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List of torpedo boat classes of the Royal Navy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of torpedo boat classes of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, organised chronologically by entry into service. This article's coverage is restricted to the steam-powered torpedo boats built for or acquired by the British Navy between 1875 (the invention of the Whitehead torpedo) and 1905; the final batch of 36 steam-powered torpedo boats from 1906 to 1908 were originally rated as coastal destroyers and will be found under Cricket-class destroyers, while later torpedo boats powered by internal combustion engines will be found under Motor Torpedo Boats

Torpedo boats

Ever since the first spar-torpedoes in the American Civil War and the Russian Turkish War, the world's sea powers continued to refine the small torpedo craft concept to employ the new automobile torpedoes (Whitehead torpedoes) that could continue the legacy of small and relatively inexpensive vessels able to challenge much larger vessels. The Royal Navy purchased 1st and 2nd class torpedo boats for offensive and defensive combat roles, respectively.

Later – especially to counter the French automobile defense – the British Navy primarily ordered torpedo boat catchers (or torpedo gunboats), which proved too slow for the task of dealing with torpedo boats, and subsequently torpedo boat destroyers (TBDs) - or destroyers as they soon became called.

1st class torpedo boats

First class torpedo boats were designed for independent inshore operations. They were small, but large enough to patrol coastal waters and enjoy some limited endurance beyond their supporting port or tender.

Lightning-design

113-Footers

On 10 December 1883 the Admiralty wrote both to John I. Thornycroft & Company and to Yarrow & Company asking them to tender for one or more improved First Class torpedo boats.

TB.21 class

on 21 December 1883 Thornycroft replied forwarding their design HO 1992 and the specification in accordance with the Admiralty's letter. The dimensions were similar to those of the Sookhoun (Yard number 167, built 1882 for the Imperial Russian Navy) and the Childers (Yard number 172, built 1882 for the Victorian Government in Australia). Two boats (Yard numbers 201 and 202) were ordered by the Admiralty on 19 January 1884 for delivery in 9 and 10 months respectively.

    • TB.21 (launched 18 March 1885 and ran trials on 30 April 1885)
      Sold to be broken up in Malta in 1907.
    • TB.22 (launched 5 May 1885 and ran trials on 25 May 1885)
      Sold to be broken up in Malta in 1907.

TB.23 class

The Admiralty similarly placed orders with Yarrow for two boats (built at Poplar as Yard numbers 666 and 667).

    • TB.23 (launched 1886)
      Sold in 1905.
    • TB.24 (launched 1886)
      Sold in 1904.

125-Footers

All carried 5 x 14inch torpedo tubes (one bow tube plus two pairs of deck tubes) and a complement of 16. The bow tubes were later removed.

TB.25 class

  • John I. Thornycroft & Company (1885–86)

The first of these boats was ordered on 24 February 1885 as Yard number 212, and another four boats were ordered on 30/31 March 1885 as Yard numbers 218 to 221.

Number Builder Launched[1] Notes[1]
TB.25 Thornycroft 7 October 1885 Sold for scrap 10.1919
TB.26 Thornycroft 22 October 1885 Sold for scrap 2.10.1919
TB.27 Thornycroft 26 October 1885 Sold for scrap 2.10.1919
TB.28 Thornycroft 7 November 1885 Expended as a target at Cape Town in 1898
TB.29 Thornycroft 19 November 1885 Sold for scrap at Cape Town 1.7.1919


TB.30 class

  • Yarrow & Company, Limited (1885–86)
    • TB.30
    • TB.31
    • TB.32
    • TB.33

TB.34 class

  • J. Samuel White (1885–87)
    • TB.34
    • TB.35
    • TB.36
    • TB.37
    • TB.38

TB.41 class

  • John I. Thornycroft & Company (1886)

These twenty boats were ordered on 30 April or 1 May 1885 as Yard numbers 222 to 241, and were identical with the previous five Thornycroft boats.

Number Builder Launched[1] Notes[1]
TB.41 Thornycroft 1885 Sold for scrap 1.8.1919
TB.42 Thornycroft 4 December 1885 Sold for scrap 2.10.1919
TB.43 Thornycroft 1885 Sold for scrap at Malta 18.12.1919
TB.44 Thornycroft 1885 Sold for scrap at Malta 18.12.1919
TB.45 Thornycroft 21 December 1885 Sold for scrap 1.8.1919
TB.46 Thornycroft 4 January 1886 Wrecked 27.12.1915 in Mediterranean, but salved and sold for scrap 1920
TB.47 Thornycroft 28 June 1886 Sold for scrap ca. 1908
TB.48 Thornycroft 1886 Sold for scrap ca. 1915
TB.49 Thornycroft 1886 Sold for scrap 1.8.1919
TB.50 Thornycroft 17 June 1886 Sold for scrap 23.2.1920
TB.51 Thornycroft 30 July 1886 Sold for scrap ca. 1913
TB.52 Thornycroft 1886 Sold for scrap 19.12.1919
TB.53 Thornycroft 16 August 1886 Sold for scrap 1913
TB.54 Thornycroft 28 August 1886 Sold for scrap 1.8.1919
TB.55 Thornycroft 29 August 1886 Sold for scrap 23.2.1920
TB.56 Thornycroft 1 October 1886 Foundered off Damietta 17.5.1906
TB.57 Thornycroft 2 October 1886 Sold for scrap 2.10.1919
TB.58 Thornycroft 18 October 1886 Sold for scrap 19.12.1919
TB.59 Thornycroft 11 November 1886 Sold for scrap ca. 1913
TB.60 Thornycroft 10 December 1886 Sold for scrap at Cape Town 1.7.1919

TB.61 class

  • Yarrow & Company, Limited (1886–87)
    • TB.61 - TB.78 (repeats of Nos 30-33)
    • TB.79 (modified from previous design)

100-Footers (purchases)

  • Yarrow & Company, Limited
    • TB.39
    • TB.40

135-footer

  • Yarrow & Company, Limited
    • TB.80

153-Footer (HMS Swift)

130-Footers

(ordered under 1887-88 Programme, as repeats of TB.79)

  • Yarrow & Company, Limited
    • TB.82
    • TB.83
    • TB.84
    • TB.85
    • TB.86
    • TB.87

140-Footers

Ten "140-footer" were ordered to four different builders' designs under the 1892-93 Programme. They were built in the same period as the first of the 26-knotter TBDs (torpedo boat destroyers) which rapidly superseded the traditional torpedo boat.

TB.88 class

  • Yarrow & Company, Limited
    • TB.88
    • TB.89
    • TB.90

TB.91 class

These three boats were ordered from John I. Thornycroft & Company exactly one week after the orders were placed for Thornycroft's Daring and Decoy torpedo-boat destroyers, and thus followed them in sequence as Yard numbers 289, 290 and 291.

    • TB.91
    • TB.92
    • TB.93

TB.94 class

  • J. Samuel White
    • TB.94
    • TB.95
    • TB.96

TB.97

135-Footers

(ex Royal Indian Marine boats, taken over by RN in 1892 and given numbers in 1900 instead of their original names)

  • John I. Thornycroft & Company
    • TB.100 (ex-Baluchi)
    • TB.102 (ex-Karen)
    • TB.103 (ex-Pathan)
  • Hanna, Donald & Wilson
    • TB.101 (ex-Gurkha)
  • J. Samuel White
    • TB.104 (ex-Mahratta)
    • TB.105 (ex-Sikh)
    • TB.106 (ex-Rajput)

160-Footers

The Royal Navy's thirteen 160 Footers comprised three distinct classes, each built to their constructors' own designs.

TB.98 class

TB.98 class
Class overview
Builders: Thornycroft
Completed: 4
Lost: 0
Scrapped: 4
General characteristics [2]
Displacement:
  • 185 long tons (188 t) normal
  • 199 long tons (202 t) deep load
Length: 160 ft (48.77 m) pp
Beam: 17 ft 0 in (5.18 m)
Draught: 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Propulsion: 3,000 ihp (2,200 kW)
Speed: 25 kn (46 km/h; 29 mph)
Complement: 32
Armament:

These four boats, discontinuously numbered,[3] were built by Thornycroft at Chiswick to a common design. The first two (Yard numbers 346 and 347) were ordered on 21 November 1899 under the 1899-1900 Programme. The later pair (Yard numbers 351 and 352) were ordered on 25 April 1900 under the 1900-1901 Programme.

Number Builder Launched[1] Notes[1]
TB.98 Thornycroft 22 January 1901 Sold for scrap 30 June 1920
TB.99 Thornycroft 1901 Sank 19 June 1907 off Berry Head, but salvaged and returned to service[4]
Sold for scrap 29 July 1920
TB.107 Thornycroft 2 July 1901 Sold for scrap 29 July 1920
TB.108 Thornycroft 30 August 1901 Sold for scrap 29 July 1920

TB.109 class

TB.109 class
Class overview
Builders: Thornycroft
Completed: 5
Lost: 0
Scrapped: 5
General characteristics [2]
Displacement:
  • 200 long tons (200 t) normal
  • 199 long tons (202 t) deep load
Length: 164 ft 9 in (50.22 m) wl
Beam: 17 ft 3 in (5.26 m)
Draught: 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Propulsion: 3,050 ihp (2,270 kW)
Speed: 25 kn (46 km/h; 29 mph)
Complement: 32
Armament:

Five more Thorncroft boats were built under the 1901-02 Programme to a different design, about 7% greater in displacement and being four feet longer than the TB.98 boats. The first four of these boats were ordered from Thornycroft on 11 November 1901, and the fifth on 14 December 1901. Their yard numbers were 359 to 363 respectively.

Number Builder[5] Launched[5] Notes[5]
TB.109 Thornycroft 22 July 1902 Sold for scrap 27 March 1920
TB.110 Thornycroft 5 September 1902 Sold for scrap 27 March 1920
TB.111 Thornycroft 31 October 1902 Sold for scrap 10 February 1920
TB.112 Thornycroft 15 January
1903
Sold for scrap 10 February 1920
TB.113 Thornycroft 12 February 1903 Sold for scrap 19 December 1919

TB.114 class

The remaining four boats, similar in scale to the TB.109 models, were built by J. Samuel White.

Number Builder[5] Launched[5] Notes[5]
TB.114 J Samuel White 8 June 1903 Sold for scrap 1919
TB.115 J Samuel White 19 November 1903 Sold for scrap 1919
TB.116 J Samuel White 21 December 1903 Sold for scrap 22 October 1921
TB.117 J Samuel White 18 February 1904 Sunk following collision with merchant vessel <i>Kamourska</i> in English Channel 10 June 1917
3 killed[6]

Cricket class

No further 1st Class torpedo boats were ordered until 1905, when twelve coastal destroyers were ordered under the 1905-06 Programme. In 1906 these were re-classified as torpedo boats and their original names were replaced by the numbers TB.1 to TB.12. To avoid confusion with the surviving early 1st Class torpedo boats, those survivors bearing numbers up to TB.79 inclusive were renumbered to include a "0" before the number (e.g. TB.79 became TB.079). Twelve more of these new torpedo boats were ordered in the 1906-07 Programme, to enlarged designs, and a final twelve in the 1907-08 Programme; these were numbered TB.13 to TB.36.

2nd class torpedo boats

2nd Class torpedo boat, with the TB depot ship HMS Hecla in the background
2nd Class torpedo boat, with the TB depot ship HMS Hecla in the background

The first 50 small torpedo boats were to be carried on larger ships or given to dedicated torpedo boat carriers, such as HMS Vulcan and HMS Hecla. With a single (US-built) exception, all were constructed by Thornycroft at Chiswick (45 boats) or by Yarrow at Poplar (4 boats). These boats were designed as harbour defence and coastal boats, but their small size meant their endurance and seakeeping abilities would be quite modest.

  • John I. Thornycroft & Company
    • No. 51 - No. 62
  • Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, Bristol RI
    • No. 63
  • John I. Thornycroft & Company
    • No. 64 - No. 73
  • Yarrow & Company, Limited
    • No. 74, No. 75
  • John I. Thornycroft & Company
    • No. 76 - No. 95
  • Yarrow & Company, Limited
    • No. 96, No. 97
  • John I. Thornycroft & Company
    • No. 98
    • No. 99, No. 100
Number Builder Yard number Launched Disposal
TB.99 Thornycroft 207 28 September 1885 Sold for scrap 1907
TB.100 Thornycroft 208 5 April 1886 Sold for scrap 22 October 1908

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Dittmar and Colledge 1972, p. 79.
  2. ^ a b Friedman 2009, p. 289.
  3. ^ because the seven boats built for the Royal Indian Marine in 1892 were given the numbers 100 to 106.
  4. ^ Chesneau and Kolesnik 1979, p. 104.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Dittmar and Colledge 1972, p. 80.
  6. ^ Kindell, Don. "1st - 30th JUNE 1917: in date, ship/unit & name order". World War 1 - Casualty Lists of the Royal Navy and Dominion Navies. naval-history.net. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  • Chesneau, Roger and Kolesnik, Eugene (Ed.) Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1860–1905. Conway Maritime Press, 1979. ISBN 0-8317-0302-4
  • Dittmar, F.J. and Colledge, J.J. British Warships 1914–1919. London: Ian Allan, 1972. ISBN 0-7110-0380-7.
  • Friedman, Norman. British Destroyers: From Earliest Days to the Second World War. Barnsley, UK: Seaforth Publishing, 2009. ISBN 978-1-84832-049-9.
  • Winfield, Rif and Lyon, David The Sail and Steam Navy List: All the Ships of the Royal Navy 1815-1889. Chatham Publishing, 2004. ISBN 1-86176-032-9.
This page was last edited on 8 December 2020, at 16:44
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