Background Events - April-May 1940
Invasion of Norway, Battles of Narvik,
Blitzkrieg on Western Europe, Dunkirk evacuation starts
This is the
status of the destroyer flotillas in Home Waters on 1 April 1940. Some 44 destroyers were in dockyard
hands less than a week before the start of the Norwegian campaign.
Flotilla (Captain B. A. W. Warburton-Lee) - HARDY (Warburton-Lee)
HOTSPUR (Cdr H F H Layman), HAVOCK (Lt Cdr R.E Courage), HERO (Cdr H W Biggs
DSO), and HEREWARD (Lt Cdr C W Greening, repairing at Portsmouth)
HYPERION (Cdr H St L Nicolson DSO), HUNTER (Lt Cdr L de Villiers), HOSTILE
(Lt Cdr J P Wright), and HASTY (Lt Cdr L R.K Tyrwhitt, damaged at Scapa Flow, taken to Dundee for repairs)
Flotilla (Captain P Todd) - INGLEFIELD (Todd)
Division 5, ISIS
(Cdr J C Clouston), ILEX (Lt Cdr P L Saumarez DSC), and IMPERIAL (Lt Cdr CA de
W Kitcat, repairing in
DELIGHT (Cdr M Fogg-Elliot DSO), DIANA (Lt Cdr E G LeGeyt), and IMOGEN (Cdr C L
Flotilla (Captain P L Vian)
AFRIDI (Vian), GURKHA (CdrA W Buzzard), SIKH (Cdr JA Giffard), and MOHAWK (Cdr J
W M Eaton)
Division 8, ZULU
(Cdr J S.Crawford), COSSACK (Cdr R.St V Sherbrooke), MAORI (Cdr G N Brewer,
repairing in the Clyde), and NUBIAN (Cdr R.W Ravenhill, repairing
in the Tyne)
Flotilla (Captain Lord Louis Mountbatten)
KELLY (Mountbatten, repairing at Blackwell), KIPLING (Cdr A St Clair Ford,
repairing in the Tyne), and KASHMIR (Cdr HA King),
KELVIN (Lt Cdr J L Machin)
KANDAHAR (Cdr W GA
Robson, repairing at Hull), KIMBERLEY (Lt Cdr R.G K
Knowling), KHARTOUM (Cdr D T
Dowler, repairing at Falmouth), and
KINGSTON (Lt Cdr P Somerville DSO, repairing at Falmouth)
Flotilla (Captain R.S G Nicholson)
SOMALI (Nicholson), ASHANTI (Cdr W G
Davis), MATABELE (Cdr G K Whitmy-Smith), and MASHONA (Cdr W H Selby)
BEDOUIN (Cdr JA McCoy), PUNJABI (Cdr J T Lean), ESKIMO (Cdr St JA
Micklethwait), and TARTAR (Cdr L P Skipwith)
Flotilla (Captain P J Mack)
JERVIS (Mack, repairing in the Tyne), JANUS (Cdr J
A W Tothill), JAVELIN (Cdr A F Pugsley), and JERSEY (long repairs
JACKAL (Cdr T M Napier, repairing at Blyth), JAGUAR (Lt
Cdr J F W Hine, repairing at Dundee), JUNO (Cdr W E
Wilson), and JUPITER (Cdr D B Wyburd)
Flotilla (Captain A F de Salis) - FAULKNOR (de Salis)
FOXHOUND (Cdr G H Peters), FEARLESS (Cdr K L Harkness), FURY (Cdr G F
Burghard, repairing at Newport), and FORESTER (Lt
Cdr E B Tancock DSC)
FAME (Cdr P N
Walter, repairing at Grimsby), FORESIGHT (Lt
Cdr G T Lambert, repairing at Grimsby), FORTUNE (Cdr
EA Gibbs), and FIREDRAKE (Lt Cdr S.N Norris, repairing at Cardiff)
Flotilla (Captain J G Bickford DSC)
EXPRESS (Bickford, repairing at Hartlepool), IVANHOE Cdr P
H Hadow), and ESK (Lt Cdr R.J H Couch)
INTREPID (Cdr R.C Gordon, repairing at Middlesbrough), ICARUS (Lt
Cdr C D Maud), and IMPULSIVE (Lt Cdr W S.Thomas)
Flotilla (Captain R.Kerr, Captain D Rosyth)
ECHO (Cdr S H K
Spurgeon DSO RAN, repairing at Leith), ELECTRA (Lt
Cdr SA Buss, repairing at Rosyth), and ESCORT (Lt Cdr J Bostock, repairing at
ESCAPADE (Cdr H R.Graham), ENCOUNTER (Lt Cdr E V St J
Morgan), and ECLIPSE (Lt Cdr I T Clark)
(Lt Cdr C Gwinner Rtd, repairing at Grangemouth)
(Captain R.Kerr, Captain D Rosyth Escort Force)
(Cdr J G Hewitt DSO), BITTERN (Lt Cdr R.H Mills), BLACK SWAN (Captain A L
Poland), EGRET (Cdr D P Evans, repairing at Rosyth), FLAMINGO (Cdr J H
Huntley), FLEETWOOD (Cdr A N Grey DSO), GRIMSBY (Cdr K J D'Arcy), HASTINGS
(Lt Cdr A B Alison), LONDONDERRY (Cdr Sir Thomas L Beevor Bt), LOWESTOFT (Cdr
A M Knapp), PELICAN (Cdr LA K Boswell DSO), STORK (Cdr A C Behague), and WESTON
(Lt Cdr S C Tuke)
ships/destroyers VALENTINE (Cdr H J Buchanan RAN), VALOROUS (Lt Cdr E Mack),
VEGA (Cdr C I Horton, repairing at Rosyth), VIMIERA (Lt Cdr R.B N Hicks),
VIVIEN (Lt Cdr W D G Weir), WALLACE (Cdr B I Robertshaw), WESTMINSTER (Lt Cdr
A A C Ouvry), WHITLEY (Lt Cdr G N Rolfe), WOLSEY (Cdr C H Campbell), and WOOLSTON
(Cdr W J Phipps)
Flotilla (Captain G E Creasy)
CODRINGTON (Creasy), GRENADE (Cdr R.C Boyle), Polish BLYSKAWICA (Cdr S
Nahorski, ORP), GROM (Cdr A Hulewicz (Hulewiscowi ?), ORP) and BURZA (Cdr W
GRAFTON (Cdr C E C Robinson, repairing at Hull), GREYHOUND
(Cdr W R.Marshall-A'Dean), GLOWWORM (Lt Cdr G B Roope), GRIFFIN (Lt Cdr J Lee
Barber), and GALLANT (Lt Cdr C P F Brown, repairing at Southampton)
Flotilla (Captain D J R.Simson)
KEITH (Captain D J R.Simson), BASILISK (Cdr M Richmond, repairing at
Blackwall) Destroyer BEAGLE (Lt Cdr R.H Wright), and BOREAS (Lt Cdr M W
Tomkinson, repairing at London)
BOADICEA (Lt Cdr G B Kingdon), BRAZEN (Lt Cdr Sir Michael Culme-Seymour Bt),
and BRILLIANT (Lt Cdr F C Brodrick)
Flotilla (Captain T E Halsey)
MALCOLM (Halsey), VENOMOUS (Lt Cdr J E H McBeath, repairing at Portsmouth) Destroyer
and WIVERN (Lt Cdr W C Bushell),
ARROW (Cdr H W Williams), ANTHONY (Lt Cdr N J V Thew), ACHATES (Cdr R.J
Gardner), and ACHERON (Lt Cdr R.W F Northcott)
Flotilla (Captain E B K Stevens DSC), HAVELOCK (Stevens,
repairing at Plymouth), HESPERUS (Lt
Cdr D G F W MacIntyre), HAVANT (Lt Cdr A F Burnell-Nugent), and HIGHLANDER (Cdr WA
Flotilla (Rear Admiral C H Little Rtd, Captain D Liverpool)
MACKAY (Cdr G H Stokes), WALPOLE (Lt Cdr H G Bowerman), VANQUISHER (Cdr C B
Alers-Hankey), WINCHELSEA (Lt Cdr WA F Hawkins, repairing at Liverpool), WALKER (Lt
CdrA A Tait), and VANOC (Lt Cdr J G W Deneys)
VERSATILE (Cdr T E Hussey Rtd), VIMY (Lt Cdr C G W Donald), WHIRLWIND (Lt Cdr
J M Rodgers), WARWICK (Lt Cdr MA G Child), and SALADIN (Lt Cdr L J Dover)
Flotilla (Captain C Caslon, Captain D Plymouth)
BROKE (Cdr B G Scurfield), WANDERER (Cdr R.F Morice), WHITEHALL (Lt Cdr A B
Russell), WITCH (Lt Cdr J R.Barnes), and VANSITTART (Lt Cdr W Evershed)
WOLVERINE (Cdr R.H Craske), WITHERINGTON (Lt Cdr J B Palmer), VOLUNTEER (Lt
Cdr N Lanyon), and VERITY (Lt CdrA R.M Black, repairing at Plymouth)
Flotilla (Captain F C Bradley, Captain D Plymouth from 8 April)
CAMPBELL (Captain F C Bradley, Lt Cdr R.M Aubrey from 8 April), MONTROSE (Cdr
C R.L Parry), VISCOUNT (Lt Cdr M S Townsend OBE, DSC), WESSEX (Lt Cdr WA
R.Cartwright, repairing at Milford Haven), and VIVACIOUS (Lt Cdr F R.W Parish)
WAKEFUL (Cdr R.L Fisher), VESPER (Lt Cdr W F E Hussey), VANESSA (Lt Cdr EA
Stocker DSC), and VENETIA (Lt Cdr B H de C Mellor)
Flotilla (Captain D Plymouth)
ACASTA (Cdr C E Glasfurd), ANTELOPE (Lt Cdr R.T White DSO), AMAZON (Lt Cdr N
E G Roper), and ARDENT (Lt Cdr J E Barker)
VETERAN (Cdr J E Broome, repairing at Plymouth), WREN (Cdr H T
Armstrong, repairing at Plymouth), WHITSHED (Cdr
E R.Conder, repairing at Plymouth), WINDSOR (Lt
Cdr P D H R.Pelly), and WILD SWAN (Lt Cdr J L Younghusband)
Not assigned or
undergoing long-term conversions
SABRE (Cdr B Dean Rtd)
London - SARDONYX
Chatham - WOLFHOUND (Lt
Cdr J W McCoy DSC), VERDUN (dockyard
WORCESTER (Cdr J H Allison)
Portsmouth - AMBUSCADE (Lt
Cdr A O Johnson), SCIMITAR (Lt F D Franks), WINCHESTER (Lt Cdr S.E
Crewe-Read), SKATE (Lt Cdr R.A Fell), VICEROY (dockyard control)
Plymouth - VANITY
while transferring five torpedoes to submarine CLYDE after torpedo
firings in Scapa Flow, lost her whalers and motorboat when
they capsized in a heavy squall in Sandoyne Bay. All the men
and the torpedoes were recovered.
SOMALI (D.6), MATABELE and MASHONA departed Scapa Flow at 1030 to pick
up the Kirkwall convoy contingent and then join convoy ON.24.
Destroyer SOMALI would become Senior Officer of the Escort. During the night
of 1/2 April, a strong gale scattered convoys ON.24, HN.23A, and the Kirkwall contingent of
convoy ON.24 all eastwards of the Orkneys.
After repairs at
Invergordon on patrol on 30 March and was already on Moray Firth patrol with
destroyer JUPITER. At 1100, destroyer JUPITER attacked a submarine
contact in 58‑31N, 0‑34W. Because of heavy weather, destroyer
JUPITER proceeded to Scapa Flow, arriving at
1800/1st and destroyer GRIFFIN arrived at
Invergordon on the 1st. Destroyer GRIFFIN departed Invergordon on the 2nd and
destroyer JUPITER departed Scapa Flow on the 2nd to
continue the patrol.
departed Scapa Flow at 0810 for anti-submarine patrol while
two sections of Hoxa Boom were being repaired a half mile to the south of a
line from Cantick to the Nev. Bad weather delayed work on the Boom and destroyer ILEX returned
to Scapa Flow at 2015 to anchor north of Flotta on standby notice as the
weather conditions were too bad to continue the patrol. The weather eased and
destroyer ILEX commenced the Hoxa Sound Patrol at 0530/2nd. The work was
completed on the Hoxa Boom at 1600 and destroyer ILEX returned to Scapa Flow.
Destroyer Flotilla departed Harwich at 1300 and swept to twelve miles north
of Smith's Knoll. The Flotilla then swept northeast across the mine barrier
for forty miles. The 1st Destroyer Flotilla then swept eastward reaching
Smith's Knoll at dawn on the 2nd. Destroyer CODRINGTON sighted a German
aircraft at 0530/2nd, but was not attacked.
PUFFIN attacked a submarine contact off Yarmouth. The contact
was later assessed as non-submarine.
NARWHAL arrived at Blyth after patrol.
arrived at Harwich after refitting.
destructor ship BORDE exploded two mines in the Sunk area. The ship sustained
leaks forward and proceeded to Chatham for docking and
repairs completed on the 28th.
The Northern Patrol between 1 and 9 April sighted
34 eastbound ships and
sent twelve into Kirkwall for inspection.
departed Southend escorted by destroyer ARDENT from 1 to 4 April, sloop WELLINGTON from 2 to 4 April,
destroyers WINDSOR and VERSATILE from 3 to 4 April, when the convoy
departed Liverpool escorted by destroyers WALKER and
VANQUISHER from 1 to 4 April, when the convoy dispersed. The destroyers then
joined inbound convoy SL.25.
steamers BARON CARNEGIE, KERMA, LOCHEE, PEMBROKE COAST, SCHOLAR
(Commodore) departed the Loire escorted by
destroyer VIVACIOUS. The convoy arrived in Bristol Channel on the 2nd.
departed Methil, escorted by destroyer WOLSEY, sloop AUCKLAND, and anti-submarine
trawlers of the 3rd Anti-Submarine Group. The convoy arrived in the Tyne later that day.
departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer WOLSEY and sloop
AUCKLAND. The convoy
arrived at Southend on the 3rd.
coastal defense ships NORGE and EIDSVOLD arrived at Narvik from Horten.
merchant cruisers EL DJEZAIR, EL MANSOUR and VILLE D'ORAN departed Marseilles and proceeded
to Oran, arriving on the 2nd. On the 4th,
they departed, escorted by large destroyer BISON to return to Brest for operations off
the Norwegian coast. The ships arrived at Brest on the 8th.
ORION departed Bermuda on patrol.
Tuesday, 2 April
Destroyer Flotilla was transferred from the Nore to operate with the Home Fleet
under the command of Rear Admiral Destroyers Home Fleet. On the 2nd,
destroyers GREYHOUND and GLOWWORM departed the Nore escorting steamer
CYCLOPS (9076grt) to Rosyth. En route, destroyer GLOWWORM was detached to
rescue a downed Spitfire pilot who was picked up by trawler SILVER LINING
(40grt). Destroyer GREYHOUND and steamer CYCLOPS arrived safely at Rosyth on
the 3rd and destroyer GLOWWORM arrived independently later in the day. At
1800/3rd, destroyers GREYHOUND and GLOWWORM departed Rosyth escorting steamer
DEVON CITY (4928grt) for
Scapa Flow, where they
arrived at 1400/4th. On the 3rd, destroyer GRENADE departed Harwich for
Rosyth where she arrived on the 4th. On the 4th, destroyer CODRINGTON
departed Harwich at 0600 and Polish destroyers GROM, BURZA and BLYSKAWICA
departed Harwich at 1200 for Rosyth. Destroyer CODRINGTON arrived at Rosyth
at 0900/5th and the Polish destroyers arrived during the afternoon of 5 April.
SHELDRAKE on patrol in the English Channel made a
submarine contact. An attack was not made as the contact was found to be non-submarine.
FORTUNE and FORTUNE (?) departed Plymouth at 1300 for the
Clyde to participate
in Plan R.4, the Norwegian operation. The destroyers attacked a submarine
contact in 49-36N, 6-46W on the 3rd. The contact was later found to be a
wreck. Both destroyers arrived in the Clyde at 2015/3rd.
FAULKNOR departed Scapa Flow at 1800 for the
Clyde to participate
in Plan R.4, and arrived in the Clyde at 1300/3rd.
on North Goodwins patrol made an attack on a submarine contact in 51-19.2N,
0-49.4E. Destroyer BRILLIANT joined to assist and both destroyers remained at
the scene through the day. The contact was later determined to be "non-sub".
INGLEFIELD (D.3), IMOGEN, ISIS and JUPITER departed Scapa Flow at 0100/2nd to
search in Moray Firth for a reportedly damaged German
submarine. The destroyers made no contact and arrived back at Scapa Flow at 1900 that
At 2101 a report
was received of an outbound German submarine in 59-10N, 1-40W at 2025. The
Commander in Chief Home Fleet ordered destroyers to 57-23N, 4-55W by 0600/3rd.
Destroyer MOHAWK was detached from convoy HN.23A. Destroyer JUPITER departed
Scapa Flow at 0330/3rd to
join MOHAWK. The destroyers were recalled to Scapa Flow for other duty
HARDY, HUNTER, HAVOCK and HOTSPUR departed Scapa Flow at 1930 and
arrived at Sullom Voe at 0700/3rd.
At 2033, German
bombers of II/KG30 raided Scapa Flow. Two to four bombs were dropped near
destroyer depot ship WOOLWICH. There was no damage.
Destroyer KASHMIR was damaged at
Rosyth while coming alongside a tanker. The damage was repaired by 7 April.
SPEARFISH arrived at Blyth from Scapa Flow.
Finnish steamer SIGNE (1540grt), a straggler from convoy HN.23A, in 60N, 01E
Destroyer SIKH, escorting HM.23A, reported an explosion at this time, which
was probably SIGNE being torpedoing. On the 4th, trawler
GOOD SHEPHERD found a raft with one body from SIGNE six miles NNE of Fair Island.
departed Southend escorted by destroyers VANESSA and ANTELOPE from 2 to 4 April.
The convoy dispersed on the 5th. Convoy OA.123
did not sail.
departed Southend, escorted by destroyers WHITLEY and WESTMINSTER. The convoy arrived
at the Tyne on the 4th.
departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer WALLACE and sloop
FLAMINGO. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 4th.
On the 2nd,
there was a reorganization of Minesweepers. 2nd Minesweeping Flotilla –
ABERDARE, HARROW and modified gunboat COCKCHAFER. 3rd
Minesweeping Flotilla - HUNTLEY, ABINGDON, BAGSHOT, FAREHAM and STOKE. 4th
Minesweeping Flotilla - NIGER, SALAMANDER,
DUNOON, DUNDALK, FITZROY, SELKIRK, SUTTON and ELGIN. 5th Minesweeping
Flotilla - GOSSAMER, LEDA, ALBURY, KELLET, LYDD, PANGBOURNE, ROSS and SALTASH. 6th
Minesweeping Flotilla - HALCYON, SPEEDWELL, HUSSAR, HARRIER and SKIPJACK.
1st Minesweeping Flotilla operating with the Home Fleet was unaltered.
Schiff 11/HANONIA (steamer ULM, 3071grt)
departed Schillig Roads on 31 March disguised as the Norwegian steamer OREGON
EXPRESS, and laid a minefield with 90 EMC and 84 contact mines southeast of Smith's Knoll on
the 2nd. Submarine SEALION, which had departed Harwich on patrol on the 1st,
pursued Schiff 11 in the North Sea for some time
On 26 April, steamer
CREE (4791grt) was
damaged in this minefield in 52‑53N, 02‑19E. (Note: The
Luftwaffe claims it was an aerial mine laid by the 9th Air Division).
On 30 April,
Minesweeper DUNOON of the 4th Minesweeping Flotilla was sunk in the
Schiff 11 minefield
off Great Yarmouth. (Note: Again the Luftwaffe claims
otherwise - aerial mines laid by I or II group of KGR126, 9th Air Division).
ship MEDWAY and submarines PHOENIX, PARTHIAN
and PROTEUS departed Hong Kong. They were at Singapore from 8 to 10 April
and Colombo, Ceylon from 14 to 17 April before sailing
for Aden. The ships
departed Aden on the 26th and
arrived at Suez on 1 May, left
Port Said on 2 May and
joined the Mediterranean Fleet. At the same time, the 8th Submarine Flotilla
(ORPHEUS, ODIN, OLYMPUS and OTUS)
was moving from the Indian Ocean. Submarine
ORPHEUS departed Diego Suarez on 30 March and arrived at Aden on the 6th. She
departed Aden on the 14th,
departed Port Said on the 21st.
ODIN departed Colombo on 31 March and
arrived at Port Said on the 21st in
company of ORPHEUS. On 26 April, they arrived at Malta and ODIN
immediately commencing refit. Submarines OLYMPUS and OTUS
departed Colombo on the 16th and
departed Aden on the 26th.
They arrived at Suez on 1 May,
departing Port Said on 2 May,
and arrived at Malta on 7 May.
Submarine OLYMPUS immediately commenced refit.
departed Gibraltar with twenty-three ships. French
destroyer TIGRE, patrol
vessel VIKINGS and British destroyer DOUGLAS escorted the convoy from 2 April. VIKINGS was detached that evening, DOUGLAS
on the 5th and TIGRE on
the 8th. Destroyers WITCH and VIMY joined HG.25F on the 8th and escorted the convoy
until 9 April. Destroyer VISCOUNT and sloop ROCHESTER joined HG.25F on the 8th and escorted the convoy until 11 April when the convoy
arrived at Liverpool.
arrived at Gibraltar from Malta. On the 5th,
the minesweeper departed for Plymouth.
departed Halifax at 0800
escorted by Canadian destroyers SAGUENAY and
RESTIGOUCHE, which detached on the 3rd. Before joining the convoy, the
destroyers escorted battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN to Halifax from her HX.25 duty. Canadian
destroyer ST LAURENT escorted
battleship MALAYA from Halifax. At 1800/3rd,
the destroyers turned the convoy over to MALAYA, which detached on the 14th. On
the 13th, destroyer VANQUISHER joined and on the
14th, destroyers VERSATILE and WILD SWAN.
VANQUISHER detached on the 15th, VERSATILE on the 16th,
and WILD SWAN on
the 17th, when the convoy arrived at Liverpool.
battleships DUNKERQUE and STRASBOURG, light cruisers
GLOIRE and MONTCALM, destroyers MOGADOR, INDOMPTABLE, TRIOMPHANT, MALIN and
TERRIBLE departed Brest. They arrived
at Mer el Kebir on the 5th.
cruiser EMILE BERTIN and large destroyer MAILLE BREZE departed Toulon on the 1st,
then Oran to proceed to
Brest for operations
off Norway. The destroyer
was a replacement for large destroyer VAUQUELIN which departed Brest for repairs at
Toulon, where she
arrived on the 10th. EMILE BERTIN and MAILLE BREZE arrived
at Brest on the 5th.
FORTUNE and FORESTER en route from Plymouth to the Clyde conducted an
anti-submarine search in 49‑36N, 06‑36W after a depth charge attack
by destroyers WAKEFUL and VENETIA brought up oil. Destroyers FORTUNE and
FORESTER arrived in the Clyde at 2015/3rd.
and ECLIPSE departed convoy HN.23B after
dark to proceed directly to Rosyth for duty escorting convoy ON.25.
DEVONSHIRE and BERWICK (above - Navy Photos)
and destroyers ZULU and KELVIN arrived at Rosyth in preparation for Norway operations. Destroyers
ZULU and KELVIN had departed Scapa Flow at 1815/2nd.
(D.20), ICARUS, IMPULSIVE and IVANHOE arrived at Scapa Flow at 0600 with
minelayer TEVIOTBANK. The destroyers refuelled, departed Scapa Flow at 1100/3rd, and arrived at Sullom Voe at 1925/3rd.
departed Rosyth to take part in a Bomber Command Interception exercise. After
the exercise, destroyer DIANA proceeded to the Humber to repair asdic
direction gear. Destroyer DIANA arrived at Hull at 0645/5th.
brought the British CIGS back from Boulogne, arriving at
Dover at 1730.
and OB.120G joined to form convoy OG.24 with fifty-four ships. On the 3rd, destroyer
WAKEFUL detached to escort convoy HG.24, and destroyer MONTROSE detached
on the 4th. French destroyer LYNX and auxiliary
patrol vessel MINERVA escorted the convoy from the 3rd to 8th. The convoy was
joined near Gibraltar by destroyer VELOX from the 6th to 8th,
when the convoy arrived at Gibraltar.
departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VIMIERA and sloop LONDONDERRY. The convoy
arrived at the Tyne on the 5th.
departed Methil, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN, sloop PELICAN,
and anti-submarine trawlers of the 23rd Anti-Submarine Group. The convoy arrived
in the Tyne later that day.
departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN and sloop
PELICAN. The convoy arrived at Southend on the 5th.
FIRST GERMAN SHIPPING MOVEMENTS
supply ships for the Norwegian invasion began to leave Hamburg. At 0200/3rd,
steamers RAUENFELS (8460grt), ALSTER (8514grt) and BARENFELS (7569grt) departed
for Narvik. At 2100/4th, steamer SAO PAULO (4977grt)
departed for Trondheim. At 0200/5th,
steamers LEVANTE (4769grt) and MAIN (7624grt)
departed for Trondheim. At 0200/7th,
steamer RODA (6780grt) departed for Stavanger.
KATTEGAT (6031grt) departed Wilhelmshaven for Narvik to refuel the German
invasion Group I. German tanker SKAGERRAK (6044grt) departed Wilhelmshaven on
the 4th for Trondheim to refuel German invasion Group II. In addition, German
tanker JAN WELLEM (11,776grt) departed Murmansk during the
evening of 6 April for Narvik.
Trawler GORSPEN (208grt) was
bombed and badly damaged by a German He.111 of KG.26, and abandoned
miles northeast of the Outer Skerries, 20 miles east by south of Muckle
Flugga. The entire crew was rescued. (Note: Luftwaffe records claim she was sunk)
Trawler SANSONNET (212grt) was
sunk by German bombing eighteen miles east by south of Muckle Flugga.
DORSETSHIRE was at Simonstown with defects. On 18 April, she was able to
proceed to Devonport for refitting completed on 7 June.
WARSPITE with destroyers GRIFFIN, MOHAWK, HERO
JUPITER departed Scapa Flow at 0130 for the Clyde. JUPITER was relieved
later on the 4th
by destroyer DELIGHT . Destroyer
ASHANTI departed the
Clyde at 0400/4th to
relieve HERO which returned to Scapa Flow arriving at
0600/5th. The force arrived at the Clyde without
incident at 0600/5th. Upon arrival, GRIFFIN and MOHAWK
returned to Scapa Flow. WARSPITE departed the Clyde on the 7th
escorted by destroyers HESPERUS, HAVANT, MACKAY. She was due to arrive
at Gibraltar on the 12th to return to the Mediterranean
Fleet, but was soon recalled due to events in Norway.
NARWHAL, which departed Rosyth on the 2nd,laid mines at 0413 in the
Heligoland Bight area in 54-37N, 6-35E. This minefield, designated FD.1, had no
confirmed victims, but may have been responsible for U.1's loss. German
trawler DEUTSCHLAND (432grt) was damaged on this field on the 13th.
with three British, twelve Norwegian, five Swedish, fourteen Danish, three
Finnish and three Estonian ships departed Bergen escorted by
destroyers SOMALI, MATABELE, MASHONA and TARTAR. Light cruisers PENELOPE,
anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO provided close
support. Destroyers CODRINGTON (D.1) and JANUS departed Scapa Flow at 1300/5th and
were ordered to search for a German submarine reported in 59‑00N, 0‑52W.
At daylight on the
6th, CODRINGTON joined destroyer KIMBERLEY, which had
departed Scapa Flow at 1200/5th with anti-submarine trawlers MAN O' WAR (517grt)
and LADY ELSA (518grt) to escort six ships of the west coast portion of
the convoy. HN.24 arrived safely at Methil on the 7th.
KIMBERLEY and CODRINGTON
reached Scapa Flow at 0630/7th after the convoy dispersed
off Cape Wrath.
departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WOLSEY and sloop AUCKLAND. The convoy
arrived at the Tyne on the 6th.
departed the Tyne, escorted by sloop FLEETWOOD and HASTINGS. The convoy
arrived at Southend on the 6th.
departed Methil, escorted by destroyer WESTMINSTER and the
anti-submarine trawlers of the 19th Anti-Submarine Group. The convoy arrived
in the Tyne later that day.
Blockship REDSTONE (3110grt) departed Rosyth at 1030 under the tow of tug IRISHMAN for
Scapa Flow escorted by
destroyers BRAZEN and ELECTRA. The ship was joined in heavy weather on the
6th by tug BRIGAND from Kirkwall. REDSTONE arrived at
Scapa Flow at 1900/6th and
was sunk as a blockship at Scapa Flow on 2 May.
BRITISH TRANSPORTS FOR ALLIED LANDINGS
Edward Evans (British commander of the Narvik operation) hoisted his flag on
light cruiser AURORA which arrived in the Clyde on the 4th. AURORA and another light cruiser at
Scapa Flow were to escort
a large transport to Narvik. Another large transport with troops and supplies
for Trondheim was also in the
ALLIED SUBMARINE MOVEMENTS IN ANTICIPATION OF NORWEGIAN OPERATIONS
the Submarine Flotillas in Home waters just prior to the start of the
Norwegian campaign. Vice Admiral Submarines - Vice Admiral Sir Max K Horton.
Submarine Flotilla (Captain G C P Menzies)
Depot ship FORTH
THISTLE (Lt Cdr W F Hanselfoot), TRIAD (Lt Cdr E R.J Oddie), TRIBUNE (Lt Cdr
G P S Davies, refitting, Lt E F Balston from 8 May), TRIDENT (Lt Cdr A G L
Seale, Lt Cdr G M Sladen from 18 April), TRITON (Lt Cdr E F Pizey), TRUANT
(Lt Cdr C H Hutchinson, Lt Cdr H A V Haggard from early May), TRIUMPH (Lt J S
Stevens, refitting, Lt E Bruce from 13 April), SEAL (Lt Cdr R.P Lonsdale),
PORPOISE (Cdr P Q Roberts), Polish ORZEL (Lt Cdr Jan Grudzinski, ORP) and
WILK (Lt Cdr
Boguslaw Krawczyk, ORP) refitting
Flotilla (Captain P Ruck-Keene)
SALMON (Lt Cdr E O B Bickford DSO) refitting, SEALION (Lt Cdr B Bryant),
SEAWOLF (Lt Cdr J W Studholme), SHARK (Lt Cdr P N Buckley), SNAPPER(Lt W D A
King), STERLET (Lt Cdr G H S Haward), SUNFISH (Lt Cdr J E Slaughter)
Flotilla (Captain J S Bethell)
STURGEON (Lt G D A Gregory), UNITY (Lt J F B Brown, Lt F J Brooks from 20 April),
URSULA (Lt Cdr W K A N Cavaye), SPEARFISH (Lt Cdr J H Forbes), SWORDFISH (Lt
P J Cowell), CLYDE (Lt Cdr R.L S Gaisford, Lt Cdr D C Ingram from 18 April),
SEVERN (Lt Cdr B W Taylor), NARWHAL (Lt Cdr R.J Burch)
Submarine Flotilla (Capitaine de Vaisseau F H R.De Belot)
Depot ship JULES
SYBILLE (Capitaine de Corvette A J R.Raybaud), AMAZONE (Lieutenant de
Vaisseau R.H G Richard), ANTIOPE (Lieutenant de Vaisseau M A L Balastre)
submarines were ordered to patrol areas in the Kattegat, Skagerrak
and southern North Sea in anticipation
of German military reaction to the British Norwegian operations. During the
morning of 8 April the submarines were located as follows. French AMAZONE and
ANTIOPE, which departed Harwich on the 4th, were on patrol off the Frisian Islands and Heligoland,
respectively. SHARK and SEAWOLF, which departed Harwich on the 7th, were en
route to patrol in the southwest North Sea, off
Terschelling west of Jutland. UNITY, which
departed Blyth on the 2nd, was in the Heligoland Bight
off Horn's Reef. In the Kattegat or en route.
TRITON, which departed Rosyth on 29 March, was north of Laeso. SUNFISH, which
departed Harwich on the 2nd, was in the Kattegat north of
Anholt. SEALION, which departed Harwich on the 1st, was in the Kattegat. SNAPPER, which
departed Harwich on the 4th, was north of the German declared area in the
Skagerrak. On patrol in
the Skagerrak or en route. URSULA, which departed
Blyth on the 8th, was
west of the German declared mine area in the Skagerrak.
CLYDE, which departed
Flow on the 7th, was en route to Egersund; she was being hindered
by German aircraft and did not arrive until 0300/9th. SEVERN, which departed
Portsmouth with new
submarine TARPON on the 5th and joined convoy FN.39 for the passage to
Rosyth. SEVERN was in the area of Hartlepool on passage to
vicinity of 57-00N, 6-00E. TRUANT, which departed Rosyth on the 6th to
relieve submarine TRIDENT, was off Egersund. TRIAD, which departed Rosyth on
the 8th to relieve submarine TRITON, was on passage east of the Skaw. THISTLE, which
departed Scapa Flow on the 7th, was west of the Skagerrak. SPEARFISH,
which departed Blyth on the 5th to relieve SWORDFISH, was
north of the German declared area in the Skagerrak off the
northwest coast of Denmark. STERLET, which
departed Harwich on the 8th, was on passage to the Skagerrak. TRIDENT, which
departed Rosyth on 25 March, was in Bohus Bay off Larvik.
Polish ORZEL, which departed Rosyth on the 3rd, was off Kristiansand. SEAL departed
Rosyth on the 6th to patrol off the Norwegian coast between Egersund and
Lindesnes. She was north
of the German declared mine area in 56-00N, 5-20E on the 8th. After the loss
of THISTLE on the 10th, she entered Stavangersfjord.
NARWHAL returned to
Blyth from minelaying
mission FD.1 on the 6th, briefly docked to correct leaks, proceeded to
Immingham to embark mines for another minelay and set off on the 10th. PORPOISE
arrived back from convoy duty at Rosyth on the 4th and after refuelling and
repairs left on patrol on the 13th. SWORDFISH arrived back at Blyth on the 8th from
patrol and again departed after refuelling and repairs on the 16th. French
SYBILLE arrived at Harwich on the 5th after a six-day patrol in the North Sea. She departed
on the 9th to patrol off Horn Reef. TARPON (Lt Cdr H J Caldwell) departed
Portsmouth on the 5th in
company of SEVERN for working up at Rosyth, but was
ordered to patrol in the Heligoland Bight. TARPON was west of the Skagerrak on the 8th. TAKU
(Lt Cdr V J Van Der Byl) departed Portsmouth on the 2nd for
the Clyde escorted by destroyer MALCOLM. At 0730
next morning off Start Point, MALCOLM was relieved by destroyer FOXHOUND.
TAKU and FOXHOUND arrived in the Clyde at 0600/5th. TAKU
departed Greenock for patrol on the 11th to relieve
submarine CLYDE off Egersund, but was diverted en route
to Molde. TETRARCH (Lt Cdr R.G Mills) departed Portsmouth escorted by
sloop FOXGLOVE on the 13th for working up at Rosyth, but en route was
diverted off Flamborough Head on the 14th to patrol off Lister.
SALADIN sustained damage to her hull plating while going alongside another
ship in the Western Approaches Command.
trawler FRIESLAND (247grt) was captured by destroyer HOSTILE
in 70‑06N, 17‑01E, northwest of Tromso, Friesland. She was taken to
Kirkwall arriving on the
10th. This was not the trawler FRIESLAND used for
British service; that was a Dutch trawler (180grt).
from German armed merchant cruiser ATLANTIS. The next day, U.37, which was
unable to keep up with ATLANTIS in heavy seas, was detached from the escort
of ATLANTIS in the Denmark Strait.
BISON departed Oran escorted armed
merchant cruisers EL D'JEZAIR, EL MANSOUR, EL KANTARA and VILLE D'ORAN to
Brest, arriving on
the 8th for Norwegian operations.
PLANNED BRITISH MINELAYING OPERATIONS
British plan was to lay mines in Norwegian waters on the 5th and the
first contingent of British troops for Narvik were to sail from the Clyde on the 8th. However,
several factors caused the schedule to be put back three days.
TEVIOTBANK (Cdr R. D. King-Harman Rtd) of Force WS with destroyers
INGLEFIELD, ILEX, IMOGEN, ISIS departed Scapa Flow at 1930 to lay
mines off Stadlandet in 62N, 05E between Aalesund and Bergen. This was the
first of three minelays planned under operation WILFRED. Screening forces for
these operations were battlecruiser RENOWN (Flagship Vice Admiral W. J.
Whitworth CB, DSO, Capt C E B Simeon) and destroyers GREYHOUND, GLOWWORM,
HYPERION and HERO sailing from Scapa Flow at 1830 with
the TEVIOTBANK force. Light cruiser BIRMINGHAM, which had
departed Scapa Flow on 31 March to search for German fishing
vessels, was to have escorted the minelaying force, but on the 5th reports
were received that all four Norwegian coastal defense ships were at Narvik. At
the last moment, the Admiralty decided to send RENOWN and have BIRMINGHAM rendezvous with
her off the Norwegian coast. However, BIRMINGHAM was unable to
make the rendezvous due to bad weather.
GERMAN SUPPLY SHIPS MOVEMENTS
ship ALSTER (8514grt) and tanker KATTEGAT (6031grt),
escorted by Norwegian torpedo boat STEGG, arrived at Kopervik at the pilot
station. The station could not provide sufficient pilots and the German
ships' progress north was delayed. The German ships spent the night at
Kopervik and left the next morning towards Narvik. German steamers MAIN (7624grt) and
BARENFELS (7569grt) experienced similar delays and spent the night of 6/7 April
at Kopervik. German steamer SAO PAULO (4977grt) was
forced to spend the night of 7/8 April at Kristiansand.
UK-NORWAY CONVOY ON.25
with nine British, sixteen Norwegian, nine Swedish, four Danish, four
Finnish, one Estonian ship for Norway and two ships
for Aberdeen, departed
Methil at 1200 escorted by destroyers JAVELIN, JUNO, ECLIPSE,
GRENADE and submarine THISTLE. Light cruisers MANCHESTER,
and anti-aircraft cruiser CALCUTTA provided close
support. The convoy was composed of British steamers NYANZA
(4974grt), MAGRIX (454grt), DALVEEN (5193grt), ORANGEMOOR (5775grt), CREE (4791grt),
SWAINBY (4935grt), Norwegian steamers EROS (974grt), FORSVIK (1248grt), INGER
(1409grt), ROY (1768grt), DIANA (1154grt), EINVIK (2000grt), SJOFNA (619grt),
IBIS (1367grt), HJALMAR WESSEL (1742grt),
VARD (681grt), VESTLAND (1934grt), Swedish steamers NORDOST (1035grt),
CALEDONIA (1268grt),HAGA (1296grt), MAGDALENA (1265grt), FREY (1296grt),
Danish steamers LOTTE (1420grt), METTE (1909grt), SOPHIE (945grt), Finnish
steamers DELAWARE (2441grt), VELI RAGNAR (2158grt), ASCANIA (838grt),
Dutch steamer HELDER (3629grt), and Estonian steamer BEGONIA (1591grt).
Off Aberdeen, submarine
THISTLE was detached from the convoy with anti-submarine trawler COVENTRY CITY (546grt) and
British steamer MAGRIX (454grt) for Scapa Flow. On the 6th,
the convoy was joined at sea by destroyers JANUS, which departed Scapa Flow
at 1300/5th and JUPITER, which had departed Scapa Flow at 0830/6th, escorting
the ten ships of the Kirkwall section of the convoy. These steamers are
detailed in the breakdown of the Methil sailing. Upon joining the convoy,
destroyer JANUS remained with the local escort and destroyer JUPITER was
ordered to search for British drifter SEABREEZE.
The merchant ships of the
Kirkwall section were
British steamers NORTH DEVON (3658grt) and IMPERIAL VALLEY (4573grt),
Norwegian steamers STANJA (1845grt), SARPFOSS (1493grt), STAR (1531grt), ELNA
E (1174grt), RINGULV (5153grt), SOLHAVN (1630grt), TOPDALSFJORD (4271grt),
Swedish steamers C. F. LILJEVALCH (5492grt) and BULLAREN (5722grt), and Finnish
steamer WAPPU (1513grt). On the 8th, the Admiralty recalled ON.25 due
to German naval activity in the North Sea. Steamers DALVEEN,
CALEDONIA, DELAWARE, ROY, DIANA,
EINVIK, INGER, VESTLAND, HJALMAR WESSEL, ORANGEMOOR, FREY, CREE, BULLAREN,
and RINGULV arrived on the 9th at Kirkwall, NORDOST on the 10th at Kirkwall, SOLHAVN at
Kirkwall and BERTHA at Methil on the 11th, TOPDALSFJORD at
Kirkwall and NORTH DEVON at Methil on the 12th, HELDER at
Kirkwall and NYANZA at
the Tyne on the 13th, and IMPERIAL VALLEY at Methil
on the 16th.
On the 10th, escort vessels VIVIEN, WOOLSTON
and WOLSEY, which
departed Rosyth on the 9th, escorted ON.25 from Kirkwall being joined en
route by Sloop BITTERN. The convoy arrived at Methil on the 11th. Sloop
BITTERN was detached en route to round up Danish fishing vessels in Moray Firth on the 10th. Steamers
MAGDALENA, LOTTE, METTE, BEGONIA, EROS, SJOFNA,
IBIS, VARD, ASCANIA,
HAGA, SOPHIE, SWAINBY, SARPFOSS, C. F. LILJEVALCH and STANJA of ON.25
were lost or captured when the convoy was recalled on the 8th and twenty-four
ships lost touch continuing towards Bergen. Steamers VELI RAGNAR safely
arrived in the Kirkenes and FORSVIK at Gothenburg.
CODRINGTON (D.1) and JANUS departed Scapa Flow at 1300 to
search for a reported German submarine bombed by aircraft (presumably RAF
Coastal Command) in 59-00N, 0-52W at
1020. The destroyers made six attacks on a submarine contact in 59-11N,
at 0848 fired three torpedoes at U.2 in 56-02N, 6-35E. All the torpedoes
departed Southend, escorted by destroyer WALLACE and sloop FLAMINGO. The
convoy arrived at the Tyne on the 7th.
departed Methil, escorted by destroyer VALOROUS, sloop LOWESTOFT, and anti-submarine
trawlers of the 1st Anti-Submarine Group. The convoy arrived in the Tyne on the 6th.
U.2, U.5 and U.6
departed Wilhelmshaven for patrols off
southern Norway. U.4 had
departed Wilhelmshaven on the 4th and
U.1 departed Wilhelmshaven on the 6th. U.3
departed Wilhelmshaven on the 13th
when U.2 left patrol with defects for Wilhelmshaven.
trawler BLANKENBURG (344grt) was captured by destroyer FEARLESS northeast of
North Cape in 71‑05N,
26‑49E. She was escorted by destroyer FEARLESS as far as North Cape, then departed
under prize crew for Kirkwall arriving on the
11th. Trawler BLANKENBURG was renamed RECOIL for use by the Royal Navy as an
WALPOLE, WITHERINGTON and HESPERUS which were en route to meet convoy HX.30 and
destroyer HAVANT, escorting OA.122 were ordered to hunt a German submarine
reported in Dingle Bay.
Mine Sweeping Flotilla was formed with minesweepers HALCYON, SPEEDWELL,
SKIPJACK, HARRIER (SO) and HUSSAR at Dover. Minesweeper
HARRIER was boiler cleaning on the 5th. The minesweeper completed boiler
cleaning on the 6th.
and NIGER spent the night
of 4/5 April in the Downs. On the 5th,
minesweeper NIGER proceeded
directly to the Humber. The other two minesweeper stopped at
Harwich for work in connection with a minelaying operation off Dover. Following the
operation, minesweepers GOSSAMER and SALAMANDER proceeded to the Humber. Minesweeper
LEDA was to proceed to the Humber after boiler
with thirty-seven ships departed Gibraltar escorted by
destroyer WATCHMAN from the 5th to 7th. The ocean escort was
sloops FOWEY (escort SO) and BIDEFORD which escorted the convoy from the 5 to 15th.
Destroyers VERITY, VIVACIOUS and BROKE joined the convoy in Home Waters on
the 12th and escorted the convoy until the 15th, when it arrived at Liverpool.
arrived at Scapa Flow at 1200 to land a medical case. Destroyer
TARTAR then proceeded to Rosyth.
PRINCESS VICTORIA escorted by patrol sloops SHELDRAKE, SHEARWATER, PINTAIL and
PUFFIN laid a minefield eight miles, 10° from 51-34. 2N, 02-28E in Operation PB.
SKIPJACK and HUSSAR arrived at Dover to join the 6th
Mine Sweeping Flotilla.
HARRIER completed boiler cleaning at Dover. Minesweeper
LEDA went alongside depot ship SANDHURST for boiler
cleaning prior to proceeding to the Humber.
BRITISH MINELAYING OPERATIONS
destroyers ESK (D.20), IMPULSIVE, ICARUS and IVANHOE of the 20th Destroyer Flotilla
escorted by destroyers HARDY, HUNTER, HOTSPUR and HAVOCK of the 2nd Destroyer
Flotilla departed Sullom Voe at 0515 as Force WV to lay mines in Vestfjord
off Hovden in 67‑24N, 14‑36E. At sea, Force WV rendezvoused
with battlecruiser RENOWN and her escorts which had departed Scapa Flow the day before.
Destroyer GLOWWORM was detached from the RENOWN
screen to recover
a crewman lost overboard in heavy weather. GLOWWORM lost sight of
RENOWN even as she turned, but the crewman was rescued. Destroyers HYPERION
and HERO, also of the RENOWN force, were detached to refuel at
Lerwick prior to operating as Force WB, a simulated minelay off Bud in 62‑54N,
06‑55E. They arrived at Sullom Voe at 1545/6th and departed at 0615/7th.
If they encountered GLOWWORM, the destroyers
were ordered to
tell her to meet RENOWN off Vestfjord.
GERMAN SHIPPING MOVEMENTS
ship BRUMMER and torpedo boats FALKE and JAGUAR departed Cuxhaven at 0700/6th
with steamers MENDOZA (5193grt), TIJUCA (5918grt) and TUBINGEN (5453grt) for
Stavanger. German tanker
DOLLART (233grt) departed Brunsbuttel on the 9th for Stavanger.
SEABREEZE in difficulty in heavy weather was spoken to by destroyer JANUS at
0710. When it was ascertained that the drifter was making for a lee in the
Islands, JANUS continued on her way. Destroyer JUPITER was
later ordered to search for the drifter when she made an SOS, but at 2200, JUPITER returned to
Scapa Flow when SEABREEZE
was reported in the company of a trawler.
merchant cruiser ORION departed Kiel for operations
in the South Atlantic, Indian Ocean
and Pacific Ocean.
She was escorted in the Skagerrak by torpedo
boats SEEADLER and LUCHS, and through the North Sea by U.64 which
was then detached for Narvik operations.
Norwegian steamer NAVARRA (2118grt) in 59N, 04W, with the loss of ten crew and two passengers.
Fourteen survivors were picked up by
Finnish steamer ATLAS (1098grt). By the 7th, Norway had lost 54
ships (117,208grt) and 392 men of her merchant shipping fleet. One ship was
sunk by pocket battleship DEUTSCHLAND, 39 by submarine
attack, 12 by air attacks and air or destroyer mining, and two by unknown
cruiser EMILE BERTIN (Flagship Contre Amiral Edmond L. Derrien, Commander
Force Z, Capitaine de Vaisseau Robert M.J. Battet) and large destroyers
MAILLE BREZE (Capitaine de Fregate H. M.E. A. Glotin) and TARTU (Capitaine de
Fregate J. M.Chomel) of the 5th Large Destroyer Division departed Brest for Scapa Flow.
departed Liverpool on the 4th escorted by destroyer VIMY
and sloop ROCHESTER, while convoy
OA.123GF departed Southend escorted by sloops WELLINGTON and ABERDEEN. The convoys
merged as OG.25F with fifty-seven ships. ROCHESTER escorted OG.25F from
the 6th to 7th when she detached to convoy HG.25F. VIMY, WELLINGTON and ABERDEEN escorted the
convoy from the 6th to 12th, and it was joined near Gibraltar by destroyer
WISHART which joined the escort from the 9th to 12th, when it arrived at
WELLINGTON and ABERDEEN were temporarily
attached to the 13th Destroyer Flotilla to replace destroyers DOUGLAS and
WRESTLER which were proceeding with convoy HG.26 to give their crews leave in the
departed Southend escorted by destroyer WILD SWAN on the 6th and 7th, destroyer
VESPER on the 7th, and destroyer CAMPBELL on the 8th and 9th. The convoy was
dispersed on the 9th and destroyer CAMPBELL joined inbound convoy HX.31.
departed Liverpool escorted by destroyer WARWICK and sloop
FOLKESTONE from the 6th to 9th, when they were detached to convoy HX.31. Convoy
OB.124 dispersed on the 10th.
Convoy SA.36 with one steamer departed
Southampton, escorted by
destroyer ACHERON, and arrived at Brest on the 8th.
departed Southend, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN and sloop PELICAN, and arrived
in the Tyne on the 8th.
departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer VALOROUS and
sloop LOWESTOFT, and arrived at Southend on the 8th.
departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer WALLACE, sloop
FLAMINGO, and anti-submarine trawlers of the 19th Anti-Submarine Group. The
convoy joined convoy FN.138 on the 7th.
departed Halifax at 0800
escorted by Canadian destroyers OTTAWA, RESTIGOUCHE and
SKEENA with RESTIGOUCHE
returning to harbour after dark. At noon on the
following day, the destroyers turned the convoy over to the ocean escort,
armed merchant cruiser ASCANIA and French submarine BEVEZIERS, which detached on the 15th. Destroyer
WHITEHALL and sloop ROCHESTER escorted the
convoy from the 18th to 20th, when it arrived at Liverpool.
invasion of Norway, WESERUBUNG
(Exercise Weser), was originally set for 20 March. However, like British
operations, various delays postponed the operations and the invasion was
finally set for 9 April.
GERMAN NAVAL MOVEMENTS
forces for the Narvik and Trondheim occupations put
to sea at midnight on the 7th. The
Narvik group was composed of destroyers WILHELM HEIDKAMP (Flagship Commodore Bonte),
GEORG THIELE (Leader of 1st Destroyer Flotilla) of the 1st Destroyer
Flotilla, HANS LUDEMAN (Leader of 3rd Destroyer
Flotilla), HERMANN KUNNE, ANTON SCHMIDT, DIETHER VON ROEDER of the 3rd
Destroyer Flotilla, WOLFGANG ZENKER (Leader of 4th Destroyer Flotilla), BERND
VON ARNIM, ERICH KOELLNER and ERICH GIESE of the 4th Destroyer Flotilla, each
destroyer carrying 200 troops of the 139th Gebirgsjager Regiment (mountain
troops), departed Wesermunde at the mouth of the River Weser
at 0000/7 April. Additionally, destroyer RICHARD BEITZEN of the 1st Destroyer
Flotilla was in the Weser as a reserve
destroyer for this force, but was not required.
The Trondheim Group was
composed of heavy cruiser ADMIRAL HIPPER and destroyers PAUL JACOBI (Leader
of 2nd Destroyer Flotilla), THEODOR RIEDEL and BRUNO HEINEMANN of the 2nd
Destroyer Flotilla and FRIEDRICH ECKHOLDT of the 1st Destroyer Flotilla
carrying troops of the 138th Gebirgsjager Regiment. This group departed Cuxhaven at 0000/7 April.
Two destroyers of the Trondheim force were
designated to remain at Trondheim after the
landings for harbour defense duties. The Narvik Group and the Trondheim Group
rendezvoused in Schillig Roads and proceeded north in company. At 0200
southwest of Heligoland, these destroyer groups joined German battleships
SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU under Admiral Lutjens which departed Wilhelmshaven early on the
At 0848 and
1342, Allied aircraft reported German naval forces east of the German declared
minefield steering northwest. The force was later identified as one
battlecruiser, one pocket battleship, three LEIPZIG class cruisers,
twelve destroyers. This set British Home Fleet operations in motion.
HOME FLEET OPERATIONS
(C-in-C Home Fleet) in battleship RODNEY with VALIANT, battlecruiser REPULSE,
light cruisers SHEFFIELD, PENELOPE, French EMILE BERTIN, destroyers ESKIMO,
PUNJABI, BEDOUIN, KIMBERLEY, JUPITER, CODRINGTON (D.1), GRIFFIN, BRAZEN,
ESCAPADE and ELECTRA departed Scapa Flow at 2015/7th. Destroyers TARTAR, SOMALI
(D.6), MATABELE and MASHONA, which had departed Rosyth on the 7th at 2330,
joined Forbes at sea. Forbes proceeded with his fleet to cover the minelaying
operations soon to commence off the Norwegian coast. French cruiser EMILE
BERTIN lost touch with the Fleet and returned to Scapa Flow arriving at
ALLIED TROOP-LANDING PLANS
with the minelaying of operation WILFRED, troops were to be landed at Stavanger, Trondheim, Bergen, Narvik under
operation AVONMOUTH (plan R.4). These troops were already embarked in British
naval vessels. At Rosyth were heavy cruisers DEVONSHIRE, BERWICK and
YORK of the 1st
Cruiser Squadron and light cruiser GLASGOW, which had just completed
refitting, of the 18th Cruiser Squadron each with 90 tons of stores in
addition to the troops embarked. These cruisers were to land troops at Stavanger and Bergen but only if it
became apparent that Germany intended to
violate Norwegian territory. Destroyers AFRIDI, GURKHA, SIKH, MOHAWK, ZULU and
COSSACK of the 4th Destroyer Flotilla were at Rosyth to escort these cruisers.
In the Clyde were troopships CHROBRY (11,442grt) and BATORY (14,287grt) with
troops to be landed at Trondheim and Narvik to be escorted by light cruiser
AURORA and destroyers FAULKNOR, FORESTER and FORTUNE which arrived at the Clyde
on the 3rd, destroyers DELIGHT, ASHANTI and FOXHOUND, which arrived at the Clyde
on the 5th, destroyer MAORI which completed repairs at the Clyde on the 3rd.
OTHER ALLIED NAVY MOVEMENTS
Rosyth were light cruisers GALATEA and ARETHUSA. Convoy HN.24 had just
arrived at Rosyth with destroyers SOMALI, MATABELE, MASHONA and TARTAR. The
destroyers immediately put back out and joined Adm Forbes at sea. Convoy ON.25,
which had put to sea on the 5th, was recalled at 1851 on the 7th and her
escort of light cruisers MANCHESTER, SOUTHAMPTON, anti-aircraft cruiser
CALCUTTA, and destroyers JANUS, JUNO, JAVELIN,
ECLIPSE and GRENADE were ordered to Scapa Flow. Convoy ON.25 was at that time in
61-20N, 1E. The convoy was ordered to reverse course and remain west of the
Islands until further notice. CALCUTTA arrived at
Sullom Voe and GRENADE at Scapa Flow at 1230/9th for
refuelling. Destroyers JANUS, JUNO, JAVELIN and GRENADE were reassigned en route, but later arrived at
Scapa Flow at 1820/9th for
cruiser EMILE BERTIN and destroyers MAILLE BREZE and TARTU arrived off
Scapa Flow at 1700/7th for
operations with the Home Fleet. The light cruiser was met outside Hoxa Sound
and was lead into harbour by destroyer JUPITER.
BIRMINGHAM on patrol since
31 March was ordered to join the RENOWN group off Vestfjord. However, in
heavy weather, she was unable to make the rendezvous and later arrived at
Scapa Flow on the 11th
after refuelling at Sullom Voe on the 10th. Destroyer FEARLESS of the group
had been detached for refuelling after the capture of German trawler BLANKENBURG on the 5th, proceeded to Sullom Voe and departed after
refuelling on the 7th. On the 7th, destroyer FEARLESS captured German
auxiliary patrol boat Vp.411 (trawler NORDLAND, 392grt) in the North Sea, proceeded with
her to Sullom Voe, arriving on
the 10th, and went on to Kirkwall the next day
arriving on the 11th. Destroyer HOSTILE of this group had been detached to
escort trawler FRIESLAND to Scapa Flow and later
joined the British forces off Vestfjord.
ARETHUSA and GALATEA (CS.2) departed Rosyth at 2130 with destroyers AFRIDI
(D.4), GURKHA, SIKH, MOHAWK, ZULU, COSSACK, KELVIN and KASHMIR, plus Polish destroyers GROM, BURZA
and BLYSKAWICA, sailed for a position 80 miles west of Stavanger to arrive
at 1700/8th from whence they would sweep north.
ESCAPADE and ELECTRA departed Scapa Flow at 1030 to
escort base ship MANCHESTER CITY to Kirkwall. The ships
safely arrived at 1415 and the destroyers returned to Scapa Flow.
TEVIOTBANK was recalled at 2251 on the 7th before the WS minelay was
accomplished. She was ordered to cancel the minelaying and steer to the
northwest. Minelayer TEVIOTBANK arrived at Sullom Voe at 1100/9th. Destroyers
INGLEFIELD, ILEX, IMOGEN and ISIS arrived at Sullom Voe at 0830/9th. The
destroyers were placed at the disposal of Admiral Forbes. The four I-class
HERO and HYPERION, after refuelling, departed Sullom Voe at 0300/10th and
joined Forbes at 1100/10th.
Steamer ULSTER MONARCH (3791grt) reported sighting a U-boat
miles NE of Cape Barfleur, . Destroyers WILD
SWAN escorting convoy OA.124 and WINDSOR escorting convoy SL25A were detached
MARE (1217grt) was seized by German forces, and renamed BUG for
German use. The Estonian crew was returned to Estonia via Stockholm.
Convoy BC.33 six
steamers, including ATLANTIC COAST, BATNA, BRITISH COAST, CITY OF LANCASTER
(Commodore) departed Bristol Channel escorted by
destroyer MONTROSE. The convoy arrived at Loire on the 9th.
departed Southend, escorted by destroyers VEGA and WOOLSTON, and
arrived in the Tyne on the 9th.
departed Methil, escorted by destroyer VIMIERA, sloop BLACK SWAN and anti-submarine trawlers of the 23rd Anti-Submarine Group,
later that day.
departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer VIVIEN, sloop
PELICAN and anti-submarine trawlers of the 1st Anti-Submarine Group, and
joined convoy FN.139 at daylight on the 8th.
departed the Tyne, escorted by destroyer VIMIERA and sloop
BLACK SWAN, and arrived at Southend on the 9th.
departed Freetown escorted by
armed merchant cruiser MOOLTON until the 21st, when sloop FOLKESTONE
and destroyer VENETIA joined the escort. The convoy arrived at