January 18 (Thurs) 1945, Alexandria, Egypt

Another week much the same as last, although we are obviously making progress as the exercises are becoming more like the real thing. [HMCS] Uganda has been assisting. This last statement may be technically incorrect as I believe [HMCS] Uganda is senior ship & is probably in charge of the exercises.

iwm-hu129765-hms-ceylon-listing
HMS Ceylon deliberately listing for an exercise, 1953. Image copr. IWM HU129765

We were supposed to leave harbour on Tuesday morning but just after Special Sea Duty – men had closed up [assembled], a signal was received from RAL [Rear Admiral Alexandria] cancelling exercises for the day. Instead we carried out some of Thursday’s program & let the Damage Control experts have a “field day”. To give them a clear run hands [sailors] were closed up at Action Stations for most of the forenoon. A list was developed and there were power failures, giving us a good opportunity to exercise working the machinery by hand.

Wednesday morning, we proceeded to sea & carried out a 6″ sub-calibre shoot. Alternative forms of control were tested with success.

iwm-art-iwm-art-ld-5680-starshells
A night scene with 3 star shells, P M Scott. Image copr. IWM Art.IWMARTLD5680

Later, in company with [HMCS] Uganda, we were subjected to dummy Dive bombing attacks by Spitfires. This was for the benefit of the close range armament. Exercises were carried out with HM S/M Unswerving [submarine] for an hour in the early afternoon. On completion, destroyer [HMS] Exmoor was secured on the starboard side by spring & breast and 8 tons of oil were discharged to it. Although there were a couple of slight hitches, this manoeuvre can be considered as having gone off very well indeed. After slipping [HMS] Exmoor, stooged about for a while before commencing RIX [Range and Inclination Exercise] with [HMCS] Uganda. Later did a night encounter exercise with it. Its star shell [for illumination] was quite good but ours was very poor. When finished, both anchored in Mex Roads for night.

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