Shakespeare Class Flotilla Leader (1917)

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Seven flotilla leaders of the Shakespeare Class were ordered late in the war, but only two were completed by the end of hostility and two were cancelled.

Overview of 5 vessels
Citations for this data available on individual ship pages
Name Builder Laid Down Launched Completed Fate
Shakespeare John I. Thornycroft & Company 7 Jul, 1917 Handed over 2 Sep, 1936
Spenser John I. Thornycroft & Company 22 Sep, 1917 Handed over 29 Sep, 1936
Wallace John I. Thornycroft & Company 26 Oct, 1918 20 Mar, 1945
Keppel John I. Thornycroft & Company 23 Apr, 1920 Jul, 1945
Broke John I. Thornycroft & Company 16 Sep, 1920 Foundered 9 Nov, 1942



In 1916, it was stated that flotilla leaders have two 26.25 kw dynamos arranged in parallel with an additional 9 kw oil-fired set for emergency use.[1] It is likely that this applied to this class.


The ships were armed as follows.[2]

4.7-in Guns

  • Five 4.7-in B.L. Mark I guns on C.P. VI mountings

These guns could elevate 30 degrees and had 24 common, 96 lyddite and 19 practice rounds per gun.

Other Guns

  • One 3-in H.A. gun on S. III mounting with 100 rounds
  • One .303-in Maxim with 5,000 rounds


  • Two Triple Revolving 21-in torpedo mounts

The torpedoes were Mark II torpedo or Mark I**** torpedo.

Fire Control


Firing Circuits[3]
Training and Slewing Circuits[4]

In 1917, it was approved that all flotilla leaders except Swift and Abdiel should receive installations of the British Destroyer Director Firing System,[5] though no installations of this equipment were completed prior to 1918.[6]

The first three units were completed with directors.[7] It seems certain the last two would have, as well.[Inference]

The Small Type Training Receivers were pattern number 20 on #1, #2 and #3, whereas #4 and #5 had pattern number 21.[8]


By 1921, all R.N. destroyer leaders mounted a 9ft F.Q. 2 on an M.Q. 1, M.Q. 9 or M.Q. 12 mount on their fore bridge.[9]

Torpedo Control

Torpedo Control Circuits in Shakespeare and Spenser[10]

In 1919, it was decided that all (except it seems Broke) should each receive a Renouf Torpedo Tactical Instrument Type A.[11]

Dreyer Table

These ships had no fire control tables.[12]

See Also


  1. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1916. p. 120.
  2. March. British Destroyers. p. 196.
  3. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. Plate100.
  4. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. Plate101.
  5. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. p. 229.
  6. Progress in Naval Gunnery, 1914-1918. p. 37.
  7. Director Firing For Flotilla Leaders and Destroyers. p. 55.
  8. The Director Firing Handbook. p. 146.
  9. Handbook for Naval Range-Finders and Mountings, Book I. p. 168.
  10. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. p. 210. Plate 82.
  11. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1919. pp. 118, 119.
  12. absent from list in Handbook of Capt. F.C. Dreyer's Fire Control Tables, p. 3.


  • Admiralty, Gunnery Branch (1910). Handbook for Fire Control Instruments, 1909. Copy No. 173 is Ja 345a at Admiralty Library, Portsmouth, United Kingdom.
  • Admiralty, Gunnery Branch (1918). Handbook of Captain F. C. Dreyer's Fire Control Tables, 1918. C.B. 1456. Copy No. 10 at Admiralty Library, Portsmouth, United Kingdom.

Shakespeare Class Flotilla Leader
Shakespeare Spenser Wallace Keppel Broke
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