Monday, November 06, 2006

HMS Belfast - London

HMS Belfast

This photo of the HMS Belfast in London is part of one of the panoramic images found on the Tour of London. There are over 100 images taken from around London linked to an interactive map.

Plan your visit to London by taking advantage of these London Hotel Specials or Thomson City Breaks. Get the most of London with these London Guide Books

The HMS Belfast is the last big gun battleship from WWII and is moored as a permanent floating exhibit on the River Thames between London Bridge and Tower Bridge. It is possible to visit the HMS Belfast, you are recommended to give yourself about 2 hours to do so, and entrance to the HMS Belfast is free to holders of the London Pass. After visiting the HMS Belfast there are plenty of other things in the area to see and do, as described at the bottom of this article. The HMS Belfast is one of the branches of the nearby Imperial War Museum.

The HMS Belfast is a Town Class cruiser built for the British Navy in 1938. It saw extensive service during WWII, was damaged by a magnetic mine in 1939 leaving the Frith of Forth, and returned to service in 1942 having been repaired and refitted. At that time the HMS Belfast was then the heaviest cruiser in the British fleet with a displacement of 11,553 tons. The HMS Belfast provided cover for convoys in the North Atlantic and was involved in the Battle of the North Cape, along with her sister ship the HMS Duke of Yourk against the German Gneisenau class battlecruiser Scharnhorst. 1944 saw the HMS Belfast involved in action against the Tirpitz, the last surviving German heavy warship, and then later in support of the D-Day Landings in France.

Following further service in Europe, the HMS Belfast then entered the Asian arena, and was intended to support the eviction of the Japanese from Malaya, but this turned into a relief operation as the Japanese surrendered before her arrival. It is reported that a U-boat commander came upon the HMS Belfast unnoticed towards the end of the war but decided not to sink her. After the WWII she saw active service in the Korean War, and finally returned to the UK in 1963. Former HMS Belfast Captain Rear Admiral Sir Morgan Morgan-Giles successfully petitioned for her to become a museum ship, and she was opened to the public on Trafalgar Day in 1971.

As well as the guided tour and museum exhibition, the HMS Belfast is also the location of a number of one-off special events and activities. Other attractions near to HMS Belfast includeThe Monument, Winston Churchill’s Britain at War, Vinopolis, Southwark Cathedral, Tower of London and Tower Bridge. Entrance to all of these London attractions is free to holders of the London Pass. Other nearby attractions include The London Dungeon, City Hall, Hay’s Galleria (for shopping) and the Design Museum. The nearest tube station is London Bridge, but Tower Hill is not too far away.

Over 200 Destinations with HotelConnect

The full panoramic image taken of the HMS Belfast can be found on the London tour by An enlargement of this photo can be found on Flickr.

For more articles on London see the London Index or select one of the labels at the bottom.

No comments:

New Panoramas on Panoramic Earth