HMS Warwick.jpg
HMS Warwick
Royal Navy EnsignUnited Kingdom
Name: HMS Warwick
Builder: Hawthorn Leslie & Company, Hebburn
Laid down: 10 March 1917
Launched: 28 December 1917
Commissioned: 18 March 1918
Fate: Sunk by U-413, 1944
General characteristics
Class and type: Admiralty W class
Displacement: 1,100 tons
Beam: 29 ft 6 in (9.0 m)
  • 9 ft (2.7 m) standard
  • 13 ft 11 in (4.2 m) maximum
Propulsion: 3 Yarrow type Water-tube boilers, Brown-Curtis steam turbines, 2 shafts, 27,000 shp
Speed: 34 knots (63 km/h)
Complement: 110

HMS Warwick (D-25) was an Admiralty 'W' class destroyer built in 1917.

She saw service in both the First and Second World Wars, before being torpedoed and sunk in February 1944.


HMS Warwick was built during the First World War as part of the Royal Navy’s War Emergency Programme. She was part of the Admiralty W Class of 21 ships, representing the last word in destroyer design at the time. Warwick was built by Hawthorn Leslie & Company, Hebburn, being laid down 10 March 1917. She launched on 28 December 1917, and completed 18 March 1918.[1]

Service history

First World War

Warwick commissioned in March 1918 and saw action in the last months of World War I. She took part in the raid on Zeebrugge in April, the attempt by the RN to blockade Germany's U-boat force stationed in Flanders. She also participated in the second raid on Ostend on 10 May and was heavily damaged by a mine, breaking her back, and had to be towed back to Dover by Velox.[2]

Warwick was present at Scapa Flow in November 1918 when the Grand Fleet received the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet at the end of the war.

Inter-war years

Following the end of World War I Warwick was stationed in the Mediterranean, serving there during the 1920s, before joining the RN Reserve in the 30s. With the onset of war in 1939 Warwick was re-activated, re-commissioning in August, and joining the fleet at Plymouth in September.

Second World War

During World War II Warwick served as a convoy escort, being too out-dated for modern destroyer work. In September 1939 was allocated to the 11th Destroyer Flotilla. In February 1940 she was deployed to the Western Approaches Escort Force for Atlantic convoy defence. In this role she was engaged in all the duties performed by escort ships; protecting convoys, searching for and attacking U-boats which attacked ships in convoy, and rescuing survivors. In November 1940, with the formation of distinct escort groups, she joined 7 EG. In December she was mined and spent the next four months in dock for repairs.

In March 1941 she rejoined Western Approaches Command and saw out the year in the Atlantic. In January 1942, following the US entry into the war and the opening of the U-boat offensive off the US east coast (Operation Drumbeat), Warwick transferred there, on loan to the USN. In June 1942 she was transferred to the West Indies serving with USN and RCN ships of the Caribbean Escort Force on anti-submarine patrol and convoy escort duty.

In December Warwick returned to Britain for conversion as a long range escort. This entailed, among other modifications, removal of one of her boilers to allow extra fuel capacity, thus sacrificing speed for endurance and range. She remained in dock at Dundee for the first half of 1943 while this was carried out.

In July she was on anti-submarine duties in the Bay of Biscay, supporting Operation Musketry, the RAF Coastal Command's Bay offensive In November she took part in Operation Alacrity, the establishment and supply of Allied air bases in the Azores which served to close the Mid-Atlantic gap.

In January 1944, having returned to Britain, Warwick was assigned to lead an escort group operating in the South-West Approaches, guarding against attacks by German S-Boats and submarines. It was while engaged in this she was struck by an acoustic torpedo and sunk on 20 February 1944 by the submarine U-413.[3][4]


On 20 February 1944, while patrolling off Trevose Head, and under command of Cdr. Denys Rayner, Warwick was torpedoed by U-413. She sank in minutes, with the loss of over half her crew.


  1. ^ Preston 1971, p.105.
  2. ^ Preston 1971, p. 24.
  3. ^ Allen (2006)
  4. ^ Roskill 1960, p. 293.


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  • Allen, David (2006). "The Sinking of HMS Warwick".

External links

  • HMS Warwick at
  • HMS Warwick at uboatnet

Coordinates: 49°11′N 13°38′W / 49.183°N 13.633°W / 49.183; -13.633