• If you building a WWII era fleet, what destroyer class would you choose as the backbone of  your fleet?

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

  • Moderator 2023 '22 '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    Morning Worsham. The Battle Class.
    Thank you for introducing me to the subject. Have just had a fun and informative read. I saw that the Akizuzi class is  rated the best, but that it was considered an AA platform. That turned me away from it.
    The UK’s Destroyers, however, needed to be something else. (It seemed each nation had a different role for the DD.) They had to be able to sail all over the globe and in all weathers.
    It was this line that clinched it for me:

    It was a recurring theme during the war for British destroyers to torpedo large enemy ships in conditions so vile that the enemy destroyers that were supposed to screen their heavy ships had been sent back to port.

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Wittmann is quite correct when he says that the design of destroyers (and of warships in general) varies from country to country based on each naval power’s own special philosophy and requirements.  To give just three examples: American warships were in many cases intended to cope with the long distances in the Pacific, so they tended to be long-ranged (and/or to be supported by good naval oilers); British warships had to cope with the requirements of defending a global empire, but could also count on refuelling at Britain’s many possessions, so they tended to be more “short-legged” than their US counteparts; Italian warships were designed to operate in the relatively calm Mediterranean, and hence did not have to be as structurally strong as ships intended for use in the much rougher Atlantic.  And even within a single country, design philosophies and practices evolved over time, based in such factors as treaty restrictions, changing operational requirements and wartime exigencies.  For destroyers specifically, some designs placed a priority on a large torpedo armament, some on a powerful AAA battery, and some (like the large British Tribal class) on a large gun armament.

    To answer ABW’s question, my starting point was to decide that I would pick a Japanese destroyer because this would give me a destroyer armed with the most advanced torpedo of its time, the oxygen-fueled 24-inch Type 93 Long Lance.  The next step was to pick a Japanese destroyer designed after Japan broke free of the restrictions imposed by the Washington and London naval treaties, but before Japan started building simpler and cheaper designs during the last years of WWII as a result of wartime pressures.

    Assuming that money was no object and that I could build as many as I wanted, my pick would therefore be the Shimakaze class.  Only one was ever built, and it was considered an experimental “super destroyer” design, but it had impressive statistics: a speed of 40.9 knots (1.9 knots faster than its design speed), 15 Long Lance torpedo tubes (the only Japanese ship to have that many), and 6 five-inch dual-purpose guns (combining anti-aircraft and surface-combat capabilities).  If money was a consideration, then I’d pick either the Kagero class or the Yugumo class.

  • Hands down, US Fletcher class destroyer. 175 built, the next two US destroyer classes based off of it. It was the destroyer that screened the US carrier battle groups. 5 duel purpose 5" guns, numerous AA guns, 10 21" torpedo tubes (only effective after the US solved its torpedo problem). speed, 38 knots. a true warship. also, one could argue they won the war for the US. It was basically the Navy’s version of the Sherman tank. plus, the last one was decommissioned in 2001, so a life of 57-59 years depending on when it was commissioned.

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