Sinking of HMS Hercules of Minorca 1936

Started by DarrenP, February 05, 2010, 04:00:54 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

DarrenP

On 18th October 1936 The Newly comissioned H class destroyer was on patrol of the spanish island of minorca. She was closed up on defence watches and had passed a Spanish republican ship. Shortly afterwards lookouts reported seeing aircraft approaching at low and medium level. The aircraft of the Italian and German airforces began to attack the ship. The captain ordered the crew to defend the ship but she was overwhelmed by the weight of bombs and torpedoes.
HMS Hercules sank at 1555 local time taking 16 of her crew with her. the remainder including the captain were recovered by HMS London and returned to Gibraltar.

What would have been the consecuences  of this incident?

Arc3371

An apology and perhaps compensation to the UK, the british government wouldnt do anything to benefit the Republicans.

DarrenP

That would be my reading of the international political situation. What about the loss of a "Modern" destroyer to aircraft how would that have gone down with the admiralty? what would their board of enquirey say?

Ed S

Was this a "mistaken identity" or was this intentional.  Depends on what the British Govt thinks the German/Italians were actually doing. At a minimum, I think that they would expect apologies and compensation from the German & Italian govt's.  I'm sure that someone would have taken a closer look at how to defend ships from aerial assaults.  This might have gotten some official backing in the Navy.


Ed
We don't just embrace insanity here.  We feel it up, french kiss it and then buy it a drink.

JayBee

I also suspect that the Captain would have been court-martialed for losing his ship!

JimB
Alle kunst ist umsunst wenn ein engel auf das zundloch brunzt!!

Sic biscuitus disintegratum!

Cats are not real. 
They are just physical manifestations of collisions between enigma & conundrum particles.

Any aircraft can be improved by giving it a SHARKMOUTH!

NARSES2

Well the RN in Gibraltar was surreptitiously passing information from Republican wireless intercepts to the Nationalists (this was not sanctioned by either UK Government or the Admiralty) so this might have stopped. Don't know how useful this info was however.
Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.

pyro-manic

I suspect a rushed upgrade to AAA on a lot of ships (Pom-poms and Oerlikons) - and Prince of Wales and Repulse are not thrown away in the Pacific. Either they don't go at all, or they go as part of a larger force with more escorts and carriers.
Some of my models can be found on my Flickr album >>>HERE<<<

DarrenP

I would sgest that yes the Capt would be court martialed (Standard RN practice) probably exonerated.
The AA training may have changed pre war it was shootin at sleves towed by aircraft at fixed heights and ranges. British gunnery computers were'nt good with fast moving targets. Destroyer guns didn't have good elevation for AA work. The guns themselves were fairly poor the .50 vickers mounted in 4's and 2 pounder pom pom was fairly bad so much so the Army rejected a land service version so I would hope the Navy would replace them with Oerlikons and Bofors and better predictors and higher angle QF or semi automatic guns. Maybe the admiralty would recognise the need for air defences both aircraft and gunnery.

rickshaw

Quote from: pyro-manic on February 05, 2010, 10:36:20 AM
I suspect a rushed upgrade to AAA on a lot of ships (Pom-poms and Oerlikons) - and Prince of Wales and Repulse are not thrown away in the Pacific. Either they don't go at all, or they go as part of a larger force with more escorts and carriers.

PoW and Repulse were intended to be part of a larger task force, including a Fleet Carrier (Illustrious  IIRC) but she ran aground in the Caribbean while trials after a refit.  So PoW and Repulse sailed without her.
How to reduce carbon emissions - Tip #1 - Walk to the Bar for drinks.

DarrenP

Repluse and POW sailed with HMS Eagle but she broke down in South Africa and the 2 capital ships and escorts proceeded without her. I'm not saying massivly upgraded AA defences and training would have saved them but they might have had a better chance. Same with the Malta Convoys and the Destroyers at Dunkirk.

rickshaw

#10
Sounds like PoW and Repulse were doomed from the start.  To paraphrase Lady Brackett, "to lose one carrier is unfortunate but to lose two looks decidedly careless ..."   ;D
How to reduce carbon emissions - Tip #1 - Walk to the Bar for drinks.

PR19_Kit

With no air cover, and a couple of squadrons of Brewster Buffaloes doesn't count against hordes of Zeros, specially when they're out of range, you're dead right.

Billy Mitchell was right along really. :(
Kit's Rule 1 ) Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage
Kit's Rule 2) The backstory can always be changed to suit the model

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)

Regards
Kit

JoeP

Go back and read the history of the loss of Force Z. No Zeros, just bombers and torpedo planes. And the carrier was Indomitable, a faster, more powerful carrier than Eagle. (Though Indomitable might not have made it in time.) A carrier's fighters, even early war RN fighters, would have been enough to break up the attack. What happens after that is the question - does Force Z continue on to attack the Japanese landing force? Most likely. Do further Japanese attacks get through the air cover in time to prevent the landing force being broken up? Does this give the British time to fortify Singapore against land attack?
And how does this affect the war in the southwest Pacific and Indian Ocean?
In want of hobby space!  The kitchen table is never stable.  Still managing to get some building done.

rickshaw

Quote from: JoeP on February 07, 2010, 07:11:37 PM
Go back and read the history of the loss of Force Z. No Zeros, just bombers and torpedo planes. And the carrier was Indomitable, a faster, more powerful carrier than Eagle. (Though Indomitable might not have made it in time.) A carrier's fighters, even early war RN fighters, would have been enough to break up the attack. What happens after that is the question - does Force Z continue on to attack the Japanese landing force? Most likely. Do further Japanese attacks get through the air cover in time to prevent the landing force being broken up? Does this give the British time to fortify Singapore against land attack?
And how does this affect the war in the southwest Pacific and Indian Ocean?

Overall, not much.  Once the Japanese were ashore in Malaya, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion as long as Percival was in command with Wavell as his strategic commander.   While I'm a big fan of Wavell, it must be admitted he was faced with a hopeless situation in ABDA Command and seemed unable to appreciate that there was a considerably difference in quality between the Indian troops he commanded in the Middle East in 1940-41 and the Indian troops he commanded in Malaya.  Percival was, by all accounts, an excellent staff officer but he was totally inadequate as a commander, as Malaya proved.  Yamashita, just having returned from Germany and having absorbed the German lessons on Blitzkrieg in Poland and the West, was just the better commander.  He took terrible risks, it must be admitted but his troops rose to the occasion and proved they were for the most part, far superior to the British Imperial forces facing them.  Force Z's success might have delayed matters but thats about all.  The British knew the greatest threat came from a landward's advance on Singapore but failed to appreciate how poorly trained and equipped their troops were.
How to reduce carbon emissions - Tip #1 - Walk to the Bar for drinks.