Allied Warships

HMS Asturias (F 71)

Armed Merchant Cruiser


Photo courtesy of State Library of New South Wales

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeArmed Merchant Cruiser
Class[No specific class] 
PennantF 71 
Built byHarland & Wolff Ltd. (Belfast, Northern Island) 
Ordered 
Laid down 
Launched7 Jul 1925 
CommissionedOct 1939 
End service25 Jul 1943 
History

On 28 August 1939 the passenger ship Asturias of the Royal Mail Lines Ltd, London was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to an armed merchant cruiser. Conversion was completed on 28 September 1939

Displacement: 22048 BRT
Armament: 8x 152mm, 2x 76mm
Speed: 19 knots

Career:
October 39: Halifax Escort Force
November 39 - April 40: Northern Patrol
May 40: North Atlantic Escort Force
June 40: Northern Patrol
July 40 - April 43: South Atlantic Station
May 43 - July 43: West Africa Command

On 25 July 1943 torpedoed and badly damaged by the Italian submarine Ammiraglio Cagni (Roselli-Lorenzini) in position 06°52'N, 20°45'W, towed to Freetown and laid up. On 30 May 1944 handed over to the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT) and towed to Belfast for rebuild as troop transport. 1957 scrapped.

 

Commands listed for HMS Asturias (F 71)

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CommanderFromTo
1Capt. (retired) Claud Finlinson Allsup, DSO, RN4 Sep 193925 Nov 1939
2Capt. John Robert Sutherland Haines, RN25 Nov 193924 Oct 1940
3Capt. (retired) Hubert Ardill, RN24 Oct 19402 Mar 1943
4Capt. Richard Meuric Southern, RN2 Mar 194328 Apr 1943
5Capt. (retired) Sir John Meynell Alleyne, DSO, DSC, RN28 Apr 1943

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Noteable events involving Asturias include:


18 Jan 1941
HMS Asturias (Capt. H. Ardill (retired), RN) while patrolling north-east of Puerto Rico, intercepts and captures the Vichy-French freighter Mendoza (8199 GRT).


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