|Dimensions||76.2 × 55.88 × 2.54 cm|
Flower Class Corvette
Gross 925 Tons
Length 205 feet (62.0 m)
Beam 33 feet (10 m)
Draught 11 feet, 6 inches (3.51 m)
Propulsion One triple-expansion steam engine, driving one propeller
At the outbreak of the war, Britain launched a shipbuilding program, asking shipbuilders to design a cheap, fast-built convoy escort. It had to be able to mount anti-submarine equipment and ply heavy seas as well as be fast enough to tackle submarines at speed.
The contest was won by a design based on an existing, modified whale-catcher. Short in length and shallow in draught, these vessels were uncomfortable mounts. It was said, “They would roll on wet grass.” They were difficult to master, exhausting the crews in rough weather and were notorious for causing seasickness.
Without an armoured hull or superstructure, when hit they could sink in seconds with few survivors. Some 20 corvettes are known to have been sunk by torpedoes and mines with a corresponding large loss of life.
Commonly armed with a 4-inch Mk. IX gun, two Vickers .50” caliber and two Lewis .303” machine guns, they had two Mk.II depth charge towers and 2 depth charge rails, with 40 depth charges. They were deadly enough for submarines to be wary of these little warriors and armed heavily enough to deter an attacking aircraft.
Neither the HMS Spiraea nor any of her sister ships were famous for any heroic deeds; she was one of those ships that rarely got credit but did its duty without glory or expectation of recognition. They in fact were invaluable since they released the more powerful and versatile destroyers for more important tasks.
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