HMS Saumarez

Unit Card:


Set - Rarity - Number

Flank Speed - Common - 8/40


James Saumarez, 1st Baron de Saumarez GCB was a fighting sailor of the mold from which Patrick O'Brien later cast the fictional Lucky Jack Aubrey, and it is fitting that Saumarez himself appears in the Aubrey-Maturnin series. Outside of fiction, Saumarez followed Nelson to glory at the Battles of Cape St. Vincent and the Nile, before taking command of his own force he captured and destroyed a handful of ships from a superior enemy force at the Battle of Algeciras. It is fitting then, that Saumarez's namesake, the S-class destroyer HMS Saumarez, was in the thick of the fighting after her commissioning in 1943.

The nearly identical S and T classes of destroyer were quickly designed and built during the war to provide convoy escorts. For this role they carried a heavy anti-submarine armament and sacrificed a bit in the way of gunnery when compared to similar sized RN destroyers like the Tribal class (see Arunta or Haida) or J-K-N class (see Javelin or Van Galen). It was while escorting convoys through the Arctic that Saumarez and three of her S-class sisters achieved notoriety by comprising part of the force that sank German battleship Scharnhorst at the Battle of North Cape. Though it was battleship Duke of York that finished Scharnhorst off, the plucky destroyers claimed three torpedo hits between them that slowed the German ship down. Damaged by a near-miss during the battle, Saumarez crept home on minimal power before being repaired in time to provide part of the escort for the Normandy landings. While engaged in that duty, Saumarez engaged a German coastal convoy off of St. Peter Port, Guernsey the birth-place of the fighting sailor whose name this fighting ship bore.


Every UK destroyer has Sub Hunter SA (and why shouldn’t they against Doenitz’s wolfpacks?) But the Saumarez stands out with a 6 ASW rating.

Saumarez's abilities in the game match her historical performance. With sub-hunter and a very high ASW rating of six, Suamarez is a fine ASW escort. Her brightest qualities, and the ones that set her apart from other British destroyers are the SA's Night Fighter and Battleship Killer. Because of her low gunnery, Night Fighter isn't much use in a day-light game, but certainly proves a boon in night-time battles. It is Battleship Killer, however, which makes Saumarez easily the most potent Allied surface torpedo option. A pile of Saumarezes, perhaps augmented by smoking Javelins should scare even the largest enemy battleship. Try to use sub-hunter to pull Saumarez an extra sector closer to an enemy battleship to get to close torpedo range.

Plastic Figure Notes:

As with all destroyers, the sculpt isn't exactly inspiring. It does have a decent paint job that makes it stand out from those mediocre units such as Le Terrible and the Javelin.

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