HMS Glowworm the forgotten Bismarck


Steve Smith

Member
Mar 20, 2011
151
1
71
OK OK... this story doesn't really have much to do with Bismarck but I thought the title would get people's attention!

Fact is, all the recent focus on Bismarck reminded me of an event that seems largely forgotten but to my mind is in some ways just as extraordinary... a tiny British destroyer taking on a German cruiser 10 times her size and which led to a RN Captain being awarded the highest possible medal of gallantry on the recomendation of the enemy commander: something that's completely unique in British History.

Anyway - this site tells the story much better than I could. It's also got some remarkable pictures taken during the action itself

http://www.hmsglowworm.org.uk
 
J

John Meeks

Guest
Agreed.

I believe that Japanese Admiral Nagumo actually paid homage to American dive-bomber pilots at the battle of Midway when he referred to them as "...so many brave young men..."

Regards,

John M
 
P

Patricia Bowman Rogers Winship

Guest
This brings to mind the fight between the frigate Penelope, 38, Sir Henry Blackwood commanding, and the ship-of-the-line, Guillaume Tell, 80, during the Napoleonic Wars. Frigates were supposed to take on ships on the line just about like destroyers are supposed to take on heavy cruisers-- however, Blackwood did it with considerable success, and with a happier outcome for the little fellows.

" On the night of 30 March 1800 the Guillaume Tell, of 80 guns, taking advantage of a southerly gale and intense darkness, weighed and ran out of the harbour. As she passed the Penelope, Blackwood immediately followed, and, having the advantage of sailing, quickly came up with her: then - in the words of the log - 'luffed under her stern, and gave him the larboard broadside, bore up under the larboard quarter and gave him the starboard broadside, receiving from him only his stern-chase guns. From this hour till daylight, finding that we could place ourselves on either quarter, the action continued in the foregoing manner, and with such success on our side that, when day broke, the Guillaume Tell was found in a most dismantled state' . At five o'clock the Lion, of 64 guns, and some little time afterwards the Foudroyant, of 80 guns, came up, and after a determined and gallant resistance the Guillaume Tell surrendered; but that she was brought to action at all was entirely due to the unparalleled brilliancy of the Penelope's action." http://www.aboutnelson.co.uk/13blackwood.htm, 12/21/02
 

Steve Smith

Member
Mar 20, 2011
151
1
71
Another brilliant action... "found in a most dismantled state" - I love it!

But seriously, it does sadden me that there are so many stories like these that deserve to be widely known, yet it's the same one or two well-known examples that are constantly regurgitated in the media.
Ah well...
 

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