Canadian National Flag Raised On HMS Belfast

Posted on December 19, 2018

On 26 December 1943, 80 Canadians were serving on the ship in the Arctic Ocean, defending convoys when the Battle of the North Cape broke out. It was the last gun-battle in the Royal Navy’s history and saw the German battleship Scharnhorst sunk. A further three Canadian Tribal class destroyers were also defending the convoy. Tony Ditchman, a gunnery officer who served on destroyer HMS Scorpion, is believed to be one of the last surviving people to be involved in the Battle of the North Cape. Mr Ditcham joined the annual ceremony to pay tribute to his comrades and the bond between the Royal Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy. “I sometimes wonder if we could’ve won the Battle of the Atlantic without the Canadian corvettes, in particular,” he said. “The strength of the Canadian Navy, I think it’s true to say, was in their vast number of corvettes they had escorting convoys – the workhorse of the Atlantic.”

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