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Hull number discrepancy

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Hull number discrepancy
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:32 pm

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Speaking of discrepancies, I've long been pondering about the hull numbers in RMN ships. The first three we were given were CL-56 (which was 80 T-years old in 1900 PD), CA-286 (brand new in 1901), and BC-413 (brand new in 1904). We didn't at the time, but we now know that the navy build up started in the 1840s and kicked into high gear after Roger III's coronation. After doing the research below, I now think that the build up does explain the CA number, but the BC one is still off by over a 100.

Here are all hull numbers I could find in CLs, CAs and BCs, plus the strength numbers before the war:

Light cruisers
  • 1535 (refit): HMS Casey (CL-01)
  • 1649: HMS Unconquered (CL-16)
  • ??: HMS Trenchant (CL-19) [could be a Courageous, was in service in 1887]
  • ~1800: Courageous class, 62 built
  • 1820: HMS Fearless (CL-56)
  • 1856: Apollo class, 132 built (+52 in Flight IV)
  • ??: HMS Perseus (CL-92)
  • 1871: Talisman class, 16 built
  • 1876: Illustrious class, 26 built
  • 1902: Valiant class, 83 built
Total 1800-1905: 521. strength in 1905: 295

Heavy cruisers
  • 1590: formerly HMS Nike (BC-09, CA-103; I assume out of order)
  • 1794: Warrior class, 46 built
  • 1809: Truncheon class, 77 built
  • 1842: HMS War Maiden (CA-39), Warrior-class
  • 1851: Prince Consort class, 175 built
  • ??: HMS Broadsword (CA-47), Prince Consort-class, 8 of which modified in 1873 or later as Broadsword class
  • 1851: Crusader class, 25 built
  • 1893: Star Knight class, 77 built
  • ??: HMS Warlock (CA-277)
  • 1901: HMS Fearless (CA-286)
Total: 400, strength in 1905: 333
(there are 10x more Prince Consort ships than there were princes & princesses consort)

These numbers indicate that by 1844, the RMN must have had ~50 light cruisers and ~30 heavy cruisers in service. Along with 11 BBs, 11 DNs and 3 SDs, plus some BCs, that seems like a respectable force for a single system polity with extra-territorial patrol needs, but nowhere sufficient to halt the PRH advance.

During the build up, they must have built 250 CLs and 300 CAs. So it could easily go from CA-39 in 1842 to CA-286 in 1901, reaching something like CA-350 shortly before the war, with the Star Knights being built for years into it. That also seems completely achievable, especially considering they were building hundreds of wallers at the same time.

Now the BCs:

Battlecruisers
  • 1460: HMS Nike (BC-09, later CA-103)
  • 1590: HMS Nike (BC-01, count restarted)
  • 1786: Redoubtable class, 118 built
  • 1863: Homer class, 86 built
  • 1896: Reliant class, 95 built
  • 1904: HMS Nike (BC-413)
Total: 299, strength in 1905: 199

Even assuming HMS Nike was the 95th and last ever Reliant built, that's only 298 BCs in the 1800s. With a hull number of BC-413, we're missing 115 ships. Could the RMN have built that many in the 1600s and 1700s? That seems unlikely for a fleet that had built less than 50 CLs and CAs. In 1844, it would mean over half the fleet units were BCs.

It's not impossible, given that 118 Redoubtables, 46 Warriors and 62 Courageous, which are roughly from the same time period (1785-1800). But it's a stretch, so to me, it seems far more likely that there was one more class of BCs in the 1800 that wasn't listed.

Unless the hull numbers are not sequential?
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Re: Hull number discrepancy
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:51 pm

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And now the destroyers.
  • 1819: Noblesse class, 60 built
  • 1851: Falcon class, 88 built
  • 1846(!): HMS Hawkwing (DD-1213) [I guess built in '46, entered service in '51]
  • 1861: Havoc class, 83 built
  • 1873: HMS Havoc renumbered DD-01
  • 1867: Chanson class, 204 built
  • 1883: Javelin class, 65 built
  • 1899: Culverin class, 72 built
Total: 555; fleet strength in 1905: 485

Is it possible that the RMN built 1200 destroyers from 1543 to 1846? A rate of 400 per century on average, before Roger's build up? Given a service life of 100 years before the war, that would mean the RMN roster in 1844 would be something like:

  • ?? FG (HMS Osprey (FG-1069) was in service in 1882)
  • ~400 DD
  • ~50 CL
  • ~30 CA
  • ~120 BCs
  • 11 BBs (all Thorsten class, previously Manticore class)
  • 11 DNs (all Ad Astra class)
  • 3 SDs (HMS Manticore, HMS Gryphon, HMS Sphinx)

Does this make sense?

Does it match a Navy that did not have much opportunity for promotion for Crown Prince Lt. Roger Winton?
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Re: Hull number discrepancy
Post by Joat42   » Sat Sep 21, 2019 2:18 pm

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Are we sure that the hull-numbers are sequential?

Another thing to consider which may or may not have a bearing on the Honorverse, it's common practice to randomize hull/registration-numbers on military vehicles so the enemy can't know exactly how many there are (although there are statistical tools to get a pretty good count anyway over a sampling of numbers).

---
Jack of all trades and destructive tinkerer.


Anyone who have simple solutions for complex problems is a fool.
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Re: Hull number discrepancy
Post by Fox2!   » Sat Sep 21, 2019 4:03 pm

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Joat42 wrote:Are we sure that the hull-numbers are sequential?

Another thing to consider which may or may not have a bearing on the Honorverse, it's common practice to randomize hull/registration-numbers on military vehicles so the enemy can't know exactly how many there are (although there are statistical tools to get a pretty good count anyway over a sampling of numbers).



PRHN was reported to randomly assign hull numbers for all types of warships out of a common pool. And to randomly reassign numbers of existing vessels.
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Re: Hull number discrepancy
Post by saber964   » Sat Sep 21, 2019 6:11 pm

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Look at the year gaps between classes. You don't think a gap of 150-200 years is significant? Nike BC-01 1590 PD Redoubtable 1786 PD 196 years. Or don't you think when they downgraded Nike to a CA there were others that got downgraded? Not every ship class got into HoS. FYI Hawkwing is a Falcon class DD. Also they may have gone through a fleet reorganization at some point? The U.S. Navy did this in 1975 when they renumbered or redesignated nearly every ship in the fleet. USS California went from DLGN-36 to CGN-36 or look at USS Long Beach she had no less than 4 designations before she had her final one. IIRC she was CL160 CLGN160 DLGN9 CGN9. Also a lot of classes would overlap in construction during WWII the U.S. was building 3-4 destroyer classes at the same time.
Benson class late 1939 to early 1943
Bristol class early 1940 to early 1943 was a modified Benson class with one fewer gun turret
Fletcher class early 1941 to early 1945
Gearing class late 1942 to early 1945
Sumner class mid 1943 to late 1945
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Re: Hull number discrepancy
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Sun Sep 22, 2019 1:35 am

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saber964 wrote:Look at the year gaps between classes. You don't think a gap of 150-200 years is significant? Nike BC-01 1590 PD Redoubtable 1786 PD 196 years. Or don't you think when they downgraded Nike to a CA there were others that got downgraded? Not every ship class got into HoS. FYI Hawkwing is a Falcon class DD. Also they may have gone through a fleet reorganization at some point? The U.S. Navy did this in 1975 when they renumbered or redesignated nearly every ship in the fleet. USS California went from DLGN-36 to CGN-36 or look at USS Long Beach she had no less than 4 designations before she had her final one. IIRC she was CL160 CLGN160 DLGN9 CGN9. Also a lot of classes would overlap in construction during WWII the U.S. was building 3-4 destroyer classes at the same time.
Benson class late 1939 to early 1943
Bristol class early 1940 to early 1943 was a modified Benson class with one fewer gun turret
Fletcher class early 1941 to early 1945
Gearing class late 1942 to early 1945
Sumner class mid 1943 to late 1945


We know that there was a renumbering when the destroyers restarted the count from 1. We aren't told of any reorganisation in the 1800s besides that one.

HoS seems fairly complete for everything in the 1800s and 1900s, which basically any class that had ships in active service in 1905. And the numbers do appear to be linear for CLs, CAs, DNs and SDs. The only discrepancies are BC and DD: there are too many of them in the 1600 and 1700s for a Navy that was supposed to be that small in 1844.

One explanation for DDs is that the hull numbers are assigned at planning, possibly in blocks. But plans changed fairly often, meaning a lot of numbers went unused, creeping upwards.
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Re: Hull number discrepancy
Post by Maldorian   » Sun Sep 22, 2019 7:33 am

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One explanation for DDs is that the hull numbers are assigned at planning, possibly in blocks. But plans changed fairly often, meaning a lot of numbers went unused, creeping upwards.


I think it is normal in the navy that you give a project a hull number, but don´t use it in reality because of budget, reorginasation or the project is absolete when it should start it´s final construction.

The britains start the construction of the Battlecruiser "Hood" at 1915 and planned tp build 4 ships of the class. In 1915 was the Battle of "Skagerag" (german therm, maybe other word for the Battle in english). The battle shows, that the whole Battlecruiser concept was absolete. They add addidional armor to Hood, but they canceled the remaining ships.

Also, if you build more than one design per class, you can come very fast to the decision, that one of them is the best in service, a lot looks good on paper, but if you get real experience with equipment you can decide, that one design fulfill your needs the best and the others are more or less a waste of budget.

So, you have destroyer class a, b, c in construction, Destroyer b fulfill your needs the best and need the lowest amount of modifications to finalize the design, but you have already planned to build another bunch of destroyer a and c but replace the order with class b, then the planned, but not build ships would remain in the books and so the hull numbers.
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Re: Hull number discrepancy
Post by Galactic Sapper   » Sun Sep 22, 2019 7:36 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:One explanation for DDs is that the hull numbers are assigned at planning, possibly in blocks. But plans changed fairly often, meaning a lot of numbers went unused, creeping upwards.

Could be. IIRC in the US Navy hull numbers are assigned when the ship is ordered and if the order is cancelled the hull number is not reassigned to the next ship in the queue.
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Re: Hull number discrepancy
Post by Armed Neo-Bob   » Sun Sep 22, 2019 1:10 pm

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Maldorian wrote:
ThinksMarkedly wrote:One explanation for DDs is that the hull numbers are assigned at planning, possibly in blocks. But plans changed fairly often, meaning a lot of numbers went unused, creeping upwards.


I think it is normal in the navy that you give a project a hull number, but don´t use it in reality because of budget, reorginasation or the project is absolete when it should start it´s final construction.

The britains start the construction of the Battlecruiser "Hood" at 1915 and planned tp build 4 ships of the class. In 1915 was the Battle of "Skagerag" (german therm, maybe other word for the Battle in english). The battle shows, that the whole Battlecruiser concept was absolete. They add addidional armor to Hood, but they canceled the remaining ships.

Also, if you build more than one design per class, you can come very fast to the decision, that one of them is the best in service, a lot looks good on paper, but if you get real experience with equipment you can decide, that one design fulfill your needs the best and the others are more or less a waste of budget.

So, you have destroyer class a, b, c in construction, Destroyer b fulfill your needs the best and need the lowest amount of modifications to finalize the design, but you have already planned to build another bunch of destroyer a and c but replace the order with class b, then the planned, but not build ships would remain in the books and so the hull numbers.


Skagerrakschlacht is the name for the Battle of Jutland, May & Jun 1916.

The Havoc class entered RMN in 1860 iirc, and started with hull 001 so the RMN wouldn't have 4 digit hull numbers. Doesn't mean they had all those ships still in service.

HOS only gives data on ships in service at the start of the war (i.e., 1905); otherwise they are just left out of the narrative altogether. Other classes are more than likely. but unless a ship needed to be in a story, they are just omitted.


Members of BuNine who have more info are hobbled by non-disclosure agreements. The author doesn't comment so he can retain more flexibility if he needs it.

IOW, we aren't supposed to know. :D

A long long long many years ago, a (very frustrated!!!) MaxxQ mentioned during a discussion (ok, there was a very heated argument involving me, Lyonheart and several others) that the RMN had around 1200 frigates before King Roger's buildup; but since all of them--even the Lightnings, built with the Falcons and Apollos by Hauptmann in the 1850's--were retired years before the war, no details were ever given. And he was never, ever that specific again, afaik, but I am not very diligent about reading the posts anymore.

Frigates essentially give up weapons space for endurance--but the frigates were what the RMN used for presence ships and commerce protection, in prefence to the CL's. Another reason why the SLN didn't take them seriously, too, but the conversation pre-dated the expansion into Talbott.

The numbers of BC's were supposed to have been increased to a permanent level of @200 in service after the Battle of Carson, I think; the numbers are disproportionately high compared to other classes, and were used more for force projection than commerce protection.

Wasn't that why it took over a hundred years to build the AD Astra class? No one they needed to deal with had anything that heavy, except Silesia/Manpower. After spanking them with the BB's and forcing them to sign Cherwell, their 200 BCs kept any other fringe systems from bothering them. As for Sollies--all other navies combined were more or less invisible (or insignificant) to the SLN.

YMMV, of course.

Rob
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Re: Hull number discrepancy
Post by Armed Neo-Bob   » Sun Sep 22, 2019 1:23 pm

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It occurs to me that many of the ships built were also either transferred to other members of the Alliance, or built specifically for those other Navies. That might also have an impact on hull numbers within the RMN, if hull numbers are assigned under construction.

Rob
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