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sulghunter331

Spottd a Curious Double Standard

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Was looking through the Russian main DD line, just reading the descriptions when I noticed something peculiar. From the Minsk and up, each of the descriptions mentioned how each of those ships were designed as destroyer flotilla leaders. I double checked, and the Minsk, Kiev, Tashkent, and Khab all were described as destroyer flotilla leaders.

After noticing this, I felt as if I had seen this before, ships designed as destroyer flotilla leaders, or at least served such a purpose. Sure enough, after some digging, found the ships that I remembered as being destroyer flotilla leaders. Tenryu, Kuma, and Chester. Cruisers.

Why is it that the Russian ships that were designed as destroyer flotilla leaders are classified as destroyers, whilst the three aforementioned ships, that were also designed as destroyer flotilla leaders, are classified as cruisers?

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 The reason is because Japan, and other nations like Britain, frequently used small cruisers as destroyer flotilla leaders where other countries often used larger destroyers for the same job. It's kind of a double standard, but not really. 

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Different eras and different doctrines for flotilla leaders. A flotilla leader does not really specify a size of capability of a ship, only that it has additional facilities for commanding the ships of the flotilla. Some nations like Japan preferred to use small light cruisers to lead destroyers and the USN even has some large destroyers for that role in the Porter and Somers classes. 

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Tenryu, Chester, and Kuma all have more armor than the Khab, let alone Minsk-Trashkent. 

The Russians also could go substantially faster, maybe not as fast as in game, but much faster than any of those small cruisers.

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3 minutes ago, sulghunter331 said:

Was looking through the Russian main DD line, just reading the descriptions when I noticed something peculiar. From the Minsk and up, each of the descriptions mentioned how each of those ships were designed as destroyer flotilla leaders. I double checked, and the Minsk, Kiev, Tashkent, and Khab all were described as destroyer flotilla leaders.

After noticing this, I felt as if I had seen this before, ships designed as destroyer flotilla leaders, or at least served such a purpose. Sure enough, after some digging, found the ships that I remembered as being destroyer flotilla leaders. Tenryu, Kuma, and Chester. Cruisers.

Why is it that the Russian ships that were designed as destroyer flotilla leaders are classified as destroyers, whilst the three aforementioned ships, that were also designed as destroyer flotilla leaders, are classified as cruisers?

Pretty simple, Destroyer leaders are simple slightly enlarged destroyers, with additional space for a commodore's staff (a couple extra people for paperwork) an additional or enlarged radio room, extra signaling lights and maybe an extra gun mount as the hull was made bigger. They still don't have armor worthy of the name, and were still destroyers in every way that mattered. Destroyer leaders freed light cruisers up for other tasks. For the Soviets the destroyer leaders were surrogate light cruisers, because the Soviets didn't have yard capacity or skilled manpower to build more cruisers than they did. Japanese "Special Type" destroyers are basically the same thing, built to get around the treaty restrictions of the 20's and 30's. 

The Tenryu, Kuma and Sendai classes were cruisers by tonnage, armor and armament, built as flotilla leaders. Had they have been lighter, with slightly smaller guns, they'd be destroyers. 

 

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1 hour ago, SgtBeltfed said:

Pretty simple, Destroyer leaders are simple slightly enlarged destroyers, with additional space for a commodore's staff (a couple extra people for paperwork) an additional or enlarged radio room, extra signaling lights and maybe an extra gun mount as the hull was made bigger. They still don't have armor worthy of the name, and were still destroyers in every way that mattered. Destroyer leaders freed light cruisers up for other tasks. For the Soviets the destroyer leaders were surrogate light cruisers, because the Soviets didn't have yard capacity or skilled manpower to build more cruisers than they did. Japanese "Special Type" destroyers are basically the same thing, built to get around the treaty restrictions of the 20's and 30's. 

The Tenryu, Kuma and Sendai classes were cruisers by tonnage, armor and armament, built as flotilla leaders. Had they have been lighter, with slightly smaller guns, they'd be destroyers. 

 

^  this

 

Many ships in the various nations were built as flag ships and had a variation in design to them.

Examples: Musashi as the second Yamato was built with better flag facilities as issues came up on Yamato. The Pennsylvania had a larger armored conning tower compared to Arizona's as she was the Fleet Flagship. South Dakota had 2 less 5in secondaries then any of her sisters also due to flag facilities. Iowa also had a variation due to her flag facilities. This is why she never mounted a 40mm mount on turret two as it would have blocked the admiral's view.

 

The Atlanta class were originally meant to be flotilla leaders, hence the 5in batteries. it was only later where they proved to be Anti aircraft cruisers. They even were given sonar and depth charge racks.

 

Regular DDs were just not big enough to carry an Admiral or Commedore and the full staff that would follow them around.

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Yeah, it's a double standard, but it's a historically accurate one because different navies had different conceptions of what a flotilla leader should be. 

Also, the concept of a "cruiser" was always kind of nebulous and often blurred with other ship types.  Tashkent was sometimes called a cruiser.  Nobody seems totally sure what Graf Spee was.  People on this forum love making 20-page threads arguing about whether Alaska was a cruiser or a battlecruiser.

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3 hours ago, 1nv4d3rZ1m said:

A flotilla leader does not really specify a size of capability of a ship, only that it has additional facilities for commanding the ships of the flotilla. 

Good answer. In the Army we had command armored personnel carriers that were a bit bigger so as to carry the communications gear. Back in my day, when the commo personnel still ran out landlines, they essentially acted as local telephone exchanges for the battery. This was where the CO and XO were stationed.

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If you want a real double standard, wait until the upcoming Soviet tier X "Cruiser" Stalingrad is released. (Hint: it actually should be a Battleship)

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