From: De Eye-lands, Mon
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).
Well, just looking at guns in a vacuum, I would have to agree with you; bigger is indeed better, in many ways, but size has its own consquences . Think Don has it right, that people would build 6” cruisers, qua cruisers, in quantity, because the missions require lots of them. So I would still predict gobs of 6-8,000 tonners (which can be built in quantity) with 6” guns (because of weight and the need for high endurance). These would be flotilla leaders, tactical fleet scouts, trade patrol/protection, and far foreign station vessels; classic cruiser missions.
8” guns would grow the sizes (i.e., can’t build as many) and increase the weight (i.e., require more HP and/or reduce endurance and habitability). IIrc the Brits wanted to scrap the Hawkins class in 1919 as unsuitable for post-war service. They finished them anyway (as an economy measure !), but didn’t they refit one or two of them as ordinary 6” light cruisers?
I do agree that some people would play around with 8” cruisers, but wonder if development of that whole category wasn’t “spawned” by the Treaty and then shoehorned into a mission after the fact. I truly believe this whole idea of heavily armored 8" gun cruisers was a Treaty artifact, and had no definable tactical or strategic purpose. Wasn’t the 8”/50 Mk VIII designed specifically for the UK Treaty cruisers? With impossible-to-achieve weight/train/rof requirements and a defective barrel design?
Gun/mount/turret design is based on the ship design. In the absence of Treaty cruisers, would the 8”/50 Mk VIII exist? Or would ordnance development concentrate on better mountings, higher velocities, higher rofs, more capable projectiles, for ships/guns constituting the vast majority of a nation’s cruiser capability? Perhaps, given the changed circumstances, the 6”/47 Mk16 (designed 1932) would have arrived a few years sooner. It wasn’t much different from the 6”/53 Mk15 of the Omahas, but had a redesigned breech capable of receiving semi-fixed ammo, and adaptable to “super heavy” projectiles. Rof is mount design and it’s way easier to do that within a 6” paradigm as opposed to an 8”.
Ok, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it .
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