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HMS Sikh (F82).jpg
HMS Sikh Underway on completion
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Sikh
Namesake: Sikh
Laid down: 24 September 1936[1]
Launched: 17 December 1937
Commissioned: 12 October 1938
Fate: Sunk 14 September 1942
Notes:

The ship had several pennant numbers:[1]
L82: August 1938–December 1938
F82: January 1939–Autumn 1940

G82: Autumn 1940–September 1942
General characteristics
Displacement: 1,870 tons
Length: 364 ft 8 in (111.15 m)
Beam: 36 ft 6 in (11.13 m)
Draught: 13 ft (4.0 m)
Propulsion: 3 Admiralty 3-Drum Boilers at 300 lb/sq.in, all with 2 shaft Parsons geared turbines
Complement: 190[2]
Armament: 8 x 4.7 in twin turrets
1 x quadruple 2 pdrs anti-aircraft guns
2 × quadruple 0.5 cal machine guns
1 x quadruple torpedo tubes (21 Mk IX Torpeoes)
2 x Depth charge throwers
1 x Depth charge rail

HMS Sikh (F82) was a Tribal class destroyer of the Fourth destroyer flotilla of the Royal Navy. She was built by Alexander Stephen and Sons in Glasgow and commissioned in 1938. In 1941, while under the command of Commander Stokes, she took part in the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck in 1941 (see ORP Piorun for the destroyers' role). The night before Bismarck was sunk she fired a salvo of four torpedoes and claimed a hit after hearing underwater explosions, but actually there were no hits.

HMS Sikh transferred to the Mediterranean serving as part of Force H. On 13 December 1941, Sikh together with HMS Legion, HMS Maori and HNLMS Issac Sweers sunk the Italian Cruisers Alberico di Barbiano and Alberto di Giussano.

On 4 August 1942 HMS Sikh together with HMS Zulu, HMS Croome and HMS Tetcott sunk the German submarine U-372 off Haifa.

On 14 September 1942 Sikh and HMS Zulu landed and then covered a commando raid on Tobruk. HMS Sikh was hit and sunk by shore batteries - 115 men were lost, and many more were taken prisoner HMS Zulu was damaged and sunk by bombing the following day.

Books have been written about the disaster: 'Massacre at Tobruk', by Peter C. Smith, ISBN 0-7183-0664-3, and 'Tobruk Commando', by Gordon Landsborough, ISBN 1-85367-025-1. Another book, 'Lower Deck', was written by one of the crew who served on 'B' gun, John Davies. All ships' name were changed as the book was written during the war - Sikh was HMS Skye, and Zulu was HMS Amori.

References

  1. ^ a b Helgason, Guðmundur. "HMS Sikh (F 82)". Uboat.net. http://uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/4434.html. Retrieved 2009-08-04.  
  2. ^ Helgason, Guðmundur. "Tribal class". Uboat.net. http://uboat.net/allies/warships/class.html?ID=1. Retrieved 2009-08-04.  
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