HMS Hunter, Sunk During First Battle of Narvik 10 April 1940, Found in One Thousand Feet of Water – Part 1

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HMS Hunter in a pre-war photograph – ‘H’ class Royal Navy destroyer commissioned in September of 1936. ‘H’ class destroyers were 323 feet long and could reach a maximum speed of 36 knots and hour although in an emergency they could probably go to 38 knots. ‘H’ class were armed with 4.7 inch naval cannon, depth charges and torpedoes.

While the wreck of HMS Hunter was discovered in March of 2008, my loyal readers know that I can be late in posting breaking news such as this — especially because I only learned of this two weeks ago while researching the First Battle of Narvik.

From the BBC of Wednesday, 5 March 2008:

Sunken WWII ship found in fjordThe wreck of a Royal Navy destroyer has been found in a Norwegian fjord, 68 years after she sank during battle.

HMS Hunter has remained undisturbed since April 1940 when she sank, killing 110 people during the Battle of Narvik. It was found 305m (1,000ft) under water by a Norwegian mine control vessel on a multinational training exercise.

I expect better writing from the BBC. First error, the writer used the word “people” instead of ‘men’ or ‘crew’ or ‘officers and ratings’ which is the traditional way to refer to the men of a warship. And this being 1940, they were all men. Second, the modifying clause which comes after “…when she sank, killing 110 people during the Battle of Narvik” implies that when the ship sank, that action killed 110 people who could have been a group of people including some watching from the shore or living at the bottom of the fjord or just some random group killed in a tragedy like a train wreck. The ship did not kill the 110 officers and ratings when it sank. A number of the men were already dead from the fierce surface battle against five heavy German destroyers. The remainder of the men drowned when the ship went to the bottom.

The rest of the mangled story is on the BBC site.

[Source: BBC. Image courtesy of Wrecksite.]

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website:

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