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  #526  
Old 19-09-2017, 16:31
FlankDestroyer FlankDestroyer is offline
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Denlay View Post
To get an idea (that is if there are any other land lubbers here) just how close the fore-guns can 'point aft of abaft' , the below plan of the arcs of the fore-guns on the cruiser HMS Exeter (68) give some idea of what it may have been like on the bridge / inside the superstructure when fired at that angle! Red and green dots show max aft angle of #2 and #1 turret respectfully.

And fired at that angle they were, as that is exactly, repeat exactly, how they were found pointing on the wreck of Exeter when discovered in 2007 in the Java Sea (long before she disappeared into the hands of illegal salvagers that is, but that’s another story.)

And if you go to this page here, post 26, you will see HMS Tiger with her even bigger guns pointing in a similar direction. Ouch.
http://www.worldnavalships.com/forum...2#post10169342
x
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Ouch is right and that is painful. Yes that is exciting on the bridge!

Guns pointed abaft the beam makes for decidedly unpleasant conditions on the bridge. Much more so than in the mounts themselves! Additionally when the guns/mounts/turrets are trained that far aft besides the blast etc. there are still more factors to consider for the bridge team. For instance will the train limit stops or firing cut out systems actually work and will you destroy your own bridge? And if the safety systems function properly will you therefore stop engaging the enemy as your guns stop firing? Should the bridge team maneuver and clear/open the firing arcs and hazard formation integrity and or risk collision. And of course none of this is done is isolation as the enemy is likely maneuvering for their own tactical advantage to open or close the range to suit their battery.

So going back to Grosser Kreuzer's question re whether flash was a contributory factor to the collisions that occurred. Yes smoke. flash, shock and debris all impact a bridge team's performance and this is even before you potentially take fire. Whether in training or combat, warship watch officers have a lot to consider besides point to point seamanship.

Last edited by FlankDestroyer : 19-09-2017 at 16:46.
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  #527  
Old Today, 11:32
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Old Salt Old Salt is offline
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

(This is my 100th. article in this thread I shall be taking a break for a while sorting major changes in our lives)

HMS Barham v HMS Duchess - Loss

The declaration on of war on Germany in September of 1939, had been the signal for a flotilla of nine 'D' Class destroyers to leave their Chinese port, with the instruction to set sail for the 'friendly' waters of the U.K. with "the greatest possible speed".

It had been a rare experience, an impressive and morale - boosting sight for the crew of the "Duchess", as they had steamed away in single file and at thirty knots, heading for refueling at Singapore On they had gone at break-neck speeds, beyond Colombo, Aden and into the Suez Canal. the other shipping had been halted to ensure the flotilla's unimpeded progress to Malta. . Here , three of the destroyers -- "Duchess", "Dainty", and 'Delight" -- were detailed to escort the Battleship "Barham" from Gibraltar to Scotland. Apart from their high speed the battleship and her escorts followed the usual pattern of submarine - avoidance by zigzagging, making it difficult for an enemy submarine to obtain a 'fix' on the ship.

It had been a lightning trip -- perhaps the fastest East - West passage ever recorded and morning gloom of a 12 December 1939 morning, she zigged and zagged her way towards the Mull of Galloway, only nine miles distant and almost home.

The majority of the crew were asleep below, the guns’ crews had been secured, leaving just one junior seaman on watch at each turret. He was the 'communication number', the sailor on watch each gun. As junior ratings, they had been given the icy, early morning duty and envied their gunnery mates their chance to go below into the warmth of the mess.

At 0400 the watches began to change. Only another hour of this would see them home and dry. Ships were blacked out and the absence of moonlight made it a coal-black night. The lookout on ‘A’ gun forwards saw a sickening large shadow and HMS Barham crashed into HMS Duchess with such force that she was almost cut in half.

HMS Duchess did not stand a chance; the impact of the collision was so devastating that she capsized in position 55º19'N, 06º06'W,, giving those on board little time to flee as she started to sink. Then her depth charges exploded, killing 124 of her crew including her Commanding Officer, who was stuck in his sea cabin when the sliding door jammed. Survivors would always remember the cold, misery and confusion .and the anguish of seeing entombed sailors shouting from tiny portholes. Arms and heads waving out of portholes too small to escape as the ship disappeared beneath the waves, taking her entombed crew with her.

The "Barham" and her other destroyer escorts, lowered boats and survivors began to shout as their chances of survival were diminishing for every minute left in that icy waste. Barham’s boats were frantically searching for survivors in the icy water. Many had perished from hypothermia, and only 23 few lucky ones survived from her crew of 160, a loss of 137 brave souls.

A satisfactory explanation was never given for the incident. Since that day, however, ships have had escape hatches built into their sides, to prevent the fate that befell many of the "Duchess'" crew.

References

The Death of a Duchess by Wendy Middlemas
A Sketch of the past DR. Dr Caroline Potternavy http://en.gravatar.com/carolinelpotter
Wiki
Navy–Net navy.net.co.uk/Net
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  #528  
Old Today, 14:52
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jbryce1437 jbryce1437 is online now
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

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Originally Posted by Old Salt View Post
(This is my 100th. article in this thread I shall be taking a break for a while sorting major changes in our lives)
Many thanks for your stirling contributions to this thread Brian, all much appreciated. Enjoy the break but hurry back

Jim
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  #529  
Old Today, 17:39
Scatari Scatari is online now
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

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(This is my 100th. article in this thread I shall be taking a break for a while sorting major changes in our lives)


HMS Barham v HMS Duchess - Loss
Thanks for another great post Brian.

Not quite sure what you mean by ships having "escape hatches built into their sides?"

Hope the "major changes" are positive ones.
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  #530  
Old Today, 18:19
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Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

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Thanks for another great post Brian.

Not quite sure what you mean by ships having "escape hatches built into their sides?"
Most of the old frigates and destroyers that I remember had escape hatches, usually from living spaces, as per attachment. Most current ships do not even have scuttles (portholes) in the hull, never mind escape hatches.

Jim
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File Type: jpg escape hatches.jpg (349.0 KB, 1 views)
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