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Trainspite

A detailed look at Battlecruiser Design J3 (Trainspite's Drawing Board)

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A detailed look at Battlecruiser Design J3

It's like some sort of cross between Hood and Littorio. And retains both of their good looks!


Good day folks, a quick foreword, over on the NA server, user dseehafer runs a very successful series, known as "A detailed look at" or ADLA for short. I have promised to make myself a little more unique when creating my own little sub series of reviews, so I have chosen to only review those ships that for whatever reason, never made of the drawing board, or off the slipway. This is essentially a copy of the NA thread, for EU viewers, since I know some people don't go on the NA forums.

 

The first design to take up the mantle is the Royal Navy’s J3 Battlecruiser design. One of the many designs for a new post World War 1 battlecruiser for the Royal Navy, she was designed in 1920, after the preceding K2 & K3 designs. J3 was saving on displacement compared to the other designs, and sacrificed a heavy 16” or 18” main armament for higher speed. Her armour and size was comparable to her predecessor, HMS Hood. However, J3 was deemed too vulnerable, there were large gaps in her comparatively thick deck armour that could allow the magazines to be hit and the ship was not really what the Royal Navy wanted. The design process for a new battlecruiser moved on to I3.

Bearing in mind that this ship is a design, the values may be substantially different to what we see here, and I will try and take a best guess as to what WG will do with this fine battlecruiser.

 

WEIGHT – 43’100t

This equates to 61’666 hit points, through the BB HP equation (10756 + (1.1812 x tonnage) However this is the as built or standard displacement of the ship, and the deep load displacement is used as the hit points for the top hull. This means, that if we take a theoretical deep load gaining 6’000t, J3 ends up with 68’753 hit points. Rounded to 68’700, this is only behind Tirpitz at tier 8, beating Amagi and North Carolina by an excess of 2’000. So this does suggest that J3 will end up at the higher end of the hit point scale at tier 8.

 

ARMOUR

Main belt: 305mm (12”) thick. An external belt, angled at 25 degrees.

Bulkheads: 305mm (12”)

Deck: 51-102mm (2”-4”)  Main deck is 4” (102mm) thick. Thins to 3” (76mm) then 2” (51mm) at                                        

                                        Fore & Aft.

Turrets: 203-380mm (8”-15”) Front; 15” (380mm), Side; 12” (305mm) Roofs; 8” (203mm)

 

J3 is quite well armoured, definitely more so than her Japanese contemporary; Amagi, having the same citadel armour as North Carolina, only more heavily angled. Her deck is not as good as North Carolina however. I would not expect J3 to match up to Tirpitz however, but she is definitely better than Amagi, and for the most part on par with North Carolina.

 

MAIN BATTERY – 3x3 381mm

Housed in 3 Triple turrets; 2 forward and 1 Aft, J3 would use the 15”/50 gun (381mm). This is essentially the 15”/42 you find already in game on Warspite, but firing the same shells at a higher velocity. Otherwise everything is the same as Warspite, except you have 9 of these guns. The turrets may bear a resemblance to Nelson’s however, so we could see a better traverse speed.

 

SECONDARY BATTERY – 6x2 152mm, 6x1 120mm, *

As originally designed this is the same as Nelson, with 3 twin 6” turrets being able to fire to a broadside, with 6 High Angle 4.7” DP mounts. However, this is as designed in 1920. At tier 8, she has to compete with the 1930s treaty battleships, and this secondary armament may not be adequate enough. Certainly though, this original design can serve as an A hull in game. But WG will most likely give J3 a top hull which has a 4.5” (113mm) or 5.25” (133mm) dual purpose battery. Nelson and Rodney where proposed to receive such a refit, so J3 can receive such a refit as well. However, the specifics of the upgrade depends on how WG architect the final hull.

 

AA BATTERY – 6x1 120mm, 4x (4/8) 40mm Pom Pom Mounts

As said above, this is also inadequate for high tiers, and it depends on how much AA they decide to give J3 with their design of a WW2 refit that would have given her improved AA, had she been built. Likely to appear are the aforementioned 4.5” and 5.25” DP batteries, along with numerous 20mm and 40mm mounts.

 

SPEED – 32 knots

This would make J3 the fastest tier 8 Battleship yet, but her speed could be reduced by an improved AA hull refit. Even so, she should still be the fastest around.

 

CONCLUSION

Overall, I think J3 (Or as I call her, Magnificent) will be a good candidate for tier 8, probably in a British Battlecruiser tech tree, which would probably come in the far distant future. She is quite average compared to the rest of the tier 8 BBs currently in the game, and slots herself into the middle of most categories. She may seem a little under-gunned compared to the 16” wielding North Carolina and Amagi, but her other aspects will help her out here, being a more flexible ship, in all aspects but being manoeuvrable (being as long as Yamato). Being similar in size and armour to Hood, likely a tier 7, her upgrade to slot her above Hood is her firepower.

 

Of course, if I have made any mistakes feel free to point them out, feedback is appreciated, and have a nice day! Also, let me know of any other design ships you want me to review as well, and I will see if I can review them as well.

PROS

- Best in class speed.

- Good AA & Secondaries (WG dependent)

- Above Average number of hit points

- Low Detection range – Being lower than the others

 

CONS

- Can seem under-gunned compared to others.

- Poor Turning circle, being the longest of any of the tier 8s.

- No Aircraft catapult (Although WG can add one)

- May have a sub-par firing range.

 

Pretty Pictures:

 

 

J3, as visualised in shipbucket. She vaguely resembles the Italian Littorio class, with her main armament layout. 

bXw7Rx5.jpg

 

J3s armour layout and dimensions, compared against Hood's.

5TUukAP.jpg

Another view of J3.

lNIFSna.jpg

 

 

 

 

 


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Great write-up, thank you very much! That is one great looking battlecruiser, like a British baby-Iowa and in many ways a design well ahead of her time. I'm not so interested in in-game stats since it's such distant speculation that we'll even get something like this, but I really like all the never built 1920s concepts. It's fascinating since the whole design process and train of thought through the various options is laid bare.

 

EDIT: where are you getting your data for the 15"/50 gun for these ships?


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A very interesting write-up.

 

where are you getting your data for the 15"/50 gun for these ships?

 

I'd be interested in that, too.

 

Given that IRL this design (from what I gather) was axed because it was too much like an improved Hood and not enough a match for the foreign battlecruisers she might have faced (Lexington and Amagi), firepower is not the least important factor.

What gives me pause is that this new 15-inch gun might have followed the pattern of big caliber British guns of the early 1920s, which doesn't seem to be the optimal one...


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EDIT: where are you getting your data for the 15"/50 gun for these ships?

 

Given that IRL this design (from what I gather) was axed because it was too much like an improved Hood and not enough a match for the foreign battlecruisers she might have faced (Lexington and Amagi), firepower is not the least important factor.

What gives me pause is that this new 15-inch gun might have followed the pattern of big caliber British guns of the early 1920s, which doesn't seem to be the optimal one...

 

The in game stats are there just to fit with the other reviews on NA, needless to say if and when J3 makes it into the game, we will see how accurate I was.

 

As for the 15"/50, I don't know the statistics of it (I had to go asking), I only really know that it is a longer 15"/42 that fires the same shells at higher velocity. In game I guess this would mean flatter arcs and having an easier time penetrating, but otherwise it would be the same as Warspite with the same shells.

 

 

 

 


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I'll trust your sources but I would think saying it's a 'longer 15"/42' is probably a simplified description. I would be surprised if the gun and shell were not of completely new construction and the shell weight being the same was just a coincidence.

 

The RN has a poor track record in making high velocity weapons and their post-war obsession with copying German practice was, I believe, a mistake. I imagine this gun would have had a short barrel lifespan (not relevant in game) and large dispersion (very relevant in game).


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The in game stats are there just to fit with the other reviews on NA, needless to say if and when J3 makes it into the game, we will see how accurate I was.

 

As for the 15"/50, I don't know the statistics of it (I had to go asking), I only really know that it is a longer 15"/42 that fires the same shells at higher velocity. In game I guess this would mean flatter arcs and having an easier time penetrating, but otherwise it would be the same as Warspite with the same shells.

 

 

 

 

 

​Even if the early developments on the weapon were to use the same shells, that doesn't mean that they wouldn't have reworked it to use the high velocity low weight shells that the RN was obsessing over at the time before the design reached maturity. Even the 18" MkII guns were originally designed to use the same shells as the 18" MkI, but as development went on they were reworked to use the high velocity shells, something that only appeared later on in their development cycle for the N3 battleships and their predecessors. That could be something they implement on different hulls though, with the early hulls using the newer (and rubbish) light ammunition originally developed for them while the later hulls represent a switch back to a modernised version of the older shells. If the in-game tech tree leads the J3 into the G3 as you often predict with the J3 using decent ammunition and the G3s using the final ammunition as used on the Nelsons, it also could cause the awkward moment where the G3s are actually a step backwards in terms of firepower because of poor shell design (plus awkward turret arrangements).


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