Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The naval arms race of the 1930s

In 1932, the French Navy built two battlecruisers, Dunkirk and Strasbourg, to counter the German pocket battleship class, the Admiral Scheers, and the arms race had been initiated. The French ships were quickly trumped by an Italian class, the Littorios, to which the French responded with a class of improved and larger Dunkirks, the Richelieu class. While all this was happening, the British struggled to keep up, and while the KGVs( King George the Fifth class) were scheduled to be built with 16 inch guns, to speed up build-time they were only armed with 14-inch. The Germans, meanwhile, had been doing quite well, and had built the Scharnhorst class of 11 inch gunned battlecruisers.  They had also started the Bismark class of true-blue battleships. Obviously, an attentive observer should have seen that this build-up was a direct prelude to war. 

P.S. There was one class that I did not mention that finished off the arms-race. I'll leave you to figure out what it is...

1 comment: