Lightfoot Class (1915) DD
Lightfoot Class (1915) of two ships were the first destroyer leaders to be
designed for the Royal Navy. Part of the 1913-14 construction programme.
each lead a flotilla of standard destroyers and had additional accommodation for the Captain
(D) who commanded the flotilla and his support staff.
A third destroyer leader was achieved by converting the large destroyer HMS Swift.
Before suitable destroyers were used as flotilla leaders, small fast cruisers were used in this role. Being larger, they had accommodations and communication facilities for the command staff and led their flotilla to the point of action when the accompanying destroyers attacked. As destroyers speed increased it became more difficult for cruisers to attain the necessary speed and so following a change of fleet procedures destroyer leaders took on the role.
Although the Lightfoot ships were the first to be designed as such, the four ships of the Faulknor Class (1914) were first to be completed as destroyer leaders as they were almost complete when taken over by the Admiralty on the outbreak of WW1 and needed only alterations.
This page last edited -
13 December, 2012.
Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.