L-class Destroyer, HMS Lookout (G32) - The survivor of the L-class

Would you like to see HMS Lookout added to the game?
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  • Maybe
  • Unsure
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What refit should she be added in?
  • As built
  • 1942 Refit
  • Late 1942 Refit
  • 1944 Refit
  • Unsure
  • I said no to the first question

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L-class Destroyer, HMS Lookout (G32) - The survivor of the L-class

Note(s):

  • Due to the their being not that many images on HMS Lookout most of the images will not be of HMS Lookout but will likely either be of another L-class or M-class destroyer as filler images

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Background

HMS Lookout is a L-class destroyer of the Royal Navy, she was the 3rd or 4th ship though it could go either way of the class to be laid down as one of her sisters being HMS Loyal was laid down on the same day. The L-class is normally grouped with the L and M classes of destroyers with if not obvious by the names given already how these vessels were given names, both classes consisted of 8 vessels for a total of 16 and were the successors of the J, K, and N classes, and it’s important to note that the L and M class were the last destroyers built for the Royal Navy prior to the 2nd world war and even then they would only enter service during the war as following classes would be based on the preceding classes of destroyers while using single guns mounts as apart of war emergency program and as such the next destroyers to be constructed with the level of fire power similar to the L and M class would be the battle class since all classes built in between used single gun mounts rather than the twins that were started with the Tribal class destroyers.

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As the last 3 classes were less expensive versions of the Tribal class the L-class would actually introduce improvements over the previous classes rather than being a more cheaper derivatives of the Tribal class as these vessels retained the same main batter as the last 3 classes however these vessels used newer versions and new turrets with the guns being there Mark XI 4.7 inch (120mm) guns in the new Mark XX mount, this mount itself was enclosed compared to previous classes and compared to the Tribal classes limited gun elevation of 40 degrees which allowed them to cover other vessels with the main guns from aircraft but not themselves, the Mark XX mount increased the elevation to 50 degrees though this at least some form of improvement, the vessels also included a single 4-inch (102mm) AA gun though in some vessels they would complete instead with 4 twin mounts of these guns though since Lookout was not one of them they will not be mentioned any further, these vessels were further reinforced with an initial AA armament of 1 quad 40mm pom pom mount, 2 single 20mm guns, 2 quad 12.7mm machine guns mounts and 2 twin 12.7mm machine guns, she also was armed with only 1 quad 21-inch (533mm) torpedo tube as a result of the 4-inch gun being installed in it’s place and over time in service her AA armament would change as more AA guns would be reinstalled and eventually even the 2nd quad torpedo tube.

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History

HMS Lookout was laid down on November 23rd, 1938 by Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering Company in Greenock, Scotland alongside her sister HMS Loyal on the same day, she would be launched on November 4th, 1940, and was commissioned on January 30th, 1942. As it would turn out that year would probably be best described as a bad time for the L class in general as out of the 8 ships of the class 4 ships would be lost that year leaving only 2 older vessels of the class and herself and her sister Loyal as the remaining ships in the class.

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Lookouts first operations would see her with the home fleet in March of 1942 as an escort for force in order to prevent Tirpitz from carrying out any convoy raiding and during her time she would set out at least once with the home fleet after Tirpitz was sent out in a attempt to hunt the convoys QP8 and PQ12 however due to bad weather Tirpitz was never able to find any ships and ended up escaping though one of her escorting destroyers which was left behind would be sunk. Following this Lookout would see her operations turned down south as her remaining operations would not see her based with the home fleet against the germans and this would first see her as a part of the occupation force of Madagascar as a part of Operation Ironclad though no action for her would occur during this. Her next operations would see her based in the Mediterranean and as it would turn out would be where she would operate in for the rest of her active wartime career, at first this would not start off very well as she was first assigned to escort the carrier HMS Eagle in August during operation Pedestal when the carrier was hit by a torpedoed by a submarine and sunk and after a unsuccessful counter attack she and cruiser HMS Charybdis would take on 927 survivors though Lookout would later transfer her survivors to the HMS Venomous, the following day would see Lookout join HMS Tartar after she had spotted a submarine on the surface however by the end of it they would never find and confirm the sinking of the submarine and following this she was detached with Charybdis, Somali and Lightning to assist the carrier HMS Indomitable after it was attacked by dive bombers and in this case would not be sunk.

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During her second patrol after the operation she would locate a merchant ship, this was the 4,000 ton Luarana from Italy, the Lookout went to action stations however to their surprised they would her abandoned so they put a skeleton crew onboard her to inspect the vessel and later they would get the vessel up to steam again and so she would return from the patrol with the Luarana being brought back to Gibraltar for a show of her efforts. Following her time in the Mediterranean she along with the battleship Malaya would return home in September and would spend her time in Scapa flow from October 9th to the 23rd following which she would be apart of the escort of HMS Rodney while on her way back to Gibraltar which she reached on the 29th.

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Her next operation would be during Operation Retribution in May, 1943 when she was assigned with the Hunt class ships of 57 Division as well as with HMS Eskimo and during this the formation would come under attack from Ju-88’s but none were damaged, and the following morning they would find the Italian hospital ship Virgiglio and Hunt class vessel HMS Lauderdale was ordered to escort her to waters of Cape Carthage to examine her. The boarding party later reported that everything was as it should be and the Italian ship was released. On the 13th Lookout sighted a small boat 10 miles north-east of Plane Island and as a result after reaching the vessel they captured 13 Germans and 1 Italian, then on the 22nd she would find another vessel, this being a Italian auxiliary transport vessel, Stella Maris which she spotted on radar and would fire 24 rounds into the vessel and along with her sister Laforey following which Lookout covered her as Laforey picked up the survivors.

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Her next major operation saw her take part in would be during Operation Corkscrew where she along with the 19th Destroyer Flotilla they bombarded shore positions which wouldn’t last long before the enemy forces surrenders and as such the landing forces would land meeting no resistance, as dusk approached all the other vessels other than lookout had withdrew from the area and left her to act as a guard ship and by this point with the other ships 10 miles away the Luftwaffe showed up expecting to find an invasion fleet to only then find a single destroyer and as a result the aircraft would then focus on bomber her as she went to action stations and took violent and evasive action however her luck held as none would hit and even with the near misses the German aircraft failed to even damaged her and once the attack had ended she returned to her patrol. Her next operation would be during Operation Avalanche in September of 1943 as she resumed shore bombardment to cover landing forces and though it would be a few days later she would be bombed again to a greater result as a glider bomb was dropped on her and like the last time had missed which resulted in at least a little damage and following which she resumed shore bombardment until the 15th when she sailed back to Malta.

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following this she would spend the rest of 1943 and up until July 23rd, 1944 under refit and once she returned to service she was assigned to the 14th Destroyer Flotilla however on October 12th she would hit a mine though continuing to be persistent she would survive this and had to be towed back home. Following her return to service in 1945 she would spend the remained of the war in the Mediterranean theater most providing shore bombardment though she would sink the the German fleet torpedo boat TA29 during the e Battle of the Ligurian Sea and the rest of the war saw her remain on bombardment and escort duties up until Victory day in Europe. With the war in Europe over she was quickly taken out of active service as she sailed for Plymouth on October 19th, 1945 to be paid off and reduced to Reserve status and about 2 years later in 1947 was listed to be disposed of and the following year would see her arrive at the breakers yard. It’s worth noting that by the end of the war she was the only active vessel of the class that was still fully combat capable as the only other remaining ship being her close sister Loyal had hit a mine in 1944 and was written off as a constructive total loss making the Lookout the last L-class destroyer at the end of the war.

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Specifications

Displacement:

1,920 long tons (1,950 t) (standard)

2,660 long tons (2,700 t) (full load) (Later increased up to 2810 to 2840 tons)

Length: 362 ft 3 in (110.4 m) o/a

Beam: 37 ft (11.3 m)

Draft: 10 to 15 ft (3.0 to 4.59 m) (depends on load and configuration)

Installed power: 48,000 shp (36,000 kW)

Propulsion:

2 × shafts

2 × Parsons geared steam turbines

2 × Admiralty 3-drum boilers

Speed: 36 knots (67 km/h; 41 mph)

Range: 5,500 nmi (10,200 km; 6,300 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)

Complement: 190 to 226

Sensors and processing systems:

(Note: their were changes in the radars for the L and M class ships however due to the source not being specific on which ship received what I am not listing the changes in radar though the likely did occur)

ASDIC

Type 285 anti-aircraft (AA) radar

Type 286M air warning radar

Armament:

As built:

Primary Armament:

9 × QF 4.7-inch (120mm) Mk XI dual purpose guns (3 x 2)

Ammo count:

2,000 rounds total; 250 rounds per gun

Dual purpose anti air armament:

1 × QF 4-inch (102mm) Mk V anti-aircraft gun

Anti air armament:

4 x QF 2-pounder (40mm) Mk VIII anti-aircraft guns (1 x 4)

2 x 20mm/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV

12 × QF .5-inch (12.7mm) Vickers Mk III anti-aircraft machine guns (2 x 4 & 2 x 2)

Torpedo tubes:

1 × 4 - 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes

1942 Refit:

Primary Armament:

9 × QF 4.7-inch (120mm) Mk XI dual purpose guns (3 x 2)

Ammo count:

2,000 rounds total; 250 rounds per gun

Dual purpose anti air armament:

1 × QF 4-inch (102mm) Mk V anti-aircraft gun

Anti air armament:

4 x QF 2-pounder (40mm) Mk VIII anti-aircraft guns (1 x 4)

4 x 20mm/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV

4 × QF .5-inch (12.7mm) Vickers Mk III anti-aircraft machine guns (2 x 2)

Torpedo tubes:

1 × 4 - 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes

Late 1942 Refit:

Primary Armament:

9 × QF 4.7-inch (120mm) Mk XI dual purpose guns (3 x 2)

Ammo count:

2,000 rounds total; 250 rounds per gun

Dual purpose anti air armament:

1 ×QF 4-inch (102mm) Mk V anti-aircraft gun

Anti air armament:

4 x QF 2-pounder (40mm) Mk VIII anti-aircraft guns (1 x 4)

6 x 20mm/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV

Torpedo tubes:

1 × 4 - 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes

1944 Refit:

Primary Armament:

9 × QF 4.7-inch (120mm) Mk XI dual purpose guns (3 x 2)

Ammo count:

2,000 rounds total; 250 rounds per gun

Anti air armament:

4 x QF 2-pounder (40mm) Mk VIII anti-aircraft guns (1 x 4)

10 x 20mm/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV (4 x 2 & 2 x 1)

Torpedo tubes:

2 × 4 - 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes


Sources

Spoiler

L and M-class destroyer - Wikipedia

HMS Lookout (G32) - Wikipedia

United Kingdom / Britain 4.7"/50 (12 cm) QF Mark XI - NavWeaps

"L" and "M" destroyers (GURKHA) (16, 1940 - 1942)

Image Sources

Spoiler

Category:HMS Lookout (ship, 1940) - Wikimedia Commons

Category:L and M class destroyer - Wikimedia Commons

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/809873945468089779/

https://64.media.tumblr.com/8fad632d6be7c82e17fd9ccb2aef61a6/tumblr_p94h54jaQh1ui1npso1_1280.jpg

Axis & Allies War at Sea - HMS Legion

HMS LOOKOUT | Ships Nostalgia

4 Likes

The 1944 refit would be ideal as I am a big hater of the single 4 inch gun (I don’t know why, I just don’t like it). However I’d take the L and/or M class in any form. Definite +1

Suggestion passed to the developers for consideration.