Background Events - September 1939-March 1940
of Atlantic starts,
'Phoney War' on land, Battle of River Plate
Wednesday, 15 November
HN.2 of eight British
and one Finnish steamer departed Bergen and was joined by
ICARUS, IMOGEN and IMPULSIVE. The convoy was covered by
and accompanying forces which departed Rosyth on the 12th.
relieved by destroyer IMPERIAL and then proceeded to Rosyth
ASHANTI and PUNJABI getting underway
to join the battleships collided at Rosyth on the 15th, but
the damage was
not serious, and they and sister ship SOMALI, which departed
them, joined the battleships at sea as planned. Destroyer
Loch Ewe on the 16th and joined the Home Fleet in 62-15N,
00-04W and TARTAR,
completing the escort of steamer MARYLYN to Stromness,joined
them at the
same location as sister ship MASHONA.
ISIS and KANDAHAR were assigned to escort the
three steamers of the west coast section of HN.2 when it
arrived off the
had departed on the 15th to
join the Home Fleet at sea, but was recalled for this escort
WALLACE was assigned to escort the Tyne section of HN.2 but because of fog, had to
anchor off the Tyne for an hour.
submarine contact on the
17th did not hamper the convoy's progress and HN.2 arrived
safely on the 18th
with IMOGEN, IMPERIAL and IMPULSIVE. The battle force
arrived at Loch Ewe on the
17th, departed on the 19th and arrived in the Clyde on the
Northern Patrol, three
cruisers were between the Orkneys and the Faroes, two
cruisers and one AMC between the Faroes and Iceland, and one
cruiser and three
AMCs in the Denmark Strait.
deep minefield in the Clyde was begun and completed on
the 18th in Operation CP.
FURY completed her
repairs in the Clyde, but was retained in the Clyde to escort base ship MASHOBRA.
completed her repairs at Liverpool and departed for Scapa
PELICAN and submarine
TRIAD departed Rosyth to exercise outside May Island with
RAF personnel. Both
ships arrived back at Rosyth later that day.
rendezvoused off North Goodwin Light with destroyers EXPRESS
and ESK, which
had sailed from Harwich.
BROKE and ECLIPSE
were submarine hunting in 53‑50N, 5‑25W.
Southend for Methil, escorted by sloops GRIMSBY, FLAMINGO,
Anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA,
destroyers JUNO and JUPITER departed Grimsby in support.
FS.37 departed Methil
escorted by escort ships VIVIEN, VALOROUS and sloop BITTERN.
TEDWORTH sailed with the convoy for the passage south.
VALOROUS developed condenser
problems, was replaced by destroyer JAGUAR, and began
repairs in the Tyne, which were completed on the
BC.15 of ten steamers,
including BARON CARNEGIE, BLACKHEATH, DEVON COAST
departed Bristol Channel, escorted by destroyers VIVACIOUS, VESPER and VANESSA,
and safely arrived in the Loire on the 17th.
was attacked nine miles 90° from Tongue Light Vessel by
British aircraft which called up destroyers
KEITH and GRIFFIN.
Destroyer GREYHOUND later
joined in the search, but U.20 escaped serious damage and
was able to lay mines
off Newarp Light Vessel on the 22nd.
attacked a contact in 25‑50N, 7‑20W after a submarine was
reported by an aircraft. Destroyers VELOX and VIDETTE, after
HG.7, also searched the area.
light cruiser HOBART
(top - NavyPhotos/Mark Teadham) departed Colombo
and arrived at Bombay on the 18th.
arrived at Durban.
DEUTSCHLAND arrived in German waters and was renamed LÜTZOW
to prevent the
possibility of a ship bearing the name of the Fatherland
being sunk. She
anchored at Gdynia
on the 17th.
ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE sank steamer AFRICA
SHELL (706grt) 10½ miles SW by S of Cape Zavora Light
Channel in 24-40-42S, 35-12E. Submarine OLYMPUS on patrol in
the Indian Ocean set off in pursuit, but
failed to make contact.
Wells of Force K
transferred his flag to battlecruiser RENOWN,
and aircraft carrier ARK
for England to refit and receive new
aircraft. When news of the sinking of AFRICA SHELL reached
the Admiralty on
the 17th, ARK ROYAL was ordered back to Freetown.
departed Colombo on the 15th and arrived at Singapore on the
19th for patrol
duties on the China Station. She proceeded to Saigon and
arrived at Hong Kong on 10 December.
destroyers OTTAWA and RESTIGOUCHE departed Esquimalt,
Canada, for Halifax on the east coast after
being relieved in the Pacific by British light cruiser
They refuelled on the
25th off the Isla del Coco off the Costa Rican coast
from Australian light cruiser PERTH,
entered the Pacific through the Panama
Canal, refuelled again at Kingston
and reached Halifax on 7 December.
movements were to allow
Canadian destroyers FRASER and OTTAWA to join the America
and West Indies Station, and Canadian
destroyer SAGUENAY which had been operating in the Caribbean
since late September to return to Canada. However, heavy
convoy escorts caused OTTAWA
to be retained at Halifax and FRASER did not arrive in
the Caribbean at Kingston until 31 March 1940.
destroyer ASSINIBOINE arrived at Halifax on the 17th from
Plymouth, and departed Halifax on 5 December for Jamaica,
arriving at Kingston on the 8th to relieve SAGUENAY.
arrived back at Halifax in mid-December and resumed
convoy duties from that port.
remained in the Caribbean until 31 March 1940 when she
arrived back at Halifax
after being relieved by
was lost near
steamers PANEVEZYS (1607grt) and NIDA
(945grt) were sunk on mines
Thursday, 16 November
convoy FN.37, was damaged in a collision with steamer
LOWLAND (974grt) in 54‑38N,
0‑46W. She arrived at Leith on the 17th and was docked for repair,
completed on 10 December.
her refit in the Clyde.
Northern Patrol were three
cruisers between the Orkneys and the Faroes, two cruisers
and two AMCs
between the Faroes and Iceland, and one cruiser and three
AMCs in the Denmark Strait.
captured a merchant ship (SISALMANN ?)
and was en route with her to Loch Ewe. She requested a
trawler to meet her in
West Ray Firth to take over the escort. Armed boarding
JACINTH was delayed by weather, but did so, and both ships
arrived at Loch
Ewe at 1700/17th.
departed Sullom Voe and
arrived at Loch Ewe on the 20th to repair weather damage.
on patrol duties and arrived
back later the same day.
KASHMIR at Scapa Flow was ordered to join Forbes
at sea, but had mechanical defects and was unable to sail.
KEITH and GIPSY
were ordered to rendezvous with destroyer GRIFFIN off
Kentish Knock Light
operation FE was
completed on the 15th/16th and 16th/17th between the English
the Folkestone-Cape Griz Nez field and the shore off Dover
minelayer HAMPTON escorted by two destroyers. Survey ship
laid the navigational buoys.
OA.36G of 19 ships
departed Southend on the 16th escorted by destroyers WAKEFUL
and WHITEHALL on the 16th and 17th, and
destroyers WOLVERINE and VERITY on the 18th and 19th.
OB.36G departed Liverpool on the 17th, escorted by
destroyers WALKER and VANOC, which remained with the convoy
until the 19th.
Anti-submarine trawler NORTHERN SPRAY (655grt) was with the
convoy on the
17th only. The Bristol
section of OB.36G was
escorted by destroyer MONTROSE which remained until the
anti-submarine trawlers ARCTIC RANGER (493grt), KINGSTON
LORD HOTHAM (464grt) and LEYLAND (452grt) on passage to
Gibraltar for local
anti-submarine duties, which were with the convoy from the
17th to 24th.
OA.36G rendezvoused with OB.36G on the 19th and became
convoy OG.7 with 43
ships. It was then escorted by French destroyers CHACAL and
MISTRAL from the
19th and destroyer KEPPEL from the 20th. The convoy reached
Gibraltar on the 24th.
sank steamer ARLINGTON COURT (4915grt) from convoy
SL.7A, 320 miles 248° from Start Point in 48-14N, 11-42W.
Five crew were
lost, but Dutch steamer ALGENIB (5483grt) rescued 22
survivors from a
lifeboat, and on the 22nd, Norwegian tanker SPINANGER
(7429grt) picked up
sank Dutch tanker SLIEDRECHT (5133grt) 200 miles
of Rockall Bank; twenty six crewmen were missing but trawler
rescued five survivors during the night of the 23rd/24th.
(5464grt) ran aground near Dungeness Light.
(5257grt) was attacked by a submarine in 48‑47N, 8‑28W,
destroyers BROKE and ECLIPSE searched in the area.
Italian liner VULCANIA (24,469grt) outside Portuguese
destroyers TIGRE and PANTHÈRE arrived at Gibraltar for
convoy escort duty.
SL.9 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant
cruiser SALOPIAN. Disabled destroyer HAVOCK travelled with
them and detached
to Gibraltar on the 25th, arriving on the
27th. At 0800/2 December, destroyers MACKAY, VIMY, ACASTA,
and ARDENT met the convoy
in Home Waters, which arrived later that day.
submarine SIDI FERRUCH
arrived at Port of Spain
Friday, 17 November
sustained damage to her breakwater and aircraft carrier
trouble which limited her speed to 23 knots while at sea
arrived at Rosyth.
departed Scapa Flow for Loch Ewe, leaving there
on the 21st for Northern Patrol.
departed Loch Ewe after
refuelling and repairing damage sustained in heavy weather,
and arrived back
on the 20th.
departed Loch Ewe on Northern Patrol duties, with DIOMEDE
arriving back on the 21st.
departed the Clyde for Northern Patrol duties.
Northern Patrol were two cruisers
between the Orkneys and the Faroes, two cruisers and two
AMCs between the
Faroes and Iceland,
and one cruiser and three
AMCs in the Denmark Strait.
BURZA, GROM arrived at Rosyth for a visit by the Polish
Prime Minister, and
left on the 18th to return to Harwich.
ESK and EXPRESS
arrived at Harwich for minelaying in the Thames approaches
in operation RG.
They departed Harwich at 0815, accompanied by minesweepers
SKIPJACK and LEDA.
and EXPRESS laid more mines in this field on the
29th assisted by minesweepers HARRIER
followed on 1 December by
auxiliary minelayer HAMPTON
and four destroyers which
laid another line of mines, assisted by minesweepers
SKIPJACK and LEDA.
FURY departed the Clyde with base ship MASHOBRA on
the 16th. FURY was relieved by destroyer INGLEFIELD at
1735/17th which took
MASHOBRA on to Rosyth, arriving on the 19th. FURY proceeded
to Loch Ewe, and
after refuelling, joined the Main Fleet at sea.
Southend, escorted by escort vessels/destroyers VIVIEN,
VALOROUS and sloop
BITTERN. On passage, VIVIEN was damaged in collision with an
merchant ship, which carried on without stopping, arrived at
Harwich on the
17th and was later taken to North Shields for repairs
completed on 5
December. Destroyer JERVIS, which had been searching the
Outer Dowsing area
joined the convoy on the 18th from dawn to dark, and the
convoy arrived at Methil on the 19th.
FS.38 departed Methil,
escorted by destroyers WHITLEY, WALLACE and sloop STORK.
travelled in company. Destroyers JAGUAR and JUNO operated in
the area of
FS.38 from dawn to dark on the 18th, and the convoy arrived
at Southend on the
steamer HENNING OLDENDORFF (3986grt), which
had departed Huelva, Spain,
on the 2nd disguised as a
Russian ship, was captured by light cruiser COLOMBO
near Iceland in 62‑59N, 10‑44W.
The German ship, the Royal Navy's 19th prize of the war, was
taken in to Kirkwall by a prize crew commanded by
Lt Cdr L A Lambert on the 19th due to insufficient coal for
the voyage to Leith. She was later renamed
EMPIRE INDUSTRY for British service.
DESTROYER MINELAYING IN THE THAMES ESTUARY
KÜNNE and WILHELM HEIDKAMP of the 5th Destroyer Division,
destroyer BERND VON ARNIM, laid 180 magnetic mines in the
during the night of the 17th/18th. Returning to
Wilhelmshaven, they were met off
Terschelling by light cruisers LEIPZIG, NÜRNBERG and torpedo
LEOPARD, ILTIS, and SEEADLER. Seven merchant ships grossing
27,565 tons were sunk
and one more damaged in the field:
the 18th, Dutch steamer SIMON BOLIVAR (7906grt) in
01‑41E; 84 passengers and crew went missing. Survivors were
rescued by destroyer GREYHOUND, anti-submarine trawlers MAN
O'WAR (517grt), CAPE WARWICK (516grt), DANEMAN (516grt),
WELLARD 514grt), LADY ELSA (518grt), and tug FAIRPLAY II
the 18th, steamer BLACKHILL (2492grt), 7½ cables
from Longsand Head Light Vessel in 51‑47N, 01‑39E; one
was lost and destroyer GIPSY rescued the survivors.
the 18th, tanker JAMES J
MAGUIRE (10, 525grt) of convoy OA.37 was severely damaged in
the 19th, steamer TORCHBEARER (1267grt), two miles
from Shipwash Light Vessel; four crew were lost and
rescued the eight survivors.
the 20th, naval trawler MASTIFF (520grt, Lt Cdr A A
one mile off the Tongue; five ratings went missing and one
rating died of
wounds. The survivors were rescued by the Margate lifeboat
trawler CAPE SPARTEL
the 21st, Japanese liner TERUKUNI MARU (11, 930grt)
01‑30E; all 206 passengers and crew were picked up by
(256grt) and other small craft.
the 22nd, steamer GERALDUS (2495grt), three miles
of Sunk Light Vessel; destroyer WIVERN rescued the
the 22nd, steamer LOWLAND (924grt) two miles ENE of
Northeast Gunfleet Buoy; nine crew were lost and
minesweeping trawler MYRTLE (550grt) rescued three
10 December, auxiliary
minesweeper RAY OF HOPE (98grt, Skipper W Hayes RNR)
off Ramsgate; four crew
were killed and five missing. Auxiliary minesweeper SILVER
sweeping in company with RAY
OF HOPE picked up Cdr C E
Hamond DSO, DSC Rtd of VERNON, Hayes and the mate.
laid mines off
Orfordness during the night of the 17th/18th. Destroyer
GIPSY and one merchant ship was lost in the field. The
merchantman was Yugoslav steamer CARICA MILICA
(6371grt), sunk on the
18th, 3½ miles 005° from Shipwash; the entire crew was
DRANGEY (434grt) was damaged in a collision at Rosyth.
BROKE and ECLIPSE
were submarine hunting in 48‑05N, 6‑32W, and joined by
VANESSA, VESPER and VIVACIOUS, released from the escort of
(352grt) reported sighting a U-boat in 50N, 4-35W, and
destroyers WOLVERINE and
VERITY sailed to investigate.
WALLACE attacked a
submarine contact 10 miles NE of Blyth.
trawler CAPE ARGONA (494grt) attacked a
submarine contact 1½ miles 010° from Outer Dowsing.
sighted a submarine in 57‑44N, 5‑52W, and destroyers
and VERITY were ordered to carry out a search.
sank Lithuanian steamer KAUNAS
(1566grt) 6½ miles WNW of
Noordhinder Light Vessel; one crewman was lost and 15
survivors picked up.
laid mines off Lowestoft during the night of the 16th/17th,
on which one merchant ship was sunk.
HXF.9 departed Halifax at 1200 escorted by Canadian
destroyer ST LAURENT
until detached on the 18th.
Ocean escort was armed merchant cruiser ALAUNIA, and the
convoy arrived at Liverpool on the 29th.
and destroyers STURDY and GALLANT arrived at Gibraltar.
GALLANT left to return to Plymouth and was ordered en route
search for German merchant ships reported leaving Vigo.
SLF.9 departed Freetown escorted by sloop AUCKLAND, and was
joined on the 29th
by destroyers ESCAPADE, GALLANT and GRAFTON. The convoy
arrived later that day
and AUCKLAND reached Portsmouth
on the 30th.
at San Diego, California,
for refuelling, the
first foreign warship to visit a US port since the start of
(Captain Allen Poland DSC), which entered the Pacific
through the Panama Canal on the 1st, arrived at Callao, Peru
with steamer LOBOS
attached to Force I from
the 16th, departed Rangoon,
and on the 18th sailed from Colombo to patrol north of
steamer VALAPARISO (3759grt) was seized by
German warships for contraband violations in the Baltic.
submarine SIDI FERRUCH
departed Port of Spain
Saturday, 18 November
Northern Patrol were two
cruisers between the Orkneys and the Faroes three cruisers
and three AMCs between
the Faroes and Iceland,
and one cruiser and two
AMCs in the Denmark Strait.
Loch Ewe from Northern Patrol.
NORTHERN PRINCESS, NORTHERN FOAM, NORTHERN ISLE departed the
on escort duties.
merchant ship BORKUM (3670grt), which had departed
Montevideo on 9 October, was captured
by armed merchant cruiser CALIFORNIA on 18 November in the
Denmark Strait. Under a prize crew
commanded by Lt Cdr B Moloney RNR,
BORKUM headed for Greenock via Kirkwall, but on the 23rd was
attacked by U.33 and damaged by torpedo and gunfire near the
Orkneys in 59‑33N,
03‑57W. Four German crew members were killed, but the rest
Germans and British were rescued by armed boarding vessels
KINGSTON BERYL and
KINGSTON ONYX. The steamer was abandoned, drifted ashore in Papa
Sound on the 25th and refloated on 18
but as a total loss. She was taken to Rosyth and scrapped.
merchant ship EILBEK (2185grt), which had departed
Ponta Delgada in the Azores on the 10th, was captured by
armed merchant cruiser SCOTSTOUN in the Iceland
Faroes-Channel in 58‑45N,
14‑10W. Destroyer PUNJABI departed Greenock at daylight on
the 20th to
join SCOTSTOUN as she escorted EILBEK to the Clyde.
SCOTSTOUN arrived at midday on the 20th and PUNJABI and
the German ship on the 21st. EILBEK was renamed EMPIRE SCOUT
a D/F report,
destroyers ACASTA, ARDENT, WINCHELSEA and WALPOLE, on their
way to meet a
homecoming Halifax convoy, conducted a search 150 miles SW
ECHO and WANDERER were searching
for a submarine in 49‑40N, 12‑00W.
ILEX and ICARUS
began boiler cleaning at Rosyth.
Rosyth to collect tanker ATHELKING (9557grt) at Invergordon
and escort her to
Methil to join convoy FS.40. ISIS arrived on the morning of the 19th and departed that
afternoon with the tanker and destroyer KELLY, en route to
for refit. Destroyer
INGLEFIELD, after delivering MASHOBRA to Rosyth, relieved
tanker arrived at Methil on the 20th, while KELLY reached
the Tyne on the 21st.
OA.37 of 24
ships departed Southend escorted by destroyer GRAFTON and
the 18th to 20th. The convoy was dispersed on the 21st.
OB.38 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers
MACKAY and VIMY to the 21st.
DESTROYER MINELAYING OFF THE HUMBER
STEINBRINCK and FRIEDRICH ECKHOLDT of the 4th Destroyer
Flotilla, escorted by
destroyer HANDS LODY, laid mixed contact and more magnetic
mines off the Humber during the night of the
18th/19th. Returning, they were met by light cruiser LEIPZIG
and torpedo boats ILTIS,
SEEADLER, LEOPARD and WOLF. The British were still not aware
that the Germans
were using magnetic mines, against which they had no defence
capability, and it was not until the 23rd that a magnetic
mine was recovered
at Shoeburyness. Seven merchant ships grossing 38,710 tons
were sunk and one
more damaged in the field.
the 19th, Swedish steamer B O BORJESSON (1586grt) in
00‑21E; six crewmen were lost, and the survivors rescued by
minesweeping trawler ROSE OF ENGLAND (222grt) and trawler
the 19th, French steamer RHUYS (2921grt) 2½ miles
south of the
Humber Light Vessel; sixteen crewmen were lost and 17
the 24th, steamer MANGALORE (8886grt), 1½ miles
from Spurn Light House.
the 26th, Polish liner PILSUDSKI (14,294grt), 26
miles 314° off Outer Dowsing in 53-15N, 0-30E; ten crewmen
were lost, and destroyer
VALOROUS rescued 79 survivors.
the 30th, Norwegian
steamer REALF (8083grt) in 53‑55N,
00‑22E; one crewman was lost and the survivors rescued by
steamer SANTAGATA (4299grt). The wreck did not sink until 1
4 December, steamer HORSTED (1670grt) in convoy, in
00‑16E; five crewmen were lost and destroyer JACKAL picked
additional vessel of 1270
tons was lost on this minefield. This could possibly be
Norwegian steamer GIMLE (1271grt), reported lost on
December off the east coast of England, although her sinking
credited to U.31
28 December, tanker SAN DELFINO (8072grt) was
damaged off Holme Ridge Buoy in the Humber Estuary, but
refloated and berthed
on 1 January 1940.
sank fishing trawler WIGMORE (345grt) 25 miles N by
Rattray Head in 57‑59N, 02‑06W. Sixteen crewmen were lost.
sank steamer PARKHILL (500grt) in 58‑07N, 02‑18W.
K of aircraft carrier ARK
light cruiser NEPTUNE,
and destroyers HARDY,
HERO, HOSTILE and HASTY departed Freetown to operate south
of Freetown along the convoy route.
destroyer DELIGHT joined Force J in the Indian Ocean.
RAMILLIES was to relieve
battleship MALAYA which was due to go to Malta
for rearming. However, these
plans were suspended after the sinking of steamer AFRICA
SHELL in the Indian Ocean. DELIGHT was also to relieve
destroyer DARING which was to return to the Mediterranean
for refit, but her return
too was suspended.
and destroyers STURDY and DOUGLAS departed Gibraltar for
Toulon. DOUGLAS arrived back on the 23rd.
departed Gibraltar and arrived at Malta
on the 20th.
and submarines CAIMAN, MORSE and SOUFFLEUR passed Gibraltar
HX.9 departed Halifax at 1000 escorted by Canadian
destroyers ASSINIBOINE and ST
LAURENT until they detached on the
20th. Ocean escort was battleship WARSPITE,
which detached on the 24th. The
convoy arrived at Liverpool on 2 December.
CHEVALIER PAUL and torpedo boats FLORE and BOUCLIER were on
patrol in the
area of 43N, 13.5W.
Sunday, 19 November
FURY and MASHONA departed
Loch Ewe to hunt for a U-boat, and were joined by destroyers
PUNJABI and ASHANTI which also departed Loch
Northern Patrol were two
cruisers between the Orkneys and the Faroes, three cruisers
and three AMCs
between the Faroes and Iceland, and one cruiser and one AMC
in the Denmark Strait.
Harwich to investigate a Belgian steamer in the North Sea
reported to have
“cylindrical objects” on her after deck.
KEITH and one other
destroyer from convoy HG.7A dropped depth charges on a
BC.14 of eleven steamers,
including ADJUTANT, BATNA, BELLEROPHON (Commodore),
BRIARWOOD, HARMATTAN, JADE, LOCHEE, OUSEL and PEMBROKE COAST
departed the Loire, escorted by destroyer
VESPER, and safely arrived in the Bristol Channel on the
Southend, escorted by destroyers WALLACE, WHITLEY and sloop
STORK. The convoy
was met off Cromer Knoll by destroyer JERSEY on the 20th,
and arrived at
Methil on the 21st.
FS.39 departed Methil,
escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON and sloops HASTINGS and
PELICAN, and was met off Flamborough by destroyer JUPITER on
the 20th. The convoy arrived at Southend
on the 21st.
a submarine was
reported four miles north of St Abb's Head, destroyer VIVIEN
was sent to
submarine was reported off
Wicca Cove near St Ives. Destroyers ESCAPADE and ENCOUNTER
were ordered to
search the area, but ENCOUNTER suffered damage to her
forecastle in heavy
sloops KINGFISHER and
WIDGEON arrived at Ardrossan.
sank steamer STANBROOK (1383grt) in the North Sea
between Antwerp and the Tyne.
steamer TORAS (1016grt) was captured by a German
warship in the Baltic, taken in prize, and renamed FIDUCIA
sank steamer DARINO (1351grt) west of Biscay in
11‑07W. Sixteen crew were lost, but U.41 picked up the
later transferred them to Italian steamer CATERINA
sank steamer PENSILVA (4258grt), a straggler from
convoy OG.7, west of Biscay in 46‑51N, 11‑36W. Destroyer
ECHO attacked U.49 which was nearby, badly
damaged her, and made two more attacks before picking up the
survivors from PENSILVA. Destroyer WANDERER joined ECHO at
1530. U.49 arrived back
on the 29th and was under
repair until 8 March 1940.
HG.7 was escorted by
French large destroyers TARTU
and VAUQUELIN when a U-boat was
reported shadowing the convoy.
large destroyers CHACAL and MISTRAL
were investigating a contact 120 miles 315° from Cape
Finisterre, and destroyers GALLANT,
WALKER, VANOC, WOLVERINE, VERITY were ordered to join them.
ROTHESAY CASTLE (7016grt) was attacked 300
miles WSW of Ushant. Destroyers ECHO and WANDERER were
the area and were joined by destroyers WOLVERINE and VERITY
and arrived at Bermuda on the 21st.
on patrol, and arrived back
on the 28th.
(7266grt)) was approached by a French auxiliary cruiser 250
miles west of Portugal. Both, unsure of each
other's identity, regarded the other as an enemy. The
auxiliary attempted to
stop, then chased the British ship for some time. CLAN
outdistanced her and later discovered what had actually
and submarines LA PSYCHÉ, MÉDUSE and LE GLORIEUX which had
departed Casablanca, passed Gibraltar. They arrived at Oran
on the 20th, where LE
GLORIEUX started repairing.
Monday, 20 November
ZULU and MAORI departed Rosyth in an attempt to intercept
German liner BREMEN as she slipped down the
Norwegian coast to Germany. ZULU, experiencing
mechanical problems at the start, was delayed seven hours
and joined the
force at sea.
with destroyers GURKHA and
AFRIDI departed Rosyth for gunnery exercises, and arrived
back later that
SA.18 of two steamers
departed Southampton, escorted by destroyer WINDSOR, and arrived at
merchant ship BERTHA FISSER (4110grt) was
intercepted by armed merchant cruiser CHITRAL, SE of Iceland
15‑14W. She had departed Pernambuco on 24 October, in
42N, 35W was intercepted and challenged by a British
warship, but her
disguise as Norwegian steamer ADA was successful and she was
allowed to continue. This time, she scuttled herself and her
crew was picked up by CHITRAL.
Rosyth for Scapa Flow.
KASHMIR departed Scapa Flow to intercept a reported
suspicious merchant ship near the Faroes.
KANDAHAR departed Scapa Flow to patrol off Shapinsay.
INGLEFIELD off Rattray Head without success at 0010.
IMOGEN, IMPERIAL and
IMPULSIVE departed Rosyth and searched for U-boats in the
Rattray Head area.
MONTROSE were hunting in
the area of 46-20N, 6-00W for a reported damaged U-boat.
BENGUELA (534grt) reported
sighting a submarine in 46-17N, 6-03W.
trawler MAN O WAR (517grt) reported a
U-boat and attacked it in 51‑55N, 1‑46E. Destroyers GRIFFIN
and GIPSY joined her in the
out a submarine sweep with destroyer KEITH in the North Sea,
was near missed in a German
bombing attack, but escaped damage.
MONTROSE were ordered to
search for a reported submarine in 40N, 6W.
near Humber Light Vessel, exploded a mine in her sweep, and
parachute mines in the Thames Estuary.
STURGEON (Lt G D A Gregory)
fired four torpedoes at 1555 at two German anti-submarine
trawlers in 54-32N, 5-10E.
One of them sank Vp.209 (trawler GAULEITER
TELSHOW, 428grt) northwest of Helgoland
in the Heligoland Bight, the
first sinking of an enemy vessel by a British submarine in
World War 2.
OA.38 of 14 ships was
escorted on the 20th by destroyers WREN and WITCH, and
OB.39 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers
VERSATILE and WITHERINGTON until the 23rd, when they
detached to join convoy
FS.40 departed the Tyne escorted by escort
ships VALOROUS and BITTERN. Included with the convoy were
tanker ATHELKING and submarine STERLET, which was detached
in the Tyne for refit, arriving on the
in North Inchkeith Channel on the 20th, and on 14 and 16
December, laid more
mines in South Inchkeith Channel. Netlayer BAYONET
was lost in one of the South Inchkeith Channel fields.
auxiliary minesweeper SAINTE CLARE (57grt) was sunk
mine laid by U.16, 10 miles SE of Folkestone on 22 October;
PELICAN and HASTINGS with convoy FN.40 attacked U.19
off Cromer Light. Destroyers KEITH and BOADICEA joined them,
but U.19, which
had laid mines in the Inner Dowsing area on the 17th,
U.33, U.35, U.47, U.48
were deployed around the Orkneys to support German Fleet
departed Wilhelmshaven on the 18th and returned on
was returning from a
minelaying operation off North Foreland on the 5th, and got
back on the 29th.
departed Wilhelmshaven on the 18th and was lost on
departed Wilhelmshaven on the 16th and arrived back
on the 29th.
departed Wilhelmshaven on the 22nd and arrived back
on 20 December.
the 20th, U.33 sank
trawlers SEA SWEEPER (329grt) 25 miles NNW of Tory Island, DELPHINE
(250grt) 20 miles N by E of
Tory Island, and THOMAS HANKINS
(276grt) 14 miles NWof Tory Island. The crews of all three
picked up - SEA SWEEPER’s by trawler LOIS
(286grt) at 0300/21st.
next day, submarine U.33
sank trawlers SCULBY (287grt) and WILLIAM
HUMPHRIES (276grt) 73 miles
NW of Rathlin Island. Five crewmen were lost from SCULBY,
and the seven
survivors landed at Tobermory.
convoy KS.27, en route
from Oran and Casablanca
to Brest and St Nazaire, and escorted
by French destroyers SIROCCO, FRONDEUR and sloop CHEVREUIL,
was attacked by
U41, U.43 and U.49 off St Nazaire. ThE convoy had been
sighted by U.53 on the
15th, but air support and the destroyers were able to hold
off the submarines
leading to the CO of U.53 being relieved of command after
this patrol for not
pressing home the attack. U.49 attempted an attack on the
afternoon of the
16th November, but without success. French large destroyer
CHEVALIER PAUL was
sent out to reinforce the escort. None of the U-boats were
able to do any
damage to KS.27, but U.41 and U.43 were each able to sink
or stragglers while en route to the convoy. SIROCCO attacked
U.49 on the
20th, and damaged her bow tubes in the depth charge attack.
French destroyers INDOMPTABLE, MALIN and TRIOMPHANT were
also searching the area.
departed Colombo for Singapore, arriving on the 26th.
at Esquimalt for refitting completed on 15 April 1940.
light cruiser PERTH
departed Kingston for Colon.
heavy cruisers CANBERRA
arrived at Melbourne after patrol.
Tuesday, 21 November
with destroyers FURY, FAME, FAULKNOR, FOXHOUND, FORTUNE and FORESIGHT
in the Clyde
from Loch Ewe.
with destroyer AFRIDI
departed the Firth of Forth on gunnery exercises. At 1058
near May Island, BELFAST struck a mine laid by a U.21
on the 4th. Badly damaged and with a broken back, she was
towed back to
Rosyth by tug KROOMAN (230grt). Tug BRAMHAM soon joined and
GRANGEBOURNE, BULGER and OXCAR also met BELFAST. Twenty one
Lt Cdr (E) F S. Ferguson, were wounded, with one rating
dying of wounds on
the 30th. Destroyers GURKHA and ICARUS put out from Rosyth
to search off
Fiora for the submarine thought responsible. They were
joined by escort
vessel WHITLEY and sloop STORK and later by destroyers ISIS
Destroyers IMOGEN, IMPULSIVE and IMPERIAL were also recalled
from patrol off Rattray Head to assist in the search,
refuelling at Invergordon on the 22nd
en route. Escort vessel VIVIEN remained in company with
BELFAST after she passed through the
gate. After temporary repairs, BELFAST left Rosyth on
28 June 1940 for Devonport, arrived there on 3 July and was
repairing until 3
November 1942 – almost three years later.
she had leaking rivets in her stern, was seaworthy, but did
at the earliest possibility.
Northern Patrol were two
cruisers between the Orkneys and the Faroes, three cruisers
and one AMC between the Faroes and Iceland, and one cruiser
AMCs in the Denmark Strait. Armed merchant cruiser CALIFORNIA
on reported she had a
slightly damaged bow due to ice. Light cruisers DELHI,
Loch Ewe on Northern Patrol duties.
GIPSY (Lt Cdr N J Crossley) and the
Polish BURZA departed Harwich to rescue a downed German
aircrew, who were
picked up and returned to Harwich. That evening at 2100,
destroyers GRIFFIN (D.22, Captain G E Creasy),
KEITH, GIPSY, BOADICEA and Polish GROM departed Harwich for
a sweep in the North Sea in operation GT.1. Leaving Harwich
Harbour, the destroyers ran into a
minefield laid by U.19 on the 17th and GIPSY struck
a mine and was badly
damaged. She was run aground a total loss and KEITH and
GRIFFIN picked up the survivors. One
crewman died of injuries, 29 crewmen were missing, and Lt
Cdr Crossley died
of injuries on the 27th. Py/Lt J B Rigg RNVR, Py/Midshipman
M A J Landon RNR and nineteen ratings were
wounded, one seriously. Consideration was given to salvaging
GIPSY, but she had been too badly damaged.
JUNO, JAGUAR, JANUS and JERSEY departed Immingham and were
on a patrol in the North Sea, designated operation BT.2. Following the
patrol, JANUS joined convoy FS.40 and JAGUAR joined FN.40.
attacked by a German bomber in 53-33N, 00-48E, but was not
PUNJABI, ASHANTI, SOMALI and MASHONA departed Greenock for
Belfast to escort the fleet tenders
A (dummy battleship REVENGE - decoy ship PAKEHA) and B
RESOLUTION - decoy ship WAIMANA) to Rosyth to help divert
attention away from Scapa Flow. The group was designated Force W and included
fleet tender C as dummy aircraft carrier HERMES – decoy ship
MASHONA departed Belfast to search for a submarine 70
miles NW of Rathlin. They were joined by sister ship
investigated suspicious vessels southwest of Shipwash.
IMOGEN, IMPERIAL and
IMPULSIVE were searching for the U-boat responsible for
sinking trawler WIGMORE on the 18th off Rattray Head.
ESCORT and ELECTRA
were searching for a submarine one mile 180° from Rame Head.
WARWICK and patrol
sloop GUILLEMOT were submarine hunting in 53‑49N, 3‑51W.
SKIPJACK and LEDA
were searching for a submarine one mile south of Cross
the 19th, destroyer WIVERN
was relieved on patrol by destroyer BRILLIANT. Then on the
21st, WIVERN was
ordered to make runs at high speed along the line from the
wreck of the Dutch
steamer SIMON BOLIVAR in 51‑49.6N, 01‑41E and that of
British steamer BLACKHILL in 51‑47.6N, 01‑39E to detonate
any magnetic mines.
Anti-submarine trawlers WELLARD and LADY ELSA took off
and stood by should WIVERN be mined in the attempt. Four
runs were made, but
no mines detonated. This was repeated on the 23rd with
similar results, and
after one run, a leak developed in the stern gland and she
returned to Chatham.
Southend, escorted by destroyer WOOLSTON, and sloops PELICAN
and HASTINGS. Destroyer JAGUAR provided
support on the 22nd, while WOOLSTON detached when the convoy
was abreast the Tyne to join the escort of FS.41.
FN.40 arrived at Methil on the 23rd.
FS.40 departed the Tyne, escorted by escort ship VALOROUS
and sloop BITTERN. Destroyer JANUS provided support
on the 22nd, and the convoy arrived at Southend on the 23rd.
BEDFORDSHIRE (443grt), WARWICK DEEPING (445grt) and
attacked a submarine contact three miles from Bull Point.
merchant ship TENERIFE
(2436grt), which had
on the 9th, scuttled herself
when intercepted by armed merchant cruiser TRANSYLVANIA west
of Iceland in 62‑25N, 20W. The
crew of 12 officers and 61 ratings were taken aboard the
sank French steamer LES
BARGES II (296grt) in 45‑35N, 03‑22W; survivors were
up by Spanish fishing vessel PAZ Y TRABAJO, and landed at
(6660grt) was damaged on a mine near South Brade Buoy off
Deal late on the
21st and taken to Calais
for drydocking and repair.
BY GERMAN BATTLECRUISERS SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU
SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU departed Wilhelmshaven at 1310
hours under the
command of Vice Admiral Marschall to raid in the North
Atlantic and relieve pressure on the
ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE in the South Atlantic.
They were accompanied by
light cruisers KÖLN, LEIPZIG
and destroyers ERICH GIESE,
BERND VON ARNIM and KARL GALSTER until late on the 21st. The
then joined pocket battleship LÜTZOW (former DEUTSCHLAND)
and torpedo boats
LEOPARD, SEEADLER, ILTIS for operations in the Skagerrak
during the night of the
21st/22nd. However, heavy weather forced a cancellation of
the Skagerrak operation and these ships
returned to Wilhelmshaven.
destroyers ASSINIBOINE and ST
LAURENT, light cruiser EMERALD
arrived at Halifax
shipment of gold bullion from England.
and heavy cruiser ALGÉRIE of
Force Y departed Dakar,
escorted by destroyers LE
FANTASQUE and LE TERRIBLE. They were joined by destroyers
GUÉPARD, VALMY and VERDUN of the 3rd Large Destroyer
Division, which had departed Toulon on the 17th. The
large destroyer LION and destroyer LA RAILLEUSE, departing Casablanca
on the 23rd, joined them on
the 24th and later arrived at Brest on the 30th.
on the 24th, ALGÉRIE,
LE FANTASQUE, LE TERRIBLE, LION
and LA RAILLEUSE separated from
the group and arrived at Toulon
on the 26th. LE FANTASQUE
and LE TERRIBLE reached Brest
on the 30th.
of Spain on the 25th, STRASBOURG was joined by destroyers LE
MALIN and LE TRIOMPHANT of the 8th Large Destroyer Division
on the 23rd. Destroyer L’INDOMPTABLE
departed with her two sister ships, but was delayed by a
storm on the 24th,
then reassigned. GUÉPARD, VERDUN,
VALMY, LE MALIN, and
LE TRIOMPHANT escorted the battlecruiser, and on the 27th,
there was an aerial
mining alert. Still escorted by the five destroyers, she
arrived at Brest on the 29th for refitting.
with turbine defects on the
22nd escorting a convoy of steamers JAMAIQUE, LIPARI, and
BELLE ISLE for Casablanca, and arriving on the 27th.
She left there on the 30th, arrived at Oran on 1 December
and Toulon on the 4th for repairs.
relieve Force Y, Force X
was formed with heavy cruisers FOCH and DUPLEIX.
number of ships joined
heavy cruiser DUPLEIX at Casablanca.
Large destroyer MILAN departed Bizerte on the 2nd and
the 6th. Large destroyer CASSARD departed Toulon on the 3rd
submarines LE HÉROS, LE CONQUÉRANT, ACHÉRON and arrived on
the 7th. Finally
heavy cruiser FOCH and destroyer LION departed Oran on the
7th to reach Casablanca on the 8th.
WOOLWICH, carrying MTB.3 and MTB.4
aboard, departed Malta for Portsmouth, escorted by sloop
ROCHESTER, which had only reached Malta on the 20th from the
East Indies. After reaching Gibraltar on the 25th, ROCHESTER
left on the 28th for Freetown. Now with local escort by
destroyers VELOX and WISHART, WOOLWICH departed Gibraltar on
Wednesday, 22 November
Northern Patrol were two
cruisers between the Orkneys and the Faroes, three cruisers
and three AMCs
between the Faroes and Iceland, and one cruiser and three
AMCs in the Denmark Strait. Light cruiser NEWCASTLE
departed Loch Ewe for patrol
in the Denmark
LAURENTIC intercepted German merchant ship ANTIOCHIA
(3106grt) which had departed Ponta Delgada on the 12th.
south of Iceland
in 62‑30N, 16‑30W,
LAURENTIC chased ANTIOCHIA to 62‑15N, 15‑08W where she
IMOGEN, IMPULSIVE and
IMPERIAL arrived at Invergordon to refuel after their
Rattray Head patrol.
KASHMIR and KANDAHAR arrived at Scapa Flow.
flights of German
aircraft attacked Sullom Voe and seaplane depot ship MANELA,
but were driven
off by anti-aircraft cruiser COVENTRY.
One London flying boat was destroyed
but there was no other damage. Incendiary bombs were also
dropped over Lerwick Harbour.
trawler ARAGONITE (315grt, CO - Lt Cdr F G
Rogers RNR, Chief Skipper P J Miles RNR)
was mined and sunk near
South Brade Buoy off Deal, one mile 49° from the Deal Coast
Guard Station; four men were wounded in the explosion.
FOXHOUND left Greenock at 2315 during a submarine
alert and shortly after, at 0008/23 ran aground near Black
suffering minor hull damage. She was able to get off by
herself at 0713, but was
in dock at Greenock until 11 December.
WIVERN and Polish
GROM and BLYSKAWICA departed the Nore for Kentish Knock to
search for for
searching for a submarine located by D/F.
anti-submarine attacks in 48‑46N, 06‑35W.
PC.74 and patrol sloop
SHELDRAKE with two anti-submarine trawlers were searching
for a submarine
contact off northern Ireland
in 56-39N, 7-31W.
BRUCE, which had been paid off and disarmed prior to
the war, was sunk as an
aircraft torpedo target south of the Isle of Wight.
OA.39 of four ships
departed Southend escorted by destroyer ARDENT from the 22nd
OB.39 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers
VOLUNTEER and WARWICK until the 25th.
steamer NICOLAOS PIANGOS (4499grt) was sunk
in a collision with Norwegian steamer BRARENA (6996grt) in
the North Sea.
sank French steamer ARIJON (4374grt) in 45‑40N,
laid mines during the
night of the 21st/22nd near Newarp Light Ship, east of
Yarmouth, on which two merchant ships were
steamer ELENA R (4576grt) was sunk two miles
south of Shambles Light Vessel on a mine laid by U.26 on 4
crew of 24 reached the Light Vessel.
being relieved by
destroyer DELIGHT, sister ship DARING departed Aden on the
10th and arrived at Suez after operations in the East Indies
which started on 13 October.
DARING departed Port Said
on the 23rd and proceeded to Malta
where she arrived on the
25th for refitting.
HG.8, which departed Port Said on the 11th, left Gibraltar
on the 22nd, escorted by destroyers KEPPEL, VIDETTE and the
French TIGRE and PANTHÈRE from the
22nd. The French ships arrived at Brest on the 29th. Cable
MIRROR departed with the convoy and escorted by VIDETTE
carried out cable
repairs in 36-16N, 7-24W. These ships arrived back at
Gibraltar on the 26th. The convoy
reached Liverpool on the 30th.
L’INDOMPTABLE, LE MALIN and LE TRIOMPHANT were patrolling in
HOTSPUR departed Kingston to intercept German steamer ARAUCA
(4354grt), reported leaving
liner ADOLPH WOERMANN (8577grt) departed Lobito on the 16th,
and Forces H
and K were involved in trying to intercept her. Steamer
reported sighting a suspicious merchant ship at 0842/21st
and light cruiser NEPTUNE
of Force K was detached to investigate. On her approach, ADOLPH
scuttled herself off Ascension Island
in 10-39S, 5-44W and NEPTUNE picked up the crew.
Destroyers HARDY, HASTY, HERO and HOSTILE, also of Force K
accompanied NEPTUNE to Freetown for refuelling, arriving on
the 25th. The German crew was taken to England by armed
merchant cruiser CARNAVON CASTLE, which departed Freetown on
the 25th in convoy
and New Zealand sister ship ACHILLES
searched for German merchant ships off Cape San Antonio.
Both refuelled from tanker OLYNTHUS at San Boroborn Bay on
23rd and then set off northwards.
departed Rio de Janiero for
de la Plata, then left the area on the 26th for the Falklands,
arriving on the 30th.
departed Hong Kong on the 22nd after submarine
RAINBOW reported a darkened ship leaving Kobe. No contact
with the ship
was made and BIRMINGHAM
returned to Hong Kong.
Thursday, 23 November
merchant ship KONSUL HENDRIK FISSER (4458grt),
which had departed Vigo
on the 11th, was captured
north of the Faroes in 63N, 07W by light cruiser CALYPSO,
which had left Loch
Ewe on the 23rd. She was taken to Leith by a prize crew commanded by Lt Cdr G R H
Smith Rtd, and renamed EMPIRE SOLDIER for British service.
the afternoon of the 23rd, Northern Patrol was disposed as
follows: (1) Denmark Strait
and armed merchant cruisers CALIFORNIA, TRANSYLVANIA and AURANIA;
(2) Iceland-Faroes Channel
merchant cruiser RAWALPINDI
(AMC CHITRAL departed the Clyde
on the 14th for this
station, but was now returning with the crew from German
steamer BERTHA FISSER). Meanwhile DELHI
was pursuing German steamer
LUDOLF OLDENDORFF (1953grt) but was unable to stop her. She
was stopped the
next day by light cruiser
SHEFFIELD, but disguised as a Danish steamer, was allowed
to continue; and (3) south
of the Faroes
- light cruisers CALEDON,
BY GERMAN BATTLECRUISERS SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU - LOSS OF
SCHARNHORST came upon armed merchant cruiser RAWALPINDI
(Captain E C Kennedy Rtd)
southeast of Iceland
at 1507. She tried to outrun
SCHARNHORST and at 1551 radioed that an enemy battlecruiser
had been sighted,
adding a few minutes later that the warship was the
DEUTSCHLAND which was
still believed to be at sea.
1603, SCHARNHORST came
within range and opened fire, followed by GNEISENAU at
1611. RAWALPINDI was soon wrecked and set afire, but SCHARNHORST
was hit in return by one of RAWALPINDI's
six inch shells which
exploded on the quarter deck causing some splinter
casualties among the crew.
SCHARNHORST picked up six survivors from RAWALPINDI and
GNEISENAU another twenty-one. Ty/Lt Cdr (E) B J Dyer
RNR, Midshipman D Dugdale RNR
and 25 ratings were made
prisoners of war.
on Northern Patrol next to RAWALPINDI picked up the SOS and
steamed to her position.
NEWCASTLE actually sighted GNEISENAU at six and a half
miles, but both German ships escaped unharmed. RAWALPINDI
was still afloat, although
afire when NEWCASTLE
and light cruiser DELHI located her. She finally
sank around 2000.
with her were Captain E
C Kennedy Rtd, Lt Cdr G H E Molson Rtd, Lt Cdr K D Morgan
RNR, Lt J A W French Rtd, Lt M F
Shute RNR, Ty/Lt H J Cholerton RNR,
Sub Lt O V Pickersgill RNR, Sub Lt R L Pallister RNR, Ty/Sub
Lt F H J Orton RNR, Py/Sub Lt T B Quinn RNR, Act/Sub Lt H W
Raymont RNR, Ty/Act/Sub Lt A D Seabrook RNR, Ty/Cdr (E) C C
Sangster RNR, Ty/Lt Cdr (E) A J Burge RNR, Ty/Lt (E) T H C H
Fee RNR, Ty/Lt (E) H Turner RNR, Ty/Lt (E) J Shields RNR,
Ty/Act/Sub Lt (E) H J Arbin RNR, Ty/Act/Sub Lt (E) L E
Bevington RNR, Ty/Act/Sub Lt (E) A W Briden RNR,
Ty/Act/Sub Lt (E) W A Lambert RNR, Ty/Act/Sub Lt (E) J
MacDonald RNR, Ty/ Act/Sub Lt (E) A MacKie RNR, Ty/ Act/Sub
Lt (E) E G Meredith
RNR, Ty/ Act/Sub Lt (E) R H Taylor RNR, Ty/Paymaster Lt Cdr
Dickinson RNR, Ty/Paymaster Lt P E Sparks RNR,
Py/Midshipman D W Bean RNR, Py/Midshipman J A Blackledge
RNR, Py/Midshipman W Middleton RNR, Py/Commissioned
G P Johnson RNR, Py/Commissioned Electrician R Main RNR,
Py/Surgeon Lt F H J Weston RNVR and two hundred and forty
CHITRAL, returning to the Clyde,
picked up eleven more
survivors from a lifeboat 36 hours later.
response to RAWALPINDI's contact report, Admiral
Forbes with battleships NELSON,
heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE
and destroyers FAULKNOR,
FORESTER, FORTUNE, FIREDRAKE and FURY of the 8th Destroyer
Flotilla departed the
Clyde for a position off the
Norwegian coast to intercept the German ships, still
believed to be DEUTSCHLAND, as they returned to Germany.
Destroyers FAME and FORESIGHT joined the
force at sea, off the Clyde.
seas badly battered
and FORESIGHT, and FORTUNE was detached to Pentland
Firth Patrol, arrived at Scapa Flow
on the 28th and was later
taken to Liverpool for repairs, completed on 5 January. FAME
and FORESIGHT returned to
the Clyde arriving on the 24th and
were under repair there until 28 December.
with destroyers AFRIDI, GURKHA, BEDOUIN, ISIS and KINGSTON
departed Rosyth for Fair
of the Faroes on
Northern Patrol were light cruisers CALEDON
of the 7th Cruiser Squadron,
and CARDIFF and COLOMBO
of the 11th. They
were joined by light cruisers DIOMEDE
of the 7th Squadron and DUNEDIN
of the 11th from
Loch Ewe and all took station off North Rona
to patrol the approaches to
the Fair Island Channel. However, DIOMEDE and DUNEDIN had
just arrived in Loch Ewe
from patrol and both soon had to detach for refuelling.
were stationed five miles due north of Kelso Light to act as
attack striking force.
7th Squadron had just arrived at Loch Ewe on the 19th to
damage and boiler clean, and did not depart until the 24th.
departed Loch Ewe and
proceeded towards the reported position of the German
in the Denmark Strait were ordered to proceed
towards Bill Bailey Bank.
destroyers MAORI and ZULU, at sea since the 20th, looking
for German liner BREMEN, were to the northeast of the
Shetlands. Convoy ON.3 left the Firth of Forth at 1530, but
was recalled, and its escorts, destroyers INGLEFIELD,
IMPERIAL, IMPULSIVE and IMOGEN joined the
GLASGOW force off Muckle Flugga.
BEDOUIN of the SOUTHAMPTON
force was detached to patrol
until relieved by destroyer FORTUNE.
SOMALI, MASHONA, ASHANTI and
PUNJABI, recently departed Belfast with Force W, the dummy
ordered to join Forbes at sea off the Mull of Kintyre. Force
W returned to Belfast.
KASHMIR sortied from Scapa Flow with orders to locate and
shadow the German force.
CHITRAL arrived in the Clyde on the 24th with survivors from the RAWALPINDI.
merchant cruisers TRANSYLVANIA, CALIFORNIA, AURANIA
rendezvoused at the
Butt of Lewis and returned to the Clyde. They arrived at Loch Ewe on the 24th.
then reached the Clyde on the 27th and the other
two on the 28th.
convoy HX.9, which had departed Halifax on the 18th with
destroyer ASSINIBOINE as local escort, was ordered to leave the convoy and
take station in the Denmark Strait.
and battlecruiser REPULSE
departed Halifax on the 24th to cover convoys
HXF.10 and HX.10, but when REPULSE sustained damage to her Y
turret in heavy
weather, both ships returned to Halifax.
destroyers EXMOUTH, ECHO
and ECLIPSE departed Plymouth on the 25th and
rendezvoused with French battlecruiser DUNKERQUE, light
GEORGES LEYGUES and large destroyers MOGADOR and VOLTA which
on the 25th to relieve aircraft carrier FURIOUS and
battlecruiser REPULSE on
the Halifax station. This force swept for the German
battleships through to
the end of November. At sea, EXMOUTH, ECHO
ECLIPSE were detached and
returned to the Clyde on the 29th, while MOGADOR and VOLTA
arrived at Belfast
for fuelling, also on the 29th.
refuelling at Sullom
Voe on the 28th, SOMALI, PUNJABI and MASHONA joined HOOD,
and arrived at Loch
Ewe late on 2 December.
in the North Sea failed to make contact with
the German force. THISTLE was on patrol off the Skaw, TRIAD
off Lindesnes, STURGEON off Horn Reef, and
L.23 southwest of Lister Light. UNDINE and STARFISH departed
Blyth, and TRIUMPH and TRIDENT
from Rosyth, all on the 23rd to reinforce the Patrol Line.
all the confusion
searching for the German battleships, German steamer
which had departed Natal on 24 October, was able to pass
through the Denmark
Strait unobserved, and arrived safely at Narvik on the 29th.
on escort duties, and
arrived back on the 24th.
BC.16S of steamer
BARON KINNAIRD departed Bristol Channel
escorted by destroyers
MONTROSE and VESPER, and arrived in the Loire on the 24th.
FS.41 departed Methil,
escorted by sloops GRIMSBY
and WESTON and was joined
off the Tyne by destroyer WOOLSTON. The
convoy arrived at Southend on the 25th. Convoy FN.41 was
delayed and did not
depart until the 25th.
arrived at Nancowrie.
light cruiser SYDNEY
arrived at Geraldtown.
steamer GERRIT FRITZEN (4128grt) was lost by
grounding near Borkum.
of Allied Hunter
Groups searching for German raiders.
F - Heavy cruiser YORK
at Bermuda preparing to sail for Halifax. YORK had sustained
damage to her
A-turret in heavy weather and had been under repair at
Bermuda since early November. (Heavy
had been detached on the 7th and arrived at Portsmouth for
docking on the 14th
prior to joining the Home Fleet.) Destroyers HUNTER,
HYPERION, HOTSPUR and HEREWARD were attached to this force
as convoy escorts. The four destroyers
were respectively at Bermuda with defects to complete repair on the 29th, at
Halifax, at Kingston,
and at Trinidad on this date.
G - Heavy cruisers EXETER
were along the east coast of
America, with light cruiser AJAX
off Montevideo and the New Zealand ACHILLES
off Rio de Janiero.
H - Heavy cruisers SUSSEX
were stationed along the
west and south coast of Africa.
I - Aircraft carrier EAGLE
and heavy cruiser CORNWALL
were at Colombo, heavy cruiser DORSETSHIRE
was at sea in the Ceylon area, and Australian light cruiser
of the Arabian Sea. Light cruiser GLOUCESTER
and French sloop RIGAULT DE
GENOUILLY, due to be joined by Australian destroyer STUART
from Colombo on the 25th, were north of Madagascar sweeping
towards the Seychelles Islands. In addition, Australian
destroyers VENDETTA and WATERHEN were operating as convoy
submarine OLYMPUS was in the Maldives and Chagos Archipelago
J - Battleship MALAYA
and aircraft carrier
with attendant destroyer BULLDOG departed Aden on the 10th
and were at sea
in the area. Battleship RAMILLIES
and destroyer DELIGHT departed Aden on the 16th and were at
off Aden near Socotra.
K - Aircraft carrier ARK
and battlecruiser RENOWN
were en route to Madagascar.
L - Aircraft carrier FURIOUS
and battlecruiser REPULSE
were refuelling at Halifax.
M - Heavy cruiser KENT,
French heavy cruiser
SUFFREN, and Australian destroyers VAMPIRE and VOYAGER were
escorting convoys off
Sumatra in the Nicobar Islands area.
X - Aircraft carrier HERMES
and French heavy cruisers FOCH and DUPLEIX were patrolling
Pernambuco and Freetown.
Y - Relieved
by Force X and en route to France.
WELLINGTON arrived at Port Said from the Indian Ocean, en
route to England, departing next day for Malta. Sloop LEITH
arrived at Port Said on the 24th and left on the
25th for Malta.
Both ships were on station
in New Zealand
at the start of the war.
Friday, 24 November
FLEET DISPOSITIONS AGAINST GERMAN BATTLECRUISERS
the evening of the 24th
at 1600, Admiral Forbes redisposed his fleet off Utvaer,
Norway, to intercept the German
battlecruisers. Light cruisers CERES,
and destroyer KINGSTON,
which was deployed just off the Norwegian coast, were
disposed in a patrol line respectively,
west to east, . Meanwhile light cruiser AURORA
and destroyers AFRIDI, GURKHA, INGLEFIELD, BEDOUIN, ISIS,
IMPERIAL and IMPULSIVE were stationed
as a strike force to the south of the patrol line. Destroyer
detached to Scapa Flow on the the 24th to refuel and returned to patrol
that day. KINGSTON
patrolling just off shore
was relieved by destroyers ZULU and IMOGEN.
TARTAR, KANDAHAR, KASHMIR were ordered to join the AURORA
group late on the 24th, but
fears of mistaken identity caused their rendezvous to be
daybreak on the 25th. En route TARTAR's rudder was damaged
by weather and she
was sent to Scapa Flow and then on to the Clyde
for repair late on the 24th.
and destroyers SOMALI, MASHONA, PUNJABI, FAULKNOR, FURY,
FIREDRAKE and FORESTER
remained at sea.
1201/25th, a direction
finding bearing NNW of the Faroes caused heavy cruisers
and light cruiser DELHI
to be sent to investigate.
was low on fuel and could
not take part in the search.
patrol line, joined by
NORFOLK, SUFFOLK and light cruisers DRAGON,
early on the
25th, was moved north at 0700/25th, but all these efforts
and SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU arrived at Wilhelmshaven on
the 27th with only
of the cruisers
began on the 25th. One cruiser from each of the squadrons
were sent in turn
to refuel - ships of the 1st, 2nd, 18th Cruiser Squadrons to
Scapa Flow and
those of the 7th and 11th Squadrons to Sullom Voe.
was repaired at Kiel, completing on 4 February 1940 and SCHARNHORST with similar defects returned to
service shortly thereafter. Both ships immediately went to
on completion of repairs to
prepare for Operation NORDMARK.
Patrol from 24
November to 7 December sighted 34 eastbound ships and sent
23 into Kirkwall for inspection.
ICARUS and ILEX
departed Rosyth to investigate a submarine report six miles
320° from Rattray
Head, and returned to Scapa Flow the next day.
JUNO was damaged in a collision
alongside an oiler at Immingham, repaired there and returned
to service on
SUSSEX (13,647grt) was damaged SE
of Southend in North Channel on a mine laid by U.33 on the 5th.
ship CYCLOPS and
submarines SHARK, SEALION, SNAPPER, SALMON departed
Sheerness for Harwich
where they arrived that day. 3rd Submarine Flotilla began
operations next day
when SNAPPER departed Harwich on a patrol off Terschelling.
served as the headquarters of Captain G E Creasy (D.22) from
27 November to 1
OA.40G of 21 ships
departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VERITY and
WOLVERINE from the 24th
to 26th. The convoy merged on the 26th with OB.40G, escorted
WINCHELSEA, WALPOLE, VIVACIOUS and sloop ENCHANTRESS, to
form OG.8 with 44 ships.
OG.8 was escorted by WALPOLE
from the 24th to 26th when
she detached to SL.10, and WINCHELSEA and VIVACIOUS from the
24th to 28th.
ENCHANTRESS was with the convoy from the 24th to 27th. Other
French destroyers TARTU
and CHEVALIER PAUL from 27
November to 3 December after they had departed Brest on the
26th, and destroyer
VORTIGERN from 2 to 3 December. OG.8 arrived at Gibraltar on
LÜTZOW, light cruisers KÖLN, LEIPZIG, destroyers BERND VON
BRUNO HEINEMANN, FRIEDRICH IHN, ERICH STEINBRINCK, KARL
GALSTER and torpedo
boats LEOPARD, SEEADLER, ILTIS and WOLF operated in the
Skagerrak during the night of the
and arrived at Kingston on 1 December with
Australian light cruiser PERTH.
and arrived at Malta on 3 December.
SL.10 departed Freetown escorted by sloop LONDONDERRY, and
was joined on 10
December by destroyers WALKER,
WHIRLWIND, WHITEHALL and sloop ENCHANTRESS. The
convoy arrived later that day, while LONDONDERRY reached
Devonport on the
departed Diego Suarez on
patrol duties and arrived back on the 29th.
Saturday, 25 November
destroyer INGLEFIELD were attacked by German bombers off
southwest Norway, 100 miles east of Scapa Flow, but neither
damaged. Heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE and light cruiser COLOMBO
also reported they were
being shadowed by German aircraft.
IMOGEN and IMPERIAL were ordered at 1015 to Scapa Flow to
refuel. IMOGEN lost a
rating overboard in heavy weather.
departed Scapa Flow.
departed Scapa Flow and arrived at Loch Ewe on
LAURENTIC arrived at Liverpool.
departed Loch Ewe on Northern Patrol duties and arrived back
at Loch Ewe on 2
departed Grimsby on escort duties and arrived
in the Thames on the 28th.
INGLEFIELD, IMPERIAL arrived at Scapa Flow
to refuel prior to escorting
convoy ON.3 from Methil.
BC.15 of nine
steamers, including BARON CARNEGIE and NIGERIAN (Commodore)
departed the Loire escorted by destroyers
VANESSA and VESPER, and safely arrived in the Bristol
Channel on the 26th.
OA.41 of 17 ships
departed Southend escorted by destroyers GRAFTON and GALLANT
on the 25th.
OB.41 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers
ESCAPADE and MONTROSE until the 27th.
Southend, escorted by destroyer VALOROUS and sloop BITTERN.
HALCYON sailed with the convoy for the passage north and it
at Methil on the 27th.
FS.42 departed Methil,
escorted by sloops PELICAN and HASTINGS, arriving at
Southend on the
sank steamer ROYSTON GRANGE (5144grt) from convoy
SL.8B, south of Ireland
in 49‑15N, 09‑16W.
The survivors were rescued by another ship in the convoy,
VERSATILE and WITHERINGTON made six depth charge attacks on
contact, resulting in light damage to U.28. Destroyers
WANDERER, VISCOUNT and
a British flying boat also searched the area.
sank steamer USKMOUTH (2483grt) off Cape Finisterre
in 43‑23N, 11‑27W.
Two crew were lost, with French destroyer L’INDOMPTABLE
rescuing one survivor
and Italian steamer JUVENTUS (4920grt) the rest on the 26th.
counter-attacked U.43 in 43-30N, 11-30W and was also missed
by a torpedo.
U.43 arrived back at Wilhelmshaven
on 14 December and began
repairs that continued until March 1940.
reported sighting four outbound U-boats escorted by two
destroyers and four
aircraft off the Hook of Holland. Destroyers KEITH, BRILLIANT, JUPITER and the Polish
BLYSKAWICA patrolled in the North Sea for these ships without success.
ESCORT attacked a
submarine contact SW of Land's End in 49‑17N, 07‑14W.
ICARUS and ILEX
hunted for a submarine after a merchant ship reported being
attacked 20 miles
SE of Aberdeen. Destroyer ESKIMO joined them.
WALKER hunted for a submarine in 53-26N, 3-51W reported by
SEDGEFLY (520grt) attacked a submarine contact off Harwich
in 51-53N, 0-43E.
auxiliary patrol boat Vp.301 (trawler WESER, 650grt)
was sunk on a
defensive minefield near Langeland Island in the Belt.
HXF.10 departed Halifax at 0900 escorted by Canadian
destroyers ASSINIBOINE and SKEENA, which left Halifax
at 0800/25th and turned the
convoy over to the ocean escort, armed merchant cruiser
LETITIA at 2359/25th.
Destroyers WOLVERINE and VERITY from OA.44 were escorts from
4 to 9 December
and destroyers VERSATILE and WITHERINGTON from convoy OB.44,
from 4 to 6
December. The convoy arrived at Liverpool
on the 9th.
SLF.10 departed Freetown escorted by armed merchant
CASTLE, and was joined on 7
December by destroyers BROKE, ESCAPADE, VETERAN, WALPOLE.
The convoy arrived in the UK next day.
light cruiser PERTH
carried out a reconnaissance
in the southwestern Caribbean, and arrived at Kingston
on 1 December.
departed Colombo on patrol duty in Force I.
on patrol duty.
heavy cruiser ALGÉRIE
and destroyers LE TERRIBLE and LE FANTASQUE which departed
Dakar on the 21st passed Gibraltar and arrived at Toulon on
the 26th. The third
member of the 10th Large Destroyer Division, L’AUDACIEUX
left Dakar on the 22nd and arrived at Toulon on 4 December
operations in the South Atlantic in 23-48S, 3-29E, two
Swordfish aircraft of 810 Squadron from aircraft carrier
Lt H Pardoe was rescued, but Leading Airman E H Shayler and
LAC A Lawson RAF
were lost in one aircraft. Lt A W Stewart, Leading Airmen L
M Lloyd and A B W
Freik from the other were rescued.
Sunday, 26 November
ON.3 of six British
ships departed Methil escorted by destroyers ESKIMO, ICARUS
and ILEX. Destroyer MATABELE departed Newcastle
on the 27th and joined the
convoy at sea, while anti-aircraft cruiser
provided close cover. The
convoy arrived at Bergen
on the 30th.
arrived at Scapa Flow.
Loch Ewe on Northern Patrol duties, and arrived back on 2
departed Sullom Voe on Northern Patrol duties.
departed Rosyth on escort
duty and arrived in the Thames on the 28th.
the night of the
26th/27th, submarine TRIAD was crippled off Lindesnes by a
shaft. Submarine TRIUMPH soon joined to assist and submarine
ordered into the area. Destroyer MAORI also arrived on the
scene and took
TRIAD in tow, escorted by destroyer INGLEFIELD, but both
defective asdic installations. TRIAD arrived at Fosteroey,
south of Bergen, on the 30th, but the
destroyers were obliged to leave Norwegian territorial
waters which they did
on 1 December. Tug BANDIT was dispatched to assist TRIAD,
but due to
extremely heavy weather, was recalled to Scapa Flow. After
TRIAD was able to leave Fosteroey at 1315/2 December under
her own power,
escorted by Norwegian torpedo boat TRYGG and was joined
waters by INGLEFIELD and MAORI. All arrived safely at Rosyth
December. TRIAD repaired in the Tyne, completing on 12 December and returned to
a gale at Ardrossan,
and patrol boat PC.74 moored
alongside were damaged by bumping. GRIFFIN was holed and
docking, and PC.74 was later drydocked.
OA.42 of nine ships
departed Southend escorted by destroyers BROKE and ANTELOPE
on the 26th and
27th. Destroyer BOREAS was with the convoy on the 27th and
destroyer WREN on
OB.42 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers
WALKER and VANOC until the 29th.
Southend, escorted by sloops GRIMSBY and WESTON, and arrived
the Tyne on the 28th.
sank Swedish steamer GUSTAFE REUTER (6336grt) 14
of Fair Island. One crewman was lost and eight survivors
picked up by
Northern Patrol armed boarding vessel KINGSTON BERYL. The
steamer was taken
in tow but broke in two, the fore part sunk, while the stern
was towed towards Kirkwall but scuttled by HM ships on
the 28th, when it was decided salvage would be too
LOCH LOMOND (5452grt) was attacked in
Channel, 10 miles west of Lundy
Island. Destroyers MONTROSE and
WALPOLE were submarine hunting in the same area and WALPOLE
attacked a contact in 51‑08N,
steamer CYRIL (2116grt) was seized by German
warships in the Baltic for contraband violations and taken
HX.10 departed Halifax at 1000 escorted by Canadian
destroyers ASSINIBOINE and SKEENA, which detached on the 28th. Ocean escort was
heavy cruiser YORK which joined at 0800/28th and proceeded through
with the convoy. Destroyer WAKEFUL escorted the convoy in
Approaches from 8 December and the convoy arrived at
on the 10th. YORK reached Liverpool on the 9th and started a
refit completed on 10 February 1940. She then left on 21
February for Scapa Flow and the 1st Cruiser Squadron for duty with the
for Bermuda, and arrived back on 7
training operations in the
Mediterranean, a 770 Squadron aircraft
from aircraft carrier ARGUS
crashed, killing the pilot Act/Sub Lt (A) M R Pike.
on escort duty and arrived
back on 5 December.
light cruiser SYDNEY
arrived at Fremantle.
Monday, 27 November
Swordfish of 818 Squadron from
aircraft carrier FURIOUS
failed to return from patrol, but Lt S G J Appleby
and his crew were rescued and returned to the ship.
arrived at Scapa Flow to refuel and departed the
next day to rejoin the Main Fleet at sea.
arrived at Scapa Flow to refuel.
departed Scapa Flow and proceeded to Rosyth to boiler clean from 28
November to 5 December.
departed Sullom Voe on
Northern Patrol duties and arrived at Loch Ewe on 2
departed Scapa Flow for Northern Patrol.
arrived at Scapa Flow after Northern Patrol in the
was used for degaussing
tests on the 27th while at Portsmouth for refit.
ECHO and ECLIPSE spent the day
off Northern Ireland
unsuccessfully searching for
VIVACIOUS on patrol
in the Western Approaches developed an urgent engine room
defect and was
forced to return to Plymouth.
ASHANTI on Fair Isle Channel Patrol
developed a leak in her reserve fuel tank which reduced her
KELVIN (Lt Cdr J L
Machin) was completed and after working up, joined the 5th
operating with the Home Fleet on 10 January
conversion to a fast escort vessel. Following working up at
Portland, she joined Convoy C
operating from Rosyth.
SA.19 of two steamers
departed Southampton, escorted by destroyers VENOMOUS and WINDSOR,
and arrived at Brest on the 29th.
on the 27th, the
East Coast FN and FS convoys would run only between Southend
and the Tyne. Ships going further north
would then proceed independently the following night.
was damaged in a collision in English waters.
laid mines off Lowestoft.
aircraft carrier FURIOUS,
her turbine defects corrected, departed Halifax with
destroyer HYPERION to
cover convoys HXF.10 and HX.10.
EGRET arrived at Port Said from the Indian Ocean and
departed for Malta, en route to England.
Swordfish of 824 Squadron
from aircraft carrier EAGLE
crashed into the sea on anti-submarine patrol off Colombo. The pilot Sub Lt M R Maund, Leading Airman J
Manning, and Telegraphist Air Gunner J C Mardlin were picked
up by destroyer
large destroyer AIGLE
arrived at Gibraltar and left for Oran
boom defence vessel KOOKABURRA lost Lt N B
Skottowe RAN, killed in an accident.
Tuesday, 28 November
SOMALI, PUNJABI and MASHONA after refuelling at Sullom Voe
left to join battlecruiser HOOD.
and IMOGEN were still on patrol off Stadlandet, AFRIDI,
GURKHA and ISIS refuelling at Sullom Voe, TARTAR departed
Scapa Flow for repairs in the
Clyde, and ASHANTI, after experiencing defects, was assigned
to Fair Isle
of Bergen, heavy cruiser NORFOLK was attacked by U.47, but the torpedoes exploded in
the cruiser's wake and no damage was done.
repairs completed, departed Plymouth for Liverpool to return
to the Home Fleet.
She left Liverpool on the 29th escorting tanker ADELLEN (7984grt) for Scapa
arrived at Chatham.
arrived at Scapa Flow, departed the same day for
Northern Patrol and arrived back on 6 December.
GLOWWORM attacked a
submarine contact after it was sighted by aircraft in the
submarine was sighted by
aircraft in 59-04N, 03-30W. Destroyer KANDAHAR and two
trawlers were dispatched to hunt for her.
submarine contact in 51-49N, 1-50E near convoy FN.43.
Submarine TRIBUNE was
in the area.
BIRCHOL and BROOMDALE departed the Clyde for Loch Ewe
patrol sloops KINGFISHER and SHELDRAKE.
was a replacement for
escort ship PC.74, damaged by heavy weather at Ardrossan on
before departing. On the 29th, BIRCHOL ran aground
on Uist in the Hebrides. Tug ENGLISHMAN was
dispatched, but BIRCHOL was lost.
OA.43 ships of 13 ships
departed Southend, escorted by destroyers ESCORT and ELECTRA
from the 28th to
30th, and dispersed on 1 December.
OB.43 departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers
MACKAY and VIMY until 1 December. Anti-submarine trawlers
(655grt) and NORTHERN GEM (655grt) provided local escort from Liverpool.
Southend, escorted by sloops PELICAN, HASTINGS and destroyer
departed the Humber to cover this convoy and FS.43. FN.43 arrived at the Tyne
on the 29th. There was no
FS.43 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyers
WALLACE and WOOLSTON, which had left Rosyth on the 27th for
this duty, and arrived at Southend on the 30th.
departed Malta after a dockyard visit to
correct defects, then proceeded to Port Said escorted by
DAINTY and DEFENDER.
DUNOON and DUNDALK arrived at Gibraltar, then departed on
for Plymouth, and duty in Home Waters.
destroyers LA PALME
and LE MARS collided near Salins d'Hyers during exercises.
LE MARS was
escorted by destroyers TORNADE and LA PALME to Salins.
K rendezvoused with Force H off South Africa to sweep
heavy cruiser CANBERRA
departed Melbourne on the 23rd and sister ship AUSTRALIA
left Sydney on the 25th, escorting
steamer KATOOMBA (9424grt). They patrolled off Cape Leeuwin
from 28 November to 2
light cruiser SYDNEY
departed Fremantle to patrol off the northwest coast of
departed Hong Kong on patrol.
departed Kingston on patrol and arrived back
on 5 December.
arrived at Hong Kong escorting French liner ANDRE
Wednesday, 29 November
heavy cruiser DEVONSHIRE
and seven destroyers was
sweeping north off the Norwegian coast when RODNEY suffered
a serious rudder
defect. She was ordered to the Clyde, arriving on 1 December with destroyers GURKHA,
PUNJABI and KANDAHAR.
Escorted by destroyers IMPULSIVE, IMPERIAL and GURKHA,
RODNEY left on the 6th for Liverpool to repair, and arrived
the 8th. IMPERIAL and IMPULSIVE remained at Liverpool until
RODNEY was safely
docked, when it was found that about one third of her rudder
had been torn
away. GURKHA went on to Southampton, arriving on the 10th for repairs to her
turbines lasting into January 1940. IMPERIAL was to have
undergone repairs at Liverpool,
but returned to the Clyde on the 9th. Later, when
battleship NELSON was docked for mine damage, she was found
to have sustained
storm damage similar to RODNEY during the sweep.
U.35 on her second war patrol, was sighted near convoy
ON.3 and destroyer ICARUS delivered an unsuccessful attack.
and KASHMIR and they sank
U.35 northwest of Bergen
in 60‑53N, 02‑47E.
None of the crew were lost, with KINGSTON picking up the
officer and 11 ratings and KASHMIR three officers and 28 ratings.
departed the Clyde and arrived at Scapa Flow later the same
which had departed Sullom
Voe on the 28th, arrived back after heavy weather carried
away her main
topmast and part of her main mast port antenna.
FS.44 departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer
WHITLEY and sloop STORK, and arrived at Southend on the
30th. There was no
submarine WILK departed Rosyth on her first
war patrol from England.
KELVIN departed the
Clyde for Portsmouth, arriving on the 30th.
merchant cruiser FORFAR
for the Clyde, escorted by destroyer MALCOLM.
VANESSA was sent to
search in Bally Cotton
Bay, 51-50N, 8-00W for a
JUPITER and JAGUAR
attacked a submarine contact in 55‑05N, 1‑33E.
IONIAN (3114grt) from convoy FS.43 was sunk 1½ miles
Newarp Light Vessel on a mine laid by U.20 on the 22nd;
rescued the entire crew. Steamer WILLOWPOOL
(4815grt) was lost on 10 December, three miles east of
Newarp Light Ship
in the same field; her 36 survivors were rescued by
departed Singapore for Hong Kong, and arrived on 3 December
for refitting, completed 14 February 1940.
Thursday, 30 November
cruiser line searching
for the reported German ships off Norway, were to be in
at 0800, steer west until 1300 and then head south. During
this time (1)
light cruiser AURORA
and nine destroyers were 100 miles to
the SW of the western end of the cruiser line, (2)
destroyers ASHANTI and GURKHA were to the west of Fair Isle
to the west of the cruiser line, and (4) battlecruiser HOOD,
the French DUNKERQUE and destroyers SOMALI, PUNJABI and
MASHONA 100 miles
west of the Faroes.
departed Scapa Flow for the Tyne and arrived on 1 December
for docking. After repairs, she left on the 19th and reached
Plymouth on the 21st.
SCOTSTOUN and WORCESTERSHIRE departed the
Clyde on Northern Patrol duties.
FORTUNE attacked a
submarine contact in 59N, 4W.
Forbes turned south
with his fleet on the 30th and on 1 December ordered the
resumption of normal
NUBIAN departed Portsmouth after repairs and following
kite balloon trials, which were conducted on the 28th/29th.
She rejoined the
Main Fleet at Loch Ewe.
OB.44 departed Liverpool, escorted by destroyers VERSATILE
and WITHERINGTON until 3 December, when they detached to
HN.3 of 11 British
ships, one Finnish, and two Estonian departed Bergen
escorted by destroyers ILEX,
ICARUS, ESKIMO and MATABELE. Heavy cruiser SUFFOLK,
which left Scapa Flow on the 30th and light
provided close cover. Later when SUFFOLK was relieved for
light cruiser GLASGOW
took her place. The convoy arrived safely at Methil on
4 December. Before then, on the 2nd, destroyers KANDAHAR and
ISIS departed Scapa Flow to escort the four ships of
the west coast portion of the convoy.
Southend, escorted by destroyer WHITLEY and sloop STORK, and
arrived at the Tyne on 1 December.
FS.45 departed the Tyne, escorted by sloops GRIMSBY and
WESTON, and arrived at
Southend on 1 December.
arrived at Rosyth from the Tyne escorted by destroyer WALLACE.
(2948grt) was damaged by grounding off Terschelling in the
declared mine area.
auxiliary patrol boat Vp.704 (trawler CLAUS WISCH,
was badly damaged in a defensive minefield off Trelleborg
and run aground, a
motor vessels JAAMERI (299grt) and SYVARI
(237grt) were lost at
HG.9, which departed
Port Said on the 19th, left Gibraltar with 53 ships,
escorted by destroyers
VORTIGERN and WISHART, and also the French CHACAL and
MISTRAL from the 30th November
until they arrived at Brest on 8 December. Trawler VULCAN of
the 1st Motor
Torpedo Boat Flotilla proceeded to England with the convoy,
arrived at Liverpool, also on the 8th.
the end of November, the
following destroyers were under repair - ACHERON at Portsmouth repairing, ACTIVE at Gibraltar repairing, ARROW
at Portsmouth with defects, BRAZEN at Falmouth refitting,
BROKE at Plymouth
refitting, COSSACK at Leith repairing, DARING at Malta
refitting, DIAMOND at
Singapore repairing, ENCOUNTER at Plymouth with defects,
FAME at Clyde repairing,
FORESIGHT at Clyde repairing,
FORTUNE at Liverpool repairing, FOXHOUND at Greenock
repairing, GARLAND at
Malta repairing, GRENADE at Falmouth repairing, GRENVILLE at
GRIFFIN at Woolwich repairing, INTREPID at Chatham
refitting, IVANHOE at
Chatham refitting, JAVELIN at Middlesbrough repairing,
JERVIS at Grimsby
refitting, KELLY at Tyne repairing, MOHAWK at Newcastle
repairing, SHIKARI at
Plymouth refitting, SIKH at Malta with turbine defects,
Plymouth repairing, VENETIA at Liverpool repairing, VISCOUNT
at Plymouth with
defects, VIVACIOUS at Plymouth boiler cleaning, WALPOLE at
defects, WESSEX at Cardiff refitting, WHIRLWIND at Liverpool
WIVERN at Sheerness repairing.