3 British warships sunk 90 years ago found off Estonia

Discussion in 'History' started by hackle, Aug 23, 2010.

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  1. hackle

    hackle Badgeman Moderator

    The media is reporting that an Estonian minehunter, using coordinates supplied by the Royal Navy, have located the wrecks of three British warships which were sunk by mines in 1918 and 1919 during operations to support Estonian forces against the Bolsheviks.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1305505/Royal-Navy-warships-sunk-Russian-Revolution-found.html#ixzz0xTWsHP6n

  2. Thanks Douglas.

    A fascinating discovery that should bring 'closure' for any descendants of the crew members who died in Dec 1918 and July 1919. HMS GENTIAN was an ARABIS class fleet minesweeping sloop and HMS MYRTLE was an AZALEA class fleet minesweeping sloop. The sinking of these ships and the light cruiser HMS CASSANDRA was yet another demonstration of the potency of cheap and simple mines in naval warfare.

    Incidentally, the Estonian minehunter concerned is called UGANDI, not UGANI. She is one of three sophisticated ex-RN SANDOWN Class minehunters in the Estonian Navy (Eesti Merevägi), all sold off prematurely at bargain basement prices in 2006 as the result of Defence cuts. Alarmingly, HMS BRIDPORT (now EML UGANDI) was only 11 years old when she was decommissioned in 2004.

    Sandown Class Minehunters, United Kingdom
  3. I was lucky enough to visit ENS Admiral Cowan (formerly HMS Sandown) earlier this year - moored up alongside Sakala (Inverness) and Ugandi (Bridport) in Tallinn.

    You'll be pleased to know that all three are kept squeaky-clean and shipshape by their thoroughly professional and enthusiastic Estonian crews. Even if our masters mistakenly decided we didn't need them any more, they have at least gone to a good home.

    And a good friend, too - it's a great tribute to the RN that they decided to name one of their three new acquisitions after the man who (as a Rear Admiral) commanded our Baltic cruiser squadron squadron in 1919-1920.
  4. We worked with the above 3 ships a couple of years ago whilst on entering Tallin (Doing OOW Manouvers etc...), as DavenportR has said all 3 are in great condition, and crewed by well trained and keen men. A credit to the Estonian Navy.
  5. Thanks Davenport (and Shackles for the update).

    I looked up Admiral Cowan on Wikipedia and his biography describes another of those colourful British characters who seemed so prevalent in Victorian and Edwardian times. I particularly liked this bit towards the end when he would have been in his 70s:

    Admiral Sir Walter Henry Cowan, 1st Baronet, KCB, DSO & Bar, MVO (11 June 1871–14 February 1956)


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