HMS Zulu (F18)

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HMS Zulu FL21966.jpg
HMS Zulu
United Kingdom
Name: Zulu
Namesake: Zulu people
Ordered: 10 March 1936
Builder: Alexander Stephen and Sons, Linthouse
Cost: £351,135
Laid down: 27 August 1936
Launched: 23 September 1937
Completed: 6 September 1938
Identification: Pennant number: L18, later F18
Fate: Sunk by German aircraft off Tobruk, 14 September 1942
General characteristics (as built)
Class and type: Tribal-class destroyer
Length: 377 ft (115 m) (o/a)
Beam: 36 ft 6 in (11.13 m)
Draught: 11 ft 3 in (3.43 m)
Installed power:
Propulsion: 2 × shafts; 2 × geared steam turbines
Speed: 36 knots (67 km/h; 41 mph)
Range: 5,700 nmi (10,600 km; 6,600 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Complement: 190
Sensors and
processing systems:

The second HMS Zulu was a Tribal-class destroyer of the Royal Navy. She was built in Glasgow by Alexander Stephen and Sons. Her keel was laid down on 10 August 1936. She was launched on 23 September 1937 and commissioned on 7 September 1938. She was sunk by German or Italian aircraft on 14 September 1942, off Tobruk.[1] Some sources credit Junkers Ju 87 "Stuka" dive bombers from StG 3 with her sinking.[2][3] The ship's commanding officer testified that the ship was sunk by a combination of Ju 87s and Junkers Ju 88s.[4]

Operational history[edit]

On 4 August 1942, Zulu — together with Sikh, Croome and Tetcott — sank the German submarine U-372 off Haifa. Zulu's commanding officerCommander R.T. White, D.S.O.* — was Mentioned in Despatches for his efforts in sinking U-372.

In September 1942, Zulu participated in Operation Agreement, a commando raid at Tobruk, together with cruiser Coventry and destroyer Sikh. She had the task of scuttling Coventry after she was damaged in an air raid. Zulu was sunk by enemy aircraft on 14 September 1942, after bombarding Tobruk, following the rescue of Sikh. Shore batteries hit Sikh which began to sink. White manoeuvred his ship to try to rescue Sikh and her crew, attaching lines to her to drag her out of danger, having laid a smokescreen. Sikh eventually sank but Zulu succeeded in saving the lives of a number of her crew. Aircraft continued to attack Zulu and she finally succumbed, sinking the following day. Zulu took forty casualties from these attacks: twelve killed, twenty-seven missing, and one member of the crew was wounded. The attack, according to her commanding officer, was carried out by Ju 88s and Ju 87s—12 Ju 87s belonging to III./Sturzkampfgeschwader 3 formed part of the attack.[4]



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  • English, John (2001). Afridi to Nizam: British Fleet Destroyers 1937–43. Gravesend, Kent: World Ship Society. ISBN 0-905617-64-9.
  • de Zeng, H.L.; Stankey, D.G.; Creek, E.J. (2009). Dive-Bomber and Ground-Attack Units of the Luftwaffe, 1933–1945: A Reference Source, Vol. 1. Ian Allan Publishing. ISBN 978-1-9065-3708-1.
  • Friedman, Norman (2006). British Destroyers and Frigates, the Second World War and After. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-86176-137-6.
  • 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 (1971). Tribal Class Destroyers. London: Almark. ISBN 0-85524-047-4.
  • 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. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-326-1.
  • Weal, John (1998). Junkers Ju 87 Stukageschwader of North Africa and the Mediterranean. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85532-722-1.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°0′N 28°56′E / 32.000°N 28.933°E / 32.000; 28.933