Every good thing comes to an end

Described as a “light cruiser” by Janes and others at the time, the Type 82 RN destroyer, HMS Bristol (D23), when ordered in 1963, was pretty impressive for a tin can, weighing in at 7,100-tons. For reference, this was almost twice the size of the Daring-class destroyers that preceded her or the Charles F. Adams-class DDGs under construction at the time for the U.S., West Germany, and Australia.

HMS Bristol, the only Type 82 destroyer built.

Further, the previous HMS Bristol afloat had been a Town-class light cruiser during the Great War, so the label of cruiser seemed to fit, although the admirals no doubt thought the “destroyer” descriptor would help provide a modicum of camouflage from the bean counters.

However, the Admiralty in the end never saw money for more of the Type 82s– or the large carriers they were to protect– and Bristol was to be the sole ship of her class.

The follow-on Type 42 destroyers were much smaller vessels with aluminum superstructures, akin to the Adams and Darings– only even more slight. Tragically, two early Type 42s, Sheffield and Coventry, were sent to the bottom in 1982 after suffering from Argentine airstrikes. Debating whether larger and more capable Type 82s in the same position would have survived is academic, but it does make you wonder.

Bristol was in the Falklands too and served as Task Force flagship after the carriers left for Portsmouth once Port Stanley fell.

Type 82 destroyer HMS Bristol depicted during the 1982 Falklands War, HMS Invincible clearly visible steaming to her starboard.

Soon after, her days with the fleet were numbered and she was paid off in 1991 after 18 years of frontline service.

Since 1993, she has been docked at Whale Island, Portsmouth, and used as a floating training and accommodation ship both for RN personnel and youth groups like the Sea Cadets.

“Hosting up to 17,000 visitors, including Sea Cadets, annually for 50 weeks a year, she provides the closest thing to a sea-going experience without leaving port,” notes the RN. 

Now, after filling that role for 27 years, the Sea Cadets noted last week that: “HMS Bristol will no longer be with us after the end of 2020.”

Last refit in 2010 for a ten-year lifespan extension, her hull is deemed by the RN to not be worth the pounds these days.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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