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fighting ships of the world

ROYAL NAVY (UNITED KINGDOM)

ESCORTS

'FLOWER' AUBRIETIA convoy sloops (1916-1918)

Polyanthus 1918

Cornwallis 1939

Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
ordered 1/1916
Tamarisk (Compatriot, Fernridge, Q11) T84 810 Lobnitz, Renfrew 1916 2/6/1916 1916 sold 10/1922
Heather (Bywater, Q16, Seetrus) T40 380 Greenock & Grangemouth 1916 16/6/1916 10/1916 sold 2/1932
Salvia (Q15)   577 Irvine, West Hartlepool 1916 16/6/1916 10/1916 sunk 20/6/1917
Aubrietia (Kai, Q13, Winton, Zebal) T06   Blyth SB, Cowpen Quay 1916 17/6/1916 10/1916 sold 10/1922
Viola (Cranford, Damaris, Q14) T88 519 Ropner, Stockton 1916 14/7/1916 1916 sold 12/1922
Tulip (Q12)   666 Richardson Duck, Thornaby 1916 15/7/1916 9/1916 sunk 30/4/1917
ordered 12/1916
Gaillardia T34   Blyth SB, Cowpen Quay 1917 19/5/1917 11/1917 sunk 22/3/1918
Andromeda   1036 Swan Hunter, Low Walker 1917 6/1917 --- // 8/1917 to France 1917 before completion (Andromede)
Lychnis (Kidner, Wilangil), 9/1921- Cornwallis (9/1921- RIM) T56 350 Hamilton, Port Glasgow 1917 21/8/1917 11/1917 sold 1946
Montbretia (Rochfort) T63 588 Irvine, West Hartlepool 1917 3/9/1917 12/1917 sold 1/1921
Polyanthus (Deveril) T73 826 Lobnitz, Renfrew 1917 24/9/1917 11/1917 sold 1/1921
Hibiscus (Palette) T42 386 Greenock & Grangemouth 1917 17/11/1917 1/1918 sold 1/1923

 

Displacement normal, t

1250

Displacement full, t

1450

Length, m

81.7

Breadth, m

10.2

Draught, m

3.36

No of shafts

1

Machinery

VTE, 2 cylindrical boilers

Power, h. p.

2500

Max speed, kts

17.5

Fuel, t

coal 130

Endurance, nm(kts) 2000(15)

Armament

2 x 1 - 102/40 QF Mk IV or 2 x 1 - 102/44 BL Mk IX or 2 x 1 - 102/45 BL Mk X, 1 x 1 - 47/40 3pdr Hotchkiss Mk I, 2 DCT, 1 DCR

Complement

92

Ship project history: A further order was placed for six sloops in January 1916, but it was hoped to improve their anti-submarine capabilities by disguising them as small merchant ships, with armament concealed. The earlier 'Flower' class ships had proved useful escorts but their unmistakable silhouette always betrayed them as warships, and it was hoped that a more mercantile silhouette would tempt U-boats to stay on the surface long enough for the sloops to get within gun-range. Six more were ordered in December. The builders were given a free hand to model the sloops on similar-sized ships which they had already built. This frequently resulted in unsuitable accommodation and internal arrangements, but was considered a necessary evil to make the disguise effective. Although not strictly Q-ships, in the sense that they were built as commissioned warships, they were incorporated into the decoy organisation, with 'Q' numbers and false identities (shown in the table). Their main problems were that when viewed from bow or quarter their lines were much too fine for a mercantile hull, and if engaged by a U-boat their crews were too large to fake an 'abandon ship' routine.

Modernizations: mid-1930s, Cornwallis: - 1 x 1 - 47/40; + 2 x 1 - 40/39 2pdr QF Mk II

Naval service: Salvia was torpedoed 20/6/1917 by German submarine U94 off SW Ireland. Tulip was torpedoed by German submarine U62 30/4/1917 in the Atlantic.

Ivan Gogin, 2008-13