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From: "Vince Leamons" <>
Newsgroups: sci.military.naval
Subject: Re: How many .50 cal hits does it take to sink a destroyer?
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 1999 18:40:21 -0800

    Sure it is. You just have to have enough hits. There are plenty of
things that like to catch fire on a destroyer, and fire is a primary killer
of small vessels. Hell, strafe the bridge enough, you can knock the DD out
of action; strafe the engineering spaces, and you can open boiler lines. The
ship doesn't need to EXPLODE - the output of a high-pressure small-tube
boiler has enough pressure and heat to cut through thin metal like it was
tissue. Some years ago, they used to teach people to hunt for steam leaks
with a piece of wood (usually a 2x4). You held the board out in front of
you, and where the board was sawn off by the (invisible) high-temperature
steam jet, that's where the leak was.

    But anyway, it's also not too hard to get a boiler explosion. That will
rip open the outer plating and flood the engineering spaces, which will
surely sink a DD. Not likely with a couple dozen hits, but with a few
thousand, it's probable.

    And of course, if you're extreme enough about it, you could simply smash
an entire hull frame with sufficient hits (tens of thousands) until the
frame lost structural integrity and the ship sank. The crew would be dead or
have abandoned ship long before.

    But really, I think fire is your best bet; and quite possible.

    8') Vince

George F. Hardy wrote in message <>...
>IMHO, it is not possible to sink a destroyer with a .50
>machine gun.

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