Hunt III Destroyer

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    invisible officer

    With a Hunt I and some Torpedoboote done it was just a question of time that I „needed“ a Hunt III.

    Hunt II and III had a   hull that was a little wider than Hunt I to gain more stability. Stacks, masts, bridges, everything a bit different.  So the II type could carry three twin 4” / 10,5 cm gun mounts. But the torpedo advocates asked for a torpedo armament and so the aft mount was dropped in the 28 Hunt III destroyers.  Just two 21” tubes could be carried, a 4 barrel 2pdr pompom in mid of ship and two 2cm AA in the bridge wings are added like I the other types. Some of the III type carried a third 2 cm in the former Y 4” position. Designed speed was 29 knots but they reached rarely more than 25.

    As ever the model is made from Balsa, cardboard, some wire and a lot of wood plaster.

    invisible officer

    I based my model on L 36   ESKDALE  . It was ordered 23August 1940 at Cammel Laird, Birkenhead and laid down 18<sup>th</sup> January 1941. Launched 16th March 1942 it was the first RN vessel of that name, named after a Cumberland fox hound. Completed 31 July 1942 it had been transferred to the exile Norwegian navy. It replaced there the old ex USN  NEWPORT  that was no longer in operational condition.

    ESKDALE  dale went to Scapa Flow for training. The crew was well trained from former service but had to learn the differences of the new vessel.

    The new ship was nominated for the Murmansk run. It joined HM Destroyers CAMPBELL, MALCOLM and FARNDALE as Escort for Russian convoy PQ18 between Loch Ewe and Iceland. Following the PQ 17 disaster that was a high risk mission. PQ 18 lost 13 of 39 merchant ships. But Eskdale was not in the run to Murmansk, being sent back following the assembly at Iceland.

    It  went to Portsmouth to join the 1<sup>st</sup> Destroyer Flotilla. There she joined her direct sister HNorMS GLAISDALE and HMS COTTESMORE, QUORN, ALBRIGHTON as Group A- Together with Groups B and C  it was sent to intercept the German AMC KOMET  that went through the Channel for his second cruise. Only A made contact.  At  13 October A and 8 MTB attacked.

    KOMET was escorted by T 4, T 10, T 14 and T 19 and some Minesweepers. In the confused action KOMET blew up. RN thought a torpedo of MTB 236 to be the reason but the German vessels did not hear the typical hitting noise and splash of a torpedo, only the running noises. It is far more probable that 4” gunfire from the Hunts ignited fuel for the Arado plane, setting KOMET on fire and blowing up the ammunition. No survivors.

    Following that offensive action ESKDALE  went into convoy defense missions.

    12 November it was in offensive action again with five consorts near Dieppe, The two torpedoes of Eskdale hit Sperrbrecher 144 (Beijerland), sinking it,  and her consort Whitshed  sank Sperrbrecher 178 (Gauss).

    Eskdale sustained heavy gunnery damage to bridge and gunnery director. 4 kia and 7 wounded. Steering was damaged too and the vessel returned home under emergence steering.


    Three days later repairs began at Portsmouth. 16 January 43 the repaired vessel joined the Flotilla, doing coastal convoy escort missions with sister GLAISDALE- It did so in February and March.

    14April ESKDALE and GLAISDALE joined Convoy PW 323 ( PW Portsmouth – Wales ) as escort to seaside. Close escort was done by five Trawlers (Two Norwegian, 3 RN) for the six coastal merchant vessels. So the convoy had a large escort. 12 miles ENE of the Lizard (Cornwall)  it came under attack from 5. Schnellboot Flottille. S 65, S 81, S 82, S 90, S 112 and S 121 came out of the dark in a typical surprise attack.

    S 121 hit the merchant STANLAKE that was then sunk by S 82 and S 90. STANLAKE was a 1742 ts cargo ship, built 1923. Since 1938 it belonged to JA Billmeir & Co Ltd, London. Like the other in convoy it was in ballast. Mostly bringing coal from Wales to the South.

    The melee was very confused, ESKDALE was hit by a torpedo from S 90. S 65 and S 112 finished her with two more torpedoes. The standstill destroyer was so tempting that they fired them despite the standing order that merchant vessels are prime targets.

    25 men of the ESKDALE crew died, 155 got rescued.


    invisible officer

    Not enough vessels (and not enough space)  for the full Komet action.


    Once again, very nice modesls.

    Actually, I’d like your thoughts on the minimum size playing area you would want in order to include a Hunt Class ship in this scale, as I’ve just had a mate print off a Hunt II from the Wargaming 3D site – and it’s a genuine 1:300 size, so almost a foot long (28 cm).  I’m going to use another mate’s D-Day+1 scenario in which four S-boats (one with radar) try to slip past the eastern picket line of the DD (HMS Calpe) and two heavily-armed MGBs (605 and 608).  I’ve played it in 1:600 via Zoom, umpired by the scenario designer, who darkened the room and used tea-lights to represent firing and burning vessels/wreckage (the only time we actually saw our vessels was at the end of the game!), on a 6′ (180 cm) x 5′ (150 cm) table, which allowed the Germans just enough room to outflank the Dog boats to the north, and we got one of the four S-boats off the western edge of the table to disrupt the landings.  Potentially, we have up to a 12′ x 6′ playing area – I think 6′ (180 cm) is the minimum width given the the DD must for a vessel this long – what do you think, use all of it, or maybe just 9′ (270 cm) or 8′ (240 cm) length?

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