"W" Class Destroyer (1917)

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Twenty-one destroyers of the "W" Class were completed in 1917-1918. They were essentially the same design as the "V" class, but incorporated the triple torpedo tube mounts that had not been ready in time for the "V"s.

Late in the war, an additional order was placed for a large number of Modified "W" class destroyers, most of which were cancelled.

Armament

4-in Guns

Other Guns

Torpedoes

  • Two Triple Revolving 21-in tubes[2]

In mid-1920, it was ordered that "S", "V" and "W" class destroyers should be allocated the 21-in Mark IV* torpedo.[3]

Fire Control

Mid 1916 Outfit

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:[4][5]

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.[6] It seems likely that this class would have followed on the same pattern.[Inference]

In 1918, it was ordered that the Scott class flotilla leaders and destroyers of "V" and "W" classes should have range and deflection receivers for their 3-in H.A. guns and fire gongs worked off the firing key used for the ships' L.A. weaponry.[7]

Directors

Firing Circuits[8]
Training and Slewing Circuits[9]

In 1917, it was approved that the "V" class and later destroyers should all receive installations of the British Destroyer Director Firing System,[10] but none of these installations were completed prior to 1918.[11]

The Director Firing Handbook, 1917 reports that they were to receive Small Type Training Receivers of pattern number 20 on #1, #2 guns, and pattern number 21 on #3 and #4.[12]

On 26 April, 1918, Wolsey had her director tilt tested at Southampton.[13]

In 1918, it was ordered that those destroyers with director installations were to additionally receive:[14]

  • 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.

Torpedo Control

Torpedo Control Circuits in "W" class[15]
Chadburn's Order and Deflection Equipment[16]

The destroyers had sighting positions on both sides of a bridge that had been enlarged from earlier destroyers with firing pushes and keys for sounding buzzers at the tubes. The Chadburn's Torpedo Telegraph transmitters for both order and deflection transmitters were situated centrally on a panel on the bridge, between the two sights. Battery-worked electrical firing and firing gongs augmented this arrangement.[17]

Alterations

By November 1918, Warwick and Whirlwind were operating out of Dover and were equipped to carry 74 "M" type sinker mines. The torpedo tubes and guns removed when the mines were shipped could be placed back aboard with enough notice.[18]

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Director Firing For Flotilla Leaders and Destroyers. p. 55.
  2. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. p. 210.
  3. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1920. pp. 6-7. (G. 10141/20-6.8.1920).
  4. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. p. 31.
  5. Progress in Naval Gunnery, 1914-1918. p. 35.
  6. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 23. pp. 31, 32.
  7. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1918. p. 376. (C.I.O. 11/18, G. 39278/17).
  8. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. Plate100.
  9. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. Plate101.
  10. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. p. 229.
  11. Progress in Naval Gunnery, 1914-1918. p. 37.
  12. The Director Firing Handbook. p. 146.
  13. Director Firing For Flotilla Leaders and Destroyers. p. 45.
  14. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1918. p. 376. (C.I.O. 1081/18, G. 24486/15).
  15. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. p. 210. Plate 82.
  16. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. Plate 86.
  17. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. pp. 210, 211. Plate 82.
  18. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, Mining Appendix, 1917-18. p. 11. Plate 7.

Bibliography


"W" Class Destroyer
Admiralty Design
Wakeful Watchman Walpole Whitley Walker
Westcott Walrus Wolfhound Warwick Wessex
Voyager Whirlwind Wrestler Winchelsea Winchester
  Westminster Windsor Wryneck Waterhen  
Thornycroft Specials
  Wolsey Woolston  
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