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Bulldog with wartime modifications
|Operators:|| Royal Navy
Royal Hellenic Navy
|Preceded by:||A class|
|Succeeded by:||C and D class|
|In commission:||1930-02-19 - 1947|
|General characteristics (as completed)|
|Class & type:||B-class destroyer|
|Displacement:||1,360 long tons (1,380 t) (standard)
1,790 long tons (1,820 t) (deep load)
|Length:||323 ft (98.5 m) o/a|
|Beam:||32 ft 3 in (9.8 m)|
|Draught:||12 ft 3 in (3.7 m)|
|Installed power:||34,000 shp (25,000 kW)
3 × Admiralty 3-drum boilers
|Propulsion:||2 × shafts
2 × Parsons geared steam turbines
|Speed:||35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph)|
|Range:||4,800 nmi (8,900 km; 5,500 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)|
|Type 119 ASDIC|
|Armament:||4 × 1 - 4.7-inch (120 mm) Mk IX guns
depth charges, 1 rail and 2 throwers
|General characteristics (Keith)|
|Displacement:||1,400 tons standard (1,442 tonnes)
1,821 tons full load (1,850 tonnes)
|Length:||323.2 ft (98.5 m) o/a|
|Notes:||Other characteristics as above|
The B class was a class of nine destroyers of the British Royal Navy, ordered as part of the 1928 Naval Estimates, launched in 1930 and that commissioned in 1931. The class was similar to the preceding A class, with minor modifications. They saw extensive service in the Second World War and five were sunk in combat; Blanche had the unfortunate distinction of being the first British destroyer lost during the war, when she was mined in the Thames Estuary some 2 months after the declaration of war.
Unlike the A class the flotilla leader, Keith, was built upon the same hull as her sisters; the enlarged leader HMS Codrington of the A class proved to be tactically incompatible with her flotilla as she was both a number of knots faster and had a much greater tactical radius. As a result, Keith was too small to accommodate the entirety of Captain (D)'s staff, and Blanche was fitted as a divisional leader to carry the surplus.
The early losses likely had few modifications; restricted to replacing the after set of torpedo tubes with a QF 12 pounder anti-aircraft (A/A) gun - if at all. Like their contemporary older British destroyers, the B class were cascaded into convoy escort work as new vessels became available for fleet work. Modifications generally involved the aforementioned addition of the 12 pounder and striking the mainmast to improve the weapon's field of fire. 'Y' gun was landed to increase the space available for depth charge gear. The cumbersome metric wavelength Radar Type 286 was added to some ships as it became available. Based on the Royal Air Force's ASV set, and intended to warn against surfaced submarines, it had a fixed antenna that scanned in a forward arc, requiring the ship's heading to be changed in order to alter the search direction.
The 12 pounder gun was later removed from surviving ships, extra depth charges being carried in lieu. The 2 pounder guns were also replaced by QF 20 mm Oerlikon guns as they became available, with a further pair of the latter added in place of the searchlight position. Bulldog later received a further pair for a total of six Oerlikons. Beagle, Brilliant and Bulldog later received a much improved radar set in place of the rangefinder and director equipment; the centimetric wavelength Type 271 that combined the enormous advances of the cavity magnetron and the plan position indicator, resulting in a highly useful set that could detect a submarine periscope in the correct conditions. Bulldog and Beagle lost 'A' gun, gaining a Hedgehog ahead-throwing A/S weapon in its place. Bulldog received a QF 2 pounder Mk.VIII gun mounted as a bow chaser in 1944, to deal with the threat posed by German E boats.
|Keith||H06||Vickers Armstrongs, Barrow in Furness||1 October 1929||10 July 1930||20 March 1931||Sunk, 1 June 1940, by Ju 87 "Stuka" dive bombers off Dunkirk, France|
|Basilisk||H11||John Brown & Company, Clydebank||18 August 1929||6 August 1930||4 April 1931|
|Beagle||H30||11 October 1936||29 September 1930||9 April 1931||Scrapped, 1946|
|Blanche||H47||Hawthorn Leslie & Company, Hebburn||29 July 1936||29 May 1930||14 February 1931||Sunk by a mine, 13 November 1939|
|Boadicea||H65||11 July 1929||23 September 1930||7 April 1931||Sunk by Junkers Ju 88 bombers off Portland, 13 June 1944|
|Boreas||H77||Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Company, Jarrow||22 July 1929||18 July 1930||20 February 1931||Scrapped, 1952|
|Brazen||H80||25 July 1930||8 April 1931||Sunk by Ju 87 "Stuka"s off Dover, 20 July 1940|
|Brilliant||H84||Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson, Wallsend||8 July 1929||9 October 1930||21 February 1931||Scrapped, 1948|
|Bulldog||H91||10 August 1936||6 December 1930||8 April 1931||Scrapped, 1946|
- Whitley, p. 99
- English, p. 30
- English, pp. 31–32
- English, p. 33
- English, p. 34
- English, p. 36
- English, p. 37
- English, p. 38
- English, p. 40
- English, p. 42
- English, John (1993). Amazon to Ivanhoe: British Standard Destroyers of the 1930s. Kendal, England: World Ship Society. ISBN 0-905617-64-9.
- Friedman, Norman (2009). British Destroyers From Earliest Days to the Second World War. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-59114-081-8.
- Lenton, H. T. (1998). British & Empire Warships of the Second World War. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-048-7.
- Rohwer, Jürgen (2005). Chronology of the War at Sea 1939-1945: The Naval History of World War Two (Third Revised ed.). Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-119-2.
- Whitley, M. J. (1988). Destroyers of World War 2. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-326-1.
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