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  • #91
    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
    Exactly. The USN figured out that a 25 to 35,000 ton carrier was just too small to take an armored flight deck without making huge compromises to the size of the air wing it could take.
    The Royal Navy faced with a very limited FAA size and greater opposition to a large naval air arm, opted for the heavier armor at the expense of the air wing. This proved all-around a worse combination than the US or Japan chose with larger air wings and less protection.
    The armored carrier with an enclosed hanger proved unable to withstand heavy bomb hits as not enough protection could be put on the tonnage being used. The result was more damage from contained blast than if the flight deck were unarmored.
    Worse, the small air wing proved incapable to mounting high intensity air operations like their Japanese and US counterparts could. In the closing days of the Pacific War RN carriers operating in the Pacific switched primarily to CAP operations as their armored flight deck was effective in stopping Kamakaze (which have little penetration capacity) making them better for being exposed to that environment. But, their small air wing meant that only the most limited strikes could be carried out in addition to the CAP function.

    The US went to an armored flight deck with the Midway class carriers. But, these weighed in, nominally, at 45,000 tons and were now big enough to have a large air wing and support an armored flight deck. The follow on America design (which didn't get built) saw a debate about air wing size versus protection in that if the air wing was too large you couldn't get full use out of it in a launch-land cycle. That is, there is an upper limit to carrier size as well as a lower one.
    The result today is that US super-carriers represent about the maximum size you can build one with current aircraft designs. Go larger and you can't utilize all the aircraft aboard, go smaller and you can't get all the missions necessary accomplished with one carrier.
    Great post TA.
    The British Carriers were also badly structurally damaged by blast reverberation. It was a dead end, which the first three Courageous class conversions didn't have.

    They lacked other things( such as effective torpedo protection.)

    The best defense was to allow the bomb blast to blow out the hanger sides and pick up the pieces - with a surviving ship.
    The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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    • #92
      Hi

      British carriers without the treaties may well have got a lot bigger than they originally did. It's hard to say with any certainty that they would but equally it couldn't be ruled out!

      Perhaps the Malta class is built earlier giving the RN a capability within the realms of the USN. However given that outside of any limited engagement East of Suez, the RN (against any foolish USN attempt at interdiction) would be in area where they could call upon land based air cover! thus negating the need for larger A/C's!

      Anyway a draw is the outcome of this rather far-fetched WI

      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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      • #93
        Not so sure,

        Originally posted by Andy H View Post
        Hi

        British carriers without the treaties may well have got a lot bigger than they originally did. It's hard to say with any certainty that they would but equally it couldn't be ruled out!

        Perhaps the Malta class is built earlier giving the RN a capability within the realms of the USN. However given that outside of any limited engagement East of Suez, the RN (against any foolish USN attempt at interdiction) would be in area where they could call upon land based air cover! thus negating the need for larger A/C's!

        Anyway a draw is the outcome of this rather far-fetched WI

        Regards
        Andy, the Air Ministry/Admiralty feud over the FAA, and concerns, limited RN carrier development as much as, if not more than did the Treaties. That said, if there were changes, the smaller Trade Support carrier was more likely than a Malta. As it was, the Illustrious Class as conceived and designed, even though owing more to Jutland than did most of their foreign contemporaries, was a step forward and more than adequate for the RN's needs at the time. The differences were more along the lines of operational needs and practises, and it would take combat i.e. a war, to shuffle the deck, advance the role of the Aircraft/Carrier over the Battleship, to clarify needs and change operational practises across the board.
        Last edited by Marmat; 18 Jul 14, 12:20.
        "I am Groot"
        - Groot

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        • #94
          Originally posted by Andy H View Post
          Hi

          British carriers without the treaties may well have got a lot bigger than they originally did. It's hard to say with any certainty that they would but equally it couldn't be ruled out!

          Perhaps the Malta class is built earlier giving the RN a capability within the realms of the USN. However given that outside of any limited engagement East of Suez, the RN (against any foolish USN attempt at interdiction) would be in area where they could call upon land based air cover! thus negating the need for larger A/C's!

          Anyway a draw is the outcome of this rather far-fetched WI

          Regards
          This is unlikely. The RN has multiple reasons not to build larger carriers.

          First, there is the issue with the RAF and "territorial" friction over aircraft and who does what.
          Next, there is a money issue. The RN can't even modernize their existing ships fully and often are forced to pick and choose what they will do. To compound this, there are issues of command and strategy.

          In command, the RN doesn't have a strong aviation community. The number of officers is small and none of them really have clout with top decision making. Add to this that there is no requirement carriers be commanded by aviators as in the USN and you have no real path to top leadership if you are in the FAA.
          This results in the FAA and carrier community having no advocate on strategic planning with a strong voice.

          Then, in strategy Britain is not facing a certain enemy that is a naval power. Sure, either Japan or the US might enter a war with Britain but the chances in the interwar period are small.
          Germany, France, and Europe in general don't have large navies to challenge the RN at sea. Since another European war is more likely air power at sea is not a major necessity like it is for the US or Japan fighting far from home in an ocean with few base sites. For the RN they can rely on the RAF (no hindsight there) to provide air cover when necessary in the close space of the North Sea or Channel.
          Trade protection is far more important. For that Britain needs small cruisers and lots of antisubmarine ships to defend against surface raiders and submarines. A large carrier is not a necessity.

          The result will be that Britain will not build large carriers simply because they make no sense economically, strategically, or politically.

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          • #95
            Hi Marmat & TAG

            You both make good points which I can agree with in there formulation.
            However if the Naval Treaties didn't come into play, there would have been a global naval arms race, and that would have removed many of the valid points and barriers from the table.

            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


            • #96
              Originally posted by Andy H View Post
              Hi Marmat & TAG

              You both make good points which I can agree with in there formulation.
              However if the Naval Treaties didn't come into play, there would have been a global naval arms race, and that would have removed many of the valid points and barriers from the table.

              Regards
              There was a global arms race in ships anyway. The treaties just changed what the race was about.
              For example, because the limits were 10,000 tons and 8" guns on cruisers everybody started building 8" cruisers with a 10,000 ton displacement.
              Destroyers were limited to 1500 tons so that became the size of destroyers. Everybody then tried to see how much they could cram on them. Same goes for 2000 ton destroyer "leaders."
              Carrier tonnage was the same way.

              Without the treaties nations wouldn't be building to the limit but rather what they thought they needed.
              I can see Britain foregoing any 8" cruisers in favor of far more 6" gunned ones with 8 to 12 guns. The US likely would still have built 8" gunned cruisers then 12" gunned ones with the Japanese struggling to build "replies" to them.
              For Britain, the Tiger would still be available and some of the older BB might still be in service too.

              The treaties change things, but they didn't stop things.

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              • #97
                The USN never built their allowed tonnage before WWII.
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                • #98
                  Originally posted by OpanaPointer View Post
                  The USN never built their allowed tonnage before WWII.
                  In some categories they did.

                  The Wasp was built because that brought the US to their limit on carriers. That is why the Wasp wasn't an improved Yorktown but rather an unprotected carrier of slightly smaller dimensions.

                  In cruisers the Erie class "gunboats" were built primarily as a dodge of the rules to allow the US to end up with more tonnage in that class.

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                  • #99
                    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post

                    In cruisers the Erie class "gunboats" were built primarily as a dodge of the rules to allow the US to end up with more tonnage in that class.
                    TAG, could you please explain that to me? The Erie-class gunboats had nothing in common with cruisers, or did I misinterpret what you meant?

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                    • Originally posted by johns624 View Post
                      TAG, could you please explain that to me? The Erie-class gunboats had nothing in common with cruisers, or did I misinterpret what you meant?
                      They were an attempt to get around the treaty. Intended for commerce protection and a substitute for a "cruiser."

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                      • Duh! I never realized that they had four 6in guns. For some reason, I had it in my head that they just had 3in guns. Now I feel stupid(er than normal). Thanks!

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                        • Originally posted by OpanaPointer View Post
                          The USN never built their allowed tonnage before WWII.
                          And apparently that proved to be a problem when negotiating London 1 & 2, with the Japanese in particular. Cutting so close to the bone so to speak, the US lacked a valuable tool in negotiations; the willingness to scrap to achieve lower limits, something the Japanese would respect. There was less by way of new fat to scrap, if the Japanese were to accept a 20% reduction across the board, it would end up costing them more to achieve.

                          The RN, after the likes of ASDIC, the Nelsons and Counties, with less money, built but with less innovation, a lower cost and "tried & true" technological denominator, until after the failures of London 2 anyway.
                          "I am Groot"
                          - Groot

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                          • Originally posted by 17thfabn View Post
                            Would a limiting factor for U.S. ship size be getting through the Panama Canal?
                            Yes.

                            But the US started excavating for a 3rd set of Locks in 1939, and stopped after Pearl Harbor.

                            The current expansion is using that as a starting point.

                            So if there is some kind of War Fever building, the US would start that project

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                            • This American Beauty Certainly Would Had Been Built

                              Last edited by Retired In Kali; 28 Aug 14, 22:55.

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