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fighting ships of the world

ROYAL NAVY (UNITED KINGDOM)

TORPEDO SHIPS

WTB1 2nd class torpedo boats (1883-1888)

Names

WTB1 - 12

Builders

White, Cowes: WTB1-12

Completed

1883: WTB1 - 5

1884: WTB6, 7

1885: WTB8, 9

1887: WTB10, 11

1888: WTB12

Losses

none

Transfers

none

Discarded

1900: WTB2

1905: WTB1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10

1907: WTB6

1909: WTB5

1910: WTB12

1912: WTB9, 11

 

Displacement normal, t

10.5 - 14

Displacement full, t

 

Length, m

~17.1

Breadth, m

~2.82

Draught, m

~1.45

No of shafts

1

Machinery

1 2-cyl VC, 1 locomotive boiler

Power, h. p.

140 - 200

Max speed, kts

15.5 - 16

Fuel, t

coal

Endurance, nm(kts)

 

Armament

(1 - 2) x 1 - 11.4/94, 1 - 356 TT (bow) or 2 - 356 TC or 1 x 1 - 356 TT or spar torpedo

Complement

9

Ship project history: The concept of purpose-built small TBs capable of being lifted by the davits of large ships seems to have originated with the Royal Navy; certainly more were built for that service than for any other. One TB carrier, Vulcan, was specially built to carry them, and for some years numbers of this type of boat were built. However, in the long run experience showed it was better to use the slower but much sturdier and more seaworthy steam pinnaces for this purpose, rather than the frail specially built Second Class boats.

    WTB-type boats (W means wooden) were armed with 2 356mm torpedoes in dropping gear or 1 356mm torpedo in tube or spar torpedo and 1 or 2 MGs. The first nine boats were ordered together in 1883, the next pair (which were slightly different) some years later, and finally TB12 was ordered a year after them. Unlike their predecessors they were wooden-hulled and built on the White 'turnabout' system with a 'cut away' stern for extra manoeuvrability. They were successful boats and were the first of a long lived and successful class, the 56ft picket boats. After these first twelve the design was altered, and the emphasis changed from the primary purpose of torpedo attack to a boat which was capable of many and varied duties including torpedo attack when required. These sturdy and seaworthy boats soon replaced the faster but frailer Second Class TBs as the largest steam boats carried on board British major warships.

Modernizations: None.

Naval service: No significant events.

 

Ivan Gogin, 2008-13