HMS Warspite (03)
Battleship of the Queen Elizabeth class
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Built by||Devonport Dockyard (Plymouth, U.K.)|
|Laid down||31 Oct 1912|
|Launched||26 Nov 1914|
|Commissioned||8 Mar 1915|
|End service||1 Feb 1945|
Served in WW1 including The Battle of Jutland.
Rebuilt twice between Wars. The second rebuild saw all the superstructure removed to the armoured deck and a new superstructure built along the lines of HMS Rodney/Nelson. New engines and boilers were fitted at this stage and she was to be the fastest of the class. A new LA DCT (Low Angle Director Control Tower) was installed above the bridge, two new HA DCT (High Angle Director Control Tower) were fitted. The single 4" AA guns were replaced with twin mounts, four additional 8 barrelled 2 pounders were fitted around the funnel, a quad 0.5 inch machine gun mount was fitted to the top of B and X turret. Subsequentually the two new HA DCT (High Angle Director Control Tower) were each fitted with a Type 285 Air Radar, a Type 271 (surface warning) radar was fitted at the top of the lower foremast, a Type 286 (aircraft warning) radar at the masthead, a Type 284 (Surface Warning) radar to the LA DCT. At various times additional 20 mm Oerlokon cannons were fitted so by 1945 there were 15 single mounts.
Decommissioned on 1 February 1945. Sold 12 July 1946 to Metal Industries, wrecked in Mounts Bay and broken up.
Commands listed for HMS Warspite (03)
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|1||Capt. Victor Alexander Charles Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN||1 May 1937||27 Apr 1940|
|2||Capt. Douglas Blake Fisher, OBE, RN||27 Apr 1940||27 Mar 1942|
|3||Capt. Fitzroy Evelyn Patrick Hutton, RN||27 Mar 1942||23 Jan 1943|
|4||Capt. Herbert Annesley Packer, RN||23 Jan 1943||12 Oct 1943|
|5||A/Capt. the Hon. David Edwardes, RN||12 Oct 1943||17 Mar 1944|
|6||Capt. Marcel Harcourt Attwood Kelsey, DSC, RN||17 Mar 1944||29 Aug 1944|
|7||Capt. Charles Peter Frend, RN||29 Aug 1944||14 Sep 1944|
|8||Capt. Marcel Harcourt Attwood Kelsey, DSC, RN||14 Sep 1944||28 Dec 1944|
|9||Capt. Markham Henry Evelegh, RN||28 Dec 1944||8 Feb 1945|
|10||Cdr. George Fellowes Blaxland, OBE, RN||9 Feb 1945||14 Mar 1945|
|11||Capt. (retired) Philip Hugh Calderon, RN||14 Mar 1945||26 Jul 1945|
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Notable events involving Warspite include:
13 Apr 1940
German U-boat U-64 was sunk in the Herjangsfjord near Narvik, Norway, in approximate position 68°29'N, 17°30'E, by a bomb from Swordfish aircraft L 9767 carried on the British battleship HMS Warspite (Capt. V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN).
17 Aug 1940
In the early morning the British battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. D.B. Fisher, CBE, RN), HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN), HMS Ramillies (Capt. H.T. Baillie-Grohman, OBE, DSO, RN) the British heavy cruiser HMS Kent (Capt. D. Young-Jamieson, RN) escorted by the British destroyers HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN), HMS Mohawk (Cdr. J.W.M. Eaton, RN), Hyperion (Cdr. H.St.L. Nicolson, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Hostile (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN), HMS Hero (Cdr. H.W. Biggs, DSO, RN), HMS Hereward (Lt.Cdr. C.W. Greening, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC, RN), HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN), HMS Juno (Cdr. W.E. Wilson, RN) and the Australian destroyers HMAS Stuart (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, RAN), HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RAN) and HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, RAN) carried out a bombardment of Italian positions around the fortress of Bardia.
8 Oct 1940
A British convoy with the merchants Memnon (7506 GRT), Lanarkshire (11275 GRT), Clan Macauley (10492 GRT) and Clan Ferguson (7347 GRT) left Alexandria for Malta on 8 October 1940. This convoy was escorted by the British Anti-Aircraft cruisers HMS Calcutta (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN), HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN) and the Australian destroyers HMS Stuart (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, DSO, RAN), HMS Voyager (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN), HMS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RAN) and the British destroyer HMS Wryneck (Cdr. R.H.D. Lane, RN).
Cover was provided by the Mediterranean Fleet (Admiral Cunningham) with the British battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. D.B. Fisher, CBE, RN), HMS Valiant (Capt. H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN), HMS Ramillies (Capt. H.T. Baillie-Grohman, OBE, DSO, RN), the British aircraft carriers HMS Illustrious (Capt. D.W. Boyd, DSC, RN), HMS Eagle (Capt. A.R.M. Bridge, RN), the British heavy cruiser HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN), the British light cruisers HMS Gloucester (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN), HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D. McCarthy, RN), HMS Orion (Capt. G.R.B. Back, RN), the Australian light cruiser HMAS Sydney (Capt. J.A. Collins, CB, RAN)escorted by the British destroyers HMS Hyperion (Cdr. H.St.L. Nicolson, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Havock (Cdr. R.E. Courage, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Hero (Cdr. H.W. Biggs, DSO, RN), HMS Hereward (Lt.Cdr. C.W. Greening, RN), HMS Hasty, (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC, RN), HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.deW. Kitcat, RN), HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO, RN), HMS Janus (Cdr. J.A.W. Tothill, RN), HMS Juno (Cdr. W.E. Wilson, RN), HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN), HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN), HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, DSO, RN), HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN) and the Australian destroyers HMAS Vampire (Cdr. J.A. Walsh, RAN) and HMAS Vendetta (Cdr. R. Rhoades RAN).
The convoy was not spotted and arrived safe at Malta on 11 October. The only damage sustained was to the destroyer HMS Imperial that was mined off Malta and was out of action for over 6 months.
While on the return trip the Mediterranean Fleet was sighted by an Italian aircraft. The Italian Navy tried to intercept them in the Ionian Sea. In the night of 11/12 October the first Italian torpedo boat flotilla with Airone, Alcione and Ariel attacked HMS Ajax. The attack failed and Ajax sank Airone and Ariel, Alcione escaped. A little while later the Italian 11th destroyer flotilla, with Artigliere, Aviere, Camicia Nera and Geniere arrived at the scene. They were surprised by the radar-directed gunfire from HMS Ajax. Artigliere was heavily damaged and Aviere was slightly damaged. Camicia Nere tried to tow Artigliere away but she was sighted by a British Sunderland aircraft that homed in 3 Swordfish aircraft from HMS Illustrious. However, the torpedoed they fired didn't hit the Italian ships. Later the British heavy cruiser HMS York arrived at the scene. Camicia Nera quickly slipped the towing line and sped off. After her crew had left the ship Artiglire was sunk by York.
While the Mediterranean Fleet was still on the return trip aircraft from HMS Illustrious and HMS Eagle attacked Leros and in the evening of the 14th the British light cruiser HMS Liverpool while south-east of Crete was hit in the bow by a torpedo from an Italian aircraft. The cruiser was heavily damaged and was repaired at the Mare Island Navy Yard in the USA. HMS Liverpool was not operational again until January 1942.