HMS Redoubt (H 41)
Destroyer of the R class
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Built by||John Brown Shipbuilding & Engineering Company Ltd. (Clydebank, Scotland)|
|Laid down||19 Jun 1941|
|Launched||2 May 1942|
|Commissioned||1 Oct 1942|
Transferred to India in 1949 being renamed Ranjit.
Commands listed for HMS Redoubt (H 41)
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|1||Lt.Cdr. Nigel Edward Godfrey Roper, DSO, RN||Aug 1942||24 Sep 1944|
|2||Lt.Cdr. Francis Wimburn Melvill Carter, DSC, RN||24 Sep 1944||late 1945|
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Notable events involving Redoubt include:
1 Dec 1942
The Italian blockade breaker Cortellazzo had departed Bordeaux bound for Japan on 29 November 1942. The next day the ship was spotted by a Sunderland flying boat. The British submarines HMS Graph (Lt. P.B. Marriott, RN), HMS Clyde (Lt. R.S. Brookes, DSC, RN), and HMS Sealion (Lt. D. Lambert, DSC, RN), were ordered to intercept but failed to do so.
The British destroyer HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN) and the Australian destroyer HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, DSC, RAN) were detached from convoy KMF-4 to intercept the Italian ship. They did so on 1 December and after the Italians had abandoned ship she was sunk by torpedo by HMS Redoubt about 470 nautical miles west of Cape Finisterre, Spain in position 44°00'N, 20°00'W.
6 Jan 1944
HMS Stonehenge (Lt. D.S.M. Verschoyle-Campbell, DSC and Bar, RN) conducted exercises off Aden with HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN) and HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN). (1)
25 Jan 1944
At 0830 hours, HMS Ceylon (Capt. G.B. Amery-Parkes, RN) (Capt. G.B. Amery-Parkes, RN), departed Addu Atoll to make rendezvous with the US transport Mariposa (18017 GRT, built 1931). Rendezvous was effected around 1500 hours and HMS Ceylon took over the escort from HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN) which then proceeded to Addu Atoll. (2)
4 Feb 1944
Around noon, HMS Sussex (A/Capt. M. Everard, RN), turned over the escort of the troop transport Mooltan (British, 20952 GRT, built 1923) to HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN) which then continued on with the troopship towards Bombay while HMS Sussex set course to proceed to Colombo. (3)
9 Feb 1944
The troop transport Mooltan (British, 20952 GRT, built 1923) arrived at Bombay with New Zealand troops. She had been escorted (since 4 February) by the destroyer HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN). (4)
19 Aug 1944
Carrier raid against Padang, Sumatra, Netherlands East Indies by ships of the Eastern Fleet.
On 19 July 1944 ships from the Eastern Fleet put to sea from Trincomalee, Ceylon. ' Force 64 ' was made up of the following ships; Aircraft carriers HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN), HMS Indomitable (Capt. J.A.S. Eccles, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C. Moody, CB, RN), battleship HMS Howe (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, DSO, RN), light cruisers HMS Ceylon (Capt. G.B. Amery-Parkes, RN), HMS Kenya (Capt. C.L. Robertson, RN) and the destroyers HMS Rotherham (Capt. H.W. Biggs, DSO, RN), HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, DSC, RN), HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN), HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Rocket (Lt.Cdr. H.B. Acworth, OBE, RN).
On the 17th ' Force 67 ' made up of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker Easedale (8032 GRT, built 1942) escorted by the light cruiser HrMs Tromp (A/Capt. F. Stam, RNN) had already gone to sea to be in a position to refuel ships from ' Force 64 ' on the 22th.
The submarine HMS Severn (Lt. R.H. Bull, DSC, RN) was in the area for air/sea rescue duties.
On the 24th the carriers launched aircraft to attack Padang. They claimed to have sunk a transport and to have damaged two more transports.
Three aircraft were lost. One on take off, one during the action and one one landing.
' Force 64 ' returned to Trincomalee on 27 August 1944. (5)
8 Sep 1944
During 8/9 September 1944, HMS Howe (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, DSO, RN, flying the flag of flying the flag of Admiral B.A. Fraser, KCB, KBE, DSM, RN, CinC Eastern Fleet), HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. H.G. Norman, CBE, RN) and HMS Renown (Capt. B.C.B. Brooke, RN, flying the flag of Vice Admiral A.J. Power, KCB, CVO, RN, second in command of the Eastern Fleet), conducted exercises off Trincomalee. These included night exercises. They were escorted by HMS Quilliam (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, DSO, RAN), HMS Racehorse (Cdr. J.J. Casement, DSC, RN), HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, DSC, RN), HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN), HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN) and HMS Rocket (Lt.Cdr. H.B. Acworth, OBE, RN). (6)
10 May 1945
Operation Dukedom, Intercepting Japanese surface ships trying to evacuate troops from the Andaman Islands.
On 8 May 1945 a report was received from two British submarines on patrol in the Malacca Strait (HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN) and HMS Subtle (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) that they had sighted a Japanese heavy cruiser and a destroyer proceeding to the north-west. The Eastern Fleet was already on alert due to intelligence and ships from the Eastern Fleet immediately (around 0700 hours) put to sea from Trincomalee, Ceylon for operation Dukedom. These ships formed Task Force 61. This task force was, at that moment, made up of the following ships; British battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. R.M. Ellis, DSO, RN), the French battleship Richelieu (Capt. G.M.J. Merveilleux du Vignaux), the British escort carriers HMS Hunter (Capt. A.D. Torlesse, RN), HMS Khedive (A/Capt. D.H. Magnay, RN), HMS Shah (Capt. W.J. Yendell, RN), HMS Emperor (Capt. Sir C. Madden, RN), the British heavy cruiser HMS Cumberland (Capt. P.K. Enright, RN), the British light cruiser HMS Royalist (Capt. W.G. Brittain, CBE, RN), the Dutch light cruiser HrMs Tromp (A/Capt. F. Stam, RNN) and the British destroyers HMS Saumarez (Capt. M.L. Power, CBE, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Venus (Cdr. H.G.D. De Chair, DSC with Bar, RN), HMS Vigilant (Lt.Cdr. L.W.L. Argles, DSC, RN), HMS Virago (Lt.Cdr. A.J.R. White, DSC, RN), HMS Rotherham (Capt. H.W. Biggs, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Nubian (Lt.Cdr. F.C. Brodrick, RN) and HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Diack, DSC and Bar, RN). This latter destroyer however had to return due to defects.
The British destroyer HMS Verulam (Lt.Cdr. D.H.R. Bromley, DSC, RN) sailed at 1700 hours to overtake and then join the Task Force. She was joined by HMS Tartar (Capt. B. Jones, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) as substitute for HMS Penn whose defects could not be repaired in time. Verulam and Tartar eventually joined the Task Force at 1505/11.
Most ships of the Task Force had only returned from the previous operation the day before and for instance HMS Queen Elizabeth had only 50% ammunition for her 15” guns on board. Also HMS Emperor and HMS Khedive were not fully fueled.
The same day the tanker Easedale (8032 GRT, built 1942) departed Trincomalee escorted by the British destroyer HMS Paladin (Lt. H.R. Hewlett, RN) (Force 70) to provide fuel for the smaller ships of Force 61.
At 1940/11 a fast attack force, made up of Richelieu, HMS Cumberland and the destroyer of the 26th Destroyer Flotilla; HMS Saumarez, HMS Venus, HMS Verlulam, HMS Viliglant and HMS Virago were ordered to proceed ahead to about 50 miles from the Task Force to be in a better position to intercept the reported Japanese heavy cruiser.
In the early afternoon of the 12th an air strike with four Hellcats was carried out against airfields on Car Nicobar Island. One Japanese aircraft was seen to go up in flames.
Also on the 12th submarine HMS Statesman reported that the Japanese cruiser and it's escort were returning to Singapore most likely to Force 61 being sighted the previous day by a Japanese aircraft.
During the 13th all destroyers of the Task Force fueled from HMS Emperor, HMS Hunter and HMS Shah. Besides that Task Force 62 was sent out from Trincomalee. This Task Force was made up of the British light cruiser HMS Nigeria (Capt. H.A. King, DSO, RN) and the British destroyers HMS Roebuck (Cdr. C.D. Bonham-Carter, RN), HMS Racehorse (Cdr. J.J. Casement, DSC, RN) and HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. F.W.M. Carter, DSC, RN). HMS Rocket (Lt.Cdr. H.B. Acworth, OBE, RN), which was escorting a convoy, was ordered to leave her convoy and then join this Task Force. Also sailed was Task Force 67, made up of Royal Fleet Auxiliary oiler Olwen escorted by HMS Penn, which by now had completed repairs on her defects.
On the 14th HrMs Tromp was sent ahead to fuel from Task Force 70. Late in the evening the remainder of Task Force 61 arrived at the rendez-vous with Task Force 70.
On the 15th the enemy cruiser and destroyer were sighted by an aircraft from HMS Shah. They were again proceeding to the south-east. Shortly afterwards the enemy was also sighted by a patrolling Liberator aircraft which began shadowing the enemy. At 1500 hours three Avenger aircraft attacked the cruiser.
The 26th destroyer flottila, made up of HMS Saumarez, HMS Venus, HMS Verulam, HMS Vigilant and HMS Vigaro were ordered to intercept the enemy after dark. At 1500 hours they were 85 miles from the position of the enemy.
Around midnight the destroyers made radar contact on the cruiser. They then attacked from all directions with torpedoes. About eight hits were scored and the cruiser was sunk. During the attack HMS Saumarez was hit three times with 8" shells. Two ratings were killed on one boiler room was put out of action. The destroyers rejoined the task force at 1000/16. HMS Virago had only 17% fuel left, the other destroyers between that and 30%. HMS Virago and HMS Venus had to fuel from the escort carriers as they could not make it to the oiling force without doing so.
In the evening of the 16th the Task Force was attacked by Japanese aircraft. HMS Virago was near missed and suffered four ratings killed, five ratings severely wounded and thirteen other casualties. She was also listing slightly due to splinter damage.
At 1000/17 the following ships were detached to return to Trincomalee; Richelieu, HMS Nigeria, HMS Royalist, HrMs Tromp, HMS Khedive, HMS Shah and HMS Racehorce.
1740 hours, the 26th Destroyer Flotilla was also detached to return to Trincomalee. By this time all the destroyers of this flotilla had fueled from Force 70.
The remaining ships were ordered to return to Trincomalee at 2130/19. (7)
- ADM 173/18828
- ADM 53/119110
- ADM 53/120587
- ADM 199/2568
- Files 2.12.03.6854 and 126.96.36.199 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands) and WO 203 / 4980 (British National Archives, Kew, London)
- ADM 53/120382
- Files 2.12.03.6854 and 188.8.131.52 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands) and WO 203 / 4630 (British National Archives, Kew, London)
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.
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