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Way Naval Treaties could have been exploited?

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Was reading about the Washington Treaty and how signatories simply went crazy with Heavy Cruiser, Cruiser, Submarine, Aircraft Carrier, and Destroyer building until the London Naval Treaties put a stop to such loopholes. But I wonder if the Treaties had lasted long enough if nthr signatory nation’s could not simply have secretly contracted other nations that had not signed to build Warships for them? After all if Australia built some ships for “it’s own navy” those could be out to use by the Royal Navy right? Or for that matter Japanese could aid China in getting a shipyard built and getting some ships built since the “ pagoda” style superstructures of IJN BBs would not exactly be that different in taste from what the Chinese might have come up with on their own. Granted Japan would have to do some serious diplomatic work to have had China do that for them at the time.

South America had had their own little Dreadnought arms race, so they must have at minimum have had some repair drydocks that might have been able to be used for some building?

So question remains if only Great Britain, France, Italy, United States, and Japan signed Naval Treaties how did they expect loopholes such as other nations building warships that in time of war would join the fleet of one of the signatory nations?

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If you think about the Japanese Mogami class, there wasn't much holding them to the Washington Naval Treaty, and the Japanese often straight lied about their CA's displacements.

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Just now, WuYixiang said:

If you think about the Japanese Mogami class, there wasn't much holding them to the Washington Naval Treaty, and the Japanese often straight lied about their CA's displacements.

They also outright lied about the Yamato's displacement claiming it was a mere 50,000 tons.

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An interesting question. I would think a big part of it would be that few nations had the capacity for building capital ships who were not in the treaties. There is no way China, for example, would have been able to build capital ships, even with Japan helping it would be many years before China would have the shipyards, skilled labour, armour and big gun production capacity for capital ships. The same goes for South America, Australia, etc. And of course politically it would be very unlikely, many countries such as China and Japan had opposing national interests. Probably only England, with the Commonwealth, could count on other nations providing ships for the RN, for other nations it would be a huge and expensive gamble to build up another nation's navy with the expectation that if war came they would provide those ships. Besides, it can be argued that even without the treaties the money wasn't available for much more ship building, let alone an expensive proxy navy.

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Not much cheating possible by outsourcing the construction. The participants of the treaties were the only countries with the yard capacity.

Plenty of cheating concerning defining "standard displacement" and such under the treaties.

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40 minutes ago, BrushWolf said:

They also outright lied about the Yamato's displacement claiming it was a mere 50,000 tons.

British Intelligence:  "they must be building their ships out of cardboard or lying."

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32 minutes ago, Ex_Nihilo said:

An interesting question. I would think a big part of it would be that few nations had the capacity for building capital ships who were not in the treaties. There is no way China, for example, would have been able to build capital ships, even with Japan helping it would be many years before China would have the shipyards, skilled labour, armour and big gun production capacity for capital ships. The same goes for South America, Australia, etc. And of course politically it would be very unlikely, many countries such as China and Japan had opposing national interests. Probably only England, with the Commonwealth, could count on other nations providing ships for the RN, for other nations it would be a huge and expensive gamble to build up another nation's navy with the expectation that if war came they would provide those ships. Besides, it can be argued that even without the treaties the money wasn't available for much more ship building, let alone an expensive proxy navy.

Asians tend to be intelligent enough, and if supplied with diagrams of how to construct and operate the metal smelting / forging facilities and build the shipyards which was mainly a lot of digging and concreate work to begin with. In would say China could easily have been able to be ready to build ships in 5 years or less if other nations such as Russia were able to industrialize that quickly, and Russia had those purges to contend with as well which probably had negative effect on things. Might have accounted for how crudely Russia designed and built some of their vehicles around the time of WWII as well. But even if China had been able to be ready to build Warships within 5 years, you still would have had the construction time of the warships themselves.

So China might have managed, after all if any nation was similar to Japan it would be China based on their culture, written language, and architecture. Although Korea has much of the influence as well, but back then Treaty nation’s probably would not have been sold on the story of Korea building ships for themselves instead of for Japan, China onnthe other hand was large enough to make the story believable. And with Japanese advisors “helping a neighboring nation” the quality of ships could possibly been as high as those of Japan. Russia on the other hand would not have been as useful due to political reasons and the quality of what they were producing for themselves. 

 

I agree on Britain not being able to fun those Proxy Navies consider it was mainly Britain and France that wanted the Naval Treaty after about bankrupting themselves with WWI, United States simply wanted peace and had the Great Depression happening. Not sure what Ital had going on, so really it was only Japan I think that could have really continued the Naval Arms Race. Of course once Hitler came to power in Germany they might have been able to join in the Naval arms race as well. So all things considered I think it was mainly that Allies could not afford to fight anymore at that point that the treaty was made, and honestly rather clever. If Axis powers had known full extend of the finacial problems they might have avoided the treaty, but then again Japan was reliant on American oil while they were trying to get prepared for WWII.

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41 minutes ago, WuYixiang said:

British Intelligence:  "they must be building their ships out of cardboard or lying."

Allied Intelligence had no idea the Yamato class existed or at least not on the scale they actually were even. Far too much effect went into secrecy on those projects just as allied had no idea about the Type 93 Long Kance Torpedoes until after war either.Same can actually be said for many of Japan’s aircraft unless Alliees managed to capture and test them.

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Such a loophole was not present in the treaty. 

 

The treaty did not limit what warships the participants could build.

 

Rather, it limited the types and qualities of warships the participants could acquire.

 

For example, Chapter I, Article XI;

 

"No vessel of war exceeding 10,000 tons (10,160 metric tons) standard dis- placement, other than a capital ship or aircraft carrier, shall be acquired by, or constructed by, for, or within the jurisdiction of, any of the Contracting Powers. Vessels not specifically built as fighting ships nor taken in time of peace under government control for fighting purposes, which are employed on fleet duties or as troop transports or in some other way for the purpose of assisting in the prosecution of hostilities otherwise than as fighting ships, shall not be within the limitations of this Article."

 

Emphasis mine.

If China built a 15,000 ton cruiser, that's one thing. However, it would be breaking the terms of the treaty for Great Britain to purchase it.

Likewise, Article XV barred any signatories from constructing a warship that breaks treaty limits for a non-contracting power.

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18 minutes ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

Allied Intelligence had no idea the Yamato class existed or at least not on the scale they actually were even. Far too much effect went into secrecy on those projects just as allied had no idea about the Type 93 Long Kance Torpedoes until after war either.Same can actually be said for many of Japan’s aircraft unless Alliees managed to capture and test them.

The quote was in regards to Mogami and other CA's "official" specifications.

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2 hours ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

After all if Australia built some ships for “it’s own navy” those could be out to use by the Royal Navy right?

'Britain' signed the treaty as the 'British Empire' so there was no 'use a dominion or colony' get out there.

The WNT was attended by representatives from all the major British dominions and colonies - India, Australia, Canada, NZ and South Africa.

Tonnage held by the Australian Navy counted against the limits for the overall British Empire, hence the scuttling of the battlecruiser HMAS Australia in 1924.

 

Otherwise others are completely correct in their appraisals that outside of the treaty nations few countries were capable of building major warships, Germany would be the notable exception but was constrained by Versailles. It's also quite correct that the treaty effectively forbids purchase of warships from 3rd powers. I believe it even restricted signatories building for 3rd parties as they could in theory quickly take over those ships.

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9 hours ago, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

Allied Intelligence had no idea the Yamato class existed or at least not on the scale they actually were even. Far too much effect went into secrecy on those projects just as allied had no idea about the Type 93 Long Kance Torpedoes until after war either.Same can actually be said for many of Japan’s aircraft unless Alliees managed to capture and test them.

The Yamato, yes.  The Allies really didn't have a good idea what that class was really like.  The Type 93?  By late 1942 the US had captured several intact in the Solomons that ran aground after battles.  They knew full well what was going on with them well before the war ended.

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On 2/8/2019 at 11:29 AM, Admiral_Thrawn_1 said:

Asians tend to be intelligent enough, and if supplied with diagrams of how to construct and operate the metal smelting / forging facilities and build the shipyards which was mainly a lot of digging and concreate work to begin with. In would say China could easily have been able to be ready to build ships in 5 years or less if other nations such as Russia were able to industrialize that quickly, and Russia had those purges to contend with as well which probably had negative effect on things. Might have accounted for how crudely Russia designed and built some of their vehicles around the time of WWII as well. But even if China had been able to be ready to build Warships within 5 years, you still would have had the construction time of the warships themselves.

So China might have managed, after all if any nation was similar to Japan it would be China based on their culture, written language, and architecture. Although Korea has much of the influence as well, but back then Treaty nation’s probably would not have been sold on the story of Korea building ships for themselves instead of for Japan, China onnthe other hand was large enough to make the story believable. And with Japanese advisors “helping a neighboring nation” the quality of ships could possibly been as high as those of Japan. Russia on the other hand would not have been as useful due to political reasons and the quality of what they were producing for themselves. 

 

I agree on Britain not being able to fun those Proxy Navies consider it was mainly Britain and France that wanted the Naval Treaty after about bankrupting themselves with WWI, United States simply wanted peace and had the Great Depression happening. Not sure what Ital had going on, so really it was only Japan I think that could have really continued the Naval Arms Race. Of course once Hitler came to power in Germany they might have been able to join in the Naval arms race as well. So all things considered I think it was mainly that Allies could not afford to fight anymore at that point that the treaty was made, and honestly rather clever. If Axis powers had known full extend of the finacial problems they might have avoided the treaty, but then again Japan was reliant on American oil while they were trying to get prepared for WWII.

No.  The Soviet Union tried to the build Sovetsky Soyuz-class Battleships but their industry was constantly being showcased that it was not up to the task.  Maybe with enough time they could do it, but the sad fact is that the Soviet Union failed to built any Battleships or Battlecruisers.

And since you brought up China, well there was indeed a time when China had Battleships and Japan did not.  At the Battle of the Yalu River (1894) China had the Battleships Zhenyuan and Dingyuan.  These ships were by and far superior to anything Japan had in the battle as Japan had ordered Battleships from Britain at the time, but did not wait for them to be finished.  In the Battle, China had 2 Battleships and 8 cruisers vs Japan's 9 protected cruisers.  Despite the Battleships being enormously tough opponents, Japan still won the battle because China's infamous corruption ensured those Battleships had severe ammunition issues.  Ever since the Opium War and all the way into downfall of the Republic of China, corruption had been in the bones.  The Qing were corrupt, succeeded by the corrupt Empire of China, followed by the Warlord Era and the corrupt Kuomintang.  China modernized kicking and screaming and would never realistically be able to compete with the Imperial Japanese Navy.

BUPfvxi.jpg

 

You can't just hand a country an Apollo rocket and tell them to go to the moon in 5 years.  If there's not enough experience or understanding of the machinery, then they can't build and operate ships of comparable quality.  Japan's first domestically designed/built Battleships, the Fusos were just riddled with problems, such as the guns not being able to salvo fire without the recoil breaking the turret or the inadequate crew living space.  It took the US 9 years with almost unlimited funding and  national focus to get from a man in space to putting a man on the moon.

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16 hours ago, mofton said:

'

Otherwise others are completely correct in their appraisals that outside of the treaty nations few countries were capable of building major warships, Germany would be the notable exception but was constrained by Versailles. It's also quite correct that the treaty effectively forbids purchase of warships from 3rd powers. I believe it even restricted signatories building for 3rd parties as they could in theory quickly take over those ships.

The other important element is infra structure to support the ships. Especially when it came to dry docks for battle ships, even if somehow could afford to pay for one. You could never repair or refit the thing with any regularity. An excellent example is HMS New Zealand. The country was cashed up and able to purchase a decent battleship, but knew they could never maintain her. 

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18 hours ago, Royeaux said:

No.  The Soviet Union tried to the build Sovetsky Soyuz-class Battleships but their industry was constantly being showcased that it was not up to the task.  Maybe with enough time they could do it, but the sad fact is that the Soviet Union failed to built any Battleships or Battlecruisers.

And since you brought up China, well there was indeed a time when China had Battleships and Japan did not.  At the Battle of the Yalu River (1894) China had the Battleships Zhenyuan and Dingyuan.  These ships were by and far superior to anything Japan had in the battle as Japan had ordered Battleships from Britain at the time, but did not wait for them to be finished.  In the Battle, China had 2 Battleships and 8 cruisers vs Japan's 9 protected cruisers.  Despite the Battleships being enormously tough opponents, Japan still won the battle because China's infamous corruption ensured those Battleships had severe ammunition issues.  Ever since the Opium War and all the way into downfall of the Republic of China, corruption had been in the bones.  The Qing were corrupt, succeeded by the corrupt Empire of China, followed by the Warlord Era and the corrupt Kuomintang.  China modernized kicking and screaming and would never realistically be able to compete with the Imperial Japanese Navy.

BUPfvxi.jpg

 

You can't just hand a country an Apollo rocket and tell them to go to the moon in 5 years.  If there's not enough experience or understanding of the machinery, then they can't build and operate ships of comparable quality.  Japan's first domestically designed/built Battleships, the Fusos were just riddled with problems, such as the guns not being able to salvo fire without the recoil breaking the turret or the inadequate crew living space.  It took the US 9 years with almost unlimited funding and  national focus to get from a man in space to putting a man on the moon.

To add some notes about the Soviets, the German offensive probably also helped end construction on those vessels as well.  The Kriegsmarine was a relatively small force and the Germans were hedging on their land forces.  Thus, more Soviet resources were allocated to land and air forces over the navy, especially since the Soviets didn't have to deal with the Imperial Japanese Navy during their brawl.

Good example with China as well!  People do forget that they had a modern navy before it all went up in smoke.  It's also a good example of how a more-advanced force can be undermined by human issues.

In regards to the question, I recall that the Japanese built a lot of commerce ships that could be easily converted to small carriers, if the need was there.  That was a way they tried to circumvent the treaty.

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On 2/9/2019 at 12:16 AM, Murotsu said:

The Yamato, yes.  The Allies really didn't have a good idea what that class was really like.  The Type 93?  By late 1942 the US had captured several intact in the Solomons that ran aground after battles.  They knew full well what was going on with them well before the war ended.

If anybody had bothered to read CAPT Rooks paper on IJN torpedo doctrine and development, they would have known long before that.

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