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StealthJester
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: June 6th, 2020, 3:23 am
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South Texas class (CSA):
[ img ]

The second class of Confederate dreadnoughts; the South Texas class, were based on the British Colossus class and were laid down during 1912. Virtually identical to their Royal Navy cousins, construction on the two ships nevertheless proceeded slowly as the Butler Administration had drastically reduced naval funding after 1911 and resulted in the CS Navy deciding to push for accelerated completion of the Gettysburg and San Juan class battlecruisers instead. Construction of the two battleships ground to a halt by the beginning of 1913 and was in fact cancelled in March. By this point South Texas was 33% complete and Sierra only 19% complete. Debate on what to do continued through September, when the decision was made to convert South Texas to a seaplane carrier and scrap Sierra. Work on the former resumed in early 1914 and the ship – rechristened CSS Pontchartrain (AV-1) – commissioned in 1917. Sierra was broken up on the slipway beginning in October of 1913 while the four completed twin turrets and 12” guns intended for the battleships were placed in storage pending future need – they would eventually be used to arm the four Alexander Stevens class coastal defense ships which first entered service in 1932.

The South Texas class final design was 546 feet long overall, had an 85 foot beam, and a nominal draft of 29 feet. They would have displaced 20,420 tons normal and 22,000 tons full load. They were to be armed with ten Tredegar Mk.VII 12”/45 guns in five twin turrets mounted one forward, two en echelon amidships, and a super-firing pair aft. The secondary battery comprised sixteen 4”/50 Mk.IV’s in casemates as well as open deck mounts while three submerged 21” torpedo tubes completed the weapons suite.
The South Texas class was propelled by four Wilkerson-Chadwick direct-drive turbines producing a total of 27,445 shaft horsepower and had a design speed of 21 knots. Range was 8,000 nautical miles. Armor consisted of an 11-8” belt, 4” deck, 11” main turrets, 11” barbettes, 3” casemates, and an 11” conning tower. Complement was projected at 970-990 officers and crew.

New Mexico class (CSA):
[ img ]

The next class of Confederate dreadnoughts; the New Mexico class, narrowly avoided the fate of their predecessors during the lean Butler years, but still, only two of the three ships planned were completed. They were loosely based on the cancelled South Texas class, but took many design queues from the British Iron Duke class – including their 13.5” main battery. As mentioned previously, three ships of this class were authorized; CSS New Mexico (B-18), CSS Virginia (B-19), and CSS Alabama (B-20), but Virginia was cancelled as a cost savings measure in April of 1915, mere weeks before she was scheduled to be laid down – instead her building slip was assigned to the battlecruiser Fredericksburg, which was laid down soon afterward. New Mexico was launched in 1916 and commissioned in 1917; Alabama was launched in 1917 and commissioned in mid-1918.

The New Mexico class final design was 605 feet long overall, had an 89 foot beam, and a nominal draft of 29 feet. They displaced 24,540 tons normal and 25,890 tons full load. They were armed with ten Tredegar Mk.I 13.5”/45 guns in five two-gun (individually sleeved) turrets arranged in two superfiring pairs fore and aft and one amidships – all along the centerline for the first time. The secondary battery again comprised sixteen 4”/50 Mk.IV’s; twelve in casemates and four in open deck mounts. Three submerged 21” torpedo tubes (port, starboard, and stern locations) completed the weapons suite. The New Mexico class was propelled by geared turbines for the first time; four Wilkerson-Chadwick turbines producing a total of 42,300 shaft horsepower gave a design speed of 23 knots. Range was 7,000 nautical miles. Armor consisted of a 12-8” belt, 4” deck, 11” main turrets, 11” barbettes, 3” casemates, and an 11” conning tower. Crew complement was 1,127.

After commissioning, the New Mexico’s led quiet lives until the outbreak of the War of the Americas. Both were lost during the conflict; New Mexico in June of 1926 during the Battle of Subic Bay and Alabama during the First Battle of the Chesapeake Bay in May of 1924.

Tennessee class (CSA):
[ img ]

The last, and most powerful, class of Confederate battleships to enter service before the War of the Americas; the Tennessee class was a modified version of the New Mexico’s, and was equivalent to the US Navy’s Idaho class. They introduced the triple turret to the CSN and were slightly faster and carried a heavier secondary battery than their Northern rivals and were armored nearly as well. Two ships; CSS Tennessee (B-21) and CSS South Carolina (B-22) were authorized in late 1915, laid down 1916-17, launched 1918-19, and commissioned between 1919 and 1920.

The Tennessee class final design was 630 feet long overall, had a 98 foot beam, and a nominal draft of 31 feet. They displaced 27,950 tons normal and 29,090 tons full load. They were armed with twelve Mk.I 13.5”/45 guns in four triple turrets arranged in two superfiring pairs fore and aft. The secondary battery consisted of twelve Mk.IX 6”/50 guns in armored casemates. Four Mk.V 3”/50 AA guns and three 21” submerged torpedo tubes completed the weapons suite. The Tennessee class was propelled by four Wilkerson-Chadwick geared turbines producing a total of 44,900 shaft horsepower gave a design speed of 23 knots while range increased to 7,500 nautical miles. Armor consisted of a 13-9” belt, 3” deck, 16” main turrets, 12” barbettes, 5” casemates, and a 13” conning tower. Crew complement was 1,242.

Serving in the peacetime fleet only a few years, the Tennessee’s were heavily involved in the War of the Americas. Tennessee was fleet flagship until CSS Lafayette commissioned in 1924 and resumed the role after the latter was lost during Operation Citadel in 1925. Damaged on several occasions, Tennessee survived the war and was retained by the CSN under the Treaty of Montreal. Extensively rebuilt during the 1930’s, the ship was finally retired in 1941. South Carolina wasn’t as fortunate, however, and was sunk at her anchorage in Manila Bay by US aircraft in 1926 and was broken up on site after the war ended.

Next up: Confederate battlecruisers

Cheers!
Stealthjester


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emperor_andreas
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: June 6th, 2020, 6:59 am
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Awesome work!

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StealthJester
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: June 7th, 2020, 1:04 am
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Gettysburg class (CSA):
[ img ]

When the US commissioned USS Helena in 1909, the CS Navy was caught off guard. The new armored cruiser was larger, far more heavily armed, and just as fast as the newest Confederate armored cruiser – CSS Conqueror – which commissioned the same year. BuC&D was determined to respond with an even more powerful ship, and for help again went to Great Britain. The Royal Navy had the answer with a new type of ship again from the mind of First Sea Lord John “Jackie” Fisher. Fisher had been the driving force behind HMS Dreadnought – arguable the most influential warship in history – which had rendered existing battleships obsolete overnight, and his latest creation promised to do the same with armored cruisers. HMS Invincible, launched in 1907, was the first true battlecruiser (although they were not classed as such until 1911) and was designed to run down and destroy cruisers and smaller warships and serve as heavy scouts for the fleet, while her superior speed would allow her to escape more powerful ships. She was exactly what the CSN needed.
After lengthy discussion, the two nations came to an agreement – similar to that of the first Confederate dreadnoughts, the Georgia class. Great Britain would provide the plans and technical assistance while the ships would be built in Confederate yards. The design chosen was for the second class of battlecruiser; the Indefatigable class. Three ships were authorized early in 1909 and the keel for the first; originally hull number AC-13, but re-classed while building as BC-1, was laid down in Norfolk Naval Shipyard three months later. Named for Confederate battle sites, the three were; CSS Gettysburg (BC-1), CSS Antietam (BC-2), and CSS Veracruz (BC-3). They were all launched during 1911 and had commissioned by the end of 1912.

The Gettysburg class was 590 feet long overall, had an 80 foot beam, and a nominal draft of 27 feet. They displaced 18,540 tons normal and 20,170 tons full load. They were armed with eight Mk.VII 12”/45 guns in four twin turrets arranged one forward, two en echelon amidships, and one aft. The secondary battery consisted of sixteen Mk.IV 4”/50’s mounted half in casemates, half in open deck mounts. Three 18” torpedo tubes were fitted with stowage for fifteen Mk.XI torpedoes. The Gettysburg class was propelled by four direct-drive turbines built by McKenzie Engineering producing a total of 57,780 shaft horsepower for a design speed of 26 knots. Range was 7,500 nautical miles. Armor consisted of a 6-4” belt, 2.5” deck, 7” main turrets, 7” barbettes, 3” casemates, and a 10” conning tower. Crew complement was 934.

After commissioning, the new battlecruisers formed the core of scouting squadrons based primarily in the Caribbean. They panicked the US Navy even while building and prompted the Ranger class in response – although they would not enter service for several more years. They changed very little in the years leading up to the War of the Americas as limited budgets under the Butler Administration prohibited rebuilds. When the war broke out in 1923, the ships saw considerable action. Antietam was lost during Operation Citadel when, as part of the Baja Squadron out of Guaymas, was severely damaged in an encounter with the Mexican Navy and forced – along with the dreadnought Georgia – to return to base. She was attacked by the submarine USS L-24 and further damaged forcing the Confederates to scuttle her. Veracruz was sunk during the last major naval engagement of the war – the Battle of Mobile Bay in July of 1927. The class ship survived the conflict and was allowed to be retained by the postwar CSN but due to limited funds was allowed to deteriorate. Gettysburg was placed in limited commission in 1935, decommissioned two years later and scrapped beginning in 1938.

San Juan class (CSA):
[ img ]

The second class of Confederate battlecruisers represented a quantum leap in design. Based on the British Lion and Queen Mary classes, the new ships were superior in every way to the Gettysburg class and were the largest (though not the heaviest) and fastest capital ships in the New World when they entered service. Although very similar to their British counterparts they differed in some respects – the most obvious begin the use of a tripod foremast from the outset and the deletion of the sternwalk common on British ships. Two ships; CSS San Juan (BC-4) and CSS Charleston (BC-5) were authorized and construction began on San Juan in August of 1912, with Charleston laid down a year later. The shipyards selected; Mobile and Galveston, had only limited experience with ships this size (in fact Galveston had to extend its slipways and fitting out docks to accommodate the new ships) and construction was slow as a result. San Juan wasn’t launched until the fall of 1915 while Charleston finally was launched in the summer of the following year. Both were in service by the end of 1917.

The San Juan class was 700 feet long overall, had an 89 foot beam, and a nominal draft of 30 feet. They displaced 24,140 tons normal and 25,340 tons full load. They were armed with eight 13.5”/45 Mk.I’s in four two-gun (individually sleeved) turrets mounted on the centerline – a superfiring pair forward, one amidships, and one aft. The secondary battery was identical to that of the Gettysburg class save that all sixteen 4” guns were mounted in casemates. Two new 21” submerged torpedo tubes were fitted. Geared turbines were used for the first time (Wilkerson-Chadwick in San Juan, McKenzie Engineering in Charleston) and gave a design speed of 28 knots on 81,200 shaft horsepower. Range remained 7,500 nautical miles. Armor consisted of a 9-4” belt, 2.5” deck, 9” main turrets, 9” barbettes, 3” casemates, and a 10” conning tower. Crew complement was 1,113.

Entering the peacetime fleet, the new battlecruisers traveled extensively “showing the flag” throughout South America and in one such visit lead to the only Brazilian battlecruiser to enter service; the Bahia, (commissioned in 1920), being ordered from a Confederate shipyard (and was the only major warship built for a foreign nation by the Confederacy). During the War of the Americas both ships saw action – San Juan being sunk during the disastrous Operation Citadel while accompanying the battleship Lafayette. In an unfortunately common demise for a battlecruiser, San Juan was taken under fire by US battleships and her weaker armor was quickly penetrated by heavy shells which touched off the magazines and she exploded and sank with the loss of nearly her entire crew. Charleston did survive the war but had the dubious distinction of being the only American warship damaged by the French fleet transferred to Guiana in August of 1925 to “protect France’s interests from foreign adventurism” when in early 1926 she stumbled on a French squadron led by the Gascogne (Normandie class) and was moderately damaged in the ensuing chaos. After the war Charleston was allowed to be retained under the Treaty of Montreal and continued to serve until 1941, when she was decommissioned.

Fredericksburg class (CSA):
[ img ]

The last class of Confederate battlecruiser to enter service prior to the War of the Americas; the Fredericksburg class were also the last Confederate warships to have direct British assistance as by the time they were laid down in 1915 the UK was heavily involved in the Great War and had either cancelled foreign naval projects or seized incomplete ships for their own use in order to concentrate on the war effort. Based on the plans for HMS Tiger the new ships were progressive improvements on the previous San Juan class and two; CSS Fredericksburg (BC-6) and CSS Manassas (BC-7) were authorized in late 1914. They were laid down 1915-16, launched 1917-18, and commissioned in 1918-19.

The Fredericksburg class was 705 feet long overall, had a 90 foot beam, and a nominal draft of 30 feet. They displaced 29,700 tons normal and 30,960 tons full load. They were armed with ten 13.5”/45 Mk.I’s in two triple and two two-gun (individually sleeved) turrets mounted in superfiring pairs fore and aft. The secondary battery consisting of ten 6”/50 Mk.IX guns in casemates clustered amidships. Four 3”/50 Mk.V anti-aircraft guns and three submerged 21” torpedo tubes completed the weapon suite. Four Wilkerson-Chadwick geared turbines producing 109,560 shaft horsepower were installed giving a design speed of 29 knots. Range was 7,500 nautical miles. Armor consisted of a 9-4” belt, 3” deck, 10” main turrets, 9” barbettes, 3” casemates, and an 11” conning tower. Crew complement was 1,300.

After a brief period in the peacetime fleet, the Fredericksburg’s were at the forefront of the initial CSN offensives during the War of the Americas. Because the Confederate government jumped the gun on starting the war (the CSN Admiralty had pushed for a delay until at least 1927 to allow the planned naval expansion to play out) the significant numerical advantage in capital ships the US Navy held against the CSN remained. This caused all Confederate battlecruisers to repeatedly find themselves in circumstances not playing to their strengths and both new ships were lost during the conflict. Manassas was sunk in 1924 during the First Battle of the Chesapeake Bay and Fredericksburg during the massive Battle of Subic Bay in 1926.

Next up: Confederate cruisers and smaller combatants 1911-1920

Cheers!
Stealthjester


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emperor_andreas
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: June 7th, 2020, 2:03 am
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Awesome job! I especially like the Fredericksburg-class!

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Rob2012
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: June 7th, 2020, 4:14 am
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Good additions. I have a question, what was operation citadel?


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odysseus1980
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: June 7th, 2020, 4:37 am
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Great additions in this thread! Are you plan to draw the CSS Portchartrain (AV-1) as well?


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Tank man
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: June 7th, 2020, 12:38 pm
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They're all wonderful ships, and just as Tiger was in her fleet (and the world) the Fredericksburg-class are for theirs.


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eltf177
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: June 7th, 2020, 3:59 pm
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Removed.


Last edited by eltf177 on June 8th, 2020, 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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StealthJester
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: June 7th, 2020, 4:34 pm
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Location: Spokane Valley, Washington, US
Greetings!

Just a brief note to address these questions:

Operation Citadel was the Confederate plan to seize control of the Panama Canal. The plan entailed the use of two forces - the Baja Squadron out of Guaymas tasked with occupying the Western end of the canal zone and the Gulf Squadron out of Mobile aimed at seizing the East end. The CSN had shifted the bulk of their fleet to the Philippines immediately before hostilities broke out in order to draw the US Fleet into the Pacific and in this they were largely successful - forcing the US to divert much of their forces to Guam to counter the threat. Faulty intelligence on both sides gave inaccurate numbers of fleet strength of their opponant - the US under the impression that all of the CSN's battle-fleet had been moved (untrue) and the CSA convinced it had successfully sidelined the US force (also untrue). Launched in July of 1925 the operation was a total disaster for the CSN and marked a turning point in the naval theater of the war. I'll detail the operation and its outcome more in the 1921-1930 chapter.

I do plan to draw the refits for at least some of the ships - including CSS Pontchartrain which will be posting in the Confederate aircraft carrier section - after I finish the main timeline. Stay tuned!

Hope this helps. Thanks again for the comments and questions!

Cheers!
Stealthjester


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StealthJester
Post subject: Re: War of the Americas RebootPosted: June 21st, 2020, 10:51 pm
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Location: Spokane Valley, Washington, US
Centaur class (CSA):
[ img ]

Among the most advanced light cruisers of their time, the Confederate Navy’s Centaur class had little in common with their immediate predecessors, the Cassandra class of protected cruisers. They were designed during the transition period where Confederate shipwrights began to move away from copying British designs to indigenous ones more suited to the CSN’s particular strategic situation. The new cruisers did still borrow a number of features from Royal Navy designs – most notably the C class. Ideally, the CSN wanted a full two dozen of the new ships but the Butler Administration’s limited naval spending permitted only eight to be authorized. Laid down between 1914 and 1915, and commissioned by the end of 1918, the new ships nevertheless proved to be valuable additions to the fleet and were long lived as well – the last in active service, CSS Dionysus (C-30), was decommissioned in April of 1950. The class consisted of Centaur, Aphrodite, Hestia, Dionysus, Artemis, Hephaestus, Demeter, and Hyperion. Hull numbers ran from C-27 to C-34.

The Centaur class was 541 feet long overall, had a 50 foot beam, and a nominal draft of 18 feet. They displaced 7,818 tons normal and 8,282 tons full load. They were armed with eight Mk.X 6”/50 guns in a pair of superfiring two-gun (individually sleeved) turrets. The secondary battery consisted of eight Mk.XII 5”/50 guns in open mounts (no anti-aircraft weapons were installed when built as a cost-saving measure, but were added during the War of the Americas). The new cruisers carried a very heavy torpedo armament for their time; twelve 21” torpedo tubes in four Mk.XV triple launchers (also used by Fortress class destroyers) were fitted two to port and two to starboard – twenty-four reload torpedoes were carried. Powered by four sets of McKenzie Engineering geared turbines producing 58,940 shp gave the ships a design speed of 30 knots, while range was 6,000 nautical miles at 12 knots. Armor protection consisted of a 3” belt, 2” deck, 3” turrets, and a 3” conning tower. Normal crew complement was 478.

Split between the Gulf and Pacific Squadrons, the Centaur’s were assigned to routine patrols in the years leading up to the War of the Americas, but also participated in many training exercises aimed at strengthening torpedo attack tactics. These efforts paid off during the War with the class and its aggressive young captains becoming both feared and respected by the US Navy. Many US warships would fall victim to these ships – including the battlecruiser Hornet and the armored cruiser Charleston. The cruisers were also successful commerce raiders during the first half of the War, but despite this, there were too few of the class to cover these efforts and serve as scouts or escorts for capital ships and losses mounted. Aphrodite and Demeter were sunk in the battles around the Philippines in 1926, Artemis in 1924 during one of the numerous minor encounters of the War to the battlecruiser Brandywine, and Hephaestus during 1925 during the disastrous Operation Citadel. After the war ended in late 1927, the four survivors continued to serve in the restricted postwar CSN. Hestia was converted to a training ship in 1933 and was decommissioned five years later. The remaining ships were refit twice; once in 1936-37 and again in 1942-43. Centaur was the first to be retired in 1948, Hyperion followed her into ordinary a year later, and as mentioned earlier, Dionysus was the last to be retired in the fall of 1950.

Next up: Confederate destroyers 1911-1920

Cheers!
Stealthjester


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