Best/Worst WWII Light Cruisers

Surface Ships From Every Era
Joined: December 6th, 2010, 11:44 pm

December 6th, 2017, 1:35 pm #191

ChrisPat wrote: Until you get to something like the present situation with T45s.  No matter how good they may be (we must hope) they can only be in six places; could 7 Townalikes at £14m stop 10 Arethusalikes from getting past them to find their main body?  Depends on conditions, I suspect.
OTOH it would suggest that without that consideration and no WNT nobody would build cruisers at all.  Battlecruisers would be the way to go, and ever bigger ones at that, just as from 1906 to 1918.  Though light armoured cruisers were also built then.
the first time would be that some of the 10 Arethusa can past them but the nest time how many Arethusa will be fit for the operation?
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 10:19 pm

December 6th, 2017, 2:22 pm #192

If you're fighting a decisive rerun of Jutland it doesn't matter. Everyone was planning for that.
"Be harmonious, enrich the soldiers, and scorn all other men"

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster himself."

"We take pride in the terminatory service we provide"
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Joined: December 6th, 2010, 11:44 pm

December 6th, 2017, 11:58 pm #193

ChrisPat wrote: If you're fighting a decisive rerun of Jutland it doesn't matter.  Everyone was planning for that.
This threat is not for the 39 like my, the WW2 was many smaller encounter so there will a next time
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Joined: September 27th, 2011, 9:14 pm

December 7th, 2017, 2:16 am #194

ChrisPat wrote: If you're fighting a decisive rerun of Jutland it doesn't matter.  Everyone was planning for that.
And nobody would have gotten it, for the same reason Jutland was a bust in the first place. Capital ships are too valuable to throw away on one roll of the dice. There is always tomorrow, and tomorrow may perhaps be a better day. Many smaller cruiser actions were almost certainly likely in any realistically conceivable war. The tactical effectiveness and logistic efficiency of cruisers was very important.
Up and forward on the starboard side, down and aft on the port. 

The question of authority stalks the de-religionist project. (Paul Vander Klay)
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Joined: December 2nd, 2017, 11:26 pm

February 15th, 2018, 6:08 pm #195

ChrisPat wrote:
bennett0 wrote:One of the reasons for the lack of escorts was the transfer of 50 flush-deckers to the UK in 1940.  When modified and modernized, flush-deckers proved to be fairly decent AS escorts.
Fair enough, and old RN destroyers could have been similarly modified, were, and the plans should have been there pre war.
Given 20/20 hindsight, would you still transfer those 50 ships in '40 or hold them for ASW closer to the US later in time?  I don't know the detail but would bet the historical was actually the right call.
The problem with modifying WWI British destroyers is that there were few of them not committed to fleet duty.  There were only fifty or so of them in the first place. The RN needed every destroyer it could get it's hands on for fleet escort.  Plus destroyers made poor convoy escorts in the first place.  What the RN needed was a hundred Black Swan Sloops with their lower speed, six four inch DP guns and large depth charge capacity.
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Joined: November 21st, 2010, 12:24 am

February 16th, 2018, 7:53 am #196

carailwhale wrote: What the RN needed was a hundred Black Swan Sloops with their lower speed, six four inch DP guns and large depth charge capacity.
Eventually they more or less got them, in the form of the DEs.  But that wasn't until '43.
The difference between "democracy" and "populism" is whether or not the ruling elite likes the outcome.
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 10:19 pm

February 16th, 2018, 1:28 pm #197

No question purpose built escorts would be better.
The RN had scrapped a fair number of older destroyers in the inter war years.  Most of the stock before the V&W class went in the early '20s.  There's been at least one thread debating whether turning them into escorts or keeping the machinery for future escort builds would have been worthwhile.  HMS Skate, built in 1917, was the oldest escort in WWII.  Eleven of sixty seven S class served in WWII, there's the magic fifty and six spare.
"Be harmonious, enrich the soldiers, and scorn all other men"

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster himself."

"We take pride in the terminatory service we provide"
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Joined: July 8th, 2007, 8:30 pm

February 20th, 2018, 5:25 pm #198

HK wrote: There should be a tonnage limitation for this debate. Any "light cruiser" that is as big (or bigger) than a 10,000t treaty cruiser was NOT a light cruiser in any real sense (USN nomenclature notwithstanding). The CL classification should be about more than gun size. It's about scouting and independent operations, speed and protection...
....
Sorry if someone has already addressed this but the definition of a "light cruiser" is an outgrowth of the Washington naval treaty I believe.  That makes it more than just USN nomenclature.
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Joined: July 8th, 2007, 8:30 pm

February 20th, 2018, 6:18 pm #199

HK wrote: I just re-read some reports on HMS Ajax & Achilles versus Graf Spee during the Battle of the River Plate. What struck me is that with the right tactics two small light cruisers should be able to take on a heavy cruiser such as a Takao or Mogami with good odds of success. The same can't be said for large light cuisers like the Brooklyns and Clevelands. They'd probably lose in a broadside-to-broadside engagement against a heavy cruiser. So did the USN make a mistake by not building more, smaller light cruisers?
I'm not so sure of that.  Indeed I'd give a Brooklyn or a Cleveland an even or better chance vs some heavies.  Given their rate of fire and number of guns and the quality of their fire control (especially later in the war) they could be expected to do reasonably well vs most heavy cruisers.
My analysis:

1. Plunging fire wasn't much of a threat. Experience proved that it was very hard to get hits on a maneuvering light cruiser beyond 15,000 yards, and below that range even a small light cruiser with only ~1 inch of deck armor would still survive 8-in shells. Direct, low-angle fire at 10,000-12,000 yards would cause most battle damage, and at those ranges the light cruisers' 6 inch guns could penetrate the heavy cruiser's armor so they'd be even.
How does the inability to get hits on a maneuvering light cruiser hinder a light cruiser from hitting a heavy?  In any case with the number of rounds one of the big light cruisers can put out they have a pretty good chance of getting hits at over 15,000 yards.  Looking at the Spee since you brought it up and the numbers for the (admittely post 42 version) 6" 47 at:
http://www.navweaps.com/index_nathan/Pe ... 1941-43%29
The US cruiser can penetrate Spee's belt inside 20,000 yards all her deck armor over 20,000 yards and some of it down to 12,000 yards. 
2. The best tactic for light cruisers would be to stay bow on target and rapidly close the range while maneuvering wildly. The heavy cruiser's best defense is to try to stay at least 15,000 yards away and disable the light cruisers with a lucky long-range plunging shot. If the range closes to 10,000-12,000 yards or less, both sides are likely to be evenly damaged (the light cruisers receiving fewer, heavier hits to the deck and superstructures, the heavy cruiser receiving many sideways hits that will penetrate the belt and superstructures). The light cruisers might also get lucky with a torpedo spread at that range. 
That very much depends on the light cruiser.  Note except for some of the Atlanta's US light cruisers didn't carry torpedoes.  Note also that hits on their torpedoes caused the loss of several Japanese cruisers.
3. Seems like the ideal light cruiser design would have been a small, decently protected~7,000t light cruiser like the Arethusa, but with forward-facing-only, quick firing main guns, such as two USN triple 6" turrets. That's 7,000lbs and 54 shells per minute. A two-ship division would overwhelm a heavy 12,000t cruiser with 8x8" guns (9,500lbs and 36 shells per minute), as long as the 6" turrets don't get disabled early on by a lucky shot. The heavy cruiser would also have to present a more vulnerable broadside silhouette.
You have decided how a light cruiser should fight and then designed a ship to fight that way but not one that's particularly good at fighting in other ways.  If you want to use them this way why not just use the equivalent weight in DDs?
...Incidentally, did any navy every consider forward-facing-only cruiser armament? If BBs like Richelieu and Nelson had it, wouldn't it make even more sense on a light cruiser with more speed & more weight restrictions? 
Well the Kitakami in her torpedo cruiser configuration had two turrets forward....
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Joined: July 8th, 2007, 8:30 pm

February 20th, 2018, 6:27 pm #200

Guest wrote: What about the Kirovs?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirov_class_cruiser

7,800 tons (standard), nine 7.1" and six 3.9" guns.  Likely one of the heaviest gun armaments on the smallest displacement.   Only problem is you get a slower ROF than a 6" without the hitting power of an 8".  

So, Kirovs, best or worst CL?   Can we even consider them CLs?
Looking at the wiki article on the London naval treaty 6.1" or less make it a light cruiser so the Kirov would be a heavy.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Naval_Treaty
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