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I was just watching the History Channel, a favourite (sort of), and was invited to believe that HMS Barham was sunk off the African coast when the Americans landed at Casablanca.

Why is it that this ship is featured, almost always out of context, in documentaries when a spectular explosion is desirable? That's a rhetorical question, but I do get a bit peeved at the misuse and therefore the disrespect that accompanies this "cheap" tactic.

The HMS Barham was sunk on 25 November 1941 by U-331 yet she features in almost every naval doco from WWI onwards.

Nothing will rectify this miscarriage but I was moved to finally make a statement.

Stuart

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Stuart

As more and more documentaries are made by the History Channel (and others), it is inevitable that some sequences will be used, and misused, by film companies. There is one sequence of an exploding ship at Pearl Harbour that seems to be repeated every time the Pearl Harbour attack is featured. In my opinion, what is far worse than misused sequences in documentaries is the deliberate rewriting of history in feature films (e.g. heroic scenes in 'The Great Escape', 'Saving Private Ryan', and rescuing an Enigma machine from a sinking submarine). It is my impression that this is a fault largely found in Hollywood films. I think the Americans did enough to win WWII without fibbing about it.

Brett

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When you see the sheer size of these old battleships, you realise how this counted against them. When she was sunk the pictures were so dramatic they just keep showing them. And, I believe they have now carried out underwater filming.

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It is interesting to note that the Royal Navy lost only 3 battleships, as opposed to battlecruisers, during WWII.The HMS Royal Oak, a Royal Sovereign class dreadnought, the HMS Prince of Wales, a King George V class and the HMS Barham, a Queen Elizabeth class, which was a modernized warship from World War One.

HMS Barham was commissioned on August 1915, she displaced 29,150 tons and 862 men went down with her on that fateful day in November 1941.

Stuart

Edited by Stuart Bates
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It has been a lazy Saturday afternoon so I watched the ABC/BBC production The Battleships which is excellent and charts the course of the battleship from its beginnings - canvas to steam, timber to steel etc. And yes it does include the HMS Barham but in context.

A quite brilliant production. However, I must compare it to another DVD called Battleships at War which allocates about 19 minutes to the evolution/rest of the world and the remaining 36 minutes to the US battleships. Sorry to our US members but not good enough.

I was incensed enough to write a critique but then found that there was no one to send it to :unsure: oh well, such is life.

Stuart

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Stuart

The reason that so many South Africans (2 937) were seconded to the Royal Navy during WWII is because SA didn't have its own navy. Early in the war whalers and other small craft were converted to minesweepers and the like, but it was only late in the war that the SANF acquired frigates from Britain, two of which saw action in the war. One, HMSAS Natal, sunk a U-Boat shortly after leaving harbour to undergo sea-trials with its new South African crew.

Countries like Canada and Australia had their own navies, so they probably could not spare men to serve in the RN. I have the medals of a South African KiA on HMS Gloucester during the Battle of Crete and in a book on this ship's sinking the only seconded crew other than South Africans were Maltese.

Regards

Brett

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Brett,

that information sounds like it should initiate a thread on the SA Navy and its beginnings.

I have always had a liking for naval ships and built the USS New Jersey, the Hood and the PT109 all of which I have still here in my study. I also built, and I mean built, the PT109 as an RC model about 3' long but I was talked into buying an overpowered motor such that it sits so low in the water that it hardly stays afloat, Off topic I know but that's what we do :D

Cheers,

Stuart

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Brett - can't you just re-write a few sections. I think it would make a fascinating article - in fact, Brian and I are looking for guest contributors for the British sections. You could be the start .......

However, on that topic - how about some contributors for - Australia - New Zealand - Canada - India etc.. ?

Going back to the Sth. African Navy - I have the family silver for the Natal Dep.Governor - around 1900 . He was asked to go to the UK and Launch H.M.S. NATAL. She was a light cruiser.

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