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StealthJester
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: March 21st, 2020, 3:38 pm
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Greetings!

Texas class (CSA):
[ img ]

Essentially enlarged Florida’s with a heavy secondary battery, the Texas class was initially intended to consist of only two ships, with the next pair of battleships of a new design – which would have become the Louisiana class. The Confederate Congress balked at the escalating costs of these ships however, and BuC&D made the decision to expand the Texas class to four ships, skip the new design Louisiana class, and put all the preliminary work already done into the advanced design which would become the Rio Grande class of 1908. Thus the new class would consist of Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas. They received the hull numbers B-9 to B-12 and commissioned between 1905 and 1906.

The Texas class was 416 feet long overall, with a 75 foot beam and a nominal draft of 26 feet. They displaced 14,325 tons normal and 15,250 tons full load. They were armed with four Mk.VII 12”/45 guns in two twin turrets fore and aft, four 9.2”/45 Mk.IV secondary guns in single wing turrets, twelve 6”/45 Mk.VIII guns in hull casemates, and eight 3”/50 Mk.III’s in open deck mounts. As in the Florida class, three submerged 18” torpedo tubes mounted port, starboard, and stern completed the weapon suite. The last Confederate capital ships to be powered by reciprocating engines, the Texas’ were propelled by two four-cylinder triple expansion engines producing a total of 17,040 horsepower and had a design speed of 19 knots with a 7,000 nm range. Armor comprised an 11” belt, 3” deck, 12” main turrets and barbettes, 9” secondary turrets, 7” casemates, and a 12” conning tower. Crew complement was 752.

After entering service, the new battleships almost immediately saw combat during the Western Pacific War with three of the four lost during the conflict; CSS Texas and CSS Mississippi sunk during the Second Battle of Hawaii in 1908 and CSS Arkansas lost a year earlier during the Guam Campaign. CSS Louisiana continued to serve after the war ended and was converted to oil-burning boilers in 1920-21. During the War of the Americas she served primarily in second-line forces as a shore bombardment and heavy escort vessel. Louisiana was heavily damaged in the last US attack against the Mobile Naval Base in 1927, and after the armistice was inspected and found to be not worth rebuilding. She was decommissioned and scrapped a year later.

Rio Grande class (CSA):
[ img ]

The last CSN pre-dreadnoughts; the Rio Grande class was transitional in many ways – they were the last to utilize military-style pole masts and the superstructure layout that was first seen with the Courageous class of 1900, and were the first turbine-powered battleships built by the Confederacy. Originally intended to be a class of three ships, due to cost concerns and an increasingly vocal faction of the CS Navy that argued all battleships designed before HMS Dreadnought were obsolete, only the class ship was authorized. CSS Rio Grande (B-13) was laid down in 1905, launched in 1907, and commissioned a year later.

Rio Grande was 454 feet long overall, with an 80 foot beam and a nominal draft of 27 feet. She displaced 17,990 tons normal and 19,410 tons full load. She was armed with four Mk.VII 12”/45 guns in two twin turrets fore and aft, eight 9.2”/45 Mk.IV secondary guns in four twin wing turrets, sixteen 6”/45 Mk.VIII guns in hull casemates, eight 3”/50 Mk.III’s in open deck mounts, and three 18” submerged torpedo tubes. Rio Grande was a quad-shaft design and was powered by four Parsons direct-drive steam turbines built under license by the firm of Wilkerson-Chadwick and produced a combined 28,420 shaft horsepower. She was capable of 21 knots and had a range of 8,000 nautical miles. Armor comprised an 11” belt, 3” deck, 12” main turrets and barbettes, 9” secondary turrets, 7” casemates, and a 12” conning tower. Crew complement was 878.

The most powerful ship in the CS Navy when she entered service; Rio Grande was immediately sent into combat and during Second Hawaii, became the flagship of what remained of First Battle Fleet after Admiral Mayfield transferred his flag there following the loss of CSS Mississippi. Emerging from the conflict unscathed, Rio Grande remained flagship of the entire CSN and was considered the “Pride of the Navy”. Beloved by her crews, who nicknamed the ship “the Riverboat”; Rio Grande remained the most powerful ship in the Confederate Navy for only two more years – until the commissioning of CSS Georgia in 1910. Despite being rendered immediately obsolete by the new dreadnought, the ship was still a valuable asset and was completely rebuilt beginning in 1919. When she re-commissioned in 1921, she had new oil-fired boilers and a completely new superstructure with tripod masts and her three funnels had been trucked into one larger funnel.
With the outbreak of the War of the Americas in 1923, the Riverboat saw considerable action – participating in nearly every major battle, and although damaged on several occasions, was widely considered a lucky ship. After the war, Rio Grande continued in service as part of the smaller postwar navy dictated under the terms of the Treaty of Montreal until 1939, when she was finally retired. The announcement to scrap the ship met with such an outcry – both from naval personnel and the general public – that instead, she was moored permanently in Mobile as a memorial and museum – where the “Riverboat” can still be visited today.

Next up: Georgia class dreadnoughts

Cheers!
Stealthjester


Last edited by StealthJester on March 23rd, 2020, 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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emperor_andreas
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: March 21st, 2020, 10:24 pm
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Awesome job! Looking forward to seeing the first dreadnoughts of the CSA!

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StealthJester
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: March 23rd, 2020, 6:45 am
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Joined: December 22nd, 2014, 12:25 am
Location: Spokane Valley, Washington, US
Greetings!

Georgia class (CSA):
[ img ]

While Rio Grande was under construction at Galveston Navy Yard, many in the CSN were already deriding the new ship as obsolete with the advent of HMS Dreadnought – the first “all-big gun” battleship – which had commissioned in December of 1906, nearly a year before the Confederate ship was scheduled to be launched and were lobbying for a similar design. Time was on their side for once as the newest class of US battleship – the Oregon class – would follow the contemporary pattern for capital ships – albeit with a very heavy secondary battery that effectively would class the US ships as “semi-dreadnoughts” in the years to come – but still inferior to this new type of capital ship.
Several proposals were put forth during 1907 for the first Confederate dreadnoughts – and indeed the first dreadnoughts in North America – including larger, more heavily armed variants on Rio Grande’s design, but to save time and offset some the enormous costs involved, the decision was made to seek help once again from Great Britain. However, relations had soured since the last major Confederate warship – the armored cruiser Furious – had been built in a British shipyard and the UK was hesitant to assist. After several months of negotiations the blueprints and technical specifications for the St Vincent class (the third class of dreadnoughts built for the Royal Navy) were sold to the CSA and given to BuC&D for duplication and soon after, to the major shipyards at Norfolk and Charleston which would each build one new ship. Work began on CSS Georgia (B-14) on November 15, 1907 and on her sister-ship; CSS Oklahoma (B-15) on December 4 of that year.

The Georgia class was 530 feet long overall, with an 84 foot beam and a nominal draft of 28 feet. They displaced 19,950 tons normal and 21,945 tons full load. They were armed with ten Tredegar Mk.VII 12”/45 guns in five twin turrets mounted one forward, one amidships, one aft, and two wing turrets. The secondary battery was kept light and comprised sixteen of the new 4”/50 Mk.IV in open deck mounts – including eight mounted on the tops of A, B, D, and E turrets. As with previous classes, three submerged 18” torpedo tubes completed the weapons suite. The Georgia class was propelled by four Wilkerson-Chadwick direct-drive turbines producing a total of 27,600 shaft horsepower and had a design speed 21 knots. Range remained 8,000 nautical miles. Armor consisted of a 10” belt, 3” deck, 11” main turrets, 10” barbettes, and an 11” conning tower. Crew complement was 964.

The two Georgia class battleships were launched in 1909 and commissioned by the end of 1910. They caused a sensation (or panic might be a more accurate term) not only in the US, but in other navies of the New World – such as Brazil and Argentina – as well. Unsurprisingly, within five years the US, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Peru were all either actively building or had plans to build or acquire, similar ships. As for the Georgia class, they led relatively quiet lives although were well-traveled, as they were used extensively to “show the flag” in Europe and South America.
Rendered obsolete by the naval arms race they (and all first generation dreadnoughts) had started, by the time of the outbreak of the War of the Americas they had been relegated to second-line duties. Their last day in the spotlight was when both were attached to Operation Citadel – the ill-fated Confederate effort to seize control of the Panama Canal. Georgia, flagship of the Baja Squadron out of Guaymas and tasked with fire support for the assault force taking the western end of the Canal, was heavily damaged in an encounter with the previously neutral Mexican Navy and forced to return to base. Oklahoma, part of the super-dreadnought Lafayette’s Gulf Squadron bound for the Eastern coast of Panama, was sunk by US warships as the Confederate force was whittled down before they even reached their objective.
The failure of Citadel marked a turning point in the War as the tide turned against the CSA, placing them on the defensive. For the rest of the conflict Georgia languished in Guaymas Naval Base as priorities shifted to more modern ships and was never fully repaired. After the war ended the pioneering dreadnought’s fate was in limbo until the Treaty of Montreal was signed and she was earmarked for the restricted navy allowed the Confederacy. In the end she was rejected as too costly to return to service and was decommissioned and scrapped by 1930.

Next up: The last Confederate armored cruisers

Cheers!
StealthJester


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Tank man
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: March 23rd, 2020, 9:45 am
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She's beautiful.


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emperor_andreas
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: March 23rd, 2020, 9:47 am
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Awesome! Looking forward to the next entry!

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StealthJester
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: March 28th, 2020, 10:49 pm
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Joined: December 22nd, 2014, 12:25 am
Location: Spokane Valley, Washington, US
Greetings!

Valiant class (CSA):
[ img ]

The six-year drought in CSN armored cruiser design ended with the keel-laying of CSS Valiant in Charleston Navy Yard in April of 1902. This was a completely new design from BuC&D and featured a new larger and beamier hull design, redesigned guns, and significantly improved sea-keeping and range. Three ships were authorized; Valiant, Steadfast, and Indomitable. They were laid down between 1902 and 1903, and were commissioned between 1905 and 1906. Hull numbers ran from AC-7 to AC-9.

The Valiant class was 460 feet long overall, with a 70 foot beam and a nominal draft of 28 feet. They displaced 13,890 tons normal and 14,480 tons full load. They were armed with four Tredegar Mk.III 9.2”/45 guns in two twin turrets mounted fore and aft, eight Mk.IV 7.5”/45’s in single wing turrets amidships, and sixteen Mk.VI 3”/50 anti-torpedo boat guns in open deck mounts. Five submerged 18” torpedo tubes (2 port, 2 starboard, 1 aft) completed the weapons suite. The Valiant class was the last Confederate cruisers powered by reciprocating engines. They used two five-cylinder quad expansion engines producing 27,305 horsepower and had a design speed of 22 knots. Range was 7,500 nautical miles. Armor consisted of an 8” belt, 3” deck, 10” main turrets with 11” barbettes, 8” secondary turrets, and a 7” conning tower. Crew complement was 735.

Easily the unluckiest class of cruisers of their time, the entire class was lost to wartime action; CSS Valiant (AC-7) and CSS Indomitable (AC-9) during the Western Pacific War and CSS Steadfast (AC-8) late in the War of the Americas. Unsurprisingly, due to their short service lives Valiant and Indomitable changed very little. Steadfast, however, was refit between 1921 and 1922 with oil-fired boilers, improved secondary guns (development of the heavy 9.2” weapon was halted after the Great War), and new 21” torpedo tubes, but was still considered inferior to US cruisers – she was later lost in an intense long-range gun duel with the battlecruiser USS Constitution (CB-9) off Cuba. In spite of this, however, these ships were still considered formidable opponents and respected by the US Navy.

Conqueror class (CSA):
[ img ]

Called “a Valiant on steroids” by modern naval historian Armando Blum, the Conqueror class was the last true armored cruiser design to enter service with the CSN. They were, in effect, transitional designs that led to the first Confederate battlecruisers – the Gettysburg class. Contemporaries of the US Helena (Potomac) class, the new ships were based on the Valiant’s, albeit larger and designed for turbine propulsion. Three ships comprised this class; Conqueror, Formidable, and Majestic. Hull numbers ran from AC-10 to AC-12.

The Conqueror class was 485 feet long overall, with a 72 foot beam and a nominal draft of 29 feet. They displaced 16,380 tons normal and 17,645 tons full load. They were armed with eight Tredegar Mk.III 9.2”/45 guns in two twin turrets fore and aft and four single wing turrets. The secondary battery was reduced to four single Mk.IV 7.5’/45 turrets amidships and the tertiary battery consisted of sixteen 4”/50 Mk.IV’s in open deck mounts. The torpedo armament was identical to the Valiant class; five 18” submerged torpedo tubes. The Conqueror class was propelled by Wilkerson-Chadwick direct-drive turbines producing a total of 49,750 horsepower on four shafts and had a design speed of 25 knots. Range increased to 8,000 nautical miles. Armor consisted of a 9” belt, 3” deck, 10” main turrets with 11” barbettes, 8” secondary turrets, and an 8” conning tower. Crew complement was 832.

Entering service between 1909 and 1910, the new cruisers missed the Western Pacific War and initially saw quiet lives. Although considered obsolete with the introduction of battlecruisers, the ships received a refit similar to Steadfast’s between 1922 and 1923 – Formidable re-commissioning a mere fourteen days before the outbreak of the War of the Americas. During that conflict, the ships saw considerable action – Majestic was lost in 1925 as part of the Gulf Squadron during Operation Citadel, and Formidable two years later to the submarine USS L-40. After the war ended in 1927, Conqueror was allowed into the restricted post-treaty CSN and continued on active service until 1936, when she was retired.

Next up: Confederate protected and light cruisers

Cheers!
Stealthjester


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emperor_andreas
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: March 29th, 2020, 1:39 am
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Awesome job!

Question: Do you have a list of what ships were lost at which battle? You've posted some names, but other battles just have general casualty lists and no specific vessels? If you do, any chance you could post said list?

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Tank man
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: March 29th, 2020, 12:09 pm
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Those ships really are lookers.

And I second emperor_andreas' question. I would be quite interested to see such a list.


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reytuerto
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: March 29th, 2020, 2:00 pm
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Very nice design! Neat lines!

P. S. The name "Majestic" is rather odd in a non-monarchy Navy. May you explain me/us the reason of this name?


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Cascadia
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: March 29th, 2020, 2:49 pm
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Maybe it's named for Majestic, Kentucky?

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