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HMS Dorsetshire - World Naval Ships Directory

HMS Dorsetshire

Name : HMS Dorsetshire
Laid Down : 21st September 1927
Launched : 29th January 1929
Completed : 30th September 1930
Type : Cruiser
Class : Norfolk
Builder : Portsmouth
Country : UK
Pennants : 40
Fate : Sunk 5th April 1942

HMS Dorsetshire was built at Portsmouth Dockyard, launched 29th January 1929 and completed 30th September 1930. She was part of a class of two ships which included HMS Norfolk. She carried a seaplane in 1931 and had a catapult added in 1932. At the outbreak of the Second World War, HMS Dorsetshire served in the East Indies in 1939, then the South Atlantic in 1940 - 1941. She took part in the final action against the Bismarck, firing 254 shells and three torpedoes of which two finally sank the German battleship. In 1942 HMS Dorsetshire went to the Eastern Fleet and was bombed by Japanese aircraft west of Ceylon and sank, 5th April 1942.

His Majesty’s Dockyard Portsmouth launched this County class heavy cruiser on 29 January 1929 and she entered service in the Royal Navy on 30 September 1930. In 1931 she was part of the Atlantic Fleet during the Invergordon Mutiny but the incident ended before her crew joined the mutiny. In December 1939, a couple months after the declaration of war, DORSETSHIRE, with other Royal Navy heavy units, went to Uruguay in pursuit of German surface raider pocket battleship ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE, in the aftermath of the Battle of the River Plate. DORSETSHIRE left Simonstown South Africa heading for the River Plate on 13 December but had not arrived when the Germans scuttled the ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE.

In late May 1941, DORSETSHIRE was one of the ships which engaged the German battleship BISMARCK in the North Atlantic. On 27 May DORSETSHIRE torpedoed BISMARCK, after repeated aircraft attacks and naval gunfire had crippled the battleship. BISMARCK’s crew had already begun the process of scuttling the ship, which then sank rapidly. DORSETSHIRE was able to recover only 110 of BISMARCK’s crew from the sea, before leaving the scene to evade a suspected U-boat. On 21 November 1941, DORSETSHIRE took part in sinking the raider ATLANTIS. She also intercepted the German supply ship PYTHON on 1 December 1941, which was refuelling U-boats in the South Atlantic. Both submarines dived, and one of them fired torpedoes at DORSETSHIRE which missed. The crew of PYTHON scuttled their ship.

In 1942 DORSETSHIRE joined the Eastern Fleet in the Indian Ocean. Japanese dive-bombers attacked DORSETSHIRE and her sister ship CORNWALL 320 km southwest of Ceylon on 5 April 1942. Ten bombs hit DORSETSHIRE and she sank quickly; CORNWALL sank about ten minutes later. Of DORSETSHIRE's crew, 234 men died in the attack; more than 500 survived in the water or on rafts and were picked up by the cruiser ENTERPRISE and the destroyers PALADIN and PANTHER the next day.

HMS Dorsetshire Photos for Sale
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HMS Dorsetshire, 1930s.


HMS Dorsetshire, 1930s.


HMS Dorsetshire, 1935.


HMS Dorsetshire, 1941.


HMS Dorsetshire.


HMS Dorsetshire c.1930


HMS Dorsetshire.

Timeline Entries :


21st September 1927 - Laid down at Portsmouth DYd.
21st September 1927 - Laid down at Portsmouth Dockyard
29th January 1929 - Launched
29th January 1929 - Pennant Number 40
30th September 1930 - Commissioned
30th September 1930 - Commissioned
9th June 1931 - Arrived Libau
16th June 1931 - Sailed Libau
17th June 1931 - Arrived Stockholm
28th June 1931 - Sailed Stockholm
17th July 1931 - Arrived Lyme Regis
21st July 1931 - Sailed Lyme Regis
5th January 1932 - Sailed for Spring Cruise
7th January 1932 - Sailed Plymouth for Fayal
12th January 1932 - Arrived Fayal
14th January 1932 - Sailed Fayal
28th January 1932 - Arrived Anguilla
28th January 1932 - Sailed Antigua for Angilla
16th February 1932 - Sailed Barbados for St. Lucia
13th March 1932 - Arrived UK
26th April 1932 - Sailed Plymouth for Invergordon
1st October 1932 - 2nd Cruiser Squadron, Home Fleet
1st October 1932 - Flagship. Vice Admiral E. A. Astley Rushton, CB, CMG
1st October 1932 - Capt. A. J. Power in Command
28th January 1933 - Arrived Gibraltar
15th March 1933 - Sailed Palma for Gibraltar
July 1933 - Recommissioned as Flagship Of Rear-Admiral A.E. Astley-Rushton
26th September 1933 - Sailed St. Helena
26th October 1933 - Sailed Capetown for Port Elzabeth
28th January 1934 - Completed docking at Simonstown
29th January 1934 - Arrived Saldanha Bay
29th January 1934 - Sailed Simonstown for Saldhana Bay
29th January 1934 - Flagship of Vice-Admiral E.R.G.R. Evans
5th February 1934 - Arrived Simonstown
23rd March 1934 - Arrived Capetown
26th March 1934 - Arrived Simonstown
9th April 1934 - Arrived Lobito
10th April 1934 - Arrived Elephant Bay
13th April 1934 - Arrived Tiger Bay
14th April 1934 - Sailed Tiger Bay for Simonstown
18th April 1934 - Arrived Simonstown
10th May 1934 - Sailed Simonstown for Port Elizabeth
11th May 1934 - Arrived Port Elizabeth
18th May 1934 - Arrived Durban
24th May 1934 - Sailed Durban for Lourenco Marques
25th August 1934 - At Simonstown
26th September 1934 - Flagship of Vice-Admiral E.R.G.R. Evans
26th September 1934 - Sailed Simonstown
26th September 1934 - Sailed Simonstown
27th September 1934 - Sailed Simonstown for St. Helena
17th October 1934 - Arrived Freetown
3rd November 1934 - Arrived Lagos
9th November 1934 - Arrived Lobito
20th November 1934 - Arrived Simonstown
24th May 1935 - Sailed Malta
21st June 1935 - Capt A.J.L. Murray in Command
21st June 1935 - Arrived Singapore to join the 5th Cruiser Squadron, China Station
27th May 1936 - Arrived Wei Hai Wei
25th July 1936 - Arrived Tsingtao
10th October 1936 - Arrived Chinwangtao
24th October 1936 - Arrived Wei Hai Wei
28th October 1936 - Arrived Shanghai
16th November 1936 - Sailed Shanghai
12th January 1937 - Arrived Sandakan
27th February 1937 - In the Red Sea en-route to UK
7th March 1937 - Sailed Malta for Gibraltar
8th October 1937 - Sailed Colombo for Singapore
18th October 1937 - Arrived Hong Kong
January 1938 - 4th Cruiser Squadron, China Station
14th March 1938 - Arrived Port Darwin
24th March 1938 - Sailed Thursday Island for Sydney
2nd April 1938 - Arrived Sydney
28th April 1938 - Sailed Sydney for Cairns
17th January 1939 - Sailed Wei hai Wei
21st January 1939 - Arrived Hong Kong
21st January 1939 - Arrived Hong Kong
1st April 1939 - Arrived Wei Hai Wei
20th April 1939 - Arrived Shanghai
2nd September 1939 - At Shanghai
2nd September 1939 - 5th Cruiser Squadron, China Station
19th October 1939 - Sailed Singapore for Colombo
19th October 1939 - Sailed Hong Kong for Singapore. and duty with the 4th Cruiser Squadron in the East Indies Station
25th October 1939 - Sailed Colombo on patrol duties
28th October 1939 - Arrived Colombo
10th November 1939 - Sailed Colombo to join aircraft carrier Eagle on patrol
18th November 1939 - Arrived Colombo
23rd November 1939 - Force I. At sea in the Ceylon area
9th December 1939 - Arrived Simonstown
12th December 1939 - At Simonstown, preparing to relieve heavy cruiser Exeter
13th December 1939 - Sailed Simonstown or the Falkland Islands
22nd December 1939 - Refuelled from tanker Olynthus in San Boroban Bay
24th December 1939 - Arrived Falkland Islands
29th December 1939 - Sailed the Falklands for patrol off Rio de la Plata
6th January 1940 - Off Rio de la Plata
18th January 1940 - Arrived at Port Stanley from Rio de Janiero to escort heavy cruiser Exeter to England
18th January 1940 - Arrived Falkland Islands
21st January 1940 - Sailed Port Stanley escorting HMS Exeter
8th February 1940 - Arrived Buenos Airies to refuel
13th February 1940 - Intercepted German staemer Wakama
13th February 1940 - Force G
25th May 1941 - Took part in the Battle of Denmark Strait
8th August 1941 - Capt. Augustus Willington Shelton in Command
26th March 1942 - In the Maldives
29th March 1942 - Sailed Maldives
2nd April 1942 - Arrived Maldives
5th April 1942 - Bombed and sunk by aircrafts from Japanese carriers south-west of Columbo

HMS Dorsetshire Artwork Collection
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HMS Dorsetshire (The End of the Bismarck) by Ivan Berryman.


HMS Dorsetshire by Ivan Berryman.

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Database Currently Holds : 6271 ships and 6288 crew!

Last edited : 12:49, July 20, 2011
By : tjstoneman


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