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Warships That Just Never Worked As Anticipated


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#41 GregShaw

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 2221 PM

There were a number of reasons for going to 6 inch cruisers, every nation had different ones. The RN needed lots more cruisers for trade protection so didn't want to make 10 kton 8 in cruisers. As Ken already mentioned the USN was never satisfied with 8 in cruisers, and felt a better balanced 6 in cruiser could be be built that could defeat most 8 in cruisers. After those two agreed to a 6 in limit everyone else had to follow along.


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#42 Ken Estes

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 0855 AM

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.

Your mention of Wasp reminds me of USS Ranger (CV-4), that was considered unfit for service in the Pacific, and relegated to secondary missions in the Atlantic Theater. Of course, as the first US built-for CV there was considerable room for errors in design and concept. She finished the war as a training carrier, January 1944-September 1945. That's a match for the OP.


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#43 Justin

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 0926 AM

Yes it would be nice to have a CV all the time but I can see the utility of the CVL.  It was much less resource/cost and you probably couldn't build a CV in the same dock space as a CVL so even if you could afford the CV in place of the CVL you couldn't build it anyways.  Also you could task the CVL with things like  ground attack/Close air support and Anti-submarine patrols while the CV took on the big boy job of Fleet Carrier Actions.  I think what you need to look at is the name of this thread "warships that  never worked as intended".  If they were intended to be used like a fleet carrier and excel in those actions then I think they were probably a failure based on that criteria alone.  If they were not intended to fill the same role as a CV but the use mentioned above was the intention then I think they fit their role well(Feels more like a CVE Role but at least they were fast).  I honestly don't know what the original intention of them was but since most of them were conversions during wartime it stands to reason the sole intention was just to get more hulls into service as quickly as possible so I guess that worked as intended.  I think most navies wartime conversions didn't go well, see Ise or even Shinano.  Japanese CVLs also did not seem to fair well in fleet actions.


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#44 Ken Estes

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 0927 AM

The IJN made use of ship conversions, often made part of the original design, to increase fleet strength and escape treaty limits. The Mogami and Tone class CAs were built as 6-inch designs but swapped turrets to become instant CAs in WWII [the two Tones never carried 6-in and completed as CAs]. There were some stability problems with the first ships, but they served well because their designed displacement exceeded the 10,000 ton limits of the treaties.

 

Several merchant ships and liners were designed for conversions, the most notable being CVLs Junyo and Hiyo, which partly filled the gaps in IJN fleet carrier ranks after Midway, but could not turn the outcome of any battles. The same was true for other CVLs converted from naval depot ships such as Zuiho and Shoho, but they seldom carried their capacity in aircraft due to shortages. 

Emergency conversions to carriers after Midway fared no better. Seaplane carriers Chitose & Chiyoda at least had top speeds suitable for IJN main force ops, but two battleship conversions Ise & Hyuga remained futile with poor speed and aircraft capacity. The conversion of BB Shinano to a CV was mentioned earlier, a grave waste of materiel and manpower.


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#45 Ken Estes

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 0942 AM

Yes it would be nice to have a CV all the time but I can see the utility of the CVL.  It was much less resource/cost and you probably couldn't build a CV in the same dock space as a CVL so even if you could afford the CV in place of the CVL you couldn't build it anyways.  Also you could task the CVL with things like  ground attack/Close air support and Anti-submarine patrols while the CV took on the big boy job of Fleet Carrier Actions.  I think what you need to look at is the name of this thread "warships that  never worked as intended".  If they were intended to be used like a fleet carrier and excel in those actions then I think they were probably a failure based on that criteria alone.  If they were not intended to fill the same role as a CV but the use mentioned above was the intention then I think they fit their role well(Feels more like a CVE Role but at least they were fast).  I honestly don't know what the original intention of them was but since most of them were conversions during wartime it stands to reason the sole intention was just to get more hulls into service as quickly as possible so I guess that worked as intended.  I think most navies wartime conversions didn't go well, see Ise or even Shinano.  Japanese CVLs also did not seem to fair well in fleet actions.

 

That part is true, that CVEs were intended to support but not substitute for fleet carriers in operations. CVLs were caught between both categories and generally did not substitute well. As RETAC21 put it earlier, building a lesser-than ship may place the entire force at risk for no gain. There must be a reason why nobody built CVLs again. Maybe this: These days, CVs are readily critiqued as too big, eggs in one basket, and so forth. Fact is, sea control, phib ops and strike ops remain essential in naval strategy and only navies with fleet carriers can contemplate handling such tasks.


Edited by Ken Estes, 27 January 2020 - 0329 AM.

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#46 Markus Becker

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 1126 AM

 

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.

Your mention of Wasp reminds me of USS Ranger (CV-4), that was considered unfit for service in the Pacific, and relegated to secondary missions in the Atlantic Theater. Of course, as the first US built-for CV there was considerable room for errors in design and concept. She finished the war as a training carrier, January 1944-September 1945. That's a match for the OP.

 

 

 

The design of Ranger was completed before Lex and Sara joined the fleet and demonstrated that carriers were more robust than previously assumed. And that assumption was what lead to an essentially unarmoured carrier. 


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#47 Ken Estes

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 1531 PM

I do not understand.


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#48 Markus Becker

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 1609 PM

Just a bit of information put out there about why Ranger was so unprotected unlike proceeding and succeeding carriers.
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#49 Nobu

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 1626 PM

Hiyo and Junyo soaking up a main strike aimed at the IJN's larger carriers would have been a much more fitting end than the one they eventually met. 

 

CVLs may not have had the potential to be decisive, but they certainly had their uses.


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#50 Brian Kennedy

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 1915 PM

As far as design flaws leading to massive death toll, it would have to be Shinano (although its captain making bad decisions didnt help).

As far as design flaws leading to massive loss of money, I guess a tie between LCS and Zumwalt?
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#51 Murph

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 2001 PM

CVL were best as ASW assets


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#52 R011

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 2213 PM

CVL were best as ASW assets


They weren't used that way during the war, though. They were used as fleet carriers along with the full sized ones in carrier task forces.

The CVE were often used as dedicated ASW assets, especially in the Atlantic.
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#53 DougRichards

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 2250 PM

Hiyo and Junyo soaking up a main strike aimed at the IJN's larger carriers would have been a much more fitting end than the one they eventually met. 

 

CVLs may not have had the potential to be decisive, but they certainly had their uses.

Well the USS Robin was more or less used as a CVL.


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#54 RETAC21

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 0241 AM

CVL were best as ASW assets

 

No, that would be a waste. Their air groups were comparable to CVEs (24 fro Bogue, 33 for Independence), their advantage was speed, which allowed them to keep up with the fleet carriers, and of course, launch when there was a lack of wind.


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#55 Ken Estes

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 0326 AM

Hiyo and Junyo soaking up a main strike aimed at the IJN's larger carriers would have been a much more fitting end than the one they eventually met. 

 

CVLs may not have had the potential to be decisive, but they certainly had their uses.

That was actually Ozawa's deployment at the Battle of the Philippine Sea, as he held back his three CVs and two advanced task forces would take the brunt of the USN strikes: the two Junyo's + older Ryujo intermediate and the two converted Chitose's + Zuiho with battleships and cruisers as advanced guard. Unfortunately for him, two US submarines took out 2/3 of the CVs and in any event USN AAW technology and superior aircrew training made for a slaughter, except for the results of Spruance's counterstrike.

 

Japan's carefully rebuilt carrier arm was ruined there for the rest of the war and no decisive battle could be fought on their terms.

 

 

At this battle, the typical USN CVL air group consisted of a Hellcat fighter squadron (24) and a reduced torpedo bomber squadron of nine TBF/TBM. The fleet carriers typically carried up to 40 fighters, 44 dive bombers and 20 torpedo bombers,each.

 

 

Interesting is the fate of the IJN sub force at this battle,once again showing their weaknesses:

 

 

Vice Admiral Takeo Takagi at Saipan

  • 1st class submarines
    • I-5 (sunk 19 July by depth charges), I-10 (sunk 4 July by depth charges), I-38I-41I-53I-184 (sunk 19 June by aircraft), I-185 (sunk 22 June by depth charges)
  • 17 2nd class submarines
    • RO-36 (sunk 13 June by depth charges), RO-41RO-42 (sunk 10 June by depth charges), RO-43RO-44 (sunk 16 June by depth charges), RO-47RO-68RO-104 (sunk 23 May by depth charges), RO-105 (sunk 31 May by depth charges), RO-106 (sunk 22 May by depth charges), RO-108 (sunk 26 May by depth charges), RO-112RO-113RO-114 (sunk 17 June by depth charges), RO-115RO-116 (sunk 23 May by depth charges), RO-117 (sunk 17 June by depth charges)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cf. https://en.wikipedia...attle#Van_Force


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#56 Nobu

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 2027 PM

The Navy knew the war was over at that point, if not before. The only question was how much longer it would take.


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#57 Rick

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 0512 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 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.

 

Somewhat more complimentary view on the Independence class. I believe events proved FDR was correct on the priority of CVL over CL as 30 airplanes are more effective -- in daytime -- than one CL. There were no U.S. CV's commissioned between Hornet on October, 1941 and Essex on the last day of 1942. 4 Essex class were commissioned in 1943 while all 9 Independence classes were. During 1943 (autumn onwards), as far as I know, only two Essex class were able to partake in offensive actions while five of the Independence class could. Even in 1944-45, the Independence class made up about a 1/3 of USN carrier aircraft in the USN carrier fast task forces. It appears the CVL's were not what the Navy wanted, but they were what the Navy needed. 


Edited by Rick, 28 January 2020 - 0513 AM.

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#58 lastdingo

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 0518 AM

Cruisers weren't even limited in number by treaty, only in maximum calibre and maximum displacement.

The division between 6" and 8" was because 6" was the biggest higher ate of fire calibre. You needed machinery for loading heavier shells, and rate of fire dropped almost to battleship level above 6".

 

I actually wrote a bit about that topic years ago:

https://defense-and-...pment-1918.html


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#59 Markus Becker

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 1340 PM

The WNT did not limit the overall tonnage of cruiser forces but the later LNT* did.

*F...you autocorrect!

Edited by Markus Becker, 28 January 2020 - 1658 PM.

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#60 Ken Estes

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 0619 AM

....Even in 1944-45, the Independence class made up about a 1/3 of USN carrier aircraft in the USN carrier fast task forces. It appears the CVL's were not what the Navy wanted, but they were what the Navy needed. 

 

 

 https://en.wikipedia...attle#Van_Force

 

I don't think the numbers are there for you, Rick


Edited by Ken Estes, 29 January 2020 - 1155 AM.

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