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HMS Saumarez
HMS Saumarez

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fred henderson



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HMS Saumarez was launched by Hawthorn Leslie in 1942 and served most of WW II supporting Russian convoys. She was one of the four destroyers involved in the torpedo attack on the Scharnhorst which prevented her escaping from the Battle of North Cape. There was a heavy sea running and the trial speed of Saumarez whas only half a knot faster than the speed of the Scharnhorst. In these conditions Saumarez managed to achieve seven more revs than she had on trials and chased the German ship for 11 minutes until she was able to fire her torpedoes. Two hit the Scharnhorst and slowed her sufficiently for the other 3 following RN destroyers to catch up and launch their torpedoes and bring the German ship to a halt. The Duke of York and her cruisers then caught up and finished off the Scharnhorst.
The Scharnhorst was about 6 miles ahead of Saumarez when she began the chase. Her Captain reported "For eleven minutes our guns fired continuously without a jam, the radar functioned faultlessly throughout, this in the face of an enemy who was firing three 11 inch guns at the ship which was naturally being thrown around in a drastic manner to avoid being hit."
The Chairman of Hawthorn Leslie was so proud of the workmanship that went into the Saumarez, that for about 15 years after the war this photo was issued to all new apprentices to inspire their future efforts.

Fred
· Date: Fri, 26 August 05 · Views: 663
· Tags: 1 · Filesize: 65.3kb, 65.3kb · Dimensions: 594 x 800 ·
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michael james

Senior Member

Registered: February 2005
Posts: 840
Fri, 26 August 05 17:55

This glorious ship ended her career over a mine in the Corf¨ strait, in 1946. The mines which sank the Saumarez had been secretly laid by Albanians, and this fact led to a crisis in the relationships between the two countries: we should note that we were at the opening of the Cold War. Among with the Saumarez, another destroyer got some trouble that day: the HMS Volage; first, she rammed the burning Saumarez in an attempt to save her crew; then she struck another mine, whose explosion torn off her bow. Howewer, she managed to reach Malta, where she was further repaired. A group of British minesweepers was sent to the area to clear the strait, and the dead sailors from the two destroyers now rests in the Corfu's cemetery.
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Doug Rogers

Registered: August 2004
Posts: 2,505
Fri, 26 August 05 21:23

Thanks for the history Michael, new she was sunk by a mine but not a lot of the rest!!.

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Doug
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Fatoldsun

Member

Registered: December 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 11
Mon, 15 December 08 17:38

If you'd like to know a bit more about H.M.S.Saumarez. Visit T.S.Saumarez. S.C.C in Teddington. There they have pictures, facts and The ships bell.
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Steve Woodward
member

Registered: September 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 1
Mon, 15 December 08 18:58

Very famoous ship, although the Scharnhorst may be her crowning glory her part in TF61 was just as derring do.
The Japanese heavy cruiser ( ten 8" and eight 5" guns) and her escorting destroyer Kamikaze where attacked in what has to be one of the classic destroyer actions of WW2, Saumarez, Verulem and Vigilant attacked the heavy cruiser from one side whilst venus and Virago attacked from the other on the 16 May 1945, smothered in a hail of 4.7" shells Haguro replied as best she could hitting Saumarez in a boiler room and severely reducing her speed, eleven torpedoes were fired with at least three hitting the target in the initial attack, Volage then missed with her run, finally venus put her last two into the cruiser finishing her off, kamikaze escaped and returned later to rescue haguro's crew.
Saumarez was the only British ship damaged and lost two of her men in the battle, she was a member of the S and T class destroyers - eight S and eight T 's, the S class were also referred to as the 5th Emergency Flotilla and the T's the 6th Emergency Flotilla of the WEP - war Emergency Plan
L362'09" B 35'08" draft 14'06" disp 1,725 tons standard and 2,500 tons full load
Standard destroyer machinery : twin screws, Parsons geared steam turbines, two admiralty 3-drum boilers 40,000 shp 36.75 knots 588 tons oil fuel
Armament : four mk9 C45 4.7" guns, these guns were given an elevation of 55 degrees making them a little better than earlier weapons in the AA role but still not a true DP gun, also carried a single twin triaxila 40mm Bofors and later twelve single 20mm oerlikons. two sets of quadruple 21" torpedo tubes and 70 depth charges ( later inc to 130) with rails aft and two or four Mk2 throwers.
The St and T classes were also linked with the U,V and W classes and were based on the earlier single funnel ships - J,K,l,M,N,O and P's but were given modified bows similar to that of the tribal classes which made them drier in a head sea, samaurez was fitted out as a Flotilla leader and as such slightly more crew - 225 men
Steve
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Pete Gallon

Registered: December 2008
Posts: 1
Fri, 19 December 08 12:17

HMS Saumarez was adopted by the town of Twickenham, Middlesex, UK, during WW2.
Twickenham Unit, Sea Cadet Corps is currently named after her (as TS) and keeps in contact with former crew members through flotilla dinners etc.
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