HMS Adventure (M23)
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Adventure in February 1943
|Ordered:||18 July 1921|
|Builder:||Vickers Limited, Barrow-in-Furness & Devonport Royal Dockyard|
|Laid down:||29 November 1922|
|Launched:||18 June 1924|
|Commissioned:||2 October 1926|
|Reclassified:||Repair ship 1944|
|Fate:||Sold for scrapping, 1947|
|Beam:||59 ft (18.0 m) over bulges|
|Draught:||14 ft 6 in (4.42 m), 17 ft 3 in (5.26 m) full load|
|Complement:||395 (560 wartime)|
|Armament:||4 × QF 4.7-in Mark VIII on single mounting HA Mark XII, 4 × QF 2-pounder Mk.II on single mounts HA Mk.II, later; 8 × QF 2-pounder Mk.VIII on octuple mount HA Mk.VIII, 8 × .5 in (13 mm) Vickers machine guns on quadruple mounts Mk.I, later; 9 × 20 mm Oerlikon guns on single mounts P Mk.III, 280 (large pattern) - 340 (small pattern) mines|
HMS Adventure, pennant number M23, was a minelaying cruiser of the Royal Navy built in the 1920s that saw service during the Second World War. Her commander between 1928 and 1929 was the future First Sea Lord John H. D. Cunningham.
Laid down at Devonport in November 1922 and launched in June 1924, Adventure was the first vessel built for service as a minelayer, she was also the first warship to use diesel engines, being used for cruising.
On entering the service she joined the Atlantic Fleet. From 1931-1932, she underwent a refit. During this refit she received a rounded stern in place of the original square one.
Adventure was adopted by the City of Plymouth.
Adventure was built to replace the converted First World War veteran Princess Margaret, and her design was dictated by a requirement for a large mine capacity and a good cruising range. The mineload was to be carried completely internally, dictating a long, tall hull, and there were four sets of rails running the length of the hull to chutes at the stern. She was built with a transom, or flat, stern, to improve cruising efficiency, but the dead water caused by such a form meant that mines tended to be sucked back into the hull when they were launched; an obviously dangerous situation for a minelayer. As a result, she was rebuilt with a traditional cruiser, or rounded, stern, increasing the length by 19 ft (5.8 m).
As built, Adventure was 520 feet (158.50 m) long overall and 500 feet (152.40 m) between perpendiculars, with a beam of 59 feet (17.98 m) and a draught of 17 feet 2 inches (5.23 m) at deep load. Displacement was 6,740 long tons (6,850 t) standard and 8,370 long tons (8,500 t) deep load.
Propulsion was by plant as installed in the C-class cruisers, but to increase cruising efficiency a novel diesel-electric plant was trialled, the propellers being driven by either set of machinery through gearboxes. The diesel-electric plant was removed by 1941, along with the small diesel exhaust that had been trunked up the second funnel. Adventure's high topweight resulting from the mineload carried high up in her hull meant that typical cruiser type armament could not be fitted. Instead, four QF 4.7 in (120 mm) guns on high-angle mounts were carried in 'A', 'Q', 'X' and 'Y' positions, in hindsight a more useful arrangement. The anti-aircraft armament was completed by a single octuple multiple pom-pom in 'B' position (not fitted until the late 1930s) and a pair of quadruple .5 in (13 mm) Vickers machine guns.
By 1941, she had been fitted with Radar Type 291 air warning at the masthead, Radar Type 285 on the high-angle HACS Director Control Tower on the foremast spotting top and Radar Type 272 centimetric target indication on the foremast, below the spotting top. By 1944, nine 20 mm Oerlikon guns had been added, two of which had replaced the useless Vickers machine guns. Adventure was converted to a repair ship for landing craft for the Normandy landings.
World War Two service
Mining on 13 November 1939
Adventure was badly damaged near the Tongue Light Vessel, in the Thames Estuary at 05.25 on 13 November 1939, by an underwater explosion. 23 of her crew were killed or fatally injured. The bridge was wrecked and crew and fittings were thrown against bulkheads and down hatchways with lethal effect. She was successfully taken in tow to the Medway by tugs from Ramsgate, and later repaired at Chatham Dockyard. She had been en route from Grimsby to Portsmouth, and escorted by the Harwich-based destroyers Blanche and Basilisk. Blanche was also mined at 08:10 and sank with the loss of one man. Originally floating mines were blamed, but it soon transpired that magnetic mines laid by German destroyers a few hours before were responsible.
- Gardiner & Chesneau 1980, p. 36
- Brown, David J. (2010). The Grand Fleet: Warship Design and Development 1906–1922. Barnsley, UK: Seaforth Bublishing. ISBN 978-1-84832-085-7.
- Cocker, M. P. (1993). Mine Warfare Vessels of the Royal Navy: 1908 to Date. Shrewsbury, England: Airlife Publishing. ISBN 1-85310-328-4.
- Gardiner, Robert; Chesneau, Roger, eds. (1980). Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1922–1946. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-146-7.
- HMS Adventure - Ship's Log - November 1939, The National Archives, Kew, UK, ADM/53/107337
- Lenton, H. T. (1998). British & Commonwealth Warships of the Second World War. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-048-7.
- "HMS Adventure". naval-history.net. Retrieved 1 Feb 2013.
- Nore Command War Diary ADM 199/375 & War History ADM 199/1454 (National Archive)
- Board of Inquiry Report ADM 1/10857 (National Archive)
- Ian Hawkin's "Destroyer" (quoting J P Foynes "Battle of the East Coast 1939-1945).
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