Return to Home Page


Pages viewed today - 320
Most pages viewed - 4,550
Photo Votes - 1,145,421
Last ship vote - Ashigara; Ex
Most votes in a day - 2,100
Votes today - 1
Users Online - 50

HMS Manchester

Gloucester Class Light Cruiser

1942
1942
Rate this photo

Votes365
score6.679
rank1,532

Built by Hawthorn Leslie, Hebburn. Laid Down 28 March 1936.

Launched 12 April 1937. Completed 4 August 1938.

Torpedoed 23/7/41 Malta convoy - repaired Philadelphia 9/41 - 2/42.

Sunk 13 August 1942 during Operation Pedestal by torpedoes from Italian MTBs MAS16 and MAS22, off Tunisia, crippled and scuttled (150 lost).

Manchester was serving in the East Indies with the 4th Cruiser Squadron at the outbreak of war, but was ordered home and arrived back Britain on 25 November 1939. She subsequently served with the Home Fleet at Scapa on Northern Patrol duties, capturing the German merchantman Wahehe on 21 February 1940. After participating in the Norwegian campaign she was then based in the Humber for anti-invasion duties, but on 15 September sailed to the Mediterranean for Operation Collar and was present at the action off Cape Spartivento on 27 November. Manchester returned to Britain on 13 December 1940 and spent the first four months of 1941 under refit, then undertook Denmark Straits patrols during the Bismarck sortie. In July she returned to the Mediterranean for an important Malta convoy, but on 23 July she was hit on the port quarter by an aerial torpedo and badly damaged. Temporary repairs were made at Gibraltar, and the ship then sailed for Philadelphia for complete repair. This was finished on 27 February 1942, after which she returned to Portsmouth, where final work was completed by the end of April. On her return to service she joined the Home Fleet at Scapa Flow during the first week of May, then carried out Russian convoy cover duties and the reinforcement of Spitzbergen. In August she returned to the Mediterranean for Operation Pedestal, during which, on the night of 12/13 August 1942, she was hit by a torpedo from either Ms 16 or Ms 22 off Tunisia and crippled.

The aircraft carrier Eagle had already been sunk. In daylight there were ceaseless air attacks and at night submarines and motor torpedo boats followed up. It was a torpedo from an MTB, either Ms16 or Ms22, that struck Manchester in the early hours of the morning, when she was about 7 miles off the Tunisian coast.

Leading Stoker Albert Slater was in the engine-room when the torpedo struck home. He went through an ordeal which might have been the experience of any of the hundreds of men serving in the engine-rooms of other ships.

He was standing on some plates about 20 feet above the engine-room floor when the explosion plunged everything into darkness. He was blown off the plates, and only the water rushing into the compartment saved him from injury that would have made it impossible for him to get clear. The water carried him up, and there appeared to be nothing to stop his being drowned when the water reached the top of the compartment. Suddenly it ceased to rise, and Slater pulled himself on to a turbine where he sat in pitch darkness - half stifled by heat and steam.

A slight glimmer of light through some pipes gave him fresh hope, but he could not climb over the pipes without being badly burned, so he plunged into the water and came up at a point where the air was a little better. Groping along the deckheads he cut his hand on a broken lamp; but the lamp told him where he was. He went on until he found himself beneath an open hatch. He was pulled clear a few minutes before it became necessary to clamp down the hatch against the advancing waters.

When the Manchester sank three officers and 142 men were picked up, but only after some of them had spent several hours in the water.

1938 in China station colours
1938 in China station colours
Rate this photo

Votes6,296
score6.940
rank211

good view of the bridge area - probably 1938
good view of the bridge area - probably 1938
Rate this photo

Votes438
score6.852
rank857

27 November 1940 - Spartivento - in the high-speed chase of Italian cruisers and destroyers, Manchester, seen from Sheffield, narrowly survives a salvo of 15in shells from the Italian battleship Vitrorio Veneto. Beyond Manchester is Newcastle.
27 November 1940 - Spartivento - in the high-speed chase of Italian cruisers and destroyers, Manchester, seen from Sheffield, narrowly survives a salvo of 15in shells from the Italian battleship Vitrorio Veneto. Beyond Manchester is Newcastle.
Rate this photo

Votes246
score6.654
rank1,564

this and the following 4 pics were taken during the repairs in Philadelphia
this and the following 4 pics were taken during the repairs in Philadelphia
Rate this photo

Votes167
score6.060
rank1,824

Rate this photo

Votes131
score5.611
rank1,908

Rate this photo

Votes132
score5.697
rank1,900

Rate this photo

Votes72
score5.264
rank1,933

very interesting pic
very interesting pic
Rate this photo

Votes125
score5.456
rank1,923

1942
1942
Rate this photo

Votes504
score6.873
rank620

1942 with what looks like Rodney behind her.
1942 with what looks like Rodney behind her.
Rate this photo

Votes438
score6.861
rank757

Manchester survivors - Pedestal convoy
Manchester survivors - Pedestal convoy
Rate this photo

Votes229
score6.860
rank762

data-matched-content-rows-num="6" data-matched-content-columns-num="1" data-ad-format="autorelaxed"> data-matched-content-ui-type="image_sidebyside"