HMS Bramble

HMS Bramble was escorting Convoy JW51B when her radar detected a Kriegsmarine battleship and two escorting destroyers. She radioed their location and as she lacked speed to outrun her opponents she turned and “engaged the enemy more closely”. She was lost with all hands. Not one merchant ship was lost and their cargoes got through to Murmansk to help supply the beleaguered Soviet Union.

Barents

HMS Bramble – Barents Sea, 31st December 1942

The Bramble shuddered straddled by her foe
White waters rose to starboard and to port
What happened then now none may truly know
The Convoy needed her and so she fought

She’d turned towards the sound of guns to fight
And signaled that the enemy’s at hand
This small ship she then faced such awesome might
A mighty ship and escorts seeming grand

The Bramble could not run she lacked the speed
Nor would she here desert those merchant ships
So now she chose to turn, to fight, to bleed
Some may have prayed through silent moving lips

She turned like some destroyer in attack
And wove and strove to get her foe in range
Then fired first – so there was no way back
With action started there was swift exchange

Outgunned she steered to get yet closer still
So close her pompom guns could come to bare
Her mighty foes found her quite hard to kill
Though she would die soon deep within their lair

The records they are mute about her end
A welter from three foes had left her dead
To wallow on the swell with rhythmic scend
Her soul was fading as her crew all bled

Now no attempt at rescue was then made
Defenseless she was finished off at last
Her duty done a deadly price got paid
Sunk to the bottom of a sea so vast.

© Trevor Morgan 2013

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