British Rearmament Before World War 2

The delay would be no greater than the Jervis Bay ( which had 7 6" guns ) managed , 4" of armour vs 11" guns is pointless, its penetrated at any range. As for the planes, the CAM ships did not have standard catapults , they were special rocket powered ones to get the launch speed.
4" means that they have to use AP, that is less damaging than HE shells used normally against unarmored vessels, and that goes for the secondary armaments as well.
Erie had regular catapult, so better than the CAM ships, so that's a large advantage over AMC Jervis Bay in spotting, as well as being a smaller, armored target.
And she still did her job, the convoy scattered. 33 merchantmen escaped, while 5 did not.
 
A mid 30s departure is much too late, whats needed is better technical schooling from the mid 20s onwards in all areas of design and installation, so the UK has enough qualified draughtsmen to design what's needed and sufficient trained electricians to install the equipment needed no more finished destroyers sitting idle waiting for directors to be built and radar to be fitted due to lack of skilled labor.
Best place to get a core of knowledgeable electricians at least at the start would probably to look at the Sparkies and Elecies in the merchant navy and offer them incentives to come ashore and teach what they can. From the other end get companies like Vickers, BT and English Electric to both modernise and expand their operations and invest in expansions on their technical staffs and line staffs.
Instead of massive naval construction spending in the late 20s forcing through tax breaks for companies updating equipment and plant, stopping the cycle of old plant being run into the ground (Jaguar XK6 tooling being a case in point, 37 years in production and the later engines were not as reliable due to poor tolerances from worn out tooling) would be of greater benefit.
Tax Breaks are a good incentive to get anything done but also offering them breaks for expansion as well as modernisation would probably be a good move as well as looking at ways for companies to increase the number of quality control officers as well.
 
4" means that they have to use AP, that is less damaging than HE shells used normally against unarmored vessels, and that goes for the secondary armaments as well.
Erie had regular catapult, so better than the CAM ships, so that's a large advantage over AMC Jervis Bay in spotting, as well as being a smaller, armored target.
Are you trollin? The Jervis Bay was 10 times the tonnage of an Erie so an AP on an Erie will do relatively more damage than HE on her. As for the Catapult , the CAM rocket one was much more powerful. Hurricanes , unlike floatplanes , not t being designed for catapult launch, weighed more and needed a higher launch speed ie an Erie is not launching fighters. As for size , without the speed of a destroyer , it does not really matter much as long given the optics/fire control on large German ships.
 
I do like the heavy machine gun in the 1937-1940 time period.

I feel that 20 mm cannons was a little heavy yet and the rate of fire of the heavy machine gun would tempt me during this time when the hmg is sufficient against the majority of targets.
I just feel that It's not really worth the effort if you can get a working 20mm in 38, and I think you can with more money easily and join in earlier with France production (just remember to cut the barrel down!).

Even if it has a 60 round drum not a belt It's still better against a bomber than anything else available?

With sufficient moeny I would just order two separate factories making them and use one set for ground AA use if they both work?
 
Last edited:
4" means that they have to use AP, that is less damaging than HE shells used normally against unarmored vessels, and that goes for the secondary armaments as well.
Not sure if that really works with 11+" guns firing at you? 4" will just stop AP from going through and out the other side like it might on a DD/light escort, doing far more damage when it blows up inside you.....?

Any 11"+ shell will do massive damage HE shells are 300kg+ (700lb) nothing 4" (10cm) thick is stopping them even if it's not an AP design?
 
Are you trollin? The Jervis Bay was 10 times the tonnage of an Erie so an AP on an Erie will do relatively more damage than HE on her
A huge liner, that never did well in being resistant to any kind of shellfish.
She had her engineering knocked out quickly, less likely to happen with something designed with damage control in mind. AMC Liners make for easy targets. HE won't get into the vitals of an Erie as easily, and its unlikely that the KM will spot a destroyer sized ship and immediately think of using AP, unless they have an exchange with some IJN staff, who saw cruisers for DEs and BBs in DDs x'D
 
The twin 4" of a sloop or frigate is probably preferable to a 6" being used on a low tonnage platform in the Atlantic.

A 6" gun will probably only really cause damage against the upper works of any decent sized warship and they would probably suffer the same damage from a 4" gun with a higher chance of hitting from a twin 4" due to more shells being fired at the same time.

A float plane is a theoretical bonus but how often can it actually be used in the Atlantic without being damaged while landing due to the sea state? Can the cutter catch the convoy easily after stopping to pick up the Sea plane? How often does stopping and making its self a static target make it a risk not worth taking?

The Erie isnt the ship the RN needs, it's the Grimsby class and it derivatives made to mercantile standards for convoy escort
 
ny 11"+ shell will do massive damage HE shells are 300kg+ (700lb) nothing 4" (10cm) thick is stopping them even if it's not an AP design?
The HE detonation is on impact, no delay, or the shell breaks up on hitting the armor.
In either case, the Erie's vitals are shielded.
Now it wasn't a full waterline belt, just over machinery and magazine.
Would it still hurt? Sure, you bet. But it wouldn't be disabling
 
A float plane is a theoretical bonus but how often can it actually be used in the Atlantic without being damaged while landing due to the sea state? Can
Didn't stop CAM launches, where they every launch was a ditching.
A 6" has almost 4x the bursting charge, so is much more damaging on a hit, that why light cruisers most had 6" and not a pile of 4"
To me, Eries aren't perfect, like should just have a twin 6" gunhouse fore and aft, than 4 open mounts. You need the deck space more for AAA for K guns or hedgehog later on
 
The Erie isnt the ship the RN needs, it's the Grimsby class and it derivatives made to mercantile standards for convoy escort
Building Eries thru the '30s keeps Admiralty Yards working, along with Vickers for cannons and armor plate makers.
 
Building Eries thru the '30s keeps Admiralty Yards working, along with Vickers for cannons and armor plate makers.

The Admiralty yards are busy anyway, building the sloops the RN wants keeps private yards busy, small gun capacity shouldn't be an issue.

Can't argue that it would be good to keep the armor mills busy, however it's a lot of pointless weight on a convoy escort that could be better used in extra weapons and fuel, i'd say it would be a better use of weight to mount a couple of Torpedo tubes which would keep raiders further out than a 6" gun and 4" of armor. Buy time for the convoy with Smoke and the risk of torpedo attack rather than just flinging a few 6" bricks at the raider.

The Eries are just too much ship with armor and 6" gun for the RN, the same hull with twin 3" and no armor would probably be more effective. I'd also say they are too much for the USN as they never built them.
 
The HE detonation is on impact, no delay, or the shell breaks up on hitting the armor.
In either case, the Erie's vitals are shielded.
Now it wasn't a full waterline belt, just over machinery and magazine.
Would it still hurt? Sure, you bet. But it wouldn't be disabling
Did surface detonating shells in WWI (mainly due to faulty shells) not go through more than 4" or even 6+" on many occasions?

The solid nose cone, for example, will likely still be intact and blown through such a thin belt? Even if it goes off outside, the force of BB sized explosion will likely force in belt plates and lead to flooding.

And that ignoring that it will now arm AP shells that make up most of the ship's magazines.
 
Last edited:
Building Eries thru the '30s keeps Admiralty Yards working, along with Vickers for cannons and armor plate makers.
But why if they have the cash they could still build new larger warships, for example RN was not over limits in CVs and anyway the limits reflected what was spent so more money for RN would quickly have lead to higher limits......?
 
Didn't stop CAM launches, where they every launch was a ditching.
A 6" has almost 4x the bursting charge, so is much more damaging on a hit, that why light cruisers most had 6" and not a pile of 4"
To me, Eries aren't perfect, like should just have a twin 6" gunhouse fore and aft, than 4 open mounts. You need the deck space more for AAA for K guns or hedgehog later on
Perhaps if the RN had gotten their twin 5.25" turret and remote power control system fully worked up well before WW2 and were able to produce it in quantity pre WW2 (which would likely be a POD on its own) that might have been another option for arming at least some 2,000 ton sloops. With director control, remote power control of the turrets and a reasonable rate of fire that might have been a potent weapon system for a convoy escort with both anti aircraft and anti surface capabilities. Depending on the time lines getting all that sorted out pre WW2 on a series of sloops might also have had some ripple effects vis a vis later battle ships and cruisers having better DP secondary armament as well. If there are issues accommodating the weight of the turrets in a 2,000 ton design maybe leave the bulk of the armor off the ship, but design the ship so it could be added later if the treaties are no longer in force ?

For bonus points have an enlarged non treaty compliant design on the shelf so to speak that features at least one additional twin turret.

I realize there would likely have been a lot of "issues" doing this in practice :)

Edit to add:
Perhaps in practice they could have had similar speed to an R Class BB and could have worked with them in some circumstances. An escort force of perhaps an R class BB, and two or three sloops each armed with 2 modern 5.25" DP mounts and modern fire control systems (as well as ASDIC and Anti submarine weapons) might do quite well in practice and would free up destroyers for other tasks ?
 
Last edited:
Regarding DDs - much as I admire the Tribal's I think that the RN would have been better served with more J,K and Ns - say 40 plus the Dozen or so Australian and Canadian ships made instead of their tribal class ships.

They had a better compact layout of machinary, a strong hull and a heavier torpedo armament of 10 tubes over 4 at the loss of a twin 4.7" - otherwise were similar to the Tribals in all other respects.

Same speed, about the same range but slightly lighter and therefore slightly cheaper to build possibly allowing more to be made?
 
They had a better compact layout of machinary, a strong hull and a heavier torpedo armament of 10 tubes over 4 at the loss of a twin 4.7" - otherwise were similar to the Tribals in all other respects.
To weigh in here an engine room layout is highly important when it comes to maintenance as well as performing damage control since it makes life easier when it comes to actually moving around and being able to get at the machine you are working on.

I've worked in a poorly laid out engine room it made the job a lot harder since I had to do contortions to get at some parts and almost wrecked my shoulders and back trying to force my body to get into a place it wasn't meant to.
 
The twin 4" of a sloop or frigate is probably preferable to a 6" being used on a low tonnage platform in the Atlantic.

A 6" gun will probably only really cause damage against the upper works of any decent sized warship and they would probably suffer the same damage from a 4" gun with a higher chance of hitting from a twin 4" due to more shells being fired at the same time.
Yeah but the German navy seemed fixated on having 15 cm secondary guns on their larger ships so there may have been some perceived reasons why more or less 6" guns were seen as desirable by at least some navies in the WW2 era. Perhaps given the apparent German attitude to guns of that caliber (I seem to recall they even equipped some destroyers with them ?) equipping at least some RN escorts with similar caliber guns might have had a deterrent effect vis a vis German opponents ?

That being said I think the 5.25" might have been a better choice for the RN for a notional pre WW2 Sloop if they wanted something more powerful than their various 4.x " options (if only to help get the 5.25" system fully debugged for use on cruisers and battle ships.)
 
Last edited:
If there are issues accommodating the weight of the turrets in a 2,000 ton design maybe leave the bulk of the armor off the ship, but design the ship so it could be added later if the treaties are no longer in force ?
Having side armor across the machinery spaces would offset the gunhouse weight topside to a degree, and I'd give up one open mount to have a powered gunhouse with director control
 
Why when 20 mm Hispano or Oerlikon are available if you have any money to spend?
for a bunch of reasons. first off because that's a boring rehash of otl, and that's no fun.

also my mind works funny. i tend to focus on the unsexy details that don't show up on paper. note how that table never included the power of the ammo, only if it was available.
as long as a piece of kit can do the job it has been assigned then factors like cost, availability, and reliability are more important to me.


Even if it has a 60 round drum not a belt It's still better against a bomber than anything else available?
not necessarily, aiui the .50 cal guns worked just fine on any plane other than the 4 engine heavy bombers

here's a video on the p47 and it's armament. of note is a chart stating at 16:40 showing the comparative mass of firepower in grams per second. the 50 cal arrangements are extremely competitive in this category. later in the video he presents evidence that you can often score dirty hits with a 50 cal armament where a 20mm gun will give you clean miss.

but yeah for early war a .50 cal will do just fine
 
Top