HMS Revenge bombards Cherbourg

HMS Revenge

The threat of invasion was now rapidly diminishing but the program of bombing the channel ports from which an attack might be launched continued. A bombardment by the World War 1 Battleship HMS Revenge augmented this.

A force consisting of H.M.S. Revenge, cruisers, destroyers and motor torpedo boats, working in conjunction with heavy bombers of the Royal Air Force, bombarded the port of Cherbourg on the night of the l0th-llth October.

The co-ordination of the attack was excellent, the lighting of fires in the target area and the illumination of Cape de la Hague by flares for fixing purposes occurring at exactly the right moment. One hundred and twenty rounds of 15 inch and 800 rounds of 4.7 inch shell were fired and very heavy fires were started. It would appear that the shore defences at first mistook the bombardment for part of the air attack as the only response to shells falling was a marked intensification of anti-aircraft fire, including flaming onions and multi-coloured tracers of all descriptions.

After the bombardment had ceased a battery of heavy guns (estimated up to 13-15inch) to the east of the town opened fire. Salvoes fell close to the ships for a period of 30 minutes and up to a range of about 36,000 yards. The fire was so accurate that it was thought that some form of R.D.F. was used for ranging. No casualties or damage were sustained by H.M. Ships.

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