Bertram Ramsey

Picture of Bertram Ramsey

Date of Birth: 01/20/1883

Age: 61

Place of birth: London

Citizenship: United Kingdom


Bertrand Home Ramsay was born in the palace of Hampton Court, Hampton, January 20, 1883. At Fleet, he entered a cadet in 1898. During World War II sailor rose to the rank of Commander (1916), commanded a destroyer in the Dover Patrol and the Belgian coast. In 1935, a sailor was promoted to rear admiral, was appointed chief of staff of the Home Fleet. Uncompromising independence has led to conflict with some of his senior officers, and in 1938 Ramsay was in the list of retirees. At the outbreak of World War II, he returned to the service. In 1940 Ramsay commanded the naval base in Dover. When the Germans invaded Holland, destroyers base units with British troops were sent to Holland - disable ports. British ships evacuated the royal family and values. Soon it took similar operations in Belgium. Destroyers from the coast of Holland and Belgium exported troops shelled shore targets, covered transportation, repulsed an attack aircraft. The ships landed on May 20, two battalions of the Guard in Boulogne, to delay the German advance along the coast, which threatened Expeditionary Corps. Three days later the destroyers took on board the remains of the troops; the courts had to conduct even a gunfight with tanks. Ramsay prepared evacuation of feces, but "out of a sense of solidarity union `garrison was ordered to fight to the end.

When the British army under the pressure of the enemy pulled to Dunkirk, the Admiralty took emergency measures. Implement them had Ramsay. He collected a variety of court in the hope that will be able to take at least 45 thousand people. There remained a doubt, it will be possible to implement the plan in terms of superiority of enemy forces on land and in the air. In the evening on May 26 operation, named "Dynamo" began. Even before the admiralty court order passed in Dunkirk. Since the port berths suffered, we had to use the beach, where people sat in the boat, and the east pier, where large ships moored.

Before midnight only 7 thousand 669 people have been evacuated on 27 May. However, the next day managed to get a foothold on the provisions, medicines. Thanks to the good organization of the loading forces on the ferries and destroyers passed quickly. By Ramsey flotilla approached numerous trawlers, drifters and other small ships that took people on the beaches. During the day, taken 47 thousand 310 soldiers. However, on May 29 of shelling and attacks of the enemy 3 and 7 damaged destroyers were lost. Admiralty feared for destroyers and ordered to withdraw all large modern ships. At the request of his left Ramsey 15 destroyers, but soon returned and withdrawn. The use of high-speed vessels allowed to dramatically increase the number of people evacuated.

Minesweepers Ramsey paved three fairways. The shortest I passed along the French coast, but had to abandon it. Please use the longest (87 miles), but the admiral turned to the central traffic route (55 miles) on May 29. Germans 3 days did not notice a change. When the 53 thousand 823 persons, inspired by Ramsay were taken on May 30 ordered "to conduct the evacuation with the utmost energy" and intended to remove all troops by 1 June. However surf impeded loading, and only good organization allowed on 31 May when the sea state was quiet, the evacuation of 68 thousand 14 people. The success helped organized a temporary radio center for communication with the flagship port and shore parties. Later, this experience was used during amphibious operations.

June 1st the Germans bombarded Dunkirk. Killed four destroyers, steaming. People were saving other ships. The losses were great. However, all the 64 thousand 429 people were taken to England. On the shore were the last of the British. However, Ramsay was going to take, and the French troops. To avoid big losses, he decided to do as much as possible during the night and in the evening he sent all its available vessels. The day of 26 thousand 256 people were evacuated. By the evening of June 2, all British troops were evacuated, except for the injured. June 2-3, also evacuated 26 thousand 746 French soldiers; could save more, but part of the approach to load slowly. Despite the fatigue of crews of ships, on the night of 4 June Ramsay ordered another attempt. 9 destroyers, 5 transports, and two dozen small boats went out to take the remaining ring 30 thousand people. 26 thousand 175 people had time to take a harbor breakwaters; Dunkirk was still in 3000, to keep the defense. In this operation "Dynamo" ended. Largely thanks to the determination and organizational activity Ramsey were exported 338 thousand 226 people instead of 45 million. The fleet suffered considerable losses. However, the self-sacrificing work of sailors saved from the shameful capitulation of the British Expeditionary Force, and showed that they are able to resist Hitler`s war machine. Ramsay became a Commander of the Order of the Bath.

In the summer of 1942, when preparations for the landing on the continent of Europe, as the head of the British Ramsay naval forces participated in the preparation of an invasion plan in Normandy, which was appointed to lead Eisenhower, but the execution of this plan was postponed for the future.

At a conference in Casablanca in January 1943, the Allies, in spite of the American proposal to boost the English Channel, decided due to lack of vehicles and troops prepared to restrict landing in Sicily, to use the island as a base for the invasion of Italy. May 13 Joint Chiefs of Staff approved a plan under which the British 8th Army was to land at 5 sites on the outskirts of Syracuse to Cape Passero, while the US 7th Army planted about 30 miles in 3 areas of the southern coast of the island. Total command of the sea part of the operation carried out by E. Admiral Cunningham, East Union, to carry out the landing of the British, commanded by Admiral Ramsay, Western, American - Vice-Admiral K. Hewitt.

Ramsey got a difficult task to coordinate the actions of the British 5 connections, which came out of the ports of the Middle East, Malta, and even directly from England. Should deliver, to land and to ensure that all the necessary 115 thousand British soldiers. During the operation "Husky" was first used to speed up the transportation of the landing troops by sea directly to the landing craft.

In early July, with headquarters Ramsay arrived in Malta. July 4 followed by the order to begin "Operation Husky", and 9 July convoys moved. Due to misinformation, losses at the transition appeared low. To the south of the island in a checkpoint Ramsay took command of the landing. Because of the roughness of the sea the enemy did not expect an invasion, which began at dawn on July 10. Despite the inconsistencies during the landing, the British troops entrenched in the evening on the beach. Minesweepers cleared passages taken to the port of Syracuse and Augusta, which allowed from the first day to adjust supply. Despite the activity of enemy aircraft and submarines, the loss in the courts were relatively small. For a successful landing was the flagship of the Commander`s Cross of the British Empire.

In October 1943, the Allies chose Ramsey silamipri commander of naval landing in Europe. He was promoted to admiral. Flagship could all the power and experience to give the preparation of "Neptune" operation; so named Sept. 7 maritime part of the operation "Overlord" on the landing in Normandy.

The main features of "Operation Overlord" were worked out at a conference in Quebec (August 1943), but only 6 December, US President appointed Eisenhower supreme commander. Immediately he and Marshal Montgomery called for the extension of the landing. In early 1944, it was decided to increase the number of troops planted, which required to make significant adjustments to the plans developed by the Admiralty and Ramsey. Due to the lack of additional crews for the ships had a month to delay a landing in southern France, also scheduled for May. In addition, part of the US warships identified.

In mid-February 1944 Ramsey issued the first order with the general outlines of the plan. The final volume of 700 pages was completed on April 10. To capture a bridgehead on the continent were established Western and Eastern operational connection. The first of the British ships had landed three divisions of the 2nd British Army in 3 sections; west at two sites planted part of the 1st US Army task force of the American West. For shock connections had to get 2 more connections, and then had to organize a constant flow of goods in transport. Total participated in the operation of ships of all classes in 1213 and 4126 the various landing craft, mobilized hundreds of cargo ships, mainly British and Canadian crews.

To cover the landings from attack surface ships and submarines at sea sent out numerous light forces, more than 300 trawlers were designed to combat landmines on the roads of transition of ships and in their places of parking. To protect the discharge points from the rough seas, it was decided to build two artificial harbors, and 5 shelters for small vessels of the large concrete caissons and flooding in shallow vessels with piers and walkways on the pontoons.

To combat with German heavy batteries and troops on the bank for each connection created a shock group of fire support ships, which were attached to ground and aerial spotters.

May 8, 1944 Eisenhower appointed day landing - June 5. May 23 pre-orders received all the naval headquarters in the UK, and then began carefully prepared the concentration of ships and vessels in the original locations. May 25 the Supreme Commander confirmed the landing date, and Ramsay ordered the ship`s captain to open the packages with instructions. After that, for the secrecy was discontinued message ships to the shore. June 1st admiral took command of all the forces of "Operation Neptune" of war fighting headquarters near Portsmouth. By the morning of June 4 ships and vessels were either at sea or in standby. Bad weather forced Eisenhower to delay landing at night. The system has been debugged so well that all the convoys returned signals by radio; only for one had to send a ship. Weather forecasters predicted improvement prompted to make a decision to conduct the operation, for otherwise it would have had to be postponed for a few weeks.

Ramsay during the debate on the decision whether to reset the landing, it took a neutral position. He said that in bad weather, you can cope with the management of the courts, but it will be difficult to fire from guns with rocking ships.

Bad weather, as in Sicily, enabled the unexpected landing because the enemy did not expect an invasion, and even the German patrol aircraft had been withdrawn.

Despite the high level of water, not allowed to destroy all underwater obstacles, landing troops, backed by artillery fire numerous, including guns aboard ships, in full command of the sea and in the air were planted with a relatively small losses. First coastal batteries attacking strategy, then - tactical aircraft, then collapsed on the beach fire battleships and other vessels artillery support. Units cover reflected the attempts of the German submarines, torpedo boats and destroyers to attack the convoys. Increased damage caused a storm in the middle of June, which brought down one artificial harbor and tightened until 19 July the construction of another. Nevertheless unloading ashore continued. It was decided to leave the landing craft ebb on the beach to unload them directly to the land.

Since the end of June the situation stabilized in the landing area, the headquarters of Ramsey was transferred from ship to shore - in Courcelles. Marine combat unit ends the operation. However, the Navy ships involved in the shelling of the coast. The fleet was engaged in the restoration of the destroyed French ports that ensure the needs of the army in Georgia. July 5 at the bridgehead landed a million soldiers. A significant part of the ships involved in the operation "Neptune", was sent to the Mediterranean to deliver the landing to the south of France. The report Ramsay noted that the landing was carried out according to plan. Affected not only the work of the planning documents, and persistent combat training, training of sailors and troops. Important role played by Admiral Ramsay himself, for victory ensured the dominance of Sea Navy and Air Force in the air.

Since the beginning of the German command to expose shipping attack torpedo boats and other military vessels, Ramsay has created a squadron of small artillery ships, that day at the shore supported the army, and in the evenings patrolled the anchorages, beating off enemy attacks the fleet. The German navy had lost in the English Channel from July 1 to August 9 April submarines. enemy success was small.

September 4 allies occupied Antwerp. Port hardly affected, and Ramsay believed that it was necessary to clear the Germans from the mouth of the Scheldt, and to take the island Valhern to Antwerp became a major center for the supply of troops, already suffering from a lack of ammunition. September 10 Joint Chiefs of Staff urged Eisenhower to need the port, but only in October Ramsay could induce Montgomery to take steps to open it. In late October, Ramsay has prepared an operation to take Valherna. November 1 specially trained Marine Brigade was landing craft landed on the island, and 8 November on Valherne Nazis surrendered. November 26 after clearing the channel the first transport arrived in Antwerp, which became the main base of the army supply.

Ramsey was killed in a plane crash near Paris, January 2, 1945. Allies highly appreciated contribution to the organization Admiral landing operations, recognizing its excellence in this kind of action. Eisenhower wrote about naval commander: "Ramsay was knowledgeable commander - a courageous, resourceful, having an inexhaustible supply of energy. Moreover, we all know it as useful and sociable person, though sometimes laughed together over his thoroughness with which he kept the traditions of the British Navy as the chief of the armed forces. "

In 1945, American sailor posthumously awarded the Order "For Merit". Ramsey did not live to see the victory, but played a significant role in achieving it.