Allied Warships

HMS Ramillies (07)

Battleship of the Royal Sovereign class


HMS Ramillies in 1943.

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeBattleship
ClassRoyal Sovereign 
Pennant07 
Built byWilliam Beardmore & Co. (Dalmuir, Scotland) 
Ordered 1913 
Laid down12 Nov 1913 
Launched12 Sep 1916 
Commissioned1 Sep 1917 
End service31 Aug 1945 
History

Decommissioned into reserve on 31 August 1945. Sold on 20 February 1948 to Arnott Young, arrived Cairn Ryan 23 April 1948 for stripping, Hulk went to Troon for scrapping in October 1949.

 

Commands listed for HMS Ramillies (07)

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CommanderFromTo
1Capt. Harold Tom Baillie-Grohman, DSO, OBE, RN5 Jan 193927 Oct 1940
2Capt. Arthur Duncan Read, RN27 Oct 194023 Sep 1941
3Capt. Desmond Nevill Cooper Tufnell, DSC, RN23 Sep 19414 Aug 1942
4Cdr. Leslie Newton Brownfield, RN4 Aug 194217 Mar 1943
5Capt. Geoffrey Meredyth Keble Keble-White, RN17 Mar 194329 Jul 1943
6Cdr. George Verner Motley Dolphin, RN29 Jul 194323 Aug 1943
7Capt. Gervase Boswell Middleton, RN23 Aug 194325 Jan 1945
8Cdr. (retired) the Hon. Robert Arthur William Joseph Southwell, RN25 Jan 194520 Feb 1945
9A/Cdr. (retired) Jack Marcus Douglas Hunter, RN20 Feb 1945Apr 1945

10A/Cdr. (retired) Jack Marcus Douglas Hunter, RN15 May 1945mid 1945

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Noteable events involving Ramillies include:


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
Operation MB-6;

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.

30 May 1942
While Ramillies (Capt. D.N.C. Tufnell, DSC, RN) was anchored in Diego Suarez harbour (Madagascar), two midget submarines were launched at nightfall from Japanese submarines I-16 (offsite link) and I-20 (offsite link). One, from I-20, managed to get through and enter the harbour, finding Ramillies and the British tanker British Loyalty (6,993 tons.). Armed with only two torpedoes, the Japanese commander chose to target both vessels, each with a torpedo. He achieved both hits, sinking the tanker and probably saving the battleship from sinking. Severely damaged, she nevertheless could be towed to Durban, where she undertook temporary repairs from June to August. Later she returned home to Plymouth where full repairs were completed from September 1942 to June 1943. (1)

Media links


British Battleships of World War One

R. A. Burt


British Battleships, 1919-1945, Revised Edition

R. A. Burt


British battleships 1939-45 (1)

Konstam, Angus

Sources

  1. Personal communication

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