The Clemson class, USS Barker (DD-213) is a rank III American destroyer with a battle rating of 3.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.79 "Project X" as part of the fleet closed beta test.
Survivability and armour
The Clemson class is lightly armoured and has an average crew size for a starter destroyer. The armour consists of 17 mm of steel on the hull and 10 mm of steel on the superstructure. At only 150 crew, the destroyer does not last long under fire, but the same can be said of the other starter destroyers. Additional armour is present on the gun mounts, but is otherwise absent. The Clemson class can endure against the smaller calibre guns found on torpedo boats and aircraft but is not able to stand up for long against other destroyers. There are some positives in the survivability, the guns are very hard to disable due to their small size and the layout having them spread out across the ship. 4 engines and 4 smoke stacks powering two transmissions makes it fairly hard to immobilise a Clemson. The fuel tanks are fairly small and only the rear ones are above the water line. The ammo racks are stored below the water line with the exception of the first stage, which are stored in the superstructure. The largest weak point is the bridge, which is very visible from all angles and very lightly protected.
The Clemson's mobility and speed are nothing spectacular, it is actually quite slow among destroyers, but average for the starter destroyers. It is not exceptionally agile but is certainly capable of changing course to avoid torpedoes and high altitude bombs. The ability to change course abruptly will also help with overcoming the slow traverse of the primary armament.
The 102 mm primary armament of the Clemson class lacks hitpower, but makes up for that with excellent accuracy. The HE ammo is the stock and best general use ammo, providing a decent amount of firepower but at the cost of being significantly less powerful than its 127 mm cousins. This should be used against virtually everything except heavily armoured targets. The APHEBC is ultimately not very useful, only seeing use against the rare BR 4.7 destroyer with actual armour, but those are rare and it will mostly see unarmoured targets where this shell struggles. It has no anti aircraft shells, but given the slow rate of fire and low angle of the guns, hitting aircraft is not in the mission description of this ship. Thankfully it is fairly good at hitting ships under 10 km with these guns, the accuracy allowing for ammo sniping with APHEBC or precisely disabling the guns of an enemy destroyer with HE. The velocity is quite good, making it a decent gun to learn destroyer combat on. But the lack of lethality from a low rate of fire and small calibre hold it back from being a good gun.
The layout of the Clemson is unconventional amongst destroyers. The forward gun is the most used one and can hit almost anything except targets immediately behind it. The midship starboard and port guns cannot aim fully forward but can aim forward enough that a target 30 degrees from the front of the ship could be targeted by these guns, but only one of the guns per side. The rear gun is the worst of the bunch, as it cannot rotate a full 360 degrees and instead must traverse all the way around the back of the ship in order to switch from shooting port to shooting starboard (and vice versa). This makes it rather challenging to adapt to new threats with the main guns, as you can only have 3 on target in a best case scenario but will usually be only able to use 1 or 2 of the guns. Couple with the low power of the guns, and it is not hard to see why the Clemson lacks in firepower compared to its contemporaries.
The Clemson has only one secondary gun and most people tend to not notice it as it is very bad. While firing faster and traversing faster than the main guns, it can really only effectively fire towards the rear and is severely hampered by the velocity of the gun. There is an HE and an APHEBC ammo, but only the HE could be considered useful as the APHEBC has no desirable characteristics for an APHEBC shell, being slow and inaccurate with bad penetration. While intended to be used against aircraft, it was designed to be used against 1920s aircraft, which largely aren't even in the game to start with and the few that belong in that generation of aircraft are going to be very rare at its battle rating. Should you encounter a very large and slow flying biplane very low to the sea, this gun may prove itself useful.
A tremendous improvement over its predecessor, this version of the Clemson class boasts 2 Oerlikon Mk.II 20mm cannons. These are actually a threat to aircraft but the low amount of them make it a very weak threat to most planes and pilots. The 60 round drums and 4 second reloads mean it is possible to have downtime on the guns, which is less than ideal as aircraft are a credible threat to this ship. The firing angles are quite good and the blind spots are not very well known and somewhat hard to exploit. Finding a ship with better anti aircraft armament and sticking near them is still highly recommended as you have no long range air defence, the Oerlikons being limited to a maximum range of 2km against surface targets and being largely ineffective against aircraft past 1.5km.
There are 4 torpedo launchers, 2 to each side, with 3 torpedoes per launcher. There are no extra torpedoes carried on board, but 12 is a respectable torpedo load nonetheless. The Mk.15 torpedo packs a pretty good punch, being capable of instantly hull breaking most ships in game. The two torpedo modes allow you either range at the cost of speed (9.1 km at 62 km/h) or speed at the cost of range (5.5 km at 83 km/h). Because you cannot yet select which torpedo mode you desire in battle, you must pick this before you enter the battle, with the longer range mode being better in the Encounter game mode while the higher speed mode being generally more useful when ranges don't exceed 6 km.
Usage in battles
The Clemson is a very tedious ship to play, with its only advantages over other destroyers being its well rounded stats, high torpedo count, and good gun accuracy. Once it is required to fight higher rank destroyers, it suffers heavily and relies on its torpedoes in order to be useful. It can be used as a sniper with the HE, letting teammates fight with their better guns and armour while it uses superior accuracy to hit targets at ranges longer than expected for a gun of its calibre. While having some anti aircraft armament, it is still not sufficient to fight against the kind of aircraft common to its battle rating, meaning it is still going to suffer when enemy aircraft start to roam the skies. It is very weak in close quarters, relying heavily on the skill of the captain to get victories against almost everything at those ranges.
Generally speaking, avoid direct fights with anything more powerful than a sub chaser or torpedo boat. It can shine as a power house in a downtier, but once again it cannot effectively fight against its fellow starter destroyers (with the exception of other Clemsons), leaving it a subpar choice unless there are no better options available. A very good captain can make any ship effective, but for many captains the Clemson is a hard one to make work.
|I||Dry-Docking||Tool Set||4inch SP Common||Anti-Air Armament Targeting|
|II||Rudder Replacement||Fire Protection System||Smokescreen||3inch Common Mk.3||Auxiliary Armament Targeting|
|III||Propeller Replacement||Ventilation||Shrapnel Protection||Primary Armament Targeting||Improved Rangefinder|
|IV||Engine Maintenance||New Pumps||Ammo Wetting||Torpedo Mode|
Pros and cons
- Six torpedoes per side
- Turret traverse is decent compared to other first-generation destroyers
- Decent firing arcs
- Single 20 mm per side offers a minor degree of anti-aircraft protection
- Slow shell velocity and rate-of-fire. This also makes aiming difficult at long ranges
- Extremely poor anti-aircraft protection. Single 20 mm is easy for enemy pilots to avoid
- No armour
- Firepower is woefully inadequate for dealing with later destroyers
Laid down in April 1919, the USS Barker was part of the second production batch of the Clemson-class destroyers. She was completed by September of the same year and entered service with the U.S. Navy in December. In the interwar period, USS Barker visited several Turkish and Middle Eastern ports, before joining the Asiatic Fleet in the early 1920s. She cruised the Asiatic waters as well as performing patrols off the coast of Nicaragua before carrying out several visits to European ports in the late ‘20s. USS Barker was kept in the Asian theatre as part of the Asiatic Fleet until 1941, when the United States officially entered WW2 following the Pearl Harbour raid.
At the time of the raid on Pearl Harbour, USS Barker had been stationed on Borneo. Following the outbreak of hostilities between the U.S. and Japan, Barker undertook several patrol and escort missions around Borneo and the Dutch East Indies. Patrol and escort duties comprised most of USS Barker's routine whilst stationed in the Pacific. In 1943 however, USS Barker was assigned to the Atlantic theatre as part of a hunter killer group. Despite this, the USS Barker rarely engaged in direct combat. Instead, she's defined by her efforts of saving the lives of dozens of German sailors, who were lucky enough to survive the sinking of their vessel. From 1944 until the end of the war, Barker was mostly relegated to convoy escort duties in the Caribbean and Newfoundland. After the end of WW2, USS Barker was decommissioned and sold for scrap in November 1945, marking the end of her 26-year service period.
- From Devblog
Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.
Links to articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the ship;
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|Clemson-class||Clemson (DD-336) · Clemson (DD-213)|
|Fletcher-class||Fletcher (DD-445) · Cowell (DD-547) · Bennion (DD-662)|
|Allan M. Sumner-class||Sumner (DD-692)|
|Porter-class||Porter (DD-356) · USS Phelps (DD-360)|