Washington Navy treaty and Carriers

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TRose
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Washington Navy treaty and Carriers

Post by TRose » 02 Dec 2006 18:14

Washington Naval treaty and Carriers
Every now and then some one brings up the Subject of Carriers and Italy.So did Italy have tonnage available under the Washington treaty to build carriers if it wanted to or would it have been a violation of the treaty to do so( Mute point after War started I know

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 02 Dec 2006 18:46

Article VII
The total tonnage for aircraft carriers of each of the Contracting Powers shall not exceed in standard displacement, for the United States 135,000 tons (137,160 metric tons); for the British Empire 135,000 tons (137,160 metric tons); for France 60,000 tons (60,960 metric tons); for Italy 60,000 tons (60,960 metric tons); for Japan 81,000 tons (82,296 metric tons).

Article VIII
The replacement of aircraft carriers shall be effected only as prescribed in Chapter II, Part 3, provided, however, that all aircraft carrier tonnage in existence or building on November 12, 1921, shall be considered experimental, and may be replaced, within the total tonnage limit prescribed in Article VII, without regard to its age.

Article IX
No aircraft carrier exceeding 27,000 tons (27,432 metric tons) standard displacement shall be acquired by, or constructed by, for or within the jurisdiction of, any of the Contracting Powers.

However, any of the Contracting Powers may, provided that its total tonnage allowance of aircraft carriers is not thereby exceeded, build not more than two aircraft carriers, each of a tonnage of not more than 33,000 tons (33,528 metric tons) standard displacement, and in order to effect economy any of the Contracting Powers may use for this purpose any two of their ships, whether constructed or in course of construction, which would otherwise be scrapped under the provisions of Article II. The armament of any aircraft carriers exceeding 27,000 tons (27,432 metric tons) standard displacement shall be in accordance with the requirements of Article X, except that the total number of guns to be carried in case any of such guns be of a calibre exceeding 6 inches (152 millimetres), except anti-aircraft guns and guns not exceeding 5 inches (127 millimetres), shall not exceed eight.
http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/pre-war/1922/nav_lim.html

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Bronsky
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Re: Washington Navy treaty and Carriers

Post by Bronsky » 11 Dec 2006 17:34

TRose wrote:Washington Naval treaty and Carriers
I don't think that anyone was still abiding by the Washington treaty by the late 1930s anyway.

Wouldn't the Littorio class of battleships be too big for the treaty? The Italians, built light units in the interwar period as well as refiting their older battleships, they only started real naval expansion (with the Littorio) in IIRC 1934 but their problem wasn't treaty limitations as much as it was availability of funds, raw materials and industrial capacity.

Building battleships is expensive, and they competed for resources with the other services, particularly the army which at that time was engaged in a twin war in Spain and Ethiopia. It looks like Italy simply couldn't afford a carrier, whether she wanted one or not, unless she was prepared to trade one of her modern battleships for it.

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Post by red admiral » 11 Dec 2006 20:20

unless she was prepared to trade one of her modern battleships for it.
Interestingly there was a scheme to convert Impero to a large aircraft carrier.

TRose
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Post by TRose » 13 Dec 2006 17:01

Thanks for the info so Italy could have then built 2 Fleet Carriers and a small carrier befor the War then. Or maybe 3 small fleet carriers

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Bronsky
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Post by Bronsky » 14 Dec 2006 11:50

Depends what you call "before the war". Littorio and Vittorio Veneto were laid down in 1935 and didn't enter service before the end of 1940. Replacing them with carriers wouldn't have speeded things up, and wouldn't have made any sense: Italy needed the battleships. My point was that the Italian naval construction effort suffered from a lack of resources, itself largely attributable to Italian involvement in Ethiopia and Spain.

Every other nation prioritized battleships over carriers until 1940 (included): just look at the American, British, Japanese construction programs. For resource-constrained navies, this meant that the first carrier wouldn't arrive until after the start of hostilities (Graf Zeppelin was 1942, Béarn was scheduled for 1941 but would probably have been delayed), and for an even poorer nation like Italy it meant not even building carriers. But I'm not sure that you can blame institutional stupidity over plain poverty for this state of affairs.

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Post by IrregularMedic » 24 Apr 2007 13:36

Bronsky wrote:Depends what you call "before the war". Littorio and Vittorio Veneto were laid down in 1935 and didn't enter service before the end of 1940. Replacing them with carriers wouldn't have speeded things up, and wouldn't have made any sense: Italy needed the battleships. My point was that the Italian naval construction effort suffered from a lack of resources, itself largely attributable to Italian involvement in Ethiopia and Spain.

Every other nation prioritized battleships over carriers until 1940 (included): just look at the American, British, Japanese construction programs. For resource-constrained navies, this meant that the first carrier wouldn't arrive until after the start of hostilities (Graf Zeppelin was 1942, Béarn was scheduled for 1941 but would probably have been delayed), and for an even poorer nation like Italy it meant not even building carriers. But I'm not sure that you can blame institutional stupidity over plain poverty for this state of affairs.
Did you mean the Joffre'? The Joffre' and the Painleve' were planned, AFAIK the Joffre was 20% complete at the time of the armistance and the Painleve' was either not laid down at all, or barely started (sources conflict).

The Bearn was an older vessel converted from a BB (or was it battlecruiser?) to a carrier in between the wars. At the beginning of hostilities she was deemed too obsolete for frontline service and spent the war delivering aircraft. Well, except for a hiatus being interned ;)

cheers!

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Davide Pastore
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Re: Washington Navy treaty and Carriers

Post by Davide Pastore » 17 Feb 2008 15:14

Bronsky wrote:Wouldn't the Littorio class of battleships be too big for the treaty?
Only if Italians revealed their true displacement :wink:
Bronsky wrote:It looks like Italy simply couldn't afford a carrier, whether she wanted one or not, unless she was prepared to trade one of her modern battleships for it.
Being wise after the event (that, according to a clever philosopher I happen to met, "is the only exact science" :lol: ) a few small, cheap, bare-bone escort carriers (says, like HMS Audacity) would have been very useful for convoy escort. They could have been converted from extant large merchants and small liners with the utmost facility. Even if they couldn't operate any useful battle aircraft, even having an unarmed Storch (or similar) circling over your head would have kept British forces at safe distance.

Of course, pre-war no-one had the least suspect a small, cheap, bare-bone escort carrier had any usefulness in a modern battlefleet :wink:

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