HMS Mohawk (F31)
|Builder:||John I. Thornycroft & Company, Woolston|
|Laid down:||16 July 1936|
|Launched:||15 October 1937|
|Commissioned:||7 September 1938|
|Identification:||Pennant number L31/F31/G31|
|Fate:||Sunk, 16 April 1941, by Italian destroyer Luca Tarigo|
|General characteristics (as built)|
|Class and type:||Tribal-class destroyer|
|Length:||377 ft (115 m) (o/a)|
|Beam:||36 ft 6 in (11.13 m)|
|Draught:||11 ft 3 in (3.43 m)|
|Propulsion:||2 × shafts; 2 × geared steam turbines|
|Speed:||36 knots (67 km/h; 41 mph)|
|Range:||5,700 nmi (10,600 km; 6,600 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)|
The Tribals were intended to counter the large destroyers being built abroad and to lend gun support to the existing destroyer flotillas and were thus significantly larger and more heavily armed than the preceding I class. The ships displaced 1,891 long tons (1,921 t) at standard load and 2,519 long tons (2,559 t) at deep load. They had an overall length of 377 feet (114.9 m), a beam of 36 feet 6 inches (11.1 m) and a draught of 11 feet 3 inches (3.4 m). The destroyers 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 44,000 shaft horsepower (33,000 kW) and gave a maximum speed of 36 knots (67 km/h; 41 mph). The ships carried a maximum of 521 long tons (529 t) of fuel oil which was intended to give them a range of 5,700 nautical miles (10,600 km; 6,600 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph). The ships' complement consisted of 190 officers and ratings, although the flotilla leaders carried an extra 20 officers and men for the Captain (D) and his staff.
The primary armament of the Tribal-class destroyers was eight 4.7-inch (120 mm) Mark XII guns in four twin-gun mounts, designated 'A', 'B', 'X', and 'Y' from front to rear. For anti-aircraft (AA) defence, they carried a single quadruple mount for the 40-millimetre (1.6 in) QF two-pounder Mk II "pom-pom" AA gun and two quadruple mounts for the 0.5-inch (12.7 mm) Mark III machine gun. The ships were fitted with a single above-water quadruple mount for 21-inch (533 mm) torpedoes. The Tribals were not intended as anti-submarine ships, but they were provided with ASDIC, one depth charge rack and two throwers for self-defence, although the throwers were not mounted in all ships; 20 depth charges were the peacetime allotment, but this increased to 30 during wartime.
Heavy losses to German air attack during the Norwegian Campaign demonstrated the ineffectiveness of the Tribals' anti-aircraft suite and the RN decided in May 1940 to replace 'X' mount with two QF 4-inch (102 mm) Mark XVI dual-purpose guns in a twin-gun mount. To better control the guns, the existing rangefinder/director was modified to accept a Type 285 gunnery radar as they became available. The number of depth charges was increased to 46 early in the war, and still more were added later. To increase the firing arcs of the AA guns, the rear funnel was shortened and the mainmast was reduced to a short pole mast.
Construction and career
Mohawk was laid down by John I. Thornycroft and Company at Woolston, Hampshire on 16 July 1936, launched on 5 October 1937 and commissioned on 7 September 1938. Mohawk served on convoy duties in the North Sea, and with the 14th Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean where she participated in the Battle of Calabria in July 1940 and the Battle of Cape Matapan in March 1941. Mohawk was struck by two torpedoes fired by the Italian Navigatori-class destroyer Tarigo as she attacked an Italian convoy and sank off the Kerkennah Islands in eastern Tunisia on the early hours of 16 April 1941, with the loss of 43 of her crew.
- Lenton, p. 164
- English, p. 14
- Lenton, p. 165
- English, p. 12
- Whitley, p. 99
- Hodges, pp. 13–25
- Hodges, pp. 30–31, 40
- English, p. 15
- Friedman, p. 34; Hodges, pp. 41–42
- Whitley, p. 116
- Royal Navy casualties - April 1941
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