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Allied Hospital Ships (German And Italian Sinkings)

Volume 389: debated on Thursday 27 May 1943

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asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he will give particulars of the hospital ships which have been sunk or damaged by Axis forces from the beginning of the war to the latest available date; and whether all such ships bore distinguishing marks in accordance with the requirements of the Geneva Convention?

Full particulars are only readily available of German and Italian attacks on hospital ships and carriers, but even so the list is unhappily a long one, and with the hon. Member's permission I will circulate a full statement in the OFFICIAL REPORT. All the ships in the list were properly marked in accordance with the Geneva Convention.

What protests have been made through the International Red Cross or otherwise against this scandalous infringement of international law, and what excuses, if any, have been put forward by either Germany or Italy?

Representations have been made on all occasions through the Foreign Office.

Will the right hon. Gentleman discriminate in the list between attacks by bomb and by torpedo?

That is another question. The list will be circulated to-day, and the hon. and gallant Gentleman can put down any further Question that he wants answered.

Will the list state in what cases the crews and the wounded have been machine-gunned while escaping in open boats?

There is a very large number of cases. If the hon. Gentleman will look at the list and then put any

Date.Name of Ship.Locality.Nature of Attack.Result.
May 1-11"Atlantis"Off NorwayBombed on 4 occasionsNo damage
May 18-24"Brighton"Dieppe HarbourBombed on 3 occasionsSunk
May 21"Maid of Kent"Dieppe HarbourBombedDestroyed by fire
May 24-26"St. Andrew"Near CalaisShelled on 2 occasionsNo damage
May 27-31"St. Andrew"Near DunkirkBombed on 2 occasionsNo damage
May 24-27"St. Julien"Dunkirk; off Calais and in the Downs.Shelled on 2 occasions and bombed once.No damage
May 29th"St. Julien"On passage to Dunkirk.Bombed and machine gunned.Slight damage
May 25th"St. David"Off GravelinesShelledfrom shore batteries.No damage
May 31st"St. David"Off DunkirkBombed,shelled and machine gunned.No damage
May 25-26"Worthing"Off CalaisShelled on 2 occasions and bombed once.No damage
May 27th & June 2nd"Worthing"Nr. DunkirkBombed and machine gunned on 2 occasions.Severe damage
May 26th"Isle of Guernsey."Off CalaisShelledfrom shore batteries.No damage
May 29th"Isle of Guernsey."On passage to Dunkirk.Bombed and machine gunned.Slight damage
May 27th"Isle of Thanet"Off CalaisShelled from shore batteries.Damaged
May 27th"Isle of Thanet"English ChannelBombed and machine gunned.No damage
May 30th"Dinard"Off DunkirkShelled once and bombed once.Slight damage
June 2-3"Paris"On passage to Dunkirk.Bombed on 3 occasionsSunk


Jan. 31st & Feb. 1st."Dorsetshire"Off SollumBombed once, machine gunned once.No damage
Sept. 12th"Dorsetshire"Port TewfikBombedSlight damage
Feb. 23rd"Aba"Tobruk HarbourBombedSlight damage
April 20th"Aba"Suda Bay, Crete (at anchor).BombedSlight damage
May 16th"Aba"Canea, CreteMachine gunnedSlight damage
May 17th"Aba"On passage to HaifaBombed on 2 occasionsDamaged
April 14-21"Vita"TobrukBombed on 2 occasionsDamaged
April 22nd"Vita"On tow in Mediterranean.BombedBadly damaged
April 27th"Ramb IV"Nr. TobrukBombedSlight damage
Aug. 7th"Amra"Gulf of SuezTorpedoed from aircraft.No damage
Sept. 5th"Karapara"TobrukBombedDamaged
Nov. 7th"Llandovery Castle"Suez (in dock)BombedSlight damage
Dec. 7th"Somersetshire"Between Tobruk and Alexandria.Dive-bombed and machine-gunned.No damage


Jan. 30th"Somersetshire"Between Tobruk and Alexandria.Dive bombedNo damage
Feb. 21st"Somersetshire "Tobruk HarbourBombedNo damage
April 7th"Somersetshire"Between Alexandria and Tobruk.TorpedoedSevere damage
Feb. 10-12"Llandovery Castle"Between Alexandria and Tobruk.Bombed on 3 occasionsNo damage
Mar. 27th"Llandovery Castle"Tobruk HarbourBombedSlight damage
May 10th"Ramb IV"Near AlexandriaBombedSunk

further. Question, I will do my best to answer.