"Battle" Class, British Destroyers

Photograph of Battle-class destroyer

Australian War Memorial


Tonnage 2380 tons standard displacement
3400 tons fully loaded
Dimensions 379' by 40'6" by 15'6"
115.52m by 12.34m by 4.72m
Maximum speed       30 knots
Complement 319
Armament 2x2, 1x1 4.5"/45 guns
4x2 40mm Bofors AA guns
2x2 2x1 20mm Oerlikon AA guns
2x5 21" torpedoes
1 Squid (42 depth charges)
2-shaft Parsons geared turbine (50,000 shp)
3 Admiralty 3-drum boilers
Bunkerage 743 tons fuel oil
Range 2820 nautical miles (5220 km) at 20 knots
Type 144 sonar
Type 275 fire control radar
Type 282 fire control radar

The first units of the "Battle" class were being completed just as the war was winding down, and only one unit, Barfleur, reached the Pacific in time for combat. The design was a significant departure from previous British destroyer designs, with heavy emphasis on antiaircraft. Friedman (2013) attributes this emphasis to the shock experienced by the British when Illustrious was severely damaged by German dive bomber attacks in early January 1941.

The ships were rather larger and slower than previous designs, with unimpressive range, but carried a powerful battery of dual-purpose 4.5" guns and 40mm Bofors guns, all under radar control. The 20mm Oerlikon battery was deliberately reduced from four twin to two twin and two single mounts because the latter were unpowered and would not be disabled if power was lost. Antisubmarine weaponry was the new Squid depth charge thrower, which was far more effective than a conventional depth charge attack. The main guns were all crowded forward. In spite of serious misgivings about the future of surface torpedo attack, the ships were given a powerful torpedo battery of two quintuple tubes.

Units in the Pacific:


Arrived 1945-6


Brown (2000)

Friedman (2006, 2013)

Whitley (1988)

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