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Small ship with a big pedigree arrives for Liverpool’s Battle of Atlantic commemorations

One of the Royal Navy’s smallest ships arrives in Liverpool today to raise the curtain on Battle of the Atlantic commemorations.

Patrol boat HMS Biter will be berthed in the city’s Albert Dock until May 31, hosting visits by schools, civic officials and cadets, before crew join colleagues from destroyer HMS Defender and French and US sailors for the 80th anniversary of the naval battle from Friday to Sunday.

For many years Biter was based in Liverpool, a short distance up the Mersey, at HMS Eaglet and provided an insight into the Royal Navy for students at university in Manchester and Salford.

Today she serves as a training vessel helping larger units in the Fleet – particularly in the art of dealing with fast attack boats – but is also plays a key role in teaching navigation (due to her size she can call on ports off-limits to many major warships), leadership and general seafaring.

She arrives in Liverpool – berthed adjacent to the Tate Modern – having most recently worked with Royal Navy divers testing whether patrol boats in Biter’s class can support diving operations by launching underwater robot systems.

Although she’s one of the smallest vessels in the Royal Navy, the ship has a strong Battle of the Atlantic pedigree.

Her predecessor was a WW2 escort carrier – built specifically to protect convoys – and was heavily engaged in the Atlantic battles of spring 1943, battles which ultimately resulted in the defeat of the U-boat and the victory which is being celebrated this weekend.


“Retuning to our historic home of Liverpool to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic is privilege,” said Lieutenant Ellis Green, Biter’s Commanding Officer.

“We carry the battle honour of our predecessor which took part in the Atlantic campaign with distinction in 1943-44 as part of the 5th Escort Group, escorting ships en route to and from Liverpool.

“Returning for the week of commemorations gives us the opportunity to pay respect to our predecessors as well as show the community today’s HMS Biter.”
You can take a look around the ship between 11am and 3pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Further details about this weekend’s commemorations in Liverpool can be found here:

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