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HMS Wolfhound (L56)
HMS Wolfhound (L56).jpg
Career (United Kingdom) RN Ensign
Name: HMS Wolfhound (L56)
Ordered: 9 December 1916
Builder: Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Govan, Scotland
Laid down: April 1917
Launched: 14 March 1918
Commissioned: 27 April 1918
Reclassified: Escort destroyer in May 1940
Fate: Sold in February 1948 for breaking up
General characteristics
Class & type: W class destroyer
Displacement: 1,100 tons
Length: 300 ft (91 m) o/a, 312 ft (95 m) p/p
Beam: 26 ft 9 in (8.15 m)
Draught: 9 ft (2.7 m) standard
11 ft 3 in (3.43 m) deep
Propulsion: Three Yarrow type Water-tube boilers
Brown-Curtis steam turbines
Two shafts
27,000 shp (20,000 kW)
Speed: 34 kn (63 km/h)
Range: 320–370 tons oil
3,500 nmi (6,500 km) at 15 kn (28 km/h)
900 nmi (1,700 km) at 32 kn (59 km/h)
Complement: 110
Armament: 6 × 21 in (530 mm) torpedo tubes
4 × single 4 in (100 mm) low-angled guns
Motto: 'In at the death'
Honours & awards: DUNKIRK 1940
NORTH SEA 1943–45
Badge: On a Field Black, a wolfhound's head, Silver, collared Gold.

HMS Wolfhound (L56) was a W-class destroyer of the Royal Navy. She served during the First and Second World Wars. She was launched on 14 March 1918 and was sold for scrap in February 1948.


First World War and inter-war period

Wolfhound was commissioned too late to see much active service in the First World War. She spent the war as part of the 13th Destroyer Flotilla with the Grand Fleet, and was assigned to the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla with the Atlantic Fleet in 1921. The flotilla was transferred to the Mediterranean for a period, after which Wolfhound was placed in reserve at Chatham. In 1938 she was one of the old V and W class ships to be selected to be converted to a long range anti-aircraft destroyer escort, a process carried out at Chatham and completed in May 1940.

Second World War

After working up she was assigned to the 1st Destroyer Flotilla at Portsmouth in May, which was assigned to defend the Channel convoys. As the allied forces retreated, Wolfhound was one of the ships detached to support the evacuation of troops from France, and on 26 May she and HMS Verity bombarded Calais. The following day Wolfhound was deployed out of Dover to assist communications during the Dunkirk evacuation. On 28 May she embarked 142 troops and took them to Dover, but the following day she was caught in an air-attack at Dunkirk and badly damaged, having her back broken. She was salvaged and towed to Chatham to be repaired. Repair work lasted until mid-1942, as ships that could be returned to service more quickly were prioritised.

Wolfhound finally returned to service in November, and was deployed to defend convoys sailing through the North Sea. She carried out this task for the rest of the war. After VE Day she was detached to support the re-occupation of Norway. On 14 May she and HMS Wolsey were deployed with Norwegian corvettes to cover minesweeping operations prior to the re-occupation of Bergen.


Wolfhound was paid off after the Japanese surrender and reduced to the reserve. She was sold to BISCO in February 1948 and was towed to the River Forth later that year to be broken up by Granton Shipbreakers.


  • Preston, Antony (1971). 'V & W' Class Destroyers 1917–1945. London: Macdonald. OCLC 464542895. 
  • Raven, Alan; Roberts, John (1979). 'V' and 'W' Class Destroyers. Man o' War. 2. London: Arms & Armour. ISBN 0-85368-233-X. 
  • Winser, John de D. (1999). B.E.F. Ships Before, At and After Dunkirk. Gravesend, Kent: World Ship Society. ISBN 0-905617-91-6. 

External links

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