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H.M.S. Warspite

1043 of 1160 nominations


H.M.S. Warspite

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H.M.S. Warspite

H.M.S. Warspite demonstrated true English fighting spirit – she never gave up. She was one of the most decorated ships of the twentieth century (25 battle honours) and served in both world wars. At the Battle of Jutland in 1916 she was hit by thirteen shells when her steering gear jammed and she ended up circling helplessly in front of the German fleet – firing all the time, needless to say. Possibly thanks to another direct hit, the gear suddenly re-engaged and she was able to sail to safety. She showed similar grit in 1941 when she was damaged by German bombers during the evacuation of Crete but still staggered the colossal distance to Bremerton, USA, via Singapore and Hawaii, under her own power! Two years later she was back out in the Mediterranean supporting the Allies when she was struck by a guided missile. Even on her way to the breakers, in 1947, she managed to break free of her anchor and run aground in Mounts Bay, Cornwall – a final act of defiance!

Image: Topfoto.co.uk


Your comments

Contrary to the opinion that Victory and Ark Royal are THE icons of Britain's defence of democracy against dictatorship etc., the Warspite is the most legendary naval vessel in British history with more battle honours that any other and having fought against fascism in two world wars. Sadly the unsentimental British sent her to the scrapyard instead of preserving her. There are some good photos of her being broken up in Mount's Bay Cornwall (I used a couple in my book on her.) She also ran aground nearby - at the time a huge story as she was an icon of British fighting spirit in the 1940s. Probably not much of a popular nomination? I wouldn't bet on it - she is still an icon to many people in the UK and around the world.

Iain Ballantyne

I recently found a letter addressed to my Grandmother from a crew member of the HMS Warspite who was married to my Grandmother's sister. Victor Buxton was the crewmans name and he appearently was in the US while the ship was undergoing some maintenance. Can you tell me more about the repair or the crewman?
Robert Lagana

My Older brother served on HMS Warspite at Narvik. Crete and Matapan with the Royal Marines Kings Squad.I am told by my parents that he had his 18 Birthday at Narvik?His Name is Cecil Atkinson.
Derek Atkinson

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My favourite Icon of England has to be the Cornish Pasty.

Ian Baldry