"Troubridge's DD's"

This has been extracted from a discussion on the WWI-L listserver, based on a query concerning exactly which Royal Navy destroyers were serving in the Mediterranean Theatre at the start of World War I.

(From Brooks A. Rowlett (brooksar@indy.net), 23 Jan 1997)

The Mediterranean Destroyer Flotilla in 1914 was the 5th, of the 16 BEAGLE or 'G' class ships. I haven't found which vessels were where. But the class consists of:
GRAMPUS (ex-NAUTILUS) <= name changed in 1912.

the source was Conway's 1906-1921

(From Brooks A. Rowlett (brooksar@indy.net), 23 Jan 1997)

AS I previously posted, the BEAGLE and BULLDOG were the two vessels with HMS DUBLIN during the GOEBEN chase. What I had forgotten was that Admiral Viscount Sir Andrew Browne Cunningham (Lord Cunningham of Hyndhope) who was British Commander Mediterranean fleet in 1940-42 was CO of one of the destoyers! He says the that the ships with Troubridge were the 2 divisions (the half flotilla) which included the leader, HMS WOLVERINE; and his vessel, HMS SCORPION. His SCORPION and 2 others were the last boats left with Troubridge (SCORPION had the most coal left, but only 55 tons). The DesFlot (modern term) commander, "Captain (D)" in British terms, was Capt. C.P. R. Coode. He had taken over command of the Flotilla in Feb 1914.

The info is from Cunningham's autobiography, A SAILOR's ODYSSEY ( a great read.)

Based on assumptions of what boats were in that half flotilla, since it appears that the half-flot remainned in the Med when 6 were recalled to home waters, it appears that other vessels in this 1/2 flot (actually a German formal org; used descriptively for this Brit flotilla) included probably assuming that a division structure was left intact when 8 boats were used for minesweeping at the Dardanelles later:, MOSQUITO and GRASSHOPPER, RENARD, GRAMPUS, RATTLESNAKE and RACOON. Or HARPY may have been in place of one of these, this is involving much guesstimating (altho on fairly logical grounds). The captain of the WOLVERINE was killed by a turkish shell hit on the Bridge in 1915. The page with the info on the boats adapted for minesweeping also gives their CO's names....

The other book besides official history I can think of which might have the correct info would be Dan van der Daat's THE SHIP THAT CHANGED THE WORLD, about the GOEBEN.....

(From Earl Chapman (chapman@cn.ca), 24 Jan 1997)

The following paragraph from T.D. Manning's work entitled "The British Destroyer" published in 1961 may be of interest (page 27):

"Destroyers were sent to the Mediterranean in 1895, and ever since then there have been from 1 to 4 flotillas on the station. Various boats of the 27- and 30-knotter types served there but in 1911 the older boats were withdrawn and relieved by "River" class. In 1913, the "G" class of 16 boats went to the Mediterranean and remained there until 1917 when most of them returned home. By this time a number of the "H" and "I" classes had arrived on the station. A few of the "River" class had been in the 5th Flotilla (as it was known from 1913) since early in 1915. This flotilla is very difficult to follow as destroyers were attached to the Adriatic Squadron from time to time and, in the autumn of 1917, a Malta Flotilla was formed which, a few months later, was merged into the 5th until July 1918 when the main flotilla was moved to Brindisi."

Thus in 1914, destroyers on the Mediterranean station would be restricted to both the "River" class and the 16 boats of the "G" class.

(From Wendell Vest (oldmar@worldnet.att.net), 24 Jan 1997)

Some interesting notes about "Beagle Class" destroyers, that were part of the 5th Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean Fleet in 1914 They were coal burners because at the time they were designed(1908/09) there was a strong feeling against oil fuel. Previous classes of destroyers built un the Fisher modernization program i.e; "Tribal" and "Cricket" classes were oil fired. Moreover, all subsequent classes of destroyers used oil. While coal was more readily available than oil, the small amounts carried, 205-236t. limited their range, particularly when operating at high speed. They were later used in the Dardenells operation and then as minelayers later in the war. "Beagle " class destroyers were armed with 1 4in QF Gun, 2 12pdr and 2 21in TT( these were the latest design MKVIII. Source: Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1906-1921.

While destroyers are referred to quite frequently in the accounts of the chase of the Goeben and the Breslau. There is no reference to their names. I have searched the following; Marder, "From Dreadnought to Scapa Flow" Vol 2. The War Years to the Eve of Jutland.
Frothingham, "The Naval History of the War" Offensive Operations 1914-1915.
Corbett, "Naval Operations" Vol I.

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