HMS Sikh (F82)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMS Sikh.
HMS Sikh (F82).jpg
HMS Sikh Underway on completion
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Sikh
Namesake: Sikh
Laid down: 24 September 1936[1]
Launched: 17 December 1937
Commissioned: 12 October 1938
Motto: Sicut leonis: 'Be like the lions'
Honours and
awards:
Norway 1940
Atlantic 1940-41
Bismarck Action 1941
Cape Bon 1941
Libya 1941
Malta Convoys 1941-42
Sirte 1942
Mediterranean 1942
Fate: Sunk 14 September 1942
Notes:

The ship had several pennant numbers:[1]
L82: August 1938-December 1938
F82: January 1939-Autumn 1940

G82: Autumn 1940-September 1942
Badge: On a Field Red. a 'Sikh' lion, Gold, behind his head a Sikh quoit, silver.
General characteristics
Class & type: Tribal-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,870 long tons (1,900 t)
Length: 364 ft 8 in (111.15 m)
Beam: 36 ft 6 in (11.13 m)
Draught: 13 ft (4.0 m)
Propulsion: 2 × Parsons geared steam turbines
3 × Admiralty 3-drum boilers rated at 300 psi
2 × shafts
Complement: 190[2]
Armament: 8 × 4.7 in (120 mm) dual purpose guns (4x2), 4 × 2-pounder anti-aircraft guns (1x4), 8 × .50 in (13 mm) anti-aircraft machine guns (2x4), 4 × 21 in (530 mm) torpedo tubes (1x4; Mk. IX torpedoes), 2 × depth charge throwers, 1 × depth charge rail

HMS Sikh (F82) was a Tribal-class destroyer of the 4th Destroyer Flotilla of the Royal Navy. She was built by Alexander Stephen and Sons in Glasgow and commissioned in 1938. In 1941, while under the command of Commander Stokes, she took part in the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck in 1941. The night before Bismarck was sunk, she fired a salvo of four torpedoes and claimed a hit after hearing underwater explosions, but actually there were no hits.

Sikh transferred to the Mediterranean serving as part of Force H. On 13 December 1941, Sikh — together with Legion, Maori and HNLMS Isaac Sweers — sank the Italian cruisers Alberico da Barbiano and Alberto di Giussano.

On 4 August 1942, Sikh together with Zulu, Croome and Tetcott sank the German submarine U-372 off Haifa.

On 14 September, Sikh and Zulu landed and then covered Operation Agreement, a commando raid on Tobruk. Sikh was hit and sunk by German Eighty-eight FlaK anti-aircraft batteries — 115 men were lost, and many more were taken prisoner. Zulu was damaged and sunk by bombing the following day.

Books have been written about the disaster: 'Massacre at Tobruk', by Peter C. Smith, ISBN 0-7183-0664-3, and 'Tobruk Commando', by Gordon Landsborough, ISBN 1-85367-025-1. Another book, 'Lower Deck', was written by one of the crew who served on 'B' gun, John Davies. All ships' name were changed as the book was written during the war — Sikh was Skye, and Zulu was Amori.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Helgason, Guðmundur. "HMS Sikh (F 82)". Uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Tribal class". Uboat.net. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 

References[edit]

  • Brice, Martin H. (1971). The Tribals. London: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-0245-2. 
  • English, John (2001). Afridi to Nizam: British Fleet Destroyers 1937–43. Gravesend, Kent: World Ship Society. ISBN 0-905617-95-0. 

Coordinates: 32°5′52″N 24°0′0″E / 32.09778°N 24.00000°E / 32.09778; 24.00000