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HMS Effingham

Cavendish Class Heavy Cruiser

after modernisation, in Norwegian waters
after modernisation, in Norwegian waters
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 Built by Portsmouth DY Laid Down 6 April 1917.

Launched 8 June 1921. Completed 2 July 1925

Struck a rock in the Narvik area 18 May 1940 during the Norwegian campaign becoming a total loss. Sunk by gunfire on 21 May.

In 1937 Effingham was extensively modernised and re-armed as a light cruiser. Her two funnels were trunked into one, unraked, to give her an appearance remarkedly similar to that of the Leander Class light cruisers.

Effingham served as flagship of the 4th Cruiser Squadron in the East Indies between 1925 and 1932. On her return home she was recommissioned on 20 September 1932 as flagship VA Reserve Fleet, and spent most of the prewar years in reserve status. She was a unit of the 12th Cruiser Squadron at the outbreak of war, and served in the Northern Patrol prior to escorting North Atlantic convoys before the end of 1939. She transported £2 million in gold to Halifax, Nova Scotia, in November. As one of the few ships of the Northern Patrol with good endurance, she was ordered into the Atlantic to join the hunting groups formed when it was suspected that German raiders were at sea; the precise task for which she had been designed 25 years earlier. She moved to the North Sea in April 1940 for the Norwegian campaign, and survived at attack by U38. She was employed in shelling enemy positions in and around Narvik until May, but while running reinforcements to Bodo she struck an isolated rock in the Narvik area on 18 May, becoming a total loss. The wreck was sunk by gunfire on 21 May. Although the rock was on the chart, it was obscured by the navigator's pencilled track, and the ship was dead on course !

Grand Harbour Malta 1925, showing the Mail Boat, Effingham and Malaya
Grand Harbour Malta 1925, showing the Mail Boat, Effingham and Malaya
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as rebuilt just before the war
as rebuilt just before the war
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August 1939
August 1939
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wrecked, 18 May 1940, with all engine and boiler rooms flooded
wrecked, 18 May 1940, with all engine and boiler rooms flooded
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