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SHIPCRAFT 11

British Destroyers A-I and TRIBAL CLASSES Text by Les Brown Plans and colour artwork by George Richardson

CONTENTS Design

Model Products

Modelmakers’ Showcase Schemes

Modifications Plans

Selected References

Copyright © Seaforth Publishing 2009

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First published in Great Britain in 2009 by Seaforth Publishing, an imprint of Pen and Sword Books Ltd, 47 Church Street, Barnsley, South Yorkshire. S70 2AS www.pen-and-sword.co.uk And in the United States of America by Classic Warships Publishing, PO Box 57591, Tucson, Arizona 85732 www.classicwarships.com British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A CIP data record for this title is available from the British Library ISBN: 978-1-84832-023-9 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without either prior permission in writing from the publisher or a licence permitting restricted copying.

Above: The builder’s model of Amazon. Note the 4.7in BL guns in their half-shields, a feature not repeated in the following classes. (National Maritime Museum G07573)

Typeset and designed by Stephen Dent Printed and bound in China through Printworks International Ltd


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A

t the end of World War I the Royal Navy had a large number of relatively modern destroyers which were surplus to requirements. A large number of these, primarily the ‘R’ and ‘M’ classes, were sold for breaking up in the early 1920s. Many of the later ‘S’ class were sold in the 1930s but the majority of the later designs, the ‘V’s and ‘W’s, survived to fight again in World War II. There was therefore no urgent need to build replacement vessels and little inclination to develop destroyer designs. It was not until the early 1920s that new designs were finally entrusted to two private companies, each of which had a fine pedigree in destroyer design. The two companies, Thornycroft and Yarrow, were selected after the Admiralty had requested designs be submitted by five different shipbuilding companies. Their two ships, Amazon and Ambuscade respectively, were both launched within a few days of each other in January 1926 (Amazon’s launching was delayed by a few days after her naming because of bad weather), although Ambuscade had been laid down first, in December 1924, with Amazon following shortly after in January 1925. Amazon was the slightly larger vessel, 1352 tons as against 1173 for Ambuscade, but both shared similar machinery arrangements (twin shafts, Brown-Curtis turbines and

Design Yarrow boilers) and carried the same primary armament of four single 4.7in/45 BL Mk 1 guns and two triple 21in torpedo tubes. The design speed in each case was 37 knots. The Admiralty’s original requirement had been for just 35 knots, but Yarrow offered 37 knots and Thornycroft were forced to match this. On initial trials, Amazon only made 34.5 knots but after modifications she achieved 38.7 knots six months later. Ambuscade exceeded 37.6 knots during her trials and proved more economical than Amazon at speeds in excess of 25 knots. These vessels were fitted with separate Parsons cruising turbines in addition to one high and one low power and an astern turbine per shaft. Their size and armament were similar to the later destroyers of World War I but, with a speed about 3 knots faster, it was felt they offered a significant tactical advantage. Layout was similar to the ‘Modified W’ class destroyers, but with the addition of a sick bay and a surgeon’s cabin. The Transmitting Station was also relocated to the upper deck. Ambuscade was criticised as being too large, the Controller commenting that ‘the bridge appears unnecessarily large, enormous size as big as a light cruiser’s’. The bridge and its layout also received many other criticisms from the COs and other officers. Compared with US destroyers at the end of World War I, the

HMS Amazon on trials. She did not meet her design speed and underwent modifications in late 1927, going to South America for allweather trials the following year. In early 1939 she recommissioned to join HMS Vernon for Torpedo School sea training. During the war she was involved in convoy escort and anti-submarine work in home waters, the Atlantic, Arctic and Mediterranean before being withdrawn from operations in late 1943 because of the state of her hull, becoming an air target ship. Withdrawn from service in late 1944 she was used for structural tests until sold 1948.


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BRITISH DESTROYERS: A-I AND TRIBAL CLASSES

■ TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS Class Name

Leader

Length Beam Overall

Standard Displacement

Full Load Displacement

Shaft Horse Power

Speed

Range

Complement

Amazon

323ft

31ft 6in

1352t

1812t

41,500

37kts

3400nm @ 15kts

Ambuscade

322ft

31ft

1173t

1585t

33,000

37kts

3300nm @ 15kts

138

‘A’ class

323ft

32ft 3in

1337-1360t

1760-1795t

34,000

35.25kts

4800nm @ 15kts

134

Codrington ‘A’ class (Canada) ‘B’ class Keith ‘C’ class Kempenfelt ‘D’ class Duncan ‘E’ class Exmouth

138

343ft

33ft 9in

1540t

2012t

39,000

35kts

5000nm @ 15kts

185

322ft

32ft 6in

1337t

1805t

32,000

35kts

4800nm @ 15kts

138

323ft

32ft 3in

1337-1360t

1770-1819t

34,000

35.25kts

4800nm @ 15kts

138

323ft

32ft 3in

1400t

1821t

34,000

35.25kts

4800nm @ 15kts

157

329ft

33ft

1375-1400t

1865-1942t

36,000

36kts

5500nm @ 15kts

145

329ft

33ft

1390t

1901t

36,000

36kts

5500nm @ 15kts

165

329ft

33ft

1375-1400t

1865-1942t

36,000

36kts

5870nm @ 15kts

145

329ft

33ft

329ft

33ft 3in

1400t

1937t

36,000

36kts

5870nm @ 15kts

165

1350-1405t

1886-1940t

36,000

36kts

6350nm @ 15kts

145

343ft

33ft 9in

1495t

2049t

38,000

36.75kts

6500nm @ 15kts

175

329ft

33ft 3in

1350-1405t

1886-1940t

36,000

36kts

6350nm @ 15kts

145

343ft

33ft 9in

1475t

2009t

38,000

36.75kts

6350nm @ 15kts

175

323ft

33ft

1335-1370t

1854-1890t

36,000

35.5kts

5530nm @ 15kts

145

Grenville

330ft

34ft 6in

1465t

2033t

38,000

36kts

5530nm @ 15kts

178

323ft

33ft

1335-1370t

1854-1890t

34,000

35.5kts

5530nm @ 15kts

145

Hardy

330ft

34ft

1455t

1953t

38,000

36kts

5530nm @ 15kts

178

Ex-Brazilian ‘H’ class

323ft

33ft

1350t

1860t

34,000

35.5kts

5500nm @ 15kts

152

‘I’ class

323ft

33ft

1335-1370t

1854-1890t

34,000

35.5kts

5500nm @ 15kts

145

330ft

34ft

1544t

2081t

38,000

36kts

5500nm @ 15kts

178

Ex-Turkish ‘I’ class

323ft

33ft

1370t

1890t

34,000

35.5kts

5500nm @ 15kts

145

‘Tribal’ class

377ft

36ft 6in

1959t

2519t

44,000

36kts

5700nm @ 15kts

190-220

‘Tribal’ class (Australia)

377ft

36ft 6in

1959t

2519t

44,000

36kts

5700nm @ 15kts

190-220

‘Tribal’ class (Canada)

377ft

37ft 6in

1959t

2745t

44,000

36kts

5700nm @ 15kts

190-220

‘F’ class Faulknor ‘G’ class ‘H’ class

Inglefield

HMS Arrow as built, in the dark grey paintwork of the Home Fleet.

standards of habitability on both vessels still left much to be desired. The use of superheated steam in the propulsion system led to high temperatures in the machinery spaces, resulting in problems, particularly for the crew, when the ships operated in the tropics. These were the last vessels to be fitted

with the 4.7in BL Mk 1 gun on the CP VI mounting, which had a maximum elevation of just 30° and a small spray-shield, rather than the ‘quick firing’ guns fitted to later destroyers. They were also the last destroyers (apart from some of the ‘Hunt’ class escort destroyers) to be fitted with triple, rather than quadruple, torpedo


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Model Products

he scales of 1:1200/1250 have always been popular with ship collectors, particularly wargamers, and a number of complete models, usually painted plain grey with just a few highlights, have been available from many manufacturers at various times in the past. The widest range currently available comes from Neptun and includes ‘I’ (N1168), ‘G’ (N1168A) and ‘H’ (N1168A) class vessels as well as the ‘Tribal’ (N1161A) class. Plastic kits of both the ’H’

AIRFIX

The long established company of Airfix (now under new management) have produced models at both 1:1200 and 1:600 scale. The short-lived and very limited 1:1200 scale ‘Naval History Series’ included a ‘Tribal’ class destroyer. Two models were included in a simple bubble packet on a card back, which showed a typical colour scheme and contained the instructions. This waterline model had just two assembly drawings, a one-piece hull, main deck, three superstructure decks, funnels, masts, boats and armament – just twenty components in all. These models were described as ‘clip together’ but glue certainly helps with the appearance.

MOUNTFORD MINIATURES

The widest range of 1:1200/1250 scale kits currently available come from Mountford Miniatures and comprise two exBrazilian ‘H’ class (MM171 and MM172), two ‘G’ class (MM173 and MM174), three ‘H’ class (MM175, MM176 and MM177), an ‘F’ class (MM178) and a ‘Tribal’ class (MM110) destroyer. The earlier kits from this company (eg the ‘Tribal’ class) were entirely in white metal whilst later ones have resin hulls and white metal details. Each model includes pennant number decals for all vessels of the class. The differences between models of the

and ‘Tribal’ classes were available from the now long extinct Eaglewall. This company started its production in a small street in Dorking in Surrey and the current proprietor of Dorking Models, Anthony Lawrence, kindly supplied the photographs of the boxes for the ‘H’ class, HMS Hardy and HMS Cossack from his large collection. HMS Cossack comes from Series 2 – ‘Capture of the Altmark’ – and the ‘H’ class destroyers from Series 3, ‘Battle of Narvik Fjord’.

The three Eaglewall boxes depicting the ‘H’ class and ‘Tribal’ class vessels. (Photograph courtesy of Anthony Lawrence, Dorking Models)

1:1200 scale The backing card and colour diagram from Airfix’s 1:1200 scale ‘Naval History Series’

1:1200 scale

The three ‘H’ class destroyer hulls from Mountford Miniatures


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18 BRITISH DESTROYERS: A-I AND TRIBAL CLASSES

same class are in the armament, either torpedo tubes or a 3in AA gun but, in the case of the ‘H’ class, one model also includes the modified bridge. In some models, a hedgehog mortar is supplied as an alternative to the forward gun mounting. The instructions are simple but clear – just

REVELL

A completed model of the Revell 1:720 scale kit

The offering from Revell is of a ‘Tribal’ class destroyer at 1:720 scale and is only available as part of a set with a model of HMS Ark Royal. Assembly of the model,

TAMIYA

The box top artwork and colour diagram from Tamiya’s ‘E’ class Destroyer

This model, by the well known Japanese company, of an ‘E’ class destroyer initially appeared as an ‘add-on’ to Tamiya’s kit of HMS Hood but demand

a single assembly diagram. There are less than twenty details to be added to the hull and their locations are clearly moulded onto the hull. There are no colour details but a colour photograph of some completed models is included to give the modeller a guide.

1:720 scale which can be assembled either as a waterline or full-hull model, begins in diagram 8 of the Instruction Sheet. There are only six assembly diagrams with a typical camouflage paint scheme (profile only) given as diagram 14, other painting details being given in the various construction diagrams. Decals are provided for three vessels – Zulu, Eskimo and Ashanti. Assembly is very similar to that for the Airfix 1:600 scale kit but the Director Control Tower (DCT) on the bridge is more detailed and the aft mast is positioned differently and more correctly. This is a good model, certainly better than the Airfix offering, in, what has now become, a little used scale.

1:700 scale

caused it to be released separately – not surprisingly as this meant destroyer models were available without having to also pay the price for a battlecruiser model. The kit


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38 BRITISH DESTROYERS: A-I AND TRIBAL CLASSES

DEAN’S MARINE FAULKNOR 1:96 scale

S

teve decided to build this model as his grandfather had served aboard HMS Faulknor as a navigator’s yeoman during the Second World War. After some research, he purchased a profile drawing from the National Maritime Museum (9ft long at 1:48 scale) and a 1:96 scale kit of HMS Daring from Dean’s Marine. The two ships are not identical as Faulknor was a flotilla leader and hence was slightly longer and mounted a fifth 4.7in gun amidships. Steve decided not to modify the grp hull but to re-arrange the upperworks to include the additional gun. As such, this is not a true scale model but it does capture the appearance and character of Faulknor very well. The fifth gun mounting was purchased from Deans Marine. Work started with the hull and installa-

by STEVE CRAVEN-JONES

tion of the propulsion/steering gear, the kit rudder being replaced with a scale item. The deck supports were from balsa wood

and were fitted next, followed by the plasticard deck. The superstructure is also from plasticard but is modified from the instructions given in the kit to accommodate Faulknor’s additional 4.7in gun. As building progressed, more detailed differences were noted, the details appropriate to Faulknor being used. Etched brass railings are supplied in the kit and these were used for part of the model but a number of individual stanchions (200) were used elsewhere with ‘wire’ railings. The main painting was carried out using spray cans of automotive primer. The camouflage pattern was obtained from the internet. The model was weathered with a black wash and some rust to produce the very realistic appearance of a hard working vessel.


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44 BRITISH DESTROYERS: A-I AND TRIBAL CLASSES

HMS Codrington 1939

HMS Glowworm 1940

HMS Hurricane 1940

HMS Afridi 1940

HMS Diamond 1941

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PLANS 61

HMS Daring – as built

HMS Glowworm – as built

HMS Hardy – as built


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62 BRITISH DESTROYERS: A-I AND TRIBAL CLASSES

HMS Intrepid – as built

HMS Harvester – as built

HMS Hesperus – 1943

Shipcraft 11: British Destroyers  

Shipcraft 11: British Destroyers, AI Tribal Classes by Les Brown, published by Seaforth Publishing an imprint of pen and sword books.

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