BEST-IN-CLASS

BEST IN CLASSThe attack on the destroyer “Hadley” in radar patrol from the Japanese island of Okinawa, where she landed U.S. marine corps, began early in the morning. The aircraft flew singly and in groups, dropping bombs and firing from onboard weapons. Some of them managed pilots-suicide bombers tried to RAM a lone ship. The Americans resisted fiercely. Guns and machine guns of the destroyer watered the enemy’s steel; by the end of this fateful day, the sailors claimed to be twenty-downed aircraft! But “Hadley” paid in full: 250-kg bomb struck his nose, a guided rocket bomb “Baka” (essentially a small plane) got in the middle part, and a kamikaze crashed into the stern.

 

A “dose” of explosives could hardly stand, and the cruiser. The destroyer went down guns and mechanisms, the water slowly filling the hull, but the ship managed to rescue and repair. So “Hadley” has confirmed the excellent reputation of American destroyers military building, rightfully considered the best in its class.

 
In 1938 the command of the Navy of the United States stood at a crossroads: he had to choose the type of destroyer for building mass for a future war that could break out. As the prototype has defined “Glows” who carried five 127-mm guns and two torpedo tubes pettrovich. Just laid 24 ship of this type, but they all entered service after the outbreak of war in Europe. And the first combat experience clearly indicated the need to strengthen anti-aircraft weapons, especially with the increase in the number of machines, which became the main hope of torpedo ships in repelling the attack of aircraft. And then it turned out that very little (1850 tons) ship is “Packed” too tightly. To set all six to eight 20-mm “Arlekino”, had to do a major upgrade to remove his one 127 mm gun and torpedo tubes.
 
And here we must pay tribute to the foresight of American experts. Because of contractual limitations of displacement of the torpedo ships were no longer the barrier arose the temptation to create an even more heavily armed and fast ship. Took some willpower to not succumb to the temptation to increase the number of guns and torpedo tubes on the destroyer, a displacement of which has increased by more than 600 t. the “Extra” ton managed to find a much more useful application. Fletcher, who became the head of the world’s largest series of destroyers, had a very durable case, held in the heart of turbines and boilers from sheet steel armor thickness of 19 mm. Slight reservation was the deck. Survivability is significantly increased and the expense of removal and aft additional diesel generators, which allowed to fight the fire and water even in the case of a complete failure of the main mechanisms. In the boiler room the installation of the high steam parameters, and, in contrast to the long-suffering “Germans”, the ship’s energy has turned quite reliable and unpretentious. Longer and more carefully divided into compartments housing according to the calculations gave the same in-three chance of survival in case of contact with one torpedo and one in ten even in the case of getting two — an excellent result for destroyers! The experience of the war in the Pacific has confirmed these predictions, despite the fact that the Japanese used 610-mm torpedo — “long spears”, carried twice as much explosive charge than expected by the Americans the year before the outbreak of hostilities.
 
Increased deck area gave the opportunity to install additional anti-aircraft guns than the Americans did not fail to take advantage. In the course of the fighting, defense, “Fletcher” repeatedly increased: first to six 40-mm “Bogorov” and ten 20-mm “Arlekino”, then added two more Sparky “bavorov” finally, all of the coupled machines have replaced four, bringing the total number of 40 mm guns to 20. However, at the latest, the so-called “final” version converted only a few units. Needless to say, the fire control system both on surface and air targets — the “favorite horse” American designers were on top. From the beginning, the equipment included search and artillery radars. Immediately in the design also included the combat information post, located deep in the housing. Now the commander could fight not from the bridge, where he was blinded by the volleys of their own guns and poured the spray from the waves and bursts of enemy shells, and from the depths of a think tank.
 
But even such perfect ships are not completely satisfied American admirals. In late 1941, just before pearl Harbor, began designing a new destroyer “Allen M. Sumner”. The main idea was to replace the single 127-mm units paired in three of these towers, which further increases free surface of the deck. Of course, the empty space left — it took two dozen machine guns, mortars and release gear. But the resulting ships were much congested, and the project had to change again.
 
BEST IN CLASS
 
259. Destroyer “Fletcher”, USA, 1942
 
Built by “Federal Shipbilding company.” The standard displacement of 2,350 tons full 2960 T. maximum Length 114,73 m, width of 12.07 m, draught of 4.21 m. Capacity twin-shaft turbine installation 60 000 HP, speed 38 knots. Armament: five 127-mm guns, four 40-mm and four 20-mm machine gun, two platetronic 533-mm torpedo tubes, six mortars and two depth bombs release gear. Just 1942-1944 built 183 units, 18 of them were killed during the Second world war.
 
260. Destroyer “Allen M. Sumner”, USA, 1944
 
Built by “Federal Shipbilding company.” Displacement standard, t 2620, t 3240 full Length the greatest 114,76 m 12,45 m width, 4,33 m draught Power two shaft turbine installation 60 000 HP, speed 36.5 per node. Armament: six 127-mm guns, twelve 40 mm and ten 20-mm guns, two platetronic 533-mm torpedo tubes, six mortars and two depth bombs release gear. Only in 1944 — 1946 built 55 units, of which four died during the Second world war. 12 units completed as fast mine layers. They had no torpedo tubes and could make 80— 1 00 min.
 
261. Destroyer “Gearing”, USA, 1945
 
Built by “Federal Shipbilding company.” The standard displacement 2640 tons, full 3510 T. maximum Length 119,03 m, width of 12.45 m, draft 4,37 m. Capacity twin-shaft turbine installation 60 000 HP, speed 36.5 per node. Armament: six 127-mm guns, twelve 40 mm and ten 20-mm guns, two platetronic 533-mm torpedo tubes, six mortars and two depth bombs release gear. Only in 1945 — 1946 built 97 units. 24 of them at the end of the war, rebuilt in ships airborne patrol to ensure the anticipated assault on the Japanese Islands.

 
Quick and the original decision was that in the middle of the body put an additional 5-foot section. Thus was born the latest military project destroyers of the United States, originally and named — “gonocarpus “Sumner”. Later the vernacular became the type designation on the name of the head ship — “Gearing”. On both restorating series retained the same power unit, as in “Fletcher”, a loss rate of 1.5—2 knots is considered acceptable.
 
The arrival of destroyers of the new series in connections that operated in the Pacific, very quickly changed the balance of power in favor of the Americans. At the end of 1942 the head of “Fletcher” in an extremely shameful for the US Navy the battle of Cape Tassafaronga was the only time discovered and attacked the enemy (though to no avail). And early next year the most numerous skirmishes off the coast of the Solomon Islands ended not in favor of the Japanese here in the first place, affected the advantages of modern radar equipment, the new American ships. Later destroyers were assigned an increasingly important role: it is difficult to imagine how he managed to repulse a massive attack aviation, if the composition of all task forces was not part of dozens of “heavily armed, fast and trudnoreshaemyh of destroyers.
 
Meanwhile, in the vast expanse of the Atlantic sparked a completely different war. There is rarely there is the threat from the aircraft, but work on the convoying of merchant vessels, submarine search and guarding of combat squadrons was enough. To solve these problems, “Fletcher” was too expensive even for the richest in the world powers. But the need destroyers in the destroyers remained high, and the requirements for their strength dominated power of each unit. So the Americans along with the “fletchers” continued to build a proven and simple type ships”, Gleps”. They took one of the 127-mm guns. Of the remaining four was enough to combat submarines and to repel air raids, and, if necessary, to the bombardment of coastal or surface targets. Saved weight increased light anti-aircraft and anti-submarine weapons. Subsequently, at upgrades, donated by one of the torpedo tubes. The need for such change weapons became even more apparent as soon as the allies began landing operations in Europe, where they had to face almost the same problems as in the Pacific. The impact of German aircraft increased, but the likelihood to engage in battle at sea with a powerful enemy is almost reduced to zero. Well, in case of an emergency should be enough and one peterwnova apparatus.
 
In 1945, the war with the Japanese was designated a new problem. When the actions of suicide bombers has become widespread, it became clear that preferred the larger calibre anti-aircraft defense weapons. Against rapidly diving plane with a suicidal pilot 20-mm guns were almost useless, and 40 mm were clearly insufficient effective range. In the end, I decided to re-equip all major classes of ships, including destroyers, 76-mm automatic antiaircraft guns. In those days it was difficult to find in any other country in the world torpedo ships, which could easily take six 76 mm guns without losing other qualities, however, the Americans succeeded to implement the “fletchers”, and “giriraj”, and “Sumner”.
 
Summarizing, we can say that the source cases csgo designers and shipbuilders of the United States managed to cope with the problem of creating torpedo forces much better than a quarter of a century ago, during the First world war. The building of ships was carried out quickly and efficiently; the beginning of a General offensive on both oceans, Americans have no shortage of destroyers was not felt, although this time a noticeable part of the Navy’s combat units became operational only towards the end of hostilities, or after the conclusion of peace. The projects have been so successful that it allowed for the modernization and the use of “fletchers”, “Sumner” and “hiringof” for many years after the war. Some of them migrated in the Navy’s most trusted allies. Remaining in the United States Navy is undergoing extensive modernization programme FRAM-1 and FRAM-2, becoming universal in ships of 60-ies and 70-ies, which replaced the “real” squadron destroyers.
 
V. KOFMAN

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