Thirteen Grimsby Class were built, Eight in the UK, four for Australis and one for India. They proved to be an excellent investment and with World War Two refits and upgrade they were even better.
The three Egret class were a response to what had happened to ships in the Spanish Civil War. Those ships caught at sea with inadequate AA or no fighter cover just got hammered. The accuracy of the JU-87 meant many ships went to the bottom. The Egret, with its four twin 4" AA guns, had a very good barrage armament, but their close in armament of the one quad 0.5" machine gun mounting was very poor. WW2 upgrades with 20mm and later 40mm weapons improved this. All the electronic toys added during the early 40's meant that topweight became an issue and this was solved by removing 'Y' 4" mounting. The ships ended up looking like the Bitterns and Swans.
The Bittern and their follow ons, the Black Swan and Modified Black Swan classes, were a good blend of firepower and size. They were very good escorts. In the real world Commander Walkers escort group with Bitterns and Black Swans sunk more U-Boats than any other escort group. Really the only drawbacks to these ships was their low speed at 16.5 to 18 knots, and their need to be built in the Naval Dockyards because of their specialised parts. It was because of these problems the much more simple yet more capable River class frigates were put into production. One of the class had been modified as the Admiralty yacht for the Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Fleet. The Enchantress was that vessel and provided the service with accommodation blocks at the rear of the ship. The Enchantress was reconverted to an escort at the end of 1939.
Note the single 4.7" guns forward. Those were replaced with twin 4" on conversion back to an escort.
|Displacement||1,300 tons std, 1,710 tons full load.|
|Machinery||2 shaft Triple Expansion or turbines, 4,500shp|
|Range||7500 miles at 12 knots|
|Armament||6 x 4" (3x2) (or 4x4" or 8x4")
2 x 2pd (1x2)
2 x 20mm (2x1)
|Grimsby||HM Dockyard, Devonport||1 November 1932||23 January 1933||19 July 1933||17 May 1934||Sunk in air attack by Italian and German dive bombers off Tobruk, 25 May 1941|
|Leith||HM Dockyard, Devonport||1 November 1932||6 February 1933||9 September 1933||12 July 1934||Royal Danish Navy survey ship Galathea 1949, Scrapped 1955|
|Lowestoft||HM Dockyard, Devonport||1 May 1933||21 August 1933||11 April 1934||22 November 1934||Sold into mercantile service, 1946, Scrapped 1955|
|Wellington||HM Dockyard, Devonport||1 May 1933||25 September 1933||29 May 1934||24 January 1935||Sold to Honourable Company of Master Mariners as Headquarters, 1947|
|Londonderry||HM Dockyard, Devonport||1 March 1934||11 June 1934||16 January 1935||20 September 1935||Broken up at Llanelly, 1948|
|Deptford||HM Dockyard, Chatham||1 May 1933||30 April 1934||5 February 1935||20 August 1935||Broken up at Milford Haven, 1948|
|Aberdeen||HM Dockyard, Devonport||1 March 1935||12 June 1935||22 January 1936||17 September 1936||Broken up at Hayle, 1949|
|Fleetwood||HM Dockyard, Devonport||1 March 1935||14 August 1935||24 March 1936||19 November 1936||Broken up at Gateshead, 1959|
|Yarra||Cockatoo Island Dockyard, Sydney||22 December 1933||24 May 1934||28 March 1935||19 December 1935||Sunk in surface action off Java, 4 March 1942|
|Swan||Cockatoo Island Dockyard, Sydney||2 January 1935||1 May 1935||28 March 1936||10 December 1936||Broken up at Sydney, 1964|
|Parramatta||Cockatoo Island Dockyard, Sydney||July 1938||9 November 1938||18 June 1939||8 April 1940||Sunk in dive bombing attack off Tobruk, 27 November 1941|
|Warrego||Cockatoo Island Dockyard, Sydney||December 1938||10 May 1939||10 February 1940||21 August 1940||Broken up at Sydney, 1965|
|Indus||Hawthorn Leslie and Company, Hebburn||14 August 1933||8 December 1933||24 August 1934||15 March 1935||Sunk in air attack off Akyab, 6 April 1942|
Three ships were built; HMS , HMS and HMS . Auckland was lost on 24 June 1941, to 48 Junkers 87 aircraft dive-bombing both her and HMAS , off the coast of Tobruk. Pelican was an effective convoy escort, and was credited with the destruction of four U-boats. She survived until the end of the war, and was broken up in 1958. Egret was lost to a guided missile. While patrolling in the Bay of Biscay, she was attacked by 18 Do 217 aircraft, one of which carried the Henschel Hs 293 guided bomb.
Enchantress served as convoy escort throughout the war, and was credited with the destruction of an Italian submarine. She survived the war and was sold into civilian service in 1946, being renamed Lady Enchantress. She was broken up in 1952. Stork was completed as an unarmed survey vessel, and was only armed after the outbreak of war. She also served as a convoy escort, and was senior ship in 36th Escort Group under Cdr. FJ Walker. She was credited with the destruction of four U-boats. Stork remained in service until being broken up in 1958. The third ship in the class was launched as Bittern, and completed as designed. She was involved in the Norwegian campaign, but was lost to air attacks at Namsos in 1940.
Black Swan (& Modified) Class ships
|U95||Denny, Dunbarton||4 January 1940||1 October 1940||23 April 1941||Survey vessel 1955. Paid off at end 1978 and deleted 1982 or 1983.|
|U21||Denny, Dunbarton||28 February 1940||16 November 1940||13 May 1941||Survey vessel 1957. Renamed INS1968, paid off at end 1980 and broken up.|
|U40||Thornycroft, Woolston||30 August 1941||21 November 1942||29 April 1943||Renamed1948. Sold to be broken up 15 July 1959.|
|U52||Thornycroft, Woolston||30 October 1941||21 January 1943||28 June 1943||Renamed1948. Sold for breaking up 2 June 1959.|
|U05||Denny, Dunbarton||6 June 1941||24 September 1942||29 March 1943||Constructive total loss following torpedoing on 18 November 1943 by U-515 (Henke). Renamed Lusitania 31 December 1943 as a base ship, then broken up at Lisbon 1945.|
|U23||Denny, Dunbarton||13 June 1941||9 November 1942||10 May 1943||Broken up March 1965.|
|U38||Cammell Laird, Birkenhead||30 August 1941||28 July 1942||1 December 1942||Broken up 16 March 1956.|
|U87||Cammell Laird, Birkenhead||25 September 1941||13 October 1942||1 March 1943||Sunk byon 21 August 1944.|
|U62||Scotts, Greenock||17 December 1941||16 July 1943||21 March 1944||Sunk byon 20 March 1945 just outside Murmansk, USSR.|
|U11||Scotts, Greenock||5 May 1942||28 August 1943||10 April 1944||Constructive total loss following torpedoing byoff Kola Inlet on 17 February 1945; salvaged by Soviet Navy and added as , finally broken up 1956.|
|U82||Thornycroft, Woolston||30 December 1941||24 March 1943||30 August 1943||Broken up 12 July 1959.|
|U96||Thornycroft, Woolston||29 November 1942||11 December 1943||10 May 1944||Broken up 7 May 1958.|
|U49||Yarrow, Scotstoun||17 March 1942||21 December 1942||12 May 1943||Broken up January 1963.|
|U69||Yarrow, Scotstoun||18 May 1942||25 February 1943||24 June 1943||Broken up 20 November 1960.|
|U20||Denny, Dunbarton||21 September 1944||20 December 1945||9 September 1946||Broken up 23 August 1960.|
|U71||Denny, Dunbarton||30 October 1944||18 February 1946||16 December 1946||Broken up 26 May 1958.|
|U66||Fairfield, Govan||21 October 1941||14 October 1942||1 April 1943||Broken up July 1965.|
|U90||Fairfield, Govan||21 October 1941||26 November 1942||29 May 1943||Sold for breaking up 28 November 1955.|
|U07||Thornycroft, Woolston||15 May 1944||25 July 1945||24 July 1946||Transferred to West Germany as9 December 1958. Hulked July 1964, sold for breaking up 25 October 1967.|
|U16||Alex. Stephen, Linthouse||25 March 1942||7 May 1943||2 November 1943||Broken up 18 January 1957.|
|U58||Alex. Stephen, Linthouse||27 March 1942||7 July 1943||12 December 1943||Transferred to West Germany as1958. Sold for breaking up 17 March 1971.|
|U39||Denny, Dunbarton||31 August 1942||30 September 1943||11 April 1944||Broken up 10 December 1958.|
|U30||Denny, Dunbarton||8 September 1942||11 November 1943||12 May 1944||Transferred to West Germany as5 May 1950. Hulked 1974, and broken up April 1990.|
|U60||Denny, Dunbarton||4 May 1943||1 September 1944||13 April 1945||Broken up 15 September 1956.|
|U33||Denny, Dunbarton||28 July 1943||30 November 1944||16 June 1945||Broken up 26 April 1960.|
|U42||Chatham Dockyard||15 February 1943||29 January 1944||3 September 1945||Broken up 11 March 1961.|
|U64||Chatham Dockyard||15 February 1943||29 January 1944||6 May 1946||Broken up 18 May 1958.|
|U54||Portsmouth Dockyard, later moved to Chatham Dockyard||26 February 1945||Cancelled 15 October 1945.|
|U84||Portsmouth Dockyard, later moved to Chatham Dockyard||26 February 1945||Cancelled 15 October 1945.|
|U46||Yarrow, Scotstoun||14 July 1942||22 April 1943||26 August 1943||Renamed INS1968. Paid off at end 1981 and broken up.|
|U10||Yarrow, Scotstoun||28 October 1942||15 June 1943||21 October 1943||Renamed INS1968. Sold 1979.|
In World War II.
- was sunk by Italian torpedo bombers off Algiers on 10 November 1942
- was seriously damaged by an acoustic homing torpedo fired by on 20 February 1944 whilst escorting convoy ON-224. The ship sank a week later on 27 February whilst under tow during an Atlantic storm.
- was sunk by on 21 August 1944 whilst the ship was escorting aircraft carriers covering the Arctic convoy JW-59.
- was damaged beyond repair by on 17 February 1945
- was sunk by on 20 March 1945 just outside Murmansk, USSR.
The Black Swan and Modified Black Swan were involved in the
sinking of 32 U-Boats.