mardi 18 mai 2010

Les dents de la mer : Gibraltar fête les bateaux de passage

Gibraltar a émis plusieurs séries de timbres représentant des navires de la Seconde Guerre mondiale qui servirent en Méditerranée et passèrent près du Rocher. Celle-ci, de 1994, est dessinée et gravée par D. Miller et Cartor.

- HMS Penelope. croiseur léger de la classe Arethuse. Il a fait la plus grande partie de son service en Méditerranée pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Il fut engagé à plusieurs reprises dans de rudes combats pendant lesquels il reçut tant de trous dans sa coque qu'il fut surnommé HMS Pepperpot (HMS Poivrier). Le 18 février 1944, le croiseur quitte Naples pour la zone d'Anzio quand il est torpillé par le sous-marin allemand U -410. Il y eu 206 survivants d'un équipage de 415 marins.
- HMS Penelope was an Arethusa-class light cruiser of the Royal Navy. She was built by Harland & Wolff (Belfast, Northern Ireland), with the keel being laid down on 30 May 1934. Penelope and her sister Aurora were assigned to form the core of Force K based at Malta, and departed Scapa Flow on 12 October 1941, arriving in Malta on 21 October. At one stage, while with Force "K", she was holed so many times by bomb fragments that she acquired the nickname HMS Pepperpot. On 18 February 1944, Penelope was leaving Naples to return to Anzio area when she was torpedoed by the German submarine U-410.

-HMS Warspite. Mis en service en 1913, ce croiseur de la classe Queen Elizabeth portait l'un des noms les plus prestigieux de la Royal Navy qui connut huit autres Warspite. Héro des deux Guerres mondiales, il reçut dans la Seconde le surnom de The Grand Old Lady. Il participa au débarquement de Normandie pendant lequel il prit de sérieux coups qui ne l'empéchèrent pas de terminer la guerre glorieusement. Ce dont la nation lui fut peu reconnaissante puisqu'un projet de musée fut abandonné et que la "Grande vieille Dame" partit à la démolition en 1946.
-HMS Warspite was a Queen Elizabeth-class battleship of the British Royal Navy. She was launched on 26 November 1913 at Devonport Royal Dockyard. Her name was, and is, one of the most famous and glamorous in the Royal Navy (Nine ships have been named HMS Warspite). During World War II, Warspite gained the nickname "The Grand Old Lady". On 6 June 1944, Warspite took part in the Normandy Landings as part of the Eastern Task Force. The Admiralty approved Warspite for scrapping in July 1946.

- USS McLanahan était un destroyer de classe Benson de la marine des États-Unis pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Mis en service le 2 septembre 1942, il servit principalement en Méditerranée. Il a été retiré du service en 1971.
- USS McLanahan was a Benson-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War II. She was laid down 29 May 1941 by the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, San Pedro, California. After several coastal convoys, she departed on her first transatlantic convoy, to Algeria, 28 April 1943. Her last assignment took her to Gibraltar, where, for the remainder of the war in Europe, the destroyer patrolled the Mediterranean approaches as far south as Casablanca. She was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 July 1971 and scrapped in 1974.

-HNLMS Isaac Sweers est un destroyer de la marine royale néerlandaise de la classe Gerard Callenburgh. Il a été lancé le 16 mars 1940 et évacué après l'invasion allemande des Pays-Bas.
Terminé en Grande-Bretagne avec un armement plus léger que celui initialement prévu, il participe le 13 décembre 1941, en Méditerranée, à la destruction des deux croiseurs italiens Alberico da Barbiano et Alberto da Giussano près du cap Bon. Le 13 novembre 1942, pendant l'opération Torch, il est doublement torpillé par le sous-marin U-431. Il coule perdant 108 de ses 194 membres d'équipage.
-HNLMS Isaac Sweers was Gerard Callenburgh class destroyer of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The ship was launched on 16 March 1940 and the unfinished ship was evacuated to England after the German invasion of the Netherlands. She was next completed in the Great Britain, with six British 4 inch dual purpose guns instead of planned five 120 mm guns. The ship was modern for her time, she was fast and had two fully stabilised 40 mm Bofors AA-guns, each with its own "Hazemeyer" fire control. Isaac Sweers was part of the Allied flotilla of destroyers which torpedoed an sank the Italian cruisers Alberico da Barbiano and Alberto da Giussano on December 13 1941, near Cape Bon. On 13 November 1942, during Operation Torch, Isaac Sweers was hit by two torpedoes from the German submarine U-431. She sank with the loss of 108 of her 194 men.