Death of a Battleship

Lest We Forget

25 November 1941

HMS Barham, torpedoed and sunk with the loss of 55 officers and 806 ratings.

This vid clip is one minute and eleven seconds long. In these 71 seconds, the Royal Navy battleship, HMS Barham, rolled over on her beam ends, explodes, and then sinks. At the end of the vid clip, the ship is gone, disappeared beneath the sea.

In the time it takes to watch it, fifty-five officers and eight hundred six ratings died–men who were fighting against “a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime,” as the Nazis were so aptly described in their evil by Prime Minister Winston Churchill on 13 May 1940 in his first speech to Parliament as Prime Minister.

Incredibly, the sinking and explosion was caught on film by a news reel cameraman from Gaumont News. The cameraman who caught the sinking and explosion, John Turner, was standing on the deck of the nearby Royal Navy battleship, HMS Valiant, which was on station close to Barham.

You can read accounts by the crew members who survived here:

http://www.hmsbarham.com/ship/accounts.php

HMS Barham in the Royal Navy fleet anchorage of Scapa Flow circa 1917. (US Navy photograph)

The Sudden Death of HMS Barham

This vid clip is one minute and eleven seconds long. In these 71 seconds, the Royal Navy battleship, HMS Barham, rolls over on her beam ends, explodes, and then sinks. At the end of the vid clip, the ship is gone, disappeared beneath the sea.

Incredibly, the sinking and explosion was caught on film by a news reel cameraman from Gaumont News, which was then, and continues to be, one of the largest French film studios. The cameraman who caught the sinking and explosion, John Turner, was standing on the deck of the nearby Royal Navy battleship, HMS Valiant, which was in station close to Barham.

HMS Valiant (British battleship, 1916) – Photographed following her 1929-30 refit. US Naval Historical Center Photograph in the public domain.

In the time it takes to watch it, fifty-five officers and eight hundred six men died–men who were fighting against “a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime.” As the Nazis were so described in their evil by Prime Minister Churchill.

battleship, HMS Valiant, which was in station close to Barham.

HMS Valiant (British battleship, 1916) – Photographed following her 1929-30 refit. US Naval Historical Center Photograph in the public domain.

In the time it takes to watch it, fifty-five officers and eight hundred six men died–men who were fighting against “a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime,” as the Nazis were so described in their evil by Prime Minister Churchill.