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Volume 7 Issue 82

Published by
Orbis Publishing Ltd
@ Aerospace Publishing Ltd 1985
Editorial Offices
War Machine
Aerospace Publishing Ltd
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Managing Editor: Stan Morse


Editorial : Trisha Palmer
Chris Bishop
Chris Chant
lan Drury

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Film work: Precise Litho Ltd
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Artists: Jeremy Moore KCB OBE MC, Comman-
Tony Gibbons der o, British Land Forces during the
John Ridyard
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-j-
Allied
Destrogers
of$brldWll
Often described by over-colourful writers as'the greyhounds
of the oceut', the destroyet was an undeniahly attnctive
HMSlersey makes aturn athigh
speedrn the wake of another
member other flotilla.In spiteof
an ability to take considerable
picture at spee d. Yet it could be argaed that W orld W ar II saw punishment, I 3 out of 24 J','K'
the classic fleet destrcyer without a fwrction. and 'JV'c/ass destroyers were lost.

It was once common to see destroyers categorized as 'maids of all work', submarine ships, geared to range and seakeeping rather than to speei
but a good case could be made for adding the rider ', . , and mistress of was inevitable,
none', Developed primarily to screen their own battlefleet and to mount In the Pacrflc war things were very different, with two major flee=
torpedo attacks upon that of the enemy, fleet destroyers found them- locked in close and bloody dispute. Though the carrier had emergei ;.
selves largely anachronistic in the very different Atlantic war of World the new capital ship, the remainder of the orthodox fleet still retarred i=
War Ii, There were few opportunities to work in the 'tradttional' manner, role in supporting both the aircraft-carrier and the prohfic but vulner-
and the underestimated potency of air attack found destroyers unable able breeds of amphibious warfare ship,
even to defend themselves, let alone their charges. Lackinq credible air The Japanese proved adept and imaginatlve destroyer opera:crs
defences, their only safety lay ln their speed, for they were often not expending torpedoes with a cheerful profllgacy. Eventually the persr-
particularly manoeuvrable. tent Americans beat them at their own galme, developing in the proc--ss
Atlantic convoys found destroyers with superfluous speed but lnsuf- something of an ideal destroyer, cheap yet durable, fast yet long-leggrei
ficient range, together with inadequate capacity for anti-submarine and capable of both offensive and defensive action, Though rather w*-<
warfare. In the Mediterranean the threat was more from the surface fleet in anti-submarine potentral, it had sufficient to cope with the curicx-,
than the submarrne, and the destroyers' designed armament came into inept Japanese submarine arm,
its own but, with the constrictions of geography, the losses caused by
superior enemy air power were even more severe.
TheUS Fleet anchorage atKerema Retto rsseen on e day after US forces had
Events such as the torpedoing of the Schamhorst, Narvik, 2nd Slrte finaL[y secured lwoJima. A'Fletcher' class destoyer, USSBullard (DD 660).
and the Haguro sinking were exceptions rather than the rule and, even passesin fronf ofan'Essex'ciass carrier ofTaskForce 58.One hundred and
irom the outset, the introduction of cheap, specialist AA and anti- seventy-five Fletchers were built, the largestwartime class of destroyers.
ffi fio,rr-piper' destroyers
HMS Chruchill wa s the former USS
4];;.,u Herndon (DD J9 8), a'Clemson' class
destroyer of I 9 I 8. Transferred to the
Soviet navy in I 944 and re-named
Deyatelnyi, she was sunk byU-997 off
K6lainJanuary 1945.

Known variously as 'four-pipers', or Ships that Saved the World' beloved


'flush-deckers', the survivors of thrs by journalists, they did their turn,
very large qroup of American des- though usually in a cut-down form,
troyers were, like the British'V' and'W' The USS Reuben /ames (DD 245)
classes, in their secondwar. Resulting was one of two US destroyers torpe-
from the rapid expansion of ihe US doed in October 1941 while covering
Navy as rt moved towards war in 1917, convoys before the USA's official entry
the design was derived directly from into the war. In December 1941, a
the l2-ship'Tucker' class. While hav dozen four-prpers were the only US
ingt the same displacement and ma;or destroyers in the Far Eastern theatre,
dimensions the latter differed in hav- five beinq lost dunng the unequal
ing a European-style raised forecastle, struggle of the ABDA naval force,
With two waist-mounted 102-mm (4-in) Many worked throughout the war, firrr-
qnrns which needed forward arcs, this nels removed or trunked, conveded to
meant facetting the ships' sides, Six escorts, minelayers, minesweepers or
prototype 'Caldwell' class ships small auxiliaries.
changed the huli form to a lonq, easy
sheerline that gave them a character- Specification
istic'rimmed-by-the-stern' appear- 'Clemson' class (as buillJ
ance and had the amidshrps giuns re Displacement: l, 190 tons standard
sited on a house. Any improvement Dimensions: lengrth 95.78 m (314.25 ft);
thereby must have been marginal as beam 9.37 m (30,75 ft); draught 2,82 m Abov e : H M S W ellg a'l,Vickes' c/ass Below.' USS Gre er is notable for the
the forward arcs were still restrrcted, (9,25 in) destroyer, is seenmakingsmoke in fact that she was attacked by the
blast effects were signiflcant, and Propulsion: two sets ofgeared steam 1942. These old ships gave valuable GermanrJ-652 and replied with
weight was moved upwards on an twbines delivering 20507 kW serwice. depth charges. This would not
already tender hull,No less than 12 tor- (27,500 shp) to two shafts normally be considered unusuaJ
pedo tubes were fltted, mainly be- Performance:maximum speed 35 kls :c.:::rple 533-mm (21-in) torpedo tube except for the fact thatit occurred on
cause the sheer quantity oftophamper Armament: four single 102-mm (4-in) rn:'J:tnQts 4 September I 94 I, more than three
precluded centreline mountinq; only and one 76.2-mm (3-in) AA gn-rn, and Complement: 135 monlhs before Pearl Harbor.
nvo triples could thus bear on each
beam. The main production series, the
i I I 'Wickes' class (DD 75) and the 156
'Clemson' class (DD 186), retained
these features but were given higher
rrstalled power for 35 kts when laun-
ched between 1918 and 1921.
No less than 93 were scrapped in the
early 1930s under the terms of the Lon-
don Naval Treaty, During July 1940,
-nmediately after Dunkirk, the Royal
Nar,ry was desperately short of escofts
and took over 50 in the famous ex-
:iarrge for a 99-year US lease on colo-
r:a1 base rights. Many were in dubious
3-lndition and thougrh scarcely the '50

ffi
',ri'rth
fiarragut' class,'Mahan' class and'Porter' class destroyers
more than adequate warbuilt ned, the full number could be laul- ness from the outset, a suspicion erations. Despite these modifications
trestroyer tonnaqe available, the US ched on each beam, compared with 12 underhned by the landing of the flfth two of the three lost capsized when the
)iarry did not undertake any new con- and slx respectlvely in the earlier clas- grur and the for wartime op- Amerrcan 3rd Fleet was caught in a
s:r-rction until the 1930s, when it was ses. The 'Farraguts'carned the newly- Pacific typhoon in December 1944, Un-
::eatened with mass obsolescence, standardized 127-mm (S-in) gnrn and its were the USS Faffawt (DD 348),
l:e eight-strong'Farragrut' class (DD any topweight saved by fewer tubes USS Dewry (DD 349), USS Hul/ (DD
:r3) lauriched in 1934 and 1935 was was offset by an extra, fifth gun. That 350), USS MacDonough (DD 351), USS
Ieatly injluenced by the long series of only the two exposed forward mount- Worden (DD 352), USSDa/e (DD 353),
a:-:sh flotillas then beingr burlt, and ingts were enclosed suggests tender- USSMonag/ran (DD 354) and USSAy/-
-:ar,ued both superimposed guns and win (DD 355),
: :eLntroduced raised forecastle. With USS Conyngham of the'M ahan' cl4;s' /' ./a Closely related were the follow-on
::-:re compact modern machinery, as sft e appeared in I I 4 2. N ote. the 1,500-ton 'Mahan' class (DD 364),
::J;,' nvo funnels were requtred, re-
-:.srro centreline deckspace for two
i*ir" t"ii"do iount amiaiilpi.- , whrch put another 38. I cm (I5 in) on
the beam and increased installed
l::iruple torpedo tubes Thus
,: -.;: cnly erght torpedoes were car-
',,
'Farragnrt','Mahan' and'Porter' classes (continued) Allied Destroyers of World War II
power. The five-gun main battery w:rs guns but also athrd quadruple torpe-
retained and a third quadruple torpe- do tube mounting. These too suffered
do tube mount was added, the forward severe trimminQl of armament and this
one now beinq on the centreline and unhealthy trend toward overarming
the others sided. The 'Mahans'left en- was reversed somewhat by a rever-
during images by way of the presence sion to singrle 127-mm (S-in) quns, Even
ofsome ofthe 18 shrps at Pearl Harbor. so, mth an eye to Pacific operattons,
Both the fireball of the exploding USS US destroyers were larger than British
Sfiaw (DD 373) and the drunken, de- equivalents, faster and with greater
bris-strewn ruins of the USS Cassrh endurance,
(DD 372) and USS Downes (DD 375)
give vivid witness to the efficiency of Specification
that Sunday-morning onslaught, 'Farragnrt' class (as built)
Burlt at the same time in ]934 and Displacement: 1,395 tons standard
1935 were the eight enlarged 1,800-ton Dimensions: Ienqth 104,01 m
'Porter' class (DD 356) destroyers. (341.25 ft); beam I0,41 m (34,16 ft);
Though these British-style leaders drausht 2,69 m (8,83 ft)
were some 12.2m(40ft) Ionger, their Propulsion: tvuo sets ofQleared steam
beam was scarcely increased and turbrnes deliverrng 3 19 16 kW
they were unable to accommodate the (42,800 shp) to two shafts
burden offour ofthe new tvrinned gnrn- Performance: maximum speed 36.5 kts
houses, two of which were usually Annament: five single 127-mm (5-in)
landed, Not to be beaten, the desig- DP and four machine-guns, and two The m as s ive bulk of USS South Dakota mounts forward and unshielded
ners followed on with the five 1,850-ton quadruple 533-mm (2l-in) torpedo dwarfs the'Mahan' class destroyers guns aft. Note that the inner of the
'Somers'class (DD 381) destroydrs of tubemountings USS Dunlap and Fanningr, two appears to have losther bowin
1937 and 1938, which not only had eight Complement:250 recognizable by their shieided gun an accident.

E'6ridley' class and'Sims' class destroyers

Concurrent with the overarmed l.9B m (6.5 ft) to allow for increased accountable lack ofattention, even af- US,S Trippe a ?enft am' class
'Somers', the US Narry burlt 22'Gridley' bunkerage but, even with the extra ter a warning, allowed Mikawa's cruis- destroyer, leaves Pearl Harfur n
class (DD 380) destroyers, smailer size and displacement, the wMime er force to penetrate the strait, 1940. The 'Benhams' were
sLups but much better baianced. The 'Srms'usually ended one gnrn and a set Of the follow-ons, the USSSims (DD derivatives of the'B agley cla*.
main battbry was halved, four single of tubes lighter, Both classes were 409) herself was sunk before the cru- which were'Gridleys' built W tllc
127-mm (s-in) U3B gurs saving con- high-powered by British standards, cial main action of the Coral Sea was N avy Yards. USS T?ippe ended her
siderable topwerght for investment in the extra lenqth of the 'Sims' allowing actually joined, She and a fleet oiler days at Bikini in I 948, as an atqn
an unprecedented l6{ube torpedo for better lines and an extra loot of were caught alone by Japanese dive- bombtarget.
amament. The four quadruple mount- speed over the similarly-powered bombers whrch, inliicting fatal dam-
ings were placed sensibly low, at up- 'Gridleys', Wartime losses were five age, also reported them incorrectly, Dimensions: Ieng:ih ii--- l:
per deck level, hvo per side, Later, 'Gridleys' and five 'Sims'. allowrng the American main force to (341,58 ft); beam l0.3l r-.3€ -.
some took trrples and those on Atlantic Six 'Gridleys' were present at the approach unobserved. drauqht 2.97 m (9.7J i)
duty usually landed ftvo. A prominent debacle ofSavo Island, theft potential AII pre-war-bLllt destroyers were Propulsion: two setsc; g-e=j;e:::
feature of both the 'Gridleys' and their being wasted largely through faulty written off after Augmst 1945 and no turbines delivennq 36--9 kl..
first derlvatives, the 12 1,570{on'Sims' tactical doctrine. With 96 nominal tor- less than 1l from these two groups (49,000 shp) to two shais
class (DD 409) destroyers, was the pedoes between them, for instance, wete expended at the Bikini nuclear Performance: maximums-pesi -€ : k=
single enormous funnel casing, trunk- only eiqht were recorded as launched, site. Armament: four sLngle i 21-rr-,1 -''.
ed to serve two adjacent boiler spaces. none hittinq, This was in total contrast DP and flve machrnegu's. amd:'-:
In the variant, one set oftubes was with the Japanese. USS B/ue (DD 387) Specification quadruple 533-mm (21-tn) icrpeo:
imtially traded for an extra 127-mm (5- and USS,Ralpfi Talbot (DD 390) were 'Gridley' class (as built) tubemountings
in) grm. Lenqrth was also increased by the two radar pickets whose un- Displacer.rent: I, 500 tons standard Complement:250
t
!

ffi fi"r,ron' class and'Livermore' F


class destroyers i

On the same day in October 1939, the upper deck, This arrangement alone Specification US,SBenson as sft e appeared prior to
Boston Nalry Yard launched four des- accounted for many American des- 'Benson' and'Livermore' classes (as Pearl H arbor. Officially 1,600- ton
troyers, the last par of the 'Sims' series koyers not being able to carry their full burlt) destroyers, by the end of thewar the
and the flrst two 'Benson' class (DD designed armament. Displacement: l, 620 tons standard class were usually displacing nearly
421) destroyers. Though the same hull On 10 April 1941, near lceland, the Dimensions: lenqth I05,99 m 2,400 tons at ful,lJoad. Benson was
and machinery was used, the later USS lVrb/ack (DD 424) became the first (347,75 ft); beam I 1,05 m (36.25 ft); lransferred to Taiwan in I 954,
ships had the boiler spaces divided for US destroyer during World War I1 to draught 3,12 m (10.25 ft) servinguntil 1975.
improved damage control, necessitat- p.rosecure a suspecled subma r rne con- Propulsion: two sets ofgreared steam
ing a refurn to two funnels, A realistrc tact by depth charging and in the fol- turbines deliverinq 3728S kW USS Farenholt (DD 49 I ) is seen from
armament was fitted rn five 127-mm lowing October, whrle coverrng con- (50,000 shp) to hvo shafts the carrier USS Wasp (C7-8) as sfte
(5-1n) gmns and two qurntuple sets of voy SC 48, the USS Kearny (DD 432) Performance:maximum speed 37 kts come s alongside to re - su pp ly.
torpedo tubes, but even this was too became the flrst US warship to be ior- Armament: five single 127-mm (5-in) Parenholt was fo survive the fierce
much for wartime conditions, one qun nannan DP and four machine-gmns, and two fightingin the Solomons, but the
and a set of tubes being landed. Only Many of the later 'Bensons' were qurnhrple 533-mm (21-in) torpedo tube carrier was not so luc@. Within three
the first 24 hulls were completed with converted to high-speed destroyer/ mountinqts weeks ofthe photo being taken, she
the full designed armament, The re- mrnesweeper (DMS) at the expense of Complement:250 was torpedoed to the south af
duced fit was the most modest srnce a further qun and the remaining tubes Guadalcanal.
the American destroyer adopted the
127-mm (S-rn) gmn,
Thrs sound design was used for the
first major series in the raprd expan-
sion of the US Nalry as it headed toward
alother war: 96 'Bensons' were built
between 1939 and 1943, and though
the last 64 were officrally the separate
'Livermore' class, there were only
rnarginal differences, leading to the
latter type havingr a slightly greater
irsplacement,
They were the last American des-
loyers to have the European type of
:iised forecastle, wrrh rts characteris
:c rounded sheerstrake. Though thrs
:eature took a high freeboard farther
ai and increased enclosed volume, it
-:::oduced a high stress concentration
:: Lhe hance. Amidships, where Brrtish
iestroyers tended to be very wet, the
-:-nerrcans had bulwarks wrth con-
freeing ports runninq to a point
=::custhe after funnel. This was possi-
=r-r
:-= because the continuous topside
:.s,ng required that torpedo tubes
.1:re set on one level hrgher than the

Left:A 'Benson' class destroyer Above.' USS Buchanan (D D 4 I 4 )


cleaves the water as she forms part of replenishes from USS W asp (CV-Z ) in
the protection for anescort carrier. lune 1 942. Buchanansurvjved the war
T he' B ensons', together w ith the to be sold toTurkey, where she
almost identical 'Gleave' and served under the name Gelibolu One
'Livermore' classes, were the first of hermaingunswas removed, and
large- sc ale war time U S des troyer her WhtAAreplaced by four 76-mm
programme, 96 being built hetween (3-in)gpns.
1939 and early 1943.
ffi 'fr1","r,"r' classdestroyers Allied Destroyers of World War II
{'t
Backbone of the US destroyer force
,*.*
in the Pacitic, the'Fletchers' I
displayed strong surface warfare 1

armament typic al of that the atre,


i
t
where clashes with J apanese
destroyers could often be expected.

f:"
Though the extensle 'Benson' class place of the earlier 12,7-mm (0.5-in) betng simultaneously assarled by U- Though only the Cheyaler was a::-. -
achreved its aim of putting the US des- machine-guns. No mainmast was boats, The existing scratch escofi was ly lost the Japanese had succeel:: _-.
troyer-building industry onto a war fitted, and a further lowerinq of the led by an ex-US flush-decker, HMS their aim.
footing, the desigm had limitatrons for a centre of gravity was achieved Churchtll bui, even rernforced they
Pacific war, both in terms of endurance through reversion to the flush-decked were unable to prevent the loss offive Specification
and its curtailed weapons flt. Even be- hull, also considered stronger, Funnels merchantmen. The OBannon fought 'Fletcher' class (as burlt)
fore the end of the programme, there- were shorter and, as a result, fitted also in the confused night action off Displacement: 2,050 tons standarc
fore, the first of an improved class with pronounced caps, Four units, in an Vella Lavella where three of srx US Dimensions: lenqth 114.76 m (3,: - -'
were going into the water. The f,rst tuvo
of thrs 'Fletcher' class (DD 445) went
unsuccessful expedment, had their no, destroyers, including four early
'Fletchers', tangled impetuously and
beam 12.04 m(39.5 fl) draught : -. :
3 gmnhouse and after tubes replaced (17 7s fr)
down the ways in February 1942 and by a catapult and scout aircraft, unwisely with six Japanese destroyers Propuision:two sels of geated s::::_
the last four of 175 ships on the same Though the 'Fletchers' were gener- involved in a garrison withdrawal. In a turbines delrverrng 447 42 kW
day in September 1944 at Puget Sound ally sent qurckly to the Pacrfic on com- hail of torpedoes and gmnfire the USS (60,000 shp) to iwo shafts
Naly Yard. pletion, those built on the Atlantic sea- Chevalier (DD 45 1) was torn in two, the Performance: maximum speed 3l r-
The designed armament of the 'Ben- board saw some sewice there, TWo of O'Bannon ploughing tnto her. The Armament: five single 127-mm (:-:-
sons' was carried by the new ships on a the earliest, for instance, the USS enemy Yagumo was immediately tor- DP, three twin 40-mm AA and fc-:r
hull some 8,53m (28ft) longer and Fletcher (DD 445) and USS O'Bannon pedoed herself but the sole American srngle 20-mm AA guns, and tv,'c
0.91 m (3 ft) beamier. A grreat improve- (DD 450), found themselves hurriedly still under way, seekinq still to close :
quintupte 533-mm (21-in) lorped : --:
ment was the substrtution of licence- diverted to the Windward Passaqe the enemy transports, was also hit by mountings
buili 20-mm and 40-mm AA gmns in where two crossing convoys were one of 16 torpedoes launched at her, Complement: 295

USS Stevens (DD 479) leaves Right: Many wartime American


Charleston in Decembet I 942 aftet destroyers had long post-wat
completing her trials. By this time, a careers, USS Cowell seen here oft
ye ar atter Pe arl H ar bor, American H awaii in 1 9 63 serving until I 97 L
industry was becoming fully geared Acquired by Argentina in thatyear,
up for w ar, and' F letcher' clas s she served as ffi e Almirante Storni
vessielswere coming off the slips at a until I9S2,whenshewas
rate of four per month. decommissioned.

fiU"n M. Sumner'class and'Gearing' class destroyers


a
=-: squeeze in more AA armament, the
'.:er 'Fletchers'
needed to have their
reduced the ship motion that de-
Qrraded accuracies. The result was the
:
r-rector towerlowered by way of com- 'Allen M. Sumner' class (DD 692).
I -:€nsation, The next design step was to Twelve of thrs 58-strong class were
I ;;e the hull an extra 45.7 cm (lB in) of converted to destroyer-mrnelayers
I :eam ald to adopt the new twinned during construction, sacrrficing both
I -:.-mm (S-in) U3B gn-rnhouse, Three of sets of tubes for a lOO-mine capacity
:--e occupred less axial lengrth than Some were further modified for radar-
-:-: flve singles of the 'Fletcher' class picket duty but, in warning the main
--i shrpped
::
enabled a six-gnrn main battery to
wrth very little weight
body of the fleet against the approach
of lhe kamikaze they often became
-:e::alty. Less demand on space at the
-.=: end enabled the rearmost tubes USS Perkins, m common with many of
-: :e brought well aft, improving the'Gearing' class, received
:ir:-;hi distribution and freeing the extensive modifi cation pos t-w ar,
-=a airafi the stacks for three quadru- seruing as a high-speedAsw caftier
:.= il-mm AA mountings. These effec- escort. Seen oU Oafiu rh /96O Perkins
:,-: iqeapons, used here for the first was transferred to the Argentine
-:::: -:: destroyers, thus enjoyed wrde narryas ffie CommodoroPy in 1973.
-:= :nd, being closer to amidships, She sewed during the Falklands war.
'Allen M. Sumner' and'Gearing' classes (continued)

-;::r:s themselves, The USS Aaron in this long series of closely-related ing. Only wrth peacetime did the new Specification
Ward (DM 34) became a constructive classes. Externally these larger ships 76,2-mm (3-in) automatic gn-rns, which 'AllenM. Sumner'class (as built)
::tal lcss of Olanawa after having been were distinguishable primarily could disintegrrate a sutcide aircraft, Displacement: 2,200 tons standard
s::ck by five, whrle the USS laffey through their more widely-spaced fun- become generally avarlable, being Dimensions: Iength 114.8 m (376.5 ft);
.)D 724) actually suwived sx such nels, With the threat from the rump of fitted usually during the extensive beam 12,5 m (41 ft); draught 5,79 m
::iS the Japanese surface fleet by 1945 siq- FRAM modernizations that converted (le ft)
Yet more space and endurance re- nificantly less than that posed by air- destroyers to fast anti-submarine Propulsion: hvo sets ofgeared steam
T,lrements stretched the basic 'Sum- craft, it was also common to sacrtflce a escorts, a primary function for which twbines delivertng 44742 kW
:--.r hull by a turther 4.27 m (14 ft) to set of tubes for either a braced trtpqd they were not intended. (60,000 shp) to two shafts
prcduce the'Gearing' class (DD 710), bearing a suwerllance radar antenna, Performance: maximum speed 36,5 kts
-,teich was to prove the ultimate stage or an extra quadruple 40-mm mount- Armament: three twin 127-mm (S-in)
DP and three quadruple 40-mm AA
USS Gearinq as she appeared on guns, andtvuo quintuple 533-mm (21-
completion in M ay I I 4 5. Lengthened in) torpedo tube mountings
versions of the'AllenM. Sumner' Complement:350
c/ass, tie,largre'Gearings' were the
ultimate US wartime destroyet class.
Some remain in sewice today with
the US ReseweFleet.

ffi V' and'W' classdestroyers


irstantly recognizable through theu Specification
:,vo thick and thin funnels of unequal 'Modified V & W' class (as built)
ierght, the'V class and'W'class des- Displacement: I , I 20 tons standard and
:oyers sewed the Royal Navy weli for 1,505 tons fu1lload
3ver a quarter of a century, Stemmilg Dimensions: length 95. I m (312 ft);
:om five new half-leaders ordered rn beam 8.99 m (29.5 ft); draught 3.28 m
1916 to counter rumoured German (10.75 ft)
Jcnstructlon, the class introduced su- Propulsion: two sets ofgeared steam
perimposed guns both forward and aft, turbines dehvering 20I34 kW
aad featured both extra lenglh and (27,000 shp) to tvvo shafts
reeboard for lmproved seaworthin- Performance: maximum speed 34 kts:
ess. Their limitations were in shipping endurance 6437 krt (4,000 miles) at
cdy four torpedo tubes and in needingr 15 k1s
io take the machrnery of the smaller Armament: four single i 19.4-mm (4,7-
Admralty 'R' class but, though a little in) and one 76.2-mm (3-in) gurs, and
nderpowered, the first of the class, two triple 533-mm (2I-in) torpedo tube
liliSVall<yrie, still made neariy 35 kts mountinqs
::r trials in June 1917. Complement:134
Once proved, the design was ex-
rended by 25'V'c1ass and then 25 'W Above : I n I 945, HMS W atchman was
:iass destroyers, the latter dffering serving as a long-range escort, with
naLnly in adopting two triple torpedo her forward boiler and funnel
::i:e mounrrngs. Stabilrty proving no removed to allowfor extrafuel and
problem, Ihe'Modified V & W' class 'A' gun replaced by an ahead-firing
i:ien foilowed (an order for 54 shrps H edgehog anti- su bm arine mortar
ceingr placed in eariy i91B) to mount unit.With the extrafuel she had
- 19.4-mm (4.7-in) quns in piace of the transatlantic range.
=arlier classes' 102-mm (4-in)
reapons, their projectiles weighing gnrns and a quadruple 2-pdr in place of
22 ? kq (50 ]b) insteadof i5.9 kq (35 1b). the original armament. Another 20
-,rillh
the Armistice, most were cancel- were suitable for conversion to lonq-
:eC only HMS Tansitfart, HMS Teno- range escorts (l,RE) by removal of the
mous, HMS Terjfy, HMS Veteran, forward borler and funnel to g[ve en-
HMS To]unfeer, HMS Wanderer, hanced bunker capacity. The orrgrinai
ILMS l{Jufefia/J, HMS l/Iitslred, HMS amament was cut back in favour of an
Wil d Swan, HMS Wisft art, HMS l{ritch, ahead-firrng Hedgehog and extra
HMS Witfterrngrfon, HMS Wivern, depth charges and, though now cap-
frtrS Wolverine, HMS Worcester and able ofunder 25 k1s, they could cross ilMS Venomous is seen from ffi e
Fi{S l,|ren being built, One was lost the Atlantic without refuelling. Most of captain's brtdge oflfMS Formidable.
:::ng World War I and two more in the remainder, unsuitable for similar
-:e Baltic in 1919, The survivors formed conversion, became short-rangre HMS Walker as she appeared before
::-e l:ackbone of the fleet destroyer escods (SRE) with a wrde varrety of conversion to a long-range escort.
s::ng(h for most of the 1920s and, all armament but retaining their machin- One of the most successful of U-boat
b:: ior a further five, went on to their ery. Three ships were lost in World &unlers, sfte sa nk both Kretschmer's
-.e:ond war rn 1939. War Ii. U-99 and Scfi epkeb U- 100 (in
3etween 1938 and i94I 16 ships, cOrnpany with H M S Y aJx).
r:r-a various groups, were converted
ic AA escorts ('Wai/ class) by the sub-
-:uion of two twin HA l02-mm (4-in)
Yhe' ffimsffie ry$ \feK&m &wwe$Ecn
Unfike the Eritish experience of war in
ffi e West, the Pacific war.sa?r a
significant use o/desfroye rs in their
ariginal attack role, especially in the
blffercannpaignfortheSalamons''
rhouqh not one o{ World War IIs laroer ac-
ttons, i/ella Lavelia typifies the vicious night
encounters of the Solomons campaign anC
r.;rsrrates why bt-rth Amencan and Jabanese
desiroyers remained'traditionaily' arned,
Some 320 km (200 miles) from Guadalcanal, the
isiand oi Velia Lavella was invaded by the
Americans in August 1943 and, by the following
month, the comparatively qulescent Japanese
garrison'iruas penned rnto the north western
corner. The Japanese planned to evacuate
them on the night of 6-7 October in three des- *ffis*
#R-
troyers and some auxiliaries covered by six
seasoned destroyers of the 'Tokyo Express'
i,rnder Rear Admiral Matsuji ljuin in the des-
-r:yer fkigumo
The force was sighted by air reconnaissance
and rts position and llkely destination srgnalled
r Captain Frank R; Walker, commanding the
Cestroyers USS Se/.f'ldge i/SS Cievaler and
;SS O3annon, who was directed to rendez-
'rous with three more destroyers off the likely _:d
lapanese evacuation point, Walker knew that
:: in Lurn had been sighled by an enemv
. -rcraft bul r,then, at22.30, radar conLacLs were O'8annon, Chevalier.and anoli er destrayer af Solomons, where within months they were tc s e:
:eported to the west he irnmediately advanced Desron (Destroyer Squadron) ? ] head for the violent action-
::'ward what he knew to be a greatly superior
'-r-'e even ihough hrs reinlorioment had not dropped to about 6400 m (7,000 yards) and Iaunching eight torpedoes as she :ur:-: r j -

.! dtIve(1. Walker opened the bowling with the Japanese ker's ships smothered her with gr:r-r= .,'..--. --
\,Vlth the evacuation force keeping clear, tactrc of a torpedo salVo: 14 torpedoes were Ijuin, hrs manoeuvre frustrated, pliilea :.-. r--
l,'ain's destroi/ers split four and two and moved fired, the Japanese at the time largely masking mainrng three ships rnto line aheao l:. j - ':. '
-::io two roughiy paralleJ columns, They almost each otherrs fire. It wag a dark night, irt by a ,6 polnts under cover of smoke
:icssed Walker's'T' at 22,45 but, still sizing up quarter moon but punctuated by rain squails At 23 05 the impetuous YaEumo'::.. r--' - : l
'-:e sirenerh ol ihe Americdns, look no acl,on. and both sides were movrng at hiqh speed, Amerjcan iorpedo bur, almcsi srr:-^--,:.:: ,
--:,s mind apparenily made up, the Japanese With the American torpedoes running the theChevalier, second in rhe US lr:'e -.',':.- :':-
::mmander made two abrupt changes ol nearesl Japanese destroyer, lhe Yagumo, by one from lhe Yagumo. Her to.,: . :.- . .

::urse bul put his lorce into some confusion, At broke lormation and now at only 2745 m (3,000 slewed around at almost fu11 po',.;er.. -..; ' . -
re second change of course, the range had yards) range, turned three paris of a circle, promptly fammed by the tail-ender ., : =... -.-.
who was thus also immobihzed.
ffi lh.'class destroyer
Not until the mid-1920s did the Admir-
alty deem it necessary to order a pair
of prototype destroyers with a view to
replacinq war-built tonnage.These,
HMS Amazon and HMS Ambuscade,
were heavily based on the 'Modified V
& W' class but with a contract speed of
37 kts This was possible only by the
extra power developed by the new
Admiralty three-drum boller and
steam superheat. With small modifica-
tions, the design of this pair formed the
basis of a fu]I 'A' class of eight and a
leader (HMS Codrington,lost in 1940)
ordered in the 1927 programme for
completion in 1929 and 1930, These
were followed, alphabetically, by a flo-
tilla per year, wrth surprrsingly few 'im-
provements' up to the'l'class boats of
1935. lt was an excellenl design: stm- nel, and the tall mainmast was re- tually untrl going under from the effects ffM,SAchates was seriously damaged
ple yet robust, with an austere ele- placed by a short jigger. of 203-mm (B-in) shell damage, The by mining during the retreatfrom
gance that rnfluenced lorergn con- in June 1940, HMSArdent and HMS convoy was saved by the timely arrlal Norway, but after extensive
struction. Acasta perished gallantly off the of two British 152-mm (6-in) cruisers, rebuilding went on to glory in
Destroyers, now larger and more Norwegian coast rn a varn attempt to The other 'A' class destroyers were defending a Soviet-bound con,,':.i,
capable, worked in smaller groups defend the carrier HMS Giorious from HMS Acfieron (lost rn 1940), HMS Ac- from ffie Liitzow and tfie Admiral
than before, each flotilla having a lead- the Sc,harn,horsf and Gneisenau, of five, HMS Antelope, HMS Anthony Hipper.
er, enlarged for Captain (D)'s staff and which the former was torpedoed, HMS and HMS Arrow.
carryinq an extra gun, largely of pre- Achates was also mined off Norway, (34,000 shp) to two shafts
stige value, behveen the funnels. The her whole forward section needing to Specification Performance: maximum speed 35 kts.
armament of the A' class destroyers be rebuilt. She, too, was lost in valiant 'A'class (as built) endurance BBSl lan (5,500 miles) at 15
was improved over that of their pro- circumstances during the desperate Displacement: 1,330 (leader 1,520) tons kts
totypes by the provision ofextra eleva- action off North Cape on the last day of standard and l, 770 tons fu]I load Armament: four (leader five) single
tion to the gn-1ns and quadruple in place 1942: while Sherbrooke and four 'A' Dimensions: length 98,5 m (323 ft); 119,4-mm (4,7-in) andtwo single 2-pdr
of triple torpedo tube banks. To im- class destroyers kept at bay a German beam 9.83 m (32.25 ft); draught 2. 16 m lompom' AA guns, and two quadruple
prove wartime topweight margins, 'Y' 'pocket battleship', a heavy cruiser and (7 08 ft) 533-mm (21-in) torpedo tube
erun was generally landed, over 2 m six large destroyers, the Achafes Propulsion: hvo sets ofgeared steam mountings
(6.6 ft) were lopped from the after fun- shielded their convoy with smoke, vir- turbines dehvennq 25354 kW Complement:138

ffi i'
"l"rr,'K'apart
class and
oN'
class destroyers
The 16 'Tribals'were
a class but,
in answering directly lhe increasing
size and power of forelgn destroyers,
they were also a tacit acknowledge-
ment of the need for a larqer general-
purpose fleet destroyer for the Royal
Naly. Following the extended 'A' to 'l'
classes of flolrllas a new design was
agreed only after considerable de-
bate. Visually, it departed consider-
ably from earlier practice, Two boilers
replaced the earlier three, allowing for
a srngle funnel, generously prop-
onioned to balance the profile. Three
oi the twin 119.4-mm (4,7-in) gun-
houses used in the 'Tribals'were ship-
ped, allowing space for a second bank
oi torpedo tubes of the qurntuple pat-
tern introduced with the 'l' class. This
hearry torpedo armament showed a
ccntinuinq commitment to a form of
::o:llit:arIr,.':::ll.:i1,::i!rl
attack that, in the event, was used only l!,,.-...,.,.,!.. .a,.,..ir.,-,ir.",,i,r!
seldom by the British. To improve the ;r.;rii:Ar.l;46&#d;;i
:filg arc of rhe after qrun mountlng a
marnmast was not stepped, the WT
aerials being strunq from the tripod
:oremast to a braced ensiqn stafl
Despite the improved angles of
elevation on the main battery, the
pnmary AAweapon was still the quad-
ruple 2-pdr 'pompom'. Sited abaft the
funnel, it had a better field offlre than They were of remarkably tough con- HMS Nizam, HMS Nobie, HMS Non- HMSJavelinrejoins her flotilla after a
on the precedinq two-funnelled shtps struction: HMS /avelin, for tnstance, parell, HMSNorman and HMSiVepa/. special mission. Although severely
yet still had a wide blind sector for- suwived both a major collision and, at damaged on more than one
v.rard. As rn most British destroyers, a later date, being parted from both occasion, Javelinwas one of only two
'.-here was a constant struggle to keep bow and stern sectlons by a salvo of Specificiation 'J'class to survive thewar. Altogether
:opweight within acceptable bounds enemy torpedoes. The saga of the J','K' and'N' classes (as bu ilt) I 3 of 24'J','K' and'N' class were lost.
Eight J' class and erght identical'K' leader HMS Kelly is related else- Displacement: 1, 690 (leaders 1, 695)

class destroyerswere orderedin 1937, where, and the other units were HMS tons standard and 2,330 tons full load
:cllowed by eight similar'N'class ships /ervrs (leader),HMS /ackai, HMS Dimensions: Iength 108,66 m (356.5 ft); enduance 10139 km (6,300 miles) at 15
,: 1939 (the '1,' and 'M' classes already Jaguar, HMS/anus HMS/ersey, HMS beam 10,87 m (35 66 ft); draught 2.74 m kts
i:erng under construction). Of the total /uno, HMS Jupiter, HMS Kandahar, (e ft) Armament: three twin 1 i9. 4-mm (4. 7-
:: 24 ships, no less than 13 were sunk, HMS Kasftmir, HMS Kelvin, HMS Propulsion: two sets ofgeared steam rn) andone quadruple 2-pdr'pompom
Khartoum, HMS Kmberley, HMS turbines delivering 29828 kW qurs, and two quintuple 533-mm (21-
=:ght srgmifrcantly to aircraft.
Five of the 'N' class were Australian- Kingston, HMS Kipling, HMS Napier (40,000 shp) to hvo shafts in) torpedo tube mountinqs
::-r'rned, hvo Dutch and one Polish. (leader), HMS Nerjssa, HMS lvesfor, Performance: maximum speed 36 kts; Complement:183
The lGing in Action dog the destroyers made after the ma-::::-=
Darkness had fallen when suddeniy ::1=''.'
I/MS Kelly ca ught the public imagination in a way that few other ships or ship's without warning, a torpedo knifed into :e -.:-
companiesdid. Itwouldbe aswellto examinethe recordof such avessel, nomore port srde. It struck right at the shic s -,',-=1.:
.1y's
or lessworthy than many other destroyers, in order to discover thetremendous spot, the adjacent boiler spaces In a l:a:-:;
strain on both men and machinery that was inflicted by the bitter struggles of the cloud of live steam the desiroyer gro'::-- .: :
war at sea. halt, the forward boiler room open :o '.r.= :-- :
with a lS-m (50-ft) qap stretching froi:, <=:- .:
Many destroyers achieved more than HMS A week later the KelJy did a high-speed waterline, Grinding omrnously in the --::-:'.
Kelly, and certainly the great majorrty had lon- return dash to Le Havre to pick up the Duke sea, the shrps' longitudinal framrng iie-: :-=:
Qrer careers, yet this shlp (whose llfespan was and Duchess of Windsor from French exile and together, She settled to starboard but. c:-3: -:,=
preciseiy 21 months from handing-over to sink- to bring them to Portsmouth, She rmmediately adjacent bulkheads had been thor::;:,-.
ing) had an uncanny knack of being where proceeded to Plymouth, and wrthin days was at shored, showed no immediate signs oi s:-<--=
trouble was, and was seldom out of the pubhc sea on the melancholy task of resculng survi- The Bul1dog came alongslde and passed a :'.'-
eye, vors ofthe sunken carrier HMS Courageous, A Irne with lhe KeJly, once movrnc ,:.:. 1
Wlth the 'Tribals'widely criticized as being couple of months of regulation misery were emergency steering to reduce her tende:-: . .-
too large and too expensive, the 16 J and 'K' then spent working out of Scapa before a wel- yaw while the crew worked feverishly :c i-= =-,-=
class ships were slimmed down, with more of come return to the Tyne for a spell of rest, This overboard all movable topweight,
ihe iraditional emphasis on torpedoes and less was interrupted by an emergency call from a While there had, as yet, been no cl:e -s .:
cn guns. The classes were ordered in March mined tanker but, in gorng alongside, the Kelly the origin of the torpedo (it had actuall;.- :=:-,
and April 1937 for delivery by July 1939, an touched ofl another mine, suffering consider- fired by S31, one of four 'E-boats' in the ::==
rrgent schedule that reflected the growing able damage aft, She re-entered the Tyne at the mystery was resolved about midnigh, ',',':-=:-
:ertainty of war, and was possible only by the the end of a tow line and spent two months in another boat, seeking to find and flnish :- :.=
.i-rolvement of eight separate shrpyards. drydock, Emerging in February 1940 she re- cripple, came roaring out of the nigh: a: :-;:.
Both leaders went to the 'Geordie' yard of turned to Scapa but, shortly after this and while speed. It sideswrped the labouring B:-::',---
-ia.rthorn ]reslie, As was the custom both were escorting a convoy, she ran foul ol the larger and raked down the length of the Kel/7s s.:t-
:aned after notable commanders but, where HMS Gurkia in a snowstorm, The glancing board side, which was nearly leve1 \r;:a --:-:
:-e J' class destroyer leader took the.historical- collision caused damage su-fficient to put the water, davits, boats and gnrardrails v,,er: :,
,_; renowned name Jervis, the 'K' class leader Keily in dock again, this time on the Thames, changed for shattered timber as ihe i:=
:,-k the name Kelly, after Admiral of the Fleet She was repaired in time ior the end of the careered along the destroyer befcre :-.-
S-: John Kelly, one-time commander-rn-chief of unhappy mrlitary campaign in Norway, appearing rnto the gloom as suddenly as -::1-
:: Atlantrc Fleet, who had died in 1936. This
',';as something of a precedent and the name Dive-bombattack
arrived, Not a shot had been fired.
Throughout the following day the slc',"; !:
:-is never been repeated, but the ship ac- As one of six destroyers, Kelly proceeded to cessron continued with a changed esccr -:-=
;::ed her dashlng reputation from the bravura Namsos to evacuate an Anglo-French force, Ke11y's sorely-tried bulkheads were ie1.j,==
- =:scnality ofher first (and only) captain, Lord but they were heavily dive-bombed on 3 May, with no power to operate pumps, she w-as s-'-,'.'
-: s Mountbatten. He commissioned the ship losrng both HMS Afndi and the French Blson. ly seltling and unnecessary crew weri -:: =--.
=- -=ader of the Sth Destroyer Flotilla rn Augnrst
, ::3 and she was stril working up at Portland
Destroyers were already proving vulnerable
to this form of attack.
off. The arrival of a tug speeded things
eventually, with only a skeleton crew 'p - .:
herl::
-':-.1 war was declared, The first warlike task Only a week later, Germany invaded the by Mountbatten, the weary flotilla sigh:e d :-.=
'...s :o turn-to, captain rncluded and cover the Low Countries and the cruiser HMS Birming- Tyne piers. It had taken nearly four da.'s
=--:ssy
perfection of the peacetrme paintwork iam sailed to intercept an enemy minelaying
'-:- ,he drab, matt grey known to generations force reported west of the Kattegat, Of the
:, ::-:sh-wielding sarlors as 'Crabfat'. The very seven oiqtroyer. in twol the Kel1y Tr.:{{:i?:;{3{r;i:':,!I:f.itr1,f,li:;,X:*Ei:t
=,,-. day a (probably imagined) periscope was "o'"puny
and HMS Kan dahar, were detachlq to investi- by the dark band around her finnel to6, was f l:e.s
, - -:-lly depth charged in Weymouth Bay. War gate a reported U-boat contact, This proved asadestroyerleader,andherextracommand
:-=:::mmenced, unprofitable and, loined by the older HMSBull- facilitymade hermarginally heauier.
TheKelly inAction

Above: Keily, passinga messageby line, clearly


shors tlre/imiled field of fire forwardlor the
quadnple'pompom' that was the vessejbmatn
an ti- aircr aft defence.

-:3C
Allied Destroyers of World War II

'K Clcss Destrouer Leqder


Ht.lS lGlflg
Below: Launched in October 1938, f/MS Kelly was
one of a class which marked a considerable
change in British destroyer design. The tirst
s ingle- funnelled c/ass llus cen tury, the'J',' K' and' I'
F
I cJasses adopled the guns and turrets used in the
big 'Tribak', but mounted on a more easily-built
hull. The six 1 l9-mm (4.7-in) MkXII guns had a
maximum elevationof 40"leaving air delence to
the quadruple 2-pdr 'pompom' abaft the tunnel.
This was a weakness which was to be highlighted
by the loss of several vesse/s, rh cludingKelly. By
the end of the war survivors were to mount up to 10
20-mm cannon, giving a much more etfective air
defence.

:_:
:t1
TheKelly inAction

Again she entered her builder's dock, 27 of led rn sufficient force to deter a landing by sea, Kelly ref urns to action after being torpedoed by
her crew were buried and the Tynesiders got but with superiority in every other department theGermanSchnellboote S.3I.The six months in
down to a virtual rebuild. the enemy chose to come by air, His para- her builders' hands had made her ready once
It was December before Mountbatten again troops fought fanatically with nowhere to re- again, but action around the beleaguered island of
commissioned her. In the meantime he had led treat, but every available warshrp was at sea to Maltawas soon to lead to her final battle.
the Sth Destroyer Flotllla from HMS Javelin. prevent reinforcements arriving. On consecu-
Ttue to form, he tangled with four German tive nights Sth Destroyer Flotilla ships slaught-
destroyers off Plymouth on 28-29 November ered virtually helpless convoys of caiques, but
1940, and two torpedoes from a salvo neatly by day the Luftwaffe was supreme. On 2i May
removed both bow and stern of his ship, To the HMS/uno disappeared within two minutes of I i9 4-mm (4 7-rn) guns on opportunity throwing
javelin, as to theKellybefore, came the enquiry taking a heavy bomb. Next day it was the turn of everything at an enemy who attacked from all
Is Captain (D) alive?' and back went the same HMS Greyhound, together with the cruisers quarters, Wrthrn minutes the Kasfrmir was
reply 'Yes, you are not in command of the Flotil- HMSF4)and HMS Gloucdsler, who had fought broken-backed, her smoke-shrouded hulk
-a yet,' until their AA ammunition was exhausted. barely losing its way before lt was the Kelly's
Sprinq 1941 found a newly worked-up Kelly turn, Turning at fuil speed, she was heeling
and her flotilla at Plymouth. Life was eternally Maleme bombardment when squarely hit aft of amidships. Such was
b:sy but without major event until, in Aprii, On the same grim day the Kel1y arrived from the impact that she did not recover, roiling over
,xey were ordered to Malta, Existence ln the Malta, accompanied by HMS Kashmr HMS onto her beam ends and then capsizing com-
l'rlediterranean was, at that time, precarioust Kelwn, HMS Krplng and HMS/ackal. Together pletely to port, hanging thus for a long 30 mi-
ie Greek campaign had collapsed and, at con- with the Kashm ir and Kpling, she was directed nutes with many of her crew trapped inside
s-derable cost, the navy was evacuating 50,000 to bombard Maleme airfield after dark. Though before sliding under in 1,500 fathoms,
:..DS to Crete. With the Slcllian-based Luft- the last named fell out as a result of mechanical Fortunately, Ihe Kpling had overcome her
-r;aie reducing Malta slowly to dust and enemy trouble, the operatlon began well with the in- mechanical problems and was close enough to
---d iorces tightening their grip on the stgnr- terception and destruction of a pair of heavily- pick up a total of 279 survivors, To the discredit
=:a-..: jslands in the Aegean, the future of both loaded caiques, Unfortunateiy the short, Iate- of the enemy, she was heavily bombed and
lr::e and Malta was looking less than bright, sprrngt night was nearly spent by the time the strafed throughout, several men berng kilted.
-,'r--e:a, naval units were strll working out of British ships' mission was done. Still under attack, she withdrew and success-
S:l:a-ller
and the Sth Destroyer Flotilla formed With the main strength of the fleet recalled fully reached Alexandrra the next day,
!,=:- :: jre Malta strrking force, Force K, that earlier to Alexandria, they were on their own, The loss olthe ships emphasized the varying
--l:l-_i ccntested enemy efforts at convoying Dawn found them barely clear of the island but fortunes of the war at sea, for they had been
s'::-'es from Italy to his armies in North Africa. an early high-level bombing was easrly sunk south of Gavdo Island in the same spot that
-.=:-:::-:g fuom one of these sweeps on 2 May, evaded, This attack was, however, closely fol- saw, less than two months earlier, the opening
:= -r'-=-;r saw her sister destroyer HMS/ersey lowed-up by the dreaded dive-bombers'.24Ju skirmish of the Battle of Matapan, The very next
*-:-=j a:'ie entrance to the Grand Harbour; 87s of I Stukageschwader, operating from day,24 May, saw the fleet stunned by the news
-:-r,:: ircught in, but was a constructive total airfields only minutes away in the Pelopon- of the loss of HMS Hood, far from the warmth of
r:3: nese, approached from astern, Both ships man- the Mediterranean she knew so well, There
i:::: --:e mrddle of May it was apparent that oeuvred violently, with 2-pdrs, I2. 7-mm (0, S-in) were to be many more such reverses before
l:::= = -::-e had come. The Royal Navy patrol- machine-guns, 20-mm cannon and even the flnal victory was achieved,

-::,-
AIIied Destroyers of World War II
>K lb',o'Z' class d.estroyers IIMS Saumarezisshown assite was
while escorting Arctic convoYs in
l I 943. Present at D-D ay, she led
4> Destroyer Flotilla 26 in theHagvo
-t- action, andwas mined bYAlbaniain
IT the Corfu Channel in the Year dter
ii thewar.
,q

',',
ar emergency proqrammes Pro-
:':ced ll2 fleet destroyers, but onlY
':lougrh a great degree of standardlza-
:on and reduction of minimum Peace-
:-me standards. Two so-called 'in-
:emediate' classes, the 'O' class and
P class, came flrst, with eight units
:plece, These were 1,S40-tonners
-rhrchwere influenced by the thinking
:at produced the 'Hunt' class escort
jestroyers, being for the most Part
armed only with 102-mm (4-tn) quns.
,As the modern twin HA mountings
-lere not immediately available, obso-
lete single mountings were used. Four
cf the 'O' class were fitted for mine-
laying, and war losses were five P'
class ships.
With the 'Q' class came the first of a
long line of standard groups, whose
l,705ton design was heavily based on
the successful 'J' class with the latter's
expensive and heavy twin 119,4-mm
(4,7-in) qun mountings replaced by
singles. Further savinqs in topweiqht
were made by revertlng to quadruple Developed from
and 'Co' names. ManY war emerQlen- Dimensions: 109.19 m (358.25 ft); beam HMS Zebra in I 945.
torpedo tubes, The retum to the I 19.4-
mm (4.7-in) gmn may have been de- cies were built of poor materials and 10,87 m(35.66 ft); drauqht2,9 m(9.5 ft) the'J' class, with similar machinery in
had short lives, but others went on to Propulsion: two sets of geared steam a sm aller hull, the w ar emer gencY
clded by the growing availability of the
be rebuilt into Type 15 and 16 frtgates turbines delivering 29828 kW classes were produced in large
excellent 20-mm Oerlikon, Of the eiqht
units two beCame war losses. which acted as a link with frigate- (40,000 shp) to two shafts number' and to alargelY standard
domrnated fleets oi today, Performance: maximum speed de sign. HMS Zebra w as arme d with
As the 'Q' class was well received,
36.5 kts; endurance 8690 kTn (5,400 the new 1 I 4-mm (4.5 -in) gun.
the eight 'R' class destroyers were
almost rdentical except for the quarter- Specification miles) at 20 kts
'Q'class (as built) Armament: four sinqle I 19.4-mm (4.7- ftvo quadruple 533-mm (21-in) torpedo
urg of officers and crew both forward
Displacement: 1, 705 (leader 1,725) tons in), one quadruple 2-pdr'pompom' tube mountlngs
and aft. Though the arrangement was
:o lacrlitate comtng to acllon stallons standard and 2,425 tons full load and three twin 20-mm AA quns, and Complement: 175

{respective of weather conditions, it


-was not judged to be successful. None
:f the class was lost,
With the 'S' class (also eight ships)
same a modification to the forward
hnes to reduce spray wetness that had
produced complaint as far back as the
j class. They were also first with 40-
mm Bofors gnrns and a full complement
cf Oerlikons, in addition to the main
battery havrng an improved elevation
or AA purposes, TVro of the class were
-tcar losses,
Radar and other antennae prolifer-
ated to the point where the standard
,ripod mast was subject to severe
stress and vibration so,with the eight-
strong'T' class, the lattice mast was
rntroducedt one 'V' class unit was lost,
'U, 'V' and 'W' classes, each of eight
ships, followed to the same desiqn, the
erqhlstrong'Z' class then arriving with
the 114.3-mm (4,5-rn) gun, desPite
much expert opimon still favouring a
more AA-orientated armament. Final-
ly came lhe fouT e.ght-shlp groups ol
'C' class desrroyers. wtth 'Ca 'Ch'. Cr"

HM,S Raider js sh
own as Patt of the
group of an escort carrier in East
Indian waters in earlY I 945. Among
the most stable of destroyers, the 'Q'
and 'R' classes were the first to have a
fransom stern. Raider becam e.ilV.S
Rajput in the I ndian N avY, to which
she transferred in I 949.
DK Tribal'classdestroyers ,--
:
I
-1
Quite unlike any previous British
r! destroyer design, the'Tribals' were
an answer to heavily-armed
contemporaries sucl as ffie
J apanese' Fubuki' c/ass. Superb sea
boats, the'Tribals'were always in
the thick of the action, losing 12 out of
the l6 built.

=-=--i'-P

-:::,::-;r::e finest destroyers ever built house but this, fortunately, was aban- Royal.Canadran Navy (eight ships), Matabele, HMS Mohawk, HMS jVu-
::: -:: i-:ya1 Navy, the 16'Tribal'ciass doned rn favour of a quadrupie 'pom- Not- bjan, HMS Somafi and HMS Zartar.
and all saw a great deal of action,
::-!-i -ppear, nevertheless, to have pom'. Even so, flve of their number able exploits rnclude the 'Altnarkincr-
:e=-=- p::irced as an answer to those were sunk by aircraft attack. dent', where HMS Cossack rescued a Specification
::-:.::-illr by potential enemies By any standards they were magnr- large number of British merchant sea- ,Tribal'class (as built)
:r--:-:: -:ar to flll any clearly identi- frcent-looking ships, their nicely- men from inside Norwegian terrrtorial Displacemeni: i,BZOionsstandardand
:- .= :: l: n the lleet, T he lono series balanced profile in harmony with the waters just before the German inva- 1 gTstonsfullload
:: 1::--- then culminating in'the 't' hrgh-freeboard hull rhal was intro- sron, an*the harryingr of the Bismarck Dimensions: length t tS, t m (377,S ft);
-'::,r;--3a been armed with four single duced 1o rmprove therr fighting qual- by four 'Tribals' and a polish destroyer beam 1 t. t3 m (35 S ft); dia;dhrr,.T4m
- - : {-=:r (4.7-in) qnrns and, in order to ruies in poor weather. Wartrme mod- the whole night before her sinking.
,;::: '-lese to twin mountrngs, the tfications included the exchange of 'X'
!r
Of those lost, HMSSr'kft and HMSZu,ru
(9 ft)
propulsion:twosetsof gearedsteam
-:;af needed a 36 per cent increase mounting for a more useful twin 102- were sunk when a commando raid twbinesdehverinq328'llkW
-: s:=jard tonnage yet, desptte hav- mm (4-in) HA mounting, and the sup- near Tobruk.went badly wrong, and (44,000shp)totwo;hafts
,:-; ::r-,'cneset of torpedO tubes, were pressron of the mainmdsr to rmprove HMS Punl'abi sunk in coirisron with the performance: maximum speed 36 kts;
::-e-sxth 10nger. They were seen firing arcs, The class was launched in battleship HMS George V, endurance tOS4l tmtq-S5'b;,t"g;i"
-r:
- ;-::-a:ned'super-destroyers', and 1937, but only four of the 16 were still senously damaged.Krng.
the latrer in turn lS kts
-:::: -,'.'as much drsagreement over
afloat at the end of 1942 and these all when her fJJl outflt of depth charqes Armament:fourtwin I1g,4-mm(4,7_in)
::-:-l :lrrect classification, Indeed, eventually received lattice masts that exploded. he other units were HMS and one quadruple 2-pdr'pompom'
'1
::-= :as:!ng of the original design had did nothing for their appearance.
:::;i=d for a fifth gmnhouse on the 'Tribals'were built also for the Royal f-{rj$_HlllS Ashanti, HMS.Bedo-ul4 gn ns, andonequaAruffedS:_mm(21_
H-MS_Eskjmo HMS Gurkfia, HMS rn)torpedotubemounting
,::,';=: j stde of the larger after deck- Australian Navy (three ships) and Mashona, HMS Maorj, HMS Cirmpiement: l9O
'Tribal'class (1940) cutaway drawing key
T Aftnavaatonloht 27 Ofiicers'cabns 50 Wireless aerials
2 Tw n 1 1"9-mm (4.7rnJouns 2B Upperammunition 51 Foremast
3 Blast scr-.en handlino area 52 Spottingtop/lookour
4 Steering compartment 29 GunnBi'soflice 53 CombinedRFandAA
5 Provision room 30 Sheli room control
6 Ammunltion hoist 31 I Tg mm{4.7rn)maoazine 54 Directorcontrol
7 Waterl ne Jz 5nto soTTrcp 55 Bridge
I Balanced rudder 33 Torpedostore 56 Compassplatform
I Twin screws 34 Engineeroff icer's cabin 57 Signalplatform
10 Shaft 35 Oi fueltanks 58 20-insearchliqht
T 1 Wardroom 36 Gearino room 59 Pom-Pomdirector
12 Store 37 i\.4ain circulatlng inlet 60 CO'sseacabln
13 CO's bathroom 38 Eng ne room 61 Asdic room
T 4 CO's sleepino cabin 39 Torpedotubeturntab e 62 Wheelhouse
15 CO's day cabrn machinery space 63 Remotecontrolstation
16 CO's pantry 40 Reservefeedtanks 64 Charthouse
l7 Sickbay 41 Doublebottom 65 Drying room
1B Engtneersworkshop 42 No.1 boilerroom 66 Galley
1 9 Af t superstructure deck 43 No.2boierroom 67 PO's scullery
20 Marnmast 44 No.3 boilerroom 68 Enqineer'soffice
2l 40-in searchl oht 45 Funnel casing 69 Crewmess
22 SearchliqhtpEtform 46 Torpedo handl nq crane
23 Venti ator 47 7 62-m,25 ft)motortaunch
24 2-pdrMk4PomPom 48 8.22-m (27'ft)wha er
25 Upperdeck 49 Boilerroomvent
26 2linquadrupletorpedo

f-x;'e: HMS Zuhtis shown


na:euvring to transfer a sick crew
-= e-=iler a I sea. Sft e has her engthes
fi astern and fias come lo a stop, the
ra::ng s c:rews thrusting turbulent
r=ier {orward toward the bow.
Developmerfs
of WortdWar il
Where virtually all Allied destroyers at the beginning of the war were cast in the
traditional gun/torpedo mould the various theatres soon forced evolutionary
changes.
ln the North Atlantic. the Brltish used older destroyers extensively on convoy
escort duty. For thls their gun and torpedo armament was far too comprehen-
sive and wbs reduced in favour of bettbr means of stowing and delivering depth
charges on a scale unconsidered in peacetime. Most had been fitted with asdic
(lateicalled sonar), but the performance of this system had been overestimated.
Its limitations were a naTrow beam and an inability to cope with the initial
German submarine tactic of night attacks on the surface. The first was gradually
overcome by the developmeni of ahead-throwing weapons such as the Hedge-
nog and later the Squid, and the latter by the introduction of radar. A t sea, the w ar emer g ency gener al- pu r p os e de s troyer H M S Onslow con tras s
Designed for optirirum performance over comparatively short periods athigh strongly with the large pre-war fleet destroyer HM,S Ashart| War experienc-e
speeds, these destroyers were overpowered for convoy duty and sullered from showed that theseweretar tooheavily armed for most destroyerpurpose-<.
poor endurance. Some exchanged boiler capacity for extra bunkerage. Allwere except in the vital area of anti- aircraft weaponry.
iively and wet, failings which over several days fatlgued a crew and reduced its
efficiency. Their shortcomings on this essential duty were such as to promote their production capacity, the Americans were able to supply and f it cor:,=- =--
the rapid development of specialist frigates, ships both cheap and capacious, sive batteries of 40-mm and 20-mm weapons long before the British. ir:
: ==-
fast enough yet long-legged, designed around a weapon and sensor fit that had arcs of f ire required for these resulled in the suppressron of all high f ixtu'e: =:
tarqely to be draIted onto a destroyer. the funnels. "-
fn the Mediterranean, the British experience roughly paralleled tnat of the With the advent of the kamikaze came the need not only to shoot tne : ::'.
.

Americans in the Pacific. ln these theatres the destroyer more often worked in down but also to disintegrate it, stimulating design of an automat; cl62--'-
(3-in) gun. This weapon was developed successf ully, but too late to be c= -== -
conjunction with fleet concentrations of various sizes against other suriace
elements in the context of an ever-present threat from aircraft. For this, the the war. destroyers receiving it in later updates. Another offshoot of i:: ',-
-

standard armament was largely satisfactory and the pressure for change corres- kazemenace was the need to detect approaching air strikes. Arr sr.r..,: :-::
pondingly less. All, but part'lcularly the British. found themselves inadequa,tely radars were rapidly improved, altering the profile of the destroyers:" :-:
armed to meet air attack. At best they had a quadruple 2-pdr 'pompom', often mounting of their heavy antennae on a lattice mast amldships. For nl., --'--
machine-guns only. lnitially. the main battery 119.4-mm (4.7-in) gun had eleva- advance warnlng, these destroyers would be thrown forward as pic<e:s =-:
tions of ohly 3o', but even when later increased to 55" they could scarcely be themselves, became targets of an enemy intent on 'rolling back' the :='=- -=
regarded as dual-purpose weapons. Only with the 'Battle'and 'Weapon' classes perimeter. The weight of a growing amount of gadgetry aloft becan e . - . -'
problem in some classes, which collected a considerable amount of b:
did the Royal Navy get destroyers with true dual-purpose main armament and
the hull to counteract it, doinq nothing for performance.
"-: -
stabilized, iadar-laid-AA weapons capable of tackling the problem. By virtue of

Righ t : H MS Bedorin le aves a lone ly


I celand fj ord in 1 942, ready to make
the longhaul north toMurmanskon
the Soviet convoy route. Being such
capable ships, the'Tribals' were
used hard, and suffered accordingly.

70 Signal deck 76 Transmitting station


71 Torpedostore 77 Crewspace
72 Toilets 7B Forecastledeck
73 CPO'swashroom 79 Paintroom
74 Potatostore 80 Capstan
75 Canteen 81 Anchor
82 Bow
83 Breakwater
84 Cableroom
B5 Dry stores/provisions
86 Asdicoffice
87 Lowerdeck
BB Hold
Bg Generating room
90 Dieseltank
91 Keel
92 Forefoot
93 Siqnaloffice
94 Admiralty drum boiler
>K liattle' classdestroyer
-,:s they served until the comparatrvely
recent past, the 'Battle' class des-
-ioyers may not be thouqht of as war-
:urh bur in fact, they had their genesis
about the time of Matapan when the
Royal Navy was still desperately seek-
ing ways of combattrng the aerial
ihreat so totally underestimated in the
1930s. Hard experience showed that
the dive-bomber needed to be coun-
tered by plenty of metal yet, while the
'pompom' was an excellent weapon,
main battery guns were capable of
only 40" or 55" maxrmum elevation. The
speciflcation for the new destroyer
called for 85'and a high rate offrre, the
ship herself to be stabilized for higher
accuracies and designed for rapid
rudder response. By the time that the
specification had been finalized there
was also a Pacrfic war to be taken into
account, together with the hard fact
that the ships might not be completed
rn time to be ol any use
The overall result was a very large
shrp wrth considerable endurance and
twinned gun houses, controversially
both sited forward. A srngle 102-mm
(4-in) qLrn was added abaft the stack
but was really good for little more than
firing illuminants, The large after struc-
ture supponed two twin 40-mm mount-
rngrs which had their own directors and
were fully stabrlized, so active flns Designed with the early lessons of Specification Propulsion: two sets ofgeared steam
were not, in the event, incorporated thewarvery much inmind, the 'Battle'(I943 type) class (as built) turbines dehvering 37285 kW
into the hull, A prominent feature was ?atfle'cJass destroyers were the first Dispiacementl 2,380 tons standard and (50,000 shp) to two shafts
the Mk 6'greenhouse' director control British destroyers to have a main 3,290 tons full load Performance: maxirnum speed
ior the main armament, with the twtn armament of 8 5' elevation, together Dimensions:length 115,52 m (379 it); 35,5 kts; endurance 8047 krn (5,000
nacelles of the Amencan-built Type with radar direction. This gave a beam 12,26 m (40.22 ft); drausht 3.28 m miles) at 20 kts
275 radar, Riqht aft, the inrtral large re ally eff e ctive anti- air cr aft (i0:75 in) Armament:two twin and one single
outfits of depth charqes were soon su- armament, when added to the six 40- i 14,3-mm (4.S-in) DP plus two hvin and
perseded by the ahead-firing Squid mm weapons also mounted. two single 40-mm AA gnrns, and two
mofiar. quintuple 533-mm (21-in) torpedo tube
Sixteen of these ships, the '1942' from eight to l0 (no doubt as a result of mountinqs
type, were ordered, followed by three lessons from Japanese expertise) and Complement:232
eight-ship flotillas of a modified'1943' the gn-rnnery radar was revamped into
t1pe, In these latter the undersized a new-style Mk 37 tower, These very large destroyers were
mam battery was increased by the In the event, only a handful of 'Bat- optimized for sewice in the Pacific,
substitution of an extra 114,3-mm (4.5- tles' were flnished before the war's with long range and powertul
in) for the amidships 102-mm (4-rn) end and, while 24 were eventually amament. T he unu sual weapon
gmn, the torpedo tubes were increased completed, 16 hulls were dismantled. Iayout can be seen, all main guns
forward and light AA concentrated

I
ut$-.,=

ffi iw""pon' classdestroyer


Hard wartime experience had ex- ters a full outfit of torpedo tubes had logical, its i4-kq (31-lb) projectile by available building berths. A third
posed the hmitations of fleet des- become superfluous, but this was not enabling fast hand-working even up to planned mounting was, therefore,
troyers as anti-submarrne platforms. yet true of the Far Eastern theatre. It the maximum elevation of BO'. Only two abandoned in favour of the newly-
Nevertheless, the fleet still required a was these changed prrorrtres which twtn mountings couid be shipped, rntroduced three-barrel Squid anti-
fast anti-submarine screen ofships that dominated the desiqn of the 'Weapon' however, as the hull length was Imited submanne mortars, which could be
could not only protect themselves but class destroyers, whose departure
also contribute to the AA defences of a
task grroup, allowrng the carrier's air-
from the accepted idea of destroyers
was radical enough to attract a large
t
_l_
sited either forward or aft, Close-rn AA
protection was afforded, as in the 'Bat-
tles', by two twin stabilized 40-mm
c
craft complement to be devoted to the measure of oiten unlair criticism. ,ll mountings aft, with singles flanking the
qEeatest extent to offensive, rather than The choice of the high-angle 102- ii, bridge structure. Wlth an eye to
defensive operations. In European wa- mm (4-in) gun for the,main battery was Pacific operations, two qurntuple tor-
pedo tube banks'were fitted, though
C om plementing the he avily AAW - this was at a ilme when American con-
armed' Battle' class destroyers, the temporaries were havinq to shed
'Weapon' class vessels were
desrgrned as fleet ASW escorts.
.l' r"*
--*' *
1 *
fiEtl]ia^'-.r*r-:

I 636
'Weapon' class (continued) AIIied Destroyers of World War II
:;bes in favour of enhanced AA arma- the end of hostilitres saw them cancel- that appeared to particularly offend Propulsion: lwo sets of gearei s:==::.
nent, In a torpedo attack against sur- Ied. The iour comple-ed shrps were critics turbines delivenng 29828 kW
:ace targets, unsupported'Weapons' HMS Baff]eaxe, HMS Broadsword, (40,000 shp) to two shafts
-.';ould have suffered badly with their HMS Crossbow and HMS Scorpion. Specification Performance: maxLmum speed 35 ks
small-calibre main battery, and to red- To improve damage control, the 'Weapon' class (asbuilt) Armament: two rwin 102-mm i4-r:, ll
less this deflcrency, a follow-on 'G' boiler and machinery spaces were Displacement: 1,980 tons standard and plus two twin and two sinqle 40-mn-:j-
class of eight ships was planned large- sited alternately, requiring two fun- 2,825 tons full load gruns, andtwo quintuple 533-mm (2 --
--,'simrlar but with twin I14,3-mm (4.5- nels, It was the supporting of the for- Dimensions: Iength 1i 1,2 m (365 ft); in) torpedo tube mountinqs
,r) dual-purpose mountinqs. Like all ward funnel within the lattice foremast beam l1 58 m(38 ft); draught3.2 m Complement: 255
lut four of the 20 'Weapons, however, (copied also in the following'Darings;) (r0 5 ft)

fS li" i'"n and'Mogador'class destroyers, i


These fine ships were called
destroyers, but in reality s traddled
"sque'class _
!.
' iil.
_,.;",lij
the line between large destroyers
and light cruisers. Although not as
long-ranged as a cruiser, they could
stillmake 4,000 nautical miles at l5
knots, or 840 nautical miles at an
inqredible sustained 43 knots.
l

lhe 'le Fantasque' class was the 'Aigle'class and'Vauquelin' class troyers pushed the specification furth- Le Fantasque as she appeared after
penultimate class of a senes that set eEoup. It was from these that the 'le er, their 137.4-m (451-ft) hulls carryrng her 1 9 39 refit. This fine- looking
iew destroyer standards at the lop Fantasques' were derived. I'Auda- eight 138,6-mm (5.5-in) en-rns and 10 vessel typified the kind of'super
yet which had little real influence cieux, le Fantasque, le Malin, le tubes, Although still very much super- destroyer' arising out of Franco-
=nd', Terrible, le Triomphant and I'ln-
ln construction abroad as they stem- destroyers in concept and appear- Italian naval rivalry in the
ned largely from naval rivalry with the domptable. ance, they resulted duectly in the lta- Mediterranean.
l:alians, These sx destroyers were magnl- lian 'Capitani Romani' which, whrte
It was with the three 'Leone' class ficent-looking ships with an imposing havinq very similar major parameters,
snips of 1921-2 that the ltalians first freeboard and an extra 3 m (9.84 ft) in were more scout cruisers in approach. Displacement: 2,570 tons standard and
s:imulated the French, who replied overall length that allowed for a ffih Both latter gnoups of French des- 3,350 tons fulIload
-,.nth the sx 'Chacal' class destroyers, gnrn and three tnple sets of torpedo troyers were, in fact, Iater to be termed Dimensionsr length i32,4 m (434.4 ft);
srgmflcantly with similar names. The tubes. The four boilers were split into 'light cruisers' but therr odginal label of beam 12,35 m (40,52 ft) draughi 5.0 m
already impressive 37285 kW two pairs, separated by a machrnery contretorpilleur better defined thetr (r6,4 fD
30,000 shp) of these shtps was in- space and with a squat funnel exhaust- primary task in breaking up enemy Propulsion: two sets ofgreared steam
:reased to 47725 kW (64,000shp) in inq each pair, Officially their installed destroyer attacks, turbines delivering 55 182 kW
.re six 'Gu6pard' class ships of 1927, power was 55182 kW (74,000 shp), but Half-a-dozen of them suwived the (74,000 shp) to two shafts
-he larger number of boilers produc- this would appear to have been ex- wastaQle of war and, well modifled, Performance: designed speed 37 kts
-lg aiso a superbly imposing four- ceeded by at least l0 per cent, for all went on to serve the French fleet Armament: five single 138,6-mm (5.46-
--,mnel profile. The Italians answered could produce 43 kts on occasion and, through ro the 1950s, in) and two twin 37-mm AA guns, and
.'rith the 12 1,950{on 'Naviqatori' but, more importantly, could maintain 37 three triple 550-mm (21.65-in) torpedo
by the completion of these in 1931, the kts in a seaway. Specification tubemountings
Irench had embarked on the l2-ship Only the two 'Mogador' class des- 'le Fantasque'class (as built) Complement:210

Lt)Jl
Sink fhe Ffagwro!
On the face of it, one of themosl search at this time by iour Grumman Avengers
radar conditrons and, at 22.40, the Tenus de-
lected a target at nearly 64-km (40-mrle) range;
powerful heavy cruisers everbuilt found, noi lhe Haguro, but the transport return- it bore north east and a plot determined its
versas five small destroyerswould be no ing lrom the Nicobars, They attacked it unsuc- course to be south east, It was the Haguro
contest - but in May tr 945 reality proved cessfully, following which two had to 'ditch', which, having abandoned the attempt to get to
Still without a frx on his primary target, Power Port Blair, was makrng for Singapore.
verydifferent. pressed on in the direction of the transport's Povrer's tactics had been rehearsed on many
At local time on 10 May 1945, the Brrtrsh
16 40 reported position. At 10.41 hovrever, came a earlier occasions and each commander knew
submarine HMS Subfle sighted a 'Nachi-class signal from the commander-in-chief Ceylon to whal was expec:ed oi hrm,
cruiser' with a destroyer and two smaller Walker, repeated to Power, to abandon the The flotrlla overtook its target, no more than
escorts in the narrows of the Malacca Strait, operation as the Haguro was no longer con- 22 5 km ( 14 miles) wide to starboard of its track,
between Malaya and the island ol Sumatra. srdered a threat to wider activities in the Bay of then hookeC to the northward in a curved line
They were proceeding north westward at Bengal. A true destroyer man, Power decided abeam, the aim berng to pinpoint the target,
about 17 kts but, though the Subile and two that Ceylorr could not be rn full receipt of the envelop it and attack from each quarter.
sisters were in theory blocking the strait, a facts and queried the stgnal, This was a time-
combination of shallow waters, fast tidal flow consuminq process involving the messages Destroyers detected
and zigzagging of the target conspired to de- being relayed and, pending clarification, the At 00 45 on 16 May lhe Haguro, with the
feat the submarines' efforts to close, and a 26th Destroyer ]'lotilla held its course, Kamikaze on her port quarter, was 16 km (10
sighiing report was transmitted. Thrs Nelsonian approach was vindicated miles) drstant from the centre of the Britrsh hne
The Sublle's report had been accurate, for rvhen a further Avenger, rn fixing the transport, and closing when her radar detected the des-
the cruiser was the Haguro which, accompa- sighted also lhe Haguro and her destroyer run- troyers. She manoeuvred as if unsure of their
nied by the desiroyer Kamikaze and two patrol ning north out of the strait at easy speed, Again rdentity (they were approaching from the un-
shrps, had left Singapore the day before, bound she reversed course on beinq srghted but Pow- like1y drrection of Singapore) but then, wrth
fcr Port Blarr in the Andamans. Her mission was er held on, The time was approaching noon sudden resolve, reversed course, At this stage
to evacuate the garrison. In the Pacific islands, and a dive-bombing attack by Avengers at only the Tenus had worked behrnd the target
thrs would probably have been undertaken by near maxrmum range again had no effect, It and now found herself on its port bow. Whiie
the 'Tokyo Express' or a Daihatsu barge ser- was up to the destroyers. Power's other destroyers bent on speed to
vice, but the Andamans lay a hard days' steam- In the early afternoon they doubled the overtake, the i/enus crossed the Haguro's
ing over open sea. nortlrerly tip of Sumatra and entered the strait bows to attack from a forward bearing to star
On the strength of an earlier intelligence at 27 kts. The weather was hot and sunny with board, misseci her chance and had to make a
report a powerful Allied force had already left vast banks of tropical cumulus burlding omr raprd 300' turn to port to disengage. The
Colombo to intercept lhe Haguro. Under the nously over the land, Throughout the afternoon Japanese, however, apparently assumed that
command of Vice Admrral H.T.C. Walter, rt reconnaissance reports told of the Haguro's torpedoes had been launched and again re-
included the battleships HMS Queen Eltzal:eth leisurely proqress southwards, alert apparent- versed course but sti1l without opening flre.
and the FrenchRrcieleu, the Dutch destroyer ly only to air attack. Power needed to make Power's four destroyers were now closing
Tromp and four escort carriers. On the day contact before dark yet daied not attack his through the velvet darkness at a relative speed
following the Sublle's report, however, this powerful opponent by day. of over 50 kts. Any misunderstandings were
force was srghted by a Japanese reconnaiss- At 16 40 the five destroyers were reorga resolved as the Saumarez passed Ihe Kami
ance aircraft and the alerted Haguro turned nized onto a line of bearing with the Saumarez kaze on a reciprocal course and raked her at
back, passrng the British submarine line, the at the centre, This meant that, although in visual close range wrth both main armament and
persistent SublJe getting a good depth charg- contacr, they coutd search a broad swathe of automatrc fire,
ing from Ihe Kamikaze for her troubie. the strait, The afternoon turned to short troplcal It was just after 01,30 and both srdes fired
The Haguro then dawdled, awaiting the out- dusk, the cloud moving off the land and the starshell. The Saumarez was bathed by the
come of a planned airstrike on the British force, oncoming humid darkness becoming shot with greenish glare at only 2745 m (3,000 yards)
Thrs did not materialize but, desprte the British flickers ol lightnrng, from the Haguro, which opened a brisk f,re.
presence west of Sumatra, an escorred The face of ihe waters was rncreasingly The destroyer was soon hrt rn a boiier room but
Japanese transport succeeded ln running from lashed by heavy showers, rdeal destroyer skidded round in a trght turn to port and laun-
Penang to the Nicobars only 320 km (200 miles) weaLher, particularly with the superior Britrsh ched a full outfit of torpedoes, Almost simul-
lo the south of Port Blair. Encouraged, the qiunnery radars, taneously lhe Verulam was attacking from the
Haguro set ofl again on 14 May and, wrth all but At a relaxed state of readrness. the des- adjacent quadrant, unopposed as a result ofthe
one oithe submarines now withdrawn, entered troyers were steering roughly ESE with the Japanese,pieoccupation with lhe Saumarez.
the Andaman Sea unchallenged, Though sus- Tenus the most northerly ship, the remainder
pecling the movement, Walker had no defimte strung out on a line ofbeanng on her starboard
inlormation and, in the early hours ol 15 May, bow. The thundery weather rnade for freak
detached the 26th Destroyer Flotilla, under
Captam Manley Power, to w-ork along the
Haguro's estimated track pendir.lg an air Speedingsoufh to the f a tal
search. encaunte\ the 26th Destroyer
Power's ship was HMS Saumarez, and she F lotilla spread out.to cover the
1ffas accompanied by four of her 'V' class sis- maximum amount o{ the Strait
of Malacca. The wealher was'
ters, HMS Venus, Verulam, Virago and Volage. typic ally tr op ic al, with
Let off the leash, they were in sight of the frequ ent thunde r show ers.
northern trp of Sumatra by daybreak. An air

si':, f,,
Allied Destroyers of World War II
The now violently manoeuvring cruiser was hit
forward by three torpedoes. Her forward
armament went silent and she began to 1ist,
oniy to be hit by one, possibly two, further
iorpedoes in the machinery spaces,
For 10 minutes the Haguro was teased by
destroyer gnrnfire from various directions until,
seizing their chance, the Venus andVirago ran
n from both starboard quadrants, launching I I
:orpedoes between them. There were three
ikely hits but the return fire was now only
sporadic and under iocal control, On the
:laguro's bridge most of her senior offlcers lay
siaughtered by a direct hit from a 119.4-mm
.4 7-rn) shel].
Only the Volage had now not attacked, and
;ras directed at 01.50 to finish off the hulk of the
:ruiser now lying deep, listing and burning aft,
ir a range of only 1.6 km (l mile), every torpe-
jc missed and it fell to the Tenus with just two
:emainrng to sink her, At 02.06 the Haguro went
icwn, some 72 km (45 miles) south west of
?enang.
The jubilant destroyers retrred almost im-
but the Kamikaze iater returned to
=ediately,
:etrieve 400 suwivors from the dark waters. Of
re British flotllla only Saumarez had been
:amaged, suffering two dead, In the words oi
ilmlral Lord Mountbatten, the supreme com-
:rander in South East Asia, it had been 'an
:'.:tstanding example of a night attaCk by des-
lcyers' s

-- -,--1* #-*
"i*"

in tfi llfs Saumats ft ad rcrked lis


exercises enablnlr thst to deal
rr@€gi,gt ttis1.a€& ai,:+ nras 5
*€'203-Eit {8-ts)gtassfEaggoa
m'iiolrr"rque' class,'l'Adroit' class and'le Hardi' class destroyers
Corresponding to British fleet des- Even before the completion of the more torpedo tubes and, more rmpor- completed by both the Germans and
troyers, the French torpilleurs d'es- 'Bourrasques' in the first of 14
1928, tantly, had improved endurance. The Itahans, serving without much note,
cadre ranked between the light 1,389-ton'l'Adroit' class destroyers ships were the Casguq le Corsaire,
'Medrterranean' boats and the super were being constructed to an im- Ep6e, Ie Flibustier, Fleuret, Ie Hardi, Specification
destroyers, By 1940 there were 34 in proved design, Marginally larger in Lansquenet, M ameluck, I'Aventurier, 'l'Adroit' class (as built)
commission, of three separate classes. both dimensions and displacement, l'lntrepide, I'Opiniitre and Ie T6m6r- Displacement: 1,378 tors standard and
Of these the l,32O.ton 'Bourrasque' slightly hlgher powered and faster, ate, 1,900 tons full load
class dated from the 1922 prognamme. they retained the individual funnel The pattem of losses amonq the Dimensions:length 107,2 m (351,7 ft);
Named after winds, these 12 ships had arangement, The shipswere ['Adroit, medium-srzed French destroyers re- beam 9.8 m (32.2 ft); draught 4,3 m
an unusual funnel arrangement, one for l'Alcyon, Basque, Bordelais, Boulon- flected the divided nature of their (14. I ft)
each of three boilers, unequally nais, Bresfois, Forbin, le Fortun6, country's loyalties. Of the 'Bourras- Propulsion: two sets ofgeared steam
spaced and of unequal height as they F gudroyant, F ougueux, Frondeur, le ques', Dunkirk accounted for four, turbines delivering 24980 kW
had to be cut down as a stabilrty mea- Mars, la Palme and la Railleuse. three more were lost when the British (33,500 shp) to two shafts
swe soon after completlon, Even so, Completion of this second group in landed at Oran in 1942 and another Performance: maxrmum speed 33 }cts;
wrth four 130-mm (5, l-in) gmns and only 1931 was followed by a flve-year 'holt- was scuttled at Toulon. In the case of endurance 2 125 km ( 1,320 miles) at
srx torpedo tubes, they were still quite day', construction being resumed wilh the l'Adroits', two were lost to German 15 kts
modestly armed in comparrson with, the planned l2-strong'le Hardi' class, action at Dunkirk, four more through Afinament: foru sinqle 130-mm (5.1-in)
for example, a later American 'Grid- though these were more scaled-down Allied action at Casablanca in 1942 and andone 75-mm (2.95-in) AAeuns, and
ley', which had 16 tubes on a hull of 'contretorpilleurs' than related to the three were scuttled at Toulon, Of the two triple 550-mm (21,65-in) torpedo
very simllar dimensions. The ships 'IAdroits', Much larger at 1,770 tons 'le Hardis', only the leadship was ready tubemountings
were the Bourrasque, Cyclone, Mis- standard, they carried half as many in time to be of use, but was Vichy- Complement: 140
tral, Orage, Ouragan, Simoun, Siroc- guns agrain in twinned mountings, manned at Dakar. Later units were
co, Tempdte, Tornade, Tramontane,
Trombe andTTphon.

I mproved versions of Bourrasque, tft e


first French destroyer desigm after
J 9J 8, l'Adroit an d her sisters were
completed in the late I 920s. She was
sunk off Dunkerque in M ay I 9 40.

THENETHERLANDS
E

-J'Tromp'classdestroyer
The Tromp and her Jacob van The Tromp was completed in Au-
stster
Heeinskerck of the'Tromp' class were gust 1938, the same builders im-
interesting in being more 'pocket mediately layinq down her sister. At
cruisers' than destroyers and demons- the invasion of 1940 the latter came to
toates how, at the top of the size scale, the UK for completion with a very diffe-
the distinction between the two could rent armament. A stir was caused in
be less than clear cut. They both pos- British naval cucles by the advanced
sessed that quality of solid angularity Hazemeyer fue control for the AA
that belied their small size and which armament; even the i50-mm (5.9-in)
was typical of Dutch practice. The main battery could be elevated to 60",
French 'le Fantasques'were as large Another interestrnq feature was ligtht
as the 'Tromps', but the latters' arma- honzontal and vertical protection,
ment equalled that of the planned Ger- Though flnding herself part of the
man Spahl<reuzer (scout cruiser) con- hard pressed ABDA force at the open-
cept; they were also desiqned to carry ing of the war with Japan, the Tromp
more torpedoes than many destroyers, escaped after being extensively dam- Specification Seen rn J 938, Tromp was an
but what really set them apart was aged drsputing the rnvasion of Bali, She Tromp (asdesigned) interesting desigm which could
thelr lack of speed, Even so, their ex- was sent to Australia for repairs,the Displacement: 4,200 tons standard and almost equally be called a light
cellent seakeeprng enabled them to lengthy nature of which were her 4,900 tons full load crurieras a destroyer. Main
maintain their modest 32.5 kts long af- salvation, for she re-entered service in Dimensions: lenglh 131.91 m armament of six I 30-mm (5.9-in)
ter 'faster' ships had been obliged to time for the new Allied naval build-up (432,78 ft); beam 12,41 mAA,?Zft), guns also put her into the light
ease back, in the Far Egst During the counter- drausht 5,41 m (17,75 ft) cruiser class.
The pair had true destroyer ances- offensive she took part in operations Propulsion: two sets ofqreared steam
|ry, being planned as leaders, Their against Sabang and Balikpapan in turbines delivering 41759 kW Performance: maximum speed 32. 5 kts
desrgn was enlarged, however, and Borneo. (56,000 shp) to two shafts Armament: three twin 150-mm (5.9-in),
welding and aluminium were em- i four srngle 75-mm (2,95-1n) AA plus hvo
ployed extensively to save weight. An Tromp escaped the capitulation of !. twrn and foursingle 40-mmAA guns,
interesting reflection on their use in lhe Neffterlands to s ewe with the and a fit oftorpedo tubes (not fltted
the vast Dutch East Indies was the in- Allies, with whom she saw extensive 7 eventually)
corporation of a Fokker seaplane and action. Damaged in the Far East, sft e i Armour: deck 35 mm (1.38 in); belt
facilities. Tfese would also have been survived to form the nucleus of the 25 mm (0,98 in)
included on the 'Callenburgh' class Netherlandsnavypost-waL il not stated
destroyers had they ever been built as
planned.
#.
;'G

640
Armed Forces of the World

is z,a
Fart 4 rrs
The Royal Marines
The Royal Marines compr s: .'=: - :''- --- :'- -10
:ff icers and men with a rese-. . '-' .' --.- -' : , - n
-
1984 the corps had the fo : -. -- : - :--. :3.
3rd Commando Br'gac= - -
Nos 40, 42 and 45 ic ,. '.' ." = - ,'"- .':.
Groups
29th Com'nando Reg .' - :
mm/4.13-in Light Guns
C)t '- : . '- - '
59th and 131st (TA)
3r'd Commando Brigaoe : :.'
Gazelle AH.Mk 1 and sr'. -l, -=:- ::.-
AH Mk 1)
Commando Logist:c Re: --.
Special Boat Squadron
1st, 2nd (Reserve) a-o =.,.i-:
Squadrons
4th.6th and 539th Assa-.:: ,-
)espite the disbandlng of\: -.--
'.
:: ], the corps - - : , .'
had 3 SUCCe>:'
.= ring much public and po it cai a:: : -- - -
- several Key
key areas tne confl ci : >: :-,
the conll :
:::'ational deficiencies, notab'\ .-: : . .

-.:tery and ',.:-. .- ,


fortif ication-reduction
::sence of any organic Rapier SArr :.: :^':
-':sence of a brigade armoui-ed r:::- -: ::
-- :, even of onlysquadron strengt., .'. .- :,,
-: Scimitar llght tracked vehic es \!.- : : :- ': -
=='of considerable help. lr s.rre'==-- . . : '-: .-::
:: the comparable Soviet Naval -'.- -',: -:- :: --.-''-1- : '- -:'moot TheRoyalMarines are a prime component of
::s into battle with both mediun' z'. --' =- Britain's mobile warfare capability, ready for
sewice in a wide variety of climates. Ivlarines are
:rort, 122-mm (4.8-in) sel'-prop= =.' seen here at training on Ascension Island prior to
- r ple rocket launchers and lts ovln S-'. . their fine performance in the Falkland Is/ands
^ ',vartime the Royal Marines w I be : :=, . -- campaign.
-.:n 1st Amphibious Combat Gro;: ,', ^ - -
=
Role \auy order of baftle
': . de units for use with the two n'.--.: -- , anC arx liaries Conventional submarines: Orpheus\51 1), Oberc'
'-. c warfare-trained Commandos o- '.-- :-: : ,,.':-,. i06), (SO9), Orter(S 1 5), Oracle (S 1 6), O ce l ot lSl T i,
,-,- :it
-:^ern flank. Both marine corps w lt a s: :':. Osrris (S'1 3), Odln (S 1 0), O nslaug ht lS1 4), Otu s
:: 'or operations in other NATO areas -: , r - (S1 B), Opportune(S20), Onyx\521), alympus

, :: eved) the southern flank ln suppc: :'---. (S12), Opossum (S19). Sea/ion (S07J and Walr',ts
(S0B), plus Upholderbuildtng and a further 9-1 1

'U'class planned
:'t,sh and Dutch marnes. Apar ='-"
--l roles, the Royal Marines also prov o: : .
HMS Congueror, a nuclear-powered fleet
submarine, returns ta part at the conclusion of a
patrol. The'Valiant' class has been inRoyal Navy
sbrvice for two decades, and is likely to remain so
for some time alongside the'Swiftsures' and
'Trafalgars'.

**

*
:-.r: !: l-r h,
= :€:'ry
-F,.:='.".*::
=

al,EL,frrr{< lt F
Assault ships : Fearless (11 0) a nd I nt repi d (L1 1 | Broad-beam'Leander': Achilles(F12\, Diomede Seen on adiveseryrbern lleSouth Atlantic, the
Guided-missile destroyers : fype 82 Bristol (D231 ; Apol lo (F7 0l and Ariadn e (F7 2l
(F 1 61, Iarge 'County' class gnrided rnissiJe destroyers will
'County' class Glamorgan (D1 9l and Fife (D20) ; Seawolf 'Leander': Andromeda(F57), Hermione remain in Royal Navy service for several years,
Type 42 Batch 1 B i rm i n g h a m (DB6l, Ca rd iff
with the two survivors, HMS Fite and HMS
lF58l, J upiter (F601, ScVlla (F7 11 and Charybdis
(D1 08), G/asgow(DBB) and N ewcastle (D871 ; (F75) GlamorgnrL serving alongside HMS Bristol as
flagships.
fype 42 Batch 2 Exeter (DB9l, Southampton Rothesay' clas s'. Rothesay (F 1 07i), Plymouth
'

(D90), Nottrngham (D91 ) and Liverpool(D92\ ; (F 1 26\, Ya rmo uth (F 1 01 ). Lowestoft (F 1 O3l, Replenishment ships : Forf Grange (4385), Fort
fype 42 Batch 3 M anchester(D95), G I o uceste r Berwick(F115]rand Falmouth (F1 13) (ail to be Austrn (4386), ResourcelA4BOl and Regent
(D96), York ( D9Bl and Ed i nbu rg h lD97l deleted f rom 1 985 onwards) (A486)
Fri gates : f y pe 21 A m a zo n (F 1 691, Activ e (F 1 7 1 l, Type 1 2 Trainin g: Torquay(F43, to be deleted R e I iant (A1 31) and E ngadi ne
Aviation support ships :
Ambuscade (F 17 21, Arrow (F 17 3],, Alacrity (F 17 4l 985)
1 (K08)
and Avenge r (F 1 8d ; f ype 22 Batch 1 B roadswo rd lce patrol ship : Endurance (417 1\ Seabed operations vessel : Chal I e ng er lK07 |
(F88J, B att I e axe (FB9l, B ri I I i a nt lF 90\ and B ra z e n Royal yacht : B rita n nia (A001 Repair and maintenance vessel: Dr'lgence (?)
(F91); Type 22 BaIch2 Boxer(F92\, Beaver(F93! LSL : S i r B ed i vere ( 13004), S i r G e ra i n t (L3O27 ), S i r
and B rave (F94). plus London, Sheffield and La nce lot (L3029\, Si r Perciva I 1L3036), Srr lrstam Minor surface vessels
Coventry building; fype 22 Batch 3 Cornwal/plus (13505), Si r Ca radoc lL3522l and Si r La mo rak Patrol vessels: Alderney, Anglesey, Guernsey,
three others building (13532) J ersey, Li ndi sfa rn e, O rkney, S h etland,
lkara'Leander' : Au rora lF 1 01', E u ryalus (F15), Large f leet tankers', Olwen (A1221, Olna (A1231, Dumbarton Castle, Leeds Castle, Protector,
Gdlatea lF 1 81, Areth u sa (F381, Nar'ad (F39), O I m e d a (A1 241 and Ti d e s p ri ng (A7 5l G u a rdia n, Senti nel, Peacock, Plove r, Sta rli ng,
Leand e r (F 1 091 and Ajax \F 1 1 4l Support tankers Appleleaf (A791, Brambleleaf Swallow, Swift, Kngfisher, Cygnet, Petreland
Exocet' Lea nde r' : M i n e rva (F 45]l, D a n a e (F 47 ) and (A581 l, B ayleaf lA1 09]r, O rangeleaf (chartered Sandpiper
PenelopelFl2Tl 1984) and Pearleaf lATll Minelayer/MCMV depot ship: Abdlel
Training'Leander' : J uno (F52J Smal I f leet tan k erc'. G reen Rover(A268), G rey Rover Fleet minesweepers:'River' class Waveney,
Exocet 'Leander' (Towed Anay): Cleopatra (F281, (A2691, BIue Rover(A270\, Gold Rover(A2711' and Ca rron, H e lford, Dovey and B lac kwate r, plus
Srnr-rs ( F40) , Phoebe (F 42\ and Argonaut (F561 Black RoverlA2T3l Itchen, Helmsdale, H umber andfour unnamed
building
Coastal mi nesweepers :'Ton' class A/frlston,
B i cki ngto n, C rickton, C uxton, H odgeston,
Po I I i ngton, Wal ke rto n, Soberton and stubbi ngton
Coastal minehunters:'Ton' class Bildeston,
B re reton, B ri nton, B roni ngton, Bossi ngton,
G avi nton, H ubbe rston, lveston, Ked I eston,
Kell i ngton, Ki rkl i ston, M axton, N u rton, Sh e raton
andWilton
M CMV:'H unt' class B recon, Ledbu ry, Cattistock,
Cottesmore, Brocklesby, Middleton, Dulverton
and Chiddingfold, plus Atherstone, Bicesterand
H u rworthbuilding with four others planned
Survey ships: Herald, Hecla, Hydraand Hecate
Coastal survey ships: Fox, Fawn, Beagle and
Bulldog
lnshoresurveyships: Echo Enterprise, Egeriaand :,
Gleaner.

IIM.SGttesniore isthetourthofanewclassof:,.
',', ;;$'
GRP-hulledminecountermeasureyessels :,.:,:
(MCMV).Cunentplansforthe'Hunt'class :,'.:
envisage a totaloil(vessek beingconstructed '. i,
intothelate 1980s.