Although the De Ruyter class cruisers, completed after the end of WW2 were an impressive feat for Dutch Yards, after two destroyer class, it's with Frigates that the Netherlands really shines. After US-built vessels of the 1950s, the British-inspired Van Speijk class of the 1960s, the 1970s saw the Tromp class missile frigates and famous Kortenaer class, NATO "standard" frigates, always equipped with US/Italian weaponry and Dutch electronics. They met quite a success in exports often after short service time, with Greece, Portugal, Belgium, Chile or Indonesia... This is the first update on the cold war Royal Netherlands Navy. Next will be about cold war Dutch Submarines.
The Curtiss SOC Seagull first flew in 1934 and was adopted the next year as the main observation floatplane onboard battleship and cruisers in the USN. Production stopped in 1938 and it was scheduled for retirement in 1940, replaced by the new Seamew and Kingfisher. However the new curtiss floatplane was an engineering disaster, so much so the SOC Seagull, versed to training, returned to the front line and soldiered on until 1945...
The four Königsberg class cruisers (Königsberg, Nürnberg, Stuttgart, Stettin) were a continuation of the Bremen class (1903), although slightly larger and faster. However the results of the Russo-Japanese war quickly led Admiral Hipper to order a design revision of the next three ships of the class, notably to improve their ASW protection. They were commissioned in 1907-1908 and participated in WWI with various fortunes: SMS Königsberg ended in July 1915 in east africa, Nürnberg followed Von Spee and was sunk in the Falkland in December 1914, while Stuttgart and Stettin fought at Heligoland and Jutland.
The London class Battleships, which succeeded the Formidable class were basically a repeat of the previous design but with some armour layout change and several other details. They were followed by the equally close Duncan class and the last two of a long lineage, the sub-class Queen, only differing by new boilers, lower displacement and other perks. They together closed a long chapter started with the first "standard" battleship of the Majestic class back in the mid-1890s. The next Edward VII and Lord Nelson already transitioned towards the Dreadnought.
Inspired by WW1 Italian MAS and British CMBs, the Soviet interwar lineage of motor torpedo boats goes from 1921 with the ANT designed by Tupolev, to the Sh4 and G5, the main type in service with the Soviet Navy, making the bulk of the coastal defence. The wooden-built, large D3 (1938) spared strategic materials and traded speed for a heavier armament, while the Kosmomolec class in 1945, intended for the Pacific constituted the basis of several cold war models. A comprehensive post on the matter, including the listing of all prototypes, armament, tactics, lend-lease and captured MTBs.
Designed in 1926-28, HSwMS Gotland was Sweden's only new cruiser since the 1903' Fylgia, and she was very much an experimental hybrid, and a jack of all trades able to perform standard cruisers missions, air reconnaissance, flotilla leader, and minelaying. Completed in 1935 she cruised around the world and was often inspected with some interest by foreign delegations. When WW2 broke out, she patrolled Swedish waters and trained cadets but her air group and concept at large were obsolete and she was converted as an AA cruiser in 1944, and modernized again in the 1950s, replaced in her main role by the much more capable Tre Kronor class...
Weekly Update !
The escort aircraft carrier USS Long Island was commissioned earlier than HMS Audacity, the first British escort aircraft carrier. USS Long Island, CVE-1, was started indeed months before the US went at war, in the context of the battle of the Atlantic and growing commitment of the USN. Not only because of a British request for more CVEs but as the USN under admiral King was taking a more active commitment, from neutrality patrols to active escort missions and a de facto state of quasi-war with Germany from September to December 1941. (link below)
This is also the story of USS Charger (CVE-30), which like CVE-1 was designed on a C3 cargo standard hull, but was used as a prototype for the Bogue class, as well as the British lend-leased Attacker and Ameer classes, with an island and a much greater aircraft capacity. On this topic, most sources reference 36 aircraft (versus 18 to 21 for Long Island), a figure which is debunked in this article.
Good reading !
The French Navy last cruiser. In the 1950s as De Grasse was completed, the admiralty wanted to give the fleet a sister ship, which became the Colbert. The new AA cruiser was completed in 1959, three years after De Grasse, with a very similar arrangement and general appearance. The two cruisers operated for years as fleet escorts until their path diverged with the advent of the missile era. De Grasse became a command ship for nuclear experiments in the pacific while Colbert was rebuilt in 1970-72 as a missile cruiser. She served as such for the remainder of the cold war, a known French vessel around the world with the helicopter cruiser Jeanne d'Arc, until her last operation in the gulf war in 1991. She was later decommissioned and anchored in Bordeaux as a museum ship until 2014.
Chinese Navy (1911) – The Chao Ho class cruisers were ordered by the Chinese Empire, the Chao Ho, Ying Swei, Fei Hung were training cruisers built in different yards, two British and one American, with diverging armaments and powerplants to provide the required diversity for training the crews. Their fate was conditioned by the erupting Chinese revolution, and new nationalist government. If the first two were delivered, and served in opposing sides during the long warlord era, the third was cancelled and resold to Greece, eventually rebuilt and sank by an Italian submarine before the outbreak of the Italo-Greek war of 1940.
Regia Marina WW2 cruisers: This includes the interwar war prize classes, WW1 vessels like the San Giorgio class, main cruisers type from the Giussano to the Abruzzi clas and various projects: The unbuilt Constanzo Ciano class, Etna class (ex-Taksin), and Ansaldo projects for Spain. #interwar #italy #regiamarina #ww2 #cruisers
It’s the 4 of July, and we have a look at a semi-forgotten aircraft carrier today, USS United States, the “atomic bomber carrier”.
Stuck between the wartime Midway class and the first super-carriers of the 1960s, CVA-58 was projected by the Navy in 1946 and submitted, then approved in 1948 under the Truman administration. It would have easily dwarf any other warship on the planet for the decades to come, with a displacement of over 80,000 tonnes and length of 332 meters (1090 feet overall). The lead ship of this class was aptly named after an early post-independence frigate.
The goal of this ship was to carry atomic-capable bombers to any target across the planet, but by doing this in part to retain political influence in the post-war years, the Navy started a bitter inter-service war with the USAAF and in particular Curtis LeMay’s Strategic Air Force, recently created. This episode saw the cancellation of the CVA-58, the “revolt of admirals” with mass resignations, until the Korean War turned the tables again – to the profit of the Navy that returned center stage. Eventually the US Navy would have its atomic bomber, a few years later…
An update for the post on WW1 IJN destroyers, while the site’s comprehensive reconstruction is still ongoing, waiting for a proper dedicated post on these classes that were completed far too late to take part in WW1 but soldiered on during WW2. The story of their numerous modifications is quite interesting also: These were F-41 and F-37 designs, first with a “german style” bridge, better known as the Minekaze class and Momi class destroyers, the first mass-produced IJN destroyers of the ambitious 1918, 1919 and 1920 naval plans. The later Wakatake and Kyokaze classes will be seen in the WW2 post, still in writing.
Naval Encyclopedia is the first online warship museum (1997). Dedicated to the history of all ships of the industrial era, roughly since 1820 to this day. Although the main scope is about the XXth century through four main eras (WW1 and second world war, cold war and modern-day fleets), the website also covers (and will cover) civilian liners, first steamers, ships from the age of sail from the ancient ships of classical antiquity to medieval ships and renaissance vessels up to the enlightenment era ships which ambition also to cover most main types of ships of the time and famous examples.