HMS Blanche (H47)

Blanche in 1932, with awnings covering her decks. Royal Navy photo in the collection of the Imperial War Museums.

Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down

HMS Blanche (H47), a Royal Navy B-class destroyer, was laid down in 1929, and commissioned in 1931. Assigned to the 4th Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean, she remained on station until 1936, when she returned home for a refit, and joined the Home Fleet. She participated in the non-intervention patrols during the Spanish Civil War, rescuing the merchant ship Thorpehall, transporting relief supplies, from a Nationalist cruiser in April, 1937. Blanche was unsuccessfully attacked by Nationalist bombers on 6 March, 1938. She received another refit that year, and again in 1939, joining the British forces in the Channel. She became the first British destroyer lost to enemy action on 13 November, 1939, when she struck a mine in the Thames estuary, but only lost one man, with twelve more injured.