1941 explosion of HMS BARHAM

Phil Gilson

Off-topic but very dramatic 16 second video showing capsizing and magazine exploding


'...There was no time for evasive action, and three of the four torpedoes struck amidships so closely together as to throw up a single massive water column. Barham quickly capsized to port and was lying on her side when a massive magazine explosion occurred about four minutes after she was torpedoed and sank her. The Board of Enquiry into the sinking ascribed the final magazine explosion to a fire in the 4-inch magazines outboard of the main 15-inch magazines, which would have then spread to and detonated the contents of the main magazines. Due to the speed at which she sank, 862 officers and ratings were killed, including two who died of their wounds after being rescued. The destroyer Hotspur rescued some 337 survivors, including Vice-Admiral Henry Pridham-Wippell and the pair who later died of their wounds, while the Australian destroyer Nizam reportedly rescued some 150 men. Captain Geoffrey Cooke went down with his ship. The sinking was captured on film by a cameraman from Pathé News, aboard Valiant.

HMS Barham  add'l info and photos

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Barham_(04)#Sinking 

HMS Barham was named after First Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Barham (Admiral Charles Middleton, First Baron Barham, 1726-1813)

https://www.militaryfactory.com/ships/detail.asp?ship_id=HMS-Barham-04 (=fourth of six ships in Q. Elizabeth class)

8 15" Mk1 guns w/100 rounds per gun on board = 400 rds fwd, 400 rds aft


Phil, Bklyn

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