Naval History Homepage and Site Search



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

HMS ROBERTS - Roberts-class 15in gun Monitor

HMS Roberts (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

return to Contents List 


ROBERTS-Class Monitor ordered on 16th March 1940 from John Brown at Clydebank and laid down on 30th April 1940 as Job Number 1572 (Yard No. 572)  The ship was launched on 1st February 1941 as the 2nd RN ship to carry this name which was previously used for a 1915 Monitor sold in 1936. Build completion date was 6th Oct. 1941. This ship was fitted during build with radar for aircraft warning Type 281, for surface warning Type 272 for main armament fire control Type 285 and Type 282 for Anti-aircraft Armament. These were replaced by improved equipment before the end of WW2. The warning radar equipment enabled the ship to used for air defence as well as in her primary role for naval gunfire support.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s




H e r al d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Blue, a Field Marshall's baton and a sword

in saltire Proper pommel and hilt Gold enfiled with an

antique crown also Gold and in chief between the baton

and sword blade an estoile also Gold.



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



1 9 4 1


September             Contractors trials.


October                  Commissioned for trials.

                6th          Build completion and commenced acceptance trials.

                13th        Docked in Clyde.


November              Carried out First of Class and special, trials.

to                            Nominated for service in Eastern Mediterranean.



1 9 4 2


January                  Passage to Alexandria for support of military operations by 8th Army.


February                Arrived at Alexandria and retained for use as AA Guardship at Suez


March    .               Guardship deployment in continuation.




August                  Nominated for support of planned allied landings in North Africa.


September             Passage to Gibraltar to Join Eastern Naval Task Force


October                  Deployed at Gibraltar.


November              Prepared for support of landings.

                8th          Deployed in support of landings at Algiers.

                                (Operation TORCH - For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY

                                by C. Barnett and Naval Staff History).

                11th        Damaged in air attacks at Bougie.

                                Passage to UK for repair.


December              Under repair and refit by Cammell Laird shipyard at Birkenhead.


1 9 4 3


January                  Under repair and refit.

to                            Radar Type 281 replaced by 279 (See RADAR AT SEA BY D Howe.)

May                        On completion of repair deployed in central Mediterranean.


June                        Post refit trials and work-up in Home waters.

                Nominated for support of allied landings in Sicily

                (Operation HUSKY - For detail see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY

                by C. Barnett and Naval Staff History).

                Passage to Algiers to join British Support Force East


July                         Deployed at Algiers for HUSKY.

                5th          Sailed from Algiers.

                7th          Joined assault convoy KMS18 during passage to Sicily.

                (Note: Other ships in Support Force East included HM Monitor ABERCROMBIE, HM Cruisers


                with destroyer screen.. See above references.)

                10th        Provided gunfire support with Force Q during landings of XXX Corps.


August                  HUSKY support duties in continuation.

                Bombarded coast road near Taormina to impede German retreat.

                Covered Commando raid near Taormina.

                Nominated for support of British landings on Italian mainland.

                (Operation BAYTOWN - See above references).



                2nd         Bombarded coast between Reggie Calabria and Pessaro with HM Monitors EREBUS,

                                ABERCROMBIE, HM Battleships VALIANT, WARSPITE,. HM Cruisers ORION and


                3rd          Provided naval gunfire support during landings by British XIII corps near Reggie

                                and Villa San Giovanni with HMS ABERCROMBIE, HMS EREBUS, HMS ORION,

.                               MAURITIUS, HM River Gunboats APHIS and SCARAB.

                9th          Joined Northern Attack Force (TF85) for support during Salerno landings.

                                (Operation AVALANCHE: For details see above references.)

                13th        Provided gunfire support during German attacks on bridgehead with HMS MAURITIUS,

                to            HMS ORION, HMS UGANDA, HMS AURORA, US Navy cruisers USS PHILADELPHIA

                16th        USS BOISE and RN destroyers.

                                Under sustained air attacks including radio controlled bombs. See above references.


October                  Military support off Italian west coast in continuation.

to                            On release from Mediterranean support took passage to UK.



1 9 4 4


January                  Deployed in Home waters.




April                       Nominated for support of allied landings in Normandy (Operation NEPTUNE)

                                Allocated for duty in Bombarding Force D attached to Force S


May                        Prepared for duty with Bombarding Force at Portsmouth.

                (For details of activities prior to and during landings see LANDINGS IN NORMANDY.

                June 1944 (HMSO) and OPERATION NEPTUNE by K. Edwards).

                Nominated target in Pre-Arranged Fire Plan - Houlgate Battery or Gorneville sur Mer as

                secondary target.



                4th          Operation delayed 24 hours.

                5th          Joined HM Battleships WARSPITE and RAMILLIES, HM Cruisers MAURITIUS,

                ARETHUSA, DANAE, FROBISHER and Polish ORP DRAGON comprising Bombarding Force

                D off Portsmouth.

                Passage through swept channel with Force D.

                6th          On arrival off SWORD Beach took up bombarding position.

                                Provided gunfire support in accordance with fire-plan.

                                Right-hand 15in Gun burst jacket.

                7th          Returned to Portsmouth for repair, and replenishment of stores and ammunition.

                                Resumed support deployment in Eastern Task Force area.

                26th        Provided naval gunfire support for British Army attacks in Caen area with HM Battleship

                                RODNEY, HM Cruisers ARGONAUT, BELFAST and DIADEM.


July                         Gunfire support to land operations in continuation.

                11th        Provided gunfire support to land operations with HMS BELFAST.


August                  After release from Post NEPTUNE support remained in Home waters for support of

                                planned allied landings.


September             Nominated for support of British landings at Walcheren.

                (Operation INFATUATE - For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY

                and CAMPAIGN NORTH WEST EUROPE, June 1944 to May 1945 (HMSO).)


October                  Joined HMS WARSPITE and HM Monitor EREBUS.

                31st         Passage to Walcheren with ships of Bombarding Squadron.



                1st           Provided gunfire support with Squadron during assault at Westkappelle.

                2nd         Provided further support with HMS EREBUS.

                                (Note: HMS WARSPITE had left area.).


December              Deployed in Home waters for support duties if required.


1 9 4 5


January                  Nominated for duty in British Pacific Fleet and prepared for foreign service in support of planned

to                            operations



August                  Passage to join Fleet.

                15th        At Kilindini


P o s t   W a r    N o t e s


HMS ROBERTS was not required for service with British Pacific Fleet after VJ Day and returned to Devonport with call at Malta on 5th November 1945. The ship was Paid-off and reduced to Reserve status after arrival on 27th November and then used as a Turret Drill ship until the need for training on 15in guns had lapsed. She was then placed on the Disposal List and although sold to BISCO to be broken up she was retained for use in Devonport as an Accommodation Ship. During the period up to 1965 she was in fact rented from the nominated shipbreaker, T W Ward. When no longer required she was laid up in the Hamoaze and finally left for the breakers yard at Inverkeithing near Rosyth on 19th July 1965.



back to Contents List
or Naval-History.Net

revised 1/6/11
further editing and formatting is required