HMS Onslow (G17)

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HMS Onslow
The Onslow 1943
The Onslow 1943
Ship data
flag United KingdomUnited Kingdom (Naval War Flag) United Kingdom
1949: PakistanPakistanPakistan 
other ship names

1949: Tippu Sultan

Ship type destroyer
class O and P class
Shipyard John Brown , Clydebank
Build number 571
Order September 3, 1939
Keel laying July 1, 1940
Launch March 31, 1941 as Pakenham
Commissioning October 8, 1941
Whereabouts Canceled in 1980
Ship dimensions and crew
105.15 m ( Lüa )
100.2 m ( Lpp )
width 10.67 m
Draft Max. 4.11 m
displacement 1570 ts , maximum: 2210 ts,
crew 176 men
From 1955 Type 16 ASW-Frigate
109.2 m ( Lüa )
103.5 m ( Lpp )
width 10.9 m
Draft Max. 4.9 m
displacement 1793 ts, max. 2593 ts
crew 170-180 men
Machine system
machine 2 Admiralty boilers
2 Parsons geared turbines
37 kn (69 km / h)
propeller 2

Radar type 272, 282, 285, 291
sonar type 123A, 127

Armament from 1960 ASW-Frigate ~ type 16

The Royal Navy's HMS Onslow (G17) was the flotilla commander of the O-class destroyers , whose eight boats were ordered as the first emergency flotilla on September 3, 1939. The boat, which was laid down at the shipyard of John Brown & Company on July 1, was part of the order for the second Emergency destroyer flotilla (P-class) from October 20, 1939, of which two boats were to be built in Clydebank . The other orders in this class went to the Fairfield shipyard in Govan and the Walker shipyard of Vickers-Armstrong on the Tyne (three each).

The name of the new building was intended to be Pakenham . Before it was launched, it was changed to Onslow . A similar procedure was followed for the fifth new building to be delivered by Fairfield. Due to the renaming, there were only four boats in the O-class with the originally intended main armament of four 12-cm cannons.

The Onslow came into service with the Home Fleet in the fall of 1941 as the third boat of the class. Its most important mission was the defense of the convoy JW 51B at the turn of the year 1942/43 against the Admiral Hipper , during which the destroyer was badly damaged.

The boat, which was taken out of service in 1947, was sold to Pakistan in 1949 with two other boats of the class . There it remained in service as the Tippoo Sultan until it was demolished in 1980.

Building history

Four shipyards received orders for two boats each of the new O-Class, the first destroyers of the War Emergency Program immediately after the outbreak of war. Six weeks later, eight more destroyers were ordered as P-Class. Originally ordered as identical ships, each with a slightly modified flotilla leader, three different versions were ultimately created.

Four O-class boats and all P-class boats received 102 mm guns suitable for anti-aircraft defense instead of the originally intended main armament with 12 cm cannons. In addition, a boat under construction at Fairfield and a boat under construction at John Brown of the second order exchanged their names with the boats of the first order commissioned from Hawthorn, Leslie & Company , which were determined to be P-class boats. The O-class boats ordered from Denny Brothers and Thornycroft also received the modified main armament and could be converted to mine layers.

The Pakenham , commissioned by John Brown & Company in October 1939 , was launched in Clydebank on March 31, 1941. In August 1941, the almost finished boat was renamed Onslow and completed on October 8, 1941 as the third destroyer in the war building program for the Royal Navy. Only the first boats from Fairfield ( Oribi and Offa ), and the Onslaught, started there as Pathfinder , as well as the Onslow (ex Pakenham ) manufactured by John Brown received the originally intended main armament with 12 cm cannons. The other four O-Class destroyers and all P-Class ships received 102 mm guns instead of the originally intended main armament, which were also suitable for aircraft defense.

The O-Class destroyers were a variant of the J-Class modified for rapid construction during the war , from which the hull shape and the machinery were essentially adopted. However, the armament has changed significantly compared to the last pre-war orders. Double mounts or even double towers were dispensed with and single mounts with protective shields were again provided. The tried and tested 12 cm Mk IX gun of all British destroyers between the world wars was still intended as a gun, but it was only installed on four of the 16 boats.

The Onslow had a displacement of 1550 ts and a length of 105.15 meters. It was powered by two oil -fired Admiralty boilers and Parsons turbines . The geared turbines, which enabled a top speed of 37 knots via two shafts with 40,000 hp. The crew of the boats consisted of 176 men.

The Onslow was armed with four 120 mm Mk.IX rapid fire cannons and a 102 mm Mk.V anti-aircraft gun at the position of the actually planned second quadruple torpedo tube. The aim was to compensate for the unsuitability of the 12 cm guns for aircraft defense. This deficit led to the installation of this weapon as the main armament in the P-Class in stand-alone installation with a newly developed protective shield.

There were also a 40 mm pompom quad and four individual 20 mm Oerlikon cannons as light weapons . The other weapons were a 21 inch four-of-a-kind torpedo tube as well as two depth charges and two drainage tracks for depth charges.

Mission history

On August 6, 1941, the trial runs of the second Onslow of the Royal Navy began, which was removed on October 8 and should begin its service with the Home Fleet in Scapa Flow . The first Onslow was also built at Fairfield in 1916 as an M-class destroyer . This boat used in the battle of the Skagerrak was scrapped in 1921.

On October 31, they were used for the first time to secure the mine- layer Welshman and two auxiliary mine-layers together with the sister boats Offa and Oribi and the destroyer escort Brighton to lay a new barrier in the sea area between the Faroe Islands and Iceland. From November 17, she was first deployed to secure a northern sea convoy to the Soviet Union ( PQ 4 ) with the heavy cruiser Berwick and the Offa . The boat performed this task primarily until the end of the war.

On December 24, 1941, the Onslow left Scapa Flow with the cruiser Kenya , the sister boats Oribi and Offa , the Chiddingfold and the former canal ferries Prince Charles and Prince Leopold as troop transports for a command raid against Vågsøy in Lofoten ( Operation "Archery" ) . The Onslow supported the landing troops, including the Norwegian Linge Company Command , with their main artillery and manned the German outpost boat V5108 Föhn with a prize command , on which the encryption device could be secured with instructions. The advance was directed against fish processing companies operated by the Germans and, with a simultaneous second advance, was intended to induce the Germans to station more troops in Norway. On the retreat, the attackers took Norwegian volunteers but also Norwegian collaborators ( "quislings" ) with them. On the 28th, the emergency services returned to Scapa Flow.

Deployments in 1942

The Onslow also served at Home Fleet in securing the "North West Approaches". On January 1, 1942, she rescued 23 survivors from the stern section of the motor ship Cardita , which was torpedoed the day before, and brought them to Reykjavík on the 2nd . In March, the boat was again in the remote security group of the Russia convoy PQ 12 and, until the end of May, also in the subsequent convoys up to PQ 16 , where it was part of the local security. This group with the cruisers Nigeria , Kent , Norfolk , Liverpool and the destroyers Oribi , Marne next to the Onslow remained with the convoy only on May 25th and 26th and was then withdrawn because of the submarine danger. The convoy lost ten ships (7 by air, 3 by submarine attacks).

In June the boat was assigned to the security of convoy WS19Z to Malta ( Operation Harpoon ). Its five transporters and one tanker were to be secured from the Clyde by the cruisers Kenya and Liverpool as well as the destroyers Bedouin , Icarus , Marne , Matchless , Escape next to the Onslow as well as the escort destroyers Middleton , Badsworth and the Polish ORP Kujawiak from June 5th . To secure the supplies urgently needed in Malta , a large number of additional units were added in Gibraltar on the 11th and the security groups were reorganized. In addition to the western convoy ( Operation Harpoon ), an eastern convoy of twelve transporters secured by the Mediterranean fleet ( Operation Vigorous ) tried to reach Malta from Alexandria .

The Onslow was assigned to secure the carrier group ( Eagle , Argus ), which included three cruisers and seven other destroyers. On the 17th the Eagle accompanied the Icarus back to Gibraltar, which urgently needed fuel.

On June 20 the units of the Home Fleet began to march back, which then took over the security of the Russia convoy PQ 17 . The renewed early withdrawal of the security units favored the success of the Germans against this convoy.

The Onslow secured the units of the Home Fleet and then stayed between Iceland and the British Isles. In August, she secured units of the Home Fleet that were returning from another mission to support Malta. At the beginning of September the boat belonged to one of the two security groups on convoy PQ 18 . Led by the cruiser Scylla , two groups of eight destroyers each protected the convoy. The Onslow group also included the Onslaught , Opportune , Offa and the Ashanti , Eskimo , Somali and Tartar tribals . Despite the lengthy and intensive securing, this convoy lost thirteen ships.

At the end of October 1942, the Onslow was commanded to the Convoy WS 24 in the Irish Sea, which should be accompanied across the Atlantic by the sister boats Offa , Oribi , the new destroyer Rotherham and the Holcombe . The convoy had soldiers on seven large troop transports for the Middle East and was supposed to run to South Africa for the first time via Brazil, which had meanwhile joined the war on the side of the Allies. With the Empress of Scotland and the sister ships Athlone Castle and Stirling Castle belonged to him three ships of over 25,000 GRT. The course to the west was chosen because of the approaching landings of the Allies in North Africa ( Operation Torch ). On November 2nd, Onslow and Offa left the convoy and called at Ponta Delgada in the Azores . The following day the Onslow joined the US Western Task Force and from the 8th supported the US troops landing at Casablanca . Released to Gibraltar on the 10th , Onslow and Oribi ran from there back to Scapa Flow from November 14th to 18th.

On December 25, 1942, the Onslow took over the escort of the Northern Sea convoy JW 51B with the sister boats Obedient , Obdurate , Oribi and Orwell . The destroyer Achates , a mine sweeper , two corvettes and two armed trawlers were also used to secure the partial convoy, which comprised 15 ships . In very difficult weather conditions, the convoy was looking for its way to Murmansk when it was attacked by the German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper on December 31, 1942 . The Onslow in command , Captain Sherbrooke, decided to counterattack with Obedient , Obdurate and Orwell , which resulted in the

developed. The Oribi was not available because it had lost touch.

The German attackers of the Rainbow company , in addition to the Hipper , the former armored ship Lützow and six destroyers, did not succeed in a coordinated attack. After the arrival of the British local security with the cruisers HMS Sheffield and HMS Jamaica and hits on the Hipper , the Germans withdrew. Both sides had lost a destroyer in Friedrich Eckoldt and Achates ; the British added the mine sweeper Bramble . In addition, the destroyers Obedient and Obdurate had received hits. The Onslow was badly hit and suffered 17 deaths in addition to many injuries. The seriously injured Commander Sherbrooke was awarded the Victoria Cross for his courageous leadership of the destroyers .

Deployments in 1943/44

As a result of the battle on New Year's Eve, the Onslow was makeshift repaired in Murmansk and was only able to return to Great Britain on January 29, 1943 with the convoy RA 52 . On February 7th, she went to a shipyard in Hull for major repairs. A modern lattice mast was installed, the radar system renewed and a new radio direction finder installed. From the end of April the boat was retracted with a new crew. At the end of May, the boat with the Orwell secured the battleship Howe on the voyage to Gibraltar. Then battleships were secured in the Mediterranean and then accompanied with Orwell the Nelson on the march back to Plymouth . In June the Onslow took over the duties of the flotilla commander from the Offa for the "17th destroyer flotilla". In mid-August, King George VI went. in Scrabster on board the Onslow for the crossing to Scapa Flow to visit the Home Fleet. From the beginning of November, the boat was back in use for securing northern sea convoys. From December 22, 1943, she was part of the security of convoy JW 55B . When the approach of the Scharnhorst was determined, the Onslow remained with the convoy and was not involved in the naval battle off the North Cape , while some of the destroyers were used to repel the German battleship.

At the beginning of 1944 the boat was overhauled and the radar system improved again. From March onwards, the boat was also preparing for a mission in the canal in the event of an Allied landing on the continent. At the end of the month, he was deployed again to secure a Northern Sea convoy ( JW 58 ) with the cruiser Diadem , the escort carriers Activity and Tracker and the destroyers Obedient , Offa , Offa , Opportune , Oribi , Orwell , Saumarez , Serapis , Scorpion , Venus as well as the Norwegian Stord . On May 14, the Onslow took part in a carrier raid by the Emperor and Striker against shipping offshore Norway.

From the end of May, the Onslow and sister boats were assigned to the security forces for the planned invasion. There were skirmishes with speedboats, air strikes on the boat and artillery support for the landing forces. On August 12, the boat with the diadem and the piorun were involved in the sinking of barrier breaker 7 . From September onwards, the boat was used to secure the Northern Sea convoys JW 60 , JW 61 , JW 62 .

Last missions for the Royal Navy

The Onslow was again involved on 11 January 1945 a Tägerraid against shipping off the Norwegian coast. With the cruisers Norfolk and Bellona and the sister boats Onslaught and Orwell , the coastal traffic was attacked and the minesweeper M 273 and two freighters sunk. In February the Onslow secured the convoy JW 64 . Further operations against shipping off the Norwegian coast followed until the end of the war. From May 12, the Onslow was part of the securing of the last Northern Sea convoy JW 67 .

From June 5 to 7, 1945, the Onslow with the Devonshire and the destroyers Obdurate , Orwell and the Norwegian Stord belonged to the escort of King Håkon VII , returning on the HMS Norfolk , who was enthusiastically received in Oslo. After five days in the Norwegian capital, the Onslow visited Copenhagen. After serving in the Baltic Sea, a visit to Rotterdam followed.

From December 29, 1945 to February 3, 1946, the boat took part in Operation Deadlight . Then the boat was involved in training and testing with submarines in Portsmouth until April 1947. It was then launched and put on the sales list. On September 30, 1949 it was sold to Pakistan .

Service in the Pakistani Navy

Naval Ensign of Pakistan.svg

The purchased Onslow was placed in the service of the Pakistani Navy as the Tippu Sultan , which in 1949 also took over the sister boat Offa as Tariq . In 1951 the Onslaught was added as Tughril . The three boats served as fleet destroyers.

In 1957 the Tippu Sultan was taken out of service and converted into a “Type 16” anti-submarine frigate in Birkenhead. This conversion also took place at the Tughril . The Tariq was returned to Great Britain in 1959 and scrapped. The conversions were carried out according to the specifications of the Royal Navy for their conversions ( Orwell , Paladin , Petard and seven T-class boats ) and the armament was completely renewed.

In 1960 the boat returned to Pakistan and remained in service until the demolition in 1980 as the last boat in the class.


  • Maurice Cocker: Destroyers of the Royal Navy, 1893-1981 , Ian Allen (1983), ISBN 0-7110-1075-7 .
  • Norman Friedman: British Destroyers: From Earliest Days to the Second World War , Seaforth Publishing (Barnsley 2009), ISBN 978-1-84832-049-9 .
  • HT Lenton: Warships of the British and Commonwealth Navies , Ian Allan 1969.
  • Antony Preston: Destroyers , Hamlyn, ISBN 0-600-32955-0 .

Web links

Commons : HMS Onslow (G17)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. ^ Rohwer : Chronik des Maritime War 1939–1945 , p. 306
  2. ^ Rohwer, p. 248
  3. ^ Rohwer, p. 254
  4. ^ Rohwer, p. 283
  5. Rohwer, p. 314f.
  6. ^ Rohwer, p. 408
  7. ^ Rohwer, p. 445
  8. ^ Rohwer, p. 472
  9. ^ Rohwer, pp. 496, 503
  10. ^ Rohwer, p. 515
  11. Rohwer, p 522f.
  12. Lenton: Warships , pp. 76f.