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Author Topic: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]  (Read 30712 times)

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Offline Enioch

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At least the support of the steel industry was a godsent. Eager to encourage ship construction, the Kamaishi and Awate foundries financed the expansion of the military docks. Kamaishi also made their patents for improved homogenous steel plating available to the Navy.



And Military Intelligence secured the French designs for compact hull steel girders. Thanks, Baguettes!



In August, Awate matched the Kamaishi donations with another four million, meant to further expand the Kure docks. Relations between the Admiralty and the Alliance Navy League had never been so cordial before.



And in September, the first of the new submarines slid off the slipways. The Silent Service were ecstatic by how well the vessel performed.



They were a bit too ecstatic. During their shakedown cruise, the crew of I-43 confused the target ship they had been assigned with a British fishing trawler based in Hong Kong. The Admiralty, mortified, immediately assumed full responsibility for the incident. The prestige of the Silent Service suffered considerably, but the British acknowledged that, while regrettable, the incident had also been partly the fault of the trawler, which had wandered into a testing area. The relations between the two countries remained reasonably cordial, although the British started paying closer attention to the goings-on in Japan, acknowledging the buildup of what could prove to be an invisible threat to their battle-line.



R & D once more came through with a significant development in ship design. Based on the reinforcing principles 'acquired' from the French and their own observations regarding 'B' superfiring turrets, the Navy engineeers submitted designs for ships with five or more centreline gun mounts. It was now possible to match the Russian light cruisers; and even surpass them with the notably better Japanese firing control.



In October, American contractors from the Pacific Steamship Company laid down a massive trans-pacific liner (the Empire's Jewel) in Kure. The Navy negotiated for part of the payment to be made toward further expanding the docks and the Americans were all to happy to oblige.



Stereoscopic rangefinder technology was sold to the French for a relatively small sum (the Admiralty was rather surprised that the French did not have their own stereoscopic systems yet, when the Japanese had had them for years)



And Intelligence confirmed that the Russians were laying down another Pallada. Interestingly, they still, apparently, did not have director systems. That was a good thing for the Japanese.



More good news arrived with the New Year. The Empire's Jewel was to be extended, to increase its capacity by three hundred passengers. The Americans were willing to pour more money into expanding the docks.





And the American BuWeaps was all too happy to sell to the Japanese the licence for their new fire control plotting tables. The Admiralty jumped at the opportunity - the American designs could interface beautifully with the Japanese analog computers.



In February, R & D finally managed to incorporate the lessons learned from superfired capital ship designs to smaller hulls. Any light cruiser built with this technology would render the Russian CLs obsolete. A grim satisfaction was prevalent in the Admiralty.



If only there were enough funds to actually build these fascinating new designs...

Unfortunately, the Japanese light forces would have to depend on their modernised cruisers for a while. The completion of the Unebi refitting program released more than two million monthly to the Naval budget; and the Admiralty had economised religiously, waiting for this day. It was time to reinforce the Japanese battle-line with her first ever Dreadnought.





The Nagato was a true behemoth. With a displacement of 42k tons, she outmassed any other Dreadnought in existence. Her 15-inch belt and 3.5-inch deck were invulnerable to her own guns at any range higher than ten thousand yards. She was an ABY design, with three-13-inch-gun turrets, an anti-cruiser secondary battery of 4 8-inchers and an anti-DD tertiary battery of 8 6-inchers. She mounted the best torpedo protection in the world at the time; could comfortably reach 26 knots with her ultra-modern Mitsubishi oil-fired boilers and steam turbines; and mounted the very best in targeting technology that the Japanese had to offer.





She was conceived as the 'anvil' against which the battlecruisers of the Japanese navy would smash the enemy's battle-line. She was built to take it and dish it back out to a scale never before seen in the world. And when her keel was laid down in Kure, in February of 1919, the mood in the Japanese Admiralty was jubilant, for the first time in years.



« Last Edit: June 18, 2018, 07:48:48 pm by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

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Offline Lorric

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
What is ABY?

How long will it take to construct? I imagine it will take a long time. Long enough perhaps for the Germans to be ready once again to help you play with your shiny new toy. :)

 

Offline The E

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
To quote from NGTM-1R's RTW thread:

I noticed that the class names of the British BCs from the previous campaign aligned with the real ones, do NPC nations design ships based on their historical development or are they also organically developing ships?

Yes and no. National ship designs do contain some obvious influences. German battlecruisers that skimped on guns for better armor are more likely than that combination in any other nation; Japanese ships copying Settsu and Kawachi with an eight-gun broadside through a fore and aft centerline and four wing turrets are a stage ususally, French tumblehome-hulled predreads and armored cruisers. You can also spot historical resemblences in general. However the game generates a research tree and everyone proceeds along it at their own pace, designing their own ships from scratch. You'll also find hideously under-armored German BCs and Japanese ships with triple turrets before the '30s. It's just more likely that certain historical traits will appear, not certain.

At least with one exception. The UK has "hidden flaws" as an acknowledged ingame trait, making their turrets much more likely to flash-fire and blow up the ship when hit and penetrated.

Some wars are slow and grinding as submarines and cruiser actions wear down the enemy. Some wars are sharp as both sides trade battlecruiser or predread kills back and forth. Some wars are cluster****s where you lose a dozen small battles only to redeem them in a big one or you keep trading two of your ships for two slightly large ships of theirs. And some are over on the second action when two of your battlecruiser divisions go visit Wilhemshaven and sink everything.

USS Congress and USS Intrepid are 35k-ton triple turret 9-gun 28-knot battlecruisers, built in 1919/1918. For this trip I have them and three destroyers. Another three destroyers and the 30k-ton 27-knot 1913 little brothers (they have 14" guns and somewhat less armor) USS United States and USS Independence are to the north of Helgoland, but I can't control them playing on Rear Admiral's mode. They're there, they're semi-marked on the map (it's more of a suggestion of where they are), and I can link up with them by going over to them and do cooperative engagement by dragging targets that way, but I can't make them do anything on their own. They're close enough on their sweep they'll probably contribute, though.

I start to the south of Helgoland and immediately run into a couple of German BCs and their escorts. SMS Hansa and SMS Mackensen aren't as cool as their namesakes. Mackensen is a 29k-ton 10-gun ABQY 3223 14" ship from 1916. It has only 9" of belt armor and a top speed of 26 knots. Hansa is a 32k-ton 8-gun ABVY 14" ship with 13" belt armor and a 27-knot top speed; a classical heavily armored German battlecruiser trading gunpower for protection.

I should explain what those random letters I used to describe turret layouts mean.

A ship's primary weapons are laid out according to scheme devised by the Royal Navy but used by most people. Positions are lettered or numbered, usually lettered. There are quite a few of them describing pretty much every possible position, but the most commonly used ones are A, B, X, Y, V, and Q. Behold the magic of MSPaint!

Via total lack of skill I have illustrated these turret positions for you, with A being at the front. There are some nuances to all this. A proper B or X turret is able to fire over top of its associated A or Y turret. A V turret might be able to do that, assuming there's not an X turret or some deck structure in the way; this design can be seen on designs like HMS Tiger or the Japanese Kongo. Nobody ever designed a battleship (though there were some cruisers, see USS Atlanta or HMS Dido) with three turrets stacked front or back and each one able to fire over the one in front of it. It turns out putting a thousand tons of turret that high up on your ship is dumb. If I say "3223" it means that the turrets don't have all the same number of guns; "ABQY 3223" means A turret is a triple, B is a double, Q is a double, and Y is a triple.

There are other positions on the centerline and "wing" positions in pairs to either side of the ship together or staggered, but we'll demo that bridge when we come to it.

In reality, there was a strong trend towards ABXY and ultimately ABY configurations. There are good reasons for this. Wing turrets are heavy, and either you can't use both of them on the same target if they're paired, or if they're staggered you could if you left a clear space to fire cross-deck but at the cost of a tiny arc for a full broadside and probably screwing up your own ship from blast overpressure as you fire across it. Turrets in the Q and V positions tend to interfere with important stuff like the powerplant and engines, forcing design compromises, and also put big piles of explosive powder and shells very close to the location at the center of the ship that will generally be the enemy's aiming point (as the Royal Navy discovered from the numerous hits on Q turrets at Jutland). Further, turrets are just heavy. The primary weight isn't the guns either, but the armor and turret structure around them and supporting them. This means that a triple turret doesn't weigh one and a half times as much as a dual turret with the same armoring (or that a quad doesn't weigh twice a dual), nor does it take up one and a half times the space. A nine-gun three-triple-turret arrangement will be a bit lighter than an eight-gun four-dual-turret arrangement. (An eight-gun dual-quad arrangement will also be lighter than the eight-gun four-dual, but the real improvement is when you have twelve guns in quads vs. twelve in duals or triples.)

Me, I like ABY gun setups. It's the iconic modern American battleship, from North Carolina to Iowa. It's weight-cheap and lets you armor better compared to a 4-turret setup. It also gives you six guns to play with when you're chasing something down. And you will be chasing things a lot in RTW one way or another.

The AI does not care for these niceties, working to simulate historical development rather than what those of us born after the dreadnought ended know. It builds six-turret Settsu-style ships with A, Y, and two pair of wing mounts. It emulates HMS Dreadnought with AQY and a pair of wings, or HMS Neptune with AXY and staggered wings, or the Imperial Russian Gangut-class ships with four "axial" turrets in AQQY. It also emulates ships that never existed, such as ABXY 3223 design of the Mackensen-class battlecruisers that Germany never built, and even special madnesses all its own. The only thing it doesn't do, to my knowledge, is leap off the high board screaming "SPEED IS ARMOR" and try to emulate the real-life HMS Agincourt, which had seven centerline dual turrets for a 14-gun broadside. If that sounds terrifying, it only indicates you are still sane.

Anyways, back to the Germans.

I've already fought SMS Von Der Tann, when she tried to raid Colon, the Caribbean side of the Panama canal. I wasn't particularly impressed. Von Der Tann was 1911, AY with a pair of midships wing turrets, 8 12" guns. She faced off with a pair of my new Fredrick-class CAs, ABY, 9 10" guns. Von Der Tann ran like the hounds of hell were chasing her after ten minutes of exchanging salvos. But these ships are made of sterner stuff. They spend about thirty minutes exchanging salvos with Congress and Intrepid. Congress takes a hit that floods her bow peak, dropping her speed to 25 knots, and Intrepid has her B turret out of action briefly twice after shell hits; not knocked out, just jammed. Hansa and Mackensen take no obvious damage, but your ability to estimate the effects of shellfire on enemy ships is relatively limited. You can tell if their main battery turrets are jammed or destroyed, more on this later, and you can can estimate their speed to within five knots, give or take. The game will also tell you, if you mouse over them, a rough estimate of damage (light, medium, heavy) that's somewhat unreliable and tends to bounce around, and whether they're on fire or not.

What I do know is after 30 minutes, Hansa and Mackensen, known to me at the moment as "Graf Spee-class" and "Mackensen-class" turn and head straight for Helgoland Island, into the suspected minefield around it where I can't follow. This kind of breakaway maneuver usually indicates that an enemy ship is damaged and losing the fight. The usual answer is to pursue. However we've been having this whole fight in a relatively small area between Wilhemshaven and Helgoland, and they've been hugging the border of the minefield the whole time. I can't catch them, particularly if they decide to go to ground by hiding in port at Helgoland. In frustration I turn south and go bombard some coastal batteries on the islands near the Jade and the entrance to Wilhemshaven harbor.

Then another battlecruiser turns up. SMS Seydlitz, of the class of the same name. However, unlike her namesake she isn't fit to keep company with a ship called the Iron Dog. Compared to her namesake's 13" belt she has only 9". Five turrets, all centerline, 14" twins ABQVY. 26 knots. I turn Congress and Intrepid to engage, moving between the Kiel peninsula and Helgoland's minefield.

The first salvo thunders out and makes a right mess of things. Intrepid puts four hits on target, Congress one. Seydlitz's B turret just blows up, and her Q goes out of action, jammed. Her speed drops from "25 knots" to "20 knots". I swing Congress and Intrepid on a closing course that doesn't mask their after turrets. A few salvos later Congress takes a waterline hit against her belt extension that admits several hundred tons of seawater. She detaches and turns off, still under control, and I drop her speed to 10 knots for damage-control. But she's still in range and still shooting.

Seydlitz is down to 15 knots and limping into the minefield around Helgoland. She swings out to bring more guns to bear for a salvo at Congress, and Intrepid blows up Seydlitz's rear turret before she can fire. Seydlitz turns back, and directly into several shell from Congress that drop speed to ten knots. My escorting destroyers to close for a torpedo attack but are foiled by the minefield, and McCall takes a hit from Seydlitz's 6" secondaries that forces her to turn away. Seydlitz limps a little further under fire towards Helgoland before Intrepid lands six more hits; jammed the V turret, killed the A turret, and dropped Seydlitz's speed to five knots. Take a look.

You'll notice its maximum listed speed is still intact, though. The holy grail is when a ship's speed is listed as three knots. That means its powerplant is gone; flooded or destroyed. A ship in that condition will sink without further effort on your part. That took a few more salvos.

It's at this point I notice a bunch of notifications indicating the Constellation-class ships are engaged as well. Congress' damage-control has isolated the flooded compartments and she rejoins Intrepid, pushing up to 25 knots for a run north past some floating patches of debris that indicate where the Constellations and their escorts attacked some merchies and minesweepers.

I never did figure out what happened to SMS Mackensen, honestly. My best guess is she took serious damage dueling the Connies and limped into the minefield, then sank from progressive flooding or fire. The Graf Spee-class SMS Hansa is a few kilometers outside the north end of the minefield, bow pointed west-south-west, limping at 5 knots. USS United States, herself only capable of 19 knots and with her A turret knocked out, is limping in the direction of the entrance to the Baltic, her after turret still lofting shells at Hansa. USS Independence, still doing 24 knots, is circling the crippled German battlecruiser like a shark, but appears to have expended all her main battery ammunition. Also present is a German minesweeper, not moving but still floating. As Independence makes her loops around the Hansa, she periodically fights both broadsides of her secondaries, but mostly she just showers Hansa in 5" shells trying to make it stop.

I'm not entirely surprised. I'm down to only a few salvos myself after the first tangle with Hansa and Mackensen, screwing Seydlitz over, and bombarding shore batteries. I have Intrepid and Congress hold fire and approach, then slow to 10 knots and present broadsides at five thousand yards for the execution. The first salvo knocks Hansa cold, and then Sterett and Perkins deliver a half-dozen torpedoes as well. A few moments later I get the "Intrepid has expended all main battery ammo!" followed by the same message for Congress. Hansa's already dead though, it's just taking time to settle. Take a look.


I have to admit that's a first. It's also annoying, because poor McCall is trapped, limping along the coast towards home, and there's a 4" shore battery blocking her way. I finish the battle by steaming over and having Intrepid and Congress destroy the shore battery with their secondary guns.


I honestly don't know if Germany will recover from this one. It's not quite like they lost the war in a day, but they just gave away 21k VP to only 3k for them. That's a big deficit to try and catch up, and I'd need to have an outright disaster for Germany to recover the initiative. I'm already getting messages about them having food shortages and unrest tanks to my sixty-odd submarines raiding along their coasts too.

They didn't, either. It took me five months to drive the German government into collapse. I even got a nifty war prize out of it. Meet USS Oklahoma, formerly SMS Wurttemburg. She's a little slow and her turret layout isn't optimized, but she's got thick armor and I'm overall happy with her as a war prize; she's not as powerful and two knots slower than my Arizona-class with 12 16" guns, but the Arizonas are eight thousand tons heavier, and she has similar armor to them.


Now it's 1925, and war just broke out with France while I was trying to get new battleships and battlecruiser into service. I see how it is, game.
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 

Offline Enioch

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
What is ABY?

How long will it take to construct? I imagine it will take a long time. Long enough perhaps for the Germans to be ready once again to help you play with your shiny new toy. :)

33 months, the standard time for a massive BB. More than enough time for a couple of wars...


NGTM-1R gives a perfectly elaborate response to your letter question, but, in case of TL;DR, letters represent the positions of the turrets on a ship, with A at the front and Y at the rear. ABY means 'Iowa-style ', with two frontal turrets (the second one superfiring) and a rear turret.
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline Lorric

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
Whoa, nearly 3 years, I didn't think it would be that long.

I read the big post, so thank you for that E.

 

Offline Enioch

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
In this game there's no such thing as emergency BB building. You need to plan your capitals out way in advance of when you'll be needing them...

Also note that building time goes down with experience. The fourth ship of a class might be done four or five months sooner, as your workers learn shortcuts. And you can always pay more to accelerate construction (for up to something like 4 months).
« Last Edit: December 17, 2016, 05:51:10 pm by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
Thicker turrets than belts THICKER TURRETS THAN BELTS

no mr fisher, no! think of the widows and orphans, mr fisher!
AKA [`_`]
Inferno: It's the I in Inferno / It's the beam spam delight / Risin' up to a shock jump arrivaaaaaal
Between The Ashes: Look just a really cool and neat thing, OK?
Dimesional Eclipse: High speed anime girlies blowing **** up gets me excited
The Last Stand: A very episodic capship command mini-campaign
Breakthrough: A pretty standard but not really capship command mission

 

Offline Enioch

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
On a battlecruiser? Sure. On a BB? Eh.

Keep in mind that these are 15 INCH TURRETS. In 1919. The real life Nagato only had 14 inches of turret front armor, and she was built when 16 inch guns were a thing (they aren't yet in this timeline). 15 inches is PLENTY good.

Also keep in mind that the turret armor is the one thing that you can upgrade in a ship's armor scheme in a rebuild. So I can always up this to, say, 17 inches later.

Also, it's Admiral Fisher to you, sir.
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline crizza

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
Why not four turrets as the original Nagato?
But then again you have one more gun...
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http://geo.schulzbert.de/

 

Offline Enioch

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
Because:

  • 1 more gun
  • Considerably lighter design. The barbettes and supporting structure of another turret would add a LOT more weight, even if each turret carried less guns.
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline Enioch

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In February, the Navy docks in  Yokosuka were further expanded. It would now be possible to build ships up to 50k tons in displacement.



And in April, R & D rolled out their new gyroscope-stabilised systems for fire control.



In May, the Russians came around asking for circulation augmenter designs; the Admiralty, being confident in their superiority against the Tzarists now (and also slightly in need of cash) had no objections.





The money in question was immediately employed in refitting the obsolescent Matsukazes. The old 700-tonners had their engines ripped out and replaced with oil-fired boilers. Their top speed of 31 knots remained unchanged, but they received a double centreline torpedo mount and an extra centreline 4-incher. They would now be more than competitive in convoy defense and coastal support duties.



And then, in June, the British made some hesitant noises about buying some Japanese designs. The Admiralty was quite happy to oblige, but flabbergasted when they realised what designs the British were after. Cross-deck fire, Albion? Really? In mid-1919?



What was truly satisfying was the impressed look on the Royal Navy's envoys when they saw the newly expanded Yokosuka docks. There was nothing to be said, really, but the Admiralty now knew that their yards could favourably compare to any docks in the world. The shameful times of twenty years ago, when Japan had to rely on others for her warships, were forever in the past.



And the Admiralty received more good news in November. The R & D department arrived with a pile of designs, drawings and nearly-apocryphal blueprints and their spirits as low as it was possible to get. They presented the Admiralty with what they'd been working on: an improvement for the torpedo defense systems employed by the Japanese. Unfortunately, they claimed, while the core concept was sound, they could not iron out the many, many difficulties implementing the designs would involve.

The Admiralty Board took one look at the designs and nearly got a collective heart attack. There, laid out in almost (almost) perfect white-on-blue were the plans for a torpedo defense system decades ahead of its time. If the estimates were anywhere near accurate, a ship the size of Nagato, with this system could take more than five of the newest, most destructive torpedoes the Japanese had to offer and still comfortably make it back to harbour.



The order was given: ignore everything else. Get this thing working, now and don't spare the costs.



Well, maybe not everything else. Allowing for ships to be retrofitted with gun mounts that allowed increased elevation (for an average range increase of upwards of 10%) was more than welcome. Even if it would cost an arm and a leg.



And yes, alright, the Admiralty was also happy about the new AP shells the engineers rolled out.



What they were less pleased by were the rising tensions with Russia. Surprisingly, intelligence reports stated that the official yearly Russian naval budget was almost twenty-five million (16%) less than the Japanese one. The Russians had invested in Dreadnoughts far earlier than the Japanese; in pure numbers, their battleline was comparatively impressive. It was interesting to note, however, that both their existing Dreadnoughts put together would barely outmass Nagato; and, while Nagato herself would arrive far too late to have any effect on an upcoming war, the combat effectiveness of the Russian 'pocket-dreads' was more than suspect.



Their light cruiser fleet, on the other hand, was worrying and it was time for the Japanese to engineer a response to the Palladas. This response would be the Akitsushimas. At 6k tons, they were following on the footsteps of the 'heavy' light cruisers the Japanese liked to build. They mounted a 2.5 inch belt and sloped deck armour (to counter developing light guns) and had a centreline 5-gun 6'' battery, with the X turret being superfiring: this would allow them to fire two guns while running directly away from attackers. And they could run, at the now-standard for light cruisers: 29 knots.

They also carried thirty mines; and twelve above-water torpedo tubes, in four three-tube mounts. All in all, good enough to blow their Russian analogues out of the water. However, they were also quite expensive.





In March of 1920, Southeast China erupted in another colonial crisis. Great Britain, France and China nearly came to blows over a matter of tolls, trading rights and sovereignty over specific territorial waters; Japan was leaning toward supporting their ally, China, but Hara's Cabinet (and the Admiralty) were fully against antagonising the British and French. Instead, the Japanese hosted a peace conference in Kyoto, where representatives of all involved powers were invited to attend.



The Japanese diplomats did a good job. While no disarmament measures were even laid on the table, the matters which had brought discord were resolved and tensions fell.



Goddammit, Spaghettis.



Yes, please, 'Muricans.



In June, the first Akitsushimas were laid down. The original plan called for three ships, but lack of funds limited the number to two, with both of them experiencing several suspensions of work throughout their construction.



R & D provided the Admiralty with yet another improved torpedo design. The response of the Admiralty was along the lines of 'THIS IS VERY NICE. PLEASE FIGURE OUT HOW TO STOP THESE. ANYTIME SOON WOULD BE NICE'.



And then, shortly after New Year, the British approached the Japanese yet again, this time asking for a more ... substantial piece of technology.

The Japanese were shocked. Military Intelligence had yet to penetrate the British R & D departments and the British lack of knowledge on torpedo defense systems came as an earth-shatterng
revelation of just how far behind the British were technologically in matters of damage control (and why they considered the Japanese light forces to be so dangerous in the first place). The
Admiralty's response to the diplomats handling the negotiations was clear:



No. No way. Somehow, we are ahead. Let us get more ahead.



In February, the newly-completed heavy cruiser USS Omaha arrived in the Philippines, for a show-the-flag visit that also brought her to Kyoto. In a clear snipe against Hara's anti-Navy measures, Admiralty representatives waxed lyrical about the American cruiser's capability, praised her officers, and drew rather unfortunate comparisons to Japan's own cruiser fleet. After considerable pressure from the Japanese press and a letter of protest by the Navy League, the Naval budget received a modest raise, which came as a breath of fresh air for the hiccuping Akitsushima program.



Germany. Stop. Please.



Don't make me come over there.





Finally, in March 1921, what is considered to be the most important diplomatic agreement of the early 20th century was signed between the USA and the Japanese Alliance: The Uchida - Roosevelt Pact.



After the gruelling Presidential Election of 1921 and the eventual victory of the Democratic candidate, James M. Cox, the USA were coming out of one of the most notable slumps in their economy since the turn of the century. They were looking for friends and opportunities for economic growth and the booming Japanese Alliance could serve as a valuable ally and export market. Similarly, the Japanese could very well see the rising tensions in the Pacific and were eager to find military allies.

The Pact was signed in Washington by Japanese Foreign Minister Uchida Kosai and the Vice President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt. It officially recognised the Japanese Alliance as 'Custodian of the Peace in the South China Sea and the Western Pacific' and the United States as 'Custodian of the Peace in the Eastern Pacific' and was an offical defensive pact between the Japanese Alliance and the USA. It was rapidly followed by an open-borders treaty for citizens of the two entities, with minimal regulation of work-related immigration; economic agreements to encourage the development of industry and trade; and, markedly, it also opened extensive talks for democratic reforms in both countries.

Japan was planning to institute universal male suffrage among the people of the Alliance by the end of the year, irrespective of ethnic origin, place of residence or income and was already laying the necessary telegraphic infrastructure (including underwater cables in the Indian Ocean) to allow for long-distance voting in the African territories; but the concept of granting the vote to women was still controversial. The USA had already federally granted women the vote since 1920, but were still plagued by poll taxes, literacy tests and other restrictions against non-whites in some states, which the Japanese found abhorrent. The political dialogue between the two nations would greatly accellerate their respective democratisation processes.

And so, with the Pacific turned into, effectively, an American-Japanese lake; with other Powers watching this alliance and the balance of power shifts with horror; with tensions rising once more in the South China Sea; and with Japan at the reins of a slowly waking juggernaut of a colonial empire, we come to the end of the Grinding Years.

-END PART 4-
« Last Edit: June 18, 2018, 07:49:20 pm by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
AKA the Monroe-San doctrine.

 

Offline Enioch

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
AKA the Monroe-San doctrine.

Your words, not mine!  :p ;)
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline Droid803

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
In June, the first Akitsushimas were laid down.


Kamos?
No flying boats for her tho...but i don't think those would be in the game anyway
(´・ω・`)
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Offline Enioch

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
She's not built yet, kamo.

And no, no Taitei-chans. Akitsushima is sad, kamo. But she'll do her best, kamo.
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline Enioch

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- PART 5 -
Making Enemies



In April, the R & D department proposed a simple yet amazingly innovative design: a secondary director, meant to provide central fire control to a capital ship's small-caliber batteries. It would need to be retrofitted to ships and would require time in drydock, but it would also make designs based on heavy secondary batteries viable - and would greatly boost the effectiveness of the already-mounted secondary guns.



During the same month, a USA expedition occupied Venezuela. The Japanese Government had no objections to their ally extending their sphere of influence.





But in May - bad news. The Russians were building a Battlecruiser that was only 3k tons lighter than Nagato, with a massive, 10-gun broadside. And more significantly - a fire control director. Ochakov would take them years to complete, but she would, apparently, outperform Fuso in all but her armor when she left the slipways. It was up to the Japanese to have an answer until then.



The work of the R & D department in torpedo defense carried over, to some extent, to armour schemes. Experiments with sloped layers of armor yielded promising results.



In August, the Italians approached the Japanese with a proposal to acquire the licence for the large rangefinders used in Fuso. The Admiralty had no objection - Italy was no threat, tensions with them were low and it was better for them to pay for the information than for them to acquire it clandestinely anyway. The Japanese had long since accepted that if the Italians wanted to acquire some confidential piece of technology, there was little one could do to keep them out.



In September, the R & D engineers managed to overcome yet another hurdle in the implementation of their designs. Japanese hulls would now be more hydrodynamic and subjected to less stresses than before.



During the final years of the Hara administration, another program for further improving Japan's African holdings was implemented. With tensions with France rising, the Navy was not averse to improving their military port and supply depots in Tanganyika, as a counterweight to Madagascar.





Meanwhile, the final stretch of the Trans-African Railway (アフリカ鉄道を通じて - "Afurika Tetsudō o Tsūjite") was laid down, with a planned completion date of May 1922. When that was done, it would be possible to transport goods, troops and supplies overland from Tang to Kamerun and Namimbia in less than 48 hours.

And, in October, the Navy rejoiced:





Finally after so many years, Japan joined the Dreadnought club.

The commissioning was a grand affair. The Emperor attended, but his declining health made it impossible for him to officiate; his son, Hirohito, led the ceremony as Prince Regent. Naval attaches from several countries were present as the world's largest capital ship was formally accepted into the ranks of the Japanese Navy. The hopes of an entire nation rested on her.

...And then she immediately re-entered drydocks, to have her guns adjusted for increased elevation and the newest fire control systems integrated. Thankfully, the costs of that were minimal.



The Navy assigned the freed-up funds to the re-building of the Nokaze and Nokaze-Kai destroyers. The ships were given new boilers; and the Nokaze-Kais were stripped of some of their torpedo mounts in exchange for a centrally-mounted triple launcher, four 4'' guns and a small secondary battery of 3'' popguns. They were turned into true gunships.



In March, Counter-Intelligence traced down a theft of older Torpedo Protection System designs by Grand Britain operatives. Old Albion had been foiled in her attempts to procure the designs by legal means and had resorted to theft. The Japanese bristled like hedgehogs. The 'Bond-Taiga crisis', named so after the two most active agents involved in the Intelligence operations from both sides only served to raise tensions - Albion had gotten what she'd wanted.





Japan was not so lucky. A Japanese mole, Francois Dumas, was identified and captured by French Intelligence; he would spend the next three years in a high-security French jail. Japanese newspapers made a hero of him, which only served to further aggravate the French.



In May 1922, elections were held in Japan; for the first time, every male citizen of the Alliance over 21 was given the vote, including all natives in African and Pacific holdings. Representatives were elected from all provinces.

The new Prime Minister was, once again, Yamamoto Goynbee; the new Government would be a Coalition Cabinet. Hara had given a good accounting of himself in integrating the new territories into the Alliance, but was considered to be too conciliatory in his Foreign Policies and his weakening of the Navy was a sore point, even among the citizens of the new holdings. Under Goynbee's administration Hara would receive the prestigious post of Minister of African Matters (アフリカ問題担当大臣 - "Afurika mondai tantō daijin"), a position for which he was eminently suitable for and for which he would, actually, be more remembered than for his stint as Prime Minister. "Hara's Years" would be a golden boom time for Japan's African holdings and Hara would grow to be a close friend of Foreign Minister Kato, who was assigned to return to his earlier post. Interestingly, Kato had chosen to run as a Tanganyika representative and had received a stunning 76.5% of the votes.

Fresh out of the Dumas scandal, the new Government was called to take a position on the matter. After a brief interview with the Chiefs of the Army and the Navy, Goynbee and Kato drafted what would come to be known as the 'Formosa declaration' - a whithering j'accuse of French policies in the Far East. Tensions, as expected, skyrocketed.



The French Navy was superior to the Japanese in every respect but three - but these three points, the Japanese felt were decisive:

Firstly, the French battle-line consisted of small dreadnoughts and battlecruisers. The Japanese Admiralty felt that, provided favourable engagements were pursued, the bigger and more powerful JApanese capital ships could carry the day.

Secondly, the Japanese would have the support of the Americans, which would, hopefully, pin a large part of the French fleet in the North Atlantic, thus allowing the Japanese to defeat them in detail.

Thridly, for the first time in a while, the Admiralty had faith in the politicians running the show. Yamamoto was a strong supporter of the Navy and the Naval budget was sure to increase as tensions rose.





They were correct. Although it was impossible to immediately up the Naval budget, Yamamoto channeled sufficient funds to the navy that it was thought possible to start work on a second Nagato-class. The ill-fated Mutsu was laid down in June, with an expected build time of two and a half years.

Alas for poor Nagato, she would never have a sister.



In July, the British Government, in a delayed but welcome attempt to defuse the 'Bond-Taiga' situation and in an attempt to get on the good side of what they predicted would be the winning party in a Franco-Japanese-American war, proposed to sell the Japanese the licence to the British BL 16 inch Mk I rifles. The Japanese were ecstatic at the chance to finally implement truly 'capital'-caliber guns in their ships and the deal went through without a hitch.

This, of course, made poor Mutsu hopelessly obsolete, even before her keel was completed. The Admiralty did not hesitate: the order was given to scrap what little work had been done so far and await further instructions. Funds were stockpiled, in anticipation of the coming war.



One of the proposed designs to take advantage of the new guns would be the Fuji: an ABXY, 8-16'' dreadnought, implementing all new fire control systems and technical advancements. However, the Admiralty postponed the start of the construction, waiting, waiting...





...for this.



And, the R & D department being on a bloody roll they also submitted a viable design for dual gun turrets on DDs, which made a lot of Japanese Admirals (especially the proponents of light torpedo warfare) very, very happy indeed.





Things came to a head when France attempted to expand her holdings in the South China Sea, by attempting to occupy Borneo: an independent state in very friendly terms with the Japanese Alliance. The Japanese considered this a direct affront to the interests of their allies and their own; and a blatant disregard to their own custodianship of the Western Pacific. Once again, Kato jumped to action and showed his mettle.

The French forces arrived in Borneo only to be greeted by two Japanese task forces led by Nagato and Tsukuba; an American destroyer squadron based in Manila and operating under orders to assist their Japanese allies; and the British light cruisers Fiji and Sydney, with strict instructions to "Guarantee and safeguard the interests of His Royal Majesty's allies in the South Pacific against any and all imperialistic action." The French squadron and troopships had no options but to withdraw.







With war being all but inevitable, the Japanese economy geared up into war footing. The African territories were reinforced with troops and the Army forces there were instructed to fortify and prepare for opportunistic and surprise attacks; guerilla forces were dispersed in inland outposts. The Navy started intensive live-fire training exercises. And R & D provided the Admiralty with improved torpedo mount designs and high-quality 5'' rifles, in anticipation of the modernisation of the Japanese destroyer forces.



In October, this is what the Japanese saw as their future battlefield. A ring of Japanese bases surrounded a 'core' of heavily fortified French territory in Southern China. The plan called for joint operations with China and combined sea-borne and land attacks, supported by the Japanese fleet, to shake the French grip on their northernmost holdings. Since France possessed no holdings near the Japanese 'home islands', it was thought that they would be moderately safe from raiding and seaborne attacks - old Tsukuba was deemed sufficient to handle interception duties, with all other capital ships detailed to supporting land operations.



In the end of the month, Foreign Minister Kato and Prime Minister Yamamoto received a communique from French President Millerand, in a last-minute attempt to stop the war. Unfortunately, the mutual disarmament terms the French proposed were by no means acceptable to the Japanese; and, even if they had been, the Japanese had no intention to avoid war with a nation that they felt had grossly violated their sovereign sphere.



And so, things came apart shortly after the end of the year. On the 12th of January 1923, the French Ambassador delivered an ultimatum to Minister Kato; an ultimatum that was summarily rejected. France was now at war with America and Japan.

   
« Last Edit: June 18, 2018, 07:49:54 pm by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
Wouldn't the rest of the colony-happy world and Russia need to get involved for it to be truly a world war? Just Japan, France and the US seems a bit meagre

 

Offline Enioch

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
OK, OK, spoilsport.  :p

Grant a man his dramatics. It's really hard to get more than three nations in a scrap. Also, think area covered. There's no continent this war hasn't reached.
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
I'll chalk it up to the Japanese's vision of the world and their place in it :P

 

Offline Enioch

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Japan - [Image Heavy!]
Actually, yeah, let's go with that. That sounds very in-character.
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)