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Battle of the Dover Straits, Aug 1914

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
    Wrong. The two survivor accounts to be published say nothing of the sort. I shall be kind and suggest you've confused accounts from different ships.
    Petty Officer Ernest Francis whose action station was in one of the turrets:

    'Everything in the ship went as quiet as a church, the floor of the turret was bulged up and the guns were absolutely useless. I must mention here that there was not a sign of excitement. One man turned to me and said, "What do you think has happened?" I said, "Steady everyone, I will speak to Mr Ewart." I went back to the cabinet and said, "What do you think has happened, Sir?" He said, "God only knows!" I put my head through the hole in the roof of the turret and I nearly fell through again. The after 4" Battery was smashed right out of all recognition and then I noticed that the ship had an awful list to port. I dropped back inside and told Lieutenant Ewart the state of affairs. He said, "Francis, we can do no more than give them a chance, clear the turret". "Clear the turret!" I called out and out they went. When I got to the ship's side there seemed to be a fair crowd and they did not appear to be very anxious to take to the water. I called out to them, "Come on, you chaps, who's coming for a swim?" Someone answered, "She will float for a long time yet!" But something, I don't pretend to understand what it was, seemed to be urging me to get away, so I clambered up over the slimy bilge keel and fell off into the water, followed I should think by about five more men. struck away from the ship as hard as I could and must have covered nearly 50 yards when there was a big smash. Stopping and looking round the sir seemed to be full of fragments and flying pieces, a large piece seemed to be right above my head and acting on an impulse I dipped under to avoid being struck and stayed under as long as I could and then came on top again. Coming behind me I heard a rush of water, which looked very much like a surf breaking on a beach and I realised it was the suction or backwash from the ship which had just gone. I hardly had time to fill my lungs with air when it was on me. I felt it was no use struggling against it, so I let myself go for a moment or two, then I struck out, but I felt it was a losing game and remarked to myself mentally, "What's the use of struggling, you're done!" and actually eased my efforts to reach the top, when a small voice seemed to say, "Dig out!" I started afresh and something bumped against me. I grasped it and afterwards found it was a large hammock; it undoubtedly pulled me to the top, more dead than alive.'

    ADM 137/4808 Battle of Jutland, press and survivors reports, press cuttings, extracts from letters etc: Vol 1 1916

    ADM 137/4809 Battle of Jutland, press and survivors reports, press cuttings, extracts from letters etc: Vol 2 1916

    http://www.worldnavalships.com/forum...php/t-546.html

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    • #62
      Try the senior uninjured survivor's report

      http://www.dreadnoughtproject.org/tf...vor.27s_Report

      "The fire was maintained with great rapidity till 5.20, and during this time we were only slightly damaged by the enemy's fire. At 5.20 a big shell hit "Q" turret and put the right gun out of action, but the left gun continued firing. At 5.24 a terrific explosion took place which smashed up "Q" turret and started a big fire in working chamber, and the gun house was filled with smoke and gas. The officer on the turret, Lieutenant-Commander Street, gave the order to evacuate the turret. All the unwounded in the gun house got clear and, as they did so, another terrific explosion took place and all were thrown into the water. On coming to the surface nothing was visible except wreckage, but thirty persons appeared to be floating in the water."

      You'll note that Francis is pretty vague over what actually happened (rather unsurprisingly given his experience). Midshipman Storey's account clearly shows very little time between the destruction of 'Q' turret and that of the entire ship. Your interpretation doesn't correlate with that of other historians and of eyewitness accounts from other ships. It depends on the account of a man lucky to be alive, concussed, half-drowned.
      Signing out.

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      • #63
        Re Battlecruisers at Jutland

        Queen Mary

        The ship board witness report may not be complete, although it is as originaly posted so no foul. According to the reports at the time she suffered an explosion of the forward magazines Blowing her in half and pulling her out of line a few minutes later there she suffered an exploison in her rear magazines rolled over and sank.

        HMS indefatigable

        Sources say she suffered one salvo while in LOB swerved wildly into the second salvo, blew up and sank by the stern. It is beloved that the first salvo hit on or arround the x turret either penetrating it or the magazine and the subsequent fire touched off the magazine blowing out the bottom of the ship time from first salvo hitting to sinking is something in the region of three minutes.

        In 1914 she was in the med chasing Goben and Breslau.
        "Sometimes its better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness" T Pratchett

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        • #64
          Originally posted by Full Monty View Post

          You'll note that Francis is pretty vague over what actually happened (rather unsurprisingly given his experience).
          Using your source which is much more complte in Francis account, he is not in any way vague

          "and then I noticed the ship had an awful list to port."

          "as the last I saw coming up from the working chamber, and I asked whether he had passed the order to the magazine and shell room, and he told me it was no use, as the water was right up the trunk leading from the shell room, so the bottom of the ship must have been out of her."

          "I was half-way down the ladder at the back of the turret when Lieutenant Ewart went back; the ship had an awful list to port by this time, so much so that men getting off the ladder went sliding down to port. I got on to the bottom rung of the ladder, but could not by my own efforts reach the stanchions lying on the deck from the starboard side. I knew if I let go that I should go sliding down to port like some of the others must have done, and probably get smashed up sliding down"

          "I struck away from the ship as hard as I could, and must have covered nearly 50 yards, when there was a big smash,"

          These are specific details from an experienced NCO that point directly to the condition of the ship before it exploded, he also remembers conversations he had with named individuals. Hardly the recollections of a confused and concussed man thankful to be alive but otherwise aldled.

          He was in X turret so his view forward was obstructed being only able to see the aft island and 4" gun positions and unable to see from the Q turret forward. That however does not take away from his recounting a list, the problems that list caused him or the flooding below his turret.

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          • #65
            Originally posted by zraver View Post
            Using your source which is much more complte in Francis account, he is not in any way vague

            "and then I noticed the ship had an awful list to port."

            "as the last I saw coming up from the working chamber, and I asked whether he had passed the order to the magazine and shell room, and he told me it was no use, as the water was right up the trunk leading from the shell room, so the bottom of the ship must have been out of her."

            "I was half-way down the ladder at the back of the turret when Lieutenant Ewart went back; the ship had an awful list to port by this time, so much so that men getting off the ladder went sliding down to port. I got on to the bottom rung of the ladder, but could not by my own efforts reach the stanchions lying on the deck from the starboard side. I knew if I let go that I should go sliding down to port like some of the others must have done, and probably get smashed up sliding down"

            "I struck away from the ship as hard as I could, and must have covered nearly 50 yards, when there was a big smash,"

            These are specific details from an experienced NCO that point directly to the condition of the ship before it exploded, he also remembers conversations he had with named individuals. Hardly the recollections of a confused and concussed man thankful to be alive but otherwise aldled.

            He was in X turret so his view forward was obstructed being only able to see the aft island and 4" gun positions and unable to see from the Q turret forward. That however does not take away from his recounting a list, the problems that list caused him or the flooding below his turret.
            Did you read his account of the battle up to that point? How 'skewed' it was from what was actually happening? His use of language is not that of a man in full control of his senses. But going back to where I came in, let's not forget that you posted this -

            Disagree, the survivors from the HMS Queen Mary clearly show the ship was disabled, dead in the water and out of the fight with the crew abandoning ship before she exploded.
            and what we actually find is a single survivor offering up a report that differs in many ways to that of the 'Senior Uninjured Survivor' who had a much clearer view of the course of events. Thus your statement is 'overblown' at best and deliberately misleading at worst.
            Signing out.

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            • #66
              At the point that PO Francis's statement regarding the list and the flooding takes place the QM had already been blown in half. A certain amount of listing and water ingress is to be expected. I can't find an exact timing but working of the times given in the various sources on line your looking at between five and ten minutes between the explosion of the Q magazine and the explosion of, or in the stern magazine.

              Prior to the hit to the Q turret, the QM seems to have been having quite a good day.
              "Sometimes its better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness" T Pratchett

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              • #67
                Originally posted by DARKPLACE View Post
                At the point that PO Francis's statement regarding the list and the flooding takes place the QM had already been blown in half. A certain amount of listing and water ingress is to be expected. I can't find an exact timing but working of the times given in the various sources on line your looking at between five and ten minutes between the explosion of the Q magazine and the explosion of, or in the stern magazine.

                Prior to the hit to the Q turret, the QM seems to have been having quite a good day.
                No, if the ship was already blown in half and water had reached the turret shafts of X turret the ship would be going down fast- in seconds since all water tight integrity would have been gone.


                But yes, the QM had an early ballistic computer/clock for gunnery as opposed to the rest of the squadrons manual tables and was out shooting her sisters.

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by zraver View Post
                  No, if the ship was already blown in half and water had reached the turret shafts of X turret the ship would be going down fast- in seconds since all water tight integrity would have been gone.


                  But yes, the QM had an early ballistic computer/clock for gunnery as opposed to the rest of the squadrons manual tables and was out shooting her sisters.
                  Not always. If the QM was closed to Maximum watertightness then there's a good chance that the stern could linger. While the hatches will be sprained and there's pleanty of pipe work and conduits to let water in it doesn't have to be an instant kill and it does fit the outside log reports as well as the ship board ones.
                  "Sometimes its better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness" T Pratchett

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by DARKPLACE View Post
                    Not always. If the QM was closed to Maximum watertightness then there's a good chance that the stern could linger. While the hatches will be sprained and there's pleanty of pipe work and conduits to let water in it doesn't have to be an instant kill and it does fit the outside log reports as well as the ship board ones.
                    The problem is the reports of the magazine already being flooded which would rule out the size of the explosion he reported. It seems more likely that the explosion he reported was the one that blew her in half. This would line up with the reports from HMS Tiger having to veer out of line to avoid the debris field as well.

                    Regardless a lot of brave men died to a faulty idea. In hindsight using battle cruisers in an advance line of battle against ships of equal speed thus ruling out the speed as armor theme the ships were based on is obvious.

                    Th battle cruisers were much more in their element against Admiral Spee where the speed and big guns let them tear the German armored cruisers apart. Against a cruisers 8" guns the battle cruiser design worked and worked well. Against capitol class weapons however the who ideal fell apart.

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                    • #70
                      If you read the full version of the PO Francis statement. He describes an explosion " the big smash" which leaves him hanging from his bowline, then the one while he is in the water.

                      http://www.dreadnoughtproject.org/tf...tle_of_Jutland.

                      The whole timing of this was probably lessthen ten minutes. Agreed the BC s shouldn't have been anywhere near the line of battle. Hanging back to finish off a broken fleet. Maybe trade protection definitely. But once the people in charge brought the whole strength through speed line it was pretty much a disaster waiting to happen.
                      "Sometimes its better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness" T Pratchett

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by DARKPLACE View Post
                        If you read the full version of the PO Francis statement. He describes an explosion " the big smash" which leaves him hanging from his bowline, then the one while he is in the water.

                        http://www.dreadnoughtproject.org/tf...tle_of_Jutland.
                        the problem is we don't know if the big smash was the ship being blown in two, or the impact of a heavy shell taking out the aft 4" gun mount.

                        The whole timing of this was probably lessthen ten minutes. Agreed the BC s shouldn't have been anywhere near the line of battle. Hanging back to finish off a broken fleet. Maybe trade protection definitely. But once the people in charge brought the whole strength through speed line it was pretty much a disaster waiting to happen.
                        yup, 27 knots may protect them from a 21knt battleship. but not from another 27 knot battle cruiser.

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by zraver View Post
                          Nice, it entices Beatty to leave the battleships behind to catch one of the German forces and thus stumble into an ambush... very German thinking.
                          The players in that war-game we had a while back should be glad I never took up the use of an unused fleet, eh?

                          (funny thing about that game; I kept waiting for the tide to turn, but it never did. Despite some major setbacks, the US managed to maintain the tempo of a grinding war of attrition that only they could win in the end.
                          And the kind of attrition that the German fleet could never survive... how could this battle make any difference for them in the long run?)
                          "Why is the Rum gone?"

                          -Captain Jack

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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                            how could this battle make any difference for them in the long run?)
                            1. If the BEF doesn't make it to France in time, the French have to extend their lines using French divisions which have to come from The Paris fortified zone or the fight outside Sedan. Either can spell disaster for the French.

                            2. Without the BEF in line Kluck may not turn and thus complete the right hook and managed a defeat of the French armies.

                            Although the French did the bulk of the fighting, the presence of the BEF had a major impact on both German and French operations. Germany's only real chance to win is during the opening moves of the war.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Originally posted by zraver View Post
                              the problem is we don't know if the big smash was the ship being blown in two, or the impact of a heavy shell taking out the aft 4" gun mount.



                              yup, 27 knots may protect them from a 21knt battleship. but not from another 27 knot battle cruiser.

                              We can hazard a good guess though. Here is the whole text with all references to damage and explosions highlighted.

                              This represents a copy of a letter I sent to the Senior Surviving Officer of H.M.S. Queen Mary, and I am asking that whoever reads this at any time will please remember that the writer is much handier behind a pair of 13.5-inch guns than behind a pen. I had the first dog watch (4.0 to 6.0 p.m.), in the battery so I made arrangements with the Gunner's Mate on watch to send a man down and let me know when it was 3.30 p.m. We lay down and had quite a comfortable sleep, having nothing on our mind to keep us awake.
                              At 3.30 an able seaman came down and said, "Petty Officer Francis, it is nearly seven bells." I thanked him, and said, "Anything doing up top?" He said "No." I got up, took off my jumper, and had a wash in a bucket of water, and just as I had finished I heard in the distance a bugle sound of "Action." I was so surprised that I could hardly believe my ears, but the rush of feet by the door forced it upon me. I took the first hatchway up, and came up to the foremost 4-inch battery, starboard side, and raced for "X" Turret. When I got inside everyone was there. I yelled out "Turret's crew, number." They were correct from top to bottom, and I reported to the Lieutenant of the Turret. He said, "Test loading gear but for goodness' sake don't let them go too rash." The loading gear and machinery were tested, and immediately afterwards came the order to load all cages. As soon as the cages were loaded, it was reported to the Transmitting Station, and then came the order to load; the guns were loaded and brought to the half-cock and reported, and then came the order to bring the right gun to the ready, director laying and firing. Shortly after this the first salvo was fired, and we had started on the great game.
                              I had no means of telling what the time was, and if I had I probably should not have looked, because getting a turret started is an anxious rushing time for a Captain of a turret; once started it is easy to keep going. Taking everything into consideration, I put it as about 3.45 or 3.55 ; that's as near as I can go.
                              The gun's crew were absolutely perfect, inclined to be a little swift in loading, but I gave them a yell and pointed out to them that I wanted a steady stride, and after that everything went like clockwork, until suddenly both rammers gave out, my gun going first. This was caused through No. 3 opening the breech before the gun had run out after firing; the carrier arm part of the breech must have hit the rammer head and slightly metal-bound it. I dropped the elevating wheel, got hold of a steel pinch bar, forced the end in behind the rammer head, at the same time putting the rammer lever over to "Run out"; out went the rammer, and I rushed it back again, and then out again, and it went all gay once more. Then the lever was passed over to the right gun, and both rammers were once more in working order. I was pleased to get them going again, as it would have been such a damper on the crew if we had had to go into hand loading.
                              My No. 3 said, "Petty Officer Francis, can you see what we are up against?" Well, I had been anxious to have a look, but could not spare the time, but as soon as my gun had fired and while the loading was being completed I had a quick look through the periscope, and it seemed to me there were hundreds of masts and funnels. I dropped back into my seat and laid my gun by pointer, being in director firing, and while the loading was being completed again I told them there were a few battle cruisers out, not wishing to put a damper on them in any way; not that I think it would have done so, as they were all splendid fellows and backed me up magnificently.

                              1 Up till now I had not noticed any noise, such as being struck by a shell, but soon afterwards there was a heavy blow struck, I should imagine, in the after 4-inch battery, and a lot of dust and pieces were flying around on top of "X" turret.

                              My attention was called by the turret trainer, A.B. Long (A.B. B. Long, 229298), who reported the front glass of his periscope blocked up. This was not very important, because we were in director training, but someone in rear heard him report his glass foul, and without orders dashed on top and cleared it. He must have been smashed as he did it, for he fell in front of the periscope, groaning, and then apparently fell off the turret. I wish I knew his name, poor chap, but it's no use guessing.

                              2 Another shock was felt shortly after this, but it did not affect the turret, so no notice was taken.

                              The Transmitting Station reported that the third ship of the line was dropping out. First blood to Queen Mary. The shout they gave was good to hear. I could not resist taking a quick look at her at their request, and I saw the third ship of their line was going down by the bows. I felt the turret training a bit faster than she had been, and surmised we must have shifted on to the fourth ship of the line; being in director firing no orders were required for training. I looked again, and the third ship of the line was gone. I turned to the spare gunlayer, P. O. Killick (Petty Officer, 1st Class M.J. Killick, 157171), who was recording the number of rounds fired, and asked him how many rounds the left gun had fired, and he said 30 something odd figures. I didn't catch the exact number. A few more rounds were fired, and I took another look through my periscope, and there was quite a fair distance between the second ship, and what I believe was the fourth ship, due, I think, to the third ship going under. Flames were belching up from what I believe to be the fourth ship of the line.

                              3 Then came the big explosion, which shook us a bit, and on looking at the pressure gauge I saw the pressure had failed.



                              4 Immediately after that came what I term the big smash, and I was dangling in the air on a bowline, which saved me from being thrown down on to the floor of the turret; these bowlines were an idea I had brought into the turret, and each man in the gun-house was supplied with one, and, as far as I noticed, the men who had them on were not injured in the big smash. Nos. 2 and 3 of the left gun slipped down under the gun, and the gun appeared to me to have fallen through its trunnions and smashed up these two numbers. Everything in the ship went as quiet as a church, the floor of the turret was bulged up, and the guns were absolutely useless.

                              I must mention here that there was not a sign of excitement. One man turned to me and said, "What do you think has happened?" I said "Steady everyone, I will speak to Mr. Ewart." I went back to the cabinet and said, "What do you think has happened, sir?" He said "God only knows." "Well, sir," I said, "it's no use keeping them all down here, why not send them up round the 4-inch guns, and give them a chance to fight it out. As soon as the Germans find we are out of action they will concentrate on us, and we shall all be going sky high." He said, "Yes, good idea. Just see whether the 4-inch guns aft are still standing."

                              5 I put my head up through the hole in the roof of the turret, and I nearly fell back through again. The after 4-inch battery was smashed right out of all recognition, and then I noticed the ship had an awful list to port.

                              I dropped back inside the turret and told Lieut. Ewart the state of affairs. He said, "Francis, we can do no more than give them a chance; clear the turret." "Clear the turret," I called out, and out they all went.
                              P.O. Stares (Petty Officer T.H. Stares, 202884) was the last I saw coming up from the working chamber, and I asked whether he had passed the order to the magazine and shell room, and he told me it was no use, as the water was right up the trunk leading from the shell room, so the bottom of the ship must have been out of her. Then I said, "Why didn't you come up?" He simply said, "There was no order to leave the turret."
                              I went through the cabinet and out through the top with the Lieutenant of the Turret following me; suddenly he stopped and went back into the turret. I believe he went back because he thought there was someone left inside. It makes me feel sore-hearted when I think of him and that fine crowd who were with me in the turret. I can only write about the splendid behaviour of my own turret's crew, but I am confident, knowing the Queen Mary as I did, that the highest traditions of the service were upheld by the remainder of the ship's company, from the Captain down to the youngest boy. Everyone was so keen on being in a big fight, and each member of our ship's company knew he was one of the small cog-wheels of a great machine; it was part of a man's training as laid down by our Gunnery Commander, and due to his untiring efforts to make the Queen Mary the splendid fighting unit I knew her to be.
                              I was half-way down the ladder at the back of the turret when Lieutenant Ewart went back;

                              6 the ship had an awful list to port by this time, so much so that men getting off the ladder went sliding down to port. I got on to the bottom rung of the ladder, but could not by my own efforts reach the stanchions

                              lying on the deck from the starboard side. I knew if I let go that I should go sliding down to port like some of the others must have done, and probably get smashed up sliding down. Two of my turret's crew, seeing my difficulty, came to my assistance; they were A.B. Long, turret trainer, and A.B. Lane, No. 4 of the left gun. Lane held Long at full stretch from the ship's side, and I dropped from the ladder, caught Long's legs, and so gained the starboard side. These two men had no thought for their own safety; they saw I wanted assistance, and that was good enough for them. When I got on to the ship's side there seemed to be quite a fair crowd, and they did not appear to be very anxious to take to the water. I called out to them, "Come on, you chaps, who's coming for a swim?" Someone answered, "She will float for a long time yet," but something, I don't pretend to understand what it was, seemed to be urging me to get away, so I clambered up over the slimy bilge keel and fell off into the water, followed, I should think, by about five other men.

                              7 I struck away from the ship as hard as I could, and must have covered nearly 50 yards, when there was a big smash, and stopping and looking round the air seemed to be full of fragments and flying pieces. A large piece seemed to be right above my head, and acting on an impulse I dipped under to avoid being struck, and stayed under as long as I could, and then came to the top again, when coming behind me I heard a rush of water, which looked very much like a surf breaking on a beach, and I realised it was the suction or back-wash from the ship which had just gone.


                              I hardly had time to fill my lungs with air when it was on me; I felt it was no use struggling against it, so I let myself go for a moment or two, then I struck out, but I felt it was a losing game, and remarked to myself mentally, "What's the use of you struggling, you're done," and actually eased my efforts to reach the top, when a small voice seemed to say "Dig out."
                              I started afresh, and something bumped against me. I grasped it, and afterwards found it was a large hammock; it undoubtedly pulled me to the top, more dead than alive, and I rested on it, but I felt I was getting very weak, and roused myself sufficiently to look around for something more substantial to support me. Floating right in front of me was a piece of timber (I believe the centre baulk of our pattern 4 target). I managed to push myself on the hammock close to the timber, and grasped a piece of rope hanging over the side. My next difficulty was to get on top, and I was beginning to give up hope, when the swell lifted me nearly on top, and with a small amount of exertion I kept on. I managed to reeve my arms through a strop, and then I must have become unconscious.

                              OK as I read it

                              1 Up till now I had not noticed any noise, such as being struck by a shell, but soon afterwards there was a heavy blow struck, I should imagine, in the after 4-inch battery, and a lot of dust and pieces were flying around on top of "X" turret. This is the 4 inch battery being hit.

                              2 2 Another shock was felt shortly after this, but it did not affect the turret, so no notice was taken. Non conclusive hit, or secondary explosion in stern 4 inch.

                              3 3 Then came the big explosion, which shook us a bit, and on looking at the pressure gauge I saw the pressure had failed.
                              Hit on or around Q Turret possible major damage. Followed quickly by.

                              4 Immediately after that came what I term the big smash, and I was dangling in the air on a bowline, which saved me from being thrown down on to the floor of the turret; these bowlines were an idea I had brought into the turret, and each man in the gun-house was supplied with one, and, as far as I noticed, the men who had them on were not injured in the big smash. Nos. 2 and 3 of the left gun slipped down under the gun, and the gun appeared to me to have fallen through its trunnions and smashed up these two numbers. Everything in the ship went as quiet as a church, the floor of the turret was bulged up, and the guns were absolutely useless. Q turret magazine goes. IMO this is when the ship breaks in half. Certainly the indicators the raised turret floor and the guns thrown out of their mounts would indicate that this is a bit more serious then the hits before.

                              5 I put my head up through the hole in the roof of the turret, and I nearly fell back through again. The after 4-inch battery was smashed right out of all recognition, and then I noticed the ship had an awful list to port. 4 inch battery gone. Ships is already listing to Port. At this point she is already sinking.

                              6 the ship had an awful list to port by this time, so much so that men getting off the ladder went sliding down to port. I got on to the bottom rung of the ladder, but could not by my own efforts reach the stanchions As per above.

                              7 I struck away from the ship as hard as I could, and must have covered nearly 50 yards, when there was a big smash, and stopping and looking round the air seemed to be full of fragments and flying pieces. A large piece seemed to be right above my head, and acting on an impulse I dipped under to avoid being struck, and stayed under as long as I could, and then came to the top again, when coming behind me I heard a rush of water, which looked very much like a surf breaking on a beach, and I realised it was the suction or back-wash from the ship which had just gone. The explosion in the stern magazine observed by the surrounding ships.

                              The important explosion IMO is 4, this is the point that the massive damage occurs to the ship and and the crew begin to abandon ship. This has to be the explosion that severed the ship. All the indicators are there that this is the one that causes the damage. Prior to this despite damage the turrets are working perfectly. After this the crew is abandoning ship. The turret is disabled and there is free flooding water in the turret. This fits with the observers reports from other ships which describe the final explosion as being smaller.
                              Last edited by DARKPLACE; 08 Jun 12, 02:29.
                              "Sometimes its better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness" T Pratchett

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