The following is a very brief summary of these ships, that appeared on WW1-L 27 June, 1998. Later corrections are as of December 1999.
Fandango and Sword-dance were laid down by the War Office as shoal-draft 'tunnel tugs' for service in Mesopotamia. The Admiralty, in need of very shoal-draft minesweepers, in effect rented them from the War Office. Both were lost to mines in the Dvina in the summer of 1919. They were not armed.
Abingdon and Fermoy were larger minesweepers-231 feet long comnpared to 130 ft for Fandango and Sword-dance. They were armed with a 4" and a 12pdr each.
Of the M-15 class, M-23, M-24, M-25 and M-27 served in North Russia. The latter two had to be blown up when the level of the Dvina fell during the evacuation and prevented their extrication.
The designed main armament of the class was to have been 1-9.2", using stocks of spare guns of old classes of armored cruisers. After war-time changes, they sailed to North Russia armed thus: M-23 carried 1-7.5", 1-3"AA, 1-12pdr and 2-3pdr AA; M-24 had 1-7.5", 2-3"AA and 2-3pdr AA; M-25 had 1-7.5", 1-3" AA and 1-12pdr; M-27 had 3-4" in a triple mounting, 1-3"AA, 1-12pdr and 2-2pdr. The 7.5" were spare guns for the old Triumph and Swiftsure. The Aphid class river gunboats were originally designed for service on the Danube. They each carried 2-6" and 2-12pdr. All the above courtesy of Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906-1922
Also in North Russia were:
monitors: M 26, M 31, M 33 (later HMS MINERVA and now at Portsmouth), EREBUS
river gunboats: GLOWWORM, COCKCHAFER, CRICKET, CICALA, MANTIS
minesweepers: STEPDANCE, MORRIS DANCE
not to mention quite a lot of "non-combatants" - troop carriers, hospital ships, etc
all under HMS FOX
and no doubt others too.
Return to WWI The Maritime War
Return to WWI Archive main page.