HMS Malaya

HMS Malaya

HMS Malaya

HMS Malaya was a battleship of the Royal Navy, the fourth ship of the five units comprising Queen Elizabeth class. The ship was named after the Federated Malay States. This federation of five sultanates colonized gave the ship not only his name but also paid the construction of the vessel. The Malaya on 20 October 1913 set at Armstrong Whitworth inNewcastle upon Tyne on keel and ran on 18 March 1915 batch. The commissioning took place on 19 February 1916.

World War I

Immediately after the entry into Malaya as of 5 Battleship squadron of Rear Admiral Hugh Evan-Thomas detached and took on 31 Maiund first June 1916 at the Battle of Jutland in part. Here, the ship was first with the vanguard of the German battle cruiser the action and met in the afternoon, at about 17.15 clock, even to the extreme vessels of the German battle fleet, of which Malaya was shot almost 30 minutes. Along with its sister ship HMS Warspite, which had at this stage to accept 13 heavy hits, bore the brunt of the fighting, the Malaya of the 5th Battleship squadron. She fired during the battle a total of 215 shells of caliber 38.1 cm. They scored at least three goals in the German battlecruiser SMS Lützow and probably another on the battle cruiser SMS Derfflinger.

In the course of the battle was the Malaya itself at least eight 30.5-cm-hit, the strong flooding – caused and the loss of almost all the 15.2-mm guns of medium artillery on the starboard side – due to two hits below the waterline. A direct hit by struck at 17.30 clock the casemate of the gun no. 3 on the starboard side, killing the entire crew, and there almost caused a severe fire, which extended over two gun emplacements. A spreading of the fire to the ammunition magazine of the 38.1-mm guns could be prevented at the last minute. Another German grenade struck also by the hull at the stern of Malaya and stepped out of the ship’s bottom again; through the water drops the ship suffered an adverse list of about four degrees to starboard.

On the way back from the battle the ship collided in the early morning hours of 1 June, as against 4 clock, with an underwater obstruction, possibly the nearly driving under the surface remains of a previously sunken ship, and pulled further damage to the hull. Despite the failure of a boiler and oil loss was the Malaya continue the march home with a top speed of almost 20 knots.

The personnel losses aboard Malaya were the highest of all British battleships in the Battle of Jutland: A total 63 sailors were killed, another 33 were wounded part. Another crew member died on 10 June 1916 his injuries. The Malaya went to the battle for nearly two months in Invergordon in the yard and was not until 27 July 1916 and running again.

For the rest of the war, Malaya remained at the 5th Battleship squadron and operated with this on 19 August 1916. Foray against a German fleet in the North Sea, however, led to no clash. In 1918 she collided during maneuvers with the destroyer HMS Penn.


Between 1919 and 1924 it was stationed in Malaya the Atlantic Fleet, visited Cherbourg and 1920 led an Allied Control Commission for Germany, which was there to check the disarmament terms of the armistice in German ports. In November 1922, it transported the Malaya after the monarchy was abolished inTurkey, the last Ottoman ruler, Sultan Mehmed VI., into exile inMalta. As of 1924, the battleship was then stationed in the Mediterranean Fleet, where it remained until 1927.

Between 1927 and 1929, Malaya was subjected to a first reconstruction and overhaul. Here in the four shields erected on deck 15.2-mm guns were replaced by four 10.2-cm Flaks. In addition, the Torpedowulste were reinforced, which summarized two funnels of the ship into a single and installed eight new 4.0-cm-Flak on board. The renovations made the water displacement to nearly 33,000 t grow, also kn top speed dropped to about the 23rd.

Between 1930 and 1934, the battleship deployed on various locations and served alternately in the Atlanticand the Mediterranean Fleet. Used from 1934 at the Home Fleet, the Malaya was again subjected to a conversion in Devonport, which lasted until 1936. During this period – although the Malaya of all five units in its class, the ship with the least costly reconstructions – extensive armor protection gains made and placed a hangar and a catapult for two water type aircraft Supermarine Walrus on board. The air defense was strengthened again in late 1936 and consisted of eight 10.2-cm anti-aircraft guns in four twin guns, 16 4.0-mm cannon and four 12.7-mm machine guns.

Subsequently, the ship moved into theMediterranean, where it remained until the outbreak of World War II.

World War II

At the beginning of World War II Malaya was the first used for hunting for German trade interferers and operated temporarily while in the Gulf of Aden. In January 1940 it moved into the Atlantic and secured several convoys plying between the United Kingdom and Freetown. In March 1940, Malaya came back to the Mediterranean fleet and took in the summer, afterItaly entered the war, and participated in a supply operation forMalta.

As part of the Force C of Vice Admiral Henry Pridham-Wippell the Malaya was here on 9 July 1940 in the Battle of Punta Stilo – the first clash of battleships at sea since the Battle of Jutland – involved. During the battle, which ended in a draw, several ships were damaged on both sides, including Malaya, which suffered from Italian air attack splinter damage. There, the fire control of the heavy 10.2-cm Flak was temporarily incapacitated.

As part of the fighting in North Africa was the Malaya against Italian Cyrenaica facilities along the coast used and shot on 18 August 1940. Together with the battleships Warspite and HMS Ramillies and several cruisers and destroyers, Italian positions at Bardia and Fort Capuzzo. It then entered the Malaya part in the transfer of the force F from Gibraltar to Alexandria (Operation hats), on which the sixth Completed September 1940.

In late 1940, the Force moved H (Vice Admiral James Somerville Fownes), the Malaya secured in January 1941, an additional supply convoy to Malta (Operation Excess) and adopted on 6 to 11 February 1941 attack on the part of Force H to Genoa (Operation Grog). It verfeuerte the Malaya, together with the battlecruiser HMS Renown, including a total of 273 shells of caliber 38.1 cm. In the port it sank four freighters, 18 more were damaged. In the city itself killed 144 civilians and military personnel. The British squadron suffered no losses. On the way back to Gibraltar they were found in the Malaya machine problems that reduced their speed to 17 knots.

In mid-February 1941 the ship was ordered to the Atlantic, there to escort convoys between Gibraltar and the UKand between Sierra Leoneand the United Kingdom. Initially secured the Malaya convoys WS6A and SL-67, with possible assistance has been instrumental in maintaining the SL-67 on 7 March sighted briefly by the two German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. It came to no contact combat, as the German ships before spinning off.

From the 15th March, the Malaya protected for the convoy SL-68, which ran from Freetown to the UK. During this surgery, she was on the night of the 20th March 1941, about 250 nautical miles north-northwest of Cape Verde, from the German submarine U 106 (Lieutenant Jürgen Oesten) torpedoed. The attack took place about half an hour before midnight, but was not itself the battleship. Another torpedo from U 106 met the Dutch freighter Meerkerk (7995 GRT). That in the attack a capital ship had been hit, the Germans did not at first. There were on board the battleship no personnel casualties, but the torpedo hit on the starboard side, addressed to significant damage and caused an adverse list of seven degrees. The Malaya had to abort the backup operation, backed by a corvette, dodge to Trinidad, where the first emergency repairs took place. Thereafter the ship was moved to New York, where the damage was finally repaired until July 1941. The Malaya was the first ship of the Royal Navy, which was repaired during World War II in an American port.

In August 1941, it moved the boat back to the UK and received, before it was again detached to Force H in the Mediterranean, a new safety features – including a type-286 air warning radar – and 15 light2.0 cmanti-aircraft guns for close-range defense. Immediately after the secondment of Force H, the ship was on 27 October1941 intheportofGibraltareasily in a collision with two cargo ships damage to the superstructure.

In November 1941, appointed flagship of Force H, Malaya took part in the following months several operations to reinforce Malta and securing troop transports. In February 1942, the ship was briefly moved to the UK because they feared an outbreak of lying in Brest German capital ships in the Atlantic. This, however, it later moved through the channel back to Germany and Norway. In March it came the Malaya back to the Mediterranean and became again assurance tasks for several convoys, including in June 1942 at the Double Convoy company WS-19/MW-11 (operations Vigorous and Harpoon) to Malta. Following the ship was back in the Atlantic and was docked in October 1942 for a stay in Rosyth dockyard. During the two months of the reconstruction plane devices were reproduced from board. Instead, it received the Malaya two additional 10.2-cm and 16-Flakzwillinge additional 4.0-cm Flak and two, then twenty 2.0-cm-Flak.

Between January and July 1943, the battleship participated in other escort operations in the Atlantic. The constant convoys, however, required a toll on the drive system, which suffered under increasing signs of wear and age. Since the speed limit was reduced to just under 15 knots and the plane was about to collapse, it was decided in the summer of 1943 to remove the ship from the active fleet service. In August, the Malaya at Faslane was first placed in the reserve status in December 1943 and completely decommissioned.

In June 1944, shortly after the invasion of Normandy, the old ship was reactivated once again to fight the French and German fortifications along the Dutch coast. The last war, the use of Malaya saw on 1 September 1944, when they opened fire on German positions on the island located in Saint-Malo Cézembre. The island garrison surrendered a day later. In October 1944, the Malaya was again added to the reserve status.

Post-war and scrapping

On 15 May 1945, after the war in Europe and to the decommissioning, the ship was christened in Portsmouthon the new name HMS Vernon II. Under this name, it served until August 1945 as a training ship torpedo school. In 1947 the ship was removed and scrapped. In February 1948, BISCO Ltd. was sold and it was from 12 April 1948 scrapped at Faslane.

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