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Type 47B Destroyer Drenthe

Jantinus Mulder and Henk Visser

To counter a growing threat of Soviet submarines and aircraft shortly after WWII, the Royal Netherlands Navy ordered new ships. Classified as ASW destroyer (onderzeebootjager), but so close to contemporary destroyers in terms of specifications. Still suffering from the havoc of war the national industry managed to design and construct these ships in two classes.
Drenthe was of the more capable Type 47B series.

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To counter a growing threat of Soviet submarines and aircraft shortly after WWII, the Royal Netherlands Navy ordered new ships. Classified as ASW destroyer (onderzeebootjager), but so close to contemporary destroyers in terms of specifications. Still suffering from the havoc of war the national industry managed to design and construct these ships in two classes. Drenthe was of the more capable Type 47B series.

ISBN: 9789086162003
Format: Paperback
Author(s): Jantinus Mulder and Henk Visser
First Publishment Date: 30 June 2020

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  1. highly readable and informative book review by Jon Wise on 25/11/2020

    This book is the tenth in a series of warship monographs from the enterprising Dutch publisher Lanasta. It is available from NavyBooks in an English-language edition. HNlMS Drenthe was the fifth of eight Type 47B/Friesland Class destroyers built for the Royal Dutch Navy which all commissioned 1956-58. The Friesland Class was very similar to the four destroyers of the slightly earlier Type 47A Holland Class being heavier, with enhanced armament and new engines which in turn provided a four knot increase in maximum speed.
    This latter was particularly significant as these large (3070 full load) first-generation, post-war ASW destroyers were designed to counter the Soviet Whiskey and Zulu Class submarines during some of the ‘hottest’ phases of the Cold War. It was a remarkable achievement on the part of government, naval architects and the Netherlands Navy itself that little over a decade after the devastations caused by WW2, these handsome, modern warships were able to participate fully in NATO-led operations. They were broadly similar in design and capability to the RN Daring and US Gearing Classes; in appearance with their attractive raked funnels they bore a passing resemblance to the British Battle Class.
    The authors Mulder and Visser, with aid of a plethora of diagrams, maps, tables and some excellent photographs, provide very detailed descriptions of this class covering all aspects of design, technical specifications and capabilities. Some of the onboard photographs also capture precise, often intimate details of everyday life: the siting of the potato locker on the upper deck, Sunday morning relaxation in the C.P.O. Mess, the ship’s barber at work and an outdoor urinal for those caught short in pre-mixed manning days!
    The book concludes with a record of HNlMS Drenthe’s service history. As with other books in this series, Drenthe did not have a particularly remarkable series of commissions during her 23 years in the Koninklijke Marine. One gains the impression that the ship was a typical ‘workhorse’ of the fleet of the time: commissions consisting of an endless round of national and NATO North Atlantic exercises, port visits, Caribbean guardship duties and the occasional ‘out of area’ deployment. In places, the authors also provide relevant historical detail which explains how and why, for example, Drenthe was despatched with haste to Dutch New Guinea in late 1957 following unrest in a territory which was shortly to achieve independence, ending The Netherlands’ last colonial foothold in the Far East. Sadly, an onboard fire hastened the end of an ageing Drenthe’s time in the Dutch Navy and there followed an unsuccessful sale to Peru.
    The authors have an intimate knowledge of their subject and this is a highly readable and informative book which reflects the growing interest and literature on the Cold War period of naval history.

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