The loss of Royal Navy battleship HMS Victoria “on this day in history” 22 June 1893 following collision with HMS Camperdown.
Oil on canvas by A. R. D. Ligmore.
Victoria’s wreck lays off Tripoli, Lebanon.
Victoria sank in just 13-minutes, slipping into the water bow first.The men in the engine room never received orders to abandon ship and went down with her. Other men in the water were sucked down with the ship. Of her ship’s company, 357 were rescued and 358 lost.
“On this day in history” 14 June 1946, Royal Navy Battle-class destroyer HMS Gravelines (D24) was placed in commission.
Ordered in the 1942 naval estimates, Gravelines was built at Cammell Laird, Birkenhead, and launched in November 1944. She was not completed until 1946 (RN priorities towards the end of the war did not call for her immediate completion, and indeed many other Battle-class orders were cancelled) and after acceptance trails she was placed immediately in the Reserve Fleet.
In 1949, Gravelines was brought out of reserve and joined 3rd Destroyer Flotilla serving in the Mediterranean with her sister ships HMS Armada (D14), HMS Vigo (D31), and HMS Saintes (D84). Based in Malta, the flotilla served in continuation with the Mediterranean Fleet based in Malta.
In 1951, Gravelines was detached for service East of Suez, serving at Basra during a crisis over proposals for Iraqi oil nationalization.
Gravelines was in reserve again from 1953 to 1955, when she rejoined 3rd Destroyer Flotilla, serving with the Home Fleet.
In 1958, Gravelines commenced a refit at Devonport, but this was cancelled and she was laid up pending disposal. Gravelines was scrapped at Rosyth in 1961.
On this day in history 7 June 1902, the Royal Navy Formidable-class battleship HMS London was placed in commission.
HMS London at Malta, 1915.
Built at Portsmouth Dockyard, London was a battleship of the pre-dreadnought era, armed with four Armstrong Whitworth 12-inch naval guns, firing semi-armour-piercing shells weighing 850 lbs.
At the outbreak of war in 1914, London was assigned to the Channel Fleet, and later served in the Dardanelles campaign and with the Mediterranean Fleet.
In 1918, now obsolete as a battleship, London’s main armament was removed and she was converted to service as a minelayer. By 11 November 1918, London had laid 2,640 mines as part of the Northern Mine Barrage.
HMS London as minelayer, painted in dazzle camouflage, 1918.
Reduced to reserve status in 1919, London paid off in 1920 and was towed to the breaker’s yard in 1922.
Royal Navy battleships in commission with full crews, 1st April, 1905.
There were thirty four battleships in commission. Of these, twenty were assigned to Home waters, eight were with the Mediterranean Fleet, five were on the China Station, and one was employed on trooping service.
Atlantic (at Gibraltar)
King Edward VII
HMS Albemarle, 1903.
Prince of Wales
HM Bulwark, IWM Q 21052B.
Barfleur was also temporarily in commission with full crew in trooping service.
HMS Barfleur, from “The Navy and Army Illustrated” 1897.
Source: United Kingdom. Hansard Parliamentary Debates, 5th ser., vol. 47, col. 635-7W.
On this day in history…
18th July 1943 was a good day for HM Submarines, but not such a good day for the Regia Marina.
HMS Safari (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSO, DSC, RN) sunk the Italian auxiliary minesweeper No. 47/Amalia with gunfire 16 nautical miles of Cape Comino, Sardinia, Italy.
HMS Sickle (Lt. J.R. Drummond, DSC, RN) sunk the Italian auxiliary minesweepers No. 61/Costante Neri and No. 164/Rosa Madre with gunfire 7 miles north of the island of Gorgona, Italy.
HMS Torbay (Lt. R.J. Clutterbuck, RN) sunk the Italian auxiliary patrol vessel V 90/San Girolamo with gunfire south-east of Giglio, Italy.