USS Atlanta (Class), CL (AA)

Jul 10 2018 - 15:38 UTC by SneakyPete
Edited Aug 24 2018 - 21:45 UTC by SneakyPete
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Special rules:Radar TargetingThese cruisers were designed in the late 1930's under the constraints of the London Naval Treaty of 1936 which tried to place an 8,000 ton limit on cruisers with the abandonment of 8" gun (heavy) cruisers. Initial design concepts called for a "mini all prupose " Brooklyn class cruiser with dual purposes 6" armament but was quickly changed as it became apparent that a sucessful design could not be achieved on that displacement and a dual purpose 6" mount would not be ready for some time. It actually was developed and appeared in the Worcester class "large" light cruiser completed after WW2.The success of the new 5"/38 weighed heavily in the design discussions of the Atlanta class. The dual purpose 6"/47 gun would fire only about half as fast as a 5"/38, although its shell weighed roughly twice as much as the 5". The 5"/38 mount could fire 15, and with some well trained crews 20 rounds per minute while the 6" mount could fire 8 to 10 rounds per minute. Additionally, the value of very long range antiaircraft fire was open to speculation as the increased range of the 6"/47 was at the time outside the range of effective fire control. Hence the benefits of the dual purpose 6"/47 mount over a 5"/38 was not completely evident, and more importantly, could not be produced in time.Their initial purpose, contrary to popular belief,was not only that of an anti-aircraft cruiser but that of a small, fast scout cruiser that could operate in conjunction with destroyers on the fringes of the battle line in addition to the defense of the battle line against destroyer and aircraft attack. While they were not designed to "slug it out" with heaver ships,they were well suited to close surface action in bad weather (poor visibility) and to night actions, where their fast firing 5"/38's and eight 21" torpedos could be used to advantage.While these ships were conceived of as partly flotilla leaders they were armed with depth charges and sonar. Additionally, they were originally planned with 2 triple torpedo tubes which were to come from the Pensacola and Astoria class heavy cruisers. A change to quadruple tubes was made when tubes from the Sim's class of destroyers were removed for stability reasons and became available.One of the design features that generated the most intrest in these ships is their use of true high pressure steam power plants. While some writings state that these ships were only capable of 32.5 knots at service weight, my father, who served aboard the Atlanta and was assigned to her prior to commissioning and hence on all trial runs, said that the ship did attain a speed in the high 30 knot range on trials. Since officially, the trial board stated that the Atlanta was good for about 85,000 SHP and 34 knots and she had acheived 33.67 knots on 78,985 SHP at 7,404 tons my fathers claim of a much higher speed seems probable given that the ultimate output was considered to be 90,000 SHP. I remember him mentioning that on a trial run at high speed the ship was put into a turn and water was washing over bothe the bow and stern as the ship executed the turn. They appeared to be very manuverable ships based on written stories as well as my fathers accounts of her in battle, especially against aircraft.Note that in later production ships the speed did in fact fall as weight increased. For example the Oakland made only 31.4 knots on 81,813 SHP at a higher weight of 8,150 tons.The machinery plant reintroduced the alternating engine room and firerom arrangement. This proved critical to the survivability of the ship to torpedo damage by providing protection against the total destruction of the powerplant.While there was much discussion and debate concerning the design and use of an all 5 inch main battery, they were generally well thought of and were ultimately ordered on April 25, 1939 to be completed in 1942. The Atlanta and Juneau were ordered from Federal (Kearny, NJ) and completed in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.They were well designed ships and could withstand a great deal of punishment. See Atlanta Battle Damage page.Sister ships: Juneau, San Diego, San Juan, Oakland , Reno, Flint, TucsonFaceBook page: WWII Armada Mod

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