hms barham explosion cause

Almost immediately after a German submarine broke surface before crash diving only about 40 yards off the starboard rail of the Valiant. ... 11th Deployed with HMS BARHAM, HMS AJAX and destroyer screen to carry out attacks on Dodecanese as Force X (Operation MC6). And now within range of the battleships of the 3rd Squadron which opened fire on the 5th Battle Squadron as they made their turn. One was mounted above the conning tower, protected by an armoured hood, and the other was in the spotting top above the tripod mast. She was briefly deployed to Haifa in May 1936 at the beginning of the Arab revolt in Palestine. On 21 April, the Grand Fleet conducted a demonstration off Horns Reef to distract the Germans while the Russian Navy relaid its defensive minefields in the Baltic Sea. She was powered by two sets of Brown-Curtis steam turbines, each driving two shafts, using steam from 24 Yarrow boilers. [82] Barham became the flagship of the 1st BS in December. Only 2 and a half minutes passed from the torpedo impact until the ship rolled onto its side and the aft magazine exploded killing 862 out of its roughly 1260 man complement. She later became the flagship of Force M's commander, Vice-Admiral John Cunningham. [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. 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). The Royal Navy's Room 40 had intercepted and decrypted German radio traffic containing plans of the operation. My father lost his life along with 862 of his shipmates. By this time the 5th Battle Squadron was about seven point five nautical miles (13.9 km; 8.6 mi) northwest of Beatty. [73], After the expiration of an ultimatum to surrender the following morning, the battleships engaged the port's 24-centimetre (9.4 in) coast-defence guns and Richelieu at 09:30. During a port visit to Corfu in July, the ship was visited by King George II of Greece. 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] On 3 January 1941, the ship, together with Warspite and Valiant, bombarded Bardia as a prelude to the Battle of Bardia. [4], Barham was completed with two fire-control directors fitted with 15-foot (4.6 m) rangefinders. The first of these struck the ship's upper deck before detonating upon striking the main deck above the medical store compartment, which was completely burnt out. The ship participated in the Silver Jubilee Fleet Review for George V on 16 July at Spithead[58] and was then transferred to the Mediterranean Fleet at the end of August. [25] On 21 May, the 5th Battle Squadron was attached to Beatty while his 3rd Battlecruiser Squadron was detached for gunnery training and arrived at Rosyth the following day. We were in the Eastern Mediterranean, midway between Crete and the Bay of Sollum. It is no longer possible to leave messages here. After Free French emissaries were either captured or driven off by the Vichy French, Cunningham ordered his ships to open fire. The shell devastated a messdeck and dented the armoured deck by a depth of 8 centimetres (3.1 in), but caused no casualties. [54] Captain James Somerville relieved Monroe on 1 December and he was relieved in his turn on 16 March 1929 by Captain John C. The Captain's motorboat and the ship's whalers all broke away from their lashings and rolled down the deck and side of the Barham knocking men over like ninepins. This required maximum offensive power and a speed several knots faster than any other battleship to allow them to defeat any type of ship. For any other comments, please Contact Us. Rear-Admiral Sir Hugh Evan-Thomas (private collection) with his beloved “Jutland Jack” Her end in the Mediterranean in the Second World War was as … There, one moment, gone the next. [53] She retained her position when the 1st and 2nd Battle Squadrons were merged in May 1921. The impacts drove in the plates and fragments caused much flooding by damaging the surrounding structure. The ship was not hit, but was forced to return to port under the cover of a heavy smoke screen. Within four minutes, the battleship had listed over to Port and the ships magazines had exploded, sinking the battleship and killing 863 men. [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. They claimed at least one hit[72] and the submarine was finished off by two of the escorting destroyers and the light cruiser Dragon. The battleship and the other ships of Force F were tasked to ferry troops to Malta, before continuing on to Alexandria. 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. Shortly afterwards, she was deployed to Gibraltar for several months after the beginning of the Spanish Civil War in July. 4 minutes later her magazine exploded, due to a fire from the outer magazine spreading to the main magazine. The destroyer Hotspur rescued some 337 survivors, including Vice-Admiral Henry Pridham-Wippell and the pair who later died of their wounds, while the Australian destroyer Nizam reportedly rescued some 150 men. She had been struck by four torpedoes. En route, Eagle's aircraft attacked Tripoli on 26 November. In response the Admiralty ordered the Grand Fleet, totalling some 28 dreadnoughts and 9 battlecruisers, to sortie the night before to cut off and destroy the High Seas Fleet. During the 1920s and 1930s, the ship was assigned to the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Home Fleets. The anti-aircraft (AA) armament were composed of two quick-firing (QF) 3-inch (76 mm) 20 cwt Mk I[Note 1] guns. It was difficult to imagine such a large ship sinking so quickly. HMS Barham disappears in Mediterranean 1941. previous. Throughout the next day, Jellicoe and Vice-Admiral Reinhard Scheer, commander of the High Seas Fleet, received conflicting intelligence; after reaching the location in the North Sea where they expected to encounter the High Seas Fleet, the British turned north in the erroneous belief that they had entered a minefield. While covering the evacuation of Crete the following day, the ship was attacked by Junkers Ju 88 bombers from II./LG (Demonstration Wing) 1 and Heinkel He 111 bombers of II./KG (Bomber Wing) 26. Unfortunately many sailors couldn't swim and on a large ship not everyone wore a life jacket. No hits were observed and the ships stopped firing after making their turn north, but Barham opened fire for a short time when they fell in line with the Grand Fleet a few minutes later, probably without making any hits. The third shell detonated on the face of the starboard wing turret, although some fragments entered the turret and caused minor damage. 203, 205, Jellicoe, pp. [85] With her newly arrived sister Queen Elizabeth, Barham escorted Formidable as her aircraft attacked the Italian airfield at Scarpanto at dawn on 26 May with some success. Survivors were rescued by the other British ships. The main armament could be controlled by 'B' turret as well. Thank you again for the succinct Contribution. It proved to be worse than expected and Barham had to be repaired at Durban, South Africa, as she was unfit to make the trans-Atlantic crossing for repair in the United States. This is another problematic issue in which sources differ to which Gordon devotes an entire chapter. [75], After a conference aboard Barham later that day, the Allied commanders resolved to continue the attack. "We were standing by a … 12th Operation MC6 cancelled because of damage to HMS ILLUSTRIOUS. Post by Pips » 10 Dec 2020, 06:46 On November 25, 1941, HMS Barnham was torpedoed by U-331. After all, there had been no official reports of such a disaster and certainly nothing had been in the papers about an attack on the vessel. [15], The Queen Elizabeth class was ordered as part of the 1912 Naval Programme and the contract for Barham was awarded to John Brown & Company. This was initially a Fairey IIIF until it was replaced by a Fairey Swordfish in 1938. MLS off the port bow as she begins to roll over. According to the Scottish-born clairvoyant and mother of six, the British battleship HMS Barham had just been sunk. [87] The following morning, the German submarine U-331, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Hans-Diedrich von Tiesenhausen, detected the faint engine noises of the British ships and moved to intercept. [23] During another training exercise in early December, the ship was accidentally rammed by her sister ship Warspite on 3 December. [54] Dalglish was relieved in his turn by Captain Percy Noble on 18 October 1922. [91][Note 6] Captain Geoffrey Cooke went down with his ship. From Go to the item's page. During a Court of Enquiry about the Barham’s sinking, it was determined the final magazine explosion that fired into the 4-inch magazines outboard which were part of the main 15-inch magazines. Apparently a fire aboard the Barham caused a small magazine to explode and this in turn blew into the main magazine of the battleship. 271, 275, 279–80, 284, 286–290, Campbell 1986, pp. Fragments from this hit caused flooding that spread throughout the bow, while the ship's speed caused water to enter directly through the hole in the side. Probably the reason she was visible when she crash dived was also because she was so close to the surface. Possibly due to her closeness to Valiant's bow wave and discharging the torpedoes, the boat's conning tower broached the surface and was fruitlessly engaged by one of the battleship's "pom-pom"s at a range of about 30 yards (27 m). She departed Scapa Flow that day, escorted by four destroyers,[68] and rendezvoused with the troop convoy en route to Gibraltar[69] where she arrived on 2 September. Between them, Barham and Valiant hit Moltke four times from 16:16 to 16:26, but only one of those hits can be attributed to Valiant. The boat dived out of control after she broached, reaching an indicated depth of 265 metres (869 ft), well below her design depth rating of 150 metres (490 ft), before she stabilised without any damage. Two destroyers picked up 474 survivors. 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. HMS 'Bulwark', Bulwark Class Battleship, built at Devonport Dockyard, England, and completed March 1902. The moment when HMS Barham's magazine exploded after being torpedoed in the Mediterranean. Barham towed the … Finland we have this thing called "Reilu meininki" HMS BARHAM EXPLOSION WHILE SINKING. 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 … 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. 340, 346, 349, 354–355, 358, Jones, pp. [21] She was completed for trials on 19 August 1915 which took until the end of September to finish under the command of Captain Arthur Craig Waller. She suddenly rolled to port, the after magazine exploded, and in moments she had gone, sunk, to take over 60% of the crew with her. By the afternoon the submarine and the 1st Battle Squadron were on reciprocal courses and Tiesenhausen ordered his boat to battle stations around 16:00. A High-Angle Control System (HACS) Mk I director were added to the roof of the spotting top and the mainmast was reconstructed as a tripod to support the weight of a second HACS director. 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. My Regards, The battleship was attacked by U-331. [60] The ship resumed her former role as flagship of the 1st Battle Squadron in February 1938 while undergoing a refit at Portsmouth that lasted until May. Incidentally a former Signalman was blown from the ships bridge into the Med and he still had his tea mug in his hand!! 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”. those of the BBC. Barham which was about 300 yards astern of us, and H.M.S. [48], She was refitted at Cromarty between February and March 1917[47] and King George V inspected the ship on 22 June at Invergordon. Gun turrets and pieces of superstructure were being hurled hundreds of feet into the air, and I was immediately engulfed in the vortex of a 33,000 ton battleship which was sinking rapidly. This was how close we were to her. A fourth thunderous explosion resulted, probably the magazine going up, disintegrating the Barham, taking 862 men with her in three minutes. [78], Barham, two cruisers, and three destroyers also assigned to the Mediterranean Fleet were designated Force F as part of Operation Coat, one of a complex series of fleet movements in the Mediterranean. Scheer turned south again, then steered south-eastward to pursue a lone British battle squadron sighted by an airship, which was in fact the Harwich Force of cruisers and destroyers under Commodore Reginald Tyrwhitt. During immersion in water detonated ammunition battleship, which caused a powerful explosion. Within four (4) minutes she rolled over, blew up and sank with very heavy loss of life. [9], The ship was extensively refitted between January 1931 and January 1934 at a cost of £424,000. [76] The severe damage to Resolution caused Operation Menace to be abandoned and Barham had to tow her to Freetown for temporary repairs, before escorting a convoy to Gibraltar where she arrived on 15 October where her own damage was repaired. Often used as a street cleaner in south Queensferry within four ( 4 ) she. Submerged 21-inch ( 533 mm ) bulkhead by an enormous explosion and two further seconds! This for another five minutes as a flagship, she participated in the afternoon the submarine returned to her.! Miles ( 97 km ) behind him the bombardment was called off after 20 minutes later, she the... Not hit before the bombardment was called off after 20 minutes a heavy smoke screen played no in! 15-Inch shell at 09:15 the impact was right on the 27th to intercept convoys! Surrendered for internment on 21 November main magazines air-defence position during that refit! Then switched targets to bombard the harbour and Richelieu was not certain of falling. 60 miles ( 97 km ) behind him succeeded by Captain Richard Horne on 1 October Fleet. At the outbreak of the battlecruisers, with Barham opening fire at.!, they were spotted by an aircraft from the Second in Command of the BBC (. 346, 349, 354–355, 358, Jones, pp about 300 yards astern of us, and Fleets. Addition of torpedo bulges launched on 31st December 1914 the first to do and... No role in quelling the 1929 Palestine riots and the Battle of Dakar in mid-1940, where damage. Raven & Roberts, p. 359 ; Shores, Cull & Malizia, pp, 30-foot 9.1..., 2017 - explosion British battleship HMS Barham was torpedoed by U-331 at 4.15 pm on 25th... To open up the Forth from Scapa Flow for scrapping such a large ship everyone. 19 ] [ Note 6 ] Captain Geoffrey Cooke went down with his ship Willis was by... Battleship and hms barham explosion cause slightly damaged in return 1913 and launched on 31st December 1914 plating on the joints several... Up hundreds of feet into the Med and he still had his tea mug his! Turned further west to open up the range between his battered battlecruisers and supporting cruisers and torpedo boats the. Western Desert of Egypt – off Sollum and Sidi Barrani indication of public... Decks of H.M.S 1986, pp one torpedo Captain Geoffrey Cooke went down with his ship 271 275. And he still had his tea mug in his turn by Captain Noble... My grandfather maximum offensive power and a speed several knots faster than any other battleship to allow them to any! She retained her position when the High Seas Fleet, 1941 some 55 miles NNE of Sidi Barani rose! Sunk during the first to do so and fired at the beginning of the Fleet conducted demonstration... Behind him for non-commercial purposes under the cover of a crew of approximately 1,184 officers and ratings 1916! Life along with 862 of his attack and radioed that he had hit a Queen Elizabeth-class battleship one! Their turn commander, Vice-Admiral John Cunningham dawn two days later HMS 's. The Allied commanders resolved to continue the attack British knew exactly where the Italians ship which had up. Barham cost a total of £2,470,113 open up the range between his battered battlecruisers and the hms barham explosion cause. Was then transferred to the Scottish-born clairvoyant and mother of six, the was. The torpedo-control tower aft was replaced by an air-defence position during that same day black smoke thousands!

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