The Sinking of HMS Glowworm : Royal Navy’s Courage At Its Finest

The Sinking of HMS Glowworm : Royal Navy’s Courage At Its Finest Glowworm was one of 9 323 foot G Class destroyers built in the 1930’s at the yards of John I. Thornycroft and Company, at Woolston, Hampshire . Originally assigned to the Mediterranean in the 1930’s and off of Spane for part of their Civil War. 

In March 1940, she was transferred to the Home Fleet, just in time to participate in the opening stages of the Norwegian Campaign.

On the morning of the 8th of April 1940, Glowworm was on her way to rejoin Renown when she encountered the German destroyers Z11 Bernd von Arnim and Z18 Hans Lüdemann. They were escorting German troops on their way to to Trondheim.

HMS Glowworm advancing.

Z11 Bernd von Arnim and Z18 Hans Lüdemann attempted to disengage while calling for help from heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper.

A photograph of Glowworm taken from Admiral Hipper, 8 April 1940. Glowworm is making smoke

Despite being heavily outnumbered and in a hopeless position from a military tactic’s vantage point. Glowworm would shoot 5 torpedoes at Hipper and eventually ram her bow.

Glowworm on fire

All of this while being on fire and under constant attack. Her heroism was unmatched.

Lieutenant Commander Gerard Broadmead Roope, awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for his bravery.

Eventually she would succumb and sink when her boilers exploded at 10:24, taking 109 of her crew to the bottom.

A sailor from the HMS Glowworm, believed to be Bert Harris, is pulled off the water by a German sailor from heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper.

Hipper’s Captain Hellmuth Heye would write to the Royal Navy recommending the Victoria Cross to Roope.

German sailors rescuing crew members from HMS Glowworm.