Re: Monetary costs of German weapons
- From: thornley@xxxxxxxx (David Thornley)
- Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2007 20:28:04 -0500
In article <bO6dnVdm9pCA9l3YnZ2dnUVZ8qOinZ2d@xxxxxxxxxxxx>,
Andrew Clark <aclark@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
"David Thornley" <thornley@xxxxxxxx> wrote
Those destroyers were used for Atlantic convoy escorts, surface attack,
and assorted other roles by the USN.
According to Bauer & Roberts (searched online via JSTOR), the USN used the
Wickes and Clemson class destroyers, as they were known in US service, in
mainly secondary roles, just as the RN did for the hulls they put into
As much as possible, yes. They were not the best existing warships for
any mission I've been able to imagine.
It is probably significant that they were second-rate destroyers when
built, compared to the somewhat earlier British V&W classes. Building
them in those numbers was a definite mistake, particularly since the
Navy didn't get any more modern destroyers until 1935 or so.
Many were converted into fast transports, some into
commercial carriers. AFAIK, only 13 of the hulls were ever committed toRight. That's the only reason you'd commit one of those to front-line
front-line combat, in the Pacific, and only then in extremis.
combat: you have to oppose the enemy with something, and that's what
On the other hand, they seem to have served adequately as fast
transports and light, fast seaplane tenders.
In which case you can explain why the USN used them for that exact
So far as I can judge, and I am no expert on the USN, the Wickes and
Clemson class destroyers mostly saw only secondary service. How many hulls
were used for Atlantic convoy escort prior to conversion?
I haven't counted, but a quick check shows that there were a reasonable
number of them.
It wasn't as if the USN had modern destroyers to spare. At the outbreak
of the European war, the USN had about sixty good destroyers, which
is darn few for a fleet that size.
I'd wager it was a
handful - most of the hulls couldn't even cross the Atlantic due toThey got across in WWI, and crossed the Pacific between the wars, so
inadequate fuel storage capacity.
their range can't have been that terrible. (Not that it was good....)
Did you say 1930? At that time, the flush-deckers were what the USN hadThe US wasn't handing over ships the USN considered unfit for Atlantic
convoy escort, or for several other roles. They were certainly not
the best possible ships, but the US was pretty short of destroyers and
other escorts itself.
Actually, they were. The 'flush-decker' destroyers of 1917-20 were actually
set aside en masse in 1930 for scrapping, in view of their known
inadequacies of range, manoeuvrability and seakeeping. Many were in fact
scrapped at that time.
for destroyers. The USN didn't get modern destroyers until the mid-30s.
It wasn't a good situation, true, but that was the situation.
Even as the US slowly started to get halfway decent destroyers, the
flush-deckers were seen as a mobilization reserve, and a source of
hulls for conversions.
There was a reason why these ships operated in the USN in the early years ofVery simple.
WW2, but it wasn't adequacy of design.
It was what the USN had.
As I've said elsewhere, a ship that's steaming under her own power is
far more immediately useful than plans to deploy hundreds of much
Similarly, the British seem to have used most of those ships for some
months, until they could come up with something better. I've been
glancing through the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships at
the Haze Gray site (http://www.hazegray.org/danfs/), and the destroyers
I've looked up had some service with the British. Not necessarily a
year's worth, and probably as the least desirable ships in their roles
(although their sheer expendability made them perfect for the
HMS Campbelton role), but they do seem to have been used.
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
david@xxxxxxxxxxxx | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-