Allied Warships

HMS Nelson (28)

Battleship of the Nelson class


HMS Nelson prewar.

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeBattleship
ClassNelson 
Pennant28 
Built byArmstrong (Newcastle-on-Tyne, U.K.) 
Ordered11 Dec 1922 
Laid down28 Dec 1922 
Launched3 Sep 1925 
Commissioned10 Sep 1927 
End service20 Oct 1947 
History

Decommissioned on 20 October 1947. Sold on 19 March 1948 to T.W. Ward and arrived at Inverkeithing for scrapping on 15 March 1949.

 

Hit by U-boat
Damaged on 4 Dec 1939 by U-31 (Habekost).

U-boat AttackSee our U-boat attack entry for the HMS Nelson

Commands listed for HMS Nelson (28)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1Capt. Sir Geoffrey John Audley Miles, RN19 Jul 193914 Jun 1941
2Capt. Thomas Hope Troubridge, RN14 Jun 19413 Jan 1942
3Cdr. Duncan Codwise Hill, RN3 Jan 19425 Apr 1942
4Capt. Humphrey Benson Jacomb, RN5 Apr 194217 Feb 1943
5Capt. the Hon. Guy Herbrand Edward Russell, RN17 Feb 19433 Dec 1943
6Capt. Alexander Henry Maxwell-Hyslop, RN9 Dec 1943Aug 1944
7Cdr. Alexander Francis Matheson, RNAug 194422 Nov 1944
8Capt. Clifford Caslon, RN22 Nov 194415 Oct 1946

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Notable events involving Nelson include:


30 Oct 1939
U-56 (Zahn) attacked the Home Fleet and hit HMS Nelson (Capt. G.J.A. Miles, RN) with torpedoes which failed to explode.

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 Köln 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.

29 Sep 1943
Marshal Pietro Badoglio (Italy) and General Dwight D Eisenhower (USA) signed the Italian instrument of surrender on board Nelson in Valletta Harbour, Malta. (1)

Media links


British Battleships, 1919-1945, Revised Edition

R. A. Burt


British battleships 1939-45 (2)

Konstam, Angus

Sources

  1. Personal communication

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