HMS Ashanti

There have been two HMS Ashantis. One a tribal class destroyer from the Second World War and the other a more modern tribal class frigate.

Tribal Class Destroyer

HMS Ashanti
HMS Ashanti

The destroyer Ashanti was named after an ethnic tribe, as, with the exception of one vessel, were all other vessels in this class. Her sister ships in the Royal Navy were Afridi, Bedouin, CossackEskimoGurkhaMaoriMashonaMatabeleMohawkNubianPunjabiSikhSomaliTartarZulu. Her sisters in the Royal Canadian Navy were Athabaskan (I), Athabaskan (II), Cayuga, Haida, Huron, Iroquois, Micmac, Nootka. In the Royal Australian Navy were Arunta, Warramunga and lastly Bataan. Baatan was named in commenoration of the American efforts in that battle and as a result of the US Navy naming a cruiser USS Canberra.

HMS Ashanti had an interesting and varied career during World War II. She spent a lot of time on convoy escort duty in the North Atlantic Ocean. She assisted the relief of Malta in the Mediterranean. Perhaps the most bizarre was her escorting the battleship HMS King George V to Scapa Flow on her completion, The plan was that Ashanti would form part of the escort with four other destroyers. The destroyers were supposed to take the lead and detonate any mines in the path of King George V.

Not everything went according to plan, leastwise this. HMS Fame (one of the escorts) ran aground. Ashanti collided with Fame (it was in drizzle and visibility was very poor). HMS Fame then caught fire. HMS Maori, another escort, also ran aground. The tide was receeding so the three destroyers were left high and dry waiting for the tide to come in again. As a result of this, Ashanti spent nearly a year having extensive repairs made to her.

She also took part in Operation Torch as well as some destroyer actions in the North Sea.

The race of the destroyers with KGV would make for an interesting and different wargame for a night – sort of like chariot racing.

Tribal Class Frigate

The frigate Ashanti, was a tribal class frigate of the Royal Navy and as with the earlier destroyer, was named after an ethnic tribe, as was the rest of her class. Her sister ships were Eskimo, Gurkha, Mohawk, Nubian, Tartar and Zulu. She was launched on 9 March 1959 and commissioned on 23 November 1961.

In 1988, Ashanti came to an explosive end, when she was sunk as a target by HM submarines Sceptre and Spartan.

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