Greek destroyer Ierax

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History
Greece
Name: Ierax (ΒΠ Ιέραξ)
Namesake: hawk
Ordered: 1912
Builder: Cammell Laird, Birkenhead
Laid down: 1911
Launched: 15 March 1911
Commissioned: 1912
Decommissioned: 1946
Fate: broken up
General characteristics
Class and type: Wild Beast-class destroyer
Displacement: 880 tons standard
Length: 89.4 m (293 ft)
Beam: 8.3 m (27 ft)
Draft: 3 m (9.8 ft)
Propulsion:
  • 5 × Foster Wheeler boilers (4 coal-fired and 1 oil-fired), replaced by Yarrow oil-fired boilers in 1925
  • 5 funnels
  • combined Parsons and Curtis steam turbines
Speed: 31 knots (57 km/h) maximum (32 knots (59 km/h) after 1925)
Complement: 58
Armament:

Ierax (Greek: ΒΠ Ιέραξ, "Hawk") was a Wild Beast-class destroyer which served in the Hellenic Royal Navy from 1912–1946.

Origin[edit]

The ship, along with her three sister ships Aetos, Panthir and Leon, was ordered from England. They were purchased in 1912, ready for delivery, each for the sum of £148,000 from the English shipyards Cammell Laird in Birkenhead, when the Balkan Wars seemed likely. These ships had originally been ordered by Argentina; Ierax was originally named Santa Fé. Ierax was accepted by Captain Ath. Miaoulis, RHN in Palermo, Sicily. where she arrived manned by foreign crew.

Service history[edit]

During the Balkan Wars, the Royal Hellenic Navy purchased only the minimum amount of ammunitions, 3,000 rounds of torpedoes. Torpedoes were not available for this class of ship, and for this reason these ships were initially named 'scouts' rather than 'destroyers'. On October 21, 1912, under the command of Commander A. Vratsanos, RHN, Ierax was part of the Greek flotilla that captured the island of Psara from the Ottomans.[1]

During World War I, Greece belatedly entered the war on the side of the Triple Entente and, due to Greece's neutrality the four Beast Class ships were seized by the Allies in October, 1916, taken over by the French in November, and served in the French Navy from 1917-18. By 1918, they were back on escort duty under Greek colors, mainly in the Aegean Sea.

Ierax participated in the evacuation of Greeks from Russia during the Russian Civil War in 1918, and saw action in the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922) in the Sea of Marmara and the Aegean Sea.

After the war, Ierax was refurbished from 1925–1927. She also participated in the Second World War, after surviving the German invasion of April, 1941, Ierax was based in Alexandria, Egypt. In April, 1944, a wave of mutiny swept through some of the Hellenic Royal Navy, with seamen agitating in favor of the pro-Communist guerillas, ELAS, who were fighting a campaign in Greece against the occupying Nazis. Ierax was one of the ships whose crew mutinied and the mutiny was put down in the early morning hours of April 22, 1944.[2]

After the end of World War II, Ierax was stricken (decommissioned) in 1946.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ HELLENIC NAVY - IERAX D-36 (1912-1946)
  2. ^ Vice Admiral G. Mezeviris, "Four Decades in the Service of the Royal Hellenic Navy", Athens, 1971.