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Flower-class corvette

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With Subs coming into game play, the main class of ships that protected the convoys and hunted subs was the Flower-class Corvette. 64 vessels were built under the 1939-1940 Programme including 10 originally built for the Royal Navy, but transferred to the RCN on loan.16 further vessels were built under the 1940-1941 Programme. 15 vessels were built in Canada under the 1942-1943 Programme, with another two vessels built in the UK and transferred to the RCN on completion. 12 vessels were built in Canada under the 1943-1944 Programme, with another two vessels built in the UK and transferred to the RCN on completion: The Flower-class corvette was a British class of 294 corvettes used during the Second World War, specifically with the Allied navies as anti-submarine convoy escorts during the Battle of the Atlantic.  RN ships of this class were named after such as the lead ship  HMS Gladiolus, hence the name of the class.

The original Flower class were fitted with a 4-inch (102-mm) gun on the bow, depth charge racks carrying 40 charges on the stern, a minesweeping winch, and a 2-pounder (40-mm) pom-pom anti-aircraft gun mounted on a "bandstand" over the engine room.  The long-range endurance of the vessels, coupled with early war-time shortages of larger escort warships, saw Flowers assigned to trans-Atlantic convoy escort where Luftwaffe fighter-bombers were rarely encountered.  Vessels assigned to the Mediterranean Sea usually had their anti-aircraft capability significantly upgraded.

Underwater detection capability was provided by a fixed ASDIC dome; this was later modified to be retractable.  Subsequent inventions such as the High Frequency Radio Detection Finder (Huff-Duff) were later added, along with various radar systems (such as the Type 271), which proved particularly effective in low-visibility conditions in the North Atlantic.

The majority served during the Second World War with the RN and RCN.  Many of the corvettes were built in Canada, and a number were transferred from the RN to the USN under the lend-lease program, seeing service in both navies.  Post war, many surplus Flower-class vessels saw worldwide use in other navies, as well as civilian use.  HMCS Sackville (K181) is the only member of the class to be preserved as a museum ship at Halifax, Nova Scotia. the Flower-class gave way in the Atlantic to the newer and faster frigates and Castle-class corvettes.

http://silverhawkauthor.com/royal-canadian-navy-rcn-19391945-corvettes-flower-and-castle-class_942.html

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And what will they do when there are no subs with a single 4" gun and laughable AA, two .50 MGs and two twin .303 MGs? The Flowers make the Butler class look like a heavy cruiser in comparison. Oh the were great at the job they were created for, hunting subs to protect convoys but even in a gunfight with a sub it was an even match at best. The Coast Guards 180 foot sea going buoy tenders built during the war were more heavily armed, a 3" gun and an unknown number of 20mm's.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USCGC_Sundew_(WLB-404)

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Would be completely and biblically outmatched by even tier 1 ships.

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The Flower class was instituted solely because Britain could turn them out relatively quickly and cheaply.  They were hardly an optimal solution for ASW work.  The USN received 12 from reverse lend-lease and classified them as PG's.  That is, patrol gunboats.  They were not looked on favorably by the USN being considered more of a substitute or sub-standard ASW vessel and generally unsuited for general use.  Those that remained in US service were assigned to secondary and backwater theaters with lower U-boat threats like the Southern part of the Caribbean.

The USN's preferred ASW ship was the much better DE destroyer escort.  These had either 3 3"/50 guns or 2 5"/38 guns, three torpedo tubes, and an assortment of 40mm and 20mm AA guns.  They could make between 18 to 25 knots, or about one and half to double the speed of a Flower.  DE's could lay down a larger depth charge pattern having 8 K guns (4 per side) in addition to two stern racks with 12 charges each.  This was about double what the Flower could put out in a single pattern.

The US DE's also more regularly carried one or two hedgehog bomb throwers, a weapon that the Admiralty considered inferior to their own design, the Limbo (later Squid) triple depth bomb thrower.

The US built over 500 DE's (565 completed) in various classes during the war with a big chunk of those going into British and Commonwealth service for ASW work.  The original production plan called for over 1000.  But, by mid 1943 it was becoming obvious that the U-boat campaign was turning a corner and being won so the orders were cut way back on additional ships and most DE finished after that were ones already laid down.  In British / Commonwealth use they were usually called "Frigates," and considered more of a small destroyer than simply an ASW vessel like the Flower.

The biggest problem the US had in manufacturing these ships was finding suitable machinery for them.  Thus, there were diesel, steam turbine, turbo-electric, and diesel electric types made.  The diesel ones were mostly given to other nations as they were the slowest types at around 18 knots.  DE's were also converted to other uses such as high speed amphibious transports, radar picket ships, etc.

In terms of the game, the US DE's could actually be competitive at lower tiers.  They have torpedoes, and ones like the Rudderrow class have 2 5"/38 guns.  This makes them slower versions of something like the Mutsuki at tier V.

de-_579__riley__2.jpg

 

 

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I think unfortunately I'd have to agree with others, WG are looking at adding 1-3 submarines per game, the Flower has no utility against the other 9-11 ships on the red team.

As it stands the Flower would be an inferior ASW platform in game. Destroyers can do it, and submarines at T6 are being tested able to do 24kt submerged, a bit of a challenge for a 15kt Flower. You'd want far better speed just to get ahead of and screen your fleet.

It's ironic that as it stands the best ASW destroyers in-game will likely be the fastest, able to chase the circles faster.

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Oh, I would add in terms of the game giving DE's at tier IV hydrophones and at V and up radar in addition, along with smoke would make them quite desirable as part of a game at those tier levels.  They'd be the only radar / hydrophone ships in many cases.  The trade off is they're more weakly armed and a bit slower than proper destroyers, but that hydro- radar combo might be worth having if you're the only ship with it.

Edited by Murotsu

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6 hours ago, Murotsu said:

The US DE's also more regularly carried one or two hedgehog bomb throwers, a weapon that the Admiralty considered inferior to their own design, the Limbo (later Squid) triple depth bomb thrower.

The Hedgehog was carried by a number of Flowers, it being a British weapon first. Squid is its successor, designed to be more effective at greater depths, by having a smaller number of larger charges. Limbo is the last in that line, having three aimable tubes rather than the fixed angle of the Squid. 

 

Anyways, as noted by others above, whilst the Flowers are undoubtedly neat ships, which were of great value, and their widespread service offers interesting points of comparison (such as the French ones), they are not really suited to this game. 

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I remember reading somewhere that DEs (never mind something like the Flower class) were not as good at hunting submarines as regular destroyers, but back then quantity mattered more than quality in sub hunting.

And having ships like the Flower and DEs (they were relatively small but there were over 500 built?! The production capabilities back then boggle the mind) meant freeing any DDs for fleet escort and combat missions and everything else.

On 9/14/2019 at 10:02 AM, Murotsu said:

In terms of the game, the US DE's could actually be competitive at lower tiers.

I agree, even a DE would have a very hard time in this game, except for low tiers as they are much smaller and less capable than their contemporary destroyers.

They could be interesting additions... perhaps as a lower tier premium here and there...

hmm....  think of the possibility of selling the Samuel B. Roberts as a premium... :cap_yes:

ok there's your moneymaking idea for the day wargaming, I'll take the usual fee :Smile_teethhappy:

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6 hours ago, Ironshroud said:

I remember reading somewhere that DEs (never mind something like the Flower class) were not as good at hunting submarines as regular destroyers, but back then quantity mattered more than quality in sub hunting.

And having ships like the Flower and DEs (they were relatively small but there were over 500 built?! The production capabilities back then boggle the mind) meant freeing any DDs for fleet escort and combat missions and everything else.

I agree, even a DE would have a very hard time in this game, except for low tiers as they are much smaller and less capable than their contemporary destroyers.

They could be interesting additions... perhaps as a lower tier premium here and there...

hmm....  think of the possibility of selling the Samuel B. Roberts as a premium... :cap_yes:

ok there's your moneymaking idea for the day wargaming, I'll take the usual fee :Smile_teethhappy:

The USN DDEs were effective enough against Submarines and doing the Convoy Escorting duty.  What made them very desirable was how cheap they were in making them, so the more expensive Fleet DDs like Fletchers would be doing operations with the fleet instead of being stuck on Convoy Escorting.

 

Buckley-class DDEs from the USA only went 23kts, but that was better than what Submarines could manage, and can overwhelm them.  Fun history is USS England of the class with the ASW record of killing 5 Submarines in 12 days.

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The only way sub chasers, corvettes, frigates and DDEs are going to work in the game is if submarines are confined to their own game modes that include these classes. Otherwise they'd be completely useless in the wider game due to light armament and slow speeds. 

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5 minutes ago, ramp4ge said:

The only way sub chasers, corvettes, frigates and DDEs are going to work in the game is if submarines are confined to their own game modes that include these classes. Otherwise they'd be completely useless in the wider game due to light armament and slow speeds. 

Very much so.  I remember years ago threads where people wanted DDEs in the game.  I knew they were cheaper, weaker than a Fleet DD like Fletcher, Kagero-classes, for example, but when you started to look at the performance, armament differences, it's quite pronounced.  Something like a Fletcher has the firepower of a division of DDEs.  Not to mention going much, MUCH faster.  USS England as a DDE only went 23kts but USS Fletcher went 36kts.

 

People already complain about 21kt BBs, but do you want a 23kt DDE in mid tiers?  A 23kt DDE facing Bensons and Akizukis, Fletchers, Jutlands, Kitakazes, Mogadors?

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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9 hours ago, ramp4ge said:

The only way sub chasers, corvettes, frigates and DDEs are going to work in the game is if submarines are confined to their own game modes that include these classes. Otherwise they'd be completely useless in the wider game due to light armament and slow speeds. 

And also because of the game matchmaking where teams match at a 1:1 ratio. What would be the point of taking a DDE even at Tier III when you can take a DD? Taking a DDE would put your team at a serious disadvantage.

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11 hours ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

but do you want a 23kt DDE in mid tiers? 

Nope, but we can fix that....

2 hours ago, RainbowFartingUnicorn said:

And also because of the game matchmaking where teams match at a 1:1 ratio. What would be the point of taking a DDE even at Tier III when you can take a DD? Taking a DDE would put your team at a serious disadvantage.

It could work, with a lot of hand waving! I may have been thinking about this too much but here it goes, I'll use good ol' Sammy B. as an example. I'm not even thinking of it as anti submarine ship.

Let's say it was at tier 4 (or maybe tier 3)... (compared it to other destroyers at that tier, and you won't see more than tier 5, maybe this could work....maybe.....it's a stretch I know...)

Remember back in the day during the battle off Samar it got up to 28 knots when all the safeties were disconnected? There ya go, it can do 28 knots :Smile_facepalm:  (you may being groaning now) slow but not quite so slow as to be unusable. At its design speed of 24 knots it would be too slow and unusable. Most DDs at that tier go about 34-35 knots so I know this is still a stretch...

12 hours ago, ramp4ge said:

Otherwise they'd be completely useless in the wider game due to light armament and slow speeds.

Agreed. However, this is how we get around the weapons part, and ONLY at around tier 3-4 or so. At tier 3-4 all the DDs are OLD and typically have really small guns about 102mm for most of them. Something like the Sammy B. is a much newer ship, with much newer and better weapons, just fewer of them. You only have 2 guns and 3 torpedoes, but you have the new 5 inch guns which are much better than anything at tier 3 or 4, and also much better torpedoes.

You make up for quantity of weapons with quality of weapons. Think tier 6+ US DD guns (the US DD guns are all pretty much  the same from there on up) and tier 6 or 7 torpedoes (6.4km range ones I think). The reload would be the same for the guns, 3.3-4 sec or so to make up for the lower number of them. Most other DDs at this tier don't fire that fast.

It's small because it is a DE, not a DD, so a VERY small detection range (5.4km?), combined with the better 6.4km torps and you have the only US DD anywhere near there that can stealth torp. It's slow so you need to be careful but you have a good window to do so.

And then on top of that, you add BOTH torpedo reload booster AND gun reload booster. (we're hand waving here... it fired at a furious rate in that battle afterall...) Maybe you have to choose between one or the other in the same slot, maybe you have both at the same time? Either way this would at least be a nice consumable addition for something meant to be premium, and makes up somewhat for the limited number of weapons.

On top of this, strangely enough, it would probably have a very strong AA suite too for low tier (the 5 inch guns are dual purpose, you have a few 40mm and some 20mm too, better than anything else down there that's a DD). So that can be one advantage over every other DD at that tier (imagine being at tier 4 in a DD and being able to actually defend yourself from air attack....)

 

Ok, I know this is a stretch, it's not probable, but at least possible.

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16 hours ago, HazeGrayUnderway said:

Fun history is USS England of the class with the ASW record of killing 5 Submarines in 12 days.

I'm always thought this had a lot to do with code breaking and the ship knowing exactly where to look.

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Toss in that you could also give them speed boost and stick a speed flag on them.  28 knots becomes 30 with the flag (give or take), and with the boost it's doing DD speeds for a short time...

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At this point [edited] it why not?

The real limitations of Subs didn't stop WG from putting them in the game so why not?

crapgive 'em fuckin harpoons and exocets.

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Okay, but a ship like this would be at Tier negative 4, the USS Erie has 152mm guns at Tier 1

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On 10/11/2019 at 1:00 PM, Sabot_100 said:

I'm always thought this had a lot to do with code breaking and the ship knowing exactly where to look.

The England got lucky.  The ship worked its way up  a picket line of smaller coastal subs led by I-16.

Japanese_submarine_Ro-101_in_1943.jpg

aided by the Japanese making periodic radio reports as the subs were acting as scouts.  It wasn't so much code breaking as using HF/DF systems that could pinpoint the location of the transmissions.

The RO-100 class were a rough equivalent of the German Type VII but designed for coast defense rather than commerce raiding like the German boat.

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1 hour ago, Murotsu said:

The England got lucky.  The ship worked its way up  a picket line of smaller coastal su[edited] led by I-16.

Probably a combination of luck, HFDF and code breaking. Codebreaking lets you know how many there are,  their last reported position and where they are going next (probably with an ETA). England and its team aren't privy to this info but are sent by command to the area(s) on a "random" patrol mission and uses its HFDF to locate the subs intel reports (cover story: spotted by planes, coastwatchers, radio intercept, etc.) indicate MIGHT be operating in the area. 

 

Edited by Sabot_100

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