Dread Nought but the Fury of the Seas

The rather minuscule risk provided by aircraft and their required stores aboard a warship are doubly or triply outweighed by the advantage of carrying your own spotting aircraft, especially in protected hangers.
 
I might be a bit behind but... spotter aircraft were used for spotting, search and rescue, ASW, recon, and transport. Some even acted as CAP.
A degree of familiarity with the crew of the ship they worked with was a good thing because of teamwork, so carrier based spotters are not the immediate solution they might seem.
 
Ok , I must admit that I was thinking on a guadalcanal like escenario, maybe I overestimated the lessons that can be pick out or not the correct ones but, even without that, am still really concern with the issue of anything regarding armour, torpedo tubes or AA that can realistically be fitted with added weight of planes, cranes and catapults, that's why strongly support a medium point: planes? ok, a limit of two in peace time and one in wartime, so that there's enough space left for either of the other stated issues.
You need to veiw the aircraft as a part of a weapons system Charles, it's no good spending the saved tonnage from taking out the aviation facilities on armour or guns when the cruiser fails in it's main role as it didn't find the enemy due to them not coming into visual range.

Generally speaking you mitigate the risk factors of aircraft stowage by draining the aircraft and fuel systems before action and/or launching the aircraft if you have time so risk is minimized.
 
Cruiser Warfare
Cruiser Warfare

By 1924, it was obvious that all the Washington Treaty nations were rushing to construct significant numbers of 8” cruisers. In particular, the USA already had plans for six such ships (in addition to the four ‘Newarks’ she already had), and while the Japanese program had been gravely disrupted by the Great Earthquake of 1923, they were clearly determined to press on with the construction of powerful cruisers armed with six or ten 8” guns.
Britain had been obliged to accept the Washington limits on total cruiser tonnage and 8” guns, as she had received favourable terms regarding capital ships and had pushed through a submarine agreement that was of greatest benefit to Britain. The Royal Navy would have preferred a cruiser limit of 7,500-8,000 tons, with 6” guns, as these would be quite adequate for protecting the sea lanes, serving as destroyer leaders, or acting as scouts for the fleet. So prevalent was this view that the first cruisers ordered after the signing of the Treaty in 1922 were a pair of 7,500-ton ‘Fox’ class, mounting four of the 6” twin turrets used on the ‘Nelsons’ on much the same hull as the E-class.

However, the existence of the 9,500-ton ‘Hawkins’ class, armed with 7.5” guns, had made the 8”, 10,000-ton limit unavoidable, particularly when both America and Japan were already building cruisers with 8” guns.

After the Treaty was signed, it remained a fact that the Royal Navy needed new ocean-going cruisers, and so the 1923 programme included ships that followed the obvious Washington template. The four ‘Londons’ displaced 10,000 tons, had large, high hulls for seaworthiness, long range and a design speed of 32½ knots. Armament consisted of eight 8” guns and six 21” torpedo tubes, with an anti-aircraft battery of four 4” guns and four of the new 1-pdr automatic cannons.
They were only lightly armoured, with 2” sides and 1½” deck protection over the machinery, and internal Hood-style box protection to the magazines, with 3” bulkheads topped by 2” crowns. The turrets, directors and bridge were armoured against nothing more than splinters, and it was all the designers could do to give the turrets a 3” face; barely adequate against 6” shellfire. Efforts to save weight were described as ‘ridiculously punctilious’ by the Deputy DNC, as there was debate over such items as the type of wood used in mess deck tables, and whether six or seven showers should be available for stokers. They came out at just over 10,000 tons, but close enough that the total could be safely ‘rounded down’, thereby avoiding having to notify the other powers.

No battleships were ordered in 1923, but the programme did include the 16,000-ton aircraft carriers Hermes and Pegasus. Hermes was intended to operate with a fleet, was armed with six 6” guns and could carry up to 40 planes, using the machinery of a cancelled ‘D-class’ cruiser for a speed of 25 knots.
Pegasus was an ‘aviation cruiser’, intended to address the problems seen in Cavendish. She was 702’ long and carried eight 8” guns in the same turrets as the ‘Londons’. A 380’ flight deck lay in between, with room for up to 26 aircraft below. There was 3” side protection over machinery and magazines, with a 1.5” lower deck. Money was saved by using part of the machinery of the scrapped HMS Courageous, and she achieved 29.9 knots at 19,210 tons when on trials in 1927.

In the background, battleship development was proceeding slowly, and the ideas proposed for a 1924 ship centred around a companion for Rodney, to allow the formation of a 28-knot division of two ships with 16” guns. Designers had concluded that nine 16” guns could be provided on a ship that looked much like a shortened ‘D-33’ battlecruiser, although protection was little better than that of Rodney.
An alternative was an improved ‘Nelson’, which appeared attractive once it became clear just how underweight those ships would be. Designers concluded that a 26½ knot version could be provided by a slight lengthening of the hull, and with very little cost in protection. However, it was not tactically compatible with any existing ship.

The prospect for a radically new 1924 battleships died slowly in the closing months of 1923, as the design office was busy with the new carriers, the 10,000-ton cruisers, a cruiser-minelayer, three experimental destroyers and a new type of coastal patrol vessel, in addition to the expansion of the submarine design group in the expectation that new boats would be laid down under the 1926 programme, when the Treaty moratorium would have expired.
In the end, the 1924 Programme included an slightly improved ‘Nelson’, with a 2’ wide strake of 12” armour added below the belt, better splinter protection for the secondary turrets and hoists, and slightly improved machinery delivering an extra 1,000 horsepower. HMS Trafalgar was laid down in October 1924 and completed in August 1927.

Meanwhile, it became ever clearer that the new, large cruisers would not be cheap to build or to operate. Admiral Jellicoe’s 1919 review of the Empire’s naval defence needs had concluded that the RN needed at least 70 cruisers. Some of these could be smaller or older types, and a few roles could probably be carried out by aircraft, but the thought of building and manning even 20 ships such as London or Pegasus had the Treasury in a lather, when each one cost about a third as much as a battleship to build, and half as much to run. In recent years, several ‘Orion’ and ‘King George V’ class battleships had been operated with oil-firing and reduced crews, showing that capital ships could be operated relatively economically. Although these old ships were slow, they could bring a level of firepower to colonial stations that could never be answered by cruisers.
In addition, the overall Treaty restriction of 350,000 tons meant that the RN could never build enough 10,000-ton ships. Another pair of ‘Londons’ were ordered under the 1924 programme, but it was clear that something would have to change if numbers were to be sustained.

-o-

In anticipation of the 1925 programme, the Admiralty therefore sought a means to nullify the need for these expensive ‘Treaty Cruisers’. If the concept could be rendered wholly or partly invalid, then the RN could revert to building smaller, cheaper 6” cruisers, which could be backed up by heavy ships when necessary.
The proliferation of ‘light battleships’ also meant that the RN would be well advised to consider a counter, both in the Mediterranean and in advance of any possible Japanese construction. There was also the consideration that the category had originally been created as a way of distorting tonnage limits in favour of the RN, and that the advantage in numbers it provided should not lightly be given up, if there was a valid use for the type.

What the Royal Navy wanted was a ship capable of crushing any Treaty Cruiser it encountered. However, to do that meant using valuable battleship tonnage, and so to justify itself, such a ship must also be capable of other duties, including engaging enemy capital ships, even if perhaps only in a peripheral role. That was almost exactly Admiral Fisher’s original description of a battlecruiser, but the idea would need to be updated in light of the experiences of war.

To catch enemy cruisers, the ship would have to achieve a speed of over 30 knots. An equivalent of the mighty Furious or Howe, the two largest warships in the fleet, was clearly impossible, however a faster Panther could comfortably be built within the 23,000-ton limit. However, with 13.5” guns and armour protection that was inadequate against much more than 12” fire, Panther would be no match for a modern 15” or 16” gun ship, and the Admiralty wasn’t interested in building new second-rate battlecruisers using precious capital ship tonnage.
The next class, the ‘Renowns’, were effective modern ships, but their true Standard Displacement was 33,000 tons after improvements to their armour and underwater protection. However, if redesigned from the keel-up with lightweight machinery and a new hull form, it seemed possible that a ship like Renown might just possibly be built for around 23,000 tons.

Through the winter of 1924/25, design teams produced numerous concepts. The most basic, ‘1924-A’ was a relatively well-balanced ship with eight 13.5” guns in four turrets, adequately armoured against its own guns at battle ranges of 15-25,000 yards.
The ‘1924-B’ series attempted to do the same with 15” guns, but before long, the design ran into problems. It seemed the constraints of the 23,000-ton limit would have to be stretched, and new thinking on armour and armament would be needed before a design could close. In desperation, the anti-aircraft battery was provided by making use of the Treaty exemption that up to 3,000 tons could be added to a ship ‘for the purpose of improving means of defence against air attack’.

By the end of 1924, they had gone back to first principles. Ships such as Howe were close to being ‘fast battleships’, but the battlecruiser had originally been created as a powerful form of cruiser, not as a fast form of battleship. The work done on the ‘Londons’ had created new lightweight hull designs and the ‘E-class’ cruisers had shown that using highly forced destroyer-type machinery in a large ship was quite safe and practical.
In the New Year, the experimental destroyer Amazon ran trials with machinery using 300-psi superheated steam, showing that further improvements were possible.
 
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After the Treaty was signed, it remained a fact that the Royal Navy needed new ocean-going cruisers, and so the 1923 programme included ships that followed the obvious Washington template. The four ‘Londons’ displaced 10,000 tons, had large, high hulls for seaworthiness, long range and a design speed of 32½ knots. Armament consisted of eight 8” guns and six 21” torpedo tubes, with an anti-aircraft battery of four 4” guns and four of the new 1” automatic cannons.
So basically the OTL London class. Consider the use Britain got out of the OTL ships this is good news.

Pegasus was an ‘aviation cruiser’, intended to address the problems seen in Cavendish. She was 702’ long and carried eight 8” guns in the same turrets as the ‘Londons’. A 380’ flight deck lay in between, with room for up to 26 aircraft below. There was 3” side protection over machinery and magazines, with a 1.5” lower deck. Money was saved by using part of the machinery of the scrapped HMS Courageous, and she achieved 29.9 knots at 19,210 tons when on trials in 1927.
Well it's fast and has a good hull so once it's been rebuilt it might be a good carrier and will teach the RN some important lessons. As built she's....... a learning experience.

In the end, the 1924 Programme included an slightly improved ‘Nelson’, with a 2’ wide strake of 12” armour added below the belt, better splinter protection for the secondary turrets and hoists, and slightly improved machinery delivering an extra 1,000 horsepower. HMS Trafalgar was laid down in October 1924 and completed in August 1927.
Good name, good ship. Assuming the 1925 programs tonnage allowance is devoted to a light battlecruiser I hope the RN comes back in 1926 and builds a fourth to give a nice round squadron.

By the end of 1924, they had gone back to first principles. Ships such as Howe were close to being ‘fast battleships’, but the battlecruiser had originally been created as a powerful form of cruiser, not as a fast form of battleship. The work done on the ‘Londons’ had created new lightweight hull designs and the ‘E-class’ cruisers had shown that using highly forced destroyer-type machinery in a large ship was quite safe and practical.
In the New Year, the experimental destroyer Amazon ran trials with machinery using 300-psi superheated steam, showing that further improvements were possible.
Well that's foreshadowing if ever I heard it.
 
Good chapter, it shows that the RN doesn't have a crystal ball and will get everything right, Pegasus will make an excellent example of why mixing guns and large quantities of aviation fuel is a bad idea, she will either be rebuilt in the 30s or she will end up being a proto HMS Unicorn with the space for the turrets being used for repair shops. Hermes will spend its life working with the QE's and the Royals

We can probably be sure that one more 8" cruiser will be built using the turrets from Pegasus but that may be it for RN heavy cruisers as the costs of running a CA looks like it will equal the costs of a LBC. 13.5" guns will be plenty powerful enough to do almost everything they need to do.
 
So long as the RN never loses sight of what its Cruisers are for then they should be 'OK'

We like to think of them as Games Keepers - keeping the poachers away from the Merchant ships

However they should never ever forget they are and always will be 'Poacher come Game Keeper' and their main job at the out break of any major conflict would be to deny the other side access to international trade.

Secondly Britain needs powerful sleek looking cruisers - such as the counties - simply to show neutrals the flag, show a powerful presence so to speak.

No one else was running around with 13 heavy cruisers such as the counties in the early 30s conducting 'free political XP' generating port visits.
 
We can probably be sure that one more 8" cruiser will be built using the turrets from Pegasus but that may be it for RN heavy cruisers as the costs of running a CA looks like it will equal the costs of a LBC. 13.5" guns will be plenty powerful enough to do almost everything they need to do.
Meanwhile, it became ever clearer that the new, large cruisers would not be cheap to build or to operate. Admiral Jellicoe’s 1919 review of the Empire’s naval defence needs had concluded that the RN needed at least 70 cruisers. Some of these could be smaller or older types, and a few roles could probably be carried out by aircraft, but the thought of building and manning even 20 ships such as London or Pegasus had the Treasury in a lather, when each one cost about a third as much as a battleship to build, and half as much to run.
The big problem is a crew, a County had a complement of 700 against 1300 in a Nelson, add to that the higher operational tempo of cruisers they get expensive fast. I suspect a LBC will probably come in between the two i.e. 1000 crew and lower tempo than a cruiser but higher than a battleship. That means they will probably cost 3/4ths as much as a Nelwood to operate but will be considerably less capable. If the RN really wanted to prioritise "bang for buck" and getting the maximum amount of capability out of as little money as possible a 50,000 ton improved N3 becomes really attractive.
 
And? Cruisers only carried one floatplane usually. The function going further (I assume you mean ASW, etc) is merely logical advancement as weaponry makes it practical. There’s nothing quantum leap like in the advancement of shipborne aircraft, it’s all been steady and predictable as the technology advanced with time.

I don’t understand your assertion that not having the ability to deploy an aircraft is somehow an advantage. I can understand the facilities can be viewed as weight and space penalties, but a vessel with the ability to carry, launch and recover an aircraft is always better suited to scouting and trade protection than one without.
The rather minuscule risk provided by aircraft and their required stores aboard a warship are doubly or triply outweighed by the advantage of carrying your own spotting aircraft, especially in protected hangers.
I might be a bit behind but... spotter aircraft were used for spotting, search and rescue, ASW, recon, and transport. Some even acted as CAP.
A degree of familiarity with the crew of the ship they worked with was a good thing because of teamwork, so carrier based spotters are not the immediate solution they might seem.
You need to veiw the aircraft as a part of a weapons system Charles, it's no good spending the saved tonnage from taking out the aviation facilities on armour or guns when the cruiser fails in it's main role as it didn't find the enemy due to them not coming into visual range.

Generally speaking you mitigate the risk factors of aircraft stowage by draining the aircraft and fuel systems before action and/or launching the aircraft if you have time so risk is minimized.
Ok, maybe I overreacted with issue, and come terns with you, if say there's no major risk, there's none. But just to be clear, I was already convinced of the necessity to keep seaplane's facilities on cruisers, what was worrying me was an awkward number of them, but given that you said that just two in general were carried, I can let die the issue.
 
The big problem is a crew, a County had a complement of 700 against 1300 in a Nelson, add to that the higher operational tempo of cruisers they get expensive fast. I suspect a LBC will probably come in between the two i.e. 1000 crew and lower tempo than a cruiser but higher than a battleship. That means they will probably cost 3/4ths as much as a Nelwood to operate but will be considerably less capable. If the RN really wanted to prioritise "bang for buck" and getting the maximum amount of capability out of as little money as possible a 50,000 ton improved N3 becomes really attractive.
Your not just replacing counties though, your replacing the older 13.5" battleships so manning will stay constant but it will allow a greater number of new 6" cruisers for the same total numbers of crew.
 
Sorry, I have to ask:
Meanwhile, it became ever clearer that the new, large cruisers would not be cheap to build or to operate. Admiral Jellicoe’s 1919 review of the Empire’s naval defence needs had concluded that the RN needed at least 70 cruisers. Some of these could be smaller or older types, and a few roles could probably be carried out by aircraft, but the thought of building and manning even 20 ships such as London or Pegasus had the Treasury in a lather, when each one cost about a third as much as a battleship to build, and half as much to run.
Does anybody knows, finances apart, which reasons in OTL had the Treasury to cut down so much the defensive arm of the empire?, how they envisioned to protect the sea lanes if they didn't let space for sufficient margin of ships?, an curious now, how much it cost to build and run a County?

Ok, I have two ideas: either we burn the Treasury and get estimated three times figure of cruisers out for a battleship or we burn the Treasury and get the estimated two times figure of cruisers out for a battleship.

The burning of the Treasury is not negotiable.

In addition, the overall Treaty restriction of 350,000 tons meant that the RN could never build enough 10,000-ton ships
The same applies to the Americans?, at least in theory?

In the background, battleship development was proceeding slowly, and the ideas proposed for a 1924 ship centred around a companion for Rodney, to allow the formation of a 28-knot division of two ships with 16” guns. Designers had concluded that nine 16” guns could be provided on a ship that looked much like a shortened ‘D-33’ battlecruiser, although protection was little better than that of Rodney.
At first sight, this gives me the impression the RN has finally renounced to the speed ethos of Fisher, conforming with the 'slow' 28knt Rodney and planning a sister to match her...
That's a step, in which direction?, that remains to be seen, but I like it.

In the end, the 1924 Programme included an slightly improved ‘Nelson’, with a 2’ wide strake of 12” armour added below the belt, better splinter protection for the secondary turrets and hoists, and slightly improved machinery delivering an extra 1,000 horsepower. HMS Trafalgar was laid down in October 1924 and completed in August 1927.
Then I saw this. Even better.

What the Royal Navy wanted was a ship capable of crushing any Treaty Cruiser it encountered. However, to do that meant using valuable battleship tonnage, and so to justify itself, such a ship must also be capable of other duties, including engaging enemy capital ships, even if perhaps only in a peripheral role. That was almost exactly Admiral Fisher’s original description of a battlecruiser, but the idea would need to be updated in light of the experiences of war.
That maked me think of my 'big gun armored cruiser' concept that I talk on my 'essay', sufficiently smaller of running and avoiding the battle eagerness ( am looking at you Beatty) but sufficiently strong to smash treaty cruisers. In my mind, an equation of one of those and 2 light cruisers, a la Force F, would be superb.

But...
To catch enemy cruisers, the ship would have to achieve a speed of over 30 knots. An equivalent of the mighty Furious or Howe, the two largest warships in the fleet, was clearly impossible, however a faster Panther could comfortably be built within the 23,000-ton limit. However, with 13.5” guns and armour protection that was inadequate against much more than 12” fire, Panther would be no match for a modern 15” or 16” gun ship, and the Admiralty wasn’t interested in building new second-rate battlecruisers using precious capital ship tonnage.
The next class, the ‘Renowns’, were effective modern ships, but their true Standard Displacement was 33,000 tons after improvements to their armour and underwater protection. However, if redesigned from the keel-up with lightweight machinery and a new hull form, it seemed possible that a ship like Renown might just possibly be built for around 23,000 tons.

Through the winter of 1924/25, design teams produced numerous concepts. The most basic, ‘1924-A’ was a relatively well-balanced ship with eight 13.5” guns in four turrets, adequately armoured against its own guns at battle ranges of 15-25,000 yards.
The ‘1924-B’ series attempted to do the same with 15” guns, but before long, the design ran into problems. It seemed the constraints of the 23,000-ton limit would have to be stretched, and new thinking on armour and armament would be needed before a design could close. In desperation, the anti-aircraft battery was provided by making use of the Treaty exemption that up to 3,000 tons could be added to a ship ‘for the purpose of improving means of defence against air attack’.
Then this appear, and realized that the 'large cruiser' option could be better for a proud RN, but the 13,5 " seems just a bit overkill, just bit, I personally think that the 12" is enough and cost could be keep low by reusing the guns of old ships or the design of the gun. However, given those paragraphs, am still a little puzzle as to what ship the RN really want to achieve, and I fear that it could get it doesn't need.

By the end of 1924, they had gone back to first principles. Ships such as Howe were close to being ‘fast battleships’, but the battlecruiser had originally been created as a powerful form of cruiser, not as a fast form of battleship.
That's the whole issue, and if it comes just to finances obviously the cruiser wins. And this dilemma makes me think that in international circles as well as inside the RN opinions are changing towards seeing this scale of battlecruisers as actually fast battleships and the artificially created LBB as the true (Fisher envisioned) battlecruiser, or in his own words: 'as much by their cost as by their size, they are destined to replace the battleship'; and it doesn't seems unrealistic at present.
 
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Hermes was intended to operate with a fleet, was armed with six 6” guns and could carry up to 40 planes, using the machinery of a cancelled ‘D-class’ cruiser for a speed of 25 knots.
Somewhat larger than her OTL namesake. The 6" guns are unnecessary and the 25-knot speed will be a handicap, but she sounds like a useful platform for learning about air operations with the fleet. Is she flush-decked like Argus or is an island structure included from the start?

Incidentally, how are other navies doing in aircraft carrier development? OTL, the USN converted Langley in 1922 and the IJN finished Hosho the same year, so I'd expect them to have some similar vessels operational by 1924. The question then becomes what they do next, given that TTL no-one has the battlecruiser conversions to experiment with larger carriers.
Pegasus was an ‘aviation cruiser’, intended to address the problems seen in Cavendish. She was 702’ long and carried eight 8” guns in the same turrets as the ‘Londons’. A 380’ flight deck lay in between, with room for up to 26 aircraft below. There was 3” side protection over machinery and magazines, with a 1.5” lower deck. Money was saved by using part of the machinery of the scrapped HMS Courageous, and she achieved 29.9 knots at 19,210 tons when on trials in 1927.
Uggh. If the design is even marginally viable when commissioned (I pity the poor pilots trying to land on that deck in any sort of seaway, and it's not clear from the description where the bridge, masts, fire control etc all go) it's going to become very impractical very quickly once aircraft start to get bigger and heavier, landing speeds rise and catapult launches become standard. At best, she ends up as a proto-Tone carrying seaplanes for scouting; more likely she is eventually rebuilt with a flush deck or disarmed as an auxiliary. I foresee a future entry in the Big Book of Negative Examples.
Meanwhile, it became ever clearer that the new, large cruisers would not be cheap to build or to operate. Admiral Jellicoe’s 1919 review of the Empire’s naval defence needs had concluded that the RN needed at least 70 cruisers. Some of these could be smaller or older types, and a few roles could probably be carried out by aircraft, but the thought of building and manning even 20 ships such as London or Pegasus had the Treasury in a lather, when each one cost about a third as much as a battleship to build, and half as much to run.
If the Treasury (or the Admiralty) thinks that even a smallish CV with 20-30 aircraft costs as little to run as half a battleship, they are in for a rude surprise when the bills come in. Aircraft need expensive fuel and lots of maintenance and spares.
In recent years, several ‘Orion’ and ‘King George V’ class battleships had been operated with oil-firing and reduced crews, showing that capital ships could be operated relatively economically. Although these old ships were slow, they could bring a level of firepower to colonial stations that could never be answered by cruisers.
I'm surprised they spent money even minimally refitting the Orions. Do we have a list of which older ships are still operational and which ones were disposed of to free up Treaty tonnage space for Trafalgar?
 
I like Trafalgar and the two Fox class, the carriers aren't optimal but then again the RN doesn't really know what it wants out of the ships or what they can do beyond scouting. Hopefully the RN high-pressure system is more reliable than the German one of OTL (shudders). The Counties are better than OTL, but I hope the British decide to go for some improved Fox class with the Fishers as the ships they run screaming to when attacked by large raiders.
 
In the New Year, the experimental destroyer Amazon ran trials with machinery using 300-psi superheated steam, showing that further improvements were possible.
I don't know if you've come across it but here is an interesting piece on interwar RN engineering explaining why they didn't follow the USN in adopting high pressure/high temperature boilers. I also assume that this tl's Amazon is OTL's HMS Ambuscade, which was fitted with experimental high pressure machinery while her sister OTL HMS Amazon had conventional machinery, after completion in OTL the RN sent both on a world tour and decided that the increased reliability of the old machinery was more important and thus the next generation of RN destroyers used lower psi systems.
 
Pegasus was an ‘aviation cruiser’, intended to address the problems seen in Cavendish. She was 702’ long and carried eight 8” guns in the same turrets as the ‘Londons’. A 380’ flight deck lay in between, with room for up to 26 aircraft below. There was 3” side protection over machinery and magazines, with a 1.5” lower deck. Money was saved by using part of the machinery of the scrapped HMS Courageous, and she achieved 29.9 knots at 19,210 tons when on trials in 1927.
Well it's fast and has a good hull so once it's been rebuilt it might be a good carrier and will teach the RN some important lessons. As built she's....... a learning experience.
Uggh. If the design is even marginally viable when commissioned (I pity the poor pilots trying to land on that deck in any sort of seaway, and it's not clear from the description where the bridge, masts, fire control etc all go) it's going to become very impractical very quickly once aircraft start to get bigger and heavier, landing speeds rise and catapult launches become standard. At best, she ends up as a proto-Tone carrying seaplanes for scouting; more likely she is eventually rebuilt with a flush deck or disarmed as an auxiliary. I foresee a future entry in the Big Book of Negative Examples.
The question I have about Pegasus is what is it for? If it is just an Tone that carrier that carries 8-10 scout/fighter aircraft I could see it being useful, but it can't do much more. As a fleet carrier, it is crippled by the lack of hangar space. The bigger question is why isn't the flight deck bigger? The ship is 702 feet long, but the flight deck is a little over half that. Why not at least extend the flight deck over the forward or aft turrets sort of like the OTL Kaga? It would be easier over the after turrets to avoid too little bow free board, but it would increase flight deck length by about 40%, providing a much more useful deck.
 
I wouldn’t say any of those were condemned purely due to their aviation facilities. They all took damage that would be considered severe without the aircraft related fires and explosions. None of them would have avoided their fates if they weren’t carrying aircraft.
True. I was just listing incidents off the top of my head. You are right that when something goes wrong everything else tends to too.

Sorry, I have to ask:


Does anybody knows, finances apart, which reasons in OTL had the Treasury to cut down so much the defensive arm of the empire?, how they envisioned to protect the sea lanes if they didn't let space for sufficient margin of ships?, an curious now, how much it cost to build and run a County?
2.1 million to build. Let's say an average of 100k a year to maintain. More in refit years less on average but 5% a year is a good rule in general in this era.

Finance is enough of a reason in the treasury's mind. Also the Treasury would generally not support the idea that the Royal Navy should be protecting the sea lanes in general. They would instead reluctantly accept that the Royal Navy should be able to beat any one opponent with a reasonable margin for error. If you had to plan about facing two or three major opponents (as historical) the royal navy can face one and allies can face the others.

The more patriotic Treasury types would claim that a healthy Treasury is necessary for future defense and that by cutting spending they are keeping the Treasury healthy.

Anything can happen if you make it so the Treasury isnt a break on spending or get alternate source of funds. An economic boom through the 20s and 30s or an Indian princely state prince gets a fascination with naval shIps and buys the Royal Navy a couple of cruiser squadrons for the far east changes the maths completely.
 

Stenz

Monthly Donor
If the full extent of
Unfortunately for all of them, the British would then choose to show that they were no strangers to bending the rules.
Merely stretches to
It seemed the constraints of the 23,000-ton limit would have to be stretched, and new thinking on armour and armament would be needed before a design could close. In desperation, the anti-aircraft battery was provided by making use of the Treaty exemption that up to 3,000 tons could be added to a ship ‘for the purpose of improving means of defence against air attack’.
I’m going to be slightly disappointed, I’m not going to lie...
 
The question I have about Pegasus is what is it for? If it is just an Tone that carrier that carries 8-10 scout/fighter aircraft I could see it being useful, but it can't do much more. As a fleet carrier, it is crippled by the lack of hangar space. The bigger question is why isn't the flight deck bigger? The ship is 702 feet long, but the flight deck is a little over half that. Why not at least extend the flight deck over the forward or aft turrets sort of like the OTL Kaga? It would be easier over the after turrets to avoid too little bow free board, but it would increase flight deck length by about 40%, providing a much more useful deck.
Pegasus was an ‘aviation cruiser’
I'm not @sts-200 but my assumption is the RN see her as a cruiser with enhanced aviation facilities, i.e. "aviation cruiser".

Remember at this point carrier launched aircraft aren't a major threat, they can't carry a meaningful bomb load or a torpedo large enough to do real damage but their ability to scout and direct forces has been demonstrated during the war so the scouting role is mental framework people are applying to carriers at this point. In a way Pegasus is the ultimate sea plane equipped scouting cruiser, they've taken the armament and armour of a London class cruiser and added a hanger and flight deck so she can handle conventional aircraft, which are superior to seaplanes in every way and she's got 26 of them! She's going to be amazing. Not only will she be able to do all the normal cruiser roles but she can throw out a air screen ahead of the fleet to a.) locate the enemy force and b.) eliminate their scout planes, what's not to love.

Of course after a few years of operations will learn that a.) her layout makes her a bad carrier and b.) ships filled with bombs and avgas can never be safely sent into gun range of any foe.
 

Stenz

Monthly Donor
Of course after a few years of operations will learn that a.) her layout makes her a bad carrier and b.) ships filled with bombs and avgas can never be safely sent into gun range of any foe.
It’s a doctrinal thing again. As long as she only goes up against 6” cruisers or destroyers (or merchant raiders) her 8” will allow her to set the range of the engagement. The squadrons embarked will allow her to dominate the South China Sea, say, outside of a War against a hostile Pacific Great Power.

She’d have been incredibly useful at the Falklands or Coronel, for example. Transported to WWII she’d have been excellent as a raider hunter in the Indian Ocean.

As long as she stays away from anything carrying more than 8” guns, that is.
 
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