CSS Lee (DD-1918 (DDE-1937))


Back to Condfederate States List


An advance on the previous Marix class, as the size and speed of the ships requiring escort grew, so did the size and speed of the escorts themselves. This class started being laid down in 1916 through to 1918 when orders started to be cancelled as wars end became imminent. The ships were used hard during the interwar years as they strained to keep up with the large carriers and battlecruisers. With the arrival of the Dewey / Sigsbee class destroyers the oldest of this class became retired and/or scrapped and even sold to minor navies.

The design added another 3.9" gun over the Marix class but because of the guns layout the same number of guns per broadside could be fired. The largest advance over the Marix type was in the torpedo armament. Where the Marix had carried two twin 18" mounts, the Lee type carried four triple mounts of the new 21" torpedo. A vast improvement that required the extra 30 odd feet of length to fit them in. The torpedo mounts were offset on the port and starboard beams as the narrow hull would not have allowed the mounts to be swung out at the same time if mounted at the same point on each beam. Only the forward gun mount was afforded a shield which was mainly to keep the spray off the guns crew.

Those ships that lasted in service into the mid 1930's were assessed as to their future service and if the ships condition warranted it, then the ship was put through a refurbishment program for the class. This entailed the removal of the armament and its replacement with new weapons. A twin dual-purpose 3.9" mounting was mounted for and aft, the two 3.9" guns in the central Q area were removed and replaced with a quad 1.1" mounting and when these mountings proved so poor in service they were replaced again with one twin 40mm mounting. Four single 20mm cannons rounded out the final gun armament. Three sets of the 21" torpedos were removed completely while one mounting only was kept aft of the rear funnel. Asdic and other ASW weaponry was fitted and upgraded as the ships went through their normal refit process.


Displacement 1,250 tons std 1,670 tons full load
Length 309 ft
Breadth 31 ft
Draught 11 ft
Machinery 2 shaft steam turbines, 30,000shp
Speed 35 knots
Range 4500 miles at 15 knots (900 nm at 32 knots)
Armour Nil
Armament 5 x 3.9" (5x1)

4 x 0.5" mg (4x1)

4 x 3.9" (2x2)

2 x 40mm (1x2)

4 x 20mm (4x1)

Aircraft nil
Torpedoes 12 x 21" (4x3) - 3 x 21" (1x3) after 1937 rebuild
Complement 140
Notes CSS Lee



Back to Condfederate States List