MONTCALM belonging to the Canadian Pacific Steamship Ltd Passenger Liner
requisitioned on 28th August 1939 for use as an Armed
Merchant Cruiser. The ship was completed for service on the
UK – Canada route in 1921. She was
the 4th RN warship to carry this name introduced in 1813 for a 20 gun Sloop built at Montreal,
Canada and sold in 1832. The last to use the name was the Coastal Monitor M9 built on the Clyde in 1915 and later renamed
GENERAL WOLFE. It is of interest to note that in 1656 a Spanish ship taken
as Prize was the first RN ship to carry the name WOLF and she was
followed by 19 others the last of
which was a destroyer sold in 1921. The earlier name used was that of the
animal but later name commemorates the General who was killed during the
captured of Quebec in 1759. His name was
also used by the RCN for a requisitioned Yacht in 1940.
Armed Merchant Cruiser
Submarine Depot Ship
Length Overall – 563ft
Beam – 70ft
Draught – 28ft
No significant change
Seven 6in guns
Two twin 4in AA guns
Two 12pdr AA
32 2pdr AA guns
19 single 20mm guns
480 Excluding Spare Crews
H e r a l d i c D a t a
(Note: Recorded on Official List for HMS WOLFE.
May have been introduced for the earlier HMS WOLF.
On a Field Blue a demi-wolf erased Red.
B a t t l e H o n o u r s
(Note: Two Battle Honours were awarded to HMS WOLF.)
S u m m a r y o f W a r
S e r v i c e
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1 9 3 9
28th Requisitioned for RN service as an
Armed Merchant Cruiser
September On release from Trade taken in hand
to December (Note: In addition to fitting of
armament changes included removal of all
flammable material and internal modifications to suit
of naval personnel. Special attention was necessary for
explosives and the provision of ballast to compensate for
loss of items
normally carried below the waterline. In addition empty
material to improve flotation and reduce free flooding of
in the event of major damage were embarked.
1 9 4 0
10th Commissioned for service as an Armed
On completion of conversion carried out Acceptance Trials
to April Storing including embarkation
and stowage of ammunition completed.
Shakedown and work-up prior to Operational Service.
Deployed for trade defence and convoy escort.
to (Note: This ship is
not recorded in any of the outstanding actions in
December defence of Atlantic
convoys but it should be remembered that the
of convoys in 1940 was not subject to surface ship attacks.)
1 9 4 1
Withdrawn from service as an Armed Merchant Cruiser and nominated for
conversion to the more suitable role as a Depot
Ship for which her size and
layout of compartments made her very
Purchased outright by the Admiralty and taken in hand for conversion in
to December commercial shipyard to suit deployment
for support of submarines.
(Note: Extensive changes were made to the
armament to improve defence against
air attacks. Compartment arrangement were modified for
installation of heavy
machinery and equipment for repair of engines and electrical machinery.
addition accommodation space was required for an increased ship’s
Captain SM3 Staff Officers who were responsible for
planning and execution of submarine operations by Flotilla. In addition
submarine crew and repair staff required permanent facilities with
medical and recreational facilities. One source quotes a figure
exceeding 1,000 which seems somewhat high.)
Nominated for support of
submarines of the 3rd Submarine Flotilla based in the
On completion of trials and storing took passage to Clyde to join
1 9 4 2 to 1
9 4 3
Deployed in Clyde for support of submarines.
(Note: Operations by the Flotilla included service in Western
support of passage of Arctic
convoys in view of threat of attacks by
surface ships and submarines as well as interception of
supply ships in Bay of Biscay.
1 9 4 4
Clyde deployment in continuation.
Nominated for service with Eastern Fleet and relieved in Clyde by HM
Submarine Depot Ship FORTH.
July On completion of preparations for
foreign service took passage to join
Eastern Fleet at Trincomalee. for support of
2nd Submarine Flotilla.
August Passage in Indian Ocean
19th Arrived at Trincomalee, Ceylon and
joined Eastern Fleet.
Deployed at Trincomalee for support of 2nd Submarine Flotilla.
(Note: Submarines in Flotilla were HM Submarines STATESMAN,
STYGIAN, SHALIMAR and SPIRIT
the S-Class submarines built since 1939 and the older
larger PORPOISE, SEVERN and CLYDE
in service before
outbreak of WW2.)
Trincomalee deployment in continuation.
(Note: Submarines of the Eastern Fleet carried out offensive patrols
the Indian Ocean and Malacca Straits to intercept and sink
Japanese shipping and escorts to convoys in order to reduce
supplies to garrisons in Malaya and the Dutch East Indies.
also carried out reconnaissance of possible landing areas
and landed intelligence personnel for
1 9 4 5
During course of support of submarine operations involved in the
rescue operations by submarine staff officers to ensure return
of the badly
damaged HM Submarine SHAKESPEARE which has been
incessant air attacks during patrol in the Andaman Sea. and was
disabled in the
Indian Ocean with many casualties. HM Destroyer RAIDER
had taken the
submarine in tow after initial aid by HM Submarine STYGIAN.
details see THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton and DEVICES
WAR by N. Kemp.
Submarine SHAKESPEARE joined the Flotilla in December 1944
was on her first war patrol in the South East Asia Theatre.
Trincomalee support in continuation.
15th Part of Eastern Fleet on VJ Day.
P o s t W a r N o t e s
HMS WOLFE was nominated for service with the 1st Submarine Flotilla
in Malta after the return of the submarines of the 2nd Flotilla to UK. She took passage to
join the Mediterranean Fleet and was based in Malta until nominated in 1947 for return to UK when
relieved by HMS FORTH. She Paid-off in 1949 and was reduced to Reserve status.
Placed in the Disposal List in 1952 the ship was sold to BISCO in 1952 and arrived at Faslane for
breaking-up by Metal Industries on 8th November that year.