: I was reading the posts regarding the footage
: of HMS Barham and have these thoughts
: about the cause of the massive explosion.
: When Barham was fitted with twin 4"
: AA mounts in 1938, three magazine spaces
: were fitted for them: one directly aft of
: 'B' 15in magazine on the centreline, and 1
: to port and 1 to starboard outboard of 'Y'
: and 'X' 15in magazines right up against the
: torpedo bulkhead. This arrangement badly
: compromised the safety of the 15in magazines
: by placing large amounts of high explosives
: between them and the outer hull.
: I think it is very likely that one or more
: of the torpedoes ruptured the torpedo
: bulkhead and vented into the port side 4in
: magazine space, causing a fire. The flames
: would of course rise vertically, but as the
: ship rolled onto her beam ends, the 15in
: magazines rotated until they were no longer
: horizontal to the 4in magazine, but were
: above. At that point the either the flames
: from the 4in magazine directly entered the
: 15in magazine, or some 15in cordite charges
: rolled into the burning 4in magazine; either
: scenario would result in the detonation of
: the after 15in magazines, but not until the
: ship was on her beam ends - exactly what is
: seen in the video.
: Barham was likely torn to pieces by the
: explosion aft; her bows come out of the
: smoke inverted some distance ahead of the
: rising cloud, and stay on the surface for
: some time. As HMS Hood suffered a 4in
: magazine explosion which detonated her main
: after magazines, the video could explain why
: her bow is quite some distance away from the
: main centre section of the wreckage, and the
: conning tower close to a kilometer away.
: Hood's breakup was even more destructive
: than Barham's due to her high speed and
: the sudden loss of hull strength aft.
: As always, the academics of analysis is
: tempered by the large loss of life and
: associated lives changed forever.