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Warships That Just Never Worked As Anticipated


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#21 DB

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 0642 AM

Anything involving spar torpedoes.

All ultra-low freeboard battleships.

Polyphemus.

Nearly all combined steam and sail warships from the middle to late 1800s.
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#22 Ken Estes

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 1452 PM

In both cases, it seems they worked exactly as they were meant to. The CVLs in particular were meant as wartime expedients. The Clevelands seem no worse than any of the 10K ton cruisers.

 

I think the very concept of  CVL defied reason. Carrier warfare in WWII was for the big boys, which had the flight decks and stowage to launch scouts and CAP, big raids and sorties, and in the defense put up bigger CAPs robust AAA and absorbed damage [armor and redundant systems]. CVLs could do none of these very well and so rank as better than nothing. The sole reason for their construction was an amateur navalists' decree [FDR].

 

I think the Clevelands had  less use postwar than any other class, except the CVLs.


Edited by Ken Estes, 25 January 2020 - 0545 AM.

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#23 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 1656 PM

oh boy

I won't be surprised if King shows back up here for that post!

 

those were the days...

 

just to clarify I'm of the opinion that the fleet carriers were a better investment than the CVL's too but KS made me work for it.


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#24 Inhapi

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 1706 PM

Flatiron gunboats, yes they were small, but there were a lot of these all around the world.


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#25 Adam_S

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 1824 PM

 

In both cases, it seems they worked exactly as they were meant to. The CVLs in particular were meant as wartime expedients. The Clevelands seem no worse than any of the 10K ton cruisers.

 

I think the very concept of  CVL defied reason. Carrier warfare in WWII was for the big boys, which had the flight decks and stowage to launch scouts and CAP, big raids and sorties, and in the defense put up bigger CAPs rebust AAA and absorbed damage [armor and redundant systems]. CVLs could do none of these very well and so rank as better than nothing. The sole reason for their construction was an an amateur navalists' decree [FDR].

 

I think the Clevelands had  less use postwar than any other class, except the CVLs.

 

The CVLs weren't meant to be able to do everything that the fleet carriers could do though and they certainly weren't meant to operate without other carriers around. Used in the sort of carrier battles being fought in 1942 they would have been death traps but as a part of a massive fleet with radar directed CAP, AA support and bigger carriers around to help mask their deficiencies, I'd argue they provided a useful addition to the available air power for the fleet. Take away the CVLs at the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot, for example, and the Japanese have rough parity in aircraft numbers.


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#26 DougRichards

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Posted 24 January 2020 - 1904 PM

 

In both cases, it seems they worked exactly as they were meant to. The CVLs in particular were meant as wartime expedients. The Clevelands seem no worse than any of the 10K ton cruisers.

 

I think the very concept of  CVL defied reason. Carrier warfare in WWII was for the big boys, which had the flight decks and stowage to launch scouts and CAP, big raids and sorties, and in the defense put up bigger CAPs rebust AAA and absorbed damage [armor and redundant systems]. CVLs could do none of these very well and so rank as better than nothing. The sole reason for their construction was an an amateur navalists' decree [FDR].

 

I think the Clevelands had  less use postwar than any other class, except the CVLs.

 

How do the 'escort carriers' fit in with that idea?  Sure they were never meant for fleet action, but did 'quite well' at Samar. 


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#27 RETAC21

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 0321 AM

oh boy

I won't be surprised if King shows back up here for that post!

 

those were the days...

 

just to clarify I'm of the opinion that the fleet carriers were a better investment than the CVL's too but KS made me work for it.

 

It's not just CVL, downscaling in warships in general gives you a less useful ship as the compromises will generate negative sinergies. There was an article on this on Warship some years ago. For example, when Zumwalt was proposing the Sea Control Ship as an alternative to the full size carrier on the idea it would be cheaper to procure and operate - well, yes, but the capability would 10% of an actual carrier and their loss would be as damaging. Same with small battleships - see the "España" class, which, in terms of firepower would be equivalent to Dreadnought, but turned out to be slower and worse protected, to the point that a single mine sent one to the bottom.


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#28 Inhapi

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 0417 AM

 

oh boy

I won't be surprised if King shows back up here for that post!

 

those were the days...

 

just to clarify I'm of the opinion that the fleet carriers were a better investment than the CVL's too but KS made me work for it.

 

It's not just CVL, downscaling in warships in general gives you a less useful ship as the compromises will generate negative sinergies. There was an article on this on Warship some years ago. For example, when Zumwalt was proposing the Sea Control Ship as an alternative to the full size carrier on the idea it would be cheaper to procure and operate - well, yes, but the capability would 10% of an actual carrier and their loss would be as damaging. Same with small battleships - see the "España" class, which, in terms of firepower would be equivalent to Dreadnought, but turned out to be slower and worse protected, to the point that a single mine sent one to the bottom.

 

 

Not saying that the España class was a great design, but HMS Audacious also sank from a single mine.....


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#29 Ken Estes

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 0440 AM

CVLs picked up the table scraps in Task Force 38/58. They were not capable of carrier warfare without the CV force. The loss of USS Princeton proved their vulnerability. For instance the first USN night fighter deployment on shipboard:

 

" In August 1944, Night Air Group 41 (NAG-41), made up of specially-trained night fighter and torpedo units, went aboard [sic] the carrier Independence (CVL-22)."

 

https://www.usni.org...rs-world-war-ii

 

No CVLs were laid down postwar, although many were picked up for use by allied navies. One does not count helicopter carriers as CVLs. France used one US type while awaiting the completion of Foche and Clemenceau their first built-for CVs.

 

USN CVLs operated in the Korean and Vietnam Wars as aircraft ferries, while CVEs of the Commencement class operated USMC F4Us in combat operations off Korea.

 

Yes, they were better than nothing....but they found no favor in the USN.

 

Clevelands were built because the USN was still dissatisfied with the rates of fire in the 8-inch CAs. Their use was curtailed after 1945 and the CAs remained in favor after all.


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#30 Ken Estes

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 0458 AM

 

 

In both cases, it seems they worked exactly as they were meant to. The CVLs in particular were meant as wartime expedients. The Clevelands seem no worse than any of the 10K ton cruisers.

 

I think the very concept of  CVL defied reason. Carrier warfare in WWII was for the big boys, which had the flight decks and stowage to launch scouts and CAP, big raids and sorties, and in the defense put up bigger CAPs rebust AAA and absorbed damage [armor and redundant systems]. CVLs could do none of these very well and so rank as better than nothing. The sole reason for their construction was an an amateur navalists' decree [FDR].

 

I think the Clevelands had  less use postwar than any other class, except the CVLs.

 

The CVLs weren't meant to be able to do everything that the fleet carriers could do though and they certainly weren't meant to operate without other carriers around. Used in the sort of carrier battles being fought in 1942 they would have been death traps but as a part of a massive fleet with radar directed CAP, AA support and bigger carriers around to help mask their deficiencies, I'd argue they provided a useful addition to the available air power for the fleet. Take away the CVLs at the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot, for example, and the Japanese have rough parity in aircraft numbers.

 

You aren't serious, are you? The IJN CVs and CVLs never equaled the USN in aircraft and Ozawa lost his two best CVs to submarines, leaving only Zuikaku, before any air battles took place.

 

I also don't recall any CVLs carrying dive bombers.


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#31 lastdingo

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 0615 AM

Even the Independence class CVLs while far from ideal did provide enough flight decks until enough Essex class CVs were ready.

A quick look reveals that Independence CVLs were commissioned in 1943 (USS Essex was commissioned in 1942), while the Essex class was commissioned in 1942-1946. They were rather contemporaries, and the USN never thought it had enough flight decks since 1942.


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#32 Adam_S

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 0640 AM



 



 



 



In both cases, it seems they worked exactly as they were meant to. The CVLs in particular were meant as wartime expedients. The Clevelands seem no worse than any of the 10K ton cruisers.

 

I think the very concept of  CVL defied reason. Carrier warfare in WWII was for the big boys, which had the flight decks and stowage to launch scouts and CAP, big raids and sorties, and in the defense put up bigger CAPs rebust AAA and absorbed damage [armor and redundant systems]. CVLs could do none of these very well and so rank as better than nothing. The sole reason for their construction was an an amateur navalists' decree [FDR].

 

I think the Clevelands had  less use postwar than any other class, except the CVLs.

 

The CVLs weren't meant to be able to do everything that the fleet carriers could do though and they certainly weren't meant to operate without other carriers around. Used in the sort of carrier battles being fought in 1942 they would have been death traps but as a part of a massive fleet with radar directed CAP, AA support and bigger carriers around to help mask their deficiencies, I'd argue they provided a useful addition to the available air power for the fleet. Take away the CVLs at the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot, for example, and the Japanese have rough parity in aircraft numbers.

 

You aren't serious, are you? The IJN CVs and CVLs never equaled the USN in aircraft and Ozawa lost his two best CVs to submarines, leaving only Zuikaku, before any air battles took place.

 

I also don't recall any CVLs carrying dive bombers.

 


Well that's including land based air too, but yes, as it happens. OK, it's only Wikipedia, but...

https://en.wikipedia..._Philippine_Sea

 

450 carrier based aircraft plus 300 land based = 750 aircraft

 

900 carrier planes for the USN from 7 fleet carriers and 8 light carriers. Each CVL has an airgroup of about 25, so 25x8 = 200 planes. 900-200 = 700, so roughly equal.


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#33 Markus Becker

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 0652 AM

Correct if I'm wrong but CVL construction didn't come at the expense of CV production. In that case the USN got an additional nine small carriers at the cost of nine CL. Sounds like a good trade. 

 

 

 

They were not capable of carrier warfare without the CV force. ... I also don't recall any CVLs carrying dive bombers.

 

 

It seems they were not intended for either. They did the CAP and maybe IAP too, so the large carriers could concentrate on strikes. 


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#34 RETAC21

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 1137 AM

 

 

oh boy

I won't be surprised if King shows back up here for that post!

 

those were the days...

 

just to clarify I'm of the opinion that the fleet carriers were a better investment than the CVL's too but KS made me work for it.

 

It's not just CVL, downscaling in warships in general gives you a less useful ship as the compromises will generate negative sinergies. There was an article on this on Warship some years ago. For example, when Zumwalt was proposing the Sea Control Ship as an alternative to the full size carrier on the idea it would be cheaper to procure and operate - well, yes, but the capability would 10% of an actual carrier and their loss would be as damaging. Same with small battleships - see the "España" class, which, in terms of firepower would be equivalent to Dreadnought, but turned out to be slower and worse protected, to the point that a single mine sent one to the bottom.

 

 

Not saying that the España class was a great design, but HMS Audacious also sank from a single mine.....

 

 

Indeed, but that loss stemmed from a design flaw - progressive flooding through sanitary ducting, rather than a general weakness of the design.


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#35 MiloMorai

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 1142 AM

Correct if I'm wrong but CVL construction didn't come at the expense of CV production. In that case the USN got an additional nine small carriers at the cost of nine CL. Sounds like a good trade. 

 

 

 

They were not capable of carrier warfare without the CV force. ... I also don't recall any CVLs carrying dive bombers.

 

 

It seems they were not intended for either. They did the CAP and maybe IAP too, so the large carriers could concentrate on strikes. 

Quoting from Wiki, Eight of these carriers participated in the Battle of the Philippine Sea in June 1944, which effectively ended Japan's carrier air power. The light carriers provided 40 percent of the Fast Carrier Task Force's fighters and 36 percent of the torpedo bombers.


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#36 Ken Estes

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 1525 PM

U.S.S. PRINCETON (CVL23)

LOSS IN ACTION

BATTLE FOR LEYTE GULF

24 OCTOBER 1944

Preliminary Design Section
Bureau of Ships
Navy Department
30 OCTOBER, 1947

WAR DAMAGE REPORT No. 62

 

79. Vital factors in PRINCETON's loss were the presence of the torpedoes and large quantities of gasoline in the planes spotted in the hangar and the stowage of the large number of bombs in the torpedo stowage C-101B. The gasoline ignited immediately so that a tremendous fire was raging in a few minutes. This conflagration initiated a series of major explosions in the hangar which forced the evacuation of theengineering spaces and destroyed PRINCETON'S ability to fight the conflagration. The stowage of ammunition adjacent to the hangar, where major fires occurred so frequently during the war, was extremely dangerous. The fire probably would have been extinguished, even without sprinkling, had it not been for the mass detonation due to roasting of the bombs stowed in the torpedo stowage on the main deck. The detonation of these bombs was the immediate cause for abandonment of PRINCETON and subsequent sinking by U.S. forces.

80. The purpose of War Damage Reports is to analyze performance of material and its utilization with a view to improving the design and operation of ships and their equipment. It was with this object in mind that the case of PRINCETON was selected as the subject of a War Damage Report

 

 

 

http://ibiblio.org/h...eportCVL23.html


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#37 Redbeard

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 1619 PM

The Kaiser's Navy

 

Intended to give Germany "a place in the sun" (a colonial Empire).

 

It didn't, but it had Britain knock on Hell's door (France) and propose an alliance and it sucked out a very big part of Germany's defence expenditure from late 19th century until 1914. 


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#38 Markus Becker

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 1727 PM

High Seas Fleet: You are mixing things up, the ships worked, the naval strategy was deeply flawed.

CVL: Did anyone at the time actually expect them to be for example well protected? They did know the compromises they had to make with USS Wasp and she was both much larger and build as a carrier from the start.
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#39 Nobu

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 1934 PM

The CVLs also acted to soak up Japanese spotting and strike attention that would have otherwise been concentrated on the USN's heavy carriers. 


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#40 17thfabn

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 2126 PM

CV

 

Clevelands were built because the USN was still dissatisfied with the rates of fire in the 8-inch CAs. Their use was curtailed after 1945 and the CAs remained in favor after all.

 

I was under the impression that the USN and other navies built 6" cruisers because the London and Washington treaties because there were limits on the number of 8" armed cruisers.  Also there were limits on the number of 6" armed cruisers.

 

I've seen many authors list the Cleveland class cruisers as among the best light (6" armed) cruisers of

World War II.  

 

The Cleveland class was a lucky class. All of the Cleveland class survived World War II.


Edited by 17thfabn, 25 January 2020 - 2133 PM.

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