Appendix 1: Naval Programmes of New Construction
Ref. p. 25
Table A: ‘Deficiency’ Programme, approved November 1935
This was a general plan for raising the strength of the fleet to the ‘DRC’ standard by 1942. New construction was to be spread over the seven annual programmes 1936–42 as follows:
Seven capital ships to be laid down in the period 1937–39.
Four aircraft carriers to be laid down in the period 1936–42.
Five cruisers a year to be laid down between 1936 and 1939.
One destroyer flotilla (nine destroyers) in 1936–37; and thereafter one flotilla in alternate years up to 1942.
Submarines, sloops, other small craft and auxiliaries at the same rate as in the past, i.e. about three submarines and five or six sloops a year.
Estimated cost of the proposals:
Table B: Naval Programmes of New Construction, 1936–392
Ref. p. 26
|‘Accelerated’ programme||‘Rationed’ programme|
|Fast escort vessels||—||—||—||20|
|Motor torpedo boats||7||10||13||12|
|River gun boats||1||2||2||1|
|Boom defence vessels||5||16||5||8|
|Motor landing craft||—||6||—||—|
Table C: Estimated Requirements of Small Vessels, 1940 and 1941
Ref. p. 60
|Summer 1940||Autumn 1941|
|Motor torpedo boats||102||134|
|Boom defence vessels||70||80|
With the programme of small vessels it is also necessary to reckon the requirements of fleet units employed on convoy and anti-submarine duties, and more especially the requirements of destroyers. The demands for destroyers for convoy escorts and fleet duties were heavy in 1940 and were to become heavier; a high rate of losses—fifty-seven in the first year of the war—had to be provided for. Fifty ‘old age’ escort destroyers were acquired from the United States in September 1940, but they were not sufficient to meet the need and by the end of 1941 the annual programme had come to include forty destroyers compared with the sixteen in the original war ‘emergency’ programme. The programmes of 1940 and 1941 also included the early batches of landing craft to assist in the harassing operations on the Continent and to prepare for the coming offensive. Small as were these landing vessel programmes they made a sizeable addition to the emergency programmes of the post-Dunkirk era.