|Birth name||Henry Harwood Harwood|
19 January 1888|
St George Hanover Square, London
|Died||9 June 1950
|Buried||Goring-on-Thames parish churchyard|
|Years of service||1904–1945|
|Commands held||HMS Cumberland (June 1927-June 1928)
HMS Warwick & 9th Destroyer Division (August 1929-April 1930)
HMS London (March 1932-January 1934)
HMS Exeter (September 1936-August 1939)
South American Division of the North America and West Indies Station (25 August 1939-April 1940)
a Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty (December 1940-April 1942)
Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Station (renamed Levant)
Admiral Commanding, Orkneys and Shetlands (April 1944-March 1945)
|Battles/wars||World War II
- River Plate
|Awards||Order of Merit (Chile) (1940)|
Following education at Stubbington House School, Harwood entered the Royal Navy in 1904 and specialised in torpedoes. He served in the First World War. In 1919, he served on the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign, 1st Battle Squadron. By 1929 he had been promoted to captain and become the Commanding Officer of the destroyer HMS Warwick and Senior Officer of the 9th Destroyer Division.
In 1931 and 1932, Harwood attended the Imperial Defence College. Upon completion of the course in March 1932, he became flag captain of the heavy cruiser HMS London whilst at the same time serving as Chief Staff Officer to the Rear-Admiral Commanding the 1st Cruiser Squadron. From July 1934 until 1936, Harwood served on the staff of the Royal Naval War College at Greenwich (HMS President).
In September 1936, Harwood was appointed commodore and given command of the South American Division of the America and West Indies Station, whilst at the same time serving as commanding officer of the cruiser HMS Exeter. At the outbreak of the Second World War, command of HMS Exeter passed to Captain F.S. Bell.
Second World War
Harwood commanded a squadron consisting of the heavy cruisers HMS Cumberland and HMS Exeter, and the light cruisers HMS Achilles and HMS Ajax. He flew his broad pennant in Ajax as his flagship. The squadron was deployed to the South Atlantic against the Admiral Graf Spee, which was attacking Allied shipping there.
Harwood suspected that Graf Spee would try to strike next at the merchant shipping off the River Plate estuary. With Cumberland being absent for repairs, Harwood deployed his other three cruisers off the estuary on 12 December. In the ensuing Battle of the River Plate on 13 December, Harwood's cruisers were damaged, but so was Graf Spee, which fled to Montevideo in neutral Uruguay. She was scuttled there a few days later.
From December 1940 to April 1942, Rear-Admiral Harwood served as a Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty and Assistant Chief of Naval Staff. In April 1942, Harwood was promoted to vice-admiral and Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet, and flew his flag at HMS Nile. The command was later split, and he became Commander-in-Chief, Levant, in February 1943, with responsibility for flank support and seaborne supply of the British Eighth Army.
In April 1944, Harwood became Admiral Commanding, Orkneys and Shetlands (HMS Proserpine). He retired on 15 August 1945 with the rank of admiral, having been declared medically unfit for further duty.
Sir Henry Harwood died in Goring-on-Thames in 1950.
Commodore Henry Harwood RN, HMS Ajax, was played by Anthony Quayle in the Film Battle of the River Plate
|Sub-Lieutenant||1908-04-09, seniority 1907-07-30|
|Commodore 2nd class||1936-09-17?|
|Commodore 1st class||1939-08-25?|
|Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath||23 December 1939||action with the Admiral Graf Spee, 13 December 1939|
|Officer of the Order of the British Empire||17 July 1919||?|
|Mentioned in Despatches||1 January 1941||New Year 1941|
|Greek War Cross||17 April 1943||services to the Greek Navy|
|Gold Medal of Concepcion (Chile)||1939?||Concepcion earthquake 1939-01-24|
|Grand Officer, Order of Merit (Chile)||1940-09-06||Concepcion earthquake 1939-01-24|
- Noomen, E.J. (1998–2010). "Graves of World War II personalities". Retrieved 3 May 2010.
- Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives
- Houterman, Hans. "Royal Navy (RN) Officers 1939-1945 (HARV to HAYW)". Unithistories. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
- Battle of the River Plate, December 1939 Naval History
- Greek War Cross
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sir Henry Harwood.|
Sir Andrew Cunningham
|Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet
April 1942–February 1943
Sir Andrew Cunningham
February 1943–June 1943
Sir John Cunningham
Sir Lionel Wells
|Admiral Commanding, Orkneys and Shetlands
April 1944–March 1945