THE KINGDOM OF UNFINISHED

THE KINGDOM PROTRACTEDAlmost all the Maritime powers of second rank, trying to create or radically change the torpedo power in the period between the world wars, faced a dilemma: either to buy the ships on the side, getting into the political and material dependence on the supplier, try to build their own, developing its own industry, creating jobs, but often at the risk of a delay, the main task for several years.

 
The Swedes chose the second option and slowly began to modernize its quite numerous, but few efficient in the winter mine fleet. There was nowhere to hurry: the situation in the Baltic after the First world war was favorable for the Northern neutrals, always fearing that any of the powerful neighbors try to “eat”. At the time, if not disappeared altogether, it drastically weakened the two strongest navies of the Baltic States, Germany and Russia. So hats destroyers of a new type “Erensheld and Nordensheld” was designed from 1919 to 1924, and then another three years to build. But in the end it turned out quite modern ships, considerably smaller in size than standard destroyers of England and the United States, but fast and well armed. Although they carried one gun less Anglo-Saxon standard, the guns themselves and their installation, developed in the domestic plants of concern “Bofors”, had excellent technical characteristics. Also their and good quality were 533-mm torpedoes. The Swedes have relied on their own strength — and won. The only “foreign” component of the weapons were anti-aircraft guns: two British 40mm “POM-POM”, for which was used a fabric cartridge ribbon, constantly sedusa and making already bad ballistics weapons are highly inefficient. Had to give the order to a firm “Bofors” to develop a new 40-mm gun, which was soon replaced by the English “rarity”. Subsequently, this sample was the most common light anti-aircraft weapons and was reproduced in thousands of copies, not only in Sweden but in other countries, and fought on both sides of the front. The design was so successful that the 40 mm “Bofors” remained in service with the major Maritime powers to the 80-ies of XX century. Yes, and currently in the ranks is still a lot of warships carrying a weapon.
 
Three years after the entry into operation of the first pair laid two almost identical destroyers — “Class Corner” and “Klas horn”. Three years later they went into operation, but unlike the serene service of his predecessors was waiting for them a strange and tragic fate: September 17, 1941, both ships stood side by side at the wall of the naval base near Stockholm Harsfjarden when a huge explosion literally tore apart the first of them. The resulting fire quickly killed and the sister ship. As with most of these mysterious cases, the investigation did not give a clear answer to the causes of the disaster. Later both ships were salvaged. “Class Angle” had to be dismantled on the spot, and were in the best condition, “Klas horn” was again commissioned. But active service was it unbearable, and a former destroyer spent the rest of his life as an auxiliary training ship is actually a floating barracks for cadets. In 1958 he was expelled from the lists of the fleet, and a decade later sold for scrapping.
 
However, by the time of the tragedy, the Swedish Navy has had in service eight destroyers designed. They also laid in pairs and represented the same minimally improved “Erensheld”. Displacement increased by about 80 tonnes, with the added weight went mainly to change the design of the deckhouse (finally acquired characteristic of all of the following destroyers of Sweden simple and solid “square” look), and better ATC tower. Intensified and light anti-aircraft armament (three twin 25mm machine gun). The most interesting fact is the significant increase in the rate. Although the rated power of the turbine-boiler plant remained at approximately the same level as in the prototype, the design speed was 39 knots. And she was not a limit: the fastest of the series, Malmo, has developed 42 knots fully loaded — a record that can be compared with the achievements of the French and the Italians. Moreover, this result was a surprise for the shipbuilders, as pragmatic Swedes does not aspire to achieve it!
 
Despite the obvious success of designers small Nordic countries, the project since the end of the First world war by the end of 30 years is clearly outdated. Therefore, the last four units of the type “Visby”, founded in 1942, already can not be called advanced. Small “cosmetic” changes such as the increase in displacement to 1135 t, the transfer medium guns in the stern and the installation of eight anti-aircraft guns (four of 40 and 20 mm) — could not hide the fiasco of the concept of a small destroyer. Raged around the globe naval war testified to the fact that the best chance to survive and inflict maximum damage on the enemy have a large universal ships with powerful artillery armament. The Swedes are carefully observed and analyzed operational and performance experience of the countries of the axis and allies, gradually forming its own technical solution. As a result, in the same 1942 on the drawing tables of designers appeared brand new large destroyers.
 
THE KINGDOM PROTRACTED
 
288. Destroyer “öland”, Sweden. 1947
 
It was built by firm “Kockums”. A displacement of 1900 tons standard, full 2400 t Length overall 1 12.0 m, width 11,2 m, draft 3,4 m. Capacity twin-shaft steam-turbine engines of 44,000 HP, speed 35 knots. Armament: four 120-mm universal guns, six 40-mm and eight 25 mm anti-aircraft machine guns, two three-pipe 533-mm torpedo tubes. Just 1947-1949, he built two units: “Eland” and “upland”. In 1974, reclassified the frigates. Both excluded from the list in 1978
 
289. Destroyer “Erensheld”, Sweden, 1927
 
It was built by firm “Kockums”. The standard displacement of 980 tons, full 1180 T. maximum Length 92,8 m, width 8,88 m, draft 3.8 m Power dvuhsvetnoe steam turbine 34 000 HP, speed 36 knots. Armament: three 120-mm guns, two 40 mm anti-aircraft gun and two trehtomnik 533-mm torpedo tubes. Only in 1927 built two units: “Erensheld and Nordensheld”. After the Second world war reclassified as anti-submarine frigates. Both excluded from the lists in 1963
 
290. The destroyer “Giller”, Norway, 1940
 
Built at the shipyard in Horten. The standard displacement of 600 tons, full 710 T. maximum Length 74,3 m, beam 7,80 m, draft 2.15 m. Capacity twin-shaft steam turbine 12 500 HP, speed 30 knots. Armament: three 102-mm guns, one 40-mm gun and two machine guns, two coupled 533-mm torpedo tubes. Just 1939-1940 built three units: “Sleipner a”, “Aegir” and “Giller”. “Giller” captured by the Germans in 1940 and served in the Kriegsmarine under the name “Loewe”.
 
291. Destroyer “Amazonas”, Brazil, 1949
 
Built at the shipyard “Ilha das cobras” in Rio de Janeiro. The standard displacement of 1350 tonnes, full Length 1820 so most of 98.45 m, width 10.67 m, draught of 2.59 m. Capacity twin-shaft steam turbine 34 000 HP, speed 35.5 node. Armament: four 127-mm universal guns, two 40-mm and four 20 mm anti-aircraft machine gun, two trehtomnik 533-mm torpedo tubes. Only in 1949-1951, he built six units: “PA”, “Araguaia”, “Araguari”, “acre”, “Ajuricaba” and “APE”. The latter two are excluded in 1964, the others in 1973-1974.
 

And again the Scandinavians have managed to have their say in the development of the shipbuilding ideas. First of all, a new pair of “Eland” and “upland” had excellent anti-aircraft weapons. Semi-120-graph paper located in closed mechanized towers with maximum angles of fire. 40-mm “Bofors” covered by boards and provided a circular firing at least four guns — an important factor, if you recall, suffered the English ships from the attacks of dive bombers, who tried to go to aim strictly on a diametrical plane with the bow or stern. Strong changes and mechanical installation, which consisted now of just two powerful boilers and the same number of domestic turbines Laval. The only questionable decision was the installation of one of the machines in the open area in the nose. The inability to use it on a rampage and shooting the main fire led to the fact that this 40-paper was removed, then put back.
 
“Eland” could easily claim the role of one of the best destroyers of world war II, if he really managed to build in time. However, the difficult war years affected the already slow work of the shipbuilding industry neutral Sweden very negative. The duration of construction exceeded all reasonable limits, and destroyers were commissioned after the war, when Maritime strategy has already started a completely different era…
 
But let us return to the beginning of the biggest war in the history of mankind. By this time the Swedish Navy had in service only six modern torpedo ships. Too small the pace of domestic shipyards are not allowed to increase the number of ships, so the government and the leadership of the fleet turned their attention abroad. The vast majority of the warring countries was simply not up to the Scandinavians, who in the interwar years would be welcome. Response suddenly appeared from the side of Italy. Mediterranean power has agreed to supply four ships: two old destroyers 20 years and two destroyer type “Spica”. Four left Naples April 18, 1940, when Italy had not yet entered the war, but as soon as the ships reached the Faroe Islands, Mussolini has dragged his country into the world conflict. The British immediately decided to seize the “goods” in hand, intercepted the ships and sent them to their Harbor. For two months the diplomats to settle property relations, then the Swedes finally got their purchase.
 
If the standard (and outdated) Italian destroyers, renamed “Puke” and “Psilander”, the new owners have not made much impression, the destroyers, in honor of their “parents” have received the names of the legendary founders of Rome (“Romulus” and “Remus”) seemed interesting alternative. For six months managed to prepare a modified and improved project, and in September 1941, they laid the four very similar ships: “Fashion”, “Magne”, “Milner” and “Munin”. Italian 100 graph paper gave way bavorovsky 105-mm guns, and in a larger quantity; the domestic steel and anti-aircraft guns and torpedo tubes. And prototypes, and built in their sample the destroyers waited a long service. In the 50s reclassified in their anti-submarine ships, and the final delisting had on 60-e and 70-e years.
 
292. Destroyer
 
292. Destroyer “Fashion”, Sweden, 1942
 
Built by “Gotaverken”. The standard displacement of 750 g, so the full 970 maximum Length 78.0 m, width: 2.75 m draught 8,12 m. Capacity twin-shaft turbine plant 16 000 HP, speed 30 knots. Armament: three 105-mm guns, two 40 mm and two 20 mm anti-aircraft gun, one three-pipe 533-mm torpedo tubes. Just in 1942-1943 built four units: “Magne”, “Fashion”, “Milner” and “Munin”. In 1953, modernized and reclassified into ASW frigates. Excluded from the lists in the 1966-1970 period.

 
Towards the creation of modern destroyers own construction went and “little neighbor” of Sweden — Norway. Compact 600-ton ships of the “Sleipner” had good speed and their artillery consisted of a short, but rapid-fire guns of British manufacture with a cartridge loader. Two of them (“Sleipner” and “Aegir”) laid in 1936, and another one, “Giller”, with two torpedo tubes instead of one in 1938. the German Invasion of Norway was done with future plans, but what little he managed to complete, were justified. In the defense of Stavanger “egir” managed to sink one of the German transports before the enemy aircraft struck the destroyer bomb in the engine room, ending his brief military career. The remaining two ships were on opposite sides of the front: “Sleipner” went along with the allied ships to England, and the “Giller” fell into the hands of the Germans. And those and others used their purchase is not very active. “Sleipner” a major part of the war stood on the joke, and “Leve” — former “Giller” — from December 1940 until the end of hostilities applied only as a staff ship and torpedolike when firing submarines.
 
Another victim of long-term construction of steel ships “Nymphen” and “Naden”— the only modern destroyers in Denmark. In accordance with the project finished in 1939, they had a good performance, significantly outperforming their Norwegian counterparts in all parameters, except the number of guns. But the German invasion forced them to postpone laying in July 1942, and the construction was carried out at a snail’s pace until mid-1947. Before joining the system they received new names— “Willemoes and Withheld”, as well as more powerful 533-mm torpedo tubes. But it could not rescue the pre-war project: the destroyers completely obsolete and armament concept.
 
After this overview of the countries that fought bravely for their own torpedo forces, not to mention another Martyr protracted— Brazil. Ordered in the UK and founded in 1938, six standard chetyrehjadernyj “alphabetical” destroyers were requisitioned by the British prior to launching. However, three more units were expected to build on the same drawings at the shipyard, located on snake island cobras in Rio de Janeiro. But with the outbreak of war the British quickly forgot about the data distant land promises, and their place was gradually occupied by the ubiquitous Americans. In the result of amendments to the draft changes originally British destroyer, gradually, miraculously, transformed into a kind of North American “Mahina” or “Glissa”. From the United States arrived and turbines, and guns, and all electronic and hydroacoustic equipment. However, before the entry of Brazil into world war on 22 August 1942 it was neither good nor bad: for three or four years, only managed to float a hull and proceed to partial completion afloat. Then experts from the United States brought the case to the end, and on November 29, 1943 “Greenhalgh”, “Marcy Liu Dias” and “Maris e Barros” simultaneously entered into operation. They quite actively participated in the activities of its fleet and even got along with the Brazilian expeditionary force to the shores of Italy.
 
The confiscation of the six British overseas prompted politicians and admirals to take a bold step. On the same island next to the cobras were on the stocks ships of the first three in 1940 laid another six, again designed by the British type “N”. Their fate was similar: complete oblivion on the part of the British and the increasing interest from the Yankees. In the end, the destroyers of the type “RJ” has undergone a similar metamorphosis and differed from its predecessors only one pipe profile and slightly altered armament. However, to finish them it was possible only a few years after the end of the Second .world war. Unified American arms and equipment considerably facilitated the continued operation of all nine destroyers, most of which successfully survived up to 70 years.
 
V. KOFMAN

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