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Great Britain's Flag

Great Britain's Prototype destroyers

Photos

  • HMS Amazon destroyer

Design

The first two destroyers ordered after World War I the HMS Amazon and HMS Ambuscade were to be prototypes for future destroyers. Prototypes were also ask from Denny, Hawthorn Leslie, and White.

Armament

The 4.7" mounts had a 30° elevation and small shields with little protection.

The torpedoes were Mk IVs.

Construction

The bridge was all steel. Freeboard was higher and accommodations for crew were improved.

It was found that when the ships were sailing in warm latitudes that the machinery spaces became very hot and the ventilation systems had to be improved.

Steering

The steering on the HMS Amazon were steam powered and on the HMS Ambuscade it was electro-hydraulic.

Turbines

The HMS Amazon's boilers were super heated 3 drum type and the HMS Ambuscade were air pre-heating 4 drum.

Ships

 

HMS Amazon, D.39

  • Builder: Thornycroft
  • Cost: £319,455
  • 1925, January 1925: Laid down
  • January 1, 1926, January 27, 1926: Launched
  • September 1926: Completed
  • May 5, 1927: Commissioned
  • September 1939: With 18th Destroyer Flotilla.
  • November 1939: 50 tons of ballast added. One torpedo mount was replaced by a 3" HA gun.
  • April 1940: Norway.
  • April 29, 1940: Helped sing U50.
  • ?: With 12 Destroyer Flotilla.
  • ?: 3rd Escort Group. Operated in North Atlantic and Artic convoys to the Soviet Union.
  • April 30, 1942: Received two 5" shell hits from German destroyers while escorting QP11.
  • Mid 1942: Went to Mediterranean.
  • 1942: 'A' and 'Y' guns removed and a hedgehog put into the locations of the 'A' gun. Radar 286P was added to the masthead. A Radar 271 replaced the directory and rangefinder.
  • 1943: Based in Clyde. Then to the Western Approaches.
  • 1943: Removed 3" gun and forward torpedo launcher. A ten pattern depth charger mount was added. The 286P radar set was replaced by a 291.
  • 1943 - 1944: Used as an escort destroyer. Had two 4.7", four 20 mm, six 21" torpedo tubes, and 95 depth charges.
  • August 1943: Based in Greenock.
  • August 1944: Target ship for fliers.
  • January 1945: Put in reserve.
  • October 25, 1948: Sold
  • November 23, 1946, 1948, 1949: Broken up by West of Scotland Shipbreaking Co. at Troon.

HMS Ambuscade, D.38

  • Builder: A. Yarrow, Yarrow
  • Cost: £326,616
  • December 8, 1924, late 1924: Laid down
  • January 15, 1926: Launched
  • 1926, September 1926: Completed
  • March 15, 1927: Commissioned
  • 1939 - 1940: Refit at Portsmouth.
  • ?: One torpedo mount replaced by 12 pdr HA.
  • June 1940: Operated off northern France.
  • 1942: 'A' and 'Y' guns removed and a hedgehog put into the locations of the 'A' gun. Radar 286P was added to the masthead. A Radar 271 replaced the directory and rangefinder.
  • 1943, July 1943: 65 tons of ballast added, Squid added (Hedgehog removed), and two 4.7". No torpedo tubes.
  • ?: Served with 12th Destroyer Flotilla.
  • ?: Served with 3rd Escort Group.
  • 1943: Target ship for fliers.
  • 1946: Broken up
  • November 23, 1946, March 1947: Broken up at Troon.

Usage

Both ships mostly performed convoy escort duties.

Late in World War II both the HMS Amazon and HMS Ambuscade were used as target ships.

Specifications

  HMS Amazon
Crew 138
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement 1,350 tons, 1,352 tons
1,597 tonnes
Displacement - Loaded 1,812 tons
1,841 tonnes
Length 323'
98.45 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 311' 9"
95 m, 95.02 m
Length - Water Line 319'
97.23 m
Beam 31' 6", 31' 7"
9.6 m, 9.63 m
Draft - Mean 8' 6", 9' 3", 9' 6"
2.59 m
Draft - Maximum 12' 7"
3.84 m
Performance  
Speed 37 knots
Range at 15 knots 3,400 nautical miles
Armament 4: 4.7"/45 BL Mk I (4 x 1), 4.7" (4 x 1)
Anti-Aircraft 2: 2pdr pompoms (2 x 1) , 2 pdr AA (2 x 1)
Torpedo Tubes 6: 21" (2 x 3)
Engines  
Boilers 3: Yarrow , Parsons
Shafts 2
Turbines Brown-Curtis geared, Brown-Curtis S.R., Geared
Turbines - Cruising Parsons
HP 39,500, 42,000
Oil 428 tons, 433 tons
440 tonnes
  HMS Amazon later
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement - Loaded 1,980 tons
Draft - Maximum 13' 5"
4.09 m
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft 1: 4.7" HA
Torpedo Tubes 3: 21" (1 x 3)
  HMS Ambuscade
Crew 138
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement 1,170 tons, 1,173 tons
1,192 tonnes
Displacement - Loaded 1,585 tons
1,610 tonnes
Length 322'
98.14 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 307'
93.57 m
Length - Water Line 319'
97.23 m
Beam 31', 31' 1"
9.45 m, 9.47 m
Draft - Mean 8' 3", 8' 6", 11' 4"
2.59 m, 3.45 m
Performance  
Speed 37
Range at 15 knots 3,310 nautical miles
Armament 4: 4.7" (4 x 1), 4.7"/45 BL Mk I (4 x 1)
Anti-Aircraft 2: 2 pdr (2 x 1), 2 pdr AA (2 x 1), 2 pdr pompoms (2 x 1)
Torpedo Tubes 6: 21" (2 x 3)
Engines  
Boilers 3: Yarrow
Shafts 2
Turbines Brown-Curtis S.R., Geared, Brown-Curtis geared
Turbines - Cruising Parsons
HP 33,000, 35,500
Oil 381 tons, 385 tons
391 tonnes
  HMS Ambuscade later
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement - Loaded 1,820 tons
Draft - Mean 12' 6"
3.81 m
Armament 3: 4.7"
Anti-Aircraft 1: 12 pdr HA
2: 2 pdr (2 x 1)
2: 20 mm
Torpedo Tubes 3: 21"
Depth Charges 70

Sources:

  1. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Robert Gardiner, 1987
  2. Destroyers of World War Two, M. J. Whitley, 1988
  3. Warships of World War II, H. T. Lenton & J. J. Colledge, 1964
  4. Janes' Fighting Ships of World War II, 1989
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site