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Sister ships: GREENVILLE, INGLEFIELD
Pennant number: H.87
Notes: Enlarged versions of the "G", "H" and "I" class destroyers, built as flotilla leaders. They were slightly smaller than the preceding "E" and "F" classes, due mainly to the omission of cruising turbines. HARDY served in the Mediterranean until late 1939, when she and four of her "H" class destroyers were transferred to the South Atlantic; in 1940, the entire class was reassigned to Home Fleet. During the First Battle of Narvik on 10 April 1940 (the day after the German invasion of Norway), five British destroyers of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, led by Captain Bernard Warburton-Lee in the HARDY, sailed into the anchorage at Narvik and attacked the German ships there, including five destroyers. The element of surprise was with the British, and they sunk two of the German destroyers and damaged the other three (several merchant ships were also sunk by the British). While attempting to withdraw, the remaining five German destroyers supporting the invasion arrived, turning the tables on the British force. The Z-2 (also known as the GEORG THIELE) scored several 5" hits on HARDY, killing Warburton-Lee and most of the officers; the surviving crew steered HARDY ashore, where she capsized and sank. However, as a result of this deliberate beaching, a large portion of her crew were able to escape into the mountains, and survived to return to England.