ORIGINAL: John 3rd
I've always felt that the American APDs should have some sort of Troop capacity. Adding this would certainly bring more desire to convert the old DDs into something far more useful.
One of the problems in going beyond this is DOCTRINE.
a. I don't think the Americans ever seriously exploited/contemplated the use of their DDs/CLs in this capacity.
b. The Brits might what with Crete and Dinkirk.
c. The Dutch--with irony--might be the most likely candidate to have contemplated this idea.
If you read the US Amphibious Ships Illustrated Design History book by Norman Friedman (which is part of the larger series of books on the Illustrated Design History of US Warships), http://tinyurl.com/usphibshistory, there is a section that talks about the development of the APD. The US Marines had discovered as early as the mid-30s that a four piper could carry part of a combat team and that five destroyers modified could carry a full combat company minus heavy equipment like artillery or tanks. The tests were conducted in the late 30s with two ships losing torpedos and gaining boat davits. The issue was supplies and accommodations. To quote the book:
quote: The rest of the section of a chapter goes on how the Marine board and the Naval Planning Board (the folks who decided what ships were built and how) thought that at a minimum 200 men on a converted DD could be carried for at least 24 hours after onload without fatigue damage, 100 men for at least 48 hours with no fatigue damage and that any conversion would have cost a pair of boilers at the lost of some speed (33 down to 27 knots) and that the torpedo tubes could be removed to add davits for launching extra boats. As well as extra space to store all the extra small arms. They even went as far as that these destroyers could be used as landing craft from the large personnel transports and be fitted with rubber rafts and special motorized squad boats. As the Marine Raiders stood up, to be a counter to the Army Rangers and duplicate the British Commandos; the US Navy begrudgingly gave up old flush deck four pipers for conversion or some older escort destroyers to be used for carrying the raiders to locations and later on were used by the UDT teams during the war. The speed of these ships to zip in and drop of the raiding parties. The fact that the 4" guns and later the 3"/50s rapid fire dual purpose guns could be used to supplement the lost artillery that couldn't be carried by these ships made them useful. It was in these missions that the US Navy and US Marines really found value in the APD's and the concept hung around till about the middle of the Vietnam war. That fast destroyers could have space for a Marine Raiders or UDT teams a destroyer would lose a whale boat and gain a landing boat in one of its davits. Then they could deliver the troops to the beaches prior to landings. This was what the South Vietnamese were doing just prior to the Tonkin Gulf incidents with their ships, and the US was watching off the coast.
On 19-20 January 1938 the old destroyer Jacob Jones (DD 130) successfully carried 100 Marines for 19 hours. Fortunately, she had been fitted with an extra head for a midshipmen's cruise. Her galley proved entirely adequate. The tests included transfer at sea, but admittedly they were conducted under favorable conditions, with high visibility, moonlight, and no surf. A Marine board reviewing the experiment believed that similar results could have been achieved under less favorable conditions, however.
Funny enough in the same chapter as the APD's was talk that just prior to the war start the Marines were looking for ways to transport a full battalion of troops with all the heavy equipment to hostile shores. There was talk of converting the Wyoming class of ships to be either hybrids or full on transports capable of carrying tanks and artillery. This was rejected because the BB's were too deep draft and the costs of full on conversion into the citadel would have made it cost prohibitive in those budget constraint times of the late 30s and early 40s.
< Message edited by YankeeAirRat -- 11/27/2015 7:13:42 PM >
Take my word for it. You never want to be involved in an “International Incident”.