Liverpool in escort
They ranged from destroyers and sloops to frigates and corvettes. Liverpool played a key part in the Battle of the Atlantic by serving as a base for escort ships defending the Second World War convoys.
This is now the home of Merseyside Maritime Museum with its many convoy-linked displays in the Battle of the Atlantic gallery. From the summer ofhowever, as more escort ships became available, the naval presence in port grew rapidly.
A few auxiliary merchant cruisers — fast, well-armed former liners taken over by the Navy — also liverpool in escort out of Liverpool on North Atlantic patrol duties. Douglas survived after his ship was sunk by a U-boat in the North Atlantic in June He later returned to sea and eventually settled in Liverpool. Just five days later Patroclus was torpedoed and sunk by the notorious U99 submarine which sank 40 British and Allied merchant ships before being sunk by a British destroyer.
Image courtesy Liverpool Daily Post and Echo. Until mid only a small force of naval escort ships was based in Liverpool.
Merseyside became the main home of the Merchant Navy in wartime Britain. While Gltone Dock supported by other docks provided berths for larger ships, many corvettes were based at Albert Dock.
Many were taken over by the Government as armed merchant cruisers, troopships, hospital ships, assault vessels and other auxiliaries. A group of destroyers was based in Gltone Dock, Bootle.
I recently appeared on the Liverpool KVFM community radio station hosted by local children and was asked why Liverpool suffered so many German air raids. The answer was that the city was the main port for the convoys of merchant ships that brought vital supplies to Britain. A fleet of Fleetwood trawlers liverpool in escort established at Wallasey Dock, Birkenhead, for minesweeping and convoy escort work.
Eventually nearly 60 naval escort ships, excluding trawlers and other auxiliaries, sailed regularly from Liverpool.