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fighting ships of the world

ROYAL NAVY (UNITED KINGDOM)

OTHER FIGHTING SHIPS

'INSECT' river gunboats (1915-1916)

Aphis 1915

Aphis 1939

Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Mantis P0A, P5A, T70 294 Sunderland SB 1915 14/9/1915 1915 sold 1/1940
Aphis P96, P03, T57 294 Ailsa, Troon 1915 15/9/1915 1915 sold 1/1947
Scarab P98, PA2, T59 201 Wood Skinner, Newcastle 1915 7/10/1915 1915 BU 5/1948
Moth P7A, P8A, T69 295 Sunderland SB 1915 9/10/1915 1/1916 scuttled 12/12/1941
Gnat P97, P94, T60 803 Lobnitz, Renfrew 1915 3/12/1915 12/1915 sunk 21/10/1941
Bee P99, P07 295 Ailsa, Troon 1915 8/12/1915 1916 sold 3/1939
Cicala P4A, P82, T71 527 Barclay Curle, Glasgow 1915 10/12/1915 1916 sunk 21/12/1941
Cockchafer P95, P83, T72 528 Barclay Curle, Glasgow 1915 16/12/1915 1916 sold 1949
Cricket P82, P85, T75 529 Barclay Curle, Glasgow 1915 16/12/1915 1916 sunk 29/6/1941
Tarantula P6A, PA8, T62 202 Wood Skinner, Newcastle 1915 18/12/1915 1916 sunk as target 1/5/1946
Glowworm P94, P93 530 Barclay Curle, Glasgow 1915 5/2/1916 1916 sold 9/1928
Ladybird P5A, P0A, T58 804 Lobnitz, Renfrew 1915 12/4/1916 5/1916 sunk 12/5/1941

 

Displacement normal, t

645

Displacement full, t

750

Length, m

72.4

Breadth, m

11.0

Draught, m

1.22

No of shafts

2 in tunnels

Machinery

VTE, 2 Yarrow boilers

Power, h. p.

2000

Max speed, kts

14

Fuel, t

coal 35 + oil 54

Glowworm: oil 74

Moth: oil 76

Endurance, nm(kts)  

Armament

Aphis: 2 x 1 - 152/45 BL Mk VII, 2 x 1 - 76/40 12pdr 12cwt QF Mk I/II, 6 x 1 - 7.7/94

Bee: 1 x 1 - 152/45 BL Mk VII, 2 x 1 - 76/40 12pdr 12cwt QF Mk I/II, 6 x 1 - 7.7/94

Cicala, Cockchafer, Cricket, Glowworm: 2 x 1 - 152/40 QF Mk I/II, 2 x 1 - 76/45 20cwt QF Mk II, 6 x 1 - 7.7/94

Ladybird: 2 x 1 - 152/40 QF Mk I/II, 3 x 1 - 76/40 12pdr 12cwt QF Mk I/II, 6 x 1 - 7.7/94

Gnat, Mantis, Moth, Scarab, Tarantula: 2 x 1 - 152/45 BL Mk VII, 1 x 1 - 76/40 12pdr 12cwt QF Mk I/II, 1 x 1 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk II, 6 x 1 - 7.7/94

Complement

54 - 65

Ship project history: Twelve 'large China gunboats' were ordered in February 1915, for planned operations on the Danube against the Austro-Hungarian river flotilla. Designed and engined by Yarrow, with propellers in tunnels, they were in effect small monitors, being well armed for their displacement, and several survived to see distinguished service in the Second World War. In 1916-17 Cicala, Cockchafer, Cricket and Glatmvorm were rearmed temporarily with 6in QF Mk.II on CP.II anti-aircraft mountings (53.5 elevation), for use against Zeppelins. None of the class fought on the Danube as Serbian resistance collapsed. The class was therefore used in other theatres, where their shallow draught and gunpower were needed to support land operations.

Modernizations: 1920s, Aphis, Bee: - 1 x 1 - 76/40

1920s, Ladybird: - 2 x 1 - 76/40

1920s, Gnat, Mantis, Moth, Scarab, Tarantula: - 1 x 1 - 40/39

1940, Aphis, Cockchafer, Gnat, Scarab, Tarantula: + 2 x 1 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII

1940, Cricket: + 2 x 1 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 2 x 1 - 20/65 M1939

1940, Ladybird: + 2 x 1 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk VIII, 1 x 1 - 20/65 M1939

1/1946, Aphis, Scarab, Tarantula: 2 x 1 - 152/45 P Mk III, 1 x 1 - 76/40 P Mk V, 2 x 1 - 40/39 Mk VIII

1/1946, Cockchafer: 2 x 1 - 152/40 P Mk II, 2 x 1 - 76/45 Mk II, 2 x 1 - 40/39 Mk VIII

Naval service: Cicala, Cockchafer, Cricket and Glowworm served in coast defence of Home waters, remaining were sent to Mesopotamia. After Armistice first four participated in actions against the Soviet Russia in the north seas, and Glowworm 24/5/1919 was badly damaged because of explosion of the barge with an ammunition on Northern Dvina. Ships of the class served in the WWII. On Mediterranean sea three gunboats were lost: Ladybird and Cricket were sunk at Tobruk by German aircraft 12/5/1941 and 30/6/1941 respectively; Gnat was sunk by German submarine U79 at Bardia 21/10/1941. Two more gunboats were lost in the Far East: Cicala was sunk by Japanese aircraft 21/12/1941 at Hong Kong. Moth was scuttled by own crew at Hong Kong 12/12/1941. Later Japanese have salvaged Moth, repaired her and commissioned as Suma.

Cockchafer mid-1920s

Ivan Gogin, 2008-15