Royal Navy Battleships

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mescal
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Royal Navy Battleships

Post by mescal » 02 Mar 2009 10:16

Hello,

After completing a short study of the availability of the cruisers of the main Navies, I turned to a similar work regarding the BBs of those navies.

Most of the data in the following charts are most probably well-known, but I still feel that such a synthetic view may be helpful.

The color code is still the same :
Green : available
Red : Sunk
Orange : Combat damage
Yellow : Noncombat damage
Light Blue : Training
Purple : under repair/refit/overhaul ... = unavailable
Brown : withdrawn from active service
Grey : building

The codes for the locations are :
HW : Home Fleet / Home Waters
MS : Mediterranean Sea
RS : Red Sea
IO : Indian Ocean
A : Atlantic (middle & north)
SA : South Atlantic
G : Gibraltar / Force H
P : Pacific

RN_BB_1.jpg


RN_BB_2.jpg


RN_BB_3.jpg
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Re: Royal Navy Battleships

Post by mescal » 04 Mar 2009 17:31

And here are some more data - or more precisely another view of the data presented above.
This table focus on the availability per ship, and on the geographic areas where those BBs were deployed.

The labels of geogrpahic areas remains the same as before. U stands for Unavailable and T for Training & Trials.
The "hits taken" count only takes into account the hits that led to at least one month of unavailability, as well as those which led to the loss of the ship (so 5 of those hits did not imply any time in dockyard).
The "total" is the sum of the previous columns, i.e. it excludes the building time as well as the months after the sinking of a ship.

RN_BB_nb1.jpg


So over the course of the war, the RN had around 25% of its BB fleet unavailable for repairs, maintenance & refit.
(this is very close to the USN value -- cf. the thread on USN BBs in this forum).

I will try to find time to do this analysis on a year by year basis.
And a breakdown of the geographic involvment by ship class would also be interesting (committing two R had not the same significance as committing two KGV)
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Re: Royal Navy Battleships

Post by corbin31 » 17 Jan 2012 16:21

Mescal,

This is great material. Could you manipulate the data to show BB deployment by region by month? I'm researching repairs on Royal Navy warships in American shipyards under Lend-Lease. I've got a list of the ships repaired by yard. I'm trying to determine the impact of the repairs on the availability of British warships, especially in 1941-1942. Thank you again for your hard work.

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Terry Duncan
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Re: Royal Navy Battleships

Post by Terry Duncan » 28 Jan 2012 00:55

So over the course of the war, the RN had around 25% of its BB fleet unavailable for repairs, maintenance & refit.


This would fit closely with the Admiralty estimates and with Jellicoe's estimates from WWI. The reason for building five of the KGV class was to allow for one to be in dockyard hands at all times and allow 2-1 odds against the two Bismarck class ships Germany was building. During WWI Jellicoe worked on allowing for one in four of his capital ships to be unavailable at all times, and it proved to be a fairly accurate figure.

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Re: Royal Navy Battleships

Post by mescal » 29 Jan 2012 21:49

The comparison with WW1 is interesting.

But the similarity of unvailability seems a bit curious - perhaps a coincidence, or an hint on average "standard repair time" in each war?
I'm no expert on ww1, but I thought that there were less combat damage to battleships in 14-18 than in 39-45. And there were certainly no long-term rebuilds (Queen Elizabeth or Valiant in 39/40), and no or few very long repair (again QE and Valiant after December 1941).
Thus if I'm not mistaken, it would mean that the average repair/overhaul time was longer in ww1, even though the technologies were simpler.

Or am I missing something ?
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Re: Royal Navy Battleships

Post by JonS » 30 Jan 2012 22:28

Ships are complex. And big. BBs are both really big and really complex. They are also, regardless of their generation, at or very near the bleeding edge of then-available technology.

Even without an enemy to fight against, these things would be expected to spend a lot of time under reapair. Look at the current US CVNs for an equivalent example. IIRC, the US has 11 or 12 fleet carriers, but can only call on maybe half of them at any one time. The other 5 or 6 are in dock for upgrades, repairs, refits, and training, which seems to consume something like 12-18 months after each 12-18 month cruise. And then there are the ships that are in deep refit, approximately once per decade per ship, meaning that one of the fleet is unavailable for a really extended period of time.

I'm sure that the USN would be able to surge up to maybe 8 or 9 carriers operational within a couple of weeks if, say, China invaded Taiwan, or Russia started stomping over Europe, but that would last for maybe 6-9 months, after which availability would likely drop below 50% and/or capabilities would begin to erode. By which I mean that, for example, times to launch and recover aircraft would start increasing as deck lifts broke down, local defences would weaken as CWIS pods went u/s and bits of the radar system broke down, and ship's max speed would start to wind down as the hull became fouled and the propulsion machinery developed niggling little defects that cumulatively have a significant efect. The ship would still 'work', but not as well, and perhaps not very well at all.

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Re: Royal Navy Battleships

Post by Terry Duncan » 31 Jan 2012 20:56

I think the maintenance schedule in WWI was based around having enough ships spare to allow a close to perfect model, though as there were several collisions that kept ships out of action as well as the many condenser problems, the margin of superiority was cut thin at times. In WWII some ships, notably Rodney and Renown, were pretty much worn out by the end of the war because they had been kept at sea long after they needed a refit - the massive crack by the bridge and funnels on Renown is one example of what was acceptable in WWII that would not have been so in WWI.

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