A Class (1930) DD
1926 the design requirement for the A class destroyers were under
consideration. They were built under the 1927 construction programme.
In comparison with the two Prototype designs of 1924. Prime considerations were increased endurance and better torpedo attack. In addition improvements to habitability were needed (although reluctantly). Even with improvements to heating, refrigeration and sanitary facilities they were much less habitable than current US design practice. Limitations being cost and size.
Standard Admiralty boilers operated at 300psi, and newer technology was able to achieve increased boiler pressures, giving better speed and endurance. So Acheron received special Thorneycroft boilers operating at 500psi/750°. Unfortunately the trials were badly handled and the advantages of her advanced system were not apparent.
On completion, the class formed the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla, operating in the Mediterranean.
But at the outbreak of WW2 all except Active were in the Channel with the 18th Flotilla. (Active was at Gibraltar with the 13th).
They saw early and heavy action with the Home Fleet, the Norwegian Campaign, and Arctic waters. Later duties included Force H at Gibraltar, South Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and the Indian Ocean.
By August 1943 five of the eight had been lost, but the remaining three survived the war and were sold shortly after the war ended.
This page last edited -
27 May, 2012.
Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.