A-class torpedo boat

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SMS A 68.jpg
SMS A 68
Class overview
Operators:  Imperial German Navy
Built: 1914–1918
In service: 1914–1950
Planned: 113
Completed: 92
Cancelled: 21
Lost: 30

The A-class torpedo boats were a class of German single-funnelled torpedo boat/light destroyer designed by the Reichsmarineamt for operations off the coast of occupied Flanders in the First World War. The A designation was to avoid confusion with older classes and designs. They were known as "coastal torpedo boats" (German: Küstentorpedoboote) to differentiate from larger, ocean-going torpedo boats.

Six groups of vessels were built under the class between 1914 and 1918, increasing in displacement from 109 tons to 335 tons. All had a raised forecastle, shallow draught, and carried one (for most) or two (for A1-A25) 45 cm (18 in) torpedo tubes amidships.

A1A25

General characteristics (A1A25)
Displacement: 109 t (107 long tons)[1]
Length: 41 m (134 ft 6 in) LWL[1]
Beam: 4.6 m (15 ft 1 in) [1]
Draught: 1.52 m (5 ft 0 in) [1]
Installed power: Coal-fired, single-shaft, triple-expansion steam engine, 1,200 ihp (895 kW) [1]
Propulsion:
  • 1 shaft
  • 1 × 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in) propeller
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)[1]
Range: 900 nautical miles (1,700 km; 1,000 mi) at 12.5 knots (23.2 km/h; 14.4 mph)[1]
Complement: 28[2]
Armament:
  • A2 and A6 were sunk by British destroyers on 1 May 1915 during the Battle off Noordhinder Bank.
  • A3 was lost in 1915.
  • A15 was sunk by French destroyers on 23 August 1915.
  • A13 was bombed in dock in 1917.
  • A10 was sunk by mines in 1918.
  • A7 and A19 were sunk by British and French destroyers on 21 March 1918.
  • A1, A18 and A21A25 surrendered and were stricken between 1921-1922.
  • A11 and A17 were sunk during the Kapp Putsch in 1920.
  • A4, A5, A8, A9, A12, A14, A16 and A20 were handed over to Belgium as reparations, then decommissioned and scrapped in 1927.
  • A12 survived both World Wars and was finally scrapped in 1948.

A26A55

General characteristics (A26A55)
Displacement: 227–229 t (223–225 long tons)[3]
Length: 49 m (160 ft 9 in) LWL[3]
Beam: 5.32–5.62 m (17 ft 5 in–18 ft 5 in) [3]
Draught: 2.34 m (7 ft 8 in) [3]
Installed power: Oil-fired, single-shaft, geared turbine steam engine, 3,250 hp (2,424 kW)
Propulsion:
  • 1 × shafts
  • 1 × 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Speed: 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph)[3]
Range: 690 nautical miles (1,280 km; 790 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)[3]
Complement: 29[3]
Armament:
  • A26A29, A31, A33A39, A41, A44A46, A48, A49, and A52A55 were surrendered and stricken between 1920-1921.
  • A30, A40, A42 and A47 were scuttled in 1927
  • A32 was sunk during the "Operation Albion" in 1917, raised and repaired in 1923, and served as Sulev in the Estonian Navy. Taken by Russia in October 1940, it was renamed Аметист ("Amethyst") and served in the Soviet Navy as a patrol vessel until scrapped in 1950.[4][5]
  • A43 was scrapped in 1943.
  • A50 was mined in 1917.
  • A51 was scuttled in 1918.

A56A79

General characteristics (A56A79)
Displacement: 330–335 t (325–330 long tons)[6]
Length: 59.3–60.12 m (194 ft 7 in–197 ft 3 in) LWL[6]
Beam: 6.42 m (21 ft 1 in) [6]
Draught: 2.21–2.34 m (7 ft 3 in–7 ft 8 in) [6]
Installed power: Oil-fired, geared turbine steam engine, 6,000 shp (4,474 kW)[6]
Propulsion:
  • 2 × shafts
  • 2 × 1.7 m (5 ft 7 in) propeller[6]
Speed: 28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph)[6]
Range: 800 nautical miles (1,500 km; 920 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)[6]
Complement: 50[6]
Armament:
  • A60 was mined in 1917.
  • A56A58 were mined in 1918.
  • A61 and A62 were transferred to Britain in 1920, scrapped in 1923.
  • A63 and A66 were given to France in 1920, scrapped in 1923.
  • A64 and A68 were given to Poland in 1920, scuttled off Danzig in 1939.
  • A65 was given to Brazil, and scuttled in Britain.
  • A67 was scrapped incomplete in 1921.
  • A69, A70, A74A76, and A78 were stricken in 1920.
  • A71, A73, A77 and A79 were mined in 1918.

A80A91

General characteristics (A80A91)
Displacement: 330 t (325 long tons)[6]
Length: 60.2 m (197 ft 6 in) LWL
Beam: 6.41 m (21 ft 0 in) [6]
Draught: 2.11 m (6 ft 11 in) [6]
Installed power: Oil-fired, geared turbine steam engine, 5,700 shp (4,250 kW)[6]
Propulsion:
  • 2 × shafts
  • 2 × 1.6 m (5 ft 3 in)[6]
Speed: 26 knots (48 km/h; 30 mph)[6]
Range: 800 nautical miles (1,500 km; 920 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)[6]
Complement: 50[6]
Armament:
  • A81, A86A91 were stricken in 1920.
  • A82 was scuttled at Fiume in 1918.
  • A80 was scrapped in 1938.
  • A83A85 were scrapped incomplete, 1919.

A92A113

General characteristics (A92A113)
Displacement: 330–335 t (325–330 long tons)[6]
Length: 59.4–60.2 m (194 ft 11 in–197 ft 6 in) LWL [6]
Beam: 6.42 m (21 ft 1 in) [6]
Draught: 2.12 m (6 ft 11 in)[6]
Installed power: Oil-fired, geared turbine steam engine, 5,700–6,000 shp (4,250–4,474 kW)[6]
Propulsion:
  • 2 × shafts
  • 2 × 1.6 m (5 ft 3 in) propellers[6]
Speed: 26.5 knots (49.1 km/h; 30.5 mph)[6]
Range: 800 nautical miles (1,500 km; 920 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)[6]
Complement: 50[6]
Armament:
  • A92A95 were stricken, 1920.
  • A96A113 were scrapped while still on the stocks, 1919

See also

References

  • Gröner, Erich (1983). Torpedoboote, Zerstörer, Schnellboote, Minensuchboote, Minenräumboote. Die deutschen Kriegsschiffe 1815-1945. II. Koblenz: Bernard & Graefe. ISBN 3-7637-4801-6.
  1. ^ a b c d e f g Gröner, p. 35.
  2. ^ Gröner, p. 36.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Gröner, p. 37.
  4. ^ "Sulev". hot.ee (in Estonian). Archived from the original on 2010-09-14. Retrieved 2 March 2010.
  5. ^ Архив фотографий кораблей русского и советского ВМФ [Photo Archive of the Russian and Soviet Navy]. navsource.narod.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2 March 2010.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac Gröner, p. 38.
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