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Krakatoa
Post subject: Fisherless Royal NavyPosted: April 12th, 2015, 11:06 am
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Fisherless Royal Navy.

I have done a lot of drawings lately for the Royal Navy with the premise that Lord Fisher did not make it back to the Admiralty in 1914 and so the building program of the Royal Navy is completely different for WW1. That would also make the post-WW1 Washington Naval Treaty a different set of ships to be retained through to WW2. This AU will allow me to put all these drawings into one thread and let me fill in the gaps with the ships and ship types that could make up this different future.

As noted in another thread: Admiral Fisher sidetracked the two R class into Repulse and Renown, and ordered the three Courageous class. That was a total of approximately 120,000 tons. For Great Britain it is not the shipbuilding capacity that gets strained it is the ability to provide the steel required by the shipbuilding industry that is the limiting factor on how much can be built. For my Fisherless world the three Barfleur Class are going to take 105,000 tons of that amount. Leaves 15,000 to put toward whatever was next. The four Admiral class were next in the list of capital ship building projects. Initially at 36,000 tons each that would have been 144,000 tons of steel. Add the 15,000 to that figure and we end up with about 160,000, which is just nice to build my four ship Majestic Class. So what happens to the CV conversions of the ugly sisters, I hear you ask? They get replaced with two Majestic class conversions. The fourth ship is cancelled.

With the completion of Majestic in 1920, a decision was to be made as to what would happen with the three uncompleted ships. Two were at 75% and 80% complete but their construction had been halted in 1918. With the convening of the Washington conference their future became even more problematic. The fourth unit was only 40% complete and the decision was taken to scrap it as the funds to complete it would be hard to come by. As we know now the Washington Naval Treaty had a far reaching affect on warship production for years to come.

But what does that do to my Fisherless Royal Navy. In real life the Royal Navy ends up with 5 Royal Sovereign, 5 Queen Elizabeth, 2 Renown, and Hood. The two Nelson class yet to be built. In my FRN the 2 Renowns and Hood disappear and Tiger is the last of the battlecruisers. With the three Barfleur class, Majestic and three possible sisters something has to give. Is the RN likely to try to get an extra ship through? Would the WNT allow the RN 5xR, 5xQE, 3 Barfleur, Majestic, then the 2 Nelsons to be built? Keep the Tiger as the training ship. Would the RN be willing to sacrifice an 'R' if it was neccessary.

The WNT was not good news for the Majestic's sisters, the WNT would not allow them to be completed as battleships. The new-fangled type of ships to carry wheeled aircraft were their saviour. While they could not be completed as battleships they could be converted to aircraft carriers. The RN had been trialling these ships with the Cavendish/Vindictive , Eagle, Argus and then the purpose built Hermes. The two Majestic class ships Goliath and Bulwark would be the RN's largest and most ambitious aircraft carrier projects.

There will also be changes to the cruisers and lesser vessels (as I think of them) though I will try to keep the ships within RN doctrine and I will listen to the comments as these are made. You will note the absence of the 5.25" from my gun lists. The 4.7" is the standard destroyer weapon through to the F/G class destroyers, when the 4.5" and 4" in dual purpose mountings and turrets take over. The 5.5" gun only lasts about 15 years in service , no more new mountings are produced and the twins on the G class cruisers and Mars/Jupiter class Leaders start being replaced by the 4.5" twin dual purpose turret between 1938-39, but once war breaks out, those that have not been refitted, retain their original armament through to the end of WW2 (one G and one Jupiter may get a Lend/Lease rebuilding in the US in 1941).

With the older capital ships I will try to have both an original drawing (as completed) and a drawing as they appeared in WW2.

As with other threads (and to give a comparison), I though it a good idea to weigh out the battleships.
5 x Queen Elizabeth = 5 x 32,000 = 160,000 tons
5 x Royal Sovereign = 5 x 32,000 = 160,000 tons
3 x Barfleur = 3 x 35,000 = 105,000 tons
1 x Majestic = 1 x 40,000 = 40,000 tons
Total = 465,000 tons
+ 2 Nelsons = 2 x 35,000 = 70,000 tons
Grand Total = 535,000 tons.


Last edited by Krakatoa on April 18th, 2015, 2:46 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Krakatoa
Post subject: Re: Fisherless Royal NavyPosted: April 12th, 2015, 11:07 am
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Battleships:


1 x Tiger

HMS Tiger was the last battlecruiser in my Fisherless RN. Commissioned into RN service in October 1914, it took part in all the Battlecruiser actions that occurred in 1915-16. The Washington Naval Treaty allowed the Tiger (and 4 Iron Duke Class) to be kept through to the completion of the Nelson and Rodney at which stage it (they) were to be demilitarised and or scrapped. On completion of the Nelson class ships in 1927-28, the 4 Iron Duke's were demilitarised and scrapped, except Iron Duke which was disarmed and retained as a trials ship. For more see Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Tiger_(1913) .

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The Tiger was earmarked for conversion to a training ship along the same lines as the two Lion class ships. However the rumblings from abroad and the outcome of the 1930 London conference meant that the conversion of Tiger was given a different slant. The conversion was to be limited to a point where the ship could be renovated back to its full status. B and Q turrets were removed and the barbettes sealed but the inner workings retained. To aid this small deception a new set of Cadet accommodation decks were built over and around Q barbette and made to be easily removed. A 4" AA gun was fitted on B barbette. Various boilers were 'disconnected' so that a speed of 18-20 knots only could be achieved. In this guise the Tiger acted as a training ship until 1935 when the various treaties expired.

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In 1936 the ship was taken in hand to be converted back to full battlecruiser status. B and Q turrets being refitted. The 6" battery deck being fully plated over out to the side of the ship and a new battery of twin 4.5" BD mounts being fitted. A new bridge and central superstructure being fitted with a heavy battery of 2 pounder AA guns. The ships boats were moved to the space between the Q turret and the aft conning position with a handling crane. A new set of engines being fitted when the ship had its old armoured deck lifted and replaced with a new sheet of 4.5" deck armour. The difference in weight between the old propulsion system and the new one allowed for the new deck armour to be fitted. The ship retained its original 9" belt armour. The original coal fired boilers and engines had produced 85,000shp for 28 knots. The new oil fired propulsion system attained 100,000shp for 30 knots. Normal displacement was at 29,000 tons and 34,000 tons full load. At 704 x 90 feet the ship was still longer and wider than the Queen Elizabeth class that had the same rebuilding work.

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5 x Queen Elizabeth Class

Acknowledged as the best battleship class of WW1, the Queen Elizabeth class pulled Admiral Beaty's chestnuts out of the fire at Jutland, and went through to WW2 where again they proved that their design, once modernised, was of a quality second to none. The following drawings are the amalgamations done by Hood and Bezobrazov. My only input was to fit the hull of the 1935 QE to Hoods 1942 QE.
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4/5 x Royal Sovereign Class:

The Royal Sovereign class were fine when backed by another 20 odd dreadnoughts doing the same speed and forming an impenetrable wall. Once WW1 had finished and the focus of building went toward the fast battleship genre, the 'R's were found wanting. By WW2 the 'R's were obsolete and only good for secondary roles. With the advent of German raiders in the North Atlantic, these old ships proved that they were an effective deterrent in the convoy escort role. Once coastal bombardment was required these ships again proved that the mk.1 15" they were armed with were still a very effective weapon.

The next three drawings are all from Hoods superlative 'R' Class series thread. They are untouched by human hand (even me).

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3 x Barfleur Class

The Barfleur class were the follow on from the excellent Queen Elizabeth class ships. These three ships introduced the triple turret to the Royal Navy for large calibre guns. The 15" gun was retained and a new triple turret designed for them. The one thing that was taken into consideration was the lengthening ranges at which battles were taking place. For this the elevation of the turrets was increased to 40 degrees. Range increased from 29,000 yards to 36,500 yards. With the three ships completing in 1918 they never saw any action in WW1. Completely refurbished before the start of WW2, the three ships formed the nucleus of the Mediterranean Fleet during the early years of WW2.

As completed:
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As modernised:
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1 x Majestic Class

Lessons from Jutland had shown the vulnerability of the battlecruiser and the staying power of the fast battleship in comparison. The decision to end the battlecruiser line with Tiger and follow the Queen Elizabeth class with the Barfleur class was vindicated. The next step was an enlarged Barfleur utilising the same triple 15" turret. That the US and Japan had gone to 16" guns was not a problem as the new Majestic class was to be armed with four triple turrets. At 40,000 tons standard they were to be huge ships for their time. Only Majestic was completed post war.

With the completion of Majestic in 1920, a decision was to be made as to what would happen with the three uncompleted ships. Two were at 75% and 80% complete but their construction had been halted in 1918. With the convening of the Washington conference their future became even more problematic. The fourth unit was only 40% complete and the decision was taken to scrap it as the funds to complete it would be hard to come by. As we know now the Washington Naval Treaty had a far reaching affect on warship production for years to come.

The Majestic proved to be an excellent ship, powerful and well armoured. It became well known on Navy days and spent time on a world cruise accompanied by a couple of cruisers. This 'show the flag' tour visited all of the Commonwealth countries of the British Empire plus selected other places both allies and potential enemies alike. Various updates and refits were given to the ship through its service through to early 1938 when the ship was taken in hand for rebuilding along the lines of those given to the Queen Elizabeth and Barfleur class ships. Where the Majestic differed is that it was used as the trials ship for the new superstructures to be used on the new King George V class battleships. At that stage it was still unsure if the KGV would be completed with 4.5" or 5.25" heavy dual purpose weapons. The Majestic was fitted with the 4.5" battery.

As completed:
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As modernised:
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2 x Nelson Class

The Nelson class of two ships were the 35,000 ton ships that Great Britain was allowed to build to match up with the US and Japanese 16" ships. Originally the design was to be a cut down version of the planned G3/N3 battleships. Both those designs had the all gun forward designs, but the third 'C' turret always had only limited usefulness. Also the speed of the cut down design was too slow for the new ships to be able to work even with the older Queen Elizabeth class ships. A radical change in thinking was required. The designers wished to retain the all forward armament and it was decided that going with two quad turrets would not compromise the ships as both the US and Japanese ships had eight guns in four twin turrets. The two quad turrets allowed the superstructure to be sited further forward and the secondary turrets to be spread out. What the new design allowed most was to enlarge the propulsion system to a size which doubled the output from 40,000 to 80,000shp and increased the speed from 22-23 knots to 26 knots. What eventually hit the ocean waves in 1927-28 was a very powerful pair of modern capital ships. Ten years on both ships were starting to look a bit tired. Their main armament was still as powerful as anything in the world but the secondary/tertiary and AA armaments need modernisation. A dual purpose armament would provide the answer. Many more automatic AA weapons were fitted. The removal of the 6" secondary turrets and guns provided the main armament for a class of four light cruisers.

As completed and Modernised:
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4 x King George V Class

As completed (9x15")
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The KGV class were completed with the 12 triple 15" turrets that had been built for the three Majestic class that had been converted or cancelled. To scrap the turrets would have thrown away millions of pounds of work and more importantly, the saving in time for the building of the new KGV class ships was approximately 12 months.


3 x Duke of York Class

As completed (9x16")
[ img ]
Over half the armament on the next class of ships came across with the Dutch after the surrender of the Netherlands in 1940. The twin turret was fitted with the 4.5" weapons and became a standard for most war built shipping. The Hazemeyer 40mm mountings provided the basis for many 40mm based weapons which the Vanguard had singles and twins. For those who wonder what happened to the Vanguard with 8x15", remember I have cancelled out the Courageous class so their 4 twin 15" turrets are no longer available to build Vanguard.


Last edited by Krakatoa on April 24th, 2016, 10:50 pm, edited 11 times in total.

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Krakatoa
Post subject: Re: Fisherless Royal NavyPosted: April 12th, 2015, 11:07 am
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Aircraft Carriers:

HMS Vindictive (ex-Cavendish - Hawkins class cruiser) was converted while building to the trials ship for the early take off and landing trials of aircraft landing aboard ships at sea. Some of the first trials took place while the ship was still incomplete. Trials were successful to a point. With only the front deck covered with a flying off area, the aircraft had to sideslip around the bridge for landing on. The Vindictive went back into builders hands in November 1917 and emerged in March 1918 with the aft part of the ship now sporting a 230x57 foot landing on area with an enclosed area underneath for aircraft storage (hangar). This area was reached by an elevator that emerged flush with the flying on deck. In this guise more tests and trials were carried out, proving the idea.

While these trials with HMS Vindictive were being carried out, two other ships were under conversion to what was to become the aircraft carrier. HMS Argus was an ex-liner, and HMS Eagle an ex-Chilean battleship (sistership of HMS Canada). Both were to be completed in 1919-1920. However the Eagle was made ready for sea, in an incomplete state, in June of 1918. The Eagle was to carry out through deck trials along with the Vindictive. The trials proved beyond a doubt that the through deck aircraft carrier was the way forward. The Eagle returned to the builders yards for completion in October 1918. Due to various reasons of delays, the ship was not finally completed till 1923.


1 x Vindictive

With my Fisherless RN I have deleted the Courageous class which in real life went on to be converted to CV's in the late 1920's. I replaced them with the two converted Majestic class battleships, but this leaves a hole for the trials carrier which Furious had filled. While it is much smaller, the Vindictive (ex Cavendish) was used as part of that aircraft trials fleet. Also required would be the acceleration of the conversion of either Argus or Eagle. I have altered the Vindictive a bit to make it do the trials that Furious undertook. In real life the Vindictive was virtually sidelined after 1930, in my FRN it is fully converted during the early 30's.

As completed:
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As modernised:
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In 1934 the Vindictive had its afterdeck extended. This had been done after a lot of airlanding accidents from trainee pilots landing 'short' and wiping out the Captains Gig that was stored under the overhang aft. In 1936 the forepart of the ship was plated in to increase the hangar space. Aircraft capacity increased from 14 to 18-20 depending on size and type. In this state the ship joined the Training Fleet as the Landing Trials support ship. All of the pre-war pilots would have done there deck landing trials on the Vindictive. On the outbreak of war the Vindictive was joined by the Argus and both were based on Liverpool. The Vindictive had a small cadre of ten aircraft of its own, six Swordfish and four Griffon fighters. On several occasions the Vindictive was used to escort the large liners like the Queen Mary, Aquitania, Queen Elizabeth and others being used as troop ships. Having a speed of 30 knots allowed Vindictive to keep up with the troopers. Vindictive was also used on occasion to do the Malta fighter run, launching Spitfires and Hurricanes to fly to Malta. It was on one of these runs in early 1942 that Vindictive met its end. A U-Boat managing to hit Vindictive with two torpedoes, the Vindictive travelling at 25 knots heeled over and dove into the sea breaking its back and spilling a consignment of Spitfires into the sea, the ship then broke in half, exploded and sunk.

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1 x Argus

HMS Argus started out as the liner Conte Rosso, being built for Italy. Purchased for conversion in 1917, it was completed as an aircraft carrier in September 1918. By the time of its commissioning into the navy the war was all but over. What it was in time for was extended trials with the early aircraft. The results of which would go toward the plans for HMS Hermes which ship was to be the first purpose built aircraft carrier. By the start of WW2 the ship was obsolete and used mainly as the deck landing support carrier for the RN. Most RN WW2 pilots did their deck landing trials on Argus. (The following drawings are untouched.)

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1 x Eagle

HMS Eagle started out as an ex-Chilean battleship and the sister to HMS Canada. The ship was not as far advanced as the Canada, and work was suspended on the ship at the start of WW1. The Admiralty was looking for appropriate hulls to convert to the new style of ship, the aircraft carrier. To this end the Eagle was purchased in 1917. The Admiralty required a ship at sea to run the necessary trials on a through deck ship. To this end the Eagle was made seaworthy and with only half its boilers working, went out into the Irish Sea to carry out the trials program. On completion of the trials the Eagle returned to Belfast and into its builders hands for completion. The ship went through to WW2 virtually unchanged from its completion looks. More AA weapons were added during its short WW2 life. The ship being lost on the Pedestal convoy to relieve Malta in 1942.

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1 x Hermes


HMS Hermes was the first true aircraft carrier built from scratch. It was built using the data gathered from the trials undertaken with the Vindictive Eagle and Argus. From the enclosed bow through to the broader stern, the ship was built to launch and recover aircraft. Only problem was it was too small. With a capacity of only 20-24 aircraft, that was too few to be able to launch crippling attacks on enemy shipping. Its speed of 24-25 knots meant it was only fast enough to act with the Queen Elizabeth and R class battleships. The faster Barfleur and Majestic class ships had to wait for the Goliath and Bulwark class conversions before they had a 'fast' attack force. (I have not touched the following drawings)

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2 x Goliath

The WNT meant that the Goliath and Bulwark could not be completed as battleships, but the WNT did allow for them to be converted to Aircraft Carriers. The turrets and guns built for these two ships and the cancelled Albion were placed in storage and later re-used on the new King George V class battleships.

As completed:
[ img ]
The removal of the armour and main armament gave a large amount of tonnage to put to its new purpose. The main armament was to be the twelve six inch casemate guns originally fitted. Heavy AA was provided by six single 4" and the light AA by 8 single 2 pounder pom poms.

As Modernised:
[ img ]
The modernisation of the two Goliaths' remodelled the bridge and replaced the single 4" with a new twin 4" battery, with quad and octuple pom poms, while single 20mm replaced the single 2pd guns. The single six inch casemate battery had been removed in 1933 and the space used for more Hangar space and accommodation which always seemed to be in short supply. The air group of 70 aircraft had two squadrons of Fairey SeaBattles (25), one squadron of Blackburn Skuas (15), and two squadrons of Gloster Griffons (30).


2 x Ark Royal

The two Ark Royal class carriers marked a major step forward in Royal Navy thinking in the use of Aircraft Carriers. These were the first purpose built carriers designed and built since the Hermes of 1923. Ten years of trialling and using the carriers in service had given the RN a good insight into what they wanted next. When design work started in 1933 the major aim was to have an aircraft complement equivalent to the Goliath class (70+) but on a ship of much smaller displacement. A speed of 30+ knots. More than that was not really necessary as the battleships it would mainly be working with were capable of 27-28 knots. A heavy self defence battery of dual purpose and anti-aircraft weapons. The most modern aircraft possible equivalent to the land units of the enemy.

The design the RN came up with I have done little to alter for this AU. Enlarged the elevators, changed the aircraft, otherwise the drawing is pretty much unchanged. Alterations made are not worth my name in the credit line.

[ img ]

The most important thing for me is that the Ark Royals are there so that I have them to do an "Improved Ark Royal Class"



Andania Class Escort Carrier.

With the signing of the WNT, all classes of major warships now had limits. Aircraft Carriers was no exception. With the carriers built, converted or under construction Britain had 70,000 tons left for future construction. If two large and one smaller carrier were built with that allowance then that would be it. The RN considered that in time of war it would need more of these vessels and so would need other ships that could be converted quickly to this use. A study was done on the type of vessel that would be most useful and quick to convert. The end result was a ship with approximately a 550 foot flight deck, 14-15,000 tons, 20-22 knots, able to fit a hangar to take 20+ aircraft. Those dimensions were chosen as they already existed in the cargo liner type merchantmen. The firm Cunard was contacted, as they were the largest British firm operating such vessels, and a deal done for RN assistance with six ships. This was the 'A' class ships built for Cunard during 1924-1927. For the next 15 years the ships plied their trade all over the world. On the outbreak of war, the six ships were scattered across the globe, one in the Indian Ocean, two in the South Atlantic, and the last three in the North Atlantic. One of those three was in Liverpool awaiting passengers and cargo. The ship was immediately requisitioned and sent to Belfast for Harland and Wolf to do the conversion work. The other five were ordered to complete their journeys and return to the UK. Builders would be allocated on arrival.

The conversion of these ships was quite comprehensive. The plans for conversion had been around since the ships were built. Taken out every few years, dusted off, updated and returned to their slot. By the time the conversion of the Andania was complete it looked like a miniature of the Fleet Carriers in RN service. Each conversion took approximately 12 months. The Andania's conversion took 13 months (being the first) and after working up, spent the next six months in league with the Argus, training new pilots in deck landing. In April 1941 the Andania was relieved of this duty by another of the class, joined up with an escort group working out of Liverpool on the North Atlantic run. By this time of the war, the North Atlantic was a killing ground for U-boats over merchantmen. Not enough escorts, little or no air cover gave the U-Boats the run of the roost. Two of Andania's sister ships were already on the North Atlantic run and their actions were just starting to be noticeable in the number of merchantmen from their convoys making port compared to those unsupported. It would be another six months before all of the Andania class would be at sea and helping in the U-Boat war. By then more austere conversions would also be completed and starting to enter the battle.

Throughout their service the 'bomber' of choice was the Fairey Swordfish. While obsolete by the outbreak of war, several of the smaller carriers were unable to handle the later and bigger Fairey Battle, so the Swordfish was kept in production. With the entry of the Andania class into the war, the Swordfish was kept in production to supply these ships. The Gloster Griffon with its power to weight ratio was able to fly off and on with no problems. The other fighter used off these ships was the Grumman Martlet (Wildcat), which was also of a small size. The normal aircraft complement was one squadron of Swordfish to half a squadron of fighters. From 1943, those ships not on convoy duties would have the Swordfish replaced with a squadron of Grumman Avengers. These ships aided the fleet carriers in supplying support for the retaking of places like Madagascar and other Vichy French aligned areas.

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Andania,
Antonia,
Ausonia,
Aurania,
Ascania,
Alaunia.



10 x Unicorn Class

The need for dedicated small aircraft service carriers that could back up the fleet carriers was recognised with the laying down of the two Ark Royal class carriers. The first Unicorn class ship was laid down at the end of 1938 and completed early in 1941. None of these ships ever fulfilled this role during WW2 as the need for carriers in all theaters of the world meant that they undertook front line duties from day one. The first two were followed by repeat orders in 1940 (2) 1941 (4) 1942 (2). They were replaced by the Hermes class production which were laid down in 1943 and all completed post war.

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3 x Illustrious

From various discussions I have been in, or things I have read pointed to the Armoured deck classes being built as they were because the FAA did not possess the aircraft to defend them. With a decent airgroup available could the RN have pursued an improved Ark Royal type with more aircraft? The real life Ark Royal was 800 ft oa, but only 721.5 ft wl. My Illustrious is only 830 ft oa but is 786 ft at the wl. Breadth on AR is 94.7 ft, while 105 on Illustrious. The nett result is an increase in carrying capacity from 70 to 84. If 36 (or more) of those aircraft are fighters, then they would just about outnumber the RL Illustrious with plenty to spare. My Illustrious is the same height above water as Ark Royal, but has more draught. The extra breadth also helps with stability.

My airgroup contains some interesting aircraft, with the Gloster Griffon being the air superiority fighter with good armament. Its handling was almost as good as the Spitfires and was definitely better than the 109D and it was on a par with the 109E. The Sea Battle I have discussed in another thread. Everyone loves the Skua especially after they sunk the Konigsberg. This air group should last the ships through to 1942 when the US aircraft start to become available in numbers.

As completed and Modernised:
[ img ]


4 x Indefatigable Class

These were the ultimate of British carrier designs. For many years these four ships would be the largest ships built for the Royal Navy. At 42,000 tons, 900 x 114 feet they were huge ships. The design included the novel feature of split bridge structures with the after bridge being for the aircraft commander and his staff. A heavy defensive armament was carried with eight twin 4.5" of the new Mk.V mountings, and 16 of the latest 40mm twin STAAG mountings. No lesser weapons of 20mm or smaller were fitted. The aircraft also were the very latest of the piston engine aircraft available to the RN, with 3 squadrons of Fairey Spearfish, 3 squadrons of Hawker Sea Fury, and 1 1/2 squadrons of De Havilland Sea Hornet aircraft.

The first two ships finished their trials and were accepted for service just in time to be transferred to the Pacific Theatre for action against the Japanese. It was there that the new weapons and aircraft more than proved their worth against the Kamikaze menace and in being able to launch many valuable sorties against Japanese targets. Both ships remained undamaged through to the end of the war. On completion of the second pair in 1948, these two ships were taken in hand to receive the same modifications as the later pair. While these ships were under refit, the second pair fought in the Korean War.

[ img ]


Last edited by Krakatoa on April 24th, 2016, 11:29 pm, edited 14 times in total.

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Post subject: Re: Fisherless Royal NavyPosted: April 12th, 2015, 11:07 am
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Cruisers:


C Class Cruisers / Anti-aircraft ships:

The earlier C class were most likely to receive their conversions during that period 1936-38 and would have used a mixture of twin and single 4" (whatever was available at the time - the modern heavy and light cruisers were replacing their single 4" AA with twins during this period and that was probably where the guns for these conversions were coming from). With the Carolines layout I would have a twin forward, a pair of single 4" on either side of second funnel, another pair of single 4" in line at X position and a single 4" at Y position. One quad 2pd would replace the Q 6" position, a pair of 4x0.5" mg could be sited either side of the aft mast. I would not alter the superstructure at all. None of the AA conversions kept any torpedo tubes. The HACS (Mk1 at this age) would have been fitted on a tripod like Novice shows on his Caroline 2000, in a foretop that Novice has for the Coventry in 1936, the HACS aft would be fitted like the Coventry's. That would give the ships a respectable AA outfit and control system.

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The Caledon sub class were used in WW2 with their original 6" armament and provided sterling service (in secondary roles). Converting the three ships of the class to AA cruisers would have livened up their WW2 careers. The variant shown below is as the surviving units were armed from 1942 onwards. Single and twin 20mm replacing the quad 0.5" mg's is the main change in armament.

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Virtually each 'C' class AA conversion had its own template and the ships were very rarely converted to the same standard. So with 25 or so C's to play with you can have a fine old time designing different outfits for each ship.

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The most common single 6" gun was used on all these types, Queen Elizabeth, Royal Sovereign, Arethusa, "B", "C", "D" and "E" cruiser classes, the mounting (from Navweaps) weighed in at 15,428 pounds. The twin 4" weighed, 4,500 pounds. The twin 4.5" UD mounting weighed, 6,304 pounds. Quad 2 pounder weighed 8.58 tons. So all of these mountings could be exchanged on a one-for-one basis and save weight.


D Class Cruisers / Anti-aircraft ships:

A few of the D class were to start being modernised as AA ships in a similar manner to the C class. The conversions were to commence in 1939. Only four of the twelve had commenced their conversions by the time war started. The most likely layout is number one with the quad 2 pounder in B position, while the real Delhi conversion and the twin 5" are possibilities if the US can be persuaded to assist. (twin 5"/38 weighed 75,250 complete. 6" singles, 17 tons.) The unmodernised ships went through the war with their single 6" and minor upgrades to the light AA as space and topweight permitted.
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3 x E Class Cruisers:

The 'E' class were to be the fastest cruisers in the Royal Navy for over 10 years. The long lean hull and 80,000shp produced a speed of 33.5 knots. With three twin six inch turrets arranged one forward and two aft, the ships inspired the future Town class cruisers which had a different layout on a similar sized ship. Originally completed with single 4" and 2pdr AA guns, these were upgraded over time to twin 4", quad 2 pounder mountings, and 4 barrel 0.5"mg. With WW2 the ships added 20mm in single and twin mounts in place of the 0.5" mg's and the torpedoes and aircraft were removed while radar and other electronic equipment was added.
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Frobisher Class Cruisers / Anti-aircraft ships

I have never liked the Hawkins class with those horrible single hand worked 7.5". The actual 7.5" gun is a good one and should have been kept as the standard UK cruiser gun right through till the 6" cruisers of the Leander type came into production. The "keeping up with the Jones's" mentality meant that the 8" gun was chosen because everybody else had it. The weight saved by fitting the 7.5" in place of the 8" might have given a bit of extra armour that the 10,000 ton Treaty cruisers could have always done with a bit more of. These are not conversions of the Hawkins, but a new design using the same hull.

The Hawkins class was already pushing the treaty limits as far as tonnage was concerned. With a different layout to the main armament the class would have been exceptionally good value. The follow on County class would not have had to have to radical a change to do minor improvements over the original. New bridge structures and room for aircraft would have been made.

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Taking the basic design and making the standard improvements over their lifetimes. First drawing is the cumulative refits and modernisations that would have happened to the ship from completion through to the end of 1936. This includes the replacing of the single 4" with four twins, replacing the single 2 pounder with 4 quads, fitting of aircraft handling facilities. This suited the ship into WW2 when more refits and upgrades would take place. The second drawing is to reflect those additions made between 1939 through to mid/end of 1942. Remove the torpedoes and aircraft. Add a full radar suite and the first 40mm STAAG mountings, lots of 20mm singles.

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Smurf said: there was even a proposal to arm Hawkins class with six twin 5.25". Though the proposal was not proceeded with, here is my take on what that might have looked like. The designs I drew went through many iterations before reaching the 4.5" version I have placed here in this thread. As per previous notes, I have not used the 5.25" at all in this thread so the 4.5" would be the gun of choice. The second drawing was done by BCRenown who postulated that one of the class could well have been sent to the US and converted under the Lend/Lease deal.

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County Class Cruisers:

My new 'County' class cruisers use the same hull and armament as the Hawkins class, but improvements to layout and fittings make them a separate sub-class of their own. Any improvement that saved weight was put back into the design in improvements to the armour schemes. The ships were added to and subtracted from throughout their service lives. Aircraft fitted and upgraded then these facilities started being removed again in the 1940's. Radar and modern AA guns being added as refits came due.

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G Class Cruisers:

The Admiralty was always conscious of the need for numbers of cruisers not just large cruisers. To this end instead of 13 County class, 3 are cancelled and replaced with six 5,000 ton light cruisers.

The 'G' class cruisers were based on the 1928-29 design for the return to the 6" cruiser. The basic design was altered and the latest models of superstructure were designed into the new ships. The Royal Navy had been introduced to the 5.5" gun with the two Greek cruisers taken over by the RN and commissioned as the Chester and Birkenhead. This had proved to be a very handy weapon and was fitted to many ships of all sorts of different classes. (This allows me to have an extra gun size in the armouries). Four twin light splinter proof turrets were fitted with these weapons. 4" AA guns provided the heavy AA while two 4 barrel 2 pounder pom poms were fitted as the light AA armament. Two banks of triple 21" torpedoes, a catapult and handling facilities for one aircraft.

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With the completion of the last few Town class cruisers in 1938, the need for the smaller 'G' class as Patrol cruisers was obsolete. However the need for the new Anti-aircraft Cruiser type was of much more importance. The 'G' class were perfect for conversion. The first two were taken in hand in 1939, the second pair in 1940, and the final pair were converted in the US under Lend-Lease in 1941.

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Neptune Class Cruiser:

With 4 more County class cruisers under construction, the London Treaty changed the format from 8" gunned ships to 6" gunned vessels. Rather than scrapping those ships under construction a new design was worked out with the new streamlined bridge structure and five twin 6" turrets. These ships were an interim step while a new design was worked out for the new 6" cruisers that would populate and start replacing the oldest of the 'C' class cruisers that were fast approaching their 'use by' dates.

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Town Class Cruisers:

The Town class cruiser were the evolution of the previous C, D, E, series of cruisers. The C and D had single 6", the E's (and Neptune) had twins. The Town class introduced the triple turret to RN cruisers with 3 mountings to be fitted on a hull approximately the same length as the E's. The beam was required to be wider to take the triple 6" mounting and went from 56 feet to 62 feet. Length was 563 feet. At 8,000 tons standard they were a very good return to the smaller cruiser that the RN needed. Eventually 16 of these vessels were completed between 1933 and 1938. From 1940 the new Colony class were introduced which were almost duplicates of these ships.

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Andromeda Class Cruiser:

These are my replacement ships for the Arethusa class light cruisers. They are not as fast as the Arethusa type at 31 knots but have more armour and more staying power. The cross deck catapult was able to be fitted as the utilisation of the triple 6" required a broader hull. They are a cut down version of the previous Town class cruisers and showed what could be produced on 6,000 tons.
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Dido Class Anti-Aircraft ships:

At 463 feet, these ships were big enough to be classed as cruisers, even though they were more over-large destroyers in their hull composition. A box of 2" armour around the magazines and propulsion systems was their one concession to armour. The twin 4.5" turrets only had splinter protection. The propulsion system produced 70,000shp for 34 knots, allowing their use with destroyers and part of their original role was to be as minelayers as well (with removable mine rails). The lack of cruisers meant that these ships were used regularly in that role. What they were purpose built for was as anti-aircraft escorts to the big new aircraft carriers.

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Sirius Class cruisers:

While the RN was building small economical 6" cruisers, Japan and the US were building the Mogami and Brooklynn classes with fifteen guns each. Not to be outdone the Admiralty ordered the Sirius class with four quadruple six inch turrets for 16 guns. Originally to be a class of four, only two were completed, the materials for the other two were incorporated into the following Colony class. Arbitrarily classed as 'light' cruisers because they were armed with 6" guns, the ships were bigger than most of the RN's heavy cruisers. Because they were built outside Treaty limits the 10,000 ton limit was allowed to grow to 12,000 tons to enable a better armour scheme to be fitted. The belt armour went out to 5" and the deck armour to 3".

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Leander Class Cruiser:

The Leander class cruisers came about from the rebuilding of the Nelson class battleships with dual purpose weapons. That work made 16 twin 6" turrets available for fitting on a new class of cruiser. Four ships were laid down based on the Dido class that was then in production. The hull was lengthened, but the ships retained the same power plant which in the Dido's made 34 knots, in the Leanders a respectable 32 knots was made. At 481x48 feet they were not large for cruisers. No thought was given to aircraft handling facilities on such a small cruiser. It was considered more important to have a decent AA battery, which with four twin 4" and four quad 2 pounder mountings they had plenty. 20mm cannons were added while the ships were still building.

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Colony Class cruisers:

For class details, see page 12.

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Niteroi Class Heavy Cruiser.

Once the Admiralty had time to take stock of what was under construction, what had been halted on outbreak of war, and what was still needed to be ordered, they found the Brazilian order for six H/I type of destroyers, and one heavy cruiser of an improved Sirius type. It may be hard to envision an improved Sirius with its 16x6", but Armstrong Whitworth had tried very hard. The Brazilian cruiser had been launched as the BNS Niteroi and was 75% complete at the outbreak of war when construction was suspended. At 640x72 feet the ship was not huge but the armament, armour and propulsion pushed it out to over 14,000 tons standard and 18,000 tons full load. The main armament of 12x8" gave it an advantage over any cruiser then in existence. Which was what it was supposed to do as the Argentinians had a cruiser under construction in Germany at the same time. Armour was also made to protect the ship against the same ship with 6" side armour and 3.5" of deck armour. Propulsion had not been stinted either with 120,000shp for 32 knots.

In early 1940 the Niteroi was purchased from the Brazilians and work on the ship recommenced. The ship being renamed Agamemnon. Completion was slated for late 1941, with new specifications for the electronics suite which the ship would not have originally been built with. The RN was not willing to give away its new toys to anybody. The main armament of 12x8" was a strange one for the RN as the rest of its heavy cruisers were armed with 7.5" guns. AW's had forseen that in the original specs by making the guns able to take US pattern 8" shells. The lesser armament had not been forgotten, 12x4" dual purpose guns with 16x2pd and 18x20mm AA weapons. British ships were still mounting torpedoes and two triple mountings of 21" were fitted.

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Princess Royal Class Cruisers:

I have always liked Hoods Wesworld Super-CA HMS Princess Royal. It is a well balanced design for a large cruiser of the mid 40's and would compare well with its German and US counterparts. The design was started to outmatch the German Hipper class which had caused quite a stir when details were found out. My thought was to take the Wesworld version and bring it into our world as a ship designed in 1939-40, completed 1944-45, refitted in the 1950's and rebuilt in the 1960's. So the following 5 drawings reflect each of those time periods. Whether I have got the right stuff for the right time periods I am never sure of once I get past the end of WW2. Hood has been a great help with which Radar should go where, but all the mistakes are mine from ignorance.


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Last edited by Krakatoa on April 25th, 2016, 10:22 am, edited 13 times in total.

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Krakatoa
Post subject: Re: Fisherless Royal NavyPosted: April 12th, 2015, 11:08 am
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Destroyers, Leaders and Escorts:

The standard British destroyer weapon through the 1930's into the early 40's was the 4.7" open mounting. In only one class type did the Admiralty try to put this gone into a turret with the L & M. class. The biggest drawback with this weapon was the low elevation of the mountings. A high elevation 4.7" mounting was designed for the Nelson class but this was a large heavy mounting and with fixed ammunition it was not suitable for use on destroyers (or any other ship for that matter). The answer was to produce a dual purpose (DP) mounting of a size that could be used in all classes of ship from destroyers up to battleships and aircraft carriers. The Admiralty started work on DP weapons as early as 1931 and with a bit of thought could either have retained the 4.7" size or gone to the 4.5" gun size that we are familiar with today. The trials with the fixed ammunition on the Nelsons 4.7" should have put that option out of contention for any future weapons. Unfortunately the Admiralty tried the same fixed ammunition system for the 4.5" weapon developed in the late 1930's that became the BD/UD mountings on the Renown, Ark Royal etc with similar results. At that time the only way to go for light weapons of this size was the bag and shell separate arrangement.

I do not know how many zillions of 4.7" rounds the Admiralty must have had in stocks all over the world, but it must have been an awful lot. Keeping the 4.7" gun size for me is a no-brainer, all they needed to do was to produce a decent dual purpose mounting with 80-85 degree elevation that could be fitted to destroyers and other ships in single open mounts and twin light or armoured turrets for the capital ships. Starting development in 1930-31 the Admiralty could have had such weapons available in 1935-36 and these could have been fitted to the H (possibly) and I (definitely) class destroyers. Instead of the four single open mountings, two light weight twin mountings could have been mounted and the end result could have looked like the ship below.

The mounting I have used is big enough to take either a 4.5" or 4.7" high angle gun. Changes to an I class ship would be mainly in an increase of breadth to take the turret, a slightly longer hull to compensate for that and also to give room for the quad 2 pounder mounting between the funnels. From a 1500 ton ship, the alterations would probably have taken it to a 1600 ton ship and would have been a step between the A-G types and the following J design which I would expand to a 1750 ton design with 3 turrets.


Mars and Jupiter Class Destroyer Leaders:


The Japanese were building the Fubuki's with 6x5", France was building the large Contre-torpileurs with 5x5.5", Italy was following France with large destroyers even the US had to follow the Japanese with larger destroyers. What this meant is that the standard A-I type destroyer with its 4x4.7" were being badly outclassed. The idea of the A-I Leaders with 5x4.7 went some way to giving the smaller DD's a ship of force to back them up, but even they paled in comparison to other navies construction. The solution was to build a larger leader with guns that would match or better their oppositions. The latest 'G' class patrol cruisers had a new mark of 5.5" and these guns were to be fitted to a larger destroyer hull in single mountings and the twin light turret.

In 1939 two of the class were taken in hand for replacing the low angle 5.5" guns with dual purpose 4.5" weapons. The other two of the class were to be rebuilt after the first two had completed, but the war intervened and this was put on hold. However damage to the Venus in 1940 meant the ship took advantage of the Lend/Lease agreement and was rebuilt in the US with 5"/38 weapons.

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Working in the open with the single 5.5" had shown the difficulties of hand loading the larger weapons. A redesign of the aft section allowed for the three singles to be replaced with two twin turrets as fitted to the A position. The extra weight and beam required to fit three turrets on the design was more than made up for by the effectiveness of the loading system. The ships proved very effective in the role of Leader to the earlier destroyers of the VW and A-G types. However by the end of 1939 dual purpose guns were the way to go and the first two were taken in hand for the 5.5" to be replaced with the 4.5" dual purpose system. The last two were to be refitted in early 1940, but with the war erupting this was postponed. However the lend/lease arrangement with the US gave the two ships a window in 1941 to have the ships refitted with US weaponry. This option was taken up with great alacrity by the RN.

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H Class Destroyers:


These were to be the first new DD's fitted with the turret mounted 4.5"/4.7" guns. The turrets for the class were not ready so a design utilising the twin open 4" mounting was substituted. It was found in service that this armament worked very well and when a shortage of 4.5" turrets for the L class came about in 1940 the Admiralty had no hesitation in substituting 4 twin 4".

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I Class Destroyers:


With the drawing, removing the forward superfiring mount superstructure allows the turret to be mounted further aft to avoid having too much weight forward. The extra weight of the turret is somewhat compensated for by the removal of the mounting superstructure, which could have been removed entirely but as with the later HMS Savage I have retained enough of the superstructure to mount some light AA weapons.

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J-K-L-M-N Class Destroyers:

With the alternate J, I have kept with the 3 boiler arrangement to keep the Chief of Engineering happy, otherwise it is essentially a lengthened I to take the 3rd turret.


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Flower class Corvette:

The WW2 Flower class Corvettes never impressed me. While they were useful enough, they did not have enough size and speed to be good in the Atlantic. For me, I dust off the WW1 Flower class and update the design with 20 years of improvements. Single 4" AA guns, single 20mm AA, lots of DC's. I would have two versions available, one with the triple expansion propulsion system and one with diesel engines. Both to make 17/18 knots.
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River Class Frigates.

With the Flower Class corvettes under construction, a larger, faster more durable escort was designed and put into production. The RN envisaged the day when they could go on the offensive against the U-Boat menace and they wanted to have the ships available to do the job. The River Class and its offshoots eventually numbered over 200. Both ASW and AA were accorded equal weight so that these ships could be used anywhere from the Arctic to the Pacific. ASW had a Hedgehog forward, and depth charge racks and throwers aft. AA armament centred around the two twin 4" MkXVI mountings, while close in protection was catered for by eight 20mm cannons in 3 twin and two single mounts.

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V & W Destroyers / Destroyer Escorts


These were the V&W variations I could identify. Portsmouth Bill did a very good job on them, I have updated the weapons with the new parts available and added a couple of new variations to the ones he had already done.

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The best of the V&W ships started going through the WAIR conversion in 1937 to supplement the Sloops and Hunts that were being built during the same period. The conversions stopped on the outbreak of war. The conversions to long range escorts could only be done to those units that had the small boiler room forward. The others left were termed the 'Short Range' escorts.


Shakespeare Class WAIR conversions


Along with the V&W WAIR conversions, some of both the Shakespeare (3) and Scott (4) class Leaders were put through the WAIR conversion. These ships were to augment the new construction of the Hunt class destroyer escorts and the Sloops. Those two types were both armed with 6x4" in three twin mountings, with quad 2pd, quad 0.5"mg, and 20mm cannons, some Hunts also had a set of torpedo tubes, these armaments depended on when they were completed or sunk. The 7 WAIR DD's followed the same armament layout with 6x4", 4x2pd, 6x20mm, 3x21" TT.

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Arrow -to Fearless Class Destroyers and Destroyer Leaders

The Royal Navy has always required a lot of destroyer class vessels for all levels and types of roles, from screening the battlefleet to chasing Pirates in the Carribean (look out Jack Sparrow).

The trials with Amazon and Ambuscade led to the excellent A -to- F classes of destroyers completed between 1929 and 1934. The classes were laid down at one flotilla of eight ships plus a leader per year except for the 'C' class where only four ships were laid down because of the depression. Those ships were subsequently transferred to Canada and renamed.

The ships were a standard size with the destroyers being 1500 tons standard and 323x34 feet, while the leaders were 1,650 tons standard and 335x35 feet.

What made these ships different from the earlier low angle 4.7" armed ships was that in Amazon and Ambuscade, both trialled a new 65 degree mounting to give the gun an anti-aircraft value. This was done in response to the big heavy 4.7" Mk.VII with its fixed ammunition which was entirely unsuitable for anything but the largest ships. While 65 degrees may not be a full dual purpose weapon it was a lot better than the older 4.7" mountings. The trial showed that the gun mounting was good enough for decent barrage firing against aircraft. The new mounting was made standard for all the A-F class ships.

The five full flotillas and their leaders slowly replaced the V&W classes in the prime roles within the RN. As the later G-N classes were completed the A-F were also replaced in the prime roles and took on lesser duties. With the outbreak of War in 1939 the ships of the flotillas were broken down into sub-flotillas and even down further to individual units as the destroyers were spread thinner and thinner due to losses. The A-F's were quickly relegated to convoy escorts and some (like the V&W's) were converted to long range escorts. such vessels normally carried the Convoy Escort Commander and were invaluable.

I will be adding more drawings of the differing variations as I get to them. I seem to have a lot to do at present.

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Grafton Class Destroyers


The previous A-F class ships had featured a hybrid high angle 4.7" mounting. Various problems with loading the gun at high angle and various training angles made a new mounting with full dual purpose capabilities a must for future destroyer development. The design work started in 1932 for the new mounting and the first new single mounts were fitted to the latest G class destroyers. A full 80 degree elevation with the capability of all round loading, the new mounting in single and twin open mounts were followed by a twin turret version. (once I get everything sorted I think this gun/mounting will be the standard AA weapon replacing the 4.5" BD and UD mountings. A BD version used on the Queen Elizabeth with 4.7" guns will also be made.)

The G class were produced in three batches of four for 12 ships. No flotilla leader was produced for the G's as they were to be matched with a Tribal class Destroyer Leader to give 4 G's to one Tribal as half flotillas.

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Tribal Class Destroyers


The RN, for some time, had been worried about the A-F class and prior classes of destroyers being outclassed by the destroyer construction in other countries. To provide a 'ship of force' that could back up the earlier destroyers, the Admiralty designed an 1850 ton (grew to over 2,000 tons over the length of building time of the class) ship with four twin 4.7" open mountings of the new DP model. Only one set of torpedo tubes was to be fitted to compensate for the 4th turret. To ameliorate the loss of a set of torpedoes, the Tribal Class were the first ships in the RN to be fitted with the new quintuple mounting. The new DP mounting proved a winner with much greater AA and Surface capabilities than the older low angle mountings.

The first three ships all received 'G' names as they were to be the flotilla leaders of the three half flotillas of G class destroyers (Gurkha, Ganawari, Gumzawi). In total, 32 Tribal Class were completed between 1937 and 1946. 24 were completed for the RN, 4 for Canada, and Australia built four of their own.

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Last edited by Krakatoa on June 5th, 2015, 11:06 am, edited 8 times in total.

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Krakatoa
Post subject: Re: Fisherless Royal NavyPosted: April 12th, 2015, 11:09 am
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Minor vessels and Auxilaries:


Lion Class Seaplane Carrier / Training Ship.

The Washington Naval Treaty meant that all countries had to get rid of a lot of ships that were less than 10 years old, but looking at the ships being discarded, most were already obsolete and little loss. Two of the ships to be discarded were the Lion and Princess Royal, battlecruisers of fame and misfortune (sister Queen Mary blew up at Jutland). To keep the ships in any role meant the removal of main guns, boilers, and armour, so that they could qualify as miscellaneous vessels and not be counted in the Battleship tonnage.

Knowing that these ships would be excess to requirements the Admiralty drew up plans to convert them to dual roles. The aft boiler room was deleted and transformed into classrooms for the several hundred cadets that would populate the centre section of 'Liner' cabins. (Lion received the nickname 'Lionia' because of this feature). While Q and Y turrets were removed and as noted, the area of Q was rebuilt into cadet cabins, while the area around the after superstructure and Y turret were converted into an area to house and launch seaplanes and amphibians. To aid with training, the bridge superstructure of the ex-battleships Goliath and Bulwark (earmarked for conversion to aircraft carriers), were removed from those ships and built into these two ships.

On completion of the rebuilding the ships had 4x13.5" (A and B), 4 x 6" singles, 4x4" AA singles, 2x3" AA singles, 3x2pdr AA singles. The 9" armour belt was removed and replaced with the 3" armour built for two of the cancelled D class cruisers. The armour was to cover the magazines and what was left of the machinery spaces. The original deck armour was retained. The hangar at the rear of the ship was full width of the ship, giving ample space for 12-15 aircraft, depending on size and type. Speed was reduced to 18-20 knots.

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Skirmisher Class Monitors

One class of vessel that had proved useful during WW1 had been the Monitor, gunnery support vessels. At the end of the war the ones that had proved not so good were hastily scrapped. This left only the two Erebus class ships as effective units of the type. The conversion of the two Lion class battlecruisers to hybrid seaplane carriers left four twin 13.5" turrets that could be used to build a new class of monitors. They were to be 9,000 ton vessels, and with a maximum speed of 15 knots. A gesture of 3.5" armour around the magazines and propulsion system was made. It was the armoured deck that was given full measure with a 3" deck being fitted. Because of their speed, the four vessels were to be spread around the Empire to provide support where necessary. The first unit HMS Skirmisher was completed in 1928, the second HMS Sentinel in 1929, the third HMS Saracen in 1931 and lastly HMS Scourge in 1932. One was to be based at Malta and Singapore with the last two kept in home waters.

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Adventure Class Minelayers

These two minelayers (Adventure and Arrogant) were supposed to be designed for offensive minelaying. However by the time they got to sea in the late 20's their speed of 28 knots was nowhere near enough for the job. What had made that role obsolete for them was the airplane. The ships could no longer get to the enemy coast, lay the minefield, and leave again without being spotted. Once a minelayer is spotted, it is then obvious to an enemy that a field has been laid and is then searched for with its minesweepers and cleared.

These two ships were used to lay the major minefields on the out break of war. The fields from Scotland to Scapa, Scapa to Faeroes etc, Dover through the Channel, East coast of UK. What made these ships great for that work was the heavy AA capability. The original 4.7" had been removed in 1937 and replaced with the new twin 4" mountings. Working in those confined waters they were close enough to RAF airfields for fighters to be on call. Once these major fields had been laid they could be maintained by converted auxiliaries. With the huge space of the mine deck they were useful to run urgent supplies to obscure bases that could not be reached except by naval vessel.

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Abdiel Class Cruiser Minelayers.

Until 1936 the RN had lacked the funds to pursue specialist minelaying ships. Till then the RN had used older destroyers that had been fitted for minelaying for the task when required. Those ships were nearing 20 years of age and were growing less reliable each year.

The new design had learnt from the failure of the earlier Adventure class ships. These ships were to be greyhounds. At 435 by 42 feet they were not overly large, but in that space, two sets of the new J-N class machinery systems were fitted. This produced 100,000shp. From that, on trials, the Abdiel made 44 knots at 110% overload power. At normal full power the ship comfortably made 42 knots. Easily the RN's fastest ships. Armament had not been stinted with four twin 4.7" DP mountings. The AA armament utilised the brand new 40mm gun in single mountings, six being fitted. Up to 160 mines could be carried.

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Four were originally ordered, 2 in 1937, 2 in 1938. Due to early losses, repeat orders for four more were placed in 1940 and 1941.

Abdiel: Sunk 1940, mining the inner leads Norway, torpedoed by U-boat.
Latona: Sunk 1940, bombed by Italian aircraft.
Argonaut: Sunk 1941, bombed by German aircraft in Skerki Channel.
Astraea: Sunk 1943, torpedoed by U-Boat in North Sea.
Welshman: Sunk 1942, torpedoed by U-617 off Crete.
Manxman: Scrapped 1975.
Iphigenia: Sunk 1944, by Kamikaze hit off Okinawa.
Ariadne: Scrapped 1962


Halcyon Class Fleet Minesweepers.

Built to replace the WW1 ships of the Hunt and Aberdare types, these were full warships with steam turbine machinery. Because of this the design was unable to be mass produced. The fine tolerances required for producing the turbine blades could only be done in a few places. Those manufactories were taken up with all the work they could handle with major warship construction.

The dozen ships completed between 1934 and 1940 proved an excellent investment. As well as their primary duties as minesweepers these tough little ships were attached to Arctic Convoys so that the approaches to Murmansk and Archangel could be swept ahead of the convoy as it entered port. Both Russian and German mines were likely to be encountered in supposedly swept areas.

The original basic armament was two low angle 4", the later members of the class were completed with high angle 4" and some of the earlier ships were upgraded to the later standard. Close range AA was originally 4x0.5" Vickers in a quad mount and four 0.5" Browning machine guns in single mounts. From 1940 the AA guns went to one twin 20mm and four single 20mm.

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Prince Class AA Ships.

The British and Canadian Governments had given assistance to various merchant ship lines to build ships that would be assets in time of war. These ships included eight ships which comprised four Canadian Prince Class, and four British Engadine Class Cargo-Liners.

While the ships were not overly large at 385 x 57 x 21 feet, they were the size of the cruisers of old. At 5,800 tons displacement, the ships were exactly what the Admiralty had wanted to have built for conversion into Escort Cruisers. Classed as Anti-Aircraft Ships because of their dual purpose armaments, their main and most important role was as the Convoy Escort Commanders ship. With a speed of 22 knots the ships were able to shepherd any of the standard 8 and 15 knot convoys. Their long range of 3,500 miles at 20 knots made them ideal as long range escorts.

The ships were taken in hand, 2 at Esqimault, 2 at Glasgow, 2 at Belfast and the last 2 at Southampton. Being of merchant construction the conversion work could be carried out at non-naval yards, freeing up the navy yards for other essential work. The two Canadian conversions were initially armed with 4x6", 2x4" AA, 4x2pd, 8x0.5"mg. These two ships were then used for patrol work in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, chasing German Raiders. They also provided escort for the troop convoys going from Australia up to the Western Desert theatre. The three pairs of conversions completed in the UK had much enhanced weaponry with 4 twin 4.7" DP open mountings. These guns gave the ships a good Anti-aircraft capability better than the converted C Class cruisers. Two quad 2pd mountings and 9 twin 20mm finished the gun armament. What was just as important was the electronics armament. With both sea and air, search and targeting radar systems, this allowed the convoy escort commander to keep track of the convoy, who was in position and who was not. U-Boats could be targeted when on the surface or sub-surface using ASDIC. Aircraft coming near the convoy could be spotted far enough away so that the convoy could not be 'surprised', and would be waiting for their visitors. The Hedgehog was added in 1942 to surviving units.

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With the drawing, it is based on that horrible line drawing that can be sourced off the net. The hull, upper deck and funnels are pretty much to real life but the rest of the details are very much personal design. I have added a few extras that the real Prince type never had.


Last edited by Krakatoa on June 17th, 2015, 3:30 am, edited 7 times in total.

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Krakatoa
Post subject: Re: Fisherless Royal NavyPosted: April 12th, 2015, 9:47 pm
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Added a few vessels from other threads.

New is HMS Bluebell, Corvette to Destroyers, Leaders and Escorts.


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Hood
Post subject: Re: Fisherless Royal NavyPosted: April 13th, 2015, 7:53 am
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Joined: July 31st, 2010, 10:07 am
An interesting collection.

I like the improved Ark Royal Illustrious Class idea.
The Bluebell looks really good too.

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Hood's Worklist
English Electric Canberra FD
Interwar RN Capital Ships
Super-Darings
Never-Were British Aircraft


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Krakatoa
Post subject: Re: Fisherless Royal NavyPosted: April 13th, 2015, 8:36 am
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Joined: July 1st, 2014, 12:20 am
Location: New Zealand
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Added some cruisers.

Newest addition is HMS Andromeda 1936 and HMS Dido 1939.

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Last edited by Krakatoa on April 27th, 2016, 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Dmitri97
Post subject: Re: Fisherless Royal NavyPosted: April 13th, 2015, 2:10 pm
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Joined: June 10th, 2014, 7:22 pm
Loving this collection, but your vanguard did remind me of something I've been wondering; why is the superstructure of the vanguard so much larger than that of the kgv, r, and in this case, the majestic? Other than that general question, the drawing look amazing, love how the kgv turned out, looks very natural the way you've done it.


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