Can you ID these two ships?

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paulcadogan
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Can you ID these two ships?

Postby paulcadogan » Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:57 am

Hi all,

This is a part of a photo showing ships at Gibraltar in 1938 - the combined Home and Mediterranean Fleets come togerher for exercises during the Spanish Civil War.

The two ships indicated by the arrows are a mystery - clearly medium sized (larger than destroyers) but they don't fit any existing British warship - though a couple of old light cruisers come close - or depot ship. They look like they are of the same class but one is in Home Fleet dark Admiralty grey, while the other is in the light Admiralty grey of the Med Fleet.

Any ideas?
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lwd
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Re: Can you ID these two ships?

Postby lwd » Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:27 pm

Any chance they are foreign vessels?
Looking at the photos at:
http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-f ... andr33.htm
The one in back could be a Leander.

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paulcadogan
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Re: Can you ID these two ships?

Postby paulcadogan » Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:33 pm

Don't think so. The forecastle is too short (even though inclined) and no clear evidence of turrets (the closer of the two does appear to have what looks like a single gun).
The funnel is too tall and very close behind the bridge.

The closest I have come is HMS Vindictive - but she has a spotting top...

http://www.world-war.co.uk/cavendish/vindictive.php3

Doesn't quite fit.
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lwd
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Re: Can you ID these two ships?

Postby lwd » Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:40 pm

Looking at this 1937 picture of Vindictive I wouldn't think so:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... ruiser.jpg
The midships area doesn't look right nor does the superstructure to me. Of course I'm a long way from an expert in this sort of thing.

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paulcadogan
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Re: Can you ID these two ships?

Postby paulcadogan » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:18 pm

Got them ID'd!

Someone in the Model warships forum came through.

The ships are the netlayer/photographic vessels HMS Guardian (closer) and Protector (further out). The often towed targets for practice shoots or were the targets in throw-off shoots. Pictures are below.

There's a story for Protector too, related to Hood. In July 1937, she was Hood's target in a throw off shoot. At one point, Hood turned for a second "run" and the deflection got cancelled by "human error". Protector was quickly straddled by 4 15-inch shells. The story goes that Protector's cat emptied its bowels in terror. Admiral Cunningham, who was aboard Hood, was not amused - a Board of Enquiry ensued and the offending officer was censured.

Protector
Image

Guardian:

Image
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RF
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Re: Can you ID these two ships?

Postby RF » Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:08 pm

paulcadogan wrote:There's a story for Protector too, related to Hood. In July 1937, she was Hood's target in a throw off shoot. At one point, Hood turned for a second "run" and the deflection got cancelled by "human error". Protector was quickly straddled by 4 15-inch shells. The story goes that Protector's cat emptied its bowels in terror. Admiral Cunningham, who was aboard Hood, was not amused - a Board of Enquiry ensued and the offending officer was censured.


Interesting - a thought occurs to me, was this officer still on board Hood for the DS battle, if so would he have been involved in the process of Hood targetting Prinz Eugen instead of Bismarck (I know the target identification was ordered by Holland, but I think my meaning is clear)?
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paulcadogan
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Re: Can you ID these two ships?

Postby paulcadogan » Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:40 pm

No he wasn't aboard Hood for the DS - his name is not on the Roll of Honour of those lost.

According to Bruce Taylor's book, it was Lt. Nigel Henderson, in charge of the transmitting station, who was found responsible for the error. Apparently when Hood reversed course a 15 deg left deflection was changed to 15 deg right. The Lt., in error, reset the deflection back 15 deg left, putting the guns squarely on the Protector. A four gun salvo was fired, with the other four guns loaded and ready, straddling Protector. A "cease fire" order came immediately.

Henderson nevertheless eventually attained flag rank.
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