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The fate of the ships of the foreign navies


The fate of many Allied ships that took part in the Battle for Zeeland in May 1940 is known too, and we shall briefly address them hereunder.

The French ships

The French destroyer 56, FS Cyclone , a 1925 Bourrasque Class destroyer [1,300 BRT, four 13 cm guns, two 3,7 cm AA guns, torpedo tubes] , was heavily damaged after a torpedo attack by the German motor torpedo-boat [Schnellboote ] S-24 still before the French capitulation. The vessel was scuttled at 18 June 1940.

The French destroyer 52, FS Mistral , Bourrasque Class destroyer, of the same class as the Cyclone , survived in the Royal Navy after the French capitulation and was returned to France in 1945. She was decommissioned in 1950.

The destroyer 57, FS Siroco, Bourasque Class destroyer,  was sunk at the 31st of May 1940 by torpedoes from the German motor torpedo-boats S-23, S-24 and S-26.

The modern French Pomone Class torpedo boat H.47 FS l'Incomprise served the entire war [as off July 1940] in the Royal Navy and was returned to the French after the German capitulation in 1945.

The very modern French Pomone Class torpedo boat FS Branlebas was foundered at 14 December 1940. The cause of this loss was bad weather that struck the ship.

The destroyer 22, FS Frondeur of the l'Adroit Class [1,378 BRT, four 13 cm guns, one 7,5 cm AA gun, torpedo tubes], was sunk at 8th November 1942 during the Allied landing-operation in Tunisia and Morocco.

The French destroyer FS l'Adroit of the l'Adroit Class was sunk the 21st of May 1940 by bombs from a He-111 off the coast of Dunkirk.

The French destroyer 118, FS Fougueux of the L'Adroit Class , was sunk at 8th November 1942 during the Allied landing-operation in Tunisia and Morocco.

The French destroyer FS Diligente her fate is unknown [to us].

The British ships

The large RN destroyer HMS Hereward H.93, of the G&H Class [1,500 BRT, five 4,7" guns, torpedo tubes], was sunk on the 29th of May 1941 off the coast of Crete.

The large RN destroyer HMS Keith [H-06], a B-Class destroyer [1,800 BRT, four 4,7" guns, torpedo tubes] was crippled after continuous air-raids by German bombers had damaged here badly. She eventually sunk when the crew had already abandoned her on the Northsea at the 1st of June 1940. Bad fortune struck the crew again when their evacuation vessel was also sunk by German bombs. Nearly all hands perished.

The RN destroyer HMS Winchester , Wakeful Class , [1,100 BRT, two 4"guns, 3", 2 pd and 2cm AA batt.]  was badly damaged at 15 May off the Zeeland coast by German planes. She would make it to England though, and survive the war. She was decommissioned at 5 March 1946.

The RN destroyer HMS Westminster [Wakeful Class ] was badly damaged when on her return to Dunkirk her propeller hit a ship-wreckage. She was eventually repaired at Dover after being towed from Dunkirk. She survived the war and was decommissioned in 1948.

The RN fast escort destroyer HMS Wolsey [Wakeful Class ] survived the war.

The RN fast escort destroyer HMS Vimiera [Wakeful Class ] was lost on 9 January 1942 due to a German magnetic mine on the Thames.

The RN fast escort destroyer HMS Wild Swan D.62, Wanderer Class, [1,120 BRT, three 4,7" guns, 3"and 2 pd AA batt., torpedotubes] was sunk 17 June 1942 south of the coast of Ireland due to collision with a fishing trawler. Hours before, she had been damaged by German planes.

The RN fast escort destroyer HMS Whitley  [Wakefull Class ] was badly damaged by German bombers at 19 May 1940, off the coast near Oostende. She was beached and later destroyed by HMS Keith . The wreckage of the ship still lays there in shallow water.