Naval History Homepage and Site Search




by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2001

HMS ACUTE (J 106) - Algerine-class Fleet Minesweeper

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Acute (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 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


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



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

                       Beach Head.

      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.

                        (Operation ANTIDOTE).

       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 Flotilla Leader.

                        Nominated for minesweeping and escort duties during planned allied landings in Sicily

                        (Operation HUSKY)


July                 Detached with HM Minesweeper ALBACORE and CIRCE for service with 14th Flotilla

                        during HUSKY.

                        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

                          anti-submarine patrol.

         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

                          Monte Casino.

                          (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

                          shore batteries.

                          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

                           military advance.

        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



back to Contents List
or Naval-History.Net

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


if any ads offend, please contact Naval-History.Net