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The new Anax Class was designed to have exceptional seakeeping qualities. All around Atlantis (except to the North) was very deep water where heavy weather could be encountered on a regular basis. A new 5" gun had been designed and built, lighter and easier to handle than the 5.5" on the cruisers but with more punch than the earlier 75mm/90mm guns fitted to the earlier ships. This gun would continue to be the destroyers main armament for the foreseeable future. The new triple torpedo mounting was to be used with two mountings being fitted. The armament was rounded out with 4x47mm guns. The first ship was completed in late 1913, with the first three sisterships completing in early 1914. This was to be a large class. First thoughts were to change the design after the first eight but the Atlantean Admiralty decided that on the outbreak of war that the design would be fixed for ease of production and that instead of four per year, production would be increased to twelve per year. Eventually fifty of the handy craft were built between 1913 and 1918 of which 41 survived the war.
Of the nine WW1 losses, six were to mines, of which four were mined and lost
on the same day when operating off the Dutch coast and encountering a newly laid
minefield. The other three, one was lost to stranding, one to a U-boat torpedo
and the last was sunk at Jutland when in action with German destroyers while
screening Beattys battlecruisers.
Of the remaining 41 only 22 made it to the second world war. These destroyers were worked hard during WW1 and it was only the ones completed from 1916-1918 that were in a good enough state to make it past 1935. The others were sold or scrapped. Very few changes had been made to the ships till 1935, when an upgrade package was worked out for the class to bring them up to date with the newer built destroyers. Dual purpose 102mm guns replaced the low angle 5" while an AA armament of 40mm and 25.4mm cannons was fitted. The ships retained their torpedo tubes till the start of WW2 when the need for long range convoy escorts became a high priority and some of the class were converted for that work.
The remaining ships of the Anax class fought hard in WW2. Ten were converted
to long range escorts (Geryon DDE's) and used in the North Atlantic, four were
converted as AA escorts and were used in the Mediterranean, while the last 8
were kept close to the original late 30's upgrade and were used on the Atlantis
to Gibraltar and Atlantis to Britain shipping routes.
Of the 22 that started the war only 8 saw wars end.
10 Long Range Conversions: 2 were sunk in Liverpool harbour by bombs, 4 were sunk by U-boats defending convoys, 1 was sunk by long range Condor, 2 were sunk by Scharnhorst and Gneisenau defending HX-84 with the Jervis Bay. On the credit side, the ships helped to sink four submarines.
4 AA Conversions: All were sunk in the Mediterranean, 3 by bombs, 1 by U-boat.
Of the last eight only one was lost to a U-boats torpedoes in 1942 on the Gibraltar to Britain convoy route.
Displacement: 1,700 tons normal, 2,170 tons full load
Dimensions: 343 x 35 x 13 feet
Machinery: 2 shaft, steam turbines, 30,000shp
Speed: 32 knots
Endurance: 4,000 miles at 12 knots
4 x 5" (4x1)
2 x 75mm AA (2x1)
2 x 25.4mm (1x2)
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