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October 31 - Focus: Condottieri-class, Tromp-class, Japanese CVE Unyo, and Clemson-class


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Ariecho #1 Posted 31 October 2013 - 04:45 PM

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We (again) had to make some choices today.  On the menu, we have an entire Italian cruiser class, followed by the Dutch Tromp-class, Japanese escort aircraft carrier Unyo, and for dessert the US Clemson-class.  Happy Halloween!
  • 47 Allied surface ships were laid down between 1912 and 1944, among which the British BB HMS Warspite
  • 75 Allied surface ships were launced between 1917 and 1945, mostly landing craft
  • 55 Allied surface ships were commissioned between 1918 and 1945
  • 4 Allied ships were lost between 1940 and 1943
  • 2 Axis ships were laid down between 1899 and 1928: Japanese protected cruiser Soya and Italian CL Giovanni delle Bande Nere
  • 1 Axis ship was launched in 1939: the Japanese escort carrier Unyo
  • 4 Axis ships were commissioned: German pre-dreadnought Wörth (1893), Japanese CA's Kumano and Suzuya (both 1937) and Japanese CL Agano (1942)
  • No Axis ships were reported as lost today
1928
  • On October 31, 1928, Italy laid down light cruiser Giovanni delle Bande Nere (Giovanni of the Black Bands), named after an Italian mercenary, member of the very influent Medici family.  This gentleman’s tomb has been opened 5 times already, which makes the ship with the same name the perfect candidate for our Halloween-timed daily thread..

Italian cruisers’ genesis – Armored cruisers
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The first Italian cruiser was the Marco Polo.  An armored cruiser, she entered service in 1892, and served until 1921, but her obsolescence saw her transformed into a troop transport in 1917.
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Marco Polo

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Following her was the Vettor Pisani-class, composed of 2 ships (Vettor Pisaniand Carlo Alberto) who served until 1920.
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Carlo Alberto

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They were replaced by the Giuseppe Garibaldi-class, which launched Italy on the international scene as a cruiser manufacturer.  While the Regia Marina bought 3 ships (Francesco Feruccio, Giuseppe Garibaldi, and Varese), more were exported, including 1 ship going to Spain, 2 to Japan, and 4 to Argentina.  The 3 Italian cruisers served through World War I, with the exception of Giuseppe Garibaldiwho fell victim of Austro-Hungarian submarine U-4who torpedoed her on July 18, 1915.
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Giuseppe Garibaldi-class

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The first modern looking cruisers, at least in my opinion, were the Pisa-class.  3 were ordered, but only 2 were commissioned, because of financial problems, while the 3rd one was sold to Greece.  The first one, Amalfi, was sunk by another Austro-Hungarian submarine (U-26), while Pisasurvived and served until 1937.
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Pisa, 1932

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The last armored cruisers’ class in service in the Regia Marina was the San Giorgio-class who, built before World War I, served until World War II.
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With the arrival of Mussolini as head of government in 1922, rivalry between France and Italy, who had been allied during World War I, goes crescendo.  One’s move is followed by the other one’s reaction, and the cruiser category is not spared.  The French launch several classes of large destroyers, from the Jaguar to the Mogador, so large that other countries consider them as light cruisers, and the Italian, in return produce the Sella, Turbine, and Navigatori classes.
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Condottieri-class
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Speaking of one Condottieri-class is misleading, as the 12 ships built within this "class" saw a displacement varying from 5,000 to 10,000 tons.  The only thing these ships had in common was that they were all named after Italian condottiere (warlords).
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Type I (Alberto di Giussano):  The first type was the Alberto di Giussano and included 4 cruisers: Alberto di Giussano, Alberigo da Barbiano, Bartolomeo Colleoniand Giovanni delle Bande Nere.  They were laid down in 1928.
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Type I

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Type II (Luigi Cardona-class):The next ships (Luigi Cardonaand Armando Diaz), laid down in 1930, were similar to the Alberto di Giussano-type, but were heavier.
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Type II

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Type III (Montecuccoli):These ships (Raimondo Montecuccoliand Muzzio Atendolo), laid down between 1931 and 1933 were clearly heavier, but also more powerful (106,000 hp vs. 96,000 for the former types).
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Type III

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Type IV (Duca d’Aosta):Laid down in 1932 and 1933, the two ships (Emanuele Filiberto Duca d'Aostaand Eugenio di Savoia) are even bigger, but their size is compensated by larger engines (110,000 hp), which gives them the same speed as the Montecuccoli-class.  JeeWeeJ covered them for you briefly on October 29.
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Type IV

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Type V (Duca degli Abruzzi): The last two ships (Luigi di Savoia Duca Degli Abruzziand Giuseppe Garibaldi) were even larger.
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Type V

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This constant evolution was a reaction to the ever more powerful French destroyers and, in the case of the Duca degli Abruzzi, the introduction in the French Navy of the La Gallisonnière-class.
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Edited by Ariecho, 31 October 2013 - 05:29 PM.


Discussing with a British officer: "You French fight for money, while we British fight for honour." "Sir, a man fights for what he lacks the most."
Robert Surcouf (French Corsair)


Ariecho #2 Posted 31 October 2013 - 04:45 PM

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1928 (continued)
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Specifications(source wikipedia)
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Types I, II, and III

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Types IV and V


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Armament
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All the Condotteri cruisers were equipped with 8x 6-inch guns.  The number increased to 10 for the Duca degli Abruzzi.
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Type I to Type IV’s main armament was the 152 mm/53(6") Models 1926 and 1929.  The 1926 model was capable of firing 4 rounds/minute and the 1929 model was capable of firing between 5 and 8 rounds/minute.  Each ship had 50 shells per gun, which suffered from high dispersion caused by bad shell manufacturing.
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152mm/53

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Type V’s main armament was the 152mm/55 Models 1934 and 1936.  These guns were a great improvement from the 152mm/53 and were considered perfect anti-destroyer weapons.  Their rate of fire was between 4 and 5 rounds/minute.
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152mm/55 removed from Garibaldi

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Secondary armament consisted of 6x 100mm, 8x 37mm, 8x 13.2mm, and 4x 533mm torpedo tubes for type I through type 4.  Type V (which should not even be considered a Condottieri-class, in my opinion) again had a different secondary armament consisting of 8x 90mm, 8x 37mm, 12x 20mm, and 6x 533mm torpedo tubes.
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Armor:
Let's put it in simple words: the Condottieri-class cruisers literally had no armor.  Only the Abruzzi (type V) started to show plates thicker than 100mm.  The Italian (and the French) relied on speed as their main survivability mean.
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Fate:
With 12 ships to cover, I will only focus on the “important” elements on the ships’ life.
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Alberto di Giussano and Alberigo da Barbiano:
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The two Condotierri Type I ships’ operational life started with the Spanish Civil War.  When World War II started, they were assigned to Italy’s 4th cruiser division, and participated in the battle of Punta Stilo on July 9, 1940, against the Royal Navy.  The battle was really fought between each side’s battleships, and the cruisers only role was to keep their British counterpart at a safe distance from the Italian battleships.

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On December 12, 1941, in company of another cruiser from 4th cruiser division and a destroyer, they received a mission to deliver some fuel to Axis forces in North Africa.

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During the following night, the Italian ships were spotted by 4 British destroyers and the Dutch destroyer Isaac Sweers.  Taking advantage of their radar, the Allied ships launched their torpedoes undetected.  1 of them struck Alberto di Giussano, who sank rapidly.  Alberigo da Barbiano was the recipient of 3 Allied torpedoes and also sank very fast.

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Alberto di Giussano

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Bartolomeo Colleoni and Giovanni delle Bande Nere

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Bartolomeo Colleoni started her career in China, where she served until she was replaced by the minesweeper Lepanto.  She then formed Italy’s 2nd  cruiser division, alongside  Giovanni dalle Bande Nere.

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On July 17, 1940, Bartolomeo Colleoni and Giovanni delle Bande Nere left Tripoli for Leros, in the Aegean Sea.  Spotted by an Allied aircraft, they are intercepted on July 19 by HMAS Sydney and 5 destroyers in what is known as the battle of Cape Spada.  The smaller ships start the chase and launch their torpedoes against Colleoni who is rapidly hit 3 times while being engaged by HMAS Sydney.  She sinks.

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Bartolomeo Colleoni during the engagement against HMAS Sydney and her escort

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Out of ammunition, Sydney rapidly retreats but Giovanni delle Bande Nere cannot take advantage of the situation, as HMS Warspite and her own destroyer escort are spotted approaching.  Giovanni delle Bande Nere manages to retreat and survives the engagement, despite being hit once by Sydney’s 6-inch guns.

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In 1942, Giovanni delle Bande Nere is now assigned to the 8th cruiser division.  In March of the same year, she participates in the 2nd battle of Sirte where the Italians, while outnumbering the British fleet do not force the engagement, being afraid to lose their capital ships.  During the battle, she places a hit on HMS Cleopatra.  Later on, when the Allied destroyers charge to save the convoy that they are protecting and make a torpedo attack at a distance of 6,000 meters, the Italian Admiral orders the retreat of his forces.

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A few days later, the cruiser is sailing towards Liguria when, on April 1, 1942, she is spotted by HMS Urge.  The submarine launches his torpedoes and 2 of them hit Giovanni delle Bande Nere, sinking her.

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Luigi Cadorna

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Luigi Cadorna started World War II alongside Alberto di Giussano and Alberigo da Barbiano, in the 4th cruiser division.  She was present at the battle of Punta Stilo, on July 9, 1940, then was placed in reserve, before being transformed into a fast transport.   She would fulfill that role that until 1943, when she reaches Malta, after Italy decides to join the Allies.  She is kept by the Italian Navy until 1951.

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Luigi Cadorna

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Armando Diaz

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Armando Diaz’s fate is not as well-documented.  All that can be said is that she was also present at Punta Stilo, and was also part of the 4th cruiser division.
On February 25, 1941, along Giovanni delle Bande Nere and some destroyers, she participates in a convoy to supply Axis troops in North Africa.  Off the coast of Kerkennah Island (Tunisia), she is spotted by HMS Upright who torpedoes and sinks her.

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Raimondo Montecuccoli

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Raimondo Montecuccoli also started her career in China to answer the Sino-Japanese war.  She came back to the Mediterranean Sea on December 7, 1938, and joined the 8th cruiser division, with which she  participated (like many of her sisters) at the battle of Punta Stilo.  She then was present at the battle of Pantelleria where she sank HMS Bedouin and oiler Kentucky on January 15, 1942.

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After participating in the disastrous Greece campaign, she came back to Italy where she stayed until 1943, before sailing to Malta where the Italian navy was interned after the country surrendered.
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Raimondo Montecuccoli (1938)

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Muzzio Atendolo

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Muzzio Atendolo joined the 7th cruiser division, with which she served at the battle of Punta Stilo in 1940.  She was also present at the battle of Sirte, between December 13 and December 18, 1941, where her mines sank or damaged several Allied ships, including HMS Neptune, Penelope, and Aurora.

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On August 13, 1942, she participates in the attack against Operation Pedestal, the attempt to supply Malta.  That day, she is torpedoed by HMS Umbroken, but the submarine’s torpedo only damages her, although seriously.

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She is in Naples on December 4, 1942 ,when USAAF’s B-24s attack the port.  She is hit by two bombs, and not receiving proper assistance, she eventually sinks.

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Emanuele Filiberto Duca d'Aosta

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Emanuele Filiberto Duca d’Aosta is also part of the 7th cruiser division and also participates in the battle of Punta Stilo.  Transferred to the 2nd cruiser division, she joins Muzzio Atendolo on August 13, 1942, in the attack against Operation Pedestal.

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In 1943, she joins the Allies and is transferred to a Franco-Italian task force, which by some strike of luck, didn’t fire on each other’s ship!  She is eventually given to the Soviet Union who renames her Z15, then Stalingrad, and eventually Kerch.  She is dismantled in 1959.

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Eugenio di Savoia

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Eugenio di Savoia’s fate is similar to Muzzio Atendolo’s.  She is not involved in the Franco-Italian task force and instead stays in Egypt, before being transferred to Greece, as war reparations.

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Luigi di Savoia Duca Degli Abruzzi

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Alongside her sister-ship Giuseppe Garibaldi, Luigi di Savoia Duca Degli Abruzzi is transferred to the 8th cruiser division and participates in the battle of Punta Stilo, on July 9, 1940.  She then participates in the campaign against Greece, before moving to Brindisi and the Ionian Sea, where she is damaged on November 22, 1941, by an aircraft torpedo.

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The Allies use her in the same Franco-Italian task force to stop German blockade runners and she participates in 5 patrols, until February, 7, 1944.  She survives the war and stays in the Italian navy until 1961.

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Giuseppe Garibaldi

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Giuseppe Garibaldi’s fate is similar to Luigi di Savoia Duca Degli Abruzzi’s.  She is damaged on July 28, 1941 by HMS Upholder and, like many Condottieri, will join the Allies in 1943, participating in the Franco-Italian task force.

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Giuseppe Garibaldi is the only ship of the class to be modernized, and she will eventually be turned into a guided missile cruiser, serving until 1971.

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Giuseppe Garibaldi (1944)

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Giuseppe Garibaldi (1961)


Edited by Ariecho, 31 October 2013 - 05:27 PM.


Discussing with a British officer: "You French fight for money, while we British fight for honour." "Sir, a man fights for what he lacks the most."
Robert Surcouf (French Corsair)


JeeWeeJ #3 Posted 31 October 2013 - 04:48 PM

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1938
So, just before the outbreak of WW2 the Dutch government finally got it's act together and started with modernizing it's fleet. This started with the construction of a new light cruiser, the HNLMS De Ruyter (which in essence was an improved Java class light cruiser), but the navy realised that it still needed more big ships if it was to fulfill it's role in protecting both the Dutch home waters and the Dutch East Indies. But, with the Dutch population still having a strong pacifism movement, the government wasnt too keen to spend money on big "EVIL" warmachines, so the Dutch navy started with playing tricks with the ship classifications. Because, smaller ships are only good for keeping the peace, right? So, two ships of the Tromp class were ordered, but even though they were just slightly smaller than the Java class and carried guns of the same size as the De Ruyter (the biggest and strongest ship in the Dutch fleeT), they were called "flottilla leaders". No people, these are just very large destroyers. No big and scary cruisers to be found here! This creativity with ship classifications is still being practiced today, with the new De Zeven Provinciën class ships being called frigates, while the rest of the world calls them destroyers.
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Anyway, back to the Tromp class! In 1935 two "flotilla leaders" were ordered: Tromp and Jacob van Heemskerck, the latter having it's keel laid today in 1938.
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HNLMS Tromp

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HNLMS Tromp
Ordered: 1935
Laid down: January 17th, 1936 at N.V. Nederlandsche Scheepsbouw Maatschappij, Amsterdam
Launched: May 24tg, 1937
Commissioned: August 18th, 1938
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HNLMS Jacob van Heemskerck
Ordered: 1935
Laid down: October 31st, 1938 at N.V. Nederlandsche Scheepsbouw Maatschappij, Amsterdam
Launched: September 16th, 1939
Commissioned: May 10, 1940 (prematurely due to German invasion, trials were scheduled for June 1940), February 11, 1941 (after refitting in UK)
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HLNLMS Tromp, just before being launched

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Service life
HNLMS Tromp
Tromp was located in the Dutch Indies when the war broke out but while the war with the Japanese had not yet started, Tromp was mostly on patrol duty searching for hostile merchant shipping. While doing this, she took part in the search for the German raider Komoran (after it's (famous?) battle with HMAS Sydney) and the then still missing HMAS Sydney. All she found was a carley raft (an form of liferaft) of the Sydney, but no survivors. When war with Japan finally breaks out, the Tromp is sent on multiple convoy escort missions together with the De Ruyter and the destroyers Banckert and Piet Hein. Tromp stays with the De Ruyter and the rest of the ABDA fleet through the battle of Bandung Straight while surviving multiple air attacks in the mean time. During this battle she was hit 11 times by Japanese destroyers but she still managed to sail back to Soerabaja to be patched up, even though she lost 2 officers and 8 ratings, with another 30 wounded. While in Soerabaja, the damage appears to be more extensive than previously thought and the decision is made to send her to safety in Fremantle, Australia, for extensive repairs. This pretty much saved her, as all other Dutch cruisers were sunk during the battle of Java Sea a short time later.
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HNLMS Tromp in Fremantle

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While in Fremantle she joins up with the survivors of the Dutch fleet stationed in the Dutch Indies (a few destroyers and some transports and merchants) and she joins various USN and RN taskforces completing multiple escort and patrol missions. She alse received one overhaul, where her Dutch torpedo tubes are replaced by British ones, so she could use the readily available British Mark IX torpedoes.
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At september 16th, 1945 HNLMS Tromp is the first Dutch ship to dock at the Dutch Indies since they were invaded by the Japanese. She remained in service until 1951, when she is placed in the reserve fleet. She later served as a training vessel and ultimately as an accomodation ship. She was scrapped in 1969.
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HNLMS Jacob van Heemskerck
From the start of her life the Jacob van Heemskerck was in the middle of the action. While she was being fitted out in the docks of Amsterdam, the Germans invaded the Netherlands. So, while still incomplete and without weapons, the propulsion system is hastily installed and tested and in one day as much equipment as possible is stowed onto the Jacob van Heemskerck (including 6 20mm machineguns for "protection") and with a skeleton crew, she is prematurely commissioned and sent to Great Brittain. During this voyage she was almost attacked by two British vessels, as they did not recognize her identity. After a lot of signaling, pointint at the Dutch flag, cursing a the German invaders and threatening to throw cheese and wooden shoes at the British (this may or may not have actually happened), they let her through and on May 13th she reaches Portsmouth. While still incomplete and woefully underarmed (she still only had the 20mm guns with just 20 rounds per gun) and still lacking a FCS and a gyrocompass, she is sent along with the elderly cruiser HNLMS Sumatra (which, ironically, was one of the most potent ships left in the Dutch fleet) to transport the Dutch Royal familty to Canada. Even though she only had to act as a backup, she wouldn't be able to do a whole lot if they encountered German or other hostile forces. Luckily though, she makes it to Canada in one piece (even though she had an onboard fire, making her unable to keep up with the Sumatra) and after she receives a gyro compass in Halifax, she steams back to Great Britain to be fitted out.
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Outline of HNLMS Jacob van Heemskerck

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Once in dock, the decision is made to make an AA cruiser out of her, mostly due to the original weapons intended now being unavailable. However, British FCS systems proved to be incompatible with the Dutch cruiser, so she received an unique FCS system, tailor made for her. Se also gets 5 double 4" Mk 16 guns instead of the 5.9" Bofors and the torpedo mounts. She also gets to keep the 20mm guns, but her AA suite is enhanced with a quad 40mm Vickers Mk8 gun. After being commissioned (again), she is quickly put into service as an escort vessel for single ships. Within a year she escorts 200 ships with multiple air attacks taking place, but the German planes break off every time dure to the accurate AA fire the Jacob van Heemskerck puts up. Only in December 1941 a lone He 115 seaplane manages to get through the AA fire (after three attempts) and manages to damage a tanker.
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HNLMS Jacob van Heemskerck

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In 1942 she was sent to the Dutch Indies, fully loaded with extra 4.7" rounds for the destroyers in the ABDA fleet, but when she is nearly there, she received word of the disaster at the Java sea making continueing the journey pointless. So, she turned around and headed for Colombo, where she arrived at March 6th, with only 3% fuel left in her bunkers. There she joined the British forces of Force A (and later Force B) and continued to provide AA cover during various missions.
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During 1944 and 1945 she was transferred to Gibraltar for convoy/fleet escort duty, as the Luftwaffe was still a potent threat to the ships in the Med. She finally is sent to Great Brittain for a long overdue refit and overhaul, which is completed at July 21st, 1945. With the war over, she makes the trip back to Amsterdam, becoming the first Dutch warship to enter a Dutch port since the war broke out.
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After the war she makes a few trips to Belgium and the Dutch Indies, after which she is used as a training ship and later as an accomodation ship. She is sold for scrap on june 23rd, 1970.
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HMS Warspite with HNLMS Jacob van Heemskerck in the background

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Stats
Dimensions
Length (total): 131.95m
Beam: 12.43m
Draft: 4.32m
Dispacement: 3,450t
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Weapons
HNLMS Tromp
149mm/50 Bofors No. 11: 6
40mm/56 Bofors: 4
12.7mm Vickers: 4
Depthcharge throwers: 4
Later added
75mm (of US origin, type unknown): 4
20mm/70 Oerlikon: 6
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HNLMS Jacob van Heemskerck
10.2cm Mk 16: 10
40mm Vickers Mk8: 4
20mm Hispano Suiza: 6
40mm/56 Bofors: 4
Depthcharge throwers: 4
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Armor
Turrets: 25-12mm
Belt: 15mm
Bulkheads: 20-30mm
Main deck: 25mm
Lower deck: 15-25mm
Ammo lifts: 15-25mm
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Engines
Shafts: 2
Engines: 2
Type: Parsons geared steam turbines, built under license by Werkspoor Amsterdam
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Performance
Total Performance: 56,000shp
Max speed: 32.5kn
Range: 5,000 miles at 12kn
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Aircraft
Fokker C.XIW: 1
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Crew
HNLMS Tromp
Total: 295, later 380 men
HNLMS Jacob van Heemskerck
Total: 420
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Sources
Netherlandsnavy.nl
Wikipedia
Navweaps.com
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HNLMS Jacob van Heemskerck in Fremantle after the war



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NGTM_1R #4 Posted 31 October 2013 - 04:55 PM

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Ari, psst! You forgot poor Unyo!

1939
Yawata Maru before she was drafted into the Navy.
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Today is the day the liner Yawata Maru was laid down in 1939; like her sisterships Kasuga Maru and Nitta Maru she was designed as passenger liner, and like them, in 1941 she was acquired by the Imperial Japanese Navy for conversion to an aircraft carrier, becoming an aircraft carrier in Japanese Navy service on the 31st of May 1942. Her name does not become Unyo officially until 31st of July, while Unyo is at sea on the first of many plane-ferrying trips to Truk and other bases.

Through 1942 and well into 1943 Unyo continues plane-ferry duties for both navy and army aircraft, usually to Truk. It is not until July 10th 1943 that Unyo has her first brush with the enemy, as she is attacked by USS Steelhead with five torpedoes. Steelhead claims two hits, starting a fire, seeing smoke, and ten-degree port list. In fact, Steelhead hit nothing, and Unyo only saw four of the five torpedoes. Steelhead will be back again in August, but again fail to score, while the plane-ferry duty continues.

December finds Chuyo (formerly Nitta Maru) and Unyo in company, and on the 4th USS Sailfish sinks Chuyo in a series of three attacks. The next day Unyo makes port and is assigned from Combined Fleet to the Grand Escort Command, operating with convoys. She makes more runs to Truk from Yokosuka, and while on her way back on the 19th of January, 1944, Unyo is attacked by USS Haddock. The attack is made from almost too long a range, as Unyo nearly manages to comb the wakes. Three torpedoes strike her from fine on the starboard side. One fails to explode because of the poor hit angle, two of them go into the avgas tanks...but the tanks are empty, and they simply flood. Unyo limps to Saipan for repairs, but the harbor is too small for her and she must drop anchor in the open roadstead, while there are few facilities.

Unyo in 1943, exact date unknown.
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Halibut lurks outside the harbor, trying to close but unable to because of air patrols and destroyers Hatsushimo and Hayanami. It takes five days to shore up the damage for an ocean journey and the carrier limps for Japan at 12 knots. Halibut misses it, but USS Gudgeon picks up the slack, attacking one of the escorting destroyers. USS Saury also tries to close, but is detected and forced down. Then a storm damages the ship further as she limps into the Inland Sea.

Unyo is in dock at Yokosuka from the 8th of February to 28th of June. She remains in the Inland Sea until mid-August, then takes up escort duty. In September she joins convoy HI-74. On the 17th tanker Azusa Maru is hit by two torpedoes and explodes from USS Barb. Two more pass that target and strike Unyo: one in the steering compartment and the other in the engine room. Unyo's damage-control managed the problem and thought they could save the ship. Unfortunately, the weather made up and destroyed the emergency bulkhead reinforcements, causing uncontrolled flooding. Abandon Ship was ordered at 0730, and the ship sank at 0755. 761 crew are rescued, but accounts vary regarding the losses.

Line drawing of Unyo as she was lost.
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Dimensions
Displacement (standard): 17830 tons
Displacement (full load): 19500 tons
Length (waterline): 596 feet 11 inches
Length (overall): 591 feet 10 inches
Beam: 73 feet 10 inches
Draft: 25 feet 5 inches

Weapons
As completed
4x 12cm/45 10th Year Type AA gun
4x twin 25mm/60 Type 96 AAMG
As lost
6x 12cm/45 10th Year Type AA gun
59x barrels 25mm/60 Type 96 AAMG in triple, twin, and single mounts
8 depth charges

Armor
Belt: 2.5cm over machinery spaces and magazines

Engines
2 Kampon boilers, 2 Kampon turbines, 2 shafts
25,200 SHP

Performance
21 knots
6500 nautical miles at 18 knots

Crew
122

Aircraft
27 aircraft (9 fighters, 18 dive bombers)

1941
Today in 1941, the USS Reuben James was sunk. This is actually kind of a big deal, representing as it does the undeclared war that was fought in the Atlantic before Pearl Harbor, and the Reuben James is usually considered to be the first United States Navy ship sunk during the Second World War despite the fact the US was technically not a participant at the time. I doubt either Reuben James' crew or the crew of U-552 which sunk her would have considered the US a non-participant in the war as she was performing active convoy escort duties to HX 156 when she was sunk. (The first American casualties of WW2 are generally considered either the attack on USS Panay in 1937, or the torpedoing of USS Kearny on the 17th of this month by U-568.)

But instead we're going to talk about the Clemson-class ships in general.

Seventy-odd four-stackers laid up in reserve at San Diego in 1924; this is at the then-U.S. Destroyer Base San Diego, or as it's known today Naval Base San Diego.
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The Clemson-class destroyers were a modified versions of the previous Wickes-class, intended to be better-optimized for ASW duties. Provision for increased gun armament, ASW armament as designed, an additional AA gun, and improved range via extra fuel tanks were all a part of the Clemson design, but in practice most of them weren't used. The ASW armament was fitted as a matter of course. Four ships were completed with 5”/51 guns instead of their 4”/50s, while another pair had twin 4”/50 mounts but the rest used the same guns as the Wickes. The second AA gun was usually only fitted to ships of the Yangtze Patrol, where a relatively small and fast-training rapid-fire weapon could help cope with the river traffic if needed. Destroyers assigned to battlefleet escort duties tended to put the reinforcement of the after deckhouse to use in a different way; since it could take more weight, they swapped the after 4”/50 with their AA gun to make more space on the stern for depth charges.

The interwar years were rough on them. Fourteen ships of the class were involved in the Honda Point Disaster, seven of them being lost. Many of the ships were decommissioned and placed in reserve as a result of the London Naval Treaty; 40 of them were scrapped, as their Yarrow boilers were wearing out. By 1936 of the 273 flush-deck destroyers (Caldwell, Wickes, and Clemson classes) only 169 were left in active duty or reserves.

The Clemson-class would serve under five different flags in World War 2, and fight for both the Allies and the Axis. Ships of the class served the United States Navy, United States Coast Guard, Royal Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, Soviet Navy, and Imperial Japanese Navy.

USS Hulbert (as AVD-6) ashore on Attu Island, 30th June of 1943 after a severe storm.
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Nineteen Clemsons served with the Royal Navy; the Soviets picked up a few from that group and so did the RCN, and they fought as convoy escorts on the North Atlantic and Murmansk routes. USS Stewart was damaged in the Battle of Badung Strait, sought repairs at Surabaya and due to mistakes in the dock sustained further damage that rendered her unable to be repaired with the means on hand; before Stewart could be removed the floating drydock was scuttled when the Japanese came. Her name was struck from the Navy list and Stewart was assumed lost, but the Japanese raised and repaired Stewart, commissioning her as Patrol Boat No. 102. Under Japanese flag she served as an escort and was present at the sinking of USS Harder in August 1944. She was recovered and recommissioned in the USN at Kure at the end of the war, and brought home to San Francisco in 1946 before being struck from the Navy list a second time, decommissioned, and expended as a target.

PB-102 at Kure on 12th March 1945.
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Those Clemsons that fought under US flag in World War did so in many roles, typically rearmed with 3”/50 DP guns for the new reality of the carrier war. They fought as AVDs (seaplane tender, destroyer, 2 guns), APDs (destroyer transport, 3 guns), DM and DMS (destroyer minelayer and destroyer minesweeper, 3 guns and for minesweepers torpedoes removed and replaced with sweep gear), and destroyers (6 guns). Clemsons under US flag fought in almost every theater of the war: from the Southwest Pacific where their transport conversions were an integral part of Seventh Fleet Amphibious Forces, to the South Pacific where they were fast minelayers, to the Marianas where they refueled seaplanes spotting for shore bombardments, to the convoy lanes in the North Atlantic escorting merchant ships, to storming the Wadi Sabou in Africa during Operation Torch, to landing force escort duty during the invasions of Sicily and Salerno.

USS Dallas aground in the Wadi Sebou, after having helped storm Port Lyautey airfield during Operation Torch.
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Dimensions
Displacement (standard): 1215 tons
Displacement (full load): 1308 tons
Length: 314 feet 4.5 inches
Beam: 30 feet 11.5 inches
Draft: 9 feet 4 inches

Weapons
As completed
4x 4”/50 Mark 9 guns
1x 3”/23 Mark 14 gun
4x triple 21” torpedo tubes
2 depth charge racks
2 Y-guns
USN, WW2
2x to 6x 3”/50 (Mark 10, Mark 17, Mark 18; possibly mixed or possibly single-mark)
4x triple 21” torpedo tubes (removed from DMS conversions)
2 depth charge racks
2 Y-guns
Patrol Boat No. 102 (DD-224, USS Stewart)
September 1943 (initially fitted with surplus Dutch weapons)
2x 3” AA gun (Dutch)
2x 12.7mm MG (Dutch)
2x 6.5mm 11th Year Type MG
72 depth charges
June 1945
2x 76.2mm L/40 3rd Year Type AA Gun
14x 25mm Type 96 AAMG
4x 13mm Type 93 AAMG
2x 6.5mm 11th Year Type MG
2x twin 450mm (18”) torpedo tubes
72 depth charges

Engines
4 boilers, 2 turbines, 27,600 hp (not SHP)

Performance
35.5 knots
4,900 nautical miles at 15 knots

Crew
122

USS Bainbridge refueling underway from USS Hancock in the Atlantic, sometime in 1944.
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Excuse me sir! Do you have a moment to discuss your lord and savior, the Type 93 torpedo?

 

But we do not tell our children stories of monsters so that they will know monsters exist. You knew monsters existed before you could speak, before you could walk. You were told stories of monsters because those stories had heroes. You were told stories of monsters so that you would know monsters can be defeated.


Capcon #5 Posted 31 October 2013 - 06:46 PM

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The Yawata Maru was a sexy looking liner before she was turned into a carrier. Never saw that pic before.

I don't envy the DEVs the task of balancing ships like the Tromp in the scheme of Cruisers and Destroyers for the games matchmaker.

Nice job guys lot of info here, busy day.
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Flagship_Amagi #6 Posted 31 October 2013 - 06:55 PM

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nice job you guys!

         

        

 

                              

                                                                                    


Ariecho #7 Posted 31 October 2013 - 07:39 PM

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Thank you!  By the way, it's our first complete month.  We started on September 4th.  Tomorrow, we'll get a new kind of coverage, with the battle of ...   :hiding:  sorry, can't tell!


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mr3awsome #8 Posted 31 October 2013 - 07:42 PM

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Fab stuff!

 


Poland has more unique warships to contribute than Canada.


JeeWeeJ #9 Posted 31 October 2013 - 07:45 PM

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View PostAriecho, on 31 October 2013 - 07:39 PM, said:

Thank you! By the way, it's our first complete month. We started on September 4th. Tomorrow, we'll get a new kind of coverage, with the battle of ... :hiding:  sorry, can't tell!


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Ariecho #10 Posted 31 October 2013 - 07:58 PM

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Please don't kill me, and I'll invite you to the party ...

Spoiler                     


Discussing with a British officer: "You French fight for money, while we British fight for honour." "Sir, a man fights for what he lacks the most."
Robert Surcouf (French Corsair)


JeeWeeJ #11 Posted 31 October 2013 - 08:29 PM

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THAT'S IT! I'M OUTTA HERE! You can write that article on the battle of ponyland yourself mister! :angry:
.
Oh crap, now i've given it away! :ohmy:


EU WoWs Supertest coordinator

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Imperium_Titan_Roma #12 Posted 31 October 2013 - 08:49 PM

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thanks for sharing! :) +1

9P5yrrS.png  v8DdDDx.png

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mr3awsome #13 Posted 31 October 2013 - 09:02 PM

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View PostJeeWeeJ, on 31 October 2013 - 08:29 PM, said:

THAT'S IT! I'M OUTTA HERE! You can write that article on the battle of ponyland yourself mister! :angry:
.
Oh crap, now i've given it away! :ohmy:
Did you steal some of Ari's catnip again?

 


Poland has more unique warships to contribute than Canada.


Ariecho #14 Posted 31 October 2013 - 10:21 PM

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I knew it!  Some of my finest weed was missing ...  Uh oh, and that guy ... CatStalker...  is sneaking.  Who reported me this time?


Discussing with a British officer: "You French fight for money, while we British fight for honour." "Sir, a man fights for what he lacks the most."
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JeeWeeJ #15 Posted 31 October 2013 - 10:23 PM

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View PostAriecho, on 31 October 2013 - 10:21 PM, said:

I knew it!  Some of my finest weed was missing ...  Uh oh, and that guy ... CatStalker...  is sneaking.  Who reported me this time?
Oh, that was me!...eeeh..WASN'T me! REALLY! :trollface:


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Ariecho #16 Posted 31 October 2013 - 10:38 PM

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View PostJeeWeeJ, on 31 October 2013 - 10:23 PM, said:

Oh, that was me!...eeeh..WASN'T me! REALLY! :trollface:

Posted Image

I see you, JeeWeeJ


Edited by Ariecho, 31 October 2013 - 10:38 PM.


Discussing with a British officer: "You French fight for money, while we British fight for honour." "Sir, a man fights for what he lacks the most."
Robert Surcouf (French Corsair)


ironcladtanker #17 Posted 01 November 2013 - 02:34 AM

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I never heard of these classes of ships before, great read *applauds*  :)
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