What if No Treaty of Washington - 1922

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Assuming the scenario of no Treaty of Washington in 1922 , i suppose that importance of battleship are still high until World War Two . In this scenario i suppose importance of aircraft carriers rise by the beginning of WW2. What do you think about this scenario ?
 

Dilandu

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I wouldn't say that Washington Treaty was actually responsible for the rise of carriers. Britain, USA and Japan already started to employ them. It was mainly the maturation of aircraft technology, that made carrier-centered warfare viable; only when carrier aircraft became capable enough, carriers became the new capital ships.

The main effect of Washington Treaty in that matter was that it helped carriers to grew in size - by allowing to use incomplete battleships and battlecruisers hulls. Without it, carriers would probably remain reltively small until mid-1930s.
 

Archibald

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Big. battleships. and. battlecruisers. porn. Alas, at the cost of brankrupting many world powers, so not quite a good idea...

I want a 120 000 tons battleship with 12*20-inch guns in four tripple turrets.
 

uk 75

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World War 2 is not my area of interest but apart from the gunnery duel between Bismark and King George V and Hood there were no clashes between the behemoth ships. They seemed to die by torpedo or bombs. Not sure that any changes in their type or number would have made much difference to that.
There were attempts to limit or ban submarines but noone wanted to do the same with aircraft.
 

CNH

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World War 2 is not my area of interest but apart from the gunnery duel between Bismark and King George V and Hood there were no clashes between the behemoth ships. They seemed to die by torpedo or bombs. Not sure that any changes in their type or number would have made much difference to that.
There were attempts to limit or ban submarines but noone wanted to do the same with aircraft.
Scharnhorst & Duke of York?

Plus several US battleships against Japanese - tho that's another of my many areas of lack of expertise.
 
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Archibald

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Battleships clashes in WWII were rare indeed...
As well noted
- Denmark straits and the whole Bismarck saga
- Guadalcanal: USS Washington and Sodak vs Japanese (Kongo ?)
- And Scharnhorst vs Duke of York in late 43.

- Does Operation Torch count ? In Casablanca Jean Bart fired and was fired by US ships (USS Massachusetts, goddam name impossible to write, way too many sssssssss for my taste) , but it was really one sided fight.

- Cape Matapan was battleships vs heavy cruisers... it ended very badly for the italian ships. They were turned into smoldering razor blades, their turrets shooting high like mexican beans.

- At Leyte Gulf the heroic sacrifice of the Taffy 3 tins cans precluded a (memorable) Yamato vs US battleline.

It is a shame we never got a big brawl, Jutland-style, in the Mediterranean - between RN battlewagons and Roma-class battleships. Would have been pretty... explosive.
 

Dilandu

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As well noted

Battle of Calabria, Battle of Cape Spartivento - both time battleships get involved on both sides. Also, there were series of actions when Italian battleships engaged British cruisers.

P.S. Generally the Italian battleships were the most active capital ships of the whole Axis; in 1940-1942 (in 1943 they do not operate much due to lack of fuel), they participated in more operations and engaged enemy more, than German or Japanese battleships during all World War 2.
 

Dilandu

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- between RN battlewagons and Roma-class battleships. Would have been pretty... explosive.

Well, if not for over-cautiousness of Regia Marina command (which insisted that Italian ships must engage only in very favourable conditions), there were at least two situations when Royal Navy might found itself beaten...
 

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Assuming the scenario of no Treaty of Washington in 1922 , i suppose that importance of battleship are still high until World War Two . In this scenario i suppose importance of aircraft carriers rise by the beginning of WW2. What do you think about this scenario ?

The USN wanted large carriers before the treaty intervened. In October 1918, the Bureau of Construction & Repair provided a sketch design for a carrier of 24,000 tons and 825ft long capable of 35 knots on 140,000 shp. In 1919, BuC&R proposed a carrier of 34,500 tons and 35 knots (based on the hull of one of the early battlecruiser concepts, not the 43,000 ton ships laid down). Next was a design of about 29,180 tons. See Friedman's US Carriers: An Illustrated Design History, p. 35.

If the USN is building large carriers in a treaty-less environment, some of the other powers might well follow suit.

In my opinion the treaty accomplished four things.
- It stopped the naval arms race
- it ended the construction of mostly obsolete ships that all powers would have found difficulty in affording
- it turned several suspect hulls into useful ships by allowing conversions to carriers
- it stopped the development of battleships (for 15 years with First London) while ALL other types of warships continued to progress.

Battleships clashes in WWII were rare indeed...

Actually, there were more capital ship-on-capital ship clashes than carrier-on-carrier battles.

1 - Renown against Scharnhorst and Gneisenau off Vestfjord
2 - Hood, Valiant, Resolution against Dunquerque, Strasbourg, Bretagne, and Provence at Mers-el-Kebir
3 - Warspite against Giulio Cesare and Conte di Cavour at Clabria/Punto Stilo
4 - Barham and Resolution against Richelieu at Dakar
5 - Renown and Ramilles against Vittorio Veneto and Giulio Cesare at Spartivento/Capte Teluda
6 - Bismarck against Hood and Prince of Wales at Denmark Strait
7 - Rodney and King George V against Bismarck in the destruction of the later (same link as above)
8 - Washington against Kirishima at Second Guadalcanal
9 - Duke of York against Scharnhorst at North Cape
10 - West Virginia, Tennessee, California, Maryland, Mississippi and Pennsylvania against Yamashiro and Fuso at Suragao Strait

Carrier vs carrier clashes only occurred at Coral Sea, Midway, Eastern Solomons, Santa Cruz, Philippine Sea and Cape Engano.

Regards all,

--Edited for typo/autocorrect
 
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1Big Rich

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Well, if not for over-cautiousness of Regia Marina command (which insisted that Italian ships must engage only in very favourable conditions), there were at least two situations when Royal Navy might found itself beaten...

I don't see the Regia Marina as overly cautious like the Germans. After all, the Raid on Taranto was the night of 11-12 November, and the RM was in action at Cape Teluda/Spartivento two weeks later. They were hardly cowed by the RN or the damage the FAA inflicted

The RM was handicapped by poor recon and an overly complex scouting system. If I recall correctly, in the case of the latter Regia Aeronautica aircraft could not communicate directly with Regia Marina ships at sea. They had to contact their base, which contacted Super Aero in Rome, who contacted Super Marina in Rome, who contacted the ships' base, who contacted the ships at sea.

Operation Hats is a good example of a powerful Italian task force deployed with a good chance of defeating any of the opposing RN forces, but failed because of poor RA recon:

Operation Hats, 29 August-6September, 1940
British operation to reinforce Mediterranean Fleet.

Force F


BB Valiant

CV Illustrious

CLAA Coventry
CLAA Calcutta

Reinforcement squadron, proceeding from Gibraltar to Alexandria

Force H, covering Force F

BC Renown

CV Ark Royal

CL Sheffield

12 DD

On 31 August, 9 Swordfish attack Port Elma on Sardinia, and Force H turns away.

South of Sicily, Force F is met by the Mediterranean Fleet

BB Warspite

BB Malaya

CV Eagle

3rd Cruiser Squadron (CL Glocester, CA Kent, CL Liverpool)

7th Cruiser Squadron ( CLs Orion and Sydney)

13 DD

The Med. Fleet is also providing cover for a convoy to Malta consisting of:
3 Transports
4 DD

Italian Fleet attempts to intercept with

BB Vittorio Veneto

BB Littorio

13 CA+CL

39 DD

As an aside, Illustrious was flying the flag of Rear Admiral Lumely Lyster, former CO of Glorious, the Mediterranean Fleet carrier, who helped develop a plan to a plan to attack the Italian Fleet at its base at Taranto, after the Abyssinian Crisis. One Dudley Pound was C-in-C Med at the time...

Regards,
 

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Big. battleships. and. battlecruisers. porn. Alas, at the cost of brankrupting many world powers, so not quite a good idea...

I want a 120 000 tons battleship with 12*20-inch guns in four tripple turrets.
and don't forget the ever gigantic cruisers... unless the OP is saying there is still a London treaty but no Washington one... which would be VERY bad for cruiser captains
 

Dilandu

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The RM was handicapped by poor recon and an overly complex scouting system. If I recall correctly, in the case of the latter Regia Aeronautica aircraft could not communicate directly with Regia Marina ships at sea. They had to contact their base, which contacted Super Aero in Rome, who contacted Super Marina in Rome, who contacted the ships' base, who contacted the ships at sea.

Yep, exactly.
 

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World War 2 is not my area of interest but apart from the gunnery duel between Bismark and King George V and Hood there were no clashes between the behemoth ships. They seemed to die by torpedo or bombs. Not sure that any changes in their type or number would have made much difference to that.
There were attempts to limit or ban submarines but noone wanted to do the same with aircraft.
How it influences things is based on the observation that initially aircraft were kind of crap... so the major powers go with the proven model of gigantic masses of moving steel with GIGANTIC guns. Aircraft will get better, but those behemoths are so expensive that there is not going to be much money left.. or for that matter steel.. for building a large number of carriers.

They were already planning ships in the 45,000 ton or larger range in the 20's
 

Dilandu

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How it influences things is based on the observation that initially aircraft were kind of crap... so the major powers go with the proven model of gigantic masses of moving steel with GIGANTIC guns. Aircraft will get better, but those behemoths are so expensive that there is not going to be much money left.. or for that matter steel.. for building a large number of carriers.

Well, it would probably not be THAT radical. Everyone acknowledged the usefulness of aircraft carriers in early 1920s; also, the economical conditions of nearly everyone (except USA) did not allow to push into new battleships and battlecruisers continuously.
 

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on my italian blog storialternativa.it i imagined an alternate class of ship : Armored Landing Trasport or reconverted battleship to Landing Trasport simply removing main cannons .
 

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Converting a battleship to any sort of amphibious ship is a complete non-starter. They draw too much water for beaching like an LST and their hull shape is wrong anyway. Their hull shape also prevents converting them into a LPD/LSD. I suppose you could make them into an armored combat-loaded troop ship with landing craft but it would be completely uneconomical to do so.
 

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Well the biggest change, obviously, is that new battleships are designed and built. 18" guns may or may not become common (the British didn't seem exactly in love with their 18" gun and the US felt that their 18" design was little better than the 16"/50 but with a massive weight penalty). The other knock on will be in carrier, cruiser and destroyer development. In OTL, the funds that would have been used to develop more battleships ended up going to other programs. I'm not saying that those classes wouldn't be developed, just that it wouldn't surprise me if they developed slower. Carriers in particular. While everyone recognized the potential of the carrier, that's all it was. Potential. And frankly, aircraft in 1922 were wholly unable to threaten a battleship. So resources that in OTL helped to speed up the development of torpedo and dive bombers would not go there, but into the "Queen of Battle."
 

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And frankly, aircraft in 1922 were wholly unable to threaten a battleship.

The Sopwith Cuckoo was already established as a torpedo bomber in 1918, and the RN planned a mass attack on the High Seas Fleet in the Jade Estuary when it had sufficient carriers available.

 

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And frankly, aircraft in 1922 were wholly unable to threaten a battleship.

The Sopwith Cuckoo was already established as a torpedo bomber in 1918, and the RN planned a mass attack on the High Seas Fleet in the Jade Estuary when it had sufficient carriers available.

Judging by the performance of the aircraft and the likely torpedo they would have used, I stand by my statement that aircraft of the time we're wholly unable to threaten a battleship. The British Mk VII and VIII torpedoes only had a 320 pound TNT warhead. Even WWI torpedo defenses should be able to withstand that.
 

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And frankly, aircraft in 1922 were wholly unable to threaten a battleship.

The Sopwith Cuckoo was already established as a torpedo bomber in 1918, and the RN planned a mass attack on the High Seas Fleet in the Jade Estuary when it had sufficient carriers available.

Judging by the performance of the aircraft and the likely torpedo they would have used, I stand by my statement that aircraft of the time we're wholly unable to threaten a battleship. The British Mk VII and VIII torpedoes only had a 320 pound TNT warhead. Even WWI torpedo defenses should be able to withstand that.
I would think that with slower aircraft development, festooning the ships with AA and DP guns as in our timeline would keep aircraft secondary a little while longer. See how well a Blackburn Blackburn would do going up against 1939 level AA. Hell, see what a TBD would do against 1941 AA.
 

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Judging by the performance of the aircraft and the likely torpedo they would have used, I stand by my statement that aircraft of the time we're wholly unable to threaten a battleship. The British Mk VII and VIII torpedoes only had a 320 pound TNT warhead. Even WWI torpedo defenses should be able to withstand that.

The Cuckoo flew, was well liked, was in service for five years and successfully launched torpedoes on multiple occasions. Its ability to attack moored battleships is clear.

330lbs of wet guncotton (roughly equivalent to 360lbs of TNT) was sufficient to sink HMS Audacious.

The 18" Mk VIII (not to be confused with the 21" Mk VIII of WWII) was the standard armament of several classes of submarine, and the Admiralty was confident enough it could sink a German battleship* that it ordered E14 into the Dardanelles to sink the Goeben. E23 actually did torpedo the Westfalen (Nassau class), and while she survived she took on 800 tons of water, which is clear evidence the potential to sink a battleship existed, especially with multiple hits. In fact Speer put the Westfalen in the lead during the night of Jutland specifically because she had a better TDS than most of the High Seas Fleet.

* Technically Goeben was a battlecruiser, but her TDS was equivalent to that of the Nassau class and better than that of all the German pre-Dreadnaughts (a significant percentage of the High Seas Fleet).
 

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Assuming the scenario of no Treaty of Washington in 1922 , i suppose that importance of battleship are still high until World War Two . In this scenario i suppose importance of aircraft carriers rise by the beginning of WW2. What do you think about this scenario ?
No Treaty of Washington means some countries will go broke on keeping up building new battleships.
 

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Assuming the scenario of no Treaty of Washington in 1922 , i suppose that importance of battleship are still high until World War Two . In this scenario i suppose importance of aircraft carriers rise by the beginning of WW2. What do you think about this scenario ?
No Treaty of Washington means some countries will go broke on keeping up building new battleships.
Just curious, which countries?
 

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Assuming the scenario of no Treaty of Washington in 1922 , i suppose that importance of battleship are still high until World War Two . In this scenario i suppose importance of aircraft carriers rise by the beginning of WW2. What do you think about this scenario ?
No Treaty of Washington means some countries will go broke on keeping up building new battleships.
Just curious, which countries?
The UK and Japan. The US program had already been fully funded

ETA: the existing US program was fully funded. Ships past the Colorado, South Dakota and Lexington classes would have needed new appropriations.
 

marauder2048

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It's somehow gone completely overlooked here that the main goal the US had in calling the Washington Conference
was to destroy the Anglo-Japanese alliance.
 

Foo Fighter

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....... to reduce the bulk of both navies to pointless decrepitude, balancing and increasing the value of their own ships.
 

uk 75

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The UK planned 8 new ships to renew the Royal Navy. 4 G3 battlecruisers and 4 N3 battleships.
These were radical designs and may well have had problems both technical and budgetary.
France would certainly have wanted to match them.
Without an improvement in airpower I can see a N3/G3 combo meeting the same fate as their real life counterparts at the hands of the Japanese.
 

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The UK planned 8 new ships to renew the Royal Navy. 4 G3 battlecruisers and 4 N3 battleships.
These were radical designs and may well have had problems both technical and budgetary.
France would certainly have wanted to match them.
Without an improvement in airpower I can see a N3/G3 combo meeting the same fate as their real life counterparts at the hands of the Japanese.
France probably couldn't have matched the G3/N3s, or even the older Queen Elizabeths as much of the Western Front was fought in France's equivalent of the UK Midlands -- iron and coal mines and heavy industry -- and, in addition to the normal destruction of having land battles fought through the area, the Germans were actively destroying and looting industrial plant in areas they were occupying, especially when all but the most detached from reality realized that Germany could not win.

In other words, France couldn't have afforded to match UK developments.

--------------
Overall, I don't know what would have happening had the Washington Naval Treaty not existed. I strongly suspect that there would not be any where near the level of battleship construction some people who seem to dislike the concept of the WNT seem to expect, as the economic constraints that constrained military spending would still exist.
 

Dilandu

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France probably couldn't have matched the G3/N3s, or even the older Queen Elizabeths

France wanted 45.000-ton battleship with 18-inch guns. In early 1920s they designed and tested... basically the best 18-inch gun ever, 45 cm/45 mle 1920, with working pressure up to 3500 kg/sm2, muzzle velocity 875 m/s, and 47 km range with 1366 kg shell. French admirals researched Jutland well, and came to conclusion, that 45-cm shell is the only one that combine good penetration with good bursting charge.

Of battleships themselves, very little is known. They supposedly were only basic concepts by the time of the Washington Treaty. IMHO, they were probably supposed to be an enlarged "Lyon" concept, with four 45-cm duals along the hull length, revised armor scheme and 24-25 knots speed.
 

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France probably couldn't have matched the G3/N3s, or even the older Queen Elizabeths as much of the Western Front was fought in France's equivalent of the UK Midlands -- iron and coal mines and heavy industry -- and, in addition to the normal destruction of having land battles fought through the area, the Germans were actively destroying and looting industrial plant in areas they were occupying, especially when all but the most detached from reality realized that Germany could not win.

In other words, France couldn't have afforded to match UK developments.

--------------
Overall, I don't know what would have happening had the Washington Naval Treaty not existed. I strongly suspect that there would not be any where near the level of battleship construction some people who seem to dislike the concept of the WNT seem to expect, as the economic constraints that constrained military spending would still exist.
I have to agree. The US Navy was deeply unsatisfied with the battleships on the stocks by 1922 - the South Dakotas were undergoing a death spiral as the designers couldn't resist tinkering with the design to incorporate war lessons and that tinkering had completely eaten up their stability, and the Lexingtons look decidedly out of place in a G3 world - and the clog of ships on the stocks was preventing them from spending money on new cruisers like they wanted. The Brits might have been able to afford their initial program, but likely at the cost of very necessary cruiser construction, and any follow-ons show poor prospects. The French and Italians were struggling to finish ships they'd laid down before WW1 and were just as unsatisfied with the designs as the US Navy was.

Only the Japanese seem willing and able to make a real go of it - and then the Great Kanto Earthquake hits in September 1923, and money has to go to rebuilding Tokyo rather than getting in an arms race at sea.

So at best the big three finish what they have laid down in 1923, and otherwise battleship construction goes into a pause as everyone focuses on recapitalizing their cruiser fleets. Which might spiral out of control in its own right, mind; the Royal Navy was sufficiently alarmed by American plans to build 8" cruisers in numbers that they were seriously considering, as early as 1921, cruisers with 10" guns as a counter. If that goes through, things could very well spiral into proto-Alaskas in the 1930s before sanity prevails.
 

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France probably couldn't have matched the G3/N3s, or even the older Queen Elizabeths

France wanted 45.000-ton battleship with 18-inch guns. In early 1920s they designed and tested... basically the best 18-inch gun ever, 45 cm/45 mle 1920, with working pressure up to 3500 kg/sm2, muzzle velocity 875 m/s, and 47 km range with 1366 kg shell. French admirals researched Jutland well, and came to conclusion, that 45-cm shell is the only one that combine good penetration with good bursting charge.

Of battleships themselves, very little is known. They supposedly were only basic concepts by the time of the Washington Treaty. IMHO, they were probably supposed to be an enlarged "Lyon" concept, with four 45-cm duals along the hull length, revised armor scheme and 24-25 knots speed.
https://www.reddit.com/r/WorldOfWarships/comments/6i2e3p View: https://www.reddit.com/r/WorldOfWarships/comments/6i2e3p/a_look_into_the_possible_future_the_45cm45_mle/
 

1635yankee

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France probably couldn't have matched the G3/N3s, or even the older Queen Elizabeths

France wanted 45.000-ton battleship with 18-inch guns. In early 1920s they designed and tested... basically the best 18-inch gun ever, 45 cm/45 mle 1920, with working pressure up to 3500 kg/sm2, muzzle velocity 875 m/s, and 47 km range with 1366 kg shell. French admirals researched Jutland well, and came to conclusion, that 45-cm shell is the only one that combine good penetration with good bursting charge.

Of battleships themselves, very little is known. They supposedly were only basic concepts by the time of the Washington Treaty. IMHO, they were probably supposed to be an enlarged "Lyon" concept, with four 45-cm duals along the hull length, revised armor scheme and 24-25 knots speed.
https://www.reddit.com/r/WorldOfWarships/comments/6i2e3p View: https://www.reddit.com/r/WorldOfWarships/comments/6i2e3p/a_look_into_the_possible_future_the_45cm45_mle/
Thank you for the information.

I would also note that, post-WW1, the RN increased the elevation of battleship main gun mounts as much for use in shore bombardment as to increase battle range. This may have been part of the motivation for increased main battery elevation on the part of the French Navy, as they were aware of RN experience with monitors, especially, during the Great War and because they may have been considering these guns for use in coastal defenses.
 

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I'm a bit doubtful the performance of that French 450mm gun would be matched in service use. The working pressure is higher than every other large caliber naval gun including the later French 330mm and 380mm guns that saw service on the Dunkerque and Richelieu class battleships. Both those gun types also suffered from rather severe dispersion issues that in the case of the 380mm weren't corrected until post-war and necessitated some reduction in muzzle velocity over the original specifications.

An impressive cannon nonetheless and shows an interesting switch in thinking from the prior practice of cramming as many 340mm guns as possible onto a battleship.
 

Dilandu

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I'm a bit doubtful the performance of that French 450mm gun would be matched in service use. The working pressure is higher than every other large caliber naval gun including the later French 330mm and 380mm guns that saw service on the Dunkerque and Richelieu class battleships.
Well, French artillery industry in 1920s was still the best in the world in terms of advanced designs. So... not impossible)

French 330mm and 380mm guns that saw service on the Dunkerque and Richelieu class battleships. Both those gun types also suffered from rather severe dispersion issues that in the case of the 380mm weren't corrected until post-war and necessitated some reduction in muzzle velocity over the original specifications.
Those 330-mm guns were longer, 50 calibers, so they could manage with less barrel pressure than 450-mm gun, which were (due to tools limitation) limited to 45 caliber.

An impressive cannon nonetheless and shows an interesting switch in thinking from the prior practice of cramming as many 340mm guns as possible onto a battleship.
Yep! And also an interesting logic, that only a very big shell could combine both high penetration and sufficient bursting charge to dealt crippling damage. Most other European nations were mainly concerned about just penetration, not the shell explosion effect.
 

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carrier development wojuld nave been stifled. With the Washington treaty the US and Japan each got two carriers maybe 15 years ahnead of their time essentially free. Grahted Japan seemed to be moving faster on carriers.
 

Dilandu

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With the Washington treaty the US and Japan each got two carriers maybe 15 years ahnead of their time essentially free
Actually no. USN already wanted large carrier, capable of operating with the battlecruiser fleet. In 1920-1922, large carriers of 35.000-39.000 tons, with the speed of 35 knots, were designed:

1652758419210.png
1652758442922.png
 

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With the Washington treaty the US and Japan each got two carriers maybe 15 years ahnead of their time essentially free
Actually no. USN already wanted large carrier, capable of operating with the battlecruiser fleet. In 1920-1922, large carriers of 35.000-39.000 tons, with the speed of 35 knots, were designed:

View attachment 678069
View attachment 678070
It is true that they had these designs, but there wasn't much chance of the USN getting money to build them. They couldn't even get money to complete the battleships and battlecruisers they had already laid down.

Regards

David
 

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If other countries, mainly England, had started building these battleships and
battlecruisers then I think the U.S would have come up with the funds to build.
The U.S was already unhappy with the building of the Nelson's and would have
felt the need to match ship for ship.
 

Nik

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Per Archibald's #32 info...

Could that 60º have been intended to 'prove' for land-use, too ? IIRC, the French were very unhappy about those German 'Paris Gun' attacks...
 
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