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Destroyer sank by tanks

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by FNG phpbb3, Jan 13, 2006.

  1. FNG phpbb3

    FNG phpbb3 New Member

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    Hi,

    I don't know if this comes under tank or naval battles

    Just read Blitzkreig by Alan Bance which is a collection of diary entries from german soldiers during 39 and 40.

    One of the entries is about Leutnant Langhammer who describes attacking a RN destroyer in Boulogne (presumable the harbour?) and causing it to burn and sink.

    Does anyone have any more info on this?

    What were the tanks, what was the destroyer?

    Can you imagine having a dual from your tank vs a destroyer? He describes the shells landing around him and ranging him on him!

    He says he engaged it around 400 to 500 meters and as such was firing direct and scoring hits each time against what is a fairly large target for a tank.

    FNG
     
  2. FNG phpbb3

    FNG phpbb3 New Member

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    BUMP

    any ideas? Ture or False?

    The diary entry described them targeting areas of the ship like the bridge and main guns and scoring hits and knocking them out.

    Now looking at pics of destroyers it's possable that the bridge was semi open and not particularly armoured. But the main armament?

    What was the armour thickness or a turret and could a 40's german tank put rounds through it at 500m?

    FNG
     
  3. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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  4. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Although it appears to be fiction, many RN destroyers at the time had turrets that were open at the rear, so theoretically you could knock the guns out by using HE to kill the crews. However, if they are traversed to face you, this becomes effectively impossible :wink:
     
  5. FNG phpbb3

    FNG phpbb3 New Member

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    I think the consensous is that tanks engaged a french destroyer scoring several hits upon it, starting fires and forcing it to leave the inner harbour.

    The destroyer later sank and whilst the tank crews claimed this as a victory painting it up on their hulls it seems that the german airforce caught the wounded destroyer and sank it.

    From what I gather early destroyers were actually very lightly armoured so that 40's AP shells could penetrate and HE was also quite effective, though not enough to sink it.

    FNG
     
  6. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    I'm surprised this is not more widely known - it would have made a great propaganda coup for the Germans.

    "German tank sinks RN warship"
    (picture of grinning tank crews on tank with a destroyer painted on the side)
     
  7. Quillin

    Quillin New Member

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    i geuss everybody was more looking on what was happening at Dunkirk. if you were a publisher and you had to chooce between printing "Tank sinks destroyer" or "BEF trapped at Dunkirk and besieged" what would you choose?
     
  8. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    During the 1982 Falklands war the British force stationed on South Georgia nearly sank a corvet when they managed to put an AT missile into its waterline.

    1940 tanks could in theory sink a destroyer but they'd have to riddle it full of holes since AT guns of that time wouldn't able to inflict serious structural damage.
     
  9. FNG phpbb3

    FNG phpbb3 New Member

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    Hmmm, crushing and overwhelming defeat of combined English and French army or tank sinks destroyer? Tough choice for the days headlines!

    The consensus was that a HE shell from a 40's german tank was not big enough to anything but local damage to the destroyer.

    FNG
     
  10. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    Tank sinks destroyer of course because that classes as human interest and as such is far more important than crushing defeats.

    :grin:
     
  11. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Well, it should have at least had a report on it :oops:

    Something like - don't worry, the RN cannot hope to stop Seelowe, as even our tanks can sink a warship.
     
  12. Quillin

    Quillin New Member

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    so, if the story was treu, we whould at least find some propaganda about it
     
  13. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Well, I'd have thought so.

    But then, as so many people pointed out, it probably got lost in the general 'yey, we kicked their butts!' stuff after Dunkirk.
     

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