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The Foresight War Revisited: general    Novel: The Foresight War

Started 29-Jan by autogun; 5563 views.
autogun

From: autogun

29-Jan

Some of you may have read my alternative history novel of WW2, The Foresight War (TFW), which was published in 2004. 

I have been planning for a long time to produce a revised version, taking into account various comments made about the original (many of them on this forum). Time passes ever more quickly, so I've decided to make a start. I will probably use the amazon self-publishing system, although I haven't made a final decision about that. I certainly want it to appear as an e-book this time, as well as a paperback.

There are various different aspects of the book: the most straightforward (and unsurprisingly the most popular on this forum) concerns the alternative military technology developed by the UK and Germany.   I will be keeping most of this the same in the revised version, with some tweaks (particularly concerning British small arms!). I will, more generally, be overhauling the Appendices to provide a more detailed explanation of the choices made, and alternatives. Another aspect is the changes in strategy, which I'm not going to make major changes in. The same goes for the brief inserted incidents, giving a flavour of events. I spent a couple of years researching that lot, and I'm not going to start all over again! Finally, there is the story written around all of the above. I'll be taking a careful look at that.

I'll be starting with the technology. My guiding principles remain the same as last time:

1. "First, do no harm." That means that any weapon which was found to be useful should be retained, and its development and acquisition should be accelerated where possible.

2. Throw out the trash. Most weapon projects were never built, and some which were built should not have been. Deleting these would save huge resources for investing in the next categories.

3. Plug the gaps. There were certain areas where the lack of competitive weapons was a major handicap (e.g. UK battle tanks and carrier aircraft).

4. Nice to have. Less vital developments which should still prove worthwhile if they didn't cost too much to develop.

-

P.S. I should have said that if you click on the Folder heading, there are zillions of messages from the last time this was discussed....

  • Edited 29 January 2021 8:11  by  autogun
TonyDiG

From: TonyDiG

29-Jan

Looking forward to it.

 

Regarding your #3:  Was having poor "carrier aircraft" really a hindrance?  Yes, Skuas and "Stringbeans" were obsolescent at best, but were they not "good enough" until the USA started supplying aircraft?  To me, the bigger lack would be poor choices in carrier design.  Copying the Yorktown would have given the RN a leg up in being able to field much larger airgroups regardless of the quality of the aircraft they contained.

Red7272

From: Red7272

29-Jan

TonyDiG said:

Regarding your #3:  Was having poor "carrier aircraft" really a hindrance?  Yes, Skuas and "Stringbeans" were obsolescent at best, but were they not "good enough" until the USA started supplying aircraft?  To me, the bigger lack would be poor choices in carrier design.  Copying the Yorktown would have given the RN a leg up in being able to field much larger airgroups regardless of the quality of the aircraft they contained.

That is linked to the policy on the number of aircraft they were allowed to have by the RAF. IIRC the FAA could only have ~250 aircraft so carrier capacity beyond that was deemed pointless. That said, their idea of a good carrier was Ark Royal so it might not have helped with designs. Throwing tout their designs and copying Yorktown m ight have been too much of a leap for the RN/RAF

  • Edited 29 January 2021 12:34  by  Red7272
TonyDiG

From: TonyDiG

29-Jan

Red7272 said...

That is linked to the policy on the number of aircraft they were allowed to have by the RAF. IIRC the FAA could only have ~250 aircraft so carrier capacity beyond that was deemed pointless. That said, their idea of a good carrier was Ark Royal so it might not have helped with designs. Throwing tout their designs and copying Yorktown m ight have been too much of a leap for the RN/RAF

 

My post is in regards to Tony W.'s Foresight book.  It's not intended to be a 20-20 hindsight criticism on what the RN & RAF actually did during the 1930s.  In the Foresight universe, I am suggesting that a Yorktown equivalent would have been a better investment for the future than an Illustrious regardless of how many or what kinds of planes she carried in 1941.

Red7272

From: Red7272

29-Jan

TonyDiG said:

My post is in regards to Tony W.'s Foresight book.  It's not intended to be a 20-20 hindsight criticism on what the RN & RAF actually did during the 1930s.  In the Foresight universe, I am suggesting that a Yorktown equivalent would have been a better investment for the future than an Illustrious regardless of how many or what kinds of planes she carried in 1941.

Oh I agree, the issue that Tony mentions several times is to what degree his traveler can convince the powers-at-be to change. I suspect the best that can be hoped for is an enlarged hanger 4 screw Ark Royal. 

TonyDiG

From: TonyDiG

29-Jan

Red7272 said...

Oh I agree, the issue that Tony mentions several times is to what degree his traveler can convince the powers-at-be to change.

 

Prophets rarely prosper.

autogun

From: autogun

30-Jan

TonyDiG said:

Regarding your #3:  Was having poor "carrier aircraft" really a hindrance?  Yes, Skuas and "Stringbeans" were obsolescent at best, but were they not "good enough" until the USA started supplying aircraft?  To me, the bigger lack would be poor choices in carrier design.  Copying the Yorktown would have given the RN a leg up in being able to field much larger airgroups regardless of the quality of the aircraft they contained.

My solution to the carrier aircraft problem doesn't stand alone, but is part of an overall strategy. This starts with the engines: R-R to concentrate on developing the Merlin for medium/high altitude use, Bristol on the Hercules for low/medium altitude. The Hurricane would be replaced in production immediately after the BoB by a suitably developed Hercules-powered Bristol Type 153 in two versions: a naval fighter, and a land-based fighter-bomber without the carrier stuff but with extra armour. The other carrier plane would also be by Bristol, and would be a 2/3-seat multipurpose plane with matching controls, engine "power eggs" etc.

The Type 153 was Bristol's proposal for the RAF cannon-fighter (a competition won by the Whirlwind). The picture below is by John Dell:  

I have an open mind about the carrier question; I am inclined to think that the armoured deck of most of the British carriers was probably not worth it, due to the cost in restricting hangar capacity.

dskellogg

From: dskellogg

31-Jan

So are you taking pre-orders yet? smile

But on a serious note, or a few...

One of the issues going into WW2 for British gun making was, apparently discussed at length in many venues, a shortage of gun lathing in suitable calibers.

-1) having saved-to-pdf many of your articles, including the alternative WW2 gun one on 57mm and 75s, would you still consider this to be the proper direction, or start from scratch altogether (perhaps pushing the 3-pdr/47mm caliber in various service configurations, closer to the aircraft P-gun in performance but years earlier?

-2) WRT the lathe shortage in "mid caliber cannons", especially tank-compatible ones, the RN had multiple marks of 4"/102mm guns in service on many ships: were those all predominantly WW1 left-overs, or would manufacture of a dual-purpose/tri-purpose (indirect artillery, direct AT, AA) common caliber be a more ideal approach? (the later-model 3.7" offered a lot of potential, but was just bulky overall). I could envision a tracked SP type not wholly unlike the US M12 (M4 chassis with 155mm aft mounted, but in this instance, a dual role direct/indirect surface warfare 4" gun), just utilizing a suitable British chassis.

-3) the caliber of the 18-pdr (and eventually 25-pounder) artillery was already in a potential sweet spot (circa the russian 85mm), albeit the 18-pdr gun itself being rather obsolete by WW2 standards. Would this caliber range have been something preferable to pursue for tank warfare, from the British perspective?

Just some musings, is all. But absolutely looking forward to the revised story.

autogun

From: autogun

1-Feb

In the original TFW (OTFW, compared with new version NTFW) I followed the development of historic T/AT guns (Tank/Anti-Tank) daily closely with some adjustments to help logistics.

So the 2 pdr was more or less the same, with a simplified AT mounting, but chambered in 40mm Bofors, a slightly larger and more powerful cartridge. That ensured that the T/AT guns always had access to HE loads, while the AA guns had AP ammo when needed.

The next step up was a 57mm round for both AAA and T/AT guns: purely by chance, the rounds for the historical T/AT 6 pdr and the post-WW2 Bofors 57mm AA were a close match. 

Then for T guns the 57mm case was necked-out to 3 inches, similar to the historic 75mm tank gun round only with a longer case firing sub-calibre saboted AP.

Next came 17 pdr much as was, followed by a necked-out 4 inch version.

When considering NTFW, I am obviously thinking about this article: https://www.quarryhs.co.uk/alt%20WW2%20tank%20gun.htm at least for the tank if not AT gun, 

I am also thinking of a modified 3" 20cwt , with the case somewhat straighter than the 77mm. Another idea I am kicking around is to match the characteristics of the German 88mm L/56 by necking out the 17 pdr case to take 25 pdr (87mm) field-gun shells; the case could be loaded separately from the projectiles, to ease handling.

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