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Naval history of the Torpedo Boat Destroyers including HMS Sturgeon, HMS Daring, HMS Ardent and the unique Torpedo Boat Depot Ship HMS Vulcan.

Click below to view galleries:

Vulcan ] HMS Sturgeon ] HMS Polyphemus ]

PL198 -  A Royal Navy Motor Launch  strangely numbered PL198 and not the normal ML198.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX296

HMS Turbinia built by C A Parsons she was a prototype of the torpedo boat destroyers. She is pictured on the Seine in front of the building which was devoted to the the Land and Sea Armaments of the Paris Exhibition c.1900.

A second-class torpedo boat such as was carried by the large ships of the Royal Navy in the early 1900's.

Crew of a Torpedo Boat

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX297

Torpedo Boats on the Thames.  Sent in by Alan Loose

A torpedo boat destroyer in the early 1900's.

Torpedo Boat c. 1904. 

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX298

Torpedo Boat No 110 

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX299

HMS Kestrel a torpedo boat in Vancouver Harbour, British Columbia.  

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX300

HMS Albacore.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX494

The wreck of the coastal Motor Boat CMB33A, 13th April 1918. The Motor Torpedo Boat was damaged by shore batteries at Eylau during an attack on Ostende. the crew were drowned after abandoning the wreck. and it drifted ashore and fell into German hands.  (thanks to Fred Cory for the info)

The Motor Launch ML481. Launched sometime in 1915/16. Transferred to the French Navy. 

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX301

The Motor Launch ML473. Launched sometime in 1915/16. Transferred to the French Navy.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX302

Torpedo Boat 6

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX303

Many of the Torpedo Boat destroyers listed below are also listed under  destroyers as the early years they were classed the same 
Ships Name Launch Date Fate
HMS Havock 12th August 1893  Sold 1911 and Broken up in 1912.
HMS Hornet 23rd December 1893 Broken up in 1909.

Daring Class.   Built by Thornycroft,             View Class

HMS Daring 25th November 1893 Broken up in 1912.
HMS Decoy 2nd February 1894 Collided with another vessel in 1904.

Ardent Class  Built by Thornycroft                 View Class

HMS Ardent 16th October 1894 Broken up in 1911.
HMS Boxer 28th November 1894 Collided with another vessel in 1918.
HMS Bruiser 27th February 1895 Broken up in 1914.

Charger Class                         View Class

HMS Charger 15th September 1894 Broken up in 1912.
HMS Dasher 28th November 1894 Broken up in 1912.
HMS Hasty 16th June 1894 Broken up in 1912.

Haughty Class               View Class

HMS Hardy 16th December 1895 Broken up in 1911.
HMS Haughty 18th September 1895 Broken up in 1911.

Janus Class

HMS Janus 12th March 1895 Broken up in 1914.
HMS Lightning 10th April 1895 Mined in 1915.
HMS Porcupine 19th September 1895 Broken up in 1920.
Snapper Class
HMS Salmon 15th January 1895 Broken up in 1912.
HMS Snapper 30th January 1895 Broken up in 1912.
Banshee Class                 View Class
HMS Banshee 17th November 1894 Broken up in 1912.
HMS Contest 1st December 1894 Broken up in 1911.
HMS Dragon 15th December 1894 Broken up in 1912.
HMS Ferret  1893 Sold and Broken up 1911
HMS Lynz 1894 Sold and Broken up 1912
Fervent Class                 View Class
HMS Fervent 20th March 1895 Broken up in 1920.
HMS Zephyr 10th May 1895 Broken up in 1920.
Conflict Class                       View Class
HMS Conflict 13th December 1894 Broken up in 1920.
HMS Teazer 9th February 1895 Broken up in 1912.
HMS Wizard 26th February 1895 Broken up in 1920.
Cricket Class Coastal Destroyers
HMS Cricket 23rd January 1906 Sold for scrapping in 1920.
HMS Dragonfly 11th March 1906 Sold for scrapping in 1920.
HMS Firefly 1st September 1906 Sold for scrapping in 1920.
HMS Sandfly 30th October 1906 Sold for scrapping in 1920.

             

Two photos of a beached torpedo boat, suspected to be HMS Sandfly.  

HMS Spider 15th December 1906 Sold for scrapping in 1920.
HMS Gadfly 24th June 1906 Sold for scrapping in 1920.

HMS Gadfly.

Contributed by Trevor Piper.  © Vosper Thornycroft

HMS Glowworm 20th December 1906 Sold for scrapping in 1921.
HMS Gnat 1st December 1906 Sold for scrapping in 1921.
HMS Grasshopper 18th March 1907 Sunk in a collision with another vessel.

HMS Grasshopper - Name History

The sixth “Grasshopper” was a turbine coastel destroyer, launched at Thorneycroft’s Yard in 1907.  She was of 215 tons, 3750 horse- power, and 26 knots speed.  Her length, beam, and draught were 166ft., 17ft., and 6ft.  Before completion this vessel was given a number, and called torpedo boat No.9.

HMS Greenfly 15th February 1907 Mined and sunk on 10th June 1915.
HMS Mayfly 29th January 1907 Mined and dunk on 7th March 19016.
HMS Moth 15th March 1907 Mined and sunk on 10th June 1915.
TB13 10th July 1907 Sunk after colliding with another vessel on 26th January 1916.
TB14 26th September 1907 Sold for scrapping in 1920.
TB15 19th November 1907 Sold for scrapping in 1920.
TB16 23rd December 1907 Sold for scrapping in 1920.
TB17 21st December 1907 Sold for scrapping in 1919.
TB18 15th February 1908 Paid off in Gibraltar and sold in 1920. She ended her days as a boat running eggs between Morocco and Gibraltar. (Information from Mike Reeve)
My grandfather Arthur Reeve was an Engine Room artificer on TB18 'sub hunting in the Adriatic'. I know that she was at the fire in Salonica as my grandfather says the engineers went ashore to help restore services. He was present when LZ85 was destroyed and had a piece of it as a souvenir. He claimed it had been brought down by TB18's guns but that HMS Agammenon signalled to hold back on the claim and effectively took the credit. I'd like to find out more about this. After she was sold off, the crew got home on a leaky tug which was in great danger of sinking. If you know about the LZ85 story contact me at reeve.mjr@lineone.net 

Thanks to Mike Reeve for this story.

TB19 7th December 1907 Sold for scrapping in 1921.
TB20 21st January 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1921.

Torpedo Boat 20.  Submitted by email

TB21 20th December 1907 Sold for scrapping in 1920.
TB22 1st February 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1920.
TB23 5th December 1907 Sold for scrapping in 1921.

Torpedo boat No.23 in 1902. She measured 113 ft in length with a displacement of 67 tons and a speed of 19 knots.

TB24 19th March 1908 Sunk after colliding with another vessel on 28th January 1917.
TB25 28th August 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1921.
TB26 28th August 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1921.
TB27 29th September 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1921.
TB28 29th October 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1921.
TB29 29th September 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1919.
TB30 29th September 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1919.
TB31 10th October 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1921.
TB32 23rd November 1908 Sold for scrapping in 1921.
TB33 22nd September 1909 Sold for scrapping in 1922.
TB34 22nd September 1909 Sold for scrapping in 1922.

Crew of Torpedo Boat TB34.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX304

TB35 19th April 1909 Sold for scrapping in 1922.
TB36 6th May 1909 Sold for scrapping in 1921.

Torpedo Boat No.83 pictured pre 1896.

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX305

HMTB No.72

A reproduction of this original photo / photo-postcard size 10" x 7" approx available.  Order photograph here  © Walker Archive. Order Code PHX372

 
 

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AVIATION PRINTS

Click above to see all of our aviation art index - Eight random half price aviation items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Aviation Art Offers

 Two Fairey Firefly F Mk1s of 1770 NAS embarked on HMS Indefatigable are shown outbound on Operation Meridian I on 24th January 1945.  The nearest aircraft is DT947, flown by Vin Redding.  Operation Meridian was a series of two air attacks on Japanese-held oil refineries at Palembang on Sumatra.  The huge aviation fuel output of these refineries was reduced to only a quarter of their output after the two raids on the 24th and 29th January 1945.

Fairey Firefly F Mk.Is of 1770 Sqn, 1945 by Ivan Berryman. (P)
Half Price! - £700.00
 139 Squadron RAF in North Italy, December 1917

Christmas Hunt - Bristol Fighter F2B by David Pentland.
Half Price! - £24.00
 Designed by the great Ernst Heinkel, the diminutive D.1 was an essential stop-gap that provided the Austro-Hungarian pilots with a front line fighter until they were able to re-equip with Albatros scouts in the Summer of 1917. This little aircraft performed well and was generally held in high regard by its pilots, although it did have some shortcomings, namely that forward vision was extremely limited and the Schwarzloses gun was completely concealed in the overwing pod that made it inaccessible in the air. Most unusual of all was its interplane strut arrangement, designed to reduce drag, which gave it the nicknames Starstrutter or Spider. These examples are shown passing above the German cruiser Derfflinger. 

Brandenburg D.1 by Ivan Berryman. (GL)
Half Price! - £350.00
Flight Lieutenant Mick Martin readies his crew to release their bouncing bomb as he makes his run into the Mohne Dam.  Flanking him is the Lancaster of Wing Commander Guy Gibson, using his aircraft to draw flak from the gunners along the dam.

Into Attack by Gerald Coulson.
Half Price! - £90.00

 As the sun slowly begins to rise this wintry morning over Thorpe Abbots, Norfolk, ground crew prepare B-17G The All American Girl in an almost surreal setting, for her 99th dangerous mission over enemy territory. On 10th January 1945, 19-year-old pilot, 1st Lt. John Dodrill and his crew went missing on a combat sortie to Cologne. Like many other crews, they made the ultimate sacrifice in the fight for freedom, with the Bloody Hundredth Bombardment Group playing its full part with courage and honour.

Those Golden Moments by Philip West. (Y)
Half Price! - £70.00
 Jaguar GR3A from 41 (Fighter) Squadron based at RAF Coltishall and flown by Squadron Leader Ian Smith thunders down a Norwegian fjord.  Coltishall Jaguars regularly deploy on exercise in northern Norway as part of NATO's protection of its northern flank.  However, Spring of 2006 saw the closure of RAF Coltishall, the loss of an historic airfield.

Snowcat by Robert Tomlin. (Y)
Half Price! - £35.00
 With Italys entry into WW II on June 10, 1940, the epic two-and-one-half-year siege of Malta began. Symbolizing the defiant resistance of the people and defenders of that tiny island, the legend of Faith, Hope, and Charity grew from a handful of Gloster Sea Gladiators which initially comprised Maltas sole aerial defense. Until the arrival of the more modern Hawker Hurricanes, these obsolescent biplanes fought the Regia Aeronautica alone in the skies above Malta. Only six or seven Gladiators were assembled from the shipment of eighteen crated aircraft which had been delivered by the HMS Glorious. Others were utilized for spare parts, and three had been dispatched, still crated, to Egypt. Though hugely outnumbered, the defenders fought on, raising the morale of the citizens of Malta, and denying the Italians mastery of the sky. Suffering from a constant shortage of spare parts, tools and equipment, the devoted ground support crews were never able to keep more than three Gladiators operational at any point in time. Only one of these Gladiators was totally lost in aerial combat, and the sole surviving aircraft was presented to the people of Malta, and today stands in their National War Museum as a proud symbol of courage and endurance. In Stan Stokes painting, a Sea Gladiator, piloted by Flight Lt. James Pickering, tangles with a Fiat C.R. 42 over Malta in 1940 while an Italian Savoia S.79 tri-engined bomber passes by in the background. The Gloster Gladiator represented the zenith of development of the classic biplane fighter aircraft, a design formula which characterized an entire era from WW I until the advent of the monoplane fighter just before WW II. Glosters naval model of the Gladiator was equipped with a Bristol Mercury VIIIA engine providing a maximum speed of 253 MPH, a rate of climb of 2300 feet per minute, an operational ceiling of 32,200 feet, and a range of 415 miles. The Gladiator was armed with four .303 inch Browning machine guns, and incorporated several advanced features including an enclosed cockpit and wing flaps. One top RAF ace, Sqd. Ldr. Pattle, attained eleven victories flying the Gladiator. A total of 527 Gladiators were produced, and the aircraft served in twelve different countries. The Italians were overly persistent in their emphasis on biplane fighters, stemming from their successes with these highly maneuverable machines during the Spanish Civil War. Employing distinctive Warren-truss type interplane bracing the C.R. 42 was powered by a Fiat A74 R.C. 38 engine providing a maximum speed of 274 MPH and a range of 485 miles. The C.R. 42 was more lightly armed than the Gladiators it opposed, possessing only two 12.7mm Breda machine guns. The C.R 42 served on all of Italys fronts including North and East Africa, France, Britain, the Balkans, and Russia. Exported to Hungary, Sweden and Belgium, the C.R. 42 ironically served alongside the Gladiator in other theaters of operation during WW II.
Faith Hope and Charity by Stan Stokes. (C)
Half Price! - £65.00
 Sopwith Camel with 65 Squadron, on routine patrol, meet head-on with the unmistakable Albatross fighters of the German air force.

The Sky Warriors by Anthony Saunders. (Y)
Half Price! - £55.00

 

NAVAL PRINTS

Click above to see all of our naval art index - Eight random half price naval items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Naval Art Offers

 Japanese Torpedo destroyers, rush in to finish off the Russian battleships near the end of the Battle of Tsushima.

Battle of Tsushima by Anthony Saunders. (Y)
Half Price! - £50.00
HMS Ark Royal IV - Flagship of the Flag Officer Aircraft Carriers - a mobile airfield and a most impressive sight as she launches a Phantom from one of her catapults. She had a standard displacement of 43,000 tons, a beam of 168 feet, and was 846 feet long. Ships company numbered 2,570 and her Air Group consisted of Phantom Interceptors, Buccaneer strike and Gannet AEW aircraft together with Wessex SAR and Sea King ASW helicopters. She served her Nation and the Royal Navy for 23 years and sailed 800,000 miles of valuable service, finally being decommissioned in 1979.
Ark Royal by Philip West (AP)
Half Price! - £140.00
HMS Illustrious slips quietly away from the docks at Devonport, Plymouth with the Fiji class cruiser in the middle distance, 1941.

HMS Illustrious and HMS Kenya at Devonport by Ivan Berryman (P)
Half Price! - £3000.00
Depicting Titanic with the sun going down for the last time.

Titanic by Robert Barbour (AP)
Half Price! - £50.00

B64.  HMS Centaur Departing Devonport by Ivan Berryman.

HMS Centaur Departing Devonport by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £15.00
 The key to Nelsons victories always lay in his meticulous planning and the Battle of Copenghagen was no exception as he used his fleet to first destroy the Danish floating defences so that his bomb vessels could be brought up to bombard the city itself. The Danes eventually capitulated, but they had fought hard and over 2,000 men had died on both sides before the end of the battle. In this view, HMS Elephant, carrying the flag of Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, dominates the scene as the battle gathers intensity. British ships depicted, left to right, are the Glatton (54), Elephant (74), Ganges (74) and Monarch (74)

The Battle of Copenhagen, 2nd April 1801 by Ivan Berryman. (Y)
Half Price! - £325.00
B111.  The Pursuit of the Graf Spee by Ivan Berryman.

The Pursuit of the Graf Spee by Ivan Berryman.
Half Price! - £15.00
The Pedestal Convoy of August 1942 was one of the most heavily protected convoys in the history of sea warfare.  Fourteen of the fastest cargo ships of the time were protected by 4 carriers, 2 battleships, 7 cruisers and 32 destroyers.  The destroyer HMS Ashanti is in the foreground of the painting.  Also depicted are the carrier HMS Indomitable, with her Hurricanes cirling the convoy overhead, and the cargoe ship Port Chalmers to the right of the picture.

Pedestal Convoy by Anthony Saunders (B)
Half Price! - £20.00

 

MILITARY PRINTS

Click above to see all of our military art index - Eight random half price military items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Military Art Offers

Terence Cuneo has depicted a scene of street violence.  The angry mod hurls abuse, missiles and petrol bombs at the soldiers who are outnumbered and restricted in their ability to repsond.  Rioting of this sort became less prevalent through the increased efficiency of the Police and Army in containing it, but Terence Cuneos reconstruction typifies the dangerous situation the secuirty forces in Ulster faced during the 1970s.  Published in 1977 by the Army and Navy Club, Pall Mall, London.

The Tragedy of Ulster 1976 by Terence Cuneo. (B)
Half Price! - £80.00
 During the morning of June 7th the 82nd Airborne were attacked by a mixed German battle group. Supported by 4th Division armour the Paratroopers and Glider troops repelled the attack which lasted most of the day.

Fighting for a Foothold, 82nd Airborne at St Mere Eglise, 1944 by Chris Collingwood. (Y)
Half Price! - £
 As Admiral Nelsons flagship leads the British fleet toward the Franco-Spanish line, Captain Harveys Temeraire tries to pass Victory in order to be the first to break the enemy column.

HMS Victory by Randall Wilson. (Y)
Half Price! - £65.00
In the reletive comfort of a stable, two Polish Lancers rest and tend one of their horses.

Lancers in a Stable by Horace Vernet.
Half Price! - £20.00

 Having made contact the previous evening with troops of 4th Infantry Division pushing inland from Utah Beach, paratroopers of the 101st Airborne division The Screaming Eagles help mop up the pockets of German resistance in their general advance towards Carentan.

Screaming Eagles in Normandy, 7th June 1944 by David Pentland. (P)
Half Price! - £1800.00
The Battle of Barnet was fought in a heavy mist, on Easter Sunday 14th April 1471. Due to a misalignment of the opposing armies, all became confusion. The centre of the battle (as depicted here) was fought at close quarters, a mass of struggling knights and men at arms with comrade fighting comrade, their vision of the battle obscured by mist. The Yorkists under the leadership of King Edward IV triumphed, leaving the Lancastrians with hopes dashed. Their champion and leader, the great Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick The King Maker lay dead, cut down while struggling to regain his charger. In the painting Edward IV charges toward the banner of Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter, while in the foreground soldiers of the Houses of York and Lancaster hack and slash at each other in terrified butchery.

Battle of Barnet by Chris Collingwood (GL)
Half Price! - £565.00
DHM621GL. Headquarters 4th Armoured Brigade on Objective Copper South, Iraq 27th February 1991 by David Rowlands.

Headquarters 4th Armoured Brigade on Objective Copper South, Iraq 27th February 1991 by David Rowlands. (GL)
Half Price! - £300.00
So Tell The Spartans, Stranger passing by that here, Obedient to their laws, we lie.   In 480 BC the Spartans tried to defend the pass at Thermopylae against the Persians led by Xerxes.  The Persian fleet had sailed along the coastline from northern Greece into the Gulf of Malia on the eastern Aegean Sea towards the mountains at Thermopylae. The Greek General and King Leonidas led the Greeks  and tried to defend the pass of Thermopylae.  All the defending Spartans were killed during the Battle of Thermopylae. Their defence and courage provided inspiration to the Greeks, and the following year the Greeks won battles against their old enemy the Persians.

Thermopylae 480BC, Spartan and Thespaian Hoplites. By Chris Collingwood.
Half Price! - £85.00

 

SPORT PRINTS

Click above to see all of our sport art index - Eight random half price sport items are displayed to the right.

Some Current Half Price Sport Art Offers

B45. David Coulthard/ Williams FW.17 by Ivan Berryman

David Coulthard/ Williams FW.17 by Ivan Berryman
Half Price! - £40.00
Marcus Gronholm wins the 2002 Rally New Zealand in the Peugeot 206 and gains the World Rally Championship Title, October 2002.
Finnish First by Graham Bosworth. (Y)
Half Price! - £100.00
SFA19.  Laytown Beach by Chris Howells.
Laytown Beach by Chris Howells.
Half Price! - £45.00
 A product of United's magnificent youth policy, Nicky Butt has become an invaluable player in the most successful side in the club's history.  Gary Keane's portrayal of Nicky Butt captures the tenacity, determination and power of one of the country's leading midfield players.

Nicky Butt by Gary Keane.
Half Price! - £50.00

 TWR Jaguar XJR 9LM - Winner of the 1988 Le Mans.  The car in this image is shown at maximum speed on the Mulsanne Straight (240mph)  Drivers: Jan Lammers, Johnny Dumfries and Andy Wallace.  This was the first win for Jaguar since 1957.  Previous victories at Le Mans were in 1951 and 1953 with C types and in 1955, 1956 and 1957 with D types.  Jaguar also won Le Mans in 1990 with the XJR 12LM.
Top Cat by Graham Bosworth.
Half Price! - £24.00
 Eddie Irvine and Johnny Herbert.  Jaguar Cosworth R1s

Return of the Cat by Michael Thompson
Half Price! - £25.00
 England 1 Germany 0, Euro 2000.  On the 17th of June 2000 England once again faced their old nemesis Germany in a Group A qualifying match at Euro 2000.  England entered the game knowing that they had not defeated Germany in a competitive match since the famous World Cup victory in 1966.  Germany made four changes to the side that had drawn with Romania including the introduction of midfielder Sebastian Deisler, whilst England had been forced to replace Tony Adams and Steve McManaman with Martin Keown and Dennis Wise due to injury.  As expected the game started at a frenetic pace and Jancker made things difficult for England's central defenders early on with his height and strength.  England appeared to be lacking cohesion and allowed Germany to take control of the game.  Deisler brought the German crowd to their feet with a clever run down the right hand side and minutes later Hamaan had their first strike on goal which was hit directly at David Seaman.  England were looking for a flash of inspiration and it was very nearly delivered as Michael Owen managed to meet Phil Neville's cross with his head but only managed to direct the ball on to the post.  Paul Scholes in typical fashion drove a ferocious volley, which was tipped just over the bar, and suddenly it appeared that England were beginning to find some weaknesses in certain areas of the German side.  At the interval little separated the two sides however, England started the second half with a steely determination.  After just seven minutes David Beckham earned his side a free kick in a very dangerous position on the England right.  With good movement from the forwards in the German area Beckham swung a speculative cross into the six yard box.  Owen, beaten by the pace, failed to connect but man of the match Alan Shearer anticipated the kind bounce and without hesitation headed the ball back across Kahn and into the right hand side of the German goal.  The England captain had broken the deadlock and instilled in his side the belief that they could finally defeat their oldest rivals.  Germany threw everything they had at England but Keegan's team were equal to the task in every area of the pitch.  As the final whistle blew a huge roar erupted from the England supporters as Alan Shearer's goal had ended over thirty years of frustration and sealed his place in the history books as one of England's greatest ever strikers.

Perfect Finish by Peter Cornwell.
Half Price! - £50.00
SP4.  Desert Orchid by Mark Churms.

Desert Orchid by Mark Churms.
Half Price! - £35.00

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