Allied Warships

HMS Chitral (F 57)

Armed Merchant Cruiser

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeArmed Merchant Cruiser
Class[No specific class] 
PennantF 57 
Built byA. Stephen & Sons Ltd. (Glasgow, Scotland) 
Laid down 
Launched27 Jan 1925 
Commissioned4 Oct 1939 
End serviceDec 1943 

In August 1939 the passenger ship Chitral of the P. & O. Steam Navigation Co Ltd, London was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to an armed merchant cruiser. Conversion was completed on 4 October 1939.

Displacement: 15346 BRT
Armament: 7x 152mm, 3x 102mm
Speed: 17 knots

October 39 - August 40: Northern Patrol
November 40 - February 41: Northern and Western Patrol
March 41 - April 41: Bermuda and Halifax Escort Force
May 41 - October 41: North Atlantic Escort Force
November 41 - February 42: East Indies Station
March 42 - December 43: Eastern Fleet (Indian Ocean)

In December 1943 returned and used as troopship by the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). 1948 returned to owner.


Commands listed for HMS Chitral (F 57)

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1Capt. (retired) Alfred Geoffrey Peace, DSO, RN18 Oct 193918 Jan 1940 (+)
2Capt. (retired) Guy Hamilton, RN20 Jan 194022 Dec 1940
3A/Capt. Eric Vernon Lees, RN22 Dec 194012 Jan 1941
4Capt. (retired) Guy Hamilton, RN12 Jan 19412 Dec 1941
5A/Capt. (retired) Gerald William Hoare-Smith, RN2 Dec 1941

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Notable events involving Chitral include:

20 Nov 1939
The German merchant Bertha Fisser (4110 GRT) is intercepted of the south-east coast of Iceland in position 64°10N, 15°14W by the British armed merchant cruiser HMS Chitral (Capt. G. Hamilton, (retired), RN). However before the German ship can be captured she is scuttled by her own crew.

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