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although not a huge lose of life how about ark royal!!! could have been saved but wasnt due to messed up rescue effort!! just my 2 cents!!

I missed a BBC documentery on the loss of the Ark Royal and her wreck as it is today , it was shown in February.

You can guess what will never be "repeated". :(

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I believe that loss of life is not the measure of "loss" interms of the shock and humitiation felt by the British Nation and Admiralty. At the Battle of Coronel on 1 November 1914 Vice-Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee’s East Asiatic Squadron met and defeated Rear-Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock’s Squadron. Two of the four British ships in Admiral Cradock’s Squadron were sunk. The flagship H.M.S. Good Hope, and H.M.S Monmouth.

There were no survivors of either ship (1,654 officers and men died). Glasgow and Otranto both escaped (the former suffering five hits but no casualties). Just two shells had struck Scharnhorst, neither of which exploded, whereas she had managed at least 35 hits on Good Hope. Four shells had struck Gneisenau, but had done little damage. The greatest difficulty for the German ships was that they had used approximately half their ammunition, with no means of replacing it. There were no German deaths and only three men had been wounded, on Gneisenau.

This was Britain's first naval defeat since the Battle of Lake Champlain in the War of 1812 and the first of a British naval squadron since the Battle of Grand Port in 1810. Six weeks earlier a German submarine had sunk three British cruisers patrolling the English Channel.

Once news of the scale of the British defeat, and its consequent humiliation, reached London, the populace was in total Shock. The British Admiralty in London assembled a vastly superior naval force under Admiral Sir Frederick Sturdee. To find and destroy Spee's Squadron. This took place at the Battle of the Falkland Islands on 8 December 1914.

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RE HMS Acorn I have probably got it wrong but I will do some digging.

As for loss of lives what was the greatest loss at sea for a single ship during WW2 ?

It seems that this fate was the sinking of the German passenger ship Wilhelm Gustloff in Jan 1945 by a Russian Sub. It is estimated 10,000 people lost their lives the exact figue is not known due to the amount of refugees cramed on board. Also the remains of Field Marshal von Hindenburg and his wife, were being transported away from the advancing Russian army.

From: http://en.allexperts.com/e/p/pa/paul_von_hindenburg.htm


Hindenburg was buried in the Tannenberg memorial near Tannenberg, East Prussia (today: Stębark, Poland) against the wishes he had expressed during his life. Hindenburg always said he wanted to buried next to his beloved wife. In 1945, German troops removed his and his wife's coffins, to save them from the approaching Soviets, to Marburg an der Lahn in western Germany (Hindenburg was an Honorary Citizen of this town). The caskets of Hindenburg and his wife were found in an abandoned salt mine on 27 April 1945 by U.S. Ordinance Troops. Later that month, he and his wife were interred anew in the famous Elisabeth Church in the North Tower Chapel.

He still rests there, although the church chapter recently voted to keep the lights switched off at his tomb. Will Lang Jr., correspondent of Life wrote an article (6 March, 1950) about how the United States Ordinance Troops found the coffins. His tombstone simply states "Paul von Hindenburg 1847-1934".

Would love to find and read a copy of the article about how the coffins were found as noted above.


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One that's often overlooked due to the mystery surrounding it is the loss of HMS DASHER in the Firth of Clyde on 27th March 1943.

Dasher was an Archer class aircraft carrier converted in America and sent over on lend-lease.

At around 4:40pm on the afternoon of Saturday 27th March 1943 she exploded while en route to shore following flight exercises. She sank in 8 minutes. 379 souls lost. The second greatest loss

of life in home waters after the Royal Oak.

The official cause of the disaster has never been fully revealed and is still cloaked in secrecy.

Evidence suggests that one of the drowned crew was used in Operation Mincemeat to divert German attention from the invasion of Sicily. Providing the body which was sent ashore under the guise of a high ranking Royal Marine officer in possession of plans to invade elsewhere.

One of my uncles was lost on board Dasher.

No one in the family were aware until I researched his loss. They were merely informed that he was missing in action. No other details.


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Do 'almost losses' count?

I am reading the journal of an RN Lieutenant who served in Upper Canada from 1812-1816, including some time as a POW south of the border during the late unpleasantness with Brother Jonathon. Upon his release in 1815 he went to Kingston (Ontario, Canada) wher he was posted briefly to HMS St. Lawrence, then finishing construction. She would have been the largest ship in His Majesty's Navy - 100 guns - but due to an outbreak of peace was never fully frunished and crewed, though I believe she came into commission briefly.

On her maiden cruise, St Lwarence was struck by lightining while carrying, according to Lt Wingfield, some 600-800 sailors and the same number of soldiers. According to Wingfield some damage was done to the mainmast - the point of impact so to speak - but the 30+ powder charges for the 32 pounders, carried in the orlop deck magazine, did not explode, else he would not have been able to write anything.

Even allowing for exageration - and I doubt there were 800 sailors in all of Upper Canada - a casulty list of 1000+ would rank as 'pretty awful' / 'pretty repsectable', would it not?

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