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  1. This is going to be a bit of a historical write-up on ZG-3 “Hermes”, her background, her service and a few pictures for those that prefer something for the eye. Why that ex-Greek destroyer? Because she is in her form a unique ship. Germany only operated one destroyer in the Mediterranean Sea (and a good number of torpedoboats, although the line between DD and TB for the Germans was purely a question of what staff was on board, hence why the then ex-Italian Soldati-class were considered TBs), and it was one of the few Greek ships to fall into Axis hands. During her career she was without doubt the largest Kriegsmarine-operated warship in the Mediterranean, and one of the most active destroyers that Germany had during the entire war. Being only one and being deployed in a theatre that in the mainstream-view on history kind of ignored, she has been dropped under the table. An unfortunate fate, especially given her short but still busy life. Background The Greek Navy at the outbreak of WW2 was a mostly outdated Navy, which starting with the destroyers was to be modernized. Borrowing design elements from the British H-class destroyers, yet carrying German main weaponry and Dutch fire control equipment, she was the nameship of the most powerful class of Greek destroyers. The standard displacement was 1,350t which would go up 1,890t when fully loaded, and her 34,000shp machinery would permit a speed of up to 36kn. Four German 128mm (identical to those found on German destroyers), two quadruple 533mm torpedo launchers of British origin supplemented the armament, with four 37mm guns in single mounts and ASW being the final touch. Entering service on February 15th 1939 under the name Vasilevs Georgios I., she was damaged at her aft two years later by German dive bombers, and while being in a floating drydock to get repaired the entire drydock was sunk on April 20th 1941. Following the surrender of Greece the sunken ship, contrary to the German-Italian agreement which said that all captured ships would become Italian property, was integrated into the Kriegsmarine. Many repairs being necessary she was raised and repaired by workers of the Germania-yard. Those repairs, often being improvised in their nature, led to a few changes in her characteristics. The displacement rose to 1,414t standard and 2,088t full, which alongside the problems arising from previous bomb damage to the aft resulted in a lowered maximum speed of 32kn. The torpedo armament was modified to fit German torpedoes, whereas the artillery due to the German origin required no changes. Four 20mm guns were added for additional anti-air defense and throughout her service the older 37mm cannons, which proved unsatisfactory, were replaced by guns of the same caliber taken from Uboats. What was liked was her seakeeping, she was noted to be very smooth in her movements and having excellent turning capabilities, although when sailing against the waves she would take on a lot of water. She was recommissioned under the designation ZG-3 (which is short for Zerstörer Griechenland 3, Greek destroyer 3, with the 3 indicating that she was the third captured destroyer under the German flag) on March 3rd 1942. Under the German flag While the ship was commissioned in March, it took until June before she was deemed ready for combat. Although to spoil that part, there is no indication that she ever fired her main guns in anger. Interestingly enough she was at first called into service only as ZG-3, and only on August 22nd 1942 was she officially given the name Hermes. Considering how the Kriegsmarine stopped naming their destroyers with the outbreak of the war, this is a very unique event and definitely worth a mention. Hermes was deployed as a vessel for various tasks, or as the German saying goes as a “girl for everything”, and until the end of April 1943 she would be deployed over 50 times, escorting in total 74 merchant ships, eight troop transports and eleven other crafts such as netlayers and repair ships. Despite being alone in terms of nationality she was rarely alone on the water, during most of her trips she was accompanied by Italian destroyers, torpedoboats and occasionally by subchasers. Her only chance to see surface action was when Italian cruisers and destroyers were prepared for an expected movement of British reinforcements targeting Egypt. However, her order for assisting the Italians was recalled shortly before the operation began. Not facing surface ships did not exclude her from engaging submarines during her voyages, which happened twice during Hermes’ career. On November 16th 1942 Hermes spotted the Greek submarine Triton, and the assisting subchaser UJ2102 moved in for the kill. A similar fate struck HMS Splendid on April 21st 1943, although this time Hermes operated alone and had to sink the British submarine by herself. A more positive experience was granted to the German Uboats U-83 and U-97, who due to damage and the consequential inability to dive required assistance. Hermes escorted both of them back to port, former on August 18th 1942, latter on August 5th of the same year. As it was the case for many smaller German ships, Hermes would also be used for mine warfare. No less than three mine operations marked her career. Having plenty of experience escorting troop transports, she would eventually be used as a transport herself to quickly deliver troops and ordnance to Tunis. During her second run on April 30th 1943 air attacks first sank the accompanying Italian destroyer and then turned their attention to the now alone ship. Near misses resulted in the loss of lubrication pumps, and her engines were forced to full stop as the shafts ground against the hose without grease in between. Surviving the attack, a tugboat pulled her towards her destination Tunis where work was started to restore the combat readiness. However, the collapsing front at Tunis meant that survival would not be possible and she would be blown up by her own crew at the harbor entrance as a blockship. This marked the end of ZG-3 Hermes, during her 431 day long career as the only German destroyer on the Mediterranean she would be outside of a port for 124 days. Not much is known about her conduct and the impressions she left on those that had the pleasure of meeting her, but it is said that the crews of the merchants held a high opinion on Hermes and her crew for the dedication they showed even if the escorting would go without notable events. Her service, while not being as remarkable as that of the legends such as Johnston or Hatsuzuki, demonstrated how monotone yet crucial the role of a destroyer can be. A role that in Germany was rarely granted to destroyers. Picture section Blueprint-like drawings of Hermes in decent quality are difficult to find. This is the best one I could dig up, although it is not showing the added 20mm weaponry and is likely showing her in her pre-captured shape. A front view from her deck towards the superstructure. Interesting to note are the aerial recognition stripes on her deck (or called candy cane camo) which are typical features of Italian ships. Given how Hermes spent most of her time alongside Italian ships, wearing their recognition marks to avoid getting bombed by Allied forces a la Leberecht Maass was a reasonable thing to do. Hermes during her trials in 1942. Note the empty AA platform, although around the rear superstructure you can see a 20mm gun. While only displaying a relatively small portion of the ship, this shot shows the typical German 128mm mounts and the 20mm gun mounted at the tip of her bow. Various pictures of Hermes. She is wearing a similar camouflage to the Italian destroyers and torpedoboats. Afterword Playing this game just like most of you do, the question “Would she fit in-game?” deserves a quick answer. And the answer is yes. Her specs would fit perfectly at T5 if you kept the 32kn speed, T6 if you decided to let her run around with permanently overloaded engines. T-22’s sad state would be good enough of a justification to do a swift replace, or if WG wants to make Hermes a T5 premium (which would be better than T-22 in basically every way). Hope you enjoyed this short overview over Germany's only destroyer in the Mediterranean Sea, if you got questions, feel free to ask. Cheers~ References "Die deutschen Zerstörer 1935-1945" written by Gerhard Koop and Klaus-Peter Schmolke "Z-Vor! Internationale Entwicklung und Kriegseinsätze von Zerstörern und Torpedobooten 1940-1945", written by Harald Fock "Marine Arsenal Band 46 – Beute-Zerstörer und Torpedoboote der Kriegsmarine", written by Dr. Z. Freivogel
  2. In my last post on this subject (CV Play) the CV Rework was just coming out, and I said I'd keep an open mind, and try it out for awhile, then see how it went. Well, here's my take pm it, at this point (6 Apr 19): The current Update to Carrier Play has caused quite a few players I know personally, as well as others I chat with during matches to simply refuse further CV Play, and many former CV players have even sold-off their carriers in disgust. I have tried to keep an open mind, hoping further "fixes" will make CV Play viable and enjoyable, but so far, have found it to be neither, and in fact, an extremely annoying WASTE of my precious gaming time, particularly when my Tier VIII CV is pitted vs. Tier IX and X ships—even a single, lone CL wipes out my planes before they can drop a single bomb. The CV aircraft flight model continues to be "jerky" (due to the time compression needed) and overall, CV Play has become increasingly "unrealistic" with each new "fix", causing some players resort to unrealistic "work-arounds" to "game the system" --departing even further from logic and historical practice so as to succeed in the faulty CV Play system. Although with practice, I will no doubt develop the proper technique for accurate aerial attacks-- while losing most or all of my attacking squadron by the end of my 2nd pass-- in its current state, I doubt I will ever find CV Play "enjoyable," much less "rewarding" and thus, will avoid it, keeping a token CV for "Spotting" tasks and little else. I have so far resisted selling-off my last CV in disgust, and have not enjoyed even a single mission yet. HOWEVER— aside from a much-needed toning down the fantastic hyper-lethality of AA in general, with some minor "fixes" using existing game mechanics, some of the more frustrating aspects of Carrier Play for both carrier and surface combatant players might be alleviated, as follows: SUGGESTION #1: British Dive Bombers should be allowed to carry, at minimum, 500-lb/230 kg bombs, and ideally, 1,000-lb/500 kg and heavier bombs, just as they did in real life. No aviation force would ever seek to attack armored warships with piddly little 250-lb General Purpose bombs, though they may have been adequate vs. small craft (E-boats, F-lighters, armed trawlers) and coastal freighters-- 500 lb bombs were the rule vs. smaller combatants, such as frigates and destroyers, and were the minimum vs. armored warships. E.g., in a 1944 attack, Fairey Barracudas attacked the battleship Tirpitz with with 1,600 lb (730 kg) and 500 lb (230 kg) bombs, scoring 14 direct hits, which even so, only put the Tirpitz out of action for 8 weeks. Had they used mere 250-lb bombs to which the game currently limits them, there likely would've been no significant damage whatsoever. [Note that of 42 attacking Barracudas, only ONE was lost to enemy AA-- a far cry from the uber-hyper-collossal lethality of AA as it currently exists, and I'm primarily a surface ship operator, and yet I'm embarrassed by just how unbelievably lethal even my little Leander's AA is-- enemy planes just melt away and do nothing, and I've removed all my AA builds, upgrades, and skills-- they're no longer needed, and I pretty much ignore attacking planes.] SUGGESTION #2: Have the ENTIRE attack aircraft squadron, whether Torpedo, Dive Bomber, or Rocket Aircraft launch its ordnance near-simultaneously with the "Squadron Leader" (the central aircraft on the screen the carrier player "flies"). When the player hits his mouse key to "launch ordnance", remaining aircraft of the flight also launch their ordnance, but with a delay of, say, 0.1 seconds to 5 seconds. This will prevent unrealistic "robotic perfection" in the resulting bomb or torpedo pattern that surface ship players used to complain about. In the same manner, the Squadron Leader's (center aircraft) places its strike at the exact center of the "crosshairs" (or torpedo arc), subject to normal "dispersion", and remaining aircraft of the squadron launch their ordnance subject to dispersion from that point, as well possibly a short time delay, just as a volley of warship shells deviates within its "Maximum Dispersion" ellipse already. This is already included in the game mechanics, I believe, but it should be able to be "improved" via certain "Captain Skills" and/or via ship "Upgrades" (see further below). E.g., for dive bombers, bombs other attacking aircraft would have a similar "dispersion" within the "ellipse" that appears on the aiming diagram the player uses, and torpedoes deviate a few mils left or right (randomly) from the "center" of their assigned point in torpedo squadron formation. I.e., torpedoes would also have a "dispersion" of a few mils, left or right, and in time of drop, for each torpedo the squadron successfully drops. Thus, mass torpedo drops will have an appearance similar to a volley of shells, with each individual torpedo deviating slightly, at random, within the Maximum Dispersion parameters for the ship/squadron, just as in real life, and as surface ship shells do already. This would eliminate the unrealistic (and silly) game mechanism that allows only 1 or 2 bombs/torpedoes to "launch" from an entire flight of 4 to 8 aircraft, while the remaining aircraft of the squadron do nothing but fly along as targets, waiting their turn on the next target pass (which is utterly unrealistic, and NEVER done in combat). But it would also prevent the target ship from being overwhelmed with huge numbers of "un-dodgeable" torpedoes or bombs, as many will certainly miss, unless the attacking player is very lucky (as per warship volleys now). So— having the entire squadron attack at once, but with a slightly varying "time of drop" by say, 0.1 to 5 seconds after the "Leader" aircraft (reduced by certain "Crew Skills", as well instituting a "Maximum Dispersion" variance for torpedoes, etc.), targeted ships won't be overwhelmed by a concentrated "perfect" swarm of torpedoes, especially as they "shoot holes" into the attacking formation, and carrier aircraft will be far less exposed to the (already excessively lethal) ship AA defenses, but make attacks like their historical counterparts did, and with similar results.As a starting point, I suggest that the "mil dispersion" for Torpedo Aircraft be placed at +/-10 mils dispersion for early (Tier IV) carrier planes, and reduced slightly for each carrier tier above that, i.e., +/-8 mils @ Tier VI, 7 mils @ Tier VIII, and +/-6 mils @ Tier X, to reflect improved aiming equipment, torpedoes, aircraft, and training of torpedo pilots as the war progressed. Note that this mil dispersion is from each individual plane's position in the FORMATION, not from the Squadron Leader's aim point, as torpedo planes attacked in an on-line formation, spaced at intervals of 50 to 100 meters or more, ensuring a wide "spread" to increase the possibility of a hit for the squadron as a whole. Note that this also assured that it was virtually impossible for every torpedo, or even most of the torpedoes in the squadron's "volley" to hit the target, as many would automatically miss, depending on the target ship's relative course and subsequent reaction. [A "mil" (short for "milliradian) is a measure of angle, typically used in ballistics, i.e., a minute fraction of a circle. Easy to look up, if you're unfamiliar.]kills such as "Basic Firing Training" and "Advanced Firing Training" could be modified to give air squadrons a tighter Maximum Dispersion pattern, by, say, 2 mils each, as well as a "tighter" ordnance drop time relative to the Squadron Leader, say, by 1 second each. Thus a Tier VIII torpedo squadron with both Basic and Advanced firing training would improve its Maximum Dispersion to +/-6 mils, left or right, and drop their torpedoes within 0.0 to 3 seconds of the Squadron Leader's torpedo. For Dive Bombers, the Maximum Dispersion ellipse (that already exists) could be reduced in a similar manner, by say 5 mils "tighter" for both Basic and Advanced Firing Training, each. Thus, a dive bomber squadron with both skills would have its Maximum Dispersion ellipse reduced by 10 mils width and length. [A "mil" (short for "milliradian") is a measure of angle used in ballistics , surveying, etc. I.e., a tiny fractional "slice", if you will, of a circle. Easy to look up if you're unfamiliar.] "Sight Stabilization" Skill would remain as-is; "Aiming Systems Modification-1" might be extended to include reduced aircraft ordnance Maximum Dispersion as well. Later-war (Tier VIII and X) aircraft should be able to attack from higher up, and at much faster airspeeds, as improved torpedoes obviated the need for very low, very slow torpedo drops to prevent destruction of the torpedo. SUGGESTION #3: Aircraft Spotting of Surface Ships— THE PROBLEM: Aircraft are able to spot an enemy ship, so that other ships can fire upon it too easily and in real time, and yet, the range for aircraft spotting of an enemy ship is so limited that a flight of planes often loses sight of its target between passes. Currently, aircraft not only reveal far too much information to allied players, enabling any enemy ship they spot to be fired upon by all; they are also often taken under intense AA fire without even being able to spot the enemy ship that is firing upon them. DISCUSSION: Carrier aircraft of the period were totally unable to provide more than an enemy ship type and rough location and course to distant stations, and typically were, at most, in radio contact only with their own ship's Combat Information Center, assuming it was even in radio range, and long-range radios of the day were often Morse Code key sets, not voice comms, and the enemy ship type and course reported was typically vague at best, and more than not, inaccurate. So as to go undetected, attack aircraft typically flew on "radio listening silence" until commencing their attack, could not communicate with other ships in real time, and went silent again for their return to their carrier, so as to not reveal its location. SOLUTION: To reflect this and improve Aircraft Spotting of Ships, non-spotter aircraft should be able to see enemy surface ships well before they enter the enemy's AA zone— but unable to pass anything more than that ship's type and location for at least 6-12 seconds afterward. Thus, non-spotter, attack aircraft and fighters should UNABLE to spot targets spot enemy ships in real time as if they were a surface ship—they could only reveal an enemy ship's basic type (not name), and only on the Mini Map. Sighting of surface ships by non-spotter aircraft should provide a player's allies ONLY a "shaded red/dashed red" outline of an enemy ship on the Mini Map ONLY, in exactly the same way an enemy ship obscured by bad weather, or spotted by others beyond one's ship's sighting range is currently shown on the Mini Map. Such "spotting" should be revealed to friendly players only after a slight delay— of say, 6 to 10 seconds, to reflect the time required for an aircraft's "home" ship to pass enemy location data to other friendly ships. Spotting Aircraft Use and aspects would continue unchanged. PROBLEM: Overly Lethal AA's Severe Impact on Game Balance: AA is so lethal now that I pretty much ignore incoming planes unless they're from a Tier X CV. The rest just "evaporate" and even if they hit me, they do about as much damage as an 8-inch shell strike, and torp hits virtually never flood. When operating a CV, I suffer from having my planes wiped out on approach to higher-tier and even sometimes to lower-tier ships. My planes are often "surprised" by hidden enemy ships and downed before they can escapey, even with Engine Boost and calling for Fighters to help absorb attacks. Such hyper-lethal AA guarantees that I can never even make it into the upper half of scorers on my team, and am almost always at or close to the bottom. SOLUTION A: Have dual-purpose guns (e.g., Atlanta's 5" guns; the 105mm dual-purpose guns of Prinz Eugen or Tirpitz; 100mm guns of Akizuki…) either fire upon surface targets, or vs. aerial targets, BUT NOT BOTH at the same time. The player must choose, or let the ship's AI decide— When under aerial attack, it fires all guns vs. attacking aircraft, or at least all guns on the "Priority AA" Side, unless the player chooses otherwise, by clicking on a surface target. Medium and Short-range AA guns, of course, would continue to defend the ship, as usual. SOLUTION B: Halve the Hit Probability of all ships— Really now, Continuous Damage Ph's of 88% and 95% (Tier VIII) and 100% (Tier X) are ridiculous for that era, and even for today. Leave Continuous Damage and Burst Radius Damage as is, but entire squadrons vanishing as they approach a lone Leander CL is just awful. Even if this is done, I predict that another "halving" will be needed in the future to bring CV Play into balance with surface ships. This will work, and be balanced as well, if the changes above are implemented I think. SOLUTION C: Stop listening to whiny surface ship players that complain they "…can never see an enemy CV, and therefore can't fight vs. such an "unseen enemy"— That's the just way it was, and is. A ship fights vs. an enemy CV's AIRCRAFT, as the enemy CV is hundreds of kilometers away, not lurking on a tiny map, trying to avoid surface detection and destruction by nearby enemy surface ships, as in the game. In all history, only three (3!) CVs are recorded as lost to enemy surface gunfire. If anything, CV players should be whining about the tiny maps. But don't think because I say this that I'm a CV fan boy, or even "enthusiast"— as, so far, I hate CV Play, and plan to run a CV only as a last resort for a battle task, as it's become a waste of my precious gaming time, unless things improve. Obviously, all this needs to be play-tested, but such changes, using existing game mechanics, could be easily incorporated to make Carrier Play more rewarding and enjoyable, while at the same time allow players to use Naval History (somewhat) as a guide for their tactics. OK-- Thoughts, anyone? Trolls need not reply-- we already know what you (don't) think...
  3. I have seen quite a few posts pop up lately asking about new operations or old operations returning. Well here is your answer from Sub himself. It is time we stopped kidding ourselves: we are not getting the old operations back, and the only new operations we will see from now on are Halloween or other events. With RB introduced, WG has zero reason to rework the removed operations. Why would they give players more operations to farm FXP and Credits to help their RB grinds? I really hope people did not buy ships like Montpelier or Bayard assuming Cherry Blossom would return. RIP our dead operations, and be sure to cherish operations we still have...for now.
  4. Wargaming has their hands full with the CV rework, and we may not see these operations again until next year considering how slowly the rework is moving along. The problem here is not the rework itself, it is that playing the same four operations for months gets old very fast. So I figured I would offer some suggestions in order to get these operations back on the rotation sooner rather than later. To their credit, Wargaming did at least have the foresight to preemptively alter the four operations we still have (Aegis, Newport, Narai, Killer Whale) in preparation of the CV rework, although they sadly ignored the other five operations. So I took what they did a step further and applied it to the operations that we are still missing. The point of these suggestions is to circumvent the issue that is AI controlled enemy planes, because if we must wait for WG to figure their AI out, it will be a very long time before operations are even thought of. I have grouped the operations into what I consider salvageable and what I consider lost (will not be back until WG teaches their new AI how to fly). So without further ado, here are my quick fixes for our lost operations: Salvageable Operations: The following operations would be fine without planes, and can be brought back quickly with a few ship swaps and/or changes to relevant secondary objectives. Operation Ultimate (FU) Frontier: Ultimate Frontier is an odd one, as you begin by escorting friendly aircraft. This should not be a problem, because it is the enemy planes and their balancing that have sidelined these operations, not friendly planes that just fly to the aerodrome. Only one secondary objective would need to be changed, which is to kill the Ranger. Replace the Ranger with a USN BB, and alter the secondary objective to kill the newly added ship instead. We're done here! Operation Cherry Blossom: Cherry would be the easiest to fix. Only one secondary objective (down 50 planes) needs to be changed; a "kill x ships in x amount of time" objective would fit nicely at the end. Leave the aerodromes empty, but destroying them can remain an objective. Also, can we talk about lifting the nation restriction here? Mogami, Atago, Eugen, and Hipper would like to do operations too! Operation Hermes: Hermes would have fixes similar to both Frontier and Cherry; change one secondary objective (down 50 planes) to "kill x ships in x amount of time" or something else, and replace the Graf Zeppelin with a KM BB, and change a second secondary objective (kill CV) to the newly added BB. Again, the nation restriction against Axis. Lost Operations: The last two operations are deemed too reliant on aircraft, so we must wait until WG can sort this out. Maybe we will see them again next year... Operation Dynamo: The only operation where you will not be flamed for queuing up in a destroyer. Unfortunately, along with torpedo boats, aircraft are the only enemies you face. I cannot think of a way to alter this operation in order to avoid aircraft being present. Sadly, this one will be gone for awhile. Operation Raptor Rescue: The only operation I do not miss. You can keep this one Wargaming, and you may have Defense of Naval Station Newport back too. Thanks for reading!
  5. So yeah, this game just happened. Basically, I had to fend off a pack of DDs who tried to overrun me and my teammates, and whenever I was able to get a new squadron of planes back in the air they were on low enough HP that I could finish them off. Once they were dead, I killed a Konigsberg who was trying to take the cap, finished off the enemy Wyoming, and landed the final blow on the enemy Hermes. The reason why I say it's only my first official CV Kraken is because I once got 5 kills in the Bogue, way back in the days before there was a Kraken medal. All in all, I'd say I'm happy with how it all turned out.
  6. So I got this question lingering around in my head since the the wip tier 8 french prem DD received buffs to her guns and nerf to her main batts reload booster as mention in the development blog fb page. When released, will Le Terrible be available for use in operation Dynamo(when the operation does comes out again) like Cossack as well as Operation Hermes too?
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