Rodney - proposed 1944 refit

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Joined: November 25th, 2014, 4:38 am

April 16th, 2018, 8:28 pm #31

StewartG wrote:
Chuck731 wrote: Britain had been largely excluded from the pacific theater in which she had extensive pre-war interests.  Britain would need to participate much more heavily in the pacific, and operate semi-independently rather than being purely a reinforcement for the Americans in American led operations, after the fall of Germany if she were to find herself in any position to recover her prewar position and influence in the region at the end.  Although the need for a battlefleet in the Atlantic and Mediterranean had largely evaporated by 1944,  Until late 1944 most of japan’s fleet remains intact. Furthermore Japanese land based air forces remain formidable and must be overcome.

So it seems entirely justified for Britain to seek to to position herself to deploy more than 4 battleships fully adapted to the level of air threat expected against japan 
Hang on, some misconceptions here.

"Britain had been largely excluded from the pacific theater" - no, in 1942-44 they had no resources left over to send there. The exceptions being the Aus / NZ forces and HMS Victorious' tour as "USS Robin" in 1943.

"in which she had extensive pre-war interests." - not in the Pacific, they didn't. Even Hong Kong back then was a tiny backwater. Now if you mean Singapore and Malaya that's different (think rubber and tin), but they're not really "Pacific".

"operate semi-independently rather than being purely a reinforcement for the Americans" - that's what Churchill wanted - directed at Singapore / Malaya. Vetoed by British Chiefs of Staff (with threat of resignation) in favour of historical BPF deployment, which would help get war finished soonest.

The size of the BPF was set by the capacity of its Fleet Train, which struggled to cope with the historic BPF as it was. There was no way it could have supported more  battleships, or been deployed any earlier.
Why is Hong Kong considered part of the Pacific but not Malaya and Singapore?

In the middle of the war, Britain was undoubtedly hoping to re-establish its pre-war commercial interests in China after the removal of Japan as main reginal adversary, regardless of what hind sight's assessment of the feasibility of that project would later be.
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Joined: April 11th, 2006, 12:54 pm

April 16th, 2018, 8:52 pm #32

Andy01 wrote:
....   According to Burt; Warspite was to recieve a full refit after damage at Salerno but this was aborted due to required NGFS mission for Normandy campaign ....
.

Not quite.  As with Rodney, Warspite was meant to get a full Refit in America with updated AA, but using British equipment rather than USA.  It was intended to add 4 more twin 4-inch (for a total of 8) and more octuple pom-poms.  As with the Rodney this was all agreed and then the US changed their minds (nothing to do with Normandy), so a simpler refit took place.

.
Umbra Sumus
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Joined: April 10th, 2005, 2:54 pm

April 17th, 2018, 2:33 am #33

If Malaya is part of the Pacific, then the British Empire's effort to regain it, is the defence of India and the whole Burma campaign must count. That means the British were certainly not locked out of that war.
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Joined: June 2nd, 2014, 11:59 pm

April 17th, 2018, 3:14 am #34

bager1968 wrote:
simanton wrote:
bager1968 wrote:

Yes, good point. You can include QE here as well... too bad Valiant was damaged to unserviceability in August 1944, or she could have joined in. Perhaps we can get Warspite reassigned after Normandy (reactivate Malaya to cover the Northern European operations in her place?) to provide a 4th 23-knot BB to join in.

These combined task groups would do well in the "peripheral areas" - historically QE did shore bombardment in the Dutch East Indies - maybe turn over all naval ops in that area (and Malaya, etc) to the BEF? Maybe even let them mop up in the other Philippine Islands while the USN heads to Okinawa etc?



Then we can see how the BEF handles protecting the landings at Samar with their "Light Fleet Carriers", with the NelRods & QEs covering San Bernardino Strait and actually staying put to cover ?

After all, that would let Halsey safely take everything fast off after the Northern Force.

The USN keeps its old BBs with the landing forces and covers Surigao Strait as historic.

Instead of covering the landings the Taffys are out hunting subs etc.
Warspite was never fully repaired after the premote control bomb hit.  Turret C was never operational again, I think one shaft was frozen and a couple of others were degraded.  I believe she was good for about 15 at Normandy and later took ground mine damage which degraded her further.  Andy?
OK, I missed that. So when Malaya is reactivated just before Normandy "as a reserve bombardment vessel" she can get that hole in her hull from the bomb test fully repaired, and more AA guns installed - and she can join the BPF. True, she won't have her 6" battery - but that isn't really necessary, now is it?
Malaya already had her 4" AA enhanced by 2 more twin mounts on the former catapult deck.  I imagine she could have shipped several more Bofors and Oerlikons.
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Joined: April 11th, 2006, 12:54 pm

April 17th, 2018, 8:17 am #35

Dave AAA wrote:
If Malaya is part of the Pacific, then the British Empire's effort to regain it, is the defence of India and the whole Burma campaign must count.  That means the British were certainly not locked out of that war.
.

I agree - This is an on-going source of confusion between all people dealing with WW2 AND contradictory in contemporary documents.

To the British, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc.... were known as the "Far East", with Australia/New Zealand sometimes included and sometimes added on separately.  The various Islands in the Pacific were usually "the Pacific", BUT sometimes included in the "Far East"  -  it was varied.

When the"East Indies Fleet" was set up, that was a new usage to differentiate from THE SEPARATE EFFORT of going to Australia and northwards to assist the USN, and was almost always called "the Pacific" (but collectively as the Far East).

The USA has the same sort of problem in reverse, sometimes when they refer to "the Pacific War" they mean JUST the main war between the Japanese and USA ("Pacific" and "SW Pacific" theatres), and sometimes the whole Japanese war, including the Chinese and Indian  theatres.  (The large forces involved on the Chinese mainland are often overlooked, as well as the HUGE civilian losses.)

.
Umbra Sumus
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Joined: May 8th, 2006, 1:00 am

April 17th, 2018, 6:58 pm #36

Chuck731 wrote:
StewartG wrote:
Chuck731 wrote: Britain had been largely excluded from the pacific theater in which she had extensive pre-war interests.  Britain would need to participate much more heavily in the pacific, and operate semi-independently rather than being purely a reinforcement for the Americans in American led operations, after the fall of Germany if she were to find herself in any position to recover her prewar position and influence in the region at the end.  Although the need for a battlefleet in the Atlantic and Mediterranean had largely evaporated by 1944,  Until late 1944 most of japan’s fleet remains intact. Furthermore Japanese land based air forces remain formidable and must be overcome.

So it seems entirely justified for Britain to seek to to position herself to deploy more than 4 battleships fully adapted to the level of air threat expected against japan 
Hang on, some misconceptions here.

"Britain had been largely excluded from the pacific theater" - no, in 1942-44 they had no resources left over to send there. The exceptions being the Aus / NZ forces and HMS Victorious' tour as "USS Robin" in 1943.

"in which she had extensive pre-war interests." - not in the Pacific, they didn't. Even Hong Kong back then was a tiny backwater. Now if you mean Singapore and Malaya that's different (think rubber and tin), but they're not really "Pacific".

"operate semi-independently rather than being purely a reinforcement for the Americans" - that's what Churchill wanted - directed at Singapore / Malaya. Vetoed by British Chiefs of Staff (with threat of resignation) in favour of historical BPF deployment, which would help get war finished soonest.

The size of the BPF was set by the capacity of its Fleet Train, which struggled to cope with the historic BPF as it was. There was no way it could have supported more  battleships, or been deployed any earlier.
Why is Hong Kong considered part of the Pacific but not Malaya and Singapore?

In the middle of the war, Britain was undoubtedly hoping to re-establish its pre-war commercial interests in China after the removal of Japan as main reginal adversary, regardless of what hind sight's assessment of the feasibility of that project would later be.
Chuck

I was going to say that this was basically a subjective distinction of mine but then recalled that Hong Kong was in the Pacific Command while Singapore / Malaya were in SEAC, so there is some historic basis to it.

I have never seen any reference to mainland Chinese commercial interests playing a role in British strategy or planning. I will happily be corrected by Joe S  or others though.
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Joined: July 8th, 2007, 8:30 pm

April 17th, 2018, 7:23 pm #37

Wasn't one of the important things about Hong Kong that it was Britain's door into commerce with China?
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Joined: January 14th, 2013, 4:04 pm

April 17th, 2018, 7:49 pm #38

The opium gate
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Joined: April 28th, 2015, 1:38 am

April 18th, 2018, 1:24 am #39

Phil Gollin wrote:
Andy01 wrote:
....   According to Burt; Warspite was to recieve a full refit after damage at Salerno but this was aborted due to required NGFS mission for Normandy campaign ....
.

Not quite.  As with Rodney, Warspite was meant to get a full Refit in America with updated AA, but using British equipment rather than USA.  It was intended to add 4 more twin 4-inch (for a total of 8) and more octuple pom-poms.  As with the Rodney this was all agreed and then the US changed their minds (nothing to do with Normandy), so a simpler refit took place.
Why would anyone think a major refit, on a slow, old, BB in 1944 would be a good idea?
.
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Joined: April 6th, 2018, 5:55 am

April 18th, 2018, 5:00 am #40

2lapsdown wrote:
Phil Gollin wrote:
Andy01 wrote:
....   According to Burt; Warspite was to recieve a full refit after damage at Salerno but this was aborted due to required NGFS mission for Normandy campaign ....
.

Not quite.  As with Rodney, Warspite was meant to get a full Refit in America with updated AA, but using British equipment rather than USA.  It was intended to add 4 more twin 4-inch (for a total of 8) and more octuple pom-poms.  As with the Rodney this was all agreed and then the US changed their minds (nothing to do with Normandy), so a simpler refit took place.
Why would anyone think a major refit, on a slow, old, BB in 1944 would be a good idea?
.
It was probably being paid for by USA Lend-Lease funds so it would have been a net gain to the RN at no cost.
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