Edinburgh file photo

HMS Edinburgh

CountryUnited Kingdom
Ship ClassTown-class Light Cruiser
Hull Number16
BuilderSwan Hunter and Wigham Richardson, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, United Kingdom
Laid Down30 Dec 1936
Launched31 Mar 1938
Commissioned6 Jul 1939
Sunk2 May 1942
Displacement13175 tons standard
Length614 feet
Beam65 feet
Draft23 feet
MachineryFour Admiralty 3-drum boilers, four-shaft Parsons geared turbines
Power Output82500 SHP
Speed33 knots
Crew750
Armament4x3x152mm BL 6in Mk XXIII guns, 8x101.6mm QF 4in Mk XVI guns, 2x8x40mm QF 2pdr AA guns, 8x12.7mm Vickers machine guns, 2x3x533mm torpedo tubes, 6 torpedoes
Armor1.5in to 4.88in
AircraftTwo Walrus aircraft

Contributor: C. Peter Chen

HMS Edinburgh was one of the two ships of the Edinburgh-subclass of the Town-class light cruisers, which was the final subclass of the Town-class. Upon commissioning in mid-1939, she was assigned to the Home Fleet of the British Royal Navy and patrolled between Iceland and the Faroe Islands. In Oct 1939, while in the Firth of Forth estuary in Scotland, United Kingdom, she sustained minor damage by German aircraft. On 23 Oct, she departed Scotland as an escort for Allied convoys to and from Narvik, Norway. In late Nov, she hunted for German battleship Scharnhorst which had just sank the armed merchant cruiser HMS Rawalpindi. After a lengthy refitting that took up most of 1940, she returned to active service in Nov 1940, escorting Allied convoy WS4B to Freetown, British West Africa. In Dec 1940, she sortied to hunt for a rumored German raider in the North Atlantic. In early 1941, she escorted convoys in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, laid mines off Denmark, and supported the raid on Lofoten Islands, Norway. In early 1942, she was refitted at Tyne, England, United Kingdom once again. In Mar and Apr, she escorted convoys QP4, PQ13, and PQ14 between Britain and the Soviet Union.

On 28 Apr 1942, HMS Edinburgh departed Murmansk, Russia as the flagship of Rear-Admiral Stuart Bonham Carter, escorting the 17-ship Allied convoy QP11. On route, on 30 Apr, she was struck by a torpedo on the starboard side by German submarine U-456. She began to list heavily, but successful counter-flooding righted her. U-456 returned, however, and hit her again in the stern, heavily damaging her steering equipment. An attempt was made to tow her back to Murmansk with a light escort. German torpedo bombers shadowed her along the way, attacking occasionally. On 2 May, German destroyers Z.7 Hermann Schoemann, Z.24, and Z.25 attacked her and her escorts off Bear Island, Norway. Her tow lines were cut to allow her to sail in circles (due to the damaged steering equipment), firing at the German ships. Her second salvo straddled Z.7 Hermann Schoemann, heavily damaging the German destroyer which ultimately was scuttled. Before the other two destroyers were chased off, however, Edinburgh was hit by another torpedo on the port side. As this third hit was about the exact opposite side as the first torpedo hit of 30 Apr, thus her structural integrity was now in question. Deciding that it would be too risky to try to tow her to port, she was scuttled after about 840 people aboard were taken off by HMS Gossamer and HMS Harrier. It took 20 shots from HMS Harrier, depth charges, and two torpedoes from HMS Foresight to sink her. She went to the bottom of the sea with 4,570 kilograms of Soviet gold, which was meant to be payment for Allied war supplies. Most of the 465 gold bars were recovered in the 1980s, most of which (431) were recovered during the 1981 mission by dive support vessel Stephaniturm, while a 1986 mission recovered a further 29 bars.

Source: Wikipedia

Light Cruiser HMS Edinburgh (16) Interactive Map

HMS Edinburgh Operational Timeline

30 Dec 1936 The keel of HMS Edinburgh was laid down.
31 Mar 1938 HMS Edinburgh was launched.
6 Jul 1939 HMS Edinburgh was commissioned into service and was assigned to the 18th Cruiser Squadron of the Home Fleet of the British Royal Navy.
16 Oct 1939 HMS Edinburgh was slightly damaged by German aircraft while in the Firth of Forth, Scotland, United Kingdom.
23 Oct 1939 HMS Edinburgh departed Rosyth, Scotland, United Kingdom.
18 Mar 1940 HMS Edinburgh arrived at Tyne, England, United Kingdom for a refit.
28 Oct 1940 HMS Edinburgh completed her refitting at Tyne, England, United Kingdom.
18 Nov 1940 HMS Edinburgh departed Faslane Naval Base on the Clyde, Scotland, United Kingdom to escort Allied convoy WS4B to Freetown, British West Africa.
12 Dec 1940 HMS Edinburgh arrived at Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom.
31 Dec 1940 HMS Edinburgh arrived at Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom.
15 Apr 1941 HMS Edinburgh completed escort duties with Allied convoy SL.69 and arrived at Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom.
4 May 1941 HMS Edinburgh supported the raid on Lofoten Islands, Norway.
22 May 1941 HMS Edinburgh intercepted German ship Lech in the Bay of Biscay.
1 Jun 1941 HMS Edinburgh was ordered to patrol the Denmark Strait.
24 Jul 1941 HMS Edinburgh arrived at Malta.
25 Jul 1941 HMS Edinburgh was attacked by a German torpedo bomber at Malta; the torpedo missed.
28 Sep 1941 HMS Edinburgh arrived at Malta.
1 Oct 1941 HMS Edinburgh departed Malta.
4 Mar 1942 HMS Edinburgh completed her refitting at Tyne, England, United Kingdom.
28 Mar 1942 HMS Edinburgh arrived at Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom.
6 Apr 1942 HMS Edinburgh departed Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom.
19 Apr 1942 HMS Edinburgh arrived at Murmansk, Russia.
26 Apr 1942 HMS Edinburgh embarked 5 tons of Soviet gold worth about 5,000,000 at Murmansk, Russia; it was meant to be the down payment for US war goods.
27 Apr 1942 At Murmansk, Russia, HMS Edinburgh embarked wounded merchant mariners, British Army personnel (who had trained Soviet counterparts), British Royal Air Force personnel (who also trained their Soviet counterparts), and Czechoslovakians and Polish nationals who had fled German occupation.
28 Apr 1942 HMS Edinburgh departed Murmansk, Russia.
30 Apr 1942 German submarine U-456 damaged HMS Edinburgh, escorting Allied convoy QP-11, with two torpedoes (one hitting amidships and another ripped off the stern) in the Norwegian Sea 200 miles north of Murmansk, Russia at 1618 hours. She was carrying 5,000,000 worth of Soviet gold meant as down payment for US weapons and other war supplies. HMS Edinburgh sailed for Murmansk at the slow speed of 3 knots, escorted by two British destroyer and two Soviet destroyers. U-456 ran out of torpedoes thus could not make further attacks, but the submarine remained near the convoy to report in the convoy's position.
2 May 1942 Already-damaged HMS Edinburgh, carrying 5,000,000 worth of Soviet gold meant as down payment for US weapons and other war supplies, was spotted by German destroyers Z7 Hermann Schoemann, Z24, and Z25 at 0630 hours. In the ensuing engagement, Edinburgh hit Z7 while destroyer HMS Forester was hit by Z7's torpedo and destroyer HMS Foresight was hit by shellfire. Z7 would be scuttled at 0830 hours. HMS Edinburgh suffered a torpedo hit which killed 57. Now structurally unsound, she was scuttled by HMS Harrier and HMS Foresight at 0900 hours. The gold also went to the bottom of the Barents Sea.
12 May 1942 About 60 survivors of HMS Edinburgh embarked HMS Trinidad at Murmansk, Russia.
30 Aug 1981 Dive support vessel Stephaniturm arrived over the wreck of HMS Edinburgh in the Barents Sea and began diving missions to recover the gold still aboard the wreck.
15 Sep 1981 A diver penetrated the wreck of HMS Edinburgh in the Barents Sea for the first time and recovered a gold bar.
7 Oct 1981 Poor weather forced dive support vessel Stephaniturm to end its mission to the wreck of HMS Edinburgh in the Barents Sea earlier than scheduled. This mission recovered 431 of 465 gold bars aboard the wreck.

Photographs

HMS Edinburgh, HMS Hermione, and HMS Euryalus escorting the Operation Halberd convoy to Malta, Sep 1941HMS Edinburgh off Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom, 28 Oct 1941HMS Edinburgh and an American destroyer underway in the Atlantic Ocean while escorting USS Wasp, circa 3 Apr 1942; side 1 of photoHMS Edinburgh and an American destroyer underway in the Atlantic Ocean while escorting USS Wasp, circa 3 Apr 1942; side 2 of photo
See all 6 photographs of Light Cruiser HMS Edinburgh (16)



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Visitor Submitted Comments

  1. Marje McCluskey says:
    17 Dec 2013 07:29:23 AM

    My dad was a Royal Marine on the Edinburgh and the Trinidad. He is still alive aged 92 and living in Liverpool, our city of birth. I wonder if there are any other survivors.

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Event(s) Participated:
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Light Cruiser HMS Edinburgh (16) Photo Gallery
HMS Edinburgh, HMS Hermione, and HMS Euryalus escorting the Operation Halberd convoy to Malta, Sep 1941
See all 6 photographs of Light Cruiser HMS Edinburgh (16)



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