Bombs over Glasgow in WW2

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ludovic kennedy

Postby peter » Tue Nov 28, 2006 5:38 pm

Was Ludovic kennedy a serving officer on one of the ships involved in the hunt for the Bismatk and was his father the captain of the armed merchant cruiser Jervis Bay sunk by one of the pocket battleships?.
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Re: ludovic kennedy

Postby junkcatcher » Tue Nov 28, 2006 5:44 pm

peter wrote:Was Ludovic kennedy a serving officer on one of the ships involved in the hunt for the Bismatk and was his father the captain of the armed merchant cruiser Jervis Bay sunk by one of the pocket battleships?.


Yes
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Sinking of Prince of Wales and Replulse.

Postby Dugald » Thu Nov 30, 2006 1:03 am

Escotregen, further to your post of Nov 27th dealing with the "shattered hubris of the Empire" following the 'Prince of Wales' and 'Replulse' disaster, I took another look into what happened in the book, "Secret Naval Investigator", by Ashe Lincoln Q.C. This Lieutenant Commander in the R.N. was involved with mine and torpedo investigations all through the war.

Everyone was shocked at the sinking of these two great ships, but the Navy eggheads were even more mystified than shocked. First of all, bombs did not sink these two ships, they could quite easily withstand damage from the bombs-- it was torpedoes. The Repulse had been totally refurbished and had 12 foot anti-torpedo blisters, the P. of W. was a brand new battleship, yet both giants went down in just over an hour after each had been hit by only five torpedoes. The experts felt these big vessels should have been able to withstand the destructive force of five torpedoes, providing the torpedoes had been of the same destructive force as most of those in use in the world.

The RN's lack of knowledge of Japanese technical ability caused the mystery surrounding the sinkings. The Japanese used very simple, cheap, and easy to build, torpedoes which were, mechanically, the best in the world. By using oxygen instead of compressed air in the mechanism of the weapon, for example, the Japanese were able to stuff half as much more explosive power into their torpedoes as was the norm. It was this additional explosive charge that explained to Ashe Lincoln why " ...devastating results achieved against such powerful ships by comparatively few torpedoes" was possible.

(An aside. The RN wanted to learn facts about Japanese torpedoes. The Yanks had six of them in the U.S. The RN sent Lincoln to the States to examine these torpedoes. They denied having them, but after much American interference Lincoln found them, and was able to examine them. After this the R.N. wanted Lincoln to go straight out to the RN in the Pacific by means of U.S. Navy transportation. He was denied transportation directly by Admiral King of the U.S. Navy, a well-known Anglophobe!).

Cheers, Dugald.
Last edited by Dugald on Thu Nov 30, 2006 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Peekay » Thu Nov 30, 2006 2:33 am

Dugald wrote:I'd be a bit hesitant about calling it "Britains biggest naval loss after the Royal Oak". I'd think the loss of the 'Hood', and the combined loss of the 'Prince of Wales' & Repulse', would have been rated as greater than either the 'Royal Oak' or the 'Thrasher'..


Sorry! That should have read "biggest loss in British waters" My fault.

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Postby Peekay » Thu Nov 30, 2006 2:50 am

junkcatcher wrote:It was a body wash ashore from Dasher at Farlie that was used for "The Man Who Never Was" intelligence D Day decoy operation to devert attention from the normandy beaches.

Apparently the body an AB from Wales and not a Scot as in the film.


Operation Mincemeat. It was the Sicily invasion.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mincemeat

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Postby escotregen » Thu Nov 30, 2006 12:49 pm

Dugald just to add some bits and peices on the Force X sinkings. The steel hull 'aprons' added at the Repulse's refurbishment also contributed to the success of the Japanese torpedoes. The aprons left vulnerable points around the propeller shafts - which is where, inevitably, some torpedoes hit (ironic that this had shades of how the Bismark was initially disabled by one of the batty old 'string-and-cloth' Fairey Swordfish British torpodo airplanes) .

I believe that the steel hull protection on both ships also left the lower hull areas vulnerable should the ships list much... as happened in both cases. This allowed successive penetrations by the high quality Japenese torpedoes you described.

The designers may have assumed that the high calibre steel protection would have precluded torpedo penetration; therefore why should they have to allow for lower hull protection when the ships would never be listing? (hindsight for my later generations is such a wonderful thing isn't it :wink: )

The commander of the Prince of Wales was credited with suberb seamanship under attack 'Throwing it around like a destroyer'. He succeeded in avoiding initial waves of attacking torpodo aircraft (the planes also of high quality Japanese design). Then the dastardly Japanese thought "let's surround the bastard!". They attacked simultaneously from all points and that was that.

Something else was fortunate for our people and at the same time odd: British destroyers were able to come alongside and rescue the bulk of the sailors from the overturned/sinking great ships. It was odd in-that if Japanese airplanes had returned they would have brought about a horrendous massacre of the completely vulnerable evacuators and evacuees.

Another wee poser for you... what was the other connection in WW2 between the old British Fairey Swordfish aircraft and the high-tech Japanese torpedo aircraft? (and no, it wasn't that all their torpedoes were produced at Alexandria on the Clyde :) )
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Postby Alycidon » Thu Nov 30, 2006 2:21 pm

escotregen wrote:Another wee poser for you... what was the other connection in WW2 between the old British Fairey Swordfish aircraft and the high-tech Japanese torpedo aircraft? (and no, it wasn't that all their torpedoes were produced at Alexandria on the Clyde


They both had the same design of torpedo release equipment?
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Postby My Kitten » Thu Nov 30, 2006 2:24 pm

*cough* ^^^ thread title *hint Glasgow*

Could those who want to talk about WW2 in other places start another thread please so that it's easier to locate stuff.
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Peter's chunk of shrapnel.

Postby Dugald » Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:00 pm

I've just been catching up on some of these very informative postings about the Clydeside bombings, and while doing this I've been reading a book written by an R.N. bomb-disposal expert who was involved in bomb/mine disposal. He wasn't involved in the Clydebank Blitz, but he was called upon immediately after Greenock was bombed because of the great number of unexploded weapons there (took them 5 days to defuse them!) .

The Greenock Blitz was only a couple of months after the Clydebank Blitz, and on the basis of this I think the Germans would have used the same variety of bombs on Greenock as was used on the Upper Clyde. This leads me to wonder how many mines were used upstream, rather than bombs of the conventional type.

At this time the Luftwaffe were using one of their secret weapons: the BM1000, or the "Bombemine", a dual pupose bomb/sea-mine. It used no parachute, and lacked conventional tail fins. If this 'thing' hit the ground it exploded like a bomb; if it hit deep water in sank to the bottom, did not explode, and functioned as a magnetic mine...useful on the Clyde!

One of those 'Bombemine' things was found in Dumbarton, the first ever found in the UK, and defused jointly by the Army and the Royal Navy. It measured 6'4" and had a max diameter of 26". Now I recall having heard a long time ago, that one of the features of a 'land mine' was that the shrapnel was much larger than that of conventional bombs, because it disintegrated without the confines of a deep penetration of land.

In looking at the size of the piece of shrapnel in Peter's post of Nov 4th, and noting that it is unusually large for a conventional bomb, might one reasonably ponder the possibility of this chunk of shrapnel being that of a "Bombemine"? One can readily estimate the diameter of the piece of shrapnel to be less than the 26" of the "Bombemine", but this is only part of the nose and not necessarily the entire conically-shaped part of the weapon... the diameter could be greater than the picture suggests.

I'm not making any claims here, just looking for some explanation for such large chunks of shrapnel. Socceroo suggests, by virtue of the size of the shrapnel, that the 'bomb' must have been at least 500lb. I agree with Socceroo, but the BM1000, the "Bombemine", weighed 1000 kg, almost one ton... could the shrapnel have come from such a big 'bomb'?
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Re: Peter's chunk of shrapnel.

Postby Socceroo » Fri Dec 01, 2006 11:23 pm

Dugald wrote:...... could the shrapnel have come from such a big 'bomb'?


No i don't think so. The Mines were usually more cylindrical. The shrapnel that Peter found appears to be the nose of a nose and tail Bomb of either 250lb but more likely 500lb.


Or it could be a bit of a Japanese Torpedo :D
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Postby Apollo » Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:46 am

The size of bombs:-

Image

Photo of a German parachute sea mine:-

Image

No secret ones unfortunately.
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Bombs again.

Postby Dugald » Sat Dec 02, 2006 1:21 am

Yes, Socceroo, you're probably right, although it would be difficult to tell the difference between the BM1000 and a conventional bomb simple by apperarance. Before the RN came on the scene at Dumbarton, the Army claimed the had what was known as a "Herman" 1000 kg bomb, and definitely not a mine... but they were wrong, it was both a mine and a bomb. Your

Or it could be a bit of a Japanese Torpedo
.

is very good ! Cheers, dugald.
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Apollo, thank you for the excellent pictures; you're a real fortune in info!
Cheers, dugald.
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Postby retired tiger » Sat Dec 02, 2006 8:50 pm

escotregen wrote: Alexandria on the Clyde :) )



When did they move it from the Leven ::):
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Re: BOMBS OVER GLASGOW

Postby Dugald » Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:22 pm

The Doctor wrote:
AlanM wrote:


I suppose the starting point for researching this would be to look at newspapers of the time, Mitchell Library here we come

Alan


Period newspapers will tell you nothing. Locations weren't published at the time for security reasons.

I'm still in the process of reading over old postings on this interesting topic, and came upon the above message, posted by Doctor on Sept 22nd, 2005. I don't think the Doctor's claim about 'period newspapers' is quite true. I recall reading in the Glasgow papers immediately after the bombing, that Clydeside had been bombed and 500 people had been killed, and pictures of places bombed were also shown.
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Postby Timchilli » Tue Dec 12, 2006 11:02 pm

Socceroo wrote:Interesting find Hollowhorn, i find it quite sad, i recall reading that the family were killed in Scotstoun at home on Queen Victoria Drive.

I think one of the photographs earlier in this thread has a photograph of their street decimated following the air raid.


On 22/03/1941, the People's Journal reported that 20 year-old Gordon Campbell Hutton, a sapper with the 240 Field Company of the Royal Engineers, along with Mina Hardy Easton Hutton (his mother) and Sydney Campbell Hutton (his father) all died at 135 Queen Victoria Drive, Scotstounhill, when a German air raid on the area destroyed their home on 13 March 1941.

If anyone can re-post the image Socceroo mentioned, I'd be really grateful.


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