Colour Class Destroyer Leaders (1929-37)


Back to Commonwealth Ships List


The A-I leaders were bigger than the A-I ships they were to lead as it was necessary to have the extra accomodation required by Captain 'D' and his servants. This could entail anything from 20 to 35 extra bodies on board ship. To allow for this beside being bigger the ships also had extra superstructure amidships to take the overflow. Various different armaments and layouts made the group only share length and breadth and some standard features internally. One of the main problems with larger leaders to smaller destroyers was the difference in handling characteristics made for some interesting maneuvers when the ships were training together. The same hull and machinery was used for all the ships but the armaments varied considerably.

A-B leaders:

C-D-E leaders:

The Australis Navy also built four of the C-D-E leaders to go with the sixteen A-I class destroyers that they built.

F-G-H-I leaders:

Big powerful destroyers for their time, the Royal Navy was always short of the 'Leaders' and used the next J-N class vessels as leaders to the earlier destroyers as well as these ships. In most cases a 'Flotilla' during WW2 was reduced to a Leader and four destroyers. This was put down to the destroyers being so much more powerful than those of WW1.

Some of the early ships had 5 x 4.7" when completed and these were replaced with 4" dual purpose guns as the ships went through their refit schedules 1936+. The ships completed after 1936 had the three twin 4.5" dual purpose guns fitted. The turrets for the leaders were made available, where the turrets for the destroyers were sent to the battleships and aircraft carriers instead.  The war altered many things from armament to RADAR and ASDIC, HuffDuff and a lot of other equipment was fitted. The ships having to have various bits and pieces removed to lessen topwieght.

Quad 2 pounder AA mounting was the staple heavy AA weapons aboard the Colours till they were replaced with twin 40mm STAAG mountings late war.

Displacement 1800 tons std, 2400 tons full load.
Length 355 ft
Breadth 37 ft
Draught 12 ft
Machinery 2 shaft steam turbines, 44,000shp
Speed 35 knots
Range 5000 miles at 15 knots
Armament A-B

5 x 4.7" LA (5x1)
4 x 2pd (4x1)

5 x 4" DP (5x1)
2 x 2pd (2x1)
4 x 20mm (4x1)

6 x 4.5" DP (3x2)
4 x 2pd (1x4)
6 x 20mm (6x1)

6 x 4.5" (3x2)
4 x 2pd (1x4)
5 x 40mm (1x2 3x1)
Torpedoes 8 x 21" (2x4) 8 x 21" (2x4) 8 x 21" (2x4) (I = 10 x 21" (2x5)) 8 x 21" (2x4) (I = 10 x 21" (2x5))
Complement 210 215 220 235
Notes Amber

The following drawings I did recently for these leaders, but they just looked too modern though, the layouts were good.

Larger bridge



Back to Commonwealth Ships List