british British Royal Navy - Admiralty - RN HMS Surprise [+1917]
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nationality british
purpose war
type destroyer
subtype/class R class destroyer (br.)
R class destroyer (br.) Recruit HMS (+1917)
propulsion steam turbine
date built 1916
weight (tons) 975  disp (surf)
dimensions 84.1 x 8.2 x 2.8 m
material steel
engine 2 x steam turbines, 3 boilers, dual shaft, 2 screws
armament 3 x 4"/101.6 mm guns, 1 x 2 pdr. A.A., 4 x 21"/530 mm T.T. (2x2)
power 27000  s.h.p.
speed 36  knots
yard no. 1395
about the loss
cause lost mine
date lost 23/12/1917  [dd/mm/yyyy]
about people
Yarrow & Co.Shipbuilders Ltd., Glasgow
British Royal Navy - Admiralty - RN, London
complement 82
about the wreck
depth (m.) 21 max. / 21 min. (m)
war grave
entered by Slaats Martien
entered 02/05/2006
last update Lettens Jan
last update 23/12/2013
[1] Lettens Jan11/04/2010
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  The Wreck today  

Lettens Jan20/02/2009

She lies in extremely busy waters, as she is just in front of the port of Rotterdam approach.

Due to the traffic, she must be a dangerous wreck to dive, explaining why there is no diving records of her.

Chances are great that a very special permission from authorities is needed to dive here.

She has probably been swept by authorities as she represents a danger to modern (deep) ships.
ref. used
 Lettens Jan

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copyright: Nederlandse Hydrografie
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  Hydrographic Service UK  
Lettens Jan12/12/2009Other sources say Surprise was sunk by a German U-boat off Maas light ship on night of 22 December/23 December 1917.
Lettens Jan20/02/2009HMS SURPRISE; British Navy destroyer; Built in 1916; 910 tons; 271x25 7x10.5 ft.; 23,000 s.h.p.; 36 knots; turbine engine and Yarrow boilers; Armament: 3x4 in. guns, 1x2pdr., 1 m.g., 4 T.T.

The destroyer HMS Surprise, with a complement of 100 was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine off the Maas lightship on December 23rd, 1917.

HMS SUrprise has been reported to have struck a mine, together with HMS Torrent and HMS Tornado in a minefield, laid by the German Navy mid Novemebr 1917 at the Maas light buoy.
ref. used: 
 Hocking C. et Al.
Lettens Jan06/08/2007HMS Torrent, British, R class Destroyer. Mined in the North Sea whilst going to meet a convoy. On the 23rd December 1917, Dutch North Sea coast, near Maas light buoy - mined. Torrent HMS and her three destroyer division ran into a minefield. Torrent HMS hit first, Surprise HMS went to assist and was mined, and as Tornado HMS tried to get clear, she detonated two mines and sank with only one survivor.

Only Radiant HMS got home. A total of 252 men were lost.
Lettens Jan12/12/2009The 23rd December 1917 must have been one of the worst days to remember for the British Royal Navy, as 3 destroyers and 252 seamen were lost in just one day.

HMS Tornado, HMS Torrent and HMS Surprise, were all three lost to a minefield laid by the Germans one month before near the Maas light Vessel to protect the port of Rotterdam.

They were all three just newly built in 1916-1917 and were at that time the best destroyers the British Royal Navy had.
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 Lettens Jan

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About Owners
British Royal Navy - Admiralty - RN, London

In 1509 when Henry VIII was crowned he realised the growing navel power of King James IV of Scots. James had built an impressive fleet to control the Western Isles and was allied to France. Henry built up of his own fleet, the Navy Royal, as it was then known. New ships were constructed, the best known being the Mary Rose. Smaller types of warships (galleases) combining the best features of oars, sails and guns were also built. By Henry's death in 1547 his fleet had grown to 58 vessels.

In 1546 a 'Council of the Marine' was established which later became the 'Navy Board'. The Navy Board was in charge of the daily administration of the navy until 1832 when it was combined with the Board of the Admiralty.

Elizabeth I inherited a fleet of only 27 ships in 1558. Instead of building up her own fleet Elizabeth encouraged private enterprise against Spain's new empire. Men like Sir John Hawkins and Sir Francis Drake to command groups of Royal and private ships to attack the Spanish. When Spain threatened invasion with its Armada in 1588 the Navy of England both Royal and private defended the realm.

Early in the Seventeenth Century, larger galleons were built with heavier armaments. the largest English ship was Sovereign of the Seas built for prestige purposes by Charles I in 1637. The first ship with three gun decks to carry her 102 guns, she was the most powerful ship in the world for many years.

When King Charles II came to the throne in 1660 he inherited a huge fleet of 154 ships. This was a permanent professional national force and the beginning of the Royal Navy as we know it today.

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About Builders
 Yarrow & Co.Shipbuilders Ltd., Glasgow
Boiler makers, Glasgow
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HMS Surprise [+1917]
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