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


Posts: 5960
http:// 82.44.47.99
The Loss of HMS Ark Royal on 13th November 1941
Posted on: 5/29/2017 8:21:08 AM
The torpedo hit on Ark Royal was serious; but put the ship in no immediate danger of sinking. The prompt application of counterflooding and standard damage control procedures would have saved the ship.

The Investigation also concluded that there were a variety of design factors contributing to the loss:

1 The uninterrupted boiler room flat was a significant error that was immediately rectified in the Illustrious and Indefatigable class.

2 The adoption of a double hangar had forced the use of cross-deck uptakes low in the ship adding to vulnerability.

3 The reliance on steam generators was also an error and diesel generators were back-fitted to the armoured carriers.

4 The power train design itself was strongly criticized.

Captain Maund was court-martialled for negligence in February 1942. He was found guilty on two counts of negligence: one of failing to ensure that properly constituted damage control parties had remained on board after the general evacuation, and one of failing to ensure the ship was in a sufficient state of readiness to deal with possible damage.

The board tempered their judgement with an acknowledgement that a high standard was being expected of Maund, and that he was primarily concerned with the welfare of his crew.

In the light of the forgoing- should the Ark Royal have been allowed to sink????

Regards

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


Posts: 5960
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The Loss of HMS Ark Royal on 13th November 1941
Posted on: 5/30/2017 10:23:31 AM
The "other side of the coin"

As the ship listed further, water came in through the uptakes of the starboard boiler room, flooding over into the centreline, and later into the port boiler rooms.

This flooding further reduced the area through which the funnel gases could escape, causing severe local overheating and fires.

One hour and 19 minutes after the torpedo hit, all power within the ship failed. Meanwhile, most of the crew had been ordered to evacuate the ship.

Those that left the ship included the entire staff of shipwrights and key members of the electrical staff, depriving the damage control crews of much-needed expertise.

There were still further delays before the repair crews returned to the machinery spaces and attempts at counter-flooding started.

Regards

Jim
---------------
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richto90
Bremerton, WA, USA
top 25
E-6 Staff Sergeant
Posts: 396

Re: The Loss of HMS Ark Royal on 13th November 1941
Posted on: 5/30/2017 1:36:21 PM
Is there a reason to rehash the same discussion from a year ago?

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


Posts: 5960
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The Loss of HMS Ark Royal on 13th November 1941
Posted on: 5/30/2017 2:12:26 PM
I am not aware that this was discussed a year ago Rich-you obviously Know something that I don't.

Regards

Jim
---------------
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richto90
Bremerton, WA, USA
top 25
E-6 Staff Sergeant
Posts: 396

Re: The Loss of HMS Ark Royal on 13th November 1941
Posted on: 5/30/2017 3:50:39 PM

Quote:
I am not aware that this was discussed a year ago Rich-you obviously Know something that I don't.

Regards

Jim
--anemone


Sorry, I should have been clearer. The topic of the loss of Ark Royal was discussed thoroughly after you brought it up in the thread you started regarding the loss of Courageous, last July.

http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/Forums/ViewPost.aspx?ForumID=34&ID=31234

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


Posts: 2773

Re: The Loss of HMS Ark Royal on 13th November 1941
Posted on: 5/30/2017 4:02:29 PM
Jim,

I believe rich is right, but I would like to show you this!?
[Read More]
---------------
"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: 5960
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The Loss of HMS Ark Royal on 13th November 1941
Posted on: 5/31/2017 3:36:12 AM
Rich, Dave I stand corrected-this has to be a restatement. There are more facts to emerge..

The torpedo hit on Ark Royal was serious, but put the ship in no immediate danger of sinking The prompt application of counter flooding and standard damage control procedures would have saved the ship.

Why was not she not quickly taken under tow by her two attendant destroyers-Why was the Gibraltar seagoing tug too late on the scene- 26 mile away.???

Regards

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

richto90
Bremerton, WA, USA
top 25
E-6 Staff Sergeant
Posts: 396

Re: The Loss of HMS Ark Royal on 13th November 1941
Posted on: 5/31/2017 12:25:02 PM

Quote:
Rich, Dave I stand corrected-this has to be a restatement. There are more facts to emerge..

The torpedo hit on Ark Royal was serious, but put the ship in no immediate danger of sinking The prompt application of counter flooding and standard damage control procedures would have saved the ship.

Why was not she not quickly taken under tow by her two attendant destroyers-Why was the Gibraltar seagoing tug too late on the scene- 26 mile away.???

Regards

Jim
--anemone


Destroyers were not designed for towing, but could do it. The problem was, there were not many destroyers there and known subs were in the area. Only one was left with Ark Royal, the others escorted the other vessels to Gibralter before returning with the tugs. The two tugs departed promptly as well. See below from http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-04CV-Ark%20Royal.htm for perhaps the best and most even-handed account of the sinking, taken from the ships log and from the investigations.

At 1538 ARK ROYAL was making 19 knots when she altered course to starboard, on to 290¡, putting her on MALAYAs starboard quarter and a Swordfish commenced lining up to land on.



[At 1540 the hydrophone (passive sonar) operator on the LEGION detected an unidentified sound, assumed to be propeller noise of a nearby destroyer. But this was in fact U 81's torpedoes]



At 1541, in recorded position 36-03N, 4-45W, just as the Swordfish landed, one of U 81's torpedoes hit ARK ROYAL on her starboard side abreast the bridge; causing a great spout of water to shoot up and the aircraft on the deck to jump. Captain Maund was on the flight deck when the torpedo struck and he raced to the bridge to take command, but communications within the ship were immediately lost and ARK ROYAL continued moving ahead and started to list to starboard.

The only crew member lost was Able Seaman E Mitchell, who was the oldest rating on board, and was on duty in the lower steering position when the torpedo struck he was believed killed in the explosion.



[The torpedo hit ARK ROYAL on the starboard side, abreast of the Island. Because it was set to run at a depth of 5 metres it struck the joint between the side protection (the side protection was designed to protect against an explosive warhead of 750lb, 341Kg) and the turn of the bilge. Length wise the position was the worst possible being almost dead amidships, it was where the list caused would be the greatest and its position relative to the transverse bulkheads was such that four main compartments were immediately subject to flooding. The explosion blew a hole in her side approximately 130ft x 30ft, the size of which increased during the time it took to bring ARK ROYAL to a halt, resulting in additional hull plating being peeled off. The starboard boiler room, air spaces, oil tanks, the main switchboard and the lower steering position were immediately flooded. The starboard drive shaft was also disabled by the explosion, causing the rear half of the ship to lose electrical power and communications were severed throughout the ship and telephone also the engine room telegraphs failed. However, the port and centreline drive shafts were unaffected.

The ship whipped violently with the explosion which caused the aircraft on the flight deck to jump into the air. However, very little shock damage occurred internally.

Following the explosion ARK ROYAL immediately started to list to starboard and very quickly reached 10¡ and after 3 minutes it was at 12¡.

Because ARK ROYAL had lost electrical power, and she didn't have a diesel generator back up, the pumps could not be operated; so water flowed in unchecked. However she did have battery powered auxiliary lighting which had been activated when power was lost]



At about 1552 ARK ROYAL finally came to a stop.

By around 1600 ARK ROYAL's list had reached 18¡.



[At around 1600 the MALAYA escorted by the destroyers SIKH, ZULU and ISAAC SWEERS departed the scene and made for Gibraltar.

At 1622 the ZULU was detached to return to assist the ARK ROYAL.

At 1830 the MALAYA and the destroyers SIKH and ISAAC SWEERS arrived at Gibraltar

On arrival at Gibraltar the CINC Force H immediately transferred his flag to the SIKH and returned to the scene of the attack]



At around 1605 Captain Maund had decided that ARK ROYAL was going to sink. So he ordered the destroyer LEGION alongside and ordered the evacuation of all surplus crew on to LEGION. The LEGION was unable to go alongside due to ARK ROYAL's masts being horizontal (in the flying operations position) so LEGION put her bow against ARK ROYAL's port quarter. Ropes were lowered from ARK ROYAL and A 'bed' of hammocks was piled on LEGION's forecastle and most of ARK ROYAL's evacuating crew landed or jumped on the hammocks. During the evacuation of the machinery spaces many hatches were left open, allowing the flooding to spread into other compartments.

Many of the crew, who were taken off including shipwrights and electrical staff, deprived the damage control crews of much-needed expertise.



[While the main bulk of the crew were being evacuated Commander (E) H Dixon, Engineering Officer and Lt Cdr (E) A G Oliver the Senior Engineer were below. Cdr Dixon was in the machinery control room but because of the failure of the internal communications he was not aware of the extent of the damage, he sent Oliver to investigate. Oliver found the starboard boiler room rapidly filling with water and almost covering the top of the two boilers, the compartment had been abandoned; he then entered the centre boiler room and discovered water rising from below and above through the uptake casing vents, this compartment was also abandoned. Oliver secured both compartments by closing hatches, fan intakes and vents. He then checked the port boiler room and found this to be dry and the two boilers in steam and the flat manned by Warrant Engineer S A Woodriffe, Chief Stoker H Walley, Mechanician J Hall and Stoker H D Scott.

At around 1630, while Oliver was carrying out his inspection, Captain Maund had ordered counter flooding, but Cdr Dixon could not carry out the order until the necessary specialists returned to the machinery spaces]



[Between 1625 and 2120 Guggenberger recorded that U 81 was hunted by three destroyers who between them dropped 162 DC's, none of which caused any adverse effects. The submarine moved slowly away to the north. During this time none of the destroyers obtained a confirmed sonar contact on U 81.

At 2122 U 81 surfaced and sighted destroyers 8 to 10 Kilometres away to the south, U 81 then continued north on the surface towards the Spanish coast]



[At around 1630 the destroyer WILD SWAN, the tugs ST DAY 860grt and THAMES 624grt, and Fairmile B motor launches ML.121, ML.130, ML.132 and ML.135 from the 3rd Motor Launch Flotilla and ML.170, ML.172, and ML.176 from the 9th Motor Launch Flotilla sailed from Gibraltar to the assistance of ARK ROYAL]



By 1648 LEGION had embarked 1487 crew from ARK ROYAL and she pulled away and rejoined the screen.

At 1700 the men in the port boiler room lost boiler feed water and were forced to shut down the two boilers this caused the loss of all power within the ship, and stopping what few pumps were operational. Ship board communications were still out but a field telephone had been set up from an emergency conning position on the flight deck and the machinery control room.

At around 1715 Captain Maund called the LAFOREY alongside to provide some electrical power to ARK ROYAL.

At around 1730 counter flooding of port side compartments had reduced the list to 14¡, but because of the lack of specialist expertise in the damage control parties only half of the available compartments on the port side were flooded. However, again due to lack of expertise, some of flooding valves were not closed, so the water in the counter flooded compartments was gradually expelled as more water entered through the hole in the starboard side.

At around 1800 the HERMIONE went alongside ARK ROYAL and put on board an electrical repair party.

By around 1830 LAFOREY had power cables running into ARK ROYAL providing power for lighting and the pumps, a hose had also been connected to pump boiler feed water to ARK ROYAL's port boiler room.



[At around 1900 the destroyer WILD SWAN, the tugs ST DAY and THAMES, and motor launches ML.121, ML.130, ML.132, ML.135, ML.170, ML.172, and ML.176 arrived on the scene]



At around 1930 the two boilers in the port boiler room were producing steam at a sufficient pressure to drive a dynamo.

By 2000 the tug THAMES had attached a line to ARK ROYAL. The ST DAY initially failed to get a line aboard and stood off to try later.

By 2059 the tug ST DAY had got a line on to ARK ROYAL and the two tugs worked up to a towing speed of two knots.

At 2140 a number of ARK ROYAL's electrical staff were returned to ARK ROYAL by boat from LEGION.

By 2200 two of ARK ROYAL's dynamos were operating, proving electricity for lighting and pumps.



[At 2230 the destroyer SIKH (Flag CINC Force H) arrived on the scene from Gibraltar]



14th – The ST DAY and THAMES continued at two knots, to tow ARK ROYAL westwards towards Gibraltar. But ARK ROYAL was getting lower in the water.

At around 0130 the list started to rapidly increase. Water reached the boiler room fan flat which ran the full width of the ship above the boiler rooms. In the engine room the steam pressure started to fall from 200lbs/sq inch. At 0215 a fire broke out in the port boiler room. The boiler room crew fought the fire but eventually they had to give up. This forced the shutdown of the port boilers.

By 0220 the list had reached 20¡.

By 0400 the list had reached 27¡.

By 0430 the list had reached 35¡ and the order was given to abandoned ship and the 250 men still onboard left, most climbed down on the ST DAY.

At about 0445 the LAFOREY and the ST DAY cast off.

At about 0530 the THAMES cast off.

At 0619 ARK ROYAL's list reached 45¡ and she continued rolling to 90¡, in which position she remained for three minutes, she then went vertical standing on her stern and started sinking.

By 0624 ARK ROYAL's bow had disappeared below the surface of the Mediterranean.

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


Posts: 5960
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The Loss of HMS Ark Royal on 13th November 1941
Posted on: 5/31/2017 1:01:57 PM
A remarkable story-Ark Royal stayed afloat for almost 15 hours- and well told Rich-for which- my thanks.If I may be so bold-how do you "view" Capt.Maund's courts martial- in the light of the data that you have provided- which does indicate many witnesses.???

Regards

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

richto90
Bremerton, WA, USA
top 25
E-6 Staff Sergeant
Posts: 396

Re: The Loss of HMS Ark Royal on 13th November 1941
Posted on: 5/31/2017 2:00:06 PM

Quote:
A remarkable story-Ark Royal stayed afloat for almost 15 hours- and well told Rich-for which- my thanks.If I may be so bold-how do you "view" Capt.Maund's courts martial- in the light of the data that you have provided- which does indicate many witnesses.???

Regards

Jim
--anemone


Jim, her list was increasing at close to 1 degree per minute when Maund made his decision. He had no power and no way of knowing there was a possibility of restoring some power for counter-flooding until about 25 minutes after he gave the order to abandon. At that rate, if he had gambled and lost - the ship kept listing at that rate - then he would have lost most of the crew and you would be asking why he wasn't given a court martial for the crew loss rather than the ship loss.

Second guessing commanders is a fun pastime...at least if you aren't the guy on the spot.

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


Posts: 5960
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The Loss of HMS Ark Royal on 13th November 1941
Posted on: 5/31/2017 2:25:41 PM
My thanks again to you Rich- for a very reasonable reply-I was a bit surprised at the outcome- in view of what you described-particularly the number of "technical"faults the ship had-plus the fact that Ark Royal's crew were not fully trained in damage control; and Maund being held responsible.Would that have been a "standing order" for captains of capital ships in 1941.???

Regards

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

richto90
Bremerton, WA, USA
top 25
E-6 Staff Sergeant
Posts: 396

Re: The Loss of HMS Ark Royal on 13th November 1941
Posted on: 5/31/2017 2:38:37 PM

Quote:
My thanks again to you Rich- for a very reasonable reply-I was a bit surprised at the outcome- in view of what you described-particularly the number of "technical"faults the ship had-plus the fact that Ark Royal's crew were not fully trained in damage control; and Maund being held responsible.Would that have been a "standing order" for captains of capital ships in 1941.???

Regards

Jim
--anemone


Sorry, but I don't fully understand what your question is? You have too many clauses.

A 130+ by 30+ foot hole in your hull is rather a massive "technical" fault to begin with. So is not having a backup generator, which was a product of prewar penury. Early war damage control experiences were rudimentary in all navies. Evacuating the ship scrambled the crews so it wasn't so much the lack of training but that the damage control crews were scattered. Nor do I believe a captain had "standing orders"...that's why he was captain after all.

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


Posts: 5960
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The Loss of HMS Ark Royal on 13th November 1941
Posted on: 6/1/2017 3:39:09 AM
IMO there were two main faults attributed to the loss of this ship-one was inherent ie it's design, which at this juncture of it's life; can be set aside; but the second-DAMAGE CONTROL was abysmal-the Captain's decision to bring ALL lower deck men topside was a mistake- compounded by sending men who were required for damage control, over the side to Legion- without consideration for the ship.I am convinced that he thought her doomed.

Again IMO- that is why Maund was court-martialed for negligence in February 1942. He was found guilty on two counts of negligence: one of failing to ensure that properly constituted damage control parties had remained on board after the general evacuation, and one of failing to ensure the ship was in a sufficient state of readiness to deal with possible damage.

Regards

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


Posts: 2773

Re: The Loss of HMS Ark Royal on 13th November 1941
Posted on: 6/2/2017 10:37:33 AM
Hi Jim,


Your right the commander of a aircraft carrier should be the sharpest pencil in the box. The commander of Ark Royal was left wanting.

MD
---------------
"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: 5960
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The Loss of HMS Ark Royal on 13th November 1941
Posted on: 6/2/2017 10:53:01 AM
Dave-The torpedo hit- tore a 30 ft hole in Ark Royal's aft side of the island; and the captain fearing for his crew- pulled out the entire lower deck hands.They in turn left all doors and hatch covers open in their rush to get topside; and that is where Capt. Maund made his fatal mistake-the ship stayed afloat for nigh on fifteen hours.

Regards

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

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