A Detailed Look At: Friesland Class Destroyer

Hello and welcome to another thread in which I pretend to know what I’m talking about. It’s been a while since I wrote one of these. Let’s see if I still have it in me.

This time I’m going to talk about a ship of 1950’s vintage, designed and built for anti submarine warfare. Before you’re all up in arms about the time frame and role of these ships though, take a moment to read through the article and see how it might actually fit in this game after all.

The Friesland class ASW destroyer:

D815 HNLMS Overijssel. It might just be my national pride speaking here, but I do think these are very goodlooking ships.

Named after Dutch provinces and cities, eight of these ships were built:

D812 HNLMS Friesland, laid down 1951, launched 1953, commissioned 1956, scrapped 1979

D813 HNLMS Groningen, laid down 1952, launched 1954, commissioned 1956, sold to Peru in 1980

D814 HNLMS Limburg, laid down 1953, launched 1955, commissioned 1956, sold to Peru in 1980

D815 HNLMS Overijssel, laid down 1953, launched 1955, commissioned 1957, sold to Peru in 1982

D816 HNLMS Drenthe, laid down 1954, launched 1955, commissioned 1957, sold to Peru in 1981

D817 HNLMS Utrecht, laid down 1954, launched 1956, commissioned 1957, sold to Peru in 1980

D818 HNLMS Rotterdam, laid down 1954, launched 1956, commissioned 1957, sold to Peru in 1981

D819 HNLMS Amsterdam, laid down 1955, launched 1956, commissioned 1958, sold to Peru in 1980

These ships were somewhat based on the Gearing and used a license-built copy of Gearing‘s propulsion system, built by the Dutch Werkspoor heavy industries. They were armed with Bofors 120mm guns, a variety of ASW weapons including mortars and depthcharge rails, and featured an advanced radar system for its time. They featured a powerful AA suite, and received radar fire control for its 40mm bofors AA guns later during their service life.

These ships did not do anything of note however, other than patrolling and cobmat exercises. They were not involved in any active combat.

D812 HNLMS Friesland, as she appeared in 1960

So lets get to it, shall we?


These ships weighed 3070 tons full load. This would give us 17200 hitpoints, according to dseehafer and fr05ty’s formulas. Not bad for a high tier destroyer.


These were destroyers, they didn’t have ‘armor’. Just mild steel plating to keep the crew inside when the ship went around a corner.

Main armament:

2×2 Bofors 120mm/50

Only four guns? Well, yeah, but these aren’t your standard wimpy destroyer guns. These are very special wimpy destroyer guns. These guns fired a 55lbs AP shell or a 52lbs HE shell at 825 mps, compared to the USN 5″/38 which fired a 55lbs AP round or 55lbs HE round at 792 mps. So a better muzzle velocity.

The main difference though lies in the ROF these guns could produce: 42 – 45 RPM per barrel. That’s a 1.5s reload! That ROF would probably be lowered for ‘balance’ reasons if WG ever deems to put these ships into the game, but still – that’s a withering hail of steel these guns put out!


As designed / built: none.

Wait, what? A destroyer without torpedoes?

Well, two of these – namely Utrecht and Overijssel, were refitted with 8x 533mm tubes in the early 60s, though they were removed again a few years later.

A cursory google search didn’t yield information about the torpedoes they carried, but the options are endless. It would’ve been very likely they  carried British torpedoes, and any late WWII / early post war 533mm torpedoes would’ve worked. If anyone has more information about what torpedoes Utrecht and Overijssel carried those scant few years they did carry fish, I’d be much obliged.

Anti-aircraft armament:

4x Bofors 120/50

6x Bofors 40mm

I couldn’t find much information on the type of 40mm used, whether they were the ubiquitous 40/60 already in game or the more powerful post-war 40/70. Either way, these are very good AA guns, with a meaty long range bubble courtesy of the DP 120s.

During the 1960s the 40mm AA mounts received radar fire control for added performance.


36 knots

Now there’s a little bit of contention here. These ships were designed around a speed of 36 knots, but during trials they surpassed the 40 knots, with some even reaching 42.8 knots. So there is precedence for these ships’ speed to range from competitive to murderous / near VMF  levels.


Despite their average size, these were very tall destroyers with very large towering masts. This means that they’re likely to get a very good firing range, but not very good concealment. Probably in between Gearing and Khabarovsk.

Two Friesland and two Holland class destroyers, from left to right: LimburgNoord-brabantDrenthe and Zeeland.

So, where to tier Friesland? That’s impossible to say. Too much depends on what type of torpedoes Utrecht and Overijssel carried, whether she carried 40/60 or 40/70 Bofors AA and what ROF WG would give the main guns. Then there are factors like her speed and concealment to consider.

All I can say is that if this ship ever makes it into the game, it would have to be very high tier. I can see her as a T8 premium with ‘bad’ torpedoes, a 36 knot speed and adjusted ROF but I could just as easily see her as a little tier 10 monster with very high ROF, competitive torpedoes and a 42 knot velocity.

Hell, they could even decide to introduce her without torpedoes, just making her a hilarious little anklebiter of a gunboat. I’d play that – who needs exploding seapenises anyways when you have this RPM / throw weight.

D818 HNLMS Rotterdam

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