HMS Belfast, launched in 1938, is the only British ship remaining from the bombardment fleet of D-day, and one of only three left in the world. She was active for much of the war, capturing enemy vessels and patrolling the Atlantic, taking part in several battles. She now floats on the Thames in central London as part of the Imperial War Museum. Visitors can go onboard, explore the ship and learn all about this fascinating vessel.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF HMS BELFAST
Work began on the construction of the Belfast in 1936, she was launched in 1938 and was officially commissioned in August 1939, just before the outbreak of World War II. Initially, she was part of the naval blockade of Germany, but in November she struck a German mine, and spent two years having to be repaired. She return to action in 1942, escorting Arctic convoys and acting as the flagship in the battle of the North Cape.
L: The visit of HM King George VI, 15 May 1944: Ship's company of HMS Belfast cheering King George VI as he leaves the ship in a drifter. Photograph © IWM
R: HMS Belfa