el cid again
I regret to report that there were significant numbers of ACMs in the stock data set -
9 at game start and 12 entering the game early in 1942. Unfortunately, not one
of the 9 were even built in 1941, and 8 were not in USN service under the listed names
before late 1944, most in 1945 - by which time there were no longer doing ACM type duty. And not one of the 12 are ACM at all - but rather motor minesweepers misclassified. Re this, see the nominal class leader (the stock class is named for her at least):
Online Library of Selected Images:
-- U.S. NAVY SHIPS --
USS YMS-346 (1943-1948)
USS YMS-346, a 245-ton auxiliary motor minesweeper built at Jacksonville, Florida, was commissioned in August 1943. She crossed the Atlantic late in the year and spent all of 1944 operating in the English Channel area. After returning to the U.S. in early 1945, the minesweeper went to the Pacific in mid-year, then voyaged onward to Okinawa, where she arrived well after Japan's surrender. She served briefly in Japanese and Philippine waters before being placed out of commission at the beginning of May 1946. YMS-346 was stricken from the Navy register in June 1946. Though considered for transfer to China, this was not carried out and she was sold in October 1948.
This page features our only view of USS YMS-346.
So all 12 were reclassified as YMS. Since they might be able to preform minefield tending duties, I reversed the conversion option between the ACM and YMS versions - and a player who wants more ACM and thinks these are suitable may convert them. But not before any YMS were built - which is to say - before March 1942. So every one had to be delayed in service. None appear where stock has them - all come from the East Coast - and must transit to the PTO. And they are all vastly too big. Class slots 788 & 789 should have a size of 245 tons, and a date of 4/42. All the vessels (slots 9966 to 9977) should be rated as YMS (that is, class 789) vice ACM (slot 788).
All 12 need later dates of appearance and to appear at Eastern USA. Alder no sooner than 1 February 1945 (since she was in ETO until "early 1944") and none of the others before any of the class were built - surely not before April 1942. That said, there were hundreds of MMS, and more might be added. Many had numbers without names. None of these vessels were ACM at all - although I am permitting conversion to that if a player wants AND believes it is reasonable. So adding more is a question of do you want more minesweepers, not ACM.
The 9 listed at game start fall into two categories. One is a special case, an actual USN vessel when built (and probably not a ACM), so it will be treated separately below. The rest were all former Army "mine planters" - and they are the wartime built class - none of them extant when the war began. The listed vessels are all instances where they eventually entered USN - AFTER the Army gave up the mission - and none of those which remained in the Army are listed at all. Similarly, none of the pre war Army mine planters got listed. And all of the 8 that are listed have the wrong name for 1941.
These ships - even if no others are - need to be classified as US Army and assigned to Army commands. They are NOT similar to USN minelayers - even though they "plant" mines. They do NOT serve under naval command efficiently and have a specialized mission no naval vessels can perform efficiently. Army controlled mines are a wholly different weapon system from naval mines, which are not controlled and not "planted" with precision at a known location - a process that takes many hours per mine - or even days (because, besides determining the location, electric cables need to be laid for sensors and control purposes, not mooring purposes).
The Army Class involved should be formally named M-1 - because that is its name. Both class slots 781 and 782 should be renamed, and resized to 1256. There were never any 20 mm guns - so these should be removed. The names should be Army names. I added the Army number (MP-1 etc) and a Navy number (ACM-1) if space allowed and if it eventually went to the Navy. Only those with ACM numbers should ever be allowed to be assigned to naval commands IMHO. However, three more may be added (use slots 9988-90 right after the others to make em easy to find):
Col H Spurgin MP-16
Gen S M Mills MP-7
Gen H L Abbott MP-1
None of these vessels were built in 1941, so all need delayed dates between 2/42 and 12/42. Slot 9979 is 420215. Slot 9981 is 421215. Other dates are not in the Army reference material immediately to hand.
The Army names by slot are
9979 Col Armistead MP-2
9980 Col Hunt MP-4/ACM-6
9981 1LT Sylvester MP-5
9982 Gen Knox MP-6/ACM-8
9983 A Murray MP-8/ACM-9
9984 - Different class (see below)
9985 Riker MP-15/ACM-2
9986 C Bundy MP-14/ACM-1
9987 Jn Story MP-4/ACM-3
There ARE Army mine planters in theater at the start of the game, but all require adding new classes. I used slots 822, 823 and 824 (with 821 being used by the Navy Butress class, described below). These classes are generally identified by the year they were designed - 1909, 1919 and 1937. 1937 is the prototype for the M-1 deiign of 1942, so it is almost the same. There was only one ship -
LtC Ellery W Niles - and she starts at San Francisco. The ship has diesel electric engines and is very range efficient - if you use only one (of three) generator sets you can get 6400 miles at 8 knots. If you use all three, you make the same 12 knots as the 1942 design. But this vessel mounts a 3 inch gun forward instead of a single 40 mm. Because of its range superiority, in Scenario 105, I had the 1942 class built to 1937 specifications. In strictly historical scenarios, Niles is the only ship in the class. Displacement is 1235 tons. The mine count is the same as M-1 = 20.
There is one 1919 class ship in the Philippines, at Cavete = Bataan hex. She is Col F E Harrison. Two others are at Panama and a fourth never enters PTO. This class is fairly similar to the M-1/1942 class. Max speed is 11 knots, range 4500 nm, and instead of the 40 mm forward there is only a .50 AAMG - or nothing at all. The mine count is 18. These two are Gen Wm M Graham and Gen J Franklin Bell. At least one should remain at Panama, but the reason there are two may be so one can go to either Atlantic or Pacific at need. I put both in to give players control over the deployment, but the primary RHS rule - if you don't think it would be done, don't do it - may well apply to one or both.
The 1909 class only has BGen Royal T Frank in the Pacific - at Hawaii - and she is an early war loss. Note that all 1909 and 1919 ships names were repeated in the 1942 series - but can be distinguished in RHS because the early vessels lack MP numbers (which, in fact, they didn't have). This is a much smaller class, 282 tons, durability 2, 10 knots, cruise 8 knots and endurance 4000 nm with 60 tons of fuel. They are unarmed or have a single HMG. There are also two Light Mine Planters on the map, and I rate them as identical to the 1909 for convenience, and they are almost the same except slightly smaller. These are Neptune AMPS (Army Mine Planter Service) at Manila and Randol AMPS at Portland. The mine count is 10.
There is one additional vessel, actually listed, and the only ACM with its correct name when it appears on the map in the stock list. This is USS Buttress, ACM-4, former PCE-878. I used class slot 821. Max speed 15, cruise 12, endurance 4000, durability 4, tonnage 903, mine count 15. It may not actually have been an ACM - and its date needs to be changed to 440313 (or later - that is commissioning) at Portland. She is a fine ship, with a 3 inch forward, a quad 40 right aft, and a supermounted twin also aft facing. This class can be converted from class slot 759 - which needs to have its tonnage increased to 795 and durability increased to 3. [So does slot 760] These are the PC-461 classes - which I renamed PCE-461 after historical USN usage. The ability to convert these PCEs into ACMs, and also the YMS described at the top of this article - at least mean the Allies have the option to get more ACMs by conversion if the player wants them.