A document listing all the HN convoys states that HN 5 had 8 British, 5 Norwegian, 2 Swedish, 6 Finnish, 3 Estonian, 1 Latvian, and 2 Greek ships, for a total of 27, 6 of which were bound for the west coast.
The above does not quite match up with A. Hague's list, which says the following ships took part (in alphabetical order):
Finnish Bore VI
Danish Kai (listed as Danish, 1746 gt, there was also an Estonian Kai, 1251 gt).
Latvian Katvaldis (listed as British by A. Hague, but this ship was still Latvian at that time; taken over by MOWT in 1940).
Finnish Leda - see also Narvik-Methil 2 (for info, there was also a Norwegian Leda).
Swedish Mathilda (for info, Norway also had a Mathilda).
Greek Perrakis L. Cambanis
British Polar Chief
Finnish Pollux (Norway also had a Pollux).
British? Svanholm (listed as British, but I believe she was still Danish at that time. For info, Norway also had a Svanholm).
British Vestra (Norway also had a Vestra).
The Norwegian ships mentioned in this convoy are discussed on this website, some are listed in the Homefleet section. The easiest way to find them all is via the Master Ship Index.
HN 5 had originally left Bergen on Dec. 18-1939 in order to meet the escort the next day, but the N.C.S.O. at Bergen was told to delay its departure for 48 hours while a heavier covering force, Repulse and Barham, was brought up. This was due to the fact that it was believed the Germans might attack the convoy in order to regain prestige, following the defeat of Admiral Graf Spee*. The message to postpone sailing could not immediately be passed to the convoy, but with the help of the Norwegian Admiral this was done. The escort, meanwhile, remained off the coast, in case the convoy should emerge on the 20th. However, contact was made at 14:00 on Dec. 21-1939 as planned, at which time the convoy left.
* Admiral Graf Spee had been scuttled in the La Plata River off Montevideo in Dec.-1939, following the Battle of the River Plate.
No escort reports are available for this convoy, but see this document, listing escorts for all HN and ON convoys.
See also the text re HN 5 under Dec. 16, as well as text under Dec. 19 and Dec. 21 (scroll quite a ways down in the latter) on this external page (also has info on ON 5).
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