|Re-commissioned 27th May 2013
It was decided in September 1940 that larger minesweepers with better sea-keeping qualities than the Bangor class that were just entering service were needed. A design was rapidly evolved which embodied all known minesweeping requirements and was also capable of acting as an Escort Vessel if required.
The general requirements were for a ship capable of sweeping moored, magnetic and acoustic mines in seas up to force 5. The name given to ships of this design was ALGERINE Class. In all, 110 were completed, 50 in Belfast and Scotland and 60 in Canada. Of the total number, 98 were for service with the Royal Navy, the remaining 12 being retained by the Royal Canadian Navy as escorts and not fitted out for minesweeping.
Specifications of the Algerine Class
- Length:- 225ft (oa) 212ft 6in (pp)
- Beam:- 35ft 6in at extreme
- Draught:- 10ft
- Displacement:- (Deep) (turbine ships):- 1122 tons
- Displacement:- (Deep) (recip.ships):- 1162 tons
- Endurance:- 6000 miles at 12 knots
- Speed:- 16.5 knots (2400 i.h.p.)
- Complement:- 8/10 Officers 110/115 Ratings
- Armament:- Main 4-inch QF HA-LA MK V semi-automatic fixed ammunition
- A/A:- 4 single Oerlikons (20mm) (fitted tp all ships built before 1945; some in 1945 fitted with 4 twin Oerlikons. Post 1945 many fitted with single Bofors.)
- Anti-Submarine:- 92 Depth Charge Throwers and 2 rail of DC Rails: total of 92 Depth Charges
- M/S Equipment:- Oropesa Sweep Gear for Moored Contact mines;
'LL' Cable for Magnetic mines; SA Gear for Acoustic mmines (MK IV towed box and Fessenden Oscilator).
- Machinery:- Geared Turbines (Harland and Wolff and Blyth built ships). Reciprocating Engines (all Lobnitz and Canadian) (early ships fitted with 'slow', later ones with 'fast')
- Sensors:- Radar 271 Set Surface/Air (later replaced with 268 and 291 sets)
- Asdic:- Type 144Q set.
The first of the class, H.M.S. ALGERINE was laid down on 15 March 1941 at Harland and Wolff (Belfast). She was launched on 22 December and completed on 12 March 1942. She was the leader, Senior Officer ship, of the 12th MSF (Minesweeping Flotilla) and was sunk off Bougie, North Africa by the Italian submarine, ASCIANGHI on 15 November 1942 with the loss of all her officers and more than 80 of her ship's company. 33 survivors were picked up but 15 of these later died from wounds received when ALGERINE's depth-charges, which were preset, exploded as she sank.
The first flotilla, the12th MSF, 'Led the Way' in the invasion of North Africa for which they were awarded Battle Honours. The flotillas then carried on with the invasions of Sicily, Salerno, Anzio, South of France and the freedom of Greece. They also carried out minesweeping duties all over the Mediterranean, plus of course convoy work.
As they came into service, other ALGERINE class ships carried out extensive operations throughout the world, and were without doubt the most efficient ships in the Allied Navies when dealing with minesweeping.