Battle Class Destroyer - HMS Armada
HMS Armada was one of the ships ordered in 1942 for the first two flotillas of Battle Class Fleet Destroyers. HMS Armada was built on the Tyne by R & W Hawthorn, Leslie & Co Ltd and like all of the Battle Class built them she was fitted out as a Leader. These ships had additional accommodation for a Captain (D) and his staff. A Captain (D) was the commander of a destroyer flotilla.
Further details of the development of destroyer building, Hawthorn Leslie and the Battle Class design will be found in the article Battle Class Destroyer - HMS Agincourt
The design of new destroyers that became the Battle Class was the direct result of an instruction from Winston Churchill in March 1941 to take steps to counteract the menace of the JU 87 dive bombers. The Prime Minister considered: -
1. We run the risk of being driven out of the Central Mediterranean
2. We have sent out ships with inadequate armament
3. Certain types of weapon are available capable of providing a cure for dive bombers. Special vessels with batteries of these might be used in the Mediterranean as AA ships
The Admiralty Board generally agreed with the Prime Minister’s views, with the important exception that they firmly believed that defence is most easily carried out from the ship under attack. The major problem was finding the resources needed for both the anti-submarine war in the Atlantic and the anti-aircraft war in the Mediterranean. A further difficulty was that pre-war the Admiralty had neglected the growing air threat and as a result there were no modern British naval anti-aircraft gun designs and little manufacturing capacity.
Further details of the development of the Battle Class design will be found in the article Battle Class Destroyer - HMS Agincourt
Orders Placed 1942
- Cammell Laird – Gravelines, Hogue, Lagos and Sluys
- Fairfield – Cadiz, Camperdown, Finisterre, St James and Vigo
- Hawthorn Leslie – Armada, Saintes and Solebay
- Swan Hunter – Barfleur, Gabbard, St Kitts and Trafalgar
HMS Armada specification
- Type: Destroyer
- Royal Naval service: 1945-1960
- Builders: R & W Hawthorn, Leslie & Co Ltd
- Yard: Hebburn-on-Tyne, Co. Durham
- Yard number: 658
- Laid down: 29 December 1942
- Launched: 09 December 1943
- Commissioned: 02 July 1945
- Displacement (light): 2,385 tons
- Displacement (half oil): 2,906 tons
- Displacement (deep): 3,289 tons
- Length (between perpendiculars): 355 feet
- Length (waterline): 364 feet
- Length (overall): 379 feet
- Breadth: 40 feet 3 inches
- Depth: 22 feet
- Draught (light): 12 feet 3 inches
- Draught (half oil): 13 feet 11 inches
- Draught (deep): 15 feet 2 inches
- Engines: Parsons single reduction steam turbines
- Engine builders: R & W Hawthorn, Leslie & Co Ltd
- Works: St Peters, Newcastle upon Tyne
- Power: 50,000 shp at 320 rpm
- Propulsion: 2 screws
- Speed: 32.7 knots at deep displacement
- Boilers: 2 Admiralty 3-drum type.
- Boiler pressure: 400 lb/sq.in at 700 degrees F
- Oil: 726 tons plus 40 tons diesel
- Endurance: 4,400 nautical miles at 20 knots
- Main guns: Four 4.5 inch Mark III guns in twin through-deck Mark IV 80 degree elevation mountings.
- Secondary guns: Eight 40 mm Bofors 40/L60 guns in twin Mark IV mountings. Four 20 mm Oerlikon guns in two twin Mark V mountings. Two 20 mm Oerlikon guns in two single Mark VIIA mountings. One Vickers .303 machine gun.
- Ammunition: 480 rounds 4.5 inch semi-armour piercing, 720 rounds 4.5 inch high explosive and 100 rounds 4.5 inch star shells. 11,520 rounds Bofors 40 mm ammunition. 14,400 rounds Oerlikon 20 mm ammunition. 5,000 rounds .303 machine gun ammunition.
- Torpedoes and tubes: Two sets of quadruple hand-worked tubes and 8 Mark IX 21 inch torpedoes
- Anti-submarine weapons: Two depth charge rails and four depth charge throwers. 60 depth charges
- Complement: 268 (as Leader) maximum war accommodation 337
Upon entering Royal Naval service in 1945 Armada was assigned to the British Pacific Fleet but did not see action during the Second World War. She joined the 19th Destroyer Flotilla and remained in the Far East until the flotilla returned to the UK in 1947 and was placed in reserve. The Royal Navy was facing an acute manning crisis and at this time and four of the newly completed Battle Class went immediately into reserve.
In 1949, Armada was recommissioned and assigned to the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla, which deployed to the Mediterranean and remained there until 1954. The following year she again returned to the Mediterranean Fleet with the flotilla and took part in the 1956 Anglo-French invasion of Egypt. After this action the flotilla returned to the UK to join the Home Fleet and Armada became Flotilla Leader.
Armada was finally paid-off into reserve in 1960. She was scrapped at Inverkeithing in 1965.
- British Destroyers: Edgar J March: Published by Seeley Service & Co Ltd: 1966
- Jane’s Fighting Ships – 1946/47 and various subsequent editions
- Conway’s All The World’s Fighting Ships – 1922 to 1946 and 1947 to 1982
- Warships of World War II: H T Lenton & J J Colledge: Published by Ian Allen Ltd: 1973
- Power on Land & Sea: J F Clarke: Published by Hawthorn Leslie (Engineers) Ltd: 1979
- Imperial War Museum - public domain
- Mr David Downey - downloaded from the excellent http://www.navyphotos.co.uk/ website with the consent of the site’s owner Mr David Page
- Mr Ian Woolcott - also downloaded from http://www.navyphotos.co.uk/ website with the consent of the site’s owner Mr David Page
Article compiled and written by Fred Henderson
Battle Class Destroyers
|Battle Class Destroyer - HMS Agincourt||Battle Class Destroyer - HMS Alamein||Battle Class Destroyer - HMS Armada||Battle Class Destroyer - HMS Saintes|
|Battle Class Destroyer - HMS Solebay|