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Found 1 result

  1. MS406france1940

    Worst design flaw you can think of?

    So for a change, instead of asking for something empirical or for an expert opinion because my sources consist of Wikipedia and a PDF copy of 'The last stand of the Tin can sailors' I managed to get for free, am going to ask something more fun. What's the worts design fail you can think of in a warship of the era cover by this sub-forum? It can be anything you can think of that involves a ship designer doing his job horribly, from a collapsed super-structure to a ship rolling like a drunken sailor. To contribute a little bit here is my choise, it isn't that severe but it kind of holds a special place in my mind because it involves the country I was born and where I currently live, Colombia. So the year is 1955 and the military goverment of the time desided to modernize the two destroyers they had in service. They were the Caldas and the Antioquia, standard British destroyers of the mid thirties by all accounts, 4 x 4.5 inch guns, a couple of 40mm Pom-Poms for AA, 8 torpedo tubes in quadruple mounts, and a speed of 34 knots. So far so good. While modern and capable for the time they were comissioned in 1934, two decades of naval development had left them a little behind in tech, especially if you consider that our 'friendly' neighbour Venezuela had acquired 3 modern destroyers in 1951. So the cunning plan we came up whit to get these ladies back into the top of naval warfare in south america was the following. Install 3 x five inch american freedom guns in place of the original armament, replace the Pom-Poms and one torpedo mounting whit 8 bofors in double mounts, and to top it all a radar and modern sonar. On paper, this was the perfect way of breading no live into these aging warriors! "Mounting of the gun turrets of 5'38 caliber aboard the ARC Caldas. Mobile, Alabama, September 1954" How the ships looked after the refit. There was only one little problem. No one checked if the weight would affect the stability, like, at all. The "MAGNIFICENT" result was that the two destroyers were now as stable as anime boobs, or to be more formal (Just a little bit) they would move violently in all directions if anything stronger than a light breeze touched them. This was brilliantly demostrated on february 28 1955 when the Caldas was returning from the modernization in Alabama. The destroyer had been struggling whit weather for almost two days by that point, whit the crew having been ordered to go to port or starboard depending on what side the ship was dangerously listing until at mid day 8 sailors were thrown overboard, whit seven of them drowning instantly and the eight one surviving on a raft for 10 days without eathing or drinking anything before the currents dropped him on the Colombian coast. Now to be fair, the ship was loaded whit a whole bunch of home appliances that the crew had bought on the United States, so of course the extra weight could had effected the stability of the ship, and while 1950's refrigirators stored in woden boxes aren't exactly known for been light weight you have to keep in mind that before the modernization the ship hand't shown any stability issues . But forget that, because in 1956 a study made by the Americans after the two destroyers had problems durings manuvers whit the US navy showed that the modernization had adversely affected their navigability. So in short, the modernization made the Caldas and the Antioquia combat inefective A real problem when you consider that in 1956 two destroyers were the TOTALITY OF OUR COMBAT FLEET!!! So yeah, the worts modernization of all time, brought to you by the goverment that tried to retake a goverment building taken by terrorist like this: (And this is somewhat okay when you consider that when we tried to drop troops on the roof all of them broke their legs) The story has a couple of bright sides however. For starters the modernization of the Antioquia and the Caldas was part of a larger program that included the adquisition of two modern destroyers from Sweden (The '7 de Agosto' and '20 de Julio') and by 1958 the two of them were commisioned, so at least something useful was again defending our coasts. Also the story of the lone survivor of the Caldas disater was converted into a newspaper chronicle and later into a book by Nobel price winner Gabriel Garcia Marques. The book is called 'Story of a shipwrecked sailor' and I totally recommended it, a bit different when compared to more mainstream books like 'ships of ghost: The story of the USS Houston' and 'Japanese destroyer captain', but it is a good read nevertheless. And finally, cold war politics gave us a Fletcher class destroyer for free in 1961 that allowed the replacement of the two ships whit something more stable, granted we lost 2 five inch barrels, but considering that a Fletcher destroyer could take a lot more damage than a British designed destroyer of the thrirties (Also it didn't roll like a football ball when a wave hit it) and the electronics were the same, I think that was an improvement. And that is all for me! Please tell bellow which design is your favorite and see you latter ;)
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