The Algerine-class minesweeper was a large group of minesweepers built for the Royal Navy (RN) and the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) during the Second World War. 110 ships of the class were launched between 1942 and 1944.
|Preceded by:||Bangor class|
|Succeeded by:||Ton class|
|Length:||225 ft (69 m) o/a|
|Beam:||35 ft 6 in (10.82 m)|
|Draught:||11 ft (3.4 m)–12 ft 3 in (3.73 m)|
|Speed:||16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph)|
|Range:||5,000 nmi (9,300 km; 5,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)|
Design and description
By 1940 the Royal Navy had realized that the Bangor-class minesweepers were too small to carry the equipment needed to handle magnetic mines. A bigger ship was designed, ironically about the same size as the older Halcyon class that the Royal Navy had rejected earlier as too large and expensive for mass production. The size of the new ship made them suitable for use as ocean-going escort ships and many were used in that role to fill a critical shortage of escorts. In fact most of the ships built for the RCN were solely employed as such and were fitted with more dedicated anti-submarine weapons than the RN ships. To maximise production, alternate designs were made to use either steam turbines or reciprocating steam engines.
The turbine-powered ships displaced 850 long tons (860 t) at standard load and 1,125 long tons (1,143 t) at deep load while the reciprocating group displaced 1,010–1,030 long tons (1,030–1,050 t) at standard load and 1,305–1,325 long tons (1,326–1,346 t) at deep load. The hull's dimensions were the same for both groups and the ship measured 225 feet (68.6 m) long overall with a beam of 35 feet 6 inches (10.8 m). The turbine group had a draught of 11 feet (3.4 m) while the reciprocating ships sat 1 foot 3 inches (0.4 m) deeper in the water. The ships' complement consisted of 85 officers and ratings.
The turbine-powered ships had two Parsons geared steam turbines, each driving one shaft, using steam provided by two Admiralty three-drum boilers. The engines produced a total of 2,000 shaft horsepower (1,500 kW) and gave a maximum speed of 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph). The reciprocating ships substituted two 2,400-indicated-horsepower (1,800 kW) vertical triple-expansion steam engines for the turbines and reached the same speed. They carried a maximum of 660 long tons (671 t) of fuel oil that gave them a range of 5,000 nautical miles (9,300 km; 5,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph).
The Algerine class was armed with a QF 4 in (102 mm) Mk V anti-aircraft gun and four twin-gun mounts for Oerlikon 20 mm cannon. The latter guns were in short supply when the first ships were being completed and they often got a proportion of single mounts. By 1944, single-barrel Bofors 40 mm mounts began replacing the twin 20 mm mounts on a one for one basis. All of the ships were fitted for four throwers and two rails for depth charges. Many Canadian ships omitted their sweeping gear in exchange for a 24-barrel Hedgehog spigot mortar and a stowage capacity for 90+ depth charges.
|Royal Canadian Navy|
|Sault Ste. Marie|
|Alarm (lost 2 January 1943)|
|Algerine (lost 15 November 1942)|
|Flying Fish (Gifted to Royal Ceylon Navy as HMCyS Vijaya)|
|Hare (renamed HMNS Nigeria as flagship of Nigerian Navy on 21 July 1959)|
|Loyalty - launched as Rattler but later renamed Loyalty (lost 22 August 1944)|
|Pelorus (Sold to South African Navy as HMSAS Pietermaritzburg)|
|Plucky (Sold to Royal Ceylon Navy as HMCyS Parakrama)|
|Prompt Towed to Southend but not repaired ( CTL )|
|Rattler, see Loyalty (lost 22 August 1944)|
|Regulus (lost 12 January 1945)|
|Rosamund (Sold to South African Navy as HMSAS Bloemfontein)|
|Squirrel (lost 24 July 1945)|
|Vestal (lost 26 July 1945)|
|M900 Adrien de Gerlache (ex HMS Liberty, acquired 1949 - stricken 1969)|
|M901 Georges Lecointe (i) (ex HMS Cadmus, acquired 1950 - stricken 1959)|
|M901 Georges Lecointe (ii) (ex HMCS Wallaceburg, acquired 1959 - stricken 1969)|
|M902 Van Haverbeke (i) (ex HMS Ready - acquired 1951 - stricken 1960)|
|M903 Dufour (i) (ex HMS Fancy - acquired 1951 - stricken 1959)|
|M903 Dufour (ii) (ex HMCS Winnipeg - acquired 1959 - stricken 1966)|
|M904 De Brouwer (i) (ex HMS Spanker - acquired 1953 - stricken 1966)|
|M905 De Moor (ex HMS Rosario - acquired 1953 - stricken 1966)|
|Happy Return (J466)|
After the war, a number continued in service as patrol boats, survey ships, and training ships. On 11 March 1959 HMS Acute and HMS Jewel, training ships at Dartmouth, rescued the burning German coaster Vorman Rass, off Start Point, Devon. Some were sold to other navies or into merchant service. At least one - HMS Pickle (commanded by Lt. Cmdr. Hallifax and, later, Lt. Cmdr, Collins) - was still engaged in minesweeping duties in British waters as late as 1955. At least one Algerine is still in service with the Royal Thai Navy: HTMS Phosampton (ex-HMS Minstrel).
Algerines sunk in action
- Algerine was torpedoed by the Italian submarine Ascianghi off Bougie, Algeria on 15 November 1942.
- Alarm was damaged beyond repair by air attack off Bône, Algeria on 2 January 1943.
- Loyalty (ex-Rattler) was sunk by the German submarine U-480 in the English Channel on 22 August 1944.
- Regulus was sunk by a mine off Corfu on 12 January 1945.
- Squirrel was sunk by a mine off Phuket, Thailand on 24 July 1945.
- Vestal was sunk by a Japanese kamikaze plane off Phuket, Thailand on 26 July 1945.
- Lenton, pp. 260–61
- Lenton, p. 261
- Chesneau, p. 65
- "History of the SA Navy". South African Navy. Archived from the original on 23 February 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2008.
- "NAVY AIDS BURNING GERMAN SHIP. 11 MARCH 1959, AT SEA OFF START POINT, DEVON. THE 999 TON GERMAN COASTER VORMANN RASS ABLAZE AT SEA. EIGHT OF THE COASTERS CREW WERE TAKEN OFF BY THE FRENCH TRAWLER NOTRE DAME DE AGNES. HM MINESWEEPERS ACUTE AND JEWEL WENT TO THE ASSISTANCE OF THE STRICKEN COASTER AND HELICOPTERS FROM CULDROSE WERE ALSO USED". Imperial War Museums. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
- Chesneau, Roger, ed. (1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922–1946. Greenwich, UK: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-146-7.
- Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) . Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8.
- Lenton, H. T. (1998). British & Empire Warships of the Second World War. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-048-7.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Algerine class minesweeper.|