Honour - 'Admiral Hipper' 1940
The action took place in the Norwegian Sea.
The German Heavy Cruiser Hipper (8 x 8" guns) and four destroyers formed part of the force intending to land invading troops at Trondheim. Beginning the previous evening a gale rose which meant the destroyers sustained some damage and had difficulty keeping up with the cruiser.
Meantime the Home Fleet has sailed to intercept the German forces in the Norwegian Sea and HMS Glowworm was part of HMS Renown's destroyer screen. She had detached from the screen to search for a man washed overboard. In the poor visibility she engaged one of the German destroyers which crowded with troops tried to run. While the two destroyers exchanged gunfire in the storm, Hipper turned back to assist. With her first salvo she struck Glowworm which made smoke and turned away. Hipper pursued through the smoke and Glowworm turned to ram. Hipper coming through the smoke and seeing Glowworm close by her starboard bow also tried to ram the smaller ship but was slow to turn.
Glowworm struck the German's side and tore away 120ft of side armour. Then passed astern, on fire and sinking. Following an explosion she disappeared and Hipper stopped to pick up survivors. Glowworm's commanding officer Lt-Cmdr Roope, while being pulled aboard fell exhausted into the sea and was lost. He was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.
This page last edited -
02 April, 2013.
Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.