|HMS Sikh (F82)|
HMS Sikh Underway on completion
|Laid down:||24 September 1936|
|Launched:||17 December 1937|
|Commissioned:||12 October 1938|
|Motto:||Sicut leonis: 'Be like the lions'|
Bismarck Action 1941
Cape Bon 1941
Malta Convoys 1941-42
|Fate:||Sunk 14 September 1942|
The ship had several pennant numbers:
|Badge:||On a Field Red. a 'Sikh' lion, Gold, behind his head a Sikh quoit, silver.|
|Class & type:||Tribal-class destroyer|
|Displacement:||1,870 long tons (1,900 t)|
|Length:||364 ft 8 in (111.15 m)|
|Beam:||36 ft 6 in (11.13 m)|
|Draught:||13 ft (4.0 m)|
2 × Parsons geared steam turbines |
3 × Admiralty 3-drum boilers rated at 300 psi
2 × shafts
|Armament:||8 × 4.7 in (120 mm) dual purpose guns (4x2), 4 × 2-pounder anti-aircraft guns (1x4), 8 × .50 in (13 mm) anti-aircraft machine guns (2x4), 4 × 21 in (530 mm) torpedo tubes (1x4; Mk. IX torpedoes), 2 × depth charge throwers, 1 × depth charge rail|
HMS Sikh (F82) was a Tribal-class destroyer of the 4th Destroyer Flotilla of the Royal Navy. She was built by Alexander Stephen and Sons in Glasgow and commissioned in 1938. In 1941, while under the command of Commander Stokes, she took part in the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck in 1941. The night before Bismarck was sunk, she fired a salvo of four torpedoes and claimed a hit after hearing underwater explosions, but actually there were no hits.
Sikh transferred to the Mediterranean serving as part of Force H. On 13 December 1941, Sikh — together with Legion, Maori and HNLMS Isaac Sweers — sank the Italian cruisers Alberico da Barbiano and Alberto di Giussano.
On 14 September, Sikh and Zulu landed and then covered Operation Agreement, a commando raid on Tobruk. Sikh was hit and sunk by German Eighty-eight FlaK anti-aircraft batteries — 115 men were lost, and many more were taken prisoner. Zulu was damaged and sunk by bombing the following day.
Books have been written about the disaster: 'Massacre at Tobruk', by Peter C. Smith, ISBN 0-7183-0664-3, and 'Tobruk Commando', by Gordon Landsborough, ISBN 1-85367-025-1. Another book, 'Lower Deck', was written by one of the crew who served on 'B' gun, John Davies. All ships' name were changed as the book was written during the war — Sikh was Skye, and Zulu was Amori.
Notes[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Brice, Martin H. (1971). The Tribals. London: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-0245-2.
- English, John (2001). Afridi to Nizam: British Fleet Destroyers 1937–43. Gravesend, Kent: World Ship Society. ISBN 0-905617-95-0.
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