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Cruiser Destroyer

zen

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I have a soft spot for this concept and design.
Under different circumstances it might have been built.

Thoughts?
 

Grey Havoc

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It would have likely been a very cost effective addition to the Royal Navy.
 
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zen

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It would have likely been a very cost effective addition to the Royal Navy.
That's my thought too.
Even if it's not the Type 984 version. The internal spaces for the three 5"L70 guns do seem to offer scope for future alternatives.
The size is reasonable for a revised design perhaps trading 2 guns for Sea Slug or one for Orange Nell or a Helicopter or indeed the obsessively AH desired Tartar.
Though in terms of main mission Blue Slug or the Fairey Sea Skimmer is more appropriate.
 

zen

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Another thought occurs to me, using steam plant. This could leave mixed COSAG to the Type 81 which would pioneer this for the RN and delay the design of a clean sheet DDG.
Making the next generation more likely to be fully COGAG.
 

Dilandu

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Doubt that it could actually be build. First of all, they never managed to finalize the whole design; the most promising was the 1952s design, but it was doubtful that everything could fit well (especially the mighty radar), and 1953s design was not capable enough to validate its cost.

The main problem was, that RN tried to fit too many different - and relatively high - parameters in what was supposed to be a mass-produced ships. They were supposed to have both speed, range, sea-keeping ability, powerful artillery and torpedo armament and capable radars. Its just did not fit well into relatively small hulls.

To actually build something like that, RN would clearly require much more impressive naval threat - much more powerful Soviet Navy in 1950s (i.e. probably less devastating World War 2 and the ability of USSR to continue its Big Fleet program afterward).
 

zen

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I think that Destroyer standard ships are much cheaper and lighter than Cruiser standard ships.

Which why this was conceived of in the first place.
 

starviking

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I think that Destroyer standard ships are much cheaper and lighter than Cruiser standard ships.

Which why this was conceived of in the first place.
IIRC Cruiser standards included repair shops and the capability to carry a significant marine detachment.
 
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Volkodav

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Considering the starting point for the 5" was the 5.25", maybe an initial generation of cruiser destroyer with a steam plant and the same model 5.25" mounts (splinter protection rather than armoured) as deployed on Vanguard. By all means rechamber the mounts for the USN 5"x54 ammunition, either initially, or for latter iterations, but stick to the concept of a sort of hybrid replacement for the Arethusas, Didos and Tribals.

Its my understanding that Tartar was developed (at least partly) in response to a UK requirement for a point defence missile, and the cruiser destroyer would have been a no brainer for the installation of it, for a minimum change version and refit of earlier examples, prior to the Seaslug derivative in the 60s. The Irony is, Tartar cruiser destroyers, converted to Standard, could easily have outlasted their Seaslug descendants.
 

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I never did really see the point of putting a Type 984 on a gun-armed destroyer.
I feel you could modify the design for Sea Slug and a Type 984 but the result would be very much like a County but with a single 5in gun remaining.
 

JFC Fuller

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I never did really see the point of putting a Type 984 on a gun-armed destroyer.
I feel you could modify the design for Sea Slug and a Type 984 but the result would be very much like a County but with a single 5in gun remaining.
Fleet Air Direction Escort (FADE); somewhat similar to the Air Defence Commander role that Ticonderogas perform when escorting CVNs in the USN, involved directing fighters from the carrier as well as tracking attacking aircraft. However, the shear size of the Type 984 meant it was always going to require a bigger ship.
 

uk 75

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The USN had built a similar ship
The RN built the successful Daring super-destroyers.
Your ship (well covered in the old Friedman Postwar Royal Navy) would have been both a Carrier task group escort but also aimed at hunting Soviet surface raiders.
I have always seen them as a step on the way to the Countys. But with so many calls on the Defence Budget the step was taken with the Darings.
 

Volkodav

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The RN built the successful Daring super-destroyers.
Which according to Grove’s Vanguard to Trident were operationally classed as cruisers
Makes sense as old navy saw them as too large to truly be destroyers and that the large Tribal Class destroyers were also used as (or in place of) cruisers during WWII. Fair enough really when you consider the Tribals were evolved from the scout cruiser concept that also resulted in the Didos. I suppose what they really were was Frigates, as in the USN definition prior to 1975, or destroyer leaders, which on turn was a return to the original concept of Frigates being the largest and most powerful "cruisers" in the days of sail through to iron clads.

I wonder how long it will be before navies start referring to the 7000t plus multi role "frigates" as cruisers.
 

Hood

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A lot of work was done on 'Super Darings' and I feel that these might of been a better bet than the Cruiser-Destroyer.
 

JFC Fuller

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A lot of work was done on 'Super Darings' and I feel that these might of been a better bet than the Cruiser-Destroyer.
Possibly. Digging in to what the RN was trying to achieve with these various designs is useful, broadly the following four requirements can be identified:

1) Anti-Sverdlov
2) Anti-Aircraft
3) FADE
4) Fast ASW

At first glance the Cruiser-Destroyer design enabled at least three, and at a push all four, of these to be achieved on one hull with a single ship being able to face down a Sverdlov by using very powerful 5" dual purpose weapons. The ship naturally tended towards cruiser size and cost though and the main armament never got close to being fully developed.

There was a belief that a pair of Darings could face down a Sverdlov, I am sceptical myself but equally wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of nearly 200 4.5" shells a minute coming from two ships closing for torpedo attack. Either way, this was justification for the Super Daring efforts that ultimately culminated in the County class.

It's a fascinating period of design that, alongside the evolution of frigates, results in a lot of issues being worked out prior to a brief period of stability in the late 1950s and early 1960s. That in turn is ended by the abandonment of NIGS and the size growth of the Type 82.
 
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Purpletrouble

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Have that book open in front of me! The look is very un-RN though.

I feel postwar the lesson of destroyers and cruisers was that the former lack range/endurance and actual fighting effectivness in weather plus space for enabling sensors and crew. The latter were too few in numbers and not suited to ASW. The category had merged since the anti surface role of the destroyer was now just a side bit to the much large fleet screening role of anti aircraft - which required cruiser type hulls to take heavy/medium and light plus sensors. The classic destroyer was obsolete hence converter to single role fast asw ships.

The CD to me is the optimum - large enough to take the sensors and crew to make full use of their weapons, destroyer build standards so still uses bases and not trying to single handedly fight heavy units so medium guns and medium sized. In fact exactly as we have ended up with in T45/26 generation.

For me there are capital ships and single role somewhat expendable types. In the middle are your numbers. I recall a classic definition of a cruiser was “the largest thing you could build in numbers”.

The issue was the 5” gun being OTT plus I agree 984 was probably OTT also.

A pity though as it would have led to County and then the conceptual merger of cruiser and destroyer rather than the ingrained “must have both one big one small” which led to trying to make T82 too small rather (whilst also having the escort cruiser) than accepting a DLG was the sensible outcome.
 

zen

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I can envision a updated CD having Orange Nell or Q-band Tartar in place of the rear gun, Ikara in place of middle one and retaining the forward. A potent combination and virtually a Type 82 but many years earlier.
Alternatively pulling the rear gun and having a helicopter facility.
 

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Yes- although not sure how dimensionally similar? But seems very feasible to upgrade with later systems in a way the Tigers/Darings weren’t.

Downside is fitting the actual fielded SAM, Sea Slug pushes you away again to more like County. or perhaps a different option?

For me the advantage is (a) better ships built better suited to change and (b) the conceptual understanding of merging the types, so less waste of effort, time and over complicated results through constantly trying to fit systems into too small ships; by accepting fleet escorts would be DLGs.

In the 60s you then build a carrier, multi-role DLG and single role AAW or ASW frigates with secondary GP capabilities.

Trying to shift the helos off the carrier was also a mistake - just build a bigger carrier. Far more efficient overall and the helos are very handy generally.

Some of that is hindsight but the C-D wasn’t as per the original pitch for it.
 

zen

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Yes- although not sure how dimensionally similar? But seems very feasible to upgrade with later systems in a way the Tigers/Darings weren’t.

Downside is fitting the actual fielded SAM, Sea Slug pushes you away again to more like County. or perhaps a different option?

For me the advantage is (a) better ships built better suited to change and (b) the conceptual understanding of merging the types, so less waste of effort, time and over complicated results through constantly trying to fit systems into too small ships; by accepting fleet escorts would be DLGs.

In the 60s you then build a carrier, multi-role DLG and single role AAW or ASW frigates with secondary GP capabilities.

Trying to shift the helos off the carrier was also a mistake - just build a bigger carrier. Far more efficient overall and the helos are very handy generally.

Some of that is hindsight but the C-D wasn’t as per the original pitch for it.
Well like I say, Orange Nell isn't Sea Slug.....then again the likely timescale for modernisation suggests early Sea Dart. Hence my pushing that earlier as Orange Nell.

Buy certainly a ship over 4,500tons is reasonably able to mount a Tartar-like SAM, 5" gun and a helicopter.

Though for a 3D set like 984, it would be better to go upto 8,000tons.
 

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This long out of print had a beautiful cover artwork on this theme.
One thing I've never been able to visualise is how big these were. The cover art makes them look like huge ships, oversized for their intended role and armament.
 

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From “Rebuilding the Royal Navy” D.K. Brown and co... 1105A844-42DB-4A3B-AA7A-968A488A6B6F.jpeg
Cruiser/Destroyer. This is Design Study II of the February 1951 series. Note the two big Type 984 radar sets and the Sverdlov class cruiser in the background. The ship was expected to be able to counter Soviet cruisers by the weight of firepower from the new 5in mountings. A rate of 60 rounds per minute per gun was specified at this time.
 

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Are there any sketches, arrangments or elevations available of any of the CD studies, I don't recall seeing any except for maybe one in a Friedman book?
They are incredibly interesting and from memory work stopped when it was decided to concentrate on a missile cruiser instead, they would have been a good fit not just for the RN but commonwealth navies as well.

Just looking at this image the potential upgrade path could include an RAN configuration Ikara replacing the Limbo, Tartar (system including directors and associated equipment) replacing the 5" in B position and one of the 984s, helicopter facilities replacing the aft 5". Not a minor effort at all but achievable when looking at similar modernisations conducted by other nations fitting Tartar to existing or new build ships.

Does anyone know anything about the variants with twin instead of single 5"mounts? Were they distinct studies or did they simply swap out the fully automatic singles for simpler twins?
 

A Tentative Fleet Plan

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Are there any sketches, arrangments or elevations available of any of the CD studies, I don't recall seeing any except for maybe one in a Friedman book?
They are incredibly interesting and from memory work stopped when it was decided to concentrate on a missile cruiser instead, they would have been a good fit not just for the RN but commonwealth navies as well.

Just looking at this image the potential upgrade path could include an RAN configuration Ikara replacing the Limbo, Tartar (system including directors and associated equipment) replacing the 5" in B position and one of the 984s, helicopter facilities replacing the aft 5". Not a minor effort at all but achievable when looking at similar modernisations conducted by other nations fitting Tartar to existing or new build ships.

Does anyone know anything about the variants with twin instead of single 5"mounts? Were they distinct studies or did they simply swap out the fully automatic singles for simpler twins?
Friedman's British Destroyers and Frigates has a sketch as does Postwar Naval Revolution (the latter is slightly more detailed, in that it labels sections that the former doesn't), and there are side profiles in Rebuilding the Royal Navy and Warship 2006 (I don't have the latter, but the Google Books preview included part of the article of Postwar Royal Navy cruiser designs). However all of the sketches and side profiles that are publicly available are of Design Study I of the February 1951 series of studies.

The Cruiser Destroyer design studies with twin mountings were drawn up towards the end of the Cruiser Destroyer concept, and tended to have less impressive radar, sonar and close range AA compared to the earlier studies.
 

Dilandu

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The cruiser-destroyer may probably be better, if Admirality stopped to worry about countering Sverdlov's with them. After all, one thing Soviet Navy was really never interested in, was commerce raiding.
 

zen

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Note the two big Type 984 radar sets
Maybe a stupid question, but what do you need TWO Type 984s for in a ship of this size?
2 logical reasons
1. Coverage, a single set is blanked off by the mast carrying other systems. Considering some of those were ELINT/SIGINT and quite sensitive, blasting them with S-band radio just a few meters away wasn't an ideal thing to do.
2. Reliability, based on valve electronics the 984 and CDS needed a certain amount of downtime for maintenance. Admiralty documents show the desired minimum in a force was 3 sets to ensure one was always operational.

A third would be rotation speed, 2 or more sets permits more constant coverage of all angles.
 

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The later designs which still had Type 984 had single set due to fears of interference.
 
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JFC Fuller

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To echo Hood's earlier comments, the presence of the Type 984 and the FADE role on these ships feels awkward to me. The key driver for the design was to close with an enemy cruiser and engage in a brief, by virtue of the high RoF of the guns and natural magazine capacity limitations, but intense gunnery duel before engaging with torpedos. The fancy and fragile radar system and associated operations spaces feel like things that would not come out of that engagement in working order. I have had the same thoughts about the later Seaslug cruisers too. The non-FADE versions of the cruiser-destroyer were probably more sensible concepts.

The artist impression shows the original 66rpm N1 70 cal MCDP guns in single turrets. Ambitions were scaled back later and the N2 was a 56 cal designed for 40rpm (only for the first minute). Both were proposed in twin as well as single turrets. They were meant to be dual purpose but the AA mission was the real design driver, the shells being notably lighter than those for the 6" used on the Tiger class. Decisive penetration would have been a lot less likely but 200 shells a minute would have wrecked fire control equipment on a target ship.

Only because I think a video of such a ship shooting broadside would be amazing, its a shame that the twin N1 mounts were not pushed forward and then used on Tiger, Lion and Blake. Two twin 5" firing 66rpm per gun and two twin 3" firing 90rpm per gun, each with its own fire control channel, would have been spectacular.
 
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Dilandu

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The key driver for the design
I'm afraid, that the problem of the design was exactly that it have too many key drivers that were supposed to be somehow combined in the ship, as small & cheap as possible.

The fancy and fragile radar system and associated operations spaces feel like things that would not come out of that engagement in working order.
Yes, but let's not forget; those ships were supposed to be not only counter-raiders against - nonexistent - Soviet raiding cruisers threat, they were also supposed to serve as escorts for carrier groups and convoys, as well as submarine hunters and forward-deployed units. In those roles, the big powerful radar, capable of guiding fighters to interceptions, was crucial. While Royal Navy made a lot of mistakes, it was perfectly right to predict that guided weapon-carrying long-range bombers would became the major threat to surface fleets. Since SAM were not available yet, the only way to stop such threat was to intercept it before strike.
 

JFC Fuller

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Yes, but let's not forget; those ships were supposed to be not only counter-raiders against - nonexistent - Soviet raiding cruisers threat, they were also supposed to serve as escorts for carrier groups and convoys, as well as submarine hunters and forward-deployed units. In those roles, the big powerful radar, capable of guiding fighters to interceptions, was crucial. While Royal Navy made a lot of mistakes, it was perfectly right to predict that guided weapon-carrying long-range bombers would became the major threat to surface fleets. Since SAM were not available yet, the only way to stop such threat was to intercept it before strike.
Which is exactly what I said in post 15 above. There was also no need for all those roles to be included in one ship.
 

Dilandu

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Which is exactly what I said in post 15 above. There was also no need for all those roles to be included in one ship.
But then the whole concept of cruiser-destroyer would just start to fell apart, and they would become a very costly destroyers. Moreover, they would be a very useless costly destroyers, since their anti-surface function was just not applicable; there were no Sverdlov's to hunt in open sea, and in naval combat against Soviet cruiser-destroyer squadrons, the whole concept just wasn't very practical.

The only way I see how the concept may be saved is to build actually two types of ships on common hull and with common components - one "cruiser", with more powerful radars, and other "destroyer", with more capable artillery. But this would be against what Admiralty wanted from this type.
 

JFC Fuller

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But then the whole concept of cruiser-destroyer would just start to fell apart, and they would become a very costly destroyers. Moreover, they would be a very useless costly destroyers, since their anti-surface function was just not applicable; there were no Sverdlov's to hunt in open sea, and in naval combat against Soviet cruiser-destroyer squadrons, the whole concept just wasn't very practical.
A costly destroyer is exactly what this concept was, a destroyer enlarged to take a very powerful, fully automatic, dual purpose main armament that could engage aircraft and enemy cruisers without being as expensive as a contemporary cruiser. The entire concept relied on the very high RoF guns being able to inflict sufficient damage on the target cruiser to render its armament useless before its slow firing guns could find the range and start achieving significant hits on the cruiser-destroyer.

This link gives a reasonable view of what the RN thought the Sverdlov class were all about.
 

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This ship however is still preferable to a mix of small low capability destroyers and huge cruisers. Again, the war experience showed that Dido sized ships could use their weapons much more effectively than smaller destroyers and that guns needed to be fully DP and with the best sensors available.

The only postwar ship that was built was the County class which exactly fits this ship’s mission and was a cruiserdestroyer in size, capability and mission.

Interesting the Soviets never planned to do commerce raiding yet Admiralty was obsessed aboit it (NA39 also etc.). Was that a flag of convenience for the Admiralty, or neither side really understanding what drove the other?
 

zen

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This ship however is still preferable to a mix of small low capability destroyers and huge cruisers. Again, the war experience showed that Dido sized ships could use their weapons much more effectively than smaller destroyers and that guns needed to be fully DP and with the best sensors available.

The only postwar ship that was built was the County class which exactly fits this ship’s mission and was a cruiserdestroyer in size, capability and mission.

Interesting the Soviets never planned to do commerce raiding yet Admiralty was obsessed aboit it (NA39 also etc.). Was that a flag of convenience for the Admiralty, or neither side really understanding what drove the other?
I suspect that the Admiralty had no option from it's perspective but to assume the worst, and the worst here is that the USSR was building a fleet of commerce raiders.
 

zen

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But what I feel is missing from the County is Blue Slug, which I'm increasingly coming to see is the main failure of the ship.
 

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Yes- seeing the worst from your own perspective is understandable, but I kind of expected a bit more insight from that organisation into what the other side was actually planning to do. I suspect there was politics here of finding arguments to justify what they wanted to do...
 

Dilandu

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suspect that the Admiralty had no option from it's perspective but to assume the worst, and the worst here is that the USSR was building a fleet of commerce raiders.
It was also quite political, don't forget. The Admiralty supporrted the "broken-backed warfare" doctrine, which postulated that nuclear exchange by itself would not determine the outcome of the war, and after it a prolonged conventional phase would be fought, mainly with the stored supplies of weapon and ammunition (since the industry would took time to recover). This doctrine was favored, because it gave Navy crucial role. A large Soviet cruiser fleet helped persuade the government, that the Admiralty view is correct.
 

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Yes- seeing the worst from your own perspective is understandable, but I kind of expected a bit more insight from that organisation into what the other side was actually planning to do. I suspect there was politics here of finding arguments to justify what they wanted to do...
It can be difficult. It may have been mentioned in Grove’s Vanguard to Trident (IIRC) that the Soviet SSBN strategy was to keep them close to their home grounds in times of crisis. The idea was that this area could be well-defended. But NATO saw the risk as Soviet boomers sneaking out through the GIUK Gap, and blockading the passages between the UK, Iceland and Greenland was a key NATO role.
 
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