AerospaceFan
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Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Mon Oct 16, 2006 2:37 pm

A call has gone out to assemble an international fleet with which to enforce the provisions of a UN Security Council Resolution against North Korea which the United States contends requires an embargo on specified equipment in shipments to and from that country. But senior officers of the Royal Navy fear that Britain may be "too weak" to contribute a significant force, according to a recent report.

Britain's naval ships, which once ruled the seas, have been reduced by nearly a third under Labor, the news account said, and as a result, with Royal Navy ships tied down in the Middle East, Britain might be able to contribute only a frigate, a submarine, and an auxiliary ship to international efforts to impose the quarantine. Furthermore, British ships would rely on the over-the-horizon capabilities of other naval vessels for protection.

Since China has expressed opposition to the proposed blockade, fears were also expressed that the international fleet could encounter ships of the Chinese Navy, leading to a possible confrontation, the report said.

The article also said that the centerpiece of the naval inspection force could be the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk, a 90,000-ton aircraft carrier stationed in the Northeast Asian area. The carrier leads a regional fleet of sixty ships and three hundred and fifty aircraft.

For more information, please see:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main...xml=/news/2006/10/16/wnkorea16.xml

[Edited 2006-10-16 07:48:44]
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PlymSpotter
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Mon Oct 16, 2006 2:50 pm

Well if the news report is telling the truth and they really are that thinly spread, I have to ask why they are continuing to cut back on resources. It looks like they are going to close another Naval base soon here in the UK, so we'll have just the two left.

The article doesn't mention that the cut backs in our navy began long before Labour's term in office, well before the Falklands we had dramatically cut our Navy's size from the days when Britannia ruled the waves, but the recent slashes by Labour have certainly not helped at all. If we do have trouble sending a sizable contingent then its not going to be good news for the government, who are already having a very rough ride over Iraq as well as policy closer to home.

I'm sure though that we will send something, after all, got to keep the British end up Wink

Dan Smile
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AerospaceFan
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Mon Oct 16, 2006 2:54 pm

Thank you for your kind response.

It seems to me that the Royal Navy is planning to deploy some very serious combat power in the near future, in the form of the new carrier it's building. I believe that it would be the largest carrier ever built for the Royal Navy, and almost as large as U.S. carriers. I do not know whether her keel has even been laid yet, but the design appears promising.

I hope you are right that the Royal Navy will be sending ships. It may be much smaller than it was before, but it has a very good reputation and, pound for pound, ship for ship, there is probably none better.

Suggested reference:

http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/cvf/

By the way, according to the above, the prime contractor for the new Royal Navy carrier is BAE Systems. It seems to me that if The Boeing Company acquires BAE Systems (also sometimes colloquially known as British Aerospace), as sometimes speculated could be possible since BAE has just divested itself of any interest in Airbus, then it may be that Boeing might end up as the prime contractor for that carrier.

Currently, Boeing does not build aircraft carriers or any other ships. Naval shipbuilding is conducted in the United States by subsidiaries of Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics, and other companies.

According to its Website, BAE Systems is Europe's largest defense contractor -- larger than European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS), the owner of Airbus. It is, therefore, a very substantial conglomerate. Offhand, I would say that if Boeing acquires or merges with BAE, then it appears to me that it will leapfrog over Lockheed Martin to become the world's largest defense contractor.

Interestingly, given the diversity of Boeing's businesses, its closest European corporate peer isn't really Airbus, which is simply a subsidiary of EADS, but EADS itself.

(Note: The above is not to be relied upon in any way, as I have not actually looked at the facts and figures concerning the sizes of the various companies involved to verify my comments.)

[Edited 2006-10-16 08:26:00]
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PlymSpotter
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Mon Oct 16, 2006 3:09 pm

Yes there are currently a couple of the $2.5 billion aircraft carriers on order for the British Navy, which will support current aircraft due to be in service when they are launched as well as the joint strike fighter. I'm not sure if it'll end up with Boeing having much to do with building them, as France may order a third ship for themselves which would bring the cost down for all parties, but in turn they want the ships to be built in France. I can't remember if this has already been decided or not, but you can imagine what the British public would think of that happening, as our own shipyards lie idle.

Dan Smile
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AerospaceFan
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Mon Oct 16, 2006 3:13 pm

If, purely hypothetically, Boeing acquires or merges with BAE Systems, the prime contractor, then Boeing might still maintain the subcontracting out to Thales, the French conglomerate, and the physical building of the French version of the French Navy's carrier within France.

It would be quite an expansion for Boeing if it buys or merges with BAE Systems, even as big as it is already.

I'm not sure it would play well, as you have noted, with British labor, or, for that matter, with France, given the rivalry between Boeing and Airbus. The French consider Airbus part of their own.

[Edited 2006-10-16 08:23:26]
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skidmarks
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Mon Oct 16, 2006 3:50 pm

Apart from ships, the Royal Navy has a recruitment problem. It simply cannot get enough personel to fill the vacancies it has got and people are leaving the service faster than they can be repalced.

Until the government of the UK wakes up to the fact that we are now taking on more duties than we had during the cold war (when at least we had the forces to do it) and that our armed forces are now so stretched as to be ineffective, then any further commitment would be futile and a token gesture.

We couldn't defend the UK now if we wanted to, and to continue to send understrength forces to places around the world, with crap equipment and poor support, is nothing short of criminal.

Andy  old 
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Klaus
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Mon Oct 16, 2006 4:51 pm

It's very similar to the US situation: If your troop strength seems insufficient, it can either be because you actually have too little resources, or it could be that you unnecessarily involved yourself in more conflicts than your reasonably sized force could handle.

Calling for more troops is always easy, but calling for better leadership might actually be more effective and more to the actual point.

Years of careful planning and billions in your respective favourite currency can't make up for a few hasty and ill-conceived policy decisions, so without plugging the gaping hole at the bottom it doesn't really matter how much you're pouring in at the top...
 
MCIGuy
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Mon Oct 16, 2006 4:54 pm

The Royal Navy is a very old, proud and resourceful organization. I'm sure they'll find a way to make do.  Smile
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GDB
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Tue Oct 17, 2006 4:10 am

The proposed RN commitment to any Korean blockade is about what you'd expect, even without recent cuts.
This is an area mainly for the USN, the sizeable Japanese fleet, to name two of the main players.

There is a painful transition going on, fewer but eventually, bigger ships-check the size of the Type 45's compared to the old Type 42's they will replace-of course the capability is 2 or even 3 generations ahead too.
IF enough are ordered, 6 are on order, two more are needed to provide two each for each proposed carrier group, two for the amphibious ready group-an area which has seen dramatic capability increases in recent years, two for general patrol, two in refit/working up.

However, the issue of a new frigate is becoming urgent-a proposal for a cut down Type 45 is one sensible option, ASTER 15 SAM's but not ASTER 30, not the powerful air search radar, but low manpower requirements, a bigger sonar, 155mm gun, a more general purpose ship.

However, France will only buy 2 of their Type 45 equivalent, have an older, less capable frigate force, the newer ones being lightly armed.
But-they might be on to something with the latter, for general patrolling duties rather than task group escorts.

Could it be the RN should look to having something similar, for duties like West Indies guardship, anti piracy, maintaining blockades etc?
The question has been asked before, but the fear has always been that getting such lower capability ships, large corvettes really, would take away from mainstream frigates, not supplement them.

The only time that did not happen was in the 70's when 8 commercially designed Type 21's were built, they allowed quick replacements of obselete vessels.

But, in the major shooting war, in the Falklands, two were lost, they had very poor anti air defence, though in fairness 7 of the 8 were involved, working very hard on shore bombardment, providing that gun line that prevented enemy aircraft from hitting large vunerable transports during the landings, anti sub patrol, one sank an Argentine military supply ship trying to run the blockade-a surprise at night, 4.5 inch gun was used, rather than the Frigate's MM-38 Exocets.

But post war, the light construction, lack of space, precluded major updates-for instance with Sea Wolf SAM's replacing Sea Cats, so the 6 remaining were sold to Pakistan after an early retirement.

So the RN will tolerate smaller numbers to retain capability, however we may be at a point where a size limit has been reached.
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Tue Oct 17, 2006 5:47 am

I'm impressed by your knowledge of the Royal Navy.

Given all that has happened, I wonder if the Royal Navy today would be able to defeat a force the size of Argentina's as it was during the Falklands / Malvinas conflict.
What's fair is fair.
 
Ozair
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Tue Oct 17, 2006 12:48 pm

The RN is really in a very transitional period. I recently toured the Portsmouth naval yard and was surprised at how many ships had been laid up. Most of the Type 22 frigates are now out of service, an invincible class carrier is in ready reserve until 2011 when the Indians get it and the delays to the Type 45s are not helping either.

Manpower is an issue but the RN is facing what many other western world navies and air forces are also going through. Legacy equipment ordered in the the 80s is reaching the end of it's service life and there is just no threat big enough to warrant it's one for one replacement. Combine this with the recruitment problems (faced by every western navy not just the RN, the RAN can't find enough entry officers either) as Skids said and you have a navy that will face serious issues rebuilding a true blue waters capability when the new carriers finally arrive.

Quoting GDB (Reply 8):
However, France will only buy 2 of their Type 45 equivalent, have an older, less capable frigate force, the newer ones being lightly armed.

A similar way the RAN has slowly upgraded their ANZAC class frigates. A real bare-bones system to begin with but slowly they are being transformed into a decent multi-role frigate.
 
baroque
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Tue Oct 17, 2006 2:30 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 6):
Calling for more troops is always easy, but calling for better leadership might actually be more effective and more to the actual point.

How irritating when you are correct Klaus.  checkeredflag 

Someone may not have thought through very carefully on the problems of naming three enemies, especially when a fourth was simply resting and not defeated!

Quoting GDB (Reply 8):
The proposed RN commitment to any Korean blockade is about what you'd expect, even without recent cuts.
This is an area mainly for the USN, the sizeable Japanese fleet, to name two of the main players.

So how would a current UK effort compare to sending Meteors and Seafires to the earlier effort? Probably the navy effort in 1950 was a bit more sparkling than it could manage now.

I rather doubt a repeat of this effort however:

"With the Cold War under way, Attlee's government secretly decided to proceed with the development of Britain's nuclear deterrent, in opposition to the pacifist and anti-nuclear stances of a large element inside the Labour Party. Defence became one of the divisive issues for Labour itself, especially defence spending (which reached 10% of GDP in 1950 during the Korean War). Aneurin Bevan eventually left the government over this issue and the introduction of prescription charges which Harold Wilson ((President of the Board of Trade) also resigned over. "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labour_Party_(UK)
 
GDB
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Wed Oct 18, 2006 2:40 am

The Argentine Navy is much weaker now, than in 1982.
With a sizeable airbase and 'trip wire' Tornado F.3, Rapier SAM's, infantry, the Islands are, unlike 1982, actually defended, more to the point, capable of rapid reinforcement.

4 of the Batch 3 Type 22's have been retained, since these, built to replace Falklands war losses, have the 4.5 inch gun, Harpoon SSMs, a Goalkeeper 30mm CIWS, plus flag and command facilities.
Whereas the Batch 1's (now sold to Brazil) and longer Batch 2's, both were specialised anti sub vessels, with no medium caliber gun.
Really, the Type 23's, are better for the escort role, as well as being capable general purpose vessels too.

The structure is going to amphibious and carrier power projection, overdue as well, despite the cuts, at least there is a plan now, whereas through the early/mid 1990's there was not.
Invincible is in reserve, however Ark Royal was too for a lot of the 1990's, it is potentionally available if needed.

However, budget pressures are real, as they always have been.
From the late 60's through the 70's, the RN moved from a largely 'East Of Suez' power projection, to a North Atlantic ASW force.
The proposed 1981 cuts, which really would have crippled the RN, were, ironically, greatly reduced by the Argentine junta.

Manpower, a perennial problem, at least can be alleivated by modern vessels needing smaller crews.
 
RichardPrice
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Wed Oct 18, 2006 3:08 am

Quoting Baroque (Reply 11):
So how would a current UK effort compare to sending Meteors and Seafires to the earlier effort? Probably the navy effort in 1950 was a bit more sparkling than it could manage now.

The Navy in 1950 was 5 years after a massive world war, a period of the largest military build up ever seen - of course the RN was more 'sparkling' in its effort then.
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Wed Oct 18, 2006 4:36 am

Everyone, thank you for your informative and detailed answers.

GDB, might I say that the weaker state of both the British and Argentine navies are perhaps not to be unexpected in this day and age, because the Cold War is over and for other reasons.

However, I've read references to arms races in Latin America, and I was wondering if, perhaps, with President Chavez causing quite a stir, that region may yet find cause to reinforce its militaries.

As for the United States, the Pentagon intends to increase the number of our major combat vessels from 281 to 313.

The state of our Navy is, thankfully, rather good, although there are complaints about the decline in the priority of naval aviation. Although the numbers of shipbuilders have declined in the last several decades, the issue of maintaining a strong industrial base necessary for production of large naval vessels is among those the Department of Defense keeps among its portfolio of present and future needs. I am given to understand that the average age of our vessels is acceptable, thanks in large measure to the retirement of older destroyers and cruisers and the introduction of new guided missile destroyers, particularly of the Arleigh Burke class. I daresay each of our destroyers maintains more capacity that most of our cruisers did twenty years ago.

Thanks again for everyone's input in this matter.
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baroque
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Wed Oct 18, 2006 1:14 pm

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 13):
The Navy in 1950 was 5 years after a massive world war, a period of the largest military build up ever seen - of course the RN was more 'sparkling' in its effort then.

But no doubt helped even more by defence spending at 10% of GDP - not very similar conditions to 2006?
 
Derico
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:23 am

Argentina has 'grown up', which is why is not joining any such increase in armaments you see in the rest of the region. Argentina right now has a lot of tax renevue growth, it could potentially make some interesting upgrades but in fact it has CUT military expenditures.

Ironic how the third most advanced nation in human development in the Americas actually is spending more in social development and less in military huh?

Furthermore Argentina has pledged never to go to war over the Falklands, and you can be sure that is a fact as many people in Argentina, unlike what some might claim, was anti-war back then. In 82 he biggest rock bands of the time did a huge concert to 'support the troops', but also to sing very much anti-war songs that are now classics of Argentine rock.

The money that was invested in the military in the past is now going to massive construction of interprovincial expressways, trains and high speed trains, dams, housing, schools, urban renewal, and nuclear power plants nationwide. Remember, Argentina's bicentennial is in 2010, and now every province wants to look like sapphires for that date.
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AerospaceFan
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:32 am

Derico, it's good to read that Argentina is spending money on improving infrastructure rather than building up its military unnecessarily. I have high hopes for the people of South America.

Like many others, I believe that there is an unnecessary opposition between the United States and Latin America. If Venezuela's Hugo Chavez has things his way, his country would increase the strife between the two of them.

The real needs of countries like Argentina, it seems to me, would contrast with the sabre-rattling of people like Chavez, who, in my view, can't be voted out of office fast enough.
_____________________________________

Correction:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 14):
GDB, might I say that the weaker states of both the British and Argentine navies are perhaps not to be unexpected in this day and age, because the Cold War is over and for other reasons.

As corrected.
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GDB
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:12 am

Though we had 10% of GDP defence spending-to the bad effect to UK post war economic recovery, the massive manpower of conscription, the sheer number of worldwide deployments-80,000 in the Suez Canal zone alone, meant that equipment modernisation was very limited.

Getting the nukes and V-Bomber programmes going-remember from 1945-58, the UK was totally cut off from the US Atomic programme, cost a pretty penny too.
In fact, not until they were deployed, conscription ended, overseas deployments rationalised, did major modernisation occur.
 
MD-90
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:29 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
But senior officers of the Royal Navy fear that Britain may be "too weak" to contribute a significant force, according to a recent report.

Too weak? Please. They just want more money and new toys.
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Thu Oct 19, 2006 5:42 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 18):
Getting the nukes and V-Bomber programmes going-remember from 1945-58, the UK was totally cut off from the US Atomic programme, cost a pretty penny too.

Do you think that the social programs begun after Labor instituted them had a significant effect, as well?
What's fair is fair.
 
Derico
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:53 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 17):
Derico, it's good to read that Argentina is spending money on improving infrastructure rather than building up its military unnecessarily. I have high hopes for the people of South America.

Argentina in reality has really good infraestructure, in many areas comparable to the OECD (Western Europe, etc). It will have even better infraestructure in a few years.

We have always been a bit of the odd one out in Latin America, in good things and in really bad ones too. As has been said countless times before, Argentina is a 1st world country in human development but a 3rd world nation in political development, making her a '2nd world' country. Anyone who has been in Argentina would tend to agree...

Argentina and the USA have been at odds a few times, but it's never been overly extreme. And that is mostly out of the fact that we are a country with a somewhat distinct outlook in the region from both Latin America and North America.
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AerospaceFan
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Thu Oct 19, 2006 7:00 am

Quoting Derico (Reply 21):
Argentina and the USA have been at odds a few times, but it's never been overly extreme. And that is mostly out of the fact that we are a country with a somewhat distinct outlook in the region from both Latin America and North America

That's good to know, Derico. I've never been to Argentina, but some day I hope to visit it.

Years ago, a favorite teacher of mine was a musician from Argentina -- a cantankerous fellow with a heart of gold.

Perhaps some day Latin Americans and Americans will set aside their prejudices and understand each other more on the basis of commonality than any remembrance of historical discomfiture.
What's fair is fair.
 
wingscrubber
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Thu Oct 19, 2006 7:06 am

There's too many resources tied up in this stupid war for oil, lo and behold the minute a real threat emerges, no one's available to help. China have a navy don't they?
Resident TechOps Troll
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Thu Oct 19, 2006 7:15 am

Quoting Wingscrubber (Reply 23):
There's too many resources tied up in this stupid war for oil, lo and behold the minute a real threat emerges, no one's available to help. China have a navy don't they?

Yes, it does, but apparently the fear is that it will be used against coalition forces, and not against North Korea.
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Ozair
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:51 am

Quoting Wingscrubber (Reply 23):
China have a navy don't they?

Not only do they have a navy but we are seeing a massive generational change in their equipment. They continue to build at a rapid rate and every two years make a generational change in their surface combatants. They are now building an AEGIS type destroyer and highly capable frigates that have evolved over 4 designs. I think a true blue water capability is not far off and the ability for power projection will come with future aircraft carriers planned.
 
baroque
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:44 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 18):
Getting the nukes and V-Bomber programmes going-remember from 1945-58, the UK was totally cut off from the US Atomic programme, cost a pretty penny too.
In fact, not until they were deployed, conscription ended, overseas deployments rationalised, did major modernisation occur.



Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 20):
Do you think that the social programs begun after Labor instituted them had a significant effect, as well?

I remember it well except the fact that the US had cut the UK off from the nuclear program was not exactly advertised. Spies and all, it was a pretty dastardly act, since guess where Manhattan got its early momentum, from Tube Alloys, thats where. If IIRC correctly, bread rationing only started in 1946 - yes WWII had already ended for those not paying attention!

Conscription was not exactly a matter of choice between the forces in Germany, the Malayan "Emergency", and whatever else was going on that has faded away such as a fair few wars of independence (pity Blair never ever read about them!). My memory of shipbuilding at that time was it was fairly busy. I am not sure how much was naval, but many of the yards I was familiar with specialized in naval vessels.

As I understand the funding problems in the UK, ASF, the main problems were on the external account with the "dollar block" which is why I gave the material on Lend Lease. By the by, the reason it will be repaid in 2006 is that 6 annual deferments were requested when the UK was especially short of US$.

If by the Social program, you mean the NHS, no, compared with other systems there was excellent cost control so that the net effect on the UK finances was arguably positive.

If you mean nationalization of the mines and railways, some compensation was paid, but many of these industries were on the edge of collapse, especially the mines. If you look at a 1945 map of the mining leases, with the flooded areas overlaid, it is a horrifying picture. It is amazing that the mining industry was able to survive at all after the hundreds of years of unregulated first in best dressed. True the mining unions became too powerful and disputes over union territory were a bit counter-productive. But essentially, UK coal production would have collapsed had it not been nationalized. Some of the management was not too bad, and eventually they figured out more or less how to run state enterprises at which point La Thatch sold them!

Some of the state enterprises were very efficient producers.

I do not recall any state enterprise doing an Enron! Well, no that is, until the Aus Wheat Board was privatised and started bribing Saddam, but by then it was not a state enterprise!  hissyfit   hissyfit 
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:52 am

Baroque, what a great answer. I really appreciate it.

I was, indeed, referring to the NHS and similar programs, and I was not aware that they were not a drain on the treasury.

I must admit that, until reading the article mentioned above, wherein the state of the Royal Navy was deemed less than satisfactory, I had no idea that Britain's Navy was lacking for either manpower or money.

In some ways, the de-emphasis on force and a greater interest in nonviolent dispute resolution of conflicts may have had something to do with the decreased interest in the military. Belief that law, in lieu of such force, should resolve matters is indeed a salutary ideal.

In retrospect, the rather rapid ramp-down of Britain's nuclear forces should have been an invitation to examine the state of its military as a whole. This last century appears to have been unkind from the standpoint of British power. I somewhat doubt that any educated and informed Briton who lived merely a hundred years ago would have foreseen the state of affairs we see now.
What's fair is fair.
 
baroque
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Fri Oct 20, 2006 2:23 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 27):
I was, indeed, referring to the NHS and similar programs, and I was not aware that they were not a drain on the treasury.

Items such as the NHS were a cost to Treasury, but working out the exact cost is difficult because they replaced a number of patches that were also funded by Treasury. I will have to reef out some reference books to find which was what.

The really spectacular thing is that the whole social security system was planned DURING WWII, when Churchill tried to get rid of a rather good organizer who also happened to be an economist and Fabian and sent him off to design how the UK should be after the war. It is far from clear how much Churchill really agreed with the report

http://www2.rgu.ac.uk/publicpolicy/introduction/uk.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWbeveridgereport.htm

"The key elements of the "Welfare State" were understood as being

* Social Security
* Health
* Housing
* Education, and
* Welfare and children (the 'personal social services')."

Some of these just had to be done - such as housing. I have forgotten the number of houses that had to be replaced courtesy of Herr G, but there was also a need for new houses anyway as no houses had been built for 6 years. Social security replaced items such as the Poor Laws. Even those who lived through that time tend to forget we still had the bloody Poor Laws until 1946! The Education reforms were hardly controversial and started to be introduced in 1944. The pension system was long overdue.

The UK had had its financial social and physical structures wrecked by nearly 6 years of war. It can be argued that Roosevelt's main pre-occupation was to ensure that Britain no longer had an Empire at war's end, and paid much more attention to this aim than to wondering what Comrade Joe was all about. As part of the, the financial plug was pulled on the UK as soon as the war ended.

Marshall was considered by Churchill to be the architect of victory in WWII and of course was made most famous by the Marshal Plan. In this age of Middle East woes, another of his views is worth repeating.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Marshall

"Upon his return (from China), Marshall was named Secretary of State in 1947. In this role, on Thursday June 5, 1947 at a speech at Harvard University, he outlined the U.S. government's preparedness to contribute to European recovery. The European Recovery Plan, which became known as the Marshall Plan, helped Europe quickly rebuild and earned Marshall the honor of being named TIME's Man of the Year in 1948 and receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953. As Secretary of State, Marshall strongly opposed recognizing the State of Israel telling President Truman, "If you (recognize the state of Israel) and if I were to vote in the election, I would vote against you."[1][2] In 1949, he resigned from the State Department and was named president of the American National Red Cross.

Marshall was hastily named Secretary of Defense in 1950 in an effort to restore morale after the disastrous tenure of Secretary Louis A. Johnson. He served in that post for less than one year, retiring from politics for good in 1951 after Senator Joseph McCarthy made a speech on the Senate floor stating that "if Marshall was merely stupid, the laws of probability would dictate that part of his decisions would serve America's interests."

Good old Joe McC!!!

All in all, a wonder the UK survived to have a navy at all - and it would not have done had Admiral King had his way!
 
GDB
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Fri Oct 20, 2006 4:03 am

Indeed Baroque, it is often forgotten what a damaged, clapped out, bankrupt state the UK was at war's end.
But the Atlee government was voted in with a landslide with a clear mandate not to repeat the terrible conditions the WW1 veterans returned to, with the now almost forgotten social tensions they caused.

A massive effort was made to allow all those 100's of 1000's of troops overseas-for the '45 election was before Japan's surrender, to vote, to get the votes back and counted.
Those who fought WW2 overwhelmingly voted for Atlee.

What they acheived was a near miracle given the condtitions, remember too nearly all the Labour Cabinet had been leading members of the wartime coalition government, Atlee had been deputy PM.
No wonder that by 1949-50, they were literally physically exhausted, ministers dying in office was not uncommon.

But, there was a price, the need to rebuild, to get desperately needed foriegn currency, to try and re-gain markets-and the US put conditions for aid that as intended, ensured heavy US penetration of those markets, that had seen technical developments given free to the US, with no exchange in kind.
For all that, the US had wise political giants like Marshall.
With a big in-tray, perhaps at times they might have been forgiven the as a victor, the UK would dust themselves down and recover fast.

WW2 ship building was entirely military-do-able thanks to the industrial miracle of US 'Liberty Ships', all aircraft production was military-ever wondered why post war UK civil airliner projects were usually attempts to leapfrog technically?
From successes like Viscount, to failures like Comet, through Britannia, through cancelled ideas like Brabazon, the giant turboprop Princess flying boat, trying to match the huge volumes and undamaged facilities like Douglas and Lockheed, would never work-this idea carried on right through to Concorde.

So as the UK sought this export led recovery, the home front suffered, rationing actually worsened in many areas.
You can imagine how those who had endured austerity, the Blitz, lost loved ones, over 6 years, eventually reacted to this.
The Black Market boomed, fuelling a crime wave, often violent, often with the aid of all those pistols taken as battlefield souveniers, those who get wound up by sensational media reporting today, would do well to reflect on this.
The 'good old days' it wasn't.

The winters of the late 1940's were usually severe, 18 year olds who had been too young for WW2, found themsleves conscripted, some would see action and die in Palestine-from Israeli terrorists, in Korea, in the Canal Zone, in Malaya, or just shivering in cold barracks in Germany.

But, the Labour government did deliver on the main promises, did ensure a great degree of social cohesion.
The UK electorate were grateful-recently a US commentator called the NHS a form of British religion. The reasons can be found in this era.

The Conservatives were re-elected in 1951-more seats but Labour polled more votes, only because they had to pledge not retain the Beveridge policies.
Which they did.
Like Churchill in 1945, the voters respected and were grateful for what was done, but wanted to move on.

All this would have been amazing to someone 50 years before, when Pax Britannia looked serene, secure.
Two world wars changed that, but at least the end of British superpower status was lost in a noble cause, standing up to Hitler.
Which is why most British people are still proud of that period of standing alone in 1940/1, why mocking cracks from some foreigners about 'being pushed into the Channel in 1940' do not go down well.
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:50 pm

Reading your account was almost like going back in time, GDB! Well done.  Smile
What's fair is fair.
 
baroque
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Sat Oct 21, 2006 12:59 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 29):
mocking cracks from some foreigners about 'being pushed into the Channel in 1940' do not go down well.

No, but "who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler" went down really well.

An excellent summary GDB. In retrospect, I am still stunned most of all that the Beveridge report was commissioned and most written just when the worst was happening in the Far East, and before El Alemain III showed Britain could win an offensive battle against Rommel.

Quoting GDB (Reply 29):
All this would have been amazing to someone 50 years before, when Pax Britannia looked serene, secure.

That was one of Winnie's problems, he never DID believe it.

Some of the aircraft failures were so close. IIRC, the original Comet design had rounded windows, so it might have been left to someone else to discover fatigue cracking. However, consultation suggested passenger preferred square windows. Many of the failures were so close, and one problem was the failure to reinforce success such as the Viscount.

There is much talk these days of level playing fields, but it seems clear that the UK was not given a level playing field - perhaps this was inevitable it its transition from being in a position to control where the field was, let alone if it was level.

But as you write, GDB, it was scant reward for having been, with Commonwealth countries, the sole resistance for so long.

The relationships between the UK and some of those dominions do not reflect well on Churchill either - see for example David Day's "The Politics of War". The ways in which the Aus, Canadian and Kiwi pollies were used by Churchill (and Roosevelt come to that) are horrendous. Many lessons there for Blair and Howard should they manage to work them out!
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:23 pm

It occurs to me that the gradual alienation of Canada and Australia from Great Britain is the product of historical forces greater than that which national governments could have overcome. I am not certain that any British government could have acted in any manner other than to merely retard the progress of independence as relates to the former two countries.

One should also consider that British economic interests in each of these countries have been maintained.
What's fair is fair.
 
baroque
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:55 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 32):
I am not certain that any British government could have acted in any manner other than to merely retard the progress of independence as relates to the former two countries.

One should also consider that British economic interests in each of these countries have been maintained.

That is probably true, but diverting a convoy up to Burma that was supposed to be returning an Aus Division back to defend Australia at a time when the Japanese were coming south through Rabaul like a dose of salts we not really calculated to improve relations. And that was in flat contradiction to and order from the Aus PM.

And the P40s might have been so late they were called the neverhawks, but they did come faster than the Spit Vs. Had Winnie sent half the Spits that he sacrificed in Rhubarbs over N France in 1941 to the east, Singapore might never have fallen and if it had fallen, the defence of Darwin would have a great deal easier.

Day's book is a very sobering read in how bloody dishonest all these leaders (even the ones that history has told us are to be respected) are to each other, let alone to us poor peasants being ruled. Makes you wonder how some of the present caste of leaders will fare!
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:00 pm

Baroque, your knowlege of the military details is far greater than mine, so I will, of course, defer to you as to such.

And I am in agreement with you that the influence of the nonpolitical class is certainly more limited than we often imagine. Those actually in power have their own interests and commit their own errors, and sometimes they are, in retrospect, well hidden from their constituents, though perhaps not from history.
What's fair is fair.
 
baroque
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:53 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 34):
Those actually in power have their own interests and commit their own errors, and sometimes they are, in retrospect, well hidden from their constituents, though perhaps not from history.

You need to blame my son for buying me a copy of Day's book. I sort of knew the bits of the story, but when they are put together with the relationship between the UK and Aus as the main thread, it is just awful. The most frightening thing from an Aus standpoint is how it follows through the antics (you can barely call them anything else) of our high and mighty (Casey and Evatt especially, but Menzies was just awful too). Also how Winnie was able to dismiss them with scarcely a wave of his arm due to the structure of the decision making bodies.

And that is fearfully relevant to our contemporary mess. It is clear that the current US admin does not have a structure anything like the intergovernmental committees from WWII. So international input looks to be minimal. Within the US, diversity of input seems, from this distance to be equally minimal.

If Winston was still fixated on losing the Battle of Britain two (and even three) years after he had won it, you have to wonder what our current lesser lights in terms of strategic abilities are doing!
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: Royal Navy Feared "Too Weak" Re: North Korea

Fri Oct 27, 2006 4:03 am

History is fascinating indeed. I only wish I had enough time to read more of it.

I greatly appreciate your contributions to this Forum, regardless of who gave you the source of your historical information.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 35):
If Winston was still fixated on losing the Battle of Britain two (and even three) years after he had won it, you have to wonder what our current lesser lights in terms of strategic abilities are doing!

Strategic thinking is barely in evidence these days among too many of those in, or those who aspire to, power, so I think your point is quite well taken.

[Edited 2006-10-26 21:04:30]
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