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

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H.M. T.B. 81 (1884)
Builder: J. S. White[1]
Launched: 1884[2]
Broken up: 1921[3]
H.M. T.B. 81 was built by J. S. White as a private venture. It featured their cut-up stern for maneuverability and a ram bow.

Her original name was Swift, but she received a number soon enough.

She had a single funnel, which was replaced by two when she was reboilered in 1888.[4]

Construction

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

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.[9]

Ran aground off Alderney in 1901 but salvaged and returned to service. Reboilered in 1905.[10]

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.[44]

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 103.
  2. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 103. The date of launch is imprecise.
  3. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 103.
  4. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 103.
  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. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1895. p. 62.
  10. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 103.
  11. Egerton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/19/9
  12. Egerton Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/19/9
  13. "Naval and Military Intelligence". The Times. Saturday, 30 April, 1887. Issue 32060, col E, p. 9.
  14. "Naval & Military Intelligence". The Times. Saturday, 2 July, 1887. Issue 32114, col C, p. 12.
  15. Howe Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/20/311
  16. "Naval and Military Intelligence". The Times. Tuesday, 3 July, 1888. Issue 32428, col A, p. 10.
  17. "The Naval Manœuvres". The Times. Monday, 15 July, 1889. Issue 32751, col A, p. 4.
  18. Sturdee Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39/411
  19. Sturdee Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39/411
  20. Sturdee Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39/411
  21. Sturdee Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/20/79
  22. "The Naval Review at Spithead". The Times. Wednesday, 9 June, 1897. Issue 35225, col D, p. 10.
  23. "The Naval Mobilization". The Times. Monday, 10 July, 1899. Issue 35877, col C, p. 10.
  24. "The Naval Manœuvres". The Times. Thursday, 11 July, 1901. Issue 36504, col C, p. 8.
  25. Hall Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43/236
  26. The Monthly Navy List. (December, 1905). p. 400.
  27. "Naval and Military Intelligence". The Times. Wednesday, 10 January, 1906. Issue 37913, col F, p. 9.
  28. The Navy List. (January, 1907). p. 400.
  29. "Naval & Military Intelligence". The Times. Saturday, 15 February, 1908. Issue 38570, col B, p. 12.
  30. Preston Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79
  31. Preston Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44/79
  32. Dawson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/77
  33. Dawson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/77
  34. The Navy List. (January, 1912). p. 401.
  35. The Navy List. (March, 1913). p. 366.
  36. The Navy List. (March, 1913). p. 401.
  37. The Navy List. (December, 1913). p. 401a.
  38. The Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 401.
  39. The Navy List. (December, 1916). p. 398u.
  40. The Navy List. (December, 1916). p. 401.
  41. The Navy List. (November, 1917). p. 398y.
  42. The Navy List. (December, 1918). p. 956.
  43. The Navy List. (March, 1919). p. 741.
  44. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. p. 103.

Bibliography

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