Arabis-class sloop

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HMS Wisteria (1915) IWM SP 827.jpg
HMS Wistaria
Class overview
Operators:  Royal Navy
 French Navy
 Portuguese Navy
Preceded by: Azalea Class
Succeeded by: Aubretia Class
Built: 1915
In commission: 1915–1941
Completed: 44
Lost: 7
General characteristics
Type: Minesweeper
Displacement: 1,250 tons
Length: 255 ft 3 in (77.80 m) p/p
267 ft 9 in (81.61 m) o/a
Beam: 33 ft 6 in (10.21 m)
Draught: 11 ft 9 in (3.58 m)
Propulsion: 1 × 4-cylinder triple expansion engine
2 × cylindrical boilers
1 screw
Speed: 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph)
Range: 2,000 nmi (3,700 km; 2,300 mi) at 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph)[1] with max. 260 tons of coal
Complement: 79 men
Armament: Typically 2 × 4 or 4.7 inch guns and 2 × 3-pounders (47 mm) AA with some lesser variants

The Arabis class was the third class of minesweeping sloops and the largest building project[2] completed under the Emergency War Programme for the Royal Navy in World War I. They were part of the larger "Flower Class", which were also referred to as the "Cabbage Class", or "Herbaceous Borders". The ships were also used outside their minesweeping duties as patrol vessels, tugs, and personnel and cargo transports.[3]

The design for the Arabis class was made at the end of 1914.[3] All 36 British vessels were ordered in July 1915, and were built in three batches, averaging 12 vessels. A further 8 vessels were later built in British shipyards for the French Navy. The design was highly appealing, as most shipyards were capable of building them, and construction could be completed in five months.

Like the preceding Acacia and Azalea class sloops, these were single-screw Fleet Sweeping Vessels (Sloops) with triple hulls at the bows to give extra protection against loss when working.


Artist's impression of the loss of HMS Valerian

Six vessels were ordered in January 1916, and another two in September 1916, all to this design from British shipyards for the French Navy, and all were delivered to the French in 1916 or (the last pair) 1917:

  • Aldebaran, built by Barclay Curle, launched 19 May 1916. Deleted 1934.
  • Algol, built by Barclay Curle, launched 17 June 1916. Deleted 1935.
  • Altair, built by Hamilton, launched 6 July 1916. Deleted 1940.
  • Antares, built by Hamilton, launched 4 September 1916. Deleted 1936.
  • Bellatrix, built by Henderson, launched 29 May 1916. Deleted 1933.
  • Rigel, built by Henderson, launched 6 July 1916. Sunk by German submarine U.35 off Algiers 2 October 1916.
  • Cassiopée, built by Barclay Curle, launched 10 February 1917. Deleted 1933.
  • Regulus, built by Barclay Curle, launched 19 March 1917. Deleted 1935.


  1. ^ ""FLOWER" ARABIS type fleet sweeping sloops". Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "Steel Sloops in the RN". Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Arabis class sloop (br.)". Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  4. ^ Jane's Fighting Ships. London: Jane's Publishing Co. 1939. 
  5. ^ "Buttercup". Miramar Ship Index. R B Haworth, Wellington NZ. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  6. ^ "Arabis Class". Retrieved 28 December 2012. 

External links[edit]