HMS Imperial (D09)
HMS Imperial in September 1937, wearing the three black bands of the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla on her aft funnel
|Ordered:||30 October 1935|
|Builder:||Hawthorn Leslie and Company|
|Laid down:||22 January 1936|
|Launched:||11 December 1936|
|Commissioned:||30 June 1937|
|Identification:||Pennant number: D09/I09|
|Fate:||Scuttled, 29 May 1941|
|Badge:||On a Field Purple, two sceptres in saltire, surrmounted by an orb gold.|
|General characteristics (as built)|
|Class and type:||I-class destroyer|
|Length:||323 ft (98.5 m)|
|Beam:||33 ft (10.1 m)|
|Draught:||12 ft 6 in (3.8 m)|
|Propulsion:||2 shafts, 2 geared steam turbines|
|Speed:||35.5 knots (65.7 km/h; 40.9 mph)|
|Range:||5,500 nmi (10,200 km; 6,300 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)|
|Commanders:||Lt.Cmdr. Charles Arthur de Winton Kitcat|
The I-class ships were improved versions of the preceding H-class. They displaced 1,370 long tons (1,390 t) at standard load and 1,888 long tons (1,918 t) at deep load. The ships had an overall length of 323 feet (98.5 m), a beam of 33 feet (10.1 m) and a draught of 12 feet 6 inches (3.8 m). They were powered by two Parsons geared steam turbines, each driving one propeller shaft, using steam provided by three Admiralty three-drum boilers. The turbines developed a total of 34,000 shaft horsepower (25,000 kW) and gave a maximum speed of 35.5 knots (65.7 km/h; 40.9 mph). Imperial carried a maximum of 455 long tons (462 t) of fuel oil that gave her a range of 5,500 nautical miles (10,200 km; 6,300 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph). The ships' complement was 145 officers and ratings.
The ships mounted four 4.7-inch (120 mm) Mark IX guns in single mounts. For anti-aircraft (AA) defence, they had two quadruple Mark I mounts for the 0.5 inch Vickers Mark III machine gun. The I class was fitted with two above-water quintuple torpedo tube mounts for 21-inch (533 mm) torpedoes. One depth charge rack and two throwers were fitted; 16 depth charges were originally carried, but this increased to 35 shortly after the war began.
Construction and career
The ship was ordered under the 1935 Build Programme from Hawthorn Leslie, Hebburn, on 30 October 1935 with a delivery date of 30 April 1937. The ship was laid down on 26 January 1936 and launched on 11 December the same year, and was the first RN warship to carry the name. Imperial was completed late, on 30 June 1937, after a delay in the delivery of the gun mountings. The contract price was £257,117 excluding items supplied by Admiralty such as guns and communication equipment.
Imperial took part in the Norwegian Campaign and in August 1940 was redeployed to escort convoys to Malta. On 28 May 1941, Italian bombers from 41 Gruppo attacked Imperial and inflicted severe damage. Once it was ascertained that the vessel was damaged beyond repair, it was scuttled 55 nautical miles (102 km; 63 mi) east of Kassos.
- Lenton, p. 161
- Whitley, p. 111
- English, p. 141
- 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 Two: An International Encyclopedia. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-326-1.