- In a Dutch or BeNeLux techtree.
- In the British techtree as a premium.
- Other (Please explain).
- I said ‘No’ in the first question.
Hello everyone, today I’d like to suggest a Dutch interwar period class destroyer!
This is the Admiralen-class destroyer, Witte de With!
HNLMS Witte de With
History about the Admiralen-class
The Admiralen-class (In English, Admiral-class) destroyers were made out of the need to replace the ageing Roofdier-class destroyers. The Roofdier-class consisted of eight ships, therefor this new Admiralen-class would also consist of eight ships.
These ships being:
- HNLMS Evertsen (EV)
- HNLMS Kortenaer (KN)
- HNLMS Piet Hein (PH)
- HNLMS De Ruyter (DR) (Later renamed Van Ghent (GT))
- HNLMS Van Galen (VG)
- HNLMS Witte de With (WW)
- HNLMS Banckert (BK)
- HNLMS Van Nes (VN)
The (EV), (PH) or (BK) in the names of the ships is a shortening of the ship’s name, and interestingly also painted on the side of each ship is very large letters. Thus you can very quickly reconize the different ships by reading the letters.
The ships were laid down in three batches, of which the first batch differed from the second and third. First ‘Evertsen’, ‘Kortenaer’, ‘Piet Hein’ and ‘De Ruyter’ were laid down during August of 1925. Then ‘Van Galen’ and ‘Witte de With’ followed in May of 1927. And at last ‘Banckert’ and ‘Van Nes’ were laid down in August of 1928.
Just like many ship classes, the first batch of four ships served as a good testing ground to futher improve the class. To point out some differences, this first batch originally had much shorter smoke stacks, which quickly proved to be very annoying, so they were lengthened shortly after, and for the second and third batch this lengthened smoke stacks came standard.
HNLMS De Ruyter (Later renamed to Van Ghent), of the 1st Batch, with the original shorter smoke stacks
Also something the first batch differs in is secondairy armaments. The 40mm pom-pom was not quite in use yet for the Dutch so this first batch had to do without, whereas the second and third batch did have pom-pom’s. But to make up for this lack of autocannons, the First batch did recieve an extra secondairy 75mm gun, giving it two compared to the single on found on the second and third batch.
When the ships were laid down, it turned out that the ships were very well designed, and overall a succes. One ship of the class (HNLMS Piet Hein) reached a top speed of 36 knots during a test once. That was 4 knots faster then what was originally intended for the design.
The only downside to the class design was that they were fairly lightly armed compared to other destroyer designs of the time. But they made up for it with the excellent Dutch fire control systems.
At first the ships were used in the Dutch Caribbean during their early career. They mostly patrolled the waters there, and did not engage in any battles.
After 1933 the ships started to move towards the Dutch East Indies, where they carried out more patrol duties, and simple duties like going to a location just to show the Dutch dominance there.
During the 1940’s the ships carried out guarding and escort duties.
HNLMS Van Galen, HNLMS Banckert and HNLMS Arend in Curaçao during 1931
Ship design (2nd Batch Admiralen-class)
Blueprint of the 2nd Batch destroyers ‘Van Galen’ and ‘Witte de With’
The design of the ship was based on the British Ambuscade and Amazone destroyers. These two British destroyers served as the prototypes for the Admiralen-class.
The primary armament of the Admiralen-class consisted of four single 120mm guns. On the 2nd Batch these were the No. 5 type. While four primary guns is not very impressive, the fire control system on the ships was excellent. Thus making the guns much more accurate then what can be seen on ships of other countries.
The 12cm No. 5 guns on HNLMS Van Galen
The secondairy armaments for the 2nd Batch consisted of a single 75mm No. 7 gun. This one was located amidship on a raised platform. This gun is dual purpose, so it can also engage aircraft.
The 7,5cm No. 7 gun located amidship, on board HNLMS Van Galen
Something the 2nd Batch of Admiralen-class destroyers improve over the 1st Batch, is the addition of four 40mm No. 1 (pom-pom) autocannons. These were located in four single mounts, with two on either side of the ship.
The 40mm pom-pom’s onboard HNLMS Van Galen, note that they have a piece of cloth around of for when the ship is not engaged in battle
Futher weaponry include four 12.7mm Browning machine guns, with two being located on near the bridge, and the other two near the 75mm gun platforms. Six 533mm torpedo tubes in two tripple tube launchers were also carried. These carried Whitehead Type II torpedoes with a range of 4.000 meters.
4 depthcharge throwers, with a total of 12 depth charges, and 2 minelaying rails with a total of 24 mines completed the armaments of the 1st Batch Admiralen-class.
One last thing that the Admiralen-class also had was a aircraft catapult. This was located on top of the aft Torpedo tube launcher. This catapult could carry a Van Berkel W-A floatplane. But in reality this plane was never really carried a lot. And during the course of the 1930’s, this catapult was discarded.
A Van Berkel W-A floatplane
Another blueprint of the 2nd Batch destroyers ‘Van Galen’ and ‘Witte de With’
History of Witte de With
HNLMS Witte de With
HNLMS Witte de With was part of the allied fleet that took part in the Battle of the Java Sea. Early on in the battle she did not do all that much. But after the Japanese had dropped their 68 Long Lance torpedoes into the water, her sister ship HNLMS Kortenaer was hit directly in the middle of her hull. Kortenaer split in two and started sinking. But Witte de With could not help her since she was also busy dodging the incomming Long Lance Torpedoes.
Witte de With fired some 12cm shells after this, but she did not manage to hit anything. Meanwhile she had gotten some light damage from indirect hits from enemy destroyers.
But after this Witte de With was ordered to leave the battle together with the badly hurt HMS Exeter. Witte de With was going to escort Exeter back to Soerabaja.
But back in Soerabaja she was still not safe. A Japanese air attack happend, and Witte de With was hit directly by a bomb, and another bomb that missed still managed to tear up parts of the outer hull. At this point the damage was to much and she was not repaired. Instead she was scrapped.
HNLMS Witte de With at sea
Specifications, Witte de With
Length: 98,15 m
Width: 9,45 m
Depth: 3 m
Displacement: 1.316 Tons empty, 1.680 tons fully loaded.
Engine: 2 x Parson turbines, 3 x 3-drum Yarrow waterpipeboilers
Engine power: 31.000 hp
Number of screws: 2
Max speed: (Planned) 32 knots / (Achieved during a test by HNLMS Piet Hein) 36 knots
- 4 x 1 120 mm No. 5 cannon
- 1 x 1 75 mm No. 7 cannon
- 4 x 1 40 mm No. 1 autocannon
- 4 x 1 12.7 mm Browning machine gun
- 2 x 3 533mm Torpedo tubes, with Whitehead Type II torpedoes (Max range of 4.000 meters)
- 4 x 1 Depth charge throwers, with 12 depth charges total
- 2 x 1 mine lauching rails, with 24 Vickers mines total
- 1 x 1 Aircraft catapult, with the Van Berkel W-A floatplane carried. (Max speed 135 km/h, 1 x 7.92 mm Lewis machine gun in a gunner position)
The floatplane catapult was discarded early on in the 1930’s
Ingame I would like to see these ships added in a Dutch or BeNeLux techtree. The ships are not extremely powerfull so putting them in, for example, a British techtree will just make people skip past them. But in a Dutch or BeNeLux techtree they would actually form the backbone of the destroyer line, so there they would serve a much better purpose.
If a Dutch or BeNeLux techtree is out of the question, then having it in the British techtree as a premium makes the most sense.
The fast speed and accurate guns will make the Admiralen-class a pretty fun class to play. The ability to lay mines, launch aircraft, and drop pretty good torpedoes will make the HNLMS Witte de With a very capable ship!
Make sure to check out the other ships of the Admiralen-class!
- HNLMS Van Galen
- HNLMS Witte de With
HNLMS Witte de With
And there we go, that was the Admiralen-class destroyer HNLMS Witte de With!
Make sure to vote in the poll above, and put a comment down below! See you next time!
- Nederlandse marineschepen 1939-1945, Deel 1 , book by Peter Kimenai.
Van Berkel W-A floatplane:
- https://nimh-beeldbank.defensie.nl/foto-s/?q=torpedobootjager witte de with&fq=search_s_mediatype:“Foto’s”&mode=gallery&view=horizontal&page=1&reverse=0