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"A" and "B" Classes

 

Nationality:

Britain

Type: DD
Class:
"A" class eight
"B" class nine
Royal Canadian Navy two
Completed: 1930-1931
Displacement: 1,360 tons

Dimensions: (in feet and inches)

323' x 32' 3" x 12' 3"
Machinery: 2-shaft Parsons (* Brown-Curtis) geared turbines; 3 Admiralty (** Thornycroft) boilers; 34,000shp.  Oil:  380 tons.
Speed: 35.25 knots
Armament:
NUMBER SIZE MOUNTS
4 4.7" / 45 cal.  4x1
2 2-pdr. "pom-poms) 2x1
8 21" TT 2x4
Compliment: 138

 

 

Sister ships:

 

Name Pennant Number Builder: Fate
ACASTA* H.09 John Brown Lost 8 June 1940
ACHATES* H.12 John Brown Lost 31 December 1942
ACHERON** H.45 Thornycroft Lost 17 December 1940
ACTIVE H.14 Hawthorn Leslie Scrapped May 1947
ANTELOPE H.36 Hawthorn Leslie Scrapped January 1946
ANTHONY H.40 Scotts Scrapped May, 1948
ARDENT H.41 Scotts Lost 8 June 1940
ARROW H.42 Vickers-Armstrong, Barrow see War Losses, below
KEITH D.06 Vickers-Armstrong, Barrow Lost 1 June 1940
BASILISK* H.11 John Brown Lost 1 June 1940
BEAGLE* H.30 John Brown Scrapped June 1946
BLANCHE H.47 Hawthorn Leslie Lost 13 November 1939
BOADICEA H.65 Hawthorn Leslie Lost 13 June 1944
BOREAS H.77 Palmers Scrapped April 1952 (see Notes, below)
BRAZEN H.80 Palmers Lost 20 July 1940
BRILLIANT H.84 Swan Hunter Scrapped April 1948
BULLDOG H.91 Swan Hunter Scrapped March 1946
SAGUENAY (RCN)** D.79 Thornycroft see War Losses, below
SKEENA (RCN)** D.59 Thornycroft see War Losses, below

 

 

Notes:  The first classes of destroyers built by the Royal Navy following World War I.  Introduced the enclosed 4.7" gun mount and quadruple torpedo tubes to the Royal Navy.  KEITH was built as the flotilla leader for the "B" class; she displaced 1,400 tons and had a compliment of 175 men; otherwise, her statistics were the same as the rest of the "B" class.  SAGUENAY and SKEENA were built with strengthened hulls for icebreaking, and were 1/4-knot slower than the rest of the class.  Most of the ships had one bank of torpedo tubes removed in 1940 and replaced with a 3" AA gun; various 20mm guns were added during World War II.  ANTELOPE was credited with sinking two German U-boats while defending a convoy on 9 February 1940, and added a third submarine (the Italian TRITONE) to her total on 19 January 1943.  In 1944, BOREAS was loaned to the Greek Navy and was renamed SALAMIS; following her return to the RN, she was scrapped in April, 1952.

 

War Losses:

 

ACASTA (along with ARDENT) was sunk by gunfire from the German battlecruisers SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU while unsuccessfully defending the carrier GLORIOUS (which was also sunk) on 6 June 1940.  The GLORIOUS had her flight deck filled with land-based aircraft being evacuated from Norway; the weather was misty and visibility was, at best, spotty; and British heavy forces were known to be in the area.  So at first, it was assumed that the approaching battlecruisers were friendly forces -- thus, they were able to close to relatively close range before opening fire with devastating effects.  Efforts to lay smokescreens to shield GLORIOUS were unsuccessful, and all three ships were sunk in short order.  ACASTA managed to put a torpedo into SCHARNHORST before she was sunk, which forced the German forces to return to port for repairs.

 

ACHATES was sunk by gunfire from the German heavy cruiser ADMIRAL HIPPER during the defense of Convoy JW 51B, en route to Murmansk on 31 December 1942.  ACHATES and four other British destroyers held off an attacking force consisting of the "pocket battleship" LÜTZOW, the heavy cruiser ADMIRAL HIPPER and three destroyers.  Along with the other destroyers, the ACHATES repeatedly maneuvered between the attacking force and the convoy, laying smoke screens and drawing the enemy's fire.  After four hours of battle, the British light cruisers SHEFFIELD and JAMAICA arrived and drove off the German ships; but ACHATES had suffered several hits, including a direct hit on her bridge which killed her Captain and a major portion of the bridge crew; the damage was severe enough that she could not be saved, and she rolled over and sank. 

 

ACHERON struck a mine and sank on 17 December 1940.

 

ARDENT:  see ACASTA, above.

 

ARROW was damaged by an explosion of a nearby ammunition ship on 4 August 1943 and never repaired; finally broken up in May, 1949.

 

BLANCHE struck a mine off the east coast of England on 13 November 1939 and sank.

 

KEITH was sunk by aerial bombs while taking part in the evacuation of Dunkirk on 1 June 1940.

 

BASILISK was sunk by aerial bombs while taking part in the evacuation of Dunkirk on 1 June 1940.

 

BOADICEA was hit by an airborne torpedo and sank on 13 June 1944.

 

BRAZEN, despite shooting down three attacking aircraft, was hit by aerial bombs while defending a convoy.  Efforts were made to tow her to port for repairs, but she floundered and sunk on 20 July 1940.

 

SAGUENAY was damaged in a collision in November, 1942; following that, she served as a training ship, then decommissioned and marked for disposal in June, 1945.

 

SKEENA was wrecked on 25 November 1944 and never repaired, then scrapped in 1946.

 

Pictures

argonaut_1021_b-class_dd_1930_-_01.jpg (15623 bytes)

Argonaut 1021

"B" class DD

argonaut_1213_saguenay_rcn_dd_1931_-_01.jpg (21453 bytes)

Argonaut 1213

as SAGUENAY

argonaut_1213_saguenay_dd_1931_-_202.jpg (14473 bytes)

Argonaut 1213

as SAGUENAY

argonaut_1213_saguenay_dd_1931_-_203.jpg (18280 bytes)

Argonaut 1213

as SAGUENAY

argonaut___81_skeena_rcn_dd_1931_-_01.jpg (19753 bytes)

Argonaut 81

as SKEENA