Talk:Battlecruiser/Archive 2

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German BC designs

It says "Germany's navy by contrast sacrificed gun calibre instead of armour in order to raise speed." and goes on saying "Von der Tann and most later German battlecruisers had 280 mm (11 in) guns, which were reckoned to be the equivalent to the British 12-inchers." That´s a contradiction, isn´t it?

And as far as the "ugly sisters" are concerned, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau(WW2) were a bit bigger than a Nelson-class BB, a bit smaller than a South Dacota Class BB and carried just as much armour. The small 28cm guns were used because of undue haste in the construction. At the time the 38cm gun was not ready, but it was planed to install them in later. Better call them fast battleships. Markus Becker02 20:36, 2 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've made a few alterations regarding German Battlecruiser design philosophy - especially the Kreuzer-Schlactshiff concept which some historians equate to a sort of Proto-fast battleship idea and it's vindication at Jutland. I've also linked the WWII Deutschland class to the Kreuzer-Schlactshiff concept. Most of this is based of the Osprey New Vanguard publication, "German Battlecruisers, 1914-1918." 17:37, 8 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Japanese designs

I restored an older version, because IMO the lasted edit was wrong. When the Kongo-class CBs were made just before WW2 they did not carry enough armour to be protected against their own level of armament. Their main armour belt was just 200mm strong. German CBs had 250 to 270mm of armor, British ones 230mm which was clearly not sufficient to protect them from the German 11inch guns as the Battle of Jutland demonstrated. So the weaker Japanese armor would have offered even less protection form 12inch guns.

As far as actual BBs are concerned, they had at least 300mm of armour and did stand up well against 14 to 16 inch guns. Usually just the superstructure was destroyed, while the main armor belt held. Bismarck was scuttled, Scharnhorst was sunk by torpedos.Markus Becker02 17:28, 12 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've expanded the information about the Amagi class battlecruisers a little, just to give us an idea how they sized up to the Lexingtons and G3's. I've also removed the comment regarding the sinking of the Kongo. I don't see that sniffy comments about US Navy sinking 30 year old converted battlecruisers with brand new battleships really adds anything to the article. Obviously the Japanese did not expect the Kogos to be able to stand up to a modern battleship any more than the Royal Navy did with the Renowns. This doesn't mean they weren't wise to make the best of what they already had... Getztashida 02:08, 19 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

US Designs

The interwar "US Designs" section describes the Lexington and Saratoga as being "closer in concept to the later Fast battleships, being both swift and well-armored without sacrificing firepower." However, this statement is simply untrue. The Lexingtons were designed with a 7 inch belt, 3.5 inch deck and 11 inch turret faces - little better than the Renown Class and woefully inadequate by even 1918 standards when they were designed - making them classic Fisher-esque "Eggshells with Hammers." There is no way in which any Lexington battlecruiser design could be described as well armoured, so unless I get any qualified objections I'm going to adjust this section slightly. Getztashida 23:08, 17 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No arguments here; while they were well-armored against cruiser armament, their protection against their own armament was terrifyingly weak, and they compared poorly against, for example, the near-contemporary G3 class. TomTheHand 03:44, 18 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Bluntly, they compared poorly against HMS Hood. The Hood had a 12" belt and 3" deck, and look what happened to her... Getztashida 13:33, 18 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Okay, I've adjusted the section accordingly. I've also removed the paragraph on the fate of the Saratoga. She has an article of her own for people who want to learn the history of that particular vessel, and her life as an Aircraft carrier has no bearing on an article about Battlecruisers. Getztashida 17:19, 18 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

British designs

I have done a little work on the Interwar British designs section, re organising it so that it flows more or less chronolgically, removing duplicated information and adding a little extra information about the G3 battlecruisers and context under which they were designed. I hope you all like it. Getztashida 00:17, 18 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've made a few additional changes to the information about the G3's. I'm trying to emphasise just how revolutionary the ships would have been had they been built - unlike the Lexingtons and Amagis, which were basically comparable to the HMS Hood, only bigger. Getztashida 02:12, 19 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

New Section on British and German Designs?

I'm considering writing a new section to be inserted just before the section on WWI where I shall compare and contrast the differences between British and German battlecruiser design philosophy. Personally I consider this relevent and interesting enough to justify a couple of paragraphs, especially seeing how the the two theories were put to the test against one another during WWI, and the influence they had on other nation's capital ship designs (The Kongo's being based on british practice, for example, and the idea of the German Battlecruiser being the fore runner of the fast battleship). Most of the ideas are scattered around the article already so all I'll have to do is draw them together into a single, coherent section. Thoughts and opinions? I'll go ahead and write it in about a weeks time if I get no objections Getztashida 00:26, 18 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think one of the dangers of this is that you risk moving away from fact and into comment and analysis. I think this is one of the key differences between an encyclopedia and a history book. It could be done, but it would have to be done carefully. Wiki-Ed 13:04, 18 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Were the German and Britsh concepts that much different in the first place? OK, the German guns were a bit lighter, the armour a bit stronger, but that´s it. The british ships performed poorly at Jutland, but the reason for that was the Battle of the Doggerbank fought a year before. In the battle SMS Seydlitz received exactly the same kind of hit that finish off the three BCs at Jutland, but just like in the case of HMS Lion a disaster was avoided in the last second by quick and heroic action of a few men. The Germans analysed the crippled BC and had all of them modified by the time of Jutland. The British had not yet suffered such a near disaster and were unaware of the flaws. Markus Becker02 17:26, 18 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

On the contrary, there was a fundemental difference in design philosophy between British and German Vessels. The short version being that British Battlecruisers were big, overarmed cruisers whereas Geman battlecruisers were small, underarmed battleships. Whilst cordite handling practices had much to do with the losses of the British ships at Jutland, so did the poor armour disposition. Afterall, the best protected British battlecruiser at Jutland, the Tiger, had the same thickness of armour as the worst protected German Battlecruiser, the Vonn der Tann. Suffice it to say I could probabaly write a whole article about the this subject, but I'll just have to restrain myself and keep it to a couple of paragraphs... Getztashida 01:41, 19 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I disagree with that. Ammo handling was better on german ships- even before Doggerbank- and SMS Sydlitz had an armour belt up to 12 inches strong, the armour on the bulkheads and gun turrets was round about one inch thicker as on british ships, but only luck saved her from the same fate as Queen Mary, Invincible and Indefatigable. So, initially the overall protection of german CBs was not better, inspite of thicker armour.Markus Becker02 04:18, 19 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So you conceed that German Battlecruisers had thicker armour that their British counterparts, but deny that they were better protected? That doesn't make much sense. Are you also going to claim that the superior underwater protection had no impart either? Getztashida 09:55, 19 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Check the relevant entries on the Battle of the Doggerbank, SMS Sydlitz, Jutland ect. and it becomes obvious that the mere thickness of the armour is not everything.Markus Becker02 13:38, 19 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oddly enough, I'm quite familiar with the History of the German and British Battlecruisers, considering I am one of the major contributors to the Seydlitz article.... However, no-one is claiming that the German Battlecruisers were as well protected as a Battleship, only that their protection was uniformly superior to that of the rival British designs. I would ask you to consider the following. At Dogger bank, the Seydlitz escaped at full speed despite the damage she suffered at the hands of the British 13.5" guns. HMS Lion, however, was hit by a single salvo of 11" shells and was so seriously damaged she immediately lost speed and was forced to drop out of line. Furthermore, at Jutland the British lost three Battlecruisers - all to hits on the armoured part of the superstructure which resulted in flash fires in the magazines and catastrophic explosions. The Germans lost one battlecruiser - scuttled because she was unable to make headway and escape the battlezone after shipping thousands of tons of water. Furthermore, the damage which she took below the waterline was sufficient to have sunk any of the warships that took part in the Battle, German or British, Battlecruiser or Battleship as she was struck below the armoured belt - a weakness common to all contemporary designs. Finally, I would point out that I can provide dozens of citable references stating that German Battlecruisers were better protected than their British equivalents, including the Royal Navy's own ater action reports following Jutland (they are now a matter of public record). I wonder if you can provide any evidence that will back up your claim - you are, after all, arguing against 90 years worth of recieved opinion... Getztashida 17:24, 19 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I´m not disputing the fact that german CBs had better protection, but favouring armour to armament is IMO not a fundemental difference in design philosophy; a difference in the design, a different preference, but fundemental difference in design philosophy sounds a bit exaggerated to me. And Jutland is IMO poor evidence to support the inferiority of the british designs, because the Brits were as unaware of that design flaw as the Germans had been a year before. Speaking about design philosophy, it was very different in the case of BBs. German BBs were designed for short ranges and brief missions, so crew quarters were spartanic and fuel supply was limited. Britain with its global empire had to built ships for global operations, so more space had to be dedicated to quarters and coal bunkers insead of armour. If the same can be said about the german CBs that would be a fundamental difference indeed. Markus Becker02 18:42, 19 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In mentioning the different requirements of the British and German Navies you have hit the nail on the head. Fisher envisaged the Battlecruiser as an instrument of Global naval power. I was to be equipped with long range radio so that it could communicate with the Admiralty from all across the Empire, needed a long range and high cruising speed so that it could redeploy across entire oceans as quickly as possible and then had to have the guns to outfight any potential enemy it might face when it got to it's destination. The vessels were to be equipped with the worlds most advanced fire control systems so that they could engage better protected enemies by standing off and fighting them at extreme ranges and finally they were to operate in small task forces of one or two rather than fight in battlefleets numbering literally dozens of ships, as Battleships were intended to. They were expected to have to hunt down and destroy enemy commerce raiders and scouting forces, but use their great speed to flee from a superior force. The idea of them actually sticking around to fight something with equally large guns was wasn't part of the plan, hence the light armour and in this respect they truely were "super-cruisers," performing most of the traditional roles of the Armoured Cruiser, only with considerably enhanced offensive firepower. In fact, when used in their intended roll, such as at the Battle of the Falkland Isles and Heligoland Bight, the British vessels performed admirably - although it has to be said that Fisher never seemed to have give much though to waht would happen when other nations started building Battlecruisers - it was only when the Royal Navy succumbed to the temptation of including them in the line of battle or handled them as if they were able to survive the same kind of punishment as they could dish out that problems occured.

By contrast, the German High Seas Fleet started building Battlecruisers specifically to function as Fleet scouts. The German navy had no Global ambitions and as such only required Battlecruisers because HMS Invincible had rendered their entire fleet of armoured Cruisers obsolete overnight. Furthermore, after making contact with the enemy the High seas Fleet wanted it's battlecruisers to be able to function as a fast division within the battle line. With this in mind, the overriding concern for the German ship designers was that their Battlecruisers should have the greatest possible combat power against the opposing scouts of any likely future enemy (ie. the Royal Navy). Knowing that British Battlecruisers had thin armour, the Germans were able to make weight savings by retaining the 11" gun when the rest of the Battlefleet adopted a 12" armament and these savings translated into thick armour. Not needing to make worry about sailing around the world, German ships only had relatively small coal bunkers and as the vessels crews lived in barracks, very little provision was required for crew habitability. This allowed for superior internal subdivision and tonnage that would otherwise have been consmed by coal being allocated to yet more armour. The German Battlecruisers were not just a little bit better protected than the British - they were a lot better protected. The Derfflingers had an armour belt 12 inches thick, the same as that of the USS Iowa and twice that of the Invincibles and Indefatigables (the reason the Seydlitz had her turret penetrated at Dogger Bank was because the she was stuck by plunging fire - at the time all Navies expected battles to take place at relatively short ranges of aroud 12,000-15,000 yards, and as such had thick vertical protection against low trajectory shots, but thin deck armour and turret roofs. It was only really after Jutland that it became clear that future battles would be fought at ranges of over 16,000 yards, where plunging fire was the greatest danger). As such, German Battlecruisers were designed with the primary role of locating and destroying enemy scouting elements - including rival battlecruisers - whilst surviving to perform their own reconnaissance mission in the run up to a major fleet engagement.

In summary, the differing Global requirements of the Royal Navy and High Seas fleet resulted in theoretically similar ships optimised for different missions. Had the Germans tried to use their battlecruisers globally as the British did, they would have found them to be completely inadequate for the role. Meanwhile, history shows us that when the British tried to use their Battlecruisers as part of the battle fleet in the way that the manner that Germans had planne for, they were not up to the task with tragic consquences. Getztashida 20:15, 19 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ok, so perhabs we should refer to the totally different mission both Navies had in general and the CBs in particular and explain how these strategic differences lead to technical ones. Let´s go to some details. Did the mission(and the design) of the british CBs change after Germany launched some of its CBs? It´s a bit strange, the Lions had 230mm, but the Renowns were back at the low Invincible levels(152mm). And as far as plunging fire is concerned, that kiled the three british CBs, didn´t it?Markus Becker02 02:24, 21 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, what I was planning was roughly the smae as what I've just said, only written with reference to NPOV and not duplicating information stated elsewhere in the article. At the same time I'm planning on going over the article and making sure that all the relavant facts are gathered into one place. I'll get to work and should have the finished piece ready after lunch... Incidentally, as I recall the British vessels lost at Jutland were all engaged at relatively short ranges. Certainly the Invincible was struck by the Derfflinger and Lutzow from about 13,000 yards - which was definately at the shorter ranged end of the spectrum by the standards of the day. I'm not so sure about the ranges at which Indefatigable and the Queen Mary were sunk, but seeing as a common criticism of Beatty was that he raced in to engage the German Battlecruisers when he could have stood off and exploited the shorter range of the German guns, then I suspect that they were destroyed at relatively short ranges too. Getztashida 12:55, 22 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh yes - as for protection, The Royal Navy did request improved armour as the Germans began to launch battlecruisers (hence the 9" belt on the Splendid Cats) but the increase in armour lagged behind the Armament of the German ships. As Seydlitz proved when she sank the Queen Mary, a 9" belt couldn't stand up to 11" guns and, of course, the Germans were planning bigger and bigger guns for their Battlecruisers. The Renowns were abnormal as they were Laid down when Fisher returned to the Admiralty, and it seems that Fisher had rather lost touch with what the Navy needed. The Renowns were a return to Fisher's original "super-cruiser" idea even though it was clear that the Royal Navy intended to use their Battlecruisers in fleet engagements. It is just as well that they were not ready in time for Jutland - Can you imagine what may have transpired if the Renown and Repulse had been at the lead of Beatty's battlecruiser squadron? Getztashida 13:09, 22 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

First World War

I've written a short introduction and added the pursuit of the Goeben to the First World War section. Although not a battle in the traditional sense, it was a very significant action and clearly involved Battlecruisers in a highly non-trivial way. Getztashida 14:15, 18 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Big Changes Needed

Having looked at this page, some changes are needed:

  • It does not discuss why battlecruisers were created. By that I mean Jackie Fisher's reasons for creating the battlecruiser, explained in detail.
  • It goes on to state "such-and-such ship was lost at Jutland/lost in the Falklands...", but nowhere does it state why the ships involved were lost as compared to battleships. The article does not really go into detail about the inferiority of battlecruisers versus battleships.
  • It should be a history of the class as a whole, and not go into particular details about given battles unless relevant to the history of the class.
  • If anything, there should be a brief section on fictional battlecruisers as a matter of trivia only, but not getting into detail about it because someone loves Star Trek.

So, here's my plan, at least as far as the layout is concerned...

  • Intro paragraph
  • History of the first ships in this class, emphasizing Fisher's role.
  • Key battles in WWI, placing emphasis on the weaknesses of the class and why they failed to live up to Fisher's intentions vs. battleships.
  • Period following WWI, emphasizing Washington Naval Treaty, and what various nations did regarding this ship.
  • WWII period, with emphasis on various designs...keeping battles to a minimum.
  • Post-war/Cold War period, with emphasis on remainder of ships being built as well as those classes scrapped and reasons why.
  • Battlecruisers today, citing museum ships, the Kirov-class, and comparisons to what are called cruisers today in the U.S. Navy.
  • Trivia/fictional battlecruisers. One sentence only per Star Trek episode is all that's needed!

The changes will probably not include re-writing sections already there...just a restructuring. If possible, dig up and post photos of battlecruisers next to battleships. Carajou 09:12, 21 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree with some of your points:

  • The article doesn’t give a reason why they were created. That must have been edited out at some stage and needs to go back in to the”first battlecruisers” section.
  • There should be a section on any commissioned and museum ships in existence today, but speculative comparisons are not appropriate.
  • The science fiction section could take a walk and perhaps merge with a re-titled “carriers in science fiction” article to become “warships in science fiction” or something.

However, I’m not sure what you propose with some of the other points.

  • The linked articles go into detail on how various ships were lost in battle; this one covers the basics: they were exposed, shot at by battleships and were not sufficiently well protected to survive.
  • The article does not go into great depth about battles, but these are part of the history of the class.
  • What exactly would you add to the Cold War section?
  • Having more pictures might be good, but I don’t see that they need to be size comparisons. One should be enough and that’s at the top already.

Wiki-Ed 11:28, 22 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm planning a relatively significant edit in the day or so (see above for discussion). I'll attempt to address some of these points when I do it. Getztashida 13:22, 22 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Cold War section would be about which ships existed during that period, how they were used, and their ultimate fates. I was in the Navy for 20 years, and at one point the ship I was on came across a Soviet flotilla anchored in the eastern Med. One of the ships was a Smerdelov-class cruiser, and I am curious to know its role at that time. There's also the loss of the General Belgrano in the Falklands of 1982; there's the use of the Kirov and her sisters.

As to the history pertaining to battles, I would lean towards strengths and weaknesses in some instances. For example, Jutland stated verbatim that Jackie Fisher's ideas about the battlecruiser were wrong, judging from the number sunk. Some examples have unique histories that could be briefly mentioned; the "Galloping Ghost of the Java Coast" (USS Houston) is one of them. And there was the quirk of fate involving the Lexington-class battlecruiser on the ways, changed in construction to become aircraft carriers which saved us at Coral Sea and Midway.

If I could find a clearer pic, I'll post it. The British battleship seems to be to far in the distance to make a sound comparison with the Hood. Carajou 15:49, 22 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

General Belgrano was a light cruiser and although it was deployed aggressively I am not sure it could be thought of as a battlecruiser - especially when one contrasts it against the contemporary Russian Kirov missile battlecruisers, which might have posed a threat to the Task Force. As to what the latter actually did... well nothing? They were never involved in a war and I think the article reflect this (or doesn't since there is nothing much to say). Sverdlov class cruisers were built as gun-armed cruisers and I don't think they have a place here.
Hmm, Jutland. I don't think this proved that Fisher's ideas were wrong and in fact I would say to some extent it proved them right in terms of the initial deployment. However, subsequently they were used as an extra battleship squadron - which was not something they were designed for - and the losses mounted quickly. Wiki-Ed 17:42, 22 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is a section above this one dated about 2004 in which the writer questions the status of the Kirov-class as battlecruisers. As ar as I'm concerned, the Kirovs are that, and the best sources for that judgement come from the U.S. Naval Institute, in the books "Ships and Aircraft of the Soviet Fleet"; "Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet"; and I believe Jane's "Fighting Ships" mentions it as well. I think such terminology is something which should be used here, rather than personal opinion. Carajou 18:09, 22 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not arguing with you there - I define them by their role. However, Kirovs were/are very different to the Sverdlov cruiser you encountered and the General Belgrano. Wiki-Ed 01:04, 23 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Tell you what...when USS Virginia (CGN-38) sailed behind this Smerdlov at the time, the Soviet ship was just plain smaller. Apart from that, the only other thing I remember about it was the captain, who came outside his cabin to see what was going on, then quickly ducked behind a bulkhead with a smile when he realized he was wearing nothing but his long johns. Detante in action! Carajou 01:12, 23 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Leading Paragraph Suggestion

This paragraph introduces the reader to the subject, and it sets the tone for the whole article; therefore it is important to get the write-up right, so here's a suggestion:

Battlecruiser refers to large warships conceived at the begining of the 20th Century by the British Royal Navy. Their designated role was to act as the scouts of the fleet, to hunt down and outgun smaller warships, outrun larger warships that they could not outgun, and act as surface raiders. Battlecruisers were large warships of the first half of the 20th century first introduced by the British Royal Navy. Their ancestry can be traced from armoured cruisers of the late 19th Century, and in terms of ship classification they occupy a grey area between cruisers and battleships. Generally, battlecruisers were similar in layout and armament to battleships but with significantly less armour allowing for gains in speed.

This encompasses the whole of the subject in a single paragraph without adding the little bits which are best left to the sections and subsections of the article. Carajou 20:01, 21 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A battlecruiser was a type of large warship conceived at the begining of the 20th Century by the British Royal Navy... seems a better initial sentence... Shimgray | talk | 22:17, 21 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree. Carajou 00:53, 22 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The suggested re-format flows well, but I’ve would suggest removing the second sentence telling us they were introduced by the RN in the early 20th century and split the sentence on their role. Also “ancestry can be traced” can be left as “evolved”.

A battlecruiser was a type of large warship conceived at the begining of the 20th Century by the British Royal Navy. Their designated role was to act as the scouts of the fleet, to hunt down and outgun smaller warships, and to outrun larger warships that they could not outgun. This role soon developed to include surface raiding. They evolved from armoured cruisers of the late 19th Century, and in terms of ship classification they occupy a grey area between cruisers and battleships. Generally, battlecruisers were similar in layout and armament to battleships but with significantly less armour allowing for gains in speed. Wiki-Ed 11:06, 22 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A fair intro. I like it. But I would change "allowing gains for speed" to something like "making them faster" to keep the language simple. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by GraemeLeggett (talkcontribs) 13:43, 22 January 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]
If you look at the above suggestion, there's this line ...not outgun. This role soon developed to include surface raiding. While not essentially wrong, there's this choppiness in writing sentences that seems to be all over Wikipedia articles (i.e. the short abrupt sentence). I'm guilty of it too, which is why I'm constantly nit-picking at myself to get my own stuff right. So this is just a mere reminder, and not a complaint. Carajou 15:32, 22 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Adding "with some nations" to the start of "This role" would answer your concerns - I presume we are thinking raiding applies more to the Kriegsmarine than the RN. GraemeLeggett 15:45, 22 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree. It seems all we ever here about regarding surface raiders would be German ones. Perhaps leaving the line about surface raiders out of the lead paragraph, and creating a separate subsection below? Carajou 15:53, 22 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Aside from Renown (or Repulse) going out on its own during the Norwegian campaign I cannot recall any British, US or Japanese battlecruisers being deployed as surface raiders during either war. As for short sentences, I don't see anything wrong with them. Plain English is good and makes articles accessible to everyone. Multiple clauses belong in poetry and I berate myself if I do use them! Wiki-Ed 17:10, 22 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's just a pet-peave with me. I think I grew up with the opinion that the short, choppy sentence is too-World Book, as in the encyclopedia. I hated World Book! Since what I've seen so far in these articles is nothing short of people being as professional as possible with what they write anyway, I'll probably have to grow out of that opinion. Which is probably why I'm opting for a name change in this talk subsection to "Minor Changes Needed" Carajou 18:03, 22 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually, I belive Fisher envisaged Surface raiding as a role for Battlecruisers, only the Royal Navy never had much cause to employ them in that fashion. I don't think it's necessary to qualify surface raiding as a strictly German practice. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Getztashida (talkcontribs) 21:56, 22 January 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]

This is a bad article, in that its not “neutral” and its also inaccurate.

In the early introduction the role of Fisher is vaguely and inaccurately defined, he acted a s a spur to construction and as a publicised for the finished product, but the important work was done by committees of technical specialists to which generally fisher demurred to in internal debate. I cant see how you can make the statement about the Germans and gun calibre, as German battle cruisers and battleships of the same years programme could share main armament calibre.

Under the First Battlecruisers section, the statements on the indefatigable are inaccurate, as Australia and New Zealand were ordered after Lion.

“They also benefited from the wider dockyards that they were built in allowing them to be built with a broader beam giving rise to better internal layout than the British battlecruisers.” – this statement is not neutral, it is closer to an opinion in a debate, even if it’s a common (old) one. If we were to continue the debate you might state that inferior watertight subdivision compromised the greater compartmentalization, and that the German ships proved susceptible to progressive flooding. But we should not, its enough to leave the article to state differing design priorities without offering opinions on them.

“As handsome as they were deadly, the Derfflingers are widely considered the best battlecruisers built by any nation before WWI” this is not a neutral statement, it’s also a foolish one. A Derfflinger class ship was sunk by HMS Invincible in a short action, Invincible herself was certainly one of the oldest and least powerful “dreadnought armored cruiser” present at the battle.

On Jutland – the most critical factor in the disparate losses suffered in the run to the south was that the Germans hit the British 44 times, and the British hit back 11 times. It’s this 4 to 1 advantage that decided this phase of the battle on a tactical level. The rest, though reasonably accurate it only detail.

“In most cases, the temptation to add extra big guns to the main fleet proved hard to resist. As a result, battlecruiser squadrons were added to the line of battle — a role for which they were not designed and one that exposed them to great risk. The armour on a battlecruiser remained that of (or slightly more than) a normal cruiser.” – this statement is a pet hate of mine. At no time during Jutland, or indeed during the first world war did battlecruisers see action in the gun line of their main fleets.

On the Alaska’s – “As with the never-completed Lexington class battlecruisers, the Alaska class ships were an outgrowth of contemporary American cruiser design, rather than being a new battlecruiser class to occupy the middle ground between heavy cruisers and fast battleships.’ This is almost an exact description of the Invincible design process that started it all. The Alaska’s were also very close to the Invincibles in terms of operating concept. Strictly speaking, I wouldn’t call the invincibles battlecruisers, saving that for the Lions. To my mind the Invincibles were dreadnought armored cruisers, a contempory armored cruiser with improved propulsion and an all big gun armament. But then again thats opinion, so it wouldn’t be for an article on the battlecruisers. Chris Feb 5

On some of your comments:
"In the early introduction the role of Fisher is vaguely and inaccurately defined, he acted a s a spur to construction and as a publicised for the finished product, but the important work was done by committees of technical specialists to which generally fisher demurred to in internal debate."
Agreed, this section is due a substancial revision as soon as I get the chance. I will bear in mind your comments when I do so.
"I cant see how you can make the statement about the Germans and gun calibre, as German battle cruisers and battleships of the same years programme could share main armament calibre."
I have refernce material (Osprey New Vanguard: German Battlecruisers 1914-1918) stating that 12" and larger guns were considered for all German Battlecruisers starting with the Von der Tann, but were rejected on grounds of cost and the fact that the 11" gun was adequate against the expected enemy. The Nassau's retained the 11" gun as they were hasty redesigns of Germany's proposed answer to the Lord Nelsons and all subsequent German Dreadnought Battleships were designed with 12" or better. The Molktes were designed at the same time as the Helgolands and Kaisers, both of which were armed with 12" guns.
"Under the First Battlecruisers section, the statements on the indefatigable are inaccurate, as Australia and New Zealand were ordered after Lion."
HMS Australia and New Zealand were deliberately not mentioned as the peculiar circumstances of their birth (and that of the Indefatigable) are too trivial to include in an article on Battlecruisers in general (as opposed to British Battlecruisers in particular). For the record, HMS Indefatigable was designed and laid down before the Lions, whereas - as you rightly point out - Australia and New Zealand were laid down afterwards. This is because the donations from Australia and New Zealand were not enough to pay for a fifth and sixth Lion, so the cheaper Indefatigable design was chosen.
"“As handsome as they were deadly, the Derfflingers are widely considered the best battlecruisers built by any nation before WWI” this is not a neutral statement, it’s also a foolish one. A Derfflinger class ship was sunk by HMS Invincible in a short action, Invincible herself was certainly one of the oldest and least powerful “dreadnought armored cruiser” present at the battle."
Okay, I was probably guilty of hyperbole there, but I am happy to reference at least three respected authors who state that the Derfflingers were the best of the pre-war Battlecruiser designs... No one said the Defflingers were invincible, merely that they were better than anything comparable afloat at the time (basically the Kongos and the Splendid Cats). Your remark regarding the loss of the Lutzow to fire from HMS Invincible, however, is irrelevant in terms of the relative quality of the ships. The flaws in the Invincibles never related to the quality of their weapons and if the Derfflingers possessed a weakness in that their armoured belt did not extend all the way to the prow making the bow vulberable to flooding, it was a weakness shared by all contemporay Battlecruisers - British or German.
I hesitate to comment here, as I recognise I am an amateur among experts, but wasn't the weakness that led to loss of the Lutzow the large, undivided torpedo compartment required for the new, large H-8 torpedo? It wouldn't've mattered that the armoured belt was pierced if there hadn't been so much space for the water to flood into. Philip Trueman 12:54, 6 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"“They also benefited from the wider dockyards that they were built in allowing them to be built with a broader beam giving rise to better internal layout than the British battlecruisers.” – this statement is not neutral, it is closer to an opinion in a debate, even if it’s a common (old) one. If we were to continue the debate you might state that inferior watertight subdivision compromised the greater compartmentalization, and that the German ships proved susceptible to progressive flooding. But we should not, its enough to leave the article to state differing design priorities without offering opinions on them."
Are you suggesting that the German vessels didn't have supperior internal subdivision to British vessels? The loss of HMS Audacious to a single mine, whereas all the German Battlecruisers survived being mined or torpedoed at least once (and in the case of the Goeben, repeatedly) suggests otherwise... However I accept this particular section would benefit from some rewording, and is on my "to do" list for the article. Getztashida 12:11, 5 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Bad article"? Hardly.
  • The article doesn’t say Fisher singlehandedly designed and built the ships himself.
  • I do not see anything saying Australia and New Zealand were built before Lion.
  • If battlecruisers were not used in line of battle as part of the main fleet during Jutland... how did they get sunk?
  • Your opinion on the ship classification would, indeed, be inappropriate. As the article explains, classification is not about design or statistics, it’s about designated role and employment. Wiki-Ed 12:24, 5 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Main armament -So the Germans did not build Battlecruiser and Battleships with the same main armament calibre guns in any year?

Indefatigable – the statement that the Lions were built under increasing tension is inaccurate – as 2/3 of the Indefatigable were built after Lion, in the same tensions, or increased tensions as the larger ship. Your comments on fundraising for Australia and New Zealand are also inaccurate. There was no thought of donations to fund Lions. A scheme was propounded at the 1909 Imperial conference to procure three “fleet units” for protection on interests in the Pacific, and Australia and New Zealand were ordered as a part of that scheme, a mode of operation where Indefatigables were more than adequate, at least until the arrival of the Kongo’s. While the New Zealand was a donation, Australia was not. You’re right that this is detail – but the fact remains that the initial statement in the article is wrong.

Hyperbole – I am glad you admit it. Hyperbole has no place in a wiki article, and the purpose of the article should not be to enshrine a particular point of view.

Subdivision – I think it’s a matter for considerable technical debate. They certainly had greater beam and more internal subdivision. But the purpose of the article should not be to advance one side of a debate.

Line of Battle – Queen Mary and Indefatigable were lost in the Run to the South – a phase of action that took place scores of miles south of the British battleline and ended when it met the German. Invincible was lost in a scouting position ahead of the grand fleet (battleline), in a position similar to the armoured cruiser and light cruiser squadrons. When the BCF and the QE’s retired on the grand fleet, the QE’s joined the line, while the BCF moved across the front of the fleet and took their own position in the van, detached from the line and manoeuvring independently.

The British line at Jutland was the concentrated force of battleships under the unified command of Jellicoe. The fact that the battle cruisers fought with linear tactics does not mean that they fought in the main line of battle. Many other armoured cruiser, light cruiser and destroyer force fought with linear tactics in several wars.

Opinion – indeed, it has no place in such a piece, yet this article is full of it, even freely admitted, hyperbole.

Ship design – HMS Invincible has much more in common with the Lexingtons in terms of intended role and employment than it does with in terms of ship design and statistics – but of course, we shouldn’t be putting opinion in the wiki. Chris Feb 6

Answering your specific points again;
"Main armament -So the Germans did not build Battlecruiser and Battleships with the same main armament calibre guns in any year?"
Don't be ridiculous, of course they did - the Derflingers were built at the same time as the Konigs. However, the first Germans Battleship with 12" guns was the Helgoland which was launched in 1909. The first German Battlecruiser, Von der Tann was launched in the same year - they were laid down at the same time too. The last German Battlecruiser armed with 11" guns, the Seydlitz, was launched in 1912, the same year that the last of the Kaisers, the König Albert, left the slips. So for a three year period the Germans were building Battleships with 12" guns and Battlecruisers with 11" guns...
"Indefatigable – the statement that the Lions were built under increasing tension is inaccurate – as 2/3 of the Indefatigable were built after Lion, in the same tensions, or increased tensions as the larger ship. Your comments on fundraising for Australia and New Zealand are also inaccurate. There was no thought of donations to fund Lions. A scheme was propounded at the 1909 Imperial conference to procure three “fleet units” for protection on interests in the Pacific, and Australia and New Zealand were ordered as a part of that scheme, a mode of operation where Indefatigables were more than adequate, at least until the arrival of the Kongo’s. While the New Zealand was a donation, Australia was not. You’re right that this is detail – but the fact remains that the initial statement in the article is wrong."
I'm not sure what your concern is here, as the article nowhere states that the Australia and New Zealand where built before the Lions. Are you disputing that the Indefatigable is an older design than the Lion? If that's the case then you are clearly wrong, if not then can you please get your head around the idea that the circumstances under which the Australia and New Zealand were laid down is a historical footnote of no real consequence to the design evolution of British battlecruisers. As for you claiming that the Lions were not built under conditions of increasing international tension - you are aware that the Lions were laid down as part of the infamous "we want eight" program, I assume? The laying down and construction of the Lions and Orions represented a watershed moment in the Anglo-German naval arms race as it was the point at which the British government finally released the finacial restricions imposed on previous Dreadnoughts.
"Hyperbole – I am glad you admit it. Hyperbole has no place in a wiki article, and the purpose of the article should not be to enshrine a particular point of view."
On the other hand, I was also under the impression we had a duty to write articles which are interesting to read. You may find my style of prose too florid for your taste - in which case edit it - but if you want to claim that the Derfflingers weren't the best battlecruisers built before the war, you'd better have some great reference material, because the overwhelming body of evidence is against you.
"Subdivision – I think it’s a matter for considerable technical debate. They certainly had greater beam and more internal subdivision. But the purpose of the article should not be to advance one side of a debate."
So if the article stated specifically that the German ships had a greater beam and more internal subdivision - both of which are indisputable facts - you'd be happy? Consider the edit made. I'm sure I'll need to alter all of one word...
Ship design – HMS Invincible has much more in common with the Lexingtons in terms of intended role and employment than it does with in terms of ship design and statistics – but of course, we shouldn’t be putting opinion in the wiki.
Which, I believe, is exactly what article already states...
Bluntly, I believe you are indulging in pedantry for the sake of it over many of these points - you are, after all, taking issue over a fact that isn't even raised in the article (the Indefatigable business). However, you do have some fair points, so I will attempt to address those issues. Getztashida 10:22, 6 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

From which I can gather that while you agree that the statement might be inaccurate you don’t particularly care – is one was to re write that sentence to improve accuracy – it might go something like this;

The Invincibles were followed by the generally similar Indefatigable, which had similar armament and armour as its predecessors, but being slightly larger allowed for some improvement in general layout. The Indefatigable was built to a tight budget however its successors, the Lion class, were built in a period of escalating tension between Britain and Germany and were a "money no object" design.

Unfortunately this more accurate representation is still inadequate in some ways – for example the Lion class outline design pre dated the “we want eight” hyperbole – Fishers statements on her early design work seemed to indicate operational advantages from the larger guns and higher speed were a driving factor. Also - the whole debate over the we want eight programme highlights that money was very much a factor in every aspect of this programme - indeed Churchill had to eventually go into battle for a few tens of thousands of pounds just to change the arrangements of the masts.

You could add a sentence stating that after the Lion class design was complete, a further two ships were built to a modified version of the previous design for Pacific Ocean duties, where the weaker armament and protection, and lower cost were more appropriate. I take it you would find such a sentence irrelevant, but I am less inclined to dismiss 20% of the pre war RN battle cruisers in a section discussing their design evolution.

The comments on Lion class protection could also be improved – the Lion scheme was a considerable improvement over Indefatigable when the threat is 11in shell, rather than 8.2. The splendid cats were hit by something like 60 German large caliber shells in two actions, for the loss of one unit, as an example. This was of course using the excellent German 1914 patter AP shell; Lions scheme could be considered more effective vs the previous generation of shell in use when the ships were designed. No doubt, in perfect hindsight, with better information of German shell properties, a stronger protective scheme may have been chosen, and it might be safe to call the Lion class scheme inadequate. Still, it’s a mistake to gloss over or dismiss the improvements over Indefatigable, either in theory or in practice. Chris 7 Feb

"You could add a sentence stating that after the Lion class design was complete, a further two ships were built to a modified version of the previous design for Pacific Ocean duties, where the weaker armament and protection, and lower cost were more appropriate. I take it you would find such a sentence irrelevant, but I am less inclined to dismiss 20% of the pre war RN battle cruisers in a section discussing their design evolution."
It's certainly interesting and is discussed in the Indefatigable class article - but no, I don't think it's particularly relevant to the development of the Battlecruiser. The line of decent is clear - Invincible, Indefatigable, Lion, Tiger, Renown, Hood. That a couple of ships were ordered out of design sequence in interesting, but simply not pertinent to a discussion about the evolution of the type, rather than the history of the specific ships. However, if you can think of a way of including that snippet of information without disrupting the flow of the article, then by all means do so.
As to "glossing over the improvemnts" between the Indefatigables and Lions, I wasn't aware that I had done that. Certianly I mentioned the increases in gun size and armour, if not speed (because it's arguable whether the Lions were actually faster than the Invincibles. Variance between individual ships aside, both were capable of 28 knots at full chat). Getztashida 16:13, 7 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The German Response

Sorry for the delay, but I've lost my internet connection at home so my proposed new section has become a lunch-break project...

I've split up the "first battlecruisers" section into two, the first of which has remain unchanged in name, but I have dedicated to the British version of the battlecruiser. I have expanded it slightly to include mention of the Lions later designs. I intend to do some further work on this section to describe Fishers vision of the Battlecruiser's role.

The new section deals explcitly with German battlecruisers and the differences in their operating philosphy. So far it contains a slightly expanded version of the existing text on the German BC's.

Intend to work over both sections somewhat (although I will endevour not to enlarge them too much) in the course of the next week or so. Getztashida 15:05, 2 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have expanded the section on the first battlecruisers, discussing what Fisher was trying to achieve in creating Battlecruisers and how the Invicibles matched up to them. My primary sources are;
Osprey New Vanguard: British Battlecruisers 1914-1918
George Bonney: The Battle of Jutland, 1916.
Getztashida 13:28, 6 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have further improved the section on German Battlecruisers. The Comments regarding the German prediliction for fast battleships are taken from Osprey's New Vanguard publication, "German Battlecruisers 1914-1918" and are attributed to the head of the RMA. I will further modify the article naming names and quoting articles, but I do not have the reference books to hand at the moment as I am at work... Getztashida 14:28, 6 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think this section should mention that some of the German advantage came from the earlier adoption of small-bore water tube boilers, which were not adopted by the British until the Hood. Philip Trueman 16:46, 6 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

First Battle Cruiser Section

"Although fitted with radio, neither Director controlled firing nor the Argo gunnery control system had been accepted into Royal Navy service at the time, leaving the final piece of Fisher's plan unrealised. The Battlecruisers were instead equipped with the generally inferior Dreyer system and would prove unable to fight at ranges where the enemy guns could not reach them."

This sentence is also appalingly inaccurate - refer to John Brooks recent book on Dreadnought Fire Control.

Scott and Vickers did not produce a practicable bearing and elevation director till about 1912, and did not begin producing them in numbers till 1914. The Polen systems superiority is largely a matter of hyperbole - and the Dreyer Table Mk IV as fitted to the Tiger and QE's was superior in most respects. The most valuable piece of Pollen equipment at Jutland was the gyroscopic mounting for the 9ft raangefinder, even though its main value was its centralised, elevated position, rather than the gyroscope itself.

As built the Dreadnought and Invincible incorperated a sophisticated fire control system for the time, incorperating spotting tops, long base length rangefinders, range telgraphs, navy phones, Dumaresq instroments, Vickers Clock and manual plotting.

Without going into to much detail, a more accurate sentance might be;

These ships completed with the most modern fire control equipment available at the time, and in this respect represented a great advance over ships completed only a few years earlier. The full advantages of centralised fire control would not be realised for some years, and the Invincible class ships were eventually fitted with director firing in the months before Jutland.

On another paragraph Charged with modernising the Navy and reducing its cost, Fisher sought to dispose of all the Royal Navy's second-rate battleships stationed across the globe - these vessels were essential for the defence of the far flung corners of the Empire, but individually rarely saw combat and were hugely cost-inefficient as a result.

The sentence is accurate in terms of generalisms but terrible in terms of detail. "Second rate battleships"? Fisher paid off old battleships, and the RN acquired five "second class battleships" between 1889-1905, two of them by accident - and which incidentally, survived right into WWI. Fishers cost saving reforms actually spanned through all classes of ships, and he was particularly scathing of the small, slow second and third class cruisers that he characterized as "too small to fight and too slow to run away".

The whole RN saw very little action in the late Victorian and Edwardian period - but of what little action there was, more was parceled out to gunboats and small cruisers on distant stations than ever came the way of the battle fleet.

How about this revision;

Driven to improve and reform the Navy, and compelled to reduce its cost, Fisher paid off the veritable host of small or old warships the Royal Navy stationed around the world for the purpose of Imperial defense, and importantly closed many of the expensive network of bases where these ships had been based. Further savings were realized by a scheme of reserve manning, where older ships with some fighting value were retained in reserve, with nucleus crews aboard, and intended to be brought to their full complement by means of reserves in any emergency."

The most convenient, up to date and easily read reference for this statement would be Massie's Dreadnought - although it is at best just a popular history.

On the subject of references or further reading - the list at the bottom of the article is small and not particularly relevant. Some general reference on the period like Massie would be an improvement, and its hard to imagine an article that deals with British Battlecruisers without mentioning Roberts "Battlecruisers". The article presumes to make some statements on the topic of fire control, without citing either Sumida or Brooks. Perhaps the poor quality of the references explains the poor quality of the article? (Chris - the annoying person above - also ChrisMCau Feb7

The comments on fire control in the Invincibles were lifted from Osprey's New Vanguard "British Battlecruisers 1914-1918" and rewritten for brevity. I accept that "not yet ready for service" is probably a better turn of phrase than "not yet accepted" - accept of course that the Argo system was ultimately never selected. Most of my reference books state that the Argo system was better than the Dreyer system and the only ship fitted with it, the Queen Mary, was considered a "crack gunnery ship" implying that it was a genuine improvement. As for Dreyer system's ability to fight at extreme range, it is usually cited as the reason the Sturdee took so long to Sink the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau at the Falkland islands. Feel free to revise the entry as appropriate.
On Fisher's reforms, I like your revision very much and will use it to replace my entry. However, I have left out the comments on the reform of the reserve fleet. Whilst undoubtedly true - and probably Fisher's greatest acheivement - it is not really relevant to the topic at hand.
On sources, personally I am not prepared to cite references I have not actually read, and I assume the same applies the other contributors to the article. Personally, I'm surpised that Richard Hough's "Dreadnought, A History of the Modern battleship" is not cited, as it is an excellent reference work, if a little old.
As for being annoying, constructive criticism can only improve the article and personally I welcome it - although I will defend my position when I feel it neccessary ;-) The one thing I would say is that this article is prety long already and only getting longer. When I write expansions I'm having to keep half an eye on trying to cover the relevant points as swiftly as possible, which means leaving some of the extraneous detail. I guess that's the drawback of working on such relatively limited field... It would be preposterous to try and cover the entire history of the Battleship in the level of detail we have already achieved in this article, but because there's only 40 years or so of Battlecruiser history, the expectation seems to be that we cover every single ship in detail... Getztashida 10:08, 7 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Overall, and excellent rewrite Chris, but just one point. There were Three Lions, not two and the Tiger was the fouth "splendid cat." I haven't gone ahead and edited the section myself as I'm you allude to a few facts that I am not clear on and don't want to damage the context. Getztashida 11:39, 8 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am confused by what you mean. As the parapgraph is currently written, it states that two ships of the Lion class were ordered in 1909-10 programme, a third ship in the 1910-11 programme and the new design Tiger in the 1911-12 programme. Tiger was a new design with a revised configuration, much improved machinery etc. She was a splendid cat but she wasnt a Lion class ship. Chris Feb 9 —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:33, 8 February 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]

After carefully rereading the section and now I see where you are coming from - as I read it the comment on the third Lion and HMS Tiger seemed to be referring to the same ship. Getztashida 09:27, 9 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Science Fiction

This is in drastic need of beeing cut down to a sentance, and a link. Chris Feb 8

Do we even need this section at all? Getztashida 11:24, 8 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In fact, I'll go a step further. Unless there is significant opposition over the next couple of weeks I shall ruthlessly edit this section down to size. Getztashida 16:23, 9 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why not just create a new page called "Battlecruiser(fiction)" and remove this stuff from here altogether?Markus Becker02 18:05, 10 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Derfflinger best

While I apreciate that the last edit has made the piece more neutral, and contributed to making the article more consist with wiki guidlines, there is still work to do. According to this guideline – these sorts of statements have to be definitively attributed to a known authority, “most historians” is not good enough to maintain a neutral POV. Chris Feb 8

Richard Hough stats that the Derfflingers were the best in "Dreadnought, The History of the Modern Battleship" (Macmillan Press, 1975). The assertation is also made in the Osprey New Vanguard "German Battlecruisers, 1914-1918" and George Bonney's "The Battle of Jutland, 1916" (Royal Naval Publications, 2002) finally Dan Van Der Vat repeats the statement in "The Ship that Changed the World." These are just the reference works that I possess that make specific claims that the Derfflingers were the best. I have a number of books which make allusions to that effect without stating it in bald terms, and I have also read the comment in numerous books which I do not possess and therefore cannot cite authoritatively. If I have enough time over lunch, I can probabaly find you some properly referenced essays online which make similar claims. Getztashida 09:27, 8 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

According to the wiki guidlines - the only way to make such a statement consistant with the nuetral POV is to write something like "Richard Hough, the noted Naval Historian, considers these ships the most effiective battlecruisers of WWI". - anything less is inconsistant with the nuetral Pov and has to go. Chris feb 9

How about an inline citation? Surely that would cover it. Incidentally, I changed the line "most Historians" to "many Historians." Getztashida 13:06, 9 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you wish to say "many" historians, then you would need to provide "many" inline references. If not, go with something more along the lines of what Chris suggests. Emoscopes Talk 15:13, 9 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've edited the NPOV edit to cite Gary Staff in preference to Richard Hough, primarily as the source is more recent (2006 vs 1975) and less ambiguous - in "German Battlecruisers 1914-18" Gary Staff states the Defflingers are "quite correctly thought of" as the best battlecruisers of WWI, rather than the more cautious language used by Hough. If we're going to cite a historian, it may as well be one who's 100% behind the cause...  ;-) Getztashida 14:57, 19 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Other Nations

I'm considering a very short additional section after "The German Repsonse" which will briefly introduce the other pre-war battlecruisers. This will amount to no more than the Kongo's and the unbuilt Russian Borodino's, but will indicate that nations other than Britain and Germany were building or planning Battlecruisers prior to WWI. Do you think this is worth the effort? Getztashida 11:50, 8 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Okay, I have written the section and also taken the advantage to add a few extra images from Wiki commons. Getztashida 12:14, 9 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I see you have started that section. The influence of the Kongo's on the TIgers has been the subject of many thousands of words from hefty authaurities - which did you use for this section? Chris Feb 9 —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 20:57, 9 February 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]
Primarily Richard Hough "Dreadnought, the History of the Modern Battleship." It is, of course, written in my own words however. Getztashida 09:34, 12 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ahh, DK Brown has them specifically as "parallel" designs, rather than one influencing the other or vice versa. The official reason given by brown for dropping Q in favour of X was a change in the internal torpedo arrangements. Hough is perhaps not the most reliable or up to date reference on the British BC's. Chris Feb 13. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by ChrisMCau (talkcontribs) 22:13, 12 February 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]

That's a new one to me... Hough is not the only book I've read that stated that Tiger was redesigned, but it's the only one that I possess and can cite. Getztashida 09:24, 13 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

New US Designs

I'm a bit concerned about this section. For starters it's overlong for discussion of a single class of ships and full of the usual apologia spouted by US Navy fans about how the Alaskas were only "large cruisers." Also, the Alsakas were not the only new battlecruiser designs of this era but instead were part of a trend seen in several Navies in building new "Cruiser-Killer" Battlecruisers. I would like to rename the section "The Last Battlecruisers" and rewrite it acknowledging that while the US Navy never used the term "Battlecruiser" themselves, in every other meaningful sense that is exactly what the Alaskas were. I also would like to mention the Japanese B64 and Dutch 1047 designs - neither of which were laid down but were almost identical in concept to the Alaskas. It would seem that the orginal "super-cruiser" idea enjoyed a rebirth during the late 30's and early 40's in response to the growth of the "treaty cruisers" before being definitvely replaced by the Aircraft Carrier. It's facinating how things came round in a full circuit, isn't it? Getztashida 17:19, 8 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would agree - the Invincibles were not called battlecruisers for some years after they were completed, and they too grew out of contemporary cruiser design. Chris —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:34, 8 February 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]
The "apologia" keeps the US Navy fanbois happy and stops them writing the section out of the article. However, the fancruft has grown since I added the section so by all means cut it down to size. Wiki-Ed 11:33, 12 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Okay, as threatened I've more or less completly rewritten the section. Additions, comments and criticism appreciated. Getztashida 18:07, 19 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It looks better, but I think that saying that the USN went to great lengths to claim the Alaskas were not battlecruisers needs documentation. The USN did not classify them as battlecruisers, and was consistent in calling them large cruisers, but "great lengths"? And why would countries avoid the word "battlecruiser" for political reasons? Describing the Dutch plans and the Japanese B-64s and the German OPQ and the USN Alaska class is reasonable here, but let's either keep the editorializing on why or why not they were called what out of here, or provide references.Dht 04:05, 20 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sorry, I thought the reason why the term "Battlecruiser" fell out of favour after the sinking of the Hood was apparent from the context. Ill rewrite it to make it a little clearer. Getztashida 09:15, 20 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Looks good to me. I would agree that we might want a reference for the contention that the US navy went to great lengths etc, if only because it sounds "controversial". Also, as someone below has pointed out, the capitalisation (in the article) is a bit excessive. I'll have a go at this now. Wiki-Ed 10:03, 20 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've changed the "great lengths" quote to a more general comment regarding the US Navy's dislike of the battlecruiser concept. This is more easily supported - Richard Hough's trusty book having some nice citable material, for example... Getztashida 12:00, 20 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I just removed the last sentence I thought conflicting with NPOV, and not entirely accurate to boot. I don't think Wikipedia needs to disagree with the US Navy about US warships (although it should document disagreement), and Invincible is very definitely not a scaled-up Warrior or Defence in the same way Alaska is a scaled-up Baltimore. (I also thought the German designs deserved their own short paragraph.) I think this section now looks pretty good. Dht 03:45, 21 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

HMS Invincible was no more scaled up Minotaur than the Dreadnought was a saled up King Edward VII - both vessels were so revolutionary, direct comparisons with their immediate predeccessors are rather meaningless. However, that doesn't mean the Invincibles weren't based on Armoured Cruiser design principles. The high freeboard and armour distribution where characteristic of Armoured Cruiser practice, for example, and owed little or nothing to British battleship design. Look at it this way, had the Invicible been equipped with 9.2 inch guns there would have been no question that she was an Armoured Cruiser - Had Dreadnought been armed with lighter guns she would clearly have remained an (undergunned) Battleship...
As to the Alaska's, it really doesn't matter what the US Navy called the ships - after all, the Germans called their Battlecruisers large cruisers (Grosskreuzers) during WWI - vessels are defined by their role and capabilities. In those terms the Alaska's were indisputably battlecruisers and every reference book, article and essay I possess or have read, without exception, describes them as such. Getztashida 11:04, 21 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Let's take this in sequence. HMS Invincible looks in many ways more like HMS Dreadnought than HMS Warrior, and Dreadnought looks rather like a Lord Nelson with the mess of 9.2" guns replaced with fewer 12" guns. I don't see that the literal translation of what the Germans called battlecruisers is important here; after all, we don't expect a Korvettenkapitän to necessarily command a corvette. What is important is that the US had a battlecruiser classification (CC), and the Alaska class was either considered CA-2 or CB, in other words specifically not battlecruisers.

I have several references that do not describe the Alaska class as battlecruisers. The most generally useful is Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1922-1946, which lists the Alaskas in with US cruisers, whereas battlecruisers are listed with the battleships. Conway's does say that many authorities classify the Alaskas as battlecruisers, but it disagrees with that. There are plenty more. My conclusion is that some people call the Alaskas battlecruisers and some don't. In this case, Wikipedia's job is to note that both viewpoints exist, rather than to agree with one side. (Conway's lists the Dutch, German, and Japanese designs with capital ships, by the way.)

I rewrote the introductory paragraph to eliminate some of what I saw as non-NPOV and extraneous statements. The Dutch and German designs appear to have been designated as battlecruisers, while the US design never was. I don't know about the designation history of the Japanese B64 and B65, although the final designs were not called battlecruisers. Therefore, I don't see that the sinking of HMS Hood had any effect on the designations, and I removed that part. Further, since half of these designs were designated as battlecruisers, referring to them as in general not being called battlecruisers is a bit odd. My references on some of this stuff aren't perfect, and if somebody can provide additional information I'd appreciate it.

(BTW, I added a bit more on the Japanese B64 and B65 and the German OPQs.) Dht 03:47, 23 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Who gives a "you know what" about how the USN prefered to call the Alaskas? They were clearly superior to any contemporary CA but clearly inferior to any BB, mainly because they lacked armour. That defines them as BCs. Interestingly they had the same mission as the first BCs, killing merchant raiding japanese CAs. IMO the section about the Alaskas is OK and should remain unchanged.Markus Becker02 11:48, 23 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We all should "give a you know what". WP is an encyclopaedia, not a discussion board or personal essay. If the U. S. Navy referred to them as "large cruisers", it is pertinent that this is covered by the article, indeed they saw fit to give them their own hull classification code. The political and military thinking behind designating vessels "large armoured ships", "pocket battleships", "large cruisers" etc. is every bit as important and interesting as the number of guns they had or how thick their main belt was . It's not as simple as "it looks like a battlecruiser, then we'll call it that", we shouldn't be in the business of coming up with our own designations for things because that's how we think of them. Emoscopes Talk 12:28, 23 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And this has been done. The article points out that the Alaskas were BCs in all but name. Why the USN did not officially designate them as such should be explained in the article abpout the Alaska class, not here.Markus Becker02 14:07, 23 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think it's very important to describe the US Navy's terminology and the political and military thinking behind it, but at the end of the day the "Large Cruiser/Battlecruiser" thing is no different from calling a shovel a spade. Irrespective of what we decide to call them they are both functionally the same thing... So the US Navy chose to call the Alaskas Large Cruisers for any number of reasons (which the article should acknowledge) - when you look at the tonnage, the armament and most importantly the mission profile, it becomes clear that the US Navy's "Large Cruisers" were the same as the every other Navy's "Battlecruisers." You may as well argue that Automobiles and Cars are different things because they have different names.

With regard to couple of your specific points;

"Let's take this in sequence. HMS Invincible looks in many ways more like HMS Dreadnought than HMS Warrior, and Dreadnought looks rather like a Lord Nelson with the mess of 9.2" guns replaced with fewer 12" guns."

All well and good except that you're getting the sequence wrong. The Lord Nelsons were contempory designs to the Dreadnought, not predecessors. As such they embodied some of the same ideas as Dreadnought only in a less radical package (the dispensing of the King Edward's tertiary armament of 6 inch guns, for example, was a baby step towards the all big gun concept that many navies were taking at the same time). Additionaly, as Janes fighting ships 1918 notes, the Lord Nelsons were not particularly representative of British design trends - Janes ascribes to them a rather "French" look - and in many respects (such as superstructure design) the Dreadnought more closely resembles the preceeding King Edwards than the Lord Nelsons do...

As to the Invincible and Warrior, as I have already mentioned, the preceeding design to the Invincibles was actually the Minotaur Class, which had a much more in common with the Invincibles than the Warriors did (Twin 9.2 inch Turrets fore and aft and a "mess" of 7 inch guns along the beams). However, there is no doubting that the Invincibles resembled the Deadnought more than the Minotaurs - primarily due to their superstucture design as well the presence of big gun turrets, but the superstructure similarity in particular is superficial, and the continuity with Armoured Cruiser design is evident from more fundemental design elements such as the High Freeboard and armour arrangement.

"I don't see that the literal translation of what the Germans called battlecruisers is important here; after all, we don't expect a Korvettenkapitän to necessarily command a corvette."

I would agree with you if it weren't for the fact that you are putting equal importance on the Amerian use of the term "Large Cruiser." If we are asked to assume that when the Germans said "Grosskreuzer" they actually meant "Battlecruiser" (lit. Schlactkreuzer - a term the Germans di not use until after WWI) then why should we not assume that when the US Navy said "Large Cruiser" they also did not mean "Battlecruiser." After all, Isn't Large Cruiser just another way of saying the same thing. By the same token, I could say that I was eating grated-yellow-dairy-product wrapped in sliced baked-wheat-and-yeat-mix, but it wouldn'tmake my lunch any less a cheese sandwich. Getztashida 12:39, 23 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There's a difference in the naming there. The Germans, as you say, used Grosskreuzer to describe battlecruisers, and came up with Schlachtkreuzer after the war. The US used the phrase "battlecruiser" around WWI, and came up with a different name for the Alaska class. This wasn't a result of any events during the design. If you were to refer to something by one name and another thing by another name, consistently, the implication is that you consider them to be different. The USN consistently called the Lexington class battlecruisers, hull type CC, and consistently never called the Alaska class that (hull type CA or CB, depending on when in the program). The Germans called their battlecruisers Grosskreuzeren during WWI, when they didn't call anything Schlachtkreuzeren, and seemed to be perfectly happy calling them Schlachtkreuzeren in retrospect.

There's also the problem of the definition of battlecruiser, which was never formally and officially defined. If you describe a battlecruiser as something between a cruiser and a battleship, that's one thing (although Alaska was intended as a cruiser, so even that's vague). If you look at the classic battlecruisers, the ones that everybody agrees were battlecruisers, there's other characteristics. They were generally of battleship size, and mounted the same guns as contemporary battleships (a few years off, in the German case). The Dunkerque, Alaska, and B64/B65 classes were smaller, and had smaller guns, so there's a distinction there.

To repeat, while many people consider Alaska and Dunkerque battlecruisers, many people do not. This is not the place to impose definitions that are controversial. Dht 13:17, 23 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

But on the other hand, you've chosen to dismiss (and delete from the article) the easily cited and widely supported position that the US Navy decision to classify the Alaskas Large Cruisers was politically motivated. I can cite references including several reference books and numerous online essays by reputable Authors to support this. This online essay is as good a start as any...

Defining the Alaskas as Cruisers is easily as controversial as calling them Battlecruisers, yet you seem to expect us to take your side. My original version of the rewrite was intended to show both sides of the argument including the reasons for the US Navy's eccentric classification - however your edits are systematically stripping the article of context until only the "Large Cruiser" side of the debate remains.
Ulitmately, the Alaskas were Battlecruisers by any meaningful definition of the word, and what the US Navy chooses to call them is irrelevant. The Soviet Navy called their Battlecuisers "Heavy Cruisers" and in the same vein the Imperial German Navy called their Destroyers "Large Torpedo Boats" and the Royal Navy called Destroyer Escorts "Corvettes" and "Frigates." What you choose to call something does not change wat it is. I could call my cat a crocodile, but it would still be a mammal of the Felix genus. Getztashida 14:30, 23 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The reason I've deleted the political motivation is that I don't have references to it happening. If you do, please bring them up. If it is widely supported and easily cited, you presumably have a good cite for it. As far as the two sides go, you will notice that I'm not changing anything that calls Alaska a battlecruiser. It is a matter of disagreement among people who should know what they're talking about.

I believe that a definition of battlecruiser that has something like "has the same type of main gun as a roughly contemporary battleship" is meaningful. All the classic battlecruisers, the ones we all agree on, had the same type of main guns as battleships, if delayed maybe three years in some cases. Alaska had guns intermediate between contemporary heavy cruisers and battleships. If you shrunk one of the "Splendid Cats" by maybe 30% in displacement, and armed it with 9.2" guns, it would be called an armored cruiser rather than a battlecruiser, and that looks to me comparable with Alaska. It happens that "battlecruiser" has no formal definition like Mammalia or Felix do.

While the website you mentioned is interesting, it really isn't usable as a wikipedia citation. It's what the wikipedia verifiability guidelines call "self-published", and has no further sources. The WP guidelines point out that such publications can be by intelligent, well-informed people, or by total loons, and since the only way to reliably tell the difference is to find other sources, so those sources can be cited instead.

The ideal WP source is something like, say, H. P. Willmott's Battleship, which is a book by a reputable historian that is well-sourced. (FWIW, Willmott doesn't make a big deal of it, but consistently refers to the Alaska class as battlecruisers.) If you have such a book that does claim that the USN classification of Alaska was political, please cite it. Calling Alaska a battlecruiser is not all that controversial, and noting that the USN did not is uncontroversial, but attributing reasons really should be backed up. Dht 05:36, 25 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Richard Hough, Dreadnought: A History of the Modern Battleship - MacMillan Publishing Company, 1975. ISBN-13: 978-0025544208
He discusses the US Navies antipathy towards the Battlecruiser post Washington Treaty in the chapter describing the period 1920-39. He also attributes the use of the term "Large Cruiser" to the loss of the Hood.
Additionally, I understood that correctly referenced essays online were acceptable reference material. Certainly, Chuck Hawks articles are widely cited in other Naval History articles. Getztashida 13:03, 26 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
With Regard to one of your specific points:
"I believe that a definition of battlecruiser that has something like "has the same type of main gun as a roughly contemporary battleship" is meaningful. All the classic battlecruisers, the ones we all agree on, had the same type of main guns as battleships, if delayed maybe three years in some cases."
I don't think that that's a definition of a Battlecruiser that anyone else here will agree with without further qualification. Different nations applied different policies at different times regard gun calibre in Battleships and Battlecruisers and you've merely selected one criterion which happens to disqualify the Alaskas. Even so, the Guns on the Alaskas were larger than those mounted on the German Pocket Battleships and Scharnhorsts (which arguably were full battlships). Furthermore, if we compare and contrast the the Alaskas to the Baltimores we see a near 100% increase in dispacement and an increase of gun calibre by 50% with very little increase in protection, so implying that they were an incremental increase over those of existing heavy cruisers is a bit of a stretch.
The only other class of modern cruiser to carry guns over 10" calibre were the German Deutchlands, vessels that although nominally heavy cruisers were given oversized guns primarily for political reasons. On the whole, Guns of 10" or more are described as "Capital ship sized" for a reason - in fact unless I am very much mistaken, no Battleship (or Battlecruiser) was laid down in the 20th Century with guns smaller than 10" and no armoured cruiser or heavy cruiser (the Deutschlands and the Japanese Tsukuba and Ibuki classes - vessels so abnormal in type that Janes classed them as "Pre-Dreadnought Battlecruisers" - being the exceptions that prove the rule) was built with larger guns. In short, pointing that the Alsaka's guns were 2" smaller than most of the Battleship guns in the US Navy doesn't make them any less "Capital ship guns." Getztashida 15:12, 26 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I wasn't trying to impose a definition of battlecruiser, just to suggest a reasonable one that excludes the Alaskas. To repeat, there is no agreement on whether they were or were not battlecruisers (and their guns were 4" smaller than contemporary US battleships). You might want to look up the Wikipedia policy on verification. Is Chuck Hawk's site used elsewhere? I hadn't noticed. Hough is a good source, but on rereading the appropriate chapters I found nothing on any political considerations for anything concerning US battlecruisers. Dht 04:22, 27 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Firstly, You may have noted I didn't say contemporary, I said "most of the Battleship guns in the US Navy." At the time the Alaskas were laid down the majority of the US Navy Battleships were equipped with 14" Guns (they had four 12" gunned, nine 14" gunned and five 16" gunned in commission as of December 1941). Secondly, regarding Hough, you you look again you should find a section where he discusses the Lexingtons where he quotes a US Navy officer describing Battlecruisers as a "Mongrel breed of warship, unsuited to the needs of the US Navy" (not an exact quote, I don't have my reference books with me here at work) and goes on to briefly describe the US navies antipathy towards the type. As to comments regarding the Alaskas in particular, I will find the appropriate quotes tonight. Getztashida 10:24, 27 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Okay, I have made an alteration that I hope will satisfy everyone. I have compiled the two paragraphs on the Alaskas into a single one and left the text otherwise unaltered except for removing the "outgrowth of contemporay Cruiser design" sentence. As it stands now the the section acknowledges that the Alaskas were classified as Large Cruisers but makes no assertations over the validity of this, one way or the other. The very fact that they are included in the Battlecruiser article indicates that they are comparable and we have clearly indicated their US designation. I would still like to replace the comment regarding US Navy hostility towards Battlecruisers, however is the paragraph as it stands a suitable compromise for everyone? Getztashida 15:14, 28 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks - looks good. I've looked for references to the USN attitude towards battlecruisers, and have come up empty. What I've got is a design history that basically chronicles how the Alaska class evolved, without mention of anybody possibly considering it a battlecruiser. There is likely an interesting story there, but I don't know it. Dht 17:54, 10 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Second World War

I'm thinking that the section on WWII is too long and detailed. I suggest that it gets trimmed back in the manner of the WWI section. There is no need to recite battles, merely note the ones where Battlecruisers were present write a brief description and link to the main article. Getztashida 16:21, 9 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Furthermore, for the aleph1-th time: Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were NOT battlecruisers, but battleships. In their protection details, they were fully armoured like every other battleship of their time, only the fitting with 11" guns wich happened for various reasons (turret designs already complete, new design with heavier guns would have delayed completition, treaty violations) has created the unkillable myth of them being classified as battlecruisers. --Derfflinger 19:35, 28 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That point has already been mentioned earlier in the article. Whilst you are in fact largely correct, the Scharnhorsts are generally considered Battlecruisers and it would be seriously remiss of us to ignore them on the basis of a technicality. Getztashida 14:00, 1 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Generally considered by whom? Only you US and Brit boys, right? In Germany, no one ever saw them as battlecruisers, and I guess they ought to know better. Besides, the performance of Scharnhorst in the last battle indicates that her armour and general protection were battleship-class, nothing other, as does the construction values themselves. Just making my point. --Derfflinger 14:20, 5 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, by us US and Brit boys - however, this is the English language version... Seriously, I'm on yopur side on this one but when the vast majority of English language reference works include the S & G in with the battlecruisers we have to acknowledge that fact. The point the the Scharnhorsts were really underarmed battleships has been alluded to - what more do you want? Getztashida 17:16, 5 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All right... I guess you can't have everything ;). --Derfflinger 23:21, 5 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

All ships are defined by the role they play within a navy. Battlecruisers are no different and the introduction makes it clear that this is how the article approaches the topic. Classification based on technical details is not feasible imho. Wiki-Ed 12:17, 6 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I am confused by the way the article switches between referring to "battlecruisers" and "Battlecruisers", and even, at one point, refers to "Fast Battleships". What does capitalization signify, please? Philip Trueman 18:32, 19 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't think it signifies anything more than different authors having different ideas on what should be capitalised... Getztashida 12:01, 20 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think capital letters for proper nouns only is logical. Fred's name has a capital F. Fred's Ferrari gets one too. Fred's car does not. Wiki-Ed 13:33, 20 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would agree, though perhaps in this context a better example would be Britain's Dreadnought and Britain's dreadnoughts. I'll sort it out in a day or two if no-one beats me to it. Philip Trueman 13:59, 20 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I did this yesterday. Wiki-Ed 10:27, 21 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Armoured Cruisers

Although interesting, I'm not sure that the new section on armoured cruisers is either neccessary or relavent. It's doubtful that Togo's usage of Armoured Cruisers at Tushima had any influence on Fisher's ideas behind the battlecruiser (his first Battlecruiser-esque proposals pre-dated the battle of Tushima for starters) and the descent of the Battlecuiser from the Armoured cruiser is already mentioned in the introduction with a link to the appropriate article. I also think it interrupts the flow of the article and at the ery least should be integrated into the "First Battlecruisers" section. Opinons? Getztashida 15:46, 26 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It looked odd to me. Fisher's inspiration dated back at least to the time he chose the Renown as his flagship when he commanded the Mediterranean Fleet. He branded the British armoured cruiser of the day "unable to fight or run away", a verdict borne out at Jutland. I vote to ditch the new bit, but its author should be allowed his say. Philip Trueman 16:07, 26 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree its odd, and doesnt fit nestled near the introduction. Its also inaccurate - the great armoured cruiser race was well underway long before tsushima, and almost over by the time that battle was fought, though the ships continued to slide down the ways for some additional years. Chris
Okay, my inclination is to delete this section, but I'm going to wait until at least next week before I do it. If any of you disagree or think you can do something with the section, go right ahead in the meantime. Getztashida 09:54, 28 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Okay, in the absence of any futher objections I have removed the Armoured Cruiser section. However, I chose to insert it into the Armoured Cruiser article which could do with some fleshing out. Getztashida 17:18, 5 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Science Fiction Section (again)

I propose that this section be moved to its own page. The contrast with the rest of the material is too stark. Philip Trueman 12:38, 28 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree. Getztashida 15:01, 28 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I wonder if it could form the nucleus for a new and actually useful page - science fiction potrayals of naval warfare or the like? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Shimgray (talkcontribs) 23:59, 5 March 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]
The problem is that most science fiction rarely discuss naval warfare per se, but mostly go about its spacefaring counterpart. Which might not correlate to the established meaning of a battlecruiser at all. So I believe that something like Battlecruisers in fiction will do well -- like it did in similar cases with spacesuits and aircraft carriers. --Khathi 13:35, 5 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes it could be. I split Aircraft carriers in fiction from the aircraft carrier page a while back and it's worked like magic: all the poorly written stuff about non-notable books and video games has been put there instead of spoiling the aircraft carrier page. Wiki-Ed 12:23, 6 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I vote for something like Battlecruisers in fiction Emoscopes Talk 12:55, 6 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not so sure. I can think of a couple of fictional books (which I won't name here until I can check my references) that refer to battlecruisers in the sense meant by the bulk of the article. What has happened is that science fiction writers have taken the term and redefined it, in a way that writers of historical fiction have not. Philip Trueman 17:47, 7 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good point, my thinking was that "in fiction" would be a catch-all for all genres of fiction, not just sci-fi. Emoscopes Talk 18:04, 7 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"XYZ in fiction" is a good "ancillary page" - somewhere to stuff material you don't want in the main article. It's quite hard to develop it into an actual article, though; you really need to take the specific forms of fiction from a number of related articles and mush them up a bit to get an actual interesting topic, and I feel there is one lurking here somewhere, with "battlecruiser" as a specific example not the focus. Shimgray | talk | 00:11, 8 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Very true, however anything that moves the fancruft out of this article is a step forward in my opinion, and I'm sure the editors who contribute it here would take on the task of turning it from a collection of random information into an article were it to be moved elsewhere. As it is, it just dilutes an already complex but succinct article. Emoscopes Talk 03:07, 8 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I just stumbled across Space navy, which might be a decent nucleus for this kind of cruft. Shimgray | talk | 23:10, 16 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The science fiction section should be completely removed. --Dukefan73 23:00, 5 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Classification of Hood and Deutschland class

HMS Hood was NOT a battlecruiser. She did not fit the commonly accepted definition of battlecruiser. She did not sacrifice gun calibre or armor protection for her speed. She was the world's first fast battleship, and should only be mentioned in the article in an evolutionary sense. --Dukefan73 23:00, 5 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Deutshclands were not battlecruisers. They were simply overgunned, slow heavy cruisers. The simple fact that they had weaker armament, weaker armor, and slower speed than the battlecruisers in service (Repulse, Renown, Kongos, Dunkerques) tells you that they weren't battlecruisers. --Dukefan73 23:09, 5 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I wish people would get over the Top Trumps mentality with ship classification. As the introduction clearly states:Although technical specifications varied, all battlecruisers shared a similar role specification. They were designed to hunt down and outgun smaller warships (or merchant ships in the case of the pocket battleships), and outrun larger warships that they could not outgun. Which would cover both Hood and the Deutschland class, hence their inclusion. Wiki-Ed 19:15, 7 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've never seen any mention of Hood being designed "to hunt down and outgun smaller warships (or merchant ships in the case of the pocket battleships), and outrun larger warships that they could not outgun." Hood, unlike battlecruisers, was designed to stand in the battleline just like any other battleship. If you can provide me with ISBN numbers of reputable sources that state this definitively, then I'll have to purchase them, so I could give them due consideration.
However, given that I own reputable sources by such authoritative naval historians as D.K.Brown and Antony Preston, I tend to agree with them, and both of them state that Hood was a fast battleship. All of her design specifications support this, it was only her high speed which tended to confuse people, as she sacrificed neither armor nor armament to achieve 30 knots. Also, please note that I didn't say they shouldn't be included in the article, but that they should be mentioned in the sense that they were evolutionary, by combining the best of both worlds (battlecruisers and battleships).
As far as the Deutschlands go.........why include them in the battlecruiser article when they have their own page entitled "Deutschland class cruiser"? Which are they? See my response below. --Dukefan73 09:46, 8 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Royal Navy always called the Hood a battlecruiser. Naval terminology is never precise, but if the Royal Navy ever classified one of its ships as a Giant Flying Pig then we would have to assume they were right... The Land 19:24, 7 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This argument is contradicted by the entire article. The Germans classified the Deutschlands as panzerschiffe and later reclassified them as heavy cruisers. The USN classified the Alaska as CB "large cruisers". So it's convenient to ignore the Germans and Americans, yet wholeheartedly accept the RN classification? The Japanese called the Kongos "fast battleships" after their reconstruction, yet do you really believe ships with 8" armor belts were battleships? Or do you simply accept that the IJN knows what they're talking about? If you want to call the Hood a battlecruiser because that's what the RN called her, fine, but then let's leave the Deutschlands, Alaskas, Kongos, and numerous other ships that weren't classified as battlecruisers by their respective navies out of the article. That is, if you want to use your argument. --Dukefan73 09:46, 8 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Makes sense to me. The Deutschlands and Alaskas should probably be mentioned as similar types to battlecruisers, though, and the Kongos for half of their lifetime definitely were battlecruisers. It's all very complicated. The Land 11:47, 8 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It is not complicated and nor is it about the name used by a given navy for a given type of ship. Hood was intended for use as a battlecruiser and battlecruisers were designed to outfight or outrun opponents, whether as the vanguard of a grand fleet (eg. Jutland) or independently (eg. Scharnhorst and Gneisenau raids). The fact that they might have bigger or smaller guns and more or less armour than one-another is immaterial.

And Dukefan73, if you want to know what the ship was designed for then go and read the Ship’s Cover in the archives (this one used to be at Woolwich but I think it is now in Greenwich). You’ll have to do a lot better than simply assert that two "authoritative" naval historians say the Hood was something different to what all the others say. Perhaps you could provide some ISBN numbers and page references yourself? However, at the end of the day historians only offer their opinions. Hood’s case is slightly more confused than most as the design spec changed over time, but I would be highly surprised if you could find a source that says the Admiralty wanted her to sail in line-of-battle. Wiki-Ed 13:17, 8 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've just recently begun perusing the battlecruiser, battleship, and fast battleship articles. I've obviously made a mistake in assuming that the people providing the bulk of the info for these articles were at least familiar with the works of Antony Preston and D.K. Brown, amongst others. My mistake, obviously. Therefore, let's talk about sources. David K Brown RCNC received a 1st Class Certificate in Warship Design in 1953, and became a Chartered Engineer in 1968. He retired in 1988 as Deputy Chief Naval Architect of the Royal Corps of Naval Constructors, and became Vice President of both the Royal Institution of Naval Architects and of the World Ship Society. Antony Preston was a Research Assistant in charge of Admiraly records at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. Author of over a dozen books on naval history, consultant to a number of publishing groups in naval and historical affairs, was the editor of the history quarterly Warship and editor of Navy International, and editor of the monthly magazine Defence.
Brown, D. K. The Grand Fleet: Warship Design and Development 1906-1922 ISBN 1840675314
Preston, Antony Battleships ISBN 0831707046
Unfortunately I don't see myself visiting England anytime soon, and therefore will be visiting neither Woolwich nor Greewich. Interesting that you should mention historians and their "opinions". Is this article not merely one of "opinions" derived from various sources, said sources being written by naval historians and filled with their "opinions"? Call me crazy, but I think that somebody such as D.K. Brown's opinion is worth far more than mine, yours, or anybody else's who contributed to this article. Oh, and if we're arguing opinions, then neither the Deutschlands nor Alaskas should be mentioned as battlecruisers in the article, as their respective navies were very specific as to their types. Or are they simply mentioned here because, in your or somebody elses' opinion, they're battlecruisers? If that's so, then it's hypocritical to denounce my opinion concerning Hood, don't you think? It seems to me that you're picking and choosing classifications as it suits you. I'm not trying to get into a pissing contest, but the contradictions here are just a little too much for me to ignore. The Land seems to agree with me on this particular matter. This isn't about a "Top Trumps" mentality or who's right or wrong, it's more about consistency and accuracy. Oh, and I'll mention it again, I never said Hood shouldn't be included in the article. She should be mentioned in an evolutionary sense, which would also be more appropriate for the Alaskas and Deutschlands, IMHO. --Dukefan73 05:23, 9 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Okay Dukefan, I agree with you entirely that the appelation a Navy chooses to apply to a ship is not the sole arbiter of whether or not it is a Battlecruiser - I argued as much for the Alaskas and will stand to that position with regard to the Hood. So, let's proove the Hood was a Battlecruiser...
Firstly, the classic "cruiser-hunter" criteria needs to be modified somewhat for the context of a 1916 design as by this point Battlecruisers were beng designed to fight not cruisers but existing enemy Battlecruisers. This is the line reasoning which informed the increase in protection in the Lion and Tiger classes, and the unrealised Armstrong 811 design produced in 1915. The proposed Admiral Class, of which Hood was the sole example, was the direct evolutionary descendant these ships, with the benefit of a bit of wartime experience thrown in. She was designed specifically to counter the German Mackensen Class and was faster and better armed than her intended opponent, but as designed she only enjoyed a 9" armoured belt and as such was inadequately protected to resist her own guns at any range.
So the original design was very clearly a Battlecruiser, but what about Hood as she was completed? The successive redesigns of 1916, 1918 and 1919 theoretically raised her armour to about the same level as the Queen Elizabeth's, but it was not nearly as extensive and her deck protection was especially thin. More pertinately, although her vertical protection offered her an Immune Zone at intermediate ranges, she was not adequately protected against her own guns at the 20,000+ yard ranges she was designed to fight at. So, although by 1916 standards she was quite well protected (although not as well as the R class, nor most US or German designs of the same era), by the standards of 1920, her protection was distinctly mediocre - especially compared to the contemporary battleships such as the Nagatos and Marylands.
Therefore, while she was very definately fast, it is arguable as to whether the Hood was ever truely a Battleship. Most historians consider her to be a hybrid, an evolutionary link between the Battlecruiser and the Fast Battleship but not strictly belonging to either camp and the article acknowledges this position. However, it could be argued that if the German Grosskreuzers - who were well protected against their own weapons and instead sacrificed some firepower for speed - were Battlecruisers, then by the same rational the Hood was most definately a Battlecruiser too. She may have been as well armed as any ship of her day, but in retropect she did not carry nearly as much firepower as a 42,000 ton battleship could and therefore must have given up much for her speed... Getztashida 14:58, 9 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ack you took the bait Getztashida. We shouldn't get into comparisons of their design specifications; This article uses a consistent approach based on role specifications. Using any other criteria as a reason for including or excluding a ship risks heated debate with those who use a different set of criteria. Incidentally I am familiar with Preston and Brown, but it does not mean their opinion should be given pre-eminence. Wikipedia should summarise the balance of opinion. Wiki-Ed 15:25, 9 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Hangs head in Shame*
Seriously though, you know I'm fully in favour of the role weighted criteria, but also I believe the the Hood can be justified as a Battlecruiser on technical grounds in a manner that Dukefan73 will accept on his own terms. Besides, my first point - that the Admiral Class was designed to be able to outrun and outgun existing German Battlecruisers and the anticipated Mackensen Class - does define them as a Battlecruiser by role specification. We just have to be a bit more flexible about what we mean by "cruiser-killer" once we are talking about 2nd and 3rd Generation Battlecruisers designed for a "battlecruiser rich" combat environment... Getztashida 16:20, 9 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yep. I agree, I'm just aware that it's a bit of a minefield. These ships all evolved so quickly in such a short space of time that comparison as means of classification risks upsetting those who hold to a particular point of view. Wiki-Ed 20:27, 9 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've noticed some new edits which seem to be addressing the issue. It's nice to see Getztashida mention that latter battlecruisers were built with fighting each other in mind (Dunkerques, for example). I'm sorry if I've come across as being unable to reconsider my thoughts on the classifications of various ships as "battlecruisers"; I just like to make it known that the "battlecruiser" appellation is a very murky one, and that it should be made clear in the article as such. --Dukefan73 10:55, 14 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Post War developments

I'm not too sure of the veracity of the following statement found in this section: For instance in the case of HMS Hood, the addition of armour was difficult due to structural considerations, and the completed Renown and Repulse did not or were unable to have an upgrade to their main protection scheme. I've don't recall any impediments to upgrading the protection on these ships besides time and money. Hood was slated to have her deck armor improved but the outbreak of the war prevented that. I also recall that Repulse was given a strake of 9" belt armor sometime in the 20s, I'll have to look it up. --Dukefan73 00:01, 23 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]