1250 SCALE MESSAGE BOARD
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Re: WWII German Destroyers
According to Whitley (German Destroyers of World War Two 2nd Edition) all German destroyers were designed to carry reload torpedoes. Four reloads were provided for. The reload torpedoes were stowed in covered compartments alongside the tubes themselves, in the raised half-deck on which the tubes were mounted, where there was room for the stowage of only one torpedo to port and starboard of each bank. The weapons could be withdrawn for servicing using loading beams fitted to the break of the forecastle und the midships deck they could also be placed on trollies which were provided for the purpose and ran on the mine rails (this is probably the reason why the port rails were carried up to the break of the forecastle whilst the starboard set terminated at the after funnel). In action, reloading provided difficult under battle conditions and in any sort of a sea, since the reloading system was not purpose-designed as was that employed by the Japanese. There were a few occasions when destroyers did attempt reloading, such as the actions in the Bay of Biscay in 1943 and 1944, when both Z23 and Z24 managed partially to reload, but both ships were seriously hampered by the weather conditions. Z27, in her final action, attempted to reload her torpedoes but was unable to do so. Quite apart from the physical problems, the weight of an extra four torpedoes, some twelve tonnes, cannot have improved the destroyers´ already suspect seakeeping properties.