HMS Belfast | Imperial War Museums

In 1939, cruiser HMS Belfast was commissioned into the Royal Navy. Later that year, World War II began after Great Britain declared war on Nazi Germany. The Royal Navy quickly deployed the Belfast to the North Atlantic blockade of the German navy. After only two months at sea, the HMS Belfast hit a mine, which put her out of commission until 1942. When she rejoined the fleet, the Royal Navy tasked the Belfast with protecting the Arctic convoys that supplied the Soviet Union during World War II. On this mission, the HMS Belfast famously sank the German cruiser Scharnhorst. The HMS Belfast also supported the D-Day invasion of Normandy, where she supposedly fired some of the first shots of the bombardment of the Nazi’s coastal defenses. Following World War II, the HMS Belfast continued to see action in the Royal Navy. From 1950 to 1952, the Belfast took part in the Korean War by blockading North Korea and using her powerful guns to support United Nations and South Korean troops. The Belfast was decommissioned in 1963 after performing peace-keeping duties. Today, the HMS Belfast is part of the Imperial War Museum and moored in the Thames River in London.