HMS Nigeria (60)

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HMS Nigeria.jpg
Career (United Kingdom)
Class and type: Crown Colony-class light cruiser
Name: HMS Nigeria
Ordered: 1937-12-20
Builder: Vickers Armstrongs, Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne
Laid down: 1938-02-08
Launched: 1939-07-18
Commissioned: 1940-09-23
Out of service: Sold to Indian Navy as Mysore, 29 August 1957
General characteristics
Displacement: 8,530 tonnes standard
10,450 tons full load
Length: 169.3 m (555.5 ft)
Beam: 18.9 m (62 ft)
Draught: 5.0 m (16.5 ft)

Four oil fired 3-drum Admiralty-type boilers,

4-shaft geared turbines, 4 screws, 54.1 megawatts (72,500 shp)
Speed: 33 knots
Range: 6,520 nmi at 13 knots (24 km/h)
Complement: 907
Armament: Twelve (after 1943 refit Nine) BL 6 inch Mk XXIII naval guns (4 (3) × 3),
eight 4 inch guns (4 × 2),
eight 40 mm Bofors AA (4 × 2) guns,
3 quadruple 2 pounder ("pom-pom") AA mounts, 12 20 mm AA (6 × 2) guns.
Six 21 inch (2 × 3) torpedo tubes
Armour: Main belt: 83 mm,
deck: 51 mm,
turrets: 51 mm,
Director control tower: 102 mm.
Aircraft carried: Two Supermarine Walrus aircraft, removed November 1943.
Honours & awards: Atlantic 1941, Norway 1941, Actic 1942, Malta Convoys 1942, Sabang 1944, Burma 1944-45
Badge: On a Field barry wavy of six White and Blue within two triangles Green, the Imperial Crown Proper

HMS Nigeria (pennant number 60) was a Crown Colony-class light cruiser of the Royal Navy completed early in World War II and served throughout that conflict. She was named for the (then) British territory of Nigeria.


Home waters[edit]

Ship's badge in the National Maritime Museum

Nigeria served in Home waters and off the Scandinavian coast for the early part of the war. On 28 June 1941 Nigeria, in company with HMS Bedouin, HMS Tartar and HMS Jupiter intercepted the German weather ship Lauenburg in thick fog north-east of Jan Mayen Island. The German ship was detected through the use of HF/DF. The crew of the Lauenburg abandoned ship after they were fired upon, allowing the British to board her. Valuable codebooks and parts of the Enigma machine were found aboard and recovered. This was one of the earliest captures of Enigma material of the war, and came a few weeks after HMS Bulldog had captured the first complete Enigma machine from the German submarine U-110 on 9 May 1941.

In July 1941, Nigeria became the flagship of Force K, commanded by Rear Admiral Philip Vian. During this period, Force K made two expeditions to Spitsbergen (Norwegian territory), the first to ascertain the situation and the second, in September, to escort a troopship, Empress of Australia,[1] with Canadian troops and a team of demolition experts (see Operation Gauntlet). Their task was to evacuate Norwegian and Soviet personnel from the archipelago and destroy coalmines and fuel stocks that might be of use to the enemy. Bear Island was also visited to destroy a German weather station. The two cruisers of the task force, Nigeria and HMS Aurora diverted to intercept a German convoy. During this action, Nigeria sank the German training ship Bremse, but suffered serious damage to her bow, possibly having detonated a mine.[2] On return to Britain, she was sent to Newcastle for repairs.[3]

A distant view of HMS Nigeria stopped and on fire after being torpedoed

The Mediterranean and Far East[edit]

Nigeria was then assigned to operate in the Mediterranean. On 12 August 1942 she was participating in Operation Pedestal, escorting a convoy bound for Malta. She was the flagship of the close escort group, commanded by Admiral Harold Burrough. Nigeria was torpedoed and damaged by the Italian submarine Axum but managed to make it back to Gibraltar escorted by three destroyers. Admiral Burrough meanwhile transferred his flag to the destroyer HMS Ashanti whilst Nigeria returned to Gibraltar.

She was sent from there to the United States for repairs, which took nine months to complete. After these were complete, she operated off the South African coast, and on 12 March 1943 she picked up 30 survivors from the American merchant James B. Stephens that was torpedoed and sunk on 8 March 1943 by the German submarine U-160 about 150 nautical miles (280 km) north-east of Durban. Nigeria was then assigned to operate with the Eastern Fleet from February 1944 until December 1945, when she returned to the UK to be refitted. During her time in the far east, she participated in raids on Sumatra.

Post war[edit]

Main article: INS Mysore (1939)

Nigeria survived the war and continued in service with the Royal Navy until 29 August 1957 when she was sold to the Indian Navy, who renamed her Mysore. During her time with the Indian Navy, she collided with the destroyer HMS Hogue, severely damaging the Hogue's bow. Mysore was in service with them for a further 28 years until she was decommissioned on 20 August 1985.


  1. ^ "HMS Nigeria at Naval". Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  2. ^ Mason, Geoffrey B (2004). "HMS NIGERIA - Colony-type Light Cruiser". SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2. Retrieved 12 May 2009. 
  3. ^ Vian, Philip (1960). Action This Day. London: Frederick Muller. pp. 68–73. 


External links[edit]