First my thanks for the support I have been getting, second my
apologies: I was in the habit of writing this site while on night shift
(ssh, don't tell the boss!) but since being taken off shift I have sort
of lost the habit. I will get back into it.
I have had to delete all guest book entries
following some twit flooding it, sorry about that, from now on it will
be moderated to prevent such antics.
My sincere thanks again to Brian Burnell who
produces such excellent work on British Nuclear Weapons
http://www.nuclear-weapons.info/ he has
supplied me with a Naval recognition manual containing a gold mine of
WWII and immediate post war ships which I am starting to include.
Latest additions are details of Leander
conversions and more detail on some of the Pre-War Sloops, more to come.
This site is STILL undergoing refit
For centuries Britain was a Maritime power, though
that is now passed and the Royal Navy declines into a slow death,
abandoned by our leaders who forget the lessons of history.
Sea going trade was the lifeblood of the Nation
and the safety of that trade was guaranteed by the Royal Navy, through
long wars with the Dutch, French and Germans one particular Class of
ship bore the brunt of that responsibility: The Escort.
I originally started this site as a study of
the Ikara Leander, but I found it impossible not to include a history of
the Escort to show how the ship had developed. I still aim to
concentrate on the Leander, which in many ways was the pinnacle of
Escort design, based on bitter lessons learned in the two huge wars of
the 20th century in which the defence of the Sea was critical to the
survival of this Country. But I will cast back in time to trace the
lineage of this superb class of ship, and forward to it's heirs.
The Leander Class Frigate was a development of
the Type 12 Frigate, in total 41 Type 12's, including 26 Leanders, were
built for the Royal Navy and two generations of Sailors served in them,
they formed the backbone of the Post War RN and were true Maids of all
The first Type 12 was launched in July 1954,
when the only people in space were Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon, in that
same month the BBC broadcasted it's first ever Televised News Program.
The whole nature of warfare was changing, just
weeks earlier the Americans had detonated a Hydrogen Bomb at Bikini
Atoll, the Korean was had recently ended after bringing the world
perilously close to Nuclear War, but already Vietnam too was being
divided in a futile attempt to stop that too becoming a flash point.
There were no TVs on that first Type 12, but
the men would gather around a chattering projector to watch the latest
Hollywood Blockbusters: The Caine Mutiny, or Hitchcock's The Rear
Window, perhaps even a musical such as Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.
In the summer of 1993 the last of the Great
Type 12's left active service in the Royal Navy, after four decades of
service. In that time thousands of us served on them, and despite war
and the sea, they always brought us home.
Launched November 1965 she was a Type 12I, Leander Class Frigate,
sharing the same basic hull, engines and largely identical weaponry as
the Type 12 Whitby Class and Type 12M Rothesay Class Frigate.
Designed and built for war they
were the last RN ships which were intended for mass production in non
specialist yards should the need arise. They were intended to re-fight
the Battle of the Atlantic.
The ships proved good, reliable
sea keepers and served the RN well during the cold war, many others were
built for export and there is no sea or ocean where a Type 12 has not
sailed at some time.
Battle of the Atlantic was the only thing that ever frightened me."