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HMS Roberts : A Stalwart of the Royal Navy’s Wartime Fleet

HMS Roberts : A Stalwart of the Royal Navy’s Wartime Fleet

World War 2

HMS Roberts : A Stalwart of the Royal Navy’s Wartime Fleet

The HMS Roberts, a distinguished Royal Navy Roberts-class monitor, played a pivotal role in the Second World War. Named after the esteemed Field Marshal Frederick Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts, she was the second monitor to bear this honor.

Construction and Early Features

HMS Roberts shelling German shore batteries, 6 June 1944. HMS Frobisher is in the background. McNeill, M H A (Lt) – http://media.iwm.org.uk/iwm/mediaLib//418/media-418900/large.jpg This photograph A 23920 comes from the collections of the Imperial War Museums. D-day – British Forces during the Invasion of Normandy 6 June 1944 The monitor HMS ROBERTS, part of Bombarding Force ‘D’ off Le Havre, shelling German gun batteries in support of the landings on Sword area, 6 June 1944. The photo was taken from the frigate HMS HOLMES which formed part of the escort group.

A Testament to Engineering and Adaptability

Built by John Brown & Company in Clydebank, the construction of HMS Roberts commenced on 30 April 1940. She was launched on 1 February 1941 and completed by 27 October 1941. A notable aspect of her design was the reuse of the twin 15-inch gun turret from the First World War monitor Marshal Soult, showcasing the blend of historical legacy with modern warfare needs.

Service in World War II

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British monitor HMS Roberts (F40) moored to a buoy

HMS Roberts’s war service was marked by key contributions to several major operations. She provided critical bombardment support during Operation Torch in North Africa. Despite sustaining damage from two 500 kg bombs in the Battle of Béjaïa. Lastly, she was swiftly repaired to partake in Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily, and the Allied landings near Salerno, known as Operation Avalanche.

HMS Roberts concluded her journey with her final dismantling in 1965, her legacy as a significant player in the Royal Navy’s wartime history was firmly established. Her service, spanning critical operations of the Second World War, positioned her as more than just a warship; she became a symbol of resilience and adaptability in the face of evolving military challenges.

The World War 1 HMS Roberts:

HMS ‘Roberts’, monitor Inscribed by the artist, lower left, ‘Roberts’, this is a reasonably accurate and good quality study of the monitor ‘Roberts’ (1915), under way in almost starboard-broadside view. It was probably done in the Thames estuary, in the period July to early October 1917, when she was reserve monitor for the ‘Great Landing’ in Europe, which was cancelled because of the lack of progress in the land campaign in Belgium. Another monitor – or possibly a slightly less detailed view of the ‘Roberts’ seen receding in port-quarter view – is on the right. William Lionel Wyllie – http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/125982

HMS Roberts : A Stalwart of the Royal Navy’s Wartime Fleet