CSS Washburn (FG-1939)


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With war looming in Europe, the Confederate States Navy looked at its inventory and noticed that replacements for the elderly escorts that could be used for convoy work were long overdue. Inteligence on the latest Italian and German submarines gave surface speeds of 18-20 knots and submerged speeds of 7-10 knots with bursts of 10-12 knots. This gave a speed requirement for escorts of 24-26 knots so that if an escort caught a submarine on the surface it would be fast enough to catch it. The ship would then have to detect the submarine if it submerged and then have the weapons to damage/destroy it.

The Washburn class was a new concept for the CSN as basic escort ships had not been part of the navy list before. The previous escorts had all been converted from something else for their role as escort. The class was designed to be able to offer both ASW and Air Warfare capabilities to merchant vessels in convoy situations. Either for fleet train duties in the Pacific or convoys accross the Atlantic to France and the United Kingdom.

To this end both types of weaponry received due attention. Surface weaponry started with two twin 3.9" mountings split one fore and one aft. A pair of 40mm cannons was fitted superfiring over the after X mounting of 3.9" guns. A battery of six 20mm cannons was mounted around the funnel and midships. The subsurface weapons revolved around the depth charge and then later the Hedgehog ahead throwing mortar system. To aid these systems, Asdic and Radar were fitted and upgraded during the classes refit programs.


Displacement 1,350 tons std 1,650 tons full load
Length 287 ft
Breadth 34 ft
Draught 10 ft
Machinery 2 shaft steam turbines, 15,000shp
Speed 25 knots
Range 4500 miles at 15 knots (1200 nm at 23 knots)
Armour Nil
Armament 4 x 3.9" (2x2)

2 x 40mm (1x2)

6 x 20mm (6x1)

Aircraft nil
Torpedoes nil
Complement 160
Notes CSS Washburn


Centresection of Washburn Class Frigates showing AA armament.


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