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Royal Navy “Thorpe” Class minehunter.

Comrade Dave

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I was reading my copy of Rebuilding the Royal Navy by D. K. Brown and George Moore. Whilst browsing the second page of the minor war vessels chapter i came across the following statement. “A minehunting variant of the CMS (Thorpe) Class was designed and three ordered , but they were cancelled before work began”.

I was wondering if anyone else had noticed this and could illuminate me in the matter, as I would be very grateful.

The “CMS” refers to the Ton class minesweeper.
 

TomS

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What are you looking for, info-wise?

The CMS (aka the Ton class) was hugely successful and there were some 18 or so minehunter conversions, which are mentioned in Rebuilding. The details of the conversion were mainly the removal of the towed sweep gear and the addition of the Type 193 minehunting sonar, active rudders with electric motors for positioning, and two inflatable boats and dive gear for four mine clearance divers. I expect the planned new-construction minehunters would not have been terribly different.
 

Comrade Dave

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by this point anything I can find, I’ve been trying to research the Coastal forces build up of the 1950s before it was cut short in 1957, but I keep reaching dead ends or end up reading the same information over and over. Ideally I’m looking for info regarding the size and scope of the class, i.e hull numbers, potential export, timescales for production and commissioning etc.
 

overscan

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I was reading my copy of Rebuilding the Royal Navy by D. K. Brown and George Moore. Whilst browsing the second page of the minor war vessels chapter i came across the following statement. “A minehunting variant of the CMS (Thorpe) Class was designed and three ordered , but they were cancelled before work began”.

I was wondering if anyone else had noticed this and could illuminate me in the matter, as I would be very grateful.

The “CMS” refers to the Ton class minesweeper.
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TomS

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Ah, gotcha. Sadly, I have nothing more on that front. You might reach out to the folks at the Ton Association. Perhaps someone there is familiar with this potential offshoot.

http://tca2000.co.uk/
 

Comrade Dave

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Excellent! Thanks a lot. I can always turn to this forum for information that eludes me :D
 

Hood

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I would agree with TomS, that the planned Thorpe class may well have been little different from the later conversions.
The important unknowns at this time are, the exact dates of the design work and the cancellation. The Type 193 sonar seems to date from the early 1960s so its possible some other kind of sonar was intended for the Thorpes, indeed it may have the lack of a suitable sonar that ended the attempt to build them.
 

Comrade Dave

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I think, perhaps, they may have just been Ton minesweepers cancelled and reordered as the minehunter type potentially as it was originally intended to order 167 CMS’s and only 118 were ever built for the RN. I might make a big thread on 1950s Coastal forces but I’ll have a brush up on the rules and mooch about the forum to find the right place for it first.
 

Hood

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I look forward to seeing your post. The 1950s coastal forces seem to often get overlooked and there were some interesting developments in the period with several classes like the Gay, Dark and Ford classes, not to mention the two experimental Bold class MTBs.
 

JFC Fuller

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A Google books search reveals that "Historic Ships: The Survivors" by Paul Brown states that the three Thorpe class vessels were cancelled in March 1953 due to the lack of a suitable Mine Hunting sonar. A quick search of the National Archives reveals 10 documents that appear to be about the development of mine hunting equipment between about 1953 and 1955 that would definitely be worth a look. Going by the dates on other documents it looks like Type 193 came out of this work, the designation appearing between 1956 and 1958, but without getting to Kew further detail is impossible.
 
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