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The current time is: 12/11/2017 5:38:47 PM
 Naval Post-ACW to pre-WWII    
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Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
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E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1107

USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/7/2017 5:58:48 PM
I was surprised to read that in 1914 had so few destroyers compared to other navies of the era and more particularly the number of capital ships the USN had: 10 dreadnoughts in commission by 1914 and a bunch of 'Standard type' on order.

Great Britain 228
Germany 154
Russia 105
France 84
U.S. 54
Japan 50
Italy 32
Austria-Hungary 26

The Naval Act of 1916 saw the authorisation of 16 capital ships, 10 light cruisers, 30 subs and 50 destroyers, still not a patch on Germany or Britain's destroyer numbers, or light cruiser for that matter, despite the enormous battle fleet. When the US declared war they became fully aware of the Uboat threat an changed their order from 50 to 267 destroyers, putting capital ships and cruisers on hold to make it happen.
---------------
Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2955

Re: USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/7/2017 9:48:59 PM
How was the Naval Act of 1916 enforced? I mean who's going to check or stop a country from producing more ships??

I guess I'm talking the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922? But still if you can't enforce the Naval Ship limits why have them?

thanks,
Dave
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1107

Re: USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/8/2017 3:33:57 AM
Authorised as in Congress allowed the USN to have the ships and would appropriate the money to build and operate them.
---------------
Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

OpanaPointer
St. Louis, MO, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 519

Re: USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/8/2017 5:18:20 AM

Quote:
How was the Naval Act of 1916 enforced? I mean who's going to check or stop a country from producing more ships??

I guess I'm talking the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922? But still if you can't enforce the Naval Ship limits why have them?

thanks,
Dave
--Michigan Dave

The Washington Treaty was agreed to by all the signatories, and if one of them abrogated it the others would be free to resume what was considered to be a ruinous naval arms race. It worked for a while, albeit with secret violations by certain parties.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6095
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/8/2017 5:57:18 AM

Quote:
Six destroyers, however welcome, were not enough to turn the tide. Sims, supported by the American ambassador in London, asked for more. Similar requests were made by the Admiralty through the British mission in Washington. There were fifty-one modern destroyers in the American fleet, but Sims and the British had to counter strong reservations about stripping the United States of its destroyer force. Admiral William Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, was not an admirer of the British. The admittedly Anglophile Sims suffered from the charge that he was too much under the influence of too much under the influence of the English. In fact, Benson had warned Sims before his departure: "Don't let the British pull the wool over your eyes. It is none of our business pulling their chestnuts out of the fire. We would as soon fight the British as the Germans."

Benson was certainly aware of the immediate crisis and of the necessity to support the antisubmarine campaign, but he had his eye on the future as well. A memorandum prepared by his staff in February 1917 concluded:

"Vessels should be built not only to meet present conditions but conditions that may come after the present phase of the world war... We may expect the future to give us more potential enemies than potential friends so that our safety must lie in our own resources." The General Board recommended: "Keep constantly in view the possibility of the United States being in the not distant future compelled to conduct a war single-handed against some of the belligerents, and steadily increase the ships of the fighting line, large as well as small, but doing this with as little interference with the building of destroyers and other small craft for the Navy and cargo ships for the Merchant Marine as possible."


IMO the USN had lost sight of what a fully fledged Fleet was comprised of eg. each capital ship required a screen of six destroyers,several flotillas of destroyers were required for ASW duties- as they arose,etc.



[Read More]

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1107

Re: USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/8/2017 2:20:41 PM
Its not just the ships, you can't turn out experienced captains and SNCOs as fast as you can destroyers, they take time.
---------------
Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA, USA
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class


Posts: 495

Re: USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/8/2017 7:26:16 PM

Quote:
I was surprised to read that in 1914 had so few destroyers compared to other navies of the era and more particularly the number of capital ships the USN had: 10 dreadnoughts in commission by 1914 and a bunch of 'Standard type' on order.

Great Britain 228
Germany 154
Russia 105
France 84
U.S. 54


I continue to be amused, Riain, at your surprise about the limited military power of the US in 1914. The US was very much unprepared and wouldn't be three years later either. The US had never had significant military power up to that point (except for the mass volunteer army of the civil war, which continued to reinforce the notion that the US could prepare for war after getting into it).

However, I should point that the US did not even have 54 destroyers in 1914 as only 1 of the 6 destroyers of the O'Brien class had been commissioned--DD-54 McDougal. Also, DD-45 Downes was also not yet completed. So there were only 50 destroyers in commission in 1914:

42 +

USS Cassin (DD-43) Launched: 20-May-13 Commissioned: 9-Aug-13
USS Cummings (DD-44) Laid Down: 21-May-12 Launched: 6-Aug-13 Commissioned: 19-Sep-13
USS Downes (DD-45) Laid Down: 27-Jun-12 Launched: 8-Nov-13 Commissioned: 11-Feb-15
USS Duncan (DD-46) Laid Down: 17-Jun-12 Launched: 5-Apr-13 Commissioned: 30-Aug-13
USS Aylwin (DD-47) Laid Down: 7-Mar-12 Launched: 23-Nov-12 Commissioned: 17-Jan-14
USS Parker (DD-48) Laid Down: 11-Mar-12 Launched: 8-Feb-13 Commissioned: 30-Dec-13
USS Benham (DD-49) Laid Down: 14-Mar-12 Launched: 22-Mar-13 Commissioned: 20-Jan-14
USS Balch (DD-50) Launched: 21-Dec-12 Commissioned: 26-Mar-14

USS O'Brien (DD-51) Laid Down: 8-Sep-13 Launched: 20-Jul-14 Commissioned: 22-May-15
USS Nicholson (DD-52) Laid Down: 8-Sep-13 Launched: 19-Aug-14 Commissioned: 30-Apr-15
USS Winslow (DD-53) Laid Down: 1-Oct-13 Launched: 11-Feb-15 Commissioned: 7-Aug-15
USS McDougal (DD-54) Laid Down: 29-Jul-13 Launched: 22-Apr-14 Commissioned: 16-Jun-14
USS Cushing (DD-55) Laid Down: 23-Sep-13 Launched: 16-Jan-15 Commissioned: 21-Aug-15
USS Ericsson (DD-56) Laid Down: 10-Nov-13 Launched: 22-Aug-14 Commissioned: 14-Aug-15

16 of those 50 were "coastal destroyers" of the Bainbridge and Truxton class.

There were 5 coal and 21 oil 700-ton destroyers of the Smith and Paulding classes funded over four years.

Only 8 of the 50 were 1000 ton destroyers in the US fleet.



Quote:
The Naval Act of 1916 saw the authorisation of 16 capital ships, 10 light cruisers, 30 subs and 50 destroyers, still not a patch on Germany or Britain's destroyer numbers, or light cruiser for that matter, despite the enormous battle fleet. When the US declared war they became fully aware of the Uboat threat an changed their order from 50 to 267 destroyers, putting capital ships and cruisers on hold to make it happen.
--Riaindevoy


Of course, the US built 18 between the O'Brien class ships and the Wickes class ordered under the 1916 Act:

USS Tucker (DD-57) Laid Down: 9-Nov-14 Launched: 4-May-15 Commissioned: 11-Apr-16
USS Conyngham (DD-58) Laid Down: 27-Jul-14 Launched: 8-Jul-15 Commissioned: 21-Jan-16
USS Porter (DD-59) Laid Down: 24-Feb-14 Launched: 26-Aug-15 Commissioned: 17-Apr-16
USS Wadsworth (DD-60) Laid Down: 23-Feb-14 Launched: 29-Apr-15 Commissioned: 23-Jul-15
USS Jacob Jones (DD-61) Laid Down: 3-Aug-14 Launched: 29-May-15 Commissioned: 10-Feb-16
USS Wainwright (DD-62) Laid Down: 1-Sep-14 Launched: 12-Jun-15 Commissioned: 12-May-16

USS Sampson (DD-63) Laid Down: 21-Apr-15 Launched: 4-Mar-16 Commissioned: 27-Jun-16
USS Rowan (DD-64) Laid Down: 10-May-15 Launched: 23-Mar-16 Commissioned: 22-Aug-16
USS Davis (DD-65) Laid Down: 7-May-15 Launched: 15-Aug-16 Commissioned: 5-Oct-16
USS Allen (DD-66) Laid Down: 10-May-15 Launched: 5-Dec-16 Commissioned: 24-Jan-17
USS Wilkes (DD-67) Laid Down: 11-Mar-15 Launched: 18-May-16 Commissioned: 10-Nov-16
USS Shaw (DD-68) Laid Down: 7-Feb-16 Launched: 9-Dec-16 Commissioned: 9-Apr-17

USS Caldwell (DD-69) Laid Down: 9-Dec-16 Launched: 10-Jul-17 Commissioned: 1-Dec-17
USS Craven (DD-70) Launched: 29-Jun-18 Commissioned: 19-Oct-18
USS Gwin (DD-71) Launched: 22-Dec-17 Commissioned: 18-Mar-20
USS Conner (DD-72) Launched: 21-Aug-17 Commissioned: 12-Jan-18
USS Stockton (DD-73) Laid Down: 16-Oct-16 Launched: 21-Aug-17 Commissioned: 12-Jan-18
USS Manley (DD-74) Laid Down: 22-Aug-16 Launched: 23-Aug-17 Commissioned: 15-Oct-17

But, yes the US was well behind the UK and other nations in destroyers. And even more behind in terms of cruisers.

Destroyers, by the way, are not the best anti-submarine platforms to protect maritime commerce.


anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6095
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/9/2017 7:26:20 AM

Quote:
Destroyers, by the way, are not the best anti-submarine platforms to protect maritime commerce.


Not to to,put too finer point here-this work is best done by smaller ships as in WW2 eg.sloops,frigates and corvettes,but usually led by destroyers owing to their faster speeds.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1107

Re: USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/9/2017 4:35:48 PM
It's not merchant ships that are the concern, in October 1916 the RN Grand Fleet limited its radius of action in the North Sea to 4E - 53N due to a lack of destroyers to protect it from Uboat ambush, despite going from 10 flotillas of 20 destroyers to 15 of 20 during the war. If the RN can't protect the Grand Fleet and do other stuff with ~300 destroyers the USN battle fleet would be severely restricted with ~50.

The US ordered 100-111 Eagle class escorts for merchant convoys.
---------------
Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

OpanaPointer
St. Louis, MO, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 519

Re: USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/10/2017 5:44:55 AM
It's my admittedly porous recollection that the USN had 168 four-stackers in reserve prior to the Destroyers-for-Bases deal.

Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1107

Re: USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/10/2017 5:12:37 PM

Quote:
It's my admittedly porous recollection that the USN had 168 four-stackers in reserve prior to the Destroyers-for-Bases deal.
--OpanaPointer



I couldn't verify that number but I wouldn't be at all surprised given the Naval Act and WW1 order went from 50 to 267, plus the 4 stackers that were built before those war orders. After this huge surge of effort the US didn't build any destroyers for a decade.
---------------
Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

OpanaPointer
St. Louis, MO, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 519

Re: USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/10/2017 5:52:10 PM
Doing work for Hyperwar overloads me with information that I can't track back. I think this came from The SHIPS DATA BOOKS.

OpanaPointer
St. Louis, MO, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 519

Re: USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/11/2017 8:00:26 AM
Ah, somebody else is as ate up as I am. http://www.alternatewars.com/Archives/Ships_Data_USN/Ships_Data.htm

OpanaPointer
St. Louis, MO, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 519

Re: USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/14/2017 1:08:11 PM
And this should clear things up. Register of Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1775-1990: Major Combatants
by K Jack Bauer, Stephen S Roberts, Karl Jack Bauer

OpanaPointer
St. Louis, MO, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 519

Re: USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/20/2017 12:56:34 PM

Quote:
And this should clear things up. Register of Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1775-1990: Major Combatants
by K Jack Bauer, Stephen S Roberts, Karl Jack Bauer
--OpanaPointer

This should be delivered today.

Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1107

Re: USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/20/2017 3:02:40 PM
I read the other day that the USN was structured more like a coastal defence navy, maybe like Sweden or whatever, which is why it was battleship heavy. OTOH I've read that the USN was on board with Mahan's theories of sea power and the importance of the decisive fleet battle, not that the two are exclusive or even that they thinking went from one to the other over time. I think that the coastal defence structure idea might be overstating the case somewhat. I think the lack of balance was more to do with the perception that the US could quickly pad out the battleship fleet with light forces so the US could save money by going on a mad building spree in a crisis rather than by having a more balanced fleet doing peacetime.
---------------
Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

OpanaPointer
St. Louis, MO, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 519

Re: USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/20/2017 3:24:46 PM
Well, the US Fleet (meaning the Pacific Fleet) was forward deployed to Hawaii... But I disagree with the coastal defense role, never seen it. Some isolationists wanted us to guard our shores only, but they were ineffectual.

If you want I can dig up the list of USN vessels total on Dec. 7th, 1941.

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3508

Re: USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/20/2017 3:29:17 PM

Quote:
Well, the US Fleet (meaning the Pacific Fleet) was forward deployed to Hawaii... But I disagree with the coastal defense role, never seen it. Some isolationists wanted us to guard our shores only, but they were ineffectual.

If you want I can dig up the list of USN vessels total on Dec. 7th, 1941.
--OpanaPointer


[Read More] This site gives a useful overview.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1107

Re: USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/20/2017 3:47:32 PM
I didn't think the Pacific Fleet was forward based in Hawaii until after WW1? What was the deployment like in 1914-16?
---------------
Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

OpanaPointer
St. Louis, MO, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 519

Re: USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/20/2017 4:54:28 PM

Quote:
I didn't think the Pacific Fleet was forward based in Hawaii until after WW1? What was the deployment like in 1914-16?
--Riaindevoy

Ah, sorry, wandered off on my topic.


I got the Bauer book today. I'll get numbers for DDs available 1913-1919 up tomorrow.

James W.
Ballina, Australia
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E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 674

Re: USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/20/2017 6:23:47 PM
I expect that the technical limitations of early (small) destroyers made them less concerning/useful for the USN.

As an oceanic fleet operating nominally defensively, the USN likely figured that such small destroyers would not
be crossing the Atlantic/Pacific in any major numbers, for reasons of practicable fleet support.

Even in WW II the much larger, & well supported destroyer units of the USN suffered in open ocean weather, when on fleet work.

OpanaPointer
St. Louis, MO, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 519

Re: USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/20/2017 6:53:26 PM
I think we'd have to consult Friedman to see when the specs included "ocean-going."

James W.
Ballina, Australia
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 674

Re: USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/21/2017 2:02:22 AM
'The Caine Mutiny' gives a vivid account of the issue, even with a late production WW I DD...

Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA, USA
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class


Posts: 495

Re: USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/21/2017 4:56:02 AM

Quote:

Quote:
Destroyers, by the way, are not the best anti-submarine platforms to protect maritime commerce.


Not to to,put too finer point here-this work is best done by smaller ships as in WW2 eg.sloops,frigates and corvettes,but usually led by destroyers owing to their faster speeds.

Regards

Jim
--anemone


With the ships in question we are talking about WW1 where the RN had hundreds of minesweeping sloops many of which were equipped and employed effectively in ASW in protection of convoys and the US build a series of 60 Eagle Patrol ships (only 2 commissioned before the armistice). These were better at the ASW convoy protection mission than the destroyers.

In WW2, we are talking about larger and more capable destroyers in both the USN, RN, and the RCN, but even they were less capable in ASW for convoy protection than the RN sloops and frigates and USN destroyer escort. That extra speed was essential in screening the fleet, but in convoy duty where they rarely went more than about 16 knots, it was wasted space. A 35-knot destroyer had about 8 times the machinery of a 20-knot escort, which took up a lot of space and weight and meant a lot less fuel could be carried. A 35-knot ship required a longer and thinner hull than a 20-knot ship--the shorter and broader sloops and frigates were more suited for the role.

In return for bases, the US provided the RN and the RCN with mostly Clemson class destroyers--the biggest and fastest US destroyers designed in WW1 (but pretty much all built after the war). These destroyers had large turning radii and were considered fast but not very maneuverable. 50 extra platforms were important; but the 10 Banff class slopes (former USCG cutters) and 68 Captain class frigates (Buckley and Evarts class destroyer escorts) were much better platforms for the ASW mission protecting convoys.

OpanaPointer
St. Louis, MO, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 519

Re: USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/21/2017 6:22:47 AM
Weren't the ex-USN destroyers used mostly for coastal convoy work?

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5690

Re: USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/21/2017 6:55:49 AM

Quote:
Weren't the ex-USN destroyers used mostly for coastal convoy work?
--OpanaPointer


The RCN used them on escort to and from Britain and also on escort on the east coast.

HMCS ST. Croix, formerly USS McCook was sunk just south of Iceland while escorting ON202.

This was Sept. 21, 1943. 66 men went down with the ship.

I think that ships like HMCS St. Croix were part of the Mid Ocean Escort Force. So she could have been picking up a west bound convoy just under Iceland.

St. Croix was one of the first ships to be hit by the new acoustic torpedo.

But this ship had escorted convoys to the UK on the "Newfy-Derry" run.

The ships weren't well liked partly because of the turning circle but apparently they pitched and rolled severely. But RCN sailors were mostly aboard Corvettes so pitching and rolling was part of that experience too.

But OP is correct in the many of the Town class were used in local escort runs from Newfoundland to Halifax or Saint John.

Others did full escort duty.

I think that some of these destroyers wound up with the Soviets in 1944 but I do not not know how or where they were used.


As well, many of the Lend-Lease destroyers were in need of refits if they were to serve as escorts. This is a brief history of HMCS St. Francis, formerly USS Bancroft.


Quote:

Commissioned on 30 Jun 1919 as USS Bancroft, her career almost exactly paralleled that of her sister, USS McCook, and she was turned over to the RCN at Halifax on the same day (24 Sep 1940), becoming HMCS St. Francis. HMCS St. Francis and it was refitted for escort duty. During the refit one boiler was removed to increase fuel capacity, the four inch deck guns were replaced with anti-aircraft weapons and the torpedo tubes were replaced with depth charge projectors. She spent the remainder of the year based at Halifax, and on 05 Nov 1940, searched for the Admiral Scheer following the latter's attack on convoy HX.84. Ordered to Scotland, she left Halifax on 15 Jan 1941 for the Clyde where she joined the 4th Escort Group, January 26, 1941. May 20th she rescued survivors from the steamer Starcross, which had been torpedoed. In July 1941 St. Francis joined the Newfoundland Escort Force. Between 1941 and 1943 St. Francis escorted numerous Atlantic convoys and made several attacks on submarines. On completion of her refit in Apr 1943, she returned to MOEF, but by Nov 1943 was again urgently in need of repairs, which were carried out at Shelburne, N.S. In Feb 1944, she was allocated to HMCS Cornwallis as a training ship. On 01 Apr 1945 she was declared surplus and paid off on 11 Jun 1945. On July 14, 1945, she was under tow of the tug Peter Norman, and bound for Baltimore to be broken up for scrap. After passing through the Cape Cod Canal, the vessels encountered a thick fog, which enshrouded Buzzards Bay. Near the entrance to the bay the collier Windward Gulf collided with the old destroyer opening a hole in its hull. The Peter Norman tried to ground the destroyer, but it was taking on water too quickly and soon sank on an even keel in 60 feet of water approximately 2 miles off Acoaxet with no loss of life.


OpanaPointer
St. Louis, MO, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 519

Re: USN Destroyers, or lack thereof.
Posted on: 1/21/2017 7:02:34 AM
Thanks. I hadn't looked into what they did after transfer to any extent.

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