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WWI Royal Navy QE and R follow on Battleship Designs

GottJäger

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During WWI battleship construction was halted, however design work was not. The Admiral class battlecruisers were eventually laid down however reference is maid to intermediary designs for Slow Battleships, Fast (by WWI standards) Battleships and other Battle cruiser designs in it's wiki article, however doesn't provide much detail.

Do any specifications still exist for the designs?

How do they compare with contemporaries?

Do any original Sketches (or modern speculative drawings there of) exist for the designs?
 

Tzoli

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There were many designs between Revenge and Admiral of 1913/1914 and the G3/N3/Nelson series of 1920/22
Battleships:
Design 1914 an improved but slower Revenge
Designs U1-U5 for Canada 4x2 15" ranging from QE/Revenge layout to all on the deck - 1914
Designs W1, C1,2 slow BBs
Designs X1,2 A,B,D fast BB's
all with 4x2 15" - 1914/15
Designs A,B fast BB's with 4x3 15" - 1918

Battlecruisers:
Designs A-D, modified Admirals with 4x2, 4x3, 2x3 2x2, 3x3 15" - 1916
Design 1919 3x3 15"

I can provide more data if required.

Apart from these there were large number of export designs from Vickers and Armstrong between 1914-1920 for Brazil, Chile, Japan, Netherlands, Russia, Spain
 

Antonio

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I can provide more data if required.

Apart from these there were large number of export designs from Vickers and Armstrong between 1914-1920 for Brazil, Chile, Japan, Netherlands, Russia, Spain

Yes, please!
 

Tzoli

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These are ONLY the export designs:


Battleships:
Armstrong Design 779 for Greece - 1913 - 163,37 x 31 x 8,08m, 40km/h, 18.500tons, 3x2 15" 8x1 6" 6x1 3" 2x1 3" AA 4x1 21"TT, 229mm Belt

Armstrong Design 781 for Brazil - 1913 - 201,17 x 28,65m, 45.000shp 42km/h, 30.500tons, 4x2 15" 14x1 6" 10x1 4" 3x1 3" AA 2x1 21"TT, 76mm Deck, 343mm Belt
Armstrong Design 782 for Brazil - 1913 - 216,41 x 29,26m, 45.000shp 42km/h, 34.250tons, 5x2 15" 14x1 6" 10x1 4" 3x1 3" AA 2x1 21"TT, 76mm Deck, 343mm Belt
Armstrong Design 783 for Brazil - 1913 - 4x2 15"
Armstrong Design 784 for Brazil - 1913 - 5x2 15"
Armstrong Design 785 for Brazil - 1913 - 195,07 x 28,35 x 8,53m, 28.000tons, 4x2 15"
Armstrong Design 786 for Brazil - 1913 - 213,36 x 28,95 x 8,53m, 32.500tons, 5x2 15"
Armstrong Design 787 for Brazil - 1913 - 195,07 x 28,35 x 8,53m, 28.000tons, 4x2 15"
Armstrong Design 788 for Brazil - 1913 - 5x2 15"

Armstrong Design 791 - 1913 - 14.000shp 35km/h, 15.300tons

Armstrong Design 792 for Turkey - 1913 - 25.000tons, 4x2 13,5" 16x1 6" 6x1 3" AA 4x1 21"TT

Armstrong Design 793 for the Netherlands - 1914 - 181,96 x 27,13 x 8,53m, 25.600tons, 4x2 14" 16x1 6" 8x1 3" 4x1 3" AA 7x1 21"TT
Armstrong Design 793A for the Netherlands - 1914 - 188,06 x 27,13 x 8,53m, 41km/h, 25.600tons, 4x2 14" 16x1 6" 8x1 3" 4x1 3" AA 6x1 21"TT, 254mm Belt

Vickers Design 670 for Brazil - 1913 - 184,4 x 28,65 x 8,7m, 60.000shp 46km/h, 28.950tons, 4x2 16" 16x1 6" 4x1 3" AA 6x1 21"TT
Vickers Design 671 for Brazil - 1913 - 191,72 x 28,65 x 8,7m, 60.000shp 45km/h, 29.800tons, 5x2 16" 16x1 6" 4x1 3" AA 6x1 21"TT, 305mm Belt
Vickers Design 672 for Brazil - 1913 - 184,4 x 28,65 x 8,7m, 60.000shp 46km/h, 28.950tons, 4x2 15" 16x1 6" 4x1 3" AA 6x1 21"TT
Vickers Design 673 for Brazil - 1913 - 184,4 x 28,65 x 8,7m, 60.000shp 46km/h, 28.950tons, 4x2 16" 16x1 6" 4x1 3" AA 4x1 21"TT
Vickers Design 688 for Brazil - 1913 - 175,26 x 28,65 x 8,53m, 35.000shp 41km/h, 27.000tons, 4x2 15" 14x1 6" 10x1 4,7" 4x1 47mm AA 4x1 21"TT
Vickers Design 689 for Brazil - 1913 - 190,5 x 29,26 x 8,53m, 37.000shp 42km/h, 30.000tons, 5x2 15" 14x1 6" 10x1 4,7" 4x1 47mm AA

Vickers Design 690 for Turkey - 1913 - 160,05 x 27,81 x 8,7m, 23.400tons, 5x2 13,5" 16x1 6" 6x1 3" AA 4x1 21"TT
Vickers Design 691 for Turkey - 1913 - 172,21 x 27,43 x 8,58m, 24.700tons, 5x2 13,5" 16x1 6" 6x1 3" AA 4x1 21"TT

Vickers Design 694 for the Netherlands - 1914 - 181,05 x 27,74 x 8,7m, 33.500shp 41km/h, 25.250tons, 4x2 14" 16x1 6" 8x1 3" AA 5x1 21"TT
Vickers Design 694A for the Netherlands - 1914 - 181,05 x 27,74 x 8,7m, 33.500shp 41km/h, 25.250tons, 4x2 14" 16x1 6" 8x1 3" AA 5x1 21"TT
Vickers Design 695 for the Netherlands - 1914 - 170,38 x 27,43 x 8,53m, 41km/h, 4x2 14" 16x1 6" 8x1 3" AA 5x1 21"TT

Vickers Design 726A for Russia - 1914 - 172,21 x 27,43 x 8,58m, 24.700tons 4x2 15", 76mm Deck, 305mm Belt
Vickers Design 726B for Russia - 1914 - 172,21 x 27,43 x 8,58m, 4x2 16", 76mm Deck, 305mm Belt
Vickers Design 726C for Russia - 1914 - 172,21 x 27,43 x 8,58m, 4x2 14", 76mm Deck, 305mm Belt
Vickers Design 727A for Russia - 1914 - 172,21 x 27,43 x 8,58m, 4x2 15", 38mm Deck, 262mm Belt
Vickers Design 727B for Russia - 1914 - 176,78 x 28,04 x 8,69m, 27.500tons, 4x2 16", 38mm Deck, 262mm Belt
Vickers Design 727C for Russia - 1914 - 172,21 x 27,43 x 8,58m, 4x2 14", 38mm Deck, 262mm Belt
Vickers Design 728A for Russia - 1914 - 172,21 x 27,43 x 8,58m, 4x2 15", 38mm Deck, 262mm Belt
Vickers Design 728B for Russia - 1914 - 172,21 x 27,43 x 8,58m, 4x2 16", 38mm Deck, 262mm Belt
Vickers Design 728C for Russia - 1914 - 172,21 x 27,43 x 8,58m, 4x2 14", 38mm Deck, 262mm Belt

Vickers Design 742 - 1915 - 208,48 x 29,26 x 7,62m, 41km/h 29.250tons, 4x2 15" 5x2 6" 2x1 3" AA 4x1 21"TT, 51mm Deck, 330mm Belt

Vickers Design 754 for Spain - 1917 - 192 x 28,04 x 8,53m, 46km/h, 27.800tons, 4x2 15" 16x1 6" 4x1 4" AA 2x1 21"TT, 254mm Belt

Vickers Design 768 - 1917 - 176 x 27 x 8,5m, 32.000shp, 22.500tons, 2x3,1x2 15" 16x1 6" 4x1 21"TT, 32mm Deck, 279mm Belt

Battlecruisers:

Vickers Design 757 for Chile - 1919 - 223,04 x 28,96 x 8,38m, 86.500shp 52km/h, 30.500tons, 3x2 15", 102mm Deck, 254mm Belt
Vickers Design 757A for Chile - 1919 - 213,66 x 28,65 x 8,38m, 86.500shp 52km/h, 28.500tons, 3x2 15", 102mm Deck, 254mm Belt
Vickers Design 757B for Chile - 1919 - 223,04 x 31,7 x 8,08m, 86.500shp 52km/h, 32.300tons, 3x2 15", 102mm Deck, 254mm Belt
Vickers Design 757C for Chile - 1919 - 213,66 x 28,65 x 8,38m, 86.500shp 52km/h, 28.500tons, 3x2 15", 102mm Deck, 254mm Belt

Vickers Design 762 for Japan - 1919 - 280,41 x 31,7 x 8,23m, 65km/h, 40.000tons, 2x3 16" 12x1 6" 4x1 4" AA 6x1 21"TT, 127mm Deck, 254mm Belt
Vickers Design 763 for Japan - 1919 - 277,37 x 32,31 x 8,7m, 62km/h, 46.500tons, 3x3 16" 14x1 5,5" 4x1 4" AA 4x1 21"TT, 305mm Belt
 

Antonio

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Amazing, many thanks. I’m surprised to see how many countries show interest in buying battleships. A lucrative market should have bee

Design 763 is a deffinitive clue about the intentions of Japan after WWI. Twice as heavy as the medium value in the list. Comparable to Royal Navy proposals I guess.
 

Grey Havoc

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Interesting lists. Thanks Tzoli!
 

GottJäger

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There were many designs between Revenge and Admiral of 1913/1914 and the G3/N3/Nelson series of 1920/22
Battleships:
Design 1914 an improved but slower Revenge
Designs U1-U5 for Canada 4x2 15" ranging from QE/Revenge layout to all on the deck - 1914
Designs W1, C1,2 slow BBs
Designs X1,2 A,B,D fast BB's
all with 4x2 15" - 1914/15
Designs A,B fast BB's with 4x3 15" - 1918

Battlecruisers:
Designs A-D, modified Admirals with 4x2, 4x3, 2x3 2x2, 3x3 15" - 1916
Design 1919 3x3 15"

I can provide more data if required.

Apart from these there were large number of export designs from Vickers and Armstrong between 1914-1920 for Brazil, Chile, Japan, Netherlands, Russia, Spain
Could You elaborate on Designs W1, C1,2 slow BBs and Designs X1,2 A,B,D fast BB's
 

Pirate Pete

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Thanks for that Tzoli. I have seen limited tabulated data on some of these designs previously (Raven and Roberts - British Battleships, and D.K.Brown - Grand Fleet), but great to see original materials. Keep it coming, very much appreciated.
 

ptdockyard

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Are there any sketches of the fast BBs?

Dave G
 

Tzoli

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No at least my friend did not photo them if there were but imagine a QE with triple turrets.
 

Sherman Tank

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Design Y of 1914 is very obviously a missing link between the QEs and Hood.
 

Sherman Tank

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I've read all the surviving archival material on the design. She's an attempt to carry QE armament in a 30 knot ship for a unit cost of less than £2 million. To do that, inevitably, armor was sacrificed and the design was rejected owing to its inadequate torpedo protection. Point is, she was meant to be a battleship with battlecruiser speed. Hood originated in the same way, only without a restriction in unit cost.
 

Tzoli

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My friend made an article regarding this:

This particular sketch appears in Sir Eustace Tennyson d’Eyncourt’s workbook under the designation ‘Design Y’, supposedly from 1914, predating the decision by Fisher to convert REPULSE/RENOWN into battlecruisers. It is speculated that intelligence about the then brand new German SEYDLITZ’s armor protection sparked this concept. It is basically a massively enlarged TIGER with 15″ armament in classic layout and with armor brought up to about halfway between battleship and battlecruiser levels (11″ belt vs TIGER’s 9″ and R class’ 13″). The resulting ships would have been built as the battlecruiser companion to R class battleships. It was rejected though with the comment that underwater protection is lacking. On the other hand it is obvious here that cooler heads in the Board of Admiraltry envisioned greatly improved armor protection for future battlecruisers as well.
 

Sherman Tank

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There's no supposedly about Design Y being from 1914. D'Eyncourt's workbook says the design was submitted to Third Sea Lord Archibald Gordon Moore on July 8th, 1914.

As far as can be determined the initial impetus for the design was a minute from Churchill asking if a QE-type battleship could be built with a 30-knot speed if armored were reduced towards Tiger levels.
 

Tzoli

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That 1914 Design Y was the "Super Tiger":
Tzoli, I do not concure with your statement above as the "Super Tiger" and the Design Y were separate designs.

The "Super Tiger" was within the battlecruiser lineage following the Tiger but enlarged to be able to mount eight 15 inch guns. It appears to have been first considered for the 1912 programme when the Royal Navy was still planning on 3 battleships and 1 battlecruiser before deciding on four fast battleships which became the Queen Elizabeth class. the same (or very similar) designs were latter considered as part of the 1913 programme, but rejected for cheaper R class battleships.

Design Y was a 1914 project considered for the 1915 or 1916 programs and was part of the battleship lineage stemming from the Queen Elizabeths and the unbuilt Agincourt but designed for 30 knots.

In nature this would be classed as convergent evolution, as the two designs ended up with a lot of similarities such as same engines, armament and speed but where different designs.

Both the Super Tiger and the Y design never got past the design project preliminary stage which often uses readily known components to speed up the assessment tasks. Had either design progressed to the detailed design or builders design stages they would have been quite different designs from what we currently know of them.
My friend got info from Norman Friedmand and the Armstrong / d'Eyncourt papers. He asks you to provide source about this "other" Design Y.
 

Sherman Tank

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I think Steelwind is mistaking Fisher's notional 30-knot battlecruiser proposal that he described in letters to Churchill (you can find it in the second volume of Marder's Fear God and Dread Nought) with a formal design prepared by the Department of Naval Construction. There's no record of a battlecruiser design for 1912 that I've ever encountered, although as Friedman notes there's several "lost" designs in the alphabetic sequence between Iron Duke (Design M4) and Queen Elizabeth (Design R4). Even so, the battlecruisers used a separate sequence (Tiger was Design A2'') so that doesn't much matter.
 

Archibald

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an improved but slower Revenge
(scratching my head) the R-class were actually downrated Q.E with lower speed (back to 21 kt from 25+) to make them cheaper.
Slower than 21kt is no longer a battleship, but rather a sitting duck... even a shitty french pre-dread could catch it !

(a good one, incidentally: one of these pre-Dread was called Henri IV, as per the famous "Vert gallant" French king that stinked garlic, among other things). "Henri Quatre" - the perfidious British rebranded it "angry cat". I laughed like an idiot when I discovered that very lame pun)
 

Grey Havoc

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I seem to recall from somewhere that the original design for the R-class was a clean sheet design with a fair turn of speed for the time, maybe that is what is being referenced?
 

Tzoli

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an improved but slower Revenge
(scratching my head) the R-class were actually downrated Q.E with lower speed (back to 21 kt from 25+) to make them cheaper.
Slower than 21kt is no longer a battleship, but rather a sitting duck... even a shitty french pre-dread could catch it !

(a good one, incidentally: one of these pre-Dread was called Henri IV, as per the famous "Vert gallant" French king that stinked garlic, among other things). "Henri Quatre" - the perfidious British rebranded it "angry cat". I laughed like an idiot when I discovered that very lame pun)

I did said slower yes but not by how much.
Revenge class was stated in WW1 for an average of 21,5knots though Revenge herself almost reached 22knots, this 1914 design was for 21 knots.

Actually one site states this:
Royal Oak, Resolution, Royal Sovereign, Revenge: 22
Ramillies: 21.5

another one:
Revenge: 42.650shp = 21,9;
Royal Oak: 40.360shp = 21,6;
Royal Sovereign: 41.115shp = 21,6;
Resolution: 41.406shp = 21,5;
Ramillies: 42.383shp = 21,5

So I stay with an average of 21,5knots though design speed indeed was 21 knots.
 

Sherman Tank

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I didn't say a battlecruiser design appeared in the alphabetical sequences for battleship designs, I said there are lost designs between MIV and RIV and that any battlecruiser wouldn't have been one of those because there was a separate sequence for battlecruisers.

I don't buy Friedman's reconstructed sequence of designs between Iron Duke and QE either, but he's right that they probably existed at some point. Another missing letter, Design V1, definitely existed because it was put through tank testing at Haslar as Hull Form VF.
 

Sherman Tank

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Honestly I think we're in violent agreement with each other. Design Y was not a "Super Tiger" design. It began with this minute from Churchill to the Third Sea Lord dated May 11th, 1914:

"The third battleship of this year's programme to be laid down at Portsmouth is a 'Queen Elizabeth.' Please report what increase of cost or diminution of armour would be necessary to raise her speed to that of the 'Tiger.' I do not see much harm in coming down to 11-inch armour over a large portion of the belt, especially if the fact is concealed. But she must carry full battleship armament. I think it is esential that this ship should be as fast as anything now projected.
"Please make me the best proposition you can."

While there is no direct evidence, it is not a huge leap to believe Churchill was influenced by Fisher's incessant claims that a good 30-knot capital ship could be built for slightly under £2 million.
 

CNH

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At the risk of being slightly controversial, I think the R class battleships were built with the concept of the Grand Fleet in mind. The fleet could not maintain a speed of much over 20 kn, so the R class, powerful and well armoured, fitted in well.

Post-war, the idea of a fleet engagement became more and more remote. I think the only reason the R class were retained was because of their big guns and armour. However, any encounter with a capital ship built in the 1930s would have been farcical. Any commerce raider would look at it and turn away and disappear over the horizon. Thus their only use was in convoy protection. To use vessels as large, expensive, and heavily manned in such a role is really rather pointless. There were better ways of protecting convoys. All right, you might say that they had done their job in frightening off any commerce raiders, but it didn't need something as large, expensive, and lumbering as the R class.

I gather they formed the basis of the Indian Ocean fleet in 1944, based in Kilindini, where they were basically utterly useless.

To thread drift further, there is the issue as to whether Tiger would have been better retained in favour of one of the R class battleships. There are some obvious logistical difficulties, like having to supply 13.5 in shells, but imagine this scenario.

A commerce raider appears over the horizon, sees an R class battleship, and promptly disappears.
A commerce raider appears on the horizon, sees Tiger, tries to disappear, is pursued, and although Tiger might get the worst of it, the commerce raider is sufficiently damaged such that it now has to retire from its mission.

The point about commerce raiders is that they should never ever engage an enemy warship. That was one of the mistakes that Langsdorff made off the River Plate.
 

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To save the arguments, an historian of Fisher and this era of battleship design over at All the World's Battlecruisers had this to say about the Design Y based on D'Enycourt's notebooks.
Design ‘Y’, the final design submitted just before the outbreak of the war and is therefore, the last possible design for the 1914 Agincourt (apart from the 2nd and 3rd Fisher-Vickers H.M.S. Incomparable designs). The design shows a radical departure from the base Queen Elizabeth design. Design ‘Y’ is the 1914 improved Royal Sovereign design with Tiger’s powerplant and deck protection: basically a heavy battle cruiser version of the 1914 program Renown, Repulse, Resistance battleships with some inherited features from Tiger. As these battleships met with the Boards approval it would seem that a battle cruiser version should have been a shoe in for Agincourt.

However, it was apparently “not accepted on account of longitudinal bulkhead protection”. The design does have a full length longitudinal TDS bulkhead 1.5 inches thick, so this is a curious objection. However, if the rest of the design was acceptable then normal policy called for a revised design to eliminate the perceived flaw; which didn’t happen in this case. The design was “not accepted”. Despite the greatly increased offensive and defensive power that design ‘Y’ had over Tiger, she is only twenty feet longer. However, she is 5.5 feet wider which affects docking and has a displacement of 31,350 tons which is unprecedented.

I would speculate that the members had a Board had a maximum acceptable size in mind and that design ‘Y’ breached that limit; hence its rejection. There is also the reduction in belt armour from 13 inches to 11 inches and that she was all oil firing unlike the Royal Sovereign’s types with their mixed coal/oil firing; small things, but ones that would have influenced the decision of the Board (while the Queen Elizabeth’s were all oil firing, they started of as primarily coal fired with oil spraying as a supplement. It took a considerable struggle, plus intravention from the Prime Minister, to get the Board to approve all oil firing for the Queen Elizabeth’s; following that traumatic event, the Board ran happily back to coal firing).

The solution to design ‘Y’s’ possible excess size would have been the adoption of oil only, small tube boilers and geared turbines which would probably have reduced the size back to acceptable Tiger-like dimensions while allowing the 13-inch belt to be retained. However, the d’Eyncourt papers state that the Board was deeply entrenched against any such technological evolution for capital ships. Fisher had encountered the same unyielding opposition to this technology back in 1908 with his Nonpareil project.
The full discussion can be found here: https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/alltheworldsbattlecruisers/viewtopic.php?p=19883#p19883
 

Hood

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Worth noting of course too that it was Admiralty pressure that led to the formation of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company to get their hands on the oil - the first modern nationalised company to get a vital resource.
The Royal Navy was the first to think strategically about how to get oil and did invest quite heavily in infrastructure. But as Steelwind says, coal was still king for the majority of the fleet and to be fair the bulk of the fleet (barring submarines, destroyers, light cruisers and fast capital ships) could quite happily continue on coal.

The 'hidebound donkeys' thesis does not hold true for the Royal Navy, and probably should never have been accepted at all by historians given the physical evidence. The failure to bring about a 'Nelsonian Trafalgar V2.0' was probably more about false political and public expectations than any doctrinal blind on the Navy's tactical thinking. The technological advances made such a concept banal, any more than Nelson would have considered 'Armada V2.0'. Forming criticisms like the Sea Lords were old duffers was a smokescreen to justify the critics' ill-informed analysis. Not sure the same thesis even holds true of the Army either of this period either - but that is another topic for another place and day.
 

Purpletrouble

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The RN does seem to have been well led then - formation of RNAS, conversion of Eagle also being notable points.
Whereas in WW2 the FSL was trying to switch off carrier production to keep battleship builds going.
The Army’s adoption of the tank in large scale similarly contrasts with the management of armour for WW2.
 

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Fascinating stuff that shows the importance of continued archive research, I have lost count of the number of books that describe Agincourt as a repeat Queen Elizabeth.

Were there any changes planned for the three 1914 Revenge class ships? Renown, Repulse and Resistance?
 
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Tzoli

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I remember a discussion about these new modified battleships (Agincourt, Renown-Resistance, Modified QE for Canada / Design U series) that apart from visual changes and revised casemate arrangements, a uniqe addition of a different location for the range finders and/or directors on the bow of the ship!
 

Sherman Tank

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Fascinating stuff that shows the importance of continued archive research, I have lost count of the number of books that describe Agincourt as a repeat Queen Elizabeth.
Agincourt actually was to have been a repeat Queen Elizabeth as far as can be determined. The only entry in the relevant Ship Cover at the NMM Brass Foundry collection describes her as such.

The three Rs, however, were going to have several modifications such as a rearranged 6" battery, a spotting position in the bow based on the gunnery trials carried out against the old Empress of India in 1913 (the old ship's bow was clear of smoke during the entire trials), and 100 15" rounds carried in the forward magazines instead of 80.
 

JFC Fuller

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Agincourt actually was to have been a repeat Queen Elizabeth as far as can be determined. The only entry in the relevant Ship Cover at the NMM Brass Foundry collection describes her as such.
This discussion has inspired me to dig out my copy of Friedman's British Battleships. It is certainly true that the ship to be Agincourt was originally intended as a repeat Queen Elizabeth but things appear to have evolved through 1914. Friedman seems to have found no evidence that a Ship's cover for the 1914/15 Agincourt was ever opened or that a design was ever chosen. Friedman does reference a minute from Churchill to the Third Sea Lord asking how much it would cost to redesign a 1914/15 ship to match Tiger's speed. This would align with the studies that lead to Design Y referenced above that was submitted on July 8th 1914. Contracts for the 1914/15 ships were cancelled or suspended on the 26th August 1914.

Is the Agincourt cover you are referring to above specifically for the 1914/15 orferfor the Royal Navy, and one that emerged after friedman published, or is it the cover for the Sultan Osman I taken over by the Royal Navy in August 1914?
 

Hood

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Fascinating stuff that shows the importance of continued archive research, I have lost count of the number of books that describe Agincourt as a repeat Queen Elizabeth.

Were there any changes planned for the three 1914 Revenge class ships? Renown, Repulse and Resistance?
Over at All the World's Battlecruisers there is a thread on that very topic that I contributed to: https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/all...nal-design-study-for-hms-agincourt-t8887.html

It turns out that a lot about the 1914 class ships was unclear, including which shipyards were to build which ones and to what design each of them would actually have. There were several schemes it seems at improvements for the QE and R designs, D'Enycourt was very productive at this time! Also, their fate hints that even Britain's shipbuilding industry and Admiralty coffers were running out of puff in the dreadnought race.
 

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Thank you for the link Hood. I think your assertion of Agincourt and Resistance being secretly removed form the programme early in 1914 is a step too far though. Whilst it is true that the government was looking to create some fiscal room prior to the 1915 election this must be tempered against other observations. The financial burden on the UK imposed by the naval race was considerable but manageable, the UK was still able to reduce its debt to GDP ratio from 37% in 1905 to 26% in 1914. Churchill had an unending stream of ideas, often swiftly forgotten about, and the board was still considering designs for new ships as late as July 1914. It is hard to imagine the board not being informed that it was not getting capital ships and would likely have resisted the sort of radical substitutions Churchill was proposing. As far as I am aware no version of the pre-war 1914/15 programme ever had any less than four capital ships in it.

There was clearly an ongoing substitution debate in mid-1914 but I suspect the truth lays in the dates. With Revenge and Agincourt not due to be laid down until January 25th 1915 the Board had time to consider developed designs. However, with the rapidly deteriorating international situation from late June onwards it is perhaps no surprise that the process stalled after early July with the rejection of Design Y. Within three weeks of the submission of Design Y discussions were underway about seizing the two ships under construction for Turkey and new construction was suspended altogether after the formal outbreak of war. Both design of the two 1914/15 dockyard battleships and debate about replacing substituting them with submarines or torpedo cruisers was probably ended, without conclusion, by the outbreak of war.
 
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Hood

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We can't say for sure what Churchill's intentions were, but he was certainly keen on some form of substitution and we know he was fond of new technologies and submarines would have piqued his interest.

Either way the Admiralty had options open had war not broken out. If Berlin had announced a sizeable construction programme then all four battleships could have been announced (especially if there was any repeat of the public "We Want Eight" campaign), or if not a more measured approach could have been taken with two battleships and smaller cruisers substituted to save money - I still think all four would have been built but perhaps over a longer timeline. Submarines might have been a double-edged sword, while they might have offered a more deadly threat to German battleships in the North Sea, it would have encouraged German responses in U-boat construction which the Admiralty would have been keen to avoid.

The design work of Agincourt seems to have been rather open-ended and the fact that her planned name was rapidly re-assigned to Sultan Osman I points to the fact that there was no immediate intention of going further with her. Another name could have been chosen for the ex-Turkish ship, it is odd that Reşadiye and Almirante Latorre received names of part of the UK (Erin - Ireland) and a Dominion (Canada) respectively and yet the other Turkish ship received a name already earmarked for a future capital ship.
 

JFC Fuller

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The design work of Agincourt seems to have been rather open-ended and the fact that her planned name was rapidly re-assigned to Sultan Osman I points to the fact that there was no immediate intention of going further with her. Another name could have been chosen for the ex-Turkish ship, it is odd that Reşadiye and Almirante Latorre received names of part of the UK (Erin - Ireland) and a Dominion (Canada) respectively and yet the other Turkish ship received a name already earmarked for a future capital ship.
It was only open ended in the sense it didn't reach a conclusion, most probably due to the deteriorating international situation. That same situation inspired the seizure of Sultan Osman and thus freed up the name that had already been approved. I don't see anything odd about.
 

JFC Fuller

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Fascinating, thanks for posting. I am not sure it is definitive, the Board still seems to have been examining new designs after this note was penned.

Looking at the development of the German fleet under the 1912 naval law it certainly seems that the RN would have been pushed to weight its capital ship procurement more towards battlecruisers at the expense of battleships; the Germans were legally bound to a fleet of 20 battlecruisers (versus 41 battleships) and were going to be replacing 6,500 ton Victoria-Louise class protected cruisers with 30,000 ton Mackensens. That might explain Design Y. The German's don't appear to have been planning anything between the Mackensens and 5,500 ton cruisers though.
 
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Tzoli

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Regarding the proposed Queen Elizabeth battleship "Agincourt" (1914/1915 estimates)

Although no design appears to have been specifically allocated for the "Agincourt" there were designs for a follow on to the QE type. these were the X1 and X2 prepared in the spring of 1914, X1 being a development of the QE type, the X2 being quite different.
Both the X1 and X2 carried eight 15' guns and were designed for 25 knots.

The X1 differed from the QE design in that:
* the armour was modified such as the main belt being non tapered 13" rather than the QE's tapered 13-8"s and the horizontal armour was thickened.
* the secondary battery - 12 of the 6' guns would be carried in two storied battery amidships.
* the hull was wider.

The X2 was different to both the QE and the X1 in that:
* it was longer and much wider (QE only as X1 had the same beam) with a hull form that could just about get the required 25 knot on only 60,000 shp (as opposed to 75,000 shp for the X1 and QE) resulting a much lower fuel consumption.
* The main belt was reduced to 12".

It appear that X2 or a development of it would become the "Agincourt"

References:
1. Keith McBride; Warship 1995; On the Brink of Armageddon, pages 61-62.
2. Norman Freidman; The British Battleship 1906-1946, page 422.
Check my post on the original documents:
 

Sherman Tank

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X1 and X2 were marked "not accepted" and there's no sign of an alternate accepted design so I still say the June document I posted is the last available evidence of what Agincourt would have been. It might not be definitive proof, but anything else is pure speculation.
 
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