Allied Warships

HMS Andania

Armed Merchant Cruiser

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeArmed Merchant Cruiser
Class[No specific class] 
Built byHawthorn Leslie & Co. (Hebburn-on-Tyne, U.K.) 
Laid down 
Launched1 Nov 1921 
Commissioned28 Oct 1939 
Lost16 Jun 1940 
Loss position62° 36'N, 15° 09'W

In September 1939 the passenger ship Andania of the Cunard White Star Ltd, Liverpool was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to an armed merchant cruiser. Conversion was completed on 28 October 1939.

Displacement: 13950 BRT
Armament: 8x 152mm, 2x 76mm
Speed: 15 knots

November 39 - June 40: Northern Patrol.

At 00.27 hours on 16 June 1940 HMS Andania (Capt. Donald Keppel Bain, RN) was hit by one torpedo from the German submarine U-A about 230 nautical miles west-northwest of the Faroe Islands in position 62º36'N, 15º09'W. The ship sank slowly and the crew was taken off by the Icelandic trawler Skallagrímur, so only two men were injured. The trawler continued its course to Hull, but HMS Forester (H 74) took the men off the trawler 36 hours after the rescue.


Hit by U-boat
Sunk on 16 Jun 1940 by UA (Cohausz).

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

Commands listed for HMS Andania

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and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Capt. Donald Keppel Bain, RN18 Sep 193916 Jun 1940

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Notable events involving Andania include:

15 Jun 1940

Sinking of the armed merchant cruiser HMS Andania.

At 2330/15 (0030/16 German time), the armed merchant cruiser HMS Andania (Capt. D.K. Bain, RN) was torpedoed and heavily damaged by the German submarine U-A south-west of Iceland in position 62°36'N, 15°09'W. The ship sank slowly by the stern and the crew was taken off by the Icelandic trawler Skallagrímur.

In response the destroyer HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN) was sent from the Faroes. HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Roper, RN), which was part of the escort of a transport ship from Scapa Flow to the Faroes was also ordered to leave this transport ship and proceed to the attack position. HMS Amazon however had to return to Scapa Flow with defects and arrived there around 1115/17.

At 0200/16, the destroyer HMS Kelvin (Lt.Cdr. J.L. Machin, RN) departed Scapa Flow to assist. She was later ordered to proceed to the Faroes.

At 0240/16, the destroyers HMS Ashanti (Cdr. W.G. Davis, RN) and HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, DSO, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Reykjavik, Iceland. They were to try to find the Icelandic trawler Skallagrímur which had the survivors of the Andania on board. They could however not find the trawler in the low visibility. These two destroyers were later ordered to hunt a German submarine which was reported to be near Reykjavik.

It was HMS Forester who encountered the trawler on the 16th but the survivors could not be transferred due to the weather conditions.

On the 17th it was possible to take over the survivors and they were taken to Scapa Flow by HMS Forester. She arrived there at 2230/17. (1)


  1. ADM 199/376

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

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