Military Wiki
W and Z-class destroyer
HMS Zebra.jpg
Class overview
Operators:  Royal Navy
Naval Ensign of South Africa (1952-1981).svg South African Navy
 Royal Canadian Navy
 Yugoslav Navy
 Egyptian Navy
 Israeli Navy
Preceded by: U and V class
Succeeded by: C class
Subclasses: W, Z
In commission: 1943 - 1971
Completed: 16
Lost: 4 (as targets)
Retired: 12
General characteristics W class
Type: Destroyer
Displacement: 1,710 long ton (1,730 tonnes)
2,530 tons full (2,570 tonnes)
Length: 362.75 ft (110.57 m) o/a
Beam: 35.75 ft (10.90 m)
Draught: 10 ft (3.0 m)
Propulsion: 2 Admiralty 3-drum boilers,
Parsons single-reduction geared steam turbines,
40,000 shp (29.8 MW), 2 shafts
Speed: 36 kt / 32 kt full
Range: 4,675 nmi at 20 kt
Complement: 179 (225 as leader)
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Radar Type 272 target indication
  • Radar Type 291 air warning
  • Radar Type 285 fire control on director Mk.III(W)
  • Radar Type 282 fire control on 40 mm mount Mk.IV
  • 4 x QF 4.7 inch (120-mm) L/45 Mk.IX guns, single mounts CP Mk.XXII
  • 4 x QF 2-pounder (40-mm) Mk.VIII "pom-poms", quad mount Mk.VII, or;
  • 4 x A/A mountings;
    • twin 20 mm Oerlikon Mk.V
    • single Bofors 40 mm Mk.III or "Boffin" Mk.V
    • single QF 2 pdr Mk.XVI
  • 8 (4x2) tubes for 21-inch (530 mm) torpedoes Mk.IX
  • 2 racks & 4 throwers for 70 depth charges
  • General characteristics (Z class)
    Displacement: 1,830 tons (1,860 tonnes)
    2,530 tons full (2,570 tonnes)
    Sensors and
    processing systems:

    Radar Type 293 target indication

    Radar Type 285 fire control on director type K
    Armament: 4 x QF 4.5 in (113 mm) Mk.IV guns, single mounts CP Mk.V
    Notes: Other characteristics as per W class

    The W and Z class was a class of sixteen destroyers of the Royal Navy launched in 1943–1944. They were constructed as two flotillas, with names beginning with "W-" and "Z-", respectively, although, like the preceding U and V class, two of the flotilla leaders were named after historical naval figures (as had been Royal Navy practice during the inter-war years). They were known as the 9th and 10th Emergency Flotilla, respectively and served as fleet and convoy escorts in World War II. None were lost during World War II but INS Eilat (originally HMS Zealous) was sunk during the Israel-Egypt conflict in October 1967 by Egyptian missile boats.


    Repeats of the preceding U and V class destroyers, with modified director structures. The Z class were armed with 4.5 inch guns.[1]


    W class

    Ship Shipyard Launched Fate/notes
    Kempenfelt John Brown, Clydebank 8 May 1943 Flotilla leader. Sold to Yugoslavia 1956. After refit served as Kotor. Scrapped 1971[2]
    Wager John Brown, Clydebank 1 November 1943 Sold to Yugoslavia 1956, served as Pula after refit.
    Wakeful Fairfields 30 June 1943 converted to Type 15 anti submarine frigate, later a training ship, scrapped 1971
    Wessex Fairfields 2 September 1943 Transferred to South Africa, 1950 as Jan van Riebeeck Scrapped 1978.[3]
    Whelp Hawthorn Leslie 3 June 1943 Transferred to South Africa, 1953 as Simon van der Stel. Scrapped Durban 1976.
    Whirlwind Hawthorn Leslie 30 August 1943 converted to Type 15 A/S frigate, lost while used as target 1974
    Wizard Vickers-Armstrong, Barrow 29 September 1943 Broken up in March 1967 at Inverkeithing.
    Wrangler Vickers-Armstrong, Barrow 30 December 1943 Transferred to South Africa, 1957 as Vrystaat.

    Z class

    Ship Shipyard Launched Fate/notes
    Myngs Vickers-Armstrong, Tyneside launched 31 May 1943 Flotilla leader completed June 1944. Transferred to Egypt, 1955 as El Qaher. Sunk in 1970 by Israel aircraft[4]
    Zephyr Vickers-Armstrong, Tyneside launched 15 July 1943 Broken up July 1958 at Dunston.
    Zambesi Cammell Laird, Birkenhead 12 November 1943 Broken up December 1959 at Briton Ferry.
    Zealous Cammell Laird 28 February 1944 Transferred to Israel 1955 as Eilat, sunk 1967 in action.
    Zebra William Denny and Brothers, Dunbarton 8 March 1944 Broken up February 1959 at Newport.
    Zenith Denny 5 June 1944 Refitted 1950. Transferred to Egypt, 1955 as El Fateh Modernised in UK 1963-1964.[5]
    Zest John I. Thornycroft, Woolston 14 October 1943 Refitted 1945. Sold in 1969 and broken up 1970[6]
    Zodiac John I. Thornycroft 11 March 1944 Transferred to Israel, 1955 as Yaffa. Taken out iof service in 1972[7]

    See also


    • Destroyers of the Royal Navy, 1893-1981, Cocker, Maurice, Ian Allan Publishing, ISBN 0-7110-1075-7
    • British destroyers: A history of development 1892-1953, March, Edgar, Billing and Sons Ltd, London 1966 ISBN
    • Royal Navy Destroyers since 1945, Leo Marriot, Ian Allan Publishing, ISBN 0-7110-1817-0
    • Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1922-1946, Ed. Gardiner, Robert, Naval Institute Press, ISBN 0-87021-913-8
    • Raven, Alan; Roberts, John (1978). War Built Destroyers O to Z Classes. London: Bivouac Books. ISBN 0-85680-010-4. 
    • Whitley, M. J. (1988). Destroyers of World War 2. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-326-1. 

    External links

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