HMS Simoom (DD-1917)
HMAS Tasmania (DD-1919)

HMSAS Etosha (DD-1918)


Back to Commonwealth Ships List

In real life more of the S class would have made it to WW2 if the RN had not wasted them in obtaining the use of the Majestic from a liner to a Royal Navy ship. Under the Treaty of Versailles, the war booty liners, like the Majestic, could only be integrated into a countries naval service if ships of that navy were scrapped to the same displacement value. If the Majestic was rated as a 30,000 ton ship then the Royal Navy would need to scrap 30,000 tons worth of warships. 20 odd R and S class destroyers were scrapped to obtain the use of the Majestic/Caledonia for the Royal Navy. I would have found some other way of obtaining the Majestic. It is easy in my Alternate Universe as the various treaties have expired by the time the RN want to obtain the Majestic, all the RN needs to do is pay the scrap value to the White Star line and it is theirs.

The Majestic: She was eventually sold for "scrap", but then converted into a training ship for the British admiralty and commissioned as the “HMS Caledonia” in 1937. She burned in 1939 and was scrapped in 1940.

The R class had introduced the RN destroyers to geared turbines, while the S class went one further by changing the coal fired boilers for oil fired propulsion throughout. Of the 75 S class built, 5 were war losses in WW1, 30 had been sold during the 1920's to 30's, of the 40 remaining ships, all had a part to play in WW2 though some only a short part. Nine had been lost by the end of 1940.

A dozen each of these ships were sold to Southern Africa and Australis during the 1920's with half going to SA as escorts to the battlecruiser Transvaal. The Australis purchases went to join the dozen ships that it had built itself during the later part of WW1.

The 1930's were the time of change for the 'S' class. With the V-W class these ships provided the destroyer squadrons for the battlefleets of the Atlantic and Mediterranean fleets during the 1920's. As the A-I class destroyers started completing so the 'S' class destroyers started sliding down the ladder of postings. Like the 'R' class the 'S' class ended up being converted to destroyer escorts during the 1936 to 1940 period. Any of the ships unconverted after 1940 would generally have a set of torpedoes removed for extra depth charges, centre 4" removed and replaced with either 2 pounder pom poms or 20mm cannons. The ships were not suitable for conversion to long range escorts as the small boiler room was the aft one. To try and convert that area to extra oil stowage would have seriously hampered movement fore and aft of that compartment. The ships retained their high 34-35 knot speed throughout their careers.

The destroyer escort conversion above included the enlarged bridge which allowed a gunnery control position to be fitted. This improved both air and surface fire. Both sets of torpedoes were removed to enhance the depth charge armament.
The unconverted ships below had the low angle 4" replaced where possible and one twin and two single 20mm cannons fitted. They retained one set of torpedo tubes.

Probably one of the most improbable conversions was a full E-Boat killer with high speed cannons used exclusively in the English Channel, Dover Straits, and off the Belgian and Dutch coasts. Three ships were converted this way with one being lost, torpedoed by an E-boat. Still being able to make 34-35 knots they were very good with the Fairmile MTB's for hunting E-Boats.


Displacement 1100 tons std, 1550 tons full load.
Length 276 ft
Breadth 27 ft
Draught 11 ft
Machinery 2 shaft steam turbines, 27,000shp
Speed 35 knots
Range 3000 miles at 15 knots
Armament As completed 1918-22

3 x 4" (3x1)
1 x 2pd AA (1x1)
Unconverted refits 1941

2 x 4" (2x1)
4 x 20mm (1x2 2x1)
DDE Conversion 1939-41

2 x 4" (2x1)
2 x 2pd (2x1)
2 x 20mm (1x2)
E-Boat killers 1941+

4 x 6pd (2x2)
10 x 20mm (5x2)
Torpedoes 4 x 21" (2x2) 2 x 21" (1x2) nil nil
Complement 90 90 90 94

The drawings I had to work with for this horrible hunk of rubbish really required the delete key.



Back to Commonwealth Ships List