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HMS Vindictive

On this day 30 July 1919

Published: 30 Jul 2014

After the end of WW1, the Allies sent matériel to Russia to support the Whites (those opposing Stalin's Red army). The British alone sent one hundred million pounds-worth of equipment. Only a few thousand British, French and American troops ever set foot in Russia and few of them saw action. 

On 30 July 1919 aircraft from HMS Vindictive attacked Kronstadt Naval Base, Russia. Although Vindictive carried a variety of aircraft aircraft (2 Camels, 3 1½ Strutters, 3 Griffins and 4 Short seaplanes), Vindictive's log-book only records 2 1½ Strutters and 2 Griffins being launched; after the night-time attack, they landed at an air-strip at Koivisto (present day Primorsk) which was still under construction. According to the book "Operation Kronstadt" by Harry Ferguson, despite being met with anti-aircraft fire, the aircraft dropped sixteen bombs, claiming four hits, starting two large fires and killing one person.

MS Vindictive was built between 1916 and 1918. Originally designed as a Hawkins-class heavy cruiser and laid down under the name Cavendish. Following the promising flight trials aboard Furious in 1917, the Admiralty decided that Cavendish should be converted and completed as an experimental aircraft carrier. She was therefore redesigned with a hangar on the forecastle for aircraft which could be hoisted through a hatch to the roof, which formed a flying-off deck. She was launched in January 1918 and renamed Vindictive in June 1918. The Navy then abandoned the idea of separate flying on and flying off decks and so she was later reconfigured back to a cruiser.

Online logbook Vindictive (2) (1919-20 - Baltic)


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