Index to Naval Battles on AHOY

Over the centuries the sea has played an enormous role in the development, growth, and survival of Britain, her old Empire, and the United States. Wars have been fought for many different reasons and in two World Wars, enemy submarines have threatened the continued existence of both Britain and her Allies.

Our Web Site AHOY carries a slew of articles recording many of these Naval Sea Battles, and it has been decided to provide a chronological index of these pieces to assist any of our readers interested in viewing any of these stories. So here they are :-

spacerEngland versus Spain. The Defeat of the Spanish Armada. 1588
Started Saturday, September 20, 2003, last revision Thursday, June 30, 2005
Mary Rose, sunk in the Solent in 1545 with the loss of about 700 sailors - click to read the articleHenry VIII was very conscious of the growing  naval power of James the IVth. of Scotland, who, at that stage had an alliance with the French. James had built up quite a fleet of ships, including the Great Michael, carrying a huge gun. To counter this ship, and the Scottish fleet, Henry built new ships including the famous Mary Rose, which sank in the Solent in 1545 with the loss of some 700 sailors ...
Sort key: 1588-07-30 (will remove later)

spacerIn WW1, German U-Boat U9, destroys three elderly British Light Cruisers, Aboukir, Hogue, and Cressy in under 75 minutes
Started Saturday, January 22, 2005, last revision Thursday, June 30, 2005
U9 - click to read moreIn the early days of WW1, Cruiser Force C, made up of old Cressy class armoured cruisers patrolled part of the North Sea close to the Hook of Holland. Senior Naval Officers were opposed to this patrol on the grounds that these ships were very vulnerable to any attack from Germany's more modern surface ships, and advised the Admiralty accordingly. This patrol was nicknamed: "The live bait patrol." Nonetheless, my Lords of the Admiralty ignored this advice, and persisted with this operation ...
Sort key: 1914-09-22 (will remove later)

spacerGerman WW1 Light Cruiser SMS Emden versus HMAS Sydney
Started Saturday, January 15, 2005, last revision Monday, July 04, 2005
John Glossop Captain of HMAS Sydney who defeated SMS Emden - click to read moreThe Australian light cruiser, was actually the first cruiser to be built for the fledgling Royal Australian Navy, she commissioned in June 1913. Displacing 5,400 tons, her armament, 8 by 6 inch guns ( 1 forward, 1 aft, and 3 each port and starboard sides, thus giving a 5 gun broadside ) she also carried torpedo tubes. A touch faster than Emden at 25.5 knots, her crew 390, opposed to that of the German ship of 325 men.
Sort key: 1914-11-00 (will remove later)

spacerThe Battle of the River Plate. 13th. December 1939.
Started Sunday, February 29, 2004, last revision Saturday, October 31, 2009

Graf Spee - click to read the articleGiven the current endeavour to raise the sunken German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee, it seems timely to record this historic battle for Ahoy readers.

The German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee was loose in the South Atlantic, and the British ship Doric Star on the afternoon of the 2nd. of December 1939, reported that she was under attack by a pocket battleship in position 19 degrees 15 minutes South, 5 degrees 5 minutes East, and the next day, an unknown ship made a similar report from a position 170 miles south west from the Doric Star incident.

Sort key: 1939-12-13 (will remove later)

spacerAction against the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kebir by the British Force H over 3rd./6th. July 1940
Started Monday, July 07, 2003, last revision Monday, July 04, 2005

French Ship Dunkurque - click to read the articleIf the French Admiral refused to accept any of these proposals Sir James Somerville could accept demilitarisation of the French ships at their present berths, providing it could be achieved within 6 hours, and this action would prevent their use over the next 12 months. If none of these alternatives were accptable to the French, Somerville was ordered to destroy the ships, especially Dunkerque and Strasbourg. The ships at Oran should also be destroyed if it did not entail any considerable loss of civilian lives.

Sort key: 1940-07-03 (will remove later)

spacer"Operation Menace." September 23, 24, 25, 1940. HMAS Australia and the debacle at Dakar with General Charles de Gaulle
Started Wednesday, May 01, 2002, last revision Saturday, September 30, 2006
This operation must be judged a complete failure on our part, a battleship badly damaged and put out of action for a considerable time when every Fleet unit was desperately needed to support the Naval war, and the strong possibility of a German invasion of England. Three cruisers and one destroyer all hit by enemy shells, plus Fleet Airarm and our Walrus aircraft shot down.
Sort key: 1940-09-23 (will remove later)

spacerBattle of Matapan
Started Sunday, June 30, 2002, last revision Thursday, June 30, 2005
If one looks at the Battle of Matapan as part of a broad canvas, it may be likened to the central segment of a triptych, the complementary parts of this picture are: the mauling of the Italian fleet at Calabria by the Royal Navy, and, Admiral Cunningham's Fleet Air Arm's successful sortie against the Italian Navy at Taranto, in December 1940.
Sort key: 1941-05-29 (will remove later)

spacerLoss of HMAS Sydney
Started Saturday, November 23, 2002, last revision Thursday, January 22, 2009
This extract was originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald - a German crewman describes Australia's biggest World War II disaster.
Sort key: 1941-11-02 (will remove later)

spacerBattle of the Java Sea, in which Exeter was sunk
Started Friday, April 09, 2004, last revision Wednesday, July 06, 2005
The last throes of HMS Exeter - Click to read the articleThis is the report by the Captain of Exeter, covering the Battle of the Java Sea, in which Exeter was sunk, and Captain O.L.Gordon RN was taken a POW by the Japanese. He recorded the event some three weeks after the action, and hid his notes over his 3.5 years of captivity in a hollowed out shaving cream tube, and then based this despatch to the Admiralty on his long hidden notes after he was freed at the end of WW2.
Sort key: 1942-03-01 (will remove later)

spacerTrying to stem the southward thrust of the Japanese threatening to engulf the Dutch East Indies in February/March of 1942. The Battle of Sunda Strait
Started Wednesday, April 20, 2005, last revision Sunday, August 19, 2007
The Battle of Sunda Strait - click to learn moreIn February 1942 the Japanese were still marching South, ready to invade the Dutch East Indies striking against Java. The American British Dutch Australian ( ABDA ) Naval force was all that stood in its path. Two sea battles, Java Sea, and Sunda Strait decided the fate of the Dutch East Indies, changing that territory for all time.
Sort key: 1942-03-11 (will remove later)

spacerThe Battle For Convoy ONS 5. 26th.April - 6th. May 1943
Started Monday, April 26, 2004, last revision Sunday, July 26, 2009
Atlantic Star award - click to read the article.Outward North Atlantic Slow Five, short name ONS 5, with a code name of MARFLEET, was made up of 43 merchant ships, in the main they could be classified as elderly, their destination Halifax in Nova Scotia, with a few ships destined for New York and Boston. This motley band of grey vessels with their names painted out had sailed from five ports, Milford Haven, Liverpool, the Clyde, Oban, and Londonderry.
Sort key: 1942-04-06 (will remove later)

spacerThe Victorian Chapter of The Naval Historical Society of Australia Inc. is remembering the year of 1942 with a photographic display: Battle of the Coral Sea. May 1942, Battle of Midway. June 1942 
Started Sunday, October 27, 2002, last revision Thursday, June 30, 2005
Japanese Air Attack at GuadalcanalThe display will be shown at HMAS Cerberus, the RAN's main training depot for Australia, at Crib Point Victoria, during Navy Week, on Sunday the 27th. of October. It will be mounted there, at Club Cerberus. The display will then move to the Prahran Town Hall, Chapel Street Prahran, and be open to the public daily from 10 AM. to 8 PM on Monday the 28th. of October to Friday the 1st. of November 2002. A gold coin will gain admission.
Sort key: 1942-05-00 (will remove later)

spacerJapanese Midget Submarines Attack Sydney Harbour on the night of May31/June 1, 1942
Started Tuesday, April 30, 2002, last revision Friday, July 01, 2005
Midget sub - click to read the articleOn May the 11th. 1942, the Japanese 8th Squadron Submarines, I-22, I-27, and I-28, having been involved in the Coral Sea operation were ordered to Truk to embark Midget Submarines, it was planned to attack Naval targets at either Suva or Sydney.
Sort key: 1942-05-31 (will remove later)

spacerThe Battle for Malta. Six Vital Months - Spring and Summer 1942
Started Sunday, May 25, 2003, last revision Monday, July 16, 2012
The Battle for Malta - click to read the article"The greatest of battles for supply fell upon Malta. This was now turned into a hell. Malta was a base for British submarines and aircraft preying on Axis lines of supply to Libya. In the spring of 1942, the Axis decided to obliterate that base and they wanted to starve it as well. Right through the spring they turned such blitz upon Malta as no other island or city had seen in the war. It was a siege of annihilation. One after another all the great sieges were eclipsed - England and Odessa, Sebastopol and Tobruk. Malta became the most bombed  place on earth."
Sort key: 1942-06-10 (will remove later)

spacerNaval Battles in the Solomon Islands over August/November 1942 turn the tide of the Pacific War
Started Tuesday, March 18, 2003, last revision Monday, February 12, 2007
Click the picture to read the articleJapanese forces now started their mad dash southwards, in December, they had invaded Northern Malaya, sunk the Royal Navy Battle Ship Prince of Wales, and the Battle Cruiser Repulse, leaving the gate to Singapore wide open.
Sort key: 1942-08-09 (will remove later)

spacerH.M.A.S. Canberra and the Battle of Savo Island
Started Monday, June 03, 2002, last revision Sunday, September 09, 2007
HMAS Canberra - Click to Read moreI hurried to my action station in the fore control - there was an explosion amidships, we were hit on the 4" gundeck, the Walrus aircraft was blazing fiercely on the catapult. A shell exploded on the port side just below the compass platform and another just aft of the fore control. The plotting office received a direct hit. The shell that demolished the port side of the compass platform mortally wounded the Captain, killed Lieutenant Commander Hole, the Gunnery Officer, wounded Lieutenant Commander Plunkett-Cole, the Torpedo Officer and severely wounded Midshipmen Bruce Loxton and Noel Sanderson.
Sort key: 1942-08-09 (will remove later)

spacerHMAS Yarra blasted to pieces by Japanese Squadron on the 4th. of March 1942.
Started Monday, June 09, 2003, last revision Thursday, June 30, 2005
HMAS Yarra - click to read the articleAboard the Japanese cruiser Maya, some survivors of HMS Stronghold, sunk two days earlier, watched in horror as Yarra was battered to death, one of them reported:- " Yarra was the only ship left afloat, the two destroyers were circling her, she appeared to be stationary, and were pouring fire into her. She was still firing back, we could see odd gun flashes....the last we saw of Yarra was a high column of smoke, but we were vividly impressed by her fight."  The gun flashes observed must have come from Taylor, still manning his 4 inch mounting.
Sort key: 1942-11-04 (will remove later)

spacerGerman Radio called it "Greatest Convoy Battle of all Time." 40 U-Boats carve up Convoys SC122 and HX229. 16-19 March 1943.
Started Friday, April 29, 2005, last revision Thursday, January 25, 2007
B-24 Very Long Range Aircraft used to cover Convoys SC122 and HZ229 - click to read moreThe whole scenario was only saved from being a total disaster by the fact that surface reinforcements came in from Iceland, but more importantly, the air umbrella flown by VLR B-24's, B-17's and Sunderlands found many of the attacking U-Boats and forced them to keep their heads down, and a real plus for the aircraft, U-384 was sunk. In all, 54 sorties were flown over the two convoys, the aircraft reporting sighting 32 boats, and attacking them 21 times, a busy time for all the airmen involved.
Sort key: 1943-03-11 (will remove later)

spacerUS Navy Operation Hail Stone. The attack on Truk by a Carrier Task Force on the 17th. and 18th. of February 1944.
Started Monday, January 19, 2004, last revision Thursday, June 30, 2005
USS Iowa at Operation Hail Stone - click to read the articleTruk Lagoon with its wide stretch of water with only 5 entrances, made it an ideal place for a Naval Base, easy to defend, and in the early 1940's, Japan started to built fortifications near the 5 Lagoon entrances, plus air strips, so that Truk became  an important and major Japanese Naval Base in the central Pacific. It was to be used for their campaigns in New Guinea and in the Solomon Islands.
Sort key: 1944-02-17 (will remove later)

spacerDestroyer Escort USS England, Japanese Submarine Killer Supreme
Started Sunday, June 06, 2004, last revision Thursday, June 30, 2005

USS England, champion submarine killer - click to read the articleOver a 12 day period in the last two weeks of May in 1944, the Destroyer Escort USS England accounted for 6 Japanese Submarines. I-16, RO-106, RO-104, RO- 116, RO-108 and RO-105 were all sunk. This was a record number of kills, unsurpassed in WW2.

Sort key: 1944-05-19 (will remove later)

spacerThe Battle of Leyte Gulf. 23 - 26 October 1944
Started Monday, February 16, 2004, last revision Monday, July 04, 2005
The Battle of Leyte Gulf. 23 - 26 October 1944, click to read the article.

In July of 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt traveled to San Diego, to embark in USS Baltimore, a heavy cruiser, which now sailed for Honolulu. The President hosted a dinner on board with Admiral Chester Nimitz and General Douglas MacArthur, he turned to the General with:

"Douglas, where do we go next?"

Sort key: 1944-10-23 (will remove later)

spacerBloody Iwo Jima. A 36 day Battle for supremacy in February 1945
Started Saturday, June 25, 2005, last revision Friday, November 27, 2009
Iwo Jima Stamp - click to read moreAt 0200 ( 2 ) on the 19th. of February 1945, the Naval bombardment commenced, this was the traditional start to any sea ward landing made on a Japanese held position in the Pacific war. The United States Navy, sometimes with several cruisers from the Royal Australian Navy, stood off the beaches, soon to be swarming with landing craft filled with Marines, and pounded the area with high explosive shells from the battleships, heavy and light cruisers, devasting all in the path of this rolling smoke and thunder barrage.
Sort key: 1945-02-19 (will remove later)

spacerThe Battle for Okinawa. Invaded 1st. of April 1945
Started Monday, June 27, 2005, last revision Monday, July 04, 2005

The mighty 72,000 ton Japanese Battleship Yamato
 blows up on the 7th. of April 1945 - click to read moreHere, Japanese Kamikaze Aircraft held command, they killed almost 5,000 Navy personnel, the greatest number to die in a single Pacific Battle. 34 Allied ships sunk, another 368 damaged, in the main, at the hands of the deadly Kamikaze. It was the last, and bloodiest battle of the whole war in the Pacific.

Sort key: 1945-04-01 (will remove later)

spacerThe Falkland Islands War, 1982.
Started Friday, May 30, 2003, last revision Monday, February 13, 2012

HMS Ardent mortally damaged in the Faulklands - click to read the article

Britain had drawn a Total Exclusion Zone around the Falkland Islands group, and threatened to destroy both enemy ships and aircraft entering into the TEZ. On the 2nd. of May, the British Atomic submarine Conqueror came upon the Argentinean Cruiser General Belgrano, ( this ship was of course the ex USS Phoenix, which was alongside at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked on the 7th. of December 1941, she escaped to sea, she had a distinguished career in the Pacific War, often working with my ship HMAS Shropshire.)

Sort key: 1982-05-01 (will remove later)


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