Allied Warships

FR Emile Bertin

Light cruiser of the Emile Bertin class

NavyThe French Navy
TypeLight cruiser
ClassEmile Bertin 
Pennant 
ModMinelaying cruiser 
Built byAt.&Ch de St. Nazaire-Penhoet (St. Nazaire, France) 
Ordered 
Laid down18 Aug 1931 
Launched9 May 1933 
Commissioned28 Jan 1935 
End serviceOct 1951 
History

Decommissioned in October 1951.
Stricken 27 October 1959.
Scrapped in 1961.

 

We don't have any commands listed for FR Emile Bertin


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Notable events involving Emile Bertin include:


7 Apr 1940
HMS Jupiter (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, RN) returned to Scapa Flow from escort duty.

She departed again later the same day escorting the French light cruiser Emile Bertin (Capt. R.M.J. Battet) and the large destroyers Maille Breze (Cdr. H.M.E.A. Glotin) and Tartu (Capt. J.M. Chomel) in.

8 Apr 1940
After a German force of warships was sighted which the Admiralty thought to be proceeding to the North-Atlantic, HMS Devonshire (Capt. J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.H.D. Cunningham, CB, MVO, RN), HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN), HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and HMS Glasgow (Capt. F.H. Pegram, RN), disembarked their troops and set out to sea and proceed north to intercept.

In the evening they were joined near Rattray Head by the French light cruiser Emile Bertin (Capt. R.M.J. Battet) and the large destroyers Maille Breze (Cdr. H.M.E.A. Glotin) and Tartu (Capt. J.M. Chomel).

By then it had become apparent that the Germans were proceeding to invade Norway and the cruisers were ordered to proceed towards the Home Fleet which was also at sea.

They joined the Fleet around mid-morning on the 9th. (1)

9 Apr 1940
Around 1800A/9, the light cruisers HMS Galatea (Capt. B.B. Schofield, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral G.F.B. Edward-Collins, CB, KCVO, RN), HMS Arethusa (Capt. Q.D. Graham, RN), Emile Bertin (Capt. R.M.J. Battet, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.L.H. Derrien) and the large destroyers Tartu (Capt. J.M. Chomel) and Maille Breze (Cdr. H.M.E.A. Glotin) parted company with the Home Fleet. They arrived at Scapa Flow around 1900A/10. (2)

14 Jun 1940
Around 1800A/14, the aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. T.H. Troubridge, RN) got underway from Greenock to land on her aircraft. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Echo (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, DSO, RAN) and HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN). HMS Furious had on board £ 18 million of gold bullion.

Around 2030A/14, the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.H.D. Cunningham, CB, MVO, RN) and escort destroyer HMS Hambledon (Cdr. S.H. Carlill, RN) also departed from Greenock to join the other ships after which course was set for Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Around 2100A/15, HMS Echo, HMS Witherington and HMS Hambledon parted company to return to the U.K.

Around 1100A/17, HMS Devonshire parted company with HMS Furious which now went on to Halifax unescorted. HMS Devonshire set course to return to the U.K. (Clyde).

At 1818A/17, HMS Devonshire received Admiralty signal timed 1658A/17 ordering her to proceed to Halifax so course was reversed.

Around 0300P/19, HMS Devonshire overtook HMS Furious and now rejoined the aircraft carrier.

Around 1855P/21, HMS Furious and HMS Devonshire, which were about to enter the harbour of Halifax encountered the French light cruiser Emile Bertin (Capt. R.M.J. Battet) which just left the harbour for an unknown destination. HMS Devonshire, which had about 46% fuel remaining, had been ordered to shadow the French cruiser. HMS Furious meanwhile entered the harbour arriving around 2000P/21.

HMS Devonshire obtained contact with Emile Bertin which stated that she was en-route to Martinique.

Around 0900P/22, HMS Devonshire set course for Halifax having been ordered to do so.

HMS Devonshire arrived at Halifax around 0600P/23. (3)

Sources

  1. ADM 199/388
  2. ADM 53/111410 + ADM 53/112280
  3. ADM 53/112009 + ADM 53/112270 + ADM 199/388

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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