Published: 00:01, 30 April 2014
| Updated: 09:12, 30 April 2014
HMS Cavalier, the world’s last surviving Second World War destroyer, has just celebrated its 70th birthday in rousing style and now you can have a look around from the comfort of your own home.
Bosses at Chatham’s Historic Dockyard say there’s no substitute for the real thing, of course, but thanks to technology, there is another way of getting a close-up view of the iconic vessel.
The dockyard has teamed up once again with Chester-based C Inside Media, which created a virtual tour of the former Royal Navy sub, HMS Ocelot, on the River Medway last year.
Chris Jones, head of shipkeeping, said: “Of course, visiting The Historic Dockyard Chatham remains the finest way to experience this nationally important Royal Navy ship.
“However, viewing the ship via the Google Maps Business View provided by C Inside Media makes for an enthralling adventure for all to enjoy, wherever you are in the world.”
HMS Cavalier was launched on April 7, 1944, as one of 96 emergency destroyers ordered for the war effort between 1940 and 1942.
It took part in three operations off Norway, including providing fighter cover for a minesweeping flotilla and participating in an aircraft mine-laying strike and a strike against enemy shipping.
The ship became known as the fastest of the greyhounds in 1971, securing her a proud place in British naval history.
It raced the frigate HMS Rapid over 64 miles, starting from the Firth of Forth, to determine which was fastest.
After a close race, HMS Cavalier clinched it by 30 yards, travelling at an average speed of 31.8 knots, which very few more modern ships could manage.
She was close to the scrap heap in 1977, but was saved thanks to the late Earl Mountbatten founding the first HMS Cavalier Trust.
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