Background Events - September 1939-March 1940
of Atlantic starts,
'Phoney War' on land, Battle of River Plate
Sunday, 1 October
Battleships RESOLUTION and REVENGE of the Channel
Force at Portland
were ordered to join the
South Atlantic Command at Freetown.
The orders were cancelled
on the 5th before sailing. On the 7th, both battleships
sailed for Halifax and duty in the North
Atlantic Escort Force.
departed Portsmouth on 29 September escorted by
destroyer EXPRESS. The cruiser arrived at Scapa Flow on the
1st to relieve light
in Cruiser Squadron 18. EDINBURGH was then attached to
Squadron 2 of the Humber Force. Heavy cruiser NORFOLK
arrived at Rosyth on the
3rd. After completing the replacement of a gun at Rosyth,
both heavy cruisers
proceeded to the Mediterranean. NORFOLK
departed Rosyth on the 7th
and SUFFOLK departed Scapa Flow
on the 8th. En route in
heavy weather on the 11th, NORFOLK's Walrus was washed off
catapult and lost and her catapult trolley badly damaged.
arrived at Gibraltar on the 12th and departed on the 14th. They
arrived at Alexandria
on the 18th.
aircraft carrier ARK
(above, postwar - Navy Photos) and destroyers
ASHANTI, MASHONA, MATABELE, SOMALI, FAME,
FORESIGHT, FORTUNE and FIREDRAKE departed Scapa Flow for
Loch Ewe where they
arrived at 0700/2nd.
which departed Scapa Flow on 30 September, were on
Northern Patrol between the Orkneys and the Faroes. Light
which departed Scapa Flow on 28 September, were also
on Northern Patrol.
Southend escorted by destroyers JACKAL and JANUS, and
48-50N, 13-40W on the 4th.
OB.13 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers
VERSATILE and WARWICK
to 4 October.
DB.10 departed Southampton with two personnel ships,
escorted by destroyers ARROW and INTREPID, and arrived at
Brest on the 2nd.
MB.10 departed Southampton with six cargo ships,
escorted by destroyers ACHERON and ACHATES, and also arrived
at Brest on the 2nd.
Portland for a work up at Scapa
Flow, which was
completed on the 21st.
ECLIPSE attacked a
submarine contact in 51‑12N, 4‑22W.
BC.6F of steamers
FENELLA, ST JULIEN, TYNWALD
ULSTER PRINCE departed the Loire without escort, and
safely arrived in the Bristol Channel.
stopped Belgian steamer SUZON (2239grt, Lejeune,
Master) 42 miles 330° from Ushant Island. She was abandoned,
sunk by U.35, and the entire crew picked up by destroyer
Early on the 2nd, 15 miles 296° from Ushant, ACHERON was
unsuccessfully by U.35. (Note: Hans Mair, www.u-35.com,
who has the log of U.35, reports that she did not make an
attack on ACHERON. If an attack was made, it would have
been another U-boat)
departed Hong Kong, and arrived back on the 21st. She was
docked on the 24th and was in dock until the end of the
departed Kingston for patrol in the Curacao area.
destroyers AFRIDI, GURKHA, MOHAWK and SIKH departed
Alexandria on patrol duties. AFRIDI
refuelled at Malta
arriving on the 4th and
departing on the 5th to return to patrol. SIKH arrived at
Malta on the 5th, was found to
have stripped a turbine and began long repairs there. MOHAWK
refuelled at Malta, arriving on the 6th and
departing on the 7th for Gibraltar. GALATEA refuelled at Malta
arriving on the 7th and
departing the same day to return to patrol. AFRIDI and
GURKHA refuelled at Malta arriving on the 7th and
departing on the 10th for Gibraltar.
NUBIAN and ZULU
attacked a submarine contact in 32-00N, 30-08E.
to return to the Home
Fleet were suspended for destroyers HAVOCK and HOTSPUR of
the South America
Station and HYPERION and HUNTER of the Freetown Force. Due
to the threat of
raiders operating in the South Atlantic,
they were ordered to remain
on station and the remaining units of the 2nd Destroyer
Flotilla in the Mediterranean were ordered to join them in
the beginning of October,
Mediterranean destroyer escort groups were as follows:
Large Destroyer Division
- VAUBAN, LION, AIGLE
Large Destroyer Division
- VAUTOUR, GERFAUT, ALBATROS
Large Destroyer Division
- MAILLÉ BRÉZÉ, KERSAINT, CASSARD
Large Destroyer Division
– ÉPERVIER, MILAN
G.1 - LA PALME, LE MARS,
G.2 – TRAMONTANE,
TORNADE, British GLOWWORM
G.3 - TIGRE, TEMPÊTE, TYPHON
destroyers departed the escort group, but were relieved by
FORTUNE, SIMOUN, LA
RAILLEUSE of the 3rd
Destroyer Division. At the beginning of November, the forces
German Navy sustained its
only loss of the Polish campaign when minesweeper M.85
of the 7th Minesweeping Flotilla struck a mine at 1440
northeast of Heisternest in 54-45N, 18-45E and sank. This
mine was laid by
Polish submarine ZBIK on 9 September. Twenty four men on
M.85 were lost.
German minesweeper M 122 and some R boats rescued 47
Monday, 2 October
Admiralty received their
first notice that a German raider was operating off
Pernambuco when news of
the sinking of the CLEMENT by pocket battleship ADMIRAL GRAF
SPEE reached England. They responded with the
immediate dispatch of aircraft carrier ARK
and battlecruiser RENOWN
to Freetown. ARK ROYAL and destroyers ASHANTI and FORESIGHT
Ewe on the evening of the 2nd, while RENOWN and destroyers
TARTAR and BEDOUIN left Scapa Flow the same day, and joined at sea. Following their
the destroyers returned to Scapa Flow on the 4th. To relieve ARK ROYAL, FURIOUS,
which was being used as a training aircraft carrier at
Rosyth, was ordered to
join the Home Fleet for operations at Loch Ewe. FURIOUS
departed Rosyth on
the 1st escorted by destroyers JERVIS, JUPITER, JAGUAR and
STURDY. On the 2nd,
JERVIS and JAGUAR attacked a submarine contact off Bell
Rock, River Tay.
ENTERPRISE departed Scapa
Flow for Plymouth, where they arrived late on
the 3rd. At Plymouth,
EMERALD and ENTERPRISE embarked gold for transfer
underwent repairs completed on the 9th.
first of the UK to Gibraltar convoys, OG.1, of 37 ships was
formed from two convoys. Light cruiser CERES
on the 1st to escort OG.1 to Gibraltar and act as convoy
(1) OA.12G was escorted by CERES and destroyers IMPERIAL and
ISIS, (2) OB.12G was
escorted by destroyers ILEX and IMOGEN. The four destroyers
were detached on
the 3rd and joined convoy HG.1. On the 8th, the convoy was
destroyer VELOX from Gibraltar, when, still escorted by CERES, it arrived
Southend, and arrived at Methil on the 4th. There was no
FS.16 departed Methil, and arrived at Southend on the 4th.
KEITH and MONTROSE
attacked a submarine contact in 50‑17N, 1‑30W.
SEAHORSE reported a
submarine contact off the Firth of Tay in 50-31N, 2-22W.
minesweeping trawler EURYALUS (renamed HOVERFLY, 242grt)
departed Scapa Flow in an exercise together to see if
trawlers could effectively patrol with submarines. The
sloop AMIRAL MOUCHEZ,
escorting French tanker LOT under tow, was missed by
torpedoes 20 miles WNW
of Cape d'Antifer, and counter-attacked at 2337.
BC.6S of steamers
ADJUTANT, BAHARISTAN, BARON KINNAIRD, BARON MINTO,
BIELA, CARINGORM, CUSTODIAN, DALEMOOR, DIPLOMAT, GOLDFINCH,
JACINTH, MERKLAND, SANDHILL and TELAWNY departed the Loire
escorted by destroyers
VIVACIOUS, VISCOUNT, VANESSA, ELECTRA andESCORT. The convoy
safely arrived in Bristol Channel on the 3rd.
BC.7F of steamers BEN
MY CHREE and LADY OF MANN departed the Loire without escort, and safely arrived in
Barry Roads on the 3rd.
U-boat service continued
its survey of the approaches to Scapa Flow.
On this date, U.10 was west
of the Orkneys, U.20 and U.23 were approaching the area for
patrol, and U.18 was departing Kiel for patrol in the area.
Admiral Raeder removed
prize restrictions for U-boats off French and British ports.
On the 4th, this
order was extended to include shipping as far west as 15°.
LINDISFARNE (1004grt) was challenged off
of Holland by Dutch seagoing torpedo boat Z.7. In the ensuing confusion, the
ships collided. Light damaged was sustained by LINDISFARNE
and Z.7 was undamaged.
Polish base at Hel
surrendered to German forces. Polish sloop KOMMENDANT
PILSUDSKI, minesweepers RYBITWA, CZAJKA, ZURAW
and three mine barges were
scuttled by Polish forces. German forces were able to raise
CZAJKA and ZURAW
on the 3rd, renamed them WESTERNPLATTE and OXHOFT
respectively, and assigned them to the 7th Mine Flotilla.
PILSUDSKI, RYBITWA and MEWA were also raised and repaired as
RIXHOFT and PUTZIG, respectively.
sailing vessel BALTIC (451grt) was sunk by a mine in
and destroyers KEPPEL and WATCHMAN departed Gibraltar to
join liner ATHLONE CASTLE and escort her to Freetown. After
RAMILLIES suffered condenser problems and returned to
Gibraltar with the destroyers.
CAPETOWN continued on for seven hours, then suffered rudder
defects, but was able to meet the liner and take her back to
Gibraltar, both arriving on the 3rd.
departed Calcutta on escort duties to Singapore, and
returned to Colombo, arriving on the 6th for
departed Halifax on escort duties, and arrived back
on the 4th.
this time, the South
America Station was composed of heavy cruisers EXETER
operating as a Hunter Force, and light cruiser AJAX
with destroyers HOTSPUR and
HAVOCK covering outbound shipping from Rio de Janiero. After
a sweep in the
area of Ascension
CUMBERLAND, light cruiser NEPTUNE, and destroyers HYPERION and
HUNTER arrived at Freetown.
GRASSHOPPER, APHIS, COCKCHAFER and LADYBIRD on the Yangtse
were ordered to Singapore for duty as patrol boats and
minesweepers in a move to free manpower and ships for
Europe. This freed the 2nd
Minesweeping Flotilla for transfer to the Mediterranean
where they relieved the 3rd
Flotilla, which in turn, transferred to Home Waters. The
transfer also satisfied a
Japanese government request of 5 September 1939 to remove
from Chinese territorial waters, a possible war-zone, to
prevent any more incidents
such as those involving CRICKET, SCARAB and the bombing of
the USS PANAY in
December 1937. A full list of gunboat movements follows:
late October, APHIS and
LADYBIRD departed Shanghai
for Hong Kong, arrived at Saigon on the 29th, but returned
to Shanghai as guardships in November where they stayed
until the end of 1939.
December, TERN, PETEREL,
GNAT were also withdrawn from the Yangtse to Shanghai.
the end of 1939,
COCKCHAFER was at Nanking, GNAT at the Kiangyin Barrier, SCARAB at
APHIS and LADYBIRD at Singapore to convert, and DRAGONFLY
and GRASSHOPPER at Singapore.
January 1940, SCARAB and CRICKET were also withdrawn.
the completion of this
movement, only FALCON remained at Chungking,
CRICKET and PETEREL at Shanghai, and GANNET and SANDPIPER
laid up in January 1940 at Chungking and Changsha,
and GNAT had gone
to Singapore then to the East Indies, APHIS and LADYBIRD
on 1 March for the Mediterranean, and DRAGONFLY, SCORPION,
SCARAB, TERN were employed around Singapore.
was used as a boom
defence vessel at Hong Kong and MANTIS was laid up prior to disposal.
SLF.3 departed Freetown unescorted and arrived at Liverpool
on the 13th.
Tuesday, 3 October
departed Grimsby on patrol and arrived back
on the 4th,
departed and arrived back
later the same day.
OA.14 of seven ships
departed Southend escorted by destroyers KELLY, KINGSTON,
MONTROSE from the 3rd
OB.14 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers VANOC
and WHIRLWIND until the 5th.
BC.8S departed Bristol Channel, escorted by destroyers EXMOUTH (S.O.) and
EXPRESS. The convoy was also escorted
by French large destroyers L'INDOMPTABLE, TRIOMPHANT and
the 4th and 5th, and arrived in the Loire on the 5th.
SA.10 of one cargo
ship departed Southampton, escorted by destroyer ANTHONY, and reached Brest
on the 4th.
FS.16 departed Methil,
arriving at Southend on the 5th. There was no FN.16 convoy.
SCHOEMANN, FRIEDRICH IHN, ERICH STEINBRINCK and torpedo
boats GREIF, FALKE and ALBATROS conducted anti-shipping
patrols in the Kattegat and Skagerrak from the 3rd
sank Greek steamer DIAMANTIS (4990grt) southwest of
Ireland, 40 miles west of Skellig
Rocks in 49‑22N, 6‑46W, and then landed the crew at
Ballymore, Dingle Bay, Ireland.
which departed Alexandria on the 2nd, left Suez on the 3rd
for the Red Sea. They reached Aden
on the 6th and departed the same day for duty in the Indian
Ocean, arriving at Simonstown on
and light cruiser DESPATCH
for South America, with DESPATCH arriving at Bermuda on the
15th for docking.
from Convoy Green 3 and
DELIGHT and DECOY from other escort duties arrived at Malta.
DELIGHT and DECOY departed
the next day, while GRENADE and GRIFFIN left on the 5th to
destroyers DUCHESS and DEFENDER escorting convoy Blue 3.
DUCHESS and DEFENDER
on the 5th.
SO.19 of armed
merchant cruiser ALCANTARA (22,209grt) and steamers ATHLONE
CASTLE (25,564grt), EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA (21,833grt) and
FRANCONIA (20,175grt) arrived at Gibraltar.
Destroyers INGLEFIELD and
IVANHOE arrived separately that day after being separated in
From there, the convoy proceeded as Convoy Red 2 escorted by
GREYHOUND and GLOWWORM, later joined by sister ships
GRENVILLE and GIPSY.
steamer HOEGH TRANSPORTER (4914grt) was sunk
on a British defensive minefield off St John Island at the
entrance to Singapore with the loss of one member
of crew. The wreck and cargo were salved.
Wednesday, 4 October
FOXHOUND arrived at Scapa Flow.
SWORDFISH began a
refit at Dundee completed on 12
February 1940, and arrived at Blyth on the 13th. The same
day, she proceeded to Scapa Flow, via Rosyth, to work up.
ALGÉRIE, DUPLEIX and destroyers MAILLÉ BRÉZÉ and VAUQUELIN
departed Oran for Dakar, arriving on the 14th.
for Brest, escorted by large destroyer
sank steamer GLEN FARG (876grt) 60 miles SSW of
Sumburgh Head in 58‑52N, 01‑31W with the loss of one man.
Destroyers FAULKNOR and FIREDRAKE, submarine hunting in the
dispatched to her location with FIREDRAKE picking up six
survivors who were
taken to Kirkwall.
SCHOEMANN, FRIEDRICH IHN, ERICH STEINBRINCK and torpedo
boats GREIF, FALKE,
ALBATROS operated in the Skagerrak and Kattegat
on contraband control
duties. Swedish steamers BRITT (1544grt)
(1184grt) were taken in
prize by German warships 12 miles south of Hano in the
Baltic and taken to
Rendsburg. They were renamed LEBA and TRAUTE FAULBAUM,
KJ.3 departed Kingston escorted by light cruiser ORION,
which was relieved by heavy cruiser BERWICK
on the 8th, and later
Australian light cruiser PERTH,
both of which were relieved
on the 15th in 39‑58N, 43W by cruiser EFFINGHAM.
PERTH then proceeded towards Bermuda, suffering weather
damage in a hurricane en
route , but arriving safely. Light cruisers NEWCASTLE
escort on the 22nd and remained until the 24th.
the 22nd, French
battlecruiser DUNKERQUE, light cruisers GEORGES LEYGUES,
MONTCALM, and destroyers L’INDOMPTABLE, LE MALIN and LE
TRIOMPHANT departed Brest, with local escort by
destroyers CYCLONE and MISTRAL. The battleship group joined
the convoy on the
24th, but later that day, the cruisers were detached to
escort convoy HX.5.
On the 25th, the battleship and destroyers arrived back at
Brest, again with local escort by
CYCLONE and MISTRAL. The cruisers arrived back on the 28th,
this time local
escort was by destroyers MOGADOR and VOLTA.
and VERITY joined the escort on the 24th, GREYHOUND and
GLOWWORM from the
25th to 26th, and VOLUNTEER and VERSATILE from convoy OB.23
on the 25th. KJ.3
arrived off southern Ireland on the 25th, with EFFINGHAM
reaching Devonport on the 26th for boiler cleaning, and the
on the 28th with WOLVERINE, VERITY, VOLUNTEER and VERSATILE.
IVANHOE departed Gibraltar to return to Plymouth
after escort duty with
SEAL arrived at Alexandria from the Red Sea.
departed Singapore on patrol and arrived back
on the 22nd.
departed Capetown for
Simonstown, arriving on the 6th.
Zealand light cruiser LEANDER
Thursday, 5 October
and aircraft carrier FURIOUS
destroyers departed Loch Ewe and arrived at Scapa Flow.
departed Scapa Flow for Invergordon, arriving on
the 6th. She was back at Scapa the same day.
departed Scapa Flow for Northern Patrol. CALYPSO arrived
back on the 11th and CALEDON on the 13th.
ECHO departed Plymouth and arrived at Dover on the 6th.
SEAWOLF fired two
torpedoes at German torpedo boat FALKE in 57-39N, 9-28E, but
target was reported as a light cruiser of the NÜRNBERG
OA.15 of six ships
departed Southend escorted by destroyer ANTELOPE from the
when the convoy dispersed.
OB.15 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers
WALPOLE and WINCHELSEA until the 8th.
BC.7S of 17 steamers including
NEW TEXAS (Commodore), departed Quiberon Bay escorted by
EXPRESS, ESK, ESCAPADE and ECLIPSE, and arrived safely in
Barry Roads on the
survey ship FRANKLIN
sighted a submarine 9 miles
310° from Calais High Light, destroyer BRAZEN carried out an
was damaged in the Bristol Channel,
3½ miles 190° from
Scarweather Light Vessel, on a mine laid by U.32 on 17
September. She was run
aground in Mumbles
Bay to prevent her sinking and
salved the following month.
destroyers CASSARD and
KERSAINT arrived at Gibraltar to exchange convoy escort duty with British
GREYHOUND and GLOWWORM.
(22,209grt) and FRANCONIA (20,75grt) of convoy Red 2 collided between Gibraltar
and Malta. The convoy proceeded to
Malta where FRANCONIA was repaired completing on 14
November, while ALCANTARA
after temporary repairs and escorted by destroyer GRIFFIN,
was able to
proceed on the 13th for Alexandria, arriving on the 16th.
continued with steamer EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA, and destroyer
GIPSY, no longer
needed to escort ALCANTARA, headed for Alexandria.
HGF.2 departed Gibraltar with liners CIRCASSIA (11,136grt)
(11,660grt), and arrived at Liverpool on the 9th. Both liners were taken in hand for
conversion to armed merchant cruisers.
HG.2 of 13 ships
departed Gibraltar escorted by destroyers DOUGLAS and VELOX. Ocean
escort was provided by armed merchant cruiser ALAUNIA which
sailed with the
convoy from the 5th to 13th, when it arrived at Liverpool.
ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE captured steamer NEWTON
BEECH (4651grt) in the South Atlantic
in 09‑35S, 06‑30W.
After her cargo and crew were transferred, she was scuttled
late on the 8th.
DEUTSCHLAND sank steamer STONEGATE
(5044grt) east of Bermuda in 31‑10N, 54‑00W after the crew
had been taken off. Later, when American
steamer CITY OF FLINT was captured,
STONEGATE’s crew was transferred to her.
a result of the sinkings
by German pocket battleships, the British Admiralty ordered
of further Hunter Groups along the lines of the ARK
in the Mediterranean was ordered to join the
North Atlantic Escort Force, departed Gibraltar at 1215,
destroyers WISHART and VORTIGERN, but was recalled at
2233/6th to replace
battleship MALAYA, due to leave the Mediterranean.
RAMILLIES, WISHART and
VORTIGERN arrived back at Gibraltar on the 8th. RAMILLES stayed in the Mediterranean
until November when she was
transferred to the East Indies, serving with the 3rd Battle Squadron at
from November until May
and light cruiser EFFINGHAM
were detached from the Home Fleet to operate in
the Denmark Strait against any raider threat to the convoy
routes in the
South Atlantic (at that time only GRAF SPEE had been
identified. They were there to keep other raiders from
going into the South Atlantic or returning to Germany).
EFFINGHAM proceeded to Plymouth to repair defects, and left
again on the 9th.
of the 11th
Cruiser Squadron, previously attached to the Northern
Atlantic Command at Gibraltar and the Channel Force based
at Portland respectively, replaced EFFINGHAM in the
Northern Patrol. The 12th Cruiser Squadron, Northern Patrol
the 11th Cruiser Squadron, and COLOMBO became Flagship of
Captain R J R Scott
AM, Commodore, 2nd Class at Plymouth on the 9th. She arrived
on station on
the 13th and CERES on the 31st after refitting at Plymouth.
and SUFFOLK proceeded to the Mediterranean, where they
served in the
1st Cruiser Squadron until arriving back in England on 11
November. They left Portsmouth on 16 and 18 November
respectively, called at the Clyde, and were both on Northern Patrol on the 22nd.
Friday, 6 October
departed Scapa Flow for Northern Patrol, arriving back on
the 13th. At this time, six cruisers were at sea on
carrying anti-aircraft guns, was damaged five miles off
(Swansea) in 51‑24N, 04‑00W on a mine laid by U.32 on 17
September. She ran herself aground in Mumbles Bay to prevent
salved on 28 November and drydocked at Swansea.
BC.9S of nine steamers, including BARON GRAHAM (Commodore),
CERVANTES and TASSO, departed the Bristol Channel escorted
by destroyers WESSEX, VANESSA (SO), VENETIA and VISCOUNT,
safely arrived in the Loire on the 8th.
SA.11 of one steamer
departed Southampton, escorted by destroyer VIVACIOUS, arriving at
Southend and reached Methil on the 8th, while FS.17 departed
arrived at Southend on the 8th.
ICARUS departed Malta after completing her
collision repairs, left Gibraltar on the 8th and arrived at Plymouth
on the 11th.
to be assigned to the Northern Patrol, left Gibraltar for
Malta at 1730/6th, and arriving on
the 8th, commenced repairs which completed on the 21st.
destroyer BORIE (DD
215, LCDR R M Morris) off the north coast of St Thomas,
Virgin Islands, reported a submarine on the
surface, which submerged on her approach. It turned out to
be one of the
French submarines in the Caribbean.
Saturday, 7 October
at 0042, escorted by destroyers
SALADIN and SCIMITAR and arrived at Devonport at 1240 to
ECHO departed Dover and arrived at Devonport on
ESKIMO arrived at Scapa Flow after repairs in the Tyne.
and aircraft carrier HERMES,
escorted by destroyers WOLVERINE, WITHERINGTON, VOLUNTEER
and VERITY departed Portland at 0930, and light cruisers
destroyers INGLEFIELD and IVANHOE, departed Plymouth, all on
7th. At 1910/7th
both forces rendezvoused for passage to Halifax for escort
duty. CARADOC had
been at Plymouth
since 25 September repairing
defects prior to leaving station. Her refit completed on the
and CARADOC proceeded
to Brest and en route, HERMES was met by French destroyers
ORAGE, and MISTRAL, which had also departed Brest
on the 7th. The French ships
arrived back on the 8th.
rejoined the force at
0735/10th, and all ships arrived safely at Halifax on the
16th escorted into
port by Canadian destroyers FRASER and ST LAURENT which
joined on the 15th. In
addition to their convoy escort duties, REVENGE and
RESOLUTION were carrying
a large amount of British silver for safekeeping in Canada.
The Halifax Escort Force
was commanded by Rear Admiral L E Holland who was relieved
by Rear Admiral
Stuart S Bonham-Carter on 1 January 1940. From Halifax, the
Force could offer
convoy protection in the Western Atlantic.
battleship STRASBOURG and destroyers LE FANTASQUE,
LE TERRIBLE and L'AUDACIEUX left Brest, still on the 7th, to
HERMES for operations as Hunter Group N and set out that
evening for Dakar. Heavy cruisers ALGÉRIE and
DUPLEIX joined en route and Group N arrived at Dakar on the
14th, where after
refuelling, the Force was due to proceed to the West Indies.
departed Grimsby on escort duties and arrived
back the same day.
WREN attacked a
submarine contact in 50‑36N, 00‑14W, off Brighton.
OA.16G of 27 ships
departed Southend, escorted by destroyer ECHO from the 7th
to 9th, and merged with
OB.16G escorted by destroyer VIMY and patrol
ship/minesweeper GLEANER to the
10th, on the 11th to form OG.2. This convoy reached
Gibraltar on the 17th.
patrol vessel BELFORT attacked a submarine six
miles 100° from Cape
SELKIRK and NIGER
sweeping mines 35 miles ENE
of Cromer were strafed by German flying boats, but were not
steamer BINNENDIJK (6873grt) was badly
damaged two miles SE of Shambles Light Vessel on a mine laid
by U.26 on 8
September. She sank one mile north of the Light Vessel at
the 7th, the Admiralty
ordered the 4th Destroyer Flotilla, anti-aircraft cruiser
and sloops FLEETWOOD and GRIMSBY, now serving in the
Mediterranean to sail for Portland with moderate dispatch.
light cruiser GALATEA
and destroyers MOHAWK, AFRIDI, GURKHA, SIKH had departed
Alexandria on the 1st on patrol. The
destroyers called at Malta in turn to refuel, in order
AFRIDI, SIKH, MOHAWK, GURKHA. In addition, SIKH entered the
dockyard at Malta on the 5th for turbine
repairs. MOHAWK departed Malta on the 7th and Gibraltar on
the 9th to return
to England, reached Portland on the 11th, refuelled at
Harwich and arrived at
Humber on the 12th to join Rosyth Command.
departed Malta on the 7th for Alexandria, arriving on the
AFRIDI and GURKHA reached Malta on the 7th, left next day en
route to England,
departed Gibraltar on the 10th and arrived at Portland on
the 13th for duty with
the Home Fleet.
MAORI, ZULU, NUBIAN
arrived at Alexandria
on the 2nd from escorting
convoy Green 2, and after refuelling left Alexandria on the
7th for Malta. COVENTRY
left Alexandria on the 7th and arrived at Malta on the 9th.
All five ships
then sailed from Malta on the 9th, arrived at Gibraltar on
the 11th and left the
same day, arriving at Portland
on the 14th without NUBIAN which reached Portsmouth
the same day.
departed Portland on the 14th, and
arrived at Portsmouth
that night, left on the
19th for the Humber and reached Immingham on the 20th. COSSACK, MAORI, ZULU departed Portland
immediately after refuelling
and proceeded to the North Sea for escort duties.
departed Gibraltar on the 7th and arrived at Portland on the
11th. GRIMSBY was with convoy Blue 3,
arrived at Gibraltar on the 11th and departed that day for Portland.
In 36-02N, 6-50W, she
attacked a submarine contact.
ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE sank steamer ASHLEA (4222grt)
in the South
Atlantic in 09S, 03W after the crew was put aboard captured steamer NEWTON
at Bermuda, departed again the same
day, and arrived back on the 18th.
departed Colombo and arrived at Bombay on the 9th.
SL.4 departed Freetown escorted by light cruiser NEPTUNE,
and on the 23rd was joined by destroyers MACKAY, VENETIA,
VESPER and VIMY.
relieved by destroyer WIVERN on the 25th and the convoy
arrived on the 26th,
still with four destroyers.
Capetown on escort duties.
submarines FRESNEL, LE
GLORIEUX and REDOUTABLE departed Toulon and arrived at
Gibraltar on the 10th escorted by
destroyer LA RAILLEUSE. They departed that day, escorted by
destroyer LYNX and
arrived at Casablanca
on the 13th. LA RAILLEUSE left Gibraltar on the 11th to
return to Toulon.
trawler SKOLPENBANK (381grt) was lost.
Sunday, 8 October
by German battlecruiser
GNEISENAU, light cruiser KÖLN, and destroyers PAUL JACOBI,
MAX SCHULTZ, BERND VON
ARNIM, WILHELM HEIDKAMP, FRIEDRICH IHN, DIETHER VON ROEDER,
STEINBRINCK, FRIEDRICH ECKHOLDT and KARL GALSTER from Kiel
to operate off the
south coast of Norway. They were to sink Allied shipping and
British Home Fleet into the range of Luftwaffe bombers.
Destroyers HANS LODY
and ERICH GIESE were to have sailed but suffered equipment
addition, U.10, U.18, U.20, U.23 were deployed in a patrol
line to attack the
Forbes, informed of
these movements by a RAF Coastal Command Hudson sighting,
went to sea from Scapa Flow with the Home Fleet.
light cruisers AURORA,
and destroyers SOMALI, MASHONA, ASHANTI, ESKIMO, BEDOUIN,
PUNJABI, FAULKNOR, FURY, FORESTER, FAME,
FORESIGHT, FORTUNE and FIREDRAKE. Heavy weather damaged
FORTUNE at the start and
she detached to the Clyde arriving on the 9th, and repairing until 2
REPULSE, AURORA and SHEFFIELD with SOMALI, MASHONA, ESKIMO,
ASHANTI sailed for a position 50
miles NW of Stadlandet in 63‑00N, 04‑00E. At the same time,
NELSON, RODNEY, FURIOUS and NEWCASTLE with FAULKNOR, FURY,
FORESIGHT, FIREDRAKE, PUNJABI and BEDOUIN sailed for a
position north of Muckle
Flugga in 61‑00N, 00‑00E,. Both forces were to reach their
positions by dawn on the 9th, then steam towards each other
in a pincer
with destroyers JERVIS, JUPITER, JAGUAR departed Rosyth,
while destroyers JACKAL and JANUS departed Grimsby and
joined at sea to
operate off the mouth of the Skagerrak in 57‑45N, 05‑00E,
sweeping north. At 0605/9th, JAGUAR was detached to Rosyth
for refuelling and
en route, was attacked by German bombers, but not damaged.
JERVIS and JUPITER
were ordered to search for Danish steamer TEDDY (557grt)
which had picked up
the crew of a German Dornier flying boat shot down on the
8th. They too were
attacked by German bombers at 1518, but again without
JUPITER broke down at sea at 1650 and was taken in tow by
and JERSEY, which just finished repairs
after her 22 September collision, were ordered to join the
Humber Force off
the Pentland Skerries to screen the withdrawal of JERVIS and
Departing Rosyth, JAGUAR struck a small islet above the
Forth bridge and damaged her
starboard propeller shaft, arriving at Leith on the 11th for
Just as unfortunate was JERSEY. Leaving at the same time she struck the Rosyth
boom, and her repairs at Leith were not completed until the 16th.
GLASGOW, EDINBURGH and JACKAL and JANUS of the
Humber Force were heavily bombed by the Luftwaffe between
1120 and 1645/9th
off the mouth of the Skagerrak. SOUTHAMPTON and GLASGOW were near missed, but
neither was damaged. Shortly before arriving at Scapa
Flow on the 10th, JUPITER was
able to proceed on her own, screened by SOUTHAMPTON,
GLASGOW, JACKAL and JANUS.
destroyers MATABELE and STURDY sortied from Scapa Flow on
the 9th to patrol to the
west of the Shetlands in Fair Island Channel, but in heavy
seas, ROYAL OAK's
destroyers lost touch and she returned to Scapa Flow,
arriving on the 10th.
FOXHOUND and FEARLESS undergoin minor repairs at Scapa Flow
were absent from this
operation. Destroyer TARTAR with major machinery defects was
repairing at Scapa Flow until the 23rd.
a possible periscope
was sighted six miles 180° from St Catherines, destroyer
SALADIN was sent to
BC.8S of steamers
BARON MACLAY, CLAN MONROE and TRELAWNY departed the Loire
escorted by destroyers WESSEX, VISCOUNT and VENETIA, and
arrived safely in the Bristol Channel on the 10th.
OG.2 was formed from
the merging of OA.16G and OB.16G. The 30 ships proceeded to
Gibraltar without an ocean escort, but
were met by destroyers WATCHMAN and VELOX and escorted into
Gibraltar on the 17th.
Southend and arrived at Methil on the 10th. There was no
FS.18 departed Methil
and arrived at Southend on the 10th. There was no convoy
completed a survey of
the English east coast and Straits of Dover lightships and
(2026grt) was badly damaged by a mine near Terschelling; six
injured and they, together with 14 other crew were taken to
INDRA was towed for repairs.
sank Swedish steamer VISTULA
45 miles north of
Muckle Flugga, NNE of Unst, with the loss of nine crew men.
U.12 was mined and sunk off Dover
with the loss of her 27
crew. The body of commanding officer, Kptlt von der Ropp was
Bleriot Plage near Calais
on the 29th.
HX.4 departed Halifax at 0900, escorted by heavy
and Canadian destroyers FRASER and ST LAURENT, the latter
detaching on the
8th. YORK and FRASER detached on the 10th with YORK arriving
back on the 13th.
The bulk of the dispersed ships of the convoy reached
Liverpool on the 22nd and one ship on
KJ.4, the last of the
KJ series which only began on 15 September, departed
Kingston. Because of German raiders
in the Atlantic, ships from the Caribbean now went north
along the American
coast and joined the HX convoys from Halifax before
Green 4 departed Gibraltar with 39 ships, including 14
from OG.1, escorted by French destroyers CASSARD, KERSAINT
and British sloop ABERDEEN. The French ships were
relieved on the 13th by British destroyer GRENADE, and the
convoy reached Port Said on the 17th escorted by
GRENADE and ABERDEEN.
Monday, 9 October
conversion to a fast escort vessel, and following working up
at Portland, was assigned to Convoy C of
the Rosyth Command.
British cruisers were on
their Northern Patrol stations.
had departed Scapa Flow on the 1st for Northern
Patrol. On the 8th, she stopped Swedish steamer LILJEVALCH
allowed her to continue after inspection, and next day,
steamer TAI YIN (7077grt), sending her into Kirkwall to
check for contraband.
after sending off TAI
YIN, BELFAST sighted another steamer which proved to be German
liner CAP NORTE (13,615grt)
carrying German reservists from South America.
She was captured 50 miles
NW of the Faroes in 63N, 10W and light cruiser CALYPSO,
also on Northern
Patrol in the area, arrived to assist. CAP NORTE was sent
Kirkwall under a prize crew consisting of Lt Cdr A G L Seale
Gunner (T) D E Wright and twenty ratings, and at 0730/10th,
was turned over
to light cruiser DELHI.
They were joined off the Orkneys by armed boarding
vessel NORTHERN ROVER (655grt) and CAP NORTE, DELHI, and
NORTHERN ROVER reached Kirkwall on the 12th. CAP NORTE was
renamed EMPIRE TROOPER for British use as a troopship. After
her, BELFAST, her prize crews depleted, returned to Scapa
Flow, arriving at 1500/13th.
29 September to 12 October, 64 ships were sighted by the Northern Patrol. Of these
26 were eastbound and 20 of them were sent to Kirkwall
for inspection. CAP NORTE
was the only German ship intercepted in this period.
departed Grimsby on escort duties and arrived
back on the 11th.
departed Grimsby on escort duties and arrived
back on the 10th.
ESCAPADE were involved in a minor collision leaving Milford
was docked at Newport
completing repairs on the
20th, while VIVACIOUS was only very slightly damaged and did
PANTHÈRE collided with Belgian trawler VAN EYCK near
Boulogne, and was repaired at Cherbourg, completing at the
OA.17 of eleven ships
departed Southend escorted by destroyers ACASTA and ARDENT
from the 9th
OB.17 escorted by
destroyers IMOGEN and ILEX departed Liverpool,
the destroyers remaining
with the convoy until the 12th.
BC.10F of troopship ULSTER PRINCE departed Bristol Channel
escorted by destroyers
EXPRESS and ENCOUNTER, and arrived safely in the Loire on
BC.10S of steamers
BEAVERDALE, BELLEROPHON (Commodore), BRIARWOOD, CITY OF
DERBY, DORSET COAST,
EILDON, ERATO, FLORISTAN, LYCAON, MERKLAND, PEMBROKE COAST,
LARRINGA and VOLO departed Bristol Channel escorted by
ECLIPSE, MONTROSE and VIVACIOUS. The convoy safely arrived
in the Loire on the 11th.
SA.12 of two steamers
departed Southampton, escorted by destroyers VENOMOUS and ANTHONY, and
on the 10th.
WALPOLE, AMAZON and WINCHELSEA departed Milford Haven to
escort convoy KJ.1B.
steamer MOUNT IDA
(5210grt) was lost after
running aground on the east coast of England.
pocket battleship DEUTSCHLAND stopped American
steamer CITY OF FLINT (4963grt) in the North Atlantic off
the Newfoundland Banks.
Captured British crew from steamer SOUTHGATE were put
disguised as Danish steamer ALF, she sailed towards
Murmansk, arriving at Tromso on the
20th and the British crew put ashore. She continued on to
Kola Bay where she arrived on the
carrier ARK ROYAL
and battlecruiser RENOWN,
Force K and en route to Freetown, encountered a merchant
which identified herself as the American DELMAR. Lacking
merchant ship could not be boarded and she was allowed to go
on her way.
Later intelligence revealed that the genuine DELMAR was in
New Orleans and this had been German
supply ship ALTMARK.
1st Battle Squadron -
aircraft carrier GLORIOUS,
light cruiser PENELOPE,
and destroyers DUNCAN, DARING,
DAINTY, GRAFTON, GIPSY, GALLANT and BULLDOG exercised off
Alexandria. Battleship MALAYA
with GLORIOUS, BULLDOG and
DARING were then detached to Socotra to arrive on the 16th.
DEFENDER arrived at Malta
on the 5th and was out of
service for 7 days with perforated boiler tubes.
Capetown on escort duties.
Tuesday, 10 October
WALPOLE, en route
to join convoy KJ.1B, blew a joint in the main pipe to her
pressure receiver, but was able to continue and arrived at
Liverpool on the 17th, repairing until the 21st.
KANDAHAR (Lt Cdr W G A Robson) was
completed and after working up at Portland, joined the 5th
Flotilla with the Home Fleet on 3 November.
0100/10th, the GNEISENAU
force arrived back at Kiel
after accomplishing nothing,
with destroyer FRIEDRICH ECKHOLDT arriving separately at
receiving news of the German's return at 1454, Admiral
Forbes returned to
and destroyers FAULKNOR, BEDOUIN, PUNJABI, FURY, FORESTER
FIREDRAKE went directly to Loch Ewe, arriving on the 11th.
FEARLESS departed Scapa Flow on the 10th to escort the fleet into Scapa
Flow, which arrived on the 11th.
The ships concerned were battlecruiser REPULSE,
aircraft carrier FURIOUS,
and destroyers ESKIMO, SOMALI, MASHONA,
ASHANTI, FAME, FORESIGHT, MATABELE, STURDY, FOXHOUND and
FEARLESS, plus the
Humber Force, less light cruiser EDINBURGH
which had been detached and went
directly to Rosyth.
had detached from the main
force late on the 9th to patrol in the Denmark Strait and
arrived back at Loch Ewe
on the 15th. Destroyer FAULKNOR was weather damaged and
repaired in the Clyde until 2 November, while
JANUS and JACKAL were in a minor collision at Kirkwall.
left Scapa Flow on Northern Patrol duties.
first attempt to conduct
a U-boat group operation with a tactical commander on board
Hartman, Commander of Submarine Flotilla 6, on U.37) was
begun. Of the nine
submarines designated, only three finally took part. (1)
U.25 and U.34 could
not complete repairs in time, (2) U.47 was detached for the
British units at Scapa Flow, and (3) U.42 departed
Wilhelmshaven on 30
September, U.48 on the 4th, U.37 on the 5th, U.46 on the
8th, U.45 on the
10th, and U.40 on the 11th. However, U.42, U.45 and U.40
were lost before the operation could be mounted. Only U.37,
and U.48 were left to attack convoy HG.3 on the 17th.
ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE captured steamer HUNTSMAN
(8196grt) in the South Atlantic in 08‑30S, 05‑15W. HUNTSMAN and German
supply ship ALTMARK met on the 16th, her cargo was
transferred, and crew taken
off on the 17th, after which HUNTSMAN was scuttled in 16S,
departed Gibraltar with turbine defects and
arrived at Plymouth
on the 13th for repairs
completed on the 27th.
departed Gibraltar and arrived at Malta
on the 13th, en route to the
GALLANT departed Alexandria
for Gibraltar to escort battleship RAMILLIES,
due to sail on the 15th for Alexandria.
heavy cruisers AUSTRALIA,
and light cruiser ADELAIDE
searched the Gabo Island area for German ships until
Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES
arrived at Valapariso for two day self maintenance to
correct engine room
disposed in the West Indies for patrol and escort duties
were (1) Jamaica Force – British light cruiser ORION,
the Australian PERTH
and Canadian destroyer SAGUENAY, (2) Antilles Force - French training cruiser
JEANNE D'ARC, sloop VILLE D'YS, submarine AGOSTA, (3) Oil
Force – British sloops DUNDEE, PENZANCE
and French submarine
Wednesday, 11 October
BEAGLE attacked a
submarine contact in 51‑17N, 01‑42.7E.
WALPOLE with convoy KJ.1B attacked a submarine contact 11
miles from Great
Ormes Head, later determined to be a wreck.
OA.18 of nine ships
departed Southend and dispersed on the 17th, possibly
escorted by destroyers
MONTROSE and VIVACIOUS which departed Milford Haven on the
OB.18 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers
VERSATILE and MACKAY until the 14th.
BC.10F of troopship ULSTER PRINCE departed the Loire
escorted by destroyers
EXPRESS and ENCOUNTER, and arrived safely in the Bristol
Channel on the 12th.
cruisers were on
Northern Patrol duty, while light cruiser
was on a special patrol
departed Alexandria for Malta, arriving on the 13th for
repairs to her rudder, which were completed on the 21st. She
left on the 24th and
arrived back at Alexandria
on the 26th.
HOSTILE, HEREWARD and HERO departed Malta on the 2nd and
Gibraltar on the 5th for duty with the
South Atlantic Command at Freetown.
HEREWARD and HERO,
escorting liner ATHLONE CASTLE, arrived at Freetown on the
11th, while HARDY,
HASTY, HOSTILE joined aircraft carrier ARK
and battlecruiser RENOWN
11-50N, 21-00W, also on the 11th. These ships arrived at
Freetown on the 12th and after
replenishment put back to sea on the 14th for patrol duties.
Blue 4 departed Port Said with 29 ships on the 11th,
escorted by destroyers DAINTY and DUNCAN. Minesweeper SUTTON
ships from Alexandria
on the 12th to join the
departed at 0545/16th to
refuel at Malta
and rejoined in the Malta
Channel at 1415/16th with French destroyer KERSAINT.
SUTTON left in the Malta Channel on the 16th, and DUNCAN and
relieved by destroyers GRAFTON and GALLANT on the 17th. The
destroyers remained until the 18th when Mediterranean
discontinued. The convoy arrived safely at Gibraltar on the
DIANA arrived at Suez from Singapore to reinforce the
through the Mediterranean en route to the Home Fleet, escorted damaged
destroyer GARLAND which was towed by netlayer PROTECTOR,
to Malta where they arrived on the
11th. General submarine movements at this time follow:
1, PORPOISE, CACHALOT,
SEAL departed Malta
on the 11th, escorted by
PROTECTOR as far as Galita
Island. PROTECTOR returned to Malta to meet Group 2,
SALMON, SHARK and SNAPPER and escorted them later the same
day to Galita Island. Both groups reached Gibraltar on the
15th and left on the
16th for Portsmouth,
with Group 1 arriving on
the 20th and Group 2 on the 22nd.
went directly into
dock with engine problems which had caused problems on
passage from Gibraltar. Repairs completed on the
28th and she went to Sheerness for docking from 2 to 11
and SEAL were shortly sent to Halifax to escort convoys,
PORPOISE arrived at Chatham
on the 24th for refitting.
SALMON, SHARK were
almost immediately deployed off the Dogger Bank
on a patrol line, which
ended on 4 November when they were ordered to Rosyth.
SEALION, SALMON, SHARK,
SNAPPER, along with SUNFISH, STERLET of the 2nd Submarine
Flotilla and depot
ship CYCLOPS, formed the 3rd Submarine Flotilla. The
Flotilla was based at
Harwich and began operations in late November.
HGF.3 departed Gibraltar with steamer NARKUNDA
(16,632grt) the only ship in the convoy.
Officer T E Clark was
killed when his Sea Gladiator of 802 Squadron from aircraft
crashed in Lake Maruit,
departed Colombo on patrol and arrived back
on 3 November.
departed Bombay to search for German raiders
in the Seychelles
area, Amirante Group, and Providence, Farquhar, Aldabara
anchorages. The patrol ended on 13 November when she arrived
Thursday, 12 October
degaussing at Kirkwall, departed Scapa Flow
with destroyers FAME and
FORESIGHT at 1734 for boiler cleaning at Rosyth.
were detached from the Home
Fleet to cover convoys in the Western Approaches. They left
Scapa Flow on the 12th at 1737 and 1915
departed Scapa Flow for Northern Patrol at 1810.
light cruisers were on
Northern Patrol, with light cruiser
still on patrol in the Denmark Strait.
AMAZON and WAKEFUL
were submarine hunting off Dover.
ACHERON, WREN and sloop FLEETWOOD were submarine hunting off
PUNJABI were submarine hunting off the Hebrides.
a submarine contact 51‑31N, 5‑41W.
ECHO ran aground as
she entered Plymouth
in a heavy fog, damaged her
stern and repaired at Plymouth,
completing on 17 November.
ran aground on Row Point and sustained minor damage which
was soon repaired.
BC.9S of six steamers,
including CERVANTES and GUELMA (Commodore) departed the
Loire, escorted by destroyers
EXMOUTH and ECLIPSE, and arrived safely in the Bristol
Channel on the 14th.
Southend and arrived at Methil on the 14th. There was no
FS.20 departed Methil
and arrived at Southend on the 14th.
sank Greek steamer ARIS (4810grt) in 53‑28N, 14‑30W;
two crew were lost and 27 survivors rescued by Danish
sank French tanker EMILE MIGUET (14,115grt), a
from convoy KJ.2, 190 miles SW of Fastnet in 50‑15N, 14‑50W.
caught fire and was abandoned with one crewman killed and
Survivors were rescued by American steamer BLACK HAWK
(4988grt) and she was
scuttled by gunfire from destroyer IMOGEN.
sank steamer HERONSPOOL (5202grt), a straggler
from convoy OB.17, 260 miles SW of Fastnet in 50‑13N,
American steamer PRESIDENT HARDING (13,869grt) picked up the
SOS of EMILE
MIGUET (above) and sailing to rescue her survivors in
came upon HERONSPOOL's entire crew and rescued them.
continued her rescue mission, but by that time BLACK HAWK
had picked up EMILE
SLF.4 departed Freetown unescorted and arrived at Liverpool
on the 20th.
Friday, 13 October
sailed at 0140 from Scapa Flow for Loch Ewe, escorted by destroyers FEARLESS
and FOXHOUND, and arrived later that day.
destroyers MATABELE, JERVIS, JUPITER, JACKAL and JANUS
departed Scapa Flow for patrol at 1016.
arrived at Scapa Flow at 1500.
departed Scapa Flow for Northern Patrol, and arrived at Sullom Voe on the
arrived at Scapa Flow.
OA.19 of 13 ships
departed Southend escorted by destroyers ELECTRA and ESCORT
until the 17th,
when they detached to convoy HG.3.
OB.19 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers VANOC
and WARWICK from the 14th to 16th.
U.40, which departed Wilhelmshaven
on the 10th for her second
war patrol, was mined and sunk at 0200 in the Dover Strait
in the Folkestone-Gris Nez
deep minefield. Thirty eight crew including commanding
officer Kptlt Wolfgang
Barten were lost, with destroyers BRAZEN and BOREAS picking
survivors and five bodies at 0945/13th, 9 miles 155° from
the S Goodwin Light
ILEX and IMOGEN
encountered U.48 on the surface 400 miles west of Land's End
at 1016, and
drove her down with gunfire, but without inflicting any
U.42, which departed Wilhelmshaven
on 30 September for her
first war patrol, damaged steamer STONEPOOL (4803grt) from
OB.17 with gunfire in 48‑40N, 15‑30W. The escorts had left
join inward convoy HX.3, but returned and counter-attacked.
and ILEX delivered the fatal attack, 290 miles SW of Fastnet
16‑00W at 1928. Twenty five crew were lost and ILEX picked
officers and 14 ratings. IMOGEN escorted the STONEPOOL to
Barry, and both
destroyers reached Plymouth
on the 15th
sank French steamer LOUISIANE (6903grt) from
convoy OB.17, 240 miles SW of Fastnet in 50‑14N, 15‑05W,
crewman lost and survivors rescued by destroyer IMOGEN.
KELLY, escorting a convoy in the English Channel, attacked
and claimed to
have sunk a submarine. She and sister ship KINGSTON arrived
at Dover on the 15th.
SABRE, at anchor at
Rosyth, was rammed by armed merchant cruiser JERVIS BAY and
sank to deck level. She
was taken to Grangemouth for repairs, completing on
6 May 1940.
AFRIDI, in company
with GURKHA, attacked a submarine contact 3.4 miles 173° off
Beachy Head. Salvage ship TEDWORTH
conducted diving operations and discovered it had been a
convoy BC.9S from Quiberon
Bay to Barry with sister ship
EXMOUTH attacked a submarine contact off the Lizard, in
BLACKBURN ROVERS (422grt) and GRIMSBY TOWN (422grt) attacked
submarine contact in 51-16N, 5-48W.
KINGFISHER and anti-submarine trawler LADY BERYL (417grt)
hunting off Liverpool.
steamer GRESSHOLM (619grt) was sunk by a mine
90 miles NW of Texel in 53‑55N, 02‑55E; three crew were lost
eight survivors rescued by Finnish steamer EMMI.
HG.3 of 25 ships departed
Gibraltar escorted by destroyers
KEPPEL and WISHART. After attacks on the 17th while it was
aircraft protection, destroyers ELECTRA and ESCORT joined
the convoy on the
18th from OA.19, leaving on the 19th with the Channel
section of HG.3 after
being relieved. Destroyer KEITH joined that same day, the
19th and stayed
until the 21st. Before then, French destroyers LE TRIOMPHANT
and LÉOPARD had
been with the convoy from the 17th, arriving back at Brest
on the 20th. Destroyers
ACASTA, WAKEFUL and anti-submarine trawler LORD WAKEFIELD
joined on the 20th
and remained until the 21st, destroyer WREN joined the same
day, and the
convoy arrived at Liverpool, still on the 21st.
battleship MALAYA, destroyers BULLDOG and DARING were detached from the Mediterranean
Fleet for operations in the East Indies, arriving at Aden
on the 13th.
arrived at Simonstown after
sailing from the Mediterranean via the Suez Canal.
departed Simonstown for Mauritius.
Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES
left Valparaiso to join Commodore Harwood on
the South America Station. She refuelled from British tanker
Coquimbo on the 15th, passed the Straits of Magellan on the
19th and arrived
in the Falklands on the 21st. Leaving on the
23rd after refuelling; ACHILLES rendezvoused with heavy
off Lobito Island on the 26th. They joined
heavy cruiser CUMBERLAND
on the 27th and all three
operated together until 5 November.
Saturday, 14 October
sank battleship ROYAL OAK (right - Maritime
Quest) (Flagship Rear Admiral H E
C Blagrove, Captain W G Benn) at 0058 at anchor in Scapa
Flow and escaped unharmed. Rear
Admiral Blagrove, Lt Cdr S D Roper, Lt J E Moore, Captain H
E Balls RM,
Instructor Lt H Stewart, Lt (E) R L W Clark, Lt (E) C H
Cock, Lt (E) M P
Roupell, Surgeon Lt (D) W A Dickie, Surgeon Lt H J Cornelius
RNVR, Sub Lt J L
T Graham Brown, Chaplain Reverend J D B Cree, Midshipmen P W
C Graham, E J
Martin, N M Patterson, PG Piddington, S R M Wilson,
Paymaster Midshipman W J
R Bowhay, Commissioned Gunner A Powell Rtd, Commissioned
Telegrapher R Hughes
Rowlands, Warrant Engineer W H G Cheesley, Warrant Ordnance
Officer R D Ward,
Naval Cadets V G U Jay, A D McDermott, and eight hundred and
were conducted in the harbour by destroyers SOMALI, MASHONA,
the 22nd, but without result as U.47 had escaped the area
sinking ROYAL OAK. The first attack made was by destroyer
ASHANTI at 1030/13th, long after the
submarine had departed. Fortunately, most of the Fleet was
at Loch Ewe.
However, old seaplane tender PEGASUS
was in the berth next to ROYAL OAK and,
although identified by U.47 as battlecruiser REPULSE,
was not damaged.
and BELFAST at 0730 and most of the fleet auxiliaries in the
Orkneys left for Loch Ewe, arriving on the 14th.
Anti-aircraft ship CURLEW was able to proceed there on the 16th.
cruisers on Northern
Patrol were transferred to Sullom Voe which was only
protected by an
anti-submarine net. Light cruisers CALEDON,
at 0730 and armed merchant
SALOPIAN and CHITRAL departed Scapa Flow on the 14th, and AMCs AURANIA, RAWALPINDI
TRANSYLVANIA on the 15th.
at Scapa Flow were:
base ship IRON DUKE,
accommodation ship VOLTAIRE, destroyers SOMALI, MASHONA,
ESKIMO, ASHANTI which were standing by for convoy duty,
destroyer TARTAR with
serious defects and minesweepers HAZARD,
cruiser CALEDON arrived at Kirkwall on the 18th, and COLOMBO
at Sullom Voe on the 18th.
ZULU which had departed Gibraltar on the 11th, arrived at Portland.
Sister ship NUBIAN, left
with the other three, and reached Portsmouth on the 14th.
turbine defects, she was towed to Southampton
on the 20th and was under
repair until 23 November, but did not leave Portsmouth until
the 30th for duty with
the Home Fleet. The final unit of the 4th Destroyer
Flotilla, destroyer SIKH,
remained in the Mediterranean with turbine defects until 20 December and did not
arrive at Dover
until the 23rd.
fired three torpedoes at U.23, 20 miles E of the Skaw in
57-50N, 9-59E at 1452.
submarine ORZEL, which
escaped internment at Tallinn
on 18 September, was met in
30 miles east of May
Island by fast escort
ship/destroyer VALOROUS and escorted into Rosyth.
FS.21 departed Methil,
escorted by destroyers VIVIEN, WHITLEY, WITCH and sloop
STORK, and arrived at
Southend on the 16th. There was no convoy FN.21.
and BOULONNAIS departed Brest
for Cherbourg, where BRESTOIS began
refitting. The third destroyer of the 5th Division,
FOUDROYANT, was on escort
duty in the Atlantic and joined the other two on 2 November.
sank steamer SNEATON (3678grt) in 49‑05N, 13‑05W,
150 miles SW of Fastnet, with the loss of one crewman. The
picked up by Belgian tanker ALEXANDRE ANDRE (5261grt).
group of merchant ships
from convoy KJF.3, en route to France and escorted by French
SURCOUF, were attacked by U.37, U.45,
U.46, U.48, south of Ireland early on the 14th, after
SURCOUF lost touch in a
storm. U.45, on her second war patrol, sank two ships from
the group. French
(10,108grt) went down 130
miles SW of Fastnet in 50‑20N, 12‑45W, and her survivors
picked up by destroyers IMOGEN and ILEX, arriving Plymouth
on the 15th. British steamer LOCHAVON (9205grt) was
230 miles SW of Fastnet in 50‑25N, 13‑10W early on the 14th,
sinking at 1800/16th, 150 miles SW of Fastnet. She lost
seven crew with her
survivors rescued by destroyer ISIS, which had left Plymouth
on the 8th for escort duty
with sister ship IMPERIAL. Steamer KARAMEA (8457grt) was
also attacked by
U.45, 100 miles SW of Fastnet in 50‑30N, 12‑14W, but escaped
unharmed. U.45 was then sunk south
in 50‑58N, 12‑56W by destroyers INGLEFIELD, IVANHOE,
INTREPID and ICARUS, which departed
Plymouth on the 13th for
anti-submarine patrol in support of KJF.3. All 38 crew were
DEUTSCHLAND sank Norwegian steamer LORENTZ
W HANSEN (1918grt) east of Newfoundland in 49‑05N,
with the loss of three crew. The survivors were put aboard
KONGSDAL (9959grt) stopped later the same day.
French battlecruiser STRASBOURG
arrived at Dakar having departed Plymouth and Brest,
respectively, on the 7th.
and reached Port Said on the 16th.
GALLANT reached Gibraltar to escort battleship RAMILLIES, and DUCHESS to escort
convoy Green 5.
HAVOCK and HOTSPUR
arrived off Montevideo
for refuelling and left
again that evening.
Force H, departed Simonstown and swept the southern half of
the Capetown to
Freetown route. On the 22nd, they
returned to refuel - SUSSEX at Simonstown and SHROPSHIRE at
light cruiser HOBART
late on the 13th, with
Australian destroyers STUART, VENDETTA and WATERHEN leaving
at 0900/14th (local
time) and all four proceeded in company. HOBART reached
Darwin on the 21st, left the same
day and proceeding via Lombok Strait, arrived at Singapore
on the 26th. Meanwhile, the
three destroyers reached Brisbane
on the 15th to refuel and
shelter from heavy weather, departed on the 16th, refuelled
at Townsville on
the 18th, arrived Darwin
on the 22nd, departed on the
23rd and reached Singapore on the 29th.
VOYAGER and VAMPIRE also left on the 14th, from Fremantle,
proceeded to Singapore
via the Sunda Strait, arriving on the 21st. All
six ships were initially assigned to convoy duty from
Singapore. On 13 November, the
destroyers left Singapore
steamer MARION TRUBER (2334grt) was lost by
grounding near Oxelosund.
mid October, the British
and French Admiralties had organized the following Hunter
Groups which were formed
on the 5th in response to sinkings by German battleships:
F - heavy cruisers BERWICK
stationed in the West Indies
and North America. YORK was detached from the America and
West Indies Station, but
did not serve in Force F. She was maintained for Halifax
G - heavy cruisers CUMBERLAND
stationed off South America with New Zealand light cruiser ACHILLES
detailed on the 5th to join them.
H - heavy cruisers SUSSEX
near the Cape of Good Hope.
I - aircraft carrier EAGLE,
heavy cruisers CORNWALL
J - aircraft carrier GLORIOUS
and battleship MALAYA off Aden
in the approaches to the Red Sea.
K - aircraft carrier ARK
and battlecruiser RENOWN
L - French
battlecruiser DUNKERQUE, aircraft carrier BÉARN, light
MONTCALM, GEORGES LEYGUES at Brest.
M - French heavy
cruisers DUPLEIX and FOCH at Dakar.
N - French
aircraft carrier HERMES,
French heavy cruiser ALGÉRIE and light cruiser NEPTUNE
to be based at Jamaica, but reassigned to Dakar.
DUPLEIX and ALGÉRIE
travelled in company to Dakar.
N was never formed.
FOCH did not arrive at Dakar
until mid-November, then as
Force X with DUPLEIX.