Acorn-class destroyer

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HMS FURY (1911) attending Audacious.jpg
HMS Fury
Class overview
Builders: John Brown and Company
William Denny & Brothers
Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Company
R. W. Hawthorn Leslie & Company
Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson
A. & J. Inglis
John I. Thornycroft & Company
J. Samuel White & Company
Preceded by: Beagle class
Succeeded by: Acheron class
Built: 1910–1911
In commission: 1910–1921
Completed: 20
Lost: 3
General characteristics
Type: Destroyer
Displacement: 730 to 780 tons
Length: 246 ft 6 in (75.13 m)
Beam: 25 ft 6 in (7.77 m)
Draught: 7 ft (2.1 m)–10 ft (3.0 m)
Propulsion: Oil-fired boilers
3 shaft steam turbines
13,500 shp (10,067 kW)
Speed: 27 knots (50 km/h)
Range: 170 tons oil
Complement: 72
Armament: 2 × BL 4-inch (101.6 mm) L/40 Mark VIII guns, mounting P Mark V
2 × QF 12-pounder 12 cwt Mark I mounting P Mark I
2 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes
For the World War II H-class destroyers, see H class destroyer (1937)

The Acorn class (officially redesignated the H class in 1913) was a class of twenty destroyers of the Royal Navy all built under the 1909-1910 Programme, and completed between 1910 and 1911. The Acorns served during World War I.

After the coal-burning Beagle or G class of 1909, the Acorns marked a return to oil-firing as pioneered in the Tribal or F class of 1905 and HMS Swift of 1907. This change allowed a generally smaller vessel than the Beagles even with an increase in armament.

The Acorns were, as with previous classes, built to designs by their individual builders, but had a more-or-less uniform appearance, with three funnels, a tall, thin fore funnel, a short, thick central and a short narrow after stack. They had two 4-inch guns on the fo'c'sle - which was higher than that of the Beagles, negating the need for a raised bandstand - and on the quarterdeck. The 12-pounder guns were amidships, on the beams between the first two funnels, and the torpedo tubes were aft of the funnels, mounted singly with a searchlight position between them.

Three ships were lost in wartime service.


Fury (dark, centre picture) and Liverpool try to take the sinking battleship Audacious in tow. The view is from the passenger areas of the liner Olympic, 27 October 1914


  • Destroyers of the Royal Navy, 1893-1981, Maurice Cocker, 1983, Ian Allan ISBN 0-7110-1075-7