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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2003

HMS RESOLUTION  - Royal Sovereign-class 15in gun Battleship including Convoy Escort Movements

Editing & Additional Material by Mike Simmonds

HMS Resolution (Maritime Quest, click to enlarge) return to Contents List

HMS RESOLUTION was ordered from Palmers at Hebburn, Newcastle on Tyne and laid down on 29th November 1913. She was launched on 14th January 1915 as the 16th RN ship to carry the name. It was introduced about 1650 when used during the Commonwealth for HMS PRINCE and last borne by an 1892 battleship, sold in 1914. Build completed in December 1916 and cost £2,449,680.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s 


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Red a mounted knight in tilting

with lance in rest, all Gold.


M o t t o

‘A l’outrance’: 'To a finish'



D e t a i l s   o f   W a r   S e r v i c e


(for more ship information,  go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search



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3rd – RESOLUTION (Captain C H Knox-Little RN) Flag Ship of 3rd Battle Squadron (Rear Admiral Lancelot E Holland) with battleship REVENGE, aircraft carrier HERMES and cruisers CARADOC and CERES all at Portland where they formed Channel Force. Also at Portland were the18thDF destroyers ACHATES, ACHERON, AMAZON, ANTHONY, ARDENT and ARROW.

(The task of Channel Force was to protect the cross channel convoys carrying the BEF and its equipment and supplies to France. The first convoy sailed on 9/9/39)

5th – Destroyers ANTELOPE and KEMPENFELT arrived at Portland.

6th – HERMES escorted by KEMPENFELT, ACHATES, AMAZON, ANTELOPE and ARDENT sailed from Portland.

9th – HERMES escorted by Destroyers ILEX, IMOGEN and ISIS arrived at Portland.

10th - HERMES escorted by ILEX, IMOGEN and ISIS sailed from Portland.

11th – CARADOC and CERES sailed from Portland.

(From 3/9/39 to 1/10/39 the Admiralty had no knowledge of any German raiders being at sea. On 1/10/39 the Admiralty received information from the survivors of the 5051grt SS CLEMENT that she had been sunk off Pernambuco, Brazil on 30/9/39by the German panzerschiffe Admiral Scheer. [In fact it was the ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE, sailed 20/8/39 from Wilhelmshaven, who had disguised herself as ADMIRAL SCHEER]. Immediately the Admiralty put in hand measures to catch/ neutralize the raider’s activity. One of which was to provide strong escorts for convoys in the South Atlantic)


1st – RESOLUTION and REVENGE were nominated to join South Atlantic Command at Freetown for convoy duties.

(At 1100/5/10/39a raider signal was received from the 5044 grt SS STONEGATE stating she was being attacked by a German raider 600 miles east of Bermuda. [This was the German panzerschiffe DEUTSCHLAND, sailed 24/8/39 from Wilhelmshaven] The news immediately caused the Admiralty to reconsider its orders for RESOLUTION and REVENGE)

5th – Orders to move to South Atlantic Command cancelled and RESOLUTION and REVENGE were nominated for convoy duty in the North Atlantic based at Halifax.

(On the 26/9/39 Sir John Simon the Chancellor of the Exchequer wrote to Winston Churchill the First lord of the Admiralty that it was essential to ship gold to the value of £40M to North America. To pay for raw materials and armaments from the USA that now that Great Britain was at war would only be supplied on a cash and carry basis. Churchill who was concerned about the desperate shortage of warships suggested that the gold should be shipped in fast merchant ships. [But this raised the spectre of the AMC LAURENTIC that on 25/1/17, en route to Halifax, had been mined and sunk off Loch Swilly with 43 tons of gold bullion on board worth £5M] The decision was taken on 1/10/39 that the cruisers EMERALD and ENTERPRISE would be utilised to carry £4M in gold bullion to Halifax and they were ordered to Plymouth where they arrived at 2318/3/10/39. With the change of orders for RESOLUTION and REVENGE the decision was taken that they also would each carry £2M in gold bullion to Halifax )

6th – RESOLUTION and REVENGE went alongside in Portland.
Late in the evening railway wagons containing 26 boxes of gold bullion, each box containing gold worth about £13500.00 and weighting 130 pounds, was moved alongside each ship and the boxes loaded on board the battleships, 148 boxes per ship.

7th – At 0930 hours RESOLUTION and REVENGE escorted by destroyers VOLUNTEER, WITHERINGTON and WOLVERINE sailed from Portland.
At 1910 hours, east of the Lizard they were joined by cruisers EMERALD and ENTERPRISE, each carrying £2M in gold bullion, aircraft carrier HERMES and cruiser CARADOC and destroyers INGLEFIELD and IVANHOE.

8th – At 0300 hours aircraft carrier HERMES and cruiser CARADOC detached for Brest

10th – At 0745 hours CARADOC rejoined.

15th – South of Newfoundland the destroyers HMCS FRAZER and ST LAURENT joined the force.

16th – At 0900 hours the force arrived at Halifax where the gold bullion was off-loaded for shipment to Ottawa.
On arrival Rear Admiral Lancelot E Holland flying his flag In RESOLUTION became commander of the Halifax Escort Force.

25th – At 0800 hours convoy HX 6 sailed from Halifax escorted by RESOLUTION, FRAZER and ST LAURENT.

27th - FRAZER and ST LAURENT detached from HX 6.


6th – Convoy HX 6 was joined by destroyers WARWICK and WHIRLWIND from convoy OB 29 and destroyers GIPSY, GLOWWORM, GRENADE and GRENVILLE from Plymouth.

7th – RESOLUTION escorted by GRENVILLE and GRENADE detached from convoy HX 6

9th – RESOLUTION, GRENVILLE and GRENADE arrived at Plymouth.


10th – Sailed from Halifax in company with Battlecruiser REPULSE, aircraft carrier FURIOUS, cruiser EMERALD and destroyers HMCS FRASER, OTTAWA, RESTIGOUCHE and ST LAURENT escorting convoy TC1 which consisted of 5 troopships carrying 7450 Canadian troops.

11th - FRASER, OTTAWA, RESTIGOUCHE and ST LAURENT detached and returned to Halifax.

17th – At 1200 hours convoy TC 1 and escort arrived in the Clyde.

23rd – Sailed from the Clyde escorted by destroyers ILEX, KASHMIR and KINGSTON to RV with Canadian troop convoy TC 2.

25th – 300 miles west of Malin Head RESOLUTION provided cover for convoy TC 2 which comprised 7 troopships carrying 8152 troops. Her escort destroyers detached and joined convoy TC 2. RESOLUTION proceeded independently to Halifax.


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6th – At 0900 hours convoy HX 15 sailed from Halifax escorted by RESOLUTION and destroyers HMCS FRASER and RESTIGOUCHE.

7th - FRASER and RESTIGOUCHE detached from HX 15.

18th – RESOLUTION detached from HX 15 for Plymouth.

19th – Arrived at HM Dockyard, Devonport where she was taken in hand for a refit.


Under refit at Devonport.


Under refit at Devonport.


Post-refit trials at Devonport.

10th – RESOLUTION sailed from Plymouth escorted by destroyers ANTELOPE and WITCH.

12th - RESOLUTION, ANTELOPE and WITCH arrived in the Clyde.

22nd – At 1200 hours RESOLUTION escorted by destroyers BASILISK, HESPERUS and WREN sailed from Greenock for the Narvik area to relieve the battleship WARSPITE.

25th – In position 66-34N, 07-34E RESOLUTION and her escorts passed battleship WARSPITE and destroyers FOXHOUND, HAVOCK, HERO and HOSTILE who were heading south returning to Scapa.

26th – At 1615 hours RESOLUTION and her destroyers arrived off Harstad.

(Harstad is on the north east coast of the Island of Hinnoya and had been established as a base for the capture of Narvik, which was 40 miles to the south east. Port facilities were completely lacking, and Harstad afforded transports and supply ships little more than an anchorage. The operation to capture Narvik had started on 13/4/40 with a landing at Sjovegan which is 57½miles north of Narvik by road.)

27th – Anchored off Harstad where she was used as Base Ship for the support of landing operations and to provide AA cover for shipping in the anchorage.

(Shiprights from RESOLUTION went to Skifjordveien, on the east coast of Vestvagoy Island where the damaged destroyer ESKIMO was lying, after having had her bow blown off in the Second Battle of Narvik. They made her watertight by filling the forward section with concrete)


1st – Operating in Ofotfjord with cruisers EFFINGHAM (with Admiral of the Fleet William Henry Dudley Boyle, 12th Earl of Cork and Orrery, CinC Norway, embarked) and AURORA. Carried out a bombardment of the Ankenes area, this area is at the head of Beisfjord, opposite Narvik. The bombardment was part of the 'softening up' of German resistance in preparation for the allied amphibious assault on Narvik proposed for 8/5/40, which was subsequently abandoned.

(On 2-4 May, the allied forces evacuated southern Norway. This made the capture of Narvik as a somewhat pointless exercise since they could never retake southern Norway and they could not possibly hold out in northern Norway even if Narvik were taken. However the allies decided to go ahead with the capture of Narvik to destroy its port to prevent supplies of Swedish iron from reaching Germany through Narvik)

3rd – RESOLUTION, EFFINGHAM and the Polish destroyers ORP GROM and BLYSKAWICA carried out a bombardment of Ankenes. Both destroyers were slightly damaged by return fire.

4th – At 0900 hours RESOLUTION was lying off Skjomenfjord, 6 miles west of Narvik. Where she received the survivors from the ORP GROOM that had been bombed and sunk in Rombaksfjord by a high level He 111.
At 1200 hours the ORP BURZA came alongside and took off the Polish survivors and wounded from RESOLUTION. When BURZA cast off RESOLUTION’s Royal Marine band were assembled on the quarterdeck and played the Polish national anthem.
At 1500 hours RESOLUTION and AURORA carried out a bombardment of German positions at Bjerkvik at the head of Herjangsfjord.

12th – Off Ballangen, on the south shore of Ofotfjord 13½ miles west of Narvik, the invasion force for the indirect assault on Narvik assembled. The force consisted of RESOLUTION with 4 French Hotchkiss H 39 light tanks and 2 mechanised landing craft (MLC’s) embarked, EFFINGHAM and AURORA with 1500 French Foreign Legionnaires embarked, destroyers BASILISK, FAME, HAVELOCK with a French mortar battery mounted on her forecastle, SOMALI and WREN, 4 assault landing craft (ALC) each with 30 Legionnaires embarked and a MLC carrying a Hotchkiss H 39 tank.

13th – At 0001 hours, fully light in those latitudes, the bombardment of Bjerkvik began.
At 0100 hours the landing began with the discharge of the tank from the MLC and the 120 Legionnaires from the 4 ALC’s. The plan called for the tanks from RESOLUTION to be landed first but her crew had difficulty in hoisting out the tanks into the MLC’s, They eventually struggled ashore where they did good work in silencing the enemy machine guns.
At 0200 hours the bombardment was checked.
At 0300 hours the bombardment re-commenced to give cover for the second wave.
From 0440 hours 800 squadron Skuas from aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL were over head to provide cover for the assault force. Unusually for the Norwegian campaign the Luftwaffe did not put in an appearance during this operation.
At 1830 hours RESOLUTION, EFFINGHAM, repair ship VINDICTIVE, BASILISK, FAME, HAVELOCK, SOMALI and WREN commenced Operation OB the bombardment of Narvik. Aircraft from ARK ROYAL also took part.

14th – At 1400 hours RESOLUTION was in Ofotfjord off Narvik under attack from He111’s when Skuas from ARK ROYAL arrived and drove the He111,s off.

16th – At 1130 hours RESOLUTION was anchored at Tjeldsund, approximately 30½ miles north west of Narvik, when she was hit and badly damaged by a 1000kg bomb dropped by a Ju88 aircraft of II/KG 30. The bomb hit the starboard side of the quarterdeck and penetrated three decks before detonating in the Marines messdeck. One rating was killed, another died of his wounds the next day and 22 Marines and 4 ratings were wounded. The structural damage was slight and was repaired temporarily by the ship’s staff and she remained operational.

18th - Released from operations in Norway because of vulnerability to air attacks. The CinC Narvik, Admiral of the Fleet the 12th Earl of Cork and Orrery, requested that RESOLUTION be at call for 10 days to return to Norwegian waters.

19th – Sailed for Scapa.

21st – At 1040 hours RESOLUTION arrived at Scapa.

28th – At 2128 hours the CinC Narvik requested the return of RESOLUTION. The request was denied by the Admiralty on the grounds that it was not justified to send her without and escort and the CinC Home Fleet could not provide one.


2nd – At Scapa Captain C H Knox-Little RN left and was replaced by Captain Oliver Bevir RN

4th – At 1312 hours RESOLUTION departed Scapa Flow for Gibraltar escorted by destroyers VISCOUNT, WOLVERINE and WITHERINGTON. (This deployment was in response to the deteriorating situation with Italy)

5th – At 1400 hours at 13W the destroyers detached and returned to Scapa Flow.

8th – In position 300 miles west of Vigo RESOLUTION was joined by destroyer VELOX. Later destroyer ACTIVE joined.

10th – RESOLUTION escorted by ACTIVE and VELOX arrived at Gibraltar.

23rd – At Gibraltar where at 0800 hours she was joined by the Battlecruiser HOOD, aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL and destroyers FAULKNOR, FEARLESS, FOXHOUND and ESCAPADE.

28th – At Gibraltar where she was nominated to form part of the detached squadron, Force H under the command of Vice Admiral Sir James Somerville.

30th – At 1745 hours the cruiser ARETHUSA arrived at Gibraltar with Vice Admiral Sir James F Somerville embarked. Vice Admiral Somerville then transferred his flag to the HOOD as CinC Force H.
Later HM Battleship VALIANT and HM Destroyers ESCORT, FORESIGHT and FORESTER arrived at Gibraltar to join Force H.

(The Admiralty terms of reference for Force H were; a, Prevent units of the Italian Fleet breaking out of the Mediterranean; b, To carry out offensive operations against the Italian Fleet and the Italian coast)


2nd - At 1500 hours Force H destroyers, ACTIVE, ESCORT, FAULKNOR, FEARLESS, FORESIGHT, FOXHOUND, KEPPEL, VORTIGERN, WATCHMAN and WISHART sailed from Gibraltar to carry out an anti-submarine sweep in advance of the main force leaving harbour.
At 1700 hours Force H comprising HOOD, RESOLUTION, VALIANT, ARK ROYAL, ARETHUSA and ENTERPRISE sailed from Gibraltar to carry out Operation CATAPULT.

(Operation CATAPULT was resultant from the French surrender which took place on 25/6/40 and the wording of the surrender document relating to the French naval forces which stated, 'The French fleet was to be assembled at ports under Italian or German control and demilitarised'. This statement caused great concern to the UK Government and they determined to ensure that the French fleet would not be allowed to fall into enemy hands. Force H sailed to enforce the UK Governments demands or sink the French warships at Mers-el-Kebir)

3rd - At 0300 hours FOXHOUND was detached to proceed ahead with Captain Holland who was to communicate the UK Government's message to Admiral Gensoul on his Flag Ship the Battleship DUNKERQUE.
At 0910 hours Force H arrived off Oran.
At 1200 hours FOXHOUND proceeded out of the entrance of Mers-el-Kebir harbour but remained in visual touch with HOOD and DUNKERQUE.
At 1725 hours Captain Holland left the DUNKERQUE his mission having failed.
At 1754 hours at a range of 17500 yards Force H opened fire on the French warships.
At 1800 hours a full salvo from RESOLUTION hit the French Battleship BRETAGNE with at least one shell penetrating her magazine.
At 1804 hours after 36 salvoes of 15inch Force H checked fire. This after the BRETAGNE had blown up killing over 1000 of her crew, and the DUNKERQUE damaged.
At 1820 hours the French Battleship STRASBOURG and Destroyers KERSAINT, LYNX, TERRIBLE, TIGRE and LYNX sailed from Mers-el-Kebir. (This force was later joined by 6 destroyers from Oran).
At 1825 hours ARK ROYAL launched a strike of 6 Swordfish to attack STRASBOURG without effect. The STRASBOURG force then made off at speed towards the east, with Force H in pursuit.
At 1914 hours FORESTER picked up Captain Holland and proceeded after the main force.
At 2020 hours the hot pursuit was abandoned, STRASBOURG at the time was about 25 miles ahead of HOOD, and RESOLUTION and VALIANT were falling behind.
At 2055 hours Swordfish from ARK ROYAL made a torpedo attack on STRASBOURG without slowing her down.
Force H then chased after STRASBOURG at a speed of 18 knots, the speed was governed by RESOLUTION's best speed.

4th - At 0400 hours Force H ran into fog and the planned strike at 0430 hours by 12 Swordfish from ARK ROYAL was abandoned. Force H destroyers were now running low on fuel and in consequence of this and the message received at 2250/3/7/40 to Flag Officer, Force H had received from Admiral Gensoul stating that 'his ships were hors de combat and that their personnel had been ordered to evacuate them', Force H set course for Gibraltar.
At 1900 hours Force H arrived back at Gibraltar.

8th - At 0700 hours Force H comprising HOOD, RESOLUTION, VALIANT, ARK ROYAL, cruisers ARETHUSA, DELHI, and ENTERPRISE escorted by destroyers FAULKNOR, FORESTER, FOXHOUND, ESCORT, FEARLESS, ACTIVE, DOUGLAS, VELOX, VORTIGERN, and WRESTLER to cover the Mediterranean Fleet. As a diversion for the convoys leaving Malta. ARK ROYAL was to launch an air raid against Cagliari.
En route Force H was detected by Italian reconnaissance aircraft. Force H had also been seen leaving Gibraltar and reported by Italian agents in Spain.
Between 1545 hours and 1840 hours Force H was attacked by 40 high level Savoia SM 79 aircraft that dropped over 100 bombs. No hits were achieved but there were several near misses. (The SM 79's had flown from the airfield at Villacidro, near Cagliari)
The loss of surprise and the possibility of serious damage to the ARK ROYAL on an operation that was only a diversion, led to Somerville abandoning the operation.
At 2215 hours Force H reversed course and set course for Gibraltar.

9th - At 0215 hours ESCORT was torpedoed by the Italian submarine GUGLIELMO MARCONI.
At 0800 hours Force H arrived back at Gibraltar.

31st - At 0800 hours Force H comprising HOOD, RESOLUTION, VALIANT, aircraft carriers ARK ROYAL and ARGUS, ARETHUSA, ENTERPRISE, escorted by destroyers ENCOUNTER, FAULKNOR, FORESTER, FORESIGHT, FOXHOUND, FEARLESS, GALLANT, GREYHOUND, HOTSPUR and VELOX. Sailed from Gibraltar to carry out Operation HURRY.

(Operation HURRY was an operation to deliver 12 Hurricanes to Malta. These were carried by ARGUS who had arrived at Gibraltar on 30/7/40)


1st - At 2045 hours, 100 miles south west of Majorca, Force H divided into two groups, Group 1 and Group 2.

Group 2 comprised RESOLUTION, VALIANT, ARGUS, ARETHUSA, ENCOUNTER, FEARLESS, GALLANT, GREYHOUND, HOTSPUR and VELOX. Group 2 continued towards southern Sardinia to fly off the Hurricanes.

Group 1 then proceeded to a flying off position for aircraft from ARK ROYAL to carry out Operation CRUSH, a diversionary air attack against Cagliari.

2nd - Between 0515 and 0600 hours in position 112 miles south west of Cape Spartivento light house the 12 RAF Hurricanes with two Fleet Air Arm Skuas as escort, were flown off to Malta. All Hurricanes arrived safely but one crashed on landing.
At 0530 hours Group 1 rejoined Group 2.
At 0700 hours, following the recovery of ARK ROYAL's aircraft, returning from Operation CRUSH, Force H reversed direction and set course for Gibraltar.

4th - At 0600 hours Force H arrived back at Gibraltar.

28th - At Gibraltar, she was nominated to take part in Operation MENACE.

(Operation MENACE was approved by the War Cabinet on 27/8/40. It was an expedition to capture and occupy Dakar in the French colony of Senegal. Charles de Gaulle convinced the British Government that he only had to appear with a token force at Dakar, and the populace and armed forces there would rally to him. The British Government also considered occupation of Dakar necessary due to its strategic importance to the North and South Atlantic shipping routes and to forestall its use by Germany. The operation was to be carried out by a joint Free French and British force. One of the little known reasons for Great Britain being interested in Dakar was the existence of 1475 tons of gold bullion [which broke down as 1200 tons French, 200 tons Belgian and 75 tons Polish]. This gold had been sent to Dakar by the French government just before the French capitulation. The British government was desperate to ensure that the Vichy government didn't hand the gold over to Germany)


6th - Sailed from Gibraltar for Freetown as part of a Force M, comprising battleship BARHAM, RESOLUTION, battlecruiser RENOWN, ARK ROYAL, and screened by destroyers FAULKNOR, FORESIGHT, FORESTER, FORTUNE, FURY, GREYHOUND, ECLIPSE, ESCAPADE and INGLEFIELD. (ECHO joined later after completing repairs at Gibraltar)

12th - At 1145 hours a Swordfish from ARK ROYAL made contact with convoy MP.
At 1700 hours ARK ROYAL screened by INGLEFIELD, ECHO, GREYHOUND, FORTUNE, ESCAPADE, and ECLIPSE detached from Force M to RV with cruisers HMAS AUSTRALIA and DEVONSHIRE (Flag of CinC Force M Vice Admiral John Henry Dacres Cunningham) from convoy MP, and cruiser CUMBERLAND to attempt to intercept a force of French cruisers reported to heading for Dakar.

(This deployment was to attempt to intercept the French Force Y, comprising the Vichy light cruisers GEORGES LEYGUES, MONTCALM and GLOIRE escorted by the large destroyers L' AUDACIEUX, Le FANTASQUE and Le MALIN. Force Y had departed Toulon at 1600/ 9/9/40 for Libreville, Gabon. They called at Casablanca to refuel. The three cruisers sailed from Casablanca at 0400/13/9/40 and proceeded to Dakar. The ARK ROYAL force failed to catch the cruisers before they arrived at Dakar on the afternoon of 14/9/40. The news of this deployment caused consternation to de Gaulle who believed that the Vichy Government must know about the Anglo/French operation. Also if the Vichy ships reached Dakar de Gaulle thought it most unlikely that they would surrender to him, therefore, everything should be done to stop the cruisers entering Dakar)

13th - At 1700 hours off the Cape Verde Islands Force M, less the ARK ROYAL force, RVed with convoy MP from the UK. Convoy MP was escorted by the French sloops FS COMMANDANT DOMINE, COMMANDANT DUBOC and SAVORGNAN DE BRAZZA and French Trawler FS PRESIDENT HOUDUCE.

14th - At 0730 hours INGLEFIELD, ECHO, GREYHOUND, FORTUNE, ESCAPADE, and ECLIPSE arrived at Freetown..
At 0900 hours FAULKNOR, FORESIGHT, FORESTER, and FURY arrived at Freetown.
At 1215 hours convoy MP escorted by COMMANDANT DOMINE, COMMANDANT DUBOC, SAVORGNAN DE BRAZZA, and PRESIDENT HOUDUCE arrived at Freetown.
At 1230 hours BARHAM and RESOLUTION arrived at Freetown.

15th - Early in the morning Skuas from ARK ROYAL confirmed the presence of the cruisers GEORGES LEYGUES, MONTCALM and GLOIRE at Dakar, together with the battleship RICHELIEU, destroyers and submarines.
The cruiser CORNWALL arrived at Freetown from Simonstown.

16th - The ARK ROYAL and destroyers INGLEFIELD, ESCAPADE, and FORTUNE arrived at Freetown.

17th - The DEVONSHIRE, and HMAS AUSTRALIA, with FURY and ECHO arrived at Freetown.

18th - The AUSTRALIA sailed from Freetown to relieve CUMBERLAND keeping watch off Dakar.

19th - Early in the morning, 250 miles west of Freetown, AUSTRALIA sighted the French cruisers GEORGES LEYGUES, MONTCALM and GLOIRE. (They were sailing south east for Libreville having sailed from Dakar at 1800/18/9/40)
At 0515 hours FAULKNOR, FORESIGHT, FORESTER and GREYHOUND sailed from Freetown.
At 0530 hours BARHAM sailed from Freetown and joined the destroyers off the harbour and course was set to intercept the French ships.
At 1621 hours the battleship and destroyers were recalled to Freetown.
In the evening Operation MENACE convoy MS of five mechanical transports OCEAN COAST, NEVADE, CASANANCE, FORT LAMY, and ANADYR departed Freetown escorted by Sloop BRIDGEWATER, boom defence vessel QUANNET, and the PRESIDENT HOUDACE.
At 2300 hours BARHAM, FAULKNOR, FORESIGHT, FORESTER and GREYHOUND arrived back at Freetown.

20th - At Freetown where a pre-operation conference was held on board BARHAM.

(The conference concluded that the arrival of the cruisers at Dakar had nothing to do with the operation and had not sufficiently increased the risks to justify the abandonment of MENACE. The date for the attack was fixed for the 23/9/40)

At 1430 hours cruiser CUMBERLAND departed Freetown on Operation MENACE.

22nd - Early in the morning the MENACE convoys were joined at sea by CUMBERLAND and AUSTRALIA and the cruiser DRAGON (DRAGON was a replacement for destroyer ECLIPSE which developed engine problems).

23rd - At 0515 hours the heavy units of the MENACE force were 17 miles off Dakar and found the Dakar area shrouded in a tropical fog.

(The naval base of Dakar was well protected by shore batteries with two 240mm guns at Cap Manuel and two 240mm guns at Bel Air Point. [The 3 cruisers had landed 120 coast gunners who took over the manning of the Cap Manuel and Bel Air Point batteries from he crew of RICHELIEU] On the Ile de Goree were mounted two 240mm, four 138.6mm and two 90mm guns. On the Ile de Madeleine were four 138.6mm guns. At Yoff, near the Ouakam airfield there were four 155mm guns. Around the bay at Rufisque there were two 95mm guns. Plus the guns of the warships in harbour. The French made use of colours to distinguish the spotting of their shell bursts. RICHELIEU used yellow, the forts white, and the cruisers green and red. Also based at the Ouakam airfield were Martin 167A-3 bombers and Curtis Hawk 75A-3 fighters)

At 0530 hours the SAVORGNAN DE BRAZZA detached from the force and moved towards Dakar. Off the Ile de Goree she launched two motor boats carrying emissaries from de Gaulle under a flag of truce. The mission failed and the boats made off under small arms fire.

At 0755 hours the RICHELIEU opened fire on the SAVORGNAN DE BRAZZA followed shortly afterwards by the battery on the Ile de Goree. Other batteries then opened spasmodic fire on the shipping offshore.

At 1000 hours In a momentarily clearance of the fog the shore battery at Cap Manuel opened fire on BARHAM without scoring any hits.

At 1000 hours ships were reported to be moving out of Dakar harbour. AUSTRALIA and CUMBERLAND were ordered to turn back the Vichy destroyers and sloops. AUSTRALIA fired a warning shot, they turned about and returned to harbour.

At 1005 hours Admiral Cunningham signaled the Vichy batteries stating that if they continued firing on his force he would be forced to return fire. The Vichy answer was to continue firing and signal back ordering the British to remove themselves forthwith.

The BARHAM, RESOLUTION, AUSTRALIA, CUMBERLAND and DEVONSHIRE then closed the range to 4000 yards and between 1100 and 1130 hours they bombarded the Vichy French warships including the RICHELIEU in Dakar harbour and also the shore batteries at Cap Manuel, RESOLUTION's prime target, and the Ile de Goree. During this short bombardment BARHAM and RESOLUTION fired over 100 x 15" shells.

Early in the bombardment CUMBERLAND was hit in the engine room by a 240mm shell and was forced to retire at 10 knots to Bathurst for repairs. FORESIGHT was hit by a 138.6mm shell that passed right through her and DRAGON was damaged by shell splinters.

At 1140 hours the bombarding force moved away to the south. As the bombarding force turned away 2 shells fell close to AUSTRALIA.

At 1600 hours aircraft reported an enemy destroyer in the Baie de Goree. AUSTRALIA with destroyers GREYHOUND and FURY was detached to investigate.

At 1624 the Vichy destroyer L'AUDACIEUX was in sight and AUSTRALIA opened fire at 1626 hours.

By 1630 hours L'AUDACIEUX was on fire from stem to stern and was abandoned.

At 1640 hours AUSTRALIA, GREYHOUND and FURY rejoined the battleships.

24th - At 0700 hours BARHAM, RESOLUTION, AUSTRALIA and DEVONSHIRE arrived off Dakar again the weather was misty and their targets were obscured. Because of the mist the planned long range bombardment was cancelled and the bombarding ships moved closer inshore.

(The plan was for the initial bombardment to be carried out from 26000 yards, which was the maximum range at 20¼ elevation of the 15in guns mounted in BARHAM and RESOLUTION. At this range it was hoped that they would be out of range of the 240mm shore batteries but not the 380mm guns in RICHELIEU which had a range of 45600 yards at 35¼ elevation)

At 0930 hours from a range of 14000 yards the bombarding force opened fire again RESOLUTION's primary target was the 240mm battery on the Ile de Goree.

At 0945 hours RESOLUTION's 15in director broke down.

At 1030 hours the bombarding force was the target for a high level bombing attack by Martin 167A-3 bombers.

At 1200 hours after BARHAM and RESOLUTION had each fired 50 rounds of 15in shell and there had been heavy expenditure of shell by AUSTRALIA and DEVONSHIRE fire was checked and Admiral Cunningham carried out an assessment of the results obtained. The conclusion was that little had been achieved and the decision was taken to re-commence the bombardment.

At 1305 hours the bombarding force again opened fire from 16000 yards on their allotted targets. The return fire was accurate and RESOLUTION was straddled several times but not hit. BARHAM and was hit by two shells causing slight damage.

At 1325 hours the bombardment was checked and the bombarding force moved out to sea. An assessment of the results was that despite the Battleships having fired 400 rounds of 15in shell little or no damage had been caused to the RICHELIEU or the shore batteries.

25th - At 0600 hours in clear visibility BARHAM and RESOLUTION were again closing the coast to take up there bombarding positions when at about 26000 yards from the coast they came under fire from the 380mm guns of RICHELIEU.

At 0630 hours the battleships opened fire RESOLUTION's target was again the Ile de Goree battery.

At 0900 hours they were ordered to execute a 70¼ turn together.

At 0910 hours as RESOLUTION began to comply with the order and was turning under full helm the Vichy submarine BEVEZIERS fired a salvo of 4 torpedoes from 2500 yards at RESOLUTION, 3 missed but the fourth hit her on the port side amidships. This immediately caused flooding in her port boiler-rooms and she instantly took on a 12¼ list to port and was down by the bow. Her main armament was rendered in operative as the turrets jammed up. Her port 6-inch battery was also damaged by the explosion. The list was bought under control by transferring fuel oil from the port to starboard tanks and counter flooding. Electrical fires broke out in several compartments and leaking fuel oil in A boiler room was ignited causing a serious fire which was not discovered until an hour after the torpedo hit. As A boiler room flooded, the fire extinguished itself. The resulting loss of power immediately reduced her speed to 12 knots and shortly afterwards she was stopped and drifting helplessly. No crew were lost in RESOLUTION.

(The Vichy submarine BEVEZIERS had been in position since the early morning awaiting the return of the bombarding force. Her positioning was due to Admiral Landriau who calculated that the bombarding ships would approach Dakar on the same course as the previous day

At 0913 hours AUSTRALIA was damaged by two 155mm shell hits, but the damage did not require her withdrawal from the operation and there were no injuries to the crew.

At 0915 hours BARHAM was hit in the bows by a 380mm shell from RICHELIEU.

At 0930 hours Cunningham called off the attack.

At 1055 hours a Martin 167A-3 bomber that had broken off from attacking the transports dropped a bomb which near missed RESOLUTION.

By 1200 hours the crew of RESOLUTION were slowly bringing the fires under control and reducing the list. Fire fighting in the tropical heat in an old ship not equipped with proper forced ventilation was an appalling experience requiring constant relief of those carrying out the fire fighting. Slowly compartments where the fires raged were sealed off and the fires quenched. The improvement in her situation enabled her to work up 10 knots and head SSW escorted by BARHAM, DEVONSHIRE, AUSTRALIA, FAULKNOR, FORESIGHT, FORESTER and INGLEFIELD.

At 1235 hours her speed fell off to 5 knots.

At 1700 hours FAULKNOR and FORESTER detached to join ARK ROYAL's screen.

(The damage to RESOLUTION and the lack of progress in subduing Vichy opposition led Cunningham to send a signal to London reporting the 'loss' of RESOLUTION and his recommendation to call off Operation MENACE. Following a meeting of the War Cabinet, Churchill signalled, at 1327hours; 'Unless something has happened which we do not know, which makes you wish to attempt landing in force, you should forthwith break off'. Cunningham signalled back; 'Concur in breaking off'. So ended the debacle of Operation MENACE)

26th - At 0945 hours BARHAM took RESOLUTION, who was now very low in the water, in tow and they set course for Freetown at a speed of 6 knots. They were escorted by cruisers DEVONSHIRE and DELHI, destroyers INGLEFIELD, ESCAPADE, GREYHOUND, FURY, FORESIGHT, sloops BRIDGEWATER and MILFORD, and boom defence vessel QUANNET.

Following RESOLUTION's arrival at Freetown
divers carried out a survey of the damage and found a huge hole in her port side approximately 20 foot x 12 foot. Her anti-torpedo bulge had been destroyed for a length of 50 foot and her double bottom had a 30 foot gash. Temporary repairs, which included filling the hole in the port side with concrete, were carried out at Freetown.


Under repair at Freetown.

Whilst at Freetown she had a change of commanding officers, Captain Arthur Robert Halfhide RN CBE took over command.


Under repair at Freetown.


8th - Sailed from Freetown in company with repair ship VINDICTIVE and escorted by destroyers FORTUNE and FOXHOUND.

16th - Arrived at Gibraltar with VINDICTIVE, FORTUNE and FOXHOUND. At Gibraltar further repairs were carried out.

1 9 4 1


Under repair at Gibraltar.


23rd - Sailed from Gibraltar for Portsmouth escorted by destroyers JERSEY, JUPITER, DUNCAN and VELOX.

24th - DUNCAN and VELOX detached and returned to Gibraltar.

30th - Arrived off Portsmouth during a large air raid and had to anchor in Spithead until the raid was over.


At Portsmouth. Due to the heavy bombing of Portsmouth no work was carried out and the decision was taken to send her to the United States for full repair and refitting.


5th - Sailed from the Clyde in company with destroyer LEGION, Polish destroyers ORP GARLAND and PIORUN and French destroyer FS LEOPARD escorting a troop convoy to Iceland.

9th - Arrived at Hvalfjord.

10th - Sailed from Hvalfjord for Halifax in company with AMC DERBYSHIRE escorted by destroyers ACTIVE and ECHO.

16th - Arrived at Halifax.

17th - Sailed from Halifax for Philadelphia.

20th - Arrived at US naval dockyard Philadelphia.

(The first 4 ex US Coastguard Cutters, BANFF, CULVER, FISHGUARD and HARTLAND were handed over to the RN on 30/4/41 and Captain A.F.E. Pallister DSO RN the CO of MALAYA, under repair at Brooklyn Navy Yard, accepted the cutters on behalf of the RN. Some of the crews for the cutters were drawn from RESOLUTION, MALAYA and ILLUSTRIOUS )


At US naval dockyard Philadelphia.

12th - At US naval dockyard Philadelphia where her refit was commenced.

(Ever since Churchill had been the First Lord of the Admiralty in WW1 he had sheared Admiral Fisher's plan to send a battleship squadron into the Baltic [Operation CATHERINE]. When he again became First Lord in September 1939 he again revived Operation CATHERINE. His idea centred on the R class battleships which because of their slow speed and low endurance he considered worthless for modern naval warfare. Every time he raised the matter with the Admirals they put a myriad of objections so it never proceeded beyond vague discussions and when Churchill became PM everyone believed he had forgotten about CATHERINE. However, Churchill had not forgotten about CATHERINE. Following the damage to RESOLUTION discussions took place about the future of RESOLUTION. On 26/12/40 Churchill sent a telegram to A V Alexander The First Lord of the Admiralty stating; - "Provided that it can be arranged that four of the 15in  can be cocked up within six months from now, and all other repairs be completed, I agree to abandon my long-cherished hope, in which I have been so continuously frustrated, of making RESOLUTION into a effective fighting ship for inshore action".

As a result of Churchill's interest during the refit the four 15in guns in A and B turrets had their elevation increased from 20¼ to 30¼ which increased their range to approximately 32000 yards. Also during the refit she had two quadruple 2 pounder pom poms fitted, one on B turret and one on X turret and ten single 20mm Oerlikons fitted. The forward pair of 21"submerged torpedo tubes were removed as was the quadruple .5"machine guns. Her Swordfish was replaced by a Walrus)

June - July

Refitting at US naval dockyard Philadelphia.


Refitting at US naval dockyard Philadelphia. Preparation for fitting latest radar equipment was carried out during this period.


Refitting at US naval dockyard Philadelphia.

16th - Refit completed. Post refit trials.

(On the 22/9/41in response to Japanese movements in the Far East, particularly the occupation of Saigon and Camranh Bay in Vichy Indo-China, the Admiralty informed the US Naval Authorities that the battleships RAMILLIES, RESOLUTION and ROYAL SOVEREIGN should be available for deployment within the Eastern Theatre by the end of December)


Passage to Devonport dockyard to complete installation of radars and other alterations not possible in USA. The Radar outfits fitted were: Type 79 (Aircraft warning), Type 273 (Surface warning), Types 284 and 285 (main armament and anti-aircraft fire control). The dockyard fitted plates of 2" thick high tensile steel over her magazines. Also 2 further quadruple 2 pounder pom poms and a 20mm Oerlikon were fitted.


24th - Sailed from Plymouth for Scapa Flow escorted by destroyers BEVERLEY and OAKLEY (1). En route they ran into a force 9 gale that slowed their progress.

27th - Arrived at Scapa where she joined the 3rd Battle Squadron, Home Fleet. Commenced working up exercises.


At Scapa carrying out working up exercises.

(On the 3/12/41 Admiral Phillips the CinC of Force Z signalled the Admiralty from Singapore asking for the REVENGE and ROYAL SOVEREIGN and later added RAMILLIES and RESOLUTION to be sent to Singapore)


1 9 4 2


Nominated as ocean escort for troop convoy WS 15.

4th - Arrived off Gourock in the Clyde.

5th - Hoisted the flag of Vice Admiral William Eric Campbell Tait CB, MVO, RN as CinC the embryo 3rd Battle Squadron of the Eastern Fleet.

10th - The Admiral attended the convoy conference held ashore at Gourock. After the conference RESOLUTION sailed from the Clyde for Milford Haven escorted by destroyers ANTHONY and GARLAND

11th - Arrived at Milford Haven and refuelled.

12th - Sailed from Milford Haven escorted by destroyers ANTHONY, GARLAND and HMAS NORMAN and set course to join convoy WS 15 approximately 500 miles north of the Azores on 15/1/42. On rounding the south of Ireland they ran into a force 10 south westerly gale.

(Because of the gale, that was also being experienced by the convoy, and because of a D/F bearing of a U-Boat transmission picked up by ANTHONY, emanating from the location of the RV, the Admiralty altered the RV position to take account of the gale and the U-Boat position)

15th - At 1000 hours RESOLUTION and her escorts arrived at the new RV and found nothing following which she set a southerly course to try to locate the convoy.

16th - At 0900 hours the Admiralty signalled that the convoy had been reported by a U-Boat. This signal was followed by a signal from the destroyer BOREAS, an escort with WS 15, stating that the MV LLANGIBBY CASTLE, 11951 tons with 1149 troops embarked had been torpedoed in the stern (the torpedo had been fired by U 402 in position 46-04N, 19-06W, 700 miles north east of the Azores). RESOLUTION detached GARLAND from her screen to investigate.
Later in the day RESOLUTION detached ANTHONY from her screen to assist the damaged LLANGIBBY CASTLE.

17th - At 0900 hours 360 miles north east of the Azores RESOLUTION and NORMAN joined convoy WS 15 and its escort of AMC's ASCANIA and CHESHIRE, Dutch cruiser HNethMS JACOB van HEEMSKERCK and destroyers BOREAS and the Turkish DEMIRHISAR (DEMIRHISAR was manned by an RN crew and was en route to Turkey).
At 1400 hours BOREAS and DEMIRHISAR were detached ahead to Ponta Delgada to refuel.

18th - At 1400 hours JACOB van HEEMSKERCK was detached to refuel at Ponta Delgada.
At 1830 hours when WS 15 was south west of Sao Miguel Island NORMAN was detached to refuel at Ponta Delgada.

19th - BOREAS rejoined WS 15.

20th - JACOB van HEEMSKERCK rejoined WS 15.

21st - At 1500 hours 350 miles north of the Cape Verde Islands the destroyer VANSITTART joined WS 15 from Freetown.
At 1830 hours RESOLUTION detached from WS 15 and went ahead to RV with the RFA tanker RAPIDOL.

22nd - At 0800 hours RESOLUTION RVed with RAPIDOL and her escort the corvette JASMINE to carry out a refuelling. However due to the sea state she was unable to refuel so the three vessels moved south to the lee of Sal Island, Cape Verde Islands where it was hoped weather conditions would allow refuelling.

23rd - The plan was to refuel outside the territorial waters of Sal Island but on arrival it was found that the sea state was still to bad for refuelling and with RESOLUTION's fuel state now critical they moved inshore.
At 0930 hours in Murdeira Bay, Sal Island refuelling was commenced.
At 1245 hours RESOLUTION sailed, unescorted, for Freetown.

25th - At 0830 hours RESOLUTION was joined by the destroyer VIMY from Freetown.
At 1730 hours RESOLUTION and VIMY arrived at Freetown.
At Freetown Vice Admiral Tait struck his flag and moved ashore to become CinC South Atlantic.

26th - Hoisted the flag of Vice Admiral Sir Algernon Usborne Wills RN as the new CinC of the 3rd Battle Squadron of the Eastern Fleet and 2ic of Eastern Fleet.

29th - At 1400 hours WS 15 sailed from Freetown for the Cape, escorted by RESOLUTION, CHESHIRE, NORMAN and DEMIRHISAR.


9th - North east of Cape Town RESOLUTION, CHESHIRE and DEMIRHISAR in company with troopships LACONIA, ORONTES and PASTEUR the MT ships ELISABETH BAKKE and DORSET and the Dutch submarine depot ship HNethMS COLOMBIA detached from WS 15 for Cape Town.

10th - At 0800 hours they arrived at Cape Town.

(The intention had been that she would proceed to Singapore. However the news from Singapore was bad the Japanese troops had landed on Singapore Island on the night of 8 - 9 February and end appeared near. The British forces in Singapore surrendered at 2030/15/2/42)


11th - Sailed from Cape Town for Durban.

13th - Arrived at Durban, refueled and sailed for Kilindini.

18th - Arrived at Kilindini.

25th - Arrived at Colombo.

26th - RESOLUTION (wearing flag of Vice Admiral Sir A U Wills RN Second in Command, Eastern Fleet and CinC 3rd Battle Squadron) sailed from Colombo in company with HM Battleships RAMILLIES, REVENGE and ROYAL SOVEREIGN, forming the 3rd Battle Squadron, to carry out tactical and gunnery exercises at Addu Atoll.

28th – The 3rd Battle Squadron arrived at Addu Athol (at that time known as Port T), where they joined aircraft carrier INDOMITABLE, destroyers FORTUNE, FOXHOUND, GRIFFIN, DECOY, HMAS NAPIER, NORMAN and NIZAM, and the Dutch HNethMS ISAAC SWEERS.

(Admiral Somerville had arrived from the UK on 24th March and took command of a disparate fleet of 29 vessels. He decided to divide his Fleet into a fast division, Force A, and a slow division, Force B. RESOLUTION was placed in Force B. On 28/3/42 Admiral Somerville received an intelligence report from the Far Eastern Combined Bureau (FECB), who were reading the Japanese code JN-25B, that a Japanese Naval Force intended to carry out an air attack on Ceylon on or about 1st April. Somerville believed the Japanese would attack Colombo and Trincomalee, simultaneously, and he estimated that their launch point would be about 5- 20N, 80-53E roughly 100 miles southeast of Ceylon, and approximately 180 to 200 miles from both ports.

Air searches by Catalina aircraft were therefore organized to a distance of 420 miles from Colombo, between the bearings of 110¡ and 154¡, the direction from which the Japanese were expected to approach)


31st - At 1600 hours off the south coast of Ceylon the various elements of the Eastern Fleet RVed at 4-40N 81-00E. The Fleet was divided into Force A and Force B. Force B comprised RESOLUTION, RAMILLIES, REVENGE, ROYAL SOVEREIGN, aircraft carrier HERMES, cruisers CALEDON, DRAGON and Dutch Cruiser HNethMS JACOB VAN HEEMSKERCK and destroyers ARROW, DECOY, FORTUNE, SCOUT, HMAS NORMAN and VAMPIRE and the Dutch ISAAC SWEERS. The Fleet then commenced patrolling off the south of Ceylon, sweeping east during the day and west during the night.


2nd - (Late in the evening, without any sighting of the Japanese being reported and with several of his fleet requiring replenishment, including the R Class battleships, Somerville decided to withdraw his fleet to Addu Atoll)
At 1300 hours FORTUNE detached to search for survivors from the British freighter MV GLENSHIEL 9415 grt that was sunk by the Japanese submarine I 7 in position 00-48S, 78-32E.
At 2100 hours the fast group, Force A withdrew first, immediately followed by Force B, less HERMES and VAMPIRE who went to Trincomalee.

4th - At 1500 hours as Force B arrived at Addu Atoll.

(At 1630 hours a sighting report timed at 1605 hours, was received from Catalina L of 413 Sqd. RCAF, flown by SL L. J. Birchall, of a large Japanese force steering north-westward in position 0-40N, 83-10E, 360 miles 155¡ from Dondra Head .Whilst making the sighting report the Catalina was attacked by 12 Zeros and shot down)

5th - At 0700 hours Force B sailed from Addu Atoll

6th - At 0720 hours approximately 150 miles NNE of Addu Atoll Force A and B combined. Then sailed east.

(At this time Somerville didn’t know where the Japanese Fleet was. But Somerville was concerned that the Japanese might be heading for Addu Atoll)

At 1115 hours the Fleet altered course to the south east towards the position of the wreckage reported the previous evening.
At 1800 hours course was reversed to the NE.

7th – At 0200 hours the Fleet altered course to the west.
At 0428 hours A.S.V. equipped aircraft located two submarines in positions 2-08N, 75-16E and 2-46N, 75-10E; i.e. to the southward of the course of the Fleet.

(Somerville considered that this indicated the possibility of an enemy submarine patrol having been established to cover the eastern approaches to Addu. He therefore decided to pass through the Veimandu Channel to the west of the Maldives and make an unexpected approach to Addu Atoll from the west)

At 0700 the Fleet was almost back at the position it had been 24 hours previously and course of the fleet was altered to 210 degrees.
The Fleet then sailed for Addu Atoll by a circuitous route.

(In the early hours of 7/4/42 the Admiralty signalled Somerville that their policy of discouraging the Japanese from entering the Indian Ocean in force had failed and they further realized that the Eastern Fleet was inferior in all respects to the Japanese Fleet. The R Class battleships were in this respect considered more of a liability than an asset due to their slow speed and poor anti-aircraft armament. Therefore Somerville was given discretion to withdraw them to Africa)

8th - At 1100 hours the Fleet arrived back at Addu Atoll. Refuelling commenced, Force B being refueled first.

(At 1517 hours a RAF Catalina made a sighting report of Japanese battleships and aircraft carrier approximately 600 miles east of Dondra Head. This report came in whilst Somerville was in conference deciding what action he should pursue. He decided, with the Admiralty’s approval, that due to the enemy’s size and the preponderance of numbers and quality of his aircraft, the most important duty was to keep his Fleet in being. Force B was therefore to be sent to Kilindini and Force A would go to Bombay)

9th – At 0200 hours Force B now comprising, RESOLUTION, RAMILLIES, REVENGE, ROYAL SOVEREIGN, CALEDON and destroyers ARROW, FORTUNE, GRIFFIN, HOTSPUR and ISAAC SWEERS sailed from Addu Atoll for Kilindini.

14th – Force B arrived at Kilindini.

27th - RESOLUTION, CALEDON, DRAGON, FORTUNE, GRIFFIN, and HOTSPUR sailed from Kilindini to carry out a patrol to the Seychelles.


2nd - RESOLUTION, CALEDON, DRAGON, FORTUNE, GRIFFIN, and HOTSPUR arrived at Victoria refueled and sailed for Kilindini.

6th - RESOLUTION, CALEDON, DRAGON, FORTUNE, GRIFFIN, and HOTSPUR arrived back at Kilindini.

12th - RESOLUTION, ARROW and FOXHOUND sailed from Kilindini for Durban.

18th - RESOLUTION, ARROW and FOXHOUND arrived at Durban.

23rd - At 1000 hours RESOLUTION sailed from Durban with the 6 vessels of the Durban section of convoy WS 18.
At 1400 hours 50 miles south east of Durban the Cape Town section of WS 18, escorted by the cruiser FROBISHER joined the Durban section and the combined convoy of 7 troopships, 3 MT ships and a tanker set course for the Mozambique channel.

24th - At 1200 hours the seaplane carrier ALBATROSS escorting the Dutch troopship MV MARNIX VAN SINT ALDEGONDE caught up with and joined WS 18.
At 2355 hours FROBISHER with the troopship RMS LLANDAFF CASTLE detached from WS 18 for Diego Suarez.

30th - At 1500 hours 100 miles east of Kilindini the cruisers EMERALD and ENTERPRISE joined WS 18 and RESOLUTION and ALBATROSS detached for Kilindini.
At 2200 hours RESOLUTION and ALBATROSS arrived at Kilindini.


11th - RESOLUTION, the AMC CORFU and the netlayer GUARDIAN sailed from Kilindini to RV with convoy CM 28 and take over the escort of CM 28 from FROBISHER, who then detached for Kilindini.

13th - GUARDIAN detached from CM 28 for Addu Atoll.

16th - The troopship SS ASCANIUS detached from CM 28 for Aden.

21st - RESOLUTION and CORFU with convoy CM 28 arrived at Bombay.

(RESOLUTION had a new Captain when Captain John Walter Durnford RN took over from Captain Arthur Robert Halfhide RN CBE)


16th - RESOLUTION (wearing flag of Vice Admiral Sir A U Wills RN Second in Command, Eastern Fleet and CinC 3rd Battle Squadron), ROYAL SOVEREIGN, VALIANT, DAUNTLESS and destroyers GRIFFIN, FOXHOUND, DECOY, BLACKMORE and HMAS NORMAN and NIZAM, known as Force B, sailed from Kilindini to RV with Force A of the Eastern Fleet to carry out tactical exercises.

17th - Force B R'Ved with Force A that comprised battleship WARSPITE (wearing the flag of CinC Eastern Fleet), aircraft carrier ILLUSTRIOUS (wearing the flag of Rear Admiral Aircraft Carriers, Eastern Fleet), cruisers MAURITIUS and JACOB van HEEMSKERK and destroyers HMAS NAPIER (Commodore (D)), INCONSTANT, ACTIVE and FORTUNE. For these exercises Force A was placed under the charge of Rear Admiral Commanding Aircraft carriers. Exercises were carried out throughout the day.
At the end of the exercises ILLUSTRIOUS with two destroyers detached from the fleet and proceeded to Tanga to disembark aircraft. The remainder of the Fleet headed for Kilindini.

18th - At 0900 hours the Fleet arrived at Kilindini.

29th - Sailed from Kilindini as part of a force comprising battleships WARSPITE (CinC Eastern Fleet), RESOLUTION, VALIANT, cruisers GAMBIA, ENTERPRISE, JACOB VAN HEEMSKERCK and destroyers GRIFFIN, DECOY, INCONSTANT, FORTUNE, FOXHOUND, HMAS NAPIER and NEPAL and HMNethS VAN GALEN and TJERK HIDDES. To carry out Operation TOUCHSTONE.

(Operation TOUCHSTONE was an exercise to test out the defenses of East Africa against a seaborne Japanese invasion and, also, to provide cover for the operation and a dress rehearsal for the forthcoming Madagascar operations [STREAM, LINE and JANE]. Royal Marines and naval landing parties from the naval force were to make landings at Tanga, Dar es Salaam, and Zanzibar Island)

30th - Operating off the East African coast in approximate position 6S, 41E. Covering Operation TOUCHSTONE.
After nightfall returned to Kilindini.

September - October

At Kilindini.


Early in the month RESOLUTION sailed for Durban for a short refit.

30th - Refit completed.


Arrived back at Kilindini.


1 9 4 3


At Kilindini.


3rd - Force A of the Eastern Fleet consisting of WARSPITE, REVENGE, RESOLUTION, cruiser MAURITIUS and destroyers ROTHERHAM, QUILLIAM, NEPAL, NIZAM, FOXHOUND sailed from Kilindini for operations in the Indian Ocean

(Part of the operation was to provide distant cover for Operation PAMPHLET. This was the code name for the troop convoy that carried the 9th AIF Division from the Middle East back to Sydney, Australia. The convoy sailed from Suez on 4/2/43 and arrived at Addu Atoll on 9/2/42 and sailed from Addu Atoll on 10/2/42)

11th - At 0240 hours Force A comprising WARSPITE, RESOLUTION, REVENGE, MAURITIUS, NEPAL, NORMAN, ROTHERHAM, and NIZAM arrived at Addu Atoll.
At 0250 hours QUILLIAM and FOXHOUND arrived at Addu Atoll having provided local escort for PAMPHLET.

13th - Force A less MAURITIUS sailed from Addu Atoll for Port Victoria, Seychelles.

18th - Force A arrived at Port Victoria to refuel. After refuelling Force A sailed for Kilindini.


March - April

At Kilindini.


3rd - RESOLUTION escorted by destroyers NIZAM and QUICKMATCH sailed from Kilindini for Durban.

9th - RESOLUTION and destroyers NIZAM and QUICKMATCH arrived at Durban.

12th - At Durban where RESOLUTION taken in hand for a short refit and docking.


At Durban undergoing refit.

15th - RESOLUTION escorted by destroyers RACEHORSE, RELENTLESS and ROTHERHAM sailed from Durban for Kilindini.

18th - At 20¼ S in the Mozambique Channel the RESOLUTION force RVed with REVENGE and destroyers NAPIER and QUIBERON who were sailing south to Durban.
RESOLUTION continued towards Kilindini escorted by RACEHORSE and NAPIER.

21st - RESOLUTION, RACEHORSE and NAPIER arrived at Kilindini.


At Kilindini.

15th - The French battleship FS LORRAINE, cruisers FS SUFFREN and DUGUAY TROUIN arrived Kilindini from Aden.

(These ships, part of the force known as French Force X, had been at Alexandria when France surrendered and had subsequently been disarmed. On 30/5/43 the French CinC of the Alexandria force, Vice Admiral Godfroy, agreed to turn the ships over to the Algerian Government which in effect meant they joined the Allied cause)

17th - RESOLUTION, LORRAINE, SUFFREN, DUGUAY TROUIN escorted by destroyers NAPIER, NEPAL, RACEHORSE, RELENTLESS and ROTHERHAM sailed from Kilindini for Durban.

21st - At 20¼ S in the Mozambique Channel the RESOLUTION force RVed with destroyers QUICKMATCH and QUIBERON.
NEPAL and RELENTLESS detached and returned to Kilindini.

RESOLUTION and REVENGE were nominated to return to the UK.


9th - RESOLUTION and REVENGE arrived in the Clyde and were decommissioned and placed in reserve.

October - December

In reserve.


1 9 4 4

January to March

RESOLUTION at Southampton in reserve. At Southampton she was attached to HMS SHRAPNEL II which was a stokers training establishment.


27th - Capt. Royer Mylius Dick, CBE, DSC, RN appointed as her captain. (In 1924 Captain Dick had been the Flag Lieutenant & the 2nd Battle Squadron Signals Officer, on RESOLUTION)


12th - At Gareloch RESOLUTION and REVENGE were commissioned as HMS IMPERIEUSE II a stokers training establishment. IMPERIEUSE II was only an administrative name; they kept their own names.

During her time in the Clyde her main armament was removed to provide spares for the bombardment vessels that were to be involved in Operation Neptune.

June to November

At Gareloch.

The decision was taken to move the stokers training establishment to Devonport. RESOLUTION and REVENGE were prepared for towing to Devonport.


11th - RESOLUTION and REVENGE arrived at Devonport and for administrative purposes were commissioned as HMS IMPERIEUSE a stokers training establishment.


1 9 4 5

January to August

At Devonport as part of the stokers training establishment.


P o s t   W a r   N o t e s.


HMS RESOLUTION remained in use as a training ship for new entry ratings after the end of WWII. She was placed on the Disposal List and sold to Metal Industries on 5th May 1948. The ship arrived at Faslane to be broken up on the 13th of that month. The name was again used in 1958 for the naval element at Christmas Island in the Pacific, established for nuclear testing. It was used for the 18th time for a POLARIS armed submarine on 15th September 1966. She was part of the Nuclear Deterrent Force and deployed on patrol until paid-off in 1994 when replaced by a TRIDENT fitted submarine. Her final disposal is not yet decided.




Details of escorts for military convoys in the WS series were provide by Donald Kindell, Ohio, USA from an unpublished source.






by Don Kindell


These convoy lists have not been cross-checked with the text above


Date convoy sailed

 Joined convoy as escort

 Convoy No.

 Left convoy

Date convoy arrived








HX 006





TC 001





HX 015





CM 028




(Note on Convoys)



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