The sudden order to scatter came to Commodore Dowding as an unpleasant surprise. Also on the 10th, Commodore Harwood was informed by the Admiralty that the German merchant Montevideo (6075 GRT, built 1936) was leaving Rio Grande do Sul for Florianopolis but decided not to intercept her as this would divert HMS Exeter 500 nautical miles from the Plate area. Members who served with HMS Cumberland. The German ships then immediately parted company and cleared the area at high speed. About two hours later, at 2200 hours, HMS Niger which had gone ahead to try to make landfall leaving HMS Hussar as a visual link with the convoy, sighted what she took to be North Cape bearing 150° at a range of one mile and ordered the course of the convoy to be altered to 270°. It was clear by this time an unfavourable situation was rapidly developing. Weather attack by surface craft developed in a few minutes or by aircraft and submarines during the next few days, the plight of the individual merchant ships – deprived of mutual support of their escort - was parlous in the extreme. J.E. F. Ratsey, RN) , Port Quebec (A/Capt.(rtd.) C.F. The attack on Dakar, the attack opens, 24 September 1940. This information reached the Admiralty at 1043/11 in a signal sent by Admiral North at 0917/11. Panamanian Budenni (2482 GRT, built 1923), It was an anxious passage, much fog and ice was encountered and U-boats were known to be about. Shooting became extreme difficult, for range taking was nearly impossible. These ships formed Task Force 63. HMS Suffolk and HMS Ceylon then bombarded enemy AA positions. Aircraft from the Ark Royal conducted photographic reconnaissance on the 22nd. F.C. Tennant, RN). The results of the bombardment were not encouraging. Layman, DSO, RN) , HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. White, DSC, RN), HMS Rotherham (Capt. The chance of capturing Dakar was clearly remote and in the end it was decided to discontinue the attack and to withdraw his force to Freetown without further delay. No hits had been obtained on the Gorée Island battery. The Ark Royal was ordered to provide maximum fighter protection, and the battlefleet withdrew to the southward. Nouvel de la Fleche) and Dupleix (Capt. American Press (5131 GRT, built 1920), Four ships were sunk, the Heffron, Hybert, Massmar and the Rodina and two were seriously damaged, the John Randolph and the Exterminator. J.H. The old ‘Force X’, the Strasbourg (Capt. Hartman, USN) and USS Rhind (Lt.Cdr. Tyrwhitt, RN) and HMS Hostile (Cdr. L.P. Johnson, USN) and USS Wichita (Capt. Morse, DSO, RN) was also ordered to proceed to the area off Ascension with the destroyers HMS Hyperion and HMS Hunter which departed Freetown on the 25th. They were now approaching the north-west corner of Iceland. On 2 December 1939 the Admiralty ordered ‘Force K’ and ‘Force H’ to their patrol line south of the Cape after refueling, and the Commander-in-Chief, South Atlantic at once ordered them to proceed for the Cape ports to fuel. The westerly course had led the convoy straight into the minefield. Accordingly he ordered them to fuel from HMS London and HMS Norfolk. At 0840 hours General de Gaulle signalled that the Richelieu and Gorée Island guns had been firing and that he had ordered his own ships to make a determined effort; if they failed he suggested that the Vice-Admiral should show himself of Dakar. HMS Forester was at once detached to hunt it, leaving only two destroyers to screen the battlefleet. General de Gaulle again arranged for Captain Thierry d’Angenlieu to carry a message requisting the French cruisers to return to Casablanca. battleships HMS Barham (Capt G.C. After parting from the Massilia she closed Rio Grande do Sul and ascertained that the German merchant vessels Rio Grande and Montevideo were still there. A.D. Torlesse, RN), HMS Khedive (A/Capt. The cruiser HMS Dorsetshire, which arrived at Simonstown from Colombo on the 9th to finally relieve HMS Exeter in the South America Division left Simonstown on 13 December for Port Stanley. Shortly afterwards there came news at last of the German heavy ships. The convoy arrived safe at Archangel on the 24th. No attacks developed, the enemy focus was on the eastbound convoy. Also, one of the escorts of convoy PQ 17 was found there, the British A/S trawler Ayrshire. They were escorted by HMS Niger (SO), HMS Hussar, FFL Roselys, HMS Lady Madeleine and HMS St. Elstan. Eaglesdale - HMS London, HMS Cumberland, HMAS Napier, HMAS Nepal and HMAS Norman, 26 March 1944 HMS Barham was hit once and HMAS Australia twice. Cumberland was finally decommissioned in 1958 and immediately sold for scrap. Besides that she was still 600 tons short of fuel. Meanwhile four destroyers from the 4th Destroyer Division, Mediterranean Fleet, the HMS Hotspur (Cdr. P.K. User Name Password Remember Me? Considerable confusion prevailed, some thinking that a U-boat attack was in progress, other imagining a surface raider. P.A. The next day both crew were transferred to the Admiral Graf Spee and the Newton Beech was scuttled. Tyrwhitt, RN) departed Freetown for a patrol in the Atlantic during which they were to provide cover for the whale factory ships Salvestria (British, 11938 GRT, built 1913) and Sourabaya (British, 10107 GRT, built 1915) during their passage to Freetown from the South Atlantic. Hammill, RN) and set course to return to Freetown where they arrived later the same day. So far on the work of the South American Division during September 1939. Force M; area: Dakar, Senegal. They both left Buenos Aires on the 25th and, bidding the Commodore farewell, proceeded northwards. The situation was now as follows. Spurgeon, DSO, RAN), HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. Passage north to Dakar was uneventful. HMS Cumberland was ordered to proceed there and HMS Ajax was ordered to leave the Falklands and take up her place in the Rio de Janeiro area. When HMS Exeter finished fueling she immediately put to sea. J.L. The institution of hunting groups, 5 October 1939. Dutch Across the South Atlantic, Commodore Harwood, in HMS Ajax was at Port Stanley as was HMS Exeter. W.B. The Commander-in-Chief, South Atlantic ordered her to be shadowed. On 15 November 1939 she sank the small British tanker Africa Shell (706 GRT, built 1939) in position 24°45’S, 35°00’E. At 0845 hours Richelieu (firing 6” from her secondary armament at the marine jetty) and HMS Cumberland took over. She was then transferred to the Far East, as part of 4th Cruiser Squadron Eastern Fleet. Visibility was however very poor due to mist, and was no more then 3 to 5 nautical miles. The hit by what was thought to be a 3” shell on Quilliam caused minor structural damage but killed one petty officer and wounded four ratings. The Commander-in-Chief, having spent 4 July cruising about 150 nautical miles north-west of Bear Island, had turned to the south-westward in the early morning of the 5th, and was then on his way back to Scapa Flow some 120 nautical miles south-west of the force of Rear-Admiral Hamilton. After a stormy passage they arrived at Byelushya Bay on the 19th. Also, one of the escorts of convoy PQ 17 was found there, the British A/S trawler Ayrshire. Around 1630 hours HMS Devonshire finally sighted the French transports some 20 nautical miles from Rufisque Bay. Easedale - HMS Renown She was engaged by the 6” guns from HMS Barham, HMS Resolution and HMS Dragon. T.F. HMS Ajax and HMNZS Achilles then both fuelled from the Olynthus at San Borombon Bay during the next afternoon. HMS Cumberland was ordered to proceed there and HMS Ajax was ordered to leave the Falklands and take up her place in the Rio de Janeiro area. Torpedoing and scuttling of HMS MANCHESTER: Board of Enquiry, Court Martial of surviving officers and crew and discontinuance of Courts Martial under section 92 of Naval Discipline Act for the duration of the war. Hammill, RN), on her way from Simonstown to Freetown, was ordered to increase speed. On 7 December 1939 the Admiral Graf Spee sank what was to be her last victim, the British merchant Streonshalh (3895 GRT, built 1928) in position 25°01’S, 27°50’W. A remainder of the fate that might be in store for any of them. It certainly was not ‘Operation Charles’ as had been intended. Dupleix (Capt. Enright, RN). Fallowfield, RN) for Simonstown, South Africa, after fuelling from RFA Olynthus (6888 GRT, built 1918, Master L.N. Komiles (3962 GRT, built 1932), HMS Devonshire meanwhile had altered course to the northward for Dakar at 0230/14, speed 18 knots. Ever since the beginning of the war Commodore Harwood’s cruisers had worked off the east coast of South America either single or in pairs. It came from the British merchant Doric Star. The Empire Tide, which had a lot of survivors from sunken ships aboard joined the convoy early the next day. On 30 October a report from Dakar stated that the German merchant Togo (5042 GRT, built 1938) had left the Congo on 26 October, that the German merchant Pionier (3254 GRT, built 1934) had sailed from Fernando Po (now called Bioko Island) on 28 October and that five German ships had left Lobito (Angola) the same day. The Commander-in-Chief, having spent 4 July cruising about 150 nautical miles north-west of Bear Island, had turned to the south-westward in the early morning of the 5th, and was then on his way back to Scapa Flow some 120 nautical miles south-west of the force of Rear-Admiral Hamilton. H.T. HMS Inglefield was hit by a shore battery. R.H. Jameson, RNR) and HMS Northern Gem (Skr.Lt. It was hoped that the forts would be reluctant to fire on French ships and as soon as de Gaulle was firmly established the British Force would withdraw. Acworth, OBE, RN), HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. By 2000/25, HMS Barham was about 100 nautical miles south of Dakar steering south at 7 knots. This was done. Olopana (6069 GRT, built 1920), She was picked up again at 1009/19. Nothing more was heard from the Free French officers that had been landed. For some three hours that afternoon all contact was lost with General de Gaulle and the French transports. H.G. HMS Exeter which had arrived at the Falklands on 31 October for repairs, sailed again on 4 November to meet up with HMS Cumberland off the Plate on 10 November, but the Commodore ordered her to enter Mar del Plata for a 24-hour visit on the 9th. (9), 28 Aug 1944During 28/29 August 1944, HrMs Tromp (A/Capt. Glennie, RN) escorted by the Canadian destroyers HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. In October the Eastern Fleet was used as a diversion force and attacked the Nicobar Islands, so that the landings on Leyte could take place, unfortunately the diversion did not succeed. Please note that we're still working on this section. In the afternoon of 2 July, U-255 made a torpedo attack on one of the escorts, HMS Fury, two torpedoes were fire but both missed. At 1025 hours, HMAS Australia, identified two Le Fantasque class destroyers steering westwards and ordered them to return to harbour, backing up this order with a warning shot. M.S. S.H. At 1900/5 these ships formed into a five column convoy. Fearing an attack on the convoy by these ships was imminent the convoy was ordered to scatter at 2123/4. (Retd.) Watkin, RN). Below are just some of our members who have served at HMS Cumberland.