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Snowyskies

Clemson and topweight

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One thing I've been somewhat curious about is the large torpedo outfit on the Clemson and how they deal with what seemingly would have to be much higher topweight than the equivalent ships in other navies. The late WW1 destroyers of some of the major nations (full load), laid down around 1918.

V&W (UK): 1500 ton

Großes Torpedoboot 1918 M / V170 (Germany): 1550 ton

Minekaze (Japan): 1650 ton

Clemson (USA): 1300 ton

Clemson is the lightest, yet despite being lighter it manages to carry more armament by having the same amount of guns but about 8-10 ton more torpedoes up top than what the rest has. There's often talk about e.g. Japanese top heavy ships or the seaworthiness of German WW1 torpedo boats, so how can the Clemson get away with so much equipment up top without suffering the same fate?

 

Edit:

I ought to state outright that my assumption is that they were at least somewhat overloaded. That they get to coast along without much mention because US ships are usually assumed to have superior seaworthiness/ship balance. That's just an assumption on my part though.

Edited by Snowyskies

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Have you seen Bagley?

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Do you mean the destroyer class? I know they also got a silly amount of torpedoes along with turreted, superfiring guns. However they are also much heavier and newer, still wouldn't be surprised if they were top heavy though.

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38 minutes ago, Snowyskies said:

One thing I've been somewhat curious about is the large torpedo outfit on the Clemson and how they deal with what seemingly would have to be much higher topweight than the equivalent ships in other navies. The late WW1 destroyers of some of the major nations (full load), laid down around 1918.

V&W (UK): 1500 ton

Großes Torpedoboot 1918 M / V170 (Germany): 1550 ton

Minekaze (Japan): 1650 ton

Clemson (USA): 1300 ton

Clemson is the lightest, yet despite being lighter it manages to carry more armament by having the same amount of guns but about 8-10 ton more torpedoes up top than what the rest has. There's often talk about e.g. Japanese top heavy ships or the seaworthiness of German WW1 torpedo boats, so how can the Clemson get away with so much equipment up top without suffering the same fate?

Not going to spend all day researching to know for sure, because you can Google if you wish, but there's any number of possible reasons. Weight of torpedoes and guns arent necessarily homogeneous; Clemson's weapons may not have weighed what others did. She may have had smaller magazines, so less weight of reloads. She may have carried less fuel, or different style of construction; notably, Clemsons were flush deck DDs and that may have (not sure) contributed to their stability. 

Also, the most commonly discussed IJN issue with top heavy ships related to their cruisers, which tended to be heavily armed for their size and top heavy. I haven't read about that issue with their DDs. 

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11 minutes ago, poeticmotion said:

Not going to spend all day researching to know for sure, because you can Google if you wish, but there's any number of possible reasons. Weight of torpedoes and guns arent necessarily homogeneous; Clemson's weapons may not have weighed what others did. She may have had smaller magazines, so less weight of reloads. She may have carried less fuel, or different style of construction; notably, Clemsons were flush deck DDs and that may have (not sure) contributed to their stability. 

Yeah, was interested in perhaps a bit more indepth than what it's possible to find through Google. The statements you can find online are somewhat contradictory, some claiming excessive rolling while other say they were rugged and tough boats in the North Atlantic. I suppose I should state my own belief is that they probably were somewhat excessively loaded and that the reason you don't really hear much about it is because US ships are considered superior in seaworthiness by default, I should have stated that in the OP. However I'm up to be proven incorrect because, as you said, the Clemson is for example a flush deck design while the other designs uses a forecastle and hull designs matter.

 

15 minutes ago, poeticmotion said:

Also, the most commonly discussed IJN issue with top heavy ships related to their cruisers, which tended to be heavily armed for their size and top heavy. I haven't read about that issue with their DDs.

Nah, a bunch of their destroyers had ballast added as well, among them the mentioned Minekaze.

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30 minutes ago, poeticmotion said:

Also, the most commonly discussed IJN issue with top heavy ships related to their cruisers, which tended to be heavily armed for their size and top heavy. I haven't read about that issue with their DDs. 

Definitely with DDs. It was a torpedo boat (small DD) that sank in the typhoon that was their wake-up call. They originally had superfiring guns on the front of their DDs planned (built?) at the time and these were removed to become the one twin turret forward that became the standard as part of their stability fix.

Having extra ammo or oil would actually help stability as that weight is carried low. Until it was used up at least. Low freeboard may also be a factor. I've read the Brooks (Clemson) class aft deck basically went under water (very wet at least) at high speed making operation of the 3"AA impossible.

I too have wondered though how US ships could have so much more superstructure and guns and not have the same stability problems.

Edited by Sabot_100

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Just now, Sabot_100 said:

Definitely with DDs. It was a torpedo boat (small DD) that sank in the typhoon that was their wake-up call. They originally had superfiring guns on the front of their DDs planned (built?) at the time and these were removed to become the one twin turret forward that became the standard as part of their stability fix.

Having extra ammo or oil would actually help stability as that weight is carried low. Until it was used up at least. Low freeboard may also be a factor. I've read the aft deck basically went under water (very wet at least) at high speed.

 

2 minutes ago, Snowyskies said:

Nah, a bunch of their destroyers had ballast added as well, among them the mentioned Minekaze.

I had not read that. Interesting. I stand corrected. I'd only read about their issues with the Myokos and other cruisers of that era. 

For all the [edited] on these forums, I never stop being amazed by how much I learn from people here. 

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7 minutes ago, Snowyskies said:

Nah, a bunch of their destroyers had ballast added as well, among them the mentioned Minekaze.

Which would slow the ships down a bit.

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Excessive rolling doesn’t mean a ship isn’t a tough boat in the North Atlantic, just means they wouldn’t be the most comfortable of rides for those with weak stomachs 

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1 minute ago, JohnPJones said:

Excessive rolling doesn’t mean a ship isn’t a tough boat in the North Atlantic, just means they wouldn’t be the most comfortable of rides for those with weak stomachs 

Seems like it would make your combat effectiveness in rough seas pretty much nil. Imagine trying to keep your guns on target in a heavy roll! Doesn't matter how fast you can reload, have to wait for the gun to get back to the aim point. Just moving about the ship would be a battering experience. Of course WOWS its always a glass calm sea, even in a cyclone.

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11 minutes ago, Sabot_100 said:

Seems like it would make your combat effectiveness in rough seas pretty much nil. Imagine trying to keep your guns on target in a heavy roll! Doesn't matter how fast you can reload, have to wait for the gun to get back to the aim point. Just moving about the ship would be a battering experience. Of course WOWS its always a glass calm sea, even in a cyclone.

Heavy seas would make any thing under heavy cruiser size difficult to be combat effective...

again being tough for the North Atlantic and being combat effective in rough seas are different 

maybe there’s an official definition for ‘excessive rolling’ but I’ve experienced 25 degree rolls and helmed my ship as we nose dived into a waves trough. (Water actually squirted the bridge windows through the bullnose) I’d call that pretty excessive.

 

for reference my ship is 9200tons

Edited by JohnPJones
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13 minutes ago, Sabot_100 said:

Which would slow the ships down a bit.

Also seems to have reduced their fuel stowage. All-in-all a decently sized downgrade in terms of on-paper performance.

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The Brits stripped ship and took half the guns and torpedoes off the 4-stackers that they got in exchange for the bases handed over to the US in 1940--41. All professional RN officers involved in the exchange considered the 4-stackers as being too tender on delivery. Many of them were not only stripped of guns and torpedoes, but they also had a boiler removed and additonal fuel tanks added low in the ship to increase endurance, which was poor for convoy escort work. The weight reductions topside and additonal weight low down allowed them to increase the A/S weapons load significantly, and improved ship stability.

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It was a highly successful class of ships that served into WWII with 156 built. Top weight generally is only a problem when additional weapons are added without removing some other weight.

 

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I am more concerned about letting a bunch of teenagers, giant lizard and a Teddy Bear drive warships. 

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2 hours ago, SoftAndCute said:

I am more concerned about letting a bunch of teenagers, giant lizard and a Teddy Bear drive warships. 

Are you referencing the destroyermen series?

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This kind of got me thinking about a modern corvette based on the Clemson class...

if I do I’ll post a link to it

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1 hour ago, JohnPJones said:

Are you referencing the destroyermen series?

Pretty sure SoftAndCute is referencing the HSF and ARP ships (bunch of teenagers), the Southern/Northern Dragon (giant lizard), and the ARP Kirishima specifically (in her Teddy Bear form).

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IJN destroyers always had stability problems though they were worse early on. The fact that most carried one reload exacerbated that. US DD's also ran into stability problems although they carried no reloads, this was especially true when their fuel loads were low which was one of the major factors leading to the loss of 3 and 790 crew during the typhoon and the damaging of many more. Torpedoes weighed about 3 tons each so they were a major weight problem with regard to stability.

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On 2/5/2018 at 11:55 PM, BrushWolf said:

It was a highly successful class of ships

Not so sure about that; they are included in a book called The World's Worse Warships for a reason. :Smile_hiding:

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2 hours ago, mr3awsome said:

Not so sure about that; they are included in a book called The World's Worse Warships for a reason. :Smile_hiding:

When you build 156 of a DD class there had to be something right about them. Realistically the torpedo armament should have been reduced to a single quadruple mount on each side to reduce the top weight but they never did make that change.

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2 hours ago, BrushWolf said:

When you build 156 of a DD class there had to be something right about them. Realistically the torpedo armament should have been reduced to a single quadruple mount on each side to reduce the top weight but they never did make that change.

Availability is a powerful thing in itself, see the Emergency War group of destroyers, for example. Ideally replacing each pair of torpedo tubes with a centre-line mount would have been better, and is entirely possible, as can be seen by the changes made to the ships sent to Britain as part of the Destroyers for Bases deal. 

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On 2/10/2018 at 6:51 AM, BrushWolf said:

When you build 156 of a DD class there had to be something right about them. Realistically the torpedo armament should have been reduced to a single quadruple mount on each side to reduce the top weight but they never did make that change.

It was a crash mass production program. the war in Atlantic created an urgency for ocean escorts. The irony? Almost all of the destroyers were finally commissioned AFTER World War 1 ended. And to prepare for mass production, certain parameters had to be simplified and you could not introduce improvements to the design during it. That was mainly why the Flush deck DD type was in The World's Worst Warships. That was also why the USN could not get a reasonable sized batch of new destroyers for at least a couple decades after WW1 as the Congress held the Flush deck DD against them (naval construction programs must be approved by the Congress).

Edited by Hurlbut

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