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Flower Class, British Corvettes


Photograph of "Flower" class corvette

Imperial War Museum. Via Wikimedia Commons


Specifications:


Tonnage 940 tons standard displacement
1220 tons fully loaded
Dimensions
205' by 33' by 15'8"
62.48m by 10.06m by 4.78m
Maximum speed       16 knots
Complement
60
Armament
1 4"/40 gun
1 2pdr AA gun
2x1 Lewis machine guns
2 depth charge racks (60 depth charges)
4 depth charge throwers
Machinery
1-shaft (1100 ihp)
Bunkerage
233 tons
Range
4596 nautical miles (8510 km) at 12 knots
Sensors
Type 127 sonar
Type 271 radar
Modifications
Most shipped Hedgehog by 1943-6.


The Flowers were antisubmarine corvettes based on a whalecatcher hull and intended for rapid production. The original design was intended for coastal protection and aimed at minimizing manpower requirements. However, it soon became clear that U-boat wolf packs were a deadly threat to convoys in the ocean lanes, and the "Flowers" were pressed into service as ocean escorts. This required greater manpower for the sustained voyages, obviating some of the advantages of the design, which was eventually superseded by the "River" class.

The ships had excellent maneuverability, although they yawed badly in a heavy sea. Their chief weaknesses were their speed and range. While adequate for screening against submerged submarines, their speed was inadequate to catch a surfaced submarine in a night action. Their limited range, a consequence of their origins as coastal escorts, meant that they could only escort a convoy partway across the North Atlantic before handing it off to freshly fueled escorts near Iceland.

Units in the Pacific:

Hollyhock    
Arrived 1942-2-7
Sunk by aircraft 1942-4-9 off Ceylon
Verbena
Arrived 1945-3-18     


References

Friedman (2006)
naval-history.net (accessed 2014-1-4)



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