Only two ships were ever completed. Tjerk Hiddes was launched prior to the invasion, but was scuttled at Rotterdam to prevent her from falling into German hands. The Germans raised her, but found it impossible to repair her, so the wreckage was scrapped. Philips Van Almonde was demolished on the slipway after several attempts to launch her to be sailed to England had failed.
Gerard Callenburgh was also scuttled, but the Germans were able to salvage her. She was subsequently completed by Blohm & Voss, retaining most of the Dutch armament and equipment, and was commissioned as ZH1 on 11 October 1942. She spent most of her career on trials in the Baltic but was transferred to Western France via the English Channel in November 1943. She was one of the German ships sent to intercept the Operation Neptune invasion armada, but they were themselves engaged by a squadron consisting of HMS Tartar, HMS Ashanti, HMS Eskimo, HMS Javelin, HMCS Haida, HMCS Huron and ORP Blyskawica). ZH1 was torpedoed and badly damaged by Ashanti on 9 June 1944, and was scuttled with the loss of 33 men.
Isaac Sweers was, unlike her sister Philips Van Almonde, successfully launched and then towed to England by the tug Zwarte Zee. She was completed in England by J Thornycroft using British armament and fire control equipment. She went on to serve in the Mediterranean Sea with Force H. In December 1941, together with HMS Sikh, HMS Maori and HMS Legion she sank the Italian cruisers Alberico da Barbiano and Alberto di Giussano in the Battle of Cape Bon. She then briefly served in the Indian Ocean with the Eastern Fleet. She was sunk by German submarine U-431 commanded by Wilhelm Dommes on 13 November 1942 in the Western Mediterranean, with the loss of 108 men.