"HMS Sheffield"


HMS Sheffield

H.M.S Sheffield was with the 18th Cruiser Squadron in September 1939, and carried out patrols in the Denmark Straits until April 1940, when she took part in the Norwegian campaign. She too remained in the south of England on anti-invasion duties until the summer, and then sailed to join Force H on 22 August. She carried out several operations inside the Mediterranean, and then patrolled in the area of the Azores for the rest of 1940.

On 9 February 1941 she was present during the bombardment of Genoa, and in March operated against Vichy-French convoys. After covering the operations to reinforce the fighter defences of Malta, Sheffield returned to the Atlantic to participate in the hunt for, and final sinking of, Bismarck. Following this she intercepted one of the German battleship’s tankers, Friedrich Breme, on 12 June 1941.

After further operations in the Mediterranean, the ship returned to Britain in October, when, in company with Kenya, she sank the German supply ship Kota Pinang off Cape Ortegal on 3 October. Arctic convoy duty followed until the ship was mined off Iceland on 4 March 1942, and was out of action until July.

Arctic convoy duty was then resumed, except for a detachment to the Mediterranean in November for the Torch landings in North Africa.

In December 1942, during an attack by Admiral Hipper, Lutzow and destroyers on convey JW51B off North Cape; she damaged Hipper and sank the destroyer Friedrich Eckoldt.

Arctic duties continued until February 1943, after which she operated in the Bay of Biscay in July and August, and then went into the Mediterranean for the Salerno landings.

Following this, Sheffield returned to the Arctic and took part in the sinking of Scharnhorst in December 1943.

In 1944 she covered the raids against Tirpitz, then went to refit in Boston, Massachusetts. She returned to Britain for the work to be finished, and was still under refit at the end of the war, completing in May 1946. Post war the ship went to the America and West Indies Station, then returned to refit at Chatham during 1949/50.

After service in the Home Fleet (2nd Cruiser Squadron) she returned to the West Indies as flagship of the 8th Cruiser Squadron. She finally returned from that station on 26 Octotober 1954 for refit. She later served in both Home and Mediterranean Fleets before reducing to reserve in January 1959, relieving the battleship Vanguard as flagship of the Reserve Fleet.
In September 1964 Sheffield was herself relieved and placed on the disposal list. She was towed to Rosyth for de-equipping on 6 January 1967, and from they’re to Ship breaking Industries (Faslane) for breaking up on 18 September that year.

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