HMS Warspite

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Battleship histories. Royal naval battleship HMS Warspite. Battleship website dedicated to the history of HMS Warspite from launch to participation in major wars also notice board for families of ex-crew of HMS Warspite.

HMS WARSPITE was built at Devonport, Plymouth and launched 26th November 1913, Took part in  the Battle of Jutland. and sustained 15hits and was close to foundering. at the battle of Narvik in April 1940 HMS Warspite to part in the Battle of cape Matapan and in May 1941 took part in the battle of Crete, where is sustained damage by a heavy bomb hit. on the 16th September during the Landings at Salerno, she was hit by a German Glider bomb, she was towed to Gibraltar for temporary repairs and fully repaired at Rosyth in March 1944. In June 1944 she was deployed at Normandy with only three functioning main Turrets, she also took part in the bombardment of Brest, Le Havre and Walcheren. She was sold for Scrap in early 1947, and during the voyage to the Breakers she ran aground at Mounts Bay, and was broken up in situ over the following five years. 

HMS WARSPITE was built at Devonport, Plymouth and launched 26th November 1913, Took part in the Battle of Jutland. and sustained 15hits and was close to foundering. at the battle of Narvik in April 1940 HMS Warspite to part in the Battle of cape Matapan and in May 1941 took part in the battle of Crete, where is sustained damage by a heavy bomb hit. on the 16th September during the Landings at Salerno, she was hit by a German Glider bomb, she was towed to Gibraltar for temporary repairs and fully repaired at Rosyth in March 1944. In June 1944 she was deployed at Normandy with only three functioning main Turrets, she also took part in the bombardment of Brest, Le Havre and Walcheren. She was sold for Scrap in early 1947, and during the voyage to the Breakers she ran aground at Mounts Bay, and was broken up in situ over the following five years. 

(Photograph shows HMS Warspite, HMS Cardiff and HMS Ceres at Malta).

Displacement: 29,700   Speed: 23.0 knots   Compliment: 950 and up to 1,220 in 1918

Armament: Eight 15-inch guns in pairs and fourteen 6 -inch guns.  Two 3 inch Anti Aircraft Guns in 1917, two 4-inch anti aircraft guns.

HMS Warspite, 1918.

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HMS Warspite, 1913.

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HMS Warspite, 1924.

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HMS Warspite, 1934.

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HMS Warspite, 1934.

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HMS Warspite, 1934.

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HMS Warspite, 1934.

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HMS Warspite, 1934.

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HMS Warspite, 1934.

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HMS Warspite, 1939.

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HMS Warspite, August 1943.

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HMS Warspite being broken up at Prussia Cove, April 1949.

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HMS Warspite being broken up, Marazion, October 1952.

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HMS Warspite being broken up, Marazion, October 1952.

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HMS Warspite pictured c.1933.

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HMS Warspite

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HMS Warspite serving with the Mediterranean fleet

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HMS Warspite

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HMS Warspite on rocks near Penzance

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HMS Warspite

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HMS Warspite

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HMS Warspite

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HMS Warspite with HMS Barham, HMS Assistance and HMS Volunteer at Genoa, 1920's.

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HMS Warspite

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HMS Warspite.

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HMS Warspite.

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HMS Warspite.

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Crew of HMS Warspite at Malta, c.1930s.

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Charles and Horace Cave with family. One of these men served on HMS Warspite.

Crew members of HMS Warspite 1938Frederick Trudgett , extreme right. Photo supplied by Freda Lally, Frederick Trudgetts daughter.  

Group of crew members of shore leaveFrederick Trudgett, first sailor on left.  Photo supplied by Freda Lally, Frederick Trudgetts daughter.

Photos in this section generously contributed by Stephen Wyles, whose grandfather, George Wyles,  was the Diver aboard the Warspite until the Battle of Crete, where he lost a leg.  If you know any of the people in these photographs, please let us know

Some of the crew at the bow of the Warspite.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

More crew of the Warpsite, George Wyles back middle.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Recovering after the Battle of Crete.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Recovering after the Battle of Crete.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Some crew of the Warspite, with George Wyles in the middle of the front row.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

George Wyles on the right.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

George Wyles - Navy diver of the Warspite.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

George Wyles and another of the crew of the Warspite.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

George Wyles recovering in hospital.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Some of the crew of the Warspite.  George Wyles kneeling, bottom right.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Crew of the Warspite recovering in hospital after the Battle of Crete.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

George Wyles with two shipmates of the Warspite.  George is in the middle.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

HMS Warspite at Malta.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Looking out from HMS Warspite.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Some of the crew of HMS Warspite.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

George Wyles and other crew of the Warspite thanking the nurses who helped them to recover after the Battle of Crete.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Some crew of the Warspite on deck.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

Some of the crew of the Warspite at Narvik.

Contributed by Stephen Wyles.

 

The following is a poem which was found in the possessions of Thomas Samuel Austin by his son Ianthe Exall:

 

Have you ever heard of the ?Warspite? and how she made her name,

How she smashed the German Army near the wide Catania Plain,

The Herman Goering Regiment was badly mauled that day,

When the ?Warspite? used her 15?, for the Eight she cleared the way.

Then came the day of invasion, the 5th.on Italy?s soil,

Battled with desperation, their object nearly foiled,

By ?Tiger Tanks? and Pancers, who were waiting, so it seemed,

When into the Bay of Salerno, the ?Warspite? slowly steamed.

She swung around and waited until she got in range,

Then with a noise like thunder, her 15? spoke again.

We had our own observer, a captain of Royal Marines,

And he shouted with glee, only he could see

How the tide of the battle had changed.

There were tanks and troops together smashed up like they never had been,

More terrible wreckage and carnage never before had been seen.

General Clark of the gallant 5th. Army, there on the field

Thanked the ?Old Lady? in a signal, for the lives of his men she?d redeemed.

Then she did another bombardment at a standstill, to make her aim sure,

And the fall of the shell was perfect, no guns aim had ever been truer.

It must have been ?hell? for the Germans, as the shrapnel just blew them away,

Then a bomb came down from the heavens, it was 2000lbs. maybe more

And smashed right down by the funnel, we were only two miles from the shore.

Right down through her decks it travelled, a rocket bomb was its name,

We lost some good chums, all good shipmates, Hard luck, it was War it?s no game.

She shuddered and lurched as it struck her, for a minute she couldn?t be seen

As the debris shot up towards heaven, closely followed by white scalding steam.

We all thought the ?Old Lady? was finished, a true blood, she proved it that day,

As the tugs raced out to her rescue, she lurched up again, to her keel.

Under tow she set out for Malta, for six days and nights at 4 knots,

And the lads did plenty of thinking, especially the wounded in cots,

T?was a nerve wracking strain for the lads there, true Britons they stuck to their guns,

And the engine room branch worked like Trojans, all spattered in oil, twas no fun.

Down thro the Straits of Messina, the ?Old Lady? made her way,

We were all sure then that she?d make it,

That she?d live to fight on another day.

It?s all over now, we?re not sorry, to our homes we?re now on our way,

But I?ll always be proud of the ?Warspite? , God Bless her, she once won the day.

Author Unknown