"A" Class Destroyer (1894)

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Forty-two "A" Class destroyers entered service in the Royal Navy between 1895 and 1896. Originally termed the 26 Knotters and 27 Knotters, those vessels remaining were re-designated as "A" class destroyers on 30 August 1912 despite the fact that their designs were fairly diverse.[1]

Their average cost was £35,780.[2]

In July, 1918, seven ships were still in service, serving in local defence forces in Portsmouth and Devonport and in the Irish Sea.[3]

By May 1920, seven of the ships were still considered worth documenting as regards their armament,[4] but it appears that was also the year in which the last nine vessels were broken up.


One 12-pdr 12 cwt on a P. I mounting. The gun recoiled 12 inches and the mounting and its sights were capable of 30 degree elevations (9500 yards).[4]

Originally, the 26 knotters three and the 27 knotters five 6-pdr guns (though the 26 knotters could mount five by landing the torpedo tubes).[5] It appears these were removed by late in the war.[4]

By 1920, those remaining had also been fitted with a Q.F. 6-pdr on Mark IV H.A. mounting.[4]


Most had two single 18-in torpedo tubes, particularly by the war. Some had a third fixed bow tube which was removed from most although some boat retained only this tube.[6]

From 1907, the decision was made to standardise the "A" through "D"s with torpedoes set for short range, allotting them the Mark IV S.R..[7]

Other Weapons


Fire Control

Visual fire control system.[4]

Torpedo Control

See Also


  1. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. p. 18.
  2. Smith. Hard Lying. Table 2.
  3. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1918). pp. 16, 17, 19, 28.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Technical History and Index Vol. 4, Part 34, p. 15.
  5. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. pp. 90-91.
  6. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1860–1905. pp. 90-91.
  7. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1907. p. 32.


"A" Class Destroyer
26 Knotters
  Havock Hornet Daring  
  Decoy Ferret Lynx  
27 Knotters
Ardent Boxer Bruizer Charger Dasher
Hasty Hardy Haughty Janus Lightning
Porcupine Salmon Snapper Banshee Contest
Dragon Conflict Teazer Wizard Fervent
Zephyr Handy Hart Hunter Opossum
Ranger Sunfish Rocket Shark Surly
  Skate Starfish Sturgeon  
  Spitfire Swordfish Zebra  
  Destroyers (UK) "B" Class –>