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Scott Slavin

What about buying back the Broadsword from Brazil when they retire her? Even if not as worthy as the Plymouth, she was also a Falklands veteran, took part in the Yugoslavia operations in 93 and was the first of a successful class that served the RN very well for around 32 years. She was also the command ship for the 1979 Fastnet rescue operation.
Surely enough there for her to be worthy of consideration?


Interesting point about HMS Broadsword – definitely a good candidate from the historical point of view with an interesting history, surviving being hit by a bouncing bomb etc. Without a name attached to a particular place perhaps its hard to see momentum building behind a campaign to save her, although a berth in Devonport South Yard would be great.


She was adopted by the City of Chester if that’s worth anything, the Broadsword Association is quite active too I think.
If it’s all in a name, I think Broadsword is a much more evocative one than something simply named after a city. As a boy HMS Thunderchild was always my favourite warship name and she only ever existed in fiction, I blame HG Wells for my Naval career and subsequent interest post it.

Peter Ash

What we really need is a steam powered frigate or destroyer .. The backbone of WW2 and many went on to serve as anti submarine frigates in the cold war. That we havent a working one of these is criminal.. A ship isnt aship if its just a metal box tied up alongside.


I would comment on two historic ships you mention.
HMS Belfast is the quintessential WW2 cruiser. A beautiful ship with excellent facilities moored in the London River; and personally I cannot see her failing or being allowed to fail. I was closely involved in her early rescue and think she is an excellent figurehead for the RN in the capital.
HMS Caroline is again a exceptionally fine ship. The right size and with a unique historical place. I would like to see her worked up to steam on at least 2 of her 4 engines. Not joking, but she has the oldest Turbines in situ of any warship. She is also the right size to be fully restored to working condition. If you don’t have an objective you fall by the wayside. There is then the possibility of her steaming to other locations to increase the viewing publics opportunity to visit.
A fully living working ship of this era would have an appeal beyond the usual base; and why not, she represents the RN at the zenith of the steam age.
Go on someone tell me its too ambitious and steam too hazardous.


Word is even Balfast, won’t be around in 20 years time due to running costs. So what hope is there for others?


I can’t see Belfast going. She’s a feature of London’s attractions and has been so for almost half a century. As to running costs, think of what must have been spent maintaining the Tower of London over the years, was it wasted?

Phil Owen

Makes a nice change to read an article on the subject that was not written thru rose tinted spectacles

Andrew Rutter

Liverpool should have had in Canning Dock at least a decade ago HMS Whimbrel (ENS Tariq) as the Battle of the Atlantic Memorial Black Swan class sloop. She is still tied up in Alexandria naval dockyard adjacent to HMS Zenith (ENS El Fateh). Both ships were sold to the Egyptian Navy in the late 1940’s. Zenith would have been ideal for a RN Museum ship on the Clyde I would have thought, as so many were built there.

Ben Zammit

there is one ship that is always frogotn hms whimbral , she is over in egipt , she is the sister ship to hms black swan .

Gerard Kevin McBride

What about HMS Unicorn up in Dundee?
She seems to have been forgotten.


With the tragic loss of HMS Plymouth the UK should find another Falklands/ Cold war era warship to preserve. Operation Corporate deserves better recognition.


HMS Bristol still is commissioned in Portsmouth. Severely mutilated but she has steam turbines. HMY Britannia of course has steam turbines and is easily restorable.


Problem is that which gives a ship a reason to live the sea is all that which will kill it.
It is costly maintaining an elderly ship structurally, it will always suffer corrosion with the exposure to Salt War and Air! Ideally lifting it out of the water is the best solution but then you need to find a suitable site to home it. Even then it requires constant preventative maintenance and painting to prevent the Rust Cancer taking over!
This is why it is so difficult to preserve ships!
If you could keep the ship in a climate and humidity controlled covered dry dock that would be the best but that is massively expensive! the potential income from a preserved warship through ticket sales does not match the cost of continued preservation in most cases.
I think Belfast will still be there in twenty years but she will need to be dry docked again at some point, improvements in paint and underwater painting techniques have extended the periods between having to dry dock her but it will have to happen. Currently 2020 is the projected date.


A warship to commemorate the Falklands Campaign should certainly be a preservation priority. What about a Type 21 frigate, two of which were lost in the conflict. Several went to the Pakistan Navy who will probably have looked after them well. They have the added preservation advantage of having a fair amount of aluminium in their superstructure.


times have been tough so i’ve sold my falklands medal through a medal auction, and it went for£550!!!!!

Paul Hartzog

It is a shame that there is so little respect for the preservation of the Royal Navy’s historic warships. When one thinks of the Royal Navy, it is impossible not to instantly review centuries of history!
As an American, I am lucky that there are many floating museums. All of the Iowa class battleships, a couple South Dakota class battleships, several fleet Aircraft carriers and countless smaller ships and subs have been preserved and are visited by thousands of people each year. I visited the USS Arizona Memorial, USS Missouri and USS Bowfin at Pearl Harbor and was thrilled, humbled, and proud at the same time.
The preservation of these vessels is critical to understanding how we became who we are as nations. It boggles my mind that a nation with a DOMINANT naval history and tradition is so willing to let it go.
Are any WWII era capital ships left? A quick scan of wikipedia shows all the WWII battleships were scrapped shortly after the war.
Keep fighting!

Ken Nye

Britain should have kept HMS Vanguard or a King George 5th Battleship as a museum ship
Such a shame that Britain is unlike the United States that has loads of ships saved from world war 2
But then again this is what Britain does
You would think with the long history of the Royal Navy that perhaps the Royal Navy would keep some of their old historic ships

British person who likes German stuff

I know how you feel… personally I would have involved myself in the continued existence of two of the same class of ww2 era British ships.
Examples are Illustrious & Formidable, King George V & Duke Of York, Dido & Sirius, Belfast & Sheffield, I would say HMS Furious and some other Courageous class aircraft carrier but Furious was the only survivor… as far as I know.
I know that I could name more examples of Royal Navy ships that I would try to save but for now the examples above are the only ones that I could come up with.

NCM Armstrong, CD, RCN

It’s a damned shame that neither WHIMBREL (the Black Swan class sloop) nor ZENITH (Z class destroyer), both from WWII engendered much interest. The same goes for SAXIFRAGE (Flower class sloop) from WWI. All of these are extremely valuable vessels worth preserving, but there appears to be little interest or appetite to do so…

Peter Horscroft

what about ex-HMS Bronington – there is a new group formed with the intention of raising her refitting her and putting her on display around the Country : wouldn’t Plymouth be a good base for her (ex-Mid – HMS Hubberston 1965/66)


I would like to preserve history as well as help the Sea and Royal Marine cadets to help understand what life is like at sea because when I was young that would of been a epic time I don’t have the funds but I have the mind and time, especially with the family history in the Royal Navy and wasn’t able to join because of my eperlepsy. I am willing to help with any projects happening I live in the UK Plymouth County I don’t drive but cycle 🚴 I apologise if this seems a little wierd it is just a quick summary. Thank you