Allied Warships

HMS Berwick (65)

Heavy cruiser of the Kent class

HMS Berwick in August 1942

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeHeavy cruiser
Built byFairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. (Govan, Scotland) 
Ordered26 Apr 1924 
Laid down15 Sep 1924 
Launched30 Mar 1926 
Commissioned15 Feb 1928 
End service 

Sold to be broken up for scrap on 15 June 1948. Arrived at Blyth to be broken up by Hughes Bolkow on 12 July 1948.


Commands listed for HMS Berwick (65)

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1Capt. Irving Montgomery Palmer, DSC, RN17 Oct 193822 Jun 1940
2Capt. Guy Langton Warren, RN22 Jun 194027 Apr 1941
3Cdr. Frank Michael Rokeby Stephenson, RN27 Apr 19412 May 1941
4Capt. George Haines Faulkner, DSC, RN2 May 194119 Feb 1943
5Capt. Richard Victor Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN19 Feb 194314 Apr 1943
6Capt. Henry Jack Egerton, RN14 Apr 1943Jan 1944
7Capt. Norman Vere Grace, RNJan 194410 Aug 1944
8Capt. Stephen Harry Tolson Arliss, DSO, RN10 Aug 194410 Feb 1946

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Notable events involving Berwick include:

2 Mar 1940
HMS Berwick (Capt I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN) intercepts the German merchant Wolfsburg (6201 GRT) north of Iceland in position 67°50'N, 22°45'W. However before the German ship can be captured she is scuttled by her own crew.

6 Mar 1940
HMS Berwick (Capt I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN) intercepts the German merchant Uruguay (5846 GRT) north-east of Iceland in position 68°00'N, 15°00'W. However before the German ship can be captured she is scuttled by her own crew.

9 Apr 1940
HMS Berwick (Capt I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN) participated in the Norwegian campaign. On completion of naval operations off Norway, was allocated to Force "H" at Gibraltar.

7 Nov 1940
HMS Berwick (Capt. G.L. Warren, RN) refuelled at Gibraltar then left for Alexandria in company of battleship HMS Barham (Capt G.C. Cooke, RN), light cruiser HMS Glasgow (Capt. H. Hickling, RN) and the destroyers HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St J. Morgan, RN), HMS Gallant (Lt.Cdr. C.P.F. Brown, RN), HMS Greyhound (Cdr. W.R. Marshall A'Deane, DSC, RN) and HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr J. Lee-Barber, DSO, RN).

11 Nov 1940
HMS Berwick (Capt. G.L. Warren, RN) escorted the carrier HMS Illustrious (Capt. D.W. Boyd, DSC, RN) in her successful raid against the Italian battle fleet in Taranto harbour. Later in the month escorted convoys between Egypt and Greece.

27 Nov 1940
HMS Berwick (Capt. G.L. Warren, RN) had received orders to go to Freetown on 24 November, escorting carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.W.La T. Bisset, RN) with sister ship HMS Norfolk (Capt. A.J.L. Phillips, RN), but the orders were amended to allocate her to convoy escorts in the North Atlantic.
While on passage to Gibraltar, an Italian Squadron comprising the battleships Vittorio Veneto and Andrea Doria attempted engaging the British, resulting in the Battle of Capo Teulada.
In the course of the ballistic contact, at 1222 hrs Berwick sustained a 203-mm (8") hit on "X" turret, with 7 dead and 9 wounded, and another at 1235 hrs, probably another 203 mm, which exploded in the Officer's quarters.

25 Dec 1940
Escorting convoy WS.5a, a troop convoy to the Middle East, came under attack from the German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper about 700 nautical miles west of Cape Finisterre, Spain in position 43°39'N, 25°08'W. Berwick engaged the attacker but got the worse of the encounter, HMS Berwick (Capt. G.L. Warren, RN) had received four hits one being a direct hit on the forward turret which killed five Royal Marines, repairs lasting until June 1941. Two of the merchants in the convoy were slightly damaged. The Admiral Hipper retired from the fray and she eventually reached the safety of Brest.

From 1941 to 1945 she was attached to the Home Fleet, mainly escorting convoys to North Russia and operating in the northern North Sea. In February 1942 escorted the carriers which attacked the Tirpitz in her anchorage at Altenfjord and again in 1944-45 but on the whole the remainder of her career was uneventful.

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