ALGERINE-Class Fleet Minesweeper fitted with Turbine propulsion machinery ordered on 15th November 1940 from Harland and Wolff, Belfast. Laid down on 24th July 1941 at the same time as sister ship ALBACORE this minesweeper was to have been named ALERT but this was changed before launch on 14th April 1942. She was the third RN ship to carry this name, introduced in 1797 for Gunboat No 6 and last borne by a 12 gun Brig, built in 1804 and sold in 1864 after use as a Coastguard Vessel.. Her build was completed on 30th July 1942 and she was adopted by the civil community of Merton and Morden, Surrey after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign held in March 1942.
B a t t l e H o n o u r s
OSTEND 1798 - NORTH SEA 1942 - NORTH AFRICA 1942-43 - SICILY 1943 - SALERNO 1943 - ATLANTIC 1943
H e r a l d i c D a t a
Badge: On a Field Blue, A sword. point downwards, its scabbard
in Saltire proper, garnished Gold..
D e t a i l s o f W a r S e r v i c e
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1 9 4 2
July Contractors trials and commissioned for service in 12th Minesweeping Flotilla.
30th Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.
August On completion took passage to Tobermory for work-up and preparation for
operational minesweeping duties.
After Work-up took passage to Port Edgar to carry out minesweeping training.
September Deployed for minesweeping training based at Port Edgar
October Passage to Harwich to join HM Minesweepers ALGERINE, ALARM and ALBACORE
in new Flotilla
(Note: HMS CADMUS also joined during this period.
Nominated for minesweeping duties in Mediterranean and support of planned allied landings
in North Africa (Operation TORCH – See Naval Staff History and ENGAGE THE ENEMY
MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett.)
22nd Joined military convoy KMS1 in Clyde with HM Minesweepers ALARM, ALBACORE,
and CADMUS as part of escort during passage to Gibraltar.
(Note: HMS ALGERINE was delayed for repair after sweep had fouled a propeller.)
November On arrival at Gibraltar with Flotilla and prepared for service in TORCH.
HMS ALGERINE rejoined Flotilla and HM Minesweeper HUSSAR and SPEEDWELL
detached from 5th Minesweeping Flotilla also joined for this operation on arrival from UK.
5th Sailed from Gibraltar with ships of Flotilla as part of escort for assault Convoy
KMF1 during passage to Algiers.
8th Carried out mines sweep with Flotilla in advance of assault convoys to BAKER
10th Deployed for anti-submarine patrol and escort of follow-up and local convoys
13th Completed patrol and took passage to Gibraltar.
December North African coast minesweeping, patrol and convoy defence in continuation
(Note: Ships of the Flotilla were under air and submarine attacks.)
1 9 4 3
January Convoy escort and patrol off North African coast in continuation with Flotilla
Propeller damaged by torpedo and ship returned to Gibraltar for repair.
(Note: Award of Battle Honour ATLANTIC 1943 suggests hips may have been involved in
convoy defence near Gibraltar. Further research is needed.)
February Under repair.
March Deployed with HM Minesweepers CADMUS, HUSSAR and SPEEDWELL.
(Note: The only minesweepers operational due to loss and damage since arrival
in the Mediterranean.)
April North African coast deployment in continuation.
HM Minesweepers FANTOME, CIRCE and ESPIEGLE joined Flotilla .
(Note: HMS FANTOME replaced HMS ALGERINE as Leader)
May Flotilla nominated for joint operations with 13th Minesweeping Flotilla for mine
clearance of passage through Galita and Sicilian Channels.
5th Deployed at Bizerta for ANTIDOTE with the two minesweeping Flotillas.
20th Took part in rescue operations after HMS FANTOME sustained major damage when
mine exploded in sweep gear. Remained with Flotilla when HMS CADMUS
detached to tow stricken ship to Bone.
Replaced HMS FANTOME as Leader)
June ANTIDOTE deployment with Flotilla in continuation
7th Mine clearance completed with destruction of 126 mines by the 12th Flotilla.
HM Minesweepers FLY and MUTINE, the former taking over duty as
Nominated for minesweeping and escort duties during planned allied landings in Sicily
July Detached with HM Minesweeper ALBACORE and CIRCE for service with 14th Flotilla
For details of Operation HUSKY See above references.)
10th Passage to eastern sector of Assault area as part of escort for military convoy.
12th Carried out minesweeping prior to landings and remained in area for anti-submarine patrol
and escort duties for traffic between Malta, Bizerta and beachheads.
September Resumed Flotilla deployment for minesweeping support of planned landings on Italian
mainland at Salerno (Operation AVALANCHE – See above references).
8th Deployed with Flotilla to ensure clearance of mines during passage to Salerno.
9th Under shore fire during minesweeping off beachhead.
16th Released from AVALANCHE and deployed in Bay of Naples for minesweeping with
(Note: Flotilla dealt with 135 mines in Salerno area.)
30th Nominated for transfer to Capri on completion of service in Bay of Naples.
1st Deployed for support of operations off west coast of Sicily including mine clearance of
positions to be used by allied warships for bombardments prior to military advances.
(Note: Minesweeping operations were frequently target of heavy fire from shore batteries
in the Gulf of Gaeta and often restricted in their ability to rapidly change because of
sweeping operation in progress.. Air attacks were also frequent.)
November West coast minesweeping duties and support off west coast of Italy in continuation.
to December (Note: At the end of 1943 the Flotilla had swept 770 mines since arrival at Gibraltar
in December 1942.)
Nominated for minesweeping in support of planned landings at Anzio (Operation SHINGLE).
Based at Naples to prepare for SHINGLE.
1 9 4 4
January Passage to Anzio, 90 miles north of Naples.
21st Deployed with Flotilla supplemented by HM Minesweepers RINALDO and WATERWITCH
of 19th Minesweeping Flotilla as well as HM Minesweepers BUDE and ROTHESAY of
13th Minesweeping Flotilla to carry out mine sweep in front of assault convoys to Beachhead.
On release from SHINGLE took passage to Naples.
February Took part with ships of Flotilla and 19th Flotilla in minesweeping to ensure clear channels
to for passage ships supporting military operations, including clearance of areas selected for
March naval gunfire support by cruisers.
April Carried out minesweeping operations off Malta when not required for support of military
on Italian mainland,
11th Deployed with HM Minesweepers ESPIEGLE, CIRCE and SPANKER of Flotilla for sweep
of known minefield SW of Anzio during which five mines were cut.
18th Carried out mine clearance northwards and into Tiber River and under fire from shore.
20th Deployed for clearance sweep in western channel off Anzio and during night period for
23rd Assisted HMS CIRCE after of mine caught in sweep exploded on board causing many
casualties. Took part in towing operation to Naples with HMS ESPIEGLE of Flotilla.
(Note: The distance was about 100 miles.)
May West coast of Italy minesweeping in continuation with part of Flotilla
(Note: Some ships of 12th Flotilla were deployed off Malta for clearance of minefields.)
11th Deployed with HM Minesweepers FLY, CADMUS, ALBACORE, ESPIEGLE of 12th Flotilla
and HM Minesweepers ROSARIO and SPANKER of 19th Flotilla for night sweep off Gaeta
to ensure bombardment area for naval gunfire support of offensive by allied troops on
(Note: Air attacks were also a constant hazard.)
12th Carried out sweep close inshore prior to bombardment by HM Cruiser DIDO, US Cruisers
BROOKLYN and PHILADELPHIA during which the ships came under heavy fire from
On completion of bombardment requirements rejoined Flotilla in mine clearance of channel
from Naples to Anzio. 89 mines were cut.
June Carried out joint minesweeping operations with ships of Flotilla, 13th Flotilla and 28th
Motor Launch Flotilla .
4th Cleared entrance to port of Civitavecchia with joint minesweeping force.
13th Deployed for clearance of mines in anchorage area off Civitavecchia.
July Joint minesweeping operations in continuation to ensure passage for ships supporting
14th Took part in operation to clear a channel to port of Leghorn with ships of Flotilla, 19th and
13th Minesweeping Flotillas (Operation LOBSTER)
25th Port available for use by shipping.
(Note: 250 mines were swept during clearance of channel between Anzio to Leghorn and
ships engaged were subject to shore fire.)
August Deployed with Flotilla for clearance of mines off west coast of Italy to ensure safe passage.
to September (Note: Aircraft minelaying was a common feature during this period )
October Nominated for minesweeping service with Flotilla, in support of allied military operations
in Greece (Operation MANNA).
(Note: The Flotilla had swept 1013 mines by this date, an achievement recognised by
the Supreme Commander, Mediterranean in a congratulatory signal)
22nd Transferred to eastern Mediterranean
Passage to Greek waters with HM Minesweepers ALBACORE, ESPIEGLE and MUTINE
(Note: 5th Minesweeping Flotilla deployed for this work had recently suffered two losses)
1st Carried out minesweeping operation to clear passage into Salonika from Skiathos
(Note: The four ships of 12th Flotilla were joined by HM Minesweepers SKIPJACK
and TRUELOVE of 5th Flotilla
December Aegean minesweeping in support of Greece re-occupation in continuation.
Sustained slight damage by mine which exploded on reaching surface after being cut.
(Note: During Aegean mine sweeping new type of German mine (OBOE) was
dealt with for the first time. These exploded after time delay from the
instant of cutting and could caused damage to following minesweeper.
Nominated for special operation to ensure safe passage through Dardanelles for
warships taking US President and British Prime Minister to Yalta for meeting with
Russian leader, Joseph Stalin,
Passage to Malta for Xmas.
1 9 4 5
January Took passage from Malta with HMS ESPIEGLE to relieve HMS FLY for completion
of mine clearance in Dardanelles to ensure safe passage for warships taking the Prime
Minister and the US President for a meeting at Yalta with the Soviet Leader.
During the subsequent operations ran aground on Turkish coast but towed clear quickly
enough to avoid any international complications.
(Note: During Dardanelles operations 52 mines were swept .
On completion of clearance in Dardanelles deployed off coast of Greece for further mine
clearance including approach channels near Doro and Thermia.
February Took passage to Malta for R&R after extensive operational duties.
Resumed Flotilla duties.
March Deployed at Malta,
23rd Took passage from Malta with HM Minesweepers ALBACORE, CADMUS, CIRCE.
MUTINE and ESPIEGLE to resume minefield clearance operations based at Naples.
April Deployed with Flotilla for clearance between Leghorn and Genoa.
May Deployed off Genoa.
9th Port Anchorage at Genoa cleared of mines.
First major warship to enter Genoa.
June Taken in hand for refit at Taranto.
P o s t W a r N o t e s
HMS ACUTE resumed duties in the Mediterranean with the 12th Flotilla after the Taranto refit and was deployed for mine clearance operations. After sustaining major damage by hitting a submerged wreck in January 1946 she was taken in hand for repair in Genoa. On completion she rejoined the Flotilla at Malta and sailed with her sister ships to UK on 9th May. On arrival at Portsmouth she remained in commission and took part in mine clearance operations in Home waters. After taking part in operations off the Dutch coast during September and October she Paid-off and reduced to Reserve status. Laid-up at Harwich for 10 years she recommissioned in May 1956 for service with the Dartmouth Training Squadron attached to RNC Dartmouth for training of cadets for the next five years. Paid-off again in July she spent another three years in the Reserve Fleet before being placed on the Disposal List. The ship was towed to Malta for use as a torpedo target before being sold to an Italian shipbreaker on 20th November 1964. She arrived at the breaker’s yard in La Spezia later that year for demolition.
For more about Algerine-class Minesweepers, see