Ant Class Gunboat (1870)

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The Ant Class Gunboats were "flatiron" vessels designed by George Rendel of Armstrong, Whitworth & Company for coastal duties. They were highly maneuverable and were the first Royal Navy warships to dispense with sails altogether. They were simply and sturdily built, as shown by the fact that six were rearmed with modern weapons for coastal fire support during the First World War, despite the fact they'd been forty years in service and had been serving as harbour service tenders for some time.

The four vessels launched in 1879 are usually listed as a separate class, but were identical except for their date of completion.[1]

Overview of twenty-four vessels
Citations for this data available on individual ship pages
Ant Class
Name Builder Laid Down Launched Completed Fate
Ant Laird 14 August, 1873 Sold 2 June, 1926
Arrow Rennie 22 April, 1871 Sold 1 March, 1922
Badger Chatham 13 March, 1871 Sold 6 October, 1908
Blazer Portsmouth 7 December, 1870 Sold 19 August, 1919
Bloodhound Armstrong, Whitworth & Company 22 April, 1871 Sold 28 June, 1921
Bonetta Rennie 20 May, 1871 Sold 12 January, 1909
Bulldog Campbell Johnston 17 September, 1872 Sold 16 July, 1906
Bustard Robert Napier & Sons 7 January, 1871 Sold March, 1923
Comet Portsmouth 8 December, 1870 Sold 12 May, 1908
Cuckoo Laird 14 August, 1873 Sold 1959
Fidget Chatham 13 March, 1872 Hulked 1905
Hyaena Laird 30 August, 1873 Sold 3 April, 1906
Kite Robert Napier & Sons 8 February, 1871 Sold 18 May, 1920
Mastiff Armstrong, Whitworth & Company 4 April, 1871 Sold 28 November, 1931
Pickle Campbell Johnston 17 September, 1872 Dockyard lighter 1906
Pike Campbell Johnston 16 October, 1872 Sold 27 March, 1920
Scourge Chatham 25 March, 1871 Disposed of after 1930?
Snake Chatham 25 March, 1871 Disposed of after 1907?
Snap Campbell Johnston 11 December, 1872 Sold 1909
Weazel Laird 4 September, 1873 Oil lighter C.118 1904
Gadfly Class
Gadfly Pembroke 5 May, 1879 Sold 1918
Griper Pembroke 15 September, 1879 Broken up 1951?
Pincher Pembroke 5 May, 1879 Sold 11 June, 1905
Tickler Pembroke 15 September, 1879 Broken up 1937

Design

The vessels were as follows:[2]

  • 254 tons
  • 89.5 feet overall (85 pp)
  • 26 foot beam
  • 6 foot draught
  • 260 I.H.P. for 8 knots

Armament

Varied by vessel in 1914:[3]

  • Ant: two 4.7-in
  • Blazer: two 12-pdr, two 6-pdr
  • Bloodhound: two 6-pdr. Disarmed in November, 1915.
  • Bustard: one 6-in, one 4.7-in. Disarmed in October, 1916.
  • Kite: one 6-in, one 4.7-in. Disarmed in November, 1915.
  • Mastiff: two 4.7-in, one 12-pdr

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Lyon; Winfield. The Steam & Sail List. p. 279.
  2. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 105.
  3. Dittmar; Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. p. 105.

Bibliography


Ant Class Gunboat
Ant Class
Ant Arrow Badger Blazer Bloodhound
Bonetta Bulldog Bustard Comet Cuckoo
Fidget Hyaena Kite Mastiff Pickle
Pike Scourge Snake Snap Weazel
Gadfly Class
  Gadfly Griper Pincher Tickler  
<– H.M.S. Plucky Small Fry (UK) Ariel Class –>
<– H.M.S. Plucky Gunboats (UK) Ariel Class –>