HMS TB 9 (1907)

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United Kingdom
Name: HMS TB 9
Builder: Thornycroft, Chiswick, London
Laid down: 1 November 1905
Launched: 18 March 1907
Completed: June 1907
Fate: Sunk by collision, 26 July 1916
General characteristics
Class and type: Cricket-class destroyer
Displacement: 268 long tons (272 t)
Length: 171 ft 6 in (52.27 m) oa
Beam: 17 ft 6 in (5.33 m)
Draught: 6 ft 4 12 in (1.943 m)
Installed power: 3,750 shp (2,800 kW)
  • 2× Yarrow boilers
  • Parsons steam turbines
  • 3 shafts
Speed: 26 kn (30 mph; 48 km/h)
Complement: 39
  • 2 × 12-pounder (76 mm) guns
  • 3 × 18 inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes

HMS TB 9 (originally named HMS Grasshopper) was a Cricket-class coastal destroyer or torpedo-boat of the British Royal Navy. TB 9 was built by the shipbuilder Thornycroft from 1905 to 1907. She was used for local patrol duties in the First World War and was sunk following a collision in the North Sea on 26 July 1916.


The Cricket-class was intended as a smaller and cheaper supplement to the large, fast but expensive Tribal-class, particularly in coastal waters such as the English Channel.[1][2] An initial order for twelve ships was placed by the Admiralty in May 1905 as part of the 1905–1906 shipbuilding programme, with five ships each ordered from Thornycroft and J. Samuel White and two from Yarrow.[1]

Thornycroft's ships (the different shipbuilders built to their own design, although standardised machinery and armament was fitted) were 171 feet 6 inches (52.27 m) long overall and 166 feet 6 inches (50.75 m) between perpendiculars, with a beam of 17 feet 6 inches (5.33 m) and a draught of 6 feet 4 12 inches (1.943 m). Displacement was 244 long tons (248 t) normal and 268 long tons (272 t) deep load.[3] The ships had turtleback[a] forecastles and two funnels. Two oil-fuelled Yarrow water-tube boilers fed steam to three-stage Parsons steam turbines, driving three propeller shafts.[5][2] The machinery was designed to gave 3,750 shaft horsepower (2,800 kW), with a speed of 26 knots (30 mph; 48 km/h) specified.[6]

Armament consisted of two 12-pounder (76-mm) 12 cwt guns[b], and three 18-inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes (in three single mounts).[5][1] The ships had a crew of 39.[6]


The fourth of the five torpedo-boats built by Thornycroft under the 1905–1906 programme was laid down as HMS Grasshopper at their Chiswick, London shipyard on 1 November 1905.[7] In 1906, the ships of the class, including Grasshopper , were redesignated as torpedo-boats, losing their names in the process, with Grasshopper becoming TB 9.[5] She was launched on 18 March 1907, as the last torpedo-craft launched at Thornycroft's Chiswick yard before the company moved to their new shipyard at Woolston, Southampton.[8] She was completed in June 1907.[7]

TB 9 had her turbines rebladed at Chatham dockyard in the summer of 1908.[9] She rejoined the Nore Flotilla after completing a refit early in 1910.[10]

On 23 November 1914, the German submarine U-21 stopped and sunk the merchant ship Malachite on the approaches to Le Havre. Traffic between Southampton and Le Havre was stopped, with French destroyers and torpedo boats carrying out a sweep of the area with the hope of driving the submarine away. As there were six transports stuck in Southampton, needing to get to France, it was decided to provide a strong escort for the transports. On the morning of 24 November 1914, TB 9 and the destroyer Conflict, both part of the Portsmouth local defence flotilla, escorted one of the transports, with the remaining five ships being escorted by destroyers sent from Harwich.[11]

On 26 July 1916 TB 9 was sunk in a collision in the North Sea with the destroyer Matchless (which was returning to Harwich after a collision with the destroyer Manly).[12][13]


  1. ^ A fore deck with exaggerated camber designed to throw off sea water at high speeds.[4]
  2. ^ 12 cwt refers to the weight of the gun in hundredweights
  1. ^ a b c Friedman 2009, pp. 110–111
  2. ^ a b Brown 2003, p. 195
  3. ^ Friedman 2009, pp. 110, 294
  4. ^ Gardiner & Lambert 1992, p. 188
  5. ^ a b c Gardiner & Gray 1985, pp. 72–73
  6. ^ a b Friedman 2009, p. 294
  7. ^ a b Friedman 2009, p. 305
  8. ^ "Launches and Trial Trips: Torpedo Boat No. 9". The Marine Engineer and Naval Architect. Vol. XXIX. April 1907. p. 356.
  9. ^ "Naval Matters—Past and Prospective: Chatham Dockyard". The Marine Engineer and Naval Architect. Vol. XXXI. October 1908. p. 73.
  10. ^ "Naval Matters—Past and Prospective: Chatham Dockyard". The Marine Engineer and Naval Architect. Vol. XXXII. March 1910. p. 308.
  11. ^ Naval Staff Monograph No. 28 1925, pp. 72–73
  12. ^ Dittmar & Colledge 1972, p. 81
  13. ^ "BRITISH NAVAL VESSELS LOST, DAMAGED and ATTACKED by NAME, 1914-15, some 1916-19". 21 June 1916. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  • Brown, D. K. (2003). Warrior to Dreadnought: Warship Development 1860–1905. London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 1-84067-5292.
  • Corbett, Julian S. (1923). Naval Operations: Volume III. History of the Great War. London: Longmans, Green and Co.
  • Dittmar, F. J.; Colledge, J. J. (1972). British Warships 1914–1919. Shepperton, UK: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-0380-7.
  • Friedman, Norman (2009). British Destroyers: From Earliest Days to the Second World War. Barnsley, UK: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84832-049-9.
  • Gardiner, Robert; Gray, Randal, eds. (1985). Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-245-5.
  • Gardiner, Robert; Lambert, Andrew, eds. (1992). Steam, Steel & Shellfire: The Steam Warship 1815–1905. Conway's History of the Ship. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-564-0.
  • Monograph No. 28: Home Waters Part III: From November 1914 to the end of January 1915 (PDF). Naval Staff Monographs (Historical). XII. Naval Staff, Training and Staff Duties Division. 1925.
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