Joined: 3:08 AM - Aug 11, 2013

11:37 AM - Aug 09, 2018 #11

don4331 wrote: Canada countered with proposal for 5 CLs and 6 DDs, but Borden gov't squashed that as too expensive and the Liberal dominated Senate crushed Confederates 3 - BB proposal (which was much more costly than the CLs and DDs).
Establishing a Fleet Unit is much more costly in the long term than donating ships. For example the total cost of a donated BC like New Zealand is the same as the lifecycle cost of 1 CL with a 20 year life. Pre-WW1, establishing navies was seen as Nation Building for young states. In Canada it had the opposite effect and the Fleet was divisive between Imperial (Anglo) and Canadian (Quebec). The most likely pre-war scenario is for Canada to build subs locally as it was within their capabilities.
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Joined: 5:56 AM - Jan 05, 2009

12:39 AM - Aug 14, 2018 #12

The best numbers I have (supplied by NewGolconda) suggest that lifetime maintenance costs are pretty much equal to original capital cost for a battle cruiser.  Maintenance costs don’t include refits, which run just under 20% for capital ship.

Equivalent numbers for cruiser have maintenance lifetime at slightly over 2X capital costs, and refits at ~25% capital cost.  Capital cost of cruiser being ~1/6th of capital ship.  I’m not including aircraft in above due to timeframe/they can be considered optional.

For Canada, building railroads was seen as Nation building.  Add to that, a RCN fleet unit would be just a token force against our most likely (?only?) opponent and would probably antagonize them.  Result was, we didn't care in we had a BC.

RN really should have pushed Borden to honour Laurie’s commitment – 5 cruisers are more expensive long term than a BC and 3 cruisers.  And it far better met both Canada’s short and long term requirements.  And having Canadian shipyards tool up for destroyer production pre-war would have paid huge dividends in ’16 when Germany resumed USW.

I don’t consider the Québécois any more/less Canadian than the Orangemen in Ontario.  To be honest, no one in Canada wanted the capital ship in ’09.  It would commit Canada to UK war.  99 chances out of 100, we would join such a war, but we wanted the ability to decide for ourselves. Not have it fait accompli because our capital ship was officered by RN and they were taking one of their heavy units to the fight.  I really don't see that as having changed in '19, so don't know what Borden was thinking.

Vickers, in Montreal, certainly had capability to build cruisers, especially, if like Cockatoo Dockyard, you start with a ‘kit’ from a yard in UK.   Multiple dockyards would have had ability to build destroyer – Yarrow in BC, Kingston Shipyard in ON & Halifax in NS.   All the aforementioned have links to yards in UK which could have been leveraged.   And there are another handful of yards around Great Lakes that were almost possible.  The problem was:  They weren’t Orangeman strongholds.  And the silly buggers couldn’t see the long term, i.e. putting RCN construction into those locations would increase odds of them becoming strongholds.

Note:   While the locks of both the Welland Canal and St. Lawrence Seaway are both slightly too small for a WWI DD (~5%), doing something creative – either modifying hulls slightly shorter, completing bow/stern in dry dock east of Montreal or increasing lock length (better long term).
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Joined: 3:08 AM - Aug 11, 2013

11:12 AM - Aug 14, 2018 #13

Based on pre-WW1 figures a 7000 ton CL (full load) costing £525,000 with operational costs of 5% per year, a 20 year life and a 9 year refit at 10% then the total lifecycle cost (including depreciation) is £1.6m. Outlay is about 1/3rd.

In post war figures a 6000 ton CL (including 1 aircraft) costing £1,351,250 with operational costs of 10% per year and a 20 year life and a 9 year refit at 10% outlay has a total cost of £5.7m. Outlay is about 1/4.

I agree railways and similar infrastructure are nation building but navies at this time were seen as building national 'spirit' and an 'institution' for national pride. Russia had a 'marinist' pursuit reasoning that to be a great power, she had to have a great navy. Turkey looked to rebuilding it's navy as 'national rebirth'. Germany had a federal navy while it's armies were state based. It was also a way of reminding and binding it's scattered diaspora to the Fatherland. Australia created the RAN as a symbol of the new nation. Even the USN as a 'new age institution' cut drinking in 1914 to create 'new age' men and the USN is still dry to this day.

The growing of shipbuilding is a good model that Canada probably would have followed. I don't think 'gift' ships in Churchill's and Borden's vision would get across the line.
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