Special Project Ships
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I have always liked the idea of fast battleships and battlecruisers as the top predators of the worlds oceans. The British Queen Elizabeth class showed the way of the fast battleship, while the German Derfflinger and Mackensen Classes of battlecruiser had a better balance of speed, armour and gunpower than the rest. The Washington Treaty split the divide between battleship and cruisers even further. The three battleship types completed 1918-27 were the American Colorado class, with good armour and armament but low speed. The Japanese Nagato class had reasonable armour, good armament and reasonable speed. The final British Nelson class were a hybrid of the designs for the 16" and 18" capital ships of 48,000 tons. The Nelson class looked formidable on paper compared to the other two classes but were not really liked in service. It was a pity the Italians did not complete any of the Caraciolo class ships as they were to be improved Queen Elizabeth, fast battleships. From all the designs that can be seen for them, the Caraciolo's would have been a good investment.
In real life the designs followed one another as 'rights of reply' during the 1930's as the German Navy produced the Deutschland type armoured ships, which brought on the French Dunkerque class, which the Germans then produced the Scharnhorst class in reply. It was at this stage that the Japanese failure to sign the second London Naval Treaty set the last battleship race into production. The limits for the first designs were still limited to the 35,000 ton and 16" gun designs to which only the British paid more than lip service to. The other major powers were 3,000 to 7,000 tons overweight from the start while if all these countries knew by just how much the Japanese giants were circumventing the limits by, those ships designs would have been even bigger. The escalation clause came into force during the late 1930's where the displacement figure increased to 45,000 tons. Only the US and UK built the Iowa class and Vanguard to this limit.
But that was real life. In my Alternate Universe world I have explored what the United States might have done with a battlecruiser prior to the real Lexington class, what the British might have done with following the fast battleship line rather than further battlecruisers in the Fisherless RN. I had a look at the German processes with the Superimposed High Seas Fleet. I have had a lot of fun with these and the made up countries and fleets. I do have other series in mind, French ships with triple turrets rather than quads. Italian ships with either speed or gunpower, even a try at both. I still have to do more with the Japanese fleet.
(The drawing links will be on this page)
First in this series is my take on the Francesco Caraciolo Class ships.
|Country||Class Name||Ship Type||Link|
|Germany||KM Admiral von Roon||BC|
|Russia||SNS Rurik III||BB|
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