HMS Acasta (H09)

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For other ships with the same name, see HMS Acasta.
HMS ACASTA (H09).jpg
Acasta in 1930
History
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Acasta
Builder: John Brown & Company, Clydebank
Yard number: 525
Laid down: 13 August 1928
Launched: 8 August 1929
Commissioned: 11 February 1930
Fate: Sunk by the German warships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, 8 June 1940
General characteristics (as built)
Class and type: A-class destroyer
Displacement:
Length: 323 ft (98 m) (o/a)
Beam: 32 ft 3 in (9.83 m)
Draught: 12 ft 3 in (3.73 m)
Installed power:
Propulsion: 2 × shafts; 2 × geared steam turbines
Speed: 35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph)
Range: 4,080 nmi (7,560 km; 4,700 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Complement: 138
Armament:

HMS Acasta, the third ship to bear that name, launched in 1929, was an A-class destroyer built for the Royal Navy. She served in the Second World War and was sunk on 8 June 1940 in action against the German warships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, while escorting the aircraft carrier Glorious. Glorious and her other escort — Ardent — were also sunk.

Acasta proved to be a tough opponent for the larger German ships, laying smoke to hide Glorious and making repeated torpedo and gun attacks. She scored several gun hits and one torpedo hit on Scharnhorst, causing moderate damage to the much larger German vessel. Acasta was finally sunk after roughly two hours of fighting; the battle flag of the Gneisenau was lowered to half mast and her crew brought to attention to honour the brave fight of Acasta and her crew. The damage to the German vessels inflicted by Ardent and Acasta caused them to retire to Trondheim, allowing the safe passage of convoys carrying Allied troops from Norway.

Although many of her crew survived to abandon the ship, communication errors meant the British were initially unaware of the sinking. In the end, there was only a single survivor from Acasta; estimates place the number of sailors from Ardent, Acasta and Glorious lost to exposure (rather than direct enemy action) at up to 800. The single survivor from Acasta, Ldg. Seaman Cyril Carter, was rescued by the Norwegian steam merchant Borgund which also saved 38 men from one of Glorious' lifeboats. All 39 men saved by Borgund were set ashore at Tórshavn in the Faroe Islands on 14 June.[1]

Footnotes[edit]

References[edit]

  • Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) [1969]. Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475. 
  • English, John (1993). Amazon to Ivanhoe: British Standard Destroyers of the 1930s. Kendal, England: World Ship Society. ISBN 0-905617-64-9. 
  • Friedman, Norman (2009). British Destroyers From Earliest Days to the Second World War. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-59114-081-8. 
  • Haarr, Geirr H. (2010). The Battle for Norway: April – June 1940. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-59114-051-1. 
  • Haarr, Geirr H. (2009). The German Invasion of Norway, April 1940. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-59114-310-9. 
  • Hodges, Peter; Friedman, Norman (1979). Destroyer Weapons of World War 2. Greenwich: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 978-0-85177-137-3. 
  • Lenton, H. T. (1998). British & Empire Warships of the Second World War. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-048-7. 
  • Rohwer, Jürgen (2005). Chronology of the War at Sea 1939–1945: The Naval History of World War Two (Third Revised ed.). Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-119-2. 
  • Whitley, M. J. (1988). Destroyers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-326-1. 
  • Winser, John de D. (1999). B.E.F. Ships Before, At and After Dunkirk. Gravesend, Kent: World Ship Society. ISBN 0-905617-91-6. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 68°45′N 4°30′E / 68.75°N 4.5°E / 68.75; 4.5