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fighting ships of the world

ROYAL NAVY (UNITED KINGDOM)

TORPEDO SHIPS

Thomson 30-knotters, 1895-96 orders destroyers (1900)

Recruit 1908

Name

No

Builder

Laid down

Launched

Comp

Fate

Brazen

N11, D47, D14

Thomson, Clydebank

18/10/1895

3/7/1896

7/1900

sold 11/1919

Electra

N55, D52, D31

Thomson, Clydebank

18/10/1895

14/7/1896

7/1900

sold 4/1920

Recruit

N60

Thomson, Clydebank

18/10/1895

22/8/1896

10/1900

sunk 1/5/1915

Vulture

N50, D75

Thomson, Clydebank

26/11/1895

22/3/1898

5/1900

sold 5/1919

 

Displacement normal, t

Brazen, Electra, Recruit: 380

Vulture: 345

Displacement full, t

Brazen, Electra, Recruit: 425

Vulture: 385

Length, m

Brazen, Electra: 65.2 oa 64.0 pp

Recruit: 66.5 oa 65.2 pp

Vulture: 67.8 oa 66.5 pp

Breadth, m

6.09

Draught, m

2.52

No of shafts

2

Machinery

4-cyl VTE, 4 Normand boilers

Power, h. p.

5800

Max speed, kts

30.5

Fuel, t

coal 80

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

60

Ship project history: The successful trials of the first destroyers, particularly Daring, showed that higher speeds than the Admiralty had at first thought possible could be obtained, and in 1894 Thornycroft, Yarrow and Laird were all asked to submit designs for destroyers capable of 30kts, though at that stage orders could not be placed immediately. The first orders went to Thornycroft and Laird, and later other firms produced their own designs and built to them. Yarrow, however, thanks to conflicts with the Admiralty over their 27 knotter destroyers, did not receive any more destroyer orders from the Admiralty for several years, and concentrated on building for foreign navies instead.

    As with the 27-knotters all the firms built to their own designs, the only common feature being the complement of 63 and the standard armament of 1 76mm and 5 57mm guns, plus 2 450mm TT. All except Thornycroft used triple expansion engines, whilst Thornycroft continued with their four cylinder compounds. Hulls were lengthened and the machinery was more powerful than the 27-knotters, but fundamentally the 30-knotters were only enlarged versions of the earlier destroyers.

    As with the 27-knotters the high trial speeds were never achieved in service, or even in subsequent trials. Sea speed was more often around the 25kts mark, if that. The light structure of these destroyers caused some trouble with leakage and fractures, though in fact it stood up remarkably well to the strains of wartime service between 1914 and 1918 when these by then elderly vessels were mainly used for coastal patrol work. Many had their funnels raised in an attempt to minimize smoke and cinders at deck level.

    Though quite a few of these vessels were delayed in their entrance into the service by difficulties in reaching the contract speed, more delay was caused with the later groups of vessels by the severe labour troubles in the late 1890s in the shipbuilding trades.

Modernizations: 1916-1917, Brazen, Electra, Vulture: + 2 DCR

Naval service: Recruit was torpedoed 1/5/1915 by German submarine UB16 in North Sea off Galloper light vessel.

 

Ivan Gogin, 2008-14