HMS Ardent

A member of a class of 19 tradition destroyers, the first to be constructed for the Royal Navy since the end of the First World War.

The First Alphabet Destroyers
The A's and B's, launched in 1920-30, were the first new designs of destroyer constructed for the Royal Navy since the end of the First World War - just two individual ships, Amazon and Ambuscade had been constructed in the meantime, as private prototype initiatives - and embodied all the lessons learned in that conflict (and in the prototypes), with more generous accommodation and better sea-keeping properties, and armed to take on surface ships and submarines. In all, some 76 very similar ships in nine sub-classes were to be commissioned before the outbreak of fresh hostilities in the summer of 1939, and many were to be lost. HMS Ardent herself was constructed at Scott's; laid down in the autumn of 1928, she was launched on 26 June 1929 and commissioned in 1930.

Ardent's Armament
As completed, Ardent was armed with four of the newly-introduced 4.7in (119mm) quick-firing Mark IX guns and eight 21in (533mm) torpedo tubes in two quad mountings (and two single 2pdr Vickers "pom-pom" heavy machine guns). At a time when other navies were experimenting with high-pressure steam, the class had low-pressure boilers, and were reckoned to have an inadequate radius of action as a result, though their powerplants wre undeniably reliable and easy to maintain.