Order of battle for Convoy SC 7

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HMS Fowey was one of the Royal Navy ships to come to the assistance of the convoy

Convoy SC-7 was the seventh of the SC convoys, bound from Sydney, Nova Scotia across the North Atlantic to a number of British ports, mainly Liverpool.[1] They were designated SC as their departure point was designated Sydney, Cape Breton in order to avoid confusion with Sydney in Australia.[2] The convoys formed part of the battle of the Atlantic during the Second World War. Large numbers of merchants travelled together with naval escorts to protect against U-boat attacks. They were often slow, the merchants often only being capable of a speed of around eight knots and so were particularly vulnerable to attack.[2] This problem was exacerbated by a shortage of suitable escorts from either the Royal Canadian Navy or the Royal Navy in the early stages of the war.[3]

Convoy SC-7 left Sydney on 5 October 1940, consisting of 36 merchants initially escorted by the Canadian armed yacht HMCS Elk and the British sloop HMS Scarborough.[4] Having seen the convoy out of Canadian waters, Elk turned back on 7 October leaving the convoy to spend three quarters of the crossing escorted by the lone Scarborough.[4] One of the merchants, SS Winona had developed engine problems and also turned back.[4] The crossing was uneventful to begin with, the only casualty being the SS Trevisa which was straggling behind the main convoy and was torpedoed and sunk on 16 October by U-124.[5]

The main convoy was spotted the following day by U-38, which sank the SS Aenos.[6] Further sporadic attacks continued that day and the following, despite the arrival of the sloop HMS Fowey and the corvette HMS Bluebell. The night of 18/19 October saw the successful use of the wolf pack tactics of Germany's U-boat fleet. Five U-boats; U-46, U-99, U-100, U-101 and U-123 attacked en-masse, overwhelming the escorts, newly reinforced by HMS Leith and Heartsease.[7] They sank 16 merchants in a six hour period, bringing the total to twenty merchants sunk and a total tonnage lost of 79,592 Gross registered tons. The U-boats only broke off their attacks to intercept Convoy HX-79 that had arrived in the area. They went on to sink a further 12 ships from this convoy, for a total of 28 ships sunk on 18/19 October, making this the deadliest two days of the battle of the Atlantic.[7] The surviving merchants were gathered up by the remaining escorts and brought into port several days later.

Merchant ships[edit]

      This along with the * indicates that the ship was sunk

Escorts[edit]

Name Class Navy Date joined Date departed Notes
HMS Bluebell Flower class corvette  Royal Navy 18 October 21 October
HMCS Elk Armed yacht  Royal Canadian Navy 5 October 7 October
HMS Fowey Shoreham class sloop  Royal Navy 18 October 21 October
HMS Heartsease Flower class corvette  Royal Navy 18 October 21 October Dispatched with the damaged Carsbreck on 18 October
HMS Leith Grimsby class sloop  Royal Navy 18 October 21 October
HMS Scarborough Hastings class sloop  Royal Navy 5 October 21 October Lost contact with the convoy on 17 October and was unable to rejoin

U-boats[edit]

Name Commander Ships sunk Ships damaged Notes
U-38 Heinrich Liebe 1 1
U-46 Engelbert Endrass 3 0
U-48 Heinrich Bleichrodt 2 0
U-99 Otto Kretschmer 6 1
U-100 Joachim Schepke 0 3
U-101 Fritz Frauenheim 3 1
U-123 Karl-Heinz Moehle 4 0
U-124 Georg-Wilhelm Schulz 1 0

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Canadian convoys
  2. ^ a b The Allied Convoy System
  3. ^ Battle of the Atlantic
  4. ^ a b c Convoy web
  5. ^ Sinking of Trevisa
  6. ^ Sinking of Aenos
  7. ^ a b Timeline of World War II
  8. ^ D/S Havørn, warsailors.com
  9. ^ D/S Inger Elisabeth, warsailors.com
  10. ^ D/S Karlander, warsailors.com
  11. ^ D/S Snefjeld, warsailors.com
  12. ^ D/S Sneland I, warsailors.com
  13. ^ D/T Thorøy, warsailors.com

References[edit]

External links[edit]