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HMS Abdiel - World Naval Ships Directory

HMS Abdiel

Name : HMS Abdiel
Laid Down : 6th May 1915
Launched : 12th October 1915
Completed : 26th March 1915
Type : Minelayer
Class : Marksman
Builder : Cammell Laird
Country : UK
Pennants : H32
Fate : Laid down as Ithuriel, renamed Abdiel before launch. Sold July 1936.

On commissioning on 26 March 1916,[3] Abdiel joined the Grand Fleet, based at Scapa Flow in the Orkneys. Abdiel, under the command of Commander Berwick Curtis was employed carrying out night-time minelaying missions in the Heliogoland Bight and off Horns Reef. Abdiel accompanied the Grand Fleet at the Battle of Jutland on 31 May/1 June 1916. During the main fleet engagement, Abdiel was on the disengaged side of Jellicoe's battleships,[ After nightfall, Jellicoe ordered Abdiel to lay a minefield in the expected path of the retreating German fleet, to the northwest of Sylt. Abdiel successfully laid her mines between 01:24 and 02:04. Later that morning, the German battleship Ostfriesland struck a mine laid by Abdiel on 4 May, blowing a hole 12.2 m 4.9 m (40 ft 16 ft), and causing damage that kept Ostfriesland in dock until 26 July. Abdiel continued her minelaying operations through 1917 and into 1918, with her earlier solo missions being superseded by more complex operations involving more ships which resulted in larger minefields being laid. In February 1918, the 20th Destroyer Flotilla, a specialist minelaying flotilla based at Immingham on the Humber, was formed, with Curtis in command and Abdiel as his flagship, tasked with mining the swept channels that German minesweepers made in existing minefields. On 27 March 1918, while laying minefield A34 70 nmi (81 mi; 130 km) north-west of Heligoland, Abdiel, together with Legion, Telemachus, Vanquisher, Ariel and Ferret encountered three armed German trawlers, Polarstern, Mars and Scharbentz. All three trawlers were sunk and 72 prisoners were captured. During July 1918, Abdiel underwent a much needed refit. On 1 August 1918, Abdiel was leading the 20th Flotilla on its way to lay minefield A67 when the flotilla ran into a German minefield, with the destroyers Vehement and Ariel striking mines. Ariel sank quickly with the loss of 49 of her crew, but Abdiel took the remains of Vehement in tow. (Vehement's bow had been blown off by the explosion, which killed 48 of her crew). The attempt proved unsuccessful, however, with the tow having to be abandoned and Vehement was scuttled. The Flotilla continued its minelaying operations until the end of the war, with Abdiel laying 6293 mines during the war.

Abdiel continued as leader of the 20th Flotilla following the end of the war, and when the 20th Flotilla was sent to the Baltic to provide minelaying support to the British intervention in the Russian Civil War, Abdiel with Curtiss still in command, went at its head. The 20th Flotilla arrived in the Baltic at the end of June 1919, but on 12 July Abdiel and five destroyers were sent back to England in order to escort a flotilla of eight Coastal Motor Boats (CMBs) from their base at Osea Island, Essex to Biorko, Finland. While one of the CMBs sank under tow, the other seven boats successfully reached their destination. The 20th Flotilla, supported by the minelayer Princess Margaret, then reverted to its main role of laying minefields to contain the Bolshevik Baltic Fleet.[29] On 31 August, Abdiel and Vittoria had anchored near Seskar Island while on patrol and were spotted by the Bolshevik submarine Pantera, which fired two torpedoes, which sunk Vittoria. Abdiel rescued all but eight of Vittoria's crew, while Pantera returned to Kronstadt.[30] Minelaying operations were completed by the middle of September, but Abdiel and part of the 20th Flotilla remained in the Baltic.[31] On 8 October 1919, pro-Baltic German forces under the command of Pavel Bermondt-Avalov attempted to seize the Latvian capital Riga. Abdiel, anchored on the Dvina river in Riga came under heavy fire on 10 October, being forced to move out of range of the shelling by Bermondt's forces. Bermondt's attack was repelled by the Latvians following a bombardment by British and French warships, and on 26 October, the 20th Flotilla was relieved and set out on its journey back to the United Kingdom. In August 1920, Abdiel was reduced to reserve at the Nore,[34] and in 1926, underwent a refit, refubishing her machinery and retubing her boilers. She was also fitted to carry larger mines during this period. On completing this refit, Abdiel reached a speed of 31 knots (57 km/h; 36 mph) during sea trials.[ In 1928, Abdiel returned to the reserve, where she remained until 1936. In July that year Abdiel was sold for scrap to Rees of Llanelly.[

Timeline Entries :


June 1915 - Converted to a minelayer
12th October 1915 - Launched
31st May 1916 - Cdr. Berwick Curtis in Command
31st May 1916 - Cdr Curtis in Command
31st May 1916 - Took part in the Battle of Jutland
May 1918 - 20th Destroyer Flotilla. Immingham
November 1918 - 20th Destroyer Flotilla. Immingham
24th June 1919 - Arrived Immingham
27th June 1919 - Sailed Immingham for Copenhagen
21st December 1919 - Sailed Harwich
19th February 1920 - Recommissioned at Chatham for service in the Nore Reserve.
26th July 1924 - Fleet Review at Spithead
1st October 1932 - Eng. Lt. Cmdr. R. S. Southin in Command
1st October 1932 - In reserve. The Nore
October 1936 - Sold for scrapping

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Database Currently Holds : 6273 ships and 6288 crew!

Last edited : 07:01, January 2, 2017
By : HMS


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