HMS Brazen (1896)

HMS Brazen (1896) was a C class destroyer that served with the Nore Local Defence Flotilla in 1914-1917 and the Portsmouth Local Defence Flotilla in 1917-1918, supporting the torpedo school HMS Vernon.

Thomson hadn’t been given any orders for the first batch of 30-knot destroyers, but she was given four in the second (1895-6) batch. The company produced a longer version of their 27-knotter design, with four Normand boilers in two stokeholds. The uptakes from boilers 2 and 3 were merged into a single large central funnel. They followed the standard design, with a turtleback foredeck leading to the conning tower, which had a combined bridge and 12-pounder gun platform on top. Two 6-pounder guns were alongside the bridge, one at the stern and the final two along the sides of the ship. Their mast was between the first and second funnels.

On 7 December 1899 she left the Clyde heading for Portsmouth, where she was to prepared for sea service. She arrived on the afternoon of 9 December.

Her steam trials were to begin on Friday 5 January 1900, but her first three hour trial was unsatisfactory.

She carried out a three hour steam trial on Tuesday 27 February 1900, and more trials on Thursday 15 March.

On 28 March 1900 a steam pipe burst during a three hour full power trial, forcing her to return to harbour for repairs.

Pre-War Career

From 1900-05 she was part of the Portsmouth Flotilla, one of the three flotillas that contained all of the home fleet destroyers.

Brassey’s Naval Annual of 1901 reported the results of her trials in 1900. She averaged 29.565knots at 6,539ihp in one trial, 29.418 knots at 6,734 in a second trial (presumably in worse sea conditions) and 12,963 knots at 466ihp in an economy run. The lower speed also required less coal per ihp per hour – during her first high speed run she consumed 2.5 pounds of coal but ihp per hour (16,347 pounds/ hour), during the slow speed run 1.61 pounds per ihp (750 pounds/ hour). In terms of distance, this translates to 552 pounds of coal per nautical mile at high speed and 57 pounds of coal per nautical mile at low speed.

In late May 1901 she had to be detached from the Portsmouth Instructional Flotilla, which was then at Portland, because of problems with her steering gear. She had to return to Portsmouth for repairs.

The Brazen took part in the 1901 naval manoeuvres, which began in late July. These involved two fleets – Fleet B began in the North Sea, and had the task of keeping the English Channel open to trade. Fleet X began off the north coast of Ireland, and had the task of stopping trade in the Channel. The Brazen was part of a force of destroyers from Portsmouth that joined Fleet B. This was the first time both sides in the annual exercises had been given an equal force of destroyers. The exercises ended with a victory for Fleet X. The destroyer forces didn’t live up to expectations, either in torpedo attack or as scouts.

In October 1901 she was at sea off the Scottish coast with the Portsmouth Instructional Flotilla, which was cruising with the Reserve Squadron, but she developed leaky boiler tubes and had to return to Sheerness for repairs. They were over by 25 October and she was sent back to Scotland to rejoin her flotilla.

In December 1904 she was ordered to move from Portsmouth to Sheerness to be re-boilered. She arrived by 15 December.

In 1905-1909 she was part of the Portsmouth Flotilla, which contained the older destroyers, while the newer ones were directly allocated to the battle fleet.

In 1909-12 she was part of the 6th Destroyer Flotilla at Chatham, allocated to the 3rd Division of the Home Fleet, which contained the older battleships. During this period she was partly manned.

From 1912 she was part of the Nore Local Defence Flotilla with a reduced complement

In July 1914 she was in active commission at Sheerness/ Chatham

First World War

In August 1914 she was one of twelve destroyers in the Nore Local Defence Flotilla.

In November 1914 she was one of twelve destroyers in the Nore Local Defence Flotilla.

On 20 February 1915 the Brazen spotted a U-boat three times close to the Shipwash Light Vessel.

On 1 May 1915 the Brazen and the Recruit were on patrol off the Galloper Light Vessel in the Thames Estuary when the Recruit was torpedoed and sunk by a U-boat. The Brazen attempted to attack the submarine (UB-6), but without success.

In June 1915 she was part of the Nore Local Defence Flotilla.

On 9 June 1915 the Brazen and the Vulture were close by when the Lady Salisbury was sunk, probably by a U-boat. They rescued the survivors, and then spotted a possible periscope and opened fire. This triggered an large scale anti-submarine hunt by the destroyers of the Nore flotilla, but one that ended in failure.

In January 1916 she was one of ten destroyers in the Nore Local Defence Flotilla.

In October 1916 she was one of eight destroyers in the Nore Local Defence Flotilla.

In January 1917 she was one of nine destroyers in the Nore Local Defence Flotilla.

In June 1917 she was one of nine destroyers in the Portsmouth Local Defence Flotilla.

In January 1918 she was one of nine destroyers in the Portsmouth Local Defence Flotilla, and one of three attached to HMS Vernon.

In June 1918 she was one of three destroyers that were serving the torpedo school HMS Vernon at Portsmouth.

In November 1918 she wasn’t listed in the Pink List.

The Brazen was sold in November 1919.

Displacement (standard)

380t

Displacement (loaded)

425t

Top Speed

30 knots

Engine

Four Normand boilers
5,800ihp

Range

80 tons of coal (Brassey 1902, 1903)

Length

214ft oa
210ft pp

Width

20ft

Armaments

One 12-pounder gun
Five 6-pounder guns
Two 18in torpedo tubes

Crew complement

60 (Brassey, 1902, 1903)

Laid down

18 October 1895

Launched

3 July 1896

Completed

July 1900

Broken Up

1919

British Destroyers From Earliest Days to the Second World War, Norman Friedman. A very detailed look at the design of British destroyers from their earliest roots as torpedo boat destroyers, though the First World War and up to the start of the Second World War, supported by vast numbers of plans and well chosen photographs [read full review]
cover cover cover

 

Books on the First World War | Subject Index: First World War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (9 April 2019), HMS Brazen (1896) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_HMS_Brazen_1896.html

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