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HMCS Cobalt

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HMCS Cobalt K124 MC-2207.jpg
HMCS Cobalt at Liverpool, Nova Scotia, where she underwent her foc'sle extension refit in 1944.
History
Canada
NameCobalt
NamesakeCobalt, Ontario
Ordered1 February 1940
BuilderPort Arthur Shipbuilding Co. Port Arthur, Ontario
Laid down1 April 1940
Launched17 August 1940
Commissioned25 November 1940
Decommissioned17 June 1945
IdentificationPennant number: K124
Honours and
awards
Atlantic, 1941 – 45.[1]
FateSold for mercantile purposes; broken up 1966
General characteristics
Class and typeFlower-class corvette (original)[2]
Displacement925 long tons (940 t; 1,036 short tons)
Length205 ft (62.48 m)o/a
Beam33 ft (10.06 m)
Draught11.5 ft (3.51 m)
Propulsion
  • single shaft
  • 2 × fire tube Scotch boilers
  • 1 × 4-cycle triple-expansion reciprocating steam engine
  • 2,750 ihp (2,050 kW)
Speed16 knots (29.6 km/h)
Range3,500 nautical miles (6,482 km) at 12 knots (22.2 km/h)
Complement85
Sensors and
processing systems
  • 1 × SW1C or 2C radar
  • 1 × Type 123A or Type 127DV sonar
Armament

HMCS Cobalt was a Flower-class corvette of the Royal Canadian Navy which took part in convoy escort duties during the Second World War. She served primarily in the Battle of the Atlantic. She was named for Cobalt, Ontario.

Discover more about HMCS Cobalt related topics

Flower-class corvette

Flower-class corvette

The Flower-class corvette was a British class of 294 corvettes used during World War II by the Allied navies particularly as anti-submarine convoy escorts in the Battle of the Atlantic. Royal Navy ships of this class were named after flowers.

Corvette

Corvette

A corvette is a small warship. It is traditionally the smallest class of vessel considered to be a proper warship. The warship class above the corvette is that of the frigate, while the class below was historically that of the sloop-of-war.

Royal Canadian Navy

Royal Canadian Navy

The Royal Canadian Navy is the naval force of Canada. The RCN is one of three environmental commands within the Canadian Armed Forces. As of 2021, the RCN operates 12 frigates, four attack submarines, 12 coastal defence vessels, eight patrol class training vessels, two offshore patrol vessels, and several auxiliary vessels. The RCN consists of 8,570 Regular Force and 4,111 Primary Reserve sailors, supported by 3,800 civilians. Vice-Admiral Angus Topshee is the current commander of the Royal Canadian Navy and chief of the Naval Staff.

World War II

World War II

World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global conflict that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries, including all of the great powers, fought as part of two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. Many participants threw their economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind this total war, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. Aircraft played a major role, enabling the strategic bombing of population centres and the only two nuclear weapons ever used in war.

Battle of the Atlantic

Battle of the Atlantic

The Battle of the Atlantic, the longest continuous military campaign in World War II, ran from 1939 to the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, covering a major part of the naval history of World War II. At its core was the Allied naval blockade of Germany, announced the day after the declaration of war, and Germany's subsequent counter-blockade. The campaign peaked from mid-1940 through to the end of 1943.

Cobalt, Ontario

Cobalt, Ontario

Cobalt is a town in Timiskaming District, Ontario, Canada. It had a population of 1,118 at the 2016 Census.

Background

Flower-class corvettes like Cobalt serving with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War were different from earlier and more traditional sail-driven corvettes.[3][4][5] The "corvette" designation was created by the French as a class of small warships; the Royal Navy borrowed the term for a period but discontinued its use in 1877.[6] During the hurried preparations for war in the late 1930s, Winston Churchill reactivated the corvette class, needing a name for smaller ships used in an escort capacity, in this case based on a whaling ship design.[7] The generic name "flower" was used to designate the class of these ships, which – in the Royal Navy – were named after flowering plants.[8]

Corvettes commissioned by the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War were named after communities for the most part, to better represent the people who took part in building them. This idea was put forth by Admiral Percy W. Nelles. Sponsors were commonly associated with the community for which the ship was named. Royal Navy corvettes were designed as open sea escorts, while Canadian corvettes were developed for coastal auxiliary roles which was exemplified by their minesweeping gear. Eventually the Canadian corvettes would be modified to allow them to perform better on the open seas.[9]

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Flower-class corvette

Flower-class corvette

The Flower-class corvette was a British class of 294 corvettes used during World War II by the Allied navies particularly as anti-submarine convoy escorts in the Battle of the Atlantic. Royal Navy ships of this class were named after flowers.

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was a British statesman, soldier, and writer who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom twice, from 1940 to 1945 during the Second World War, and again from 1951 to 1955. Apart from two years between 1922 and 1924, he was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1900 to 1964 and represented a total of five constituencies. Ideologically an economic liberal and imperialist, he was for most of his career a member of the Conservative Party, which he led from 1940 to 1955. He was a member of the Liberal Party from 1904 to 1924.

Percy W. Nelles

Percy W. Nelles

Admiral Percy Walker Nelles, was a flag officer in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and the Chief of the Naval Staff from 1 January 1934 to 15 January 1944. He oversaw the massive wartime expansion of the RCN and the transformation of Canada into a major player in the Battle of the Atlantic. During his tenure U-boats raided the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canadian Northwest Atlantic command was created, and the RCN provided up to 40% of all escort forces in the North Atlantic. His handling of the RCN's war effort had its opponents however, and he was removed from his post as Chief of the Naval Staff in January 1944. He was sent to London as Overseas Naval Attaché, coordinating RCN operations for Operation Overlord. He retired in January 1945 as a full admiral.

Construction

Cobalt was ordered 1 February 1940 as part of the 1939–1940 Flower-class shipbuilding program from Port Arthur Shipbuilding Co. in Port Arthur, Ontario. She was laid down on 1 April 1940 and launched 17 August later that year.[10] Cobalt was commissioned at Port Arthur on 25 November 1940, however Cobalt was taken to Halifax in advance of completion to beat the St. Lawrence freeze-up, arriving 24 December.[11] In mid-November Cobalt was sent to Liverpool, Nova Scotia for three months' refit. During the second of two other extensive refits at Liverpool from April to 20 July 1944 her fo'c'sle was lengthened.

Wartime service

Cobalt was completed early in January 1941. On 22 January 1941 she took part in the Canadian Navy's first secret trial of diffused lighting camouflage, a technology for concealing ships from submarines at night.[12]

She worked up and joined Halifax Force, but left on 23 May 1941 with the six other corvettes that were the nucleus of the new Newfoundland Escort Force (NEF). For the next six months she operated as an ocean escort between St. John's and Iceland.[13]

HMCS Cobalt leaving Iceland
HMCS Cobalt leaving Iceland

Following completion of her first refit, Cobalt made two round trips to Derry before being assigned in May 1942 to the Western Local Escort Force (WLEF), with which she was to spend the balance of the war. During her time with WLEF she served with escort groups EG W-6 from June 1943; with W-5 from April 1944; and with W-7 from February 1945. She finished the war with group W-7.[13]

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Diffused lighting camouflage

Diffused lighting camouflage

Diffused lighting camouflage was a form of active camouflage using counter-illumination to enable a ship to match its background, the night sky, that was tested by the Royal Canadian Navy on corvettes during World War II. The principle was discovered by a Canadian professor, Edmund Godfrey Burr, in 1940. It attracted interest because it could help to hide ships from submarines in the Battle of the Atlantic, and the research project began early in 1941. The Royal Navy and the US Navy carried out further equipment development and trials between 1941 and 1943.

Newfoundland Escort Force

Newfoundland Escort Force

The Newfoundland Escort Force (NEF) was a Second World War naval command created on 20 May 1941 as part of the Allied convoy system in the Battle of the Atlantic. Created in response to the movement of German U-boats into the western Atlantic Ocean, the Newfoundland Escort Force (NEF) was instituted to cover the convoy escort gap that existed between the local convoy escort in Canada and the United Kingdom. The Royal Canadian Navy provided the majority of naval vessels to the NEF along with its commander Commodore Leonard W. Murray, with units from the British, Norwegian, Polish, French and Dutch navies also assigned. The NEF was reconstituted as part of the Mid-Ocean Escort Force in 1942.

Iceland

Iceland

Iceland is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic Ocean and in the Arctic Ocean. Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe. Iceland's capital and largest city is Reykjavík, which is home to over 65% of the population. Iceland is the biggest part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge that rises above sea level, and its central volcanic plateau is erupting almost constantly. The interior consists of a plateau characterised by sand and lava fields, mountains, and glaciers, and many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate, despite a high latitude just outside the Arctic Circle. Its high latitude and marine influence keep summers chilly, and most of its islands have a polar climate.

Derry

Derry

Derry, officially Londonderry, is the second-largest city in Northern Ireland and the fifth-largest city on the island of Ireland. The old walled city lies on the west bank of the River Foyle, which is spanned by two road bridges and one footbridge. The city now covers both banks.

Western Local Escort Force

Western Local Escort Force

Western Local Escort Force (WLEF) referred to the organization of anti-submarine escorts for World War II trade convoys from North American port cities to the Western Ocean Meeting Point near Newfoundland where ships of the Mid-Ocean Escort Force (MOEF) assumed responsibility for safely delivering the convoys to the British Isles.

Post-war service

Cobalt was paid off at Sorel, Quebec on 17 June 1945 and subsequently sold for conversion to a whale-catcher, entering service in 1953 as the Dutch Johanna W. Vinke. On 31 December 1961 she suffered a boiler explosion while whaling, and was declared a constructive total loss. She was broken up at Cape Town beginning on 6 June 1963 by South African Metal & Machinery Pty Ltd.[13][14]

Source: "HMCS Cobalt", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMCS_Cobalt.

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References
  1. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  2. ^ Lenton, H.T.; Colledge, J.J (1968). British and Dominion Warships of World War II. Doubleday & Company. pp. 201, 212.
  3. ^ Ossian, Robert. "Complete List of Sailing Vessels". The Pirate King. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  4. ^ Fitzsimons, Bernard, ed. (1978). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons & Warfare. Vol. 11. London: Phoebus. pp. 1137–1142.
  5. ^ Jane's Fighting Ships of World War II. New Jersey: Random House. 1996. p. 68. ISBN 0-517-67963-9.
  6. ^ Blake, Nicholas; Lawrence, Richard (2005). The Illustrated Companion to Nelson's Navy. Stackpole Books. pp. 39–63. ISBN 0-8117-3275-4.
  7. ^ Chesneau, Roger; Gardiner, Robert (June 1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946. Naval Institute Press. p. 62. ISBN 0-87021-913-8.
  8. ^ Milner, Marc (1985). North Atlantic Run. Naval Institute Press. pp. 117–119, 142–145, 158, 175–176, 226, 235, 285–291. ISBN 0-87021-450-0.
  9. ^ Macpherson, Ken; Milner, Marc (1993). Corvettes of the Royal Canadian Navy 1939–1945. St. Catharines: Vanwell Publishing. ISBN 1-55125-052-7.
  10. ^ "HMCS Cobalt (K124)". Uboat.net. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  11. ^ "Cobalt K-124". Royal Canadian Navy. 11 August 2017. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  12. ^ "Naval Museum of Quebec". Diffused Lighting and its use in the Chaleur Bay. Royal Canadian Navy. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
  13. ^ a b c Macpherson, Ken; Burgess, John (1981). The ships of Canada's naval forces 1910–1981 : a complete pictorial history of Canadian warships. Toronto: Collins. p. 72. ISBN 0-00-216856-1.
  14. ^ "Cobalt (6111129)". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 13 July 2016.

Bibliography

  • Macpherson, K.; Burgess, J. (1985). "The Ships of Canada's Naval Forces 1910–1985. A complete pictorial history of Canadian warships. Toronto: Collins. 1985 ISBN 0-00-217469-3.

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