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- Feb 1, 2011
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I think the Leanders were considered small cruisers
There was the IJN's 46cm/50 Type 3 cannon intended for the No.13 class. Design drawings exist of the barrel and shell, no evidence if the gun actually built.The following is a transcription of part of NJM Campbell's article in Warship when it was a quarterly magazine, sorry I do not recall the edition number:A silly question but was 18" calibre armament ever a serious option for the RN?
The Admiralty requested Sir Robert Hadfield of the famous steel firm to stop talking about 20-inch and 21-inch APC shells in 1920, but this was apparently done to prevent other countries thinking that guns of these calibres might be adopted, and there does not seem to have been any intention of so doing, though Elswick could have handled a 20-inch of about 42-calibres on their existing plant. The Japanese built a 19-inch gun which split in testing, and a second one that was still in existence in December 1945, while the United States constructed an 18-inch/48 calibre; a ponderous weapon of nearly 178 tons, firing a 2900lb shell at 2700fps. It was later lingered down to a 16-inch/57 calibre and then back to an 18-inch. No other naval guns of 18-inche or over appear to have been built at this time, although the French began design work on a 17.7-inch (45cm) in 1920.
I hope this shed a little light on your question, but as previously mentioned an 18-inch weapon was planned for the unbuilt N3 class battleships, and HMS Furious was designed with a pair of single 18-inch weapons, although she finally completed with just the aft turret, having had her first 'aircraft carrier' conversion before commissioning.
For me, the RN's counter to 'Super-Cruisers' can take two or three paths (were Britain to see the need to build that capability at all - carrier strike anyone?);I could see a Vanguard-ish like capital ship built to complement the slower ships and give a punch to the cruiser force if the Alaskas, B-65s, Kronshtadts and the P class ships were built. A True battlecruiser or 15" armed big cruiser maybe?
Historically the Germans built the Deutschlands, the USN (And the RN) thought Japan will build something similar (the Chichibus) so to counter them, the USN built the Alaskas, to counter the Alaskas the IJN designed the B-65 and the Soviets designed the Alaska killers the Stalingrads.
I could see in this non treaty word that the RN would want to build something similar but question is, would it put money of building the 12" cannons and turrets of the abortive 1930 LNT designs to mount them on similar large cruisers or just go for a fast capital ship eg a modern Renown with 3x2 15" using the old guns of the R's?
Note the RN made calculations for 12" armed vessels in 1938 and offered a 10" large cruiser for Greece and there were the various 9,2" armed cruisers.
The 1944-45 Lion designs were clean sheet designs completely unrelated to the 1938 design, which was cancelled in April of 1943. The 1938 Lion wasn't necessarily all that cheaper than the 1944 Lion, is was simply unable to accommodate all of the lessons of the war, and so was replaced by clean-sheet designs that could.The RN actually needs an admiral or strong willed person to actually order a set design and not let it run "amok" by constantly changing it's design over the years eg how the 1938 affordable and good Lion become the 1944 and 45 Super Heavy and costly Lion.
Neptune too would had been a better choice then the Tigers in my opinion and the Maltas rather the 1950's modernizations of the Implacables