HMS Cossack (1938) DD  (5th)

This the fifth ship to carry the name HMS Cossack was a Tribal Class, destroyer.

Built by Vickers Armstrong on the Tyne, launched 08-Jun-1937, commissioned 07-Jun-1938.

On commissioning joined the forming 4th Flotilla in the Mediterranean. In September 1939 when it was clear Italy was not about to join in the war on the Axis side 4th Flotilla was ordered to home waters.

Cossack took part in the Norwegian Campaign in 1940. In Feb-1940 boarded the German surface raider supply ship Altmark in Jossingfjord, Norway and freed 299 captives whose ships had been sunk by the German ship Graf Spee. Further action included the 2nd Battle of Narvik 13-Apr-1940. Where she ran aground after receiving damage from shellfire. Initial repairs in Norway took several days and it was not until 29-Apr-1940 that she arrived at Portsmouth and later Southampton for repair and refit.

After this she spent time harrying German convoys in Norwegian/ North Sea waters.

Early 1941 came with another refit in Jan/Feb, then in May took part in Bismarck operations, where she was in action against the battleship. After this she moved to Western Approaches escort duty. Then July to Plymouth to escort coastal convoys from German destroyers and e-boats.

July saw a move back to the Mediterranean as escort for Operation Substance a Malta reinforcement convoy.

On 23-Oct-1941 while escorting a slow UK bound convoy Cossack was hit forward of the bridge by a torpedo from U-563. After being abandoned the ship did not sink and the fire went out. So she was re-boarded and made way slowly astern for a long trip back to Gibraltar. However in worsening weather she foundered 27-Oct-1941 west of Gibraltar, four days after being torpedoed by U-563.

Won the Battle Honours: Narvik 1940, Norway 1940, Atlantic 1940-41, 'Bismarck' 1941, and Malta Convoys 1941.


Other HMS Cossack
- 1st  HMS Cossack
- 2nd HMS Cossack
- 3rd HMS Cossack
- 4th HMS Cossack
- 5th HMS Cossack
- 6th HMS Cossack

- Tribal Class (1938) DD
- Specifications
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- Full Battle Honours

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This page last edited - 16 April, 2013.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.