A-F Destroyers and Destroyer Leaders.
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The Royal Navy has always required a lot of destroyer class vessels for all
levels and types of roles, from screening the battlefleet to chasing Pirates in
the Carribean (look out Jack Sparrow).
The trials with Amazon and Ambuscade led to the excellent A -to- F classes of destroyers completed between 1929 and 1934. The classes were laid down at one flotilla of eight ships plus a leader per year except for the 'C' class where only four ships were laid down because of the depression. Those ships were subsequently transferred to Canada and renamed.
The ships were a standard size with the destroyers being 1500 tons standard and 323x34 feet, while the leaders were 1,650 tons standard and 335x35 feet.
What made these ships different from the earlier low angle 4.7" armed ships was that in Amazon and Ambuscade, both trialled a new 65 degree mounting to give the gun an anti-aircraft value. This was done in response to the big heavy 4.7" Mk.VII with its fixed ammunition which was entirely unsuitable for anything but the largest ships. While 65 degrees may not be a full dual purpose weapon it was a lot better than the older 4.7" mountings. The trial showed that the gun mounting was good enough for decent barrage firing against aircraft. The new mounting was made standard for all the A-F class ships.
The five full flotillas and their leaders slowly replaced the V&W classes in the prime roles within the RN. As the later G-N classes were completed the A-F were also replaced in the prime roles and took on lesser duties. With the outbreak of War in 1939 the ships of the flotillas were broken down into sub-flotillas and even down further to individual units as the destroyers were spread thinner and thinner due to losses. The A-F's were quickly relegated to convoy escorts and some (like the V&W's) were converted to long range escorts. such vessels normally carried the Convoy Escort Commander and were invaluable.
I will be adding more drawings of the differing variations as I get to them. I seem to have a lot to do at present.
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