J Class (1939) DD

By the mid-1930's it was clear that the standard A to I Class design was becoming outclassed by newer designs by some foreign navies. Also the Tribal Class ships received some criticism for being both too large and too gun orientated.

So the 1936 construction programme ships filled a need for smaller ships with dual-purpose guns and a full outfit of torpedo tubes.

The increased focus on torpedo attack resulted in the requirement for a low silhouette and a single funnel. Which meant a two-boiler layout, which was possible with advances in boiler technology. In addition single guns were considered unacceptable. The guns used electro-hydraulic power and so two diesel generators were fitted to supply power when in harbour or when steam was not available.

They were constructed using longitudinal framing for the first time since 1914.

All this meant the eight J Class ships were not ordered until 25-Mar-1937. With Jubilant being cancelled because the Leader was included in the eight laid down.

The J Class ships commissioned with the 7th Destroyer Flotilla. When WW2 started they formed the 5th Destroyer Flotilla, based on the Humber.

They took part in the Norway Campaign, and then moved south to be based at Plymouth on Channel patrol.

Six of the eight ships were lost during WW2 and the two survivors were broken up in 1949.


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This page last edited - 30 April, 2013.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.