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Navy war graves ( merged )

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jollyjacktar

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Hope they take them up on it.  Good photos at story link.  Kudo's to Mr. Allen  :salute:

The hunt for HMS Hood's bell: Billionaire offers to fund recovery so that it can be a memorial to 1,415 crew who drowned when warship was sunk by the Bismarck in 1941By Anna Edwards
PUBLISHED: 18:41 GMT, 29 July 2012 | UPDATED: 09:09 GMT, 30 July 2012

A US billionaire has offered to lead an operation to recover the bell of the sunken battle cruiser HMS Hood, which was sunk in 1941 and killed 1,415 men, for free.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said US philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Paul G Allen has offered his private yacht be used in the search to recover the bell at no cost to it.
HMS Hood, which was a state-of-the-art vessel for its time, is the largest Royal Navy vessel to have been sunk, causing the biggest loss of life suffered by any single British warship.

If recovered successfully, the bell will be used as a touching memorial to the ship which was sunk by the battleship Bismarck in the Denmark Strait on May 24, 1942.
Only three crew members survived.The tycoon's yacht Octopus, equipped with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) will be used for the operation, which will be supported by Blue Water Recoveries Ltd, which specialises in the search and investigation of shipwrecks.  In a previous expedition, which did not disturb the wreck, the company discovered and photographed the bell, an MoD spokesman said It is lying on the seabed well away from the parts of the ship's hull, which will not be disturbed by the recovery operation, he added. 

If the recovery mission is successful, the bell will be put on display by the National Museums of the Royal Navy (NMRN), and form a major feature of a new exhibition hall due to open at the Royal Navy Museum in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard in 2014. HMS Hood was based in Portsmouth.  Rear Admiral Philip Wilcocks, president of the HMS Hood Association, whose members include veterans who served on the ship before its final mission, and relatives of those who were lost, said: 'There is no headstone among the flowers for those who perish at sea.

'For those who lost their lives in HMS Hood, the recovery of her bell and its subsequent place of honour in the museum will mean that, well after the remains of Hood have gone, future generations will be able to gaze upon her bell and remember with gratitude and thanks the heroism, courage and personal sacrifice of Hood's ship's company who died in the service of their country.'  Professor Dominic Tweddle, director general NMRN, said: 'It will be an honour and privilege to display the bell from HMS Hood. Our new galleries, opening in April 2014, will recall and commemorate the heroism, duty and sacrifice of the people of the Royal Navy in the 20th and 21st centuries. 'Hood's bell encapsulates the whole of that story as no other single object could.'

The wreck of HMS Hood, which was discovered in 2001, 2,800 metres under the waves, is designated under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986.
The Government has licensed the recovery of the bell - as well as providing a memorial, the recovery will prevent it being taken by any illegal operation for personal gain, the MoD spokesman said.  Director of Blue Water Recoveries David Mearns located the wreck of HMS Hood in 2001 and is coordinating the current expedition.  He said: 'This is a wonderful opportunity for us to return to the wreck site of Hood with camera and lighting technologies far superior to that available to us 11 years ago.
'Our aim is to conduct a comprehensive, non-intrusive video investigation of the wreckage, which we believe will allow experts to definitively determine what happened to Hood in her final moments before she sank and answer why the loss of life was so great.  'Hopefully the weather and subsea conditions will be right for us to recover Hood's bell so that it is protected beyond doubt and returned to the Royal Navy.'

The sinking of the Hood on May 24 1941 by the German battleship Bismarck managed to shock a nation by then used to war. Only three of its 1,418 crew survived the sinking during the Battle of the Denmark Strait.  The fifth salvo from the Bismarck hit the ship's magazine resulting in a catastrophic explosion, which tore it in half, and it sank in less than three minutes.  The flagship of the fleet was part of a force ordered to engage the Bismarck and her escort cruiser Prinz Eugen off Greenland.  In the days after the sinking, Britain's wartime prime minister Winston Churchill ordered the Bismarck found and sunk.  On May 27, the battleship was finally sunk after several days of attacks by Royal Navy ships and the Royal Air Force.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2180689/Hunt-HMS-Hoods-bell-provide-memorial-ships-1-415-crew-drowned-sunk-Bismark-1941.html#ixzz227dTDjnt
 

Edward Campbell

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I disagree.

Sunken warships are, themselves, "hallowed ground" and should be left as is.

There are other, better ways to memorialize those killed in action at sea.

This is, without putting too fine a point on it, nothing more than grave robbing. It may be tied up in a memorial ribbon but it is still plain, simple grave robbing. The UK authorities should know better.
 
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jollyjacktar

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The wreck would not be disturbed as the bell is off to the side and already located.  As a Sailor, I agree HOOD is hallowed ground.  However, I would like to see her bell raised and saved for future generations.  The dead will remain where they lay and not be disturbed. 
 

Occam

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jollyjacktar said:
The wreck would not be disturbed as the bell is off to the side and already located.  As a Sailor, I agree HOOD is hallowed ground.  However, I would like to see her bell raised and saved for future generations.  The dead will remain where they lay and not be disturbed.

As a former sailor, I would agree with you.  If the HMS Hood Association has given the nod, then I think it's being done right.
 

Edward Campbell

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I am afraid I cannot be persuaded. My opinion is that HOOD, all of it, should remain undisturbed for some defined (long) period (200 years? 300?), after which underwater archaeologists from accredited academic institutions should be allowed access. I think that rule should apply to the sites of all Commonwealth ships that were lost in battle. I think it is impossible to do it "right" so soon after the fact.
 

BernDawg

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FWIW:
I believe that a ships bell holds a special place in the hearts of all sailors and as it's not within the wreckage and it will be used as a memorial for the Hood, I agree with the association. Recover it with all the tact and dignity it deserves and mount it in a place of honour to serve as a reminder and memorial where all people have access to it to pay their respects.
 

Fishbone Jones

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All I'll say is that if it can bring the slightest sense of closure to the families and shipmates, by displaying it, bring it up. Let them touch it and connect a bit more with those they lost.
 
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jollyjacktar

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BernDawg said:
FWIW:
I believe that a ships bell holds a special place in the hearts of all sailors and as it's not within the wreckage and it will be used as a memorial for the Hood, I agree with the association. Recover it with all the tact and dignity it deserves and mount it in a place of honour to serve as a reminder and memorial where all people have access to it to pay their respects.
Yes, you've hit it right on the head.  A ship's bell is special, and if I was to pick one part of a ship above all others it is the bell.  The bell is the focal point of the ship, her voice so to speak and much more.  I don't expect you,E.R., as a Soldier to fully appreciate this except to say it's the equivalent for a ship's company to say a Regiment's colours for her troops.  HOOD should be allowed to return to the earth over time, but her bell?  No.  We'll agree to disagree on this one.
 

SeaKingTacco

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Mr Campbell has more of an appreciation of the gravity of this than any of you can possibly imagine.

And it has nothing to do with what service he was with.

Try googling HMCS LOUISBURG.
 

Halifax Tar

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Its just two opinions lads let it go.

Pipe the side for the Mighty Hood!

ER, I googled HMCS LOUISBURG, I just want to say from one sailor to the son (I assume son correct me if I am wrong) of another I appreciate the sacrifice your father made while in command of LOUISBURG.

Pipe the side and half mast the ensign!  :cdn:
 

Ex-Dragoon

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My personal opinion is if I was lost at sea and the bell could be recovered I would want it so,  A empty grave marker is just that, empty. With the bell, something I have touched, cleaned, rang etc would provide a degree of closure for my loved ones. My 2 cents.
 

Jarnhamar

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It may seem far fetched but I think it would be pretty neat if they brought the bell up and placed it on a brand new battle cruiser, say the HMS Hood II or something.

I would rather see something like the ships bell used, again, in service and duty than resting in a museum.  I wonder how many of the fallen would want to see the ships bell used again too.
 

Retired AF Guy

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Correct if I'm wrong, but isn't the modern theory that the HMS Hood was actually sunk by the Prinz Eugen, not the Bismarck??
 

daftandbarmy

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Retired AF Guy said:
Correct if I'm wrong, but isn't the modern theory that the HMS Hood was actually sunk by the Prinz Eugen, not the Bismarck??

Here are seven options.


1) Official Explanation:  The British held two inquiries into the Hood's loss.  The first was quite brief, reporting on 2 June 1941, less than two weeks after the Hood was sunk.  The second was much longer and detailed, taking testimony from 89 witnesses from the Norfolk, 71 from the Prince of Wales, 14 from the Suffolk, 2 from the Hood and from numerous technical experts.  This inquiry reported on 12 September 1941.  Both inquiries concluded that the cause of the Hood's loss was not from the Cordite fire on the boat deck, but from one or two 15 inch shells which pierced through the thin amidships deck armor (or possibly the side belt), set off the four inch magazine which in turn set off the after 15 inch magazine.

2) A 15 inch hit that struck the ship underwater, penetrated under the armor belt and detonated in the aft 15 inch magazine.

3) An 8 inch (20.3 cm) or a 15 inch hit on the boatdeck that started a major fire in the four inch ready-use and UP lockers.  This gangfired down the four inch ammunition hoists, detonated the four inch magazines, which in turn then set off the aft 15 inch magazine.

4) The fire on the boatdeck as above, but it detonated the torpedo storage and that in turn blew the aft 15 inch magazine.  This theory was advanced by the head of the Director of Naval Construction (DNC), Sir Stanley Goodall (who, together with A. L. Attwood, had been in charge of the Hood's design while he was a constructor).  A problem with both this and the previous theory is that the fires on the Boat Deck were reported to be dying down by both the witnesses on the Prince of Wales and by Able Seaman Tilburn, the only Hood survivor from the Boat Deck.  It is possible that a second fire was burning unseen (to outside observers) down in the torpedo body room, but no such report reached the bridge in the four minutes between the time of the first hit and the time of the Hood's destruction.

5) As a result of the lessons the British learned at Jutland - where three British Battlecruisers blew up from German shellfire - the Hood was redesigned while still under construction to increase her armor protection.  This design work was poorly done, resulting in a badly stressed hull.  So, at the Denmark Strait battle, the fire on the boatdeck as above may have set the torpedoes on fire.  This would have created a very hot fire that could have weakened the strength deck, causing stress levels (already critical) to pass the danger point.  The result was that the ship simply broke in half.  As the ship broke up, the fire penetrated into the magazines, which then exploded.

6) Just before leaving on her last voyage, the crew had been working to correct a defect in one of the Hood's magazine hydraulic systems. It was stopping just short of the proper level needed to lift  cartridges into the loading position.  It is unknown if this fault was completely corrected.  This problem, if unrepaired or with the turret crew, in the stress of battle, working without all safety precautions in place, could have caused a cartridge, and instantly thereafter the magazine, to explode.

7) A 15 inch shell struck the belt armor, skidded down the inclined face of the plating, and then exploded in the bilges.  The flash and blast got propagated through the ship's belly into the aft magazine.  This sounds odd, but there was some testing done in the late 1920s that might support the idea.  These showed that inwardly inclined armor may indeed deflect a shell in the manner suggested, with the result that the shell would explode in a very dangerous position - under the armor belt and inside the anti-torpedo protection system.  Apparently, the concerns about this possibility were enough to cause the DNC to abandon inclined armor for the King George V, Lion and Vanguard class battleships.

Nasty point about Theories 3, 4 and 5 is that the damage that sank the Hood would have been inflicted by the Prinz Eugen.  So, ironically, a battlecruiser designed and built to destroy cruisers was instead destroyed by a cruiser.

http://digilander.libero.it/shinano/sitocorazzate/GranBretagna/Hood/history.htm
 

Fishbone Jones

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Nice bit of trivia.

Let's try keep the thread on track though shall we?

Milnet.ca Staff
 

Ex-Dragoon

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ObedientiaZelum said:
It may seem far fetched but I think it would be pretty neat if they brought the bell up and placed it on a brand new battle cruiser, say the HMS Hood II or something.

I would rather see something like the ships bell used, again, in service and duty than resting in a museum.  I wonder how many of the fallen would want to see the ships bell used again too.

Sadly cruisers are going the way of the dodo the last ones built were the Tico's and some Soviet Cold War designs, although the Burkes and Daring classes could be considered cruisers if you want to stretch things.
 

Edward Campbell

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This, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from The Telegraph, is a dreadful thing:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/malaysia/11556924/Wreck-of-HMS-Repulse-rigged-with-scrap-metal-merchants-explosives.html
the-telegraph-logo.jpg

Wreck of HMS Repulse 'rigged with scrap metal merchants' explosives'
Divers cut fuses attached to home-made bombs in an effort to protect war grave off Malaysia

By Julian Ryall, Tokyo

8:00AM BST 23 Apr 2015

The wreck of HMS Repulse, sunk in 1941 off Malaysia and classified as a war grave, has been "rigged up with home-made bombs and fuses waiting for detonation", according to a diver who visited the site on Sunday.

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HMS Repulse      Photo: GETTY

David Yiu, director of Singapore-based Friendly Waters Seasports Pte., dived on the battlecruiser to place a memorial flag in honour of the 508 men killed when the ship was sunk on December 10, 1941, by bombs and torpedoes dropped by Japanese aircraft.

Despite being a war grave, scrap metal merchants have been illegally plundering the wreck, as well as that of HMS Prince of Wales, which went down just 9 nautical miles away.

"New fuses and cables had been laid all across the hull and tin cans containing explosives were in place", Mr Yiu told The Telegraph. "And they had only been there a short time because there was no marine growth on them."

Mr Yiu and his colleagues cut as many cables as they could find, as well as the scrap metal merchants' mooring ropes.

"It was going on nearby when we were at the site because we heard a loud 'boom' when we were diving", Mr Yiu said. "It was so loud that I thought it had come from the Repulse.

"When we got on the deck, we looked through binoculars towards where the Prince of Wales is, but there were no ships there", he said. "They must have been after some of the other wrecks that are in the area, such as the two Dutch submarines."

diver-hole_3084943b.jpg

Divers inspect wreckage of HMS Repulse

Mr Yiu says the damage being done to the British warships is "hugely disrespectful" to the men who died when they sank, while another concern is the environmental damage the vessels could cause should they leak large amounts of fuel.

"They have already stolen the propellers from the Repulse, they have pretty much blasted all the back section away and when I was last on the Prince of Wales there were huge sheets of metal that had been blown off the hull and were ready for lifting.

"And the wrecks were not leaking oil before because their hulls were intact, but the blasting has damaged the plates and knocked the rivets out, so the oil has started to seep out", he said.
In November, the Malaysian navy impounded a Vietnamese-flagged fishing vessel that was caught with divers in the water on one of the wrecks.


I hope these guys are caught and tried and convicted in Singapore ... where flogging is still a normal punishment for many offences.

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Edit: punctuation  :-[  (I've been drummed out of the CIC ~ Committee for an Independent Comma)
 
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jollyjacktar

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Despite our disagreement on saving Hood's Bell from the deep, I agree with you, ER, that this is a shameful thing.
 

Shrek1985

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There is actually a treaty protecting nautical wargraves from salvage. Which, naturally only works if everyone signs it, as the aussies recently found out with HMAS Melbourne IIRC.
 
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