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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
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This will stay a HOI2 AAR. Even if I hadn't finished the game ages ago, I wouldn't convert, mainly because HOI3 lacks the total freedom. For example, I couldn't do as I am doing now and have 179 British and Comonwealth Divisions racing down the Chinese coast to capture it before the Americans can land. :D

I once played as France, and I had 500 (vesus some 300ish) divisions in my command to attack the Chinese, in 1942 (and that was after I finish raping the Soviets. :p).
 

trekaddict

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Something I modded this morning whilst enjoying a cup of coffee to get my screwed up bio-clock running again ( can you believe I woke up at fucking 05:00 AM even though I wouldn't have to until 08:00 ?):


cancores.png
 
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Something I modded this morning whilst enjoying a cup of coffee to get my screwed up bio-clock running again ( can you believe I woke up at fucking 05:00 AM even though I wouldn't have to until 08:00 ?):

that is nothing trek, sometimes I only got to sleep at 5 and have to wake up at 8. :p

btw, is the dark green part of the map what you want give to Canada?
 

trekaddict

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damn.... Turns out I have to abandon that game because whenever I dow the US, the game crashes a week afterwards.... :mad:
 

Griffin.Gen

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damn.... Turns out I have to abandon that game because whenever I dow the US, the game crashes a week afterwards.... :mad:
You are a shame to Canada :mad:
At least, your game is.
 

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It was late 1947, and there never was a war against Soviet Russia, the game probably couldn't deal with teh massive British, Chinese and European Divisions I had, never mind the American and Soviet Armies...:(
 

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Intermission #5


Earlier we have heard of how the Fleet Air Arm progressed through the war years and the immediate post-war period. Now it is time to shed light onto the development that led to the construction of HMS Formidable and her modern brethren.

The Battle of Kristiansand had ended the surface threat of the German Navy. The few capital ships that remained, Scharnhorst, Schleswig-Holstein and Geisenau, along with the Heavy Cruiser Blücher were all that remained of a Navy that had boasted only a year before that it could sweep the seas clean of British shipping. With most of the Capital ships of the Home Fleet needing urgent repairs and maintenance, the continued blockade had to be upheld by the Carrier Forces. In 1941, Force A was centred around the four Illustrious Class Carriers that were the mainstay of the Carrier Forces at that time.

However: even though HMS Illustrious and her sisters were larger than any previous British carriers and could easily hold their own against contemporary designs, such as the American Yorktowns or the Japanese Shokaku class, the limited shipbuilding capacity in the United Kingdom at that time meant that Royal Navy Carrier Battlegroups would most likely not enjoy superior numbers, and to alleviate this problem as much as possible, the next generation of Carriers would have to be enlarged, that much was clear before even the first Illustrious-Class Carrier touched the water. Normally the Royal Corps of Naval Constructors would have been tasked with designing a new class, but the requirements of the war and official opposition from the Admiralty, namely the First Sea Lord, prompted then-Vice Admiral Cunningham to approach various companies privately so that the service had something to fall back on if needed. In May 1940 Harland &Wolff proposed the 'Project R-212', and Cunningham presented it to the Third Sea Lord and the RCNC without bothering to go to the First Sea Lord. Luckily for Cunningham, the Third Sea Lord was a kindred spirit and kicked it up the line as a design coming out of the RCNE instead of a third-party and the Prime Minister was also encouraging the proposal after a more or less clandestine meeting with Cunningham that same month. The First Sea Lord was still rather unwilling to commit more resources on Carrier construction, but since policy was in the end made by parliament, the cabinet and the RCNC, there was little he could do, and as soon as the berths were free, the first four Implacables were laid down, overall eleven were ordered to be built over the next nine years.

Before we go into the carrier tactics of the time and examine the general course of carrier developments during and after the war, we will examine the Implacable class closer, since it was this carrier design that carried the main burden of the Carrier war against Japan. Since the experiences with HMS Captain the Royal Navy was less than enthusiastic about capital ship designs that came from third parties, but at least Harland & Wolff had plenty of experience in shipbuilding, so when the RCNC went over the blueprints with a fine toothcomb, few structural faults were found with the design itself, even though some matters wouldn't become apparent until the ships were in operational use. With a length of 870 ft and a beam of 91 Feet, it was slightly smaller than the contemporary American People's Republic Class but carried a similar number of aircraft, and the projected speed of 34 knots was almost three knots faster than any previous British Carrier and faster than anything comparable that was in service in the western hemisphere.[1] The first People's Republic Class, APNS New England, was not due to be commissioned for another eight months due to 'minor problems' that were never fully disclosed by American authorities even though it can be speculated that it was connected to the horrific damages the areas around Hampton Roads had taken and the lack of a skilled workforce that came with it and that would impede the American war effort for several more years.

Returning to the Implacable Class it must once again be stressed that the Royal Corps of Naval Constructors went over the plans and blueprints with extra scrutiny as a second HMS Captain needed to be prevented at all costs, for the Senior Service could not afford another such disaster during wartime, so when HMS Implacable was laid down in early 1941, she was under massive scrutiny from the beginning and perhaps this is the reason why Implacable was the only of her class that actually performed better than advertised, clocking at 33.6 knots during speed trials.

However before we go to Implacable's combat record before the outbreak of hostilities with Japan and a general outline of the activities of Force A before, during and after the time of Market Garden, it must be stressed again that only after the Battle of the Blockade the Carrier was finally accepted as the Fleet's way to the future and even though Cunningham was still accused of building his own private Fleet received all the funding that could be had, so as a result both the Fleet Air Arm's modern aircraft and the Carriers themselves were in shorter supply than wanted which in turn accounts for the general lack of combat activity for most of 1939, 1940 and 1941. It also pays to have a closer look at some of the lesser known features of the Implacable Class that would later become common-place on Royal Navy Carriers. For one the Implacable Class was the first carrier class in the Royal Navy that had proper accommodation for both ratings and Officers, that served meals around the clock instead of at 0700, 1200, 1600 and 1800 hours, the first large enough for proper mess facilities and since the Class was designed outside the Royal Navy also had a fresh-water handling system that was almost up to the standards that would have been enjoyed by a civilian merchant hull of the time. The latter had already been partially implemented on the Illustrious Class, but the others either needed space, always in short supply on a warship or were procedural changes that were not proposed until the class passed RCNC inspection and the engineers noted the extra space and the features that the designers in Belfast had put in on their own accord. So far they were procedural changes they were implemented on the other Carriers in the Fleet, made possible by the considerable clout and influence that a vindicated Cunningham enjoyed. Secondly, another change was also that for the first time the Aircrews were the centre of attention instead of a nuisance that was to only to be tolerated aboard ship. While the latter required substantial modifications to some areas of the ship, it did wonders for morale and recruitment figures, both things that the Royal Navy liked to be as high as possible.

cv_hms_indefatigable_19441.jpg

HMS Implacable in 1945​

Another factor was also that the Implacable Class could carry three times the number of aircraft than some of the older Carriers, not only substantially increasing the striking power of a Carrier Group on both axis of attack, but also increasing the air cover that could be provided for the strike and the Carrier itself, silencing those that still believed that a heavily armoured flight deck was the way to go since one Implacable could carry more aircraft than the Mediterranean Fleet had had Spitfires on all of it's Carriers during Market Garden, thereby turning Force A into the most powerful assembly of British sea power of all time if concentrated in the same area. During 1941 the established strength of a RN Carrier Air Group was as follows:



2 fighter squadrons composed of 18 Supermarine Seafires apiece
1 bombing squadrons composed of 18 Albacore dive bombers
2 torpedo squadrons composed of 18 Fairey Swordfish apiece.
1 scouting squadron of 5 Fairey Swordfish Mk.VIII scouting planes
( from 1942 onwards fitted with Air to surface and in January 1944 trials began for Air to air RDF sets. )

swordfish1.jpg




The Implacable Class served with distinction for years, but as early as 1943 the development of the so-called Super-Carrier began that was intended to eventually replace the Implacables in their front-line role and take over the majority of the Fleet actions fought in the Pacific.

The intended replacement, the Audacious Class, was overtaken by events. By the time the four ships of what was to be Batch I were under construction, more had already been cancelled in favour of the newest class.

968 feet long and with a beam of 113 feet, the Malta Class was by far the largest of the war-time Carrier designs that left the drawing boards in Britain. When the need for a larger Carrier emerged in 1943 the RCNE took it upon itself to create a design that incorporated everything that had been learned since the first Implacable had touched the water and in September 1943 the first four were laid down and by 1945 HMS Malta was commissioned into the Royal Navy. Ten units were planned, but the end of the war cut all Naval construction short as Churchill ordered a review of all Naval construction in order to reduce the burden of the war on the British Economy that also had Europe to rebuild. In the end the Implacables, and Maltas, especially those constructed later in the war proved to be of incredible longevity, versatility and general ability in service, even though most were on the way out by the late 1980s. HMS Indefatigable was the last to leave service, she was struck in 1985 and her Island superstructure was donated to the Imperial War Museum. The last Malta was withdrawn in 1994.

This was however by no means the end of the evolution of the Aircraft Carrier in British Service. After the war new technologies soon overtook many of the advancements and lessons of the war years, for example the Implacables and the later Lusties were all fitted with angled flight decks, but the most important one by far was the advent of Nuclear Power as a viable energy source for not only the cities of the British Empire but also for the ships that defended her coasts. The RCNE had started feasibility studies on Nuclear Power as early as 1949, but it wouldn't be until 1958 that Admiral of the Empire Cunningham (ret.) himself in one of his last official appearances symbolically laid the keel for the new HMS Illustrious[3], named after her older predecessor that had been scrapped due to metal fatigue and the availability of numbers of newer Implacable Class Carriers in 1954.

The new Illustrious Class proved to be a more troublesome type of ship than the last one. The new technology and the lack of any sort of experience in Nuclear Power on warships were only contributing factors that led to a cost explosion that Harold Wilson's ( in- ) famous administration was unwilling to suffer, but the lack of another design and clear American advances into the same direction lead to the Class not being cancelled like so many other designs, and it barely survived. However both the Admiralty and the RCNE were clear that they would not get funding for another Illustrious, and announced in 1961 that after the completion of HMS Ark Royal no more Lusties would be build. Instead development on the replacement Class began, with emphasis placed on cost cutting and increased performance. What emerged only four years later was the King George VI Class, a second-generation Nuclear Carrier that is today the backbone of the Royal Navy's striking power and together with the two Illustrious Class Carriers the twelve KGVIs uphold Britannia's rule over the waves and form a Navy second to none.

LustyN2.png

HMS Illustrious during her Far East deployment in 1987. This picture was taken during the brief period when RN ships did not carry any identifiable markings except the name of the ship on the stern.​


[Notes: El Pip, I hope you don't mind that I unsuccessfully try to copy your style a bit. Royal Navy trivia is taken from David Wragg's “Royal Navy Handbook 1939 – 1945”. A very recommended buy. As always this may go against what I may have said in comments to your always enjoyed feedback. In what I call the “Hazy follow-on TTL present day AAR time” I will detail the post war RN some more.]

[1] In essence a short-hull Essex-Class. My reasoning behind this is a mixture of game mechanics, since the Implacable and Essex are both lvl5 Carriers, and simply what knowledge I have.

[2] Composition of Air Groups is based on the USN model used in OTL 1941 at the time with some slight alteration due to Alternate Universe and not giving the RN too many breaks at the same time.


[3] Essentially the CVN-65, as you can see from the picture. I found it easier and more pleasing to the eye to simply re-work existing pictures.
 
Last edited:

El Pip

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Hmm carrier tastic. I'd quibble with a few points (for instance I'm not at all convinced about Kristiansand being used as a name for a capital ship, let alone a whole class).

However you may not want a long list of hole picking so I'll just say good update, looking forward to seeing those beauties going toe to toe with the IJN. :D
 

Lord Strange

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Mmmmmm tasty carrier update! Heh, Harold Wilson, fails in every time line.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Gorgeous...

Any V-STOL carrier in the RN?

PS: Why I'm not surprised to see Wilson "doing it" again? :D
 

trekaddict

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El Pip I couldn't call it Malta Class for obvious reasons, and that was the next big Battle I could think of, and in the end only two were built, and both scrapped by the 1970s, and I guess I have to put that in. I gather one of the other points is the G.38. Well, I never said it would work out as intended, now did I? :D And yes, hole picking is always fine as long as it's constructíve and helps me to fix whatever problems may arise. As long as the next update isn't posted, this is open to review and edit. The IJN is indeed in for some rude surprises, as the British Lion will show his teeth.

Lord Strange Indeed. :D


Kurt_Steiner The Trafalgar Class I mentioned is essentially the OTL Invincible Class, just with Harriers that are, shall we say.... more capale? I.e. using one of the Super-Sonic designs that never made it of the drawing board in real life.

PS: You shouldn't be. It's somewhat common knowledge that I hate him.
 

El Pip

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Very well I will attempt a few constructive hole picks;

Royal Corps of Naval Engineers - Never existed. However the Royal Corps of Naval Constructors did exist and did do ship design. ;)

Private design of RN ships - Fairly common actually. Off the top of my head HMS Amazon/HMS Ambuscade, the Admiralty put out a tender to Thornycroft and Yarrow for a new destroyer with a few minimum requirements and left the rest to them, that was early 1920s. Not sure if that approach was ever been used for major capital units, but it was hardly un-precedented.

GAL.38 - More powerful engines would pretty much defeat the object of the design, it didn't need power it just needed to have excellent endurance and be faster than the fleet it was shadowing. More-over surely chucking an ASV radar onto a Swordfish is a better solution?

Air Wing - The FAA was almost wilfully keen on never setting a standard squadron size, though I suppose with plentiful aircraft supplies and a more standardised carrier size they could change. They wouldn't like it though, they liked the flexibility.

A few random thoughts, nothing else really jumped out at me as hole that needed picking.
 

trekaddict

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Edit list coming up:

1. Typo. :eek:o

2. Allright, so let's make it "Capital ships in that then.

3. Probably true, but we still need a platform that can also carry an Air-Search Radar. Will change that for now though.

4. In TTL the standard Squadron size is rammed down the throat of the FAA in exchange for having said plentiful aircraft and to ease the administrative and logistical burden with so many more Carriers out there.
 

Le Jones

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Great update - I too am not convinced by your CV class name - it's just not going to wash with the public or jack (the sailors) at all. Something slightly more traditional would have probably been adopted.

But this is only a minor quibble - along with a greater one: KILL HAROLD WILSON!
 

trekaddict

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Hrm. Any suggestions for a Class name?


Anyway, as for Wilson...well, one can't only have competent PMs, now can one? And anyway, Harold Wilson's failures are essential for some things I am planning for post-war. :D
 

Woody Man

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York Class? If that isn't already taken, or Lancaster, either sounds nice.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Le Jones

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Personally I think HMS Stanley Baldwin and HMS Neville Chamberlain sound quite nice.

What about the Temeraire class?