HMS Rigorous (DDE-1916 (1937-mod))

HMSAS Okavango River (DD-1916)


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Admiralty R class ships were kept as their design conformed with Admiralty ideas, spares and crewing arrangements. You went aboard an Admiralty R and you knew where you were. These ships were kept as short range escorts for use around the UK and Mediterranean theaters. For these tasks the ships original low angle 4" were removed and refurbished with a new HA/LA mounting and shield.

Also used as coastal escorts in the English Channel, the forward 4" was removed and replaced with a twin 6 pounder mounting, which with its much faster rate of fire, was more use against E-boats than the 4".

To be used as anti-submarine escorts the ships were fitted with ASDIC when it became available, and depth charges. One set of torpedoes being removed to allow for the extra weight of the new equipment.

These antiquated ships carried some of the hardest fighting of the war without flinching or breaking down (not too often). Dicing with E-boats in the dark, to dodging Stukas during the day, the ships ended up with various extra 'non-Admiralty approved' weapons being fitted. These guns were required for the extra AA tasks of fighting off enemy air attacks from the above Stukas to marauding fighters straffing everything in sight.

The remaining ships of the dozen sold to Southern Africa as escorts to the battlefleet were converted to long range escorts for use on one of the long convoy runs South Africa was responsible for, Durban - Perth, Durban - Suez, or Capetown - Sierra Leone.


Displacement 1000 tons std, 1250 tons full load
Length 276 ft
Breadth 27 ft
Draught 10 ft
Machinery 2 shaft steam turbines, 27,000shp
Speed 35 knots
Range 3700 miles at 15 knots
Armour nil
Armament 2 x 4" (2x1)

4 x 20mm (4x1)

Aircraft nil
Torpedoes nil removed
Complement 80


HMS Rigorous and others awaiting their turn for conversion.


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