HMS Bramble (J11)

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HMS Bramble, April 1942
HMS Bramble, April 1942
United Kingdom
Name:HMS Bramble
Ordered:11 August 1937
Builder:HM Dockyard, Devonport
Laid down:22 November 1937
Launched:12 July 1938
Commissioned:22 June 1939
Honours and
Arctic 1941–42
Fate:Sunk, 31 December 1942
Badge:On a Field White, a Bramble, slipped and leaved Proper
General characteristics [1]
Class and type:Halcyon-class minesweeper
  • 875 long tons (889 t) standard
  • 1,350 long tons (1,372 t) full load
Length:245 ft 9 in (74.90 m) o/a
Beam:33 ft 6 in (10.21 m)
Draught:9 ft (2.7 m)
  • 2 × Admiralty 3-drum water-tube boilers
  • Parsons steam turbines
  • 2,000 shp (1,500 kW) on 2 shafts
Speed:16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph)
Range:7,200 nmi (13,300 km; 8,300 mi) at 10 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph)

HMS Bramble was a Halcyon-class minesweeper (officially, "fleet minesweeping sloop") of the British Royal Navy, which was commissioned in 1939, just prior to World War II. During the war she served as a minesweeper in the North Sea, and then on Russian convoys until sunk in the Battle of the Barents Sea on 31 December 1942.

Service history[edit]

The ship was ordered on 11 August 1937 from HM Dockyard Devonport, with engines supplied by Barclay Curle. She was laid down on 22 November 1937, and launched on 12 July 1938. After sea trials in July 1939 Bramble was assigned to the 1st Minesweeping Flotilla at Portland Harbour, sailing with the Flotilla to Scapa Flow in August. She served as a minesweeper in the North Sea until February 1941, when she transferred to Harwich for operations in the Thames Estuary.[2]

In April 1941 she was transferred to Western Approaches Command for Atlantic convoy escort duty, and attached to the 3rd Escort Group. In October she was detached to serve on the Russian convoys, and joined Convoy PQ 2 sailing to Arkhangelsk, where she remained carrying out local minesweeping and patrol duties, as well as escorting in- and out-bound convoys. She returned to the UK in January 1942 to be refitted at a yard in Sunderland. She returned to convoy duty in April, returning to Russia with Convoy PQ 15. She served there until October, when she returned to the UK to be repaired at a shipyard in the Humber.


On 22 December 1942 Bramble sailed with Convoy JW 51B from Loch Ewe. The convoy was sighted by the German submarine U-354 on the 30th, and the German cruisers Admiral Hipper and Lützow, accompanied by six destroyers, sailed from Altenfjord to intercept them in Operation Regenbogen,[2] leading to the Battle of the Barents Sea.

On 31 December Bramble, which had been detached to search for stragglers, was returning to the convoy when she encountered Admiral Hipper and three destroyers. Hipper promptly opened fire with her 8-inch (200 mm) guns. Bramble returned fire, but was overwhelmed and finally sunk with all hands by the destroyer Friedrich Eckoldt in position 73°18′N 30°06′E / 73.300°N 30.100°E / 73.300; 30.100Coordinates: 73°18′N 30°06′E / 73.300°N 30.100°E / 73.300; 30.100.[2]


Bramble served on the following convoys between the UK and Russia, prefixed PQ, with returning convoys prefixed QP:[3]

PQ 217–30 October 1941
QP 23–5 November 1941
PQ 320–22 November 1941
QP 327–28 November 1941
PQ 57–13 December 1941
QP 429 December 1941 – 5 January 1942
QP 625–28 January 1942
PQ 1526 April–5 May 1942
QP 1221–23 May 1942
PQ 1628–30 May 1942
QP 1326–28 June 1942
QP 1413–25 September 1942
JW 51B22–31 December 1942

Commanding officers[edit]

Bramble was commanded by the following officers:[4]

Commanding OfficerDates
Captain Robert Oliver Fitzroy14 April 1938 – 26 March 1940
Captain Markham Henry Evelegh26 March 1940 – 22 July 1941
Captain John Harvey Forbes Crombie, DSO22 July 1941 – 16 November 1942
Commander Henry Thew Rust, DSO16 November 1942 – 31 December 1942


  1. ^ "Halcyon Minesweepers : Specifications". 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Mason, Geoffrey B. (2011). "HMS Bramble". Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  3. ^ Hague, Arnold (2007). "Convoy database". Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  4. ^ Griffths, David. "HMS Bramble Crew". Halcyon class Minesweepers and Survey Ships of World War Two. Retrieved 20 May 2012.

External links[edit]