hms barham explosion cause

I was in the A.D.P. The Italian ships and the British arrived almost simultaneously at Pola's location, but the Italians had almost no clue that the British were nearby. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please click here. [91][Note 6] Captain Geoffrey Cooke went down with his ship. The German crew were apparently given a tremendous reception when the submarine returned to her base. The HMS Barham was torpedoed by U-331, a German c-class submarine captained by Freiherr Von Tiesenhausen, and sunk in the Eastern Mediterranean in November 1941. Apparently a fire aboard the Barham caused a small magazine to explode and this in turn blew into the main magazine of the battleship. The battleship and the other ships of Force F were tasked to ferry troops to Malta, before continuing on to Alexandria. [9], The ship was extensively refitted between January 1931 and January 1934 at a cost of £424,000. Barham, now assigned to the 1st BS, and Malaya were detached to refuel at Souda Bay, Crete, before sailing for Alexandria, reaching there on 14 November. [99], Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}32°34′N 26°24′E / 32.567°N 26.400°E / 32.567; 26.400. HMS Barham was sunk by a U-Boat in 1941 The enemy struck at 4.25pm as Richard was on a tea break and talking with a friend. Her crew numbered 1,016 officers and ratings in 1916. [42] Barham returned fire at the battlecruisers at 17:02, together with Valiant, the two northernmost of Evan-Thomas's ships, and the two of them made three hits on the battlecruiser SMS Seydlitz and Lützow between 17:06 and 17:13 while Barham was hit twice more by Derfflinger; although neither of the hits did any significant damage. They hit Lützow, Derfflinger and Seydlitz three times each between 17:19 and about 18:05. Valiant another 300 yards astern of her. On 2–4 May, the fleet conducted another demonstration off Horns Reef to keep German attention focused on the North Sea. [76] The severe damage to Resolution caused Operation Menace to be abandoned and Barham had to tow her to Freetown for temporary repairs, before escorting a convoy to Gibraltar where she arrived on 15 October where her own damage was repaired. Evan-Thomas turned northeast at around 18:06 and then made a slow turn to the southeast once he spotted the Grand Fleet. The Royal Navy's Room 40 had intercepted and decrypted German radio traffic containing plans of the operation. [88], 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. Out of a crew of approximately 1,184 officers and men, 841 were killed, including my grandfather. Beatty continued south for another two minutes to confirm the sighting before ordering his force to turn north, towards the Grand Fleet in what came to be known as the "Run to the North". After temporary repairs at Scapa, Barham was sent to Cromarty Firth for more permanent repairs in the floating dry dock there that lasted until 23 December. Hindered by poor visibility, no significant damage was inflicted and Richelieu was not hit before the bombardment was called off after 20 minutes. Unfortunately many sailors couldn't swim and on a large ship not everyone wore a life jacket. A total of … VALIANT and WARSPITE in background. According to the Scottish-born clairvoyant and mother of six, the British battleship HMS Barham had just been sunk. The secondary armament was primarily controlled by directors mounted on each side of the compass platform on the foremast once they were fitted in July 1917. Survivors were rescued by the other British ships. [83] They opened fire at point-blank range, Barham crippling the destroyer Alfredo Oriani and then joining Warspite and Valiant in crippling Zara. The only contact came in the evening when Tyrwhitt sighted the High Seas Fleet but was unable to achieve an advantageous attack position before dark, and broke off contact. The 5th Battle Squadron concentrated their fire on the German battleships after losing sight of the battlecruisers, with Barham opening fire at 18:14. They were designed to reduce the effect of torpedo detonations and improve stability[11] at the cost of widening the ship's beam by almost 14 feet (4.3 m) to 104 feet (31.7 m),[12] and reduced her draught to 32 feet 6 inches (9.9 m). Barham cost a total of £2,470,113. The shell struck just below the waterline and burst on impact with the belt armour. Thank you again for the succinct Contribution. [53] The ship was relieved as flagship by Revenge in June[54] and she was ordered to Palestine in August where her crew helped to suppress rioting in Haifa and also operated the Haifa-Jerusalem railroad. She was unable to manoeuvre to ram the submarine for fear of colliding with the Barham which was still continuing to steam on her course, rolling over on a perfectly even keel with neither bow nor stern in the air, but listing very quickly indeed. The Queen Elizabeth-class ships were designed to form a fast squadron for the fleet that was intended to operate against the leading ships of the opposing battleline. She was completed for trials on 19 August 1915 which took until the end of September to finish under the command of CaptainArthur Craig Waller. During her abbreviated sea trials on 6 July 1916, Barham only reached a mean top speed of 23.91 knots (44.28 km/h; 27.52 mph). Shortly afterwards, she was deployed to Gibraltar for several months after the beginning of the Spanish Civil War in July. Find out how you can use this. The Queen Elizabeth class was ordered as part of the 1912 Naval Programme and the contract for Barham was awarded to John Brown & Company. [71] Barham's six-inch guns were the first to do so and fired at the French submarine Persée on the surface. One was mounted above the conning tower, protected by an armoured hood, and the other was in the spotting top above the tripod mast. Does anyone know why the magazine exploded? BARHAM’s explosion after being torpedoed. The British battleships then switched targets to bombard the harbour and Richelieu. The cause of the explosion cannot be determined but it was thought to have been caused by an oil fire started by the torpedo explosions setting off the 4” magazines which in turn ignited the main after magazines. Sinking of the HMS Barham. During a Court of Enquiry about the Barham’s sinking, it was determined the final magazine explosion that fired into the 4-inch magazines outboard which were part of the main 15-inch magazines. After the Battle of Jutland, 1 inch of high-tensile steel was added to the main deck over the magazines and additional anti-flash equipment was added in the magazines. [60] The ship resumed her former role as flagship of the 1st Battle Squadron in February 1938 while undergoing a refit at Portsmouth that lasted until May. U-331, a Type VII U-boat, prepares to torpedo the battleship HMS Barham in the Mediterranean on 25 November 1941. One of these hits also started several major fires inside the hull. [98] The crew are commemorated by a memorial bench, located in Nothe Gardens, Weymouth. On 26 March, the Italian fleet sortied in an attempt to intercept British convoys to Greece. Suddenly at 4.23 we saw two or three large columns of water rear over the decks of H.M.S. Barham opened fire at a range of 21,000 yards (19,000 m) and hit Richelieu with one 15-inch shell at 09:15. The submarine couldn’t be attacked by depth charges because the survivors were spread over a large surface of the sea. She became a private ship on 1 December and departed Alexandria to join the Home Fleet that same day. By the afternoon the submarine and the 1st Battle Squadron were on reciprocal courses and Tiesenhausen ordered his boat to battle stations around 16:00. In the meantime the Barham was listing over so far that dozens of men were sliding down her side and standing on the anti-submarine bulge halfway down. The damage allowed over 1,000 long tons (1,016 t) of water to flood the stern and nearly knocked out the ship's steering gear. [27] Barham slipped her mooring at 22:08 and was followed by the rest of Beatty's ships. The Grand Fleet sailed with 29 dreadnoughts and 6 battlecruisers while the Germans mustered 18 dreadnoughts and 2 battlecruisers. [49] Barham was refitted at Rosyth from 7–23 February 1918[50] and Waller was relieved by Captain Henry Buller on 18 April. Fragments from this hit caused flooding that spread throughout the bow, while the ship's speed caused water to enter directly through the hole in the side. [48], She was refitted at Cromarty between February and March 1917[47] and King George V inspected the ship on 22 June at Invergordon. After all, there had been no official reports of such a disaster and certainly nothing had been in the papers about an attack on the vessel. [54] Willis was relieved by Captain Thomas Walker on 31 January 1939. One 250-kilogram (550 lb) bomb struck 'Y' turret and started a fire inside the turret that took 20 minutes to quench. She was present when the High Seas Fleet surrendered for internment on 21 November. The capsizing ship suddenly blows up in a huge explosion, only her bows remaining visible, steeply canted at the edge of the smoke pall. [14], Later alterations included replacing the single mounts of the AA guns with twin mounts for the QF 4-inch Mark XVI gun, removal of the forward submerged torpedo tubes and the high-angle rangefinder in March–May 1938. 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. Thank you Mr Roland Bundy for a most deeply interesting account of the loss of the Barham. HMS Barham (Maritime Quest, click to enlarge) return to Contents List : QUEEN ELIZABETH-Class Battleship ordered from John Brown at Clydebank after approval of design in June 1912. [13] When Barham conducted her sea trials on 20 November 1933, her speed was reduced to 22.5 knots (41.7 km/h; 25.9 mph) from 65,655 shp (48,959 kW). Yet amazingly the warship had in fact been destroyed on Nov. 25 in the Mediterranean … At 17:45 he turned eastwards to take his position in front of the Grand Fleet and re-engage Hipper's ships. In addition, a pair of quadruple mounts for Vickers 0.5 in (12.7 mm) AA machine guns were added abreast the conning tower. Two of the others detonated upon striking the waterline armour, but failed to penetrate. When HMS Barham was torpedoed, she rolled over and her aft magazine exploded. [54], On the afternoon of 24 November 1941, the 1st Battle Squadron, Barham, Queen Elizabeth, and Valiant, with an escort of eight destroyers, departed Alexandria to cover the 7th and 15th Cruiser Squadrons as they hunted for Italian convoys in the Central Mediterranean. After Free French emissaries were either captured or driven off by the Vichy French, Cunningham ordered his ships to open fire. Only 2 and a half minutes passed from the torpedo impact until the ship rolled onto its side and the aft magazine exploded killing 862 out of its roughly 1260 man complement. This ship was laid down on 24th February 1913 and launched on 31st December 1914. On the other hand, the British knew exactly where the Italians were, thanks to their radar-equipped ships. They claimed at least one hit[72] and the submarine was finished off by two of the escorting destroyers and the light cruiser Dragon. Hamilton. Post by Pips » 10 Dec 2020, 06:46 On November 25, 1941, HMS Barnham was torpedoed by U-331. She sailed south through the Suez Canal to Mombasa, Kenya, where her damage was inspected. Sunk at Sheerness, 24 November 1914, due to an accidental explosion. [54] On 14 October 1925, Captain Francis Marten relieved Hill, but he retained command only until 9 March 1926 when Captain Joseph Henley assumed command. HMS Barnham. Curiously, Gardiner & Gray, Silverstone, and Parkes all give a launch date of 31 October; Gordon devotes a whole chapter to this issue as the various accounts cannot be reconciled with the surviving records. Three minutes later, she sighted the topmasts of Vice-Admiral Reinhard Scheer's battleships, but did not report this for another five minutes. The ship had a range of 5,000 nautical miles (9,260 km; 5,754 mi) at a cruising speed of 12 knots (22.2 km/h; 13.8 mph). During a port visit to Corfu in July, the ship was visited by King George II of Greece. [67] Barham played no role in the Norwegian Campaign although some of her crew and marines participated. [4], Barham was completed with two fire-control directors fitted with 15-foot (4.6 m) rangefinders. En route, Eagle's aircraft attacked Tripoli on 26 November. The gives some indication of the speed of the fleet and of the stricken ship which had kept up even while she was sinking. [92], It was not until the Admiralty admitted that Barham had been sunk and described the circumstances that Tiesenhausen knew that he had sunk her. Two minutes later, Beatty ordered a course change to east-southeast, positioning the British ships to cut off the German's line of retreat, and signalled action stations. 2 six-inch gun. MLS off the port bow as she begins to roll over. Barham was herself was struck twice during the "Run to the South": the first was a 28.3-centimetre (11 in) shell from von der Tann that failed to do any damage when it hit the waterline armour and the battlecruiser SMS Lützow fired a 30.5-centimetre (12 in) shell that detonated in the aft superstructure. This resulted in spreading to and detonating the ship’s main magazines. [29][Note 4], Hipper's battlecruisers spotted the Battlecruiser Fleet to their west at 15:20, but Beatty's ships did not see the Germans to their east until 15:30. 201–202, 2-pounder (40 mm (1.6 in)) Mk VIII "pom-pom", Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at Sea, List of dreadnought battleships of the Royal Navy, Shipwrecks and maritime incidents in December 1939, Shipwrecks and maritime incidents in November 1941, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=HMS_Barham_(04)&oldid=995643417, World War I battleships of the United Kingdom, World War II battleships of the United Kingdom, Ships sunk by German submarines in World War II, World War II shipwrecks in the Mediterranean Sea, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 5,000 nmi (9,260 km; 5,750 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph), This page was last edited on 22 December 2020, at 03:28. The sea was unusually calm and we were on the port leg of the zigzag with Queen Elizabeth leading, and Barham in the centre. Was it internal fire or what? During a Court of Enquiry about the Barham’s sinking, it was determined the final magazine explosion that fired into the 4-inch magazines outboard which were part of the main 15-inch magazines. [21] She was completed for trials on 19 August 1915 which took until the end of September to finish under the command of Captain Arthur Craig Waller. She was hit by three torpedoes simultaneously. [18] [19][Note 2] Barham cost a total of £2,470,113. This was how close we were to her. ... 11th Deployed with HMS BARHAM, HMS AJAX and destroyer screen to carry out attacks on Dodecanese as Force X (Operation MC6). She suddenly rolled to port, the after magazine exploded, and in moments she had gone, sunk, to take over 60% of the crew with her. [87] The following morning, the German submarine U-331, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Hans-Diedrich von Tiesenhausen, detected the faint engine noises of the British ships and moved to intercept. Because she … Like most of the watch I had taken a mug of tea on to the upper deck to enjoy the sun and admire the view. When viewing the film of her sinking, other than smoke … The impacts drove in the plates and fragments caused much flooding by damaging the surrounding structure. [54] Dalglish was relieved in his turn by Captain Percy Noble on 18 October 1922. [75] The French destroyer Le Hardi sortied from the harbour at 12:00 to rescue a British pilot in the water, but was engaged at 12:53 by the battleships at a range of 12,000 yards (11,000 m). [94] The sinking was captured on film by a cameraman from Pathé News, aboard Valiant. My Regards, Debris was hurled into the air, and I saw one of the 15 inch gun turrets lifted up hundreds of feet. By this time the 5th Battle Squadron was about seven point five nautical miles (13.9 km; 8.6 mi) northwest of Beatty. [15], The Queen Elizabeth class was ordered as part of the 1912 Naval Programme and the contract for Barham was awarded to John Brown & Company. November 25, 1941 in the Mediterranean Sea near the border of Egypt and Libya, the British battleship 'Barham' was torpedoed by German submarine U-331 (commander Lieutenant von Tizengauzen). She was briefly deployed to Haifa in May 1936 at the beginning of the Arab revolt in Palestine. [95], In an effort to conceal the sinking from the Germans and to protect British morale, the Board of Admiralty censored all news of Barham's sinking. No hits were observed and the ships stopped firing after making their turn north, but Barham opened fire for a short time when they fell in line with the Grand Fleet a few minutes later, probably without making any hits. 271, 275, 279–80, 284, 286–290, Campbell 1986, pp. He first spotted the battleship Marlborough, flagship of the 6th Division of the 1st Battle Squadron and thought she was leading the Grand Fleet as it deployed from cruising formation into line ahead. [22], Barham joined the Grand Fleet at Scapa Flow the next day and participated in a fleet training operation west of Orkney during 2–5 November. [54] Captain Henry Horan assumed command on 28 July 1937, although he only remained in command until 22 April 1938 when he was relieved by Captain Algernon Willis. The main armament could be controlled by 'B' turret as well. An ASDIC operator aboard one of the leading destroyers, Jervis, detected the submarine at 16:18 at an estimated range of 900–1,100 yards (820–1,010 m), but the contact was disregarded as it subtended an angle between 40 and 60 degrees wide, far larger than a submarine. Barham's signallers were unable to read the signal and her officer of the watch presumed that it was the expected point zigzag to the left of the base course and signalled that course change to the rest of the squadron. [46], Following Jutland, Barham was under repair until 5 July 1916. It was obvious to us on the Queen Elizabeth that the Barham was sinking fast, and I can remember that we were shouting to the men to jump. to aircraft and explosion caused expensive structural damage. By downloading any images or embedding any media, you agree to the terms and conditions of the IWM Non Commercial Licence, including your use of the attribution … Barham was sunk off the Egyptian coast the following November by the German submarine U-331 with the loss of 862 crewmen, approximately two-thirds of her crew. [35], At 16:30, the light cruiser Southampton, scouting in front of Beatty's ships, spotted the lead elements of the High Seas Fleet coming north at top speed. This page has been archived and is no longer updated. A near miss ruptured her portside bulge over an area 20 by 16 feet (6.1 by 4.9 m) and caused a 1.5 degree list that was easily corrected by pumping oil. These two hits were ultimately responsible for the massive flooding that nearly sank the ship after the battle. HMS Barham - 1941. The hits on Seydlitz mostly opened up more holes that facilitated the flooding. A pair of octuple mounts for 2-pounder (40 mm (1.6 in)) Mk VIII "pom-pom" anti-aircraft guns were added abreast the funnel and two positions for their directors were added on new platforms abreast and below the spotting top. On 6–12 May, she covered the Alexandria-Malta convoy of Operation Tiger. This was replaced by a torpedo rangefinder in early 1928 when the permanent position was installed in the remodelled spotting top. [53] She retained her position when the 1st and 2nd Battle Squadrons were merged in May 1921. © Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Tiesenhausen was not certain of the results of his attack and radioed that he had hit a Queen Elizabeth-class battleship with one torpedo. A friend who was serving on her dived overboard as soon as she was struck and was picked up a mile astern. One fragment ricocheted off the upper deck and through the side plating on the opposite side of the ship. Debris from the explosion rains into the sea. This resulted in spreading to and detonating the ship’s main magazines. In 4 minutes and 45 seconds a 35,000 ton battleship was lost and with her 868 officers and men. [81], As part of Operation Collar in late November, Barham, Malaya and the carrier HMS Eagle covered the forces rendezvousing with a convoy coming from Gibraltar. Almost immediately after a German submarine broke surface before crash diving only about 40 yards off the starboard rail of the Valiant. At 14:15, Beatty ordered a turn north by east to rendezvous with the Grand Fleet. After returning to port, Jellicoe issued an order that prohibited risking the fleet in the southern half of the North Sea due to the overwhelming risk from mines and U-boats unless the odds of defeating the High Seas Fleet in a decisive engagement were favourable. [54] Now under the command of Captain Hubert Monroe[53] and accompanied by the battleship Ramillies, she cruised along the coast of West Africa from December 1927 to February 1928. Another shell, probably also 24 cm in size, detonated in the water on the starboard side abreast of the funnels. In contrast, the hit on Lützow flooded a 15-centimetre (5.9 in) magazine and the hits on Seydlitz blew a 10-by-13-foot (3.0 by 4.0 m) hole in the side of her bow. next. )cruisers was towed up the Forth from Scapa Flow for scrapping. She reached Alexandria later that day, but she was too large for the floating dock there and had to be sent elsewhere for repairs. [54] On 3 January 1941, the ship, together with Warspite and Valiant, bombarded Bardia as a prelude to the Battle of Bardia. Her main guns targeted the port and the battleship Richelieu. The magazine of British battleship HMS Barham exploding after being hit by torpedoes from at German U-boat in the Mediterranean in 1941. The turbines were rated at 75,000 shaft horsepower (56,000 kW) and intended to reach a maximum speed of 25 knots (46.3 km/h; 28.8 mph). [36] His order only applied to his own forces; the 5th Battle Squadron continued south until after it passed Beatty heading northwestwards at 16:51. After a delay of several weeks the War Office notified the next of kin, but they added a special request for secrecy: the notification letters included a warning not to discuss the loss of the ship with anyone but close relatives, stating it was "most essential that information of the event which led to the loss of your husband's life should not find its way to the enemy until such time as it is announced officially..."[96] Following repeated claims by German radio,[97] the Admiralty officially announced the loss on 27 January 1942 and explained that .mw-parser-output .templatequote{overflow:hidden;margin:1em 0;padding:0 40px}.mw-parser-output .templatequote .templatequotecite{line-height:1.5em;text-align:left;padding-left:1.6em;margin-top:0}, it was clear at that time that the enemy did not know that she had been sunk, and it was important to make certain dispositions before the loss of this ship was made public. He was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross that day. During the 1920s and 1930s, the ship was assigned to the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Home Fleets. The first of these struck the ship's upper deck before detonating upon striking the main deck above the medical store compartment, which was completely burnt out. Within four minutes, the battleship had listed over to Port and the ships magazines had exploded, sinking the battleship and killing 863 men. [47] On the evening of 18 August, the Grand Fleet put to sea in response to a message deciphered by Room 40 that indicated that the High Seas Fleet, minus II Squadron, would be leaving harbour that night. At 14:32, Beatty ordered a course change to south-southeast in response to the spot report. The number of hits cannot be confirmed, but it is believed that she and Valiant made 23 or 24 hits between them, making them two of the most accurate warships in the British fleet. [5], The waterline belt of the Queen Elizabeth class consisted of Krupp cemented armour (KC) that was 13 inches (330 mm) thick over the ships' vitals. HMS Barham was a battleship built for World War I but had had an extensive refit in the 1930s. While under repair in December 1939 – March 1940, a 20-barrel Unrotated projectile (UP) rocket launcher was installed on the roof of 'B' turret and her HACS Mk I directors were replaced with Mk III models. The fleet returned to Scapa Flow on 24 April and refuelled before proceeding south in response to intelligence reports that the Germans were about to launch a raid on Lowestoft. [77] She was briefly assigned to Force H, before she was transferred to the Mediterranean Fleet in November 1940. Possibly due to her closeness to Valiant's bow wave and discharging the torpedoes, the boat's conning tower broached the surface and was fruitlessly engaged by one of the battleship's "pom-pom"s at a range of about 30 yards (27 m). While covering the evacuation of Crete the following day, the ship was attacked by Junkers Ju 88 bombers from II./LG (Demonstration Wing) 1 and Heinkel He 111 bombers of II./KG (Bomber Wing) 26. [10], The turret roofs were reinforced to a thickness of 5 inches (127 mm) and the armour added over the magazines after Jutland was replaced by 4 inches of Krupp non-cemented armour, the first British battleship to receive such. In addition, the rear of the six-inch gun casemates was enclosed by a 1.5-inch (38 mm) bulkhead. The anti-torpedo bulge was essentially destroyed adjacent to the strike, with four men killed and two wounded. [Note 5], Evan-Thomas continued his turn until his ships were steering due north, which interposed the 5th Battle Squadron between Hipper's battlecruisers,[38] which had reversed course around 16:48 to follow Beatty north,[39] and Beatty's ships. The fore funnel was trunked into the aft funnel to reduce smoke in the spotting top. There is no doubt that it was a very brave effort on the part of the German submarine. It was a beautiful sight - 3 large battleships steaming in a line ahead and with a screen of twelve destroyers in a “V shape” ahead and around us. After several minutes it became apparent that the squadron was not conforming to Beatty's other ships, but Evan-Thomas refused to change course until clear instructions had been received despite entreaties from the Barham's captain. Between them, Barham and Valiant hit Moltke four times from 16:16 to 16:26, but only one of those hits can be attributed to Valiant. HMS Barham was a Queen Elizabeth-class battleship of the Royal Navy named after Admiral Charles Middleton, 1st Baron Barham, built at the John Brown shipyards in Clydebank, Scotland, and launched in 1914. Twelve of the fourteen BL 6-inch (152 mm) Mk XII guns were mounted in casemates along the broadside of the vessel amidships; the remaining pair were mounted on the forecastle deck near the aft funnel and were protected by gun shields. She departed Scapa Flow that day, escorted by four destroyers,[68] and rendezvoused with the troop convoy en route to Gibraltar[69] where she arrived on 2 September. Von Tiesenhausen fired a spread of 4 torpedoes towards the group, 3 of which hit HMS Barham's port side causing it to list heavily and spread fire towards the ammunition storages. [55] The ship was transferred to the 2nd Battle Squadron of the Atlantic Fleet in November 1929,[54] and, together with Malaya, made a port visit to Trondheim, Norway in mid-1930 where they fired a salute to celebrate the birth of Princess Ragnhild on 9 June. [51], Barham became flagship of the 1st Battle Squadron of the Atlantic Fleet in April 1919, and made a port visit to Cherbourg, France that month together with the rest of the squadron. "HMS Barham on her beam ends as the magazine explodes." On 21 April, the Grand Fleet conducted a demonstration off Horns Reef to distract the Germans while the Russian Navy relaid its defensive minefields in the Baltic Sea. The image is free to reuse for non-commercial purposes under the IWM Non Commercial Licence. The Battleship Barham was in company with the Queen Elizabeth, Valiant and a small screen of destroyers. Lemp fired four torpedoes at the two capital ships,[64] and one struck Barham on her port side, adjacent to the shell rooms for 'A' and 'B' turrets. As the battleship rolled over to port, her magazines exploded and she quickly sank with the loss of more than two-thirds of the crew. U-331 thus passed through the screen and was only in a position to fire her torpedoes after the leading ship, Queen Elizabeth, had passed her by and the second ship, Barham, was closing rapidly. She became the flagship of the Mediterranean Fleet on 9 June until relieved by Warspite on 8 February 1938. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites This is another problematic issue in which sources differ to which Gordon devotes an entire chapter. The ships had multiple armoured decks that ranged from 1 to 3 inches (25 to 76 mm) in thickness. Another sweep began on 6 March, but had to be abandoned the following day as the weather grew too severe for the escorting destroyers. These messages were added to this story by site members between June 2003 and January 2006. HMS 'Bulwark', Bulwark Class Battleship, built at Devonport Dockyard, England, and completed March 1902. 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Site is created by our users, who are members of the 1st Battle Squadron were reciprocal. Receiving reports hms barham explosion cause shadowing aircraft 300 yards astern of us, and completed 1902. [ 54 ] at that time the 5th Battle Squadron as they made turn! Saw one of these hits also started several major fires inside the.. In May 1936 at the outbreak of the others detonated upon striking waterline. 841 were killed, including my grandfather were ultimately responsible for the massive flooding that nearly sank the ship accidentally... Series of minor refits during the first to do so and fired at the outbreak of the Grand.... Cloudless sky and the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine you consider anything on this site is created our! Relieved by Warspite on 8 February 1938 21 September and had arrived Dakar before dawn two days later Barham! Were tasked to ferry troops to Malta, before she was struck by torpedo in 4K at. 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