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Another Dutch OB Option for Defending the Malay Barrier - Mackensen class BCs


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#1 Dave Franklin

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 01:21 PM

To maximize replayability, Defending the Malay Barrier (The ABDA Campaign) includes three historical options to begin the campaign - the historical result of the Force Z sortie; no Force Z sortie; or to play a turn that includes the Force Z sortie.  The campaign also includes four options for the Dutch Order of Battle - historical; the addition of HMS Tiger as HrMs Tiger based on the article "A Dutch What-if" by Jim O'Neil from the Royal Netherlands Navy supplement; the addition of two of the "Gneisenau-type" BCs from the Dutch "Project 1047"; and a combination of HrMs Tiger and one "Gneisenau-type" BC from the Dutch "Project 1047".  The latter three include corresponding additions to the IJN Order of Battle.

 

Attached are the ship logs for another Dutch OB Campaign Option for Defending the Malay Barrier.  In this case, the Dutch obtain the rights to the uncompleted German Mackensen class BCs:

 

Based on the disarmament and military restrictions from the Treaty of Versailles (and also just for spite), the French object to the whole deal, and especially the Germans building the planned 35cm (13.8") main guns, so surplus British 13.5" guns are purchased (probably with a kickback to the French).  Coal-fired boilers are removed, they are converted entirely to more modern oil-fired boilers.  Two casemate-mounted 5.9" guns are removed to save weight, leaving 12 (Dutch) 5.9" guns.  The 8x 8.8cm L/45 FlaK guns are replaced by standard Dutch 4.7".  Torpedo facilities are removed to save weight.  Boat facilities moved slightly aft, a double-ended catapult is added between the stacks, though there is no room for a hangar.  2 floatplanes are carried.

 

The above narrative assumptions allow the Mackensen class BCs to be included in the campaign with a minimum of fuss - e.g. they can simply use the GQ3 Royal Netherlands Navy Gunfire CRT.  Use them in the same manner as HrMs Tiger or two of the "Gneisenau-type" BCs from the Dutch "Project 1047" - i.e. with the same corresponding additions to the IJN Order of Battle.

 

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#2 Dave Franklin

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 01:26 PM

Turns out you can't attach an Excel file, so let's try this again...

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#3 Douglas Thomson

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 04:45 AM

An interesting idea and simple to implement. I will add a Mackensen or two to my 1/3000 Dutch fleet.

Your pdf has not quite fitted on to one page. the very right-hand end of the text has spilled onto a second page

I wonder how easy it would have been in practice to fit British designed guns into a German designed turret. I don't know enough about turret design and ammunition handling systems but I wonder if there be difficulties around how the guns are controlled, particularly loading.



#4 Dave Franklin

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Posted 29 May 2019 - 07:35 AM

Re-scaled the attachment - should fit on one page now.  It does when I open it now anyway...

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#5 W. Clark

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Posted 15 April 2021 - 07:25 AM

There was a discussion about using the American 14" instead. Actually the most likely options in order of gun performance were.

1. American 14"

2. British 13.5"

3. French 13.4"

The French and their understandable desire to stick it to the Germans was always going to be the major hurdle to get over once you got the Dutch legislature to actually cough up the dough. The primary backers were always going to be the Americans for the very good reason that there were going to be essentially 3 more Allied capital ships in the Pacific at no cost to them and no risk of their parity with the British. And of course they would have had even more incentive if they provided the guns and turrets. But there was still the need for whole hearted support for the idea from either Britain or France.

 

The French had the fewest possessions in the Pacific (less incentive). The worst guns and a greater hate of Germany. It was argued that their desire to hurt Germany was too great for them to allow Germany to make money on the Mackensens, rather than pay to scrap them.

The Brits on the other hand had many more possessions in the Pacific and quite a few were adjacent to the Dutch East Indies including Singapore. Then of course there was the fact that the gunnery CRT already had the British 13.5' on it from Tiger.

 

The best part diplomatically from the Dutch view point was that while Japan would not happy about the deal. Their protests would be muted by the fact that three Dutch BCs were no threat to them given that their 9 capital ships out numbered the Dutch three to one.

The Dutch would have had to agree to station them in the Dutch East Indies with allowance for one at a time to be in home waters for refits and repair.

 

Keep in mind that the Dutch Navy had been concerned about Japanese intentions in the Pacific ever since the Russo-Japanese war of 1905. In fact they had proposed building a fleet of eight 14" Dreadnoughts in 1912, but it had all dreadfully come to naught. So, something like this was probably always being bandied about by those Dutch concerned about the Japanese. Of course by the mid 30s when the Politicians started to realize that they were going to have to do something it was too late for the Mackensens as they had already been scraped at Germany's expense. The evidence that they were finally going to do something is the negotiations with the Germans over the Scharnhorst knockoffs.

 

IMHO the Germans were never serious about the Dutch building the BCs as the negotiations petered out in March 1940 and the Germans invaded Holland on 10 May. I find it hard to believe that given the timing, that the Germans were negotiating in good faith.






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