View Full Version : Best Destroyer....

November 5th, 2010, 09:48
Probably a topic to entertain and inform. Destroyers were called on to do so many things by so many differernt navies! Certainly my dog is far superior to your dog (at least for pulling sleds)....

Even the lowly DE had it's best suite, anti sub.

I'll always like the Fletchers, but one must admit the Japanese had the worlds best torpedo, and good tactics!

Cheers: T

November 6th, 2010, 18:27
I guess the US Fletcher is the “P-51 of destroyers”. Hard to argue against it. But, like the P-51, it wasn't there the whole time. One of the many workhorses of the US fleet has to be the Benson-Livermore-Gridley-Craven class. And of those that were there the whole time, how about the IJN Kagero class? Hard to beat 'em. 2000 ton destroyers in 1938. And don't get in the way of those torpedoes they launch...

November 8th, 2010, 11:31
I always liked the Bensons, sort of a precursor to the flushdeck Fletchers. I remember still seeing a lot of them in the mothball fleet in the early 60's. Some advantages to the high forcastle vis a vis heavy weather, but not as structurally sound.

A destroyer is somewhat a function of her weapons and tactics. Early war in the Solomons the Japanese use of the night torpedo attack was such an effective combination and not really countered till the "Little Beavers" showed up.

Later the American ships, at least in the Pacific shopwed advantages in versitility with superior (by then) radar, development of CIC's (if a bit small) an excellent anti aircraft suite, helped by the excellent combination of the director controlled 5"38 with VT fuses and the 40 and 20 mm mounts. All however at the expense of topweight which the earlier ships such ar Porters etc could ill afford. Though a decent antisub palatform, destroyers were surpassed in this specialized role by the DE, which with hedgehog became a truly effective weapon against all but the late U boats which were never deployed in any significant operational manner.

British (and colonial) destroyers are not an area of expertise but they looked strong, seaworthy and had a good record of service under tough conditions, such as going after Bismark, and the other Germain heavy ships.

Always amazing how much damage they could (sometimes) take, as in the Kamakaze battles off Okinawa. I met a Pringle vet one time, she went down in 5 mins after a critical hit. At that point in the war, a poor mans anti-aircraft cruiser and radar picket. Escort rather than attack.

Cheers: T

November 8th, 2010, 15:37
Brit destroyers were designed for different sea conditions then those navies in the Pacific.
The shorter sea's and convoy speeds brought about a change in naval thinking from the 'fleet destroyer' mentality of pre war days.

This gave rise to the War Emergency Hulls which became the standard hull for Brit destroyers built during WW2.

It was only with the advent of the Battle class that the RN went back to Fleet destroyers design so that they could act as escort to the fleet, though their range still lacked endurance of the American equivalents.

It was found that the 4.5" gun was ideal for the main armament as it was easier to handle and load than the larger calibres in heavy sea's.

All navies had problems with their destroyers, whether it was the top weight that made them capsize or the lack of space for the crew.

regards Collin:ernae:

November 10th, 2010, 15:16
Best Destroyer? What year in WW2 if that's the time frame and what theater? Pacific:At the beginning of the war - Japan, they knowingly did not live up to the treaty = big DDs. By the end of the war the US - Fletcher/Gearing Europe: Brits - many classes. The Germans had too few with some engineering glitches. The Russians were never tested in ship battles, Italian design "help" made them fragile just like the Italian designs. French - mostly scuttled, the Casablanca battle unfair - they didn't have the chance to fight against equal odds. Honorable mention: US 4 pipers, though obsolete were used in a variety of roles, and would have been classes torpedo boats in most navies. They fought under 4 flags other than the US, and were literally everywhere. The "first shot" Ward being sunk by a kamakaze on 12/7/44 after her refit as a fast transport. Lastly, like aircraft, the Pilot is most important. An excellent pilot in a competitive aircraft can outdo a fair pilot in the best model of the time. With ships its the difference between tennis a football. Its a team effort, good skipper and well tarined crew with a competitive ship will do their best. Stats: 1454 surface warships sunk in WW2 by enemy action - 663 were DDs or torpedo boats (small DDs) 252 more were escorts (frigates/corvettes/trawlers)42 more were DDs modified as other - mine work/transports etc) 960 total. add actual mine warfare vessels @ 276 = 1236. 110 cruisers were lost, so you see the carriers and BBs are a small percentage of those lost. In the scuttled/interned/captured catagory DDs and the like accounted for 180 out of 238. The ships in harms way most of the time were the little ships, and they and their crews handled the brunt of naval warfare and paid the price. Just my 2 cents!

November 12th, 2010, 12:55
The bigger hulls had more room for the expansion and development that went on during the war. But there was never enough room, for crew, AA, Radar and electronics and on and on. All Naval designers were faced with resolving numerous competing factors, a situation particularly critical in small ships that had varied required capabilities.

The pre war US ships had, and contributed to the larger fleet, much in the way of development of high pressure/temperature steam plants. As such contributed to the excellent power/weigh and specific fuel consumption that navy's ships enjoyed. Some of those WWII powerplants lived on, for a long time, such as the Iowa class (split in half) units used in the Sacremento AOE's.

However no destroyer ever had really good endurance, a 2000 ton ship with a 50,000 hp plant certainly could not range with a say a 30-35,000 ton ship with only three times power, and a longer hull for more efficent wavemaking. Often the escort role needed you "there" yesterday, 31 knot Burke got his name not by being "fast", but from a communication noting he was only able to make 31 knots due to maintaince factors.

The Japanese and Brit Destroyers did have excellent combat records, certinly a courage and persistance that any tin can sailor could admire. Then there was the French ships, noted for their high speed.

By the time Okinawa rolled around, the Destroyer function was far removed from the imaginations of 1941.