ANNIVERSARIES

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Re: ANNIVERSARIES

Post by MajorBloodnok » Sat May 27, 2017 12:15 pm

05-27
ROYAL NAVY
1915-05-27: EXPLOSION Of AUXILIARY MINELAYER HMS PRINCESS IRENE WITH The Loss
Of 273 CREWMEN, 352 LIVES IN TOTAL. – R.I.P.

HMS PRINCESS IRENE was a 5,394 GRT ocean liner which was built in 1914 by William Denny and Brothers Ltd, Dumbarton, Scotland for the Canadian Pacific Railway. She was requisitioned by the Royal Navy on completion and converted to an auxiliary minelayer. On 27 May 1915, she exploded and sank off Sheerness, Kent with the loss of 352 lives.
History
Princess Irene was built by William Denny and Brothers Ltd, Dumbarton for the Canadian Pacific Railway. She was launched on 20 October 1914. With her sister ship Princess Margaret, she was built to serve on the Vancouver – Victoria – Seattle route. Her port of registry was Victoria. Princess Irene was requisitioned by the Royal Navy on completion and converted to an auxiliary minelayer. She had a complement of 225 officers and men.
LOSS
In May 1915, Princess Irene was moored in Saltpan Reach, on the Medway Estuary in Kent between Port Victoria and Sheerness, being loaded with mines in preparation for deployment on a minelaying mission.
At 11:14 GMT on 27 May, Princess Irene exploded and disintegrated. A column of flame 300 feet (100 m) high was followed a few seconds later by another of similar height and a pall of smoke hung over the spot where Princess Irene had been, reaching to 1,200 feet (400 m). Two barges laying alongside her were also destroyed. The explosion was larger than that which had destroyed HMS Bulwark in the Medway six months earlier, although the loss of life was less. A total of 352 people were killed, including 273 officers and men, and 76 dockyard workers who were on board Princess Irene. On the Isle of Grain a girl of nine was killed by flying débris, and a farmhand died of shock. A collier half a mile (800 m) away had its crane blown off its mountings. A part of one of Princess Irene's boilers landed on the ship; a man working on the ship died from injuries sustained when he was struck by a piece of metal weighing 70 pounds (32 kg).
Wreckage was flung up to 20 miles (32 km) away, with people near Sittingbourne being injured by flying débris, some of which landed in Bredhurst. Severed heads were found at Hartlip and on the Isle of Grain. A case of butter landed at Rainham, 6 miles (10 km) away. A 10-ton (10,160 kg) section of the ship landed on the Isle of Grain. The Admiralty's oil storage tanks there were damaged. The sole survivor from Princes Irene was a stoker, who suffered severe burns. Three of her crew had a lucky escape as they were ashore at the time.
The victims, whose bodies were recovered, were buried at Woodlands Road Cemetery, Gillingham. A memorial service for the victims was held at the Dockyard Church, Sheerness on 1 June 1915. It was led by Randall Davidson, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Inquests were held on two victims of the disaster. The coroner stated that he did not intend to hold an inquest for any other victim unless there were exceptional circumstances that warranted it. A Court of Inquiry was held into the loss of Princess Irene. Evidence was given that priming of the mines was being carried out hurriedly and by untrained personnel. A faulty primer was blamed for the explosion.
Following the loss of HMS Natal on 30 December 1915 and HMS Vanguard on 9 July 1917, both caused by internal explosions, suspicion was raised at the inquiry into the loss of Natal that sabotage was to blame for the loss of all four ships. A worker at Chatham Dockyard was named as a suspect, but a thorough investigation by Special Branch cleared him of any blame.
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Re: ANNIVERSARIES

Post by MajorBloodnok » Wed May 31, 2017 11:24 am

05-31/06-01
ROYAL NAVY
1916-05-31/06-01: BATTLE Of JUTLAND – BRITISH LOSSES: 14 SHIPS, KIA: 6,094;
WOUNDED: 674
The BATTLE Of JUTLAND (German: Skagerrakschlacht, the Battle of Skagerrak) was a naval battle fought by the British Royal Navy's Grand Fleet under Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, against the Imperial German Navy's High Seas Fleet under Vice-Admiral Reinhard Scheer during the First World War.
The Battle was fought from 31 May to 1 June 1916 in the North Sea, near the coast of Denmark's Jutland Peninsula. It was the largest naval battle and the only full-scale clash of battleships of the War. It was the third fleet action between steel battleships, following the smaller but more decisive battles of the Yellow Sea (1904) and Tsushima (1905) during the Russo-Japanese War.
Germany's High Seas Fleet's intention was to lure out, trap and destroy a portion of the Grand Fleet, as the German naval force was insufficient to openly engage the entire British fleet. This formed part of a larger strategy to break the British blockade of Germany and to allow German mercantile shipping to operate. Meanwhile, Great Britain's Royal Navy pursued a strategy to engage and destroy the High Seas Fleet, or keep the German force contained and away from Britain's own shipping lanes.
The German plan was to use Vice-Admiral Franz Hipper's fast scouting group of five modern battlecruisers to lure Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty's battlecruiser squadrons into the path of the main German fleet. Submarines were stationed in advance across the likely routes of the British ships. However, the British learned from signal intercepts that a major fleet operation was likely, so on 30 May Jellicoe sailed with the Grand Fleet to rendezvous with Beatty, passing over the locations of the German submarine picket lines while they were unprepared. The German plan had been delayed, causing further problems for their submarines which had reached the limit of their endurance at sea.
On the afternoon of 31 May, Beatty encountered Hipper's battlecruiser force long before the Germans had expected. In a running battle, Hipper successfully drew the British vanguard into the path of the High Seas Fleet. By the time Beatty sighted the larger force and turned back towards the British main fleet, he had lost two battlecruisers from a force of six battlecruisers and four battleships, against the five ships commanded by Hipper. The battleships, commanded by Rear-Admiral Sir Hugh Evan-Thomas, were the last to turn and formed a rearguard as Beatty withdrew, now drawing the German fleet in pursuit towards the main British positions. Between 18:30, when the sun was lowering on the western horizon, back-lighting the German forces, and nightfall at about 20:30, the two fleets – totalling 250 ships between them – directly engaged twice.
Fourteen British and eleven German ships were sunk, with great loss of life. After sunset, and throughout the night, Jellicoe manoeuvred to cut the Germans off from their base, hoping to continue the battle the next morning, but under the cover of darkness Scheer broke through the British light forces forming the rearguard of the Grand Fleet and returned to port.
Both sides claimed victory. The British lost more ships and twice as many sailors, and the British press criticised the Grand Fleet's failure to force a decisive outcome, but Scheer's plan of destroying a substantial portion of the British fleet also failed. The Germans' "fleet in being" continued to pose a threat, requiring the British to keep their battleships concentrated in the North Sea, but the battle confirmed the German policy of avoiding all fleet-to-fleet contact. At the end of the year, after further unsuccessful attempts to reduce the Royal Navy's numerical advantage, the German Navy turned its efforts and resources to unrestricted submarine warfare and the destruction of Allied and neutral shipping which by April 1917 triggered the United States of America's declaration of war on Germany.
Subsequent reviews commissioned by the Royal Navy generated strong disagreement between supporters of Jellicoe and Beatty concerning the two admirals' performance in the battle. Debate over their performance and the significance of the battle continues to this day.

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Re: ANNIVERSARIES

Post by Stargeezer » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:25 am

Nice to see all of the old pictures of the ships. Reading of the people who died in captivity in Japan
I will never forget reading about all the tortures that so many endured or died of while in captivity as
well. Guess this is the reason that I only stop in the airports in that country but have never visited
Japan to see any of its sites, like the one north of Tokyo where even the locals cannot
live at anymore. I guess I would rather go to Australia and Europe and other places before I go see
Hiroshima or any of the Japan sites.
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Pluto is my favorite planet!, especially now that we all can see close up
pictures of it.

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Post by MajorBloodnok » Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:11 am

06-05
BRITISH ARMY
1916-06-05: DEATH BY DROWNING Of FIELD MARSHAL LORD HORATIO KITCHENER Of KHARTOUM [ROYAL ENGINEERS] - (HE WAS ONE Of 737 MEN THAT WENT DOWN WITH HMS HAMPSHIRE!)
FIELD MARSHAL HORATIO HERBERT KITCHENER, 1st EARL KITCHENER Of KHARTOUM KG, KP, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, PC
<1850-06-24/1916-06-05>
was an Irish-born senior British Army officer and colonial administrator who won fame for his imperial campaigns and later played a central role in the early part of the First World War, although he died halfway through it.
Kitchener won fame in 1898 for winning the BATTLE of OMDURMAN and securing control of the Sudan, after which he was given the title "Lord Kitchener of Khartoum"; as Chief of Staff (1900–02) in the Second Boer War he played a key role in Lord Roberts' conquest of the Boer Republics, then succeeded Roberts as commander-in-chief – by which time Boer forces had taken to guerrilla fighting and British forces imprisoned Boer civilians in concentration camps. His term as Commander-in-Chief (1902–09) of the Army in India saw him quarrel with another eminent proconsul, the Viceroy Lord Curzon, who eventually resigned. Kitchener then returned to Egypt as British Agent and Consul-General (de facto administrator).
In 1914, at the start of the First World War, Lord Kitchener became Secretary of State for War, a Cabinet Minister. One of the few to foresee a long war, lasting for at least three years, and have the authority to act effectively on that perception, he organised the largest volunteer army that both Britain and the world had seen, and oversaw a significant expansion of materials production to fight Germany on the Western Front. His commanding image, appearing on recruiting posters demanding "Your country needs you!", remains recognised and parodied in popular culture. Despite having warned of the difficulty of provisioning Britain for a long war, he was blamed for the shortage of shells in the spring of 1915 – one of the events leading to the formation of a coalition government – and stripped of his control over munitions and strategy.
Kitchener drowned on 5 June 1916 when HMS HAMPSHIRE sank west of the Orkney Islands, Scotland. He was making his way to Russia in order to attend negotiations when the ship struck a German mine. He was one of 737 that went down with the ship.
06-05 P (2) 1916 DROWNING Of KITCHENER+.jpg
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Post by MajorBloodnok » Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:13 am

06-05
ROYAL NAVY
1916-06-05: ARMOURED CRUISER HMS HAMPSHIRE HITS A MINE & SINKS WITH The
LOSS Of 723 SAILORS + 14 PASSENGERS, INCL. FIELD-MARSHAL LORD KITCHENER,
ONLY 12 SURVIVORS – R.I.P.
HMS HAMPSHIRE was one of six Devonshire-class armoured cruisers built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. She was assigned to the 1st Cruiser Squadron of the Channel Fleet upon completion. After a refit she was assigned to the reserve Third Fleet in 1909 before going to the Mediterranean Fleet in 1911. She was transferred to the China Station in 1912 and remained there until the start of World War I in August 1914.
The ship hunted for German commerce raiders until she was transferred to the Grand Fleet at the end of 1914. She was assigned to the 7th Cruiser Squadron upon her return home. She was transferred to the 2nd Cruiser Squadron in 1916 and was present at the Battle of Jutland.
Several days later she was sailing to Russia, carrying the Secretary of State for War, Field Marshal Lord Kitchener, when she is believed to have struck a mine laid by a German submarine. She sank with heavy loss of life, including Kitchener and his staff. Rumours later circulated of German spies and sabotage being involved in the sinking. Her wreck is listed under the Protection of Military Remains Act, though part was later illegally salvaged. Several films have been made exploring the circumstances of her loss.
LAST VOYAGE & SINKING
Immediately after the battle, she was ordered to carry Lord Kitchener from Scapa Flow on a diplomatic mission to Russia via the port of Arkhangelsk. Due to the gale-force conditions, it was decided that Hampshire would sail through the Pentland Firth, then turn north along the western coast of the Orkney Islands. This course would provide a lee from the strong winds, allowing escorting destroyers to keep pace with her. On June 5, 1916 she departed Scapa Flow at 16:45 and about an hour later rendezvoused with her two escorts, the Acasta-class destroyers Unity and Victor. As the ships turned to the northwest the gale increased and shifted direction so that the ships were facing it head on. This caused the destroyers to fall behind Hampshire. As it was considered unlikely that enemy submarines would be active in such conditions, CAPTAIN SAVILL of the Hampshire ordered Unity and Victor to return to Scapa Flow.
Sailing alone in heavy seas, Hampshire was approximately 1.5 mi (2.4 km) off the mainland of Orkney between Brough of Birsay and Marwick Head at 19:40 when an explosion occurred and she heeled to starboard. She had struck one of several mines laid by the German minelaying submarine U-75 on 28/29 May 1916, just before the Battle of Jutland. The detonation had holed the cruiser between bows and bridge, and the lifeboats were smashed against the side of the ship by the heavy seas when they were lowered.
About 15 minutes after the explosion, Hampshire sank by the bow. Of the 735 crewmen and 14 passengers aboard, only 12 crewmen on two Carley floats managed to reach the shore alive; Kitchener and his staff were lost.
Fritz Joubert Duquesne, a Boer and German spy, claimed to have assumed the identity of Russian Count Boris Zakrevsky and joined Kitchener in Scotland. Duquesne supposedly signalled a German U-boat shortly after departing Scapa Flow to alert them that Kitchener’s ship was approaching. He was then rescued by the submarine as Hampshire sank. In the 1930s and '40s, he ran the Duquesne Spy Ring and was captured by the FBI along with 32 other Nazi agents in the largest espionage conviction in U.S. history.
The Wreck
The wreck is designated as a controlled site under the Protection of Military Remains Act at coordinates
59°7.065′N 3°23.843′WCoordinates: 59°7.065′N 3°23.843′W and diving is forbidden without a licence. The ship is upside down at a depth of 55–70 metres (180–230 ft) of water. In 1983 one propeller and part of its drive shaft were illegally salvaged. They are now on view at the Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum, Lyness, Hoy, Orkney.
06-05 E (1) 1916 LOSS Of HMS HAMPSHIRE.jpg
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Re: ANNIVERSARIES

Post by MajorBloodnok » Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:07 pm

06-06
HMF; BRITISH & CANADIAN ARMIES, US ARMY
1944-06-06: D-DAY ‘OPERATION NEPTUNE’ : NORMANDY LANDINGS
The NORMANDY LANDINGS (codenamed ‘OPERATION NEPTUNE’) were the landing operations on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 (termed D-Day) of the Allied invasion of Normandy in ‘OPERATION OVERLORD’ during World War II. The largest seaborne invasion in history, the operation began the liberation of German-occupied northwestern Europe from Nazi control, and contributed to the Allied victory on the Western Front.
Planning for the operation began in 1943. In the months leading up to the invasion, the Allies conducted a substantial military deception, codenamed Operation Bodyguard, to mislead the Germans as to the date and location of the main Allied landings. The weather on D-Day was far from ideal, but postponing would have meant a delay of at least two weeks, as the invasion planners had requirements for the phase of the moon, the tides, and the time of day that meant only a few days in each month were deemed suitable. Adolf Hitler placed German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in command of German forces and of developing fortifications along the Atlantic Wall in anticipation of an Allied invasion.
The amphibious landings were preceded by extensive aerial and naval bombardment and an airborne assault—the landing of 24,000 American, British, and Canadian airborne troops shortly after midnight. Allied infantry and armoured divisions began landing on the coast of France at 06:30. The target 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast was divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword Beach. Strong winds blew the landing craft east of their intended positions, particularly at Utah and Omaha. The men landed under heavy fire from gun emplacements overlooking the beaches, and the shore was mined and covered with obstacles such as wooden stakes, metal tripods, and barbed wire, making the work of the beach-clearing teams difficult and dangerous. Casualties were heaviest at Omaha, with its high cliffs. At Gold, Juno, and Sword, several fortified towns were cleared in house-to-house fighting, and two major gun emplacements at Gold were disabled using specialised tanks.
The Allies failed to achieve all of their goals on the first day. Carentan, St. Lô, and Bayeux remained in German hands, and Caen, a major objective, was not captured until 21 July. Only two of the beaches (Juno and Gold) were linked on the first day, and all five beachheads were not connected until 12 June; however, the operation gained a foothold which the Allies gradually expanded over the coming months.
Allied casualties were at least 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead. German casualties on D-Day were around 1,000 men.
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Re: ANNIVERSARIES

Post by oakdale160 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:24 am

The greatest day in the last just war.

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Re: ANNIVERSARIES

Post by MajorBloodnok » Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:22 pm

06-08
1940-06-08: AIRCRAFT CARRIER HMS GLORIOUS, DESTROYERS HMS ACASTA & HMS ARDENT SUNK BY GERMAN BATTLESHIPS GNEISENAU AND SCHARNHORST WITH THE LOSS Of 1,519 MEN
1940-06-08: The aircraft carrier HMS GLORIOUS was returning to Scapa Flow from Norway separately from the other ships in the British Force, accompanied by only her destroyer escorts HMS ACASTA and HMS ARDENT. It was a fine clear day with light wind but HMS Glorious apparently did not have a lookout posted, did not have an aircraft on patrol – which would have given her all round visibility of approximately 40 miles, and did not have any of her aircraft on deck ready for immediate launch.
She was therefore surprised when spotted by the German battleships Gneisenau and Scharnhorst at about 1600. Although Acasta and Ardent attempted to lay a smoke screen and engaged the German ships, Glorious was first hit at 1638. The third salvo from the Scharnhorst reached Glorious from 24,175 meters (26,450 yards), possibly the longest gunfire hit on any enemy warship ever achieved. It hit her hangars and made it impossible to launch the aircraft that were on the point of readiness.
After the war Admiral Schubert, who had been First Officer on the Scharnhorst at the time of the battle, was interviewed by the Royal Navy and provided an account of the great fight put up by the two escorting destroyers, HMS Acasta and HMS Ardent:
“The escorting destroyer [HMS ARDENT] on the port side of the battleships continued her torpedo attacks and tried, extremely skilfully, to avoid the effective defensive fire of the battleships’ medium armament by means of constant alterations of course. Finally this destroyer also opened fire on the battleships. She fought with outstanding resolution in a situation that was hopeless for her. The destroyer received numerous hits and finally went down, her bow armament firing to the last and her engines apparently in order and driving her at high speed. The final range was about 5 miles.”
Ardent eventually capsized with the loss of 10 officers and 142 ratings. Only two of Ardent's survivors remained to be picked up by a German seaplane five days after the sinking. One of the two later died from exposure, leaving AB Roger Hooke, who crewed 'X' Gun, as Ardent's only survivor. Hooke was eventually repatriated to Britain in 1943 on account of ill health.
After the battleships had penetrated the smoke screen, the “Glorious” was sighted again at a great range. The main armament opened frontal fire and the carrier very quickly received further hits. The range rapidly decreased, but still remained relatively great. The carrier developed a list to port, and burned until she finally capsized. Only a few aircraft were left on deck.
The destroyer with the carrier [HMS ACASTA] turned to the attack on the battleships, which took avoiding action. At this stage of the fight, at about the time of the capsizing of the carrier, The ‘Scharnhorst’ received a torpedo hit on the starboard side level with the after main turret. As was ascertained later, the hole torn in the ships side was of considerable dimensions. The hit immediately affected the main turret magazines, the turret starting to burn. The starboard engine went out of action; the starboard propeller-shaft together with the bearings was torn away from the hull. A great deal of water entered the ship; her position became difficult the more so as the midships engine-room was gradually filling with water.
The ship however continued the fight with the now very severely damaged destroyer. The latter fought on in a hopeless situation with her far inferior armament against the battleships. She achieved, so far as I can remember, one light hit against the centre barrel of No.2 main turret.
The carrier had in the meantime capsized, and the place where she went down lay far astern of the ship. When the destroyer ceased firing on her armament being put out of action, the battleships did so too. The heavily damaged condition of the “Scharnhorst” made it imperative to see to the return of the damaged ship to the nearest Norwegian harbour, and to put the measures necessary for this in hand immediately.
The single survivor from Acasta, Ldg. Seaman Cyril Carter,was rescued by the Norwegian steam merchant Borgund which also saved 38 men from one of Glorious' lifeboats
The actions of the two destroyers who both went down fighting against vastly superior battleships were no less valiant than that of the destroyer HMS Glowworm, which had taken on the Admiral Hipper on April 9th. There was even a measure of success here, since the Scharnhorst had been torpedoed. But there were no medals for this action, which was a disaster that the Royal Navy would have no wish to advertise, either now or after the war.
At the end of the action Gneisenau and Scharnhorst made off without stopping to look for survivors. At the time the Germans were uncertain whether the Scharnhorst had been torpedoed by a submarine that might remain in the area.
To compound the disaster HMS Glorious had been using the wrong radio channel. Her radio broadcast announcing the engagement was only indistinctly picked up by HMS Devonshire but she was in a state of radio silence as she was carrying the Norwegian Royal family to safety, and the message was never re-broadcast. For unknown reasons neither Acasta nor Ardent made radio signals about the engagement.
There were at least 900 men in the water or on floats from the three abandoned ships, including some of the pilots from 46 Squadron who had flown the Hurricanes on board the previous day. But the Royal Navy was unaware of the battle and no immediate rescue plan was put into action.
It was nearly three days later when the first of only 45 survivors were pulled from the sea by a Norwegian boat. Among them was Squadron Leader Cross of 46 Squadron (see 7th June). In total 1,515 men died
. .
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