Tribal (F) Class (1908) DD

The Tribal class of destroyers were the result of a three year construction programme.

The broad design features were outlined to usual destroyers builders on 17-Nov-1904. These were kept as simple as possible, being to; attain 33kts, able to steam at full power for eight hours in a moderate sea, burn only oil fuel, 2 x 12pdr and 5 x 3pdr guns and provisions for two days. (Some changes were later made to these initial specs.)

The builders were then given a free hand to meet the requirements with tenders submitted by 01-Dec-1904. The result was that the ships did not form a homogeneous group only a broadly similar group.

Deadlines were so tight that they were unable to be part of the 1904-5 construction programme, and with the builders having a free hand, considerable redesign was needed to get acceptable ships. (In fact Mohawk which was completed with a turtleback forecastle deck, had to be rebuilt after completion to become acceptable.)

The result was that five were included in the 1905-6 programme, two in the 1906-7 programme and five in the 1907-8 programme. 

The Tribal's were to form the high part of a high/low mix of destroyers. Able to accompany the Fleet in all weathers and to any part of the world. (The low end were cheaper coastal destroyers. Which after initial trials were re-rated as torpedo boats and re-designated TB1 - 12.) 

When destroyers were allocated class letters in 1912, the Tribal's became the F Class. 

An unusual feature of the class was that while 12 ships were launched, the class eventually comprised 13 ships. Zulu had her stern blown off by a mine and Nubian destroyed her bow area while ramming a German destroyer.  Neither ship sank and the two relatively undamaged halves were joined together, being renamed Zubian - Zu(lu-Nu)bian.


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This page last edited - 03 September, 2012.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.