S-class destroyer, HMS Speedy (G36) (1918)

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S-class destroyer, HMS Speedy (G36) (1918)


Vehicle design and history:

HMS Speedy was one of two modified S-class destroyers ordered by the British Admiralty in April of 1917 from Thornycroft, as part of the Eleventh War Construction Programme, The other ship ordered was the similar HMS Tobago. The design for these two ships was based on the R-class destroyer Rosalind built by the shipyard a year prior. Because of this the pair were sometimes refered to as the Modified Rosalind class , and when compared to the standard S-class vessels, the design was longer, with a improved raised forward gun position and 18 in (457 mm) torpedo tubes moved to a new position, both of which gave the ships better seakeeping. The ships were also designed with a provision to have triple mounts for their main torpedo tubes, though they were not fitted to HMS Speedy. Speedy like previous designs from Thornycroft, was also fitted with more powerful machinery to give the ship a higher top speed.

This increased speed allowed a more stable hull design, resulting in a greater beam and a metacentric height of 2 ft 10 in (0.86 m). HMS Speedy had a longer overall length compared to her fellow s-class destroyers of 275 ft 9 in (84.05 m) between and a length of 266 ft 9 in (81.31 m) between perpendiculars. Her beam was 27 ft 4 in (8.33 m) and draught 10 ft 4 in (3.15 m), creating a displacement of 1,087 long tons (1,104 t) under normal load and 1,240 long tons (1,260 t) at full load. She was powered by three Yarrow boilers, feeding steam to two sets of Brown-Curtis geared steam turbines rated at 29,000 shaft horsepower (22,000 kW). This power plant drove two shafts, giving a design speed of 36 knots (67 km/h; 41 mph) in light load and 32 knots (59 km/h; 37 mph) at full load. Smoke was vented through two funnels, with the forward one being larger in diameter. HMS Speedy carried 250 long tons (250 t) of fuel oil, giving a design range of 3,450 nautical miles (6,390 km; 3,970 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph).

In terms of armament, the ship was fitted with three QF 4in Mk IV guns on the ship’s centreline, with one mounted in a raised forecastle, one betwixt the funnels and a final gun aft. This was suplimented by a single 2-pounder (40 mm) pom-pom anti-aircraft gun for air defence and 4 21 in (533 mm) torpedoes fitted in two rotating mount. HMS Speedy had a complement of 90 officers and ratings in war time, as standard with destroyers of her class.

Service History:

HMS Speedy was laid down in may of 1917, and was launched on the first of june 1918, before ultimately being completed on august 14th of that year. The ship had a short service in ww1, where she was assigned to the 12th destroyer flotilla, before being moved to reserve at the end of the conflict. Speedy was recommissioned on the 22nd of February 1919, and was assigned to the mediterranean fleet, as part of a fleet led by HMS Iron Duke, where the ship was assigned to Constantinople, to enforce British interests in the black sea. This resulted in the ship supporting the Volunteer Army fighting in the Southern Front of the Russian Civil War, which included providing fire support during the attack on Mariupol. HMS Speedy also took part in the evacuation of the High Commission for Southern Russia. The Destroyer was also involved in an operation to support Greek forces during the Greco-Turkish War. Under the instructions to avoid casualties as much as possible, as such the destroyer went out of its way to carefully provide fire support without firing on turkish villages. HMS Speedy’s career would come to an end during the Chanak Crisis, when on the 24th of september 1922 she collided with a Turkish tug in the Sea of Marmara near the Gulf causing fatal damage to the destroyer, causing it to sink with the loss of ten crew. The survivours from HMS Speedy were then assigned to the slightly newer Thornycroft-built S-class destroyer HMS Tourmaline which was also serving in the area.


Displacement: 1,087 long tons (1,104 t) standard

1,240 long tons (1,260 t) deep load

Length: 266 ft 9 in (81.3 m) between perpendiculars

Beam: 27 ft 4 in (8.3 m)

Draught: 10 ft 4 in (3.15 m)

Propulsion: 3 Yarrow boilers

2 geared Brown Curtis steam turbines, rated to 29,000 shp

Speed: 36 knots (41 mph; 67 km/h)

Range: 3,450 nautical miles (6,390 km) at 20 knots (37 km/h)

Complement: 90

Armament: 3 × QF 4 inches (102 mm) Mark IV guns

1 × single 2-pounder (40 mm) “pom-pom” Mk. II anti-aircraft gun

6 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes (2×3)

2 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes (2×1)