HMS Broke (D83)

HMS Broke (D83)

HMS "Broke" was a Thornycroft type flotilla leader of the Royal Navy. She was the second of four ships of this class that were ordered from J I Thornycroft in April 1918, and was originally named "Rooke" after Admiral Sir George Rooke of the Dutch Wars and the Battle of Vigo Bay.

She was built in Woolston, Hampshire by J I Thornycroft and launched on 16 September 1920. Her name was changed to "Broke" in April 1921, after Rear Admiral Sir Philip Broke, but she was not completed until 1925.

On 8 November 1942 "Broke", was commanded by Henry Fancourt. She was one of the ships to take part in Operation Terminal, part of Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of West Africa. In "Terminal" HMS "Broke" and HMS|Malcolm|D19|6 would attempt to land infantry directly onto the portside in Algiers in the hope of capturing the port facilities and preventing their destruction by the Vichy French forces. It was hoped that either complete surprise would be achieved or that the defenders would support the invasion to the extent at least of refusing to fire on the attackers. However the Vichy forces opened fire on the ships at 4:06 AM, damaging them heavily.

"Malcolm" was forced to withdraw, but "Broke" succeeded in landing her troops under fire and then retreated. The landed infantry were surrounded and forced to surrender seven hours later. However they succeeded in preventing the destruction of the port before the defenders in turn surrendered to the larger invading forces. "Broke" was sunk by artillery later in the day.

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