HMS Redpole (1910)

HMS Redpole (1910) was an Acorn class destroyer that served with the Second Destroyer Flotilla with the Grand Fleet in 1914-15 and at Devonport later in 1915, then moved to the Mediterranean and served with the Fifth Destroyer Flotilla from December 1915 to the end of the war.

HMS Redpole from the right HMS Redpole from the right

The Redpole was laid down at White on the Isle of Wight on 10 December 1909, launched on 24 June 1910 and completed in February 1911.

From 1911-14 the Redpole, along with the entire Acorn class and the Laferoy class destroyer HMS Lark formed the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, a fully manned flotilla that was part of the 2nd Division of the Home Fleet until 1912, then part of the First Fleet from 1912-1914. At the outbreak of war in 1914 the First Fleet became the Grand Fleet.

In early March 1911 the Acorn and the Redpole collided during night exercises in the Channel. The Redpole rammed the Acorn in the stern, damaging her own bows. The Redpole had to return to their starting point at Portland, but the Acorn was able to continue on to Devonport, although with an escort in case any further problems developed, arriving late on 7 March 1911.

In July 1914 she was one of twenty destroyers in the Second Flotilla, part of the First Fleet of the Home Fleet, which contained the most modern battleships. The Second Flotilla contained the entire Acorn or H class of destroyers.

First World War

After the outbreak of war in August 1915 the Redpole and the entire class formed the Second Flotilla of the Grand Fleet. By November 1914 they had been joined by the flotilla leader Broke. On 19 February 1915 her sister ship Goldfinch was wrecked, leaving the nineteen survivors in the flotilla. By June 1915 the flotilla contained all nineteen of the Acorn class boats and the M class destroyer HMS Moon.

The Redpole was damaged by gales in the North Sea on 27 December 1914. This was part of a much larger incident, which also saw the dreadnoughts Monarch and Conqueror collide, taking them out of action and the destroyers Hope, Redpole and Ruby all damaged in the storm.

The class finally began to split up in the summer of 1915. The first big change came in September 1915, when Acorn, Comet, Fury, Hope, Redpole, Sheldrake and Staunch moved south to Devonport. They were still part of the 2nd Flotilla, but were listed as being on detached service as tenders to Vivid, the shore base at Devonport. Over the next few months most of the rest of the class moved south to Devonport, while most of the first wave of ships to move south went on to the Mediterranean.

On 13 November 1915 Comet, Fury, Redpole and Staunch left Devonport, heading for the Mediterranean.

In January 1916 she was undergoing a refit at Southampton, with no clear date of completion.

In October 1916 she was one of four H class destroyers with the main part of the Fifth Destroyer Flotilla in the  Mediterranean Fleet, while another four were posted at Malta.

In January 1917 she was one of four H class destroyers in the Eastern Mediterranean.

In January 1918 she was one of six H class destroyers that were in the Mediterranean and was undergoing repairs at Genoa.

By July 1918 the ships in the Malta Flotilla had joined the Fifth Flotilla, which was based at Brindisi. In addition they had finally been joined by the Brisk, which had disappeared from Ireland in June, and arrived in the Mediterranean in July. This was the first time since June 1915, when the first ships left the Grand Fleet to move to Devonport, that all of the surviving Acorn class ships still in British service had been gathered in the same formation. It didn’t last for long, as by August 1918 Lyra had been moved to Gibraltar.

In November 1918 she was one of fourteen H class destroyers in the Fifth Destroyer Flotilla, now at Mudros.

In the February 1919 Navy List she was part of the destroyer flotilla at Malta.

In November 1919 she was one of seven H class destroyers in the hands of care and maintenance parties in the Devonport reserve.

Wartime Career
-August 1914-August 1915: Second Destroyer Flotilla, Grand Fleet
September 1915-13 November 1915: Second Destroyer Flotilla, Devonport
December 1915-June 1918: Fifth Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean
July 1918-August 1918-: Fifth Destroyer Flotilla, Brindisi
-December 1918-February 1919-: Aegean Squadron, Mudros

Commanders
Lt-Commander Hugh U. Fletcher: 31 January 1911-October 1914-

Displacement (standard)

772t

Displacement (loaded)

970t

Top Speed

27 knots

Engine

3-shaft Parsons turbines (most in class)
4 White-Forester boilers
13,500shp

Range

 

Length

246ft oa

Width

25ft 3in to 25ft 5.5in

Armaments

Two 4in BL Mk VIII guns
Two 12-pounder/ 12cwt guns
Two 21in torpedo tubes

Crew complement

72

Laid down

 

Launched

24 June 1910

Completed

 

Sold for break up

May 1921

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 (28 April 2021), HMS Redpole (1910), http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_HMS_Redpole_1910.html

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