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Postwar Royal Navy Battleships? (NOT including the Vanguard!)

Tony Williams

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royabulgaf said:
The end of lend--lease nearly ruined Britain economically, and Britain simply did not have the wherewithall to rebuilt its fleet.
It wasn't the end of Lend-Lease which caused the economic problems - it was six years of the UK economy being totally focused on war (and that economy was none too strong to start with). By the end of the war, the UK was massively in hock to the US, a debt which was only finally paid off about 50 years afterwards.
 

Sea Skimmer

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The point is I think, that the abrupt end of all aid was a lot more disrupting then a gradual taping off would have been. This was compounded by the senseless requirement that aid which could not be returned be destroyed leading to things like aircraft that could have been scrapped being thrown off the decks of RN carriers into the sea in the Pacific. In fact the US realized the situation was absurd after about a year, and in 1946 authorized the large Anglo American Loan. That included writing off Lend Lease debts, and selling the Britisha lot of remaining equipment and supplies at a highly discount rate.Its repayment of that loan that took fifty years, and its terms caused other problems as it was. A more sensible US policy wouldn't have made the British wealthy, but it certainly would have taken the edge off of things.
 

phil gollin

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JFC Fuller :


ADM 1/25853 does NOT contain turret work


NO design work was done, whether authorised or not.


NO REAL PLANS - just pipedreams.
 

JFC Fuller

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phil gollin said:
.


JFC Fuller :


ADM 1/25853 does NOT contain turret work


NO design work was done, whether authorised or not.


NO REAL PLANS - just pipedreams.
Yes it does, there is a very clear line that states work, albeit at a low level, was ongoing in 1948. The effort to define an acceptable size and armament for the ships is design work in itself.

And again, the bits of evidence you have once again ignored: the redesign was authorised by the War Cabinet in 1944 with the intention of including the ships in 1945 estimates, they were then included in the 1945 estimates and Churchill wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer indicating his approval for the two battleships being in the 1945 estimates.

It was a real programme.
 

phil gollin

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IF So (which it is not) - PLEASE provide details.


ADM 1/25853 and Admiralty wishes do NOT back up your claims.


.
 

JFC Fuller

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Yes it is, I read that document just last weekend. That document also underlines the ongoing shell design work- theoretical or otherwise it was happening.

And once again you have completely ignored the 1944 redesign authorisation, the presence of the two ships in the original 1945 estimates and Churchill's seeming approval of that. I also note that you are ignoring the experimental work done to produce a 16" flashless charge.

As for claims, I have only ever stated that this was a real project, that the RN had very real plans to build new battleships and that they were in the preliminary stages of designing the ships and armament when the process was halted. All of which is true and has already been proved (and written about by multiple authors).

You on the other hand claimed the following:

phil gollin said:
There were NEVER any real plans to build two new battleships.
Which has been proven to be completely false.
 

phil gollin

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You keep saying something WITHOUT evidence.


There is NO evidence of any Lion class re-design


There is NO evidence of any new battleship design work (only "back-of-the envelope" type studies which concluded a possible new design would be too big, too expensive and not required).


There is NO evidence of any new turret work (that document only notes required sizes)..
 

JFC Fuller

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There is plenty of evidence, all of which you keep ignoring, not least the cabinet approval for the redesign and the inclusion of the ships in the original 1945 estimates as circulated to the cabinet.

There were design studies under-way, with the size issues being addressed by reducing the main armament- hence design X- a derivation of which is what D.K.Browne shows a conjectural image of. Gun, shell, flash-less charge and mounting designs were under way (that document does state that turret design was ongoing). That the design was cancelled as being too expensive is not up for dispute- entire swathes of RN ship construction was cancelled in 1945. However, you said:

phil gollin said:
There were NEVER any real plans to build two new battleships.
This is not just proved wrong by the preliminary design steps undertaken on ships and their armament but also by the fact that this was discussed and approved by the war cabinet in 1944 and included in the initial 1945 estimates as circulated to the cabinet in 1945. There is plenty of evidence for this including the conclusions of the relevant 1944 cabinet meeting and the presence of the original 1945 estimates as a memorandum to the cabinet in the 1945 cabinet conclusions file.
 

Jemiba

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Folks, first let me congratulate, that you both have shown a remarkable degree of sobriety ! There
were no personal attacks nor insults in this discussion, although your attitudes to the theme obviously
are contrary. I wish, this could be said of all discussion here in this forum ! ;)

Nevertheless, since #34, I think, you are moving in circle, so perhaps it would be best either to agree to
disagree, or to search for new arguments supporting your respective opinion ?
 

JFC Fuller

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Thank you for your interjection Jemiba. You are of course absolutely correct and, time allowing, it is my intention to post the details of additional documentary evidence over the weekend.
 

JFC Fuller

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I checked ADM 1/25853 again today and it contains the following line:

Although design work on the new 16 inch turret is still going on slowly, a prototype mounting could not be produced in less than 5 years time...
And this is 1948, there are also a number of other files relating to the new gun programme which had it have continued would have produced a 16 inch MkIV gun in a Mk III turret. There is actually a relatively large amount of information about the gun, shells and charge work at Kew. What is missing is documentation about the Mk III turret.
 

Grey Havoc

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This may be of interest: http://shipbucket.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3751
 

JFC Fuller

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I took a further look at this last weekend. The future building committee ran studies into the ideal armament and other characteristics in 1944. I am kicking myself at the moment as I realised only after I had left that the secondary armament study compared the 4.5" Mk.V against the 5.25" Mk.IV design- the latter of which has interested me ages as it seems to have been been considered for some of the wartime cruiser designs too and I didn't get any notes on its specs! Anyway, the conclusion was that given the air threat 24 4.5" in twelve twin turrets was better that 16 x 5.25" in eight twin turrets.

Additionally, such was the RN's seriousness about battleships that there were plans as late as 1953 to dock two of them for repairs and maintenance- unclear whether this included any planned modifications.
 

covert_shores

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There may be a better thread for this but this wartime Popular Mechanics article shows two conceptual sketches from a British designer (main) and US designer (lower).


How different would the postwar battleship designs have been?
 

ouroboros

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Do you have the opposite page showing the american whaleback dreadnaught?
 

TomS

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It's the inset picture immediately above the text on the first page. The turrets don't seem to be able to traverse, judging by the illustration.
 

Tzoli

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TomS said:
It's the inset picture immediately above the text on the first page. The turrets don't seem to be able to traverse, judging by the illustration.
They can, the turrets write a circle and that circle's angle is worked in the deck
 

TomS

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Tzoli said:
TomS said:
It's the inset picture immediately above the text on the first page. The turrets don't seem to be able to traverse, judging by the illustration.
They can, the turrets write a circle and that circle's angle is worked in the deck
I don't think we're talking about the same design. I'm talking about the smaller drawing in Covert Shore's post, which is so crude that the turrets appear to blend straight into the superstructure.
 

JFC Fuller

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I found yet more evidence showing how serious the 1944/45 battleship plans were today. A DNO publication from April 1946 outlined the development that had been undertaken on an RPC.40 system for the Mk.III 16 inch turret.
 

Abraham Gubler

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JFC Fuller said:
I found yet more evidence showing how serious the 1944/45 battleship plans were today. A DNO publication from April 1946 outlined the development that had been undertaken on an RPC.40 system for the Mk.III 16 inch turret.
I think D.K. Brown mentions that development of the new 16" gun continued after (!) the post war pair of battleships (Cat & Saucy) were removed from the programming. A quick look at "Rebuilding the RN" indicates that the two ships were removed in "Autumn 1945" but development of the MK IV 16 inch system continued "slowly" until 1948. RPC development would continue as a key element of the gun system.
 

JFC Fuller

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As I stated back in May 2013:

JFC Fuller said:
The War cabinet authorised the redesign of Lion and Temeraire in 1944, a staff requirement was raised and design studies undertaken through to mid-1945, those ships were then inserted into the original 1945 estimates and circulated to the cabinet- completion dates were planned for 1952. The design of the 16" gun mountings (as well as new 14", 15" and 16" shells) continued until 1948 and a flashless 16" charge was being developed in 1945.
To which we can now add the RPC.40 work for the Mk.III turret and Mk.IV gun combination.

Another interesting comment I found yesterday, apparently the desire was to engage six air targets simultaneously with the secondary battery which suggests six HA/LA directors controlling the twelve desired 4.5" Mk.VI turrets. Thats a 50% increase in HA/LA directors over both the King George Vs and Vanguard. The (speculative?) line drawing in Rebuilding the Royal Navy shows a ship with six directors (four visible), however the secondary layout does not match any of the documents I have found. That drawing shows eleven mountings whereas the documentary evidence I have seen to date refers to twelve, ten or eight 4.5" Mk.VI mountings.
 

JFC Fuller

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I had always blindly assumed that when the RN was thinking of using the 4.5" for these ships it had the MkVI mounting as used on destroyers and frigates in mind, the speculative line drawing in Rebuilding the Royal Navy was clearly drawn with the same thought in mind and seems to run into the same issues I did in that actually locating all those turrets around the hull is challenging- the result on the line drawing is a turret superfiring over both A & B turrets. However, on reflection it seems much more likely that what was being considered was using the MkVII turret designed for the Malta class in an arrangement similar to that used for the Renown, Queen Elizabeth and Valiant modernisations.

Also, John Campbell's Naval Weapons of World War Two has some details on the design work undertaken by Vickers for the Mk.III 16" turret.
 

Abraham Gubler

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JFC Fuller said:
That drawing shows eleven mountings whereas the documentary evidence I have seen to date refers to twelve, ten or eight 4.5" Mk.VI mountings.
There could be 12 x 4.5" gun mounts in that drawing if the aftermost mount was actually two mountings with one on each beam. Which would make sense because there is lot of width there to use with no X main gun and to provide heavy fires high and aft.

The bigger (and better) carrier mounting makes sense as the battleship could absorb the extra space and weight needed compared to a destroyer. It would also look cool sailing around with 12 x cylindrical mountings.
 

JohnR

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Would the Mk7 have been a cylindrical mount? Most images I have seen of sketches of the Malta's show cubic turrets as in the Mk6 and the information I've read says that it would have had an enlarged turret ring. I would therefore assume that the turret design would have been adapted/enlarged along the lines of the 5.25 mounts on the Vanguard, making working conditions in the turret easier.

It's a subject that intrigues me as information on the Mk7 is so scant, and I would love to see some hard facts.

Regards.
 

Abraham Gubler

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Many Malta CV drawings are post facto sketches made by enthusiasts who have just substituted a Mk 6 gunhouse for the proposed mounting. Actual RN and ex DNC (aka DK Brown) sourced drawings (see attachment) show the Malta CV’s Mk 7 with a cylindrical, flat top gunhouse for flightdeck edge deconfliction. Interestingly this gunhouse has a vertical cutout outboard of the barrels to create a flat face in this location. Probably to provide a window for local control.

Looking into the one good picture of the 1945 RN BB from DK Brown (Rebuilding the RN) it provides some additional, if vague, support for the Mk 7 argument. And a Mk 7 without a cylindrical, flat top gunhouse but a conventionally shaped one. Which of course makes sense as there is no need for the specialised flight deck edge shape and it would be more expensive to fabricate with its circular face.

When one brings the drawing of the 1945 RN BB into scale (using the length of X3 design which correlates with other features like the Bofors guns) with a Malta CV their respective 4.5” gunhouses have very similar lengths and heights. Which is in contrast to a similar scaled gunhouse of Mk 6 mountings. It isn’t very much but it does support the 1945 BB having 12 of the Mk 7 mounting rather than Mk 6s.
 

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JFC Fuller

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The drawing attached is likely highly speculative, I would be careful about reading too much into it.
 
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Mike1158

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It seems that there are a number of people with opposing views, these views are stated as being factual. NO evidence is supplied for any of these 'opinions' that I can see and to be completely honest the whole thing comes across as hot air in a playground.

Perhaps the next big controversy/opinion/thread will be illuminated with some factual evidence but I cannot see it happening.
 

Tzoli

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British Aircraft Carriers Design, Development and Service Histories by David Hobbs also shows round turrets somewhat similar to those of the Illustrious class of the Mark II BD mounts.

The sixteen 4.5in guns were to be mounted in eight turrets, two on each quarter as in previous fleet carrier designs, but
the requirement for them to fire across the deck was recognised as impractical and dropped. They would have been fitted
in Mark 7 turrets, internally similar to the Mark 6 fitted to the majority of postwar British destroyers and frigates, but with
a larger, 14ft-diameter roller path. Externally they would have been circular with a flat roof flush with the flight deck, like
those in Implacable and Indefatigable. Like these earlier ships they would have been strong enough for aircraft to taxi
over them or even to be parked with a wheel on the turret roof.
Navweaps also states that the Malta and 1945 Lions would had the RP41 Mark VII mounts:
http://navweaps.com/Weapons/WNBR_45-45_mk5.htm
 

JFC Fuller

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Bit puzzled by Mike1158's post, there are plenty of facts in this thread.

To add to Tzoli's post, the studies that survive in the UK archives discussing the secondary armament of the 1945 Lion design talks of siding the twelve twin 4.5" mountings suggesting the original plan did not involve any superfiring over the main armament though that may of course have changed through the design process.

Interestingly, the notes section of Friedman's British Battleships book describes design B (of the 1945 Lion series) as having a 36ft magazine space between the forward and aft machinery sets, Very rough thinking suggests thats sufficient length for the magazines of two twin 4.5" mountings which rather changes my thought on how the secondary arrangement may have looked. I had assumed a pair of centreline HA/LA directors (one fore/one aft) with the others sided as on Vanguard but perhaps the plan was for three pairs of twin turrets on either beam each with their own HA/LA director also sided; one pair of turrets each forward of the forward machinery set, between the fore and aft machinery set and aft of the aft machinery set....?
 

JFC Fuller

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This was posted in another thread by Tzoli, the original 1945 Lion designs, Friedman mentions that these were followed by a subsequent series allocated the alphanumeric codes B, through to B7. The presence of quintuple torpedo tubes is very curious. Tzoli, do you know what file this table is from?

1945 Lion A Series Designs.jpg
 

Tzoli

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1944-45 Lion class Battleships DNC Cover ADM 138-730
Page or page number or how these books numbered inside: 31
 

ceccherini

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How the United States Navy perceived the likely post-War line up (pre-Truman and Attlee):
Very interesting, especially the mention of the 60000 ton battleship design to be possibly built after Illinois and Kentucky. The displacement figure is consistent with Montana class but it is referred as a Gibbs private venture so it could be something completely different. The only post-Midway USN battleship's design activity I've ever heard of is the 106000 ton "super Iowa" conceptual study.
 

natewillcome4you

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How the United States Navy perceived the likely post-War line up (pre-Truman and Attlee):
Very interesting, especially the mention of the 60000 ton battleship design to be possibly built after Illinois and Kentucky. The displacement figure is consistent with Montana class but it is referred as a Gibbs private venture so it could be something completely different. The only post-Midway USN battleship's design activity I've ever heard of is the 106000 ton "super Iowa" conceptual study.
And, pray tell, can you please provide any sources or images related to this study?
 

Tzoli

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Actually there was another post Montana study made by two University Students for a small Battleship from around 1942.

But this Gibbs & Cox proposal is new to me as well! This firm did produced battleships designs for the Soviets in 1936-39 so it's not impossible they continued to propose such for the USN when war broke out. Question is does this firm had any archives which survived the past 75 years?

That 106.000ton Super Iowa study you referring are a qucijk study of how large should the Iowa be to be basically unsinkable by torpedoes. Most of the extra tons went into underwater protection.
 

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ceccherini

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How the United States Navy perceived the likely post-War line up (pre-Truman and Attlee):
Very interesting, especially the mention of the 60000 ton battleship design to be possibly built after Illinois and Kentucky. The displacement figure is consistent with Montana class but it is referred as a Gibbs private venture so it could be something completely different. The only post-Midway USN battleship's design activity I've ever heard of is the 106000 ton "super Iowa" conceptual study.
And, pray tell, can you please provide any sources or images related to this study?
There are scarce notes about it in Garzke and Dulin "Battleships: US battleships in WW2". If the memory assist me, it was a 1944 contemplating a battleship of 1160 feet in length and 140 feet wide, approximately the maximum dimensions permitted by the planned '40s enlargement of Panama canal. The study combined main armament equal to Montanas (12*16") and speed equal to Iowas while I don't remember any mention regarding armor. As Tzoli said, the drive to dimensional increase was anti torpedo protection. There never were any intention to build battleships of such scale, especially at the end of the war, but the study reflects an ongoing internal debate on the future role of battleships.
 

Nick Sumner

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Actually there was another post Montana study made by two University Students for a small Battleship from around 1942.

But this Gibbs & Cox proposal is new to me as well! This firm did produced battleships designs for the Soviets in 1936-39 so it's not impossible they continued to propose such for the USN when war broke out. Question is does this firm had any archives which survived the past 75 years?

That 106.000ton Super Iowa study you referring are a qucijk study of how large should the Iowa be to be basically unsinkable by torpedoes. Most of the extra tons went into underwater protection.
I'm intrigued by the funnels. That's either a lot of internal ducting or an unusual location for the engines.
 

Tzoli

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Here is the armour layout:
small_us_battleship.jpg

There is an article about this design somewhere but I have to find it first.
 

Flying Sorcerer

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Actually there was another post Montana study made by two University Students for a small Battleship from around 1942.

But this Gibbs & Cox proposal is new to me as well! This firm did produced battleships designs for the Soviets in 1936-39 so it's not impossible they continued to propose such for the USN when war broke out. Question is does this firm had any archives which survived the past 75 years?

That 106.000ton Super Iowa study you referring are a qucijk study of how large should the Iowa be to be basically unsinkable by torpedoes. Most of the extra tons went into underwater protection.
Where are the stacks on the small BB? How much would she have weighed in at?
 
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