Operation Fish

This was a British pair of undertakings (‘Fish I’ and ‘Fish II’) to transfer bullion reserves from the UK to Canada in the battleships Resolution and Revenge (7/16 October 1939 and 30 May/7 June 1940).

In order to fulfil an urgent need, the sister-ships Resolution and Revenge were tasked to carry to Canada gold bullion which was needed by the Anglo-French Purchasing Board in New York, to pay for arms bought from the USA. Some 148 boxes of gold bars, worth a total of £2 million, were loaded into each of the battleships at Portland, whence they departed on 7 October to reach Halifax, Nova Scotia, nine days later in ‘Fish I’.

After several convoy escort duties, Revenge was again used to transport gold bullion, this time to a value of £10 million, departing Plymouth on 28 January 1940. On 7 February the battleship collided with a small British tanker while a convoy was forming off Halifax but, though damaged, continued as an escort before returning to Halifax on 18 February for repair.

On 30 May 1940 Revenge took part in ‘Fish II’ to remove all of the UK’s remaining gold reserves to Canada, lest they be lost in a German invasion, departing the Clyde river with £40 million of bullion in 2,229 cases and reaching Halifax on 7 June.