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Ww2 Asw: Frigates Vs Corvettes Vs Sloops Vs Destroyers Vs...


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#21 DougRichards

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 0240 AM

Of course the USN can also be considered. Of course the DE was excellent, and the US could afford to build them in quantity.  But what about the PC and PCE.  I have a comment in a book that says that the resources for the 350 PC built would have been better used in building PCE 'frigates'   Even so, only one PCE, and that was in RN service, took part in the sinking of a U-Boot.

 

Even though the PCE was of less displacement than a Flower, it certainly was well armed.  Somehow on a displacement of 850 tons full load it managed a crew of 95.... :o which sounds like the crew must have been selected for being short in height and low in weight.


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#22 Anixtu

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 0436 AM

Wasn't berthing for enlisted rather austere with hammocks being the bulk of accommodations?


AFAIK hammocks were standard in the RN until Type 81 of late 1950s.
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#23 shep854

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 0750 AM

The Flower-class corvettes were a desperate measure to get something afloat to fight U-boats.  They were miserable sea-boats, as well as slow and lightly armed.  They were, though, about the only thing the RN could employ in quantity early in the war.

The novel The Cruel Sea was written by a corvette officer (Nicholas Monsarrat) and gives a sober account of the hard life of a corvette's crew.  It was also made into a movie that I'd really like to see.


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#24 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 0947 AM

Shep, you really need to see it. Its one of the finest British war films ever made. Worth seeing back to back with 'Das Boot' I reckon.


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#25 MiloMorai

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 1336 PM

Hunt Class: Royal Navy equivalent to the DE type, suitable as escorts but able to do some fleet work as well.

 

The Hunts had a major design flaw, they were unstable. To fix this problem initially 50 ton of ballast was added and the removal of the 'X' 4" gun on early constructs, and then increasing the beam to 31'6".on later constructs.


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#26 Colin

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 1803 PM

The Flower-class corvettes were a desperate measure to get something afloat to fight U-boats.  They were miserable sea-boats, as well as slow and lightly armed.  They were, though, about the only thing the RN could employ in quantity early in the war.

The novel The Cruel Sea was written by a corvette officer (Nicholas Monsarrat) and gives a sober account of the hard life of a corvette's crew.  It was also made into a movie that I'd really like to see.

The modified ones were a significant improvement, the advantage they had was they could cross the Atlantic while escorting. Most of the DD could not due to fuel consumption. The Frigates were the solution. Crew training in the RCN was also a big issue.


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#27 Brian Kennedy

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 1813 PM

This is awesome, thanks again guys. (Also the more I read about Johnnie Walker, he's definitely one of the more badass characters of WW2).

 

Is there anything available about the history of Germany's smaller surface navy during the war? I know about Slapton Sands et al but the rest of it seems pretty sparse. 


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#28 R011

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 2033 PM


The Flower-class corvettes were a desperate measure to get something afloat to fight U-boats.  They were miserable sea-boats, as well as slow and lightly armed.  They were, though, about the only thing the RN could employ in quantity early in the war.
The novel The Cruel Sea was written by a corvette officer (Nicholas Monsarrat) and gives a sober account of the hard life of a corvette's crew.  It was also made into a movie that I'd really like to see.

The modified ones were a significant improvement, the advantage they had was they could cross the Atlantic while escorting. Most of the DD could not due to fuel consumption. The Frigates were the solution. Crew training in the RCN was also a big issue.

And time for maintenance. The RCN escort force had to stand down in early 1943 for training, rest, and maintenance. It had expanded too fast and was worked too hard. It was much better after that.
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#29 Colin

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 2306 PM

This is awesome, thanks again guys. (Also the more I read about Johnnie Walker, he's definitely one of the more badass characters of WW2).

 

Is there anything available about the history of Germany's smaller surface navy during the war? I know about Slapton Sands et al but the rest of it seems pretty sparse. 

Their e-boats accounted well for themselves


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#30 DougRichards

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 0000 AM

 

This is awesome, thanks again guys. (Also the more I read about Johnnie Walker, he's definitely one of the more badass characters of WW2).

 

Is there anything available about the history of Germany's smaller surface navy during the war? I know about Slapton Sands et al but the rest of it seems pretty sparse. 

Their e-boats accounted well for themselves

 

Not just e-boats, but what the Germans called 'torpedo boats', that is, light destroyers, for instance the Elbings, that caught the RN in an ambush that lead to the sinking of the HMS Charybis and a British destroyer on 22 October 1943.

 

Offsetting that action, at the Battle of the Bay of Biscay (27 December 1943) two light RN Cruisers the HMS Glasgow and HMS Enterprise sank two German torpedo boats and a destroyer, in a stoush that pitted two the light cruisers against five destroyers and six torpedo boats.


Edited by DougRichards, 20 October 2018 - 0040 AM.

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#31 RETAC21

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 0309 AM

 

This is awesome, thanks again guys. (Also the more I read about Johnnie Walker, he's definitely one of the more badass characters of WW2).

 

Is there anything available about the history of Germany's smaller surface navy during the war? I know about Slapton Sands et al but the rest of it seems pretty sparse. 

Their e-boats accounted well for themselves

 

 

See here: https://www.amazon.c...k/dp/B0189PTWZ6

 

Warship had a number of articles on the less glamorous duties of the Kriegsmarine

 

Re. the S-booten, as in the subs, the hunted grew in the eye of the hunter, so they did have an impact, but quite small, with Slapton Sands as blip, caused in large measure by allied inexperience (the escorts had been pulled out of Atlantic duty and were not ready to fight the S boats)


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#32 MiloMorai

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 0627 AM

For those interested in RCN corvettes I would recommend,

 

https://youtu.be/LWiXX7rrGCs


Edited by MiloMorai, 20 October 2018 - 0627 AM.

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#33 shep854

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 0802 AM

Shep, you really need to see it. Its one of the finest British war films ever made. Worth seeing back to back with 'Das Boot' I reckon.

I've read the book several times.  I WILL be on the lookout for the film.


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#34 Inhapi

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 0818 AM

 

Of the Axis, the Italian Gabbiano class probably came closest to the idea of a British style escort, even though they would only be ever used in the Mediterranean. 42 were completed, but few in time to be used by the Italians, the rest being taken over by Germany.

 

 

 

What about the Matsu's Tachibanas and the type A to D Escorts/Kaibokan ?


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#35 Chris Werb

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 1803 PM

If you want a really good book on WW2 British escort design, "Atlantic Escorts" by D. K. Brown is probably the best thing in print.

 

Basically we had to do what we could with the shipyards available - an oversimplification, but they essentially fell into three categories as far as building escorts were concerned.

 

1. Those capable of producing small commercial ships - they got to build the Flowers and then the Castles. The Castle was a quantum leap on the Flower in AS armament, but not much else.

 

2. Those capable of producing slightly larger commercial ships - they got to build Rivers (some of which were built in the US for the RN as the Colony class), Lochs and Bays. The Loch was essentially a follow on River with a vastly better AS sensor and weapon suite - the best in any navy in WW2. Toward the end of the war something like 60% of double squid salvoes killed a u-boat. Bays were Lochs optimised for anti aircraft warfare in the light of the Japanese de-emphasising subs and emphasising aircraft.

 

3. Shipyards that could build to naval standards - these built sloops such as the Black Swan class, but not many of them as it made sense for them to focus on the construction of other warships - sloops were not really good value compared to the corvettes and frigates and were not much cheaper than a destroyer to build.

 

Remember also that, whilst some Flowers and Rivers went to the USN to stem their escort crisis, we then took on lots of US DEs as the Captain class. The US DEs were built in truly epic numbers and scrapped just as fast post war when it was felt that fast battery subs made them obsolete.

 

Evaluating the effectiveness of individual classes vs each other is tricky as the faster escorts, including converted V&W destroyers, would be the ones dispatched from the convoy to prosecute targets whereas the corvettes, because of their low speed, would remain in the screen. 


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#36 Markus Becker

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 2325 PM

Of course the USN can also be considered. Of course the DE was excellent, and the US could afford to build them in quantity.  But what about the PC and PCE.  I have a comment in a book that says that the resources for the 350 PC built would have been better used in building PCE 'frigates'   Even so, only one PCE, and that was in RN service, took part in the sinking of a U-Boot.


I refer you to Chris's post. The resources could have been used otherwise but were the shipyards capable of building larger ASW vessels? Another thing to consider is the time it takes to get a vessels built. A 500-ish ton PC or an even smaller SC now could beat having a DE later. The trouble with the early American ASW was that PC/SC would have sufficed for the coastal warfare the US was suffering from, if only their construction had begun before 12/41.

There is also the allegation that such small vessels were a pet project of FOR, who favoured them in WW1 already.
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#37 Markus Becker

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 2339 PM

Two more things.

Re: 95 men on 850 tons. 850 tons is huge for a PC. I'm certain the big ones displaced round about 500 tons. The relatively large crew size might have been ok due to the sort of missions the PC did. If you aren't out of port for more than a handful days at the most cramped living quarters and so on can be tolerable.

Re: Flower class. We need to keep in mind that they were never intended for high seas ASW. They were intended to be coastal ASW ships. Think of a faster version of an ASW trawler, a class of submarine hunter heavily used in WW1 and also in WW2. They were literally armed fishing trawlers with a top speed of 10-12 knots. Ok during the Great War, less so 20 years later as submarines got faster. Thus the 16 knot Flower class, who ended up in the North Atlantic because after the Fall of France escorts were needed on the high seas in much larger numbers and the Flowers were available.

Edited by Markus Becker, 20 October 2018 - 2340 PM.

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#38 Colin

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 0025 AM

 

Of course the USN can also be considered. Of course the DE was excellent, and the US could afford to build them in quantity.  But what about the PC and PCE.  I have a comment in a book that says that the resources for the 350 PC built would have been better used in building PCE 'frigates'   Even so, only one PCE, and that was in RN service, took part in the sinking of a U-Boot.


I refer you to Chris's post. The resources could have been used otherwise but were the shipyards capable of building larger ASW vessels? Another thing to consider is the time it takes to get a vessels built. A 500-ish ton PC or an even smaller SC now could beat having a DE later. The trouble with the early American ASW was that PC/SC would have sufficed for the coastal warfare the US was suffering from, if only their construction had begun before 12/41.

There is also the allegation that such small vessels were a pet project of FOR, who favoured them in WW1 already.

 

The PC's were just coastal craft and could not really work offshore. But the big problem was the absolute refusal to conduct convoy ops by the USN. I read a book on the RCN, using official sources from all sides, what it showed was that the presence of even one escort would often deter an attack. More often than not, just being driven to submerge would cost the sub a chance to hit the convoy. The USN PC would have made some difference along coastal US if the Convoy system was being used. 


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#39 DougRichards

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 0320 AM

 

 

Of course the USN can also be considered. Of course the DE was excellent, and the US could afford to build them in quantity.  But what about the PC and PCE.  I have a comment in a book that says that the resources for the 350 PC built would have been better used in building PCE 'frigates'   Even so, only one PCE, and that was in RN service, took part in the sinking of a U-Boot.


I refer you to Chris's post. The resources could have been used otherwise but were the shipyards capable of building larger ASW vessels? Another thing to consider is the time it takes to get a vessels built. A 500-ish ton PC or an even smaller SC now could beat having a DE later. The trouble with the early American ASW was that PC/SC would have sufficed for the coastal warfare the US was suffering from, if only their construction had begun before 12/41.

There is also the allegation that such small vessels were a pet project of FOR, who favoured them in WW1 already.

 

The PC's were just coastal craft and could not really work offshore. But the big problem was the absolute refusal to conduct convoy ops by the USN. I read a book on the RCN, using official sources from all sides, what it showed was that the presence of even one escort would often deter an attack. More often than not, just being driven to submerge would cost the sub a chance to hit the convoy. The USN PC would have made some difference along coastal US if the Convoy system was being used. 

 

 

In some ways yes, they were coastal craft, but that was the choice of the US at the time.

 

Consider the Isles class 'trawlers',

 

https://en.wikipedia...s-class_trawler

 

shorter than the PC class, a little heavier in displacement, but not so much heavier that a shipyard that could have built a PC could not have built an Isles.  The PC had an eight knot speed advantage over an Isles, which had one sixth the horsepower of a PC.  Isles were of greater beam, necessary for deep water conditions.  Both the Isles, and the Flowers, were good sea boats, but were tiring for the crews.

 

The Isles had a crew of 40, the PC 65.

 

Both were similarly armed, in general.

 

The point being that the Isles class escorted convoys to the Soviet Union from Britain.  Not always successfully, but they went the distance.

 

The PC was in many ways a doctrinal choice, as were the Isles.  Yards that could have built PC could have built Isles, but at that stage no one important in the USN wanted convoy escorts when 20kt sub chasers could be produced and pointed at.


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#40 DougRichards

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 0411 AM

Two more things.

Re: 95 men on 850 tons. 850 tons is huge for a PC. I'm certain the big ones displaced round about 500 tons. The relatively large crew size might have been ok due to the sort of missions the PC did. If you aren't out of port for more than a handful days at the most cramped living quarters and so on can be tolerable.

Re: Flower class. We need to keep in mind that they were never intended for high seas ASW. They were intended to be coastal ASW ships. Think of a faster version of an ASW trawler, a class of submarine hunter heavily used in WW1 and also in WW2. They were literally armed fishing trawlers with a top speed of 10-12 knots. Ok during the Great War, less so 20 years later as submarines got faster. Thus the 16 knot Flower class, who ended up in the North Atlantic because after the Fall of France escorts were needed on the high seas in much larger numbers and the Flowers were available.

 

850 tons was the displacement of the PCE, not the PC.


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