Reason for US Navy deployment in France, 1938-39?

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reedwh52
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Re: Reason for US Navy deployment in France, 1938-39?

Post by reedwh52 » 20 Oct 2020 19:27

It's kind of disgraceful that the ships described were sent. The US Navy had many more modern ships then- there were several classes of two-gun turret (with three turrets) destroyers built between the wars, much more modern than the old four stack destroyers, and a couple of 1930s heavy cruisers should have been sent rather than an obsolete light cruiser with one-gun turrets. Jeez.
Squadron 40-T was formed September 17, 1936 with the CL Raleigh (1924) as flag from 9/17/36 to 4/28/1938. The cruiser was coming out of Norfolk Naval Yard after completion of an overhaul 6/15-9/16/36. The ship was available and coming out of overhaul.

As for destroyers, the modern destroyers available were 8 Farragut class and 2 Porter class destroyers. There were others nearing completion or working up/on shakedown cruises. But deployable modern destroyers were 10.

The composition of Squadron 40-T comprised a 12-year old Cl, 2 16-year old DDs, and a 4-year old Coast Guard cutter, The size and composition of the force were based on the mission: "protect US Citizens". The immediately available, freshly overhauled Raleigh was a valid choice. The 4-piper destroyers were representative of the vast majority of US destroyers at the time. And generally, new construction commissioned after formation was used for fleet operations, not distant stations without existing US naval bases..

Once the organization of Squadron 40-T was established in 1936, it was never significantly altered. An Omaha class cruiser was maintained as flagship and 4-piper destroyers as the complement.
Raleigh was the flag to 4/28/38; She was replaced by USS Omaha which served as flag until May, 1939; Trenton became flag in June 1939 thru July 1940. Omaha replaced Trenton in July 1940 thru disbandment of the Squadron on October , 1940.2

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Re: Reason for US Navy deployment in France, 1938-39?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 21 Oct 2020 15:47

Takao wrote:
20 Oct 2020 00:20
...
genstab wrote:
18 Oct 2020 15:06
The US Navy had many more modern ships then- there were several classes of two-gun turret (with three turrets) destroyers built between the wars, much more modern than the old four stack destroyers,
Your thinking of the late-war Sumner/Gearings.
The inter-war destroyer-leaders were the PORTER class & SOMERS class with 4 twin single-purpose 5-inch guns.
In September 1939 the old Clemsons were more important than most folks seem to understand. Handing over 50 of the reserve fleet destroyers to the Brits helped win the battle in the Eastern Atlantic, but left the US a bit short on escorts come January 1942.

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Re: Reason for US Navy deployment in France, 1938-39?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 21 Oct 2020 15:59

Takao wrote:
20 Oct 2020 00:26
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
17 Oct 2020 03:18
A bit different than the Rueben James. That is one ship torpedoed vs two or maybe three. Then theres the question of neutral ships, not at GQ or other advance combat ready condition. Occurring in September 1939 it would be a bit more inflammatory. maybe it works for the isolationists in the near term, but I'd think the warhawks would coalesce faster in this case.
Three would be overly optimistic, and two would probably have to be a very lucky shooting - Given that the U-Boats only had 4 forward facing torpedo tubes.

It might be a bit more inflammatory, however, the US is not in any shape to enter the war in 1940.
Its a political thing, & over the long haul gets the US actively deeper into the European war, even if there is no DOW. As something for the embryonic US warhawks to coalesce around this is a firm foundation. Diplomatic bungling is a wild card that would aggravate if if it happens. I'll leave it to others for the moment to judge nazi skill at that.

There are several plausible scenarios where two or three hits are achieved. Leaving aside a silver bullet scenario like the hit on the North Carolina: One would be the US ships reacting poorly from the unexpected hit on one ship start assistance actions prematurely. The submarine commander not under counter attack perceives a opportunity & sets up a second attack getting another hit or two on slow moving or stationary ships.

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Re: Reason for US Navy deployment in France, 1938-39?

Post by Takao » 21 Oct 2020 18:50

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
21 Oct 2020 15:47
In September 1939 the old Clemsons were more important than most folks seem to understand. Handing over 50 of the reserve fleet destroyers to the Brits helped win the battle in the Eastern Atlantic, but left the US a bit short on escorts come January 1942.
Yes & no. Several were scrapped in the inter-war years and roughly 50 were converted to other uses(minelayers, minesweepers, fast transports, seaplane tenders, etc.) Further, most of the flush-deckers would have been put to use working the Atlantic convoys anyway. Also, they required a good bit of overhaul & upgrade just to make them minimally effective against U-Boats. Even had the 50 been retained, the US would still have been short of escorts, because they were fighting a two-ocean war with a one-ocean navy.

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Re: Reason for US Navy deployment in France, 1938-39?

Post by OpanaPointer » 21 Oct 2020 19:21

We got that sorted? Good. I had a conspiracy theorist say that FDR had tried to get an American warship sunk "acciddentally" by the Nazis. "In 1941 USS Augusta was the bait the would have gotten us into the war in Europe! She sail right into the English Channel with all her lights on. The Germans were that stupid, of course, so she made it back to the States."

I looked somethings up and then replied.

"Augusta was often called 'FDR's yacht because she moved him around and ran errands for him. One of errands was delivering Adm. Leahy to Vichy France. The Germans were notified of the trip by a neutral warship and would have truly been stupid if they had shot at her."

Augusta was also on the guy's mind when he reported that she had been shot at and been damaged by the Japanese at Shanghai. "But FDR had that all hushed up!"

I replied, "Well, I guess it was so secret the New York Times reported it on their front page?" (Forget the date, but I think it was 1937?)
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Re: Reason for US Navy deployment in France, 1938-39?

Post by Takao » 22 Oct 2020 11:57

I thought Augusta was damaged by the Chinese...

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Re: Reason for US Navy deployment in France, 1938-39?

Post by OpanaPointer » 22 Oct 2020 13:14

Takao wrote:
22 Oct 2020 11:57
I thought Augusta was damaged by the Chinese...
At the time it was unclear and some folks were eager to pin any damage on the Japanese. The article in NYT was "first reports".
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Re: Reason for US Navy deployment in France, 1938-39?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Oct 2020 20:19

Takao wrote:
21 Oct 2020 18:50
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
21 Oct 2020 15:47
In September 1939 the old Clemsons were more important than most folks seem to understand. Handing over 50 of the reserve fleet destroyers to the Brits helped win the battle in the Eastern Atlantic, but left the US a bit short on escorts come January 1942.
Yes & no. Several were scrapped in the inter-war years and roughly 50 were converted to other uses(minelayers, minesweepers, fast transports, seaplane tenders, etc.) Further, most of the flush-deckers would have been put to use working the Atlantic convoys anyway. Also, they required a good bit of overhaul & upgrade just to make them minimally effective against U-Boats. Even had the 50 been retained, the US would still have been short of escorts, because they were fighting a two-ocean war with a one-ocean navy.
& those converted waived away immediate construction of those types, leaving the construction capacity for other more urgent needs. I suspect promising fifty to Britain in 1940 was a better move than keeping them rusting in the reserve anchorages, but even 25 or a dozen at ASW missions on the US east coast in January 1942 would have been welcome and useful.

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Re: Reason for US Navy deployment in France, 1938-39?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Oct 2020 20:23

OpanaPointer wrote:
22 Oct 2020 13:14
Takao wrote:
22 Oct 2020 11:57
I thought Augusta was damaged by the Chinese...
At the time it was unclear and some folks were eager to pin any damage on the Japanese. The article in NYT was "first reports".
In the PoV of some the distinction was moot. it was all the Yellow Peril. Somewhere decades ago I found a old magazine article claiming the gold fringe on US flags made in the 1920s was a Asian plot to contaminate the Glorious Red White and Blue with the yellow tinge of cowardice & weakness.

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Re: Reason for US Navy deployment in France, 1938-39?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Oct 2020 20:29

OpanaPointer wrote:
21 Oct 2020 19:21
..."Augusta was often called 'FDR's yacht because she moved him around and ran errands for him. ...
The crew of the Houston made a similar claim based on Roosevelts ride along for some event or other. The Sequoia was nice for a weekend on the Potomac, but Frank liked a bigger boat for blue wanter jaunts, & diverting a warship did not show up on the Whitehouse expense ledger.

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Re: Reason for US Navy deployment in France, 1938-39?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Oct 2020 20:36

OpanaPointer wrote:
21 Oct 2020 19:21
... I had a conspiracy theorist say that FDR had tried to get an American warship sunk "acciddentally" by the Nazis. "In 1941 USS Augusta was the bait the would have gotten us into the war in Europe! She sail right into the English Channel with all her lights on. The Germans were that stupid, of course, so she made it back to the States." ...
I wonder why I have never heard conspiracy theory applied to the US occupation of Iceland in the summer of 1941? Establishing a naval base, with Marines to defend it in the middle of the North Atlantic war Zone was not a 'Shoot Me' provocation???

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Re: Reason for US Navy deployment in France, 1938-39?

Post by OpanaPointer » 22 Oct 2020 22:45

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Re: Reason for US Navy deployment in France, 1938-39?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 24 Oct 2020 21:35

Looks like subsequent generations of CTs missed that. I should have seen the probability right away.

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Re: Reason for US Navy deployment in France, 1938-39?

Post by OpanaPointer » 24 Oct 2020 23:16

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