Greek destroyer Vasilissa Olga (D15)

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RHS Vasilissa Olga.jpg
Vasilissa Olga (D 15) - ΒΠ Βασίλισσα Όλγα in the pre-war disruptive camouflage pattern
Career (Greece) Ensign of the Hellenic Royal Navy
Name: Vasilissa Olga (D 15)
ΒΠ Βασίλισσα Όλγα
Namesake: Queen Olga
Builder: Yarrow & Company
Laid down: February 1, 1937
Launched: June 2, 1938
Commissioned: February 4, 1939
Fate: sunk September 26, 1943
Notes: Historical summary from the Hellenic Navy website[dead link]
General characteristics
Class & type: modified G class destroyer
Displacement: Standard 1,414 tons
Length: 97.5 m (320 ft)
Beam: 9.7 m (32 ft)
Draft: 2.7 m (8 ft 10 in)
Propulsion: Boilers: 3 Yarrow 3 drum boilers, Engines: 2 shaft Parsons turbines, Shafts: 2 (twin screw ship), Power: 34,000 hp
Speed: 35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph) maximum
Range: 4,800 nautical miles (8,890 km) at 19 knots (35 km/h)
Complement: 145
Armament: Original configuration:
4 × 5 in, 4 × 37 mm A/A, 2 × 4 21 in T/T
1941 refit:
4 × 5 in, 1 × 4 21 in T/T, 1 × 3 in A/A, 6 × 20 mm A/A, A/S device added

Vasilissa Olga (Greek: ΒΠ Βασίλισσα Όλγα) was a Greek destroyer of the Vasilefs Georgios (modified G) class, which served with the Royal Hellenic Navy during the Second World War, becoming its most distinguished and successful ship until her loss in 1943. She was named after Queen Olga of Greece, the wife of King George I, and was the second ship to bear this name.

Built by Yarrow & Company (Scotstoun, Scotland), along with her sister ship, the Vasilefs Georgios, she was the most modern ship of the Greek Navy at the outbreak of the Second World War. She participated in the naval operations of the Greco-Italian War, in convoy escort duty and in the first and third naval raids against Italian shipping in the Strait of Otranto (14–15 November 1940, and 4–5 January 1941).

After the German invasion of Greece, along with several other ships, she escaped to Alexandria in May 1941. She was assigned the British pennant number H 84, and after undergoing modernization in Calcutta (November–December 1941), she returned to active duty in the Mediterranean Sea. Under her captain, Lt. Cmdr. G. Blessas, she enjoyed several successes:

Olga also participated in the capture of Pantelleria and the Allied invasion of Sicily. During the Allied operations during the Dodecanese Campaign in the Aegean Sea in September 1943, together with the British destroyers HMS Faulknor and Eclipse, she sank a German convoy, consisting of the transports Pluto (2,000 tons) and Paolo (4,000 tons), near Astypalea. During the Battle of Leros, she transported members of the Long Range Desert Group to the island, but on September 26, she was attacked and sunk by 25 Junkers Ju 88 bombers in the Gulf of Lakki in Leros. Cmdr. Blessas, 6 officers and 65 other members of the crew perished with the ship. A monument has been erected in Lakki in honour of the ship.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Italian Warships of World War II, Ian Allan Ltd., London 1974, p. 139
  2. ^ Italian Warships of World War II, Ian Allan Ltd., London 1974, p. 83

External links[edit]