CSS Havana (ML-1941)


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In Confederate States Navy nomenclature these ships were Minelaying Cruisers and as such received city names. In actual fact they were smaller than the McKinley class Destroyer Leaders. The ships themselves were based on the successful Abdiel Class minelayers the United Kingdom had built from 1938 onwards. The ships were built in pairs, the first pair being laid down in 1939 and completed in 1941, while the second pair were laid down in 1940 and completed in 1942. Further vessels of the type were contemplated but several of the Glass class destroyers were fitted for minelaying instead.

Even for CSN standards these ships were fast. On trials the ships raised over 100,000shp which at full load displacement gave 42 knots while at standard displacement with forced draught and all the taps fully opened the ship made a touch over 45 knots. The art of offensive minelaying is to lay a field of mines in a place that your enemy is unaware of and where it will create the most problems for them. To this end, ships need to be as fast as possible to get to the laying point undetected, lay the field, then escape without detection so that the enemy is unaware of the new field. If the ships is detected then ships and aircraft will be sent to intercept, which is when the strong defensive armament of these ships came into its own. Air defense took first place as it is aircraft that were most likely to overhaul and attack the ship. The six pairs of twin 40mm ensured that any aircraft that came within range would get a hot reception. The barage capabilities of the twin 5.1" were not to be underestimated when coupled with the increasing accuracy of the radar control units.


Displacement 2,800 tons std 3,600 tons full load
Length 400 ft
Breadth 39 ft
Draught 18 ft
Machinery 4 shaft steam turbines 100,000shp
Speed 42 knots
Range 5,500 miles at 18 knots (1,200 nm at 38 knots)
Armour nil
Armament 6 x 5.1" (3x2)

12 x 40mm (2x4 4x2)

10 x 20mm (10x1)

Mines 200 small, 150 large.
Complement 250
Notes CSS McKinley


Stern chutes for minelaying with the extra 40mm twin mounting added in 1943.


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