Damage to capital ships and armoured cruisers 1815-1900
AMONG THE SURVIVORS from the Invincible was her Gunnery Officer, Commander Dannreuther, and he stated that the hit by the shell which struck `Q' turret, and burst inside blowing the turret roof off, was observed from the Fore Control Top. A tremendous explosion amidships followed almost immediately, indicating that `Q' magazine had blown up, and the Invincible broke in half and sank in 10 or 15 seconds. There was one severely burnt survivor from `Q' turret, who had been at the range-finder. A photograph in The Fighting at Jutland shows flame from `A' magazine venting through the forecastle and by the foremast, and indicates that an explosion had occurred there, presumably as a result of that in `Q' magazine. The latter would certainly have involved `P' magazine which was immediately adjacent to `Q.
The Indomitable reported that wreckage was thrown 400ft in the air, and when the smoke cleared, the Invincible's bow and stern were each standing about 70ft out of the water, and 50yds apart. The stern was seen by the Galatea to sink an hour later, but the bows were still above water at 1430 on 1 June. From the Derfflinger it was noted that, as in the Queen Mary, a dense black smoke cloud rose several hundred yards in the air without a considerable development of flame. There can be no doubt that flash of ignited cordite from turret to magazine was responsible for the Invincible's loss, which should be credited to the Liitzow.
There is little information on previous hits. Dannreuther reported that she had been hit several times by heavy shell with no appreciable damage, and the Indomitable noted that she was straddled by a salvo and hit in the after part, one minute before blowing up. There is no reason to
differ from the German estimate of a total of five heavy hits, all of which were probably 12in.
There were no hits on the Inflexible or Indomitable, but in the former, the inner `A' tube of `Q right gun had been previously cracked for a length of 30ft during calibration, and the crack extended during firing.
Of the 2-12in shells coming from abaft the beam, which struck the Princess Royal at about 1822, one hit the 9in armour of `X' barbette obliquely on the forward side about 2ft above the upper deck, glanced downwards through the I in plating of the latter and burst just below it, about 8ft from impact. A large fragment of the 9in armour measuring 6ft x 20in, was broken off with concentric cracks in the plate, and the fragment was driven through the turntable into the gun-house at the left side of the left gun, coming to rest on the platform at the rear, after
hitting an unfused shrapnel shell in the shell-bin. All the crew of the left gun were killed, the breech mechanism damaged and pressure pipes destroyed on the left side, but the gun could still be worked. The turret, however, was out of action, as it was jammed in training by the displacement and distortion of the 9in barbette armour. In addition to breaking a large piece off the 9in plate, the impact of the shell had sheared the armour fastenings to the upper deck and completely broken the key to the plate, which was lifted 9in at one end and 51/tin at the other. The frames behind the armour were carried away, and the Bin plate adjoining the 9in above the upper deck was cracked at the lower and chipped at the upper corner, while the 3in plate which extended up to the upper deck was deformed below the 9in plate and a piece 3 ft x 1 in fractured.
The shell tore a 9ft x 2 ft hole in the upper deck, and the burst badly damaged two 1/4in bulkheads, and caused considerable damage to light structures, as well as cutting trunks and breathing pipes from the ventilation and cooling plant of `X' magazine.
The other shell pierced the 6in side armour just above the main deck, and a little forward of `X' barbette. The angle of impact is given as 15-20° to the plate normal, and the hole as 12in x 12in with a number of concentric cracks. The shell tore the 3/bin-5/16in main deck over the starboard after reserve bunker for 17ft from the ship's side to the fan-room bulkhead, was deflected upwards, badly damaged the casings of both condenser rooms and burst 52ft from impact on the port side below the 1 in upper deck, in which a hole 6ft x 6ft was blown, while the main deck over the port after reserve bunker was riddled. Many casualties were caused among the after 4in crews and salvage party, and
the flash of the burst ignited some cordite on the main deck. Both after engine-rooms filled with dense smoke and some penetrated to the starboard forward engine-room, but dispersed after the fires were subdued.
These two shells, which together killed 11 and wounded 31, were from one salvo from the Markgraf at a range of about 13,000yds.
It does not appear that the Lion, Tiger and New Zealand were hit by heavy shells in this phase though the Tiger was hit by a 5.9in which holed the hull plating on the starboard side abaft `X' barbette, and the
only important gunnery breakdown seems to have been the failure of the Lion's `A' left gun's chain-rammer, as previously noted.
The sole surviving details of the gyro-compass failure in the Lion are in the 1916 Torpedo School Report. At the date of Jutland this ship had two Sperry master gyro-compasses, in a compartment adjacent to the lower conning tower. An explosion occurred nearby which put both gyro-compasses out of action. All lights failed, but accumulators had been provided for standby lighting of the lower conning tower
magnetic compass, and the ship was only without means to steer by for a few minutes. One gyro-compass was got ready for use next day.
Nothing seems to have survived on the cause of the above explosion.
Of the 28 British battleships only the Warspite was hit by heavy shells at this time.
The 13 hits were, in order from forward to aft:
1 Coming from aft, port side. Angle of descent 5-10°. This shell entered through the I'/4in upper deck, in the embrasure near the forward edge of `A' barbette. It made a hole oft x 5ft in the upper deck over the sick bay and passed across the ship being deflected down on to the 11/4in main deck and up again, and went out through the 5/8in starboard hull plating without exploding. Considerable damage was caused in passing through, and chemicals in the sick bay caused a fire.
2 There are no details of this shell which entered through the upper deck in the starboard embrasure.
3 From starboard side. Angle of descent 5-10°. This shell struck the 6in side armour, a little below the upper deck and just forward of the foremost 6in gun, at an angle of 10-12° to the plate normal. It pierced the armour, making a clean hole of cl2in diameter, though the framing held, and burst 6ft from impact with considerable damage to light structure. The 11/4in upper deck was holed in two places, and the 3/gin main deck riddled below the burst. One large fragment was driven down through the main deck, and another came to rest in the magazine flooding cabinet 30ft from the explosion. The effect of the burst and fragments went right across an athwartships gangway to the port side of the ship, wrecking the foremost magazine flooding cabinet ('/4in sides) and all ventilation trunks in the vicinity, as well as cutting voice pipes and fire-control cables.
4 Coming from aft, starboard side. Either a ricochet or deflected upwards off the edge of the shelter deck. This shell passed through plating totalling P/16in in the forward superstructure, and burst 40ft from impact in the night defence officer's station which was wrecked, and a hole 8ft x Oft blown in the S/16in deck above the shelter deck. Considerable damage was caused to light structure all along the path of
this shell as well as near the burst, and a fire started, in which molten lead from lead covered wiring caused some trouble.
5 Probably coming from aft, port side. Angle of descent 10-15°. This shell struck a
1/4in door in a store on the forecastle deck by the base of the after funnel, passed through a 1/2in screen and two thicknesses of funnel plating, was deflected upwards off the armour gratings, and burst 32ft from impact near the far walls of the funnel. Two of the gratings were knocked down, but the remainder stood a large amount of deformation without fracture, and though part of the funnel was blown away, the draught was not affected. Holes were also blown in the I in forecastle deck and I'/zin funnel screen by the burst, and fragments passing below the forecastle deck pierced the continuation of the funnel screen and entered the 6in battery through the 1/4in rear bulkhead.
6 Coming from aft, starboard side. Angle of descent 5- 10°. This shell first holed the '/,In plating of a store on the forecastle deck, and then passed through a 11/2in screen, four thicknesses of the after funnel plating, and a second 11/2in screen. It then struck the I in forecastle deck which was dented, passed through a boiler-room ventilator on the port side of the ship, being deflected up by the armour gratings, and then through the 1/4in vertical plating between the forecastle and shelter decks and finally out through the 1/2in shelter deck, in which a hole 8ft x 3ft was torn, without exploding after passing through about Sin of plating.
7 From port side. Angle of descent 15-20°. This shell hit the main derrick, holed the pinnace and burst on the starboard side of the 1 in forecastle deck inboard of the forecastle deck 6in gun. Most of the fragments went overboard, riddling and pitting the gun shield and gun. The burst blew a hole in the 1 in forecastle deck, and there was a hole 4ft xx 3ft in the 1/2in side plating abaft the battery bulkhead, and the armour door to the battery was jammed. The most serious effect was due to flash and probably hot fragments from the burst entering the after part of the 6in battery through a small hole in the deck, and igniting a number of cordite charges, but the fire did not spread along the battery as in the Malaya.
It appears that a shell fragment ignited a 6in charge which was being taken from its case for loading, and the other three charges in the case also ignited, as did those in four more cases. All the crew of the after starboard 6in-gun were very badly burnt and also some of the crew of the next gun.
8 From port side. Angle of descent 5-10°. This shell pierced the upper tapered part of the belt just below the main deck and about 23ft, forward of the mainmast. The hit was at the top after corner of a plate, the angle being 5-10° to the plate normal, and a piece 2ft x 11/2ft was broken off, and a large chip taken out of the next plate. The actual thickness was 6in at the top of the hole and 9in at the bottom. The shell burst 12ft from impact in the upper part of the port feed-water tank, and a large hole was blown in the 3/8in main deck above, while the light floor of the feed tank was shattered, and the 1in middle deck badly distorted at and near the top of the slope above the port side of the wing engine-room and adjacent oil fuel tank. The 5/,bin bulkhead forming the outer side of the feed tank was wrecked, and the forward and inboard bulkheads of the feed tank were holed, and the latter let the sea into the port wing engine-room fan flat and from there it poured into the port wing engine-room
through holes in the ventilating trunk, which were later plugged. The flow of water into the feed tank was eventually stopped by putting 400 hammocks into the tank, and shoring them down until they plugged the hole in the armour belt. Most of the fragments from this shell were large, and one passed through the 7/,,in inner bulkhead of the feed tank, and also 1-'/Bin and 2 other 7/,,in thicknesses of plating before coming to rest 40ft from the burst on the middle deck. The broken piece of the belt also went through the inner bulkhead of the feed tank, and lodged in the engine-room fan casing.
The results of this hit were a good illustration of the error in not carrying the 13in belt armour to the main deck in the Queen Elizabeth class.
9 Coming from starboard aft. Full details of this hit have not survived, but the shell went through the end of the after superstructure and then hit the after side of the
communication tube (4in walls) to the torpedo control tower, half severed it and turned it through 30 or 60° before bursting. The starboard side of the after superstructure was holed in many places by fragments.
10 Probably coming from forward, port side. Angle of descent 5-10°. This shell struck the 6in side armour at an angle of 15-20° to the plate normal, 4ft below the upper deck and about 5ft forward of `X' barbette. It pierced the armour making a l2in diameter hole and broke into two pieces without exploding. The larger part passed through 2-1/,In bulkheads and the ventilation trunk from the middle engine room and struck the 4in armour of `X' barbette, flaking off the surface to a maximum depth of 21/4in. It then holed the 3/8in main deck and came to rest well on the starboard side of the midships line in the engineer's workshop. The other piece passed through the 2-1/4in bulkheads and then through the main deck over the ventilation fan flat, also finishing in the engineers' workshop, where a disk of armour, supposed to be from the 6in side, was found. The main deck was badly damaged and as it was by then awash, the large hole over the ventilation fan flat allowed water to enter the flat and thence the middle engine-room.
Much damage was caused by this unexploded shell, which is sometimes considered to have caused the steering gear to jam, as the bulkhead to which the steering engines were attached is said to have been damaged, but the direction of the shell shows that it hit after the steering failure.
11 From port side. Angle of descent given as 15-20°. This shell struck the 11/4m upper deck on a line midway between `X' and `Y' barbettes, and about 20ft from the upper deck edge. It tore a hole 7ft6in x 1 ft 8in and burst l Oft from impact between the upper and main decks, causing severe damage to light steel work up to 16ft from the burst. This occurred near the 1/4in wall of the after main deck magazine flooding cabinet which was wrecked, and a 2in thick door was blown off its hinges in the tin longitudinal bulkhead which formed the far wall of the flooding cabinet. The explosion riddled the 5/8in main deck, and the base plug of the shell was driven through this and the I in middle deck and brought to a stop by `X' magazine cooler c20ft from the burst and c3'/2ft below the middle deck. The hydraulic exhaust main was holed in `X' cooler space, which was practically turned into part of the hydraulic tanks.
A large number of ventilation trunks were holed by this shell on the main deck and the fire-main broken. The fire-main pumps continued to pump water onto the main deck, and this found its way into `Y' cooler space until it rose high enough to burn out the pump starter. `X' fire-main pump starter was also burnt out by water from the hydraulic system.
12 Coming from forward, port side. Angle of descent 5--10°. This shell struck the /tin side plating just below the upper deck and in line with the after part of `Y' barbette. It entered the Captain's sleeping cabin, passed through 3 --1/4in bulkheads, and a 7in midships pillar, and burst 40ft from impact on the 11/4in main deck, in which a hole 4ft6in x 3 ft was blown. Severe damage was caused to light structure to 30ft or more from the burst, a 1/4in bulkhead beyond the burst being blown away, and in the Captain of the Fleet's day cabin on the starboard side, a 3/8in bulkhead was riddled and the %/Zin side plating blown out for c7ft x 3ft with the frames twisted and smashed. The escape trunk to the steering compartment was badly damaged,
admitting water to the trunk, and this leaked past the sliding door at the bottom of the trunk so that the steering compartment flooded to a depth of 4ft.
13 From starboard side. This shell struck the 3/4in hull plating near the stern between the main and middle decks at about the deep load water line and below the Admiral's day cabin. It probably burst in the hull plating in which a hole 4ft x 3ft was blown, while considerable damage was caused to light structure and fittings. The plate edge was opened for a length of c20ft to the sternpost and compartments above, including the Admiral's cabin, partly flooded, while the 5/16in main deck was distorted over the burst. The nose of the shell apparently still capped, was found in an adjacent cabin having pierced 4-3/loin bulkheads, and it was considered that the shoulder of the shell had struck the ship's side.
One of the early reports on the damage to the Warspite, given in Jellicoe's memorandum of 16 June 1916, says that there were five or six hits abaft `Y' turret which admitted water from `Y' turret to the stern between the main and middle decks, the waterline aft being by then about 3ft above the main deck. The only hits that can be identified abaft `Y' turret are Nos 12 and 13 above and one hit in the previous phase of the battle. It is impossible to say whether there were actually two or three other hits, and if so, whether they were from heavy shells or 5.9m; initial estimates of the number of hits in a badly damaged part of a ship are often reduced on further examination. After noting a number of hits elsewhere in the ship, the above report also says that there were `a good many other hits of no particular interest.' These last include the hit through the fore funnel during the previous phase of the battle, and Nos 6 and 7 above, as well as three and perhaps more - 5.9in hits, and it is again impossible to say if there were any others from heavy shells, but the probability is against.
The 13 definite
heavy hits in this phase cannot be arranged in chronological order, but
according to the account of the Warspite's Executive Officer, Commander Walwyn,
the The Fighting at Jutland, Nos 3 and 13 were before the rest. It is also
impossible to credit them to particular ships though the Ostfriesland, which
reported hits from her third and fourth salvos, probably obtained several. It
is unlikely that the
Nassau made any hits, and all 13 are considered to be from 12in shells.
There are few records of 5.9in hits on the Warspite. The most important struck the left gun of `Y' turret 6ft from the muzzle, and caused a bulge in the gun, reducing the diameter to 14.75in and putting
it out of action, though the gun was eventually repaired after removal from the ship. Another, which was at first thought to be an 8in, hit the 11 in left side armour of `X' turret, but nothing was felt inside. Walwyn mentions three more, respectively, aft of the port 6in control hood, through the mainmast, and through the wardroom, and there may have been others.
The water inboard was estimated to have reduced the Warspite's metacentric height from about 61/2ft to about 41/2ft and until some temporary repairs had been made and bulkheads shored, it was inadvisable to exceed 16kts, owing to the risk of flooding the enginerooms, the principal danger being from hit No 8.
It was, however, the failure of the Warspite's steering, which caused her withdrawal from the action at about 1900. When the steering gear first gave trouble, the port steering engine was in use, and this slowed down due to the thrust shaft heating at the thrust bearings, and also where the free end of the thrust and worm shaft revolved in the bushed clutch of the starboard steering engine, which was not in use. When the Warspite did not respond to the helm, increased helm was given, but the slowing down of the engine prevented the differential valve gear responding to the movement of the steering wheel and the latter was thus hard to move. Very great force must have been used on the wheels in the upper and lower conning towers, and this led to the steering gear jamming temporarily, and also twisted the controlling shaft between the wheels in the upper and lower CTs, and bent the lever connecting the telemotor gear to the differential valve. A very moderate extemporised water supply cooled the steering engine thrust shaft, and the port engine then worked satisfactorily, but control from the steering wheels in the upper and lower conning towers was no longer possible, and as the steering compartment was partially flooded, the position at the steering engine was adopted after the Warspite withdrew from action.
The overheating of the steering engine was thought to be due to its continued use under heavy loads from the high speed maintained, combined with distortion of the bulkhead to which it was attached by Hit No 10, but as noted above, this hit could not have played any part, though near-misses might have shaken the hull badly and caused some distortion. Somewhat similar trouble had occurred in the Valiant on 4 May 1916 when her steering gear jammed for 3 minutes with 30° port helm.
The Marlborough was hit by a torpedo about 25ft below the deep-draught water-line and abreast the starboard Diesel generator room, located outboard of the bin magazine which was immediately aft of `B' turret magazine. The hull plating which was 3/4in at the point of the explosion, with 5/bin above and 7/bin below, was destroyed for a length of about 28ft, as were all longitudinal and transverse frames, the bilge keel and wing bulkhead in wake of the explosion centre. The hull side and bottom were deeply indented and distorted from the lower edge of the belt to the flat keel plate over a length of about 70ft. The Diesel generator room was wrecked and filled at once, as did the hydraulic engine-room above. The starboard longitudinal bulkhead of the forward boiler-room was distorted, and water entered the boilerroom, particularly between the framing of the water-tight door, leading to the after lower bunker, and the bulkhead, from which the door framing had parted. The forward athwartships bulkhead of the boilerroom was also distorted.
The water quickly rose in the forward boiler-room at first, so that the fires were put out in four boilers within 10 minutes, and as the water continued to rise, fires were drawn in the other two. There was no escape of steam, and with the suctions of the fire and bilge pump, steam ejector and ash expeller pump which were working on the bilge, kept clear of ashes and dirt, the water was lowered to the level of the floor plates by about 1930 and kept there by the ash expeller pump (425 tons/hour).*[.1]
The list to starboard was never greater than 7-8° and no compartments were flooded for trimming, though all coal and oil fuel for the other boilers was taken from the starboard side, coal was trimmed from the starboard upper outer bunkers to lower bunkers and oil fuel was pumped from starboard tanks to port emergency tanks. Due to the list and to the lack of stop and non-return valves in the hydraulic exhaust system all firing generators in the turrets (driven by hydraulic turbines) flooded, and difficulty was experienced from 13.5in shells slipping forward as they rolled out of the main cage into the waiting position.
The l in torpedo bulkhead protecting `B' and 6in magazines, contributed very largely to localising the damage, and there was no leakage into `B' space, magazine or shell-room, though slight leakage occurred in the 6in magazine and shell-room. Due to the greater depth of the explosion and the larger charge, (c25ft and 4401b Hexanite-TNT against 12ft and 2801b wet gun-cotton), much greater damage was caused than in the experiments with the old pre-dreadnought Hood in the first half of 1914, and no fewer than 40 water-tight compartments were involved when the Marlborough was repaired. In spite of this she was able to maintain revolutions for 17kts until after midnight, with bulkheads and decks shored where necessary.
As noted previously, this torpedo came from the Wiesbaden.
The right gun in the Marlborough's `A' turret was put out of action at about the fifth round fired by the gun, by what was thought to be a premature, though the damage to the rifling was comparatively small. APC was being fired at the time. The inner `A' tube was cracked all round, about half-way along the gun, and a large piece of the jacket broken off, with a crack extending 15ft along the jacket.
The loss of the Defence was clearly seen by Commander Usborne in the Colossus. She was heavily hit aft and an explosion occurred in the after 9.2in magazine. The flame spread at once via the ammunition passages to each 7.5in and thence to the forward 9.2in magazine where an explosion also occurred, and the Defence completely blew up and disappeared. Her sinking is usually credited to the Lutzow, though it was also claimed by the Markgraf and Kaiser, and less plausibly by the Kronprinz. The Grosser Kurfurst noted that both her own 12in salvos at the Defence hit at short range, but did not claim credit for her destruction. The tables in the German Official History give half the number of hits on the Warrior -- seven heavy and three medium -- but the latter figure cannot be estimated with any certainty.
According to her report, the Warrior was hit by at least 15 heavy shells, and about 6 smaller. The worst hit was on the water-line just forward of the engine-room after bulkhead and the shell, after piercing the 6in side armour, passed through the port after reserve bunker, the 2in longitudinal bulkhead protecting the upper part of the engine room, and then through the 3/4in armour deck into the port engine-room. It apparently burst in passing through the centre-line bulkhead, wrecking a steam-pipe, and a large fragment of the shell was deflected down and tore a hole through the wings or double-bottom at the after end of the starboard engine-room, so that both engine-rooms flooded. The engine-room forward bulkhead only leaked slightly, but the after bulkhead was damaged and strained and compartments immediately abaft it, below the armour deck, including 9.2in and 7.5in magazines and both dynamo rooms gradually filled, but there was no flooding below the armour deck further aft. Another shell hit near this point but about 6ft above the water-line, and after making a 12 in diameter hole in the 6in armour, passed right across the ship without exploding, went through the support of the after starboard 9.2in turret, struck and indented the starboard side armour and fell back into the turret support
still unexploded. This shell caused a serious fire from fuzing electrical circuits. A third shell passed through the superstructure and burst against the above turret which was jammed by debris but later cleared. The other turrets could all be worked by hand, though hydraulic power failed.
There were three large holes in the upper deck from other heavy shells. One of these hit forward of the after starboard 9.2in turret and made a hole in the lin upper deck 6ft across with a long tear 5ft-2ft wide, and also badly damaged the main deck and sent fragments into No 4 boiler room. The second made a hole 15ft x 1Oft in the upper deck below the after part of the starboard after 3pdr battery, and the third made a large hole in the after screen bulkhead, as well as one c l Oft x 4ft x 2ft in the upper deck, and also holed the Iin main deck. These 3 hits were not an immediate danger, but they allowed large amounts of water to enter when the sea increased in the early morning of 1 June, and thus contributed to the Warrior's eventual loss.
As far as can be deduced from the Warrior's reports, the remaining 9-12in hits were: 1 On 6in armour abreast port feed tank. 2 On starboard forward 4in armour. 3, 4, 5, 6 On hull plating forward. 7 Apparently burst on forecastle deck and damaged starboard side of bridge. 8 Through port side of bridge. 9 Through foremost funnel.
The 6-5.9in hits were apparently: 1, 2, 3, 4. On hull plating forward. 5 Hit fore turret with little effect. 6 Went through 1 in upper deck forward of starboard after 9.2in turret, and burst on main deck. The last two hits were from the 2nd SG during the previous phase of the battle.
The number of hits by heavy shells on British capital ships from 1815 to 1900 is estimated as:
Of these 5 were from the 1st Scouting Group, 2 from the Markgraf and 13 from the 1st Division and the Friedrich der Grosse. In addition 24 hits, all 12in, are estimated to have been made on
other ships - Defence 7, Warrior 15, Marvel 1, Defender 1.
Of the German battlecruisers, the Lutzow was probably hit by 10 heavy shells in this phase of the action, of which 2 were at about 1819 and 8 between 1826 and 1834. The 2 hits at cl 819 were from the Lion, and the remaining 8 from the Invincible and Inflexible. One of the shells at c18:19 appears to have been far forward above the side armour or perhaps at the edge of the upper deck, and the other went through the Iin battery roof deck and the port forward armour door of the space between the 5.9in casemates, and then burst just abaft `B' barbette. A serious fire was started amongst damage control material which was stowed here, and for a time this filled the space between the port and starboard 5.9in casemates with smoke, but neither the gunnery control tower nor the forward 5.9in casemates were seriously affected by this hit.
Of the hits between 1826 and 1834, the most important were by 2-12in shells which struck below the water-line and apparently burst in or near the broadside torpedo flat. One shell seems to have been below the side armour, and the other on the lower part of the 43/4in forward belt. As in all German capital ships at Jutland, the torpedo bulkhead did not extend forward of `A' barbette, and the Lutzow's broadside flat was larger than usual as she had 23.6in torpedoes, and was of sufficient volume to take 354 tons of water. It must have been filled instantly and water very quickly spread to other compartments forward and aft of the torpedo flat through strained or damaged bulkheads, ventilation trunks and voice-pipes. From the Lutzow's leakage report, it appears that the ventilation trunks from some compartments had no cut-off valves, and in other cases the valves were dangerously sited away from bulkheads, while the door in the forward bulkhead of the broadside torpedo flat was of an entirely inadequate pattern. The water spread most rapidly forward of the broadside torpedo flat, and the Lutzow must have taken in c1000 tons of water almost at once.
Two other shells appear to have hit below the water-line near the bow torpedo flat, and all the compartments below the armour deck in this area also flooded, so that a further 500 tons or so of water entered the ship, but it is not certain how much of this was due to these two hits, and how much to the two by the broadside torpedo flat. It seems likely that the whole torpedo installation in the forward part of the ship, with a total capacity, including the broadside flat, of 740 tons of water, flooded as a result of the two hits by the broadside flat.
In a short time a total of at least 2000 tons of water, including that from the hit at 1713, was in the Lutzow, and her draught forward had increased by nearly 8ft, so that she had to reduce speed for a time to as little as 3kts to lessen the pressure on the 1.2in after bulkhead of the broadside torpedo flat which still held though leaking badly. Even so the water continued to spread into other compartments abaft the broadside torpedo flat. Neither of the Liitzow's forward main leak pumps could be used as the operating rods were jammed and immovable, and in addition the forward starboard leak pump room soon flooded.
The midships pumps were working but it would seem that the drainage system, that should have allowed the water which leaked from the badly damaged compartments to reach these pumps, was not functioning with full efficiency, and it was impossible to prevent the flooding of further compartments.
Of the other hits at this time, one struck the forecastle forward of the 1600 hits, making a large hole in the upper deck, which would permit much water to enter the Lutzow above the armour deck as her draught increased forward, and three were amidships. One pierced the belt near its 6in lower edge below No 4-5.9in and lodged unexploded in the wings. Another struck the side armour above the water-line near No 3 or No 4-5.9in and burst. Some armour was driven in and jammed No 4 gun permanently, and it appears that the shock of this hit caused the temporary failure of the port 5.9in fire control. The third hit burst on the net-shelf below No 5 - 5.9in.
There appear to have been three hits on the Derf flinger in this phase by 12in shells from the Indomitable. One hit was probably at 1826 and the other two at about 1830. The first shell burst in the water near the hull in line with No 1 - port 5.9in. The plating was bulged in for a length of c40ft below, and to a lesser extent at, the armour shelf, and some leakage gradually occurred in wing compartments and a protective bunker for 48ft, while the side armour was struck by splinters above the water-line.
Of the other two shells, both of which are believed to have been APC, one struck the 12in side armour on a vertical joint between two plates at main deck level, 3 '/2ft above the legend water-line and c8ft forward of the half-way point between the two after barbettes. The shell burst on impact, forcing in the plates by 1'/tin where hit, and flaking the surface for an area of 25in x l2in. Both plates were also slightly bowed, and the 1.2in armour deck and the main deck were buckled, though this may have been partly due to a subsequent hit on the next armour plate joint aft. The torpedo net fittings were destroyed for over 3 Oft, and the hull plating bulged in by up to 2'/tin for a length of 6'/2ft, and to a depth of 5ft below the armour, which caused the port wings to flood for 25ft.
The other shell burst on striking the side armour where 101/4in thick, 45in below the upper deck and just abaft the sternmost barbette. The plate was bulged in by less than 1/2in where hit, and the upper edge forced 1'/tin inwards. The main deck was buckled and below the armour, the hull plating was slightly bulged inwards at the port outer shaft tunnel, and the transverse and longitudinal stiffening angles forced in, but only a little water entered. The torpedo net and net stowage were damaged for 40ft so that part of the net trailed in the water above the port wing propeller and the engines had to be stopped for 2 minutes to secure the net.
The Seydlitz was hit at about 1834 by a shell which was most probably a 12in APC from the Indomitable. This came from the port quarter, and struck the 12in main belt in line with the after end of the superfiring barbette and on the lwl. The shell, which apparently broke up, forced in the armour by tin where hit, and the plate was displaced by up to clin, so that some water entered an outer bunker for a length of about 14ft, but otherwise only unimportant damage to the torpedo net and its fittings was directly caused by this shell, which struck the armour obliquely. The Seydlitz was however severely shaken, so that the coupling at the upper steering engine flew out, and she had to be steered temporarily from the steering gear compartment.
There were no major calibre hits on the other battlecruisers, and of the battleships only the Konig was frequently hit, being struck by eight heavy shells, seven of which were 13.5in CPC from the Iron Duke, and the other a 13.5in APC from the Monarch.
All were within a very few minutes of 1835 according to the Konig's times which were a little fast on the Iron Duke's.
The individual hits are described below in order from forward to aft. Their chronological sequence is not entirely known, but Nos 4, 6, 5 and probably 1, followed in quick succession. All were estimated to have come from 0-20° forward of the port beam, and are credited to the Iron Duke, with the exception of No 6 to the Monarch.
I Went through the port capstan and towing capstan, and burst on or near the forecastle deck, a little forward of `A' barbette and near the centre-line. The forecastle deck was holed for an area of about 30sq ft and splinters put the starboard capstan out of action, and did much damage to cabins and fittings on the starboard side of the upper deck, as well as piercing this deck in places and causing small fires.
2 Struck near the right edge of the right faceplate of `A' turret, which was trained on the port beam, and glanced off, bursting over the starboard side of the forecastle deck which was holed by splinters, the largest hole measuring 3 /oft x 2ft. The 12 in turret armour was very slightly displaced and dented, in both cases by less than 1/4in.
3 Entered through the side plating 21/2ft below the upper deck, and just forward of the upper belt, in line with the fore part of `A' barbette. The shell then struck the 63/4in upper belt transverse armour bulkhead near the outer end, was deflected and burst on the main deck c3 ft from the port side. The fastenings at the outer end of the armour bulkhead gave way, and the latter was driven 4'/4ft aft. A piece measuring 47in x Bin x 2in was broken off the armour surface, and there were also cracks in the plate. The main deck was thrown downwards over an area of about 180sq ft between the port longitudinal bulkhead and the deck stringer plate, and also holed for clOsq ft further inboard. The upper deck forward of the transverse armour bulkhead, was bowed upwards to a maximum of 12 in over a large distance and the 1.2in armour deck sprung in one place immediately abaft this bulkhead. The port longitudinal bulkhead on the main deck was holed for an area of c40sq ft, and splinters were driven right across the ship, on and below the main deck, the capstan engine room being holed several times and the anchor-weighing engine put out of action. Damage was caused to compartments and fittings on the main deck, small fires started and some flooding occurred through the hole in the side which was 101/2ft above Iwl.
4 Went through the side plating just forward of the 5.9in battery and about 2ft above the upper deck, and struck the 63/4in forward diagonal battery bulkhead 8-14in from its lower edge, and at an angle of c45° to the plate normal. The shell pierced the armour, making a hole measuring Min x 28in on the outside and 55m x 35in on the inside, and burst on the upper deck. The 0.8in-1.2in upper deck was holed for c60sq ft inside No I port casemate and also driven downwards. The main deck was forced down over a length of nearly 30ft, and the 1.2in forecastle deck bowed upwards for c55ft to respective maxima of 22in and 15m.
In No 1 port casemate two or three charges were ignited and some of the charges in the hoist to No 12 magazine on the upper platform deck also caught fire. The hoist was wrecked and the base of the shell found in the hoist-machinery, while there were many causalties from propellant gases. The 5.9in gun itself was only slightly damaged, but the sights, and all cables were destroyed, and the whole gun crew were killed. Two or three 5.9in shells fell on the main deck but were undamaged. The 3/Bin casemate longitudinal splinter bulkhead was holed, and armour fragments entered the galley and chart-room.
5 This was the most damaging hit. The shell struck the extreme lower edge of the armour belt 5'/2ft below lwl, so that only half the 14'/tin diameter hole was in the Tin armour and half in the armour shelf. The position of the hit was in line with the after part of `B' barbette. The shell then traversed a wing-compartment and burst while passing through the wing longitudinal bulkhead 6'/2ft inboard of the hit. A hole of 25sq ft was made in this bulkhead, and a transverse wing bulkhead Sft away destroyed. The explosive effect of the shell with many fragments, went through a 6'/2ft wide protective bunker, which was full of coal, and struck the 2in torpedo bulkhead, 13ft from the ship's side between the upper and lower platform decks. The torpedo bulkhead was holed for an area of 27sq ft with three large cracks running upwards from the hole, and was also bowed inwards by up to 9in above the hole. No 14 magazine on the lower platform deck, immediately inboard of the torpedo bulkhead, was completely destroyed. As usual with the secondary armament in German ships, there were no separate shell rooms, and magazine cases,
5.9in shells and charges were buried under coal hurled into the magazine from the protective bunker, and some cases were smashed by splinters and fragments of the torpedo bulkhead, and though shells were not damaged, it was afterwards found that the fuze of one 5.9in HE had become armed. About 15 charges ignited, but sea-water flooding rapidly in from the hole in the ship's side prevented a worse disaster. The base-plate and some pieces of the shell were found among the coal' n the magazine, close to the torpedo bulkhead, with the head about 5-6ft further inboard. No 12 magazine on the upper platform deck was also damaged, and was quickly flooded by sea-water entering through the cracks in the torpedo bulkhead, while some shell and torpedo bulkhead fragments also entered a l2in magazine.
In addition, the wing compartments and protective bunkers were flooded for a length of 60ft, and it was calculated that 494 tons of water had entered the ship which would give a list to port of 3° 47'. This was corrected by counter-flooding some of the starboard wings with 362 tons of water, but further flooding also occurred. In view of the magazine fire caused by this hit or perhaps on account of the
fires caused by hits No 4 and 6, orders were given to flood the whole forward magazine group. Flash and gas which came through the flooding pipes, prevented the flooding system of the other magazines of the group being promptly isolated from that of Nos 12 and 14, with the result that some of `B' turret magazines flooded, though except for one magazine in which the water was 20in deep, those of `A' turret remained dry. Apart from Nos 12 and 14, five magazine compartments filled completely, and two more - apparently `B' shell rooms - were half full. Most of the affected magazine compartments were not drained until after the action was over, while `B' turret's repeater compass was put out of action and cables leading to `A' and `B' were under water, though apparently unaffected.
In addition, leaks through cable glands, and ventilation trunks caused flooding in some store compartments and passages, and a certain amount of water from leaks and fire-hoses entered the ship's control room and transmitting station, which were also affected by gas from burning propellant. The Konig's draught before the battle was 30ft2in (forw.) 29ft2in (aft) and after the battle 32ft1Oin (forw.) 29ftlin (aft), with a list to port of 3°, in agreement with the 1630 tons of water reported in the ship at 2351 31 May, of which by far the greatest amount was as a result of this hit.
Pieces of this 13.5in CPC shell were analysed and gave figures of 0.78% carbon and 4.16% chromium with only 0.06% nickel and no molybdenum or tungsten. The 2in torpedo bulkhead plating of low alloy nickel steel was brittle and defective where hit.
6 Struck the 63/4in casemate side armour at the after end of No I port 5.9in casemate, just above the upper deck and burst. The hole in the armour was approximately rectangular and measured 28in x 16in on the outside, and 38in x 26in inside. The effect of the burst was mostly downwards, and the 1.2in upper deck was holed outside the armour for cIOsq ft and was driven downwards over the whole area of the casemate from the combined effects of Hits Nos 4 and 6. The 1.2in longitudinal splinter bulkhead, running below the upper deck 5~/4ft inboard of the hit, was bowed by up to 1 I in from the upper to the main deck, but was not holed, while the main deck, outside this bulkhead, was holed in many places by splinters, bowed by up to 2ft and torn for a length of 23ft at the splinter bulkhead. The 1.2in forecastle deck was slightly bowed upwards, and armour fragments pierced the 5/8in longitudinal casemate bulkhead protecting the fore-funnel uptakes, and damage to the air supply and danger from gas, put all three oil-fired boilers out of action. The starboard and midships boilers were brought into use again, though not at full power at 2035 and 2050 respectively, but the port boiler remained out.
The effects of this hit and of Hit No 4 cannot be entirely distinguished but this shell caused damage in both No 1 and No 2 port casemates. Armour fragments holed the 0.8in transverse bulkhead between casemates Nos I and 2, and in the latter two or three 5.9in charges were ignited as were others in the hoist to No 14 Magazine on the lower platform deck, but shells in the casemate were undamaged. The 5.9in gun itself was only slightly damaged, but the sights and cables were destroyed, and the hoist which entered No 2 casemate near the bulkhead between Nos I and 2, was damaged and useless. The gun-crew however escaped, as they had just vacated No 2 casemate because of gas danger from Hit No 4, when Hit No 6 occurred.
In addition fires were started in the PO's bathroom and in the fore dressing station, and some flooding on the armour deck resulted from cut fire-mains in the dressing station. The port battle signal station was also put out of action temporarily by smoke and gas. Thirty-six fatal casualties were caused by Hits Nos 4 and 6, of which three-quarters were assigned to Hit No 4, while there were only four killed by Hit No 5.
7 Struck the far (starboard) side of the CT roof near the edge, glanced off and burst c40yds from the ship. The 63/4in roof was dented to a depth of 0.6in, and there was also a very narrow crack 20in long. The starboard torpedo periscope was destroyed and splinters cut the cables for the night signal gear and night recognition signal position. A fragment of the rain gutter on the CT slightly wounded Rear Admiral Behncke, who was on the upper bridge.
8 This shell, which was apparently a ricochet, struck the after funnel c 13 ft from the top, and passed through without exploding. The starboard after upper SL was put out of action.
The Markgraf was hit once at 1835. The shell which was probably from the Orion, struck and burst on the 63/4in armour of No 6 port 5.9m casemate, 9-1 Oft forward of the gun axis and 5ft above the upper deck.
The effect of the burst was outside the casemate, but the armour was holed, and the plate forced 11/4in inwards. The 1.2in upper deck was torn open for a length of 8ft close outside the casemate, and the main deck for a length of 5ft. Armour fragments did much damage, putting the gun out of action, and also the battle signal station, while four of them pierced the 0.6in port and starboard casemate longitudinal bulkheads, one also holing the 0.4M starboard skin plating. The ammunition hoist in No 6 starboard casemate was put out of action, and one man killed in this casemate, while the crew of the No 6 port gun were all killed except for 2 severely wounded.
The Markgraf also appears to have been heavily shaken aft by a `near-miss' at 1833, and this may have been the cause of her port propeller shaft being bent so that the bearings overheated and the port engine had to be stopped.
None of the other battleships appears to have been hit in this phase of the action.
The Falmouth and Yarmouth scored a number of 6in hits on the Lutzow but details are lacking. They were probably responsible for 2-6in shells which hit the Derfflinger, one piercing the anti-rolling tank on the superstructure deck between the funnels and bursting in the warrant officers' mess and the other going through the top of the after funnel, and the 3rd LCS may also have made one hit on the Seydlitz which burst on the upper belt.
It remains to make a very approximate estimate of the number of heavy shells that hit the Wiesbaden between about 1820 and 1845. At least 300 rounds of 12in to 15in were fired at her in this period, for the most part at 10,000- 1 1,000yds, and 10 to 12 hits claimed - Royal Oak 1, Superb 2, Temeraire 2-3, Vanguard 1 and several more, say 5--6 total. Too many ships were each firing a few salvos at her in an unsystematic manner, for any great accuracy, and it seems likely that some of the hits were claimed by more than one ship, though there may have been one or two hits that were not seen. No fatal damage was inflicted on the Wiesbaden and she was able to fire a torpedo at c1843, while she had already been hit by the 3rd BCS and 1st CS, and torpedoed by the Onslow. It is thus thought best to allow only 10 hits from heavy shells in the 1820/1845 period.
The estimates for hits by heavy shells on the German capital ships are:
Of the above 9 were due to battleships, 2 to Beatty's battlecruisers and 12 to the 3rd BCS.
[.1]*The Iron Duke class had the most powerful boiler-room pumps of any of the Grand Fleet capital ships. In the Benbow and Emperor of India the capacity per boiler room was 1100 tons per hour as two ash-expeller pumps had been fitted, and in the Iron Duke and Marlborough, 675 tons at the date of Jutland. In no other ship was the figure more than 520 tons.