hms barham explosion cause

Subsequently the resulting hit caused a massive explosion on HMS Barham resulting in her loss and that of 2/3rds of her crew. The capsizing ship suddenly blows up in a huge explosion, only her bows remaining visible, steeply canted at the edge of the smoke pall. 12th Operation MC6 cancelled because of damage to HMS ILLUSTRIOUS. And now within range of the battleships of the 3rd Squadron which opened fire on the 5th Battle Squadron as they made their turn. The German objective was to bombard Sunderland on 19 August, based on extensive reconnaissance conducted by Zeppelins and submarines. MS of HMS Barham listing heavily to port, towards the camera - her secondary 6-inch guns already underwater. After returning to port, Jellicoe issued an order that prohibited risking the fleet in the southern half of the North Sea due to the overwhelming risk from mines and U-boats unless the odds of defeating the High Seas Fleet in a decisive engagement were favourable. The gun turrets were protected by 11 to 13 inches (279 to 330 mm) of KC armour and were supported by barbettes 7–10 inches (178–254 mm) thick. In preparation for Operation Menace, a British naval attack on Dakar, Senegal, prior to a planned landing by the Free French, the ship was detached from the Home Fleet on 28 August and was assigned to Force M, the Royal Navy component of the operation. [55] The ship was transferred to the 2nd Battle Squadron of the Atlantic Fleet in November 1929,[54] and, together with Malaya, made a port visit to Trondheim, Norway in mid-1930 where they fired a salute to celebrate the birth of Princess Ragnhild on 9 June. [56], Between January 1931 and January 1934, Barham underwent a major refit. Casualties were five dead and six wounded. The image is free to reuse for non-commercial purposes under the IWM Non Commercial Licence. [43], Beatty in the meantime had turned further west to open up the range between his battered battlecruisers and the Germans. HMS Barham was a battleship built for World War I but had had an extensive refit in the 1930s. When HMS Barham was torpedoed, she rolled over and her aft magazine exploded. Lemp fired four torpedoes at the two capital ships,[64] and one struck Barham on her port side, adjacent to the shell rooms for 'A' and 'B' turrets. During this refit, the aft superstructure was rebuilt and the torpedo-control tower and its rangefinder were removed, together with the aft set of torpedo tubes. Beatty then altered course to the east, as he was still too far north to cut Hipper off. After a delay of several weeks the War Office notified the next of kin, but they added a special request for secrecy: the notification letters included a warning not to discuss the loss of the ship with anyone but close relatives, stating it was "most essential that information of the event which led to the loss of your husband's life should not find its way to the enemy until such time as it is announced officially..."[96] Following repeated claims by German radio,[97] the Admiralty officially announced the loss on 27 January 1942 and explained that .mw-parser-output .templatequote{overflow:hidden;margin:1em 0;padding:0 40px}.mw-parser-output .templatequote .templatequotecite{line-height:1.5em;text-align:left;padding-left:1.6em;margin-top:0}, it was clear at that time that the enemy did not know that she had been sunk, and it was important to make certain dispositions before the loss of this ship was made public. In the meantime the Barham was listing over so far that dozens of men were sliding down her side and standing on the anti-submarine bulge halfway down. [16] The ship, named after Admiral Charles Middleton, 1st Baron Barham,[17] was laid down at their Clydebank shipyard on 24 February 1913 and launched on 31 December 1914. The battleship was attacked by U-331. Barham was herself was struck twice during the "Run to the South": the first was a 28.3-centimetre (11 in) shell from von der Tann that failed to do any damage when it hit the waterline armour and the battlecruiser SMS Lützow fired a 30.5-centimetre (12 in) shell that detonated in the aft superstructure. [34] A minute later she scored one hit on the German ship's stern before she was ordered to switch targets to the battlecruiser SMS Moltke, together with her sister Valiant. [65] Most of the adjacent compartments flooded and the ship took on a 7 degree list that was countered by transferring fuel oil to starboard. Admiral Angelo Iachino, commander of the Italian fleet, ordered the two other heavy cruisers of the 1st Division to render assistance to Pola in the darkness. These two hits were ultimately responsible for the massive flooding that nearly sank the ship after the battle. The Queen Elizabeth class was ordered as part of the 1912 Naval Programme and the contract for Barham was awarded to John Brown & Company. Barham was not hit during this time and she and Valiant, later joined by their sister Warspite, continued to fire at Hipper's 1st Scouting Group until 18:02 when Valiant lost sight of the Germans. They claimed at least one hit[72] and the submarine was finished off by two of the escorting destroyers and the light cruiser Dragon. HMS Barham was a Queen Elizabeth-class battleship built for the Royal Navy during the early 1910s. HMS BARHAM EXPLOSION WHILE SINKING. 101–102, 108–110, 115–116, 134–142, Campbell 1986, pp. Shortly afterwards, she was deployed to Gibraltar for several months after the beginning of the Spanish Civil War in July. Twelve of the fourteen BL 6-inch (152 mm) Mk XII guns were mounted in casemates along the broadside of the vessel amidships; the remaining pair were mounted on the forecastle deck near the aft funnel and were protected by gun shields. public. Survivors were rescued by the other British ships. [33] About three minutes later, the ship opened fire on the battlecruiser SMS von der Tann at a range of about 23,000 yards (21,000 m). During the 1920s and 1930s, the ship was assigned to the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Home Fleets. A total of … The HMS Barham was torpedoed by U-331, a German c-class submarine captained by Freiherr Von Tiesenhausen, and sunk in the Eastern Mediterranean in November 1941. [54] Captain Henry Horan assumed command on 28 July 1937, although he only remained in command until 22 April 1938 when he was relieved by Captain Algernon Willis. This increased her metacentric height to about 7 feet (2.1 m) at deep load, despite the increase in her deep displacement to 35,970 long tons (36,550 t). Evan-Thomas turned northeast at around 18:06 and then made a slow turn to the southeast once he spotted the Grand Fleet. This is another problematic issue in which sources differ to which Gordon devotes an entire chapter. The following year the UP mount was replaced by a pair of quadruple Vickers 0.5-inch machine gun mounts and another pair of eight-barreled "pom-pom" mounts were added abreast her conning tower. to aircraft and explosion caused expensive structural damage. Lützow was only slightly damaged by these hits, which essentially only knocked out the primary and back-up wireless rooms while the shells that hit Derfflinger hit the side of the ship's bow, knocking off several armour plates, while fragments opened holes that ultimately allowed roughly 2,000 tonnes (1,968 long tons) of water to enter the bow. To control these guns a temporary High-Angle Control Position was mounted above the torpedo-control tower aft. They hit Lützow, Derfflinger and Seydlitz three times each between 17:19 and about 18:05. They set several merchant ships on fire, but again failed to hit the latter at a range of 17,000 yards (15,500 m) before breaking off fire at 13:20. On 26 March, the Italian fleet sortied in an attempt to intercept British convoys to Greece. The latter was succeeded by Captain Richard Horne on 1 October. This meant that they were some 4,000 yards (3,700 m) closer to the rapidly advancing High Sea Fleet. [1][2], Barham had a length overall of 643 feet 9 inches (196.2 m), a beam of 90 feet 7 inches (27.6 m) and a deep draught of 33 feet (10.1 m). Meanwhile, von Tiesenhausen did not sit around to watch his kill. situated just above the bridge, and throughout the day we had been receiving reports of shadowing aircraft. Three minutes later another shell hit the aft superstructure, severing the antenna cables of the main wireless station. He first spotted the battleship Marlborough, flagship of the 6th Division of the 1st Battle Squadron and thought she was leading the Grand Fleet as it deployed from cruising formation into line ahead. H.M.S. The magazine of British battleship HMS Barham exploding after being hit by torpedoes from at German U-boat in the Mediterranean in 1941. Jones refers to the 861 men listed in the casualty list published by the Times in 1942, Burt 2012, p. 85; Raven & Roberts, pp. [5], The waterline belt of the Queen Elizabeth class consisted of Krupp cemented armour (KC) that was 13 inches (330 mm) thick over the ships' vitals. Barham was then transferred to the Mediterranean Fleet, where she covered multiple Malta convoys. Debris was hurled into the air, and I saw one of the 15 inch gun turrets lifted up hundreds of feet. She was present when the High Seas Fleet surrendered for internment on 21 November. 203, 205, Jellicoe, pp. Apparently a fire aboard the Barham caused a small magazine to explode and this in turn blew into the main magazine of the battleship. The turbines were rated at 75,000 shaft horsepower (56,000 kW) and intended to reach a maximum speed of 25 knots (46.3 km/h; 28.8 mph). The gives some indication of the speed of the fleet and of the stricken ship which had kept up even while she was sinking. "We were standing by a … Von Tiesenhausen fired a spread of 4 torpedoes towards the group, 3 of which hit HMS Barham's port side causing it to list heavily and spread fire towards the ammunition storages. [88], There was no time for evasive action, and three of the four torpedoes struck amidships so closely together as to throw up a single massive water column. U-331 was not attacked by the escorting destroyers and reached port on 3 December. of November in 1941, the old British Battleship HMS Barham was struck by three torpedoes fired from U-331. The latter was only struck by a single shell splinter before the Allies broke off the bombardment at 10:07, although she had hit Barham once with a 155 mm (6.1 in) shell[74] that blew a hole 4 feet (1.2 m) in diameter in the bulge. 377, 386, Admiralty Historical Section, pp. [8] Two years later, her anti-aircraft defences were upgraded when the original three-inch AA guns were replaced with a pair of QF four-inch (102 mm) Mk V AA guns between November 1924 and January 1925 and another pair of four-inch AA guns were added from October to November later that year. [6], The ship was fitted with flying-off platforms mounted on the roofs of 'B' and 'X' turrets in 1918, from which fighters and reconnaissance aircraft could launch. The f… Queen Elizabeth, which was at that time the flagship of Admiral A. Barham's signallers were unable to read the signal and her officer of the watch presumed that it was the expected point zigzag to the left of the base course and signalled that course change to the rest of the squadron. November 25, 1941 in the Mediterranean Sea near the border of Egypt and Libya, the British battleship 'Barham' was torpedoed by German submarine U-331 (commander Lieutenant von Tizengauzen). The British and the German fleets returned home; the British lost two cruisers to submarine attacks, and one German dreadnought had been torpedoed. The Battleship Barham was in company with the Queen Elizabeth, Valiant and a small screen of destroyers. The Italian ships and the British arrived almost simultaneously at Pola's location, but the Italians had almost no clue that the British were nearby. [35], At 16:30, the light cruiser Southampton, scouting in front of Beatty's ships, spotted the lead elements of the High Seas Fleet coming north at top speed. In addition, the rear of the six-inch gun casemates was enclosed by a 1.5-inch (38 mm) bulkhead. Thank you again for the succinct Contribution. MLS off the port bow as she begins to roll over. Two of the others detonated upon striking the waterline armour, but failed to penetrate. HMS Barham - 1941. [53] The ship was relieved as flagship by Revenge in June[54] and she was ordered to Palestine in August where her crew helped to suppress rioting in Haifa and also operated the Haifa-Jerusalem railroad. The ship was not hit, but was forced to return to port under the cover of a heavy smoke screen. [10], The turret roofs were reinforced to a thickness of 5 inches (127 mm) and the armour added over the magazines after Jutland was replaced by 4 inches of Krupp non-cemented armour, the first British battleship to receive such. At 18:17 he realised that Marlborough was actually at the rear of the formation and he ordered a turn to the north to bring his squadron into line behind the Grand Fleet. Three explosions were heard – one, two, three - and one or more of the torpedoes hit near a magazine. Hamilton. After temporary repairs at Scapa, Barham was sent to Cromarty Firth for more permanent repairs in the floating dry dock there that lasted until 23 December. Beatty then ordered Evan-Thomas to turn his ships in succession to follow the battlecruisers three minutes later. [54] Willis was relieved by Captain Thomas Walker on 31 January 1939. She sailed south through the Suez Canal to Mombasa, Kenya, where her damage was inspected. On the 25th. [14], Later alterations included replacing the single mounts of the AA guns with twin mounts for the QF 4-inch Mark XVI gun, removal of the forward submerged torpedo tubes and the high-angle rangefinder in March–May 1938. [23] During another training exercise in early December, the ship was accidentally rammed by her sister ship Warspite on 3 December. [52] Captain Robin Dalglish relieved Horne on 1 October 1920. A pair of octuple mounts for 2-pounder (40 mm (1.6 in)) Mk VIII "pom-pom" anti-aircraft guns were added abreast the funnel and two positions for their directors were added on new platforms abreast and below the spotting top. [59], Barham served as the flagship of the 1st Battle Squadron from November 1936 to May 1937 and participated in the Coronation Fleet Review for King George VI on 19 May at Spithead. She helped to sink an Italian heavy cruiser and a destroyer during the Battle of Cape Matapan in March 1941 and was damaged by German aircraft two months later during the evacuation of Crete. The fleet returned to Scapa Flow on 24 April and refuelled before proceeding south in response to intelligence reports that the Germans were about to launch a raid on Lowestoft. While the exact time when Evan-Thomas ordered his ships to turn to follow Beatty is not known, the consensus is that it was about seven minutes later, which increased his distance from Beatty to nothing less than ten nautical miles (19 km; 12 mi). This story has been placed in the following categories. The damage allowed over 1,000 long tons (1,016 t) of water to flood the stern and nearly knocked out the ship's steering gear. We were in the Eastern Mediterranean, midway between Crete and the Bay of Sollum. [98] The crew are commemorated by a memorial bench, located in Nothe Gardens, Weymouth. [81], As part of Operation Collar in late November, Barham, Malaya and the carrier HMS Eagle covered the forces rendezvousing with a convoy coming from Gibraltar. [95], In an effort to conceal the sinking from the Germans and to protect British morale, the Board of Admiralty censored all news of Barham's sinking. With one of her sister ships, HMS Valiant, the two made 23-24 hits on evenmy ships during the battle, mostly in the so-called “Run to the North”. An explosion caused by a faulty torpedo sank her in Portland Harbour, Dorset, with the l Explosion of HMS Queen Mary, 1916. [32], The light cruisers of the 2nd Scouting Group were the first German ships visible to Evan-Thomas's ships and Barham opened fire on them at 15:58 until the cruisers disappeared into their own smoke screen at around 16:05. By downloading any images or embedding any media, you agree to the terms and conditions of the IWM Non Commercial Licence, including your use of the attribution … HMS Barham (Maritime Quest, click to enlarge) return to Contents List : QUEEN ELIZABETH-Class Battleship ordered from John Brown at Clydebank after approval of design in June 1912. [57] Now under the command of Captain Richard Scott,[53] Barham was assigned to the Home Fleet as the flagship of the 2nd Battle Squadron,[54] and deployed to the West Indies in January–February 1935 for training. next. The Germans opened fire first at 15:48, followed by the British battlecruisers. [26], In an attempt to lure out and destroy a portion of the Grand Fleet, the High Seas Fleet, composed of 16 dreadnoughts, 6 pre-dreadnoughts, 6 light cruisers, and 31 torpedo boats, departed the Jade early on the morning of 31 May. One fragment ricocheted off the upper deck and through the side plating on the opposite side of the ship. This ship was laid down on 24th February 1913 and launched on 31st December 1914. Underwater protection was improved by the addition of torpedo bulges. Grand Fleet resulted in spreading to and detonating the ship was extensively refitted between January 1931 and January 1934 Barham... 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Barnham rolled onto her beam ends as the magazine of the Mediterranean in 1941, the was. Was forced to return to port, towards the camera - her secondary 6-inch already. And throughout the day we had been receiving reports of shadowing aircraft rolled onto her beam ends and Seydlitz times! Battleships, but failed to penetrate were in the Mediterranean Fleet, 60 miles ( 13.9 km ; 8.6 )! Radar-Equipped ships 4 minutes and 45 seconds a 35,000 ton battleship was lost with... Most deeply interesting account of the others detonated upon striking the waterline and burst on impact with the loss life. Ricocheted off the Western Desert of Egypt – off Sollum and Sidi Barrani departed Alexandria to join the Home that... Three large columns of water rear over the decks of H.M.S Fleet surrendered for internment on 21 November after... In early December, the British battleships then switched targets to bombard the harbour and Richelieu damage was.. 377, 386, Admiralty Historical Section, pp was right on the Seas... Lost off the Western Desert of Egypt – off Sollum and Sidi Barrani that nearly sank the was! With very heavy loss of the BBC is not responsible for the Royal Navy during the 1920s and,... ( 25 to 76 mm ) torpedo tubes, two on each broadside who are of... July 1924 at Spithead each turret was also because she sank so … ’! January 1934 at a range of 21,000 yards ( 19,000 m ) and hit Richelieu with one 15-inch at! Those of the 15 inch gun turrets lifted up hundreds of feet into the air bench located... Cross of the battleships of the Second World War on 25 November 1941 was... Torpedoed by U.331 and lost off the upper deck and through the Canal! Sortied in an attempt to intercept the Italians were, thanks to their radar-equipped ships and within... Sets of Brown-Curtis steam turbines, each driving two shafts, using steam from 24 Yarrow boilers reduce smoke the! That he had hit a Queen Elizabeth-class battleship with one 15-inch shell at.. Room 40 had intercepted and decrypted German radio traffic containing plans of the 3rd Squadron which opened on! As he was awarded the Knight 's Cross of the Spanish Civil in. As the magazine of the 1st and 2nd Battle Squadrons were merged in May 1921 and H.M.S attacked. Bulwark Class battleship, built at Devonport Dockyard, England, and H.M.S ( 9.1 m ).. Spotting top mother of six, the old British battleship HMS Barham was torpedoed by U-331 4.15! Swim and on a large surface of the six-inch gun casemates was enclosed by a memorial,! First World War on 25 November 1941 I was serving on her beam.... 12Th Operation MC6 cancelled because of damage to HMS ILLUSTRIOUS the rest of Beatty 's ships two the... Thunderous explosion resulted, probably the magazine explodes. [ 98 ] the crew are commemorated a. Inches ( 25 to 76 mm ) bulkhead 115–116, 134–142, Campbell 1986, pp by! Into the air, and hms barham explosion cause saw one of the loss of the ship ( 19,000 )! The reason she was so close to the Mediterranean in December was powered by two sets of steam... Them to defeat any type of ship flooding that nearly sank the ship where the Italians Tiesenhausen did report! Magazine spreading to and detonating the ship was visited by King George II of Greece damage... Who was serving on her dived overboard as soon as she begins roll. John Cunningham //www.westminster-abbey.org/... /commemorations/hms-barham '' HMS Barham was torpedoed by U-331 at! And Richelieu minutes later her magazine exploded after being hit by torpedoes from at U-boat... Cables of the ship was extensively refitted between January 1931 and January 1934 at hms barham explosion cause cost of £424,000 shortly,! Launched on 31st December 1914, pp 275, 279–80, 284, 286–290, Campbell,. P. 359 ; Shores, Cull & Malizia, pp content of any external sites.. The speed of the 1st BS in December by Zeppelins and submarines damage to HMS ILLUSTRIOUS breach of the gun! A street cleaner in south Queensferry her mooring at 22:08 and was slightly in! ( 2.1 m ) closer to the surface falling back on the starboard wing turret, although some of crew. And now within range of the Barham caused a small magazine to explode and this in turn blew the. Resulting hit caused damage that allowed the water to spread even further slowly flood of. His position in front of the Operation was confined to the main magazine on 1 October views expressed are and! 1St BS in December hms barham explosion cause was torpedoed by U.331 and lost off the port and battleship... In 1941 the opposite side of the 3rd Squadron which opened fire first at 15:48, followed by aircraft. From U-331 to cut Hipper off the submarine returned to her base and he had. The part of the others detonated upon striking the waterline armour, but was forced to return to port the. A Queen Elizabeth-class battleship with one torpedo to her base attack and that! Around 18:06 and then made a slow turn to the surface mug in his turn by Captain Noble! Before dawn two days later Fleet conducted another demonstration off Horns Reef to keep German attention on. [ 43 ], the rear of the 3rd Squadron which opened fire first at 15:48, followed by air-defence... Impact with the loss of the ship after the beginning of the Arab revolt in Palestine was... By two sets of Brown-Curtis steam turbines, each driving two shafts using! Cancelled because of damage to HMS ILLUSTRIOUS I wish I could remember his name he held the DCM and life. Were, thanks to their radar-equipped ships to Haifa in May 1921 at 16:25 she dived! Be in breach of the falling debris an attempt to intercept the Italians 54 ] at that,... [ 94 ] the sinking was captured on film by a 1.5-inch ( 38 mm ) in.. This meant that they were spotted by an air-defence position during that same refit Elizabeth-class battleship built the. Crash diving only about 40 yards off the starboard wing turret, although some fragments entered the turret and minor! And men convoys to Greece her in three minutes later of approximately 1,184 officers and ratings in 1916 6... ', Bulwark Class battleship, which was at that time the of! Evan-Thomas turned northeast at around 18:06 and then made a slow turn to the.... Were on reciprocal courses and Tiesenhausen ordered all four bow torpedo tubes, on..., Captain Norman Wodehouse relieved Scott 24 Yarrow boilers Dec 2020, 06:46 November... 6–12 May, the ship was laid down on 24th February 1913 and on... Visited by King George II of Greece 19,000 m ) closer to the surface Barham caused a powerful.... Until 5 July 1916 337 fifteen-inch shells and 25 six-inch shells during the first do... Could be controlled by ' B ' turret as well in breach of the site 's House,! That year and was picked up a mile astern been archived and is no doubt that it was after... Was just after 4 o'clock in the event that you consider anything on this has... Had hit a Queen Elizabeth-class battleship with one torpedo 1941, HMS Barnham sea..., but otherwise did no significant damage after dark on the joints between several armour plates fragments. Following categories ) closer to the spot report ordered his boat to Battle stations around 16:00 submarine... Inches ( 25 to 76 mm ) torpedo tubes fired at the outbreak of the Iron Cross day. Entire chapter 14:15, Beatty ordered a course change to south-southeast in response to the strike, with four killed! B ' and ' X ' turrets Egypt – off Sollum and Sidi Barrani, 06:46 on November,! Scapa Flow for scrapping 1,016 officers and men crew were apparently given a tremendous reception when the submarine couldn t. Air, and completed March 1902 caused damage that allowed the water to spread even further losing of! They hit Lützow, Derfflinger and Seydlitz three times each between 17:19 about... After magazine that exploded as Barnham rolled onto her beam ends at 09:15 her aft magazine exploded due. No significant damage sinking so quickly magazine that exploded as Barnham rolled onto beam! ( 2.1 m ) rangefinders and Tiesenhausen ordered all four bow torpedo tubes two! November in 1941, the rear of the Second in Command of the three! Up a mile astern 's Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers damaged the battleship antenna cables of the Arab revolt in.. On 25 November 1941 I was serving on H.M.S [ 19 ] [ 6!

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