H.M. T.B. 81 (1885)

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H.M. T.B. 81 (1885)
Builder: J. S. White[1]
Launched: 1885[2]
Completed: 1885[3]
Sold: 22 October, 1921[4]
H.M. T.B. 81 was built by J. S. White as a private venture and was subsequently purchased by the Royal Navy.

Construction

Her design featured White's trademark cut-up stern for improved maneuverability and a ram bow.

Laid down in 1884 at J. S. White and named Swift by her builders, there appear to be multiple stories regarding T.B. 81's origin. Lionel Dawson, who briefly commanded her in late 1909, wrote that:

She had been built many years before as a destroyer for the Brazilian Navy, and her officers' accommodation was excellent, including a captain's cabin. She was much larger than the remainder [of the British torpedo boats] and handled admirably.


A curious-looking craft, with a flush and "turtle-backed" upper-deck, she was manœuvred from the top of a conning-tower that rose like a Martello tower from the fo'c'sle. Her men's accommodation, though, was deplorable. But I do not suppose they gave much thought to that in Brazil![5]

The relevant volume of Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships describes her as being built "as a private venture, with an eye to Admiralty purchase".[6] Norman Friedman's British Destroyers says much the same, as does D.K. Brown in an article on British torpedo boats.[7][8] None of these modern works mention a Brazilian connection, although this does not rule out that such an origin story was believed by her officers and men.

Service

When Swift was purchased by the Royal Navy she received the next available number in the first-class torpedo boat sequence, becoming T.B. 81.

After reboilering in 1888, she had two small funnels instead of the single one she was completed with.[9]

In 1895, she was one of twenty-three first class torpedo boats of at least 125 feet in length stationed in Portsmouth along with four smaller boats.[10]

Ran aground off Alderney in 1901 but salvaged and returned to service. Reboilered in 1905.[11]

Following her reboilering she was seldom out of commission, and her greater size than the majority of the other first-class torpedo boats meant she was often used as the senior flotilla officer's boat. When Lionel Dawson took her over while still a junior Lieutenant, he considered himself very fortunate.[12]

Sold, along with T.B. 80, to J. E. Thomas on 22 October, 1921.[13]

Captains

Dates of appointment are provided when known.

Armament

As Commissioned

One fixed bow 14 inch torpedo tube and two deck 14 inch torpedo tubes.

Four 3-pounder quick-firing guns.

World War One

One fixed bow 14 inch torpedo tube and two deck 14 inch torpedo tubes.

Three 3-pounder quick-firing guns.

Depth charges.[62]

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 103.
  2. Brassey's Naval Annual 1896. p. 318.
  3. Lyon; Winfield. The Steam & Sail List. p. 312.
  4. Lyon; Winfield. The Steam & Sail List. p. 312.
  5. Dawson. Flotillas. p. 78.
  6. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 103.
  7. Friedman. British Destroyers. p. 8.
  8. Brown. Steam Torpedo Boats. p. 83.
  9. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 103.
  10. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1895. p. 62.
  11. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 103.
  12. Dawson. Flotillas. p. 78.
  13. Lyon; Winfield. The Steam & Sail List. p. 312.
  14. Egerton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/19/9
  15. Egerton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/19/9
  16. "Naval and Military Intelligence". The Times. Saturday, 30 April, 1887. Issue 32060, col E, p. 9.
  17. "Naval & Military Intelligence". The Times. Saturday, 2 July, 1887. Issue 32114, col C, p. 12.
  18. Howe Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/20/311
  19. "Naval and Military Intelligence". The Times. Tuesday, 3 July, 1888. Issue 32428, col A, p. 10.
  20. Jackson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 685.
  21. Jackson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 685.
  22. "The Naval Manœuvres". The Times. Monday, 15 July, 1889. Issue 32751, col A, p. 4.
  23. Jackson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 685.
  24. Sturdee Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39/411
  25. Sturdee Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39/411
  26. Sturdee Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39/411
  27. Sturdee Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/20/79
  28. "The Naval Manœuvres". The Times. Monday, 10 July, 1893. Issue 33999, col D, p. 10.
  29. Bacon Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 262.
  30. "The Naval Review at Spithead". The Times. Wednesday, 9 June, 1897. Issue 35225, col D, p. 10.
  31. "The Naval Mobilization". The Times. Monday, 10 July, 1899. Issue 35877, col C, p. 10.
  32. "The Naval Manœuvres". The Times. Thursday, 11 July, 1901. Issue 36504, col C, p. 8.
  33. Hall Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/236
  34. Shuter Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/283. f. 318.
  35. The Monthly Navy List. (December, 1905). p. 400.
  36. Edwards Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/95. f. ?.
  37. "Naval and Military Intelligence". The Times. Wednesday, 10 January, 1906. Issue 37913, col F, p. 9.
  38. Edwards Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/95. f. ?.
  39. The Navy List. (March, 1907). p. 400.
  40. "Naval & Military Intelligence". The Times. Saturday, 15 February, 1908. Issue 38570, col B, p. 12.
  41. Preston Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79
  42. The Navy List. (July, 1909). p. 401.
  43. Preston Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79
  44. Dawson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/77
  45. Dawson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/77
  46. Hamond Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/45/170. f. 174.
  47. Hamond Service Record The National Archives. ADM 196/45/170. f. 174.
  48. Campbell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/101. f. 101.
  49. The Navy List. (January, 1912). p. 401.
  50. Campbell Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46/101. f. 101.
  51. Phillimore Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/208 f. 278.
  52. The Navy List. (December, 1913). p. 401a'.
  53. Phillimore Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/208 f. 278.
  54. Cooper-Key Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/49/29. f. 15.
  55. The Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 401.
  56. Cooper-Key Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/49/29. f. 15.
  57. de Meric Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/284. f. 299.
  58. de Meric Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/51/284. f. 299.
  59. The Navy List. (December, 1916). p. 401.
  60. The Navy List. (December, 1918). p. 956.
  61. The Navy List. (March, 1919). p. 741.
  62. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 103.

Bibliography

  • Brown, David K. (2005). Jordan, John. ed. "Steam Torpedo Boats of the Royal Navy". Warship 2005: pp. 73-96.
  • Chesneau, Robert; Kolesnik, Eugene (editors) (1979). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. London: Conway Maritime Press. (on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk).
  • Dawson, Captain Lionel. (1935). Flotillas: A Hard-Lying Story. London: Rich & Cowan Ltd.
  • Friedman, Norman (2009). British Destroyers: From Earliest Days to the Second World War. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 9781591140818 (on Amazon.com).
  • Lyon, David; Winfield, Rif (2004). The Sail & Steam Navy List: All the Ships of the Royal Navy, 1815-1889. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1861760329. (on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk).


First-class Torpedo Boat H.M. T.B. 81
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