Allied Warships

HMS Effingham (D 98)

Light cruiser of the Cavendish class

HMS Effingham during the Norwegian Campaign

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeLight cruiser
PennantD 98 
ModLight cruiser 
Built byPortsmouth Dockyard (Portsmouth, U.K.): Harland & Wolff (Belfast, Northern Ireland) 
OrderedDec 1915 
Laid down2 Apr 1917 
Launched8 Jun 1921 
Commissioned2 Jul 1925 
Lost18 May 1940 
Loss position67° 17'N, 13° 58'E

In 1937 HMS Effingham was extensively refitted and re-armed as a light cruiser. Her 7.5-inch guns were replaced by nine 6-inch and her single 4-inch AA guns by twin mountings. Her two funnels were replaced by one, unraked, to give her an appearance markedly similar to that of the later Leander class.

On 18 May 1940 HMS Effingham (Capt. John Montagu Howson, RN) was carrying the 2nd Battalion, South Wales Borderers, as well as other troops, from Ankenes to Bodo.
Traveling at 23 knots, outside the Norwegian Leads to minimize the risk of air attack, she was only 1 hour away from her destination when she struck a rock in the Fasken Shoal, near Harstad, between Briksvaer and Terra islands in position 67º17'N, 13º58'E.
Ironically, the rock was clearly marked on the navigational chart, but it had been obscured by the navigator's penciled track, and the ship was dead on course! Luckily, there were no casualties, but the ship, impaled on the rock, flooded and could not be moved. She was declared a total loss. The ships crew was taken off by HMS Cairo, HMS Coventry, HMS Echo and HMS Matabele. She was finally destroyed by torpedo and gunfire from HMS Matabele to prevent her capture by the Germans on 21 May 1940.  

Commands listed for HMS Effingham (D 98)

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1Capt. John Montagu Howson, RN17 Apr 193918 May 1940

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Notable events involving Effingham include:

4 Sep 1939
Allocated to the Northern Patrol in the 12th Cruiser Sqn, then escorted North Atlantic convoys until the end of the year.

Nov 1939
Transported ?2 millions in gold to Halifax, Canada. Due to her high endurance she was then attached to the Atlantic hunting groups searching for German raiders.

Apr 1940
Moved to the North Sea for the Norwegian campaign. She was missed by U-38 in April.
Employed in shelling German positions in and around Narvik until mid-May.

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