S Class (1943) DD

In autumn 1940 when the 5th Emergency Flotilla design was being considered the deadly effect of dive bombing aircraft was clear. So the S Class destroyers has dual purpose main guns which could elevate to 55. Also the log serving quadruple 2pdr pom-pom was replaced by the new Bofors 40mm Mk IV gun. 

Machinery and other arrangements were the same as the J Class, but because the J hull form caused spray and wetness forward, a Tribal Class design bow was used.

Both Success and Shark were transferred to the Royal Norwegian Navy before completion and renamed Stord and Svenner respectively. All the others served with the Home Fleet as the 23rd Flotilla in northern and arctic waters.

On 26-Dec-1943, Saumarez, Savage, Scorpion and Stord formed part of the distant cover with Duke of York and Jamaica for convoy JW55B which had been attacked by the German battlecruiser Scharnhorst. They intercepted the German ship and all the destroyers attacked with gunfire, and fired a total of 28 torpedoes, 4 of which hit. The combination of torpedo hits from the destroyers and the heavy guns of the battleship sank the Scharnhorst.

The flotilla formed part of the naval screen for the Invasion of Normandy, after which it was back to arctic duties comprising a mixture of Russian convoy escort, and cover for offensive carrier patrols off Norway.

This continued until the end of the war except for Saumarez which went to the Eastern Fleet in early 1945.

Only two of the eight were lost during the war. Four were transferred to the Netherlands, Saumarez was badly damaged in the 1946 Corfu incident and never repaired. Savage lasted until the early 1960's.


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This page last edited - 06 July, 2012.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.