HMS Mahratta (G23) - History



Mahratta was originally to have been named Marksman. She was laid down on 21 January 1940 but the incomplete ship was blown off the slipway during an air raid in May 1941. Marksman was to have been the lead ship of the M-class destroyers, and the class was sometimes known as the Marksman class. Damage sustained by Marksman was so bad that she had to be dismantled and transferred to an alternative site. The new ship was laid down on 18 August 1941, but she was renamed Mahratta at her launch in July 1942, after the Maratha Empire of India, as a recognition of the financial support given by India to the war effort. Mahratta was adopted by the people of Walsall, who held a "Warship Week" from 7–14 February 1942, aiming to raise £700,000 – the cost of a warship. She was completed on 8 April 1943 and entered service on that date. During trials in May 1943 HMS Mahratta escorted RMS Queen Mary part way across the Atlantic.

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