31 battleships from 1900-1914 with 29 in service when WWI broke out including 10 dreadnoughts. The US also had ordered and/or already begun building what would be 5 of the 19 planned standard class battleships. WWI slowed it did not speed up the US building program. This seems to strongly indicate that minus WWI the US would have pushed ahead with its building program. Heck the US will a similar sized economy had even less of an army to fund than the British. Just 100,000 or so men mostly in coastal forts with no feild divisions and just 4-5 regiments rated as "combat ready" when the troubles in Mexico started.

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