"R" Class Destroyer (1916)
A total of 62 destroyers of the "R" Class were completed in 1916-1917 as part of the War Emergency Programme.
There was a mix of Admiralty design vessels (39) and a diverse set of builder's specials (12 ships). Feedback on the performance of the early units led to the final 11 being adapted into the Modified "R" Class, which had slightly different armament, a bridge placed further aft, and an altered arrangement of boiler rooms that permitted two of the the three funnels to be trunked together.
|Overview of 62 vessels|
|Citations for this data available on individual ship pages|
|Radstock||Swan Hunter||3 Jun, 1916||29 Apr, 1927|
|Raider||Swan Hunter||17 Jul, 1916||29 Apr, 1927|
|Romola||John Brown & Company||14 May, 1916||13 Mar, 1930|
|Rowena||John Brown & Company||1 Jul, 1916||Handed over 21 Jul, 1937|
|Restless||John Brown & Company||12 Aug, 1916||Handed over 23 Nov, 1936|
|Rigorous||John Brown & Company||30 Sep, 1916||5 Nov, 1926|
|Rocket||William Denny & Brothers||2 Jul, 1916||16 Dec, 1926|
|Rob Roy||William Denny & Brothers||28 Aug, 1916||13 Jul, 1926|
|Redgauntlet||William Denny & Brothers||23 Nov, 1916||Jul, 1927|
|Redoubt||William Doxford & Sons||28 Oct, 1916||13 Jul, 1926|
|Recruit||William Doxford & Sons||9 Dec, 1916||Mined 9 Aug, 1917|
|Sturgeon||Alexander Stephen & Sons||11 Jan, 1917||16 Dec, 1926|
|Sceptre||Alexander Stephen & Sons||18 Apr, 1917||16 Dec, 1926|
|Salmon||Harland & Wolff||7 Oct, 1916||Handed over 28 Jan, 1937|
|Sylph||Harland & Wolff||15 Nov, 1916||16 Dec, 1926|
|Sarpedon||Hawthorn Leslie & Company||1 Jun, 1916||13 Jul, 1926|
|Sable||J. Samuel White||28 Jun, 1916||Aug, 1927|
|Setter||J. Samuel White||18 Aug, 1916||Collision 17 May, 1917|
|Sorceress||Swan Hunter||29 Aug, 1916||29 Apr, 1927|
|Satyr||William Beardmore & Company||27 Dec, 1916||16 Dec, 1926|
|Sharpshooter||William Beardmore & Company||27 Feb, 1917||29 Apr, 1927|
|Simoom||John Brown & Company||30 Oct, 1916||Torpedoed 23 Jan, 1917|
|Skate||John Brown & Company||11 Jan, 1917||4 Mar, 1947|
|Starfish||Hawthorn Leslie & Company||27 Sep, 1916||21 Apr, 1928|
|Stork||Hawthorn Leslie & Company||15 Nov, 1916||7 Oct, 1927|
|Skilful||Harland & Wolff||3 Feb, 1917||13 Jul, 1926|
|Springbok||Harland & Wolff||9 Mar, 1917||16 Dec, 1926|
|Tancred||William Beardmore & Company||30 Jun, 1917||17 May, 1928|
|Tarpon||John Brown & Company||10 Mar, 1917||4 Aug, 1927|
|Telemachus||John Brown & Company||21 Apr, 1917||26 Jul, 1927|
|Tempest||Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company||26 Jan, 1917||Handed over 28 Jan, 1937|
|Tetrarch||Harland & Wolff||20 Apr, 1917||28 Jul, 1934|
|Tenacious||Harland & Wolff||21 May, 1917||26 Jun, 1928|
|Thisbe||Hawthorn Leslie & Company||8 Mar, 1917||31 Aug, 1936|
|Thruster||Hawthorn Leslie & Company/C. A. Parsons & Company||10 Jan, 1917||1937|
|Tormentor||Alexander Stephen & Sons||22 May, 1917||19 Nov, 1929|
|Tornado||Alexander Stephen & Sons||4 Aug, 1917||Mined 23 Dec, 1917|
|Torrent||Swan Hunter||26 Nov, 1916||Mined 23 Dec, 1917|
|Torrid||Swan Hunter||10 Feb, 1917||Handed over 27 Jan, 1937|
|Rosalind||John I. Thornycroft & Company||14 Oct, 1916||13 Jul, 1926|
|Radiant||John I. Thornycroft & Company||25 Nov, 1916||21 Jun, 1920|
|Retriever||John I. Thornycroft & Company||15 Jan, 1917||26 Jul, 1927|
|Taurus||John I. Thornycroft & Company||10 Mar, 1917||18 Feb, 1930|
|Teazer||John I. Thornycroft & Company||21 Apr, 1917||6 Feb, 1931|
|Sabrina||Yarrow & Company||24 Jul, 1916||5 Nov, 1926|
|Strongbow||Yarrow & Company||30 Sep, 1916||Sunk 17 Oct, 1917|
|Surprise||Yarrow & Company||25 Nov, 1916||Mined 23 Dec, 1917|
|Sybille||Yarrow & Company||5 Feb, 1917||5 Nov, 1926|
|Truculent||Yarrow & Company||24 Mar, 1917||29 Apr, 1927|
|Tyrant||Yarrow & Company||19 May, 1917||Apr, 1938|
|Ulleswater||Yarrow & Company||4 Aug, 1917||Torpedoed 15 Aug, 1918|
|Ulster||William Beardmore & Company||10 Oct, 1917||Apr, 1928|
|Undine||Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company||22 Mar, 1917||Apr, 1928|
|Tower||Swan Hunter||5 Apr, 1917||17 May, 1928|
|Trenchant||J. Samuel White||23 Dec, 1917||15 Nov, 1928|
|Tristram||J. Samuel White||24 Feb, 1917||9 May, 1921|
|Tirade||Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering Company||21 Apr, 1917||15 Nov, 1921|
|Ursula||Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering Company||2 Aug, 1917||19 Nov, 1929|
|Ulysses||William Doxford & Sons||24 Mar, 1917||Collision 29 Oct, 1918|
|Umpire||William Doxford & Sons||9 Jun, 1917||7 Jan, 1930|
|Urchin||Palmer Shipbuilding and Iron Company||7 Jun, 1917||7 Jan, 1930|
|Ursa||Palmer Shipbuilding and Iron Company||23 Jul, 1917||13 Jul, 1926|
The ships' capacity for 300 tons of fuel, delivered the following endurance.
The Modified "R" delivered much the same endurance. It's actually surprising that someone thought it worthwhile documenting them separately, given the variance between individual ships.
|Knots||Tons / hour|| Endurance
|Where Modified "R" differs, data|
is displayed as "R" / Modified "R"
In 1916, it was stated that "new destroyers" have two 26.25 kw dynamos arranged in parallel. It is likely that this applied to this class.
Modified "R" class (11 ships):
- three 4-in Q.F. Mark V guns on C.P. III mountings capable of 30 degree elevation, increasing extreme range by 20%.
Others (51 ships):
By 1920, some or all had one 2-pdr pom-pom for air defence.
- two double revolving 21-in torpedo tubes on the centreline
These, along with those in Fearless may have been among the first A.W. tubes built with screw plugs to permit the alteration of range and depth and perhaps gyro angle to be adjusted, the stop and charging valve to be access, and the collision head to be filled while the torpedo was in the tube.
Experiments from February with two Grand Fleet destroyers employing dumaresqs and Vickers Range Clocks and voicepipes showed definite advantages over ships using unaided spotting and voicepipes, even when the crews had no special training in the new equipment. Tests were also conducted to find a rangefinder suitable to the lively and cramped platform that destroyers provided. This led to an order on 3 April, 1916 that each T.B.D. of "M" class and later should be equipped with:
- one Waymouth-Cooke sextant rangefinder
- one Vickers Range Clock
- one Dumaresq
- range and deflection receivers at each gun
Two ratings, trained before coming aboard, were added to the crew to work the equipment. The clocks and rangefinders were issued in the following three months, and the dumaresqs a few months later. The data instruments did not become available in numbers until 1917. By mid-1917, the whole system was broadly in place in the destroyers of the Grand Fleet and in the Harwich Force.
In 1918, it was ordered that those destroyers with director installations were to additionally receive:
- a voice pipe from T.S. to director
- a fire gong at director worked from existing push in T.S.
- a fire gong push on fore bridge to be added, wired in parallel to that in the T.S.
- the repeat receivers on the fore bridge were to be positioned so as to be visible to the director sightsetter.
A single sighting position was located high up in the centre of the bridge, thus requiring only a single set of firing pushes or keys as well as keys for operating a buzzer at the forward torpedo mount and a rattler at the aft mount.
The control position had a single Mark I deflection transmitter and separate order transmitters and keys for the forward and aft tubes. Each torpedo mount had a combined receiver for these signals.
By November 1918, those ships operating with the Twentieth Destroyer Flotilla, Telemachus, Tarpon and Venturous, were fitted to carry 44 mines. The torpedo tubes and guns removed when the mines were shipped could be placed back aboard with enough notice.
- Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. pp. 76-77, 79-80.
- Battlecruiser Force Signal Orders (1 August, 1918), The National Archives. ADM 137/2135
- Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1916. p. 120.
- Technical History and Index, Vol 4, Part 34. pp. 12-13.
- Director Firing For Flotilla Leaders and Destroyers. p. 55.
- Technical History and Index, Vol 4, Part 34, p. 16.
- Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1911. p. 48.
- Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1912. p. 36.
- Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. p. 61.
- Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1920. pp. 6-7. (G. 10141/20-6.8.1920).
- The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. p. 31.
- Progress in Naval Gunnery, 1914-1918. p. 35.
- The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. pp. 31, 32.
- The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. p. 12.
- Director Firing For Flotilla Leaders and Destroyers. p. 55.
- Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1918. p. 376. (C.I.O. 1081/18, G. 24486/15).
- Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. Plate 84.
- Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. p. 211.
- Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. p. 211, Plate 84. (C.I.O. 439/17.).
- Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1921. p. 137. V.W.O. 11/21.
- Annual Report of the Torpedo School, Mining Appendix, 1917-18. p. 11. Plate 7.
- Admiralty, Technical History Section (1920). The Technical History and Index: Alteration in Armaments of H.M. Ships during the War. Vol. 4, Part 34. C.B. 1515 (34) now O.U. 6171/20. At The National Archives, Kew, United Kingdom.
- March, Edgar J. (1966). British Destroyers: A History of Development, 1892-1953. London: Seeley Service & Co. Limited. (on Bookfinder.com).
- Gray, Randal (editor) (1985). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. London: Conway Maritime Press. (on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk).
|"R" Class Destroyer|
|Modified "R" Class|
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