|Ship Class||Hawkins-class Heavy Cruiser|
|Builder||Portsmouth Dockyard, England, United Kingdom|
|Laid Down||6 Apr 1917|
|Launched||8 Jun 1921|
|Commissioned||2 Jul 1925|
|Sunk||18 May 1940|
|Displacement||9,750 tons standard; 12,190 tons full|
|Machinery||Ten Yarrow-type oil-fired water-tube boilers, Brown-Curtis geared steam turbines, Four shafts|
|Bunkerage||2,186 tons oil|
|Power Output||56,000 SHP|
|Range||5,400nm at 14 knots|
|Armament||9x6in guns, 3x4x0.5in machine guns, 4x21in torpedo tubes|
|Armor||1.5-3in main belt, 1.5-2in upper belt, 1.5in upper deck, 1-1.5in main deck, 1-2in gun shields|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseHMS Effingham was the last of the Hawkins-class cruisers having been commissioned in Jul 1925 after much delay. In the late 1920s, she was the flagship of the Far Eastern Squadron at East Indies Station, and then she was placed in reserve in 1932. In the mid-1930s, as war seemed likely in Europe, she was reactivated for modernization, which took place between Sep 1936 and Jun 1938 at Devonport, Devon, England. Her boilers were reduced from 12 to 10, and the remaining boilers were retubed; this reduced her power to 56,000 shaft horsepower and lowered her top speed to 29 knots. Instead of two funnels, she had only one after the modernization, and in the space previously occupied by the after funnel she received a catapult and a space for a Walrus aircraft (which would never be equipped). Her previous primary armament of seven 7.5-inch guns was changed to nine 6-inch guns, and she had an array of anti-aircraft weapons added. The torpedo tubes below the water line were removed, but her four above-water torpedo tubes remained in place. She was recommissioned into service in 1939 just in time for the European War. In the opening chapters of WW2, as the flagship of the Northern Patrol Force, she patrolled the North Atlantic. Between Jan and Mar 1940, she was put into Portsmouth for retubing; during this time she also received a new catapult and additional anti-aircraft weapons. After escorting a convoy transporting gold to Canada, she was dispatched to Norway, where she provided gunfire support for ground troops at Narvik.
ww2dbaseAt 0400 hours, HMS Effingham departed Harstad, Norway with 1,020 troops, 10 Bren Gun Carriers, and 130 tons of supplies on board for BodÃ¸, Norway, which was roughly 80 miles or 130 kilometers to the south. She was under the command of Captain J. M. Howson, and the group she belonged to was under the overall command of Rear-Admiral G. Vivian in HMS Coventry. En route, at 1948 hours, she hit the southern edge of the Faksen Shoal and slowly settled on even keel. Captain Howson attempted to beach the ship to save the lives of the over 1,000 passengers on board; although Rear-Admiral Vivian countermanned the order, fearing that beaching the ship would lead to German capture, steering power was lost shortly after, rendering Howson unable to follow his superior's order. The ship drifted in the mild wind, and an attempt to tow was made. Ultimately, she was grounded several miles off BodÃ¸. All of the passenger and crew were rescued by other ships in the group. As a German aircraft appeared on the horizon (which was chased off by two Skua aircraft from HMS Ark Royal), Vivian feared that the Germans would react soon, thus HMS Effingham was torpedoed and sunk in 30 feet of water by destroyer HMS Matabele at 0800 hours on 18 May. Three days later, the British Admiralty released an official statement noting that the sinking was caused by a collision with an uncharted rock, which was untrue, and as a result of this statement Rear Admiral Vivian, who led the group into the shoal area at a high speed, became blameless for the sinking. In Oct 1943, she was photographed by an American aircraft from USS Ranger.
ww2dbaseThe wreck of HMS Effingham remained off the coast of BodÃ¸ undisturbed, uninterested by Germans. She was salvaged by HÃ¸vding Skipsopphugging after 1945.
Richard Wright, "The Stranding, Grounding and Destruction of HMS Effingham, 1940", Warship 2011
Last Major Revision: Oct 2011
Effingham Operational Timeline
|6 Apr 1917Â||HMS Effingham was laid down at Portsmouth Dockyard, England, United Kingdom.|
|8 Jun 1921Â||HMS Effingham was launched.|
|2 Jul 1925Â||HMS Effingham was commissioned into service.|
|17 May 1940Â||HMS Effingham departed Harstad, Norway with 1,020 troops, 10 Bren Gun Carriers, and 130 tons of supplies on board for BodÃ¸, Norway. En route, she hit the southern edge of the Faksen Shoal off BodÃ¸, Norway and was seriously damaged.|
|18 May 1940Â||HMS Effingham was scuttled by torpedo after suffering serious damage incurred on the previous day after striking the Faksen Shoal off Norway.|
|21 May 1940Â||An official British Admiralty communiquÃ© noted that "[t]he Secretary of the Admiralty regrets to announce that as the result of damage sustained through striking an uncharted rock off the Norwegian coast, HMS Effingham (Captain JM Howson, RN), has become a total loss".|
|27 Jul 1940Â||A Board of Enquiry was held regarding the sinking of HMS Effingham two months prior.|
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