Admiralty M-class destroyer

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HMS Pasley
Class overview
Operators:  Royal Navy
Preceded by: L-class destroyer
Succeeded by: R-class destroyer
Subclasses: Thornycroft M class
Yarrow M class
Hawthorn M class
Yarrow Later M class
Built: 1914–1916
In commission: 1915–1923
Completed: 85
General characteristics
Displacement: 994 long tons (1,010 t) standard
1,042 long tons (1,059 t) full load
Length: 269 ft (82 m)
Beam: 27 ft 6 in (8.38 m)
Draught: 8 ft 8 in (2.64 m) mean
10 ft 6 in (3.20 m) maximum
Propulsion: 3 shafts, steam turbines, 25,000 shp (18,642 kW)
Speed: 34 knots (39.1 mph; 63.0 km/h)
Range: 237–298 tons fuel oil
Complement: 80
Armament: 3 × QF 4 in (102 mm) Mark IV guns, mounting P Mk. IX
3 × single QF 2-pounder "pom-pom" Mk. II
2 × twin 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes

The M class, more properly known as the Admiralty M class, were a class of 85 destroyers built for the Royal Navy that saw service during World War I. All ships were built to an identical - Admiralty - design, hence the class name (25 other vessels of the 'M' class were built to variant designs by three specialist builders Thornycroft, Yarrow, and Hawthorn Leslie).

The Admiralty design was based on the preceding L class and all ships had three identical narrow, circular funnels.

Ships of the pre-war (1913-14) Programme[edit]

Six vessels were built under the 1913-14 Naval Programme. These differed from the wartime vessels by being 1,010 tons full load, with slightly smaller dimensions.

  • Murray, built by Palmers Shipbuilding & Iron Company, Hebburn on Tyne, launched 6 August 1914, and completed December 1914. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Myngs, built by Palmers, launched 24 September 1914, and completed February 1915. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Matchless, built by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson, Wallsend, begun November 1913, launched 5 October 1914, and completed December 1914. Sold for breaking up 26 October 1921.
  • Milne, built by John Brown & Company, Clydebank, begun in early 1914, launched 5 October 1914, and completed December 1914. Sold for breaking up 22 September 1921.
  • Morris, built by John Brown, begun in early 1914, launched 19 November 1914, and completed December 1914. Sold for breaking up 8 November 1921.
  • Moorsom, built by John Brown, begun in early 1914, launched 20 December 1914, and completed February 1915. Sold for breaking up 8 November 1921.

Besides the above six vessels, three destroyers already under construction were purchased from Yarrow, two from Thornycroft and two from Hawthorn Leslie to these builders' individual designs, and these are listed in separate articles. Three further ships were projected under the 1914-15 Naval Programme - and named Marksman, Menace and Monitor; however these three ships were cancelled before being contracted to any specific builder, in favour of two Marksman-class leaders.

Ships of the Emergency War Construction Programme[edit]

All the following vessels were ordered in five batches as part of the War Emergency Programme. Wartime builds omitted the cruising turbines originally specified and carried by the pre-war sub-group. The funnel heights were also raised compared with the pre-war vessels, and the second 4 in gun was mounted on a bandstand, as with the earlier L-class destroyers. Partridge, Norman, Maenad, Ophelia and Observer were later fitted to carry a kite balloon.

Sixteen vessels were ordered in September 1914 (as well as four of the Yarrow M class), but part of their cost was met by the provision in the 1914-15 Programme for ten destroyers.

  • Mons, built by John Brown, begun 30 September 1914, launched 1 May 1915, and completed July 1915. Sold for breaking up 8 November 1921.
  • Marne, built by John Brown, begun 30 September 1913, launched 29 May 1915, and completed August 1916. Sold for breaking up 29 September 1921.
  • Michael, built by John I. Thornycroft & Company, Woolston, begun October 1914, launched 19 May 1915, and completed August 1915. Sold for breaking up 22 September 1921.
  • Milbrook, built by Thornycroft, begun November 1914, launched 12 July 1915, and completed October 1915. Sold for breaking up 22 September 1921.
  • Minion, built by Thornycroft, begun November 1914, launched 11 September 1915, and completed November 1915. Sold for breaking up 8 November 1921.
  • Munster, built by Thornycroft, begun November 1914, launched 24 November 1915, and completed January 1916. Sold for breaking up 15 November 1921.
  • Mystic, built by William Denny & Brothers, Dumbarton, begun 27 October 1914, launched 20 June 1915, and completed 11 November 1915. Sold for breaking up 8 November 1921.
  • Maenad, built by Denny, begun 10 November 1914, launched 10 August 1915, and completed 12 November 1915. Sold for breaking up 22 September 1921.
  • Magic, built by J. Samuel White & Company, Cowes, begun 1 January 1915, launched 10 September 1915, and completed 8 January 1916. Sold for breaking up 22 September 1921.
  • Moresby, built by White, begun 14 January 1915, launched 20 November 1915, and completed 7 April 1916. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Mandate, built by Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Company, Govan, launched 27 April 1915, and completed 13 August 1915. Sold for breaking up 22 September 1921.
  • Manners, built by Fairfield, launched 15 June 1915, and completed 21 September 1915. Sold for breaking up 26 October 1921.
  • Marmion, built by Swan Hunter, launched 28 May 1915. Sunk after collision with Tirade on 21 October 1917 off Lerwick.
  • Martial, built by Swan Hunter, begun October 1914, launched 1 July 1915, and completed October 1915. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Mary Rose, built by Swan Hunter, launched 8 October 1915. Sunk on 17 October 1917 by German cruisers SMS Brummer and SMS Bremse off the Norwegian coast.
  • Menace, built by Swan Hunter, begun September 1914, launched 9 November 1915, and completed April 1916. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.

Nine further vessels were ordered in early November 1914 (as well as one further Yarrow M class).

  • Mameluke, built by John Brown, begun 23 December 1914, launched 14 August 1915, and completed October 1915. Sold for breaking up 22 September 1921.
  • Marvel, built by Denny, begun 11 January 1915, launched 7 October 1915, and completed 28 December 1915. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Mindful, built by Fairfield, launched 24 August 1915, and completed 10 November 1915. Sold for breaking up 22 September 1921.
  • Mischief, built by Fairfield, launched 12 October 1915, and completed 16 December 1915. Sold for breaking up 8 November 1921.
  • Nonsuch, built by Palmers, launched 7 December 1915, and completed February 1916. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Negro, built by Palmers, launched 8 March 1915. She was sunk after colliding with Hoste in the North Sea on 21 December 1916; depth charges from Hoste exploded and blew out the Negro '​s hull plating.
  • Nepean, built by Thornycroft, begun February 1915, launched 22 January 1916, and completed March 1916. Sold for breaking up 15 November 1921.
  • Nereus, built by Thornycroft, begun March 1915, launched 24 February 1916, and completed May 1916. Sold for breaking up 15 November 1921.
  • Nessus, built by Swan Hunter, launched 24 August 1915. Sunk after colliding with HMS Amphitrite in the North Sea on 8 September 1918.

Twenty-two further vessels were ordered in late November 1914.

  • Nestor, built by Swan Hunter, launched 22 December 1915. Sunk on 31 May 1916 at the Battle of Jutland.
  • Noble, built by Alexander Stephen & Sons, Linthouse, begun 6 February 1915, launched 25 November 1915, and completed 15 February 1916. Sold for breaking up 8 November 1921.
  • Nomad, built by Alexander Stephen & Sons, Linthouse, launched 7 February 1916. Sunk on 31 May 1916 at the Battle of Jutland.
  • Nizam, built by Alexander Stephen & Sons, Linthouse, begun 11 February 1915, launched 6 April 1916, and then completed by Beardmore 29 June 1916. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Nonpareil, built by Alexander Stephen & Sons, Linthouse, begun 24 February 1915, launched 16 May 1916, and completed 28 June 1916. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Norman, built by Palmers, launched 20 March 1916 and completed August 1916. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Northesk, built by Palmers, launched 5 July 1916 and completed October 1916. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • North Star, built by Palmers, launched 9 November 1916. Sunk on 23 April 1918 at Zeebrugge.
  • Nugent, built by Palmers, launched 23 January 1917 and completed April 1917. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Obedient, built by Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering Company Limited, Greenock, launched 6 November 1916 and completed February 1916. Sold for breaking up 25 November 1921.
  • Obdurate, built by Scotts, launched 21 November 1916 and completed March 1916. Sold for breaking up 15 November 1921.
  • Onslaught, built by Fairfield, launched 4 December 1915 and completed 3 March 1916. Sold for breaking up 30 October 1921. Some sources claimed that she torpedoed and sank the pre-dreadnought battleship SMS Pommern, while others claimed that Faulknor sank her.
  • Onslow, built by Fairfield, launched 15 February 1916 and completed 15 April 1916. Sold for breaking up 26 October 1921.
  • Opal, built by William Doxford & Sons, Sunderland, launched 11 September 1915. Wrecked off Scapa Flow with Narborough on 12 January 1918 (one survivor).
  • Ophelia, built by Doxford, launched 13 October 1916 and completed May 1916. Sold for breaking up 8 November 1921.
  • Opportune, built by Doxford, launched 20 November 1915 and completed June 1916. Sold for breaking up 7 December 1923.
  • Oracle, built by Doxford, launched 23 December 1915 and completed August 1916. Sold for breaking up 31 October 1921.
  • Orestes, built by Doxford, launched 21 March 1916 and completed June 1916. Sold for breaking up 31 October 1921.
  • Orford, built by Doxford, launched 19 April 1916 and completed December 1916. Sold for breaking up 1 November 1921.
  • Orpheus, built by Doxford, launched 17 June 1916 and completed September 1916. Sold for breaking up 31 October 1921.
  • Octavia, built by Doxford, launched 21 June 1916 and completed November 1916. Sold for breaking up 5 November 1921.
  • Ossory, built by John Brown, begun 23 December 1914, launched 9 October 1915, and completed November 1915. Sold for breaking up 8 November 1921.

Sixteen further vessels were ordered in February 1915 (as well as two more of the Thornycroft M class). The eight last-named below of these were of the Repeat M subgroup with raking stems compared with the straight stems of the previous sub-group, and the bows were moved flared to improve seakeeping qualities.

  • Napier, built by John Brown, begun 24 March 1915, launched 27 November 1915, and completed January 1916. Sold for breaking up 8 November 1921.
  • Narborough, built by John Brown, launched 2 March 1916. Wrecked off Scapa Flow (with Opal) on 12 January 1918 (no survivors).
  • Narwhal, built by Denny, begun 21 April 1915, launched 30 December 1915, and completed 3 March 1916. Collided with another vessel in 1919 and broken up in 1920 at Devonport Dockyard.
  • Nicator, built by Denny, begun 21 April 1915, launched 3 February 1916, and completed 15 April 1916. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Orcadia, built by Fairfield, launched 26 July 1916, and completed 29 September 1916. Sold for breaking up 31 October 1921.
  • Oriana, built by Fairfield, launched 23 September 1916, and completed 4 November 1916. Sold for breaking up 31 October 1921.
  • Paladin, built by Scotts, launched 27 March 1916, and completed May 1916. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Parthian, built by Scotts, launched 3 July 1916, and completed September 1916. Sold for breaking up 8 November 1921.
  • Norseman, built by Doxford, launched 15 August 1916, and completed November 1916. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Oberon, built by Doxford, launched 29 September 1916, and completed December 1916. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Observer, built by Fairfield, launched 1 May 1916, and completed 15 June 1916. Sold for breaking up 30 October 1921.
  • Offa, built by Fairfield, launched 7 June 1916, and completed 31 July 1916. Sold for breaking up 30 October 1921.
  • Oriole, built by Palmers, launched 31 July 1916, and completed November 1916. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Osiris, built by Palmers, launched 28 September 1916, and completed December 1916. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Partridge, built by Swan Hunter, launched 4 March 1916. Sunk on 12 December 1917 by gunfire from the German destroyers G 101, G 103, G 104, and V 100 off Norwegian coast.
  • Pasley, built by Swan Hunter, begun July 1915, launched 15 April 1916, and completed July 1916. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.

Sixteen final vessels were ordered in May 1915 (as well as two of the Thornycroft M class and two of the Yarrow M class). All to the Admiralty design were of the Repeat M subgroup with raking stems.

  • Medina, built by White, begun 23 September 1915, launched 8 March 1916, and completed 30 June 1916. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Medway, built by White, begun 2 November 1915, launched 19 April 1916, and completed 2 August 1916. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Pelican, built by William Beardmore & Company, Dalmuir, begun 25 June 1915, launched 18 March 1916, and completed 1 May 1916. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Pellew, built by Beardmore, begun 28 June 1915, launched 8 May 1916, and completed 30 June 1916. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Penn, built by John Brown, begun 9 June 1915, launched 8 April 1916, and completed May 1916. Sold for breaking up 31 October 1921.
  • Peregrine, built by John Brown, begun 9 June 1915, launched 29 May 1916, and completed July 1916. Sold for breaking up 15 November 1921.
  • Petard, built by Denny, begun 5 July 1915, launched 24 March 1916, and completed 23 May 1916. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Peyton, built by Denny, begun 12 July 1915, launched 2 May 1916, and completed 29 June 1916. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Pheasant, built by Fairfield, launched 23 October 1916. Mined on 1 March 1917 off the Orkney Islands.
  • Phoebe, built by Fairfield, launched 20 November 1916, and completed 28 December 1916. Sold for breaking up 15 November 1921.
  • Pigeon, built by Hawthorn Leslie & Company, Hebburn, begun 14 July 1915, launched 3 March 1916, and completed 2 June 1916. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Plover, built by Hawthorn Leslie, begun 30 July 1915, launched 3 March 1916, and completed 30 June 1916. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Plucky, built by Scotts, launched 21 April 1916, and completed July 1916. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Portia, built by Scotts, launched 10 August 1916, and completed October 1916. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Prince, built by Stephen, begun 27 July 1915, launched 26 July 1916, and completed 21 September 1916. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.
  • Pylades, built by Stephen, begun 27 July 1915, launched 28 September 1916, and then completed by Beardmore 30 December 1916. Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.

See also[edit]

Media related to Admiralty M class destroyer at Wikimedia Commons

Bibliography[edit]