HMS Dunedin and Enigma Code

Earlier this year I stumbled across a story about a shipped name HMS Dunedin. Already having a natural interest in military history, the story unfolds to touch the early days of computing, its unknown interaction with Bletchley Park.

With today being the 24th of November, marking 77 years since the loss of the ship, I thought it would be fitting for a little nod of respect to the men that lost their lives that day and in the following days.

Blood in the Sea: HMS Dunedin and the Enigma Code

Short History

  • Built in Newcastle at the end of the First World War, she was outdated even before the start of the Second World War.
  • Majority of inter-war life was spent part of the New Zeland Division helping Hawkes Bay earthquake in Napier.
  • At the outbreak of war, she was part of the 12th Cruiser Squadron based in Kirkwall on the Northern Patrol.
  • She spent the rest of the Second World War hunting and capturing enemy merchant ships around the central Atlantic ocean.
  • On the afternoon of the 24th November 1941, she was torpedoed by German U-boat resulting in instant loss of half the crew. Three days later only 67 men survived out of the original 486.
Our little tribute to the men of  HMS Dunedin in the Edinburgh office

Find our more at The HMS Dunedin Society website

The story of HMS Dunedin was a notable absence from the history books until our research. She might not have been the most famous ship of World War II, but she played a key part and suffered terrible losses.