british British Royal Navy - Admiralty - RN HMS Indefatigable (+1916)
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  Details  
 
general
nationality british
purpose war
type battlecruiser
subtype/class Indefatigable class battlecruiser
propulsion steam turbine
date built 1909
status
unknown
details
weight (tons) 18500  disp (surf)
dimensions 179.8 x 24.4 x 8.2 m
material steel, armoured
engine 4 x steam turbines, 31 Babcock & Wilcox boilers, 4 screws
armament 4 × 2 12"/304.8 mm guns, 16 × 1 4"/102mm guns, 2 × 1 18"/450-mm T.T.
power 43000  i.h.p.
speed 29.1  knots
about the loss
cause lost explosion
date lost 31/05/1916  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties  max.1017rank: 95
about people
builder
Devonport Naval Dockyard - Plymouth Dockyard, Plymouth
owner
British Royal Navy - Admiralty - RN, London
captain
complement 800~1017
about the wreck
depth (m.) 55 max. / 50 min. (m)
orientation
protected yes
war grave yes
updates
entered by Allen Tony
entered 12/10/2005
last update Lettens Jan
last update 15/07/2014
 
  Position  
 
Lettens Jan08/12/2009
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  The Wreck today  
 
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  Note  
 
Lettens Jan20/04/2011BATTLE OF JUTLAND

The Battle of Jutland (Skagerrakschlacht) was the largest naval battle of World War I, fought between 31st May and 1st June 1916, in the North Sea near Jutland, Denmark. The Germans' plan was to use five modern battlecruisers to lure the British through a submarine picket line and into the path of the main German fleet.

The plan didn't succeed, but the battle is considered to be won by the Germans, giving the Royal Navy a heavy blow.
 
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  History  
 
Novocastrian1325/07/2009The battlecruiser HMS INDEFATIGABLE (Captain Charles Sowerby) was locked in a gunnery duel with the German battlecruiser VON DER TANN when a German salvo was observed to strike HMS INDEFATIGABLE midships. HMS INDEFATIGABLE lurched out of line to starboard only to be stuck squarely by a second salvo. It appears that HMS INDEFATIGABLE received a shell in her X turret which ignited cordite charges, the resultant flash shooting down to the aft magazines. It is equally plausible that a shell may have penetrated the magazine directly. The ship was wreathed in smoke but when it cleared, HMS INDEFATIGABLE was sinking by the stern and listing over to port. She sank in seconds taking 1,017 of her crew with her. What follows is an eye witness account:...

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ref. used: 
 Official History, J Corbett 1923
Allen Tony26/06/2007Indefatigable HMS, British, Indefatigable class Battle Cruiser. Lost in the battle of Jutland. British battlecruiser, Indefatigable, sunk at 16.03 after a magazine explosion. More than 1,000 sailors on the Indefatigable were killed as a result of the blast.
Lettens Jan17/04/2011WARSHIPS LOST AT THE BATTLE OF JUTLAND

ROYAL NAVY HIGH SEAS FLEET


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  Documents  
 
Novocastrian1325/07/2009[EN]

The Destruction of HMS Indefatigable

Eyewitness accounts of the death of a leviathan including casualty list
ref. used
 Clio Collection


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About Owners
 
British Royal Navy - Admiralty - RN, London

In 1509 when Henry VIII was crowned he realised the growing navel power of King James IV of Scots. James had built an impressive fleet to control the Western Isles and was allied to France. Henry built up of his own fleet, the Navy Royal, as it was then known. New ships were constructed, the best known being the Mary Rose. Smaller types of warships (galleases) combining the best features of oars, sails and guns were also built. By Henry's death in 1547 his fleet had grown to 58 vessels.

In 1546 a 'Council of the Marine' was established which later became the 'Navy Board'. The Navy Board was in charge of the daily administration of the navy until 1832 when it was combined with the Board of the Admiralty.

Elizabeth I inherited a fleet of only 27 ships in 1558. Instead of building up her own fleet Elizabeth encouraged private enterprise against Spain's new empire. Men like Sir John Hawkins and Sir Francis Drake to command groups of Royal and private ships to attack the Spanish. When Spain threatened invasion with its Armada in 1588 the Navy of England both Royal and private defended the realm.

Early in the Seventeenth Century, larger galleons were built with heavier armaments. the largest English ship was Sovereign of the Seas built for prestige purposes by Charles I in 1637. The first ship with three gun decks to carry her 102 guns, she was the most powerful ship in the world for many years.

When King Charles II came to the throne in 1660 he inherited a huge fleet of 154 ships. This was a permanent professional national force and the beginning of the Royal Navy as we know it today.

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  History  
 
Novocastrian1325/07/2009The battlecruiser HMS INDEFATIGABLE (Captain Charles Sowerby) was locked in a gunnery duel with the German battlecruiser VON DER TANN when a German salvo was observed to strike HMS INDEFATIGABLE midships. HMS INDEFATIGABLE lurched out of line to starboard only to be stuck squarely by a second salvo. It appears that HMS INDEFATIGABLE received a shell in her X turret which ignited cordite charges, the resultant flash shooting down to the aft magazines. It is equally plausible that a shell may have penetrated the magazine directly. The ship was wreathed in smoke but when it cleared, HMS INDEFATIGABLE was sinking by the stern and listing over to port. She sank in seconds taking 1,017 of her crew with her. What follows is an eye witness account:

" There was a terrific explosion. The magazines went up. I saw the guns go up in thre air like matchsticks. 12" guns they were, bodies and everything. She was beginning to settle down. Within half a minute the ship turned right over and she was gone. I was 180´ up in the tops otherwise I would have gone with her. I hit the water unconscious, turning over. At last I came to the surface and I saw this other lad, Jimmy Green. We got a piece of wood between us, he was at one end and I was at the other. A couple of minutes later some shells came over and took off Jimmy´s head and I was alone in the water"

L/Sig Falmer, HMS INDEFATIGABLE

Three survivors AB Elliott, L/Sig Falmer, Sig Bowyer were picked up by the German torpedoboat S-16 . Commander Willoughby survived the explosion only to die of wounds and exposure in the water.

The wreck - a war grave -was untouched until 1958 when it was commercially salvaged by German and Danish divers using industrial explosives. As a result the ship is now an unintelligible scrap heap spread over a large area.
ref. used: 
 Official History, J Corbett 1923
 
 
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