Between 3rd to 27th February 1945 Operation Hotbed was the safe conduct of Convoys JW 64 and RA 64 to and from Northern Russia with Rear Admiral Commanding, First Cruiser Squadron in charge.

 

JW 64 arrived safely, although attacked by enemy aircraft. HMS DENBIGH CASTLE was torpedoed outside Kola, but was towed in and beached where she capsized. The U-Boat - U425 was sunk by HMS LARK.

Between 3rd to 27th February 1945 Operation Hotbed was the safe conduct of Convoys JW 64 and RA 64 to and from Northern Russia with Rear Admiral Commanding, First Cruiser Squadron in charge.

 

JW 64 arrived safely, although attacked by enemy aircraft. HMS DENBIGH CASTLE was torpedoed outside Kola, but was towed in and beached where she capsized. The U-Boat - U425 was sunk by HMS LARK.

 

RA 64. HMS BLUEBELL was sunk by a torpedo from German Submarine U711 and HMS LARK was torpedoed by the German submarine U968, but returned to Kola. 1 Merchant ship was sunk by U-boat and 1 by aircraft. 2 merchant vessels were torpedoed in the Kola Inlet before joining the convoy (from the White Sea). Extremely bad weather was also encountered, the convoy being hove-to twice for 24 hours.

 

The convoys were attacked by over 50 sorties of enemy aircraft and shot down 12: 

 

Force taking part were: HMS CAMPANIA (Rear Admiral Commanding, First Cruiser Squadron), HMS's NAIRANA, BELLONA, ONLOW (Captain (D) 17th Destroyer Flotilla), ONSLAUGHT, OPPORTUNE, ORWELL, SERAPIS, SIOUS, ZAMBESI (Captain (D) 2nd Destroyer Flotilla), ZEST, ZEALOUS, ZEBRA (defects at Faroes – unable to overtake convoy and returned to Scapa), CYGNET (Senior Officer, Escort Group), LAPWING, LARK, WHITEHALL, ALNWICK CASTLE, DENBIGH CASTLE, BLUEBELL, RHODODENDRON, BAMBOROUGH CASTLE, ZEBRA, SCOURTE, SAVAGE, MYNGS, SCORPION, CAVALIER.

 

This Operation was supported by RFA Black Ranger

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

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