Convoy HX-84
HX-84 was a North Atlantic convoy
A convoy is a group of vehicles, typically motor vehicles or ships, traveling together for mutual support and protection. Often, a convoy is organized with armed defensive support, though it may also be used in a non-military sense, for example when driving through remote areas.-Age of Sail:Naval...

 of the HX
HX convoys
The HX convoys were a series of North Atlantic convoys which ran during the Battle of the Atlantic in World War II. They were east-bound convoys and originated in Halifax, Nova Scotia from where they sailed to ports in the United Kingdom...

 series during the battle of the Atlantic in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. It consisted of 38 merchant ships which sailed eastbound from Halifax
Halifax Harbour
Halifax Harbour is a large natural harbour on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, located in the Halifax Regional Municipality.-Harbour description:The harbour is called Jipugtug by the Mi'kmaq first nation, anglisized as Chebucto...

, Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

, for Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, on 28 October 1940 and was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Jervis Bay
HMS Jervis Bay (F40)
HMS Jervis Bay was a British liner later converted into an Armed Merchant Cruiser, pennant F40. She was launched in 1922 and sunk on 5 November 1940 by the German pocket battleship ....

The action

On 5 November 1940, the German
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 heavy cruiser
Deutschland class cruiser
The Deutschland class was a series of three panzerschiffe , a form of heavily armed cruiser, built by the Reichsmarine officially in accordance with restrictions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles...

 Admiral Scheer found the convoy at 50°30′N 32°00′W and attacked immediately. Captain E.S.F. Fegen
Edward Stephen Fogarty Fegen
Captain Edward Stephen Fogarty Fegen VC, SGM was an Irish Victoria Cross recipient , by birth an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth...

 of the Jervis Bay attacked the raider so as to delay Admiral Scheer and to allow the convoy to escape. The Jervis Bay was quickly sunk with the loss of 190 of her crew. Nevertheless, their sacrifice gave the convoy time to scatter, allowing all but six of the merchantmen to escape.

Maiden, Trewellard, Kenbame Head, Beaverford and Fresno were sunk and the tanker
Tanker (ship)
A tanker is a ship designed to transport liquids in bulk. Major types of tankship include the oil tanker, the chemical tanker, and the liquefied natural gas carrier.-Background:...

 MV San Demetrio damaged, but failing light now allowed the rest of the convoy to escape. The San Demetrio was abandoned by her crew, but two days later some of the crew, now in lifeboats
Lifeboat (shipboard)
A lifeboat is a small, rigid or inflatable watercraft carried for emergency evacuation in the event of a disaster aboard ship. In the military, a lifeboat may be referred to as a whaleboat, dinghy, or gig. The ship's tenders of cruise ships often double as lifeboats. Recreational sailors sometimes...

, sighted the San Demetrio, still afloat and still ablaze. They reboarded her, got the engines running, and brought her in to port. This incident later formed the basis for the script of the film San Demetrio London
San Demetrio London
San Demetrio London is a Second World War film about the Merchant Navy. It deals with the crew of a tanker and their struggle to deliver their cargo to England during the Battle of the Atlantic...

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