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 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) 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 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 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]