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Devonshire file photo [4497]

Devonshire

CountryUnited Kingdom
Ship ClassCounty-class Heavy Cruiser
Builder NameHis Majesty's Dockyard, Devonport, Plymouth, England, Britain
Laid Down16 Mar 1926
Launched22 Oct 1927
Commissioned18 Mar 1929
Decommissioned1 Aug 1953
Displacement9,850 tons standard; 13,315 tons full
Length633 feet
Beam66 feet
Draft21 feet
Machinery8 Admiralty 3-drum boilers, Parsons geared turbines, 4 shafts
Power Output80,000 SHP
Speed32 knots
Range9,120nm at 12 knots
Crew784
Armament4x2x203mm Mk.VIII guns, 8x102mm Mk.V AA guns, 4x40mm 2pdr Mk.II guns, 2x4x12.7mm Mk.III AA machine guns, 2x4x533mm torpedo tubes
Aircraft1 Supermarine Walrus
Catapult1

Contributor:

ww2dbaseDevonshire was a County-class heavy cruiser of the London-subclass. Between commissioning and 1932, she served with the 1st Cruiser Squadron in the Mediterranean Sea; in Jul 1929, she suffered a serious gun turret explosion during firing practice in the Aegean Sea where 17 men were killed and 3 were seriously wounded. Between 1932 and 1933, she served off China. For the remainder of the 1930s until the outbreak of the European War, she served in the Mediterranean Sea. She served off the coast of Spain during the Spanish Civil War; at the end of that conflict, the surrender of the island of Minorca was signed aboard her, and she was used to evacuate some Spanish Republicans. At the start of WW2, she served under John H. D. Cunningham in the Norwegian Campaign, evacuating King Haakon VII, Crown Prince Olav, other members of the Norwegian royal family, government ministers, and Norway's gold reserve from Tromsų to Britain on 7 Jun 1940. On the return trip, Devonshire received the distress signal of carrier Glorious, which was under overwhelming German naval attack; under order to keep strict radio silence on this important transport mission, Cunningham chose to ignore the distress call. He safely delivered the important passengers and cargo to Britain, but Glorious and her two screening destroyers were sunk with the loss of 1,519 men. In Aug 1940, she participated in Operation Menace which planned to land 6,670 British and Free French soldiers at Dakar, Western Africa; the operation turned out to be a failure as local Vichy-French forces put on a fierce resistance. On 2 Nov 1940, she captured a Vichy-French convoy off the Cape of Good Hope. Until Oct 1941, she served in the Atlantic Ocean, hunting down the German raider Kormoran in the South Atlantic and patrolling the North Atlantic off Norway and Russia. On 21 Nov 1941, under the command of Captain R. D. Oliver, she sank the famed German merchant raider Atlantis, killing seven German sailors. In May 1942, she participated in the Madagascar Campaign, and remained in the Indian Ocean until May 1943. In Mar 1944, she returned to Britain to join the Home Fleet, then served off Norway until the end of the war; during this time, she escorted British aircraft carriers during the aerial attack on the German battleship Tirpitz. Immediately after WW2, Devonshire visited Norway and Denmark. She spent the latter half of 1945 and the first months of 1946 as a transport. She was converted to a training ship in 1947, visiting ports in Northern Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Caribbean Sea until 1953. In Jun 1953, she was present during Queen Elizabeth II's coronation naval review. She was sold for scrap on 16 Jun 1954. She was broken up by A. J. Cashmore on 12 Dec 1954 at Newport, Wales, United Kingdom.

ww2dbaseSource: United States Navy Naval Historical Center, Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Oct 2008

Devonshire Operational Timeline

18 Mar 1929 Devonshire was commissioned into service.
1 Aug 1953 Devonshire was decommissioned from service.

Photographs

Laying DevonshireDevonshire in port, circa Oct 1927
See all 7 photographs of Heavy Cruiser Devonshire



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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
9 Nov 2015 02:36:17 AM

Dear Sir I have read with interest your article on H.M.S. Devonshire.I father served onboard this ship during the W.W.2 as a petty officer.I remember him telling me stories of the evacuation of the king of Norway( as a way of thanks I believe the people of Norway to this day supply the Christmas tree in Trafalgar square!)also the sinking of a merchant ship supplying U-boats with food and fuel. He enjoyed the time he spent serving onboard the Devonshire and described it as a "happy ship". Best Wishes.
2. Anonymous says:
18 Nov 2016 02:25:52 AM

Where in UK did devonshire deliver King Haakon ?
3. alan Clarke says:
8 Sep 2017 09:09:10 PM

Has Devonshire presented the ships bell to the town of Tromso. My father John Clarke together with a Norwegian sailor participated in the ceremony. Do any pictures survive please.
4. Christina Ribbens nee Macleod says:
8 Sep 2018 12:11:14 PM

My Dad Murdo Macleod served on the HMS Devonshire in the second World War.
5. Pete says:
22 Dec 2018 01:36:44 PM

My brother reckons we were returned to the UK from North Africa, where our father served in the army. This would have been 1956. He is adamant it was on a ship called Devonshire, not sure if it was HMS.
However, HMS Devonshire was scrapped in 1954. Could the name have been given to a new ship I wonder. Anyone have any ideas?
6. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
22 Dec 2018 04:39:18 PM

Pete (above):
The MV Devonshire (not HMS Devonshire) was a purpose-built troop ship built in Liverpool and completed in 1939. She was renamed the Devonia in 1962 and sold for scrap in 1967. During the mid-1950s, she was under charter to the Sea Transport Division of the Ministry of Transport, so this would seem to fit. See https://www.derbysulzers.com/shipdevonshire.html
7. David. TaylorAnonymous says:
7 Apr 2019 11:22:00 AM

My. Father. William. Jock. Taylor. sailed on HMS Devonshire during the. war

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More on Devonshire
Personnel:
» Cunningham, John

Event(s) Participated:
» The Spanish Civil War
» Invasion of Denmark and Norway
» British Attacks on the French Fleet
» Madagascar Campaign

Heavy Cruiser Devonshire Photo Gallery
Laying DevonshireDevonshire in port, circa Oct 1927
See all 7 photographs of Heavy Cruiser Devonshire


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"All that silly talk about the advance of science and such leaves me cold. Give me peace and a retarded science."

Thomas Dodd, late 1945