(In which I noodle around with wet navy designs from the closest to a WWII-equivalent period in ‘verse history.)
Ulricik Bancrach (“Hungry Wolf”)-class destroyer
- Ambriel Dock Guild & Company
- Consolidated Selenarian Shipbuilding
- Ethring Iron and Steam Works
- Ryudailai Pier Shipbuilding Cooperatives
- Telírvess Naval Yards
- Tortelsvard Naval Arsenal
Displacement: 3,670 long tons (standard)
Length: 127.48 m
Beam: 12.32 m
Draft: 5.65 m
- 4 x Empire Nucleonics, ICC “Kirchev’s Kettle” nucleonic boilers, driving
2×2 Blackstone Industries, ICC geared steam turbines (and auxiliary turbogenerator)
Speed: 44 knots
Range: Unlimited (6 year refueling interval)
Complement: 285 officers and men
- Artifice Armaments, ICC, ASR-6/1 air search radar
- Artifice Armaments, ICC, SSR-12 surface search radar
- Hydrodyne Group Mk. 0/2 experimental hydrophones
- 6 x 6″ Imperial Navy Type Four dual-purpose gun;
two single turrets (immediately forward of primary superstructure (A);
immediately aft of secondary superstructure (Y));
two twin turrets (fore (B) and aft (X) of primary superstructure, deck 01)
- 18 x 18″ torpedo tubes in three stacked-hex turret mounts
(bow, forward of A turret;
in between primary and secondary superstructure;
stern, aft of Y turret, elevated above depth-charge racks),
firing 18″ low-signature LS/85 unguided torpedo with 292 kg high explosive warhead
- 2 x 108 kg depth charge delivery racks (stern)
- 3 x quad 36 mm Black Sky anti-air defense guns
(one forward on primary superstructure, deck 02;
two aft on secondary superstructure, deck 01, either side of mast/secondary director)
- 12 x twin 24 mm Black Sky anti-air defense guns
(two on bridge wings, deck 03;
two forward on secondary superstructure, deck 01;
remaining eight on main deck, four per side as space permits)
- Engineering space (engines and boilers): 0.75″ heavy steel plate
- Pilothouse: 0.5″ heavy steel plate
- Gun directors: 0.5″ heavy steel plate
- Torpedo tube covers: 0.25″ heavy steel plate
- Elsewhere: None
Designed during the middle years of the Third Oceanic Dominance, the Ulricik Bancrach-class destroyer was the second and most common¹ of the “modern” types of destroyer that would dominate the last great era of wet naval combat, specifically designed for the multiple roles of serving as protective screening forces for battleships and carriers (especially against air attack), of mounting deadly “wolf-pack” torpedo attacks against enemy forces during surface actions, and of addressing the then novel threat of the militarily effective submarine.
(A later ASW variant and refit of the class, as the need became more apparent, would replace the midships torpedo tubes with a pair of depth charge projectors.)
The name of the class comes ultimately from their flush deck construction² (that would later become near-ubiquitous in later designs around the time of the War of the Twelve Tyrants), eliminating all well decks³, reducing the overall height of the superstructure (divided into two, the swept-back forward superstructure accommodating the bridge tower and primary gun director, and a lower, one-deck secondary superstructure to aft surrounding the base of the tripod mast, carrying the radar and wireless antennae and the secondary gun director), and even eliminating the forecastle, which along with her slender dagger profile gave Ulricik Bancrach and her successors a particularly lean, prowling, hungry look relative to their contemporaries. The substantial increase in firepower over the preceding Sar Anpeng-class only added to this reputation.
The removal of the forecastle – although the flared bow was retained – combined with the weight of the forward armament – proved to detract unfortunately from the class’s seaworthiness in heavier weather. While at the time this was considered an acceptable compromise, with then-dominant doctrine calling for heavy salvoes of unguided torpedoes from destroyers squadrons, the advent of the guided torpedo tipped the balance back in favor of quality, and the Ulricik Bancrach-class ships in Imperial service were refitted to remove the forward torpedo mount in exchange for better seakeeping.
Serving through the remainder of the Third Oceanic Dominance and the War of the Twelve Tyrants, and with refits, upgrades, and successor classes based on their design continuing to fill out the squadrons of the IN into and through the Consolidation, the Ulricik Bancrach-class is perhaps the most iconic of all the destroyer classes commissioned by the Empire.
- 224 Ulricik Bancrach-class destroyers were commissioned, of which 148 served on the Upperside and 76 on the Underside.
- It should be borne in mind that, using nucleonic propulsion as they tended to, Imperial steamship designs near-universally lacked smokestacks.
- Meaning here the older usage of decks lower than those fore and aft of them (e.g., between a forecastle and full-width superstructure, or between such a superstructure and a poop deck).