HMS Bittern (L07)

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HMS Bittern ablaze in Namsos Fjord after having suffered a direct hit in the stern by a bomb.
Career Royal Navy Ensign
Class and type: Bittern class sloop
Name: HMS Bittern
Builder: J. Samuel White, Cowes, Isle of Wight
Laid down: 27 August 1936
Launched: 14 July 1937
Commissioned: 15 March 1938
Fate: Sunk by German bombers, 30 April 1940
General characteristics
Displacement: 1,190 tons
Length: 266 ft (81 m)
Beam: 37 ft (11 m)
Propulsion: Geared steam turbines on two shafts
3,300 hp
Speed: 18.75 kt
Complement: 125
  • Six x 4 inch a/a guns
  • Four x 5 inch a/a guns
Notes: pennant number L07

HMS Bittern was a Bittern class sloop of the Royal Navy. She was laid down on 27 August 1936 by J. Samuel White, of Cowes, Isle of Wight and launched on 14 July 1937.

She served in Home waters and off the coast of Norway during the Second World War. She took part in the ill-fated Namsos Campaign of 1940, where she was used to defend allied troop ships entering and leaving Namsos harbour from submarine attacks. The harbour came under regular air attack by the Luftwaffe, and on 30 April, Bittern was spotted and mistaken for an allied cruiser by a squadron of Junkers Ju 87 dive bombers. Bittern came under repeated attack from 0700 hours onwards. She was hit repeatedly and severely damaged, being set on fire. Nearby allied ships came alongside and took the survivors off. When this had been completed, Bittern was sunk with gunfire from HMS Carlisle.