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"L" and "M" classes

 

Nationality:

Britain

Type: DD
Class: "L" and "M" classes (2 classes of 8 each -- 16 total)
Displacement: 1,920 tons (LAFOREY and MILNE:  1,935 tons)

Dimensions: (in feet and inches)

362' 6" x 36' 9" x 14' 5"
Machinery: 2 shaft Parsons geared turbines, 2 Admiralty 3-drum boilers; 48,000 SHP.  Oil:  537 tons.  Range:  5,500nm at 15 knots.
Speed: 36 knots
Armament:
NUMBER SIZE MOUNTS
6 4.7" / 50 QF 3x2
except
* 8 4" QF 4x2
4 2-pdr. "pom-poms" 1x4
8 21" TT 2x4
45 (* 110) depth charges
Compliment: 190 (LAFOREY and MILNE:  226)

 

 

Notes:  Enlarged versions of the preceding "J" class destroyers with a heavier gun armament.  They were the first British destroyers to have their guns mounted in fully enclosed mountings.  The 4.7" guns were in weatherproof mounts allowing 50° elevation, but delays in delivery required four of the class to be armed with 8 - 4" QF (4x2).  A single 4" AA gun was mounted in most of the 4.7" ships in place of aft TT bank, and by the end of the war, 6 to 10 - 20mm AA guns augmented the anti-aircraft armament.  The normal depth charge armament was 45, but the four fitted with 4" guns carried 110 depth charges.  The "L" class served through most of World War II with Force "H" and in the Mediterranean; the "M" class served with Home Fleet until 1944, when they were sent to the Mediterranean.

 

NAME / PENNANT #

BUILDER LAUNCHED NOTES AND FATE

* GURKHA (ex-LARNE)

     F. 63

Cammell Laird July, 1940 On 30 September 1941 GURKHA and LEGION sank the Italian submarine ADUA northwest of Algiers. While escorting the Malta convoy MW-8B (four fast transports covered by Admiral Vianīs Mediterranean Fleet cruiser force) on 17 January 1942, GURKHA was hit by a single torpedo from the German submarine U-133.  Ablaze from stem to stern, GURKHA was towed from the burning oil by the Dutch destroyer ISAAC SWEERS; when clear of the burning oil, her survivors were transferred to the ISAAC SWEERS, and GURKHA was scuttled.

LAFOREY

     F. 99

Yarrow February, 1941 Fitted as a leader.  LAFOREY served with Force "H".  On 23 July 1943, LAFOREY and ECLIPSE sunk the Italian submarine ASCIANGHI off Augusta, Sicily.  On 30 March 1944, the LAFOREY and four other destoryers sank the German submarine U-223 north of Palermo.  But during the battle, the U-223 hit LAFOREY with a Gnat (an acoustic homing torpedo); LAFOREY subsequently sank and 189 of her crew were killed.

* LANCE

     F. 87

Yarrow November, 1940 On 9 November 1941 while serving with Force "K", LANCE engaged in a battle with an Axis convoy resulting in the loss of the Italian destroyer FULMINE and two German and five Italian transports totaling 39,787 tons.  Less than two weeks later (on 24 November), Force "K" engaged another convoy and sank two more merchantmen (4,752 tons).  On 19 December 1941, Force "K" ran into a newly-laid Italian minefield; the light cruiser NEPTUNE and the destroyer KANDAHAR were sunk.  While at Malta on 5 April 1942, LANCE was damaged during an air raid.  She was hit again on 9 April 1942 and declared a constructive total loss.  LANCE was towed to Britain and scrapped at Grays in June, 1944

* LEGION

     F.74

Hawthorne Leslie December, 1939 On 4 March 1941. LEGION participated in Operation Claymore, a commando raid on the Lofoten Islands.  500 troops of 3rd and 4th Commandos were carried in assault ships, escorted by five destroyers.  The attack's primary objective was the destruction of the Norwegian fish oil processing plants, the destruction of which would have struck a severe blow to the German production of glycerine (used in aircraft engines). The raid was eminently successful, accounting for the sinking of auxiliary patrol boat KREBS (from which "Enigma" information was recovered) and 7 freighters; in addition, 11 oil factories were blown up, 225 Germans and 60 "Quislings" were taken as prisoners and 314 Norwegian volunteers removed to the UK.  On 30 September 1941 LEGION and GURKHA sank the Italian submarine ADUA northwest of Algiers. On 13 December 1941, LEGION and three other Allied destroyers engaged and sunk the Italian light cruisers ALBERICO DA BARBIANO and ALBERTO DI GIUSSANO off Cape Bon.  On 10 January 1942, LEGION and the Dutch destroyer ISAAC SWEERS depth-charged the German submarine U-374; while the U-374 did not sink, she was too badly damaged to submerge again, and was caught and sunk two days later by British submarine UNBEATEN.  On 19 May 1942, LEGION took part in the Second Battle of the Syrte.  On 24 May 1942, LEGION was heavily damaged by air attack while trying to enter Malta Harbor; she had to be grounded to keep from sinking.  Emergency repairs were made, and LEGION was moved into dock.  Another air attack on 26 March 1942 broke LEGION in half and she sank; her wreckage was subsequently refloated, then scuttled in deeper water (thus clearing the pier).

LIGHTNING

     F. 55

Hawthorne Leslie April, 1940 On 12 March 1943, LIGHTNING was torpedoed and sunk by the German MTB S-55 about 35 nautical miles north of Bizerte, Tunisia.  S-55's first torpedo sheared off nearly 50' of LIGHTNING's bow (just ahead of "A" turret) and left LIGHTNING dead in the water; the S-55 positioned herself and fired her second torpedo, which struck LIGHTNING amidships on the starboard side, sinking her; 45 of her crew were killed.

* LIVELY

     F. 40

Cammell Laird January, 1941 On 9 November 1941 while serving with Force "K", LIVELY engaged in a battle with an Axis convoy resulting in the loss of the Italian destroyer FULMINE and two German and five Italian transports totaling 39,787 tons.  Less than two weeks later (on 24 November), Force "K" engaged another convoy and sank two more merchantmen (4,752 tons).  On 1 December 1941, Force "K" sank the Italian destroyer ALVISE DA MOSTO and two merchantmen (totaling 12,516 tons).  On 19 December 1941, Force "K" ran into a newly-laid Italian minefield; the light cruiser NEPTUNE and the destroyer KANDAHAR were sunk.  On 11 May 1942, LIVELY was attacked and sunk by German Ju-88 bombers about 150 nautical miles north-west of Mersa Matruh, Egypt.

LOOKOUT

     F. 32

Scotts November, 1940 Broken up for scrap in January, 1948

LOYAL

     F. 15

Scotts October, 1941 On 12 October, 1944, LOYAL struck a mine in the Tyrrhenian Sea off Italy and was declared a constructive total loss.  She was towed back to Britain, and was sold to be broken up in January, 1948.

MAHRATTA (ex-MARKSMAN)

     G. 23

Scotts July, 1942 Damaged on builders berth during air raid in 1941; moved to another berth and was not completed until 1943.  While escorting Convoy JW-57 north of Norway on 25 February 1944, MAHRATTA was hit by a Gnat (an acoustic homing torpedo) fired by the German submarine U-990; only 16 of her crew survived.

MARNE

     G. 35

Vickers-Armstrong, Tyne (Parsons) October, 1940 On 12 November 1942 while with the destroyer tender HECLA 180 miles northwest of Gibraltar, MARNE was torpedoed by the German submarine U-515; her stern was blown off from the "X" turret back and 13 of her crew were killed.  MARNE was towed to Gibraltar for emergency repairs, then back to Tyne for complete repairs, which were completed in February, 1944.  MARNE was laid up in November, 1952.  A planned conversion to an Air Detection Frigate was cancelled, and MARNE was placed on the Disposal List in 1955.  On 16 August 1957, MARNE was sold to Turkey.  Following a refit at Tyne, she was delivered to Turkey as MARESAL FEVZI CAKMAK on 9 September 1959.  Following service with the Turkish Navy, she was sold for breaking up in 1971.

MARTIN

     G. 44

Vickers-Armstrong, Tyne (Parsons) December, 1940 On 10 November 1942, MARTIN was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-431 northeast of Algiers; 161 of her crew were killed.

MATCHLESS

     G. 52

Stephen September, 1941 On 14 May 1942 while serving as an escort for Convoy PQ-13, MATCHLESS fired three torpedoes to sink the abandoned hulk of the light cruiser TRINIDAD, which had been damaged beyond repair by German air attacks.  MATCHLESS took part in the Battle off the North Cape on 26 December 1943, in which the German battlecruiser SCHARNHORST was sunk.  Following World War II, MATCHLESS was placed in the Reserve on 25 June 1946.  Following a refit in 1951-52, MATCHLESS was place on the Disposal List in 1956.  On 16 August 1957, MATCHLESS was sold to Turkey.  Following a refit at Harland and Wolf at Govan, she was delivered to Turkey as KILIC ALI PASA on 9 September 1959.  Following service with the Turkish Navy, she was sold for breaking up in 1971.

METEOR

     G. 73

Stephen November, 1941 On 30 January 1944 METEOR and the destroyer WHITEHALL sank the German submarine U-314 southeast of Bear Island in the Barents Sea.  On 18 March 1945, METEOR engaged and sank the German torpedo boat TA 24 (ex-ARTURO)  which had been engaged in minelaying off Cape Corso, Corsica.  Following World War II, METEOR was placed in the Reserve Fleet at Davenport, and was refitted in 1951-52.  A planned conversion to an Air Detection Frigate in 1954 was cancelled, and METEOR was placed on the sales list in early 1957.  On 16 August 1957, METEOR was sold to Turkey.  Following a refit at Palmers at Hebburn, Newcastle, she was delivered to Turkey as PIYALE PASA on 9 September 1959.  Following service with the Turkish Navy, she was sold for breaking up in 1972.

MILNE

     G. 14

Scotts December, 1941 Fitted as a leader.  On 29 December 1942, MILNE rescued 143 survivors from three merchantmen which had been sunk by the German submarine U-406.  On 31 May 1944, MILNE depth-charged and sank the German submarine U-289 southwest of Bear Island in the Baltic.  Following World War II, MILNE was placed in the Reserve in August, 1946 at Harwich until transferred to Rosyth. She was used as an accommodation ship for Reserve Fleet personnel and ships under refit in HM Dockyard.  MILNE was selected for conversion to a Type 62 Frigate and towed to Plymouth. This work was never carried out as the ships of this class were found to be unsuitable and in poor condition. MILNE was transferred to Penarth to lay-up in the Reserve Fleet and later placed on the Sales List.  On 16 August 1957, MILNE was sold to Turkey.  Following a refit at Penarth, she was delivered to Turkey as ALP ARSLAN on 9 September 1959.  Following service with the Turkish Navy, she was sold for breaking up in 1971.

MUSKETEER

     G. 86

Fairfield December, 1942 MUSKETEER took part in the Battle off the North Cape on 26 December 1943, in which the German battlecruiser SCHARNHORST was sunk.  Following World War II, MUSKETEER was placed on the Reserve List and laid up at Harwich in April, 1946; she was refitted in 1951-52.  A planned conversion to an Air Detection Frigate in 1954 was cancelled, and following service as an Accommodation Ship and Depot Ship for Coastal Forces craft at Harwich in 1955 until placed on the Disposal List.  MUSKETEER was sold for breaking up in September, 1955.

ORKAN (ex-MYRMIDON)

     G. 90

Fairfield March, 1942 Manned by the Polish Navy; ORKAN is the Polish word for "hurricane".  While escorting Convoy SC-143 in the Atlantic Ocean on 8 October 1943, ORKAN was hit by a Gnat (an acoustic homing torpedo) fired by the German submarine U-378; 178 Polish and 20 British members of her crew were killed.

Pictures

delphin__43_milne_dd_1939_-_01.jpg (13071 bytes) Delphin 43
delphin__43_milne_dd_1943_-_02.jpg (19215 bytes) Delphin 43
delphin__43_milne_dd_1943_-_03.jpg (11639 bytes) Delphin 43
delphin__43_milne_dd_1943_-_05.jpg (7258 bytes) Delphin 43
neptun_1160_l_and_m_class_dd_1941_-_00.jpg (24417 bytes) Neptun 1160
neptun_1160_l_and_m_class_dd_1941_-_01.jpg (15166 bytes) Neptun 1160
neptun_1160_l_and_m_class_dd_1941_-_02.jpg (16638 bytes) Neptun 1160
neptun_1160_l_and_m_class_dd_1941_-_03.jpg (14123 bytes) Neptun 1160
neptun_1160_l_and_m_class_dd_1941_-_04.jpg (16008 bytes) Neptun 1160
neptun_1160a_l_and_m_class_dd_1943_-_00.jpg (23105 bytes) Neptun 1160a
neptun_1160a_l_and_m_class_dd_1943_-_01.jpg (17027 bytes) Neptun 1160a
neptun_1160a_l_and_m_class_dd_1943_-_02.jpg (14589 bytes) Neptun 1160a
neptun_1160b_lance_dd_1941_-_00.jpg (25549 bytes) Neptun 1160b as LANCE