Djoser wrote:I thought I remembered one of the survivors, Briggs I believe, saying on a video I was watching that body parts were falling down past him [on the compass platform?]. But I could be wrong about that.
Yes, Briggs did describe bodies in his interviews, including an officer whose face and hands had been blown off, but I think this was coming from what Tilburn told him and not what he saw himself. Remember, as the ship sank, he left the compass platform, climbed down a ladder and was swallowed up by the sea in seconds. He exited on the starboard side, was sucked down, whirled around under the ship and was shot to the surface on her port side where he saw her bows sticking vertically out of the sea. It was Tilburn on the boat deck who saw the horrific scenes of dismembered bodies.
Here's what Briggs told the Inquiry:
http://www.hmshood.org.uk/reference/off ... 1_Hood.htm
What did you say the Admiral said about not putting the fire out?
He said to the S.G.O. "leave it until the ammunition had gone". I think they were his exact words. The next thing (sic) that I know about the Captain picked up the telephone to ring the Spotting Top and he could not get through. A midshipman told me afterwards that he had seen bits falling from the Spotting Top but I did not see it.
In his book he quotes Dundas as saying: "The fourth salvo seemed to go through the spotting top without exploding although bodies began to fall from it." (Flagship Hood P. 220)
So "bits" became "bodies".
Bgile wrote:Hood's chief gunnery officer wouldn't have to have been located in the spotting top for there to be a significant disruption in Hood's fire. The officer in the main top was directing Hood's fire, no matter who it actually was. If his position was disabled, it would have caused at least a momentary disruption and possibly worse if spray was interfering with the view from the cupula much lower in the ship. At the very least, it would have been harder to see the target and spot splashes from there due to the difference in elevation.
That's very true....but Wadinga's argument was that as the CGO, he would want to be in the best position to see what was happening for directing the ship's gunnery - which would be the vibrating, wind-swept spotting top. Would he have left that to a subordinate?
RF wrote:I am wondering from seeing the above post whetherthis might be the reason for Holland's decision to turn to port at that moment, to reduce the volume of spray restricting vision? Obviously things were happening very fast and the order to turn may have been coincidental, made before the foretop gunnery impairment was recognised.
I don't think so...I think that was a tactical move to try to keep slightly ahead of the enemy and enable both ships after turrets to fire at a safer angle. We had a good discussion on the blind angle factor for Hood & PoW over on the Hood site. Blast from PoW's after turret, which joined in after 5:57 had affected her aft directors. I suspect Hood's after turrets, which could physically bear 15 degrees further forward than PoW's, remained silent because of the boat deck fire and its associated damage. Blast may have made a bad situation worse. Hood's Y-turret is reported to have fired for the first time just before she blew up - X did not (maybe still too close to the aft superstructure as the ship turned).