9 3 9
Completed refit at HM Dockyard Devonport
and sailed for Scapa Flow to work-up
Worked up at Scapa
service in Home Fleet.
Joined 18th Cruiser Squadron.
Deployed with Home Fleet to covered return
SPEARFISH from Horns Reef with
HM Battleship NELSON, HM Battlecruisers
HOOD and RENOWN, HM Aircraft Carrier ARK
ROYAL, HM Cruisers
and NORFOLK screened by Home Fleet
Transferred to Loch Ewe with Home Fleet
after loss of HM
OAK by U-boat
attack at Scope Flow.
Searched with HM Battleships NELSON and
RODNEY for German
and battleship GNEISENAU which had been
reported in North
Covered passage of convoy of 19 oil
tankers with HM Cruiser
Joined convoy and remained as escort.
Detached from convoy off Lands End.
During patrol in Denmark Strait
intercepted German freighter PARANA which
set on fire and scuttled by
crew. Boat with survivors attempting to
Returned to Northern Patrol for
Sighted German battleships SCHARNHORST and
from HM Armed Merchant Cruiser RAWALPINDI
which they had sunk
Closed to a range of 6Ĺ miles
before losing contact.
Joined HM Cruiser DELHI and continued the
search without success
due to poor visibility
and rain showers.
Returned to Scapa
Carried out two patrols in North Sea.
9 4 0
Deployed on interception
patrol in northern Atlantic.
Sank wreck of German ship BAHIA BLANCA in
Denmark Strait during patrol.
Deployed with HM Cruiser MANCHESTER, HM
Destroyers MAORI, INGLEFIELD, ICARUS
KHARTOUM, KANDAHAR, KASHMIR, KIMBERLEY and
KELVIN in an
search for German blockade runner
TRAUTENFELS on passage in North Sea.
Withdrawn for repair of an accumulation of
rendered ship below the
fighting efficiency needed for Fleet
Not deployed operationally.
Under repair in Tyne
Carried out post repair trials on
completion of dockyard
Rejoined Home Fleet.
Escorted HM Battlecruisers RENOWN and
REPULSE with HM
screened by five
Home Fleet destroyers during fruitless
search for German battleships
GNEISENAU in Iceland
- Faeroes Gap.
Escorted evacuation convoy from Harstad
arriving in Scapa Flow on 11th June.
Transferred to Plymouth for anti-invasion
Docking at Devonport till 21/7/40
Deployed in SW Approaches on
Docking at Devonport.
Resumed operational duties.
Deployed with HM Battleship REVENGE,
screened by HM
Destroyers JAVELIN, JUPITER,
KELVIN, KIPLING, JACKAL, JAGUAR
and KASHMIR for bombardment of Cherbourg.
(Operation MEDIUM) 150 rounds of
15in shells were fired on harbour
HM Cruiser EMERALD provided
Target illumination screened by HM
BROKE, Polish destroyers, ORP
BURZA and ORP GARLAND
Five motor gunboats also
deployed for defence against E-Boat
During patrol between Scillies and Ushant
with HM Cruiser EMERALD screened
by five Fleet destroyers engaged
4 German destroyers off Lands End at range
18,000 yards but unable to close
because of enemy speed and withdrew.
Sustained structural damage from
blast effects from forward gun mountings.
Under repair at Devonport.
Resumed operational duty.
Nominated for transfer to
Mediterranean Fleet based at Alexandria.
Sailed from Plymouth with HM Cruiser
NIGERIA screened by HM
JUPITER and KASHMIR to intercept German
Brest in Channel.
Returned to Plymouth after unsuccessful
destroyers had returned to Brest.)
Docking at Devonport.
Resumed operational duty.
Embarked 200 RAF personnel and stores at
Plymouth for passage to Malta.
Passage to Malta
Arrived in Malta
Under boiler repair at Malta
Sailed from Malta with HM Battleship
Cruisers BERWICK and COVENTRY
screened by HM Destroyers
DEFENDER, DIAMOND, GALLANT, GREYHOUND and
HEREWARD deployed as Force D to
provide cover for transit of military
convoy carrying troops
to Alexandria (Operation COLLAR)
After Force D met ships of Force B
providing cover for COLLAR
convoy during passage in
western Mediterranean took part in brief
engagement at long
range with Italian surface force
including two battleships and
seven cruisers with destroyer screen.
Enemy force withdrew and not
followed in order to ensure save passage
(Battle of Cape Spartivento Ė For details
see Naval Staff History,
HMS0-2001), THE BATTLE
FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D Macintyre, HMS
SHEFFIELD by R
Bassett and THE NAVAL
WAR IN THE MEDITERRANEAN by J Greene and A
(Note: The conduct of this
action was criticised by the Prime
Minister, but at the subsequent Board
of Inquiry, the Admiralís action
was not considered inappropriate.
Passage to Gibraltar with Force H ships HM
RENOWN, HM Battleship
SHEFFIELD, DESPATCH and destroyer screen.
Arrived at Gibraltar with ships of Force H
Transferred to South Atlantic Command as
ships deployed for interception of
Joined HM Cruisers CUMBERLAND and
ENTERPRISE in search for German raider
after the Armed Merchant Cruiser CARNARVON
CASTLE had been damaged
in action with the enemy ship
Took part in further search for German
SCHEER with HMS
and HMS ENTERPRISE between Rio de Janeiro
and the Plate estuary.
9 4 1
Deployed in South Atlantic for convoy
defence and interception
(Note: Type 286M Radar
to provide limited warning against
aircraft and surface targets was fitted
by this period. This
equipment was an RAF Air-Surface Warning
(ASV) outfit modified for
Atlantic deployment in
Joined Military convoy WS7 during passage
from Freetown to Cape of Good Hope and
NELSON as Ocean Escort.
Remained with convoy on arrival off Cape
Town and continued deployment as Ocean
passage to Durban.
Detached on arrival at Durban and look
passage to Simonstown for
docking and refit.
On completion resumed interception duties.
Deployed in South Atlantic on trade
protection and interception.
Intercepted German freighter ERLANGEN off
Nominated for refit at Boston, USA
Passage to USA from Rio de Janeiro via
Taken in hand for refit at Boston Navy
(Note: Work carried out included
replacement of machine guns by nine single
guns and preparation for fit of
British design radar equipment.)
(Note: Radar Type
286M was replaced by an Type 290 an RN
On completion prepared for passage
Arrived at Plymouth.
9 4 2
Docking and completion of
installation work not possible in USA,
surface and air warning radars (Types 273,
Type 291 and fire-control radar Type
Transferred to 4th Cruiser Squadron,
Eastern Fleet for convoy
defence and interception duties.
Joined military convoy WS16 during passage
in Atlantic from Clyde and relieved HM
Battleship MALAYA, HM Aircraft Carrier
EAGLE and screen of
eight Home Fleet
destroyers as Ocean Escort during
passage to Freetown.
(Note: These other ships
detached for Gibraltar.)
WS16 arrived at Freetown.
Deployed as Ocean Escort for WS 16 on
departure from Freetown for Cape Town.
WS16 arrived at Cape Town.
Deployed as Ocean Escort for WS 16 for
passage to Durban from Cape Town.
Detached from WS16 when relieved by HM
Cruiser GLASGOW and HM
Merchant Cruiser WORCESTERSHIRE
as Ocean Escort.
Joined 4th Cruiser Squadron and
deployed for trade defence in Indian
Indian Ocean deployment in continuation.
(Note: No recorded can be found
as taking part in Eastern Fleet operations
the attacks on Ceylon and the losses of HM
Aircraft Carrier HERMES. This
ship was the only modern cruiser to be
as HMS BIRMINGHAM was in dock at
Simonstown and HMS GLASGOW on
passage for repair in the USA.
Deployed in Indian Ocean for convoy
Arrived at Kilindini.
Detached from Eastern Fleet for
service in Mediterranean.
(Note: Reinforcement of
Mediterranean Fleet was essential to
replace ships lost and damaged
in defence of evacuations in Greece and
Passage to Alexandria with HMS BIRMINGHAM,
to reinforce Fleet in Mediterranean for
planned Malta relief operation.
Passage in Red Sea.
Deployed with HM Cruisers, BIRMINGHAM,
CLEOPATRA, DIDO, EURYALUS,
HERMIONE and AURORA to escort Malta supply
convoy (MW11}, screened by
Fleet destroyers (Operation VIGOROUS)
Under sustained air attacks and warned of
superior Italian force.
Damaged by torpedo from German E-Boat S56
in position 90
miles NW of Derna.
The explosion blew a hole 30
feet diameter in starboard side with
damage to structure and
machinery. Forward turret was put out of
action but no casualties caused.
(Note: Details of the disastrous
circumstances relating to conflicting
hesitation in directives from
shore which lead to failure of this
are available in ENGAGE THE
ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C. Barnett,
BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D.
CONVOYS by R Woodman.)
Under temporary repair to allow passage at
Permanent repair arranged at
Passage to Aden.
Sailed from Aden screened by HM Destroyers
FORTUNE and GRIFFIN.
Sustained serious weather damage including
loss of temporary
plating fitted over hole.
An attempt to steam stern first
was not possible and further passage to
Cape of Good Hope
Took return passage to Aden
Arrive at Aden for temporary repair.
Completion of repair arranged at
On completion took passage to Bombay.
Arrived at Bombay for temporary repair.
Hole plated over and new
frames fitted to enable safe passage to
repair arranged in US Navy dockyard.)
Took passage to USA via Mauritius,
Capetown, Pernambuco and Bermuda.
Passage in Atlantic
Under refit and repair at Brooklyn Navy
Yard, New York.
(Note: In addition to repair of
damage work included preparation for fit
of British Radar equipment
These were Type 281 for Long Range
aircraft warning, Type 284 for main
control and an additional Type
285 for secondary armament fire-control.).
On completion of shipyard work carried out
Passage to Plymouth
Arrived at Plymouth
Taken in hand by HM Dockyard, Devonport
for docking and
completion or installation of British
designed radar outfits.
(Note: Additional 20mm Oerlikon
guns were fitted to improve close range AA
For details of development and
use of radar see RADAR AT SEA
by D Howse.)
9 4 3
Refit completion in hand at HM
service in Eastern Fleet.
On completion took passage to Join Home
Fleet for work-up.
Worked-up at Scapa Flow
with ships of Home Fleet.
Nominated for Ocean escort of
military convoy from UK
to Indian Ocean whilst on passage to join
Joined Joint Convoy WS29/KMF15 in Clyde
with HM Destroyer RAPID as Ocean Escort.
Remained with WS29 when KMF15 detached to
take passage to Gibraltar.
Arrived at Freetown with WS29,
Sailed from Freetown with HM Destroyers as
Ocean Escort for
WS29 during passage to Cape Town.
Detached from WS29 on arrival at Cape Town
and took passage for deployment in Indian
and convoy escort as Flagship, 4th Cruiser
Squadron, Eastern Fleet.
Indian Ocean deployment in continuation.
Nominated to carry out search
for the German Supply Ship CHARLOTTE
to be on passage from Soerabaya
to support U-Boats operating in Indian Ocean.
Deployed with HM Cruiser SUFFOLK, HM
Destroyers NIZAM, RACEHORSE and
south of Madagascar in conjunction with
(Operation PLAYER - This was
activated following decryption of ENIGMA
signal traffic was a
breach of normal procedures.)
Search abandoned after no sighting
Resumed Indian Ocean trade defence and
convoy escort duties.
On release took passage to
Simonstown for refit and docking.
Taken in hand by HM Dockyard, Simonstown.
On completion of post refit trials
rejoined Eastern Fleet for convoy defence
in Indian Ocean based in Ceylon.
Indian Ocean trade defence and
interception duties in
9 4 4
Indian Ocean deployment in continuation.
Diverted to take passage to Mauritius for
deployment as Force 62 with HM
HM Frigate BANN in renewed search for
U-Boat Supply Ship CHARLOTTE
SCHLIEMANN in conjunction with
aircraft sent to Mauritius
from East Africa
Sailed from Mauritius with HMS BATTLER to
carry out a search
900 miles south
east of the
Returned to Mauritius with same ships.
HMS SUFFOLK and HMS BANN joined Force 62.
Search abandoned after lack of any
(Note: Forces 63 (HM Armed
Merchant Cruiser CANTON and Force 64 (HM
and HM Destroyer NEPAL (RAN) were also
deployed in THWART.)
Resumed Squadron deployment in Indian
(Note. CHARLOTTE SCHLIEMANN was
intercepted and sunk by HM Destroyer
RELENTLESS on 12th February.)
Deployed at Mauritius
Sailed from Mauritius with HM Cruisers
NEWCASTLE, HMS BATTLER
Destroyers QUADRANT as Force 67 in search
for U-Boat supply tanker BRAKE
SW of Cocos Islands.
Tanker sighted by aircraft from HMS
BATTLER and scuttled
after approach by
(Note: HMS ROEBUCK had joined
Force 67 from Force 58 on 6th March.
See WAR WITH JAPAN Vol iv (HMSO).)
Joined Task Force 69 in Eastern Fleet.
Battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH
and VALIANT, French battleship RICHELIEU
with British cruisers HMS NIGERIA,
HMS CEYLON, HMS GAMBIA and Dutch Cruiser
cover air attacks on Sabang
by Task Force 70, the aircraft
carriers HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and USS SARATOGA.
Returned to Trincomalee.
Escorted HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH, HMS VALIANT
and FS RICHELIEU
with HM Cruiser
and Dutch cruiser TROMP (TF65) to cover
air attacks on Soerabya by
HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and USS SARATOGA
Replenished in Exmouth Gulf, Western
Provided cover during attacks on Japanese
bases at Soerabaya.
Returned with TF 65 to Trincomalee.
Passage to Simonstown for
Under refit in HM
Began post refit sea trials and took
passage for Ceylon on completion.
Rejoined Eastern Fleet.
Escorted HM Aircraft Carriers INDOMITABLE
with HM Cruisers
ARGONAUT and BLACK PRINCE for
air attacks on targets at Pangkalan
Provided cover during attacks launched on
new targets at
Begawan Deli and
Sabang which were changed because of
Escorted HMS INDOMITABLE and HMS
ILLUSTRIOUS with HMS BLACK
PRINCE and HMS ARGONAUT during
carrier raid on targets at Belawan Deli as
Force 67 (Operation ROBSON).
9 4 5
Part of covering Eastern Fleet force
during landings on Akyab Peninsula as
Force 61 with HM Cruisers NIGERIA and
PHOEBE (Operation LIGHTNING).
Embarked Royal Marines for landing on
Cheduba Island, Burma.
Deployed with HMS NIGERIA, HMS KENYA, HM
Destroyers PALADIN and
RAPID as Task Force 65.
Landed Royal Marines Commando
unit on Cheduba Island, south of Ramree
Re-embarked RM's and bombarded west coast
of Ramree Island.
(For details of operations in Indian Ocean
area including the East Indies see
OPERATION PACIFIC by E. Gray and
WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).
Deployed on convoy defence in Indian
from Fremantle for UK.
Arrived at Devonport.
refit in Tyne shipyard
Transferred to HM Dockyard Rosyth
Passage from Tyne
to Rosyth for completion.