Allied Warships

HMS Algerine (J 213)

Minesweeper of the Algerine class

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantJ 213 
ModTurbine engined 
Built byHarland & Wolff Ltd. (Belfast, Northern Ireland) 
Ordered15 Nov 1940 
Laid down15 Mar 1941 
Launched22 Dec 1941 
Commissioned24 Mar 1942 
Lost15 Nov 1942 
Loss position36° 45'N, 5° 11'E

Around 0345hours on 15 November 1942 HMS Algerine (Lt.Cdr. Wilfrid Alan Cooke, RN) was torpedoed and sunk off Bougie, Algeria in position 36º45'N, 05º11'E by the Italian submarine Ascianghi.

The minesweeper was taking part in Operation Torch and had been tasked with clearing Bougie Roads from Axis mines, mission which was accomplished succesfully with the destruction of 46 mines.
Ascianghi (Lt. Rino Ereler) had sailed from Trapani on the 9th for the Bougie area: at 0339 hrs the boat, which had moved to an area closer inshore, spotted a formation of 3 warships, initially identified as a cruiser escorted by 2 destroyers, and closed to attack.
The submarine fired 2 torpedoes aimed at the second vessel in the line and missed, then turned and at 0346 hrs fired a second 2-torpedo salvo, this time against the tail unit. Lt Ereler believed both torpedoes had hit, forward of the bridge and and between bridge and stack. The submarine disengaged without suffering any reaction and reached Napoli safely on the 18th.

The ship attacked was HMS Algerine, which sank about 5 nautical miles north of Cap Carbon. 32 survivors were rescued by HMS Cadmus and taken to Bougie. Of these 32 survivors 24 later died due to internal wounds caused by the the detonation of the minesweepers own depth charges, which detonated at their preset depth. The remaining 8 survivors were on a carley reft and thus were not wounded when the depth charges exploded.  

Commands listed for HMS Algerine (J 213)

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1Lt.Cdr. Wilfrid Alan Cooke, RN11 Nov 194115 Nov 1942 (+)

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Notable events involving Algerine include:

30 Mar 1942
HMS H 44 (Lt. S.A. Porter, RN) departed Rothesay for Tobermory. She is escorted by HMS Algerine (Lt.Cdr. W.A. Cooke, RN). (1)


  1. ADM 173/17259

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.

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