• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

Re: Royal Navy Amphibious shipping in the 1960s

Pirate Pete

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
180
Reaction score
176
Got that book as well.
- Just a "throwaway" comment Sealord....

Do you have a bit of a"problem" with things British???

You seem to have a bit of a 'downer' on British aircraft manufacturers, and also somethingof a "negative attitude" to the Admiralty in planning!!!!!

No offence intended. eveyone is after all allowed their own opinion.

Pete.
 

zen

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
2,297
Reaction score
1,001
1. Defence review was aimed for 1956 I think, but delayed due to Suez. Rationalisation and retraction was inevitable. I think this was the move towards ´tripwire´. RAF lost out there most of all, Interceptors and V-Bombers would not last against IRBM assault.

2. Suez was not a military failure at all, the objectives set where met and it was projected another day would see the completion of those objectives, what would happen then was in the hands of the politicians and the Egyptian people (we hoped they´d oust Nasser)...However, what happened was a failure of British political will triggered by the US pulling the financial plug on the UK, for a host of US reasons, which Ike would later regret on his deathbed. Equaly it can be argued it was a political failure that had lead to Suez in the first place, and possibly one might even go back further and say its all down to a surgeon making a mistake on Eden during an operation, which lead to him being in such a state as to contemplate and execute this fiasco in the way he did.

Oh and NO! Hungary was not an alternative mission, we where not going to start WWIII trying to leaverage them out of the USSR´s grip, it was never on the cards. Moscow would not accept it as surely as they expected us not to accept loosing the canal to Nasser´s seizure, had he asked their advice they´d have told him not to do it.

3. Post ´57 Mountbatten´s defence of the RN saw it retain ´out of area´ operations, and for a while the concept of fighting on after the UK command was taken out in WWIII (called the broken backed role I think).

4. New CVs (CATOBAR) for the RN was not such a flawed idea for the late 1950s and early 1960s. The problem is to be found in the processes that lead to CVA-01 and its subsequent cancelation.

5. The ´66 decision to drop the CATOBAR CV fleet along with EoS, is forced on Wilson by the then state of the finances and the commitments to NATO taking up what was available. Tracing how things got to that state is not a simple affair, and highly political besides economics.

Commando CVs, seem to be just a study to explore options. Note the PX.430 launchers they expected would replace SeaCat. Radar fit shown was very basic, so this would need attendant proper CV to be used properly.
 

JFC Fuller

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
2,593
Reaction score
1,015
The process and history may be complex but the conclusions are simple. In a world where the primary threat to the UK was from the Soviet Union, where the Empire was vanishing and the economy failing, the East of Suez role was simply not viable on a cost benefit analysis. Consequently both the RN and RAF structures planned to support it were dismantled.
 

Abraham Gubler

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
3,555
Reaction score
228
zen said:
2. Suez was not a military failure at all, the objectives set where met and it was projected another day would see the completion of those objectives,

But that is assuming the military operation only started on the day the bombs were dropped. The lack of readiness in the British Military to launch an amphibious attack on Egypt is what caused the unfriendly political situation to emerge. As the British mobilised their forces and entered into half baked secret alliances with Israel (at the behest of the French) so to did international opinion mobilise against their strategic objectives.

If the British were able to intervene within a week of the nationalisation of the canal (it took three months) then they might have been able to achieve their strategic objectives before international opinion could turn against them. Which is of course why the Royal Navy argued for a significant modernisation of carrier and amphibious capability after the Suez Crises.
 

JFC Fuller

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
2,593
Reaction score
1,015
pf matthews said:
Got that book as well.
- Just a "throwaway" comment Sealord....

Do you have a bit of a"problem" with things British???

You seem to have a bit of a 'downer' on British aircraft manufacturers, and also somethingof a "negative attitude" to the Admiralty in planning!!!!!

No offence intended. eveyone is after all allowed their own opinion.

Pete.

I have no problem with the Admiralty, in fact I think they did a fantastic job of planning fleet structures to meet stated government defence postures, both prior to 1966 and afterwards. Where I have a problem is with people who believe that the RN should have maintained carriers irrelevant of the fleets role and country's economic situation. My problem with the UK aircraft industry is not with the industry itself but with those who believe it was perfect and somehow betrayed by the state, in short my problem is with false history.
 

uk 75

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2006
Messages
3,147
Reaction score
1,865
Apart from the paper already mentioned above and Brown/Moore
my source for the Commando carriers was references in Desmond
Wettern's Decline of British Seapower published in the 80s which
covers the postwar navy year by year and seems largely based
on contemporary press coverage. There are also references in the
German publication Marine Rundschau between 1964 and 1966 to
the RN looking at new Commando carriers (presumably to replace
Albion and Bulwark). Some confusion exists as the Helicopter
cruisers later Invincibles were also supposed to be Commando
ship capable.
Very much gleam in the eye stuff as you have explained above.
However, if the RN was looking at the Commando ship question
in 1966 they may also have looked at replacing or adding to
other ships. Must get to the National Archives some time.


UK 75
 

zen

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
2,297
Reaction score
1,001
While it is accurate to say that retraction, retrenchment and focus on NATO where inevitable given the circumstances, it is clear the Suez fiasco could have gone differently in a number of directions, some better, some worse.

That the military where not able to respond immediately is likely a product of the periode previous, and is in turn a product of political decisions, going in fact back to 1945. But it is highly damning that this took place near the time of the projected 'year of maximum danger', as surely as it had severe consequences afterwards.

While it is true to say that by '66 the conditions to keep a EoS presence was very difficult, it is not the case that it was inevitable from 1957 onwards. Nor is it per se a matter of costs exceeding benefits. Rather the specific costs that where being drawn up and the projected benefits as assesed at the time. EoS was do-able and of merit, but not in the way it was being drawn up by 1966.

However an EoS presence has on and off been done, if albeit for only short durations and its not an easy matter to assess how things would've been different had a presence been maintained instead.
That is not 'false history', and while it is clear government is not scheming to betray the nation, it is approaching the matter with a less than competant eye.

The Commando Carrier has some merit, if it is cheaper to run than a converted Centaur.
 

JFC Fuller

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
2,593
Reaction score
1,015
It was an entirely competent eye.

The primary threat to UK security was the Soviet Union, the empire was gone meaning that there was nothing left to defend EoS and the US had general western interests in the regions covered. To maintain the presence (for virtually no benefit other than ego) would have required the construction (essentially) of an entire extra navy on top of the one that was actually built, in reality it was neither worth it or affordable. It is no coincidence that the F-111K, the AW-681, the Shorts Belfast and the CVA-01 die at roughly the same time as the sterling crisis. Both the RAF and the RN lost the assets they were procuring to support the EoS presence because it was rightly determined to be unaffordable compared to any meagre benefits it may have provided. Unless of course you think a country begging for an IMF loan should be spending its money multiple carrier battle groups to keep a presence in a region in which possesses nothing more than a few disparate islands whilst it simultaneously faces a potential threat to the survival of its home islands on the other side of the world?

There is nothing damning in the Suez crisis at all. Embarking on a imperial asset grab in the Med is completely different to waging total war for national survival on the planes of central Europe and in the sky's and waters around the UK. It is entirely sensible that the UK focussed its spending on preparing to defend against a Stalinist assault in Europe and not on reinforcing a crumbling Empire.

To summarise: Nothing left to defend and no money to defend it with.
 

zen

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
2,297
Reaction score
1,001
1. Primary threat was the USSR. Where did I say otherwise? Where did anyone?

2. The Empire was going not gone in 1966, as it was in 1960, 1957 and had been for certain since the deal with the Indians if not before.

3. US did not cover our interests. It covered its interests, and not that well in some cases.

4. Maintaining a prescence EoS did not require a second Navy. A relatively minor extension to what was produced would've afforded a degree of ability to project power and influence the areas of concern. Which is not the same as what some where trying to achieve at the time and why their efforts where doomed to fail.

5. Affording it or worth it is dependant on factors which require us to go even further from this threads titled topic.

6. Sterline Crisis is certainly a key moment when the squeeze forced Wilsons hand. But the economics and politics reach much further back.

7. retention of a prescence could have permitted the UK some greater influence on events in the areas of concern, and countering some of the USSR's influence. Its not so simple to say what that influence would achieve.

Suez is damming in its failure, in its very happening as it did, and a political one from start to finish.

Where did anyone say it was preferable to not focus on the threat of the USSR?

Reinforcing a crumbling Empire was clearly a folly, influencing areas outside Europe however is not folly but sound policy.

Trying to paint someone who says things could have been better as a delluded nutter bent on keeping the Empire in business EoS is certainly an aggressive tactic and rigidly sticking to 'what happend was the best of all possible outcomes, nothing could be better' is a pretty pessamistic view.
 

Thorvic

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
640
Reaction score
120
Thead cleaned up (Please remember to keep within the spirit of the original post and that this is for discussion of projects - Stating 'I am right' because thats how it eventually happened doesnt make other members wrong because they discuss the plans and proposals from the officials of the day is just plain rude as its not idle speculation, and as Ralph was looking for discussion on the proposals they are therfore quite valid !)
 

starviking

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2006
Messages
1,138
Reaction score
269
zen said:
3. US did not cover our interests. It covered its interests, and not that well in some cases.

7. retention of a prescence could have permitted the UK some greater influence on events in the areas of concern, and countering some of the USSR's influence. Its not so simple to say what that influence would achieve.

And considering the UK's former influence in the Persian Gulf it could certainly have been of benefit to have maintained forces in that area instead of drawing them down.
 

JFC Fuller

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
2,593
Reaction score
1,015
starviking said:
zen said:
3. US did not cover our interests. It covered its interests, and not that well in some cases.

7. retention of a prescence could have permitted the UK some greater influence on events in the areas of concern, and countering some of the USSR's influence. Its not so simple to say what that influence would achieve.

And considering the UK's former influence in the Persian Gulf it could certainly have been of benefit to have maintained forces in that area instead of drawing them down.

What benefit?

Zens premise is that a presence could have been maintained with only a minor increase in expenditure is flawed and is shown to be by the very information posted earlier in this forum that make it very clear what was required was multiple carrier battle groups with supporting amphibious forces.
 

starviking

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2006
Messages
1,138
Reaction score
269
sealordlawrence said:
starviking said:
zen said:
3. US did not cover our interests. It covered its interests, and not that well in some cases.

7. retention of a prescence could have permitted the UK some greater influence on events in the areas of concern, and countering some of the USSR's influence. Its not so simple to say what that influence would achieve.

And considering the UK's former influence in the Persian Gulf it could certainly have been of benefit to have maintained forces in that area instead of drawing them down.

What benefit?

Political influence in the Persian Gulf, an area of large oil reserves.
 

Pirate Pete

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
180
Reaction score
176
Historically, Britain had considrable influence in the Miidle East/Persian Gulf regions.
Partly due to post WW1 Mandate responsibilities, but after WW2 the British still had considerable finacial interests in the region, the Anglo-Persian Oil Company being but one!!
The Royal Navy long maintained a presence in the Gulf, and indeed the Type 81 frigates (originally designated sloops) were designed with this task in mind. The British had good trading relationships with the countries in the Gulf region, and there was a considerable arms trade. The Sterling crises of the early '60s greatly exacerbated the situation as far as foreign exchange was concerned, and as was historic, and indeed on-going, the armed forces in time of peace are regardedby almost all political parties, as being an easy way of saving expenditure.

It has long been the case that the British armed forces (and they are not unique here) have suffered from over-stretch and over-commitment. Politicians habitually play at "World Politics", but invariably fail to accept that they need to "cut their cloth" accordingly.
 

JFC Fuller

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
2,593
Reaction score
1,015
starviking said:
sealordlawrence said:
starviking said:
zen said:
3. US did not cover our interests. It covered its interests, and not that well in some cases.

7. retention of a prescence could have permitted the UK some greater influence on events in the areas of concern, and countering some of the USSR's influence. Its not so simple to say what that influence would achieve.

And considering the UK's former influence in the Persian Gulf it could certainly have been of benefit to have maintained forces in that area instead of drawing them down.

What benefit?

Political influence in the Persian Gulf, an area of large oil reserves.

So? Quantify it.
 

zen

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
2,297
Reaction score
1,001
Context.

The Commando Carrier study seems to me to be a look at what is going to carry on the role after the Centaurs are taken out of service.

Now heres a curiosity, this study is presented along with the ASW CV designs in August 1966.

By November the Future Fleet Working Party report rejects the concept as detracting from the 'cruisers' role. Which seems odd as the Commando Carrier is clearly not the Cruiser, and is more a suppliment to it. In essence allowing the Cruiser to be just that and not fiddle around with the extra needed to perform Commando functions. But perhaps that comment is more focused on the cruiser-carrier studies, with their blurring of the roles.

Now of course the argument that the RN was'nt interested or saw utility in carriers for the North Atlantic is false. They where evolving the concept of the 'cruiser' into a ASW Carrier in all but name (Command Cruiser, which of course became Through Deck Cruiser).
Said Carrier (in all but name) does bear some parallel with the earlier Trade Protection studies of the post 1952 CV cancelation. But not the lighter of the Medium Fleet studies.

Can we see this Commando Carrier as a reflection of the idea of distributing operations in the fleet? Certainly it would leave true fast jet carriers free to focus on providing aircover, hunting enemy vessels and providing support to land forces, and leave Cruisers free to direct the fleet.
In theory each component could be built just to their role, cutting induvidual costs and permitting that component to operate without the rest in low level operations.
But of course its not guarenteed to actualy make the whole fleet cheaper and its role specific focus leaves the fleet vulnerable to the loss of the component that permits that specific type of operation. A mission kill is possible if you sink the only ship that carries equipment to perform the mission, even if the rest of the fleet still floats, moves and fights.

A lingering concept perhaps from CVA-01, where orriginaly they wanted the ASW helicopters to be operated from the attendant resupply ship, called the Fast Fleet Resupply Ship, even if they where maintained in part by the CVA-01.
 

PMN1

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
799
Reaction score
247
sealordlawrence said:
So? Quantify it.

Well, the only reason for anybody outside of the middle east being interested in what happens there is oil, take that away and the area becomes as interesting as central Africa, and it would have the same media interest - Going into political grounds, something that those who complain about Gulf War 1 and 2 and our entire policy for the past 100 years don't seem to want to accept, but it doesn't stop them from living a lifestyle totally dependent on oil.
 

JFC Fuller

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
2,593
Reaction score
1,015
PMN1 said:
sealordlawrence said:
So? Quantify it.

Well, the only reason for anybody outside of the middle east being interested in what happens there is oil, take that away and the area becomes as interesting as central Africa, and it would have the same media interest - Going into political grounds, something that those who complain about Gulf War 1 and 2 and our entire policy for the past 100 years don't seem to want to accept, but it doesn't stop them from living a lifestyle totally dependent on oil.

We all get that there is oil there and that the global economy is utterly dependent on it. It has still not been explained how an enhanced Royal Navy presence there would have justified the vast expenditure it would have required.

Nobody ever said that the RN saw no utility in the use of carriers for North Atlantic operation, but to claim a similarity between CVA-01 and the Invincible class is absurd. The former was a large strike carrier intended to operate in extremely hostile environments. Furthermore one only has to look at both the actual RN carrier distribution and the strategy papers for the CVA-01 to see that it was quite clearly aimed at the global and not the North Atlantic role. The Invincible class on the other hand were nothing more than ASW carriers with a handful of V/STOL fighters for local fleet defence and very limited strike capability: All carriers are not born equal, they are designed as bespoke elements to undertake bespoke roles.

I see no reason to regard this amphibious ship study as anything more than a very early effort looking at possible replacements for the light fleet carriers in the LPH role.
 

Pirate Pete

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
180
Reaction score
176
I find it somewhat disheartening to read comments such as "nothing left East of Suez"!!!
Whilst the Empire in it's original form was indeed a past entity, there were numerous Post Imperial responsibilities for the British.
It wasn't quite a case of "last one out turn off the light"!!!!
As mentioned previously, the Politicians realised that they still had certain responsibilities in the Middle and Far East, but financially Britain was very much disadvantaged, and I hate to say this, but the U.S. did not help with regards to this!!
The Admiralty were trying to plan a building programme, but suffered,as did all of the armed forces, from a "shifting sands scenario". The Politicians, trying to balance commitments and budgets, were just never in a position to be able to "get it right" as it were.

I came across some notes from a late 1950's plan for the R.N....
Projected minimum force for Navy:
2 effective forces to be maintained, one in the Atlantic, and one in the Far East.
Each force should consist of: (1958)
2 Light Fleet carriers
4 Guided missile ships
12 Destroyers

To allow for refits, docking, and time on passage we must add:
1 Light Fleet carrier
2 Guided missile ships
6 Destroyers

Giving a total requirement of:
7(?!?) Light Fleet carriers
10 Guided missile ships
30 Destroyers
With Frigates, Submarines, Minesweepers, Patrol Craft, etc as needed.
The Admiralty were not therefore beingcompletely unrealstic!!
 

Pirate Pete

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
180
Reaction score
176
It is, I believe, of note, to see what the USN planned in 1967....
Even the "mighty dollar" had its limitations...
The Navy Mission of the Future:-
1) Maintenance of a credible “second strike” sea-based nuclear deterent force
2) Control of the sea – both shipping lanes and specific ocean areas
3) Projection of sea-based power ashore
4) Maintenance of an overseas presence in peacetime
To accomplish these missions the Navy needs respectively:-
1) To maintain the Polaris/Poseidon fleet at full strength, and begin now to develop a follow-on programme (1974)
2) Strong ASW forces, including nuclear attack submarines, ASW carriers, and purpose built destroyers, frigates and smaller combatants
3) Attack carriers, shore bombardment ships, and amphibious assault ships
4) Combatant ships of any type (the bigger the better?!?!) and the more the better

The 1967 project was for a fleet of 826 ships by 1975, included in this total were:-
20 Carriers
137 Amphibious assault ships
243 Escort ships
69 Nuclear attack submarines
36 Conventional attack submarines
1968 – scaled down to 793 ships – 21, 99, 238, 68 and 37 ships respectively
1969 – scaled down to 713 ships – 20, 77, 240, 69 and 38 ships respectively
1970 – scaled down to 578 ships – 15, 67, 205, 68 and 19 ships respectively

Original carrier project was to bring CVA(N) 71 and 72 into the fleet in 1978 and 1980 respectively
Original Trident plan was for 35 to 40 ships to replace 41 Polaris/Poseidon boats, now only 15-20 likely
Guided missile hydrofoil craft, Navy project of 30 boats
Original Navy plan was for 28 DLG(N)’s
 

JFC Fuller

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
2,593
Reaction score
1,015
pf matthews said:
I find it somewhat disheartening to read comments such as "nothing left East of Suez"!!!
Whilst the Empire in it's original form was indeed a past entity, there were numerous Post Imperial responsibilities for the British.
It wasn't quite a case of "last one out turn off the light"!!!!
As mentioned previously, the Politicians realised that they still had certain responsibilities in the Middle and Far East, but financially Britain was very much disadvantaged, and I hate to say this, but the U.S. did not help with regards to this!!
The Admiralty were trying to plan a building programme, but suffered,as did all of the armed forces, from a "shifting sands scenario". The Politicians, trying to balance commitments and budgets, were just never in a position to be able to "get it right" as it were.

I came across some notes from a late 1950's plan for the R.N....
Projected minimum force for Navy:
2 effective forces to be maintained, one in the Atlantic, and one in the Far East.
Each force should consist of: (1958)
2 Light Fleet carriers
4 Guided missile ships
12 Destroyers

To allow for refits, docking, and time on passage we must add:
1 Light Fleet carrier
2 Guided missile ships
6 Destroyers

Giving a total requirement of:
7(?!?) Light Fleet carriers
10 Guided missile ships
30 Destroyers
With Frigates, Submarines, Minesweepers, Patrol Craft, etc as needed.
The Admiralty were not therefore beingcompletely unrealstic!!

Nobody has said that the Admiralty was being unrealistic, in fact quite the opposite: As I said before the Admiralty did an excellent job of designing fleets and ships to support stated government strategic postures and budgets. The example you give being a prime one and once again showing the 'two fleets' issue that existed with the East of Suez mission. However even this has 1950s specifics within it, the need for carriers in the 50s was primarily associated with concerns about the soviet surface fleet, the carriers would operate aircraft carrying anti-Sverdlov weapons. With the death of Stalin this mission is much reduced as the Soviet surface fleet not only stops growing but also shrinks, consequently the requirement for carriers in the Atlantic is much reduced.......and so we get the EoS centric carrier developments of the 1960s that culminate in CVA-01 and the associated fleet structure.

EoS has to be judged on a cost benefit analysis, and it has still not been explained how the benefit would have outweighed the cost.
 

zen

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
2,297
Reaction score
1,001
This one still going?

It is effectively impossible to estimate what the UK would have achieved under different circumstances from real world history as is. No one can really say whether it would justify the increased costs of maintaining a EoS presence. Nor is it so simple to say EoS simply stopped after 1966, and might be arguable that it really ended with the Beira patrol, and symbolicaly ended with the handover of Hongkong. Certainly EoS may have formaly ended, but it did'nt end entirely in practice.

Quantify the effect of something that did'nt happen? Unless you believe that the future is preordained then its impossible to say and if you do then its impossible because its all preordained and could not change.
A slip of a surgeons scalpe has its consequences for Eden and his decision making, ending in war, and humiliation for the UK, and onward to revolution in Yemen and the events in Aden. Beyond that its not clear what the effect was, let alone what might have changed.
What happens if the surgeon does'nt make that mistake?

An Austrial corperal has a bad dream and gets out of his bed for a walk, seconds later his bed and fellow men are destroyed by an incomming shell, young Schuklgruber believes he's been marked for destiny. What happens if he does'nt get out of bed?

There is no simple in this because for things to be different, they must be different and over a wide spectrum and history, possibly back to Suez, possibly back further.

A host of decisions made, across government created the situation that lead to the '66 decision.

A prescence could have been maintained in a more formal sense than was after then, had things been different, but that difference needs to start much earlier.
 

JFC Fuller

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
2,593
Reaction score
1,015
zen said:
This one still going?

It is effectively impossible to estimate what the UK would have achieved under different circumstances from real world history as is. No one can really say whether it would justify the increased costs of maintaining a EoS presence. Nor is it so simple to say EoS simply stopped after 1966, and might be arguable that it really ended with the Beira patrol, and symbolicaly ended with the handover of Hongkong. Certainly EoS may have formaly ended, but it did'nt end entirely in practice.

Quantify the effect of something that did'nt happen? Unless you believe that the future is preordained then its impossible to say and if you do then its impossible because its all preordained and could not change.
A slip of a surgeons scalpe has its consequences for Eden and his decision making, ending in war, and humiliation for the UK, and onward to revolution in Yemen and the events in Aden. Beyond that its not clear what the effect was, let alone what might have changed.
What happens if the surgeon does'nt make that mistake?

An Austrial corperal has a bad dream and gets out of his bed for a walk, seconds later his bed and fellow men are destroyed by an incomming shell, young Schuklgruber believes he's been marked for destiny. What happens if he does'nt get out of bed?

There is no simple in this because for things to be different, they must be different and over a wide spectrum and history, possibly back to Suez, possibly back further.

A host of decisions made, across government created the situation that lead to the '66 decision.

A prescence could have been maintained in a more formal sense than was after then, had things been different, but that difference needs to start much earlier.

So essentially you are unable to provide a reason why the UK should have continued to invest in global CBG deployment plans. The UK drew down because it had no justifiable reason to spend the money to maintain a presence.
 

zen

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
2,297
Reaction score
1,001
Quantify the effect of something that did'nt happen?
 

JFC Fuller

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
2,593
Reaction score
1,015
zen said:
Quantify the effect of something that did'nt happen?

Yes, it is entirely possible, you explain what actual difference it would have made.
 

Graeme65

ACCESS: Restricted
Joined
Mar 29, 2008
Messages
32
Reaction score
4
If it were is possible to 'quantify the effect of something that didn't happen' then there is I suspect a Nobel Prize to be had. My sympathy has to lie with Zen on that one!
 

Thorvic

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
640
Reaction score
120
[quote]The financial stringency and manpower shortages of the 60s
made such plans impossible, but it is interesting to note that at
one stage planners were looking at 2 extra LPDs and 3-4 LPHs.
Before I get roughed up, I realise these were only gleams in the eye.

Does anyone out there know any more about 60s amphibious ship
planning? Were any other classes or types of ship looked at?[/quote]


What part of the initial post do some of you not understand ?, Ralph has spent over 30 years studying the plans, projects, politics and of course the history of events for the 60's period, leading to a possible orbat for the UK forces in 1975, rather than the mess they were actually in by this time (that's where his UK75 handle comes from). He's looking for confirmation of what ships were planned to cover this role and already more than aware of the politics and funding crisis that occurred during the period.

You have managed to hijack the thread by not being able to comprehend the discussion matter and dismissing the fact that East of Suez was viable post 1966 and demanding to know where the money came from - Simple the UK govt asked the Americans to stump up the dosh to help as they were too involved in Vietnam to cover the power vaccum created by the European withdrawl from Africa and far east as the US needed the British to police the area and stop the communists or other aggressors from stepping in and seizing control of the newly independent states. Another area of funding was to be raised by making the FRG contribute more to their own defence and draw down UK force levels committed to NATO to allow for a more Global flexibility.

Back on topic, there are various indicators that Centaur may have become a third Commado carrier like her sisters, and of course a replacement class was envisaged as if we were maintaining the role we would need new vessels to replace them eventually, so plans would be in hand to determine what would be needed so they would be able to know what set the specifications for when it came to writing the formal requirement.

Geoff
 

Abraham Gubler

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
3,555
Reaction score
228
With all the benefit of hindsight let me weigh into this debate about events that happened 60 years ago (though looking at only a tiny piece of the overall picture).

In the 1950s and 60s the UK tried to run two great defence projects and both ended in failure. They were modernize the global power projection fleet of the Royal Navy and develop a nuclear armed strategic deterrent to the Soviet Union (originally based on the RAF’s Bomber Command). This was in addition to maintaining a conventional air-sea-land force for defence of Great Britain and collective defence of western Europe.

Because of this division of focus both efforts were done in a pretty half arsed way – especially when compared to similar American efforts. Even the strategic deterrent which had the priority was only really viable for a few years. So what could have the UK done? They could have focused on one or the other.

Now it’s easy to see why the strategic deterrent took the priority because of vulnerability of Great Britain and the all powerful nature of nuclear weapons. But the USA was committed to providing a nuclear deterrence umbrella to the UK and western Europe and has effectively done so despite the development of the UK’s own strategic force. The contribution of 200 V-Bombers and eventually four SSBNs to the deterrence of the Soviet Union is pretty minimal. Blue Streak and other options to enhance this deterrence are also not very strategically significant.

However if the UK was to have abandoned efforts to develop an indigenous strategic deterrent capability and instead developed a basic nuclear bomb capability and modernised the fleet the alternative is a Royal Navy with six carrier battle groups and four amphibious landing groups sustained at least until the economically driven spending cuts of the 1970s.

There are other reasonable historical turning point arguments for maintaining a stronger British defence capability but they are mostly tied up in the inefficiency of the British industrial economy. If you could have over-ruled the disastrous post WW1 decision by the British establishment to wall of their economy inside and un-competitive, restricted trade access British Empire then the economy would have kept up the pace of development of the 19th century into the 20th and possible 21st. This act destroyed British industrial efficiency and innovation for the next 60 years (1920-80) and without it the UK and Empire could have won WW2 by itself and would probably be a super power to this day.
 

Pirate Pete

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
180
Reaction score
176
Well put Abraham!!

As much as I have always been a supporter of the U.K.'s armed forces, I have always had a problem with the development of an Independent Strategic Deterrent!
The thinking behind it goes back to "Imperial tendencies". Don't let us forget it was Clement Atlee who pushed the project for the British bomb!
I think that (and I know we have the benefit of hind-sight) the monies spent would have been better utilised in conventional forces.
Persuading the FGR to shoulder a greater part of the defence burden would have released funds tied up in the BAOR, and I hope that a more balanced defence policy would have resulted.

As a true Brit, and I have to admit to being a fan of the old Empire, I think that there have been MANY mistakes made which, if avoided, would have greatly assisted the U.K. (and Empires) finances and trading status.

East of Suez cannot be consigned to the dustbin of history without considering a great many variables, and the 1960's decision to withdraw was caused by economic crisis with the U.K. economy, and a Government which having cut the defence budget because of a shortage of funds, then found that by ditching the East of Suez role entirely could save even more and try to balance the exchequer accordingly.
 

Abraham Gubler

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
3,555
Reaction score
228
pf matthews said:
Persuading the FGR to shoulder a greater part of the defence burden would have released funds tied up in the BAOR, and I hope that a more balanced defence policy would have resulted.

I don’t know where this argument is coming from but it’s a nonsense. Once it was allowed to re-arm West Germany developed its military at a very fast rate and expanded to take up most of the NATO western European defence mission. The various N ATO divisions may have been based in West Germany but they were defending Great Britain, France, Netherlands, etc just as much as West Germany. While limited by the post war peace treaty to “12 Divisions” the Germans effectively formed twice that number by using various devious mechanisms (“home defence commands”, five brigade divisions, etc).

Further the UK expenditure on the BAOR wasn’t too much of an increment as otherwise there wouldn’t be much of a British Army. In some ways being based in Germany was actually cheaper than being based in Great Britain.
 

Pirate Pete

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
180
Reaction score
176
My apologies.
Was working from faulty memory.
Seem to recall many comments in various publications in the past bemoaning the cost of the BAOR, and suggesting it was funds and/or personnel that could be utilised more effectively elsewhere.
 

Abraham Gubler

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
3,555
Reaction score
228
pf matthews said:
Seem to recall many comments in various publications in the past bemoaning the cost of the BAOR, and suggesting it was funds and/or personnel that could be utilised more effectively elsewhere.

There was no doubt an additional cost of maintaining eight out of the 18 regular British Army brigades (regular period of the 60s to 80s) as mechanised formations to provide the BAOR with a force able to fight the Soviets. But even without the defence of western Europe mission the British Army would have to be at least 1/3 mechanised to maintain relevancy. So you are unlikely to see a reduction in the armoured force of less than 25%. Of course without the BAOR mission the UK would be opening itself to invasion because if they can't stop the Soviets before the Rhine fighting alongside their allies then they surely won't stop them at Dover fighting by themselves.
 

Pirate Pete

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
180
Reaction score
176
As usual!!! We seem to be getting away from the original question asked on this thread.....

One thing I think that is important, the Admiralty weren't living in "cloud cuckoo land", they were very aware of the financial challenges ahead of them for any new equipment programmes.
The original hope for the carrier programme was five ships, a one-for-one replacement.
The Admiralty themselves realised that the Politicians would baulk at this, so had long-term plans for four ships, based on a proposed 1+1 now, and 2 later, thereby replacing Victorious/Centaur and Ark Royal first, following later with Eagle and Hermes.
The budgetery constraints were such that the Admiralty realised that the Escort Cruiser which was itself turning into a small "carrier type vessel" was going to face severe challenges, and was shelved by them to help ease the fleet carriers progress.

What you have to remember is that the navy were trying to plan a fleet that could meet the countries political commitments, and "as usual" the cost, in light of the realties of the finacial crisis which afflicted the U.K., was too great.

The Amphibious force plan was not a two-ocean navy Admiralty pipe-dream, but an attempt to produce an indcation of just what a balanced force would consist of.
 

JFC Fuller

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
2,593
Reaction score
1,015
Graeme65 said:
If it were is possible to 'quantify the effect of something that didn't happen' then there is I suspect a Nobel Prize to be had. My sympathy has to lie with Zen on that one!

Wrong again, if there would khave been a difference you would be able to explain it.
 

JFC Fuller

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
2,593
Reaction score
1,015
pf matthews said:
As usual!!! We seem to be getting away from the original question asked on this thread.....

One thing I think that is important, the Admiralty weren't living in "cloud cuckoo land", they were very aware of the financial challenges ahead of them for any new equipment programmes.
The original hope for the carrier programme was five ships, a one-for-one replacement.
The Admiralty themselves realised that the Politicians would baulk at this, so had long-term plans for four ships, based on a proposed 1+1 now, and 2 later, thereby replacing Victorious/Centaur and Ark Royal first, following later with Eagle and Hermes.
The budgetery constraints were such that the Admiralty realised that the Escort Cruiser which was itself turning into a small "carrier type vessel" was going to face severe challenges, and was shelved by them to help ease the fleet carriers progress.

What you have to remember is that the navy were trying to plan a fleet that could meet the countries political commitments, and "as usual" the cost, in light of the realties of the finacial crisis which afflicted the U.K., was too great.

The Amphibious force plan was not a two-ocean navy Admiralty pipe-dream, but an attempt to produce an indcation of just what a balanced force would consist of.

What on earth are you on about? Nobody called it a 'pipe dream' or 'cloud cuckoo land'. The admiralty did an exceptional job of meeting the strategic requirements set for it by the government. In the mid 60s the government realised these objectives were both unaffordable and increasingly not required so they refocussed on just the European theatre which resulted in a redesign of the fleet.

Abraham Grubler is entirely correct. The notion that UK should have spent less on BAOR is just too ridiculous to even discuss (it takes a mind unhinged from historical reality to make such a statement), however he misses the point slightly in one area. The earliest British defence planning in the post war period is related to providing at least a degree of independent deterrence against the Soviet Union whilst the position of the US was still unclear. Once the UK was convinced that the US was committed the focus shifted towards being fully integrated within the alliance.
 

zen

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
2,297
Reaction score
1,001
This really should have been a seperate thread, we're getting very far from the Commando Carrier.

How does one quantify something like visible force and its effect on other nations?
The answer is complex, since visible force is not just a force that acts in the physical realm, but exterts influence in the psychological realm.

A weapon is not just a physical object, it is an idea in the minds of all who see and know of it. It is a weapon in the mind as much as the body, thus I think it was Cutis LeMay who said "war is in the mind", which is merely a modern example of the same sort of thinking Sun Tzu wrote about thousands of years ago, "it is preferable to defeat the enemies strategy, second best is fighting him".

The very existance of a force, and its visible deployment results in changes in the minds of the rulers of nations in the area where it has so been deployed. It also exerts influence on those outside the region who themselves wish to exert influence there.

So to evaluate the effect of a continual RN presence EoS after 1966, we must look at history, look at the deliberations within not just the UK, but the nations in the region and the other nations trying to extert their own influence there and then examine what influence the UK will extert on all these and how they interact with each other, in turn we must evaluate the influence they extert on the UK. The measurer is of course measured in turn. Which is before we get into actual actions they will take and the effects that produces in turn in all the actors present.
 

JFC Fuller

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
2,593
Reaction score
1,015
zen said:
This really should have been a seperate thread, we're getting very far from the Commando Carrier.

How does one quantify something like visible force and its effect on other nations?
The answer is complex, since visible force is not just a force that acts in the physical realm, but exterts influence in the psychological realm.

A weapon is not just a physical object, it is an idea in the minds of all who see and know of it. It is a weapon in the mind as much as the body, thus I think it was Cutis LeMay who said "war is in the mind", which is merely a modern example of the same sort of thinking Sun Tzu wrote about thousands of years ago, "it is preferable to defeat the enemies strategy, second best is fighting him".

The very existance of a force, and its visible deployment results in changes in the minds of the rulers of nations in the area where it has so been deployed. It also exerts influence on those outside the region who themselves wish to exert influence there.

So to evaluate the effect of a continual RN presence EoS after 1966, we must look at history, look at the deliberations within not just the UK, but the nations in the region and the other nations trying to extert their own influence there and then examine what influence the UK will extert on all these and how they interact with each other, in turn we must evaluate the influence they extert on the UK. The measurer is of course measured in turn. Which is before we get into actual actions they will take and the effects that produces in turn in all the actors present.

You have still failed to provide a justifiable reason for the UK sustaining an EoS presence after the mid 60s. Provide an example of where it would have benefited the UK.
 

Pirate Pete

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
180
Reaction score
176
SLL!!!

I may be out of order here, and I apologise to Members, but I think you are being purposefully obtuse in your approach to this discussion.

You keep saying JUSTIFY, JUSTIFY, but don't seem inclined to put forward any counter-proposal!

East of Suez was, and still is, an important area, putting the Gulf and oil to one side, there are major concentrations of shipping routes and vast amounts of trade travelling those routes. Some of the biggest commercial ports are in the area, and for a nation, which still depends on trade from abroad to source foods and materials (perhaps even more so now given the parlous state of manufacturing industries in the U.K.) to ignore this part of the world is pure folly.
You cannot expect other people to protect your interests whilst you continue to reap the commercial benefits.

The past Sterling difficulties made the issue one of seeming basic economics to some Politicians, but there were, and still are responsibilities that the U.K. have in the region.
 

JFC Fuller

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
2,593
Reaction score
1,015
pf matthews said:
SLL!!!

I may be out of order here, and I apologise to Members, but I think you are being purposefully obtuse in your approach to this discussion.

You keep saying JUSTIFY, JUSTIFY, but don't seem inclined to put forward any counter-proposal!

East of Suez was, and still is, an important area, putting the Gulf and oil to one side, there are major concentrations of shipping routes and vast amounts of trade travelling those routes. Some of the biggest commercial ports are in the area, and for a nation, which still depends on trade from abroad to source foods and materials (perhaps even more so now given the parlous state of manufacturing industries in the U.K.) to ignore this part of the world is pure folly.
You cannot expect other people to protect your interests whilst you continue to reap the commercial benefits.

The past Sterling difficulties made the issue one of seeming basic economics to some Politicians, but there were, and still are responsibilities that the U.K. have in the region.

My counter-proposal is obvious, the UK was right to withdraw from EoS on the basis of a cost benefit analysis, and so far nobody here has provided a reason why I am wrong beyond vague remarks about oil and it being 'an important part of the world'. All very simple really.
 

Pirate Pete

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
180
Reaction score
176
Cost benefit Analysis!!!

Sounds like an accountants arguement......

Whilst it has to be accepted that value for money, an adequate return on investment, are very much popular phrases in the modern world, it also has to be accepted that on occaision a requirement cannot always be precisely reconciled on the basis of pure financial accountancy alone. Have you never bought youself something without detailed justification of the expense??

I appreciate that this is a simplistic approach, but I am afraid to say that you have not offered any substantive evidence for your side of the argument.
 

Similar threads

Top