Posts Tagged ‘Whimbrel’

HMS Whimbrel: one week to save last Battle of the Atlantic escort

June 13th, 2014

But after more than a decade of their haggling to buy the Black Swan-class vessel, the Egyptian military has delivered a sudden ultimatum demanding around £200,000 by June 20, or they will offer her to scrap merchants.

The group is now desperately seeking funding to put in a bid and save the ship. As well as the price of the ship, the venture must find up to £1 million for immediate repairs and the use of a heavy-lift vessel to carry Whimbrel back to Liverpool.

Captain Chris Pile, project manager, said: “There is currently no memorial to the Battle of the Atlantic and she is the last one that saw active service.

“She represents great historical value to the nation and it would allow people to see what ships of that era were like and the conditions on board.”

The Battle of the Atlantic as Germany tried to cut of Britain’s sea supply routes was the longest campaign of the Second World War.

More than 30,000 sailors died battling marauding German submarines and trying to keep the sea lanes open and deliver vital supplies.

As well as taking part in the Battle of the Atlantic, Whimbrel was part of the Royal Navy fleet present at the Japanese surrender ceremony in 1945.

The sloop served with the Egyptian navy from 1949 and was renamed Tarik.

Capt Pile said: “She went on to serve a full operational career with the Egyptians.

“She is now starting to rust in a few areas. There are holes in her upper deck which are rusted away, but in the Egyptian climate rust does not advance at the same rate it does in the UK.

“The ship as a whole, considering she is 70 years old, is in pretty good nick and the Egyptians have kept her pretty well painted. She’s in pretty good physical shape, but she needs quite a lot of tender loving care.”

Negotiations with the Egyptian navy have been going on for more than a decade and at one point the venture seemed doomed when the price unexpectedly leapt fourfold. Just as a deal appeared to be back on track the country was overtaken by the turmoil of the Arab spring.


World War Two

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