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RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory

 
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RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 4/30/2013 7:28:48 PM   
oldman45


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I think Juan hit on something, we can't critique the US unless we know what the Brit, Japan, and perhaps French/German are doing. The Japanese built a lot of AC's pre WWI and after. I forget the number of hulls they ended up scrapping because of the treaty.

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Post #: 121
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/1/2013 1:18:47 AM   
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In a personal mod of mine a few years ago, I designed a conjectural US "scout cruiser" called the Kansas City class. The idea here was the US started building one of those proposed "aviation cruiser" ships in the mid-30s but thought better of the design when it was still under construction. The hull was too far along to scrap however, so it was re-designed and completed as something similar to the way that Mogami was refitted by the Japanese in 1943.

This Kansas City design has the forward hull of a Brooklyn-class CL (3x3 6-inch) but instead of the rear turrets it had expanded seaplane facilities, say 6 aircraft. Just thought I'd throw it out there...it seems like something that might have been considered in an 8-8-8 insane world.

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Post #: 122
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/1/2013 2:59:38 AM   
Gary Childress


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OK...

Clearly I'm no good at hypothesizing about this never-was universe. Maybe it would be better if each of you submits what YOU think would be the most likely series of cruiser designs from 1922-1945. Just give me the specs and I'll do the art. Otherwise it's going to take forever for me to come up with a solid plan that won't get shot down.



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Post #: 123
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/1/2013 4:24:35 AM   
Cpt Sherwood

 

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It's your plan Gary, do it as you want. Don't worry about what anyone says, it is the 8-8-8 plan from outerspace, so why worry about if it is even possible, is it going to be a fun mod to play? That will be the criteria.

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Post #: 124
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/1/2013 5:32:01 AM   
FDRLincoln


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All that matters is that 8-8-8 From Outer Space is fun to play.

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Post #: 125
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/1/2013 5:56:47 AM   
Gary Childress


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Thanks Capt Sherwood and FDRLincoln. Very true but the whole thing that got me started on this was the fact that frivolty in ship design gets sort of uninteresting after a while. I can sit here for days on end and create a million different designs. What makes one design better than another? To me trying to trace a kind of plausibility in the design makes it more interesting. It gives me some boundaries to work with. Paradoxically enough, I think art without boundaries ultimately fails to be art. Art without boundaries ultimately gets you Jackson Pollack!

So I am interested in the plausibility of the ships I will use in the mod. Like I have said before, there is an art to alternative history mods. You can create a mod that is somewhat "realistic" and people will maybe be interested in it or you can do space lizards with ray guns versus spacebattleship Yamato and absolutely NO ONE, including mysefl, will want to play it. I know this mod is Called "Plan 8-8-8 from Outerspace" but it won't be featuring space lizards. lol

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Post #: 126
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/1/2013 6:02:31 AM   
Terminus


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"Unrealistic" mods get old REAL quickly, for both players and designers.

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Post #: 127
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/1/2013 6:02:40 AM   
Gary Childress


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JuanG
Putting 3 types of different gun with different ammo into service for 3 classes seems fairly counter to the USN's successful policy of standardization of munitions, atleast compared to Japanese or British efforts.


It seems to me that the "standardization" was more due to treaty constraints than anything else. In an unfettered arms race how long can you maintain a "standard" before someone comes along and makes that standard obsolete? You go 8", I go 10". But under the treaties, as soon as I go 10" I'm dipping into my precious capital ship tonnage so I don't. So we can both sit on our 8" cruisers for a few decades and relatively little will change. Take away those treaties and it's everyone for themselves. Today we're shooting 8" rounds tomorrow it will be 8.5".

On a side note, it's sort of interesting that by 1944 the newest battleships were making 33 knots, almost as fast as DDs. So for instance an Iowa class Battlehip could apparently outpace a Kent class cruiser at top speed. Did that render the Kents obsolete? I suppose the answer is, only if there is an Iowa in the vicinity. It seems that the philosophy of faster than stronger and stronger than faster sort of got nullified after a while. At the battle of Coronel the armored cruisers SMS Scharnhorst and SMS Gneisenau carried the day over some inferior british cruisers. Then only TWO WEEKS later at the battle of the Falklands those same two ships suddenly showed their weakness against battlecruisers. Then at Jutland it was the turn of the battlecruisers to show the chinks in their armor (or lack of it) against the main battle line. So what do you do? Do you make only Iowas and forget about anything smaller? So then your enemy makes a few less Iowas and a few more Kents and your Iowas become useless if they can't cover as much territory as his greater number of Kents. Iowas are great when they are available but rather useless when they aren't. Heck, under the right circumstances in 1944 an Omaha CL is a great ship!

Just some random thoughts.

< Message edited by Gary Childress -- 5/1/2013 6:12:54 AM >


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Post #: 128
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/1/2013 9:31:18 AM   
DOCUP


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I like your work Gary

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Post #: 129
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/1/2013 2:00:30 PM   
oldman45


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I don't envy you Gary, because of the very things you bring up in post 128. If it were my plan, I would make the Omaha, then go to Brooklyns and Clevelands. For the "heavy's" I would go with a Tennesse, than an upgraded Tennessee to compete with the faster AC Japan and England will be building and finally I would build BC's to compete with the Hoods.

The light guns would be 6" and the heavy's would be 10" until I build a hull to hold 4 or 8 12" finally the BC would carry the 14" till I came up with a good 16". (6 or 8). I guess I would build 2 classes of BC's That is my humble plan. To flesh it out more I would have to create one for Japan and the UK since shipbuilding is not in a vacuum.

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Post #: 130
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/1/2013 2:58:12 PM   
Terminus


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Why would anybody build battlecruisers after Jutland? Didn't happen IRL.

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Post #: 131
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/1/2013 4:57:08 PM   
oldman45


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The US would have had its BC's if the treaties hadn't of happened. Money constraints stopped the Brits from building more Hoods.

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Post #: 132
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/1/2013 6:23:15 PM   
Terminus


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The US wasn't swimming in money either. Presuming a historical development, the US would have been semi-isolationist after 1918, and not likely to enter into a building race until much later.

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RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/1/2013 6:52:46 PM   
traskott

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cpt Sherwood

It's your plan Gary, do it as you want. Don't worry about what anyone says, it is the 8-8-8 plan from outerspace, so why worry about if it is even possible, is it going to be a fun mod to play? That will be the criteria.


+1. Your designs, your rules. The idea of scouts/escort/combat cruisers is a very good idea. Keep designing!

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Post #: 134
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/1/2013 7:42:35 PM   
oldman45


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Terminus

The US wasn't swimming in money either. Presuming a historical development, the US would have been semi-isolationist after 1918, and not likely to enter into a building race until much later.


Thats the point, his scenario doesn't have the treaty and there is no world depression.


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Post #: 135
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/1/2013 7:54:31 PM   
Symon


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Terminus
Why would anybody build battlecruisers after Jutland? Didn't happen IRL.

True, nobody built BCs, qua BCs. But the evolution of cruisers from their Protected Cruiser/Armored Cruiser origins should be examined. The AC evolution into a substitute BB was a doggie’s lunch. Didn’t work, but the name stuck, so anything in that milieu is painted with a broad brush. I prefer the term CB, to suggest it’s a “classic” cruiser mission with big zagongas, rather than BC which suggests a “battle line” mission with weak knees.

Number of ships vs armor thickness vs number of guns vs size of guns vs rate of fire, etc.. is subject of extensive mathematical analysis in a great article by Joe Czarnecki over at NavWeaps (http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-076.htm) based on math methods developed and published by Bradley A. Fiske and Frederick W. Lanchester, in the period 1905 to 1920. An even more formal and in-depth analysis is in Fleet Tactics: Theory and Practice, Wayne P. Hughes, Jr, Naval Institute Press, 1986. Highly recommended.

It discusses several aspects of ship/gun design/disposition.
a) “more barrels” vs “heavier barrels” on the same number of ships (basically the Baltimore v Cleveland question); turns out it’s a wash.
b) “quality” vs “quantity ” (fewer ships with bigger guns vs more ships with adequate guns) where the larger ships are also more rugged (basically the two Yamatos vs a bunch of SoDaks); turns out more ships wins every time.
c) “quality vs power” (same number of ships but one side has lighter guns but more armor) advantage (slight but significant) goes to the more rugged side. This modifies a) to a degree given the slightly thicker armor of the Baltimores.
d) gun range, all other things being equal, is significant. Actually, it’s the differential in the immunity zone of the various ships vs the particulars of the gun/ammo combo shooting at them. Time within the immunity zone is a first order effect.

So, pop the cork on a cab, grab some double gloucester, pull out Mahan, and start thinking like a 1920s Naval planner.

To be faster, a ship needs to be longer. But longer means heavier, so more SHP for a given HP/Dspl ratio. Ok. But a cruiser needs to have legs, so it’s either more bunkerage (heavier and thus even more SHP – a never ending cycle) or a more efficient power plant and an acceptance of less than supercalifragilistic extralidocious top speed. Ok. Armor costs money, armor costs speed, armor costs endurance. So what is the point of big armor in a “cruising cruiser”? Ok.

So I would stretch out cruisers a bit and fit them with the new hi-T/hi-P plants and fill them up with 6” because they are more flexible than 8” and gun power doesn’t seem to matter much, but the 6” designs are much less expensive. The Treasury thanks me. And obviously none of these are designed to take their place in the battle line. That is not their mission.

But there’s a gazillion of these pesky cruisers all over the place and if I’m looking to do some commerce raiding or littoral power projection, I need something significantly more powerful. So I take a page from the Kriegsmarine and make a “hunting cruiser”. A long, light, fast, ship with big, long range guns. But see b) and d), above. I might armor them up for a reasonable immunity zone against standard cruiser weapons (see item c) above). A ‘hunter’ needs to have the same legs as the cruisers it’s hunting. So power plant, design coefficients, etc.. need to be in the same ball park (but up the stats and up the cost).

That’s about it so far as cruisers go. I would build lots of 6”ers, size depending on mission, but a large planforn for efficient speed/endurance and gun carrying capability. A very few 8”; basically my bore is bigger than your bore, but not very useful in a practical sense. And some “hunting cruisers”, with 11/12” long range weapons. Not heavily armored, because that reduces their speed/range, makes them uneconomical, and doesn’t really protect them from jack, if you read and understand the references, but makes them vulnerable to case b), so some thought as to immunity zones with respect to an opponent’s expected weaponry might be appropriate.

Mission, mission, mission, mission. And all the marginal dollars, pounds, francs, marks, lire, and yen I save goes into the big boys; at least till the airplane comes into its own, but that won’t matter squat to the guerre de course operational requirements of cruiser thought.


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Post #: 136
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/1/2013 8:02:27 PM   
Terminus


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John is, of course, correct.

As for a long-legged cruiser killer, the 1924-28 Reichsmarine boss Hans Zenker had some thoughts about this:

http://www.avalanchepress.com/WeimarFleet.php

Oh, and would the USN adopt a Guerre de Course strategy in the first place? This kinda conflicts with Mahan's fleet-in-being approach and could be considered the strategy of a "weak" naval power.

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Post #: 137
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/1/2013 8:07:16 PM   
Terminus


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It's also interesting to consider that the USN never possessed a BC. The Lexingtons were called CCs and the next "battlecruiser" class (the Alaskas) were CBs.

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Post #: 138
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/1/2013 8:10:31 PM   
Symon


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Reading comments, I see that people consider this as a "from outer space" mod. Please excuse my postings. Obviously, your mod will do what you wish it to do.

Sorry about that. JWE

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Post #: 139
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/1/2013 8:28:01 PM   
Terminus


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Gary has already stated that he's moved away from the most spacy aspects of his mod, so I think we can safely discuss something realistic in new cruiser design.

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Post #: 140
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/1/2013 8:43:58 PM   
Symon


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Terminus
Oh, and would the USN adopt a Guerre de Course strategy in the first place? This kinda conflicts with Mahan's fleet-in-being approach and could be considered the strategy of a "weak" naval power.

Ok, since you ask; No. Guerre de Course was in the lexicon of GB, France (to a very limited extent), Italy (ok, to a pathetic degree). Guerre de Course was a function of MISSION, hello, knock, knock, mission? What are you building ships for? What do you want them to do? Hello, knock, knock, Mahan? US was not interested in Guerre de Course tactics because it didn't have the kind infrastructure that a Guerre de Course attack would concern itself with (whistling in the wind yeah, but we're talking 1920-40).

So who is building cruisers, and for what purpose? Why the heck does anyone build a warship? And for what purpose? I think Terminus has the right outlook. If you don’t have a serious operational deployment scheme for a vessel, and a vessel designed to carry out that deployment scheme,then the results are nothing but an expensive target for a more thoughtful Naval power.

Sorry. JWE


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Post #: 141
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/1/2013 8:51:19 PM   
Terminus


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If it hadn't been for the treaties, I think the US would have built battleline units in the 20's, and then woken up in about 1930 and realized they didn't have a scouting arm for the fleet.

IRL, they began in the very late 20's, but that was due to the treaty-imposed building freeze; even the United States only had so much building capacity in the 20's, so they couldn't just lay down what they wanted.

And again, this is peacetime; where's the money coming from? Is Prohibition in effect? We might not have a Depression, but Prohibition did bad things to the US economy as well.

If it were my mod, I'd start constructing cruisers in the early 30's.



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Post #: 142
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/1/2013 10:22:19 PM   
oldman45


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OK JWE, I am going to do some "light" reading tonight with my favorite adult beverage and I have a funny feeling that in the end of that, I will come to the conclusion that everything you wrote makes sense. I do need to improve my library with topics about naval theory between the wars, thanks for the links John and Term.


John, that was interesting reading and it did actually make sense and flesh your post out. Term the article you pointed out makes a good argument for the cruiser killer and I really can't think of a better one than a 14" or 15" armed BC.

< Message edited by oldman45 -- 5/2/2013 12:45:58 AM >


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Post #: 143
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/2/2013 2:50:31 AM   
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Thanks for the input John, insightful as always. 'Outer space' mod or not, I'm certain it is always appreciated. And as Terminus pointed out, Gary clearly intends to use a form of realistic logic to the development of his navies, even if the economic or political factors are handwaved away.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Symon
So I would stretch out cruisers a bit and fit them with the new hi-T/hi-P plants and fill them up with 6” because they are more flexible than 8” and gun power doesn’t seem to matter much, but the 6” designs are much less expensive. The Treasury thanks me. And obviously none of these are designed to take their place in the battle line. That is not their mission.


With regards to this, how would the non-availability of a rapid fire 6in like the US 6in/47 change your decisions? If the choice was between say the British 8in/50 Mk8 vs the 6in/50 Mk22 or the Japanese 8in/50 3YT vs the 15cm/50 41YT?

If this sort of scenario leads the UK and Japan to adopt 8in or something else, how likely do you think the US will be move to this standard simply to not 'get left behind' (even though we know that the 6in cruisers were just as effective in wartime).

< Message edited by JuanG -- 5/2/2013 2:52:00 AM >


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Post #: 144
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/2/2013 7:07:43 AM   
Gary Childress


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OK. So here's a building plan a little more along the lines of JWE's projections. First off, though, directly after the Omahas, the US goes a little retro and builds two 10" armored cruisers as replacements for the Tennessees. Unfortunately the design quickly proves no more satisfactory than the Tennessees and only 2 ships are completed before the class is canceled. These of course will most likely find themselves in the Asiatic Fleet on Dec 7, 1941. Not much else to use them for. So this goes a little along with Oldman45's projection for the development of the armored cruiser.

Next come the Northamptons, 8 ships with only 8 x 6" guns designed for trade protection. Cheap inexpensive but generally stronger than destroyers. Soon after the development of the trade protection cruisers we get the first 12" cruiser killers, designed to seek out and destroy weaker trade protection cruisers. After that we get a somewhat larger 6" cruisers class with the San Francisco class, still 6" but with 12 guns instead of just 8. Then we come to the pinnacle of 6" with the St. Louis class, 15 x 6" guns.

Once war becomes inevitable the Clevelands with enhanced AA go into production. Also we have the wartime Atlanta class cruiser killers. Finally there's the Baltimore class with 8" guns instead of 6".

So we have a preponderance of the 6" as JWE projects, relatively cheap and easy to build. Yes I have a rather large number of cruiser killers but that's just me. I like large cruisers like Oldman45 likes Battlecruisers. NOTE: The US will also have 2 battlecruisers of the Lexington class. The remaining 4 Lexingtons will be converted into carriers once everyone realizes their shortcomings and figures out an alternative use for them.






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Post #: 145
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/2/2013 9:16:44 AM   
traskott

 

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I'm an amateur but I think we should consider others reason to build or not to build X or Y type of ship: prestige ( "Naval powers have 10' cruiser, let's go to build them" ) or build it "because my main enemy has built it, so just in case", so perhaps we have to design all the fleets ( british, netherland and american ) together...


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Post #: 146
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/2/2013 11:59:07 AM   
Terminus


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Welp, that requires going back to immediately after WWI. The different nations need cruisers for different reasons, as John noted above:

UK: scouting, trade protection, colonial duties
US: scouting, colonial duties
Japan: scoutng, commerce raiding, torpedo attack, destroyer leader
France: scouting, commerce raiding, trade protection, colonial duties
Netherlands: scouting, trade protection, colonial duties

Note that in the advent of war, trade protection duties would partly be taken up by AMCs (since there'll never be enough cruisers). Also, the duty of cruisers would gradually drift into air defence only.

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Post #: 147
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/2/2013 12:01:23 PM   
oldman45


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Gary, are the Clevelands a typo? I don't see a reason to build 15 6" guns in '34 then drop down to 8 6" in '42. The San Fransisco and Saint Louis are your killer CL's!!

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Post #: 148
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/2/2013 12:07:49 PM   
Terminus


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Well, IRL the US dropped from 15 down to 12 6", because 15 was overgunned.

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Post #: 149
RE: Alternative Cruiser Design Theory - 5/2/2013 12:33:02 PM   
oldman45


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I think it was due to ship handling not being over gunned, but I don't think they would build a class of 15 gun, then 12 gun, and finally down to 8 guns. The 12 gun Cl was very powerful and I since I read that piece JWE pointed to, could take on a typical 8" gun cruiser.

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