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HMS Zenith (R95)

HMS Zenith 1944 IWM FL 9282
HMS Zenith, 21 December 1944
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Zenith
Ordered: 12 February 1942
Builder: William Denny and Brothers, Dunbarton
Laid down: 19 May 1942
Launched: 5 June 1944
Completed: 22 December 1944
Commissioned: 22 December 1944
Out of service: Sold to Egypt, 1955
Identification: Pennant number: R95 initially, but changed to D95 after 1945
Motto: 'This above all'
Badge: A sun with rays
Name: El Fateh
Acquired: 1955
Commissioned: 28 August 1956
Identification: Pennant number:921
Status: Unclear. Name transferred 2017.
General characteristics
Class and type: Z-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,710 tons
Length: 362.7 ft (110.6 m)
Beam: 35.7 ft (10.9 m)
  • Geared turbines
  • two shafts
  • 40,000 hp (30,000 kW)
Speed: 37 knots (69 km/h; 43 mph)
Complement: 186

HMS Zenith was a Z-class destroyer of the Royal Navy built as by William Denny and Brothers, Dunbarton. She was ordered as part of the 10th Emergency Flotilla, and was originally to have been named HMS Wessex. She spent her first ten years in Royal Navy service, before being sold to the Egyptian Navy, which operated her as El Fateh. She was a training ship until 2014, and her name was transferred to a new vessel in 2017, but she remains listed by the IISS.

Second World War

On commissioning and work up Zenith joined the Home Fleet, however defects required repair and she was allocated for service in the Far East.[1] She took passage to the Far East via the Mediterranean, but the war ended before she saw any operational service.

Postwar Service

During 1946 Zenith was part of the 4th Destroyer Flotilla of the Home Fleet. In 1947 she was placed into reserve at Chatham, where she remained until 1950. On 17 October 1950 she was towed to Palmers on the River Tyne for refit. She was then part of the Harwich reserve between 1951 and 1954. Her proposed conversion to a Type 15 frigate was cancelled and in May 1955 she was transferred Egypt along with sister ship Myngs.[2]

Egyptian service

Zenith was sold to Egypt in 1955 and commissioned into the Egyptian Navy as El Fateh. She was refitted by John I. Thornycroft, Woolston and sailed for Egypt on 28 August 1956. She was modernized at White, Cowes between May 1963 and July 1964.

The ship was relegated to the role of a training vessel and remains extant today. Various attempts at preservation over the years have been made, but negotiations for the sale of the ship by the Egyptian Government have not been concluded as at 2014.[3]

In September 2017, the name "El Fateh" appears to have been transferred to the first of Egypt's new Gowind-2500 corvettes. The ship's name "was transferred to the new corvette in order to commemorate the historic destroyer that played a great role during the 1973 October War.[4]

The report did not indicate what if anything had been done to the Z-class destroyer "El Fateh."


  1. ^ Mason, Geoffrey B. (2004). Gordon Smith (ed.). "HMS Zenith (R 95) - Z-class Destroyer". Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  2. ^ Critchley, Mike (1982). British Warships Since 1945: Part 3: Destroyers. Liskeard, UK: Maritime Books. p. 84. ISBN 0-9506323-9-2.
  3. ^ Elson, Peter (6 June 2014). "Campaign to bring last Battle of the Atlantic warship HMS Whimbrel to Liverpool back on". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  4. ^ "The importance of El Fateh corvette" (in Arabic).


External links