Faced with an acute need for Atlantic escorts on the eve of World War II, the Royal Navy adapted a whalecatcher design as an anti-submarine escort, known as the Flower class corvette. The ships were deliberately designed that commercial shipbuilders could lay them down, as opposed to only being built in traditional naval shipyards. Simple construction, and a simple triple expansion steam plant, kept building times low, and left more expensive steam turbines available for other, more capable warships. Above all, the need was to build large numbers of corvettes as quickly as possible.
Living conditions aboard the corvettes were spartan, even by the RN’s standards of the day. Of course, virtually all the crews were landsmen facing their first experience with the sea, so they didn’t quite grasp how poorly they had it.
The Flower class ships were extremely seaworthy, but had a very uncomfortable ride, and early ships especially were very wet.
Still, as crude as they were, they were effective escorts, with effective sensors and weapons to face the U-Boat threat, and helped greatly to keep Britain afloat during the early years of World War II.
And of course, no post on the subject of RN corvettes would be complete without mention of The Cruel Sea, the wonderful book and movie about the fictional corvette HMS Compass Rose.