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Earl_of_Arland

Earl's Inquiry - British Supercruiser Proposal

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Earl is now back with another¬†ShipūüĎŹProposalūüĎŹ, and i'll promise it makes more sense compared to last time.

sigh

As you might know, there's no special supercruiser like Alaska or Azuma for the British line. Thankfully, there's many design that actually exist and enough information to be made into a sensible proposal. Here's my attempt on one.


Earl's Inquiry: British Supercruiser Proposal

Modified 1930 Lillicrap Battlecruiser Design


993604664_SuperCruiserC.thumb.png.0af272f990622bc57c4650fb9d91365a.png

HMS Defence, Earl's 'Supercruiser' design

Historical Background and Rationale

Lillicrap's Design

In 1930-32, the Royal Navy asked Sir Charles Lillicrap, chief designer of Leander and Arethusa-class light cruiser, to conduct a study of small capital ships as examples for the 1932 Geneva Disarmament Conference. At this time, the-then under construction Deutschland-class 'pocket battleships' caused a stir among British officials, as said ship can outgun most Royal Navy cruisers and outrun their capital ships. The only ships strong and fast enough to counter them is the Battlecruiser Squadron consisting of Hood, Renown, and Repulse. However, the British recognize that such limited amount is not enough to cover the vast area of operation Deutschland expected to raid. Not only that, there's been talks about imposing even stricter standard on capital ships to a maximum of 25.000t displacement and 12" caliber. With this in mind, Lillicrap devised two potential design:

1930. 20,000tons 680' waterline, beam 84', 90' over bulges; draught 22'; (3x2)12" or 10" (6x2)6" 6x4.7". Armor 9" side, 5" deck. 80,000shp for 30 knots

782116236_file(13).thumb.png.25dcf670c62264b24c2f5d06352d4aeb.png

1932. 18,500tons 660', beam 83ft draught 21' (3x2)10" (4x2)6" (4x2) HA (2x8)2pdr. Armor 8" side, 3"+1" deck 80,000shp, 30 knots

935798572_file(14).thumb.png.11a7792d78080f72abd62356b191533d.png

While perfectly serviceable, such ship were eventually discarded as the conference ends without any agreement reached. These so-called small battlecruisers were deemed impractical and too expensive in early 1930s.

1938 Study

After the Second London Naval Treaty, another problem arose. The Mogami and Brooklyn-class started a new generation of heavily armed, decently protected cruisers capable of standing toe-to-toe against treaty heavy cruisers like the County-class. While the new Town-class light cruiser were deemed capable, majority of British cruiser force consists of old heavy cruisers or small trade escort light cruisers. Again, the Admiralty commissioned another study to determine the most effective way to encounter the new ship. New designs came and went, most fitted with 8" guns in triple turrets and were precursor to the eventual Admiral-class cruiser (Albemarle in-game). However, the most interesting is Study 3 (12in/20,000t). Basically early Alaska, at 20,000 tons, it was armed with six 12" guns, with 7" belt and 3" deck, which was what the Japanese were (incorrectly) reported to be building. Unlike the 8" and 9.2" cruisers, it was legal under the 1936 treaty, because it came in above the prohibited cruiser zone (8,000-17,000 tons, 6.1in to 10in guns). But again, it was abandoned and the project went for more economical 8" and 9.2" design previously mentioned.

Rationale - Why?

Battle of the River Plate shows how the Admiral Graf Spee almost managed to outfight their cruiser force, and only subdued after the British arrives with Renown, Ark Royal, and more heavy cruisers. The lack of sizeable and fast enough warship capable to intercept and hunt German warships is a major thorn for the British, especially after the loss of Hood and Repulse so early in the war. This losses were only partly-remedied by employment of battleships among convoy as passive deterrence, but the problem still remains. By the end of the war, only Renown and brand-new Vanguard were fit for this cruiser-killer role, while the number of even more powerful cruisers like Des Moines are coming online.

While investment for Town and subsequent Crown Colony-classes were important, it would be interesting on what happen if the British went like the French did on Dunkerque and later Americans with their Alaska. While the cost of many designs previously mentioned is double that of the light cruisers, they're substantially more capable for the size. The fact they're economical compared to full-fledged fast battleships is attractive not only for post-war situation but also for Commonwealth nations for home defense like the WWI Indefatigable-class. Considering how they're built to conform harsher treaty limitation than what eventually agreed upon, such designs could be ideal in another world.

Analysis for inclusion in-game

1647458017_SuperCruiserB.thumb.png.de8cf2eef201822432111504d9e6d499.png

Defence's first iteration, the Defiance with more historical AA based on King George V

It is weird that the Royal Navy, a major naval power both in real life and in game, lacked special ship for ‚Äėsupercruiser‚Äô moniker in-game like Alaska, Azuma, and Kronstadt. Because of that, this ship is designed in such a way that it would be a viable competitor against said ships at Tier 9.

While the design mentioned before were perfectly capable in their own right, the lack of high enough speed and mediocre armament compared to Dunkerque then under construction necessitated improvement in that department, and thus ballooned from 20.000t to about 27.000t based on my calculation. A switch to triple turrets and emphasis on endurance contribute much to the increase. For the design in itself, it’s based on the general specifications outlined before and also on King George V-class with influence from Renown and Lion.

As a British ship, the flavor remain the same par with the battleship and heavy cruiser: low health pool (58.300), very high performance HE focus, serviceable AP, agility, and concealment. In general, the ship would have reload of around 20-22s, supercruiser dispersion with touch of higher sigma, agility similar to Thunderer, and normal fuse. Protection wise, it’s in between Alaska and Azuma. Her drawback include shorter range at 16.5 km and mediocre AA defense. It will play as like other British ship; Support and kite. For consumables, it will be limited to regular damage control and enhanced repair party to compensate the lack of health pool, complemented by choice of spotter or catapult fighter aircraft for range and self-defense.

But Earl, that sounds like Azum- sssshh

The thing about British flavor is how boring it is generally. And considering how Wargaming shaped it like that from ground up, I have nothing but to fit with said flavor. However, I tried my best to make it perform more consistently with ability to tank somewhat, offering a hybrid between Alaska and Azuma (let’s ignore Agir). It has flexibility to operate as medium-range stealthy ship or long-range trebuchet, both with heal and agility good enough to pull out safely.

And of course, usual stats like alpha would be up to Wargaming for balancing.

Strengths:

  • Phenomenal HE performance signature of British line plus serviceable AP without the short fuse.
  • Best rudder shift at 12 s stock.
  • Second-best concealment at 12 km max.
  • Torpedoes.

Weaknesses:

  • Mediocre AA
  • Lowest health pool out of all supercruiser
  • Short-ranged guns at 16.5 km
  • More on the squishy side even with enhanced heal

Specification

Displacement

27.000t standard

31.500t full

Length

212 m (overall)

Beam

27.4 m

Draft

6.7 m

Armament

9x 12" (305 mm)/50 Mk. XIV gun, in triple turret, AB-X
20x 4.5" (113 mm) /45 QF Mk. I gun, five per side in twin mounts
46x 40 mm Bofors, in various mounts
28x 20 mm Oerlikon, in various mounts
8x 533 mm torpedo tubes, four per side

Speed

33 knots

Armor

9.2" (234 mm) belt
5" (127 mm) deck
9" (229 mm) turret and barbettes

Thoughts?

Edited by Earl_of_Arland
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  • Thanks 1

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I like this idea!!!

I would throw money at it.

Good work @Earl_of_Arland!

I still think it may end up being upped to tier 10 though, I don't mind either tier.

Range I 100% think will end up being 18km or something if WG did get their hands on it. Seig and Agir are 18-20ish from memory and they have 'brawler' characteristics.

Rudder shift won't solve much considering the saturation of 457s, so that's why I think you'd find she'd get an 18-20km range.

But otherwise love the idea, and even with a shorter range she still should work.

Edited by S4pp3R

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If the T10 is 3x4, I'm in :Smile_trollface: even if I myself prefer 203 CR instead of 305 CB, and most likely will never bothered with them.

Edited by Paladinum

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Heavy Cruiser line that is MEH

super cruiser thats MEH

 

British Heavies is  like inferior version of IJN, through and through

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28 minutes ago, humusz said:

British Heavies is  like inferior version of IJN, through and through

And that's an ironic twist, considering the IJN actually learned from the RN (Mikasa, Kongou, etc.)

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I like.

More or less T9 ships. Both CA and CB.

Think of it as:
406 mm and 457 mm in battleships.
203 mm and 254 mm in heavy cruisers.
305 mm and 357 mm in super cruiser.

Same ABX configuration but minus 1 gun per turret.

 

And we need T9 coal cruisers. At the moment the game has no T9 premium cruiser (other than super cruisers).

Edited by S0und_Theif

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An interesting naval history study and proposal indeed. Thanks to the British heavy cruiser branch, perhaps W. G. John's 9.2-inch cruiser proposals have become somewhat better known than before (at least from small groups of naval history nerds and enthusiasts to the entire WoWS playerbase), considerable amount of information about related development (for example, the Lilicrap proposals) still remains obscure. Thank you for all your efforts!

To derail the post a bit, the original Lilicrap designs (20000-tonne ship with 6 12-inch guns) reminds me of a similar USN design that I have come across before. Tha project, originated from the studies that produced tha Alaska-class supercruisers as the final result, can be basically described as an American "Chesire": a ship that would be slightly larger than a Baltimore-class cruiser and armed with 6 12-inch guns, somewhat a straddle between heavy cruisers and "regular" supercruisers. The design was discarded as it was argued that such a ship would be equally vulnerable to "proper" supercruisers comparing with regualar heavy cruisers.

005510g5qnvhrwryzb5rb7.thumb.jpg.85826247374d973b20e81076ddcc0423.jpg

It is likely that had she to be added to the game she will have similar balancing difficulties like Cheshire, and also possibly, the Soviet heavy cruisers.

Though on the long run I think that gradually WG would add every possible warship design into the game to keep new contents flowing.

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On 10/27/2020 at 3:37 PM, humusz said:

Heavy Cruiser line that is MEH

super cruiser thats MEH

 

British Heavies is  like inferior version of IJN, through and through

Congrats, you just summed up the entire line.

Though to be honest, they feel meh because they're relatively balanced.

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4 hours ago, Earl_of_Arland said:

Congrats, you just summed up the entire line.

Though to be honest, they feel meh because they're relatively balanced.

Drake is strong AF...

And all of them are scary if they are left to farm...

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