The HMS Southwold was a British Hunt-class destroyer measuring 86 meters in length and 9.5 meters in width. It had a maximum speed of 25 knots and was armed with six 100mm guns, antiaircraft guns, and depth charges. The crew consisted of 168 individuals. The destroyer was commissioned on 25 May 1941 and played a significant role in escorting convoys, including those bound for Mombasa and from Alexandria to Malta during World War II. The Allied forces, along with the Italian and German forces, engaged in battles both at sea and in the air, resulting in losses on both sides.
On 24 December 1942, the HMS Southwold was assigned to tow a damaged merchant ship. However, during the attempt to establish a tow rope, an explosion occurred in the destroyer’s engine room, resulting in the loss of five crew members. The ship began taking on water and eventually sank in two parts. The larger bow section, approximately 40 meters long, lies on the starboard side at a depth of 70 meters. The bow is remarkably well-preserved, featuring a double anti-aircraft cannon. Moving towards the midship, more extensive damage can be observed, including fragments of weaponry and the crew’s quarters with equipment. The stern section, approximately 28 meters long, is located 300 meters away at a depth of 72 meters. Within the recesses of the wreck, various marine life such as groupers, moray eels, and colorful fish can be found.
The wreck of HMS Southwold from World War II serves as an intriguing and notable point of interest among the map of Maltese wrecks, attracting divers and enthusiasts eager to explore its historical remains.
- Unexploded Ordnance
- War Grave
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