HMS Ramillies

HMS Ramillies

HMS Ramillies

This article is about a battleship of Royal Navy during World War II. It was involved in Battle of the Mediterranean, Operation overlord and so on.

The HMS Ramillies (pennant number: 07) was a British battleship in service in the Grand Fleet at the end of World War I, and the Home Fleet in World War II.

He took part in the Indian Ocean maritime patrols, convoy escorts in the Mediterranean Sea and also to the D-Day. One of the most famous confrontations with the Navy in which he took part was the battle of Cape Teulada. After the war it was radiated and demolished between 1948 and 1949.


The Ramillies was built in the yards of William Beardmore & Company Dalmuir, Scotland. It was launched 12 June 1916 and entered into service September 1, 1917 because of damage during the launch took place at the helm. It was towed with great difficulty in Cammell Laird on the Mersey River for repairs.

Like the other ships of the class Ramillies it had the secondary armament, consisting of pieces of 152 mm, placed too low, making it difficult to use in inclement weather.

Due to the growing threat posed by torpedoes fired from submarines or destroyers, the ship being completed later than the sisters, had additional protections torpedo on the waterline.

Platforms for aircraft turrets were installed on the B and X and the unit was also equipped with a catapult for takeoff of aircraft. For the period between 1918 and 1939 they were used with the Fairey Flycatcher reconnaissance tasks is that the direction of the shot.


Between the Wars

At the time of entry into service Ramilles was aggregated to the 1 st Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet, where he remained until the end of the conflict. In 1920 during the tension between Turkey and the United Kingdom it was transferred into the Sea of Marmara where bombed targets on the Turkish mainland.

In 1924 he was assigned to Squadron 2 Battle of the Atlantic Fleet. In 1926 during a major general strike, it was sent over the River Mersey to land food along with Barham. In the second half of 1926 it was moved to the Mediterranean Fleet.

Between the two wars were removed concrete, wood and other materials used to fill the anti-submarine protection on the water surface. In 1928 anti-aircraft weapons were modified with the installation of 4 guns from 101.6 mm rapid-fire Mark IV and the removal of two 152 mm cannons from the foredeck.

In 1929 he was sent to Palestine to strengthen the British presence in response to growing tensions between Jewish and Arab population in the area between.

Between June 1932 and August 1934 was in Plymouth for a course of modernization works.

World War II


At the outbreak of World War II it was used as a convoy escort in British waters. September 11 it was transferred to the Mediterranean Fleet arriving in Gibraltar on the same day. On October 3, it sailed along the ocean liner SS Athlone Castle with the escort of the cruiser and destroyers Keppel Capetown and Watchman. Shortly after departure, the ship had engine problems apparatus that forced her to return to port for repairs, followed by the escorts. On 15 October he was transferred to Alexandria in Egypt with the 1st Battle Squadron, five days after arriving at their destination.

In the early days of November it was transferred to the Indian Ocean with the task of protecting the shipping. On November 16 he arrived in Aden from where he sailed, having on board supplies and fuel, to participate in the hunt incrociatore German Graf Spee. In early December he was sent to New Zealand, at the request of the Minister of the Navy and the future Prime Minister Peter Fraser to accompany the first major convoy of Australian troops departing for the Middle East. Arriving in Wellington on December 31, it sailed 6 January 1940 escorting the convoy along US1 incrociatore called HMAS Canberra. Further transport troops joined in the following days, escorted by cruisers HMNZ Leander and HMAS Australia. On 20 January the convoy arrived in Fremantle, broken shortly after escorted by the cruiser and the Ramilles Kent. Arrived in Colombo on January 30, it led to the target escort mission on February 6, the day when the convoy arrived at Aden.

Back in Sydney March 14, it entered the yard for a revision of the engine, which lasted until April. Arriving in Melbourne on 8 April, it sailed with the convoy the next 15 US2, also directed the Middle East. After a series of stops, it arrived at Suez on May 17 and 23 entered the shipyard in Alexandria. On 11 June, with the entrance into the war of the Kingdom of Italy, the works were suspended and the ship returned to service. On June 28, it attended the first mission of escorting convoys in the Mediterranean, which took place during the Battle of the Espero Convoy. For the next month it was a convoy escort duties with the fleet stationed at Alexandria. On August 17, at dawn, he bombarded the Italian positions around Bardia firing 62 shots with the main pieces.

The next day, August 18 it was unsuccessfully attacked by a squadron of Savoia-Marchetti SM79. The following month he was stationed at Alexandria, without taking part in relief missions. On October 8, he sailed to escort the convoy MF3 to Malta and on his return from ME4. During the mission there were minor clashes with Italian units that met in battle with the cruiser Ajax. On 15 October the fleet was returning to base. On 25 October he sailed again to escort a convoy bound for Athens. During the mission he was also set to make a raid on the island of Rhodes. On October 29th, days after the start of the Italian invasion of Greece, the fleet sailed with the task of escorting a convoy to Crete with the aim of creating a British forward base on the island.

After a series of missions to escort convoys in Greece, Crete and Malta, it was decided to bring back the Ramillies at home. On 23 November, the ship sailed from Alexandria escorting a convoy to Malta. On November 26 he went to Gibraltar with the cruisers Newcastle and Coventry, escorted by five destroyers. Then the force was reached by the heavy cruiser Berwick. The next day, then participated in the Battle of Cape Teulada, during which he fired just some prejudice because of excessive distance of the Italian fleet, and the low speed of the ship. On 29 November it last came to Gibraltar and entered Dec. 14 yard in Devonport for a series of works.


January 11, 1941 he sailed again to escort the convoy WS5B, giugendo the Azores on 17 January and later being sent to Halifax, from where he departed on January 30 escorting the convoy HX-106. On 8 February, the convoy was sighted by the battle cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, but withdrew soon detected the presence of a warship to escort. Between February 21 and March 3 it escorted in convoy HX110. In the following months several Atlantic convoys escorted without incident until May 24, the day when the German battleship Bismarck sank the Hood. Ramillies was then ordered to leave the convoy and head north to the position of the enemy but the limited top speed of the ship, about 19 knots, would not allow her to join the hunt and sinking. After serving in the month of June as a convoy escort, it was sent to Iceland, based in Hvalfjord, responsible for patrolling and intervention in case of sortie of the German ships in the North Sea.

Between September and November it underwent a complete renovation in Cammell Laird of Birkenhead, getting the radar equipment to detect enemy planes and ships, as well as to control the fire. It was also decided to move the unit at Eastern Fleet. It sailed from Milford Haven on December 9 to escort the convoy WS14, arriving in Freetown, Sierra Leone, 21 below. Reached its destination in the convoy, it remained at Ramillies Kilindini, Kenya, departing February 21, 1942 to escort the convoy DM3. Following the fall of Singapore and the deteriorating situation in the Netherlands Indies, the destination of the convoy was changed and the ship arrived in Colombo on March 4. On 7 March it was transferred to Trincomalee and 26 below set sail with the battleships Resolution, Revenge and Royal Sovereign to take part in shooting practice at Addu atoll. Following the threat of Japanese bombing raids on the island of Ceylon and the possible entrance of an enemy fleet in the Indian Ocean, the ships came together with the rest of the fleet under Admiral James Somerville patrolling the waters south of the island. Since entering into force of the Japanese fleet in the area, it was decided that the units were not suitable Revenge class for a confrontation with the enemy naval air arm, and it was decided to transfer them to safer bases in Kenya. The ship then arrived at Kilindini April 14 and were thereby designated to take part in Operation Ironclad, the conquest of French bases in Madagascar.

On April 28, it sailed from Durban escorting the first convoy of invasion along the aircraft carrier Illustrious, incrociatore Hermione and six destroyers. After a brief confrontation with ground troops of Vichy France, during which 50 gunmen on board the Ramillies were landed behind the enemy destroyers from Anthony, British forces took control of the island and sailed into the harbor Ramilles Diego Suarez on 8 May. On May 30, it was hit by a torpedo fired from a midget submarine party from the submarine I-20, informed of the presence of the battleship from a reconnaissance flight. A second torpedo struck the tanker British Loyalty instead. The ship managed to sail on June 2, arriving in Durban on 9 below for the repairs. In August it was decided that the relocation home for the final papers and the ship arrived at Devonport on 8 September following.

The ship returned to service June 4, 1943 with greater armor of the holds. Four guns were removed and 152.4 mm anti-aircraft armament was strengthened with two new installations quadruple cannon “Pom Pom”. In July it was decided to move the ship at Eastern Fleet, entering service in the Indian Ocean to protect convoys in the month of October. After only two months of service in the Far East, it was decided to return the unit to serve with the Home Fleet. Coming at home January 26, 1943, in the month of February he received radar installations for the control of anti-aircraft pieces, then taking part in exercises in April and May preparatory to the landing in Normandy. Along with the battleship Warspite, the monitor Roberts and the cruiser Mauritius, Arethusa, Frobisher, Danae, and then formed the ORP Dragon Force Bombing S, opening fire on the battery Benerville-sur-Mer on June 6 at 5.30. In the afternoon, after finishing the shots for the main pieces, the ship went to Portsmouth to refuel. Tasks was to support ground troops until June 18, the day he was called home to prepare for participation in Operation Dragoon, the Allied landings in southern France. The following 11 August, it arrived in Algiers joining the Alpha group support and August 15 bombing of the defensive positions near Cavalaire-sur-Mer. Up to August 29, it worked in the area with similar tasks, staying later deployed in the Mediterranean until the month of September. Back in the UK in October it was withdrawn from active service in March 1945 and used the following month as ship repairs and training.

The war

The Ramillies maintained this position for two years, being finally sold February 20, 1948 to be demolished. He came to Cairn Ryan on April 23 following for the dismantling of equipment used and moved to Troon for scrapping in October.

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