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HMS Savage was an S-class destroyer of the Royal Navy completed on 8 June 1943.[1] Following a successful Warship Week campaign held in March 1942, she was adopted by the town of Burton On Trent.[2] Savage took part in the Battle of North Cape.

HMS Savage December 1943 IWM FL 18726.jpg
HMS Savage at anchor in December 1943
History
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Savage
Ordered: 9 January 1941
Builder: Hawthorn Leslie, Hebburn, Newcastle upon Tyne
Laid down: 7 December 1941
Launched: 24 September 1942
Commissioned: 8 June 1943
Identification: Pennant number: G20
Honours and
awards:
Fate: Broken up in Newport on 11 April 1962.
Badge: On a Field White a savage affronte holding a club Proper
General characteristics
Type: Destroyer
Displacement:
  • 1,710 long tons (1,737 t) (standard nominal)
  • 1,780 long tons (1,809 t) (actual)
  • 2,505 long tons (2,545 t) (deep load)
Length:
  • 339 ft 6 in (103.48 m) pp
  • 362 ft 9 in (110.57 m) oa
Beam: 35 ft 8 in (10.87 m)
Draught: 14 ft 2 in (4.32 m)
Propulsion:
  • 2 shaft Parsons geared turbines
  • 2 Admiralty 3-drum boilers
  • 40,000 shp (30,000 kW)
Speed: 36.75 knots (42.29 mph; 68.06 km/h)
Range: 4,675 nautical miles (8,658 km) at 20 knots (23 mph; 37 km/h)
Complement: 180-225
Sensors and
processing systems:
Type 271 radar fitted amidships and Type 291 radar mounted on tripod mast
Armament:

DesignEdit

Savage was the second ship of the S-class of destroyers purchased as the 5th Emergency Flotilla. She differed from her sisters in armament.[3] The Admiralty had designs for a new 4.5 inches (114 mm) gun to be installed in twin and single turrets, the former for the upcoming Battle-class destroyers and the latter for the Z-class and C-class destroyers.[4] Savage was equipped with a twin mount forward and two single mounts aft, replacing the single QF Mark XII 4.7 in guns of her sisters. To expedite completion still further, the twin mount was modified from a spare made for the aircraft carrier Illustrious.[5] Due to a shortage of Hazemeyer mounts, the Bofors 40 mm gun was also not deployed and anti-aircraft defence was restricted to Oerlikon 20 mm cannons. However, one additional twin and two single mounts were provided.

Wartime ServiceEdit

After completion, Savage joined the aircraft carrier Furious and the battleships Alabama, Anson, Duke of York, Malaya and South Dakota in Operation Camera, a diversionary maneuver off the Norwegian coast to distract German forces from the Allied invasion of Sicily. The diversion was not successful as it was not detected by German aircraft.[2]

On 25 July, Savage escorted the aircraft carriers Illustrious and Unicorn on Operation Governor, an offensive sweep off Norway. On 11 August, she joined the fleet escorting them to Gibraltar in support of the Allied invasion of Italy, and on 13 October escorted King George V from Gibraltar to Scapa Flow.

For the majority of her wartime career, Savage supported Arctic convoys.[6]

Convoy sailed Joined convoy Convoy No. Left convoy Convoy arrived
1 November 1943 3 November 1943 RA 54A 9 November 1943 14 November 1943
22 November 1943 25 November 1943 JW 54B 02 December 1943 03 December 1943
12 December 1943 18 December 1943 JW 55A 20 December 1943 22 December 1943
20 December 1943 23 December 1943 JW 55B 27 December 1943 30 December 1943
22 December 1943 23 December 1943 RA 55A 25 December 1943 1 January 1944
12 January 1944 16 January 1944 JW 56A 27 January 1944 28 January 1944
22 January 1944 29 January 1944 JW 56B 1 February 1944 1 February 1944
3 February 1944 3 February 1944 RA 56 7 February 1944 11 February 1944
20 February 1944 22 February 1944 JW 57 28 February 1944 28 February 1944
2 March 1944 2 March 1944 RA 57 8 March 1944 10 March 1944
11 November 1944 11 November 1944 RA 61A 17 November 1944 17 November 1944
30 December 1944 1 January 1945 JW 63 8 January 1945 8 January 1945
11 January 1945 11 January 1945 RA 63 18 January 1945 21 January 1945
17 February 1945 21 February 1945 RA 64 26 February 1945 28 February 1945
11 March 1945 15 March 1945 JW 65 21 March 1945 21 March 1945
23 March 1945 23 March 1945 RA 65 30 March 1945 01 March 1945

At the end of the war, on 12 May 1945, Savage escorted the 1st Cruiser Squadron led by Devonshire that returned Crown Prince Olav to Norway.[7]

Battle of North CapeEdit

 
Looking weather battered and worn, the destroyer HMS Savage enters Scapa Flow after the Battle of the North Cape which resulted in the sinking of the German battleship Scharnhorst

Convoy JW 55B left Loch Ewe on 20 December 1943 and was expected to reach Bear Island on Christmas Day about the same time as Convoy RA 55A which had departed Kola two days later. Savage formed part of the destroyer screen for Force 2, the covering force led by Duke of York.

Early on 26 December the Admiralty signalled that the German battleship Scharnhorst was at sea. Savage and the rest of heavy force intercepted the German vessel as she was heading away after unsuccessfully attacking the convoy. The combination of torpedo attacks from the destroyers and the cruisers HMS Belfast and Jamaica and radar directed gunfire from Duke of York and the cruisers crippled Scharnhorst, which sank at 19:45. The four destroyers in the screen, Saumarez, Savage, Scorpion, and the Norwegian Stord, scored at least three hits.

Post war serviceEdit

HMS Savage was refitted and redeployed as a Gunnery Firing Ship at Portsmouth after September 1945.[2] Reduced to Reserve status at Chatham in 1948, the ship was recommissioned for trials using new designs of shafts and propellers in 1950. Although refitted and modernised, Savage was never actively deployed. She was placed on the Disposal List in 1960 and arrived at Newport to be broken up on 11 April 1960.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Whitley, M. J. (1988). Destroyers of World War 2. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-326-1.
  2. ^ a b c Mason, Geoffrey B. (2003). "Service Histories of Royal Navy Warships in World War II". Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  3. ^ Raven, Alan; Roberts, John (1978). War Built Destroyers O to Z Classes. London: Bivouac Books. ISBN 0-85680-010-4.
  4. ^ Brown, Les (2013). British Destroyers: J-C and Battle Classes. Havertown: Seaforth Publishing. p. 8. ISBN 9781848321809.
  5. ^ Friedman, Norman (2006). British Destroyers & Frigates: The Second World War & After. London: Greenhill Books. p. 110. ISBN 9781848320154.
  6. ^ Kindell, Don (2013). "Convoy Escort Movements of Royal & Dominion Navy Warships, including Allied Navy Vessels under RN Command". Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  7. ^ Madsen, Chris (1998). The Royal Navy and German Naval Disarmament, 1942-1947. London: F. Cass. p. 66. ISBN 9780714643731.