Download E-books The Hidden Threat: The Royal Naval Minesweeping Reserve in WWI PDF

By Jim Crossley

It's not generally remembered that mines have been through a ways the best weapon deployed opposed to the British Royal army in WW1, costing them five battleships, three cruisers, 22 destroyers, four submarines and a bunch of alternative vessels. They have been ordinarily combated via a civilian strength utilizing fishing boats and paddle steamers recruited from vacation lodges. This not going armada kept the day for Britain and her allies. After 1916, submarine assaults on service provider ships grew to become an excellent extra critical possibility to Allied communications yet submarines have been a ways much less harmful to British warships than mines.

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This proved to be a nasty mistake. As she grew to become in the direction of her consort, a mine seemed lifeless forward. placing the engines complete astern, the skipper yelled out ‘Clear the deck, everyone aft! ’ sending the team scampering for protect. She struck the mine head on. Bell persevered his tale. I stepped again at the back of the normal compass, hunched my shoulders and pulled up the collar of my British hot [heavy overcoat worn by way of naval and military officers]. Then the explosion – it looked as if it would rend the total send and shake her to the very center. I absolutely anticipated to be hit by way of falling particles yet marvellous to narrate, except a bath bathtub i used to be untouched. Afterwards I picked up a bit twisted iron as giant as my fist which should have fallen inside a backyard of me. After the explosion I regarded over the bridge display and observed that the total forecastle as much as inside of twenty toes of the bridge was once wrecked. I left the higher bridge and happening met the executive engineer and instructed him to forestall the engines and spot if the major stokehold bulkhead used to be tight. I ordered the signalman to inform the Cheltenham, our sweeping associate, to take us in tow by way of the strict, and the Pontefract to visit the help of Ludlow and tow her to Harwich. Groping one of the wreckage I came across one of many stokers, an RNR guy, he was once in nice risk for the deck was once cracking ominously and afterwards over excited. I requested him what he used to be doing and he responded ‘I left my jumper right here and got here to discover it. If s received an image of my younger woman within the pocket. ’ I went up on deck back and the 1st lieutenant got here up and acknowledged ‘Shall I decrease the boats? ’ ‘What for? ’ used to be my answer. ‘To abandon send’ stated he after which I observed all of the boats have been manned and prepared. i need to say i actually did benefit from the following few mins, and my language used to be rarely parliamentary. lower than my abuse the boats grew to become empty and the fingers have been despatched approximately their paintings. My steward used to be working approximately with the ship's puppy in his palms, so I bit into him complete and hearty and advised him to move and solve my cabin which, being lower than the bridge used to be a mass of damaged glass and crockery… Cheltenham had us in tow stern first in lower than 5 mins, and headed for Harwich. guidance was once undesirable and we yawed significantly. notwithstanding, lets use our paddles, so endured going gradual astern which eased the tow. Totnes used to be picked up through a harbour tug and wear a mooring for the evening. The broken bow used to be minimize away and in a couple of months she used to be repaired on the way to be pretty much as good as new. Cheltenham helped to tow Ludlow, yet she foundered in a emerging sea that evening off the Cork gentle vessel. The little Totnes had survived a head-on mine strike, the mine most likely containing 350 lb of explosive. It was once therefore greater than two times as strong because the one who had performed for the amazing Audacious years previous (160 lb). winning because the paddlers have been, they'd their drawbacks. except their terrible heavy-weather functionality, the paddle packing containers had an alarming behavior of trapping mines. Designs have been for that reason ready for the quest type twin-screw minesweepers.

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