RZS Durthang (DDE-1940)


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The Durthang class were Zealandias biggest contribution to the war effort. The Durthang class was designed around the twin 4" turret. The turret provided secure weatherproof conditions for the crew to operate in. Power operated in full, this increased the speed of operations in the turret. Loading and firing was faster, training and elevation were faster, most of all crew fatigue was lessened considerably. The two twin turrets fitted to the ship were worth three of the older open mounting.

From when the first units were completed in 1940, the electronic suite, just kept increasing with surface, air, and sub-surface electronics all being replaced with new and upgraded units on a regular basis. The light AA armament also increased and changed as better weaponry became available. Oerlikons replace Hispano 20mm, 40mm Bofors in twin and singles replace everything from late 1942 onwards. Some units had the torpedoes removed and replaced with another twin 40mm. Those units were mainly used in the Pacific, while the units operating around Europe retained their torpedoes as there was a pretty good chance they could be used against enemy surface targets.

The class fought everywhere and were very active in the Mediterranean where the superior AA capability came into its own. Losses to the Mediterranean squadrons were heavy. Once the Arctic theatre also opened the turreted 4" showed the advantage of having the crew protected from the elements. In the Atlantic, from late 1942, the appearance of the Hedgehog forward throwing mortar system increased the chance of a successful anti-submarine attack from 7% with depth charges to 28%. The U-boats days were numbered.

Displacement 1,500 tons standard, 2,000 tons full load
Length 310 ft
Breadth 34 ft
Draught 11 ft
Machinery 2 shaft steam turbines, 20,000shp
Speed 26 knots
Range 7000 miles at 14 knots
Armour nil
Armament 4 x 4" (2x2)
4 x 2pd (1x4)
4 x 20mm (4x1)
From 1942
4 x 4" (2x2)
8 x 40mm (3x2 2x1)
Aircraft nil
Torpedoes 3x 21" (1x3)
Complement 125
Notes RZS Durthang (03/1940)

RZS Bundushathur (04/1940)

RZS Dol Guldur (07/1940)

RZS Dol Amroth (08/1940)

RZS Dol Baran (01/1941)

RZS Dol Erebor (01/1941)

RZS Ellenach (03/1941)

RZS Methedras (09/1941)

RZS Mindoluin (03/1942) 

RZS Mundburg (03/1942)

RZS Orodruin (04/1942)

RZS Ravenhill (04/1942)

RZS Starkhorn (04/1942) 

RZS Zarakzigil (04/1942)

RZS Tol Barandir (07/1942)

RZS Tol Duath (07/1942)

RZS Tol Mithrin (07/1942) 

RZS Tol Arnen (08/1942)

RZS Nimrais (01/1943)

RZS Amon Amarth (01/1943)

RZS Amon Anwar (01/1943) 

RZS Amon Din (01/1943)

RZS Amon Hen (01/1943)

RZS Amon Lanc (01/1943)

RZS Amon Lhaw (01/1943)

RZS Amon Sul (01/1943)

RZS Emyn Arnen (04/1943)

RZS Emyn Beraid (04/1943)

RZS Emyn Duir (05/1943)

RZS Emyn Muil (05/1943)

RZS Ephel Duath (06/1943)

RZS Ered Lithui (07/1943)

RZS Ered Luin (08/1943)

RZS Evendim (10/1943)

RZS Fanuidhol (10/1943)

RZS Mount Gunabad (10/1943)

RZS Iron Hills (02/1944)

RZS Weathertop (02/1944)

RZS Thrihyrne (02/1944)

RZS Silvertine (02/1944)

RZS Forodwaith (03/1944)

RZS Mar-nu-Fulmar (04/1944)

RZS Angrenost (06/1944)

RZS Orthanc (06/1944)

RZS Annuminas (08/1944)

RZS Carchost (08/1944)

RZS Carn Dum (09/1944)

RZS Elostirion (10/1944)

RZS Narchost (10/1944)

RZS Fornost Erain (11/1944)

RZS Osgiliath (11/1944)

RZS East Emnet (12/1944)

RZS Harrowdale (01/1945)

RZS West Emnet (01/1945)

RZS Andrast (02/1945)

RZS Westfold (03/1945)

RZS Anfalas (03/1945)

RZS Ringlo Vale (04/1945)

RZS Blackroot (05/1945)

RZS Imloth Melui (06/1945)

RZS Lebbenin (08/1945)

RZS Lamedon (08/1945

RZS Lossarnach (10/1945)

RZS Pinnath Gelin (11/1945)

RZS Tolfalas (12/1945)

RZS Morgulduin (12/1945)

RZS Hoarwell (03/1946)

Eventually 67 of these useful destroyers were completed and a further 13 were cancelled and/or scrapped on the slips at wars end. 26 were sold and/or transferred to other Commonwealth and Allied countries. War losses were heavy (I just have not worked out how heavy yet) and having been thrown together cheaply, none of the surviving units lasted further than the mid 1950's. Their limited size and speed made them unsuitable for rebuilding into the missile age.

Hedgehog unit fitted to side of the bridge of the Durthang class.


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