HMS Rawalpindi

HMS Rawalpindi

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HMS Rawalpindi

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Description:
HMS Rawalpindi was a British armed merchant cruiser (a converted passenger ship) that was sunk during the Second World War.

Merchant service

She started life as the 16,695 registered tons P. & O. Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. ocean liner SS Rawalpindi . She was launched on 26 March 1925 by Lady Birkenhead, the wife of F. E. Smith, 1st Earl of Birkenhead, and joined the P&O fleet in September of the same year. She could carry 307 First Class and 288 Second Class passengers, and was employed on the London to Bombay service.

Naval Service

Rawalpindi was requisitioned by the Admiralty on 26 August 1939 and converted to an armed merchant cruiser by the addition of eight guns and two guns. She was set to work from October 1939 in the Northern Patrol covering the area around Iceland. On 19 October in the Denmark Strait, Rawalpindi intercepted the German tanker Gonnzenheim (4,574 grt), which had left Buenos Aires on 14 September. The tanker was scuttled by her crew before a boarding party could get onboard.

Sinking

While patrolling north of the Faroe Islands on 23 November 1939, she investigated a possible enemy sighting, only to find that she had encountered two of the most powerful German warships, the battleships and conducting a sweep between Iceland and the Faroes. Rawalpindi was able to signal the German...
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