The destroyers of Tjerk Hiddes class were based upon the preceding Admiralen class destroyers. Often compared to the British Tribal class destroyers, they outperformed the latter in range and anti-aircraft armament. The main armament of 5 Bofors 120-mm guns in two double and a single mount was enough for contemporary standards. At the start of the war in May 1940, three had been launched. Of these, Isaac Sweers was towed to Britain and completed there with a different armament, the other two were scuttled when evacuation proved to be impossible. One (the former Gerard Callenburgh) was salvaged and completed for the Kriegsmarine as ZH-1.