Allied Warships

HMS Belfast (35)

Light cruiser of the Belfast class

Photo courtesy of Paul Johnson Collection

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeLight cruiser
Built byHarland & Wolff (Belfast, Northern Ireland) 
Ordered15 Aug 1936 
Laid down10 Dec 1936 
Launched17 Mar 1938 
Commissioned3 Aug 1939 
End serviceFeb 1963 

Decommissioned in February 1963.
This ship is on display at London on the Thames river, a must see if one is in the area.


Hit by U-boat
Damaged on 21 Nov 1939 by U-21 (Frauenheim).

U-boat AttackSee our U-boat attack entry for the HMS Belfast

Commands listed for HMS Belfast (35)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

1Capt. George Arthur Scott, DSC, RN24 Apr 19394 Jan 1940

2Capt. Charles Maurice Blackman, DSO, RN19 Jun 19404 Jul 1940

3Capt. Frederick Robertson Parham, RN29 Sep 194224 Jul 1944
4Capt. Royer Mylius Dick, DSC, RN24 Jul 194412 Jul 1946

You can help improve our commands section
Click here to Submit events/comments/updates for this vessel.
Please use this if you spot mistakes or want to improve this ships page.

Notable events involving Belfast include:

31 Aug 1939
Around 1800 hours, the Home Fleet departed Scapa Flow to patrol between Scotland, Iceland and Norway for returning German merchant vessels.

Ships that participated in this patrol were; battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. G.J.A. Miles, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. Sir E.N. Syfret, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (Capt. A.J. Power, RN), light cruisers HMS Aurora (Capt. G.B. Middleton, RN), HMS Sheffield (Capt. E. de F. Renouf, CVO, RN), HMS Belfast (Capt. G.A. Scott, DSC, RN) (from the 18th Cruiser Squadron), HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN), HMS Cardiff (Capt. P.K. Enright, RN), HMS Dunedin (Capt. C.E. Lambe, CVO, RN), HMS Emerald (Capt. A.W.S. Agar, VC, DSO, RN) (from the 12th Cruiser Squadron), HMS Caledon (Capt. C.P. Clark, RN), HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN), HMS Diomede (Capt. E.B.C. Dicken, RN), HMS Dragon (Capt. R.G. Bowes-Lyon, MVO, RN) (from the 7th Cruiser Squadron. These ships were escorted by destroyers from the 8th Destroyer Flotilla; HMS Faulknor (Capt. C.S. Daniel, RN), HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, RN), HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN), HMS Fortune (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, RN), HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. P.H. Hadow, RN) and HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN).

To patrol off the Skagerrak was the battlecruiser squadron which was made up of the battlecruisers HMS Hood (Capt. Sir I.G. Glennie, RN), HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) which were escorted by destroyers from the 6th Destroyer Flotilla; HMS Somali (Capt. R.S.G. Nicholson, DSC, RN), HMS Ashanti (Cdr. W.G. Davis, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Eskimo (Cdr. St. J.A. Micklethwait, RN), HMS Mashona (Cdr. P.V. McLaughlin, RN), HMS Matabele (Cdr. G.K. Whitmy-Smith, RN), HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, RN) and HMS Tartar (Capt. G.H. Warner, DSC, RN). (1)

9 Oct 1939
The German passenger ship Cap Norte (13615 GRT) is captured in the North Atlantic by the British light cruiser HMS Belfast (Capt. G.A. Scott, DSC, RN) in approximate position 63°00'N, 10°00'W.

21 Nov 1939
HMS Belfast (Capt. G.A. Scott, DSC, RN) hit a magnetic mine in the Firth of Forth in approximate position 56°05'N, 02°32'W. This mine was laid on 4 November 1939 by German U-boat U-21. The explosion broke the ships back and caused extensive damage. HMS Belfast was decommissioned at Rosyth on 4 January 1940 for temporary repairs. Mid 1940 she shifted to the Devonport Dockyard at Plymouth to be repaired.

2 Aug 1943
HMS Stubborn (Lt. A.A. Duff, RN) conducted attack exercises off Scapa Flow during which HMS Belfast (Capt. F.R. Parham, RN) served as target. (2)

29 Sep 1943
HMS Tuna (Lt. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and Bar, RN) conducted practice attacks on USS Tuscaloosa (Capt. J.B.W. Waller, USN) and HMS Belfast (Capt. F.R. Parham, RN). (3)

14 Jun 1945
HMS Sea Devil (Lt. D.W. Mills, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises at Scapa Flow with HMS Caesar (Capt. G.N. Brewer, DSO, RN). Also a practice attack was carried out on this destroyer.

Later this day an RDF tracking exercises was carried out with HMS Belfast (Capt. R.M. Dick, CBE, DSC, RN). (4)


  1. ADM 199/393
  2. ADM 173/18137
  3. ADM 173/18312
  4. ADM 173/19596

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.

Return to the Allied Warships section