Saturday, 14 January 2012

What if ... ?

The recent arrival of the books about the French inter-war and the Italian Littorio class battleships started me thinking. What if the British and Americans had seen what battleship designs possible rival navies were producing ... and decided to follow suit? The results are (mildly) interesting.

First, the British ...

I took HMS Nelson as the basis of my 'What if?' and first of all decided to see what she might have looked like if she had be built with her turrets in the same layout as was used on the following King George V class battleships. I then produced a smaller, two-turret version of her design.


Then the United States ...

I used USS South Dakota as the basis of my American 'What if?'. First I 'Nelsonized' her (i.e. placed all three of her 16-inch gun turrets forward of her superstructure), and then I produced a reduced, two-turrets forward version of her design.


Aesthetically the two British 'What ifs?' seem to be better looking ships, and I could actually imaging the version with the King George V class layout being built. The American ships look unbalanced, and the 'Nelsonized' version of the USS South Dakota looks positively odd. Perhaps I chose the wrong ship as the basis of my design, but when I changed the layout to a one-turret fore-and-aft layout, it looked fine to me.


This was an interesting little exercise that kept me amused for an hour or so ... and gave me some ideas for ships designs for a possible 'Imagi-world of 1931' campaign at some time in the future.

8 comments:

  1. Hi Bob,

    I had similar thoughts for the two Rusland battleships currently awaiting the paintbrush. There is a dash of Nelson, KGV and the French ships in them.

    Interested about the quad turret fore and aft - in fact the two models mentioned above were originally going to be configured in that fashion but I preferred the all guns forward option.

    I will be interested to see how you translate the designs into models.

    All the best,

    DC

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  2. David Crook,

    I had a feeling that your design for the Rusland battleships was heavily influenced by Anglo-French inter-war ship design.

    I am not sure if I will build models of my designs ... but it is certainly something that I am thinking about.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  3. Very enjoyable and interesting 'What if?'.

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  4. You should build them Bob, if only for the pleasure of seeing the puzzled expressions of Naval Anoraks wondering which obscure ship they hadn't spotted.

    As to beauty .... "" Yo so ugly Yo Mamma fed you wid a catapult ... it is clearly in the eye of the beholder :-)

    For wargaming, I'm sure your 1980s design for 'Chibi' aircraft carriers is the way forward.

    Kind regards, Chris

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  5. Abdul666,

    I am glad that you enjoyed my ideas. I like doing this sort of design exercise every so often ... and I will share any future designs with regular blog readers.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  6. Chris Kemp,

    I am very tempted to build them ... and then turn up with them at a Flether Pratt Naval War Game to see how well they work!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. Bob,
    The spacing of the turrets on the Nelsonized S. Dakota is much more exaggerated than that on the Nelson. Maybe if you closed them up to the same degree and moved them forward, then moved the superstructure forward, it wouldn't look so odd.
    Just a thought.
    An interesting exercise.
    Regards,
    John

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  8. The Ferryman,

    I left bigger gaps between the turrets on the 'Nelsonized' South Dakota in order to avoid the dispersion problems that having gun turrets too close together can sometimes cause. Nelson and Rodney rarely fired full nine barrel salvoes; they fired four (xIx, IxI, xIx) and five (IxI, xIx, IxI) barrel salvoes. This was done so that the pressure of gases escaping from the guns as they were fired interfered somewhat less with the flight of shells fired by nearby gun barrels than if all three barrels from a turret were fired together.

    I hope that this made sense!

    All the best,

    Bob

    PS. You are right; the ship would look much better if the turrets were closer together!

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