Thiarian Mine Warfare Vessels
The Thiarians had always placed great emphasis on mine warfare. They however never built specialized minelayers before 1918, preferring to refit older vessels for the role. After the first world war, Thiaria’s minelayer fleet consisted of eight former gunboats, four former torpedo gunboats and one old cruiser. Three more old cruisers were refitted to minelayers immediately after the war. All of these ships had two decades of service on their backs, including two wars (1908 and 1916-18) and needed replacement rather sooner than later; none lasted into the second world war, with the last two cruiser minelayers being scrapped in 1938. All new Thiarian minelayers were ordered in the interwar period; surface minelayers were discontinued during the war, because the prewar buildup was considered sufficient and losses were low before 1943. Also, minelaying was increasingly performed by aircraft and submarines.
1.1. Tir Parthas-Class
Construction of Thiaria’s first purpose-built Minelayer class commenced in 1924 to replace the wholly spent former gunboats. They had short, beamy hulls displacing 1.200 tons, with a false poop which in fact was only protective plating over the aft mine rails. Diesel engines were proposed, but rejected due to reliability concerns, so steam turbines were installed to provide 16 knots of speed. The hulls were identical with the contemporary Spiorad-Naomh-class survey ships, which however lacked the false poop. Two 100mm LA guns (WWI vintage model, built for uncomplete M-class destroyers) were installed ad main armament; for air defence, this class was among the first Thiarian ships to be fitted with the new semi-automatic 37mm gun, of which two twin mounts were placed side-by-side atop the aft deckhouse. They could carry 200 mines, 120 on two rails along the side ready to deploy and another 80 in a hold forward, which was served by a heavy crane. They also had rudimentary sweeping gear in case of need. They were named for Islands around the Thiarian mainland: Tir Parthas, Eilean Iar, Tir Bronntanas, and Naomh Iognaid. One each was laid down in 1925 through 1928 (together with one Spiorad-Naomh-Class half sister each year), and the class completed between 1928 and 1930.
By the time the war started, they remained pretty much unchanged; they had HF/DF and two single 20mm cannon added in 1940/1. They were employed to maintain the complex defensive minefields protecting Thiaria’s major naval bases and for mine warfare training, so they rarely left home waters. Consequently, there were no combat losses, although Tir Brontanas was lost in an accident while loading mines in 1942.
The other three received air and surface search radar in 1943/4; their priority was low, and the sets installed were first generation, having been removed from destroyers to install more modern ones. Another two 20mm cannon were added forward on all three. They also received hydrophones in case they would be needed as escorts – all Spiorad-Naomh-class survey ships were converted to convoy escorts early in the war – but no further modifications were made, and they emerged from the war as minelayers.
They were disarmed and employed as minesweeper tenders for another twenty years, then scrapped in the early seventies.
With the converted cruisers reaching the end of their lifespan as well, there still was a requirement for more minelayers in the late 1920s. The Navy wanted a type which could double as a foreign station gunboat if necessary, requiring 20 knots of speed and an armament up to the limit of the sloop category. In the end, a relatively slender flush-decked 2.000 ton hull with four 130mm LA guns was adopted, backed up by no less than eight semi-automatic 37mm cannon; the latter were considered necessary because this class was intended for offensive minelaying in enemy waters, where the air threat was considered real even in the 1920s. Steam turbines were again chosen (this time for weight reasons), and 20 knots were easily secured; with the power installed, they were actually capable of 24 knots, but this was not publicized. Mine capacity was the same as on the Tir Parthas type, but all 200 mines were ready to deploy on the mine rails. Like their predecessors, they were named for Islands: Uibhreasail and Fomoir were laid down in 1929, Alba Nua and Eilean Deilf in 1930.
As completed, they were rated very seaworthy and habitable, and their design greatly influenced the very similar, but slower Spanish Jupiter-class; their hulls also provided the basis for four small aviation tenders and the same number of fast attack transports for the Marine Commandoes (to be posted later under amphibious ships and auxiliaries, respectively). In 1939, they received six twin 13mm AAMGs each to further strengthen their anti-air muscle. When the war started, they were indeed employed on offensive mining missions against Patagonia and South Africa, resulting in the loss of Eilean Deilf in February 1941, sunk in a fierce gunnery action by a Patagonian Destroyer.
As the war progressed, offensive minelaying was taken over by the newer D-class fast minelayers and submarines, and the Uibhreasail-class found themselves short of a mission. This allowed their retrofit with a full radar suite and six single 20mm cannon instead of the MGs during 1942, but when they emerged, they still were not really needed in their intended role and mostly performed patrol duties (their supreme seakeeping made them particularly suitable for operations in Antarctic waters).
During 1943, it was decided to convert them to convoy escorts. They landed their main guns and received two twin 100mm DP mounts instead; their four twin semi-automatic 37mm mounts were replaced with six single fully-automatic 37mm ones. Eight single 20mm guns were installed as light AA, and a very heavy DC complement was embarked. Electronics were also partly renovated, but they retained the old meter-wave AA search sets.
In this guise, Alba Nua was lost to a British submarine. The other two survived the war, but were scrapped soon afterwards, because enough newer escorts remained available and their engines were badly in need of refurbishing.
In the mid-1930s, it had become clear that offensive minelaying in enemy waters was extremely difficult for surface ships; to pull off such a mission, a very fast vessel with excellent defensive armament was needed. Thiaria’s answer were the big C-class mine cruisers of 1934 vintage, but these units were likely to be used for fleet duty most of the time. In 1936, the decision was made to supplement them with smaller vessels which were more specialized as minelayers. The hulls owed much to contemporary destroyer leaders, with two widely spaced funnels and a steeply raked clipper bow, but they were widened for a displacement of slightly over 3.000 tons and had round sterns to eliminate the suction effect of transom sterns which was detrimental to minelaying. They featured half again the machinery of an R-class destroyer, totaling 72.000 SHP for a design speed of 35 knots. Armament consisted of three of the brand-new 130mm twin DP turrets and a single 37mm quad turret, augmented by no less than 32 13mm AAMGs; fire control arrangements were top-notch. Armour was not included in the package; they nevertheless had robust hulls with longitudinal framing and good internal subdivision. Like the Uibhreasail-class, they were very good sea boats and habitable into the bargain. Due to their size and speed, they discontinued the tradition of naming minelayers for Islands and received traditional cruiser names, all starting with a D: Dibheirg (Revenge) and Dluthchomhar (Solidarity) were laid down in 1937; Dushlan (Challenge) and Diograis (Ardour) in 1938. Dibheirg completed in 1940, Dluthchomhar and Dushlan in 1941 and Diograis in 1942. The first two had no radar as completed; like all minelayers, they were painted in raider blue.
The next pair was finished with a complete first generation radar suite. Dushlan also had sixteen 20mm cannon upon completion. The other three were retrofitted to this standard till late 1942.
They proved extremely versatile and soon were among the busiest vessels in the Thiarian Navy. Apart from offensive mining operations, which they conducted all across the South Atlantic, they were used for high-priority transport missions and to insert Special Forces teams in hostile areas. They also helped out as convoy escorts, and on a few occasions accompanied raiding task forces. They repeatedly encountered enemy surface forces and usually defeated them in artillery actions. Dibheirg sank the Patagonian Tribal-class destroyer HMPS Tehuelche in a pitched battle in February 1941 near Cape Hoorn, but was badly damaged herself; in another remarkable engagement in mid-1942, Dluthchomhar was intercepted by the old British destroyers HMS Spragge and HMS Venturous 250 miles south of Durban, but managed to blow up the former from extreme distance and then shoot up the latter beyond recognition as the British tried to get into torpedo range, herself absorbing 22 120mm hits without having her speed and seaworthiness significantly impaired. A few weeks later, Diograis sank the 20.000 ton AMC Carinthia with gunfire. The crews of these minelayers quickly assumed elite status, and their priority for modernization was upgraded accordingly. Dushlan was lost to Brazilian land based aircraft off Recife late in 1942, but the other three received improved electronics, ASDIC and a heavy DC outfit in 1943; Diograis became one of the first Thiarian warships to be fitted with a new decimeter wave air search radar.
The other two received this set when their entire radar suite was replaced in late 1943/early 1944. They also received another eight 20mm cannon, bringing the total to 20.
Unfortunately, none of these excellent ships survived the war. Diograis was sunk by Recherchean surface forces in July 1944, when she belonged to a Thiarian last-ditch effort to repulse a large Recherchean raid, and the other two were both scuttled by their loyalist crews, who refused to join the rebellion against the Murchada-regime, in October 1944.
At the end of the Great War, the Thiarian fleet had 24 purpose-built oceangoing minesweepers, 40 minesweeping trawlers and 12 former destroyers refitted as coastal minesweepers. There also were twelve former coastal torpedo boats used as inshore minesweepers. This force was curtailed in the 1920s; the trawlers were all sold off or handed to the Coast Guard, the torpedo boats were scrapped without replacement, and eight of the ocean minesweepers were disarmed and fitted as salvage tugs for the coast guard. Consequently, only sixteen Great War minesweepers saw service in this capacity during the Second World war.
2.1. Surviving Great War era ships
These successful tug-type mineswepers of 500 tons were slow (13 knots), but seaworthy and reliable. Most had been commissioned late in the First World War or shortly after; all were in good shape and remained in service virtually unaltered. They were named for birds: Coirneach (Osprey), Frigead (Frigatebird), Canog (Shearwater), Cruidin (Kingfisher), Gainead (Gannet), Faoilean (Gull), Fulmaire (Fulmar), Fainleog (Swallow), Colur (Pigeon), Lasairean (Flamingo), Faracha (Guillemot), Eala (Swan), Saidbhear (Kittiwake), Tucan (Toucan), Ibis (Ibis) and Pearaid (Parrot). All were re-armed with a single 75mm gun on a HA mount in the 1930s, replacing the former armament of one 100mm LA gun and one 65mm AA gun.
During the war, they were mostly employed around the Thiarian mainland and for training; losses were moderate (5 units, of which 4 were mined and one sunk by a Brazilian submarine). By 1943, most had landed their mainmast and were fitted with a surface-search radar, two 20mm cannon and usually two, sometimes four 13mm AAMGs.
After the war, the remaining 11 units were too worn for further service and quickly discarded.
2.2. Interwar Minesweeper designs
With the Coirneach-class considered a very satisfactory design, the Thiarians went on to order a slightly enlarged second batch to replace the old ex-destroyers. At 600 tons, engine power was doubled (oil firing and turbines were introduced, while the Coirneachs were still coal-fired and used VTE engines) and speed increased to 18 knots. They were armed with a single 75mm gun on a HA mount, but without air defence fire control. Four annual batches of four boats each were constructed at a leisurely pace between 1923 and 1926; they were completed between 1925 and 1927 and continued the tradition of being named for birds: Seabhac (Hawk), Iolar (Eagle), Ulchabhan (Eagle Owl), Meirliun (Merlin), Croman (Harrier), Bultur (Vulture), Cur (Kite), Screachog (Owl), Pocaire (Kestrel), Fabhcun (Peregrine Falcon), Clamhan (Buzzard), Condar (Condor), Preachan (Crow), Meirleach (Skua), Spiorog (Sparrowhawk) and Naoscach (Snipe).
They were robust and reliable like their predecessors, but with their new large superstructures, they were not quite as stable and less oceangoing as had been hoped. By 1940, most were fitted with eight 13mm AAMGs and HF/DF.
Like the Coirneachs, they mostly stayed close to Thiaria’s home shores, although some were employed to sweep in the River Plate estuary in 1941/2. War losses were more severe; nine were sunk during the war (four mined, two torpedoed, one bombed, one sunk by Brazilian surface forces and one foundered in a storm). Most of the survivors had a total of six 20mm cannon and a submarine-type radar set when the war was over.
As enough newer minesweepers were available in 1945, no Seabhac-class ship was retained, and all were sold or scrapped before 1950. Their basic design was revived in 1938 for a large fleet tug, of which two dozens were ordered (to be posted later under auxiliaries).
2.2.2. Tririnn-Class (Batch 1)
When rebuilding of the Thiarian fleet picked up momentum in the early 1930s, the Navy asked for a truly oceangoing minesweeper which could accompany the battlefleet and the new amphibious force all the way to enemy shores and clear the way for amphibious assaults and shore bombardment missions. To achieve the necessary speed, range and seaworthiness, these ocean minesweepers would have to be so large that they could double as minelayers or convoy escorts as well. In 1933, a design was drawn up which displaced 850 tons and had a LCWL of 73 meters, making them the largest minesweeper type worldwide, together with the British Halcyon-class. To keep requirement for turbines down, they received triple expansion engines for a speed of 20 knots (only on short sprints; 18 knots was the sustainable maximum) and long forecastles with clipper bows for optimum seakeeping. Apart from their sweeping equipment, all were fitted for minelaying (capacity 80 mines). Armament consisted of a single LA 100mm gun forward and a single HA 75mm gun aft. Four each were ordered under the 1934 through 1939 programmes; they were not meant as replacements for existing minesweepers, but as a fleet expansion. To set them apart from existing minesweepers, they were named for weapons rather than for birds: Tririnn (Trident), Halbard (Halberd), Mas (Mace), Lascadh (Whip) – 1934 programme; Crosbogha (Crossbow), Pice (Pike), Arcabas (Harquebus), Claiomh (Sword) – 1935 programme; Colpa (Morningstar), Reithe (Ram), Baisileasc (Basilisk), Lamhan (Gauntlet) – 1936 programme; Tuachatha (Tomahawk), Suiste (Flail), Pleascan (Pole Charge), Lansa (Lance) – 1937 programme; Casur (Hammer), Cairbin (Carbine), Muirgha (Harpoon), Raidhfil (Rifle),– 1938 programme; Cuillebhrainn (Culverin), Seideadan (Blowpipe), Beaignit (Bayonet), Scairp (Scorpion) – 1939 programme. All were contracted to smaller yards, and construction times initially exceeded two years. They were considered excellent sea boats, and their basic design was upscaled by 50% to provide the initial blueprint for the Iaguar-class escorts.
The 1936 and later units were completed with HF/DF and eight 13mm AAMGs in four twin mounts; they also had passive sonar in preparation for a possible use as escorts. The earlier ships were retrofitted with the AAMGs till 1940, but would not receive the passive sonar prior to 1942, when they embarked acoustic and magnetic minesweeping gear.
The 1938 and 1939 units were completed in 1940/1 with acoustic minesweeping gear, which the earlier units would receive in 1941/2.
Starting in 1942, they were retrofitted with single 20mm cannon instead of their 13mm AAMGs. Most received radar during that year, although only surface search sets.
Only ten – Halbard, Lascadh, Claiomh, Colpa, Baisileasc, Tuachatha, Pleascan, Casur, Muirgha and Beaignit – received a full radar outfit including air search radars on the mainmast. They also landed their 75mm HA gun in favour of a single fully automatic 37mm autocannon and received an extension to their bridge wings mounting an additional 20mm twin on each side in 1943. These ten were frequently employed as escorts, landing their sweeps and embarking two DC rails and four K-guns. This modification could be effected in 12 hours in port or by a minesweeper tender, and the boats regularly changed their outfit during the rest of the war.
There were little further modifications to the first batch after 1943, whose engines had deteriorated from hard use and were only good for 16 knots by that; nevertheless they remained in front line service throughout the war. As they often had to operate in contested waters, particularly in the River Plate estuary and off the Patagonian and Brazilian coast, and later also in convoy escort missions, losses were heavy. Mas, Halbard, Crosbogha, Pice, Reithe, Baisileasc, Lamhan, Lansa, Cairbin, Cuillebhrainn and Seideadan were lost for a variety of reasons. Tririnn was scuttled in the civil war. The twelve survivors of the first batch were stripped of their MCM, minelaying and ASW gear after the war and handed over to the Coast Guard. By the mid-fifties, all were re-engined with diesels for 16 knots speed and refitted with a single radar-controlled 37mm gun forward, plus firefighting and salvage gear.
Like most Thiarian coast guard vessels, these ships enjoyed long postwar careers. The first four were decommissioned in the mid 1960s, the last eight in the early 1970s.
2.3. Minesweepers of the wartime programme
2.3.1. Tririnn-Class (Batch 2)
When the war started, the Tririnn-class was selected as standard type for the war emergency production programme. Despite their size and complexity, the yards employed to build them had cut production time from 24 to about 18 months for the 1938/9 units, and as the expectation that turbines would become a production bottleneck had not materialized, the new batch received turbine propulsion and were now capable of sustaining their top speed for extended time periods. Further modifications included the replacement of the forward 100mm LA gun by a longer-barreled 100mm DP gun with much improved performance, and all were fitted with acoustic and magnetic sweeps from the beginning. Seven were laid down in 1940: Muirchlaiomh (Cutlass), Sailleille (Shillelagh), Smachtin (Cudgel), Muscaed (Musket), Pionsa (Fleuret), Piocoid (Pick) and Pairtisean (Partisan); eleven in 1941: Bladhm (Flame), Tuairgin (Spiked Maul), Onagair (Onager), Raipear (Rapier), Bogha (Bow), Tribog (Trebuchet), Ga (Spear), Suaitheantas (Banner), Clogad (Helmet), Mangunail (Mangonel) and Claiomh Mor (Claymore); thirteen in 1942: Scuirse (Scourge), Moirtear (Mortar), Simeatar (Scimitar), Macana (Indian Spear), Brashall (Bugle), Sciann (Knife), Buailtin (Mace), Piostal (Pistol), Cruinnsciath (Buckler), Granaid (Grenade), Miodog (Dagger), Saighead (Arrow) and Mianach (Mine); sixteen in 1943: Slea (Javelin), Maiseite (Machete), Smachtin (Cudgel), Ord (Polehammer), Basca (Club), Duirc (Dirk), Gunna Mor (Blunderbuss), Tabhall (Sling), Buama (Bomb), Habhatsar (Howitzer), Buamadoir (Bombard), Canoin (Cannon), Tua (Axe), Catapalt (Catapult), Trostan (Quarterstaff), and Buabhall (Bugle); and eleven in 1944: Speal (Scythe), Peata (Minion), Lochrann (Torch), Buabhall (Bugle), Meirge (Ensign), Maillead (Mallet), Marcrachlaiomh (Sabre), Lubmaille (Hauberk), Gunnorgain (Ribauldequin), Ghraingunna (Shotgun) and Stilin (Stiletto) – for a grand total of 56 Batch 2 units. Eight further units were authorized for 1944, but never laid down nor named. Muirchlaoimh was the first to be completed, after 19 months, in December 1941.
The others (in the order given above) followed thus: eight in 1942, twelve in 1943 and fifteen in 1944 (two after the armistice), for a total of 36 completed units. This included all 1940, 1941 and 1942 boats; of the 1943 batch, only Slea, Maiseite, Smachtin, Ord and Basca were completed. Only the 1940 boats were completed with 13mm AAMGs; from Bladhm onwards, they had four single 20mm upon commissioning. Tuairgin was the first unit of the class to go on her first mission as an escort; like the Batch 1 units, these boats were suited for ASW work, but suffered from poor performance of their lightweight ASDIC, which was essentially a field conversion of an acoustic minesweeping emitter.
Raipear served as prototype for replacing the 75mm gun with a 37mm autocannon aft; of the 1941 units, only four were completed with this fit (Raipear, Suaitheantas, Mangunail and Claiomh Mor). They also swapped their surface only radar with a submarine-type multirole radar to further enhance their AA capabilities. Many were later retrofitted this way, similar to the Batch 1 units.
The 1942 and later boats incorporated all previous improvements from the start: two radar sets, ECM, IFF, HF/DF, and extended bridge wings with two additional 20mm twins for a total of eight barrels. Additionally, they had two additional 37mm singles for a total of three.
By 1944, these improvements were retrofitted to most older units. By that time, the majority of the class did escort duty.
War losses were considerable. Muirchlaiomh, Muscaed, Piocoid, Onagair, Bogha, Tribog, Ga, Suaitheantas, Claiomh Mor, Moirtear, Brashall, Granaid, Mianach and Ord were sunk for various reasons. Despite their doubtless qualities, these vessels were not popular as prizes; the Allies had minesweepers aplenty. Only the Russians demanded – and got – four boats, plus one for cannibalizing. Sixteen (Sailleille, Smachtin, Pionsa, Pairtisean, Bladhm, Tuairgin, Raipear, Mangunail, Scuirse, Simeatar, Macana, Buailtin, Piostal, Cruinnsciath, Miodog and Saighead) were retained by the Thiarian postwar fleet and intensely employed in clearing wartime defensive minefields; for this purpose, they were disarmed, retaining only two 20mm cannon for detonating mines.
The class remained in service afterwards, and during the late 1950s, they were thoroughly refurbished. They received diesel-electric engines instead of their old turbine plants, all new sweeping gear, a high-end sonar, US sourced radar and commo gear, new superstructure with contemporary command/control facilities and a single radar-guided 37mm gun forward.
In this guise, they lasted till the early 1980s; the last one was scrapped in 1988.
These medium-sized motor minesweepers were derived from the Sruthgabhal-class seagoing submarine chasers; they were identical except in that they carried sweeping gear rather than ASW equipment. A total of 40 were laid down in 1940 through 1944, averaging eight per year. They picked up the tradition that minesweepers be named for birds. Their names were Sleibhin (Black-Headed Gull), Guairdeall (Albatros), Clampran (Petrel), Sciobaire (Darter), Crosan (Razorbill), Screachan (Shrike), Morulchabhan (Horned Owl), Runai (Secretarybird), Falcog (Auk), Ladhran (Yellowlegs), Eigrit (Egret), Ceann Cait (Long-eared Owl), Corrbhan (Stork), Mallard (Mallard), Puifin (Puffin), Caracara (Caracara), Bonnan (Bittern), Praslacha (Teal), Geabhrog (Tern), Gabhlan (Martin), Roilleach (Oystercatcher), Peacog (Peacock), Bubai (Booby), Seaga (Shag), Ulscreachog (Screech Owl), Foracha (Guillemot), Piardalai (Turnstone), Gobadan (Sandpiper). Ostrais (Ostrich), Lasairean (Flamingo). Crotach (Curlew), Ceatsal (Quetzal), Cadhan (Brant), Mionulchabhan (Pygmy Owl), Feadog (Plover), Coscaroba (Dwarf Swan), Foitheach (Grebe), Abhoisead (Avocet), Siolta (Mergus) and Grus (Crane). Six were completed in 1941, seven in 1942, nine in 1943 and five in 1944 for a total of 27. They were not important (nor large) enough for radar, and up to 1943, they did not receive 20mm cannon either. The first ten had no magnetic sweeping gear.
The other 18 had, and the last twelve were completed with four single 20mm cannon and no 13mm MGs. Retrofits were rare, because these units were too busy keeping the supply ports in the South American continent open, which were constantly mined by allied airplanes and submarines.
The nine war losses were due to mines (5), air attack (3) and an accident. Three unrepaired damaged units were scrapped postwar and one delivered to the Soviet Union as a prize for trials. All others were disarmed and used to clear wartime defensive minefields till 1948. Twelve were then refitted as patrol craft, emerging identical to their Sruthgabhal class half-sisters, and handed down to the Coast Guard. They served as rescue and patrol craft till the late 1970s. Most were cannibalized to keep others of their class running.
As soon as the war had started, the Thiarian Navy launched a large programme of motor minesweeping boat construction for inshore and riverine work. The hull was 40 meters long and displaced 180 tons; they were wooden and powered by petrol engines, and were rated as ‘boats’ rather than ‘ships’, hence the black underwater hulls. They were armed with a single 20mm cannon and two 13mm MGs, plus sweeping gear; they were not able to sweep magnetic mines. Of 160 units approved, 104 were laid down between 1941 and 1944; they were named for birds, mostly songbirds: Patraisc (Partridge), Oireal (Oriole), Tuirnelin (Nightjar), Spideog (Robin), Glasan (Finch), Filimeala (Nightingale), Cnoshnag (Nuthatch), Pilibin (Lapwing), Sacan (Fieldfare), Meantan (Tit), Traonach (Corncrake), Gabha (Dipper), Snag Breac (Magpie), Canarai (Canary), Lasair (Goldfinch), Rufachan (Ruff), Droimneach (Black-backed Gull), Colm (Dove), Laidhrin (Greenshank), Druid (Starling), Deargan (Redwing), Siodeiteach (Waxwing), Siscin (Siskin), Dordean (Hummingbird), Feadlacha (Whistling Duck), Lon (Blackbird), Cnagaire (Woodpecker), Leitheadach (Spoonbill), Loma (Loon), Mionghe (Pygmy Goose), Guilbneach (Godwit), Ciorlacha (Crested Duck), Tarmachan (Ptarmigan), Scotar (Scoter), Rucach (Rook), Gadual (Gadwall), Orshuileach (Goldeneye Duck), Guilbnin (Dowitcher), Slapaire (Shoveler Duck), Poiseard (Pochard), Luathran (Sanderling), Glasog (Wagtail), Riabhog (Pipin), Scodalach (Stilt), Eadar (Eider), Sudhiulai (Sapsucker), Ceollaire (Warbler), Hupu (Hoopoe), Smolach (Thrush), Ge (Goose), Tanagair (Tanager), Buiog (Yellowhammer), Gormphib (Bluethroat), Luachairin (Junco), Reathai (Roadrunner), Ciorbhui (Goldcrest), Parul (Parula), Glasean (Vireo), Donnog (Dunnock), Lasairchior (Firecrest), Cuilire (Flycatcher), Breacan (Brambling), Corcran (Bullfinch), Earrdheargan (Redstart), Rolloir (Roller), Gilphib (Whitethroat), Fuiseog (Lark), Creabhar (Woodcock), Deargeadan (Redpoll), Cuach (Cuckoo), Cosdeargan (Redshank), Cag (Jackdaw), Morghe (Snow Goose), Ralog (Rail), Liathchearg (Grouse), Coitinge (Cotinga), Clochran (Wheatear), Pratancol (Pratincole), Gleoiseach (Linnet), Cearc (Coot), Rirua (Chaffinch), Caislin (Flycatcher), Chirlghealog (Bunting), Beachadoir (Bee-Eater), Boboilinc (Bobolink), Fearan (Turtledove), Cearcog (Gallinule), Snamhai (Wallcreeper), Gearr (Sora), Gobach (Grosbeak), Eanoighinn (Ovenbird), Crosghob (Crossbill), Gobhdainin (Stint), Rasai (Courser), Cuilia (Quelea), Curaso (Curassew), Cnoire (Nutcracker), Cnota (Knot), Proighan (Prion), Gearg (Quail), Bustard (Florikan), Sicin (Chicken), Amadan (Dotterel) and Musclacha (Muscovy Duck). 80 were completed (Cearc being the last one), half of which served as minesweepers throughout their careers, manned by Naval Militia personnel.
A dozen were fitted as river gunboats for use on the Parana and other South American rivers. They received two 75/30 tank guns, two 13mm MGs and two 81mm mortars. Unlike other Thiarian riverine warfare craft, which came with Army crews, these boats retained their naval militia crews.
Of the later units, 28 were fitted as stopgap coastal submarine chasers in 1944 with two depth charge rails instead of sweeping gear (ten had been completed as minesweepers, the other 18 were converted while under construction). K-guns were proposed, but never installed, and they had neither sonar nor radar. Like the motor minesweepers, they were operated by the Naval Militia. The boats commissioned in 1944 were usually not camouflaged; the Naval Militia was no longer issued with camouflage paint after 1943.
War losses amounted to 25 (14 minesweepers, 5 sub-chasers, 6 river gunboats); as they were built quickly and rather shabbily, they did not have a long postwar life. About 20 were retained as tenders and service craft till the late 1950s, the rest were sold straight away. In civilian use, some lasted until the 1970s, but by 1980, none were left.
In 1940/1, the Thiarian government requisitioned 68 trawlers, 21 whalers and 87 drifters of all ages and sizes, which were manned by naval militia personnel (usually their peacetime crews plus some overage reservists). All retained their previous names (re-naming a ship is considered extremely bad luck) and often their peacetime paintjobs, too. They were armed with stored weaponry of pre-WWI vintage, mostly 47mm and 65mm breach-loaders and 37mm revolvers, plus some MGs for AA work; depending on local requirements, either DCs or sweeps were fitted (and frequently changed). These ships were not on the priority list for radar and sonar. Although officially dubbed as auxiliary minesweepers, they were also used for offshore escort, patrol, rescue and salvage duties. To offset losses and further bolster this useful fleet, the naval militia administration ordered 20 600-ton trawlers of one of the most recent prewar types in late fall 1941 from two minor yards (Meara’s of An Thuaidh and Payeur of Firinnea). Modifications to militarize them were minimal, mostly changes to bridgework; they also were armed with single 1890s vintage 65mm guns forward (theoretically HA capable, but without any fire control) and four 13mm HMGs in side by side tubs aft. The contract demanded delivery within one year; in fact, construction times between 10 and 16 months were achieved; the last of the first batch were delivered in mid-1943. By mid-1942, the order was extended infinitely; the builders were effectively ordered to keep building until told to stop. Another 40 were laid down in 1943 and 1944, and 52 were delivered till early 1945, the last 6 after the armistice. The purpose-built trawlers were named for trees: Dair (Oak), Siorghlas (Thuja). Mailp (Maple). Arocar (Chilean Pine). Seiceamar (Sycamore), Mahagaine (Mahogany), Teac (Teak), Sailchearnach (Willow), Cronghiuis (Sequoia), Eadhadh (Aspen), Pailm (Palm), Cadas (Cotton Tree), Almoinn (Almond), Hicearai (Hickory), Leamhan (Elm), Giuis (Fir), Beallai (Golden Rain), Sleamhan (Hornbeam), Caithne (Arbutus), Mora (Mora), Guabha (Guave), Poibleog (Poplar), Peine (Pine), Crannrubair (Rubber Tree), Ceadras (Cypress), Fuinseog (Ash), Eabann (Ebony), Tamaraisc (Tamarisk), Aiteal (Juniper), Eotairp (Euterpe Palm), Santal (Sandal), Tiogarog (Tigerwood Tree), Teile (Linden), Balsa (Balsa Tree), Saileach (Osier), Caorthann (Rowan), Ceadar (Cedar), Iorog (Iroko), Iur (Yew), Sprus (Spruce), Learog (Larch), Olog (Olive Tree), Sceach (Hawthorn), Plana (Plane), Beith (Birch), Gallchno (Walnut Tree) – completed during the war; Locaiste (Honey Locust), Fea (Beech), Acaicia (Acacia), Labhras (Laurel), Caprais (Caper), Fige (Fig) – completed after the armistice; Rosog (Rose Bush), Castan (Chestnut), Coll (Hazel Tree), Trumpog (Trumpet Tree), Eidhnean (Ivy), Draighean (Blackthorn), Abhacad (Avocado Tree) and Cainche (Quince Tree) – not completed.
Like the requisitioned civilian fishing vessels, these craft were employed on a multitude of missions and frequently switched between sweeps and depth charges. After mid-1943, most received another two twin 13mm AAMGs forward, HF/DF and hydrophones; there however was no way to provide these vessels with radar, ASDIC or 20mm cannon. Like all vessels of the naval militia, the trawlers were painted ocean gray overall after mid-1943 due to a shortage of camouflage paint.
18 were lost during the war: six to mines, five to airstrikes, three to accidents, three to submarines (two of them in surface actions against Brazilian Mackerel-class boats) and one to a Recherchean destroyer. The survivors were all sold within a few months after the armistice; due to their rushed construction and shabby finish, none lasted longer than 20 years postwar. By 1965, all were scrapped.