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ABDIEL

 

Nationality:

Britain

Type: Cruiser / Minelayer
Class: ABDIEL - six in class
Builder: White
Completed: April, 1941
Displacement: 2,650 tons

Dimensions: (in feet and inches)

418' x 40' x 14' 9"
Machinery: 2-shaft Parsons geared turbines; 4 Admiralty 3-drum boilers; 72,000shp.  Oil:  695 tons
Speed: 39.75 knots
Armament:
NUMBER SIZE MOUNTS
6 4.7" / 45 cal. QF 3x2
4 2-pdr. "pom-poms" 1x4
8 0.5" MG
100 - 156 mines
Compliment: 242

 

 

Sister ships:  APOLLO, ARIADNE, LATONA, MANXMAN, WELSHMAN

 

 

Pennant Number:  M 39

 

 

Notes:  A successful class of fast minelayers, also used for such duties as running special cargoes of ammunition to Malta.  Soon after completion, ABDIEL had 4 - 20mm AA added.  Later, her twin 4.7" mounts were replaced by twin 4" HA mounts, and 8 - 20mm (twin mounts) added.  

 

ABDIEL served with the Mediterranean Fleet in 1941; she was transferred to the Eastern Fleet in 1942, then returned to Home Fleet, 1942-43; she was sent back to Mediterranean Fleet in 1943. As with her sister ships, ABDIEL was used in both her original role as a minelayer, and as a fast transport ship, ferrying supplies to bastions in harms' way in the Mediterranean. She laid many minefields, and those mines claimed ten victims; the Italian destoyers CARLO MIRABELLO, CORSARO, SAETTA, ASCARI, and LANZEROTTO MALOCELLO, the torpedo boat CICLONE, the gunboats PELLEGRINO MATTEUCCI and URAGANO, and the transports KYBFELS (German, 7,764 tons) and MARBURG (German, 7,564 tons). In addition, the Italian destroyer MAESTRALE was severely damaged by one of ABDIEL's mines. ABDIEL also landed British commandos at Suda Bay on 27 May 1941, and in the company of the light cruiser PHOEBE and three destroyers, evacuated 4,000 troops from Crete on 31 May 1941 as this island was captured by German forces.

On 9 September 1943, ABDIEL berthed at Taranto Harbor, Italy, carrying troops of the 1st Airborne Division (6th Royal Welsh Battalion). Her spot in the harbor had been declined earlier by the American light cruiser BOISE. Unknown to the Allied forces, the German MTB's S-54 and S-61 had placed ground mines in the harbor hours earlier. Shortly after midnight on 10 October 1943, two of those mines detonated. Mortally wounded, ABDIEL sank in three minutes. 48 of her crew were killed, as were 58 soliders of the Airborne Division; another 150 were injured. 

 

A special "thank you!" to the following on-line sources for additional information on the ABDIEL:

   http://www.steelnavy.com/WEM350Abdiel.htm
   http://uboat.net/allies/warships/class.html?ID=77&navy=HMS

 

 

Pictures

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