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Just searching for opinions on something I have been thinking about lately. If for whatever reason any of the following classes of ships: 

Orion class battleships

Konig class battleships 

Kaiser class battleships 

Lion class battlecruisers

Derfflinger class battlecruisers 

Were purchased by some neutral nation (Not gonna tell you which one because that is another can of worms that I want to avoid) that could operate and modernize them over time up until WW2, how would you do it? What would you change about them and what equipment would you put on? (Remember that this is  assuming a neutral nation buys them so something like British AA guns and American fire control is valid) and etc... 

Of course I want something beyond the obvious stuff (Oil fired boilers and bigger bridges) and take into account some budget limitations since those are to prominent to ignore. 

Any how, take care and if any one does, thanks for answering:cap_like:

   Hindenburg_scapa.jpg

SMS Derfflinger and SMS Hindenburg in Scapa Flow. 

Resultado de imagen para Orion-class battleship

Orion class battleship

Resultado de imagen para König class battleship

Kaiser class battleship. 

Resultado de imagen para König class battleship

(Translate the spanish writting :Smile_trollface:

Imagen relacionada

 

Lion class Battlecruiser 

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@MS406france1940

This is a tricky question.  Take the Guilio Cesare.  The in game version of the GC represents the version of the ship AFTER its mid 1930's massive reconstruction, which was undoubtedly very expensive.  The Italians removed her Q turret and gave her new engines and/or boilers to give her a considerable bump in max speed, as well as boring out her guns to increase their "caliber".    The USN even considered doing some heavy refits to their remaining WW1 era BBs during the 1930's, but ended up deciding against it because they only had enough money to buy some new BBs or reconstruct the old ones.  And they opted for the new BBs.

If one had a relatively unlimited budget, you could always replace the engines and boilers from the WW1 era ships with more modern ones.  But as you can imagine, that would be very costly, since you'd be gutting the ship to remove the old engines and oilers and making room for the new ones.

On a more reasonable scale, it's always possible to refit gun turrets to increase the elevation that the guns can be raised, if need be.  (Many WW1 era BBs needed this sort of refit.)  This might also require the addition of taller towers for spotting and gun directors and so on, which was a common refit.  And radar would be a reasonable refit as well, I suppose.

Then there's also the addition of more and more anti-aircraft guns.  Of course, AA refits tended to occur in response to the unforeseen threat of naval air power, since most WW1 era BBs just prior to the out break of WW2 lacked any serious AA capability.  But by the end of WW2, most if not all remaining BBs had been given massive AA refits, to the point that if you look at any USN AA refitted BB during WW2, nearly every available square foot of deck space had some sort of AA gun, except for those portions of the deck that needed to remain clear for the main guns.

 

 

===

 

Regarding the ships you mention above, I'm not sure that the Kaiser would have been well suited to a WW2 refit due to its use of extremely obsolete wing turrets.   I could see the Konigs getting a significant refit, that included removing the Q turret, possibly allowing for an engine/boiler reconstruction.  Also, the presence of the Q turret would have limited the Konig's AA potential, due to the need to keep the guns' firing arcs free.  Removing the Q turret would allow for the emplacement of a LOT of anti-air positions. Also, I could see the Konig getting her guns rebored, similar to the GC.

Regarding the Lion class BC, those got scrapped around 1930.  And given that they didn't even match the Hood in armor and gun size, they were probably a very poor candidate for refitting for use in WW2.

 

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7 minutes ago, MS406france1940 said:

Lion class battlecruisers

Derfflinger class battlecruisers 

Honestly, I wouldn't modernize most of them, they're just too obsolescent and pretty low value. The exceptions to that are possibly the Lion class and Derfflinger's. Speed is always useful.

As an aside you're not the first to have such a thought here, the late and greatly lamented dseehafer had a great go at a Goeben/Yavuz here:

 

The Derfflinger would have been a useful battlecruiser into the '20's, '30's and even beyond. I think a moderate rebuild, plating over some secondaries, adding more AA and of course re-engineing the ship would all be pretty much standard. There's not a huge gulf between the Derfflinger and Mackensen, and WG are planning on releasing a modernized Mackensen in the form of Prinz Eitel Friedrich. We have a good idea on that.

 

While not a terribly original idea I think a lot could be made of a Lion. Imagining she'd been held in reserve for some time then come the 1930's she's found to be in decent condition, but rather outdated there are things to do with her.

I would re-engine her, remove the 'P' turret completely and extend the engineering spaces while further subdividing the ship for survivability. She could be bulged for torpedo defense and, by going from 70,000 SHP on coal-fired engines to 1/3 the same space again and maybe 100,000 HP you might see an increase to a very significant 31-32kt or more. Given that in 1940 the RN only had 3 battlecruisers which could catch and kill a Deutschland adding a 4th would be significant, and despite having only 13.5in guns (which we'd modernize a bit, or at least the shells) would be useful.

I would probably trunk the two forward funnels into one and move it forward a bit if possible. On the sides of those I'd add aircraft hangars and a catapult in the place of the deleted 'P' turret giving her decent reconaissance facilities. In addition I'd outright remove all the obsolete LA 102mm guns, cutting down the citadel they are mounted in forward in order to fit pairs of 102mm/45 DP guns on each side. Another pair aft and pom-poms on the Hangar roofs (per Town class cruisers) and aft again would complete the close-range weapon suite.

Armor wise, the 152mm-127mm upper belt would be removed and the 229mm main belt fully extended to protect the magazines fore and aft. The lower strakes extending forward would be retained.

Conversely if we're selling to someone else they now have a 30+kt raider few ships in the world can catch, still capable of outgunning any cruiser.

Something like this:

oJQmjcT.png
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@mofton  For what it's worth, if the RN was going to have held onto any more of their pre-Hood battlecruisers, it would have been the HMS Tiger, without a doubt.  The Tiger was quite similar to the Kongos.  And probably would have been a good candidate for refitting.  Whether they would have removed the X turret I think is debatable, IMO.  It's one thing to remove a Q turret with limited gun arcs, but quite another to remove an X turret with normal aft facing arcs.  Still, if they were willing to gut the ship to re-engine and re-boiler her, they could also have pushed back the entire barbette for the X turret so that it was closer to the Y turret, if they needed the space.

One also wonders if in the process of such a major reconstruction if the RN could have replaced her 13.5" guns with 14" or even 15" guns.  15" might have been a stretch, but I suppose that 14" guns might have been doable.  Or perhaps they could have rebored the 13.5's up to 14" guns without the need for new guns.

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4 minutes ago, Crucis said:

@mofton  For what it's worth, if the RN was going to have held onto any more of their pre-Hood battlecruisers, it would have been the HMS Tiger, without a doubt.  The Tiger was quite similar to the Kongos.  And probably would have been a good candidate for refitting. 

I certainly agree, Tiger's very Kongo and if the Kongo's are worth keeping then undoubtedly Tiger would be, subject to arms treaties etc. I agree it's unlikely they'd have deleted X turret in any rebuild there.

i honestly don't know on the re-gunning of Lion. Depending on when it happened the new 14in's for the KGV's may not have been around, and I don't see much point in swapping to the Vickers' 14in guns of WWI vintage. I also don't know on fitting 15in into the hull given the penalties in top weight, and possibly beam requirements. It would also mean all new barbettes etc, which is a big cost. Re-boring is a possibility, but might mean new shell hoists/gear needed so still cost while I think an existing stock of 13.5's could be modernized with more aerodynamic 'windscreens' as was done to the 15in rounds. 

I didn't mention but new turrets for Lion with a little more armor (as was done for Vanguard) might be worthwhile.

This is already a pretty expensive refit of a ship with somewhat niche utility, I think she'd be worth considering.

The other option might be to look at taking Iron Duke and deleting the amidships turret for more speed, you have a better armored starting point there and would still end up with an 8-gun broadside. The Italian Caio's doing similar again went from 21 to about 26/28kts. She might be handy, but I think as a niche a 30+kt ship is more useful than a 26kt one: the old outrun/outfight paradigm.

In this case though, MS406 did specify Lion rather than Tiger, and as she's more flawed to start with I think she's a little more interesting.

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Given how I play HOI4, I only bother going on the offensive with Battlecruisers and Carriers.  If these ships can't be rebuilt to do 30kts, they are then relegated to the self-defence role of my home waters.  Self-Defence Battleships I would add much more armor and AA guns.  For ships that can be rebuilt to to do 30kts or better, I would strip out armor and increase their operational range.  If possible I'd also replace their guns with newer models with better range along with adding modernized AA guns.  They're role for these neo-battlecruisers in the offensive fleet is to provide anti-fleet stopping power to protect the Carriers from a major fleet engagement or a large destroyer-cruiser flotilla.  With adequate air power, armor becomes obsolete but speed and firepower are both very valuable.

 

However if your neutral nation has no carriers, you'd have to commit to having these ships converted into Fast Battleships.

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With hindsight, I would have suggested not to convert battleships and instead built and trained a ton of small CVs and flight crews and create a massive national initiative for a naval air fleet, and perhaps some destroyers and light cruisers and subs (Assuming also a non-land locked nation) 

Though, would anyone who has more insight into history want to talk about why this would have been impractical or not possible? 

 

Also I've read that British ships sometimes did not have the relevant armor to avoid critical damage (detonations). And while IRL and game are different, the one issue I have with in game Orion is that her armor does not repel enemy BB rounds very well. I would not wish to serve on one. 

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The Orion class and Lion class aren't worth rebuilding.  Their torpedo defenses are substandard even in WW 1, they use mixed firing and conversion to oil would be expensive.  Scrapping them and building new would be the way to go for the British.

The Kaiser class, likewise isn't worth rebuilding.  The wing turrets represent a serious weakness in the design.

Now, the Konig and Derflinger classes have some potential.  Both would require roughly the same upgrades or modifications.

First, the Konig would lose the amidships turret.  It is virtually worthless.

Both classes would have to be converted to oil firing and have their boilers and engines upgraded to give higher speeds of 26 to 30 knots.

Both would get "Atlantic" bows lengthening the ship some giving a better length to beam ratio to help with the speed.

Both would have the main armament revised to give 35 to 40 degrees of elevation, and new heavier shells designed to improve performance.

Remove all casemate 5.9" guns and plate in the hull to give smooth sides.  This also slightly increases the room on the ship.  Install twin or single 5.9" in turrets ( 12 total on Derflinger, 12 or 16 on Konig) in place of these.  Install an 8.8 cm or 10.5cm AA battery of 6 or 8 twin mounts.

Add bulges to them for better torpedo defense.  Carry these up to the main deck to give more room for the above secondary armament.

Reduce both to one funnel.

Add catapults to both as possible.

Install modern fire controls and a tower superstructure with rangefinder, etc.

Install more deck armor as possible.

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@Crucis and  @Murotsu So the German ships (Minus the Kaiser class) offer the best modernization options whit a reconstruction similar to the one the Italians did in the Conte di Cavour and the Andrea Doria classes? Of course whit a more German flavor to it similar what dseehafer (Rest in Peace) sujested in the article mofton linked. 

Likewise, I like the ideas for modernization so far suggested, they definitely help me whit me idea :cap_like:

16 hours ago, mofton said:

In this case though, MS406 did specify Lion rather than Tiger, and as she's more flawed to start with I think she's a little more interesting.

The reason why I didn't include the Tiger (That yeah, I agree is a supperior design) Is because I am thinking about a 1919-1922 time frame, where the neutral nation tries to increase its navy whit used ships in the face of Japan's and American naval programs post war. So I selected the ships that by that time were out of service or in reserve, the Tiger remained in active service until 1931, so it misses that time frame by a long shot.  

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The problem with the Lion class is they are just so weak as ships overall.  Even in the 20's it is hardly justifiable to take a ship in hand with poor armor (9" maximum vertical and the deck armor was 1" to 2" of nickel steel that would have to be replaced and thickened considerably to make it viable to plunging fire and air attack).  They use mixed oil-coal firing and conversion to oil won't be cheap.  New boilers, possibly, probably, new engines too.  The secondary armament is completely inadequate for a post WW 1 battleship and would have required considerable ingenuity to come up with a decent mix in a rebuild.

The torpedo defense system is all but nonexistent.  That would have to be upgraded and bulges added most likely.  The result of everything is the ship likely keeps a speed of about 28 to 30 knots at most.  When you have new battleships with superior armor and firepower planned that will make close to those speeds, what's the point in spending to rebuild an older ship of marginal value?  On the whole, scrapping the two surviving Lion class makes sense.  Just build new.

This is a problem the RN faced post WW 1 in general.  Their WW 1 ships were mostly built on the cheap as they went for quantity over quality.  This goes not just for capital ships, but for ships in general.  For the RN it was generally cheaper and more effective to build new and scrap older ships than it was to extensively rebuild them.  Most other navies spent more effort on building a good quality product to begin with and saw a rebuild as a way to extend the service life of a decent design at a lower cost than building completely new.  I do think the Italians took their rebuilds to insane lengths however...

Only Royal Oak of the R class really got a decent rebuild.  The others were really very marginal battleships by 1939

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It would help to state the conditions of the nation acquiring these ships so we know the likely operating area, potential threats, and how much resources (shipyards, etc.) we have to work with.

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On 25/8/2018 at 1:36 PM, Lampshade_M1A2 said:

It would help to state the conditions of the nation acquiring these ships so we know the likely operating area, potential threats, and how much resources (shipyards, etc.) we have to work with.

To sum up the anwser, I am thinking mostly about the Netherlands. They needed some heavy units to operate in the NEI so Japan didn't got funny ideas about taking them. 

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1 hour ago, MS406france1940 said:

To sum up the anwser, I am thinking mostly about the Netherlands. They needed some heavy units to operate in the NEI so Japan didn't got funny ideas about taking them. 

Given the air power and CVs that Japan had, and the success they enjoyed at Pearl Harbor, a bunch of Battleships would not have dissuaded Japan.  Especially since the Netherlands were occupied by Germany.  Japan willingly took on the most powerful navies of the period: RN and USN.  Not only that, the US cutting off oil exports to Japan meant that the capture of Borneo was of national importance.  Even if Borneo was a veritable fortress, Japan would almost HAVE to make a play against the island.  The oil fields of Borneo, Java and Sumatra would be PRIORITY #1.  There's some oil to be had in North Borneo that was controlled by British Malaysia I think.  Not enough to quench the thirst of Japan.  I'm thinking Japan would have to make a play on the Dutch East Indies, even if guarded by Dutch Battleships unless diplomacy with the US restored oil exports.  Japan was on the clock before their oil ran out and the nation was in crisis.

pacific_war_-_dutch_east_indies_1941-42_

Edited by Sventex

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16 minutes ago, Sventex said:

Given the air power and CVs that Japan had, and the success they enjoyed at Pearl Harbor, a bunch of Battleships would not have dissuaded Japan.  Especially since the Netherlands were occupied by Germany.  Japan willingly took on the most powerful navies of the period: RN and USN.  Not only that, the US cutting off oil exports to Japan meant that the capture of Borneo was top priority.  Even if Borneo was a veritable fortress, Japan would almost HAVE to make a play against the island.  The oil fields of Borneo, Java and Sumatra would be PRIORITY #1.  There's some oil to be had in North Borneo that was controlled by British Malaysia I think.  Not enough to quench the thirst of Japan.  I'm thinking Japan would have to make a play on the Dutch East Indies unless diplomacy with the US restored oil exports.  Japan was on the clock before their oil ran out.

pacific_war_-_dutch_east_indies_1941-42_

While I agree whit your analysis here... This is exactly why I didn't mention the country in the beggining. This forum is not that friendly to this kind of alternative history.  

Edited by MS406france1940

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2 minutes ago, MS406france1940 said:

While I agree whit your analysis here... This is exactly why I didn't mention the country in the beggining. This forum is not that friendly to this king of alternative history.  

Hmm...you may have a point there.

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17 minutes ago, Sventex said:

Given the air power and CVs that Japan had, and the success they enjoyed at Pearl Harbor, a bunch of Battleships would not have dissuaded Japan.  Especially since the Netherlands were occupied by Germany.  Japan willingly took on the most powerful navies of the period: RN and USN.  Not only that, the US cutting off oil exports to Japan meant that the capture of Borneo was of national importance.  Even if Borneo was a veritable fortress, Japan would almost HAVE to make a play against the island.  The oil fields of Borneo, Java and Sumatra would be PRIORITY #1.  There's some oil to be had in North Borneo that was controlled by British Malaysia I think.  Not enough to quench the thirst of Japan.  I'm thinking Japan would have to make a play on the Dutch East Indies, even if guarded by Dutch Battleships unless diplomacy with the US restored oil exports.  Japan was on the clock before their oil ran out and the nation was in crisis.

pacific_war_-_dutch_east_indies_1941-42_

The Dutch were well aware of this, which is why they had no intention of facing down the Japanese fleet.

They only wished to have a squadron of modern warships centered around 1047 battlecruisers in order to dissuade the Japanese from ever attacking. They realized that if Japan attacked them, all bets would be off as it would come with a move against Great Britain and the United States as well. Thus, they only needed to have a force strong enough to make it north worth it for Japan - with both the United States and Britain demanding the attention of Japan's fleet (especially given the expectation of how the war would turn out as viewed by all parties - An American fleet coming to relive the Philippines). Thus, the Japanese would be unable to send a small force of heavy cruisers to gain control of the Java Sea - which is exactly what they did in reality. The Design 1047's were capable of standing up to any Japanese surface ship save for a Nagato or Yamato-class, which made them a major deterrent against Japan.

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One of the major concerns here is deck space and a lot of these ships just don't have it. If they have wing turrets or Q turrets, forget it; you'll never make a decent modernization to WW2 standards because there's nowhere to put light AA or DP secondaries without them probably getting beaten up every main battery salvo. Lion might be the only exception, for two reasons: her large after deckhouse and the British developing the 4" "Between Decks" mount pretty much specifically for replacing casemate guns like those in her after deckhouse and forward superstructure with useful DP guns.

Whether actually rebuilding Lion is a useful exercise is another question, but scattering 4" BD on the forward superstructure and the aft deckhouse would give her a modern secondary battery and she'd have room to put some light AA without risking wrecking it every time she used her main battery. New oil engines and boilers could hopefully reduce her stacks to one(need more space!) and improve her speed. A turret rebuild for better elevation would improve her gun range. Rearmoring or adding bulge is a lot more tricky and gets to the heart of Lion's problems but even just a couple of inches of deck and no improvements of belt and you could easily cast the new Lion in the same role as an Alaska or B.65; a heavy cruiser killer. People believed that was a useful role at the time.

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Strip the main guns and replace them with 12 inch high velocity guns, add US rangefinders and radar, put quad-Bofors wherever I could, and replace secordaries  with US 127mm dual turrets. 

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On 8/24/2018 at 5:13 PM, MS406france1940 said:

Just searching for opinions on something I have been thinking about lately. If for whatever reason any of the following classes of ships: 

Orion class battleships

Konig class battleships 

Kaiser class battleships 

Lion class battlecruisers

Derfflinger class battlecruisers 

Were purchased by some neutral nation (Not gonna tell you which one because that is another can of worms that I want to avoid) that could operate and modernize them over time up until WW2, how would you do it? What would you change about them and what equipment would you put on? (Remember that this is  assuming a neutral nation buys them so something like British AA guns and American fire control is valid) and etc... 

Of course I want something beyond the obvious stuff (Oil fired boilers and bigger bridges) and take into account some budget limitations since those are to prominent to ignore. 

Any how, take care and if any one does, thanks for answering:cap_like:

The first thing to consider is honestly what service life is even left in the ships. The British themselves were planning on eliminating many of the earlier Dreadnoughts because of obsolescence as well as having been driven hard during WW1. Being on a War footing meant ships had to be ready sail at any given noticed. Refits had to be planned carefully to maintain an effective fighting force. Dreadnought herself missed Jutland because of a refit.

However, if we are talking about someone buying them who wasn't active in WW1 or was Neutral, here is what would likely happen.

 

Regardless of which ship it was, all would likely receive lots of work on their machinery and boilers. Turbines or pistons, the engines would need to be rehabilitated and boiler tubing replaced. That might take a bit of money. The ships might also be converted to use fuel oil which would reduce the black-gang needed as well as to increase the ships range slightly. Oil tanks would take the place of coal bunkers.

Gun wise, you are pretty much stuck with the main battery. It would likely be very costly to replace the main guns with bigger weapons as you would have to redesign the turret, the handling area for shells, the magazine, at that point you'd have been better off building yourself a ship. You could theoretically develop a new shell for the guns. It would be cheaper then re-gunning the ships.

Secondary guns could be swapped out or even raised a deck. the Casemate guns that were built into ships below the main deck were wet and a potential source of flooding. The US move the casemate guns up a deck and out of the bow, making them much dryer.

AA guns would likely be added as aircraft became more common.

Range-finding equipment evolved over time and better systems came online in the years that followed. Some systems might require the mast structure to be modified to take a heavier rangefinder then what was originally installed. The Main guns could have their elevation systems adjusted to allow for increased firing ranges.

 

If more money was available, the bows might be reconstructed to ride waves better. The Atlantic Ocean is hardly the North Sea. The Hippers, Scharnhorst, Graf-Zepplin had their bows modified from their original launch state to an 'Atlantic' bow.states.

 

Side armor would likely remain in place. Deck armor might increase over time to take into account aircraft improvements and weaponry.

 

As for WW2 performance, all the ships listed were pretty much Pre-WW1 ships. In some cases, 30+ years had passed since they were designed and built. Many of these ships were already obsolete before WW1 ended. While they may be able to accomplish some missions, they would likely quickly fall to a newer ship.

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On ‎8‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 5:01 PM, MS406france1940 said:

To sum up the anwser, I am thinking mostly about the Netherlands. They needed some heavy units to operate in the NEI so Japan didn't got funny ideas about taking them. 

Then the Dutch 1047 design battlecruiser would have been the answer, or at least one of the answers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_1047_battlecruiser

rhwwrJn.jpg

 

Design%201047%20as%20finished%20in%20195

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