HMS Sussex

Vessel name on Arrival: HMS Sussex


Original Builder: R & W Hawthorn Leslie & Company of Hebburn-on-Tyne

Original Yard No: 544

Official Number:

Vessel Type: cruiser

GRT: 9830

Year Built: 1929

Arrival Date: 12/06/1950

Breakup Started: 15/05/1950

Date First Beached: 11/12/1950

Date Breakup Completed: 07/03/1951

Draught For’d: 7' 6"

Draught Aft: 12' 2"

Name Changes:

Other Information:


Quadruple-Screw County-Class Heavy Cruiser HMS SUSSEX                                            Pennant No. 96


01-02-1927  :  Laid Down

22-02-1928  :  Launched

19-03-1929  :  Completed

02-02-1949  :  Out of Service

03-01-1950  :  Decommissioned


Tonnages and Dimensions  :   9,830 / 13,315 tons                            192.9 mts  x  20.1 mts  x  6.4 mts


Propulsion  :  Parsons geared steam turbines supplied by 8 Nos. Admiralty 3-Drum Boilers


Capacity, Speed and Range  :   80,000 SHP  :  32 knots :  2,930 miles @ 31.5 kts. / 12,500 miles @ 12 kts.



8  x  8 inch Guns

4  x  4 inch A.A. Guns

4  x  2-pounder (40mm) Pom-Poms

2  x  21 inch quadruple Torpedo Tubes


Complement  :     Peacetime = 650        Wartime = 820



Mediterranean, Australia and Spanish Civil War

Sussex served in the Mediterranean until 1934, when she was sent to serve with the Royal Australian Navy while HMAS Australia operated with the Mediterranean Fleet. Sussex's exchange tour concluded in 1936, and she resumed her presence in the Mediterranean again until 1939. During the latter trip, she defended the neutral shipping along the eastern Spanish coast on the last days of the Spanish civil war, supported by the destroyers HMS Intrepid and HMS Impulsive. She obtained the release of at least four British cargo ships arrested by Spanish nationalist forces, but was unable to prevent the capture of the London-registered freighter Stangate by the nationalist merchant raider Mar Negro off Valencia, on 16 March 1939


Second World War service

Atlantic theatre

In September 1939 she operated with Force H in the South Atlantic during the search for the enemy German raider Admiral Graf Spee. On 2 December she and the Battlecruiser HMS Renown intercepted the German passenger ship Watussi. Before the German ship could be captured she was scuttled by her own crew.


Following the scuttling of the Graf Spee in December 1939, she returned to the UK, and served with the Home Fleet during the Norwegian Campaign. She entered refit at Glasgow, and while undergoing work, was struck by bombs on 18 September 1940. These caused serious fires, gutting the after end, and she settled on the bottom with a heavy list. She needed extensive repairs and did not return to service until August 1942.  Her next assignment was to the Atlantic, and later with the Eastern Fleet in the Indian Ocean.


Pacific theatre

Sussex spent 1944 in the Pacific, and covered operations in the Netherlands East Indies following the cessation of hostilities. On 26 July 1945 her Task Force was attacked by two Aichi D3A "Val" dive-bombers acting as "Kamikaze" suicide weapons. On Wednesday, 5 September 1945 at 1130am., HMS Sussex entered Singapore Harbour carrying the Flag of the Rear-Admiral Cedric Holland. General Seishirō Itagaki, the commander of the garrison at Singapore was brought on board, where he signed the formal surrender of the army, thus completing Operation Tiderace, the allied plan to recapture Singapore.



HMS Sussex was paid off in 1949, handed over to the British Iron and Steel Corporation on 3 January 1950, and arrived at Dalmuir in Scotland on 23 February 1950 where demolition was commenced by W. H. Arnott, Young and Company, Limited.  Her hulk was towed down to Troon for final demolition by the West of Scotland Shipbreaking Company