The Improved Marksman class leaders
or Parker class leaders
(erroneously called Anzac class leaders
) were a class
of six destroyer leaders
completed for the Royal Navy
during 1916-17 for World War I
service. They were named after famed historical naval leaders, except for Anzac
, which was named to honour the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps
. They were the last major Royal Navy warships to be ordered with three shafts, a design that was never widely adopted in British
The Parkers were based on the design of the preceding Marksman class leaders and shared the same hull design and dimensions, but, significantly, the bridge was moved aft (requiring 3 funnels, instead of the 4 in the Marksmans). This allowed a superfiring gun to be added on a shelter deck. This crucial design change was to set the trend for future designs. It allowed for 2 forward guns with unobstructed training arcs (previous designs often had guns side-by-side), but more significantly, the elevated "B" gun was workable in heavy seas. This increased the fighting efficiency of destroyers, previously limited by seas breaking across the fo'c'sle making the guns unworkable.
Another design improvement over previous types was the adoption of director-controlled firing. Rather than allowing individual gun crews to lay and fire their guns, the firing solution was worked out on a central director table (a type of mechanical computer), supplied with target information by a sight and rangefinder carried on the bridge. Firing was directly commanded by the gunnery officer, improving accuracy, and this system was adopted as standard from the pioneering "V and W" class of 1917 onwards.
The first pair were ordered under the War Emergency Programme in February 1915; the first vessel was initially named Frobisher
, but was renamed Parker
The next three ships were ordered in July 1915, and the last - Anzac - in December 1915:
- , built by Cammell Laird, laid down 1 July 1915, launched 16 August 1916 and completed November 1916. Lost in collision with destroyer 21 December 1916 off the Shetland Islands.
- , built by Cammell Laird, laid down 23 November 1915, launched 31 August 1916 and completed 30 November 1916. Sold for breaking up 7 January 1930.
- , built by Cammell Laird, laid down 2 March 1916, launched 14 November 1916 and completed 21 December 1916. Sold for breaking up 8 January 1931.
- , built by William Denny and Brothers, Dumbarton, laid down 31 January 1916, launched 11 January 1917 and completed 24 April 1917. Transferred to the Royal Australian Navy in March 1919, and sold for breaking up 8 August 1935.
- Destroyers of the Royal Navy, 1893-1981, Maurice Cocker, 1983, Ian Allan ISBN 0-7110-1075-7
- Jane's Fighting Ships, 1919, Jane's Publishing