Allied Warships

HMS Diomede (D 92)

Light cruiser of the D class


HMS Diomede in 1943

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeLight cruiser
ClassD 
PennantD 92 
Built byVickers (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
OrderedMar 1918 
Laid down3 Jun 1918 
Launched19 Apr 1919 
Commissioned24 Apr 1922 
End service 
History

Completed by Portsmouth Dockyard.

Sold to be broken up for scrap on 5 April 1946.
Arrived to be scrapped at Arnott Young, Dalmuir on 13 May 1946.

 

Commands listed for HMS Diomede (D 92)

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CommanderFromTo
1Capt. Edward Bernard Cornish Dicken, DSC, OBE, RN31 Jul 193930 Jan 1940
2Capt. John Wentworth Farquhar, RN30 Jan 194026 Feb 1940
3Capt. Cyril George Bucknill Coltart, RN26 Feb 194020 May 1940
4A/Cdr. David Edward Gillespie Wemyss, RN20 May 194021 Jun 1940
5Capt. John Wentworth Farquhar, RN21 Jun 194030 Oct 1940
6A/Cdr. David Edward Gillespie Wemyss, RN30 Oct 194013 Nov 1940
7Capt. John Wentworth Farquhar, RN13 Nov 194016 Jun 1941
8Capt. David Orr-Ewing, RN16 Jun 194111 Aug 1942
9Cdr. (retired) John Walter Hoskyns, RN11 Aug 194219 Aug 1942
10Capt. Harold Taylor Wood Grant, RCN19 Aug 1942mid 1943
11Cdr. (retired) John Walter Hoskyns, RNmid 19439 Aug 1943
12Cdr. Robert Alastair Ewing, DSC, RN9 Aug 194318 Feb 1945
13Cdr. John Michael Hodges, DSO, RN18 Feb 1945

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Notable events involving Diomede include:


23 Nov 1939
Sinking of the armed merchant cruiser HMS Rawalpindi;

Around midday on 21 November 1939 the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, escorted by the light cruisers K?ln and Leipzig and the destroyers Z 11 / Bernd von Arnim, Z 12 / Erich Giese and Z 20 / Karl Galster, departed Wilhelmshaven for a raid into the North Atlantic, this was to relieve the pressure of the pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee operating in the South Atlantic. Late on the 21st the escorts left the battlecruisers.

Just after 1500 hours on 23 November the British armed merchant cruiser HMS Rawalpindi (Capt. E.C. Kennedy, (retired), RN) sighted the Scharnhorst. Rawalpindi was part of the British Northern Patrol and was stationed south-east of Iceland in the Iceland-Faroes gap. Captain Kennedy tried to outrun the German ship and reported to the Admiralty that he sighted the German pocket battleship Deutschland, still believed to be operating in the North Atlantic. Just after 1600 hours, Rawalpindi came within range of the Scharnhorst and was quickly reduced to a flaming wreck. During this engagement Scharnhorst was hit by a 6? shell from Rawalpindi causing only light damage. Scharnhorst and Gneisenau together picked up 27 survivors from Rawalpindi. Rawalpindi finally sank around 2000 hours.

The British light cruiser HMS Newcastle (Capt J. Figgins, RN), that was also part of the Northern Patrol, picked up Rawalpindi?s signal and closed the scene. She sighted the Gneisenau but the Germans managed to escape in the fog.

The Admiralty also thought the ship sighted by Rawalpindi and Newcastle was the Deutschland that was trying to return to Germany. In response to the sighting and destruction of the Rawalpindi the Admiralty took immediate action;
The battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. G.J.A. Miles, RN with Admiral Forbes aboard) HMS Rodney (Capt. F.H.G. Dalrymple-Hamilton, RN) and the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN) escorted by the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. C.S. Daniel, RN), HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, RN), HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN), HMS Fortune (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, RN) and HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN) departed the Clyde to patrol of Norway to cut off the way to Germany for the Deutschland.

The light cruisers HMS Southampton (Capt. F.W.H. Jeans, CVO, RN), HMS Edinburgh (Capt. F.C. Bradley, RN) and HMS Aurora (Capt. G.B. Middleton, RN) escorted by the destroyers HMS Afridi (Capt. G.H. Creswell, DSC, RN), HMS Gurkha (Cdr. F.R. Parham, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, RN) and HMS Isis (Cdr. J.C. Clouston, RN) departed Rosyth to patrol between the Orkney and Shetland islands.

Light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. E. de F. Renouf, CVO, RN) was sent from Loch Ewe to the last known position of the German ship(s).

On northern patrol, south of the Faroes were the light cruisers HMS Caledon (Capt. C.P. Clark, RN), HMS Cardiff (Capt. P.K. Enright, RN) and HMS Colombo (Capt. R.J.R. Scott, RN). These were joined by HMS Dunedin (Capt. C.E. Lambe, CVO, RN) and HMS Diomede (Capt. E.B.C. Dicken, RN).

Of the ships of the Denmark strait patrol, the heavy cruisers HMS Suffolk (Capt. J.W. Durnford, RN) and HMS Norfolk (Capt. A.G.B. Wilson, MVO, DSO, RN) were ordered to proceed to the Bill Bailey Bank (to the south-west of the Faroes)

The light cruiser HMS Glasgow (Capt. F.H. Pegram, RN) escorted by the destroyers HMS Maori (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN) and HMS Zulu (Cdr. J.S. Crawford, RN) were already at sea patrolling north-east of the Shetlands were to be joined by the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN), HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN), HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Imogen (Cdr. E.B.K. Stevens, RN) .

Despite the British effort to intercept the German ships, both German battlecruisers returned to Wilhelmshaven on the 27th.

5 Dec 1940
HMS Diomede (Capt. J.W. Farquhar, RN) intercepts the German passenger / cargo ship Idarwald (5033 GRT) off Cape Corrientes, Cuba. Unfortunately before the German ship can be captured it is set on fire by her crew and finally sank on December 9th.


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