Zerstörer class destroyers

Bundersmarine Bundesmarine (1958-70), 6 ships: Z1 - Z6

The Bundesmarine's first destroyers

Although the Bundeswehr was integrated into NATO in 1955 and regained sovereignty over its territory, it would take some more years to organize the Bundesmarine in order to operate major units. Until then, the existing ships in service were merely minesweepers. However the drive towards larger units in order to lighten the burden of the Western navies within NATO was a logical one.

Z4 underway
Zerstörer 4 underway - color. source

Since German yards would need time to gear up, a stopgap measure for NATO was to pick existing destroyer in the USN arsenal. This was the chosen solution for the German Z1 class, but after a full-blown modernization, and others will follow to keep the ships updated. The six Z1 class would serve actively until the 1980s, and afterwards through another operator, Greece.

Z1 D-170
Ex-D-170 (Z.1) source

About the MDAP for Germany

Ships transfer were made under the MDAP program, from Germany as well as Italy and Spain. This program was a concrete traduction of the initial Mutual Defense Assistance Act signed by President Harry S. Truman in 1949. Registered as a part of the containment policy towards communism spreading around the world, the program provided military equipment to European countries until they were capable of rebuilding their own military industrial complexes.

Z4 in Kiel
Z4 in the dock of Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft AG (HDW) in Gaarden, Kiel for overhaul. Stadtarchiv Kiel, Friedrich Magnussen coll. - CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

The Military Assistance Program, was instituted by law in 1950 and saw the annual military aid spending rose to 5,222 billion dollars. This concerned all sorts of military equipments, but mostly complex and costly ones, modern jets, tanks and ships. Small arms manufacturing was in general easier to set in place and remained national. For ships, the USN had a considerable arsenal of surplus warship inherited of the Atlantic ASW warfare and the pacific campaigns. Cruisers and major capital ships were excluded (some surplus cruisers were sold to South America however), but light or escort aircraft carriers (as those deployed by France in Indochina), destroyers, frigates/escort DDs, minesweepers and landing ships however were frequently sent under this MDAP program to NATO countries.

About the Z1 class

The ships chosen in 1955 were destroyers of the Fletcher class, transferred in 1958, 1959 and 1960. Previously the USS Anthony (DD-515), Ringold (DD-500), Waldsworth (DD-515), Claxton (DD-571), Dyson (DD-572), and Charles Ausburne (DD-570). They were renamed Named “Zestörer 1” (German for 'destroyer') to 6 and D170-180, they had been leased for five years and comprehensively modernized: New electronics, and upon arrival, German controls and communication systems.

Their pennant number was changed to:
-D 170 FGS Zerstörer 1 (Z 1)
-D 171 FGS Zerstörer 2 (Z 2)
-D 172 FGS Zerstörer 3 (Z 3)
-D 178 FGS Zerstörer 4 (Z 4)
-D 179 FGS Zerstörer 5 (Z 5)
-D 180 FGS Zerstörer 6 (Z 6)

They entered service in 1959-1960.

NB Zerstorer blueprint
Black and white schematic rendition of the Zerstörer class

About the Fletcher class

The Fletchers were the first mass-built class of destroyers of WW2 in the USN, and remained the largest ever, with 175 completed during the war, from 1941 to 1945. They were soon reinforced by radically new classes equipped with a more modern twin turret artillery, the Sumner and Gearing which made the other half of the total USN wartime destroyer force. Fletchers were mothballed in the 1940s, some modernized for ASW warfare or radar picket duties, and many either transferred under MDAP or sold to 14 countries (including Germany but also Spain, Italy), and also Taiwan, Turkey, Japan, South Korea, and most South American countries under the Monroe doctrine.

The Fletcher were still an interwar design, with five standard 5-in guns in single turrets, subtantial AA and two banks of torpedo tubes (2x5), but with simplifications in design like the flush-deck hull, and many details. There was no innovation here, the powerplant consisted in turbines of a trusted, proven design fed by cylindrical boilers. They were however all equipped with a radar from the onset and became grizzly veterans of the pacific war with impressive feats to their credit like during the battle of Leyte in 1944.

General characteristics of the Zerstörer class

The hull and powerplan stayed almost unchanged. As built, the Fletcher were 2750 tons ships fully loaded, 114,8 meters (376.5 feet) long by 12,0 meters (39.5 ft) wide and with 5,3 meters (17.5 ft) of draught. Their powerplan was unchanged, their speed was quite an advantage in ASW warfare against the new generation of Soviet fast attack submarines sch as the Whiskey.

It consisted of two propellers mounted on shafts driven by two General Electric geared steam turbines fed by four Babcock & Wilcox cylindrical, oil-firing boilers, rated in total for 60,000 shp or 45 Mega Watts. As a result, the ships were capable of 36 knots (67 km/h) and had a range of 3500 Nautical Miles at 15 knots (28 km/h) with 540 of oil, in the upgraded configuration (5500 nm originally). The crew consisted initially of 329 men, the new figures depended on the additional electronics management and ASW but was down to 244 men. These ships has been built in the 1941-42 series at Bath Iron Wks, Federal, Kearny, and Consolidated, Orange, in service originally from November 1942 to March 1943.

Fletcher class oldie
Z4 (D178) official Bundesmarine photo in 1970, on her way. Src

The original armament (before pre-transfer modernization) comprised 5 single 5”/38-caliber (127mm) guns, ten 2-pdr (40mm) Bofors AA guns, ten 20mm Oerlikon AA guns, ten 21” (533mm) torpedo tubes (two quintuple banks) with reloads, six depth charge projectors (K-guns) and two depth charge racks at the stern. This made these ships quite versatile.

Details of the modifications

The main changes were on the electronics side, with a tripod mast mad of the initial mainmast, behind the bridge. It was resting on two additional legs and supporting a massive aerial mounted on a large platform. A gun was removed and replaced by two Hedgehog type ASW projectors, torpedo tubes reduced and AA armament modernized. They also received after arrival additional German command systems.

Electronics:
This comprised a brand new array of aerials, a surface survey SPS-6, SPS-10 aerial (AA survey) Mk 25, two Mk 34 fire control systems, Mk 35 control radars, and for ASW detection, a passive SQS-29 sonar, and the WLR-1 ECM suite.

Armament of the Z1 class:
As revised, the armament was modified before transfer to four single 5”/38-caliber (127mm) guns (the central was deposed and replaced by additional equipments). They were the same model as the original Fletchers.

However the Z1 were fitted with six brand new 3"/L50 or 76mm AA guns in three twin mounts placed either side of the rear funnel, in the space between the two, and one on the superfiring position abaft the third turret. These were of the new Mk. 33 twin mount designed in 1950. The Allen M. Sumner and Gearing-class destroyers were the first upgraded with this caliber, and modernized Fletchers intended for transfers also. Thy shared a common power drive and could train at a rate of 30°/s, elevate 15°-85° at 24°/s automatically fed from an on-mount magazine replenished by two loaders, like the quad Bofors of WW2, but both the range and proximity fuze and fire-control radar made them accurate and harder hitting at 50 rpm, and overall better than the WW2 quad Bofors.


Twin 3"/L50 Mk.33 on the USS Wasp circa 1954.

The torpedo armament was modified also, with just the rear quintuple 21” (533mm) torpedo tubes bank remaining (with reloads probably still in place). However, two modernized, short-barrel extra 21” (533mm) torpedo tubes were installed on each side for ASW purpose, firing the new standard USN ASW torpedo. Also were installed each side of the bridge two Hedgehog Anti-Submarine Projector Mk 15 ASWRL, with 178 reloads.

In complement there was still a single stern depth charge rack of the left side. The deck still comprised rails for mines although there is no evidence the ships ever carried some in exercizes. Their armament was modified again in 1973-1975: Apparently the single side 21-in TTs were removed. In 1974, Zerstörer 4 gave up its 75 mm and kept only the rear twin 76/50 aft while a 76/62 OTO-Melara Compact was mounted for trials in place. In 1975 there was just the single 76/62 mm left for AA.


A video by Volker Buske of the model of Zerstorer 4 in 1970.

Active service


D178 at Schleswig-Holstein naval Yard -Src

All six destroyers served for a relatively short time in the Bundesmarine. They were a precious stopgap addition witing for the completion of the first missile cold war destroyers of the Lütjens class. They did their share of patrols as part of NATO's baltic structure. Z6 (D180) was the first discarded, entering service on 12/4/1960 she was stricken on 10/1967, barely seven years in German service !. Z1 (D170) was stricken on 3/1972, whereas Z2 (D171) and the following were transferred to Greece on 9/1981 renamed Kimon, Z3 Nearkhos, Z4 was sold on 2/1981 for spare parts, as Z5.

For Z1, in detail, she was decommissioned on March 17, 1972, returned to the US on April 15, 1972, then stricken from USN lists the same day and resold to Germany for cannibalization & scrapping in June, stricken again in 1976 and sunk as a target on May 16, 1979 in the Mediterranean Sea. Z2 was not returned to the USN and sold to Greece directly, entering service in the Hellenic Navy service in 1981 and under flag until 1987 as HS Kimon (D 42). She was placed in reserve but only stricken in 1993, and scrapped. Z3 was transferred one year earlier as HS Nearchos (D 65), but decommissioned later, in 1991, and scrapped afterwards. Z4 and Z5 used for spare parts remained unnamed in Greek service but scrapped at unknown date. Z6 had the shortest career and was not returned to the USN but decomm. on October 9, 1967 and scrapped afterwards.


Two Z1 type destroyers at anchor (unknown) source

Characteristics of the Z1 class

Displacement:2750 tons (full load)
Dimensions:114,8 x 12,0 x 5,3 m
Powerplant:2 shaft GE geared steam turbines, 4 B&W boilers (60000 shp/45 MW)
Top speed:36 knots (67 km/h)
Range:5500 NM (8850 km) at 15 knots (28 km/h)
Crew:244
Armament:(See Notes) - 4x 127mm, 6x 76mm, 5+2 533mm TTs, 2x Hedgehog, 1 DCT
Electronics:SPS-6, SPS-10, Mk 25, 2x Mk 34, Mk 35 radars, SQS-29 sonar, WLR-1 ECM suite

Sources/Read More

http://www.seaforces.org/marint/German-Navy/Destroyer/Type-119-Z-1-class.htm
http://www.navypedia.org/ships/germany/ger_dd_z1.htm
//web.archive.org/web/20040410163531/http://www.destroyersonline.com/usndd/classflet.html
//heinzalbers.org/z_1.htm
//www.schwiebert.lima-city.de/als-die-uss-claxton-zum-zerstrer-4-wurde/
//destroyerhistory.org/fletcherclass/
//www.patriotfiles.com/archive/ussclaxton/miscpics.htm
//onlinesales.randghomecare.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=20534 (cardboard kit)

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☉ Entente Fleets

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WW2

✪ Allied ww2 Fleets

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USS Langley (1920)
Lexington class CVs (1927)
USS Ranger (CV-4)
USS Wasp (CV-7)
Yorktown class aircraft carriers (1936)
Long Island class (1940)
Independence class CVs (1942)
Essex class CVs (1942)
Bogue class CVEs (1942)
Sangamon class CVEs (1942)
Casablanca class CVEs (1943)
Commencement Bay class CVEs (1944)
Midway class CVs (1945)
Saipan class CVs (1945)

WW2 American destroyers
Wickes class (1918)
Clemson class (1920)
Farragut class (1934)
Porter class (1935)
Mahan class (1935)
Gridley class (1936)
Bagley class (1936)
Somers class (1937)
Benham class (1938)
Sims class (1938)
Benson class (1939)
Fletcher class (1942)
Sumner class (1943)
Gearing class (1945)

GMT Evarts class (1942)
TE Buckley class (1943)
TEV/WGT Rudderow classs (1943)
DET/FMR Cannon class
Asheville/Tacoma class

WW2 American Submarines
Barracuda class
USS Argonaut
Narwhal class
USS Dolphin
Cachalot class
Porpoise class
Shark class
Perch class
Salmon class
Sargo class
Tambor class
Mackerel class
Gato Class

USS Terror (1941)
Raven class Mnsp (1940)
Admirable class Mnsp (1942)
Eagle class sub chasers (1918)
PC class sub chasers
SC class sub chasers
PCS class sub chasers
YMS class Mot. Mnsp
PT-Boats
ww2 US gunboats
ww2 US seaplane tenders
USS Curtiss ST (1940)
Currituck class ST
Tangier class ST
Barnegat class ST

US Coat Guardships
Lake class
Northland class
Treasury class
Owasco class
Wind class
Algonquin class
Thetis class
Active class

US Amphibious ships & crafts
US Amphibious Operations
Doyen class AT
Harris class AT
Dickman class AT
Bayfield class AT
Windsor class AT
Ormsby class AT
Funston class AT
Sumter class AT
Haskell class AT
Andromeda class AT
Gilliam class AT
APD-1 class LT
APD-37 class LT
LSV class LS
LSD class LS
Landing Ship Tank
LSM class LS
LSM(R) class SS
LCI(L) LC
LCT(6) LC
LCV class LC
LCVP class LC
LCM(3) class LC
LCP(L) class LC
LCP(R) class SC
LCL(L)(3) class FSC
LCS(S) class FSC
British ww2 Royal Navy

WW2 British Battleships
Queen Elisabeth class (1913)
Revenge class (1915)
Nelson class (1925)
King Georges V class (1939)
Lion class (Started)
HMS Vanguard (1944)
Renown class (1916)
HMS Hood (1920)

WW2 British Cruisers
British C class cruisers (1914-1922)
Hawkins class cruisers (1917)
British D class cruisers (1918)
Enterprise class cruisers (1919)
HMS Adventure (1924)
County class cruisers (1926)
York class cruisers (1929)
Surrey class cruisers (project)
Leander class cruisers (1931)
Arethusa class cruisers (1934)
Perth class cruisers (1934)
Town class cruisers (1936)
Dido class cruisers (1939)
Abdiel class cruisers (1939)
Fiji class cruisers (1941)
Bellona class cruisers (1942)
Swiftsure class cruisers (1943)
Tiger class cruisers (1944)

WW2 British Aircraft Carriers
Courageous class aircraft carriers (1928)
HMS Ark Royal (1937)
HMS Eagle (1918)
HMS Furious (1917)
HMS Hermes (1919)
Illustrious class (1939)
HMS Indomitable (1940)
Implacable class (1942)
Malta class (project)
HMS Unicorn (1941)
Colossus class (1943)
Majestic class (1944)
Centaur class (started 1944)

HMS Archer (1939)
HMS Argus (1917)
Avenger class (1940)
Attacker class (1941)
HMS Audacity (1941)
HMS Activity (1941)
HMS Pretoria Castle (1941)
Ameer class (1942)
Merchant Aircraft Carriers (1942)
Vindex class (1943)

WW2 British Destroyers
Shakespeare class (1917)
Scott class (1818)
V class (1917)
S class (1918)
W class (1918)
A/B class (1926)
C/D class (1931)
G/H/I class (1935)
Tribal class (1937)
J/K/N class (1938)
Hunt class DE (1939)
L/M class (1940)
O/P class (1942)
Q/R class (1942)
S/T/U//V/W class (1942)
Z/ca class (1943)
Ch/Co/Cr class (1944)
Battle class (1945)
Weapon class (1945)

WW2 British submarines
L9 class (1918)
HMS X1 (1923)
Oberon class (1926)
Parthian class (1929)
Rainbow class (1930)
Thames class (1932)
Swordfish class (1932)
HMS Porpoise (1932)
Grampus class (1935)
Shark class (1934)
Triton class (1937)
Undine class (1937)
U class (1940)
S class (1941)
T class (1941)
X-Craft midget (1942)
A class (1944)

WW2 British Amphibious Ships and Landing Crafts
LSI(L) class
LSI(M/S) class
LSI(H) class
LSS class
LSG class
LSC class
Boxer class LST

LST(2) class
LST(3) class
LSH(L) class
LSF classes (all)
LCI(S) class
LCS(L2) class
LCT(I) class
LCT(2) class
LCT(R) class
LCT(3) class
LCT(4) class
LCT(8) class
LCT(4) class
LCG(L)(4) class
LCG(M)(1) class

British ww2 Landing Crafts
LCA
LCP
LCM

WW2 British MTB/gunboats.
WW2 British MTBs
MTB-1 class (1936)
MTB-24 class (1939)
MTB-41 class (1940)
MTB-424 class (1944)
MTB-601 class (1942)
MA/SB class (1938)
MTB-412 class (1942)
MGB 6 class (1939)
MGB-47 class (1940)
MGB 321 (1941)
MGB 501 class (1942)
MGB 511 class (1944)
MGB 601 class (1942)
MGB 2001 class (1943)

WW2 British Gunboats

Denny class (1941)
Fairmile A (1940)
Fairmile B (1940)
HDML class (1940)

WW2 British Sloops
Bridgewater class (2090)
Hastings class (1930)
Shoreham class (1930)
Grimsby class (1934)
Bittern class (1937)
Egret class (1938)
Black Swan class (1939)

WW2 British Frigates
River class (1943)
Loch class (1944)
Bay class (1944)

WW2 British Corvettes
Kingfisher class (1935)
Shearwater class (1939)
Flower class (1940)
Mod. Flower class (1942)
Castle class (1943)

WW2 British Misc.
WW2 British Monitors
Roberts class monitors (1941)
Halcyon class minesweepers (1933)
Bangor class minesweepers (1940)
Bathurst class minesweepers (1940)
Algerine class minesweepers (1941)
Motor Minesweepers (1937)
ww2 British ASW trawlers
Basset class trawlers (1935)
Tree class trawlers (1939)
HMS Albatross seaplane carrier
WW2 British river gunboats

HMS Guardian netlayer
HMS Protector netlayer
HMS Plover coastal mines.
Medway class sub depot ships
HMS Resource fleet repair
HMS Woolwhich DD depot ship
HMS Tyne DD depot ship
Maidstone class sub depot ships
HmS Adamant sub depot ship

Athene class aircraft transport
British ww2 AMCs
British ww2 OBVs
British ww2 ABVs
British ww2 Convoy Escorts
British ww2 APVs
British ww2 SSVs
British ww2 SGAVs
British ww2 Auxiliary Mines.
British ww2 CAAAVs
British ww2 Paddle Mines.
British ww2 MDVs
British ww2 Auxiliary Minelayers
British ww2 armed yachts

✙ Axis ww2 Fleets

Japan ww2 Imperial Japanese Navy
WW2 Japanese Battleships
Kongō class Fast Battleships (1912)
Fuso class battleships (1915)
Ise class battleships (1917)
Nagato class Battleships (1919)
Yamato class Battleships (1941)
B41 class Battleships (project)

WW2 Japanese cruisers
Tenryū class cruisers (1918)
Kuma class cruisers (1919)
Nagara class (1920)
Sendai class Cruisers (1923)
IJN Yūbari (1923)
Furutaka class Cruisers (1925)
Aoba class heavy cruisers (1926)
Nachi class Cruisers (1927)
Takao class cruisers (1930)
Mogami class cruisers (1932)
Tone class cruisers (1937)
Katori class cruisers (1939)
Agano class cruisers (1941)
Oyodo (1943)

Seaplane & Aircraft Carriers
Hōshō (1921)
IJN Akagi (1925)
IJN Kaga (1927)
IJN Ryujo (1931)
IJN Soryu (1935)
IJN Hiryu (1937)
Shokaku class (1937)
Zuiho class (1936) comp.40
Ruyho (1933) comp.42
Junyo class (1941)
IJN Taiho (1943)
Chitose class (comp. 1943)
IJN Shinano (1944)
Unryu class (1944)
IJN Ibuki (1942)

Taiyo class (1940)
IJN Kaiyo (1938)
IJN Shinyo (1934)

Notoro (1920)
Kamoi (1922)
Chitose class (1936)
Mizuho (1938)
Nisshin (1939)

IJN Aux. Seaplane tenders
Akistushima (1941)
Shimane Maru class (1944)
Yamashiro Maru class (1944)

Imperial Japanese Navy Aviation

WW2 Japanese Destroyers
Mutsuki class (1925)
Fubuki class (1927)
Akatsuki class (1932)
Hatsuharu class (1932)
Shiratsuyu class (1935)
Asashio class (1936)
Kagero class (1938)
Yugumo class (1941)
Akitsuki class (1941)
IJN Shimakaze (1942)

WW2 Japanese Submarines
KD1 class (1921)
Koryu class
Kaiten class
Kairyu class
IJN Midget subs

WW2 Japanese Amphibious ships/Crafts
Shinshu Maru class (1935)
Akistu Maru class (1941)
Kumano Maru class (1944)
SS class LS (1942)
T1 class LS (1944)
T101 class LS (1944)
T103 class LS (1944)
Shohatsu class LC (1941)
Chuhatsu class LC (1942)
Moku Daihatsu class (1942)
Toku Daihatsu class (1944)

WW2 Japanese minelayers
IJN Armed Merchant Cruisers
WW2 Japanese Escorts
Tomozuru class (1933)
Otori class (1935)
Matsu class (1944)
Tachibana class (1944)

WW2 Japanese Sub-chasers
WW2 Japanese MLs
Shinyo class SB
⚑ Neutral

Armada de Argentina Argentinian Navy

Rivadavia class Battleships
Cruiser La Argentina
Veinticinco de Mayo class cruisers
Argentinian Destroyers
Santa Fe class sub. Bouchard class minesweepers King class patrol vessels

Marinha do Brasil Brazilian Navy

Minas Gerais class Battleships (1912)
Cruiser Bahia
Brazilian Destroyers
Humaita class sub.
Tupi class sub.

Armada de Chile Armada de Chile

Almirante Latorre class battleships
Cruiser Esmeralda (1896)
Cruiser Chacabuco (1911)
Chilean DDs
Fresia class subs
Capitan O’Brien class subs

Søværnet Danish Navy

Niels Juel
Danish ww2 Torpedo-Boats Danish ww2 submarines Danish ww2 minelayer/sweepers

Merivoimat Finnish Navy

Coastal BB Ilmarinen
Finnish ww2 submarines
Finnish ww2 minelayers

Nautiko Hellenon Hellenic Navy

Greek ww2 Destroyers
Greek ww2 submarines
Greek ww2 minelayers

Marynarka Vojenna Polish Navy

Polish ww2 Destroyers
Polish ww2 cruisers
Polish ww2 minelayer/sweepers

Portuguese navy ww2 Portuguese Navy

Douro class DDs
Delfim class sub
Velho class gb
Albuquerque class gb
Nunes class sloops

Romanian Navy Romanian Navy

Romanian ww2 Destroyers
Romanian ww2 Submarines

Royal Norwegian Navy Sjøforsvaret

Norwegian ww2 Torpedo-Boats

Spanish Armada Spanish Armada

España class Battleships
Blas de Lezo class cruisers
Canarias class cruisers
Cervera class cruisers
Cruiser Navarra
Spanish Destroyers
Spanish Submarines
Dedalo seaplane tender
Spanish Gunboats
Spanish Minelayers

Svenska Marinen Svenska Marinen

Gustav V class BBs (1918)
Interwar swedish BB projects

Tre Kronor class (1943)
Gotland (1933)
Fylgia (1905)

Ehrernskjold class DDs (1926)
Psilander class DDs (1926)
Klas Horn class DDs (1931)
Romulus class DDs (1934)
Göteborg class DDs (1935)
Mode class DDs (1942)
Visby class DDs (1942)
Öland class DDs (1945)

Swedish ww2 TBs
Swedish ww2 Submarines
Swedish ww2 Minelayers
Swedish ww2 MTBs
Swedish ww2 Patrol Vessels
Swedish ww2 Minesweepers

Türk Donanmasi Turkish Navy

Turkish ww2 Destroyers
Turkish ww2 submarines

Royal Yugoslav Navy Royal Yugoslav Navy

Dubrovnik class DDs
Beograd class DDs
Hrabi class subs

Royal Thai Navy Royal Thai Navy

Taksin class
Ratanakosindra class
Sri Ayuthia class
Puket class
Tachin class
Sinsamudar class sub

minor navies Minor Navies


The Cold War

Royal Navy Royal Navy
Sovietskaya Flota Sovietskiy flot
US Navy USN (1990)


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