Allied Warships


The corvette HMCS Spikenard of the Flower class. She was lost on 11 Feb 1942.

The corvette was born out of dire need at the beginning of World War Two for something to fill the gap until the larger destroyers could be brought on line. The design used was an untested one based on a whaling ship.

The corvettes could sail at 16 knots while the surfaced U-boats could manage 17-18 knots. They were short and had a broad beam which allowed them to patrol in a fierce weather while most other escort vessels could only concentrate on survival. This hull design also made them "roll on a wet grass" as one quote has it, they were very lively at sea and during the worst storms even the most hardened naval veterans felt uneasy for sea-sickness. But they served very well and never gave the U-boats any break due to bad weather. Over 20 corvettes were lost to U-boats.

Eventually roughly half of the escorts in the North Atlantic convoys were corvettes.

The most famous class of corvettes was the Flower class which was a formidable U-boat hunter.

All Corvette classes

The list is divided by navy, then ordered by commissioned date of each class (oldest first).


Royal Navy

 Flower (196)1940 - 1944
 Flower (rev.) (42)1942 - 1944
 Castle (39)1943 - 1945

Italian Navy

 Gabbiano (19)1942 - 1943

Please note that we list the classes by navies that initiated/owned the class. Often vessels of certain classes were then built for other nations (or lent), those ships are not visible here but only through the navies pages or by looking into each class.

War losses: Corvettes



22 Jun 1940FR La BastiaiseFlower 
6 Sep 1940HMS Godetia (i) (K 72)Flower 


12 Aug 1941HMS Picotee (K 63)Flower 
23 Aug 1941HMS Zinnia (K 98)Flower 
19 Sep 1941HMCS Levis (i) (K 115)Flower 
14 Oct 1941HMS Fleur de Lys (K 122)Flower 
17 Oct 1941HMS Gladiolus (K 34)Flower 
7 Dec 1941HMCS Windflower (K 155)Flower 
24 Dec 1941HMS Salvia (K 97)Flower 


5 Feb 1942HMS Arbutus (i) (K 86)Flower 
9 Feb 1942FFL Alysse (K 100)Flower 
11 Feb 1942HMCS Spikenard (K 198)Flower 
9 Apr 1942HMS Hollyhock (K 64)Flower 
6 May 1942HMS Auricula (K 12)Flower 
9 Jun 1942FFL Mimosa (K 11)Flower 
11 Sep 1942HMCS Charlottetown (i) (K 244)Flower 
9 Nov 1942HMS Gardenia (K 99)Flower 
18 Nov 1942HNoMS Montbretia (K 208)Flower 
9 Dec 1942HMS Marigold (K 87)Flower 
19 Dec 1942HMS Snapdragon (K 10)Flower 


30 Jan 1943HMS Samphire (K 128)Flower 
6 Feb 1943HMCS Louisburg (i) (K 143)Flower 
9 Feb 1943HMS Erica (K 50)Flower 
22 Feb 1943HMCS Weyburn (K 173)Flower 
21 Sep 1943HMS Polyanthus (K 47)Flower 


10 Mar 1944HMS Asphodel (K 56)Flower 
8 Aug 1944HMCS Regina (K 234)Flower 
21 Aug 1944HMCS Alberni (K 103)Flower 
21 Aug 1944HMS Orchis (K 76)Flower 
1 Sep 1944HMS Hurst Castle (K 416)Castle 
26 Oct 1944HNoMS Rose (K 102)Flower 
25 Nov 1944HMCS Shawinigan (K 136)Flower 
12 Dec 1944HNoMS Tunsberg Castle (K 374)Castle 


13 Feb 1945HMS Denbigh Castle (K 696)Castle 
17 Feb 1945HMS Bluebell (K 80)Flower 
20 Feb 1945HMS Vervain (K 190)Flower 
22 Feb 1945HMCS Trentonian (K 368)Flower (rev.) 

37 Corvettes lost. See all Allied Warship losses.

See all Allied Warship types

Frigates of the Royal Canadian Navy 1943-1974

MacPherson, Ken

Books dealing with this subject include:

The Battle of the Atlantic, Bailey, Chris Howard (ed.), 1994
A Bloody War, Lawrence, Hal, 1990
British destroyers & frigates, Norman Friedman, 2006
British Warships of the Second World War, Roberts, John, 2001
Corvette and Submarine, Shean, Max, 1992
Corvette Command, Monsarrat, Nicholas, 1944
The Corvette Navy, Lamb, James B., 2000
Corvettes of the Royal Canadian Navy, 1939-1945, MacPherson, Ken and Milner, Marc, 2001
The Cruel Sea, Monsarrat, Nicholas, 1999 (transl.)
East Coast Corvette, Monsarrat, Nicholas, 2001
Flower Class Corvette Agassiz, McKay, John and Harland, John, 1993
Flower Class Corvettes, Preston, Anthony and Raven, Alan, 1982
Frigates of the Royal Canadian Navy 1943-1974, MacPherson, Ken, 1998
The Good Shepherd, Forester, C.S., 1955 (transl.)
H.M. Corvette, Monsarrat, Nicholas, 2001

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