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Ships blowing up when the rolled over

Posted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 9:08 am
by paul.mercer
Gentlemen,
Many moons ago I asked why some ships (Barham, Scharnhorst, Yamato) blew up as they rolled over, I believe the answer was because the shells fell out of their racks as the ship capsized. What still puzzles me is that a large calibre shell is designed to absorb a considerably heavier impact before going off, far more than just falling out of a holing cradle, so why the explosions?

Re: Ships blowing up when the rolled over

Posted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:26 pm
by OpanaPointer
Maybe boiler explosions?

Re: Ships blowing up when the rolled over

Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:04 am
by Francis Marliere
As far as I understand things, it is not the shells that explode in a magazine explosion, but powder bags. A ship that capsizes has taken heavy damage and may have some fires aboard. These fires as well as red hot fragment can ignite these powder bags.

Re: Ships blowing up when the rolled over

Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:36 pm
by OpanaPointer
Francis Marliere wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:04 am
As far as I understand things, it is not the shells that explode in a magazine explosion, but powder bags. A ship that capsizes has taken heavy damage and may have some fires aboard. These fires as well as red hot fragment can ignite these powder bags.
With enough powder to fling many large caliber shells twenty miles or more this would be a candidate. :shock:

Re: Ships blowing up when the rolled over

Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:00 am
by paul.mercer
Thanks for your replies, i believe Scharnhorst actually blew up underwater after he went down, perhaps there were still fires burning new the magazines?

Re: Ships blowing up when the rolled over

Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:09 pm
by OpanaPointer
paul.mercer wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:00 am
Thanks for your replies, i believe Scharnhorst actually blew up underwater after he went down, perhaps there were still fires burning new the magazines?
The powder has its own oxygen, so a sealed compartment that is subjected to great heat (such as compression by dept of water) could cause the powder to detonate.

Re: Ships blowing up when the rolled over

Posted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:21 am
by mstary1
What I find interesting on this subject is the high level of Japanese battlewagons that blew up after capsizing. With their high Pagoda masts, capsizing was far more likely to occur after flood damage.

Kongo blew up after capsizing from progresive flooding from 2 torpedo hits in heavy seas.
Both Yamato and Musashi exploded after capsizing.
Both Kirishima and Hiei are confirmed in two pieces, indication magazine explosions after capsizing.

HMS Barham exploded after rolling over, but this has been attributed to a fire in the 4" magazine touching off the 15" magazine.
Royal Oak capsized but didn't explode, same vintage as the Japanese Kongo's and Barham. Neither did Repulse or POW blow up.

Why were Japanese ships prone to exploding after capsizing?