HMS Tintagel Castle (CVE-1940)

HMSAS Pretoria (CVE-1939)


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The Castle class was the Royal and Southern African Navies version of the Australis Albatross class escort carriers. The hull being of a mercantile nature did lend itself to restoration to merchant duties at wars end. Several though were purchased by smaller nations and remained in service for many years. Being nearly a hundred feet bigger than the bulk of the early US built escort carriers, the Royal Navy was not interested in the US ships till the Cassablanca class of 1943/44 came into production.

The Royal Navy never had enough aircraft carriers to fullfil all of the tasks required of them. So the Castle class ships were used as much for fleet duties as they were for escorting convoys. While the Southern African Navy had 4 these were ships built in Britain and transferred on completion. Being so valuable, all of the ships had an escort group assigned to them full time.

See Albatross Class for details of Batch 2-3 drawings.


Displacement 18,500 tons full load
Length 605 ft
Breadth 78 ft hull (96 ft over sponsons)
Draught 26 ft
Machinery 2 shaft steam turbines 44,000shp
Speed 24 knots
Range 6000 miles at 15 knots
Armour 1.5" over machinery and armoury
Armament Batch 1 (1934-39)

4 x 4" (4x1)

4 x 2pd (1x4)

16 x 0.5" mg (4x4)

Batch 2 (1940-42)

1 x 4" (1x1)

12 x 2pd (3x4)

8 x 20mm (4x2)

Batch 3 (1943-45)

1 x 4" (1x1)

10 x 40mm (3x2 4x1)


Aircraft 32 (1940 outfit)

12 x Swordfish

8 x Martlet (Skuas in UK/SA ships)

12 x Hurricane

Torpedoes Nil
Complement 1240 with aircrew


UK Castle Class.

Tintagel Castle, Pendennis Castle, Herstmonceux Castle, Peckforton Castle, Beeston Castle, Portchester Castle, Wentworth Castle, Someries Castle, Donnington Castle, Windsor Castle, Kimbolton Castle, Northborough Castle, Woodcroft Castle, Chester Castle, Halton Castle, Durham Castle, Walworth Castle, Restormel Castle.


Southern African Capital Class.

Pretoria, Windhoek, Salisbury, Gaborone.


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