12 NAVY NEWS, APRIL 2009
’stock is rising
ANOEUVRING nimbly – as is her wont – this is
what veteran minehunter HMS Cattistock should
be doing just about now.
After a winter in dry dock and Charybdis commemorations.
maintenance in Portsmouth, the Locals defied the Nazi authorities
27-year-old mine countermeasures and attended the funerals of sailors
vessel is currently undergoing two from HM Ships Charybdis and
months of trials and tests. Limbourne in the autumn of 1943
They’re just the first steps on – and continue to honour the fallen
North Sea ................1941-45
the long road to Operational Sea to this day.
Training in Scotland in September As for Cattistock, after a spell of
Normandy .................... 1944
and ultimately deployment to the fishery protection duties off the west
Northern Gulf ..........1990-91
Gulf... coast of the UK and a short visit to
...somewhere the ship’s company Liverpool, she returned to Pompey
have come to know quite well. Back for that maintenance...
Class: Hunt-class mine
in September 2007 Cattistock’s ...and many of her ship’s company
sailors swapped places with their headed to the Bavarian Alps and
Pennant number: M31
counterparts from HMS Atherstone, the RN’s outdoor centre for some
Builder: Vosper Thornycroft,
then took the Crazy A out to the adventurous training and winter
Laid down: July 12 1979
They finally returned to their true Those are activities which
Launched: January 22 1981
ship last summer, leaving Atherstone circumstances denied their
Commissioned: June 16
in the safe hands of another Hunt- predecessors in the second
class crew. Cattistock, a Hunt-class destroyer
Displacement: 750 tons
And once reunited with Cattistock, which saw action through most of
Length: 197ft (60 metres)
her 45-strong ship’s company made WW2, notably in support of the vast
Beam: 33ft (10 metres)
sure she was busy. Overlord operation.
Draught: 10ft (2.9 metres)
They took her to Sark – the first Whilst attempting to intercept a
Speed: 15kts es
visit by an RN vessel to the tiny German convoy between Fecamp
Channel Island in a quarter of a and Dieppe, she was pounded by
Propulsion: 2 x Ruston-
century. German coastal batteries.
Paxman 9-59K Deltic
Then it was down to Ilhavo The enemy shells killed her CO
diesels generating 1,900hp;
in Portugal (between Porto and and knocked out her main armament
1 x Deltic 9-55B diesel
Lisbon) to escort the Tall Ships who and radar, but seven weeks later, she
generating 780hp; 1 x bow
were bound ultimately for Madeira was back in action after rapid repairs
to mark the 500th anniversary of its at Chatham.
Sensors: Sonar 2193
first settlement. Her fi nal engagement in the war
And then it was on to the was to sink a midget submarine
Armament: Seafox mine
anchorage of Villagarcia de Arousa in off Zeebrugge. She was laid up in
disposal system; 1 x 30mm
north-west Spain – a popular haunt Reserve at Devonport in 1946 and
gun with rang of 5½ miles; 2
of the RN in the 19th Century, and then fi nally scrapped in 1957.
x Oerlikon 20mm guns; 1 x
a regular stop for the Mighty Hood The Cattistock lineage begins in
Facts and figur
on her way to and from the Med. 1917 with a 730-ton minesweeper
On the way back to the waters of which served in the North Sea
the British Isles, Cattistock joined during and after WW1, then headed
islanders on Guernsey as they to the Gulf of Finland. She was sold
paid their respects at the annual for breaking up in 1923.
HEROES OF THE ROYAL NAVY No.60
WATCHING me, watching you... Our April image from the photographic archive of the Imperial War
Lt Cdr Edward Boyle VC
Museum shows a close encounter of the Soviet kind. A Russian Krupny-class guided-missile destroyer
– as yet unindentifi ed – shadows carrier HMS Hermes during NATO exercises in the Mediterranean in THE mood in the admiral’s cabin aboard HMS Yet it was with the torpedo that he scored his
April 1970. Sailors in the respective ships line the decks for a glimpse of their ‘foe’ in a typical Cold Queen Elizabeth on the evening of Tuesday April greatest successes: a gunboat, a minelayer and
War stand-off. With wings folded in the foreground is a Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer S.2 of 801 NAS. 27 1915 was rather dark. finally, as Keyes had intended, a troopship.
(Neg A35274) The three-day-old land battle to seize control The former White Star liner Guj Djemal was
■ THIS photograph – and 9,999,999 others from a century of war and peace – can be viewed or of the Dardanelles had, if not miscarried, then bound for Gallipoli, carrying 6,000 troops and a
purchased at www.iwmcollections.org.uk
, by emailing photos@IWM.org.uk
or by phoning 0207 fallen far short of expectations. battery of field guns.
416 5333. The Turks were doggedly holding on to The 40-year-old liner would never reach her
the peninsula – and thwarting the Allied push destination. In the fading light of May 10 – as
towards the Bosphorus. officers dined – the ship was rocked by a
Perhaps, senior officers argued, they might be torpedo.
dislodged if their supply line through the Sea of Exactly what happened next is contested.
Marmara was cut. British sources suggest all 6,000 soldiers and
The Marmara – 4,300 square miles of sea – their guns joined Guj Djemal at the bottom of the
was not merely a vital line of communication Marmara. Turkish accounts claim the soldiers
for the Turkish war effort, but regarded by left the stricken ship in an orderly fashion
Constantinople very much as ‘mare nostrum’. “without a casualty”.
The head of the Silent Service, Cdre Roger At any rate, E14 had scored a tremendous
Keyes – whose energy and determination for propaganda victory.
action rather surpassed his intellect – was Just how big a victory Boyle learned when he
determined one of his boats could run amok in brought his boat back through the Dardenelles
the Dardenelles. and was cheered as he passed through the
Now, on the evening of April 27, he had proof massed lines of the Anglo-French fleet mustered
that they could. HMAS AE2 had slipped through off Cape Helles.
the 36 miles of narrow, mined and heavily- Boyle would twice return to the Marmara to
patrolled waters and reached the Marmara. run amok – spending 70 days in all targeting
Roger Keyes was buoyant. “It is an omen,” he Turkish shipping.
told the gloomy faces debating the land battle. He has rather been eclipsed by the next
As he spoke, another of his boats was making submariner to force the Dardenelles, Martin
its way gingerly up the Dardanelles, HMS E14. Nasmith.
Her crew held out little hope. Knowing nothing Boyle possessed no less pluck, no less
of AE2’s feat, they set off to run the gauntlet skill, no less resourcefulness than his fellow
expecting to be sunk or captured. scourge of the Marmara. He was immediately
Their commanding officer shared their fears. recommended for the VC by Keyes, who believed
He had been among the naysayers a fortnight this solitary boat had “disarranged the whole
before. Sea of Marmara”.
Tall, dark, his hair greying despite his mere He would eventually
32 years, Edward Courtney Boyle was a rather rise to rear admiral
introspective character who came alive around before retiring in
technology – submarines and motorbikes were 1932, although he
his passion. was recalled to
He had a decade’s experience in submarines. service in WW2.
He knew their strengths – and their limitations. His end,
Thorough preparation was the key to Boyle’s however, was
success. He knew every inch of the Dardanelles unbefitting a hero.
– he had even flown a reconnaissance mission Edward Boyle was
with pioneering naval aviator Charles Samson. knocked down
And so it was that after 17 hours – 16 of them by a lorry on a
submerged – HMS E14 found herself in the pedestrian crossing
Marmara. in December 1967
Once there, Edward Boyle was determined and died of his
that the psychological effect of E14 in the injuries.
Turkish sea was as great as her military impact.
Where possible, E14 sailed the Marmara on
the surface to scare the enemy (which she did).
Boyle rigged a dummy gun on the upper
deck, comprising a pipe, an oil drum and a bit
of canvas. It was enough to so panic the crew
of one Turkish steamer that they ran their ship
aground trying to flee.
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