Which of the prewar Washington Treaty carrier converstions was the best?

Joined: May 10th, 2013, 7:34 pm

July 10th, 2018, 7:10 pm #1

I suppose that would include the Akagi, Kaga, Lexington class and the Courageous class, if there are any others that anybody would like to offer up that's fine as well. I know that that they all underwent multiple conversions, modernization's, and or refurbishments to one degree or another and that complicates things to an extent, still though I'd be curious to hear everybody's two cents. You can use whatever metrics you feel are relevant.

My initial impression was that all things considered the Lexington class were the best of the lot. Their initial conversion seems to have been the most successful, and required significantly less tinkering as compared to the others. The Courageous class strikes me as a bit of a lost opportunity as compared to the others, when one considers the size and speed of their hull in raw terms.
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Joined: December 29th, 2008, 2:22 pm

July 10th, 2018, 8:27 pm #2

If not for an earthquake in 1923, the Kaga wouldn't even be in the running!
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Joined: January 14th, 2013, 4:04 pm

July 10th, 2018, 8:54 pm #3

I think Akagi and Kagi might be eliminated at the start as simply not up the standard of the other two.  For instance the Japanese ships fire suppression systems were primitive and in the case of the CO2 system just didn't work.  They lack systems redundancy such as only one central fire main.  Break it, as with a bomb, and your fire fighting day is over.  In some important ways they are pretty primitive ships.
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Joined: January 7th, 2005, 11:25 am

July 11th, 2018, 10:52 am #4

When we asses the value of a conversion we must subtract the value of what was given away. Both the US and British ships were pretty useless.

Next cab off the rank, how much did the conversions cost?
"The stone age did not end because people ran out of stones." Ahmed Yamani
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Joined: May 10th, 2013, 7:34 pm

July 11th, 2018, 6:08 pm #5

What exactly was given away? I can't speak to the British carriers, or the Japanese ships for that matter either, but it was my understanding that the Lexington class was pretty important vis-a-vis the USN developing carrier doctrine and how to most effectively employ carrier based naval aviation.

According to wiki, which cites Friedman, the Lexington class cost $22.4 million a pop, not counting the $6.7 million already sunk into them.

Again citing wiki which cites other sources: "The incomplete hulls of Amagi and Akagi were thus selected for completion as the two large carriers under the 1924 fleet construction program. ¥24.7 million was originally budgeted to complete Akagi as a battlecruiser and an estimated ¥8 million had been expended when construction stopped in February 1922. Shortly thereafter, the Diet approved an additional ¥90 million to complete Akagi and Amagi as carriers.

After little more than a cursory search I haven't been able to find anything discussing the cost of either the Kaga's conversion nor any numbers for her and Akagi's subsequent reconstructions. I also haven't found anything in regards to the Courageous class either.
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Joined: July 8th, 2007, 8:30 pm

July 11th, 2018, 7:16 pm #6

I think he means that the Lexingtons weren't worth much as BCs.  Nor were the Coragius and company of much value as gun equipped war ships.
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Joined: November 21st, 2010, 12:24 am

July 11th, 2018, 7:43 pm #7

Eagle is on the list too.
The difference between "democracy" and "populism" is whether or not the ruling elite likes the outcome.
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Joined: May 10th, 2013, 7:34 pm

July 11th, 2018, 7:58 pm #8

foscadh wrote: I think he means that the Lexingtons weren't worth much as BCs.  Nor were the Coragius and company of much value as gun equipped war ships.
You're quite right, sometimes I can be quite dense.
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Joined: August 18th, 2017, 12:50 am

July 12th, 2018, 3:20 am #9

Well, in actual value all 4 of the Pacific-nation conversions (and Béarn) had exactly NONE in their non-carrier forms, as they were required to be scrapped unless converted.

The 3 RN ships actually had some minimal value in their original forms, as the WNT somehow ignored them completely - listing them neither as capital ships to be retained nor as ships to be scrapped! So they, and only they, had non-carrier value!
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Joined: January 19th, 2011, 11:33 pm

July 12th, 2018, 4:36 pm #10

I'd suggest that the US's Lexington conversion wasn't all that durable either.  The Lexington at least didn't show that durability at Coral Sea.
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