WC vs History: Ships of the Victory Battle Group - Part IILast week, we looked at the cruiser Ajax and its historical namesakes. Today, we turn to the flagship of Destroyer Squadron 67, the TCS Coventry.
TCS Coventry was a Southampton-Class Destroyer, one of the two in Destroyer Squadron 67. The other being TCS Sheffield which we will look at next week. TCS Coventry takes her name from the city of Coventry in the West Midlands of England.
The Coventry was present at the destruction of Locanda, the successful incursion at Ariel, and was an escort to the TCS Behemoth during that ship's maiden voyage. The Coventry attempted to defend the Behemoth when it was attacked in the Loki System, but ultimately the Behemoth was destroyed and the Coventry itself was struck by a Kilrathi mine, although Bondarevsky recalled it as a missile strike in 2670. The Coventry survived the attack, but the bridge was breached, killing everyone except the squadron commander, Jason Bondarevsky, who lost his right arm due to the attack.
Six ships of the Royal Navy have been named Coventry. The first was from the early days of the Royal Navy. It was a 28-gun Spanish ship that was captured in 1658 and served England until it was captured from them by the French. The second HMS Coventry was a 48-gun fourth-rate ship-of-the-line launched in 1695. It was captured by the French nine years later, but soon recaptured and later broken up. The third Coventry was a 28-gun frigate launched in 1757. However, like the two previous ships to bear the name, she was captured by the French. This time in 1783.
It was more than 150 years till the next British ship bore the name Coventry. Laid down during the First World War, the fourth Coventry was a C-class light cruiser. She didn't see any action during the war, but served as part of the Baltic squadron. It was during the Second World War that Coventry saw more than her share of action. She was first damaged during an air attack on 1 January 1940. Later, she was assigned to the Mediterranean where she suffered a torpedo hit from an Italian submarine. The ship was lost on 14 September 1942 while supporting operations around Tobruk. She sustained bomb hits from Ju-87 Stuka dive bombers and burned profusely. She was scuttled by HMS Zulu when she was deemed beyond saving.
The fifth ship to bear the name is perhaps the most well-known of all ships to bear it. Laid down in 1973, and launched in 1974, the fifth ship was a Sheffield-Class destroyer. After a few quiet years of service, Coventry was deployed to the South Atlantic to participate in the Falklands War. There she contributed greatly to the British effort in providing anti-aircraft support for the British fleet. However, on 25 May 1982, while acting as a decoy force, Coventry was attacked by Argentine Skyhawks. After defeating the first attack, a second set of aircraft attacked 90 seconds later and planted three bombs on the ship. Her computer room destroyed and the Operations Room smashed, incapacitating most of the senior officers, the other bomb hit the engine room and other important areas. Bulkheads were breached and seawater poured in, giving the ship an immediate list. The third bomb hit, but failed to detonate. The ship capsized and sank within 20 minutes. Waiting to be rescued, the crew sang "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" from Monty Python's Life of Brian.
The last ship in the Royal Navy to bear the name Coventry was a frigate launched in 1986. She was named in honor of the previous ship but only served the Royal Navy for a short while. She was purchased by the Romanian Navy in 2003 and handed over in 2004.
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