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> Romanian Pocket Battleships
Tiornu
Posted: November 20, 2003 04:32 pm
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Fruntas
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They could call it a battleship, an armored ship, a coast defense ship--that doesn't tell us anything. A ship does not become more or less powerful, more or less useful because of a label.
I agree that a German attack on Sweden would likely have caused the loss of the Sveriges, but that does not negate their value as deterrents. The Germans themselves determined that an invasion of Sweden would have been prohibitively expensive, or am I mistaken?
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dead-cat
Posted: November 20, 2003 05:18 pm
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QUOTE

They could call it a battleship, an armored ship, a coast defense ship--that doesn't tell us anything. A ship does not become more or less powerful, more or less useful because of a label.  


no but the label determines how it's going to be used. see the fate of the battlecruiser, which, by original design was never thought to fight a full-blown battleship. when it did, the result was desastrous.
as long the battlecruiser was used the way it was designed, as a large cruiser, it performed splendid (Falklands).

QUOTE

The Germans themselves determined that an invasion of Sweden would have been prohibitively expensive, or am I mistaken?

probably in terms of small craft and transport capacity, since mines proved to be a better defence than a strong coastal battery. but since swedes never had a problem with selling iron ore to germany, there wasn't even a remote necessity to threaten sweden in any way. especially because since the mid 18c there were no overlapping fields of interest.

and about the deterrent subject: 1917 the russian fleet could field 4 petropavlovsk class dreadnought type battleships + a few more pre-dreadnought (slava class) + various cruiser and destroyer sized crafts + extensive minefields + rather strong coastal defences. it didn't really deter the german navy from attacking the moon sound.

moving back to the original topic, i'm still failing to grasp how a pocket battleship for the romanian navy would serve as deterrent. the only neighbour with less military capacity (Bulgaria) wouldn't attack alone anyways. destroyers and torpedo boats would have been much more usefull than a coastal (or whatever) battleship with outdated specs.
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Tiornu
Posted: November 20, 2003 09:56 pm
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Fruntas
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I can agree that a label determines use insofar as politics are concerned. Having an admiral in a battleship looks very different from having a commodore in a coast defense ship. However, the label does not determine tactical employment. Did the Germans trick themselves into using their Deutschland class cruisers as coast defense ships simply because they were labeled "armored ships"?
The battlecruiser does not illustrate any important point here. The type WAS originally seen as a battle line fighter, supposedly the evolutionary step that would replace the battleship and armored cruiser. Keep in mind that armored cruisers were co-equals with battleships in the battle line, as in the Russo-Japanese War.
When did disaster result from a battlecruiser fighting a battleship? The only battlecruiser sunk by a battleship was Hood. In fact, Hood was armored as a battleship, and her loss resulted not from a battlecruiser label but from the fact that she had never been adequately modernized. An unmodernized battleship would have blown up just as easily, as Hood herself proved when she destroyed Bretagne in 1940. The number of battlecruisers sunk by battleships equals the number of battleships suink by battlecruisers.
I don't see any parallel between Moon Sound and Sweden's defensive position or Rumania's.
What was Turkey's battle line in 1914?
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dead-cat
Posted: November 21, 2003 07:52 am
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the evolution looked like this:

in the 1880ies there were "protected cruisers" 1st-4th class as the only capital ships around.
a bit later (around 1885 or so) the protected cruiser 1st class evolved into the armored cruiser (still a cruiser).

the pre-drednought battleship however is an improvement of the turret battleship (see Victoria class for an example).

the battlecruiser however is an entire new concept (and not based on the armored cruiser), based on the dradnought and not on the armored cruiser. its original task was to hunt down enemy armored cruisers and to scout ahead for the main fleet (see R. Masse "dreadnought"). it was never designed to fight with battleships (look at the armor specs).

i'm not even counting the hood.

battlecruisers sunk (Jütland): Indefatigable, Queen Mary and Invincible
of course you can argue that the ships that fired at them were mainly battlecruisers themselves, but after british standards, german battlecruisers were comparable with british battleships in terms of armor.

QUOTE

don't see any parallel between Moon Sound and Sweden's defensive position  


operation albion was an example of a successfull attack against moderatly heavy coastal defences, protected by a very large minefiled and an enemy fleet, a likely similar defensive system which could be expected along the swedish coast.

QUOTE

What was Turkey's battle line in 1914?


pre dreadnoughts:
Torgud Reis (ex Weisenburg)
Haireddin Barbarossa (ex Kurfürst Friedrich Wilhelm)
Brandenburg (only until 1915)
Wörth (only until 1915)

battlecruisers:
Yavuz Sultan Selim (ex Goeben)

armored cruisers & cruisers
Midilli (ex Breslau)
2 more armored cruisers (need to check when i'm back at home)

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However, the label does not determine tactical employment.

it shouldn't but it did occasionaly. (Jütland & arguably Doggerbank)
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Tiornu
Posted: November 21, 2003 04:51 pm
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Fruntas
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A good overview of the battlecruisers origins appears in John Roberts's Battlecruiser. It lays out the thinking of Adm Fisher with his desire to entirely replace the battleship and armored cruiser with his large, fast ships. The battlecruiser was not an entire new concept, as you say, but a natural step from previous fast-wing ships.
As your post indicates, of the three British battlecruisers lost at Jutland, not one was destroyed by battleships. The sole German battlecruiser loss was also attributable primary to shells from other battlecruisers. The idea that labels caused inappriopriate use of the battlecruisers can't "hold water," given a correct understanding of the BC's origins.
Am I correct that the British and the Japanese were the only navies to complete a "battlecruiser"?
I think I've finally found a parallel between Moon Sound and other coast defense situations. When did that battle take place?
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dead-cat
Posted: November 21, 2003 07:53 pm
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Ok we've got diffrent sources on the battlecruiser issue, i'm not going to defend my position very hard because i very well might be wrong over this and you might be right. however i'll try to make a few points explaining why (and this i should've said in the pervious post) i think that not only the battlecruiser, but the battleship as well is a new concept.
of course, you might have a diffrent vision about this, but as i said, i'm not going to dwell on this.

1. all big gun approach

the only thing retained from the pre-dreadnought type was the main gun barrell. the "Dreadnought" itself had only 76mm secondary arillery (corrected upwards with the next class)

2. all-or-nothing armor scheme approach

essential parts like engine room, turrets, conning tower would be protected as good as possible at the expense of non-essential areas

3. compartimentation

no bulkhead doors. so no human error possible (forgetting the doors open). if one section is flooded, the men might drown but the ship lives

4. steam turbine engine

much better efficienty, less stress on the bearings. earlier ships with triple-expansion engines, if they travelled with full speed for 12 hours they had to spend the next 3 weeks in port readjusting the bearings (somebody called them "monsters with short legs").
actually the Nassau class still had triple expansion engines.

so practically dreadnoughts didn't retain much from their predecessors.

battlecruisers shared alot with battleships. they had quite similar armamanet (unlike the pre-dreadnought/armored cruiser comparision where ACs usually had 9.2" guns vs. 12" for pre-dreadnoughts) similar in size (Invincible was only 1000t lighter than the Bellerophon class, build roughly at the same time). the battlecruiser sacrificed armor for speed, this being the only diffrence to a "true" battleship.


QUOTE

As your post indicates, of the three British battlecruisers lost at Jutland, not one was destroyed by battleships. The sole German battlecruiser loss was also attributable primary to shells from other battlecruisers.  


this doesn't invalidate my point, because battleships had similar (or even heavier) artillery. the Lützow was lost to torpedo hits which caused the flooding of several compartiments and sank under tow. had the ship been only hit by gunfire, it would have been possible to tow it to safety.

QUOTE

The idea that labels caused inappriopriate use of the battlecruisers can't \"hold water,\" given a correct understanding of the BC's origins.  

yes you expressed it better.

QUOTE

Am I correct that the British and the Japanese were the only navies to complete a \"battlecruiser\"?  

if you really want to go into nitpicking, well the "Kongo" was build by Vickers, the rest of the class was build in Japan.
if you want to count them, the USA build the "Alaska"

QUOTE

I think I've finally found a parallel between Moon Sound and other coast defense situations. When did that battle take place?


oct. 1917
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Tiornu
Posted: November 21, 2003 10:49 pm
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Fruntas
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When it comes to labeling, I've never seen any ship more hotly debated than Alaska. Some copy the official designation of large cruiser, some insist she was a battlecruiser, and she could well be called a second-rate battleship. Me, I prefer to label her "large piece of junk." (Hee!)
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dead-cat
Posted: November 22, 2003 11:26 pm
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Me, I prefer to label her \"large piece of junk.\" (Hee!)


i can't really argue that :D
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PT Dockyard
Posted: November 25, 2003 07:03 pm
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If someone has a drawing, I could possibly make and produce this in 1/1200 scale.....


Dave. G.
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toniyona
Posted: January 06, 2004 03:32 am
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In thinking this over, modern battleships and cruisers would seem to be beyond the economic reach of Romania.
To the extent this plan was achievable, might the "battleships" have been pre-dreadnoughts, as the Greeks purchased. The Connecticut class for example.
With respect to "cruisers", might something small such as the U.S. Chester class Scout Cruisers or Denver class Peace Cruisers (Gunboats) that were up for disposal about the same time have been what they had in mind? About this time, Yugoslavia purchased the pre-WWI Niobe.
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dead-cat
Posted: February 27, 2004 08:25 pm
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according to the naval program of 1899, Romania planned to build:

6 coastal battleships
4 destroyers
12 torpedo boats

according to the in 1912 the program :

6 light cruisers (3500t)
12 destroyers (1500t)
1 submarine.

the only accomplishments from those ambitious programs were the
4 destroyers of the above program, ordered in Italy and seized 1915.

source: Paul Halpern "A Naval History of World War 1"

quite an expensive affair since dreadnought costed from 40 million marks upwards.
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toniyona
Posted: April 07, 2004 01:44 am
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Soldat
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The attached link to designs proposed to Romania for cruisers may be of interest.

http://warshipprojects.board.dk3.com/2/vie...php?p=6435#6435

http://warshipprojects.board.dk3.com/2/vie...topic.php?t=868
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Imperialist
Posted: October 21, 2005 04:22 pm
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General de armata
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QUOTE (Andreas von Mach @ Nov 1 2003, 11:01 PM)


Pogram 1912/1915
6 cruisers 3500t
12 destroyers 1500t (4 ordered in Italy)
1 submarine (ordered in Italy)
1 Danube tug (MACIN)
2 Danube patrolships (built, - I think there were 3 ships)


In 1914 Romania ordered a sub, but from my sources it was ordered in France, not Italy.
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lancer25k
Posted: December 19, 2005 06:24 pm
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Soldat
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In opinion while a Battleship would have had alot prestige. What the Romania really needed was at least modern 12-16 destroyers, 6-8 subs, alot more transports. Then instead 1 or 2 powerful heavy crusiers such as the Admiral Hipper class. Which given the constraints of the Black Sea and age the Russian and Turkish Battleships; would have been the most powerful ships in the Black Sea. ;)

Thank You ;)
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sid guttridge
Posted: December 20, 2005 01:09 pm
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Hi Guys,

It is very difficult to see any practical reason why Romania might have needed major warships.

Romania had only three possible naval opponents: Russia, Turkey and Bulgaria.

No matter how powerful the Romanian fleet might become, it was unlikely to be able to force a usable sea passage through the Straits. Therefore there was no point in trying to challenge Turkey's fleet as the Straits could be blocked from the land - look what happened when the Anglo-French tried to force passage from the opposite end in 1915.

Any war with Russia or the USSR was likely to be decided on land. Besides, in any Black Sea naval arms race the massively larger Russia/USSR had all the advantages.

The only naval opponent Romania had reasonable prospect of mastering was Bulgaria. However, the Bulgarian navy has always been pitifully small, so even this required a fleet no larger than the one Romania actually had.

It seems to me that talk of battleships, or even cruisers, was pure sabre rattling. These vessels were not needed. A best they were prestige projects at a time when Romania had huge surplus oil revenues and might afford them. Romania was very wise not to to waste money on any of them.

It appears that a couple of large flotilla leaders like Regele Ferdinand and Regina Maria were perfectly suited to Romania's limited surface needs.

Cheers,

Sid.
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