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HMS Acasta (1912)

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HMS Acasta (1912)
HMS Acasta IWM Q 020904
HMS Acasta (Imperial War Museum)
Career (UK) Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom
Class and type: Acasta-class destroyer
Name: HMS Acasta
Builder: John Brown & Company, Clydebank
Laid down: 1 December 1911
Launched: 10 September 1912
Refit: June 1916
Fate: Sold for breaking up 9 May 1921
General characteristics
Displacement: 984 tons
Length: 267 ft 6 in (81.53 m)
Beam: 26 ft 9 in (8.15 m)
Draught: 9 ft 6 in (2.90 m)
Installed power: 24,500 hp (18,270 kW)
Propulsion: Yarrow-type water-tube boilers, 2 shaft Brown-Curtis steam turbines
Speed: 32 kts
Complement: 77
Armament:

3 x QF 4-inch (101.6 mm) L/40 Mark IV guns, mounting P Mk. IX
1 x QF 2 pdr pom-pom Mk. II

2 x single tubes for 21 in torpedoes
Honours & awards: Battle of Jutland

HMS Acasta was an Acasta-class destroyer of the Royal Navy, and the name ship of that class. She was built between 1911 and 1913, and was initially designated a K-class torpedo boat destroyer, having at various times the pennant numbers G40, H59 (1914) or H00 (1918).[1] She saw extensive service during the First World War, including at the Battle of Jutland, where she was badly damaged. She was sold for breaking up in 1921.

ConstructionEdit

Acasta, originally intended to be named King,[1] was laid down at John Brown's shipyard at Clydebank on 1 December 1911, launched on 10 September 1912 and completed the following month.[2] Powered by 2 shaft Bown-Curtis steam turbines she had a maximum speed of 32 knots and had a complement of 75-77 men. After completion she joined the 4th Destroyer Flotilla.[3]

Service during the First World WarEdit

Acasta served with the Grand Fleet from the outbreak of the First World War. Her depot ship was HMS Hecla. On 16 December 1914 she was in the 4th Destroyer Flotilla attached to a battle group sent to challenge several German ships intent on bombarding the North Yorkshire coast.[4]

The Battle of JutlandEdit

During the Battle of Jutland, the 4th Flotilla was attached to Admiral David Beatty's Battlecruiser Fleet based at Rosyth, and assigned to cover the 3rd Battlecruiser Squadron, screening the cruiser HMS Chester. Acasta was commanded by Lieutenant Commander J. O. Barron. The squadron left Pentland Firth in the evening of 30 May 1916 and engaged the enemy at 5.40pm on 31 May.[5]

During the battle, destroyer Shark was crippled by gunfire[6] and was offered assistance by the already damaged Acasta but declined. In the same action, against at that time a superior enemy force[7] Acasta was hit by two 5.9in shells from SMS Derfflinger, which left her with six dead[8][9][10][11] and one wounded, and unable to stop or steer. A signal from HMS Benbow at 6.40pm reported Acasta in danger of sinking.[12] Admiral Beatty's report on the battle mentions an unknown, disabled destroyer which, from the time (about 7pm) may refer to Acasta.[13] At 6.47 HMS Iron Duke, the Grand Fleet's flagship, passed the disabled destroyer whose crew lined the sides to cheer the battleship as she passed.[14]

Acasta was able to effect some emergency repairs during the next six hours, but broke down again and was eventually taken in tow by HMS Nonsuch and reached Aberdeen two days after the battle, so badly damaged she practically had to be rebuilt.[10] She claimed a torpedo hit on SMS Lützow but this was not officially confirmed.[11] The German Admiralty's report of the battle on 1 June included the claim that Acasta had been destroyed.[15]

FatalitiesEdit

  • Engineer Lieutenant James Forrest
  • Chief Petty Officer Stoker Richard Massey, buried Anns Hill, Gosport[10]
  • Chief Stoker G Howe[8]
  • Engine Room Artificer James Bailey, buried Horsham[16]
  • Stoker 1 Thomas William Nickless[8]

After JutlandEdit

After extensive repairs, completed by 2 August,[11] Acasta went back into service, joining one of the destroyer flotillas (4th or 6th) in one of the English Channel bases of Portsmouth, Devonport or Dover.[1] She sustained damage, with three casualties, following a collision in the English Channel on 22 December 1917.[17]

Post-war serviceEdit

On 6 and 8 August 1919 Acasta attended the newly-commissioned light cruiser HMS Hawkins on torpedo trials in Freshwater Bay.[18]

FateEdit

Acasta was sold on 9 May 1921 to Ward, Hayle for breaking up.[1][2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "British Warships, 1914-19". http://www.naval-history.net/WW1NavyBritishShips-Dittmar1.htm. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Battleships-Cruisers.co.uk website - Destroyers before 1918". http://www.battleships-cruisers.co.uk/destroyers_before_1900.htm. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  3. "HMS Acasta". http://www.hmsacasta.co.uk/hms%20acasta.html. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  4. "British east coast raid". http://www.naval-history.net/WW1Battle1412EastCoastRaid.htm. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  5. 3rd Battle Cruiser Squadron at Jutland. Naval Review. 1919. p. 127-130. 
  6. N. J. Campbell (1987). Jutland: An analysis of the fighting. ISBN 0-85177-379-6. 
  7. Brookes, Ewart (1977). Destroyer. Arrow. p. 68-70. ISBN 0099068001. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Jutland Casualties". http://www.northeastmedals.co.uk/britishguide/jutland/hms_nestor_nomad_sparrowhawk_1916.htm. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  9. "Devon Heritage - HMS Acasta". http://www.devonheritage.org/Places/DevonCounty/JutlandHMSAcasta.htm. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "Anns Hill Cemetery War Graves". http://www.gosport.info/History/Anns_Hill_Cemetery_War_Graves_/Anns_Hill_Cemetery_War_Graves_/anns_hill_cemetery_war_graves_44.html. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 "Naval History". http://www.naval-history.net/WW1Book-RN3b.htm#H. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  12. "National Archives: Official dispatches for the Battle of Jutland". http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/firstworldwar/battles/p_despatchesjutland.htm. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  13. "Beatty's report on the Battle of Jutland". http://wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php/Beatty%27s_Report_on_The_Battle_of_Jutland. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  14. "Western Front Association: Battle of Jutland - Chronology". http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/great-war-at-sea-in-air/nava-actions/435-jut-prine.html. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  15. Newbolt, Henry (1928). Naval Operations, Vol. 4. Longmans Green & Co. http://www.naval-history.net/WW1Book-RN4a.htm. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  16. "Warsailors (forum)". http://warsailors.com/forum/read.php?1,8109. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  17. "Casualty lists". http://www.naval-history.net/xDKCas1917-12Dec.htm. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  18. "British warship logbooks". http://www.naval-history.net/OWShips-WW1-06-HMS_Hawkins.htm. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 

Further readingEdit


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