fighting ships of the world



SAGUENAY destroyers (1931)

Skeena 1941

Name No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Saguenay D79 Thornycroft, Woolston, UK 9/1929 11/7/1930 5/1931 collision 15/12/1942, then TS
Skeena D59 Thornycroft, Woolston, UK 10/1929 10/10/1930 6/1931 wrecked 25/10/1944


Displacement standard, t


Displacement full, t

1815 (later 1990)

Length, m

94.2 pp 97.5 oa

Breadth, m


Draught, m

3.73 (later 3.99) deep load

No of shafts



Parsons geared steam turbines, 3 Thornycroft boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kn


Fuel, t

oil 380

Endurance, nm(kts)



4 x 1 - 120/45 QF Mk IX, 2 x 1 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk II, 2 x 4 - 533 TT, 3 DCR (6 DC), sweeps

Sensors none



Ship project history: They were built under 1927 ("A") and 1928 ("B") programs. The design has been developed on the basis of experimental Amazon. Because of very high requirements on an endurance the initial variant has appeared unduly big (as well as corresponding leader design), total displacement should exceed 2200t, that Admiralty recognised as unacceptable. The task on range of a course have lowered, but simultaneously semi-automatic 120mm guns and quadruple TTs were appeared. In connection with appearing of the minesweeping equipment it was necessary to shrink considerably anti-submarine armaments: ships have not received sonar though it figured in the initial design.

The architecture and hull dimensions differed from prototype (Amazon) a little, the truth, the increased armament weight (135t against 91) has caused hull breadth increase. Besides, for decreasing of wetness, their bridges have moved aft on some metres. Engine was less power and simultaneously more simple: only Acheron had high-pressure boilers. Though machinery with these boilers has shown on a quarter the best endurance, because of complexity in service and low reliability these boilers have refused on serial destroyers.

Ships of 1928 program differed from "A" class only by strengthened anti-submarine armament at the expense of removing minesweeping equipment (though on a design stage it was supposed to keep it, simultaneously having transferred on quintuple TTs at the expense of reduction of figure of main guns from four to three).

Unlike the 1927 program which leader (Codrington) notably exceeded the destroyers in the dimensions, Keith (the leader of the 1928 program) practically did not differ from corresponding to her destroyers. It was necessary  to decrease figure of main guns (3 under the original design, already after ordering this lack had removed, and there was a fourth gun) and with absence of a sufficient place for all headquarters of a flotilia for what it was necessary to arrange one destroyer (Blanche) as the half-flotilla leader.

Besides 16 ships for the Royal Navy two more have built by order of Canada. The design has been developed on the basis of "A" class destroyer, but with a number of the changes dictated by specificity of possible service both in northern latitudes, and in subtropics. The hull has been strengthened for ice navigation and became wider, that allowed to carry on an upper deck and superstructures up to 50-60t of ice without risk of loss of stability. In comparison with standard destroyers of the British fleet, the superstructure has received more covered form.

Modernizations: second half of 1940, both: - 1 x 4 - 533 TT, 2 DCR; + 1 x 1 - 76/45 20cwt QF Mk I/II/III/IV, 2 DCT (20 - 40 DC totally)

late 1940 - late 1941, both: - 1 x 1 - 120/45; + 2 DCT (70 DC totally)

late 1941 - early 1942, both: + 2 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV

1942 - 1943, both: - 2 x 1 - 40/39; + 2 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, DC stowage increased up to 125  pcs.

1944, Skeena: - 1 x 1 - 120/45; + 2 x 1 - 20/70 Oerlikon Mk II/IV, 1 x 24 - 178 Hedgehog DCT

Naval service: Saguenay 1/12/1940 was damaged by torpedo from Italian submarine Argo in Northern Atlantic; she was repeatedly damaged in November, 1942 at collision with s/s Azara at Newfoundland; partially repaired, but used only as TS. Skeena wrecked in a mist in Hval-fiord 25/10/1944.

Ivan Gogin, 2015