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Archer
15-03-2008, 05:34
I recently acquired a small album of WW2 photographs belonging to a Leading Aircraftman in the RAF who served in the Western Desert.

Most of them seem to have been taken off (removed from or bought from) Axis troops, and there are some evocative pictures of damaged vessels clogging up harbours.

But this one is of a different order.

Can anyone identify her ?

Thank you
William

herakles
15-03-2008, 07:51
Welcome William to our Forum. I hope you enjoy your time here. I'm sure someone will recognise that ship for you.

Are there other photos worth putting here? Our members have a passion for ship photos!

John Brown
15-03-2008, 08:49
Welcome to the forum.

I think this is HMS Warspite one of the Queen Elizabeth Class of battleships. Judging by the stripes painted on her 'B' turret the photo was taken during her time on Spanish Neutrality Patrol (so late 1930's).

Bigger brains than mine will soon let us know if I am wrong:)

If you want more info on the ship just google HMS Warspite and you will have enough reading material to keep you going for years to come.


Regards ....John

romft1945
15-03-2008, 09:20
I have looked at what I have. One question with those who will know more is it a british built ship?
ROMFT

Batstiger
15-03-2008, 09:32
I can assure you William that she is HMS Warspite.
Here are a few others to confirm it.

Bob.

romft1945
15-03-2008, 09:52
Well JB inclined to agree with you as soon as you said Quen Elizabeth class looked at some photos and will go one futher and say HMS Wapspite entering Malta,
ROM

romft1945
15-03-2008, 09:53
Well just looked and bats beat me to it heck!!!!!

John Brown
15-03-2008, 10:05
Guys

Thanks for your confirmation of Warspite.

Now I have a question....What are the cluster of things atop her 'B' turret. My first thought was 'Unrotated Projectiles' but Spanish Civil war is a bit early for them isn't it?

John

rumrat
15-03-2008, 11:51
I have the same photo dated Malta 1938 .
Dave

Archer
15-03-2008, 14:52
Thank you, gentlemen - I am most grateful and impressed with your speedy work and knowledge.

Perhaps I should scan in the remaining pictures in a new thread: two of Tobruk Harbour and two of un-identified wrecks.

William

Alan B
15-03-2008, 15:10
Here she is in the thick of it

astraltrader
15-03-2008, 17:38
Please do post the photographs William - I am sure they will be of great interest...

Hugh Williams
26-08-2010, 11:00
Hi,

I have just been working on a series of photos from a friend's father in law, who served in the Royal Marines and drove Monty in Egypt. I have the same photo, which is marked HMS Warspite. I have had the privilege of printing an 8 x 10 photo and giving him a copy. There are more to come which when I have finished working on them. They will be published in a thread titled 'Naval War in the Med 1941-1944, showing pictures of HMAS Sydney and destroyers and other photos from that period. I will upload them when I have given the donor enlargements of his photos as he only accesses a computer through his son-in-law.

Regards,

Hugh Williams

Batstiger
26-08-2010, 11:17
Well done Hugh, we all look forward to seeing them.

Bob.

RNfanDan
26-08-2010, 11:49
What are the cluster of things atop her 'B' turret. My first thought was 'Unrotated Projectiles' but Spanish Civil war is a bit early for them isn't it?


I know this is terribly late in reply to John's question, but the objects on the roof of B-turret are two Vickers quad 0.50-inch machine guns, with a few matelots also gathered there.

These were standard RN light AA weapons for the period. Although abundant and fitted to many classes of warships, they were not effective and were obsolete by the beginning of WWII. Most were eventually replaced by 20mm Oerlikons and other superior guns, as circumstances and availability permitted.

Hugh Williams
26-08-2010, 11:56
I recently acquired a small album of WW2 photographs belonging to a Leading Aircraftman in the RAF who served in the Western Desert.

Most of them seem to have been taken off (removed from or bought from) Axis troops, and there are some evocative pictures of damaged vessels clogging up harbours.

But this one is of a different order.

Can anyone identify her ?

Thank you
William
Hi William,

Can you tell me if you have a photo of some German Soldiers sat in front of an Italian cruiser in Tobruk harbour?

Regards,

Hugh Williams

astraltrader
26-08-2010, 18:29
Well done Hugh, we all look forward to seeing them.

Bob.

Me too Hugh!! :)

stontamar
26-08-2010, 21:06
Guys

Thanks for your confirmation of Warspite.

Now I have a question....What are the cluster of things atop her 'B' turret. My first thought was 'Unrotated Projectiles' but Spanish Civil war is a bit early for them isn't it?

John

Look like two 0.5in Vickers machine guns in quadruple MKIII mountings. Two of these mountings were fitted on the crowns of 'B' and 'X' turrets following her major refit completed in 1937.

Introduced in 1932 the 0.5in Vickers machine gun was the primary close range anti-aircraft gun in use with the Royal Navy until it was replaced by the 20mm Oerlikon from 1939 onwards.

Regards

stontamar

I do apologise for duplicating information, put simply I completely missed the earlier post from RNfanDan

John Brown
26-08-2010, 21:33
RNfanDan and Stontamar

Many thanks for the answers given to my earlier question re: Warspite.

A bit like buses.....you wait for a long time and then two come along together:p

Regards....John

Archer
28-08-2010, 08:00
Hi William, Can you tell me if you have a photo of some German Soldiers sat in front of an Italian cruiser in Tobruk harbour?

Sorry, Hugh - I seem to have missed this one! :(

The answer is - unfortunately, in view of the long wait - no.

William

Vern53
31-08-2010, 11:07
Hi all, to put the cat among the pidgeons, could the photos no. 5 & 6, in post #5, be of the Malaya, another Queen Elizabeth class, serving in the med. or was the Warspite fitted out with merged funnels as well later. Here is a photo of Malaya, as was kept by my aunt. Her husband, my uncle, was aboard here in the med. and later, when Malaya was torpedoed off Africa and repaired in New York.
Regards Vern

MelQuick
31-08-2010, 15:40
I have the same photo dated Malta 1938 .
Dave

It was definitely taken at the time of the Spanish Civil War, hence the red white and blue stripes on 'B' turret.

Mel

Vern53
31-08-2010, 21:23
Hi all, sorry for the pic. being on its side. Don't know how that happened, as it is right way up in my files.
Vern

Jeffa4444
18-11-2010, 22:51
Here is a post card my Father had of HMS Warspite and next to it he had this photgraph not sure its the same ship but was taken in the Med.

astraltrader
19-11-2010, 02:31
The photograph of the other ship is definitely not Warspite.

It is one of the American Battleships - I cant quite make out the number for definite, but I think it might be BB35 Texas.

This would make sense as Texas started her service in World War II attached to the Northern Attack Group for Operation Torch and the invasion of North Africa and was in the Mediterranean for a while....

Hugh Williams
19-11-2010, 14:42
Here she is in the thick of it

Hi, I know the Warspite was in action in the Med and was damaged (I believe off Italy) but the thought has occurred to me that this might be a photo of HMS Queen Elizabeth when she was mined.

A check of the naval history net - http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-01BB-Queen%20Elizabeth.htm gives the following:

December Deployed at Alexandria.

18th Whilst in Alexandria harbour, attacked by Italian two man human torpedoes whose crew placed limpet mine on ship’s hull underwater. At 0610 hours the mine exploded whilst ship was at anchor causing major damage extending for 190 feet below B Boiler Room. This caused extensive flooding of machinery compartments and bulges and
causing her to sink to seabed. Nine of ship’s company were killed. Withdrawn from service. (For details see THE NAVAL WAR IN THE MEDITERRANEAN by J Greene and A Massignani.)

The nature of the explosion depicted in the photo is very akin to this event, and there is a great similarity between QE and Warspite from a distance. Unfortunately, the photo is too small to be certain as to which ship is definitely the subject. Any thoughts on this view?

Regards,

Hugh Williams

Dick
19-11-2010, 19:43
Hugh,

I agree that this looks like ships at anchor at Alex, but when the Italians attacked Alexandria with human torpedoes in Dec 1941 there were no Illustrious class carriers in the Med.

Viewed from the angle of this photo (#11) the ship you would have seen behind Queen Elizabeth and Valiant at the time of that attack was the Norwegian tanker Sagona refuelling destroyers.

I wish that the quality of the picture was better but tentatively I suggest that:

1.The seeming camouflage pattern on the BB reminds me of Warspite rather than Valiant or QE.

2. Given the seeming overall lightness of the camouflage I suspect that it is Illustrious herself in the background (not Formidable) placing this picture late 1940 - early 1941. (I wish I could find a decent photo of Illustrious at that time in the Med to confirm exactly what she looked like.)

I wish there were more early war pictures of the fleet at Alex.

Best wishes.

Hugh Williams
20-11-2010, 07:10
Hugh,

I agree that this looks like ships at anchor at Alex, but when the Italians attacked Alexandria with human torpedoes in Dec 1941 there were no Illustrious class carriers in the Med.

Viewed from the angle of this photo (#11) the ship you would have seen behind Queen Elizabeth and Valiant at the time of that attack was the Norwegian tanker Sagona refuelling destroyers.

I wish that the quality of the picture was better but tentatively I suggest that:

1.The seeming camouflage pattern on the BB reminds me of Warspite rather than Valiant or QE.

2. Given the seeming overall lightness of the camouflage I suspect that it is Illustrious herself in the background (not Formidable) placing this picture late 1940 - early 1941. (I wish I could find a decent photo of Illustrious at that time in the Med to confirm exactly what she looked like.)

I wish there were more early war pictures of the fleet at Alex.

Best wishes.
Hi Dick,

I took some time to re-work the photograph, and saw the carrier, and what seemed to be AA fire to the stern of the BB. I kind of agree with you after thinking about it overnight. This one presents a fair bit of detective work! The smoke amidships makes me wonder a bit, although I imagine that could be AA fire as opposed to an onboard explosion, though this would suggest that the AA fire would be tracerless (?!). Back to the very intriguing drawing board.

Incidentally, I have a photo (to be uploaded) of a mercantile on fire in Alex. The photographer endorsed this photo as ammo ship on fire. As to its time frame, it is pure conjecture. A bit of reading is required!

I attach a Photoshop/PhotoEditor reworking of the original photo for evaluation purposes.

Regards,

Hugh Williams

Dick
20-11-2010, 07:52
Hi Hugh,

Re that "AA fire to the stern of the BB", if you mean the light lines in amongst the davit and rope to the right of the picture I interpreted that as shore based searchlights.

Best wishes

Hugh Williams
20-11-2010, 10:59
Hi Hugh,

Re that "AA fire to the stern of the BB", if you mean the light lines in amongst the davit and rope to the right of the picture I interpreted that as shore based searchlights.

Best wishes
Hmmm, yes I am referring to those light lines; Back to the drawing board!