Allied Warships

HMS Sabre (H 18)

Destroyer of the Admiralty S class

HMS Sabre (H18) in 1934

NavyThe Royal Navy
ClassAdmiralty S 
PennantH 18 
Built byA. Stephen & Sons Ltd. (Glasgow, Scotland) 
OrderedApr 1917 
Laid down10 Sep 1917 
Launched23 Sep 1918 
Commissioned9 Nov 1918 
End service 

Completed by Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. (Govan, Scotland)

Served as a target ship before the Second World War.

Took part in the Dunkirk evacuation during late May / early June 1940.

In late 1940 Sabre was modified as escort. Equipped with 14-charge pattern depth-charge arrangements, both the after 4" guns and the torpedo tubes were landed, one 12pdr.(AA) and 8-.5" (AA) (2x4) were added. Radar type 286 and later 291 were added. Later in the war four single 20mm.(AA) mountings eventually supplanted the .5" AA mountings.

Sold to be broken up for scrap in November 1945.


Commands listed for HMS Sabre (H 18)

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1Lt.Cdr. Brian Dean, RN15 Nov 193711 Jan 1941
2Lt. Sir Peter William Gretton, DSC, RN11 Jan 194111 Feb 1942
3Lt. Reginald Lacey Caple, DSC, RN11 Feb 1942Jul 1943
4T/A/Lt.Cdr. The Hon. Grenville Howard, RNVRJul 1943Jun 1944
5Lt. Thomas Cumming, RNJun 1944late 1945

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Notable events involving Sabre include:

13 Oct 1939
While at Rosyth HMS Sabre (Lt.Cdr. B. Dean, RN) is heavily damaged when she is rammed by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Jervis Bay. Sabre was under repair to 6 May 1940.

31 Dec 1941
German U-boat U-87 torpedoed and damaged the British merchant Cardita about 110 nautical miles bearing 307 from St.Kilda in position 59°18'N, 12°50'W. The vessel foundered in 3 January 1942 in position in 59°42'N, 11°58'W.

HMS Sabre (Lt. P.W. Gretton, OBE, DSC, RN) later picks up 10 of the crew.

Media links

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

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