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8)SURPRISE (A S YACHT)



Photo. www.leander-project.homecall.co.uk



Displacement: 1580 BRT


Length: 307 ft 4" overall, 


Beam: 38.5 ft,


Draught: 13 ft 4" full load


Complement: 157


Armament: 2 twin 4" high angle guns, 2 twin 40mm Bofors, 4 x 20mm Oerlikon, Hedgehog, Depth Charges.


HMS Surprise, two Bays type were completed as despatch vessels, also referred to as Station Yatchs, possibly as that included acting as a "run about" for the Admiral and his staff. But like the Sloops that preceded them their main role ended up as a Colonial gunboat.


Only 19 were completed as designed, of the remainder 2 were completed as despatch vessels, 4 as survey ships and the last was cancelled.


The Squid was removed to decrease top weight and allow two twin 4" high angle gun turrets to be fitted together with additional radar and 40mm Bofors along with the 20mm Oerlikons.


As can be seen below the basic hull shape is the same. Hedgehog and a minimal load of depth charges are carried to provide for basic Anti-Submarine defence.


These ships were never intended as massed gun batteries, that role was left to the heavier units, they were to be radar pickets, deployed in a screen to warn of incoming air attack and give time for carriers to scramble fighter cover, their armament was increased purely for defensive purposes.


HMS Surprise was deployed at Freetown. 


 

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