Honour - BISCAY 1940-45

Date - 1940-45
Type - Area Awards
Conflict - World War 2; 1939-45

Description The qualifying area was waters between the Latitudes of Ushant and Cape Ortegal, from 12°W to the coast of France.

Ships and submarines on patrol which took part in a successful action qualified for the honour. Interception and sinking of a blockade runner however did not qualify.

After the capitulation of France, Germany began construction of heavily fortified bases on the French Atlantic coast at Brest, Lorient, St. Nazaire, La Rochelle and Bordeaux.

U-boats based there enjoyed a 50% reduction in transit time to their operational areas in the North Atlantic. In addition they did not have to transit the heavily defended English Channel or brave the dangerous northern passages round the north of Britain.

This resulted in greatly increased allied losses in merchant shipping. The French bases also provided havens early in the war for German major surface vessels.

The Battle of the Bay of Biscay swung to and fro and although it included the 20th Century addition of aircraft was in essence similar to the traditional British Royal Navy blockade over the centuries.


HM Ships
Abdiel  Albrighton  Archer  Ashanti  Assiniboine 
Bellona  Berry  Bideford  Borage  Brissenden 
Cachalot  Calgary  Charybdis  Chaudière  Conqueror 
Crane  Dahlia  Diadem  Dominica  Duckworth 
Edmunston  Egret  Enterprise  Essington  Glasgow 
Godetia  Graph  Haida  Hastings  Havelock 
Hurricane  Iroquois  Kite  Kootenay  Landguard 
Loch Killin  Louis  Mauritius  Monkshood  Nene 
Onslow  Ottawa  Pimpernel Qu'Appelle  Restigouche 
Rockingham  Saskatchewan  Saxifrage  Sceptre 44  Scylla 
Sea Nymph  Sheffield  Skeena  Snowberry  Starling 
Stubborn  Tally Ho  Tanatside  Tartar  Thunderbolt 
Tuna  Tweed  Unbeaten  Unique  Ursa 
Victorious  Vimy  Viscount  Volunteer  Warspite 
Warwick  Waveney  Wear  Wild Goose  Woodpecker 
FAA Squadrons
This page last edited - 29 January, 2013.

Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.