HMS Scourge at sea, 1914
|Name:||Beagle class (or G class)|
|Preceded by:||Tribal class|
|Succeeded by:||Acorn class|
|Built:||1909 – 1910|
|In commission:||1910 – 1921|
|Displacement:||860–940 long tons (874–955 t)|
|Length:||275 ft (83.8 m)|
|Beam:||27 ft 6 in (8.38 m)|
|Draught:||8 ft 6 in (2.59 m)|
|Installed power:||12,500 hp (9,300 kW)|
|Propulsion:||Coal-fired boilers, 2 or 3 shaft steam turbines|
|Speed:||27 knots (50.0 km/h; 31.1 mph)|
The Beagle class (officially redesignated as the G class in 1913) was a class of sixteen destroyers of the Royal Navy, all ordered under the 1908-1909 programme and launched in 1909 and 1910. The Beagles served during World War I, particularly during the Dardanelles Campaign of 1915.
For the 1908–1909 shipbuilding programme, the British Admiralty decided to revert to a smaller, more affordable destroyer to follow-on from the large and fast Tribal class (required to reach 33 knots (61 km/h; 38 mph)) and the experimental 36-knot (67 km/h; 41 mph) HMS Swift. The destroyers needed sufficient range to operate across the North Sea in the event of a confrontation with Germany, which rendered the Cricket-class coastal destroyers which had been built as a low-cost supplement to the expensive Tribals outdated, requiring larger numbers of a cheaper standard destroyer. While the Tribals were oil fuelled, it was decided to return to the use of coal for the new destroyers, because of concerns over the availability of oil stocks in the event of a war and to reduce costs. They were the last British destroyers to be so fueled.
The Beagles were not built to a standard design, with detailed design being left to the builders of individual ships in accordance with a loose specification. They were between 263 feet 11 1⁄4 inches (80.45 m) and 275 feet (83.82 m) long between perpendiculars, with a beam of between 26 feet 10 inches (8.18 m) and 28 feet 1 inch (8.56 m), with an average draught of 8 feet 6 inches (2.59 m). It was expected that the ships would displace 850 long tons (860 t) but the builder's designs came out heavier, at about 945 long tons (960 t) normal and 1,100 long tons (1,120 t) full load. Five Yarrow or White-Forster boilers fed direct-drive steam turbines driving three propeller shafts. The machinery was rated at 14,300 shaft horsepower (10,700 kW) to give a speed of 27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph). Three funnels were fitted.
The Beagle class was designed to carry a gun armament of five 12-pounder (76 mm) guns, with two mounted side by side on a raised platform on the ship's forecastle, two on the ship's beams, with the port gun mounted ahead of the starboard gun and one aft. While the ships were building, however, it was decided to replace the two forecastle guns by a single 4-inch (102 mm) gun,[a] giving a gun armament of one BL 4 inch naval gun Mk VIII and three QF 12-pounder 12 cwt guns)[b] Torpedo armament consisted of two 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes, with one between the ship's funnels and the aft gun, and one right aft at the stern of the ship. These torpedoes had a range of 1,000 yards (910 m) at 50 knots (93 km/h; 58 mph) or 12,000 yards (11,000 m) at 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph). Two spare torpedoes were carried.
The Beagles were followed, in the 1909-10 Programme, by the Acorn class (later known as the H class).
As the Beagles completed in 1910, they joined the 1st Destroyer Flotilla of the Royal Navy's Home Fleet. but in 1913 they were sent to the Mediterranean, where they formed the 5th Flotilla, remaining there on the outbreak of the First World War. They were officially redesignated the G class in October 1913 as part of a general re-designation of the Royal Navy's destroyers. The Beagle class spent most of the war in the Mediterranean, with several taking part in the Dardanelles Campaign. Late in 1917, the ships of the class were recalled to British waters, where three ships were lost to accidents, two by running aground and one to collision.
Being coal-fired, they were obsolete by the end of the First World War and the surviving ships were all scrapped by the end of 1921.
|Name||Builder||Laid down||Launch date||Completed||Fate|
|Beagle||John Brown and Company, Clydebank||17 March 1909||16 October 1909||June 1910.||Sold for breaking up 1 November 1921.|
|Bulldog||John Brown and Company, Clydebank||30 March 1909||13 November 1909,||7 July 1910.||Sold for breaking up 21 September 1920.|
|Foxhound||John Brown and Company, Clydebank||1 April 1909||11 December 1909||September 1910.||Sold for breaking up 1 November 1921.|
|Pincher||William Denny & Brothers, Dumbarton||20 May 1909||15 March 1910||September 1910.||Wrecked on Seven Stones reef, Land's End 24 July 1918.|
|Grasshopper||Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Company, Govan||17 April 1909||23 November 1909||July 1910.||Sold for breaking up 1 November 1921.|
|Mosquito||Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Company, Govan||22 April 1909||27 January 1910||August 1910.||Sold for breaking up 31 August 1920.|
|Scorpion||Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Company, Govan||3 May 1909||19 February 1910||September 1910.||Sold for breaking up 26 October 1921.|
|Scourge||R. W. Hawthorn Leslie & Company, Hebburn||9 March 1909||11 February 1910||August 1910.||Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.|
|Racoon||Cammell Laird & Company, Birkenhead||1 May 1909||15 February 1910||October 1910.||Wrecked on Irish coast 9 January 1918 during blizzard.|
|Renard||Cammell Laird & Company, Birkenhead||20 April 1909||13 November 1909||September 1910.||Sold for breaking up 31 August 1920.|
|Wolverine||Cammell Laird & Company, Birkenhead||26 April 1909||15 January 1910||September 1910.||Sunk in collision with the sloop Rosemary in Lough Foyle 12 December 1917.|
|Rattlesnake||Harland & Wolff, Glasgow||29 April 1909||14 March 1910||September 1910.||Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.|
|Nautilus||Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company, Bow Creek||14 April 1909||30 March 1910||September 1911.||The ship was renamed Grampus on 16 December 1913,[c] freeing up the original name for a submarine. Sold for breaking up 21 September 1920.|
|Savage||John I. Thornycroft & Company, Woolston||2 March 1909||10 March 1910||August 1910.||Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921.|
|Basilisk||J. Samuel White & Company, Cowes||11 May 1909||9 February 1910||September 1910.||Sold for breaking up 1 November 1921.|
|Harpy||J. Samuel White & Company, Cowes||23 April 1909||27 November 1909||July 1910.||Sold for breaking up 1 November 1921.|
- This was as a result of tests 1906 against the destroyer Skate, which had shown that 12-pounder shells often exploded before they hit the target's engine room.
- "Cwt" is the abbreviation for hundredweight, 12 cwt referring to the weight of the gun.
- While Friedman and Conway's list the ship as having been renamed on 16 December 1912, the ship remained listed under her original name in the March 1913 issue of The Navy List, not being noted as having been renamed until the January 1914 edition.
- Friedman 2009, pp. 108, 114.
- Gardiner and Gray 1985, p. 74.
- Friedman 2009, p. 118.
- Manning 1961, p. 55.
- Brown 2010, p. 68.
- Gardiner and Gray 1985, p. 73.
- Brown 2010, p. 69.
- Friedman 2009, p. 116.
- Friedman 2009, pp. 108–109.
- Friedman 2009, pp. 116, 118.
- Gardiner and Gray 1985, pp. 73–74.
- Manning 1961, p. 26.
- Gardiner and Gray 1985, pp. 18, 74.
- Friedman 2009, p. 305.
- Dittmar and Colledge 1972, p. 60.
- Friedman 2009, p. 306.
- Dittmar and Colledge 1972, p. 61.
- Moore 1990, p. 314.
- "Wrecks Off Co. Londonderry". Irish-Wrecks Online. 24 January 2005. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
- "338: Naultilus Torpedo Boat Destroyer". The Navy List: 348. March 1913.
- "221a: Grampus (late Nautilus) (Ch). Torpedo Boat Destroyer". The Navy List: 322. January 1914.
- Dittmar and Colledge 1972, pp. 60–61.
- Brown, David K. (2010). The Grand Fleet: Warship Design and Development 1906–1922. Barnsley, UK: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84832-085-7.
- Cocker, Maurice (1983). Destroyers of the Royal Navy, 1893-1981. Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-1075-7.
- Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) . Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475.
- Dittmar, F.J.; Colledge, J.J. (1972). British Warships 1914–1919. Shepperton, UK: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-0380-7.
- Friedman, Norman (2009). British Destroyers: From Earliest Days to the Second World War. Barnsley, UK: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84832-049-9.
- Gardiner, Robert; Gray, Randal, eds. (1985). Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-245-5.
- Manning, T.D. (1961). The British Destroyer. London: Putnam. OCLC 6470051.
- Moore, John (1990). Jane's Fighting Ships of World War I. London: Studio. ISBN 1-85170-378-0.
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