HMS Panther (DD-1941)

HMSAS Protea (DD-1941)


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As with all long term RN destroyer designs, various upgrades, shortages and other factors determined what each member of a class may look like. The O-Z then C type variations provided all of the 'War Emergency Destroyers'. These were produced int three main batches. Batch 1 was fitted with the twin 4.5" DP turret that had been in use since 1934. Batch 2 had 3 twin 4" which were fitted to half the P class when the production of 4.5" twins could not keep up with construction. 3rd batch featured the twin 4.5" that first appeared in 1941 with a few problems and these problems were sorted and the new semi-automatic turrets were fitted to the S class and on.

Panther was the 3rd ship of the P class and featured the 3 twin 4" main armament with the second Hazemeyer mount below the bridge making way for a Hedgehog forward throwing spigot mortar ASW weapon. The four P4" class were used as escort command ships for the faster Atlantic convoys.

Standard layout for the 1st four classes, the Queensborough and her sisters were big modern destroyers with just enough firepower. The Southern African Navy built this type at their yards in Durban until it was replaced in production by the Astrology Class.

The Savage type proved to be enormously successful and when it came time to reduce the size of the navy postwar, these ships were in great demand with overseas buyers. The twin semi-auto mounts had been allowed for in the original plans and a larger magazine than the earlier ships was fitted to increase the number of rounds per gun that could be carried.


Displacement 1850 tons std, 2600 tons full load.
Length 358 ft
Breadth 36 ft
Draught 14 ft
Machinery 2 shaft Steam turbines, 40,000shp
Speed 35 knots
Range 5000 miles at 18 knots
Armour nil
Armament 4 x 4.5" (2x2)

4 x 40mm (2x2)

8 x 20mm (4x2)

Aircraft nil
Torpedoes 8 x 21" (2x4)
Complement 190


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