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sublime828

Unit of the month - HMS Black Prince

To go along with Flakstruk's Battle of the month, I would also like to start a "Unit of the Month".  Each nation will be represented in the  following months.  The units being highlighted each month may or may not be a unit currently in WAS but perhaps a ship or aircraft that had a particularly eventful battle or contribution at some point in the war.

To start this off, We will highlight a unit from the Royal Navy (since that is my club)   Very Happy

This Months Unit of the Month is

The HMS Black Prince

more to come: stay tuned
Brigman

Interesting!  Don't know much about the Black Prince yet.  So this should be edjamacational.  Very Happy
Brigman

Hopefully this isn't cutting to the end of the book, so to speak - if it is, Sub, please delete - but here's the ForuMINI card for Black Prince:

sublime828

The HMS Black Prince was a Dido class light cruiser laid down in northern Ireland on 1st of December 1939.

The Black Prince was actually a modified Dido Class given the sub-group class of Bellona.  Out of the sixteen Didos commissioned during WWII, 5 were of the Bellona subgroup.

The Bellona's had one less main battery (4 twin 5.25" mounts instead of 5) but had a much better AA system (12 2-pounders and 12 20mm cannons).  The Bellonas were also the first Dido'd to be equipped with full radar fire control for 5.25" and 2-pounders.....making the Black Prince one heck of an AA cruiser  Twisted Evil

more to come tommorow...
sublime828

Not many hits on this, is this something you guys would like me to continue......or am I just entertaining myself?  Speak up if you're interested and I will continue Very Happy  Very Happy  Very Happy

sub
Brigman

I'm totally interested.  But you probably knew that from my posts.  

Was just waiting for others to chime in so as not to monopolize the convo...
Flakstruk

Ive had a look. I always find the unusual stuff about ships, like the Bismarks cat
Rebel

Aw, I was hoping this was about the tank...

Still, it's interesting so far! Laughing
sublime828

ok then Very Happy I'll continue with the Black Prince tomorrow Very Happy
Jaybird

Interested as well.
sublime828

Today we will cover some interesting facts about the HMS Black Prince

The Black Prince Motto: "With High Courage"

She earned battle honours for her actions in Normandy, South France, The Aegean Sea, The English Channel, Okinawa, and for her Convoy Escort Services in the Arctic.

She served in the Royal Navy on active duty and reserve until 1948 when she was loaned to the Royal New Zealand Navy where she remained on active duty service until 1962.

She only saw action in 1944 and 1945 but it was a very busy 2 years for this ship.  More to come.
torpman

Cool thanks for doing this Smile
firesdstny

nice!  She seems like a good ship!

Not sure you can get a whole month of info about her though Smile
Ruckdog05

Very interesting! I must admit, when I first saw thread title I immediately thought of the WWI armored cruiser that was lost at Jutland Wink.
sublime828

Ruckdog05 wrote:
Very interesting! I must admit, when I first saw thread title I immediately thought of the WWI armored cruiser that was lost at Jutland Wink.


That was the ship she was named for....and the fifth RN vessel to carry the name "Black Prince"
Brigman

So basically it was a modified Dido-class, or sub-class?

Very cool stuff!
sublime828

Brigman wrote:
So basically it was a modified Dido-class, or sub-class?

Very cool stuff!


yes, a modified dido class she was, basically just reconfigured the armament a bit.

tomorrow I will go into more detail about some of the Black Princes escapades and battles during WWII.
firesdstny

she's kinda like a cooler Euralyus.  I think most people were hoping the Euralyus would be an AA boat, and while it is, it's nothing quite so good as this.

Not that I'm complaining about Euralyus who at 9 points is a good little ship, but this is like the San Diego for the Brits Smile
sublime828

Today we will look at The Black Prince's first active duty mission:  Convoy Duty

In the beginning of 1944 came the Black Prince's only Russian convoy and it was Convoy JW57 to Murmansk. One hundred and three ships assembled at Loch Ewe in Scotland, and included the Black Prince, the aircraft carrier Chaser, and a large number of destroyers and merchant ships. Black Prince was the flagship with Rear Admiral Glennie on board, and for the next few weeks the convoy had to contend with cold seas, ice, and enemy submarines. It was the largest convoy ever to go to Russia and carried approximately two hundred and fifty thousand tons of raw material for the Russian war effort. Only two ships were lost, a destroyer and a merchant vessel, and eventually the Black Prince returned to Scapa Flow to join up with the Home Fleet again on the 8th April, 1944.

next, we'll look at some more of the Black Princes combat exploits Very Happy  Very Happy  Very Happy

cheers
sub
nrnstraswa

Cool!
sublime828

Next we will look at first surface combat with a squad of German Destroyers:

In early April she travelled south to Devonport calling at Greenock on the way. At Devonport she joined up with four Tribal class destroyers in order to form Force 26 (a Channel Raiding Party), and the destroyers formed part of the 10th Destroyer Flotilla. In the last week of April there was a skirmish with the enemy, when accompanied by Ashanti, Athabaskan, Haida, and Huron, Black Prince picked up four enemy destroyers of the Elbing class on her radar screen and chased them for over two hours. Eventually, she hit one of them in the stern and the destroyers went in and finished her off. The battle emphasised the use of radar for location and gunnery, as the entire action took place under cover of darkness.

I'm surprised this action didn't merit a "radar fire control" or "night fighter" special ability in the FN Deck...."destroyer hunter" is totally appropriate but it would seem "night fighter" also would have been an excellent SA for this unit.

More to come Very Happy  Very Happy  Very Happy
sublime828

Next on the Black Prince:  Her participation in the Invasion of Normandy!

In June 1944 and Black Prince joined an American squadron, led by the battleship Nevada and known as American Task Force 129. She left Devonport and in company with the American cruiser Augusta went to Lamlash in Scotland for special bombardment practice. This meant firing at a fixed target ashore with a spotter plane above to guide the salvos on to the target. The squadron took up its position at Normandy on the 6th June to assist the landings at the Utah and Omaha beaches. Black Prince remained there for the next ten days, firing all the time, and in all fired over 1300 shells at the enemy gun emplacements and any other targets available. Of the gun emplacements twenty were knocked out completely. When the Allies had gained a firm foothold on the French coast Black Prince was ordered to proceed to Newcastle, and became the first Allied warship to pass unescorted through the English Channel since the fall of France. She arrived at Newcastle on the 1st July 1944 and the ship's company were immediately given three weeks leave.

Thats a whole lot of metal lobbed in at those gun emplacements!! Think of all the soldiers on shore who were more than happy to see those destroyed!

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