His Majesty's Ships - H.M.S. Manxman

The War Illustrated, Volume 10, No. 248, Page 554, December 20, 1946.

Motto: "It will stand, however it is thrown."

Survivor of a batch of four fast minelayers laid down in 1939, H.M.S. Manxman displaces 2,650 tons, mounts a six 4-inch and several smaller guns, and was designed for a maximum speed of 40 knots.

Completed in 1941, she was selected by Admiral Sir James Somerville in August of that year to undertake the hazardous task of mining the approaches to the Italian port of Leghorn. To do this she was disguised as the big Vichy French destroyer Tigre, to which she bore a superficial resemblance, both ships having three funnels. In effecting the necessary alterations a photograph of a sister ship, the Free French destroyer Leopard, was taken as a model, and the ship's company was rigged in French uniforms.

Under the command of Captain R.K. Dickson the minefield was duly laid during hours of darkness. Though a French cruiser and sundry enemy aircraft were sighted while on passage, the Manxman was not interfered with, and returned safely to her station in the Atlantic. In the course of the ensuing 15 months she carried out other useful service, and was with the Allied force covering the landings in North Africa in November 1942. She was then torpedoed by an enemy submarine and badly damaged. Emerging from refit towards the end of the war, she proceeded to the Pacific, where she was serving when Japan surrendered.

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