Your Favourite Warship of World War II

From the Washington Naval Treaty to the end of the Second World War.
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RF
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Re: Your Favourite War Ship of the 2nd World War

Post by RF » Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:09 pm

What I was refering to was achievement in combat, rather than speed records - in other words, how good as a fighting ship?
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Re: Your Favourite War Ship of the 2nd World War

Post by lwd » Tue Feb 03, 2009 5:06 pm

The thread I linked to on the axis history fourm mentions engagements with German convoys and gives a link to a site with more details. Unfortunatly said site is apparently in French which is well beyond my linguistic skills although one of the translater programs might help. Or perhaps someone here speaks French.

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Re: Your Favourite War Ship of the 2nd World War

Post by RF » Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:39 pm

This concerns operations in the Adriatic around 1943-45 by some three of these destroyers, in support of the partisan campaign in Yugoslavia. This is a little known area of WW2, and comes towards the end of the war when the Axis surface forces were not in a position to oppose them. On this basis it is rather difficult to see what they could have achieved against more serious concentrations of Axis forces as earlier in WW2.
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Re: Your Favourite War Ship of the 2nd World War

Post by lwd » Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:57 pm

True but then this whole thread is asking about Favorite vs best. I'm not really familiar enough with French equipment to make much of a comment on how useful they would have been earlier in the war. By that time I suspect they had good radar and their speed would be useful in a number of areas. I have gotten the impression that these were pretty good ships but then I used to hang out with wargamers.

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Re: Your Favourite War Ship of the 2nd World War

Post by lwd » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:56 pm

I got a message from mescal over on the axis history board he translated the combat history of the Fantasaes and gave me permission to post it here. Here's what he sent:
On 14 August 1943, Le Fantasque,and Le Terrible are integrated in the Royal Navy 12th Cruiser Squadron. Under the command of Commodore Agnew, the French-British group attacks Paola harbor in preparation for the Salerne landings.
On the 21st, Le Terrible [...] destroys italian Motor Torpedo Boats.
[...] Le Terrible and her sisterships receive congratulation from Admiral Algernon Willis for their AA efficiency [during the salerno landings]

On 11 September [...] the 10e DCT returns to Algiers, to take pat in the Corsica landing. [...]
Le Terrible and Le Fantasque are used as ... troop transports, carrying 500 troops to Ajaccio during the 13/14 night.
After this, the Royal Navy planned to use those ships as fast troop transport in the Aegean Sea.
[...]
The 10e DCL is planned to ship 600 commandos to Leros to help the defense of the island from German conterstrike, but the operation is aborted on the 16th Nov. after the fall of the island. The light cruisers nonetheless made several high-speed sweeps in the Aegean with the British. These missions appear perilous with the threat of German air raids, but the French AA artillery once again proves its efficiency.
[footnote] On 19 November, for example, 5 Ju 88 are shot down by Le Fantasque and Le Terrible during a raid with HMS Phoebe [/footnote]
[My comment : the source for this note is however not extremely reliable]

[... Le Terrible is under repair from 10 Dec. to 30 Jan. 1944 ...]
Between February and 15 august 1944, Le Terrible makes around 30 raids in the Mediterranean.
The 10e DCL, made of Le Fantasque, Le Terrible and Le Malin is first based at Manfredonia, Northwest of Bari.
Her mission is to intercept in the Adriatic the German convoys which keep their troops in Albania and Greece supplied.
The Allied wanted to use the high speed of the French ships to make the best use of the intelligence gathered by recon aircrafts.
[...]
On 29th Feb, Le Terrible and Le Malin are patrolling the Dalmatian [?] coast. At 21h30, off Premuda, a convoy is sighted by Terrible's radar
Both ships then attack at high speed through a minefield [!!]. In four minutes, each ship sets a freighter on fire. An enemy torpedo boat then opens fire on Le Terrible but is crippled at short range by heavy fire from all of Terrible's guns. In the following minutes, two more enemy MTBs are also sunk.
Within less than an hour, and without any damage or casualty the 10e DCL has full dismantled the convoy [...]

Two weeks later, in the 18/19 march night, Le Fantasque & Le Terrible detect a convoy in Argolic Gulf. Le Fantasque takes the lead and sinks one freighter and a tanker. Le Terrible destroys a big landing ship and two MTBs. Le Fantasque finally sinks a troop barge.
[...]

These successes lead the Allied to make a systematic use of such high speed sweeps. The 10e DCL is integrated in an interallied scheme,
operating with British ships [L&M-class DDs IIRC].
[...]
During a fight off Quarnero on 17 June, Le Fantasque & Le Terrible sink another convoy.
But the main result of those night raids and the Air action during daylight is a progressive paralysis of the German communications in the Adriatic & Balkan region.
[...]

The results of those raids are nonetheless to be be relativised : the enemy was always far less powerful, and often slower.
Moreover the losses inflicted to the enemy shipping amount to no more than a few dozens of thousend tons, far from the scores logged by some other Allied ships earlier (c.f. Upholder and her 90000 tons).
[...]

After these operations, the 10e DCL is integrated in August ot the Dragoon-Anvil operation [...]. On 13 August, Le Terrible put to sea to take part in the shelling of fortified strongpoints around St Raphael. On the 17th, while shelling the St Pierre battery at La Napoule, Le Terrible is straddled by enemy fire, but suffers no damage and succeeds in silencing the enemy.
[...]
Le Terrible, along with Richelieu, is among the French ships which enter Toulon Harbour on 30 Sept.

The end of 1944 saw the 10e DCL ack in a more routine service of convoy escorts.

On 25 December, Le Terrible collides with Le Malin, rendering both ships unserviceable until the end of the war and killing 72.

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Re: Your Favourite War Ship of the 2nd World War

Post by RF » Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:41 pm

lwd wrote:True but then this whole thread is asking about Favorite vs best. I'm not really familiar enough with French equipment to make much of a comment on how useful they would have been earlier in the war. By that time I suspect they had good radar and their speed would be useful in a number of areas. I have gotten the impression that these were pretty good ships but then I used to hang out with wargamers.
Is it possible to wargame La Fantastique versus a Narvik class zestorer in open, flat calm ocean - and what would the result be?
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Re: Your Favourite War Ship of the 2nd World War

Post by lwd » Fri Feb 06, 2009 4:04 pm

It's certainly possible. Who wins what percentage will be a function of the rules chosen. Should be an interesting match up. Looking at navweapons:
http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNGER_59-48_skc36.htm
and
http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNFR_55-45_m1929.htm
The French gun apparently has a bit higher rate of fire but the German gun a bit higher velocity and depending on round type a larger burster.
Wiki
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narvik_class_destroyer
and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasque_class_destroyer
has the French ship as being a bit smaller. After her refit shes about the same speed as a Narvik but has US radar.

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Re: Your Favourite War Ship of the 2nd World War

Post by RF » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:55 pm

On an open, flat sea, with perfect visibility - who would you put your money on?
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Re: Your Favourite War Ship of the 2nd World War

Post by lwd » Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:34 pm

Your really trying to pin me down on this one. I'd sure like to get odds but ...
Pre refit with a great deal of reluctance I'd go for the Fantasque. Figuring the higher rate of fire would be the determinant factor.
Post refit I'd do the same with a lot less reluctance. The improvements due to radar fire control being a major reason.

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Re: Your Favourite War Ship of the 2nd World War

Post by RF » Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:38 am

I think most people would probably marginally favour the French ship here, given the many criticisms of the Narvik classe zerstorers. This was why I specified an open flat calm sea, where the Germans would have their best chance.
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Re: Your Favourite War Ship of the 2nd World War

Post by surfsup » Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:25 pm

My favourite Ship or Ships of the 2nd World War are as follows:

US Navy: The Yorktown and USS Trigger S-237

Kriegsmarine: Bismarck and Scharnhorst

British Navy: The Hood and the KGV

Japan : Akagi and the Yamato

France: The Jean Bart

R.A.N. : HMAS Sydney

Threw the last one in as it has a famous history and being from Australia is where I am.

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Re: Your Favourite War Ship of the 2nd World War

Post by RF » Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:05 am

surfsup,

Interesting that the Reggia Marina didn't feature in your list - Littorio or Vittorio Veneto for example....

As for the RAN, the Sydney, or at least the third ship to bear that name, does get a lot of attention due to its unfortunate fate. Have you considered HMAS Canberra?
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Re: Your Favourite War Ship of the 2nd World War

Post by surfsup » Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:21 am

I was trying to decide between which RAN Ships as there is a few to choose from my side of things. There is indeed the Canberra which was my second choice, the original HMAS australia from WW1 or the Diamantina. She is preserved in my home City of Brisbane and refitted to WW2 condition. As stated, everyone has their own personal favourite and several other choices. It all depends which order you wish to place them in.

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Re: Your Favourite War Ship of the 2nd World War

Post by Darren43 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:42 am

Warspite. Gotta love that fat old girl, she never gave up, even busted her tow on the way to the breakers.

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Re: Your Favourite War Ship of the 2nd World War

Post by skipperbob » Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:40 am

Add my vote to the list for USN Enterprise CV6. Greatest combat record in WWII. Fought in more battles, destroyed more shipping, shot down more aircraft. Served as front line warship from the beginning until knocked out by a kamikaze in May, 1945. Was ready to come back for more when the war ended. What other ship could it be?
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