A few days later, however, the destroyer HMS Glowworm achieved legendary status when she attacked the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper and two destroyers. Before she was lost, she slammed into the hull of the Hipper and damaged the engine room.
Later still, HMS Renown exchanged salvos with the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, which were screening the German destroyers on their way to the strategically important port of Narvik in the Ofotfjord. Both the Renown and the Gneisenau were hit. It was now that the Admiralty decided to assemble as many as possible of the Class H destroyers close at hand and despatch them into the fjords to deal with the German invaders. This class had a displacement of just under 2 000t and carried a complement of 146. The ships had a length of 98,5m and a beam of 10,1m. Their draft was only 3,8m and they could reach a speed of up to 36 knots (67km/h).
Each was armed with four 4,7- inch (120mm) guns, machine guns, torpedo tubes and depth charges. The flotilla, under the command of Commander Bernard Warburton-Lee, consisted of HMS Hardy (his flagship), and the Hotspur, Havock, Hunter and Hostile.
LINDSAY DE VILLIERS
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