REFERENCE DOCUMENTS & RESOURCES - OFFICIAL ADMIRALTY DOCUMENTS
ADM 267/111: Damage Reports (1941)
Updated 17-Oct-2007

This document is a modern transcription of Admiralty record ADM 267/111. It highlights damage received by various Royal Navy warships during the early part of the Second World War. It was transcribed by David Chessum on behalf of the the Royal Navy Flag Officers 1904-1945 website. The original file is held at the The National Archives at Kew, London. This Crown Copyrighted material is reproduced here by kind permission of The National Archives.

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START OF TRANSCRIPTION

FOLIO

SUBJECT

FOLIO

SUBJECT

 

WHERE NO’S HAVE BEEN OMITTED, INFORMATION HAS BEEN TRANSFERRED TO OTHER GUARDS

1.

HOOD. BOMB. 26.9.39

   

2.

RODNEY. BOMB. 9.4.40

   

3.

RENOWN. SHELL. 9.4.40

   

4.

WARSPITE. BOMB. 12.7.40

   

5.

RESOLUTION. BOMB. 16.5.40

   

6.

MALAYA . BOMB. 8.7.40

   

7.

IRON DUKE. BOMB. 17.12.39. 16.3.40

   

8.

PRINCE OF WALES. SHELL. 24.5.41

   

9.

BARHAM. SHELL. 25.9.40

   

12.

PRINCE OF WALES. 3.8.40

   

13.

BARHAM. BOMB. 27.5.41

   

——page break——

SECRET.

CONSTRUCTIVE DEPARTMENT
H.M. DOCKYARD.
DEVONPORT.

27th November, 1939

In reply please quote......

Dear Sir Stanley,

I am forwarding herewith a rough sketch showing the damage to the top of the bulge of "HOOD", and have indicated on the sketch in red the approximate position of the covering plate that was torn off, also where the large pits in the armour face were observed.  Unfortunately, no photographs were taken of this particular damage.

"HOOD" has now left the port.

I appreciate very much your remarks about the "VALIANT".  We have been the recipients of a most congratulatory message from Their Lordships, and I hope we shall not suffer from swelled heads.  Incidentally, I might say that on Saturday morning when we inspected the ship she was entirely different fro what she was on the day you saw her; she was really clean and looked in first class condition.

I passed on to Brockman the remarks in your letter about having to rush off.  We both think the visit was too short, and hope to have the pleasure of seeing you down again before very long.

Kind regards,
Yours sincerely
[undecipherable signature]

Sir Stanley V. Goodall, K.C.B., O.B.E., R.C.N.C.,
Director of Naval Construction,
Admiralty,
No. 2,
Bath

 

 

 

 

——page break——

Dear [...],

Draft a letter to Blackman for me to sign asking for more particulars of the damage to the 150lb armour plate i.e. how far from butt & edge of pate & what the hole was like.

Isn't it disconcerting that a 500 k.g. bomb from 400 ft. can hole a 150 lb plate.  Is it possible that the 400 is a typing error for 4000?

SVG
23/4

——page break——

Note from Website Staff:
The following are a series of messages/reports concerning damaged sustained by battleship H.M.S. Prince of Wales during the Battle of the Denmark Strait, 24 May 1941

 
0725/X24

SECRET

MESSAGE
IN

 

 
Received:-

From C.S. 1,

 
Date 24.5.41

 

 
Time 0846.

 

Naval Cypher (A) by T/F.
 

 

   

Addressed

Admiralty, C. in C. Home Fleet.
 

 

   

XXXXXXXX. .

IMMEDIATE
 

Following received from H.M.S. PRINCE OF WALES Addressed C.S. 1 begins.

A and B turrets in action. Y turret 2 guns in action. About 400 tons water in ship mainly abaft after bulkhead. Compartment above steering compartment flooded but steering gear in action. Estimated best speed 27 knots. T.O.O. 0720/24 Ends.

0725B/24.

Advance copy sent P.P., C.S.O. to 1 st S.L.

1 st S.L.

Hydro

1 st Lord.

Press Divn.

Contr.

Salvage Dept.

Vice Contr.

C.C.R.T

4 th S.L.

W.D.

V.C.N.S.

D.A/S.W.

A.C.N.S.(N)

D.S.D.(2)

Parl. Sec.

D. of P.(3)

Nav. Sec.

D.T.D.(M)

C.S.O. to 1 st S.L.

D.T.S.D.

M.(2)

W.D.

Movts.

D.A/S.W.

I.P.(3)

D.S.D.(2)

Ops.(4)

D. of X P.(3)

O.D.(5)

D.T.D.(M)

O.D.8

D.T.S.D.

O.I.C.

 

D.S.D.(9)

Dep. Contr. (2) Bath.

D.N.O.

D.(4) Bath.

N.L.

D.N.O.(4) Bath.

D.N.I.(4)

D.N.C.(2) Bath

C.S.F.

M.F. Bath.

D.N.C.

P. Bath.

D.T.D.

D.A/S.W.(2) Bath.

——page break——

 

 
1007/24

SECRET

MESSAGE
IN

 

 
Received:-

From H.M.S. PRINCE OF WALES

 
Date 24.5.41

 

 
Time 1253.

 

   

Addressed

Admiralty, C. in C. Home Fleet C.S.1.

 

   

 

IMMEDIATE
 

Main armament control undamaged 9 main armament guns in action. Secondary armament guns in action. Considerable damage to bridge. Both forward high angle directors out of action. About 60 tons water in ship mainly aft from 2 or more hits about water line. Estimated maximum speed 26 knots. Oil fuel made readily available 1600 tons.

1007B/24.

Advance copy Ops. O.D. C.I.C. P.O. C.S.O. to 1 st S.L.

1 st Lord.

 

1 st S.L.

 

Controller.

 

Vice Controller.

 

4 th S.L.

 

V.C.N.S.

C.S.F.

A.C.N.S.(N)

D.N.C.

A.C.N.S. (T) (2)

D.T.D.

Parl. Sec.

Press Divn.

Nav. Sec.

C.C.R.T

C.S.O. to 1 st S.L.

W.D.

D. of P (3)

D.A/S.W.

D.T.D.(M)

Dep. Controller (2) Bath

D.S.D.

D. (4) Bath.

M.(2)

D.N.O. (4) Bath.

Movts.

D.N.C. (2) Bath

I.P. (3)

M.F. Bath.

Ops. (4)

P. Bath.

O.D. (5)

D.A/S.W. (2) Bath.

O.D. 8

 

D.S.D.(9)

 

D.

 

D.N.O.

 

N.L.

 

D.N.I.(4)

 

——page break——

SECRET

MESSAGE
IN

IMPORTANT

 
0530/27

 

 
Received:-

From H.M.S. PRINCE OF WALES

 
Date 27.5.41

 

 
Time 1610.

 

   

Addressed

Admiralty, C. in C. Home Fleet

Summary of damage. Armament and controls Both forward H.A. directors disabled. Port circuit cut and pedestal canted and strained. Starboard director possibly repairable by ship’s staff. After (corrupt group) office destroyed. One “Walrus” aircraft damaged and jettisoned. Both port S.L. sights destroyed. After half of compass platform severely damaged.

Hull. Following extensively damaged. Forward H.A. director supports. After funnel punctured approximately 10 new plates required. Starboard crane xxxxxxxx wrecked. Air intake to X Boiler Room severely damaged. One Boiler Room Fan Impeller and Oil Cooler damaged. M and Q coils damaged. Underwater damage follows after examination.

0530B/27

Advance copy Ops, O.D., and C.I.C.

1 st Lord.

D.N.O.

1 st S.L.

D.A.S.

Controller.

D.of S.

Vice Controller.

XXXXXXX

4 th S.L.

D.E.W.

5 th S.L.

D.S.D. (2)

V.C.N.S.

D.C.D. by case

A.C.N.S.(N)

D.N.A.D.

C.S.O. to 1 st S.L.

Dep. Controller (2) Bath

Ops. (4)

D. (4) Bath.

O.D. (5)

E.in C. Bath

O.D. 8

D.N.C. (2) Bath

D.S.D.(9)

S.D.O. (2) Bath

M.(6) and for F.M.

D.A.S.W. (2) Bath

Movts.

D.N.O. 4) Bath.

D.

D.A.S.

D.N.C.

D. of S.

E.in C.

D.E.K.

I.P. (3)

D.S.D.(2*

[….].D.O.(2)

 

D.A.S.W.

 

——page break——

 

SECRET

 
0958Z/28/MAY.

 

   

From H.M.S. PRINCE OF WALES

 
28.5.41

 

 
1440
Naval Cypher A by T/F
 

 

For – D.N.C. Admiralty, C. in C. Home Fleet

C.A.F.O. 2972/undated. Rosyth.

0958Z/28

D.N.C.
D.N.C. (2) Bath by courier

——page break——

ADM BATH        A S ROSYTH

PASS TO D N C BATH

ADDRESSED D N C BATH        FROM C CONS ROSYTH 30/5/41

REFERENCE C A F O 2972/39        REQUEST REPRESENTATIVE MAY VISIT ROSYTH AT VERY EARLY DATE

1734/30        WILKINS        81

1801/30/MAY/ELM/BBB

——page break——

 

 
MESSAGE
OUT

SECRET

 
1002B/31st May..

 

   

To C.O. PRINCE OF WALES

 
DATE 31.5.41

P/L BY T/P

   

From:- Admiralty

Your 0958/28. My representative will visit ship Tuesday June 3 rd. Please say whether this or earlier date would be convenient.

1002B/31
for D.N.O.’s Sect.

S.N.R. Bath No, 8377
D.N.C. (2)

——page break——

   
1318/31.

SECRET

MESSAGE
IN.

 

 
Received:-

From PRINCE OF WALES.

 
Date 31.5.41.

 

 
Time 1935

Addressed

Admiralty Repeated C.in C. Home Fleet.

My 0520/27.

Preliminary examination of underwater damage reveals three holes. One hole at 274 ¼ star four feet above lower deck two holes between 307 and 317 star immediately above turtle deck. Three brackets and boundary angle supporting turtle deck distorted. The middle deck in the vicinity of these three holes is perforated by splinters. It has not been possible yet to investigate damage 184/194 star below armour.

1315/31.

+ Summary of damage

Advance copy Ops. O.D.

1 st Lord.

D.S.D. (2)

1 st S.L.

D.C.D. by case

Controller.

D.N.A.D.

Vice Controller.

 

4 th S.L.

Dep. Controller (2) Bath

5 th S.L.

D. (4) Bath.

V.C.N.S.

E in C Bath

A.C.N.S.(N)

D.N.C. (2) Bath

N.A. 1 st S.L.

S.D.O. (2) Bath

Ops. (4)

D.A.S.W. (2) Bath.

O.D. 8

D.N.O. (4) Bath.

O.D. (5)

D.A.S. (3) Bath

D.S.D.(9)

D of S Bath

M (6) and for P.M.

D.E.E. (2) Bath

Movts.

D.S.D. (2) Bath.

D.

 

D.N.C.

 

E. in C.

 

I.P. (3)

 

S.D.O. (2)

 

D.A.S.W.

 

D.N.O.

 

D.A.S.

 

D or S

 

D.E.E.

 

——page break——

 

   
1915/5..

SECRET

MESSAGE
IN.

 

 
Received:-

From {..} Rosyth.

 
Date 5.6.41.

 

 
Time 2200

 

P/L/ by T/P
Addressed

Addressed Admiralty Repeated C. in C. Rosyth C. in C.
Home Fleet D of D. Bath

106. H.M.S. PRINCE OF WALES placed on blocks in No.1 Dock today Thursday

1915/5

Controller.

Vice Controller.

O.D. (5)

D.

E. in C.

D.A/S.W.

Deputy Controler (2) Bath

D.(4) Bath

D.N.C.(2) Bath

E. in C. Bath

D.A/S.W.(2) Bath

——page break——

 

   
1030/7..

SECRET

MESSAGE
IN.

 

 
Received:-

From D.5038.

 
Date 7.6.41.

 

 
Time 1715

 

 
Addressed

D.N.C. Repeated D.N.O..

Reference C.A.F.O. 3967/39A certain number of shell splinters and base adapters are being held on board pending an inspection by Admiralty Officers

1030/7

D.N.C.

D.N.O.

 

D.N.C.(2) Bath

D.N.O.(4) Bath

——page break——

H.M.S. PRINCE OF WALES.
Removal of unexploded shell received during engagement with BISMARCK.


Noted. The damage sustained in PRINCE OF WALES in her recent action has now been examined by D.N.C’s representative.

SECRET

Subject .. Unexploded Enemy Shell
From .. The Commanding Officer, H.M.S. PRINCE OF WALES
Date .. 8 th June, 1941 No. 001.A/1
To .. THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF, HOME FLEET.
(Copies to The Secretary of the Admiralty.
The Commander-in-Chief, Rosyth


During the early morning action on May 24th a heavy hit was felt abreast the Starboard Diesel Room. It was found that the outer air space 184-196, the outer oil fuel tank 184-206, the inner air space 184-194, the starboard diesel tank 184-206 were fill to the crown with oil and water.

2. On Friday 6th June, on pumping out the dry dock a clean hole in the side about 15” diameter was found, a foot above the bilge keel at 187 starboard.

Holes were also found in the light plating forming the sides of the outer oil fuel tank 184-206.

Heavy marking was found on the protective bulkhead but there were no signs of explosion.

3. When the ship’s bottom was visible it became apparent that there was no exit hole and a search was made for the shell.

The inner air space 184-194 was pumped out and the shell was found to be lying on the bottom between two frames 190-192 nose forward.

The shell was in good condition with the fuse in place, but without a ballistic cap.

The angle of entry was 10º from forward and the angle of descent (measured from the ship’s perpendicular) was from 2º to 4º.

4. Without rough treatment the removal of the shell either upwards or downwards presented difficulty. Finally it was decided to lower it through the bottom.

The shell was lifted, by [..] chain purchases, one inch clear, slung by a quick action grab. Special lifting bands supplied by the Bomb Disposal Officer from H.M.S. COCHRANE were then fitted and screwed firmly round the shell. It was then lowered, slung by the lifting bands and hoisted 5 ft. clear.

Seven sets of supporting blocks were removed from under the protective bulkhead in the dock, and a hole 4 ft. by 2 ft., was burnt under the shell. This necessitated cutting into two bottom plates.

——page break——

The shell was lowered through this hole on to a rubber tyred ammunition trolley and wheeled aft, where a dockyard crane picked it up and it was then placed in a ‘Bomb Disposal Boat’ and removed.

5. The diameter of the shell measured just above the driving band was 14.875 inches.

(sgd.) J.C. LEACH.

CAPTAIN

——page break——

Noted. The damage sustained in PRINCE OF WALES in her recent action has now been examined by D.N.C’s representative.

 
M.09256/41.
MOST SECRET..

C.O. PRINCE OF WALES

 
8.6.41.


D.O.D.(H)
D.T.S.D
D.N.C.
21.6.41
D.N.O.
C.I.N.O.

H.M.S. PRINCE OF WALES
Removal of unexploded shell received
During engagement with BISMARCK.
_________

Noted with interest.

2. A lucky escape and it would be of interest to know exactly how the shell hit the ship. Did it strike the water first or was the ship rolling heavily.

3. It is considered that this paper should be marked to D.N.O. and D.N.C. The signals relating to the mater were eventually marked MOST SECRET and this paper has been marked similarly.

(sgd.)
for D.O.D.(H).
15.6.41

Noted with interest.

2. It is understood that the ship was not rolling heavily and that the shell traveled about […] through water.

3. D.N.O. and C.I.N.O. have been added to the […] markings.

(sgd.) C.W. LONGLEY COOK.
For D.T.S.D.
18.6.41

——page break——

Note from Website Staff:
The following is a report covering damage to Battleship H.M.S. Rodney in April 1940

No. 677/H.F.729.

23rd April, 1940.

Subject : H.M.S. RODNEY – REPORT OF DAMAGE CAUSED BY A BOMB.

Ref: C.A.F.O.2972/39

Naval Construction Department,
Admiralty,
Grand Pump Room Hotel,
Stall Street,
Bath ,

23rd April, 1940

 

 

 

 

Dear Blackman,

I have just received a copy of the Commanding Officer’s report 280/028, giving details of damage to RODNEY. Will you please endeavour to obtain more detailed particulars of the damage to the armour plate.

What I should like is a plan view of the plate showing the position of the hit, the shape of the damage and its position relative to the edges and butts of the plate. On this sketch I should like indicated also the position and scantlings of supports and positions of armour bolts. I should also like sections of the plate showing the distortion and also details of what happened to the structural plating beneath the armour.

If, in addition to the sketch, you could obtain photographs of the damage to the plate, these would be most helpful.

What happened to the piece of armour which was punched out? or was the hole only caused by a split and torn bulge?

Were the surrounding armour plates or the connections of bulkheads, etc. to them disturbed? Also was there any effect upon armour hatches in the vicinity, i.e. did they tend to jump open and strain their clips or hinges? Also did any of the armour bolts slack back or fracture?

The Commanding Officer’s report states that the

Constructor Commander F. Blackman,
H.M.S. RODNEY,
C/o G.P.O.
LONDON

——page break——

bomb was dropped in dive release from approximately 400 ft. Can the figure 400 be confirmed please, and if so, are any estimates available of the angle at which the dive was carried out, the height from which it began, and the ultimate velocity of the aircraft immediately before the bomb was released? What we want to know to asses the behaviour of the amour is the approximate striking angle and striking velocity of the bomb.

Yours sincerely

Sgd. S.V. Goodall

——page break——

Note from Website Staff:
The following is a report covering damage to battle cruiser H.M.S. Renown during an engagement with a German surface group on 9 April 1940

H.M.S. RENOWN was cruising at about 18 knots off Lofoten Islands ( Northern Norwegian Coast), on the morning on 9th April, 1940. The sea was very rough; during the night there had been a full gale from the North East with heavy and frequent snow storms. At about 0400 there was a temporary and local area of clear vision, and at about 18,000 yds. range RENOWN sighted a large war vessel. At first this was though to be REPULSE, but it was quickly ascertained to be the German battleship SCHARNHORST. It was then observed that she had in company with her a vessel assumed to be the German cruiser HIPPER. Up to this time it is thought that the German ships had not seen RENOWN. The latter opened fire at a range of 18,000 yds. and on a bearing of approximately Green 90; it was about 4 mins. later that SCHARNHORST opened fire. Her first salvo fell ‘short’, the second fell ‘over’, and the third straddled. This salvo caused the hit a the after end of RENOWN, and probably also the hit on her Mast, although it is possible that the latter may have been one of the shell in SCHARNHORST’s second salvo, which fell ‘over’.

RENOWN had also straddled SCHARNHORST with her third salvo of 15”. The first direct 15” hit observed on SCHARNH”ORST was at the base of her bridge structure. A large column of smoke was seen to rise, and immediately SHCARNHORST stopped firing. Very soon after another 15” hit was observed on SCHARNHORST just abaft the funnel, which gave rise to a large column of smoke. Immediately after this hit, SCHARHORST turned away, whilst HIPPER crossed her stern and laid a smoke screen. RENOWN then shifted target to HIPPER, who turned away as soon as the first salvo was fired. Both enemy ships withdrew at high speed to the North-East. RENOWN followed. Some time later SCHARNHORST fired her after turret, obviously in local control.

——page break——

In addition to the two definite hits on SCHARNHORST, there is a strong probability of a third and fourth, and a possibility of yet a fifth. Although no flash or smoke was seen there were missing splashes from salvos when it was known all guns had fired.

The firing on both sides was very intermittent, on account of the weather conditions: there was a continuous succession of extremely heavy snow storms which completely obliterated the targets.

During the course of the action, and particularly when it was seen that the enemy was retreating, RENOWN worked up to full speed. The sea was, however, so rough that it was necessary to ease the speed. In addition to violent motion, and working of the ship it was quite impossible to fight her under these conditions, as the target was ahead and into the sea. ‘A’ and ‘B’ turrets were completely washed down, and pumps had to be worked continually, but even so there was much water in the working chambers. Spray was being thrown well over the D.C.T. and rangefinders were useless. It was only by organising relays of cleaners that officers’ binoculars could be kept serviceable.

In a snow storm of relatively long duration both enemy ships escaped.

Throughout the action RENOWN fired her 4.5” H.A./L.A, but there is no reliably records of any hits being obtained.

RENOWN fired approximately 240 rounds of 1” A.P.C. and about 800 rounds of 4.5”. Both German ships were firing rapidly whenever they were able. Details of the hits obtained on RENOWN are given in detail in this report.

The total effect upon her fighting efficiency was almost negligible. She had suffered a certain amount of damage from her own gun blast, and from exceptionally heavy weather conditions

——page break——

(this is described briefly in the Appendix), but was able to proceed at full speed two days after the action to the succour of another vessel. She remained at sea until 18 th April.

The action damage sustained was so small that no important structural general lessons can be learned, but the hit on the mast is considered to demonstrate the value of tripod masts. Under the conditions ruling, a single mast would have most certainly collapsed with possibly serious consequences to the fighting of the ship.

——page break——

Hit No. 1 (See Figs. 1, 2 and 3)

11” shell fired from about 18,000 yds. and from bearing about Green 90.

Struck and perforated ship’s side starboard (20 lbs.) with centre about 39” above Main Deck, and about 12” aft of Station 309 (i.e. just aft of A.P). The damage in side plating was an irregular hole 22” horizontally and 25” vertically. At about the centre of the hole was a double rivetted edge seam of the side plating. The shell passed on into the Midshipmen’s Bathroom, struck and perforated a bath, and then struck and perforated the Longitudinal divisional bulkhead, starboard (10 lbs.). The centre of this perforation was about 18” above the Main Deck, and about 21” forward of 309 Station. The damage consisted of a circular hole about 12” diameter. In addition to the shell hole, this bulkhead was struck by a number of splinters from ship’s side plating, etc. There were 7 large holes, a few small ones, and several heavy strikes.

All the baths and wash-basins in the midshipmen’s bathroom were smashed, as also was a side scuttle frame situated just above the entry hole.

Having passed through the divisional bulkhead the shell perforated a wooden cupboard on the inboard side of it, then a midshpmen’s chest, and struck and perforated the Main Deck (12 lbs. M.S.). The damage to Main Deck consisted of a torn scoop about 62” long, and with a maximum opening of about 14”. The port end of the scoop was on 308 Station, and the starboard end about 15” aft of 308 station, and about 62” from the divisional bulkhead.

In the Main Deck compartment 300-310½ a certain amount of damage was caused to fittings, ventilation trunking and ship’s side lining port, by structural splinters. Although there were several heavy strikes on the ship’s side plating, there were no throughs.

——page break——

The shell passed through the Main Deck, cut the beam under at Station 308, and a fore and aft girder at the starboard end of the scoop, and then passed out of the ship’ side, port (20 lbs.). The centre of the exit hole was about 2” below the Main Deck, and about mid-way between Stations 307 and 308. The exit hole was irregular, about 24” horizontally and about 20” vertically. It contained a shell plating butt strap.

In addition to the shell exit hole the ship side, port, was perforated by 4 in No. structure splinters in the frame space 308-309. The largest was an irregular hole formed by a split and torn bulge about 18” diameter and situated about 3 ft. below the Main Deck.

There were also several heavy strikes on the side plating, and also on pillars, beams, etc. in the Lower Deck store room 300-310½.

It is not known, and there is no evidence to show whether the shell exploded after passing through the ship. It had met with relatively little obstruction, and the length of its path through the ship was about 26 ft.

The direct effect of this hit was the flooding of Lower Deck compartment 300-310½, and the sever washing down of corresponding main Deck Compartment.

Effect on Fighting Efficiency – Nil.

——page break——

Hit No. 2. (See Figures 1 and 4)

11" shell fired from about 18,000 yds. and from bearing about Green 90.

Struck and perforated main leg of foremast (tripod). The position of the hit was practically central on the mast, and about 36 ft. above No. 1 platform. The entry hole was about 14” horizontally and 21” vertically, and the exit hole about 14” horizontally and 36” vertically. The shell had just grazed the angle bar stiffener at the fore side, and slightly turned and distorted that at the after side of the mast.

The shell cut a number of electric leads on the mast and put out of action all fighting lights and anemometer cables. The impact also carried away all aerials and D/F coil.

There was no direct evidence as to whether shell burst when clear of ship – it was reported that it did by some observers – but there was no evidence of splinters from this shell.

There were a few splinter marks (presumably from structure) on the after end of signal deck.

Effect of Fighting Efficiency – Very small except for some hampering of external communications and lack of wind velocity, etc. in transmitting station.

NOTE : This experience indicates the value of tripod masts.

——page break——

Splinters, etc . There was no evidence of the showers of splinters which were such a marked feature of the River Plate action. No strikes could be detected anywhere on the ship’s hull or superstructure, except as follows:-

(a) A small through splinter in the fashion plate forming the fairing under the compass platform at the fore end of the bridge structure.
(b) The Navigating Officer had his foot struck with a splinter, although it is not known from whence it came. (He was the only casualty).
(c) As the extreme top of the port side of the forward funnel was a torn and split bulge, and on one of the auxiliary funnels, which projects above and within the main funnel, was a heavy scrape mark. This damage may be due to a heavy splinter, but gives the impression of being more likely the result of a hit from an 8” shell. If so, HIPPER must be credited with one hit.

There was no evidence of underwater damage from ‘shorts’.

Effect on Fighting Efficiency – Nil.

——page break——

APPENDIX I

Blast

For the major part of the action RENOWN was firing on forward bearings ‘A’ and ‘B’ turrets were firing along the forecastle and ‘Y’ turret was firing for a large number of rounds on its extreme forward starboard bearing.

The hatch on forecastle deck (Stn. 42-43) just inside the breakwater was blown in by blast. Due to the heavy seas breaking over the stem a great deal of water found its way below. There was subsequently a certain amount of blast damage in the upper deck compartments in the neighbourhood of this hatch.

The handwheel of Cable Holder brake was blown overboard and a split torn in the forecastle deck plating at about 31 Station starboard side.

Pillars in the Seamen’s Reading Room, Upper Deck, 31-42, Port, were distorted (maximum about 2”). Also the girders and divisional bulkheads in Sick Bay, Main Deck 32-53 Starboard, were distorted.

The after superstructure side, starboard, aft, was damaged; side lights and deadlights broken, rigols torn off, watertight doors blown off hinges, etc. Internally wooden doors were smashed and linings torn down.

Both hangar doors were wrecked – that to Port hangar although still hanging was out of its guides and badly distorted; that to Starboard hangar was lying on the deck, and broken in several pieces The upright supports to doors were completely wrecked.

Boats were damaged by blast.

Weather

The day before the action it was found that the forward end of the Port bulge was tearing away from the ship’s side. The ship was in very heavy weather.

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A portion of plating from the forward end back to about 40 Station tore away and was turned back. It eventually broke off.

In spite of this damage (which is described in detail hereafter). The vessel worked up to full power during the action, and two days later steamed at full speed for a few hours. The effect on speed was very small, and the ship carried no helm in consequence of this damage.

On docking, the damage was found to be as indicated in Fig. 5. The upper strake of bulge plating had torn away from and through its upper line of fastenings, back to about 40½ Station, and torn diagonally to 41½ Station. The second strake is torn and missing back to 41½ Station, the third strake back to 42½ Station, and the fourth strake back to Station 39½ diagonally to 37½. Frames at 36½, 37½, 38½ and 39½ are missing within the area of the damage.

The cause of the trouble appears to be the line of tap rivets connecting the forward edge of bulge plating to the side armour. These pull out or the plating tears off them, and so allows the leading edge to turn back. Rough weather and high speed steaming obviously causes this tear to extend aft until the plating bends back and breaks away.

This is confirmed by direct evidence that almost identical damage is starting on the starboard side of the ship.

There appears to be no alternative to the use of tap rivets, but it is thought that an improvement might be effected by an appreciable increase in the number of fastenings at the forward edge of the bulge plating.

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