Wind-class Armed Icebreaker, USCGC Southwind (WAG-280) - Polar Prowling

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Wind-class Armed Icebreaker/Coast Guard Cutter, USCGC Southwind (WAG-280)

IDK which tree it would go in, icebreaker with a very thick hull, destroyer weaponry, and a seaplane. Icebreakers are cool.

The Wind-class icebreakers were the most modern icebreakers of their time. They were designed after studies of foreign icebreakers like the Soviet Krasin (at the time the world’s most powerful) which was loaned to the US for a time, and were the first dedicated icebreakers built in the US. The hull was over 380mm thick, and used exceptionally strong steel, being able to crush almost 4m of ice. The boats had 6 diesel-electric engines, which allowed it to have a very long range of 32 000nmi. As they were meant for patrol against Axis forces, they were armed with destroyer guns and a large amount of depth charges.

USCGC Southwind was built in 1942 at the Western Pipe & Steel Company shipyard in San Pedro, the third of the class, and commissioned in 1944 by the US Coast Guard. It was assigned to the Greenland patrol, where it fought in various actions against German forces who had set up stations on the coasts of Greenland and Canada, most notably where it and its sister USCGC Eastwind chased down the German Auxiliary Externsteine, capturing the vessel. As the war in the Arctic ended, Southwind was decommissioned in 1945, disarmed, and loaned to the Soviet Union, where it was commissioned as Admiral Makarov and served for 5 years before being returned in 1949. Back in US hands, it was recommissioned by the US Navy as USS Atka (AGB-3), participating in Operation Deep Freeze and various cruises without any notable events, until it was transferred again to the Coast Guard and renamed back to Southwind in 1966. By then, the ship had been refitted with a helipad replacing the rear guns and seaplane, and armed with only a single 5-inch gun (which would also eventually be removed). In 1970, it made a journey to Murmansk, the first US ship to visit a Soviet port since the start of the Cold War, where it retrieved an Apollo program training capsule that had been recovered by the Soviets. In 1974, with the newer Polar-class icebreakers coming into service, Southwind was decommissioned and sold for scrap.

Specifications: (1944)

2x2 5-inch (127mm) Mk.12
3x4 40mm Bofors
6x1 20mm Oerlikon
1x24 Hedgehog mortar
6 K-gun DCL, 2 DCR

6515 tons full

Length: 82m

Beam: 19.4m

Draft: 7.85m

Propulsion: 6 Fairbanks-Morse diesel engines, driving 6 Westinghouse Electric DC generators, driving 3 electric motors, 12 000 hp, driving 3 propellers (2 aft, 1 bow)

Speed: 16.8 knots (31.1 km/h)

Range: 32 485 nmi (at 11 knots)

Crew: 316

QCJ-8 Sonar
Radar and rangefinder

Auxiliary Vehicles:
1 Grumman J2F Duck



Sister Eastwind showing a port-side view

Southwind in 1970, note the Apollo capsule at the bow



Suggestion passed to the developers for consideration.