ON THE EVE OF PEARL HARBOR

ON THE EVE OF PEARL HARBORBy the end of the First world war the Navy of the United States of America was large, but very strange composition: a significant linear force, the almost complete lack of any modern cruisers and a huge number of standard “flush-deck” destroyers, hundreds of which are still in completion. All attempts of heads of the Navy to proceed to create a new, more modern torpedo ships long enough to encounter the displeasure of congressmen, preached isolationism and “reasonable sufficiency”. Only fifteen years later, when the gap in class destroyers aggressively competing for first place in the world fleet has become abundantly clear to the American admirals were able to overcome political and financial obstacles.

 
Practical Yankees sought to use all the innovations that have established themselves by that time in shipbuilding, so the project requirements were pretty stiff. It was supposed to install all five guns and twelve torpedo tubes in the diametrical plane of the firing on both sides, and it is within the allotted one and a half thousand tons displacement.
 
The experience of prolonged use of “gladkotrubnym” prompted the leaders of the fleet to abandon the shape of the case in favor of traditional high forecastle, used in almost all modern destroyers the destroyers of the world. As a result of new destroyers of the United States was much more seaworthy and “dry” than their predecessors.
 
Remained the most fundamental problem — the type and location of weapons. The requirement to have twelve torpedoes in the side volley meant the installation of three four-pipe apparatus, which does not fit into the dimensions the 100-meter hull. The option of using Sestanovich complex structures, in which three tubes located one above the other, were wisely rejected, and had to limit that time traditional solution: two four-pipe apparatus in the middle of the hull.
 
Much more successful was the case with artillery. Since the mid 20-ies, when there was talk about the need for the resumption of construction of torpedo ships was supposed to use the 127-mm guns, but the question of what, remained open. The Navy used two types of pyatidyuymovym: long-barreled gun (barrel length 51 caliber) with a high initial velocity, is installed on the battleships as anti-mine caliber, and the 25-caliber antiaircraft gun with wedge breech — rate of fire, but had insufficient initial speed and range. The choice was difficult: long-barreled gun was too heavy and clumsy, but had a flat trajectory, and its shells could penetrate the armor of the cruisers, even at medium ranges. While it is absolutely not suitable for firing at aircraft. Antiaircraft gun is satisfy the last requirement, but in a battle with surface ships looked “frivolous” weapons.
 
Before recognizing the role of aviation in the coming battles, the Americans reluctantly made a choice in favor of the flak. And it did, especially that long pause in the construction of warships allowed to find a truly Solomonic decision: to arm new destroyers 127-mm universal gun with a barrel length of 38 caliber. On the initial speed of the projectile (790 m/s) it is only slightly inferior, for example, English “mononono” artillery, while preserving all the advantages of the anti-aircraft guns.
 
A clear understanding that to repulse attacks of the aircraft a little to have a good gun, forced to pay special attention to fire control systems. This led to the creation of command-ranging post MK-33 allows you to fire at surface and air targets and giving all data to install remote detonators. Subsequently, with the advent of radar, its capabilities are increased even more.
 
With the mid 30-ies of the Americans firmly occupied the leading position in the field of air defence at sea, which they successfully maintained throughout the Second world war.
 
Another innovation was the introduction of the steam turbine installation with high performance of pressure and temperature. Here and overseas experts managed to bypass the “sharp corners”, which often ran, for example, German engineers and technicians. Americans increased steam parameters gradually, from series to series, only after making sure that the previous version provides trouble-free maintenance of the main engines of ships.
 
Engineers and naval experts of the USA tried both on a brand new field — creating leaders. This class did not previously exist in their fleet, so they had to start from scratch. Since the tonnage of ships was severely restricted by the London naval Treaty (to 1850 t), the task looked difficult. Admirals insisted on the highest possible service. With the choice of model guns was not a problem, what can be said about the artillery pieces and their location. Designers have tried a lot of options, including six guns (three in the bow and stern), located in three tiers, with the ability to fire on the plane the whole group. The final version was unexpected: instead of single guns, the first us leader “porter” received four paired 127-graph paper in closed turrets. However, by purchasing fire power of a small cruiser, a new ship has lost not less important properties — the ability to shoot at aircraft. Universal twin installation went too heavy and does not fit into the specified displacement, so I had to use more light with a limited angle of elevation of the guns. All the leaders looked very impressive: in addition to the powerful artillery they had eight torpedo tubes with the same number of spare torpedoes, high speed and a respectable cruising range.
 
ON THE EVE OF PEARL HARBOR
 
239. The leader of the destroyers”, Wieslaw”, USA, 1936
 
Was built by firm “new York Shipbuilding company.” The standard displacement of 1850 tons, full 2610 t Length overall 116,15 m, width of 11.28 m, draught 3,95 m. Capacity twin-shaft turbine installation of 50,000 horsepower, speed 37 knots. Armament: eight 127-mm guns, eight 28-mm guns, two 12.7 mm machine guns, two four 533-mm torpedo tubes. Just 1936-1937 built eight units. Head “porter” is sunk by a Japanese submarine in October 1942, and the rest scrapped soon after the war (with the exception of “Winslow”, who served until 1959 as optovogo vehicle).
 
240. Destroyer “Farragut”, USA, 1934
 
Built by “Bethlehem”. The standard displacement 1365 tons, full 2340 T. maximum Length 104,1 m, width of 10.45 m, draft of 3.65 m. Capacity twin-shaft turbine installations 42 800 HP, speed 36.5 per node. Armament: five 127-mm guns, four 12.7 mm machine guns, two four 533-mm torpedo tubes. Just 1934-1935 built eight units. “Hull” and “Monahan” died in the center of a Typhoon in the Pacific December 18, 1944, “worden” hit a rock with the landing of Americans on the Aleutian Islands in January 1943 and not repaired, and the rest scrapped in 1947.
 
241. Destroyer “Bagley”, USA, 1937
 
Built at the shipyard of the Navy in Norfolk. The standard displacement of 1650 tons, full 2260 T. maximum Length 104,1 m, beam of 10.82 m, draft 3,91 m. Capacity twin-shaft turbine installations 49 000 HP, speed 38.5 node. Armament: five 127-mm guns, four 12.7 mm machine guns, four four 533-mm torpedo tubes. Only IN 1937, built eight units. “Jervis”, “blue” and “Henley” sunk by the Japanese in 1942-1943. After the war, “Mugford and Raph Talbot” sunk during atomic testing at the Bikini Islands in March 1948. The rest of the ships scrapped in 1947.
 
242. Destroyer”, Glibs”, USA, 1940
 
It was built by the firm “bath Iron Works”. The standard displacement of 1850 tons, full 2410 T. maximum Length 106,17 m, width 11.0 m, draught 4,01 m. Capacity twin-shaft turbine installations 50 000 HP, speed 35 knots. Armament: five 127-mm guns, six 12.7 mm machine guns, two platetronic 533-mm torpedo tubes. Only in 1940-1941 built 24 units. “Ingram”, “Lansdale”, “Monsen”, “Meredith” and “GUIN” was killed in the fighting. After the war two destroyer was transferred to Greece and Taiwan, and one of Italy. The rest scrapped between 1961 and 1971.

 
In General, the new destroyers and leaders to such an extent superior to “glad-kapelushnikov” that orders for them were approved by the U.S. Congress annually. However, there were problems: the first is a series of eight units of the “Farragut” was so expensive that was called in the Navy “gold”. In addition, solving the problem of universal-caliber, American designers (like their counterparts worldwide) are unable to provide the squadron destroyers effective melee defense. So, the “Farragut” received for self-defense only four 12.7 mm machine guns. The leaders of deprived of universal 127-millimetrovogo, this problem was particularly acute. Four 28-mm anti-aircraft gun, nicknamed later “the Chicago piano” in memory of the Chicago gangsters, abundantly watered their opponents lead from the rapid-fire guns, was designed long and not particularly successful. Among other things, he was too heavy for small ships. Looking ahead, we note that to ensure the normal defense managed only with the advent of “Bogorov” and “Arlekino”.
 
Although almost all pre-war destroyers of the United States according to the formal tactical and technical characteristics are close to each other, clearly seen quite a winding path to the optimal combination of their combat elements. The second series (18 units type “Mahan”) had a further torpedo tubes, although the broadside was not changed (two feed apparatus located on the sides). The desire to have destroyers as much as possible ready for action tubes (the Americans didn’t believe in combat will be able to recharge vehicles with spare torpedoes, and went on the Japanese way) resulted in the following twelve units (“Gridley” and “Bagley”) four rather bulky four-pipe apparatus mounted in pairs on the sides. Their weight was so great that I had to sacrifice one 127-mm gun. Then the balance once again swung in favor of “God of war”: twelve units of type “Sims” on the armament was identical to the “Farragut”. This is despite the fact that the London limit by that time disappeared, and the standard displacement had increased to nearly 1800 so the Entire increase went to strengthening the structure and increasing seaworthiness. Experts have gradually learned a difficult truth: the value of a warship is not just the number of guns and torpedoes, but also the ability to use them effectively. A short relapse “torpedo disease”, expressed in the installation of sixteen pipes (“Gridley”), mentioned only ten ships of the type “Benham”, founded in the years 1936-1937.
 
Line leaders development was much shorter. For the “porters” was followed by only one series of the five units of the “Somers”. They are distinguished by the mechanical installation with higher steam parameters, that is visually manifested in a single chimney. A few vacant feet of the deck there was a busy third torpedo tubes. But since it is still not enough, two feed apparatus turned “one and a” partially overlapping each other. Such “exercises” with harbouring goods has led to the fact that the stability is very close to a dangerous limit. However, the second series of the leaders was in the U.S. Navy and the last. Naval strategists considered more promising construction instead of these cruisers and conventional destroyers.
 
By September 1939, when Europe was on fire and the Second world war, the Americans managed to build the sixty-modern destroyers and thirteen leaders with uniform performance items and weapons. In case of conflict with Germany or Italy a lot, but still not enough to adequately oppose the main potential enemy — the Japanese. As history has shown, the implementation of this task, the United States was still two and a half years, and they were not lost in vain.
 
V. KOFMAN

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