From: San Diego (Lives in Indianapolis)
ORIGINAL: John 3rd
Looking back on it they were a totally STUPID idea; however, that was not apparent at the time. No one knew.
Just like what happened with CV design. The Hybrid CV-Cruisers SOUNDED like a good idea...
Fair enough, I mean they would of made some sense--if you could work out the range finding--as commerce raiders prior to the point where the convoy system had been developed and torpedoes were reliable. The problem was they were conceptualized at a point when designers should have known better.
Like I said, they would have been terrible surface combatants for many reasons. For example, you couldn't armor them and any dedicated surface combatant they would "fight" would most likely be armored. This exacerbated the problem that, while most surface combatants could survive some hits in a fight, the submarines could not. Plus range finding, the lack of height on the mast meant that the effective range of those "big guns" was a lot shorter than a surface combatant.
And finally, especially after knowing torpedoes work, from a design philosophy perspective you are designing a submarine that trades in its chief advantage--stealth--to fight under less than ideal conditions on the surface (see above).
Cruiser carriers get more of a pass for me because, when they were being conceptualized, it was really unclear how potent naval air power was going to be and CVs as a concept had not yet been proven with combat experience.
Speaking of which, I think battleships get a bad rap. Even at the end of the Second World War they were still very potent weapons platforms, and had a place as actual naval combatants and not just bombardment ships; however, their use as such really depended on air parity which no longer existed; AND at the end of the war it just made more sense, at least to the USN, to ensure that air parity at sea was never again possible.
Then of course, the development of the anti-ship missile made the idea of naval artillery as fleet anti-ship weapon comical... but now we've got rail guns, so that may be changing. Then again, while we might someday see "big rail gun" ships, we will never again see armored warships--no armor ever made is going to stop a 50kilo tungsten slug travelling in excess of mach 5.
Maybe someday we will see space ships that hearken back to the castles of steel.
< Message edited by Revthought -- 1/13/2017 2:31:06 PM >
Playing at war is a far better vocation than making people fight in them.