Allied Warships

HMS Anson (79)

Battleship of the King George V class

HMS Anson during the war.

NavyThe Royal Navy
ClassKing George V 
Built bySwan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. (Wallsend-on-Tyne, U.K.): Wallsend 
Ordered28 Apr 1937 
Laid down20 Jul 1937 
Launched24 Feb 1940 
Commissioned22 Jun 1942 
End serviceAug 1950 

Anson served as Vice-Admiral Sir Henry Moore`s flagship during Operation Tungsten in April 1944. One of the many air attacks against Germany's only remaining battleship Tirpitz, in Altenfjord, Northern Norway.

With the end of the war in Europe in sight HMS Anson joined the British Pacific Fleet until July 1946 returning home to become the Training Squadron Flagship from 1948 until 1949. Anson was paid-off into Reserve in August 1950.

Sold to Shipbreaking Industries in 1957, arrived at Faslane for scrapping on 17 December 1957.


Commands listed for HMS Anson (79)

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1Capt. Harold Richard George Kinahan, RN10 Feb 194229 Jul 1943
2Capt. Edward Desmond Bewley McCarthy, DSO, RN29 Jul 1943mid 1944
3Cdr. Alexander Robert Kennedy, RNmid 19449 Nov 1944
4Capt. Alexander Cumming Gordon Madden, RN9 Nov 194419 Jan 1946
5Capt. Frederick Secker Bell, RN19 Jan 1946

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Notable events involving Anson include:

18 Jun 1942
HMS Manchester (Capt. H. Drew, DSC, RN)) and the destroyers HMS Somali (Capt. J.W.M. Eaton, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Ashanti (Cdr. R.G. Onslow, DSO, RN) and HMS Offa (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Ewing, RN) departed Scapa Flow to rendez-vous with new battleships HMS Anson (Capt. H.R.G. Kinahan, CBE, RN) that is to proceed from Rosyth to Scapa Flow for working up exercises. (1)

19 Jun 1942
HMS Manchester (Capt. H. Drew, DSC, RN), HMS Somali (Capt. J.W.M. Eaton, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Ashanti (Cdr. R.G. Onslow, DSO, RN) and HMS Offa (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Ewing, RN) returned to Scapa Flow escorting HMS Anson (Capt. H.R.G. Kinahan, CBE, RN) after taking over the escort duties from the destroyers Verdun (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Donald, DSC, RN) and HMS Vanity (Lt.Cdr. W.B.R. Morrison, RN). (1)

2 Sep 1942
HMS H 34 (Lt. J.P.H. Oakley, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. These exercises included a practice attack on the battleship HMS Anson (Capt. H.R.G. Kinahan, CBE, RN) and her screen of six destroyers; HMS Onslow (Capt H.T. Armstrong, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Onslaught (Cdr. W.H. Selby, RN), HMS Opportune (Cdr. M.L. Power, OBE, RN), HMS Eskimo (Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN), HMS Tartar (Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN) and HMS Echo (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN). (2)

7 Mar 1944
HMS Trusty (Lt. M.F.R. Ainslie, DSO, DSC, RN) conducts attack exercises with HMS Anson (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO and Bar, RN). (3)

Media links

British Battleships, 1919-1945, Revised Edition

R. A. Burt
($ 83.50)
(£ 60.52)
(EUR 72.99)

British battleships 1939-45 (2)

Konstam, Angus
($ 15.01)
(£ 8.43)
(EUR 11.57)

King George V Class Battleships

Tarrant, V. E.
($ 34.99)


  1. ADM 53/116227 + ADM 199/427
  2. ADM 173/17241
  3. ADM 173/19123

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.

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