HMS bVictoriab Found


Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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I was quite excited to read about this in one of the dive mags - HMS Victoria, once the Mediterranean flag ship of the British Navy, was found last August.

The story of the loss of the Victoria is one that has come up on this board before - the circumstances leading to her collision with HMS Camperdown are rather mysterious and controversial, particularly Admiral Tryon's role.

The wreck itself is in a fascinating condition - it's about 90 degrees vertical and mostly imbedded in the silty bottom, and has been described as looking like a tombstone!

One explanation offered for her extraordinary position is that it is "probably due to the weight of the massive twin guns on the foredeck and the half-meter armor plating as well as the still spinning propellers which drove the ship straight down after it sank." She is possibly unique in coming to rest in this way - claims have been made that the only other known wreck to remain upright was in the Phillipines, and has since collapsed. Does anyone know of any other wrecks that came to rest like this?

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=1&article_id=8034

http://www8.boot.de/cipp/md_boot/custom/pub/content,lang,2/oid,10735/ticket,g_u_e_s_t
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Does anyone know of any other wrecks that came to rest like this?<<

Not in water this shallow. I'm sure there are a few examples out there but usually, when a ship goes down, it rolls over and either settles on it's side or inverted. Generally, the hull needs much deeper water to turn upright.
 

Jim Hathaway

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There is a great discussion of this accident in the book "Warrior To Dreadnought" by D.K. Brown.
It is an excellent history of capital ship development in Britain from 1860-1905.
If I remember also Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem about HMS Camperdown.
 

Inger Sheil

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Not 'upright' in the sense that she's resting evenly along her keel, Mike - the Victoria is nose in, her bow buried in the mud, apparently looking like a skyscraper on the seafloor!

I'll have to look up the Brown book, Jim - what theory for Tryon's orders that lead to the collision does he give?
 

Noel F. Jones

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"If I remember also Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem about HMS Camperdown."

My copy of Barrack Room Ballads; and Other Verses, 9th edition, contains an item entitled:

The Ballad of the 'Clampherdown' (sic)

The eponymous vessel seems to have foundered in the English Channel as a result of some encounter with an unspecified adversary. No doubt others can supply a link to the reality of the tale.

Noel
 

Jim Hathaway

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Hi Inger-
Warrior to Dreadnought also has photos of Victoria, her name was originally to be Renown.
A strange ship, she almost looks like a monitor with a twin 16.25 inch turret on the forecastle and a smaller 10 " gun turret one deck higher on the quarterdeck and two side by side funnels forward of the mast, before the bridge.
6" guns were carried aft in casemates.
Most of the text deals with the damage, and the mechanism of the sinking with a photo of the official model of Victoria used for the investigation.
Particularly interesting is the table of her Metacentric Heigth (height of center of buoyancy above the center of gravity- a measure of stability) in the different conditions of flooding indicating that she capsized abruptly as the turret and magazine space flooded. (undamaged her GM was 5.05 feet.
Foc'sle under water, 0.8 feet, and turret and battery flooded -1.8 feet) Looking at her design, it is not suprising she sunk bow first like a rock-
He mainly discusses the accident from an engineering aspect, and the lessons it provided.
It is about two pages, if you would like, I could scan it for you.
I think as far as Tryon's reason for the order, the newspaper article probably had it right-
 

Jim Hathaway

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Hi Inger,
I had'nt seen it either, since she capsized I wonder where the turret ended up? If it dropped out of the barbette (it probably did) she probably flooded and headed down like a rock.
 

Inger Sheil

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Given how she wound up on the sea floor, I think a forensic analysis and computer simulations of the sinking dynamics would be fascinating, Jim! I hope they pull together something good for the doco.
 
Nov 29, 2004
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There was an episode of the sea hunters recently that featured a tzarist ironclad--the russalka, that sank at about the same time as the victoria, she is also sitting vertical with her nose buried about 100+ feet in the bottom.
 

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