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Corvettes


Photograph of HMNZS Kiwi

Flower Class Corvette Forums. Fair use may apply.

Corvettes were antisubmarine vessels in Commonwealth service designed for fast, inexpensive construction. They resembled destroyer escorts, but tended to be slightly smaller and significantly slower. Those few in U.S. Atlantic service were typically classified as patrol gunboats. They were originally intended as coastal vessels distinct from oceangoing sloops, but were pressed into convoy escort duty, which tended to erase the distinction.

The use of relatively slow corvettes was made possible by the development of better fire control in the form of the chemical recorder, which made it possible to predict the motion of the submarine. Prior to the chemical recorder, the basic antisubmarine tactic was to rush to the last contact point, drop lots of depth charges, and wish for luck. This required a fast ship with good acceleration. The chemical recorder made possible the creeping attack, which could be carried out by a relatively slow escort ship.

Those in Australian service had some notable successes in the restricted waters of the Solomon Islands.

British corvettes

"Flower" class

Australian corvettes

Kiwi class


References

Friedman (2006)



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