Ships hit by U-boats

HMS Matabele (G 26)

British Destroyer

Photo from Imperial War Museum (IWM), A-6591

NameHMS Matabele (G 26)
Type:Destroyer (Tribal)
Tonnage1,870 tons
Completed1939 - Scott´s Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd, Greenock 
OwnerThe Admiralty 
Date of attack17 Jan 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-454 (Burckhard Hackländer)
Position69° 21'N, 35° 27'E - Grid AC 8945
Complement238 officers and men (236 dead and 2 survivors).
RouteUK - Murmansk 
History Completed in January 1939 
Notes on event

At 22.21 hours on 17 January 1942 HMS Matabele (G 26) (Cdr A.C. Stanford, DSC, RN), escorting convoy PQ-8, was hit by one torpedo from U-454 in the stern, which caused her magazines to blow up and the ship sank within two minutes off Kola Inlet. The survivors were unable to release the Carley floats because they were frozen in their lashings and had to jump overboard. Some of them were killed when the depth charges of the sinking destroyer detonated, but the most died of hypothermia in the icy water before they could be rescued. Only two of the four men picked up by HMS Harrier (J 71) (Capt E.P. Hinton, DSO, RN) survived.

The U-boat had reported an earlier hit on a destroyer at 18.54 hours and a previous shot that missed. All attacks were probably against the same destroyer.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 238 people who were on board

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Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
(£ 38.25)

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