LOSS OF HMS ARK ROYAL IN WW2

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aurora
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LOSS OF HMS ARK ROYAL IN WW2

Post by aurora » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:46 pm

After the Second World War, the loss of Ark Royal was investigated. The conclusion drawn was that, on a target of 22,000 tons, the provision of an effective anti-torpedo scheme was difficult.
However, when a comparison with the Yorktown was held it was demonstrated that it was possible, and that the Yorktown had only sunk when all her reserve buoyancy had been exhausted.
The primary cause of the loss of Ark Royal was held to be the inexperience and poor judgement of those responsible for damage control and their lack of initiative. Proper damage control measures were not undertaken in good time nor was action to tow the ship to Gibraltar, less than 25 miles away undertaken promptly.
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:
The uninterrupted boiler room flat was a significant error that was immediately rectified in the Illustrious and Indefatigable class. The adoption of a double hangar had forced the use of cross-deck uptakes low in the ship adding to vulnerability. The reliance on steam generators was also an error and diesel generators were back-fitted to the armoured carriers. 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????

aurora
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Jim

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Rick Rather
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Re: LOSS OF HMS ARK ROYAL IN WW2

Post by Rick Rather » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:29 am

No.

Next thread...

Seriously - Your ship is your home. It's more than that: It is the center of your existence. It's crew is your family: You may fight with each other, but if the thing that brings you together and protects you is threatened, you pull together and give your all to save it. This is fundamental.

Sure, the situation may become untenable, but you don't give up the ship without a helluva fight.

When I think of the heroic efforts that saved Forrestal, Belknap, Stark, Samuel B. Roberts and others (hell, I'll even throw Mogami & Sabalan into the argument), I find the attitude you describe as almost incomprehensible - more in keeping with a third-world "canoe-club" than the Royal Navy.
Just because it's stupid, futile and doomed to failure, that doesn't mean some officer won't try it.
-- R. Rather

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aurora
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Re: LOSS OF HMS ARK ROYAL IN WW2

Post by aurora » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:58 am

Thank you for your response Rick-this how the ship was evacuated and this is why Captain Maund was court-martialled.:-

The Ark Royal (immediately after the explosion) took on a 10 degree list that increased to 18 degrees within 20 minutes.
Due to the flooding of the switchboard, communications within the ship were lost, explaining the delay in bringing the ship to a halt. At this point the Captain decided to evacuate the ship. All personnel were withdrawn from the machinery spaces and assembled topside in order to determine who should leave the ship and who should remain on board. As a result of this action, damage control measures were only initiated 49 minutes after the hit, the flooding having been uncontrolled for this period. During this critical period, the centerline boiler room started to flood from below. During the evacuation of the machinery spaces several covers and armoured hatches were left open, allowing the flooding to spread further than otherwise would be expected.

aurora
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Jim

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Re: LOSS OF HMS ARK ROYAL IN WW2

Post by Byron Angel » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:12 pm

..... I have not read the report on the loss of Ark Royal, but a list of 18deg would quite likely have caused the shutdown of all boilers, leaving her with no power beyond lingering pressure remaining in her steam lines. No steam pressure suggests no pumping or lighting capability.


B

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aurora
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Re: LOSS OF HMS ARK ROYAL IN WW2

Post by aurora » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:50 pm

Byron you are of course correct-As the ship listed further, water came in through the uptakes of the starboard boiler room, flooding over into the centerline, 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.

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Re: LOSS OF HMS ARK ROYAL IN WW2

Post by RF » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:55 pm

aurora wrote: The primary cause of the loss of Ark Royal was held to be the inexperience and poor judgement of those responsible for damage control and their lack of initiative. Proper damage control measures were not undertaken
Just like when the KM lost the Blucher, sunk in Oslo Fjiord for want of a fire fighting team....
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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aurora
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Re: LOSS OF HMS ARK ROYAL IN WW2

Post by aurora » Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:07 pm

Blucher did have a firefighting team, but they were completely untried, and their first futile attempts at putting out the initial fire was completely thrown out of gear by the second and much more serious magazine explosion which caused an inferno.


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Re: LOSS OF HMS ARK ROYAL IN WW2

Post by aurora » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:25 pm

From the history of HMS Indomitable
"Indomitable was then able to slowly right herself again, and just steamed back to Malta. Captain Grantham took the calculated risk of counter-flooding to get the ship on an even keel, in doing so he had flagrantly disobeyed the Admiralty who believed that "letting water into the ship is exactly what the enemy intended," but saved Indomitable from the fate that befell Ark Royal in 1941.
Indomitable had been torpedoed by a German [Ju88] aircraft during the Fleet's own airborne attack, and so had appeared to the guard ships to be a returning friendly aircraft, you see. The torpedo struck roughly mid-ships on the portside, below my cabin, it tore a 30-ft. (9m) hole on the waterline stretching aft, it should have been a mortal blow.

Would any member care to comment on the above in relation to the seemingly needless loss of Ark Royal??

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Re: LOSS OF HMS ARK ROYAL IN WW2

Post by Ersatz Yorck » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:24 pm

The statement about counterflooding being prohibited seems odd to me. Counterflooding can hardly have been a new and untried practice in the RN during WW2!It was certainly practiced in the RN during WW1.

An airborne torpedo will often be lighter than a submarine torpedo, so all torpedo hits are not equal. Also the Indomitable was a much newer ship than the Ark Royal. However, all in all, a 22000 ton ship should normally survive a single torpedo hit.

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Re: LOSS OF HMS ARK ROYAL IN WW2

Post by aurora » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:44 pm

in doing so he had flagrantly disobeyed the Admiralty who believed that "letting water into the ship is exactly what the enemy intended,

Ersattz Y-I think that remark was a bit "tongue in cheek" and not meant to be taken seriously-as you can see how it is worded.
Of course counter flooding was a compensatory measure when a ship became holed; however I do know that it was not properly understood pre 1910 ie. pre Titanic
I fully take on board the difference between a submarine and aircraft torpedoes that you have pointed out -however Hitler had beefed up the aerial torpedoes for the Ju88 and He111 in early 1942; but the explosive head of an aerial torpedo was about 67% of the submarine torpedo in 1941

aurora
Quo Fata Vocant-Whither the Fates call

Jim

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