CHESHIRE-L ArchivesArchiver > CHESHIRE > 2006-05 > 1148328214
From: "Lawrence Ollier" <>
Subject: Re: [CHS] : HMS WOOLSTON / HMS TANAtSIDE
Date: Mon, 22 May 2006 21:03:34 +0100
Hello Ricky, the "Hunt" class destroyers had a max speed of around 28 knots,
these destroyers were named after famous local hunts (as in fox hunts etc )
yes they were adopted by various towns in the UK the TANATSIDE was adopted
by three Welsh towns who's names elude me at the moment (my mum knows them)
The destroyers were the "tin cans" of the navy and suffered a high loss rate
mainly to the U Boats & German E Boats in the Channel. My late dad served on
HMS TANATSIDE during the war mainly in the Western Approaches (convoy
escort) U Boat hunts & anti shipping sweeps (operation Tunnel) of the coasts
of France, mainly intercepting and sinking German blockade runners who were
trying to get fuel & replacement U Boat crews to St Nazier, La Rochelle etc.
The TANATSIDE was one of only three British destroyers that were with the
asault bombardment with the Yanks at Omaha Beach on D Day, the three British
"Hunts" played a decisive role on that day, the top knobs were about to call
off the invasion at Omaha Beach due to the massive American casualties, then
the order was given for the British Hunt's (HMS TANATSIDE, HMS MELBREAK &
HMS TALYBONT) and several American destroyers to "close" the beach this they
did, coming within 800 yards of the beach & disabling many of the German gun
emplacements, I only found all this & much more after my dad died, he like
many who saw the carnage, bloodshed & the death of fellow comrades, never
talked about it, when I was a kid I used to say to him "what did yer do in
the war dad" (no reply) I used to watch all those gung ho war films on tely
in the late fifties & early sixties, at that age I could not understand why
he did not want to watch them with me, I suppose it was because of the war +
he could't stand "poser" film stars!!
PS Ricky the HMS TANATSIDE is still availabe as a kit model (Deans Marine)
about 200 & odd pounds.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, May 22, 2006 8:18 PM
Subject: [CHS] : HMS WOOLSTON
> Hi Listers,
> This is about Cheshire - Honest.
> At the end of WW1 we had an embarrassment of "State of the Art" Destroyers
> recently completed. More than 50 in fact. These had been designed to go in
> against the German ships - fire torpedoes and then run away at a great
> of knots. We had little alternative but to let them grow old whilst
> for WW2.
> Because we had so many destroyers - there was no incentive to build
> more or produce any design improvements.
> WW2 was a different war for the Destroyers, they were not expected
> fight German ships with their guns and torpedoes. The new enemy was up in
> sky and down under the sea. One of the first destroyer casualties
> the Dunkirk evacuation - she was sunk by enemy aircraft with little
> suitable to defend herself.
> Quick refits were necessary - half of the torpedo tubes were
> together with some of the 4" guns. High angle guns and Anti Aircraft guns
> fitted and off they went to do battle in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and
> North Sea.
> More trouble and more refits. Convoy escort Destroyers required
> endurance, so these had a steam boiler removed and replaced with more
> containers. Anti submarine Destroyers required loads of depth charges and
> to propel them, so these were fitted at the rear end. By this time, new
> modern Destroyers such as the type 3s were being introduced, replacing
the old WW1
> In 1942, the civil population had a "Warship Week" where towns could
> adopt a ship.
> Congleton adopted a WW1 Destroyer called "HMS Woolston". How did I find
> out ?
> Because I joined the Local History Society recently. How did I know about
> these destroyers ?
> Because I built a model of one about 10 years ago. So what ? Well there is
> nothing in the Museum to recognise Congleton's "Boat" and I still have the
> plans to build a new model.
> I'm thinking about it. Could HMS Tanatside do more than the old
> 35 knots ?
> For those interested in the social side - the toilet facilities were
> minimal, the sleeping arrangements were "one out-one in", most sailors
> Russia and back without a change of clothing, lifeboat drill was not
> the Russian convoys - what was the point you only lasted 4 minutes in
> temperatures, boots were seldom removed because the decks were continually
> awash, you couldn't touch anything outside the ship or it would take your
> I'm off for a hot cup of tea.
> Ricky Cooper.
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