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ROYAL NAVY (UNITED KINGDOM)

TORPEDO SHIPS

Thornycroft 33-knot 'special' 1896-1897 orders destroyer (1900)

Albatross 1900

Name

No

Builder

Laid down

Launched

Comp

Fate

Albatross

D32, D44, D02

Thornycroft, Chiswick

27/11/1896

19/7/1898

7/1900

sold 6/1920

 

Displacement normal, t

430

Displacement full, t

490

Length, m

69.2 oa 68.6 pp

Breadth, m

6.49

Draught, m

2.77

No of shafts

2

Machinery

4-cyl VTE, 4 Thornycroft boilers

Power, h. p.

7500

Max speed, kts

31.5

Fuel, t

coal 105

Endurance, nm(kts)

3000(10)

Armament

1 x 1 - 76/40 12pdr 12cwt QF Mk I, 5 x 1 - 57/40 6pdr Hotchkiss Mk I, 2 x 1 - 450 TT (4)

Complement

69

Ship project history: As part of the 1896/97 programme the Admiralty decided to order three vessels with the unprecedented contract speed of 33kts. This was mainly a reaction to the 31kts of the French torpedo boat Forban on trial in 1895. In fact that was an exceptional result as none of her immediate sisters reached anything like that speed. In the event, the requirement for 33kts proved too ambitious. The vessels built, with exactly the same armament as the 30-knotters, on longer and more expensive hulls and with more powerful and therefore more expensive machinery, completely failed to make the desired speed. The first two both spent years running acceptance trials testing various propeller shapes and other devices in a vain attempt to reach 33kts, though Thornycroft's Albatross came quite close.
    After their final acceptance it was realised that all they had proved to be were rather more expensive 30-knotters, and so they were not kept apart as a separate class.
    Albatross was the most successful of these specials, but she made a big loss for her builders who spent a considerable time (from October 1898 to July 1900) endeavouring to make her meet her intended speed. She was also delayed by labour trembles, which made tier even more expensive. Unlike Thornycroft's other destroyers of the time the had three funnels.

Modernizations: None.

Naval service: No significant events.

Albatross

Ivan Gogin, 2008-14