Death of Prince Philip - wartime career.

Discussions on all aspects of the The United Kingdom & its Empire and Commonwealth during the Inter-War era and Second World War. Hosted by Andy H
Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 9176
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Death of Prince Philip - wartime career.

Post by Sid Guttridge » 10 Apr 2021 12:08

The late Prince Philip was a WWII veteran.

The following is a summary of his wartime career:

"Philip joined the Navy as a cadet after leaving Gordonstoun School in 1939 and went on to train as an officer at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, Devon.

He was given his first posting in January 1940 as a midshipman on battleship HMS Ramillies, and tasked with protecting convoys of the Australian Expeditionary Force in the Indian Ocean.

Prince Philip then transferred to the Mediterranean Fleet in October 1940 following the invasion of Greece.

He served onboard the HMS Valiant and was involved in the battle of Crete – which saw dozens of Royal Navy ships sunk or damaged.

During this time he was mentioned in dispatches for his service during the Battle of Cape Matapan, in which he controlled the battleship’s searchlights.

Then in July 1943, at the age of just 22, he was credited with saving the HMS Wallace which came under heavy bombardment during the invasion of Sicily.

To confuse the German bombers which were attacking the ship at night, he devised a plan to launch a raft with smoke floats that successfully distracted them.

Speaking to The Observer in 2003, Harry Hargreaves, one of the Wallace‘s crew, said: “Prince Philip saved our lives that night.

“I suppose there might have been a few survivors, but certainly the ship would have been sunk. He was always very courageous and resourceful and thought very quickly.”

After victory in Europe in 1944, Philip moved to the British fleet in the Pacific and he was present during the signing of the Japanese surrender the following year.
"

Another veteran down.

Sic transit.....

Sid.

User avatar
Terry Duncan
Forum Staff
Posts: 5957
Joined: 13 Jun 2008 22:54
Location: Kent

Re: Death of Prince Philip - wartime career.

Post by Terry Duncan » 10 Apr 2021 16:20

Hans1906 wrote:
10 Apr 2021 15:57
Sid, my answer is simple, I am against royalty, see Germany, the incompetence of these incestuous cretins brought more disaster on Europe than ever before.

WW I is the best example, personally, I adore the french revolution of 1789, head down, and done with the royal scum.

Hans1906
A post from Hans1906 was removed by this moderator as it was unnecessarily inflammatory.

Hans,

The authors of the German policies in 1914 were Bethmann and Jagow, not Wilhelm, and the authors of the internal collapse were Hindenburg and Ludendorff. Direct input from these royals you blame was rather minimal. Whilst they were figureheads, blaming them alone is so far removed from reality as to be laughable.

daveshoup2MD
Member
Posts: 805
Joined: 01 Feb 2020 18:10
Location: Coral and brass

Re: Death of Prince Philip - wartime career.

Post by daveshoup2MD » 10 Apr 2021 16:42

Sid Guttridge wrote:
10 Apr 2021 12:08
The late Prince Philip was a WWII veteran.

The following is a summary of his wartime career:

"Philip joined the Navy as a cadet after leaving Gordonstoun School in 1939 and went on to train as an officer at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, Devon.

He was given his first posting in January 1940 as a midshipman on battleship HMS Ramillies, and tasked with protecting convoys of the Australian Expeditionary Force in the Indian Ocean.

Prince Philip then transferred to the Mediterranean Fleet in October 1940 following the invasion of Greece.

He served onboard the HMS Valiant and was involved in the battle of Crete – which saw dozens of Royal Navy ships sunk or damaged.

During this time he was mentioned in dispatches for his service during the Battle of Cape Matapan, in which he controlled the battleship’s searchlights.

Then in July 1943, at the age of just 22, he was credited with saving the HMS Wallace which came under heavy bombardment during the invasion of Sicily.

To confuse the German bombers which were attacking the ship at night, he devised a plan to launch a raft with smoke floats that successfully distracted them.

Speaking to The Observer in 2003, Harry Hargreaves, one of the Wallace‘s crew, said: “Prince Philip saved our lives that night.

“I suppose there might have been a few survivors, but certainly the ship would have been sunk. He was always very courageous and resourceful and thought very quickly.”

After victory in Europe in 1944, Philip moved to the British fleet in the Pacific and he was present during the signing of the Japanese surrender the following year.
"

Another veteran down.

Sic transit.....

Sid.
Anyone who wore the uniform of the Allies in 1939-45 and willingly went in harm's way deserves credit. Fair winds and following seas to Lt. Cdr. Mountbatten, RN.

Nice obit in The Independent: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/obit ... 84506.html which includes this passage:

"...He always dismissed suggestions he was a war hero, classing himself among “those who followed” in the conflict. “Our only distinction,” he said once, “is that we did what we were told to do, to the very best of our ability, and kept on doing it.” This was a shade too modest, for he was an outstanding young officer who was promoted extremely rapidly (and, in the estimation of contemporaries, entirely on merit).

Felix C
Member
Posts: 987
Joined: 04 Jul 2007 16:25
Location: Miami, Fl

Re: Death of Prince Philip - wartime career.

Post by Felix C » 10 Apr 2021 20:20

A pity he did not leave a memoir. I understand he had quite the sense of humor.

David Thompson
Forum Staff
Posts: 23539
Joined: 20 Jul 2002 19:52
Location: USA

Re: Death of Prince Philip - wartime career.

Post by David Thompson » 10 Apr 2021 23:56

Several off-topic opinion posts from Hans1906, which added nothing of factual interest to the discussion, were removed pursuant to the forum rules.

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 9176
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: Death of Prince Philip - wartime career.

Post by Sid Guttridge » 11 Apr 2021 09:41

Hi Felix C.,

Because of the potential political ramifications, members of the royal family are ill advised to write memoirs or offer anything but the most anodyne opinions on constitutionally unimportant subjects. Those that have broken the code of omerta (Fergie, Diana, Meghan) are outsiders of no constitutional importance and their opinions of little significance. The Queen even blanked her own Nanny in the 1950s when she spoke publicly on domestic matters of absolutely no wider significance, because it set a dangerous precedent.

So don't expect any memoirs from Prince Philip to turn up. He was Old School.

He wasn't that important in WWII and his experiences were shared by countless other naval officers, so any wartime memoirs would have been pretty unoriginal, I would imagine.

But he did his bit and took real risks for the country and was one of very few left from that time who did. He was unquestionably the most high profile WWII veteran in the UK and possibly the Commonwealth and maybe the world after George Bush's death.

Cheers,

Sid

User avatar
Sheldrake
Member
Posts: 2980
Joined: 28 Apr 2013 17:14
Location: London

Re: Death of Prince Philip - wartime career.

Post by Sheldrake » 11 Apr 2021 13:33

To add to the OP.

Philip was an outstanding cadet and passed out top of his class. His performance as a young officer was stellar. One of his contemporary's Admiral of the Fleet Lord Lewin used to say that Philip would not have been his competition for the post of First Sea Lord. Philip would have walked it.

I read somewhere that he was a volunteer stoker on the troopship returning him from the Med to the UK.

Felix C
Member
Posts: 987
Joined: 04 Jul 2007 16:25
Location: Miami, Fl

Re: Death of Prince Philip - wartime career.

Post by Felix C » 11 Apr 2021 21:29

Thanks everyone. I enjoy everyman memoirs and to me those by jr. officers are more interesting than admirals. Appreciate the info.

daveshoup2MD
Member
Posts: 805
Joined: 01 Feb 2020 18:10
Location: Coral and brass

Re: Death of Prince Philip - wartime career.

Post by daveshoup2MD » 12 Apr 2021 00:36

Sid Guttridge wrote:
11 Apr 2021 09:41
Hi Felix C.,

Because of the potential political ramifications, members of the royal family are ill advised to write memoirs or offer anything but the most anodyne opinions on constitutionally unimportant subjects. Those that have broken the code of omerta (Fergie, Diana, Meghan) are outsiders of no constitutional importance and their opinions of little significance. The Queen even blanked her own Nanny in the 1950s when she spoke publicly on domestic matters of absolutely no wider significance, because it set a dangerous precedent.

So don't expect any memoirs from Prince Philip to turn up. He was Old School.

He wasn't that important in WWII and his experiences were shared by countless other naval officers, so any wartime memoirs would have been pretty unoriginal, I would imagine.

But he did his bit and took real risks for the country and was one of very few left from that time who did. He was unquestionably the most high profile WWII veteran in the UK and possibly the Commonwealth and maybe the world after George Bush's death.

Cheers,

Sid
Ahem. I believe Junior Commander Elizabeth Windsor, ATS, might differ with you about that...

https://www.biography.com/news/queen-el ... -562646017

[https://www.biography.com/news/queen-el ... -562646017][/img]

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 9176
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: Death of Prince Philip - wartime career.

Post by Sid Guttridge » 15 Apr 2021 14:18

Prince Philip gave his memories of the war in a 1995 interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pX5UNcFUNN4

Cheers,

Sid.

ignacioosacar1
Member
Posts: 69
Joined: 24 Nov 2018 18:23
Location: buenos aires

Re: Death of Prince Philip - wartime career.

Post by ignacioosacar1 » 08 May 2021 15:47

When I was in the Colegio Militar near Buenos Aires, as a cadet in 1966, we were visited by Prince Phillip surrounded by some 20 people, including diplomats, government officials and military staff of all ranks. He went to the fencing room where I was practicing among other members of the fencing team at 0900 hours. I still remember him standing some 10 yards away in a plain blue suit, plain white shirt, very light grey tie and black shoes. He was smiling. He stayed there for around 60 seconds ( which was a lot of time for such a visit ! ) and walked away. I recall my 15 year old thought at the moment " Why a blue suit in the early morning ? ". After he was gone someone nearby commented, " He was a sailor during the war". In my superb ignorance and discrimination towards civilians I thought " Well, so he is one of us, after all ". As years passed I started being one of his fans because of his acid humour and all the stories around him. But above all because he did his duty silently and modestly as all men in uniform are supposed to do.

ignacioosacar1
Member
Posts: 69
Joined: 24 Nov 2018 18:23
Location: buenos aires

Re: Death of Prince Philip - wartime career.

Post by ignacioosacar1 » 08 May 2021 16:17

After the South Atlantic war he visited Buenos Aires again. This time he was invited by a local conservationist organization which had the complicity of the government in order to start patching up things. So Prince Philip was the first semi-official envoy. Among other planned visits he was taken to an Ecologic Reserve which is just some 30 minutes walk ( if you walk slowly ! ) from the Presidential House. It was so funny to see the group photo - published by important newspapers and magazines- of some 30 diplomats and governments officials posing for the camera, all in their business dark suits and ties and there, right in the centre of them, Prince Philip wearing a full khaki Safari kit, including a wide brimmed hat and boots!

Cheers all!

daveshoup2MD
Member
Posts: 805
Joined: 01 Feb 2020 18:10
Location: Coral and brass

Re: Death of Prince Philip - wartime career.

Post by daveshoup2MD » 16 May 2021 06:39

ignacioosacar1 wrote:
08 May 2021 15:47
When I was in the Colegio Militar near Buenos Aires, as a cadet in 1966, we were visited by Prince Phillip surrounded by some 20 people, including diplomats, government officials and military staff of all ranks. He went to the fencing room where I was practicing among other members of the fencing team at 0900 hours. I still remember him standing some 10 yards away in a plain blue suit, plain white shirt, very light grey tie and black shoes. He was smiling. He stayed there for around 60 seconds ( which was a lot of time for such a visit ! ) and walked away. I recall my 15 year old thought at the moment " Why a blue suit in the early morning ? ". After he was gone someone nearby commented, " He was a sailor during the war". In my superb ignorance and discrimination towards civilians I thought " Well, so he is one of us, after all ". As years passed I started being one of his fans because of his acid humour and all the stories around him. But above all because he did his duty silently and modestly as all men in uniform are supposed to do.
Great stories.

Return to “The United Kingdom & its Empire and Commonwealth 1919-45”