Cricket Class Torpedo Boat (1906)

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The thirty-six Cricket Class Torpedo Boats were originally dubbed "coastal destroyers", but were reclassified as first-class torpedo boats before 1907. They were often referred to as "the oily wads" due to their oil-burning nature.

The first twelve ordered were given names but were re-numbered - confusingly - as T.B. 1-12 as part of the denigration to torpedo boats.

Two additional orders of twelve boats each followed, and these boats never had names, but only numbers T.B. 13-36.[1]

Design and Construction

The small vessels had three screws and were oil-fired. One commander regarded these as a great step up from the 27- and 30-knotters he'd served in previously.

The middle shaft had a smaller propellor, and this was the only one which could be reversed, offering deficient backing power and denying them the enhanced manoeuvrability achievable in other ships by backing down an outer engine.

A large wardroom was provided for the captain and his two officers. In most ships, this was partitioned by private expenditures to offer the captain his own room, entered by an overhead ammunition hatch.

The last twelve ships boasted a steam capstan in place of the meager hand-worked ones in the other units.[2]

Tests performed in T.B. 33 in 1909 determined that Mark VI* H. torpedoes fitted with pioneers (a type of net-penetrating head apputenance) would not clear obstructions such as the funnel casing on firing from the foremost or the midship tubes. Tests were called for to see if the same were true in other units.[3]


The tiny 3-pdr weaponry of the "160 Footers" was replaced by a much more powerful 12-pdr weapon.

In late-1913, the 12-pdr mountings were equipped with percussion firing gear.[5]


It was decided in June 1914 that these ships were not to be fitted with searchlight control.[6]

See Also


  1. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. pp. 72-3.
  2. Dawson. Flotillas. p. 105.
  3. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1909. p. 33.
  4. Torpedo Manual, Vol. III, 1909. pp. 233.
  5. Admiralty Weekly Order No. 430 of 1 Aug, 1913.
  6. Admiralty Weekly Order No. 43 of 19 June, 1914.


Cricket Class First-class Torpedo Boat
1905 Order
T.B. 1 T.B. 2 T.B. 3 T.B. 4 T.B. 5
T.B. 6 T.B. 7 T.B. 8 T.B. 9 T.B. 10
  T.B. 11 T.B. 12  
November 1906 Order
T.B. 13 T.B. 14 T.B. 15 T.B. 16 T.B. 17
T.B. 18 T.B. 19 T.B. 20 T.B. 21 T.B. 22
  T.B. 23 T.B. 24  
September 1907 Order
T.B. 25 T.B. 26 T.B. 27 T.B. 28 T.B. 29
T.B. 30 T.B. 31 T.B. 32 T.B. 33 T.B. 34
  T.B. 35 T.B. 36  
<– T.B. 114 Class Torpedo Boats (UK)  
<– T.B. 114 Class First-class Torpedo Boats (UK)