US Destroyers


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I am working on the US destroyers and have just about reached my final working ideas.

The problem I have with the US destroyers is the jumps in size that can now be made when the treaties are abrogated early. The Japanese fail to sign the 1930 London Treaty and the race is on. The US already has the 1500 ton Farragut class laid down and under construction. Nothing can be done with them. They will have their stability problems throughout their careers.

One of the other problems is the sheer numbers of the four pipers that were built and completed 1917-22 (some were completed later at peacetime work rates). Over 250 were built, and it took years after the end of WW1 for these ships to enter the navy. the oldest destroyers were being decommissioned and their crews transferred to a brand new, 4-5 year old four pipers, that had never been in service. If nothing else. the four pipers should have made the Germans and Japanese take notice of the speed of construction that could be done by the US shipyards.

At present my US timeline for DD's is:

4 Pipers - over 200 were still available in December 1941.

Farragut - 1500 ton type - The US needed large long ranged, well armed ships, too much tried for on too little.

Mahan - 1750 ton type - Increases the staying power of the Farragut type, but still not what the USN requires.

Benson - 2000 ton type - takes the 5x5" armed ships to their optimum. Range, speed and armament are at levels the USN wanted. Standard US WW2 destroyer. Replaces Fletchers as well.

Somers - 2400 ton type - Destroyer leaders for the earlier destroyer squadrons 8x5".

Gleaves - 1700 ton type - General purpose 'escort' destroyer for fast convoy work - lower 32 knot speed. 1x2-5" 2x1-5", better AA, 1xset torpedoes, more depth charges.

Gearing - 2800 ton type - ultimate 5" wartime DD. Big, fast, 6x5", 10xTT, lots of AA.

In 13 years from 1930-43, the size of destroyers virtually double. The full load size of the Gearing is 3,500 tons. An impressive ship by any standards.

I show the Norfolk type at the end which is the air defence destroyer based on the Atlanta CLA hulls. Took the destroyer right up into the cruiser sized vessels. The Des Moisne class being completed at the same time had also taken the cruiser to new heights of size and power.

I do despair of the USN's failure to take heed of the need for stability in their ships. The removal of sets of torpedo tube and whole 5" mountings, not just shields, would have given the early US destroyers the extra tonnage necessary to enhance the electronics and AA outfits. The only time US fleet destroyers used their torpedoes from 1944 onwards was to sink their own crippled ships.

Anybody got any ideas on what I am sure to have missed?

The images below are the original ships, not my drawings of the ships I want to populate the US destroyers pages with. I will change the names and break the classes into 'groups' to show the evolution of the class. Ie: Benson, Gridley, Sims, Fletcher, groups within the Benson Class.







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