Best Fleet Destroyer Of WWII

Discussion in 'Polls' started by parsifal, May 11, 2008.

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Best WWII Fleet Destroyer

  1. Daring

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Battle

    3.4%
  3. Fletcher

    51.7%
  4. Sumner

    6.9%
  5. Gearing

    10.3%
  6. Shimakaze

    3.4%
  7. Yugumo

    3.4%
  8. Akitsuki

    10.3%
  9. Mogador

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. Comandanti

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  11. Z-35

    6.9%
  12. Ognevoi

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  13. Le Hardi

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  14. Other

    3.4%
  1. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    What are your opinions of the best WWII Fleet Destroyer

    Fletcher
    Allen M Sumner
    Gearing
    Battle
    Daring
    Yugumo
    Shimakaze
    Z-17
    Z-23
    Z-35
    Mogador
    Le Hardi
    Comandanti
    Ognevoi
    Code:
    
    
     
  2. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Fletcher class but unfortunately, I think we already had this discussion earlier. I liked your thought of best BB before WW2 began. How about best BB commisioned before Sept. 1, 1939?
     
  3. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking of doing it, wasnt sure how it might be received. I didnt know this topic had already been disscussed.

    Hard to go past any of the US DDs, but I was the one who voted for the Shimakaze. Had a broadside of 15 Long lances, and a design speed of over 39 knots, which she could easily exceed.
     
  4. SeaSkua

    SeaSkua Member

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    What were the British DD's? Was that the TRIBAL class? Shouldn't they at least be in the poll?
     
  5. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    I listed the two late war Brit DDs, the battles and the Darings, which incorporated all the wartime experiences.

    British DDs prior to the war were very much the compromise, and in my opinion were the correct decision. Britiain did not generally opt for the "superddestroyer" 9perhaps with the exception of the Tribals). The british realized that at some point numbers were important, and hence their DDs were not designed to be the "biggest" or the "meanest".

    The really big failings of the early Brit DDs was the poor AA fitout. The 4.7" was a good gun, but it offered only very limited AA capability. The 4.5" was a vary satisfactory AA gun Without a satisfactory AA weapon, the brit DDs could not provide effective escort for the bigger ships, and in fact were even hard pressed to defend themselves. Torpedoes could, for example can be launched outside the effective range of a 20mm gun. There was a saying in the allied navies, which roughly says "if the 20's start firing, its time to hit the deck"
     
  6. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    I know pratically nothing about WWII destroyers, but it's a good poll.
     
  7. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    If you had to pick a british DD for the Poll the L+M class would be a good option instead of the Darings. There were two versions one with 6 x 4.7in DP and one with 8 x 4in DP.
    Darings were post war vessels.
     
  8. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Its true that the Darings were not completed until 1952-4, but the drawings were sealed in February 1945.

    I thought the Darings would make a very interesting comparison to the gearings, but there has been surprisingly little debate so far. Fully enclosed turrets, full DP main armament, unitised machinery, secondary armament on biaxial mounts. I would have thought this would generate considerable debate, since the gearings were more heavily armed on paper, but lacked these greater refinements.

    The problems with the L&Ms were basically twofold, firstly the machinery spaces were no unitised, making them somewhat vulnerable, secondly the mountings only allowed a maximum of 50 degrees elevation, which limited their effctiveness in the AA role. The 4 in guns were not true DP weapons either, placing such vessels at a disadvantage ina full surface engagement, particualrly against the 5.9 in German DDs, which were their main adversaries. They were good British DDs, but not the best of the bunch in my opinion
     
  9. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I don't disagree with a lot of what you say. I just mentioned the L+M class as they were the best of the British WW2 destroyers.

    I wouldn't be be too concerned about facing the German DD's with 5.9 in an L+M with 8 x 4in. It sounds odd I know but the range is the same in practical terms, the ROF of the 4in and the lack of armour on destroyers makes the armour penetration of the 5.9in of limited benefit and the 5.9in is basically to big for hand loading on a pitching, bucking destroyer. Its worth remembering that the Germans went back to the 5in for their last destroyers.
     
  10. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Hi Glider

    You are right that in practical terms the 4in was not so much of a problem. This was because the instances that the germans could have taken advantage of their heavier armament just never presented themselves. Still theoretically, the British ships would have operated at some disadvantage if those conditions had arisen (basically, a day action in calm seas). Under those circumstances, the Germans would have held a range advantage of 23000 metres, to the british 18000. The german Broadside (per minute) would have been 1280 kg , to the british 1524 kg, so despite the lighter caliber, the british ships were the more heavily armed. Moreover the severe weight penalty paid by the German Narvik class DDs was such that any kind of sea, and they had to slow down, if they wanted to have any channce of hitting anything (common faalacy was that the german ships could not operate in heavy seas. Post war tresting revealed that they could operate in rough weather, but the amount of spray thrown up by the extra weight in the bow, and the poor forecastle design, meant that they threw up an enormopus amount of spray, which prevented them from using their guns effectively, unless they slowed right down).
     
  11. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't mind betting that even in flat calm conditions, either side would be lucky to hit anything outside 16000 yards.
     
  12. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Ah yes that is true too. The record hit of any ship in WWII is held by the Warspite, which hit the Cesare on a fine sunny day in the mediterranean in 1940, at the extreme range of 26000 yds, whilst the Scharnhorst hit the Glorious at 26,500 yds. So hitting a target with a DD rangefinder at 23000 yds is not going to happen. However, hitting a destroyer with a 4" gun at 18000 is also not going to happen. But it is more likley that the 5.9" German ship is going to start hitting at 18000, because this is within the practical performance arc of the german ships. If the German ships are effective at 18000 yds, then by extrapolation, the L&Ms are going to start being effective at ranges of about 13000 yds.

    By applying practical ranges to the equation the odds only get worse for the British DDs.

    Of course, one should not forget that compared to the 5in/38 equipped USN DDs, these ranges of even 13000 yds are quite unnattainable. The US paid for their DP capability by reducing the effective ranges of their DD main armament in a surface engagement to essentially paltry numbers
     
  13. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Going with the Gearings. Served on one and heard it was derived from the Fletchers. Lessons learned and all that. Might've even been true!
     
  14. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Gearings are IMO the best wartime US DD, and also arguably the best DD overall of the war. Like all the US DDs, though they suffered some weaknesses, if you could call them a weakness. Because they used a DP weapon as main armament, and because their torps until late in the war were very ordinary, in a surface engagement US DDs were not the equal of their foreign opponents or even the RN allies. In comparison to the Japanese 5", for example, the Japanese gun in surface engagements was something like 25-30% better than the US 5". The performance of the Long Lance is legendary. Effectively, the Japanese could fire their torps at ranges of 16000 yds (which is whee they did at Java sea, and elswhere), whilst the effective range of US torps was no more than 5000 yds. Torp speed and warhead size were also massively outclassed.

    Brit torps were, IMO the next best torps after the japanese. They had an effective range of about 7000 yds. the Brit torps were not usually wakeless like the Japs, but the warhead size was bigger than the US types. I also believe that in the early war period, Brit torps were superior to German types, although the margin of superiority was more to do with reliability than anything.
     
  15. Kurfürst

    Kurfürst Banned

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    The German decision to go with 5,9 in/15cm guns on their wartime destroyer designs was inspered by the fact that RN destroyers had the annoying tendency to show up accompanied by light cruiser(s). Since CLs are armored to an extent and are often sporting larger calibers, German DDs needed to have some measure against them. Also - and this cannot be stressed enough, being so often neglected, with a 20/20 hindsight the RN being seen as a main rival - in the pre-war years they had their eye on French naval developments, and were in a naval arms race with the French, and not the British. And the French were increasing the caliber of their naval armament.

    In DD vs DD terms, the 12,8cm gun was undoubtedly a more practical weapon for the German fleet destroyers.
     
  16. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    The decision by the Germans to mount 5.9" guns was a very badly thought out choice of armament. With an extra 50 tons on the bow, German destroyers became extremely wet and heavy ships, with the result that they were barely seaworthy in any kind of seaway. Moreover, whilst they had a distinct range advantage over the more lightly armed British Destroyers, in the sorts of close in battles that DDs inevitably caught up in, the higher rates of fire, and number of guns per hull, meant that in actual firepower, nearly all the later British DDs were able to deliver higher weights of shell onto the target, than were the 5.9 armed german Zerstorers.

    As for the Heavy armament being some sort of ability to counter British Light cruisers, well, maybe, but if true, it is a very poor choice, since the German Destroyers were not properly armoured to take any British cruiser on on anything like equal terms, lacked the rangefinding abilty that the larger brit ships possessed, and worst of all lacked any sort of comaparable fire control and surface search radar that the British cruisers possessed from a very early point in the war
     
  17. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Re the decision about arming the German destroyers with 5.9 because the British destroyers tended to be teamed with light cruisers. It certainly could have been the reason but I would be suprised. A number of navies built small cruisers to work with the destroyer units but the British didn't. One destroyer in each flotilla was nominated the destroyer leader. In the earlier A-I class the destroyer was a little bigger with an extra 4.7in. In later designs they had additional accomadation and the Germans would have been aware of this.

    Re the chances of a DD against a light cruiser there was on moment when a Dido class with 8 x 4.5in gun, not the 10 x 5.25in was sent to intercept a heavy German DD. Consideration was given about the differing weapons but it was decided that the additional stability and fire control of the CL would be more than sufficient. In the end they didn't meet
    I will try and dig out the details
     
  18. Kurfürst

    Kurfürst Banned

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    Keep in mind the 15cm guns were only used on a wartime destroyer class. The rest had the more balanced and effective 12.8cm guns.

    I feel this is a bit of an exaggrevation. Lets keep in mind the destoyers themselves were quite a bit larger than the competion, and possessed better seakeeping qualities to start with by the virtue of their hull size.

    Hmm, against Bismarck the Tribals failed to score a single hit, on a much larger unmanouvering target...

    Its not about equal terms, its about having the gun that can actually put a armored light cruiser in a world of hurt.

    The optimal armament size was probably around the size of 5"; anything below that lacked range and punch, larger stuff was probably an overkill, although in the case of the Kriegsmarine`s operational enviroment it made sense.
     
  19. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    This is why the "Narviks" are not included in the shortlist. I agree that the 5.9 gave a theoretical advantage to the Narviks, but only a theoreticsal. In practical tems they were a liability, as evidenced by the germans returning to a 5" calibre in their subsequent designs
     
  20. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Its true that the main or at least one of main reasons to choose 5,9 in main armament to the 1938 ordered KM DDs was to try to outgun the French contre-torpilleurs with 138mm guns but that was probably not very bright idea.

    Quote: The German decision to go with 5,9 in/15cm guns on their wartime destroyer designs was inspered by the fact that RN destroyers had the annoying tendency to show up accompanied by light cruiser(s).

    Now in fact the 5,9 in DDs (Z23 onwards) were ordered before the war, so it had nothing to do with WWII combat experiences. And Germans made the decision in spite of that they had not so good experience with late WWI 5,9 in armed S 113 and V 116.

    Quote: Since CLs are armored to an extent and are often sporting larger calibers, German DDs needed to have some measure against them.

    The idea of gunnery duel with CLs wasn’t very bright. That was best shown at the last days of 1943 when 5 large Zs (5,9 in guns) and 6 Ts (4,1 in guns) fought against one new and one old RN CL. Germans lost one Z and two Ts without being able to inflict any significant damage to CLs (HMS Glasgow suffered one hit).
     
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