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Destroyers

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by corpcasselbury, Jan 20, 2005.

  1. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    The workhorses of any combatant fleet. This topic is for the discussion of the DDs of any and all navies, the good, the bad and the ugly. And for their battles. I think that a quick note of each member's favorite class of tin can would be a good way to start things off. My favorite American class is the FLETCHER class; a good, sound, solid class that performed many tasks brilliantly. The British Tribal class are another fave of mine, for much the same reason.
     
  2. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    I have a prejudice against any destroyer lacking DP guns. This has the unfortunate result of placing nearly all non-US destroyers in the Naughty Category. Apart from some units stuck with lame 4in guns, the British had no DP DD until the very end of the war. France, Germany, Italy, and the Soviets are completely shut out. The Japanese had a single class, Akizuki, with a genuine DP gun.
    I've always liked the Fletchers, and the Gearings may have been the best of the best.
    Of the Naughty designs, there are a number of likeable choices. Tashkent was arguably the finest design in the Soviet navy. The Tribals had a powerful gun armament. Pretty much all the Japanese post-Fubukis were powerful combatants. The Fantasques were certainly attractive, though I think the only contre-torpilleurs that I really like were the Mogadors. Despite their woeful lack of speed, the Navigatoris were pretty good. I thikn the prettiest destroyers may have been the Porters; they look very much like they're impersonating cruisers. I have a hard time generating any romanticized approval of the flush-deckers.
     
  3. DesertWolf

    DesertWolf Member

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    AllenSumner Class. Modern, powerful armament, good firecontrol, and good speed. Fletcher class is also a good design. Arguably, in DDs, the americans had the advantage late in the war.
     
  4. Notmi

    Notmi New Member

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    In my opinion, destroyers were the most multiusable ships ever. Destroyers possess weapons to attack and destroy any other ship on surface and under surface. Also, with adequate DP guns and lighter armament they could defend themselves against aircrafts too.
    Shore bombardments could be done too with main guns, althought bigger shells would be better.
     
  5. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Member

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    I agree with you that an effective DP armament was essential for any destroyer bidding for the 'best in class' category, but not that the 4 inch guns were 'lame'. See: http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/MCGWW2.html

    Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and discussion
    forum
     
  6. DesertWolf

    DesertWolf Member

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    I totaly agree. Lets ratehr ask: Is there s ship task a DD cant do?
     
  7. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    Is "lame" too strong a word? I do have to maintain that the 4in gun was not up to the standards of DD weaponry in WWII. The good news for the "L's" was that they got to mount eight barrels, so at short range there really wasn't much of a disadvantage. However, the 4-incher would look more and more inferior as ranges increased. It fired a 35-lb shell at 2660f/s. Compared to the 4.7in Mk XI mounted in the other "L's," the smaller gun has only about 62% as much muzzle energy, and the larger gun will retain more energy down range. In these cases, the greater RoF of the 4-incher is less important because it will achieve a lower hit percentage with its higher arc. The barrel life was also low, hinting at considerable round-to-round variation, though cooler propellants eventually improved matters.
    I didn't call the Japanese 10cm gun lame because, though its shell is a light 29 lbs, the MV of 3314f/s will make for lower trajectories and lots of energy. The downside here was the absurd rate of barrel erosion.
     
  8. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Member

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    Well, I would argue that the higher RoF of each 4 inch barrel compared with a 4.7 inch, multiplied by the larger number of barrels you could mount for the same weight, would add up to a significant advantage to the 4 inch (approx double the RoF). Especially since, from what I recall, the hit probability from destroyer guns was extremely low anyway even at short ranges, let alone long ones. One hit with a 4 inch would be better than none from a 4.7!

    TW
     
  9. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    I know that much depends on doctrine and design, but which is more important to a DD: guns or torpedoes?
     
  10. DesertWolf

    DesertWolf Member

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    Torpedoes when attacking surface ships, guns when attacking aircraft, and depth charges against submarines. :D
     
  11. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    The old four piper destroyers of the US Navy did much good service during the war; one of them, USS WARD, fired the first shots of the Pacific war when she sank a Japanese midget sub trying to sneak into Pearl Harbor just before the air attack hit. Then there was the Battle of Balikpapan, when a quartet of these ships attacked a Japanese troop convoy and sank four ships, with several more damaged. REUBEN JAMES was the first American warship to be sunk in WW2 when she was torpedoed by a German U-boat in the Atlantic in April of 1941, IIRC. And the fifty four pipers loaned to the Royal Navy were a Godsend to that hard-pressed service; once thay had been refurbished and refitted, they played a vital role in the Atlantic convoy battles. One of them, HMS WALKER, sank Gunther Prien and U-47. All in all, not a bad record for ships that were technically obsolete.
     
  12. me262 phpbb3

    me262 phpbb3 New Member

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    i read in some book, can't remember the name, that the posible cause of the sinking of the u-47 was their own torpedo malfunctioned and run in a circle instead of straigth path, is not the only case of this malfunctioning torpedo, some even in the us navy
     
  13. Notmi

    Notmi New Member

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    www.uboat.net gives this kind of explanation to U-47's fate:
    And Reuben James was sunk Oct.31/41 South of Iceland by U-552.
     
  14. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    The presence of the lend lease destroyers made life difficult for the German U Boats since the American had quiet a few of these destroyers still in their service. Individual U boat commanders had to figure out whether they were looking at American or British destroyers.

    In the case of the REUBEN JAMES I believe that a British aircraft had attacked the U Boat, which thought that the American destroyer had been responsible and retaliated.


    Finally you can't talk about the American four pipers without mentioning the most famous HMS CAMBELLTOWN, which at St Nazaire once again showed there is no problem you can not solve with explosives. :D
     
  15. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    The Germans didn't care much about the nationality of the destroyers that were attacking them. U-boats and American destroyers had been shooting at each other for some time. Kearny was torpedoed by a German sub a month before Reuben James.
     
  16. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    Thank you for the date of the "Rube's" demise.
     
  17. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    And the fact that a German survey party was aboard her when the explosives went off proves that poetic justice does exist.

    The St. Nazaire raid is one of the best examples I know of where a mission sounds totally suicidal, with no chance of success, yet not only does it succeed, but most of those involved survive it.
     
  18. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    You have wonder how they managed not to consider the possiblities of explosives. By the 1940's, even by destroyer standards, the American four pipers were pretty small, simply running one into the docks wasn't going to achieve very much.

    Unless they thought the British were trying the same thing they did in 1918 when they block a post Uboats used by sinking three armoured cruisers in it's channel.


    Correction I think the blockships were light cruisers
     
  19. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    It is fairly remarkable, as during that same raid Ebar mentioned (IIRC) we used a sub full of explosives to blow a hole in the quay, to stop the Germans interfering with the blockships. Learn from history anybody? :wink:
     
  20. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    Apparently the Germans didn't... :roll:
     

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