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HMS Glasgow

Eight ships named Glasgow have served with the Royal Navy.

The sixth HMS Glasgow was launched on the Clyde at Govan in 1909 and was a Bristol-class light cruiser of 4800 tons, capable of around 26 knots. In the South Atlantic in November 1914, she saw action at the Battle of Coronel, when she engaged the German East Asia Cruiser Squadron, including the new cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, together with the cruisers Good Hope and Monmouth. Having inflicted some damage on the enemy, Glasgow escaped with very little damage considering that an estimated 600 shells were fired at her, although the other British cruisers were lost. Next month, in the Battle of the Falkland Islands, in company with the battlecruisers Invincible and Inflexible, the battle with Admiral Von Spee was resumed on more advantageous terms. The victory was convincing with HMS Glasgow sinking a light cruiser. Another, the Dresden[?] escaped this particular battle, only to be later found and sunk by the Glasgow. After the war Glasgow served briefly as a Stokers’ training ship before being paid off in 1922 and scrapped in 1927.


The seventh HMS Glasgow was also built on the Clyde, a Southampton-class cruiser commissioned in September 1937. She displaced 11000 tons with a top speed of 32 knots. She was part of the home fleet, and escorted the King and Queen to Canada in 1939. She also took a large quantity of gold to Fort Knox as an emergency reserve.

In the Spring of 1940 she transferred the King and Queen of Norway and Norwegian gold reserves when they escaped from the German occupation of their country. HMS Glasgow was then employed as a convoy escort in the Mediterranean Sea and she took part in the Fleet Air Arm raid that crippled the Italian Fleet at Taranto.

In December 1940 she was damaged by torpedoes that put two of her four shafts out of action. This limited her ability to be assigned to missions and it was not until 1942 that she was properly repaired. In 1943 with the cruiser Enterprise, she fought a three-hour battle with 11 enemy destroyers of which three were sunk and four damaged with gunfire.

On D-Day, HMS Glasgow led a US Force toward the beaches, providing naval gunfire support to the landing parties.

After the end of the war, she took on Flagship duties of Commander in Chief Fleet East Indies; in 1948 the Flagship of the American and West Indies Station and in 1951 she became the Flagship of the Commander in Chief Mediterranean, Admiral the Earl Mountbatten of Burma.


The eighth and current HMS Glasgow , a Type 42 destroyer, was commissioned in 1979 and was the first warship to enter the South Atlantic Exclusion Zone in May 1982. She was hit by a bomb on the 12 May which passed through the aft engine room without exploding or causing injury.

Since then she has maintained significant support to the fleet with a number of deployments, the most notable in East Timor in 1999 where she proved a political presence during the crisis.



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