Allied Warships

HMS Welshman (M 84)

Minelayer of the Abdiel class

HMS Welshman

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantM 84 
Built byHawthorn Leslie & Co. (Hebburn-on-Tyne, U.K.) 
Ordered21 Mar 1939 
Laid down8 Jun 1939 
Launched4 Sep 1940 
Commissioned25 Aug 1941 
Lost1 Feb 1943 
Loss position32° 12'N, 24° 52'E

HMS Welshman (Capt. Wiliam Howard Dennis Friedberger, DSO, RN) was returning from Malta to Alexandria when she was sunk about 45 nautical miles east-north-east off Tobruk, Libya in position 32º12'N, 24º52'E, by two torpedoes from the German submarine U-617.

HMS Welshman supported the island of Malta during the long siege in WW2. The island population resisted strongly and was collectively awarded the highest decoration for civilian bravery. Welshman brought food and essential supplies many times; her role was featured in the UK movie The Malta Story. When unloading in Valetta harbor she was attacked and suffered a near miss which damaged her prop shafts, putting one of her thre engines out of service. As her principal fighting strength was her extreme speed this damage affected her ability to perform drastically. She was also torpedoed subsequently, but made it home to the United Kingdom and was repaired at Devonport. She returned to the Mediterranean to serve on the same relief duty, steaming under disguise and simulating French warships.  

Hit by U-boat
Sunk on 1 Feb 1943 by U-617 (Brandi).

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

Commands listed for HMS Welshman (M 84)

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

1Capt. Wiliam Howard Dennis Friedberger, RN26 Mar 19411 Feb 1943

You can help improve our commands section
Click here to Submit events/comments/updates for this vessel.
Please use this if you spot mistakes or want to improve this ships page.

Notable events involving Welshman include:

10 Sep 1941
HrMs O 10 (Lt. Baron D.T. Mackay, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Welshman (Capt. W.H.D. Friedberger, RN) and HMS Ashanti (Cdr. R.G. Onslow, RN). (1)

8 Nov 1941
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. G. Quint, RNN(R)) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Welshman (Capt. W.H.D. Friedberger, RN) and HMS Manxman (Capt. R.K. Dickson, RN). (2)

31 Jan 1943
The Italian corvette Procellaria (673 tons) was sunk on mines west of Sicily on a mine laid by HMS Welshman (Capt. W.H.D. Friedberger, DSO, RN).

The Italian torpedo boat Generale Marcello Prestinari (832 tons) sailed from Bizerte at 1500 hrs with orders to assist the mined corvette Procellaria, but was mined herself at 1630 hrs, 18 nautical miles bearing 137° from Ile de Cani also on a field laid the previous day by HMS Welshman, she went down in about one hour.

Ironically, HMS Welshman was lost on her way back from laying this field.

Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
(£ 38.25)


  1. File (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  2. File (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)

Return to the Allied Warships section

As an Amazon Associate earns a commission from qualifying purchases.