Like Corvettes, the sloop was a slow escort (16 knots) vessel, small and somewhat lightly armed. The main design element of this type of ship was long voyages so they could outperform the corvette in this regard.
They were intended for the Mediterranean and South Pacific service which made them cold and miserable ships in the more hostile North Atlantic. One class, Black Swan, that was designed just before the war, was faster (19 knots) and carried more anti-aircraft armament. Sloops generally carried a large number of depth charges and were very well equipped with sensors making then effective U-boat hunters.
The Royal Navy's escort sloop emphasized range and anti- aircraft protection on a destroyer size hull. Destroyers, by contrast, emphasized high speed, low angle guns, and torpedoes for their fleet screen duties. A sloop achieved half a destroyer's speed on 1/10 the horsepower; but ASDIC was useless at higher speeds, and more economical engines offered greater endurance. Destroyer construction took precedence between the wars because destroyers could undertake convoy escort, but sloops could never effectively screen the battle fleet.
The sloop was favored by perhaps the most famous of all Allied ASW commander was Captain Johnnie Walker, RN. Under his command the sloop HMS Starling became the most successful U-boat killer of all.
All Sloop classes
The list is divided by navy, then ordered by commissioned date of each class (oldest first).
Royal Indian Navy
|Cornwallis (2)||1921 - 1939|
|no class name (1)||1934 - 1934|
|24 (3)||1919 - 1925|
|Bridgewater (2)||1929 - 1929|
|Folkestone (5)||1930 - 1931|
|Shoreham (4)||1931 - 1932|
|Falmouth (4)||1932 - 1933|
|Grimsby (13)||1934 - 1940|
|Bittern (3)||1935 - 1938|
|Egret (3)||1938 - 1939|
|Black Swan (8)||1939 - 1943|
|Modified Black Swan (29)||1942 - 1946|
Royal Dutch Navy
|Flores (2)||1926 - 1926|
|Johan Maurits van Nassau (1)||1933 - 1933|
|Van Kinsbergen (1)||1939 - 1939|
|Eritrea (1)||1937 - 1937|
Please note that we list the classes by navies that initiated/owned the class. Often vessels of certain classes were then built for other nations (or lent), those ships are not visible here but only through the navies pages or by looking into each class.
War losses: Sloops
|30 Apr 1940||HMS Bittern (L 07)||Bittern|
|14 May 1940||HNMS Johan Maurits van Nassau (i)||Johan Maurits van Nassau|
|24 Aug 1940||HMS Penzance (L 28)||Folkestone|
|15 Sep 1940||HMS Dundee (L 84)||Falmouth|
|25 May 1941||HMS Grimsby (L 16 / U 16)||Grimsby|
|24 Jun 1941||HMS Auckland (L 61 / U 61)||Egret|
|27 Nov 1941||HMAS Parramatta (L 44 / U 44)||Grimsby|
|31 Jan 1942||HMS Culver (Y 87)||Banff|
|4 Mar 1942||HMAS Yarra (L 77 / U 77)||Grimsby|
|6 Apr 1942||HMIS Indus (L 67 / U 67)||Grimsby|
|8 Nov 1942||HMS Hartland (Y 00)||Banff|
|8 Nov 1942||HMS Walney (Y 04)||Banff|
|10 Nov 1942||HMS Ibis (U 99)||Black Swan|
|27 Aug 1943||HMS Egret (L 75 / U 75)||Egret|
|27 Feb 1944||HMS Woodpecker (U 08)||Modified Black Swan|
|21 Aug 1944||HMS Kite (U 87)||Modified Black Swan|
|17 Feb 1945||HMS Lark (U 11)||Modified Black Swan|
|20 Mar 1945||HMS Lapwing (U 62)||Modified Black Swan|
18 Sloops lost. See all Allied Warship losses.
British destroyers & frigates
Books dealing with this subject include:
British destroyers & frigates, Norman Friedman, 2006