Beagle (G) Class (1910) DD

The Beagle Class of destroyers were part of the 1908/9 construction programme. They were broadly the first of what became standard classes of Destroyers.

The Admiralty wanted the maximum number of bidders to force down the cost of each ship and also reduce the time taken to award contracts by having to have each builders design checked and approved.  Individual builders designs for the class were still received, checked and approved, the last class to do so. But they had an Admiralty imposed general standard arrangement and armament.

They were basically the planned improved River Class ships of the 1904 programme which were discarded when the Tribal Class were instead approved.

By this time it was expected that destroyers would operate off an enemy's coast (especially Germany) and engage their destroyers. They therefore needed more endurance and better seakeeping qualities than the ships they were going to replace. So they were the start of a rolling modernisation programme of the destroyer flotillas.

They had a high flared bow and overhanging stern covering the rudder to improve seakeeping. They also reverted to coal only as a fuel to reduce cost despite a slight lowering of performance.

They became virtually the prototype for all British destroyers until the middle of the First World War.

When destroyers were allocated class letters in 1912, they were designated G Class.


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This page last edited - 30 April, 2013.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.