HMS Tarantula

HMS Tarantula was an Insect-class gunboat of the Royal Navy.

HMS Tarantula, Trincomalee, 1943 (IWM)
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Tarantula
Builder: Wood, Skinner & Co, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Launched: 1915
Fate: Sunk as target 1 May 1946
General characteristics
Class and type: Insect-class gunboat
Displacement: 625 long tons (635 t)
Length: 237 ft 6 in (72.39 m)
Beam: 36 ft (11 m)
Draught: 4 ft (1.2 m)
Propulsion: 2 shaft VTE engines, 2 Yarrow type mixed firing boilers 2000 IHP
Speed: 14 knots (16 mph; 26 km/h)
Complement: 55
Armour: Improvised

Operational history

In 1916 she along with three other gunboats was towed out to join the Royal Navy's Tigris flotilla and under the command of H.G. Sherbrooke successfully participated in a series of engagements en route to Baghdad. After the ending of the first war she was towed to China and joined the China Station. Around 1940 she went from Singapore to Trincomalee, Ceylon, where as a result of disrepair she served as offices. It was in this capacity that in 1944, she served briefly as Admiral Bruce Fraser's flagship of the British Pacific Fleet.[1] She was sunk as a gunnery target in the Bay of Bengal off Trincomalee by the destroyers HMS Carron and HMS Carysfort on 1 May 1946.



  • Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) [1969]. 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.
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