Greek destroyer Vasilefs Georgios (D14)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Greek.destroyer.bas.georgios.jpg
Vasilefs Georgios - ΒΠ Βασιλεύς Γεώργιος
Career (Greece) Ensign of the Hellenic Royal Navy
Name: Vasilefs Georgios
ΒΠ Βασιλεύς Γεώργιος
Namesake: King George I of Greece
Laid down: 1937
Launched: March 3, 1938
Commissioned: February 15, 1939
Fate: scuttled in April 1941
Career (Nazi Germany)
Name: Hermes (ZG 3)
Commissioned: March 21, 1942
Fate: scuttled on May 7, 1943
General characteristics
Displacement: 1,414 tons standard
Length: 97.5 m (320 ft)
Beam: 9.7 m (32 ft)
Draft: 2.7 m (8.9 ft)
Propulsion: 3 Yarrow 3 drum boilers
Parsons steam turbines
2 shafts
34,000 shp
Speed: 35 knots (65 km/h) maximum
Range: 4,800 nautical miles (8,900 km) at 19 knots (35 km/h)
Complement: 145
Armament: As completed:
4 × 5-inch (127 mm) guns
4 × 37 mm anti-aircraft guns
2 × 4 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes
German refit:
4 × 5-inch guns
4 × 37 mm anti-aircraft guns
4 × 20 mm anti-aircraft guns
2 × 4 21-inch torpedo tubes[1]

Vasilefs Georgios (Greek: ΒΠ Βασιλεύς Γεώργιος) was a Greek destroyer, the lead ship of its class, which served with the Royal Hellenic Navy and Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during the Second World War. The ship was named after King George I, and was the second ship to bear this name.

In Greek service[edit]

Built by Yarrow & Company (Scotstoun, Scotland) along with her sister ship Vasilissa Olga, she was the most modern ship of the Greek Navy at the outbreak of the Second World War, serving as the flagship of the Destroyer Flotilla. During the Greco-Italian War she operated on convoy escort duty and participated in the first and third naval raids against Italian shipping in the Strait of Otranto (14–15 November 1940 and 4–5 January 1941).

On 14 April 1941 during the German invasion of Greece, while anchored in Sofiko Bay in the Saronic Gulf, she was attacked by German aircraft and suffered severe damage. Under the command of her captain, Commander P. Lappas, she managed to reach the Salamis Naval Yard where she was dry docked. However, due to the rapid German advance and the inability of repairs to be completed on time, she was finally scuttled to prevent capture.

In German service[edit]

The Germans nonetheless were able to raise and repair her, and commissioned her into the Kriegsmarine as Hermes (ZG 3) on March 21, 1942. She was a well-esteemed ship, and used as the flagship of the German Aegean flotilla, serving mainly in convoy escort duties, under Kapitän zur See Rolf Johannesson. On 16 November 1942 near Cape Kafireas one of these convoys came under attack by the Greek submarine RHN Triton and resulted with the sinking of Triton by one of the escorting vessels.

From April 1943, under Fregattenkapitän Curt Rechel, she was employed in escorting convoys to Tunisia. There she had a success, sinking the British submarine HMS Splendid on April 21. Ten days later however, she was attacked by Allied aircraft off Cape Bon, resulting in 23 dead and heavy damage. She was towed to La Goulette, and scuttled there on May 7, as the Allies entered Tunis.

Commanders[edit]

Greek Navy

  • Commander Pyrros Lappas: 15 February 1939 - 23 April 1941

Kriegsmarine

  • Fregattenkapitän Rolf Johannesson: 8 February 1942 – 25 March 1943
  • Fregattenkapitän Curt Rechel: 25 March 1943 – 7 May 1943

Both German commanders were awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for their service.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Deutsche Zerstörer, p.128

Sources[edit]


Coordinates: 36°46′N 10°21′E / 36.767°N 10.350°E / 36.767; 10.350