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The current time is: 10/17/2017 9:19:54 AM
 Naval WWII    
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anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 5936
http:// 82.44.47.99
The Sinking of HMS Royal Oak--13 Oct.1939
Posted on: 10/17/2016 4:20:39 AM
Scapa Flow was thought to be impenetrable but in the darkness of the night of 13 October 1939, German U-boat U 47 surfaced in Scapa Flow. Early in the war German reconnaissance aircraft had surveyed the defences of Scapa Flow, whilst submarines monitored British shipping.

Gaps between the blockships in Kirk Sound were identified. The main fleet had sailed that day but 'HMS Royal Oak' remained behind. In the icy waters of Scapa Flow, 833 men (incl 120 boys aged 14-16 yrs) of the 'Royal Oak' perished, and the wreck site is now an official war grave. Here some of the survivors tell their story.



[Read More]


Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2745

Re: The Sinking of HMS Royal Oak--13 Oct.1939
Posted on: 10/17/2016 9:09:08 PM
Jim,

Just what were 120 boys doing on a RN warship during a war??

MD

BTW Hitler and Donitz made a real big deal about this sinking!?
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 490

Re: The Sinking of HMS Royal Oak--13 Oct.1939
Posted on: 10/28/2016 10:06:10 PM
I am not sure I understand the reference to boys.

Compulsory education in England from 1918 to 1947 was until age 14. At 14, boys could enlist in the RN boys program. There were four classes of boys--3rd, 2nd, 1st, and rated. 3rd class boys could join between 14 and 18. They did not serve on warships, but on the port flag ships and generally lived at home near the port. They tended to wait tables.

2nd class boys made a commitment (or their parents did) to serve 12 years from age 18. They had to have done time as a 3rd class boy and therefore had to have been at least 15. They didn't serve on warships, but were assigned to training ships. After a year to a year and a half, if qualified, they would become 1st class boys, again serving on training ships. Finally, they would become rated no earlier than age 16, at which time they would be assigned to warships and serve as members of the crew. Rated boys, on turning 18, would become ordinary seamen--it didn't really change their jobs but it did have a big rise in pay.

There were also graduates of technical training around age 16 that served as apprentices on ships and at 18 would join the RN in one of the engineering or technical fields.

Those destined for officers would become cadets at a training establishment and from 16 to 18 would be midshipmen who could be promoted to sub-lieutenants on turning 18. These were generally not called "boys" however, which was a term associated with the first category.

All three programs had boys joining warships at 16 or later and not before at this time.

Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 490

Re: The Sinking of HMS Royal Oak--13 Oct.1939
Posted on: 10/28/2016 10:51:27 PM

Quote:
Scapa Flow was thought to be impenetrable
--anemone


The Admiralty and Home Fleet did not think Scapa Flow was impenetrable. On the contrary, the RN had been emplacing block ships to make it impenetrable as quickly as they could because they knew it was not.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 5936
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The Sinking of HMS Royal Oak--13 Oct.1939
Posted on: 11/2/2016 4:42:03 AM
Correction--

1 A total of 120 Boy Seamen served on the battleship and 48 of them were lost when she sank. ... Owing to her 'second line' status she was primarily used as an operational training ship.

2 In WWI Scapa Flow was chosen as the base for the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet as it was regarded as an impenetrable safe haven. However, within a few months of the outbreak of the war, it was clear that the Flow was vulnerable to attack when German submarine U-18 managed to enter the Flow.

Admiral Sir John Jellicoe ordered that five of the entrances into the Flow be made secure and defences were quickly put in place. One of the defences was the use of ships to block the entrances to the Flow. Some of these ships were purchased by the Navy, whilst others were the ‘spoils of war’. Most were towed to Orkney, while others sailed here under their own steam before being filled with ballast and sunk.

Many block ships were sunk during both world wars and a few can still be seen today,probably giving the impression of impenetrability at the time .

NB..Thanks Mike for your interest

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2745

Re: The Sinking of HMS Royal Oak--13 Oct.1939
Posted on: 11/2/2016 8:00:39 AM
Fascinating topic, Jim, & Mike,

Thanks for the info on the RN Training program in effect on Royal Oak! You wonder why Hitler made such a big deal about it's sinking killing among others 48 young teenagers?? BTW could someone post some videos or more pics on this grand old RN Ship, any on her sinking!? I couldn't recover your 1st "Read More"?

Thanks again,
MD

BTW Great Scapa Flow Website, which I could pull up!

---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 5936
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The Sinking of HMS Royal Oak--13 Oct.1939
Posted on: 11/2/2016 8:15:23 AM
Try this link Dave


[Read More]

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2745

Re: The Sinking of HMS Royal Oak--13 Oct.1939
Posted on: 11/2/2016 8:22:35 AM
Thanks Jim,

Awesome pics especially of her wreck at the bottom of Scapa Flow!

Regards,
Dave
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

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