HMS Rajputana (F 35)
British Armed Merchant Cruiser
|Name||HMS Rajputana (F 35)|
|Type:||Armed Merchant Cruiser|
|Tonnage||16,644 tons (one of the largest ships sunk).|
|Completed||1926 - Harland & Wolff Ltd, Greenock|
|Date of attack||13 Apr 1941||Nationality: British|
|Fate||Sunk by U-108 (Klaus Scholtz)|
|Position||64° 50'N, 27° 25'W - Grid AD 5582|
|Complement||325 (42 dead and 283 survivors).|
|History||Completed in December 1925 as steam passenger ship Rajputana for P. & O. Steam Navigation Co Ltd, London. On 4 Sep 1939 requisitioned by the Admiralty, converted to an armed merchant cruiser and commissioned in December 1939 as HMS Rajputana (F 35). |
|Notes on event|
At 07.43 hours on 13 April 1941, HMS Rajputana (F 35) (Capt F.H. Taylor, DSC, RN) was hit by one torpedo from U-108 west of Reykjavik. She had been the ship of convoy commodore Cdr C.T.O. Richardson, RNR in convoy HX-117 but was then dispatched to patrol the Strait of Denmark.
The armed merchant cruiser had been first spotted by the U-boat at 09.45 hrs on 11 April and was followed while she was patrolling on a zigzag course at high speed and sometimes making 180° turns. The chase was hampered by problems with the periscope, pack ice and snow. Two torpedoes were fired at 18.08 hrs on 11 April missed as did two more fired at 20.46 and 20.48 hrs on 12 April. A fifth torpedo at 07.40 hrs on 13 April missed, but the sixth at 07.43 hrs hit the stern and caused a fire on the ship, which then opened fire on the periscope. An intended coup de grâce at 08.23 hrs failed, but the next torpedo at 09.30 hours struck in the after part and caused the ship to sink by the stern with a list to port. The commodore, four officers and 37 ratings were lost. 283 survivors were picked up by HMS Legion (F 74) (Cdr R.F. Jessel, RN) and landed at Reykjavik.
|On board||We have details of 49 people who were on board.|
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