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Can cruisers and destroyers transport and dislodge marines?

Discussion in 'Ships & Shipborne Weaponry' started by mac_bolan00, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    that, without compromising speed, range and fighting ability overmuch. i was thinking of a type of rapid deployment force that can quickly offload troops (maybe not as quick as seaplanes in the case of the japanese.) perhaps side-unloading marines to remote, lightly defended islands or spots in some continent may conduct a preliminary attack ahead of a main force. examples for the japanese are midway islands and wake. they could also be used to counter-invade enemy forces that have just landed, like in tulagi, guadalcanal.

    the marines would carry only small arms and light weapons but a heavier-armed contingent would folow shortly.
     
  2. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Hmmm...not a hundred percent what you're asking here...Sounds like you are talking about a recon drop...usually special forces, but not always. Almost always an initial drop off either by parachute or submarine into these islands to give an on ground sitrep. As for cruisers and destroyers disembarking troops?? The biggest barrier to this is the draft of these types...and the drafts are for ocean going...The "hole" you are describing has been filled by hovercraft...If this helps.
     
  3. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    The US did have some destroyer transports that could carry a small amount of men. They were APD classified The main issue is incompatibility between having space to carry men and equipment or weapons. Japan had a class Mutsuki that served the same purpose. US Navy High-Speed Transports, 1940-1945
     
  4. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    The German inital Norway invasion force was partly carried on cruisers and destroyers, and it was a full scale invasion not a raid, the Commonwealth evacuation of Crete was mostly warships as well as was the final Japanese evacuation from Guadalcanal, the Italians used destroyers to carry troops to Tunisia and back. IMO if you don't expect an opposed landing warships are "safer" than troop transports being faster and better able to defend themseves, the downside is that no sane admiral is going to commit a warship loaded with troops to combat so as long as the troops are on board the ship is a transport. Also due to limited accomodation the voyage needs to be short, warships lack the facilities to feed and shelter that many additional people.
     
  5. Markus Becker

    Markus Becker Member

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    Submarines carried 100+ Marines to the Makin Atoll. I see no problem with DD and CL doing this on a larger scale. With one exception, counterlandings. At Wake and even more so Guadalcanal the invaders had very large forces on the islands. IMO too much to handle for a raiding/recon force.
     
  6. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    ...and so were the Allied counterlandings ;)

    ...as were the withdrawals from Andalsnes and Namsos in Norway a year earlier. Destroyers also ran munitions and reinforcements TO Crete after the invasion began (Layforce)

    The problem is that the majority of these British/German destroyer and cruiser portages didn't actually land forces on beaches - they landed them at nice convenient quays and jetties ;) In the cases where quays etc. were NOT available, like some of the movements to and from Crete, the Royal Navy used "lighters" as most of the histories refer to them as...actually the early wooden MCAs used as shuttles to and from the shore; this was how tanks were moved around the north of Crete prior to the invasion, and how other vehicles, artillery and heavy stores were landed from vessels in Suda Bay, given that the "port" there had only one (1) quay, and over half its width was blocked by a warehouse!

    I had an interesting discussion years ago now on Feldgrau with Jason Pipes regarding the nature of "amphibious" operations - Feldgrau.net • View topic - Amphibious Operations
     
  7. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    Indeed, the key problem was those last few feet from ship to shore. Other than the specialized transport conversions, cruisers or destroyers did not carry landing craft. The largest of ships' boats were barely the size of the smallest landing craft like LCVPs. For example compare photos of the early flush-decker APDs with their LCPRs to the boats in photos of their original DD configuration.
     
  8. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Off tangent somewhat...but you gave us a good little destroyer that did nearly just that....HMS Campbletown...St.Naziere...Not what your looking for but did the job.
     
  9. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    Depends exactly what the job is ;) The Campbelltown got ITS deck parties ashore by ramming itself at full tilt into a dock! Even if it hadn't gone bang some few hours later....it still wasn't going to have been going anywhere ever again.
     
  10. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    IMO only assault landings absolutely required specialized (low draught) ships, but there were a lot of "non assault" landings on hostile shores, Norway, most Japanese landings, Soviet operations on the Black Sea coast, the axis occupation of former Vichy territories, etc.. For this sort of mission the "last few feet" were less critical as they were unopposed and they could be performed using ship boats or improvised landing crafts. IIRC the allied Norway force included a number of troop transports, in the German force the transports with the troop's heavy equipment were in the second wave.
     
  11. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    It's not really off tangent urqh,

    It all depends on if the loss of the ship is worth the success of the mission.

    The Japanese intentionally grounded Patrol Boats #32(ex-Aoi) and #33(ex-Hagi) to guarantee that the troops they were carrying got ashore. Once the island was captured the Japanese never attempted to salvage either ship. These two old ex-destroyers was considered acceptable losses if the mission was to be a success*much the same for the HMS Campbletown).

    However, the loss of a modern cruiser or destroyer would likely not have been considered acceptable.
     
  12. Marmat

    Marmat Member

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    This never came up on the recent thread re: German Light Cruisers but the K Types were also designed with a troop carrying function in mind. Nürnberg, the last of them, could accommodate 1,000 troops and their equipment on a short haul i.e. 1 day, or 600 for an extended period of time, or carry 200 tons supercargo. I suspect this space was also utilized in their mine laying role as well. Nürnberg was still layed up for repairs to torpedo damage and missed the initial assault on Norway, in which the 3 K's were employed, 2 being lost, she did later serve carrying Luftwaffe equipment and personnel at speed along the Norwegian coast as required.

    With structural damage (Leipzig) and other problems which limited their performance as Fleet ships and raiders, this capacity to accommodate extra personnel likely allowed the 3 remaining K Types to serve admirably as training ships in the Baltic.
     
  13. mikebatzel

    mikebatzel Dreadnaught

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    The Japanese loss of a few DD's at Cape St. George seems to back this up. They may have continued the practice, but nowhere near the scale.
     
  14. ResearcherAtLarge

    ResearcherAtLarge Member

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    A little more on the USN APDs; there were two main types. The early ones were converted from the flush-deck destroyers and space was made for the soldiers by removing half of the boilers. While this would decrease top speed, they didn't often cruise with all boiler slit anyway. It was normal to only use half to extend range, so it wasn't that much of a loss to do so. Still, they didn't have enough stability left over to utilize the LCVP and were limited to the lighter LCPR with it's smaller ramp.

    The later APDs were built off of destroyer escorts and were able to carry the LCVP, but only had space for about 160 troops vice the earlier APDs' 200 or so.
     
  15. 1ST Chutes

    1ST Chutes Member

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    [SIZE=+1]Destroyer Transports[/SIZE]
    The origins of the destroyer transports are relatively obscure. The first mention of them came in the 1st Marine Brigade's after action report on Fleet Landing Exercise 3 (FLEX 3). Brigadier General James J. Meade suggested in that February 1937 document that destroyers might solve the dual problem of a shortage of amphibious transports and fire support. With such ships "troops could move quickly close into shore and disembark under protection of the ships' guns." The Navy apparently agreed and decided to experiment with one of its flush-deck, four-stack destroyers. It had built a large number of these during World War I and most were now in mothballs.
    In November 1938 the Navy reclassified Manley (DD 74) as a miscellaneous auxillary (AG 28). After a few weeks of hasty work in the New York Navy Yard, the ship served as a transport for Marine units in the Caribbean. In the fall of 1939 Manley went back into the yards for a more extensive conversion. Workers removed all torpedo tubes, one gun, two boilers, and their stacks. That created a hold amidships for cargo and troops. The Chief of Naval Operations made it a rush job so the ship would be available for FLEX 6 in early 1940. Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, was the first unit to use the revamped Manley. It used rubber boats to execute its 23 February 1940 assault landing against Culebra in the Caribbean.
    Satisfied by the utility of the destroyer transport, the Navy redesignated Manley yet again, this time as the leadship of a new class, APD-1. The APD designation denoted a highspeed transport. By the end of 1940 the Navy yards had reactivited five of Manley's sister ships and converted them in the same fashion. In its haste, the Navy had left out any semblance of amenities for embarked Marines. When Lieutenant Colonel Edson took his battalion on board the APD squadron in the summer of 1941, each troop compartment was nothing more than an empty space — no ventilation, no bunks, and just four washbasins for 130 men. It took a high-level investigation, launched by one Marine's letter to his congressman, to get the billeting spaces upgraded.


    From Makin to Bougainville: Marine Raiders in the Pacific War (Creating the Raiders)

    Things did not go entirely according to plan. During June the Japanese used some of their reinforcements to extend their coverage of New Georgia. They ordered a battalion to Viru with instructions to clean out native forces operating in the vicinity of Segi. The Solomon Islanders, under command of Coastwatcher Donald G. Kennedy, had repeatedly attacked enemy outposts and patrols in the area. As the Japanese battalion advanced units closer to Segi Point, Kennedy requested support. On 20 June Admiral Turner ordered Lieutenant Colonel Currin and half of his 4th Raiders to move immediately from Guadalcanal to Segi. Companies O and P loaded on board APDs that day and made an unopposed landing the next morning. On 22 June two Army infantry companies and the advance party of the airfield construction unit arrived to strengthen the position.

    U.S. Marine Raiders - Official Web Site Pacific Marine Raiders WWII
     
  16. OSCSSW

    OSCSSW Member

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    Hope you find this of interest.
     
  17. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper Patron  

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    When reading about Guadalcanal, recall the Japanese Navy/Army? arguing about how troops were to be transported. One wanted them transported via barge, the other destroyers....How is a barge even considered? Top speed- what 13-15 knots?..Destroyer- what -25-30 knots?...Barges would need air support- destroyers were more able, but could not hold as many men/ material. Were the Japanese trying to conserve resources by using barges? I know shipping was a huge concern for the J's, because they started the war without knowing they could replace losses.. Very interesting.
     
  18. OSCSSW

    OSCSSW Member

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    Poppy in my opinion, you have to look at Guadalcanal chronologically. The ideal method of reenforcing was by heavily escorted standard troop transports and that was tried first. It failed because, Henderson field was operational when the PLAN was to knock it out for a period of about two days.

    OK so next was to use theTtokyo Express of high speed destroyer transports. The cans were used because they could make the entire run in darkness and the Cactus Airforce (US) was incapable of conducting night time ops. The exception was the "Black Cat" radar equipped PBYs. These slow, very long ranged and very tough MPAs would conduct successful night attacks with both torpedos and bombs. However, there never were that many of them.

    The Tokyo express started out actaully putting men and supplies ashore by ship's boats but eventually they would just steam
    by some Japanese controlled coast line and dump the supplies in floating barrels.


    The barges were the final method and proved to by very, very tough customers. They would creep from isle to isle and only venture
    out at night. They also could operate in very shallow waters which would ground or rip the bottom out of a DD. USN MTBs went from
    fast torpedo boats to fast, shallow draft gunboats, in order to deal with the barges. The barges gave them a real tough time.
    Even the radar equipped MTBs had a tough time finding barges bceause the early surface search radars often failed to distinguish between a low freeboard barge close inshore, and the many islands and islets of the solomons.


    Hope this helps you understand just how hard the Japanese fought for Guadalcanal but, in the end, he who had an operational Henderson field was going to win.
     
  19. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper Patron  

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    Nice bit. ..What were the barges top speed?...How many men/ materials could they carry vs the destroyers? ..And if they could go into very shallow water, they must not have been very seaworthy?...Wouldn't they have to be escorted by destroyers anyway?...Were they heavily armed? ....Recall where some were beached, and a radio operator hid inside transmitting info, until dispatched by malines.
    Sorryu..Don't want to make anyone write here what I should prolly research...but...if y'all got it handy- surely we'd all enjoy the easy info.
     
  20. OSCSSW

    OSCSSW Member

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    No problem it is a subject I am fairly well aquainted with. The Japanese mainly used the Type A Daihatsu in the Solomons. This is the same barge they used for amphibious landings. It was 21 ton, steel-hulled, 47 feet long, 2.6 ft draft (full load) and capable of carrying up to 70 men or 10 tons of cargo. It was powered by a 60 HP diesel with a max speed of 8 kts and a range of about 100 Kn miles. The coxswain and the engine room were armor plated. Armament varied but two MGs and a 25mm AA canon was fairly common, often supplemented by a 40mm "field gun" along with whatever weapons were being carried by the troops.

    As I said they traveled by night and hid along the jungle shore
    during the daytime, making it difficult for them to be spotted by airplanes.
    Furthermore, the Japanese built shore batteries along the barge routes.

    If you need more info I suggest reading Barge Busting with the PT Boats by Dick Wagner.











     

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