HMS Viking (1909)

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For other ships with the same name, see HMS Viking.
HMS Viking 1910.jpg
HMS Viking
RN EnsignUnited Kingdom
Name: HMS Viking
Builder: Palmers
Laid down: 11 June 1908
Launched: 14 September 1909
Fate: Sold for scrap 1919
General characteristics
Class and type: Tribal-class destroyer
Length: 290 ft 3 in (88.47 m) oa
Beam: 27 ft 5 in (8.36 m)
Draught: 9 ft 9 in (2.97 m)
Speed: 33 kn (61 km/h; 38 mph)
Range: 1,725 nmi (3,195 km; 1,985 mi) at 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Complement: 71
  • 2 × 4 inch (102 mm) guns,
  • 2 × 18 inch torpedo tubes

HMS Viking was a Tribal-class destroyer of the Royal Navy launched in 1909 and sold for scrap in 1919. She was the only destroyer ever to have six funnels.

Construction and design[edit]

HMS Viking was one of five Tribal-class destroyers ordered as part of the Royal Navy's 1907–08 shipbuilding programme. She was laid down at Palmers' Jarrow shipyard on 11 June 1908 and was launched on 14 September 1909.[1] The Tribal-class destroyers were to be powered by steam turbines and use oil-fuel rather than coal, and be capable of 33 knots (61 km/h; 38 mph), but detailed design was left to the builders, which meant that individual ships of the class differed greatly.[2][3]

Viking was 290 feet 3 inches (88.47 m) long overall and 280 feet 2 34 inches (85.41 m) between perpendiculars, with a beam of 27 feet 5 inches (8.36 m) and a draught of 9 feet 9 inches (2.97 m). Normal displacement was 1,090 long tons (1,110 t), with full load displacement 1,210 long tons (1,230 t).[4] She had a turtleback forecastle topped by a raised forward gun platform that also carried the ship's bridge. The raised gun platform acted as a breakwater, causing heavy spray that made it difficult to work the forward gun or use the bridge.[5] Six Yarrow boilers fed steam at 220 pounds per square inch (1,500 kPa) to Parsons steam turbines, giving 15,500 shaft horsepower (11,600 kW) and driving three propeller shafts. The outtakes from the boilers were fed to six funnels, making Viking the Royal Navy's only six-funneled destroyer. Range was 1,725 nautical miles (3,195 km; 1,985 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph).[4][5][6]

Gun armament consisted of two 4 inch guns,[a] the 12-pounder guns carried by earlier Tribals having been proved ineffective by trials against the old destroyer HMS Skate in 1906.[7][8] Two 18 inch torpedo tubes were carried.[6] The ship had a complement of 71.[4]

Viking was commissioned in June 1910,[1] having reached a speed of 33.4 knots (61.9 km/h; 38.4 mph) during sea trials.[5]


On commissioning, Viking joined the First Destroyer Flotilla, remaining part of that unit until 1913.[9] In October that year, the Tribals were officially designated the F class, and as such the letter "F" was painted on Afridi's bows.[2][10]

In February 1914, the Tribals, whose range was too short for effective open sea operations, were sent to Dover, forming the 6th Destroyer Flotilla.[2] On the outbreak of the First World War, the 6th Flotilla formed the basis of the Dover Patrol,[11] with which the Tribal class, including Viking served for the duration of the war.[12][13]

In October 1914, the Dover Patrol was deployed to help support Belgian ground forces during the Battle of the Yser, carrying out shore bombardment operations. Viking suffered an explosion of its forward gun, wounding two and causing the ship to be withdrawn from the operations.[14][15] (Viking was later awarded the Battle Honour "Belgian Coast 1914–18").[16]

During the First World War she served in the North Sea and the English Channel with the 6th Destroyer Flotilla. She was damaged after hitting a mine off Boulogne on Jan 29th 1916 whilst convoying troops to France. There were 10 casualties, including Sub-Lieutenant Harold Courtenay Tennyson and Able Seaman Charles Thomas Crockford.


  1. ^ Gardiner and Gray state that the guns were BL Mk IV,[6] while Friedman claims that they were BL Mk VIII guns.[5]
  1. ^ a b Friedman 2009, p. 305.
  2. ^ a b c Gardiner and Gray 1985, p. 72.
  3. ^ Friedman 2009, pp. 106–109.
  4. ^ a b c Friedman 2009, p. 294.
  5. ^ a b c d Friedman 2009, p. 205.
  6. ^ a b c Gardiner and Gray 1985, p. 71.
  7. ^ Friedman 2009, pp. 108–109.
  8. ^ Brown 2003, p. 178.
  9. ^ "NMM, vessel ID 378489" (PDF). Warship Histories, vol iv. National Maritime Museum. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  10. ^ Burt 1986, pp. 26–27.
  11. ^ Friedman 2009, p. 139.
  12. ^ Burt 1986, pp. 22–23.
  13. ^ Bacon 1918 Volume II, p. 626.
  14. ^ Bacon 1918 Volume II, pp. 611–612.
  15. ^ Corbett, Julian S. (2013) [Originally published by Longmans, Green and Co.: London, 1920]. "History of the Great War: Naval Operations Vol. I To the Battle of the Falklands December 1914 (Part 1 of 2)". Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  16. ^ "World War 1 at Sea: BATTLE HONOURS and SINGLE-SHIP ACTIONS OF THE ROYAL NAVY 1914-18". 3 October 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2014.