French soldiers & sailors during the evacuation of France, June 1940


French troops and sailors on the deck of a destroyer during the evacuation from France, June 1940. IWM HU 104603.

Advertisements

British naval losses at Dunkirk, 1 June 1940

Another day of heavy British and French losses off the port of Dunkirk and the beaches at Bray-Dunes and La Panne. Losses were due to air attack (particularly Ju-87 Stuka dive bombers), torpedo-carrying E-boats, and German army artillery sited as shore batteries.

HMS Keith (Capt E. Berthon, RN) came under sustained German air attack off La Panne. Badly damaged and with her steering disabled, Keith fought on until her ammunition was expended. A German bomb entered No. 2 boiler room and started internal fires. The order to abandon ship was given and survivors were taken off by HMS Salamander, HMS Abbs, and the “little ships.”

HMS Havant (Lt Cdr A. Burnell-Nugent, RN) carrying 500+ troops received 3 direct hits from German aircraft. The record notes: “some survivors were machine-gunned” while in the water.

HMS Havant off Dunkirk. Painting by Rex Phillips.

HMS Basilisk (Cdr M. Richmond, RN) bombed and heavily damaged by Ju-87 Stuka dive bombers. Survivors taken off by HMS Whitehall. Basilisk was scuttled by gunfire from Whitehall.

HMS Skipjack (Lr Cdr F. Proudfoot, RN) sunk by 5 direct hits from German aircraft. Skipjack had 275 evacuated troops onboard, most of whom were lost during the attack and sinking.

French Adroit-class destroyer ‘Foudroyant’ bombed & sunk by German aircraft. 137 crew and 83 soldiers rescued.

HMS Mosquito (Lt H. Gardiner, RN) bombed & sunk by German aircraft.

French auxiliary minesweeper ‘Denis Papin’ bombed and sunk by Ju-87 dive bombers.

French auxiliary minesweeper ‘La Mousaillon’ bombed & sunk by Ju-87 dive bombers.

Passenger ship SS Scotia carrying 2500 French troops sunk by German aircraft. Over 300 lost. Survivors rescued by destroyer HMS Esk and “little ships.”

HMT Argyllshire (Lt S/Lt J. Weddle, RNR) torpedoed and sunk by German E-boat S.34.


HMT Stella Dorado
(Skr W. Burgess, RNR) torpedoed & sunk by German E-boat S.34 with loss of all hands.

HMT Lord Cavan (Cdr A. Cubison, Rtd) sunk by German artillery.


HMS St Abbs
, carrying 120+ survivors from HMS Keith, sunk by German aircraft.

HMS St Fagan (Lt Cdr G. Warren, RN) bombed and sunk by German aircraft.

British naval losses at Dunkirk on 30 may 1940

There were fewer losses of major vessels on 30 May compared to the previous day, due in part to the decision of Capt Wm. Tennant, SNO Dunkirk, to only allow one destroyer at a time to enter the harbour. This ensured that there was less congestion and fewer targets were presented to German aircraft.

HMS King Orry (Cdr J. Elliot, RNR), a passenger steamer from the Isle of Man Steam Packet company requisitioned by the Royal Navy for use as an Armed Boarding Vessel (ABV) in both the First and Second World War, attacked and badly damaged by German dive bombers. Scuttled clear of the harbour.

Isle of Man Steam Packet Tynwald passes wreck of sister ship King Orry at Dunkirk.

French destroyer Bourrasque struck a mine off Nieuwpoort, Beligium (ironically, a French-laid minefield). Survivors taken off by French torpedo boat Branlebas, Admiralty drifter Yorkshire Lass, and armed trawler HMT Ut Prosim.

French destroyer Bourrasque mined and sunk off Nieuwpoort on 30 May 1940

French destroyer Bourrasque sunk off Nieuwpoort, Belgium on 30 May 1940 during Operation Dynamo. She had sailed from Dunkirk at 1530 with over 600 troops embarked. She struck a mine 5-miles north of Nieuwpoort and began to sink. Survivors were taken off by the French torpedo boat Branlebas, Admiralty drifter Yorkshire Lass, and the armed trawler HMT Ut Prosim.

French destroyer Bourrasque sunk by mine off Nieuwpoort on 30 May 1940. IWM HU 2280.

French destroyer Bourrasque sunk by mine off Nieuwpoort on 30 May 1940. IWM HU 2280.

Pre-war & post-war frigate strength, 1939-1958

World navies comparative frigate strengths from 1939 to 1958.

Year USN RN Fr Ne USSR
1939 43 46

5
1941 22
1945 482 598 35 6 48
1948 13
1950 11
1951 36 44 16
1952 89
1954 33
1955 60
1957 71 26 61
1952 18

Source: Friedman, Norman. The Postwar Naval Revolution. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1986.

Pre-war & post-war destroyer strength, 1939-1958

World navies comparative destroyer (DD) strengths from 1939 to 1958.

Year USN RN Fr Ne USSR
1939 127 100 57 8
1941 42
1945 372 108 15 5 45
1948 135
1950 109
1951 28 11 5
1952 211
1954 26
1955 140
1957 212 19 19
1952 12

Source: Friedman, Norman. The Postwar Naval Revolution. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1986.

VIDEO: Carrier trials of SEPECAT Jaguar M on FS Clemenceau (July 1970)

Carrier trails of the SEPECAT Jaguar “M” prototype aboard the French aircraft carrier Clemenceau in July 1970.

From Wikipedia:

An “M” prototype flew in November 1969. The “M” had a strengthened airframe, an arrestor hook and different undercarriage: twin nosewheel and single mainwheels. After testing in France it went to RAE at Thurleigh for carrier landing trials from their land based catapult. In July 1970 it made real take offs and landings from the French carrier Clemenceau. From these trials there were doubts about the throttle response in case of an aborted landing; the shipboard testing has also revealed problems with the aircraft’s handling when flying on one engine, although planned engine improvements were to have rectified these problems. The “M” was considered a suitable replacement for the Etendard IV but the Aeronavale would only be able to purchase 60 instead of 100 aircraft.

Furthermore, the Jaguar M was expensive, limiting the size of the force the French Navy could afford. In 1971, Dassault proposed the Super Étendard, claiming that it was a simpler and cheap development of the existing Étendard IV, and in 1973, the French Navy agreed to order it instead of the Jaguar, although rising costs of the Super Étendard meant that only 71 of the planned 100 aircraft were purchased. The M was cancelled by the French government in 1973.