World Naval Ships Forums  
VIEW ALL OF OUR CURRENT SPECIAL OFFERS HERE!

Go Back   World Naval Ships Forums > Naval History > Member Articles
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Member Articles Naval articles submitted by our community members.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #501  
Old 15-08-2017, 23:37
Gwyrosydd's Avatar
Gwyrosydd Gwyrosydd is offline
Commodore
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Garrison Creek, Fort York, Upper Canada
Posts: 887
Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Quote:
Originally Posted by ASSAIL View Post
Tarawa, Palau and Iwo Jima may rival Passchendaele for pointless slaughter but the magnitude of the slaughter in no way compares with the butchery on the Western Front.

495,000 casualties from both sides at Passchendaele killed and wounded
7,850 at Tarawa, 20,700 at Palau and 41,500 at Iwo Jima.
Sickening yes, comparable no.
Not completely sure this is the venue for discussing such things, but when you factor in the relative sizes of the armies involved and the duration of the battles, the daily rate of wastage of human life was comparable between "big pushes" on the western front 1916-1918 and the island assaults in the western pacific in 1943-45 (about 0.003 KIAs per soldier per day); further, the tactical and strategic concepts being pursued in both theatres were also similar: infantry assaults against heavily a well-dug in and highly-motivated enemy; and attritional warfare aimed at geographic objectives of dubious worth. But while Haig and co are rightly held to account by history, there is no such questioning of those responsible in the Pacific. Instead all we seem to get is continued vilification of Halsey because he had the effrontery to sink four enemy aircraft carriers in October 1944 and failed to guess the track of a typhoon...
Reply With Quote
  #502  
Old 16-08-2017, 03:12
Spoz Spoz is offline
Leading Seaman
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 25
Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwyrosydd View Post
Well, Savo Island was a bad defeat, though I think Pearl Harbour was somewhat more so, no?
Well, yes, more people and ships were lost of course. But one was a surprise attack on a nation at peace with the side attacked having no ability to respond, whereas the other was an engagement between what should have been two prepared forces. I suppose one could define Pearl as a "battle" but that word is very seldom used, it's an "attack"; and I don't think you can really have a defeat without a battle. But I guess it's symantics; which ever way you look at it, they both beat the typhoon - sad and unnecessary as those losses were - and that makes the statement in the article hyperbole.
Reply With Quote
  #503  
Old 23-08-2017, 05:14
Old Salt's Avatar
Old Salt Old Salt is offline
Vice-Admiral
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 1,842
Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

These days there is ample evidence available of the track and behaviour of tropical revolving storms .

In 1944 such information was scarce and forecasting ahead was basic. There were 'rules' on avoidance, but unfortunately the movements of tropical storms do not obey the rules of humans.

I have not researched this event, but I believe also that Halsey was given false information?

Brian
__________________
“A collision at Sea can ruin your entire day.” Thucydides 471-400 B.C.
Reply With Quote
  #504  
Old 23-08-2017, 06:14
Old Salt's Avatar
Old Salt Old Salt is offline
Vice-Admiral
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 1,842
Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

(I thought we could do without more deaths this week)

TOMCAT DOWN

Off the coast of Scotland a large naval exercise “Teamwork 76” was underway. Hundreds of ships from a dozen NATO countries, were engaged in joint maneuvers. Also watching were dozens of international media. The Soviets were also in the area.

Central to the exercise was USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) , an aircraft carrier whose planes were performing “realistic strike operations.” NATO was counting on the press to show the world, and especially the Soviets, that it was prepared. A standout of the exercise was a twin-tailed Grumman F-14 Tomcat, the newest and “hottest thing in the sky”.

While the Tomcat itself presented a threatening profile, it was heightened by the exchange of the usual Sidewinder missile for a more aggressive, powerful Phoenix missile. The Phoenix was a “solid-propellant rocket designed to be deadly at long distances…” and was stated to be the navy’s primary air defence weapon. The Phoenix riding on the back of the mighty Tomcat was indeed an ominous sight and NATO was ready to show it off to the world.

The weather surrounding the exercises had begun to turn ugly, with gusting winds and rough seas settling in. The F-14 taxied to the number three catapult and awaited instructions for take-off. The pilot ran through his final checks when the engines suddenly roared and the plane began moving. He stomped on the brakes, shut down the throttles, but the engines had malfunctioned and producing full power pushed the F-14 forward on the deck. It ran over a crew member in its path and clipped the wings of two nearby planes as the pilot fought to control the runaway plane. It did not respond but continued on its path, roaring towards the edge of the deck. The pilot and co-pilot were forced to eject from the plane. Before the press and the world, the $14 Million Tomcat and its prized Phoenix missile rushed over the side and plummeted into the ocean.

Not only had the US Navy had just lost a $14 Million Tomcat with its newest missile, but it had done so in International Waters. Under UNCLOS rules the plane and missile were no longer the sole property of the US Navy. Both plane and missile were now open to be salvaged by whoever got to them first. Navy personnel rushed to note the navigational mark of where the plane went over, but so too did the Soviets.

The Navy had no other choice but to put everything they had into reclaiming the wreckage. The task of recovery got underway with the Constructor, a Norwegian salvage vessel loaded with an unmanned, radio-controlled CURV submersible; the Oil Harrier, a British vessel equipped with powerful winches capable of pulling up the heavy plane; and the US Navy’s tug USS Shakori outfitted with powerful sonar.

The Tomcat went overboard on 14 September and the salvage team worked tirelessly for a month to no avail. The conditions were not conducive to successful salvage attempts. A Sperry Engineer wondered why they weren’t using the NR-1, since this is what she did and she was “parked” in Holy Loch. He asked the powers-that-be but they responded “What’s the NR-1?”. NR-1 – the navy’s secret boat- had been kept a bit too secret. After being briefed, and after some strong-arming by Admiral Rickover COMSUBLANT finally, though reluctantly agreed to send the NR-1 to search for the Tomcat and Phoenix missile.

The pilot of NR-1 was a little worried about parking alongside a live missile with an explosive warhead. He was assured that the missile was not a threat since it was “solidly attached to the plane”…or so they hoped.

NR-1 set off on its task on 21 October and settled on the ocean floor, some 1800 feet down. It used its side-scan sonar, hovering 100 feet above the seabed and searched for the wreckage using the typical box-grid search pattern. After a detailed exploration of a mile surrounding where a signal transponder had been dropped, they found nothing that looked remotely like the plane. The pilot investigated a possible strong mark on sonar. . The NR-1, guided by its lights and cameras came across a shadowy-moving presence, of a tangled wall of fishing nets. The boat gingerly pulled back from the nets and made its way to the bottom to see what was anchoring the nets down. As if out of a mist, the F-14 came in to view, tangled in the bottom netting. The plane was upside down with one wing damaged. Somehow the F-14 had tumbled and flipped along the ocean floor. It was speculated that a trawler had likely snagged the plane and being unable to lift it, was forced to cut it free.

The initial excitement was short-lived: the plane was empty, devoid of the Phoenix missile. With its wheels down, the NR-1 crawled near the buried plane to see what they were dealing with, being careful to stay away from the nets. As it made its way around the plane, it was suddenly caught up in a large underwater wave. The rogue wave picked up the NR-1, bouncing it sideways like a ball, pushing it closer to the nets. The pilot barely managed to keep the boat from being thrown into the nets.(This wave, would occur twice a day for the remainder of the mission, and every time the NR-1 and its crew would successfully manage to ride it out.)

The plan was for the pilot to use the manipulator arm, rigged with a rope pendant, to lasso one of the plane’s main wheels. The NR-1 would then back off, cinching the rope tight. A shackle tied to the other end of the rope would then be hooked to a lifting line attached to the Constructor on the surface. Deteriorating weather conditions on the surface made the process of hooking the lift-line to the shackle difficult. After a number of days and multiple attempts, the line was grabbed and the Tomcat was finally in the possession of the Constructor. She passed the line to the Oil Harrier which would use its winch to slowly raise the plane out of the ocean mud. Unfortunately, the weather kicked up waves that relentlessly pounded the Harrier and with the plane acting as an anchor, the constant tension placed on the towline finally caused it to snap. The plane plummeted back to the ocean floor, wheels down and embedded deeper in the mud. The whole operation would be performed twice (unsuccessfully) before it was decided by the navy to leave the plane, 1400 feet below.

With the plane barely forgotten, the NR-1 set out to locate the missing missile. Going back to the initial location of the F-14, another box-grid was laid out and the new search began. The boat would hover 25 feet above the bottom and with two men laying prone in the viewing port area, it would methodically move over the mud- “mowing the lawn” – eyes and sonar searching.

NR-1, 1800 feet down and intently searching for the Phoenix, was unaware of the worsening surface conditions. Finally, with few options, the call was sent down to end the search, but the pilot begged for a bit more time. But even he knew that their final end date of 01 November was nearing – a mere two days away.

With time running out, NR-1 continued methodically patrolling every area of the search grid, with nothing coming close to resembling the missile. Defeated, they knew they would have to call off the search and report to their superiors that they hadn’t found the missile. On its final leg of the sweep, a voice bellowed from one of the view ports, “I see it….I see the missile!”

They had found the Phoenix! It was relatively intact, but now they had to get it to the surface without endangering his ship and crew. Unfortunately, NR-1 could not simply “grab the missile and go” as there were many factors they had to address. With its prize in view, NR-1 would once again have to wait for the right time..

Finally, the time was right. The surface vessels were readied and NR-1 was carefully maneuvered over the missile, The massive tines in the belly of the boat were opened and the boat settled deeper, inch by inch. The open fingers cradled the missile and the crew gently secured it to the boat. The NR-1 slowly made its way up to the surface. Boat and missile broke the surface on 30 October. NR-1 and her crew had once again done the impossible, likely conserving National security as well.

NR-1 and her crews served its nation proudly and bravely during her run. She now continues to serve her Navy as a permanent exhibit at the Submarine Force Library and Museum.

Reference : ‘Dark Waters’ by Lee Vyborny and Don Davis.
__________________
“A collision at Sea can ruin your entire day.” Thucydides 471-400 B.C.
Reply With Quote
  #505  
Old 26-08-2017, 22:41
Scatari Scatari is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 4,365
Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

An interesting article from the United States Naval Institute:

Collisions: Part I—What Are the Root Causes?

"In the past two months, two major U.S. warships have collided with merchant vessels. In both cases, lives were lost; personnel were injured; and ships sustained major damages. In both cases, the Navy assigned teams to determine the causes of the accidents.

In theory, these investigations are undertaken to determine what errors were made, by whom, and whether any conclusions or lessons learned might be drawn that would allow for similar disasters to be avoided in the future. While the intent of these investigations is plain—determining the raw material of facts and recommending the assignments of guilt—the question is whether they will produce anything else useful
."

Complete article here:

https://www.usni.org/magazines/proce...re-root-causes
__________________
Tim

Last edited by Scatari : 26-08-2017 at 22:54.
Reply With Quote
  #506  
Old 26-08-2017, 22:53
Scatari Scatari is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 4,365
Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scatari View Post

An interesting article from the United States Naval Institute:

Collisions: Part I—What Are the Root Causes?
And Part II of the above article:

Collisions: Part II—Operational Pause

https://www.usni.org/magazines/proce...rational-pause
__________________
Tim
Reply With Quote
  #507  
Old 27-08-2017, 11:36
Old Salt's Avatar
Old Salt Old Salt is offline
Vice-Admiral
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 1,842
Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Thank you Tim, excellent and to the point. Investigations are regarded as negative, adversarial and seen as wielding a big stick to carry on an antiquated tradition.

Relieving COs, even Admirals, does not solve the problems. It dumps the whole mess on some poor soul who has had a pier head jump to command a very dispirited crew.

True, recommendations are made and make nice reading: how many are actually followed through ?

If training of junior officers seems to be the source of bridge errors, then get training. Learning the COLREGS by heart would be a good start.

Brian
__________________
“A collision at Sea can ruin your entire day.” Thucydides 471-400 B.C.
Reply With Quote
  #508  
Old 28-08-2017, 19:55
Old Salt's Avatar
Old Salt Old Salt is offline
Vice-Admiral
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 1,842
Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Summing up all the reading on the two collisions, it seems that the training of junior officers in the 7th. Fleet has been woefully inadequate. Too busy to do any training. With all the seatime the ships are doing , the OODs must have gained lots of experience, which is limited if the basic rules are not known.

On passages as OOW2 in the RFA I had to recite rules of the road verbatim, including recommending our intentions regarding the current situation, reciting the names of all the stars visible, acting as signalman etc. I really valued this on the job training which started me off so well.

I wonder how the USN will improve the situation with 1800 newbies every year ?


Brian
__________________
“A collision at Sea can ruin your entire day.” Thucydides 471-400 B.C.

Last edited by Old Salt : 28-08-2017 at 19:56. Reason: Typo error
Reply With Quote
  #509  
Old 28-08-2017, 21:44
Old Salt's Avatar
Old Salt Old Salt is offline
Vice-Admiral
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 1,842
Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

More excellent reading on this subject:

http://gcaptain.com/kings-orders-u-s...-instructions/

Brian
__________________
“A collision at Sea can ruin your entire day.” Thucydides 471-400 B.C.
Reply With Quote
  #510  
Old 29-08-2017, 00:19
Scatari Scatari is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 4,365
Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Salt View Post
More excellent reading on this subject:

http://gcaptain.com/kings-orders-u-s...-instructions/

Brian
Wise words indeed from Admiral King.
__________________
Tim
Reply With Quote
  #511  
Old 29-08-2017, 02:13
Old Salt's Avatar
Old Salt Old Salt is offline
Vice-Admiral
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 1,842
Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Crew fatigue from of long hours of work, little sleep and relaxation over long periods can/will result in poor concentration, lack of enthusiasm and accidents. This article is the best I have read on the subject.

https://my.nps.edu/web/crewendurance...e-in-depth#top

Brian
__________________
“A collision at Sea can ruin your entire day.” Thucydides 471-400 B.C.
Reply With Quote
  #512  
Old 29-08-2017, 04:26
FlankDestroyer FlankDestroyer is offline
Chief Petty Officer
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 89
Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Salt View Post
Summing up all the reading on the two collisions, it seems that the training of junior officers in the 7th. Fleet has been woefully inadequate. Too busy to do any training. With all the seatime the ships are doing , the OODs must have gained lots of experience, which is limited if the basic rules are not known.

On passages as OOW2 in the RFA I had to recite rules of the road verbatim, including recommending our intentions regarding the current situation, reciting the names of all the stars visible, acting as signalman etc. I really valued this on the job training which started me off so well.

I wonder how the USN will improve the situation with 1800 newbies every year ?


Brian
Do we know yet that this was a rules of the road knowledge problem?
Reply With Quote
  #513  
Old 29-08-2017, 11:56
ASSAIL ASSAIL is offline
Rear-Admiral
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Darwin NT Australia
Posts: 1,171
Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlankDestroyer View Post
Do we know yet that this was a rules of the road knowledge problem?
The USN, like most other professional,navies require junior Surface Warfare Officers-SWOS- to gain 90% in their Rule of the Road exams, further the USN reinforces this with a further 90% requirement in the Command Qualification Assessment (CQA)exams.

I'm not sure if I've referenced this before but there is a very good paper in the March 2017 Proceedings by LCDR Brendon Cordial USN titled "Too Many SWOs per Ship."
The thrust of the paper is that SWO division officer tours (by this I think that is the first seagoing tour for a young Ensign) do not have the opportunities to develop and strengthen their watchkeeping experienc because of two systemic factors. First, the posting cycle, an officer may be assigned during sustainment periods and second, the number of junior officers posted to each wardroom.
To quote "A senior officer commented recently that he spent his entire three year division officer tour standing junior officer of the deck. He attributed his lack of experience, never having reported directly to the commanding officer for safe operation of the ship,as,officer of the deck, to the laziness of the senior watch officer who loathed changing the watchbill.
Having spent his subsequent tours in the Engineering Department.....this officer expounded that to his amazement, he continued to be promoted in a profession who's foundation competency is the safe and effective manoeuvre of a ship at sea, despite having been afforded few opportunities to demonstrate such ability.
Fortunately he served in an exchange programme with a foreign navy where his primary duty as a deck officer allowed him the opportunity to accrue a significant amount of watchkeeping experience, albeit not on a USN ship.

This anecdote calls into question the quantity and quality of actual watchstanding experience afforded to SWOs as they move from Ensign to Commanding Officer"

An interesting paper highly relevant in regards to the current calamities for the USN.

https://www.usni.org/node/90091
Reply With Quote
  #514  
Old 31-08-2017, 21:13
Old Salt's Avatar
Old Salt Old Salt is offline
Vice-Admiral
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 1,842
Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Agree entirely, it seems that some SWOs actually get very little bridge experience but have to be qualified within a certain date. I did four years in the RFA before sitting 2nd. Mates exams. and had been many times through the Malacca Straits, Hormuz Straits, English Channel etc. During the fourth year I was Acting 3/O keeping watches alone. I was very fortunate.

Brian
__________________
“A collision at Sea can ruin your entire day.” Thucydides 471-400 B.C.
Reply With Quote
  #515  
Old 31-08-2017, 21:32
Scatari Scatari is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 4,365
Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Salt View Post
Agree entirely, it seems that some SWOs actually get very little bridge experience but have to be qualified within a certain date. I did four years in the RFA before sitting 2nd. Mates exams. and had been many times through the Malacca Straits, Hormuz Straits, English Channel etc. During the fourth year I was Acting 3/O keeping watches alone. I was very fortunate.

Brian
Brian:

After several months as a Second Officer of the Watch in HMCS Preserver in 1972, I was finally rewarded by my CO with my own watch ... transiting the English Channel eastbound to Portsmouth at night. In addition to driving the AOR herself, I had to take charge of the three destroyers for whom we were the guide!

Talk about a baptism by fire!
__________________
Tim
Reply With Quote
  #516  
Old 31-08-2017, 21:57
Old Salt's Avatar
Old Salt Old Salt is offline
Vice-Admiral
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 1,842
Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

It seems all of a sudden the training of SWOs is a hot topic. I hope all the shortcomings will be addressed.

https://www.usni.org/magazines/proce...sions-address-


Not a surprise to most of us !

http://dailycaller.com/2017/08/30/in...luding-culture

Brian
__________________
“A collision at Sea can ruin your entire day.” Thucydides 471-400 B.C.
Reply With Quote
  #517  
Old 31-08-2017, 23:49
ASSAIL ASSAIL is offline
Rear-Admiral
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Darwin NT Australia
Posts: 1,171
Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

I'd like to make one final observation on the training opportunities for junior SWOs within the USN.
The USN has very few minor warships in which a young watchkeeper can gain experience in both watchkeeping and command. Apart from the minewarfare vessels and the 14 Cyclone Class, most SWOs end up in a command with only limited time on the bridge of a 10,000 ton destroyer.
The USCG has the monopoly on junior commands, at Lieutenant or Lieutenant Commander level so these are unavailable.
In many other navies an officer will arrive at command of a destroyer having first had the experience and responsibility of commanding his own minor warship previously. This certainly improves his or her performance.
Reply With Quote
  #518  
Old 01-09-2017, 07:57
Scratch Scratch is offline
Sub-Lieutenant
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Wellington, NZ
Posts: 176
Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

I've long felt that the USN has a fundamental flaw in its officer training and branch structure. In the Commonwealth navies officers are trained (broadly) in seamanship, engineering or logistics. An engineer will never have command of a seagoing ship; neither will a seaman be the engineer officer. Although a Supply Officer, I did qualify as a passage watchkeeper but with a few exceptions my branch did not get routinely posted for seamanship duties. So we were/are all specialists in our own field - although we need to have a sound understanding of how the other departments function.

In the USN, as we all know, Line Officers can be, and are, posted for engineering or executive duties. A CO can come to his command with has previous posting being as an Engineering Officer. Although I'm now some years (30!) out of date, I'm sure this is still the case. Of course it is helpful to an officer to have some experience in the machinery spaces, but it is surely too big an ask to require him to qualify as an engineering division head as well as learn the intricacies of ship-handling, bridge watchkeeping and war-fighting.

I'm sure that the USN's somewhat dismal record of navigational and ship handling errors could be improved if seaman officers only had to focus on that aspect of their craft. (And not to mention the horrendous number of people the USN appears to have on a bridge when 'Special Dutymen' are closed up!)

Old Salt (Brian) - have you a view given your vast RFA/RNZN experience?
Reply With Quote
  #519  
Old 02-09-2017, 19:54
Old Salt's Avatar
Old Salt Old Salt is offline
Vice-Admiral
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 1,842
Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Hi Scratch

Having served on both sides, there are multiple differences. We are not comparing apples with apples here.

Merchant Navy seaman officers must have completed 4 years of sea time before they can sit the sit the Second Mates Certificate of Competency at sea and keep watches. During those years they progressively learn their trade on the job. They are professionals with instinctive knowledge and practical application of the Colregs, navigation and ship safety. They may be alone on the bridge performing their tasks. Standing orders let the OOW get on with the job, calling the Captain if in doubt

Having said that OOWs always must be aware that there are many ships sailing under flags of convenience where officers may have questionable certificates bought over the counter or none at all. There may also be nobody on the bridge at all.

Seaman officers in the Royal & Commonwealth Navies are thoroughly trained but mayhave a lesser knowledge of the Colregs & navigation depending on their postings and sub specialisation e.g. PWO, Communications. It is possible for some officers to spend their seatime in their specialist jobs and may have limited bridge experience when appointed as COs. Standing orders require the CO to be called for the slightest reason, e.g. altering course

In the USN a SWO may not receive an appointment in his first ship because of numbers, and maybe appointed Engineer Officer his next ship. He will therefore have limited bridge experience before being appointed in command.

I appreciate that it is a different task with high numbers of junior officers on ships with limited positions than for a smaller navy with minor war vessels to give command experience at an early stage.

Each option has its merits and disadvantages but in all cases training should be thorough and appointments to ships should follow a career progression .

Me, I just loved driving ships !
.
Brian
__________________
“A collision at Sea can ruin your entire day.” Thucydides 471-400 B.C.
Reply With Quote
  #520  
Old 06-09-2017, 09:47
Old Salt's Avatar
Old Salt Old Salt is offline
Vice-Admiral
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 1,842
Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Collisions in the Battle of Jutland

Any collision is a bad thing, but happening during an engagement with the enemy is a very sad occurrence, especially when it is a ‘friendly’ collision between ships both of the same side.

During the night of 31 May the 4th. Destroyer Flotilla was part of the British light forces forming the rearguard (north) of the Grand Fleet to guard against German attack and was heading south keeping station with the fleet ahead. Captain (D) was in HMS Tipperary, followed by the flotilla, including HMS Broke, HMS Sparrowhawk, HMS Garland, & HMS Contest.

At around 2315 a lookout on board HMS Garland, the fourth ship in the twelve strong line, sighted three ships approaching. Captain (D) was unable to determine whether the ships were British or German and issued a British challenge signal to the approaching ships. This was immediately answered by a hail of fire at a range of around 600 yards from the approaching German light cruisers, SMS Stuttgart, SMS Hamburg, SMS Rostock and SMS Elbing. The battleships SMS Westfalen and SMS Nassau also opened fire with their secondary armament.

The ships were the van of the German High Seas Fleet, were passing behind the British fleet. ships, HMS Tipperary, Spitfire, Sparrowhawk, Garland and Broke all fired torpedoes at the German ships before turning away from the fire.

Confusion as to the identity of the opposing ships persisted despite the outbreak of gunfire, so that Broke's captain ordered no torpedoes to be fired until he could positively identify the ships as German. This he did when a searchlight from one of the German ships caught one of her companions for long enough for it to be identified. None of the destroyers further behind felt sufficiently confident to open fire. In accord with standing orders to conserve torpedo stocks, each ship fired only one or two torpedoes, one of which struck Elbing, but in the dark it was unknown which ship had fired it. The German ships had turned away to avoid the torpedoes, and in the confusion Elbing was rammed by the battleship SMS Posen.

Tipperary was set on fire in the engagement and sank around 0200 the following morning. Elbing had to be abandoned and similarly sank around 0340. Spitfire narrowly avoided being rammed by the battleship Nassau, ripping a hole in the side of the battleship as the two ships collided side to side, but then had to retire from the battle and limped home to England.

The remaining ships of the 4th destroyer flotilla formed up behind HMS Broke, who was the half-flotilla leader and now assumed command. At around 23.40 large ships were again sighted and Broke attempted to challenge. Before he could do so, the German battleship Westfalen sent her own recognition signal and then turned on searchlights. Broke attempted to fire torpedoes, but the range was very short, in the region of 150 yards (140 m), and the German ship opened fire first. The effect was devastating so that within a couple of minutes 50 crew were killed and another 30 injured, disabling the guns and preventing any effective activity on deck. The helmsman was killed at the wheel, and as he died his body turned the wheel causing the ship to turn to port and ram Sparrowhawk. Both ships had already turned to port from line ahead to line abreast to fire torpedoes. Sailors from both ships were hurled by the impact onto the other ship , Approximately 20 men from Sparrowhawk evacuated to Broke, while fifteen of Broke's crew crossed to Sparrowhawk

At this point a third destroyer, HMS Contest steamed into Sparrowhawk, removing 6 feet (1.8 m) from her stern. Contest was relatively unharmed and able to continue underway after the collision. Broke and Sparrowhawk remained wedged together for about half an hour before they could be separated and Broke got underway, taking 30 of Sparrowhawk's crew with her. Broke remained able to manoeuvre, although she had lost her bow. At around 0130 the ship again encountered German destroyers which fired about six rounds into Broke, which managed to return one shot before the ships separated. The ship proceeded slowly towards Britain but by 6.00 AM on 2 June found that she could no longer travel into the high seas with her damaged bow and had to turn back towards Heligoland. The seas abated and the ship was able to head for the Tyne, arriving some two and a half days after the engagement.

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Broke_(1914)

Photo : HMS Broke bows after the Battle of Jutland
Attached Images
File Type: jpg HMS Broke -Damage from Jutland.jpg (19.6 KB, 24 views)
__________________
“A collision at Sea can ruin your entire day.” Thucydides 471-400 B.C.

Last edited by Old Salt : 06-09-2017 at 10:43. Reason: Insert Reference
Reply With Quote
  #521  
Old 06-09-2017, 11:12
Grosser Kreuzer Grosser Kreuzer is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 424
Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Thanks Brian,

You may not know but photographs of the damages to HMS SPITFIRE and SMS NASSAU are extant. It is spectacular but I am unable to post them here. However, one thing that has begun to intrigue me of late is just how much did the flash of gun-fire affect night vision on ships' bridges at Jutland and other night actions and was it a contributory factor to the collisions that occurred?

GK
Reply With Quote
  #522  
Old 08-09-2017, 02:10
Scatari Scatari is offline
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 4,365
Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

This revelation concerning the RAMP (Risk Assessment Management Plan) in the USN's 7th Fleet is absolutely astonishing:

(From Defense News)

US Navy worked around its own standards to keep ships underway: sources

"The U.S. Navy’s top officer in the Pacific is reviewing a program that allowed ships from the Japan-based U.S. 7th Fleet to operate with expired certifications amid a wide-ranging probe into two deadly collisions that killed 17 sailors and caused untold hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to two destroyers, three sources with knowledge of the decision told Defense News.

Adm. Scott Swift has taken on direct supervision of the “risk assessment management plan” program, a system otherwise known as RAMP that allowed the local destroyer squadron, fleet trainers and stateside commanders to keep their ships on patrol even if their qualifications in critical areas such as damage control, navigation and flight deck operations had lapsed.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office is set to testify Thursday that nearly 40 percent of the Japan-based cruisers and destroyers were operating without valid warfare certifications.
"

Complete article here:

https://www.defensenews.com/breaking...erway-sources/

Now I understand why the Commander, 7th Fleet was fired.
__________________
Tim
Reply With Quote
  #523  
Old 09-09-2017, 12:08
Old Salt's Avatar
Old Salt Old Salt is offline
Vice-Admiral
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 1,842
Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grosser Kreuzer View Post
Thanks Brian,

You may not know but photographs of the damages to HMS SPITFIRE and SMS NASSAU are extant. It is spectacular but I am unable to post them here. However, one thing that has begun to intrigue me of late is just how much did the flash of gun-fire affect night vision on ships' bridges at Jutland and other night actions and was it a contributory factor to the collisions that occurred?

GK
Too long ago to remember, but I do not recall much effect on night vision, but just looked well away. British flashless propellants were in use during World War II so no doubt were continued into the 1960's. I should imagine huge flashes from the battleships at Jutland but the smoke seemed to cause more of a problem.No doubt some of our ex Gunnery members can elaborate more ?

Brian.
__________________
“A collision at Sea can ruin your entire day.” Thucydides 471-400 B.C.
Reply With Quote
  #524  
Old 09-09-2017, 20:05
FlankDestroyer FlankDestroyer is offline
Chief Petty Officer
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 89
Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Salt View Post
Too long ago to remember, but I do not recall much effect on night vision, but just looked well away. British flashless propellants were in use during World War II so no doubt were continued into the 1960's. I should imagine huge flashes from the battleships at Jutland but the smoke seemed to cause more of a problem.No doubt some of our ex Gunnery members can elaborate more ?

Brian.
I suspect many of the bridges were open back then so the effects of smoke. flash, shock and debris were more pronounced on the bridge team. Plus one can not always tell exactly when the guns will go bang on the bridge.

Trying to safely navigate/maneuver the ship from the bridge wing when the guns are trained abaft the beam can make for an exciting day! Withdrawing to the relative comfort of the pilot house may lead to less awareness about the tactical situation as well.

I bet it was "exciting" on the bridge!
Reply With Quote
  #525  
Old 16-09-2017, 05:30
Kevin Denlay Kevin Denlay is offline
Commodore
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: (No longer) West of Woodstock; South of Vietnam
Posts: 816
Default Re: Warship Collisions, Groundings, Fatal Events

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
x
Attached Images
File Type: jpg HMS-Exeter-68----fore-gun-arcs.jpg (90.7 KB, 24 views)
__________________
"We are off to look for trouble. I expect we shall find it." Capt. Tennant. HMS Repulse. Dec. 8 1941

Last edited by Kevin Denlay : 16-09-2017 at 05:43.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Ship Search by Name : Advanced Search
Random Timeline Entry : 10th January 1934 : HMS Fury : Launched

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What is a Warship? Bart150 Other Naval Topics 19 28-07-2014 19:34
USN Ship Collisions Old Salt US Navy Ships and Crews 3 11-12-2012 06:43
HMS Cleopatra 11/2/1942 Fatal Day stephen street Service Records / Naval Relatives and Friends 5 01-04-2011 17:50
The Naval Events During The Norwegian Campaign 1940 - Recommended hucks216 Naval Book Forum 1 28-08-2010 16:27
16 October events from RN day by day tim lewin Other Naval Topics 3 17-10-2009 01:19


All times are GMT. The time now is 08:49.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.