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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2000

HMS ALARM (J 140) - Algerine-class Fleet Minesweeper

HMS Espiegle, sister-ship (Navy Photos/Mark Teadham, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

ALGERINE-Class Fleet Minesweeper fitted with Turbine propulsion machinery ordered on 15th November 1940 from Harland and Wolff, Belfast. Laid down on 15th March 1941 this minesweeper was launched on 5th February 1942. She was the ninth RN ship to carry this name, introduced in 1758 for a 5th Rate and last borne by a Destroyer built in 1910 and sold in 1928.Her build was completed on 18th May 1942. This warship was adopted by the civil community of Heanor, Derbyshire after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign held in February 1942.


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 barry wavy of six White and Blue, a Beacon inflamed, proper.



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 2


May                Contractors trials and commissioned for service in 12th Minesweeping Flotilla.

      18th          Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                       On completion took passage to Tobermory for work-up and preparation for operational

                       minesweeping duties.


June                After Work-up took passage to Port Edgar to carry out minesweeping training.

                       Commenced minesweeping training in Forth area.


July                 Passage to Harwich to join HM Minesweepers ALGERINE and ALBACORE temporarily

                       serving with 9th Minesweeping Flotilla, pending formation of new Flotilla.

                       Deployed with 9th Flotilla for minesweeping off the East coast to ensure

                       safe passage of convoys to and from Thames estuary. Carried out escort duty and patrol.


August           North Sea deployment with Flotilla in continuation.

      to              Nominated for foreign service on formation of 12th Flotilla.



October          Joined 12th Minesweeping Flotilla on formation with HM Minesweepers

                       ACUTE, ALGERINE, ALBACORE and CADMUS.

                       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 ACUTE, ALBACORE,

                        and CADMUS as part of escort during passage to Gibraltar.

                        (Note: HMS ALGERINE  was delayed for repair after sweep had fouled a propeller.)



        5th          Involved in collision with HM Corvette PENTSTEMON and sustained some damage

                      to bow structure.

        6th          Detached from KMS1 and joined escort for military convoy KMF1 for remainder

                       of passage,

                       Deployed at Gibraltar with Flotilla on arrival and prepared for service during TORCH.

        8th          Carried out mines sweep with Flotilla in advance of assault convoys to BAKER

                       Beach Head at Algiers

       10th         Deployed for anti-submarine patrol.

       13th         Completed patrol and took passage to Bougie for minesweeping during landings

                       (Operation PERPETUAL)

       15th         During deployment off Bougie with HMS ALGERINE under attack by the Italian

                       submarine ASCIANGHI.

                       After sinking of HMS ALGERINE by torpedo from the Italian submarine took part in rescue

                       of survivors from sister vessel.

                       (Note: All officers from ALGERINE and 80 of the ship’s company lost their lives.)


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.

         2nd         Sustained major damage during air raid whilst alongside at Bone, Algeria.

                        Beached prior to detailed examination to assess damage and hit by bomb during air attacks.

                        Declared Constructive Total Loss.

                        (Note: 4in Gun removed for use by Royal Artillery for AA defence of Port.)



For more about Algerine-class Minesweepers, see



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revised 23/4/11
further editing and formatting is required