I think this would be a very exciting option for a tier V-VII American Battleship.
Here is a little info about it.
Final Design SpecificationsDisplacement: 44,638 tons full load; 51,217 tons emergency full loadDimensions: 874 x 105 x 31 feet/266.5 x 32.1 x 9.5 metersPropulsion: Turbo-electric, 16 295 psi boilers, 4 shafts, 180,000 shp, 33.25 knotsCrew: 1297 (1326 as flagship)Armor: 7 inch belt, 1.5-1.75 inch deck, 5-9 inch barbettes, 5-11 inch turrets, 6-12 inch CTArmament: 4 dual 16"/50cal, 16 single 6"/53cal, 4 single 3"/50cal AA, 4 21 inch torpedo tubes (above water), 4 21 inch torpedo tubes (submerged)
Concept/Program: A group of six large battlecruisers ordered in 1916 as fast "battle scouts", part of a large program of fleet scouting ships, which included many smaller cruisers and destroyers. These ships were essentially scaled up from contemporary cruiser designs, rather than scaled down from battleship designs, as was typical foreign practice. The ships would have been large and powerful, but poorly protected and thus vulnerable in battle. By 1921 the weaknesses of the design, and of the type in general, were apparently recognized, and consideration was given to either converting some of the ships to aircraft carriers or building new carriers using materials assembled for the battlecruisers. Ultimately all six were cancelled under the Washington Treaty, and two were completed as carriers.
Class: Sometimes identified as the Constellation class, apparently because Constellation (CC 2) was the first to be laid down. These were the only US Navy ships to which the battlecruiser classification was applied. The designation "CC", which was not formally applied until the 17 July 1920 fleet redesignation, is thought to have been derived from "Cruiser, Capital", indicating their status as capital ships.
Design: The original (1916) design for these ships was quite different from their final design. In 1916 the planned specifications were: 36,350 tons full load with 10 14"/50cal and 18 5"/51cal guns, very light armor, half of the 24 boilers located above the protective deck, and seven funnels. The entire program was suspended in 1917 to facilitate construction of merchant ships for WWI service. The class was completely redesigned 1917-1919, taking into account improved technology such as watertube boilers, foreign development of more powerful ships, the need for improved armor and anti-torpedo protection, and the lessons of Jutland. The resulting design was considerably better than the original version, but still relatively lightly armored.
Why should the Lexington Battlecruiser be in the game as a regular ship and what historical and game play benefits does it add?
The Lexington was meant to be part of the greatest battle fleet that never existed. This battle fleet was to consist of 6 ships of the South Dakota’s class with 4 triple mount 16.5” guns, 4 ships of the Colorado Class with 16” guns, 6 ships of the Lexington Class battle cruiser with 4 triple mount 14” guns, followed up by another nine battle ships from the Nevada, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and California classes with 14” guns. This Battle fleet would have been superior to any single battle fleet in the world, including the one ran by the Royal Navy. This fleet was never built due to the limitations of the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty that put a limit on the total tonnage of the Battle Fleets for the US Britain Japan, France and Italy. For the British this treaty was about not being out paced by the economic and industrial might of the US and it’s planned battle fleet it was building, for the US it was about limiting the size of the Japanese fleet to a manageable level to maintain control of the pacific. Given the fact that these ships were never able to be built how cool would it be to be able to play what could have been.
The Lexington was not just a paper ship it was actually on order and partially built when it and its sister ship were converted to aircraft carriers the Lexington and Saratoga which went on to play significate roles in WWII.
Another important factor for the Lexington being added is the many design changes and the different upgrades that can be associated with the ship class.
“Like the South Dakota-class battleships also included in the 1916 Act, their construction was repeatedly postponed in favor of escort ships and anti-submarine vessels. During these delays, the class was redesigned several times; they were originally designed to mount ten 14-inch guns and eighteen five-inch guns on a hull with a maximum speed of 35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph), but by the time of the definitive design, these specifications had been altered to eight 16-inch guns and sixteen six-inch guns, with a speed of 33.25 knots (61.58 km/h; 38.26 mph) to improve hitting power and armor (the decrease in speed was mostly attributed to the additions of armor).”
Here Are just a Few of the Different looks from the redesigns
With the level of design and redesign the sheer amount of historical documentation on this ships class would be massive, which could support the high level of historical accuracy of any WG recreation.
The Lexington was order as a direct response to the Japanese Kongo Battle cruiser (which may be in the game). The design of the Lexington was heavily based on and an improvement of Britain Invincible class battle cruiser, which will most likely be added to the Britain line.
Hopefully if we can get enough people interested in the Lexington Battlecruiser War Gaming seriously considering add this amazing ship.