Gael Class Destroyers

Petrus

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In 1944 the Royal Navy attempted to built a new class of destroyers, better and larger than the then new Weapon class but still smaller then the Battle as well the Daring classes. It would be the Gael class destroyers. There were to be eight units (names: Gael, Gallant, Gauntlet, Guernsey, Glowworm, Grafton, Greyhound, Gift). All were laid down in 1944 (presumably in that year's end) and then cancelled in December, 1945.

Specifications:

Dimensions
Length O/A 390 feet (118.9 m)
Length P/P 366 feet (111.5 m)
Beam 43 feet (13.1 m)
Draft 10.5 feet (3.2 m)

Displacement
Full Load 3,000 tons
Standard 2,610 tons

Propulsion
Boilers 2 Admiralty 3 drum type
Turbines 2 Parsons double reduction geared steam
Horsepower 40,000 shp
Shafts 2
Endurance n/a
Max Speed 34 knots
Oil Bunkerage 400 tons

Armament
Main Battery 4 Vickers Mk IV 114mm (4.5")/45 cal QF Mk III DP (1 CP Mk IV twin mount forward, 1 CP Mk IVtwin mount aft)
[http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNBR_45-45_mk1.htm]
AAW 6 x 40mm Bofors
ASW 1 Mk 10 Limbo ASW mortar
2 Mk 4 Squid 3 barrelled ASW mortar
Torpedoes 10 x 21" (533mm) (2x5)

Radars
Control was provided by a main director control tower on the bridge for long-range surface and AA fire
A medium-range AA director mounted abaft the funnel
Both systems being equipped with radar and remote power control

Complement
Usual 270-290


The above information comes from a website warships1.com that is now down.

Question: Does anybody have any pictures or drawings of the Gael class project? I would be grateful for any input.

Yours,
Piotr
 

Longshaor

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Piotr,

I have a fairly basic inboard profile, however my home PC melted down last week and it's replacement hasn't been delivered yet. As soon as it's up and running I'll let you know. In general, the Gaels look like smaller versions of the Darings with only 1 4" mount foreward.

Cheers
 

Petrus

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Longshaor said:
Piotr,

I have a fairly basic inboard profile, however my home PC melted down last week and it's replacement hasn't been delivered yet. As soon as it's up and running I'll let you know. In general, the Gaels look like smaller versions of the Darings with only 1 4" mount foreward.

Cheers

It would be really great to see the drawing.

Piotr
 

Hood

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There is an excellent drawing in Norman Friedman's 'British Destroyers and Frigates'.

They do look like Darings with reduced armament. Very sleek but certainly better than the Weapon Class, which went back to 4in twin.
 

smurf

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Petrus, your warship1 info is a bit off-line. The dimensions and displacements quoted are not G class, but Daring as designed. The Gs had to go on the shorter building slips for war standard destroyers and Weapons. They were limited to the same length as the Weapons, 365’ oa, and designed to be 1995tons standard, 2740tons full load.
The guns were to be Daring type Mk VI mountings, not Mk IV, which were Battle type. http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNBR_45-45_mk5.htm

Their original design called for (3x2)4” AA like the Weapons, having considered 4x1 4.5” 55degree MKV, 3x1 4.5” 80 degree elevation (which did not exist) but the professional designers were overruled by First Sea Lord, Cunningham, who wanted both smaller destroyers and more powerful guns.
This led to weight growth. Beam had to be increased 18”, and it was not possible to carry all the underwater weaponry. Those quoted by your website are alternatives (except that 2x squid was possible, but Limbo not developed at the time. This again is I think later Daring armament, when 2xsquid were replaced by 1x Limbo IIRC.
Various weapon fits were considered (Friedman lists them) and despite the drawing in Vanguard to Trident the Gs were unlikely to have been able to carry both 10TT and a squid, let alone two. What had to be decided was whether these were A/S or AA vessels. They were not big enough to be both. The drawing in Friedman looks very detailed, but there is another in Building for Victory (George Moore, World Ship Society – a very reliable author) drawn by Len Crockford from the diagram in the Ship’s Cover (ie the designer’s drawing) which is simpler but does not quite match the one in Friedman.
DK Brown, in Nelson to Vanguard says that there was “relief all round” when the Gs were cancelled, as they were very congested with weight problems. It’s always difficult to design good ships to a tight size or weight limit. Material was being assembled, and machinery being constructed when the Gs were cancelled, but ships not laid down. Denny got about £50,000 compensation, £45k for machinery costs.
If you are looking for more information, the lead ship was Gallant, and they are usually referred to under that name, (ie if you look for Gael and you won’t find much in book indexes.)
For the full story see
The Weapon and Gallant class destroyers
George Moore
Warship 2000-2001 pages 148 - 161
 

Petrus

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You're absolutely right that it would have been impossible for a ship to have both Limbo and Squid at the same time. So what warships1.com said on that must be regarded as alternative weapons options.
As for that website, by the way, it was really superb. I have no idea why it has disappeared from the Internet; parts of it fortunately still exist, e.g. http://www.navweaps.com/ seems to be a former section of the site. It's a pity however that its database of ships, belonging not only to major navies but also to less known or powerful, did not - as far as I know - survive.

Best regards,
Piotr
 

smurf

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From Wikipedia:
Limbo, or Anti Submarine Mortar Mark 10 (A/S Mk.10), was the final British development of the anti-submarine ahead-throwing weapon stemming from World War 2. Limbo was developed by the Admiralty Underwater Weapons Establishment in the 1950s. The system is a three-barrelled mortar similar to the earlier Squid that it superseded.
Far too late for the Gs, cancelled in 1945.
 

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