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mofton

British Destroyers, Icarus-Daring, Background and Ship History

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Hello All,

This is the follow up to a brief look at the background of, and particular service histories of the newly announced British Destroyer tech tree :cap_win:

Part 1 covering the T2 to T5 is here:

 

Tier 6, HMS Icarus

cJkE5CX.jpg

IWM Image A 7707 - HMS Icarus in Hvalfjord, Iceland in February 1942

Class: As an I-class destroyer, Icarus was one of the ships of the ultimate class of ‘Interwar Standard’ destroyer begun by the A-class of Acasta and her ilk in the late 1920’s.

The design progression is relatively minor. All the successive interwar standard classes were broadly similar, with the A & B being followed by the C & D, then the E & F and finally as WWII approached, treaties expired and production increased the G, H & I class.

The G, H & I classes made some reversions from the E & F class, looking more like the C & D class as they changed turbine arrangement. The GHI’s also adopted new mountings for the increasingly venerable 4.7in/45 gun, which allowed up to 40° elevation, up from 30° of the older classes and allowing for a marginal improvement in AA use.

The I’s differed specifically from the GH’s with the adoption of a new bridge design and pentad (5-per-launcher) torpedo tubes, though two H-class ships shared the bridge and one G-class (Glowworm) had the experimental pentad tubes too. The new bridge would be a common feature for all following classes. Four of the I-class ships, including Icarus had a slightly different design which allowed for rapid conversion to a minelaying role with pre-installed rails.

Although lain down 8 years after Acasta, the I-class were little changed, similar 1,370t displacement, a bare knot faster, effectively the same main gun armament and 2 more torpedoes squeezed in.

Icarus: Commissioned in 1937 the Icarus had brief service before Britain entered WWII in September 1939, I believe she was deployed with the Mediterranean Fleet.

When wore broke out she was deployed to British waters where on escort and patrol missions she contributed to sinking the U-35 and U-45. In early 1940 she was converted to the minelayer role and from March 1940 to April 1941 she participated in laying about 30 minefields herself while escorting many others in locations as far apart as Vestfjord, Norway and off Brest, France – at up to 60 mines at a time that could be up to 1,800 mines. Resulting sinkings (if any) are unknown but her sistership on one sortie is credited with sinking German destroyer Max Schultz.

Icarus was one of the ships sailing to mine Norwegian waters when Germany invaded and was being covered by the battlecruiser Renown, which fought a brief and inconclusive action with the German Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. While in Norway she captured or sank two German merchantmen and also participated in the Second Battle of Narvik as a minesweeping escort for HMS Warspite, though she doesn’t seem to have been heavily engaged.

In May-June of 1940 the Icarus was one of the best performing destroyers during Operation Dynamo. In six trips she extracted 4,396 troops, equivalent to a Brigade of infantry and not bad for a ship with a complement of 145. In exchange she received minor damage.

After re-converting to a destroyer role Icarus participated in the hunt for the Bismarck and was one of the destroyers left behind by the Hood and Prince of Wales before the Battle of the Denmark Strait. Through 1941 into 1942 she operated on convoy escort including some of the first Arctic Convoys to Russia.

After all the minelaying and action from Norway to Russia to France Icarus was diverted to take part in the critical Harpoon and Pedestal convoys to Malta, before returning to Home Fleet escort work around Britain. In Mid-1943 in common with many of the Interwar Standard type destroyers she was converted to a dedicated convoy escort, losing two of her guns in exchange for a Hedgehog anti-submarine mortar and other ASW equipment. From then until the end of the war she worked as a convoy escort and helped account for two more U-boats, U-744 and U-1199.

Icarus was a lucky ship. Of 11 I-class ships she was one of three survivors at wars’ end. She provided good service with contributions to 4 U-boat sinkings, saving 4,396 soldiers, adding a significant portion of RN minelaying, many convoy escorts and earning 10 deserved Battle Honors. She was scrapped in 1946.

Name

No

Builder

Laid down

Launched

Comp

Fate

Icarus

D03 - I03

John Brown

3/1936

26/11/1936

5/1937

BU 10/1946

 

Tier 7, HMS Jervis

w22NtpR.jpg

IWM Image A29614 HMS Jervis with the fat top of funnel band of a destroyer leader and the lattice mast she received mid-war

Class: Jervis, as the leader of the J, K & N class destroyers shows a significant departure from the previous British destroyers and ‘jumps’ from the G, H &I  past the Tribal class (of Haida and Cossack coming soonTM fame) and back to a new, larger and more balanced design with some radically different features.

The J-class were designed during a period of treaty collapse, with war looming and were a large and powerful ship designed to merge some aspects of the gun-heavy Tribal class and the torpedo-heavy GHI-class. Like the Tribal, the twin 4.7in/45 mounting seemed very advantageous for saving space and increasing firepower although an enclosed dual-purpose mount wouldn’t be ready in time. The J’s were equipped likewise with the quad pom-pom 40mm AA gun first fitted to the Tribals.

As designed the J and K class had a 20° dead-zone astern where no guns could bear as the rear turret was installed facing forward with a 340° traverse. Shooting astern where the director (forward of the funnel) could not bear and where you would be making smoke in any withdrawal was not seen as critical.

The JKN’s changed significantly compared to the GHI’s in machinery arrangement; going from a 3-boiler, 2-funnel arrangement to a 2-boiler, 1 funnel arrangement which saved deck space, improved AA firing arcs but left the ships more vulnerable to damage. Longitudinal framing is outwardly invisible but was also a major change, adding strength to the hulls, the hull form was modified and provided better seaworthiness though they were ‘wet’ forward.

Compared to the GHI’s the JKN’s were a big jump in size, from 1,370 to 1,770t displacement and from 34,000 to 40,000 SHP to maintain the same speed.

Jervis: Jervis was completed as the Flotilla Leader for the J-class ships, coming into commission in May 1939 and training with the Home Fleet in the UK until the outbreak of war.

Through September 1939 to June 1940 she largely operated in the North Sea on patrols, sweeps and convoy escorts during which she intercepted 3 German merchantmen attempting to run the British blockade. With the entry of Italy into the war, many British ships were re-deployed into the Mediterranean including Jervis.

Early Mediterranean work was the normal round of patrol, convoy escort to Malta, anti-submarine sweep – destroyers were called ‘maids of all work’. Excitement was provided by an occasional air attack or bombardment of Italian troops. She covered HMS Illustrious’ air strike on Taranto in December 1940 and her first surface sinking – of a British destroyer crippled in an air attack – closed out the year.

1941 opened with more of the same, but in March that year Jervis played a part in the Battle of Cape Matapan. In that night action two Italian cruisers searching for their damaged sistership ran into three alert Queen Elizabeth class battleships at close range with devastating consequences. Jervis as Flotilla Leader to four detached destroyers came onto the scene after the initial shooting had stopped and the ship delivered the coup de grâce to the drifting cruiser Zara with three torpedoes and then boarded the crippled Pola, took on 257 of her crew and fired a torpedo into her as well.

In April the Jervis as the leader of four British destroyers intercepted an Italian convoy at the Battle of the Tarigo Convoy/Action off Sfax. In the engagement the Jervis and her cohort approached from down-moon and astern of an Italian convoy of five merchantmen escorted by three destroyers. Opening fire at close range the Jervis hit the escort Baleno in the engine room and then the Tarigo on the bridge before a torpedo fired by the Italian destroyer passed under her bridge in turn without exploding. The British made a clean sweep of the convoy and sank two of the escorts losing the Mohawk in return to torpedoes fired by the crippled Tarigo.

Although she didn’t participate in the Dunkirk evacuation, Jervis like Wakeful and Icarus had the chance to take part in the traditional RN role of evacuating the British Army when in May she evacuated 560 troops from Sphakia, Greece.

Jervis was present at the loss of Barham and the manned torpedo attack on Queen Elizabeth and Valiant in Alexandria which crippled the British Mediterranean fleet (and slightly damaged her). In early 1942 she helped rescue the crew of the torpedoed cruiser Naiad and in March she participated in what would become known as the Second Battle of Sirte. During the battle a force of four British light cruisers, an AA cruiser and 11 destroyers held off an Italian force of a Battleship, seven destroyers two heavy and one light cruiser from a convoy to Malta. Through profligate use of smoke screens and torpedo attacks the British prevented any damage to the ships of the convoy though several of the escorts were damaged and no damage was incurred by the Italians. Jervis led a torpedo attack on the battleship Litorrio at ranges as close as 6,000 yards and launched at least 5 torpedoes without result, but escaped any damage from return fire while her sister Kimberly was hit. Although the convoy made it through it was delayed and damaged and offered little material aid to Malta.

In May, Jervis would be the sole survivor of three destroyers when the Lively and Jackal were sunk by air attack, returning to port with 650 men from the three ships. For the rest of the year it was ‘maid of all work’ again.

Force K was a British striking group formed out of Malta and intended to operate against Axis convoys in the central Mediterranean. Jervis was assigned as leader to the four destroyers in the group, she led the destruction of the destroyer Lupo in late 1942, but it wasn’t until June 1943 that she had her next surface success when in company with the Greek destroyer Vasilissa Olga she sank the torpedo boat Castore and a merchant ship.

With the Axis withdrawal from North Africa, Italian Armistice and Allied invasion of Sicily Jervis changed role from convoy interdiction to amphibious support with rounds of convoying, shore bombardment and escort. While supporting the landings at Anzio in 1944 Jervis was struck by a Hs 293 Glider Bomb. Incredibly, despite other destroyers and even the cruiser Spartan being sunk by the same weapon a hit to the superstructure apparently caused no fatalities and the ship returned to Gibraltar for repairs. 

Jervis’ swansong was to participate in the D-Day landings, after which she was given a long refit and returned to the Mediterranean without much further incident. Like many other ships she was put into reserve shortly after the end of the war and then scrapped without much fuss.

Like Icarus, Jervis was a lucky ship. While other ships around her were damaged or sunk she survived, often undamaged. Even the glide bomb hit could have been far worse, and being the sole survivor of three destroyers hit by air attacks must have been chilling. Jervis participated in four night actions and one daylight engagement with the Italians, and bore witness to a lot. She earned 13 battle honors – one of the highest totals for any British ship.

Name

No

Builder

Laid down

Launched

Comp

Fate

Jervis

F00 - G00

Hawthorn Leslie

8/1937

9/9/1938

8/1939

TS 5/1946, BU 1/1949

 

Tier 8, HMS Lightning

Xk0jnAj.jpg

IWM Image FL1372 HMS Lightning. Note the huge turrets and incredibly wide gun barrel spacing

Tier 8, HMS Lightning

Class: As an L&M class destroyer the Lightning follows a lot of the lineage of the J, K & N class. The L&M class were intended as successors to the J and K classes, but problems with the L & M saw a reversion to the J & K design for the N class which followed them chronologically.

The L & M class shares many features with it’s predecessor, single funnel and machinery arrangement and A-B-Y turret layout with twin turrets.

The design was free of those pesky arms limitation treaties, so initially some very large options (2,700-3,200t, the L.72 and L.90 design) were considered, those would have been comparable to the French Mogador class. The Royal Navy’s constant desire for numbers and fears of starting a destroyer arms race scotched those ideas and something more in-line with the JKN was proposed instead.

As designed the main differences between the LM and JKN are the hull, which had to grow to deal with the top weight of the heavier gun armament, that heavier gun armament and the reversion to quad torpedo tubes.

The guns were one of the most significant differences and responsible for many of the changes. The twin 4.7in/45 on the JKN class with their mountings with shields only weighed 25t. The fully enclosed and more powerful 4.7in/50 planned for the L&M class weighed 38t. This increase in topweight with the required support drove a bigger ship.

The 4.7/50 was intended to be more competitive with some of the latest Japanese and American destroyers, offering superior ballistic performance to the 4.7in/45 and a theoretically more destructive shell – though the difference between a hit from a 50lb and a 60lb shell may be academic to an unarmored destroyer target. The guns although enclosed lacked rapid, powered train and elevation and unlike Japanese or American guns were still only capable of 50° elevation – another improvement on their predecessors but inadequate for AA use compared to the US 5in/38 which could elevate up to 85° - tracking incoming dive bombers – and with high speed traverse to track fast moving targets.

Worse still production delays meant half the L-class never received the gun, and another ammunition type was added to supply chain logistics for a group of just 12 ships. Ironically by ending up with 4in armed L-class the net effect of the gun program may have been to weaken the RN’s surface firepower, and in any case most destroyer hits were registered at very close range – the value of better ballistics and range being very small.

The L&M’s ended up as a step above the JKN again, 1,925t standard displacement while needing 48,000 SHP to do the same 36kt speed. The result of which was a larger and more expensive ship with somewhat better gun firepower, but still no true DP AA gun and a lower torpedo loadout.

Lightning: Build of the Lightning was protracted, lain down in late 1938 and not completed until May 1941. Unlike half her flotilla-mates she did receive the designed armament of six 4.7in/50 rather than eight 4in/45 high-angle guns.

On commissioning Lightning worked up and deployed briefly to Scapa Flow. She was immediately blooded with a Mediterranean deployment in support of Operation Substance, a Malta bound convoy. Although undamaged herself she was present for aerial torpedo hits on the cruiser Manchester and destroyer Fearless. Post-Substance she operated out of Gibraltar with Force H.

In August 1941 she was exiled back to the colder, desolate base of Scapa Flow, and operated with the Home Fleet for a while before shuttling back to Gibraltar and Operation Halberd. It was while operating with Force H again that Lightning was present during the attack on the carrier Ark Royal by U-81, which saw the carrier sink after receiving a single torpedo hit. Lightning launched an unsuccessful counter attack on the submarine and assisted in evacuating personnel from the carrier which eventually sank with only 1 man killed.

In late 1941 and into 1942 the Lightning was one of three destroyers assigned to escort the battleship Duke of York with a certain cigar smoking, occasional Tommy-gun toting British ‘former Naval person’ to a conference with President Roosevelt in Washington, D.C., a duty she successfully discharged.

Having already served in the Med, British waters and made an Atlantic crossing the Lightning was nominated to participate in the British invasion of Madagascar in April 1942, heading into the Indian Ocean by way of South Africa to provide protection for the amphibious forces and naval gunfire support. After the success of Operation Ironclad she operated briefly in the Indian Ocean, calling at Mombasa in Kenya before being deployed back to the Mediterranean again by way of South Africa.

In the Mediterranean the Lightning participated in Operation Pedestal, a vital relief convoy to Malta alongside Icarus and one of the most powerful convoy escorts ever put together by the RN. On the second day of the operation and after the carrier Eagle was sunk by a U-boat the Lightning had the odd experience of rescuing the crew of a second RN carrier. Lightning was part of the escort for the more distant carrier covering force and so helped escort the damaged and retiring HMS Indomitable back to Gibraltar rather than pushing on to Malta.

Later that year she returned to the UK for a refit. Early 1943 put her with Force Q in Bone, Tunisia. Force Q was a RN striking group like that which Jervis had been with. Force Q was intended to prevent German reinforcement of Tunisia after the Allied Invasion of French North Africa. She had limited success in the role as an interdictor with a single sinking in tandem with sister Loyal.

After operating out of Bone as an escort on one sweep on the unlucky 13th March 1943 the Lightning was sunk by two torpedoes fired from German E-boat S-55. Struck and disabled by one torpedo, her back was broken by a second hit and 45 men were killed, with 183 recovered by Loyal.

Lightning did not have the longest or most active career, but she is in many ways typical of the RN destroyer experience in WWII. She was awarded 2 Battle Honors and did participate in several major Malta convoys as well as seeing service ranging from the East Coast of the USA to the Indian Ocean.

Name

No

Builder

Laid down

Launched

Comp

Fate

Lightning

F55 - G55

Hawthorn Leslie

11/1938

22/4/1940

5/1941

sunk 12/3/1943

 

Tier 9, HMS Jutland

5b31d9faf18e5_JutlandPeterWoodyardRN.jpg.a24448695671f02a1ea2401e348b2f64.jpg

HMS Jutland in Oslo, Norway. Photo by Peter Rudyard, RN from https://www.maritimequest.com/warship_directory/great_britain/pages/destroyers/hms_jutland_d62_page_1.htm

Class: Jutland is one of the ‘Group II Battle’ or ‘Battle, 1943’ class ships. The Battle's were the first significantly new RN destroyers in some time. With the L&M class taking a long time to build and being insufficient in numbers ‘War Emergency Program’  14 flotilla’s of ‘War Emergency Program’ destroyers, largely based on the JKN hull but with a variety of main armament were built as emergency measures.

The Battle Class subdivided into ‘1942’ and ‘1943’ types, were ordered in mid-1942 and early 1943. These were intended to take advantage of wartime experience and were larger ships than the previous classes at 2,325 for the Group I and 2,400t on the Group II.

WWII demonstrated the significant vulnerability of RN destroyers to air attack, and modest improvements to the 4.7in armament hadn’t cut the mustard. Most ships had landed a set of their torpedo tubes for a relatively ineffective 3in or 4in gun as a stand-in AA measure, which left poor AA defense and limited surface attack capability. Modern, well directed guns with at least 75°, or preferentially 85° elevation were needed, and had been needed since 1939 – the RN lost 33% of their 153 WWII destroyer losses to land based air attack.

The RN had put the 4.5in gun to sea on the carrier Ark Royal in 1938, the gun was available and suitable but would require a modified mount for use on destroyers.  This weapon became the nucleus of the Battle class which would mount four of the guns in twin mounts forward while having no rearward-firing weapons. The Improved Battle would add a single gun aft of the funnel (though that couldn’t shoot dead astern either).

From 6 barrels on 1,925t for an L class the Battle class dropped to 4/5 guns on another 400t. Fortunately they were good mountings, though not totally enclosed. Pentad torpedo launchers were added without the risk of having to land one for an AA gun and medium caliber AA weapons too. Overall and thanks to the US Mk. 37 fire control system the Battle’s were good AA ships – unfortunately the first didn’t enter service until 1944 with the Barfleur, and none of the Group 2 until 1946 – the Fletcher class had been in service since 1942.

Jutland: Jutland’s history is a microcosm of the Royal Navy in the immediate post-war period. It had grown tremendously from 1939-1945, from something like 200,000 personnel to 870,000 while absorbing 55,000 killed in action. Come 1946 and peace, massive personnel demobilization of the ‘Hostilities Only’ personnel, a lack of mission and crippling debt the Royal Navy struggled.

Jutland commissioned in April 1947 into a Fleet running out of personnel and money. After less than a year in service with the Home Fleet she was put into reserve from 1948, was back in service from 1949-1953 but then in reserve from 1953-1958. It looks like a brief swansong of two commissions from 1958-1961 ended with her in reserve from which she never returned before breaking up in 1965. Her activity was split between the Home and Mediterranean Fleets.

That’s in existence for 18 years, but only about seven years in commission. No significant events.

Name

No

Builder

Laid down

Launched

Comp

Fate

Jutland

I16 - D62

A. Stephens

8/1944

20/2/1946

4/1947

BU 10/1965

 

Tier 10, HMS Daring

ZtODIkx.jpg

IWM Image 32788 HMS Daring soon after commissioning

Class: The Daring class had its origins in the Battle Class but once again a change in gun was a major control. The Daring’s continued to get larger, at about 2,830t standard displacement – more than double that of the Acasta lain down 20 years before.

The gun mounting changed again, to an enclosed ‘box’ mount containing the guns and gear. The 4.5in/45 QF Mk. V was further improved on the Battle class with higher rate of fire and practically American rate of traverse. Where the Battle mount (4.5in/45 Mk. IV on the RP10 Mk. IV* mount) weighed in at 45t, the Daring’s weapons weighed somewhat less and were more capable.

The Daring was reverted to a more traditional A-B-Y gun arrangement as seen on the Jervis and Lightning. The design retained heavy torpedo armament at a time where the prevalence of radar was making torpedo attack less likely, and advanced STAAG stabilized Bofors AA defenses.

In addition to the weaponry the Daring design reverted to the 2-funnel echelon machinery arrangement last seen in the GH&I class, one funnel being hidden away within the lattice foremast. Among other things the Squid ASW mortar was designed-in and AC rather than DC power used, as well as 60% more power generating capacity than previous ships.

Daring: Despite being lain down in 1945, the Daring wasn’t launched until 1949 and was then finally commissioned in 1952. Previous practice had been to complete destroyers in 2-3 year so 7 years was a tremendously prolonged build.

On commissioning Daring worked up out of Devonport, before deploying through the Mediterranean in flag-showing exercises. Her only combat action was shore bombardment as part of the Suez Crisis in 1956.

Like the Jutland despite being a practically brand new ship Daring still spent significant time in reserve, from 1960-1966 in reserve and then a drawn-out refit. Despite that long refit she served only two more years, paying off in 1968 to be scrapped in 1971. In nineteen years from commissioning to scrapping only 10 were in service.

Name

No

Builder

Laid down

Launched

Comp

Fate

Daring

I15 - D05

Swan Hunter, Wallsend

9/1945

10/8/1949

3/1952

sold 5/1971

 

Sources

Spoiler

navypedia.com
naval-history.net
'British Destroyers and Frigates: The Second World War and After', Friedman
British Destroyers and Frigates 1939-1945: The Pre-War Classes, New Vanguard
Struggle for the Middle Sea, Vincent O'Hara
 

 

  • Cool 21

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nice job again

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Well done.

IIRC at least one of the South American nations got a Daring and massively upgraded it - modern point-defence gun systems were added, and they may also have got surface-to-surface missiles. They were in service at least into the 1990s, but I don't know if they're still around.

Then of course there is the Australian Daring-class (V-class ships), one of which (Vampire) still exists as a museum ship. We were all hoping for her as the Commonwealth premium, but seeing as she never saw service in WW2, I think the Vampire we got was probably more appropriate.

The Daring in the picture looks so much more sophisticated than the others, but I think that's because many far more modern designs, well into the missile era, used the same gun mount. Her front aspect is very reminiscent of the County-class guided missile ships before they traded B turret for Exocet.

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Wargaming has already done a Naval Legends video on HMAS Vampire (Daring class) - so it is interesting that they come in a T10, given the speculation that a another DD (Valkarie?) would be made a Commonwealth premium DD - at T10 that wont happen...

 

 

 

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Its interesting how long it took them to have a ship that was comparable to the Fletcher. 

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Great thread!

It's interesting to note, the heavier shells of the 4.7" Mk.XI (28.12 kg!) had the effect of being much greater than conventional 4.7" shells, which actually lead Da Zara to believe he was facing enemy light cruisers at Pantellaria because of the incoming fire of the two M-class destroyers. No doubt this was compounded by the fact the Mk.XI had a similar rate of fire to the the 6" guns that armed the RN CLs, which were ever happy to maintain rapid fire at any range.

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3 hours ago, Phoenix_jz said:

Great thread!

It's interesting to note, the heavier shells of the 4.7" Mk.XI (28.12 kg!) had the effect of being much greater than conventional 4.7" shells, which actually lead Da Zara to believe he was facing enemy light cruisers at Pantellaria because of the incoming fire of the two M-class destroyers. No doubt this was compounded by the fact the Mk.XI had a similar rate of fire to the the 6" guns that armed the RN CLs, which were ever happy to maintain rapid fire at any range.

Thanks :)

The '60 pounder' is a bit of a peeve of mine. It's such a wasted opportunity, they could have gone with something more AA focused sooner but instead started designing this weapon in 1938, completed it by 1940 and got it to sea in May 1941. The build times were tortuous and all that design and energy (and tooling up a factory) was used for a gun that equipped 12 destroyers total. Meanwhile air attack... and the IJN at least had 75' elevation on their widespread 12cm/50 3rd Year B mounting although I'm not sure exactly when it came into service.

Adding another weapon when as others have pointed out the RN already had (in significant numbers) the 4in/40 on old destroyers, the 4in/45 on everything, the 4.7in/45 on lots of destroyers, the 4.7in/43 on just the Nelsons, this gun, the 5.25in/50 and of course the 4.5in/45 - is just crazy.

The advantages of the /50 were certainly real enough, just enclosed gunhouses were a plus from what I can see - I can find several occasions where RN DD simply couldn't use their open mounts, especially in A position due to weather (especially in the Arctic where freezing spray coming over the bow... ouch).

The wiki article on the gun sums it up to me by trying to be positive - giving a Pantelleria/Harpoon example: 12 barrels of /50 put out 1,450 rounds for about 3 hits at long range while 4 barrels of /45 put out only 246 for zero hits, the hits on the cruisers did not impair their fighting ability (2 killed, 8 injured) and caused serious damage to Vivaldi (but any destroyer hit to a boiler room is serious). Three is infinitely better than none, but still poor - <0.25% and that's in one of relatively few surface engagements, air attacks were far more common.

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2 hours ago, mofton said:

Thanks :)

The '60 pounder' is a bit of a peeve of mine. It's such a wasted opportunity, they could have gone with something more AA focused sooner but instead started designing this weapon in 1938, completed it by 1940 and got it to sea in May 1941. The build times were tortuous and all that design and energy (and tooling up a factory) was used for a gun that equipped 12 destroyers total. Meanwhile air attack... and the IJN at least had 75' elevation on their widespread 12cm/50 3rd Year B mounting although I'm not sure exactly when it came into service.

Adding another weapon when as others have pointed out the RN already had (in significant numbers) the 4in/40 on old destroyers, the 4in/45 on everything, the 4.7in/45 on lots of destroyers, the 4.7in/43 on just the Nelsons, this gun, the 5.25in/50 and of course the 4.5in/45 - is just crazy.

The advantages of the /50 were certainly real enough, just enclosed gunhouses were a plus from what I can see - I can find several occasions where RN DD simply couldn't use their open mounts, especially in A position due to weather (especially in the Arctic where freezing spray coming over the bow... ouch).

The wiki article on the gun sums it up to me by trying to be positive - giving a Pantelleria/Harpoon example: 12 barrels of /50 put out 1,450 rounds for about 3 hits at long range while 4 barrels of /45 put out only 246 for zero hits, the hits on the cruisers did not impair their fighting ability (2 killed, 8 injured) and caused serious damage to Vivaldi (but any destroyer hit to a boiler room is serious). Three is infinitely better than none, but still poor - <0.25% and that's in one of relatively few surface engagements, air attacks were far more common.

I'm an idiot for missing this, especially as it entirely removes the context of the post - but that should be "having a much greater splash than". The huge columns of water from the impacts of the 60-pdr'sade him think he was facing CL's with 6" guns.

Sorry! :Smile_hiding:

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3 minutes ago, Phoenix_jz said:

I'm an idiot for missing this, especially as it entirely removes the context of the post - but that should be "having a much greater splash than". The huge columns of water from the impacts of the 60-pdr'sade him think he was facing CL's with 6" guns.

Sorry! :Smile_hiding:

Oh, I knew, I was more talking generally, the splash size was definitely semi-useful sort of once.

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16 hours ago, Ensign_Cthulhu said:

Well done.

IIRC at least one of the South American nations got a Daring and massively upgraded it - modern point-defence gun systems were added, and they may also have got surface-to-surface missiles. They were in service at least into the 1990s, but I don't know if they're still around.

Then of course there is the Australian Daring-class (V-class ships), one of which (Vampire) still exists as a museum ship. We were all hoping for her as the Commonwealth premium, but seeing as she never saw service in WW2, I think the Vampire we got was probably more appropriate.

The Daring in the picture looks so much more sophisticated than the others, but I think that's because many far more modern designs, well into the missile era, used the same gun mount. Her front aspect is very reminiscent of the County-class guided missile ships before they traded B turret for Exocet.

Peru, with the Palacios (Diana) and Ferre (Decoy), though at that point, they had already dropped one bank of torpedo tubes in favor of a 4 pack of Exocet missiles. They pulled the 3 40mm/60 mounts in exchange for 2 40mm/70 twins.

There was also the Venezuelan Nueva Esparta class, which were British built and slightly larger than the Darings, but equipped with the guns from the Battle class. The AA used nothing more modern than a 40mm/60 STAAG mount, but there were 8 separate twin mounts.

 

Matt

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Is it just me or do British destroyers have a lot of 'personality'? Maybe it's in their names. The US named their DDs after people you've never heard of, but the UK's DDs got names like Daring and Lightning and that just screams personality to me, where "USS Waller" just doesn't have the same kind of pizzazz to it.

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On 26/6/2018 at 11:50 PM, mobryan said:

There was also the Venezuelan Nueva Esparta class, which were British built and slightly larger than the Darings, but equipped with the guns from the Battle class. The AA used nothing more modern than a 40mm/60 STAAG mount, but there were 8 separate twin mounts.

F.N.V. Nueva Esparta  - Destroyer New Spartan Class ( Pan-America · Venezuela)

I share some photos courtesy of the museum Barrow, the Construction Process and launching from 1952 to 1953.

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Botadura

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Delivery of the boat and hoisting of the Venezuelan flag

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2655.jpg 

The photos are not in chronological order. Any questions leave a comment, best regards.

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Excellent pictures.  Thank you for sharing.  Very cool.

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Always a good read @Mofton - thanks Sir

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Cool post man, really great to see the history to go along with it.

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