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ROYAL NAVY SOUTH ATLANTIC COMMAND - ROYAL NAVY C D SHIPS *

23)DEVONSHIRE (HEAVY CRUISER)



Photo. www.wikipedia.org



Completed: 1929


Displacement: 9,750 tons standard, 13,315 tons full load


Length: 633 ft


Beam: 66 ft


Draught: 21 ft


Propulsion: Eight Admiralty 3-drum boilers, Four shaft Parsons geared turbines, 80,000 shp (60 MW)


Armament: 8 x BL 8 inch (203 mm L/50) Mk.VIII in twin mounts Mk.I*, 4-8 x QF 4 inch (102 mm L/45) Mk.V in single mounts HA Mk.III, 4 x QF 2 pdr (40 mm L/39) Mk.II in single mounts HA Mk.I, 8 x QF 0.5 inch (12.7 mm L/50) Mk.III in quad mounts Mk.I, 8 x 21 inch (533 mm) torpedoes in quad mounts


Complement: 784


Speed: 32 kts


Aircraft carried: One Supermarine Walrus, one catapult


She was part of the force for the raid on Dakar in August 1940 (Operation Menace, when she shelled ships and batteries in and around the port. When the attack was abandoned she was employed in operations against Vichy French territories on the coast of equatorial Africa, blockading theCameroons and Gabon. She was involved in the search for the German raider Kormoran in the South Atlantic, and during her time off South Africa under the command of Captain R. D. Oliver, captured an entire Vichy French convoy east of the Cape of Good Hope, on 2 November 1941.


On 21 November 1941, under the command of Captain R. D. Oliver, and with the help of herSupermarine Walrus observation planeDevonshire located and then sank a German merchant raider, the auxiliary cruiser Atlantis, at a range of 14–15 km. Seven German sailors were killed.


HMS Devonshire rescued  the master and 34 crew members from the British merchant Congonian sunk 18 Nov 40 by U-65 in pos. 08º 21’N 16º 12’W. Survivors landed at Freetown on 29 November.


Below some details of the life of HMS Devonshire in the south Atlantic station 


Thursday, 2nd February 1941


H.M.S. DEVONSHIRE left Simonstown at 1040 GMT for St Helena to fuel, and rendezvous with convoy WS 5 A in position 004-00N, 010-22W at 0800/10 January. Speed 18 knots.


Monday, 6th January 1941


H.M.S. DEVONSHIRE fuelled at St Helena.


Tuesday, 7th January 1941


H.M.S. DEVONSHIRE left St Helena p.m. to rendezvous with convoy WS 5 A in position 004-00N, 010-22W.


Wednesday, 8th January 1941


H.M.S.HAWKINS escorting convoy WS 5 A (SETTLER, BHUTAN, DELANE, ORBITA, RANGITIKI, ATREUS, CITY OF LONDON, ELIZABETHVILLE (Belgian), EMPIRE ABILITY, ADVISER, TAMAROA, COSTA RICA (Dutch), NEURALIA, BARRISTER, CITY OF CANTERBURY, ANSELM, STENTOR, BENRINNES, MENELAUS, CITY OF DERBY, ARABISTAN) left Freetown for rendezvous with DEVONSHIRE and subsequently for Durban, speed 11 knots. Force K (NORFOLK and FORMIDABLE) also acted as escort. Local escort was supplied by VELOX, VIDETTE, MILFORD, BRIDGEWATER, ASPHODEL, and CALENDULA.


Thursday, 9th January 1941


H.M.S. DEVONSHIRE rendezvoused with convoy WS 5 A in position 004-00N, 010-22W, and relieved Force K, as escort, to continue with a sweep though H35, H34, I34.


Tuesday, 21st January 1941


H.M.S. SHROPSHIRE rendezvoused with convoy WS 5 A, Freetown to Durban, in position 35-45S, 19-07E at 0800GMT and relieving H.M.S. DEVONSHIRE as escort. H.M.S. DEVONSHIRE then proceeded to Simonstown, arriving 1403GMT.


Wednesday, 22nd January 1941


H.M.S. DRAGON left Simonstown 0630GMT, speed 16 knots, followed by H.M.S. DEVONSHIRE at 0930GMT, speed 24 knots.


On H.M.S. DEVONSHIRE overtaking H.M.S. DRAGON, both ships proceeded to St Helena covering the western edge of Cape/Freetown trade route, speed of advance 18 knots.


Wednesday, 22nd January 1941


H.M.S. DRAGON left Simonstown 0630GMT, speed 16 knots, followed by H.M.S. DEVONSHIRE at 0930GMT, speed 24 knots.


On H.M.S. DEVONSHIRE overtaking H.M.S. DRAGON, both ships proceeded to St Helena covering the western edge of Cape/Freetown trade route, speed of advance 18 knots.


Saturday, 4th April 42


DEVONSHIRE sailed from Freetown, returning the same day after complying with Admiralty message timed 0130A of 4th.


Tuesday, 7th April  42


Convoy A.S. 2 United States to West African ports sailed for Capetown, escorted by DEVONSHIRE, ALDENHAM, and GROVE.


Wednesday, 28th April 1943


H.M. Ships WARSPITE, DEVONSHIRE, QUALITY, QUILLIAM, QUEENSBURY (n.b. QUEENBOROUGH), and QUAIL all arrived Freetown from Capetown on passage to the United Kingdom and escorting Convoy C.F. 12.


 

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