Content of the article: "British battlecruisers: A serious proposal"
So, British battlecruisers. I've seen a couple of these here recently and most of them have had some problems I disagree with.
In the end I decided to get my own proposal for these. So, here they are. I will not be using the prefix for these since
Tier 3: Invincible (Potentially HMS New Zealand as a Commonwealth premium)
There was no way I wasn't going to include these. 8×12" guns and 25kt top speed. 6" belt makes them easy to citadel, but we'll get to how to make them work later. Fast and able to easily outpace anything at the tier she would be nice in flanking roles, but hampered by her low gun count.
Tier 4: Princess Royal
A ship of the WWI Lion class, this ship represents an improvement in several factors over the T3. Notably, her armour is up to 9" thick, she gains 2.5kts of speed (up to 27.5kts) and her guns are upgraded to 13.5" size. With some WG attention for how she would be fitted with AA post-war she would be a nice counterpart to the Orion class at the same tier, keeping one less turret than the battleship line.
Tier 5: Tiger
Another tier up and another upgrade. Tiger is not much different from Princess Royal in terms of major characteristics, but is more modernized since she was only scrapped after the London naval treaty. Speed goes up 0.5kts and her AA grows rapidly. Better turret placement, more powerful secondaries and lower citadel would make her stay in line with ships of the same tier, especially if the gun reload was set at 25s.
Tier 6: Renown (+Repulse as potential premium)
At Tier 6 we get Renown. Speed goes up again to 31-32 knots. AA gets massively reinforced due to the presence of the 4.5" dual-purpose guns and a positively American amount of smaller AA. However, her armour stays at the same 9" thickness, rendering her still vulnerable to attack. With three twin 15" turrets she packs a greater punch and is able to overmatch T7 battleship plating.
Her sister Repulse is not as heavily refitted, but in the configuration I'd like to see she carries torpedo tubes and goes up to 32.5 knots since her displacement is slightly lower.
Tier 7: Admiral-class, or Design Y (Modernized like Warspite)
Tier 7 hosts the first decision between two designs, both very similar. Admiral-class were supposed to be sister ships of HMS Hood with better belt, but all-or-nothing armour scheme and 32.5kt top speed. Design Y was a proposed variant of the Revenge class which combined the armour and armament of Queen Elizabeth with a 30-knot top speed. Compared to same-tier battleships they still have relatively large, poorly protected citadels and with 8×15" guns their firepower is roughly average. (For Design Y I'd recommend the name "Resolution" as a tribute to the R-class that was never build)
Tier 8: I3/J3/Admiral-class in Queen Elizabeth-like rebuild
Tier 8 holds the other decision based on how tier 7 went. Either you go with a more modernized Admiral-class with 4.5" battery in the same vein as Renown. Desing I/J3 is a spoiler of what will come up next. Speed of 32 kts, 3×15" guns in the arrangement of the next tier of ship with all secondary guns being replaced by 4.5" guns. Sadly there are no really unique relevant pictures I can get
Tier 9: G3-class battlecruisers (St. Geroge)
At Tier 9 we get to the long-awaited G3 class. They are very much like the Iowa, but 20 years older and with better armour over the magazine. Plus, these were actually ordered before the Washington naval treaty, but cancelled. This means it's possible to have the entire line made out of designs which were ordered at one point. 32kt top speed. 9×16" guns in three triple turrets. These are heavier than turrets on the Nelson. The ships would probably be using a lighter shell akin to those on Nelson herself, reducing their alpha strike, but with slightly faster reload than average and good shell arcs due to the higher muzzle velocity. Unlike in the picture above the ship would be in its theoretical refit configuration with 8 twin 4.5" turrets per side. With heavy AA and high top speed these would play similar to the Iowa, but with some key differences such as a 30-degree blind spot at the back from either side.
Tier 10: Temeraire (One of the variants of finishing the Lion-class)
This is a draft of upscaling the Lion-class battleships we know from T9 in the battleship line with a couple key differences.
First of all, main guns. 9×16" guns seems very little for Tier 10, but these are autoloading 16" guns. Yes, really. Royal Navy estimates put reload between 15 and 20s. Let's say 18s for the sake of argument. She also claims the "Fastest BB" spot, beating Jean Bart and Georgia by half a knot at 33.5kts. Her secondary and AA isn't a slouch either, having 6 Mk V 4.5" mounts per side (These mounts are used by the Daring as main guns) What is the downside? She has only 16" unangled, exposed armour around her citadel. (Only Slava has a worse horizontal citadel protection) This means her protection is deceptively poor compared to her contemporaries even if Brits did go insane on deck armour, with a thick weather deck and 6-8" of vertical citadel protection.
Consumables and how to make them work:
So, how to implement these? The entire line seems worse protected and with less firepower than their contemporaries within other lines.
Faster gun reload on average: (Except T4 and T7). The ships would have mediocre accuracy, but significantly faster reload than same-tier battleships. Renown, for example, would have a reload of 26-27s since she has.
Above-average secondary range: The secondaries would have a range above that of most battleships, with T9 and T10 reaching up to 7.5km base (Lower than French and German lines)
Warspite Damage control+ Massachusetts heal: By combining these two aspects the battlecruisers would be able to take less DOT and replenish health faster which mitigates their lower survivability since most of these would have no improved armour aside from the main belt.
Vanguard-like rudder shift: The ships themselves would tend to have wide turning circles, but like Vanguard would posess extremely rapid rudder shift capability, allowing them to quickly react to incoming fire.
What do you think of this idea? Please leave a comment, I'd like to know your opinions. If you liked this, upvoting would help spread it to more people.
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