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Major British Warship Losses in World War 2

 

BATTLESHIPS, BATTLECRUISERS, MONITORS

 

by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Prince of Wales, lost 10 December 1941 (Courtesy Maritime Quest)

on to Aircraft Carriers

 
 

LOSSES BY YEAR and AREA

 

 

Year

Atlantic

Europe

Mediterranean

Far East

 

1939

 

-

 

battleship Royal Oak

 

-

 

-

 

1940

 

 

-

 

-

 

-

 

-

1941

battlecruiser Hood

-

battleship Barham

battleship Prince of Wales

battlecruiser Repulse

 

 

 


 

 

 

BATTLESHIPS

 

 

1. Queen Elizabeth class, BARHAM, MALAYA, QUEEN ELIZABETH, VALIANT, WARSPITE, 5 ships - 31,000 tons, 24 knots, 8-15in, 1,120 crew, 1915-16, 1 lost: 

BARHAM (Capt G C Cooke+), 25th November 1941, Eastern Mediterranean, N of Sidi Barrani (32.34N, 26.24E) - torpedoed by German ‘U.331’ (Tiesenhausen). Sailing with Mediterranean Fleet as Force A from Alexandria to cover sorties by Malta and Alexandria-based cruiser forces against Italian convoys heading for Libya. Turned over and exploded with 865 men lost and some 450 survivors (Casualty List) (Mediterranean - North African Campaign)

 

HMS Queen Elizabeth (Maritime Quest)

 

 

 

2. Royal Sovereign class, RAMILLIES, RESOLUTION, REVENGE, ROYAL OAK, ROYAL SOVEREIGN, 5 ships - 29,000 tons, 21 knots, 8-15in, 1,150 crew, 1916-17. 'Royal Sovereign' loaned to Russia in 1944 as 'Arkangelsk, 1 lost: 

ROYAL OAK (Capt W H Benn+), 14th October 1939, Western Europe at Scapa Flow, Orkney Islands, north of Scotland (58.55N, 02.59W) – torpedoed by German ‘U.47’ (Prien). Detached from Home Fleet to guard Fair Isle passage during sortie of German battlecruiser 'Gneisenau'. Afterwards at anchor in the NE corner of Scapa Flow, one mile offshore when torpedoed with 833 men dead. She still lies at the bottom of Scapa Flow as a War Grave (Casualty List) (Home Fleet Operations)

HMS Ramillies (Maritime Quest)

 

 

3. Nelson class, NELSON, RODNEY, 2 ships (both survived) - 34,000 tons, 23 knots, 9-16in, 1,300 crew, 1927

 

 

 

4. King George V class, ANSON, DUKE OF YORK, HOWE, KING GEORGE V, PRINCE OF WALES, 5 ships - 35,000 tons, 29 knots, 10-14in, 1,550 crew, 1940-42, 1 lost:

PRINCE OF WALES (Capt J C Leach+), 10th December 1941, South East Asia, off Kuantan, Malaya in the South China Sea (03.34N, 104.27E) - as many as 5 or 6 torpedoes from Japanese Navy land-based aircraft (Nells and Bettys). Flagship of Adm Sir Tom Phillips, returning to Singapore with battlecruiser 'Repulse' (also sunk) from planned attacked against reported Malay landings. Went down at 1323 local time; 330 crew lost, 1,285 survivors of whom 3 died of wounds. Destroyers rescued the survivors. (Casualty List) (Japanese Conquests - Sinking of Force Z)

HMS Anson (CyberHeritage)

 

 

 

BATTLECRUISERS

 

 

5. Repulse class, RENOWN, REPULSE, 2 ships - 32,000 tons, 29 knots, 6-15in, 1,200 crew, 1916, 1 lost:

REPULSE (Capt W G Tennant), 10th December 1941. As for 'Prince of Wales' but hit by 5 torpedoes; 512 crew lost, 796 saved but 3 died of wounds (Casualty List) (Japanese Conquests - Sinking of Force Z)

HMS Repulse (Maritime Quest)

 

 

 

6. HOOD - 42,000 tons, 31 knots, 8-15in, 1,350 crew, 1920, lost

HOOD (Capt R Kerr+), 24th May 1941, North Atlantic, west of Iceland in Denmark Strait (63.21N, 32.47W) - by 15in gunfire of German battleship 'Bismarck'. Sailing with 'Prince of Wales' to intercept 'Bismarck' during her planned commerce-raiding sortie into the Atlantic. 'Hood' exploded and broke in two, 1,415 crew lost and only 3 men rescued. ‘Bismarck’ was sunk three days later (Casualty List) (Battle of the Atlantic - Hunt for the 'Bismarck')

HMS Hood (Maritime Quest)

 

 

 

 

MONITORS

 

 

7. Marshall Ney class, MARSHALL SOULT, 1 ship - 6,700 tons, 9 knots, 2-15in, 190 crew, comp 1915. Disarmed 1940, base ship.

 

 

 

8. Erebus class, EREBUS, TERROR, 2 ships - 8,000 tons, 12 knots, 2-15in, 190 crew, comp 1915, 1 lost: 

TERROR (Cdr H J Haynes), 24th February 1941, Eastern Mediterranean, off Derna, Cyrenaica - German bombers. Bombed by Ju.87 divebombers on the 22nd in Benghazi harbour and damaged by near misses. Sank off Derna on the 24th on tow to Alexandria. There were no casualties (Mediterranean - North African Campaign)

HMS Erebus (NavyPhotos)

 

 

9. Roberts class, ROBERTS, ABERCROMBIE, 2 ships - 8,000 tons, 12 knots, 2-15in, 450 crew, comp 1941/43

 

HMS Abercrombie (NavyPhotos)

 

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