CNS Almirante Riveros (DDL-1940/41)


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The two battlecruisers (Coquimbo and Capitan Prat) had sucked all the funds out of the Chilean Navy budget. The Navy needed new cruisers to replace the Santiago class and more destroyers to replace the Almirante Lynch class destroyer leaders. The Chileans could not afford both so a large destroyer leader that was actually bigger than the Santiago class cruisers was ordered. Magnificent ships they would turn out to be.

What was considered the only drawback was the 4" main armament. But these Mk XX twin 4" turrets were a cut above the 4" twin Mk XVI twins fitted to the upgraded Serrano class. In perfect conditions the Mk XVI would fire at 16 rounds per minute (RPM), while in the same perfect conditions the Mk XX turrets would fire at 24 RPM. In normal conditions this would be 12 and 20 RPM. The Mk XX was power everything but not quite automatic. Extra large magazines were required and accounted for the extra size of the hull. Eventually the quad 2 pounder guns were replaced with twin Hazemeyer 40mm radar controlled mountings and the twin 20mm would be replaced with 40mm single mountings. The single 20mm were not replaced. Fitted with Hedgehog units beside the bridge in late 1941, the advent of the Hedgehog increased the chance of a U-boat kill many times.

Hedgehog was a great advance in anti-submarine weaponry. Depth charge attack had about a 7% chance of success, Hedgehog raised that to almost 30%. The anti-submarine war went backwards and forwards. The U-boats had the early advantage but there weren't enough of them. When there were enough U-boats, technical and escort numbers were enough to keep the balance. Technical advances kept coming for both sides. The schnorchel allowed the U-boats to stay dived longer, while advances in asdic and Hedgehog allowed the escorts to find and destroy the U-boats in greater numbers than before. During this phase the Allies finally got enough escorts to sea to be able to allow for U-boat hunting groups to be formed. Captain Walker's group did exceptionally well. Then the Germans countered with the Type XXI U-boats and thankfully for the Allies not enough could be got to sea to make a difference. Our old mate Hitler cost Germany the war with his 'No research and development that took more than 12 months to be proceeded with' rule at the Fall of France robbed the Germans of all sorts of development opportunities. Including jets, type XXI, radar, rocketry, nuclear, etc. That rule applied till the attack on Russia (Operation Barbarossa) in June 1941. That 12 months gave the Allies the time it needed to gain the technical advantage which they then never lost. (My personal view).

Displacement 3100 tons std, 3550 tons full load
Length 425 ft
Breadth 45 ft
Draught 14 ft
Machinery 2 shaft steam turbines, 60,000shp
Speed 34 knots
Range 6000 miles at 12 knots
Armament As completed

8 x 4" (4x2)
8 x 2pd AA (2x4)
12 x 20mm (5x2. 2x1)
As completed

8 x 4" (4x2)
4 x 40mm Hazemeyer (2x2)
5 x 40mm (5x1)
2 x 20mm (2x1)
Torpedoes 10 x 21" (2x5)
Complement 240
Notes Almirante Riveros (1940)
Alm. 1940
Alm 1941
Alm 1941

I have tried a 1950's version. Limbo anti-submarine mortar (2x3). Mk V 40mm, three twins. Mk XX 4" (2x2). Two 40mm singles beside the bridge. Two twin rocket assisted homing torpedoes (RAT's), can act as either anti-ship or anti-sub. Rocket motor extends the launch range out to 40,000 yards at a much faster rate than a torpedo that uses mainly underwater as its mode of travel. (Thinking Long Lance Japanese torpedoes) The main change is the enhanced radar and sonar systems to assist each type of weapon to achieve optimum performance.


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